Losing My Religion: Thoughts on Current Religious System

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  • NolaNola Member Posts: 666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 4
    I have a lot of opinions about any topic relating to the role of Divinity and God shells in the game. That being said there's probably only one point of agreement I want to repeat out of this whole thread based upon my own layered experience with gods IC - and that's the point of the Gods always being right, and their word always being absolute being false. Gods have done things many many times over that contradict their main principles and teachings. That's why, icly, my character puts little to no stock in Them now. There's been arguments during such instances, and occasionally the god in question has admitted to their failings.. why? Because they adopt mortal shells to fill with divine essence. Because they can die, in their own way, and be "reincarnated" as we have seen happen three times now with Fire, and twice with Truth. So it's hardly a set role, and it's definitely not inflexible to change at any point. 

    While I honestly loathe this nature of Divinities I also like that it provides a lot of unique character development opportunities for anyone involved with them. I don't really see how it can better be changed, and I remember an early Aetolia where the Gods were not as involved with the mortal realm as they are now. It's a lot more colorful this way.
    VashKodaza
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 151 ✭✭✭
    Sibatti said:

    Somewhat off-topic in the current moment, but tangentially related to this thread: I would be highly in favor of a Religious system that wasn't nearly entirely dependent on a player existing behind a God.

    I feel like the religious mechanics are all but completely absent if there's an inactive God. I say this having been a volunteer in the past, and a player participating in active and inactive Orders both. There are too many aspects of it that depend on a God having active participation.

    That is actually quite in-topic.

    My choices in words were generally blunt at times, but when I said that the Aetolian religious system is bankrupt, I wanted to point out the system's high dependence on volunteers and when they are pulled out of the equation, nothing substantial is left mechanically.

    Adding dynamism via mechanics; let it be via creation of cults with new interpretations (subject to approval and with its own difficulties), soft and hard religious conflict systems or other religious enhancements...the main point is to increase the player-driven part.
  • SigmundSigmund The highest spire in SpinesreachMember Posts: 46 ✭✭✭
    I feel drawn to leave my words here in regards to the topic.

    IG my character is highly standoffish in terms of outright following a Divine entity. If anything, the secular cultivation of Spirean strength and might via Divine Patrons, and linked shrines, and the fact that some of his fellow citizens are devout, are three (but not the only ones, just the biggest) reasons that Sigmund has any direct interest in them at all, let alone give offerings to begin with.

    Now....does my character truly worship/venerate anything in the conventional sense of the words? Yes. He does. But it's not any of the Gods.

    Moving on - Being a God for a sea of differing personalities (characters), can be a downright teeth grinding affair. Not only do Gods try to stay in character, but they have to deal with people on multiple fronts, and that s**t can wear down a volunteer playing a Divine, especially when certain players have unrealistic expectations at times, or want to suckle on some Divine tittie and be treated like a glorious Order/Congregation pet and or favored child.

    For those of you who think the Divine, the concept of the Divine, and the people behind the Divine need to bounce out of here and just have no Divine influence IG, well, your probably unfit for fantasy immersion to begin with, and any past experiences you had in other text based games, have ZERO bearing on Aetolia: The Midnight Age.

    I've been playing Aetolia from the time when the first guildmasters were trying to flesh their guilds out and cultivate solid leadership. I've seen a lot of truly exciting events and RP from Divine, and I've also seen some downright shameful conduct from particular Divine, where their OOC behavior not only confused and riled up characters IG, but also spilled into the real world and had direct interaction with players that was certainly not legal in terms of user policy.

    I only have one truly heavy concern and complaint regarding Divine mechanics and game foundationals tethered to people playing a god - Institutional Memory.

    Let's ponder in terms of military thinking for a moment. A unit, via it's successful history, is expected to build an institutional memory of advancing tactics, strategy, and just overall success and doings, down to the last recognized man worthy of being noted.

    What does this have to do with Gods?

    Divine Institutional Memory - IRE and more so the Aetolian staff, need to come together, some time SOON, and discuss the following points of concern/interest.
    ---------------
    * Divine beings have little to no track record or log from day one, to the current present. That needs to change, and when a new god-player steps in to fill the role of a Divine, every single log, which in perfect practice would be a log from day one for that Divine Entity, they need to spend the first few days as a God, reading that Divine Log, and keeping the historical actions of their God/Divine character in mind at all times. I know that a lot of God handling can be a sudden, ad hoc affair (not all the time though), and while you volunteers and others do your best to make things smooth in regards to playing a god, the fact of the matter is that it rarely stays within the same vain of play due to no joke failure to maintain institutional memory.
    ---------------


    I love this game. A big thanks to everyone who makes it possible.

    Some of you will disagree with me, some of you will not. Some of you will be stimulated to approach the entire topic from new angles, and some of you will not do that at all.

    Regardless of how all of you feel, or gripe or complain, or view a certain something about Aetolia in whatever light you want to view it in, only one constant should remain at the forfront of your gaming within Aetolia - Have Fun.

    If you cant do that, you should probably find a different game to play.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    I and @Razmael have already implemented a mandatory cheat sheet for every Divine. The problem is that it's mostly based off of memories. And they have to put up with me adding absurdities when I get bored.
    XeniaVashSigmundPazradym
  • VashVash Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭

    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
    Sigmund
  • SigmundSigmund The highest spire in SpinesreachMember Posts: 46 ✭✭✭
    edited July 11
    @Tiur How long until you guys would feel that the God foundation cheat sheets are up to par?
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    ..um.. if you see them around, their cheat sheets are pretty good. I mean, lore-wise, we're fine. But specific mannerisms and all the little progs? Not so much. At this point, I'd let someone who wanted a shell just wash stuff, cause we're not getting any more information back.
    Sigmund
  • SigmundSigmund The highest spire in SpinesreachMember Posts: 46 ✭✭✭
    Thanks, boss hog.
    Didi
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Tiur Would it be terribly difficult for an existing NPC to obtain the green name status?
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    @Haven What do you mean? Like, we've had ascensions, I believe Ethne has an interesting background. But without a player behind them, they'd never be on who.
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was wondering if perhaps the gods could theoretically take a "back seat" and instead make their individual Order NPC representatives take on the green name status they usually have instead. This would allow a less strict persona to interact with the playerbase I think while still preserving the "prestige" of the gods for story development purposes. Plus NPCs can die more frequently and be hurt for the same reasons without cheapening the "higher" role of the gods.

    I didn't know if perhaps this would be an easy thing to do like flip a switch or set a variable somewhere or if this was a shell thing that can only be made when created.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
    Kalak
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    It's a thing that could be done.. sortof, I'm just not sure it's all that different. The NPCs would be the same voices.
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm not sure what you mean by the NPC's having the same voice. The NPC's I'm referring to aren't the vessels the gods inhabit. Unless I'm misremembering, each Order has an NPC rep that serves in collusion with the player Order Head. Niuri had that Xorani mentor child thing that roamed her temple. Damariel had that dude with the staff on the floating island. Slyphe had that uhh... Drawing a blank there but I do recall an NPC in the grotto that served Him.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
  • PhendegwenPhendegwen Member Posts: 33 ✭✭✭
    And Dhar has Tobias, his "High Priest" NPC who lives in his temple library- which is open for anyone to go and try to interact with him. (Also he is adorable.) He also understands Dhar in his own way, keeping with the idea of official Divine teachings being one thing, but individual interpretation also being allowed- and even encouraged, at least within Dhar's Order.
    Haven
  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,422 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The thing to keep in mind is that if the 'high priest' npc's gods often have are being treated as the voice of that god, someone is -still- going to have to play that npc. There will still need to be consistency, if not a higher level. The gods, at least, have an excuse - they took a new shell and lost some memories or their personality shifted as a result, they perceive things in a different way so what was significant for a mortal might not have been for them, etc etc. The high priests, though? They're just guys.

    Teani
  • AxiusAxius where I amMember Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
    except random shmuck high priest #1 can be replaced by High Priest #2 when celani behind #1 steps down, and then #2 doesn't have to know, or even be anything remotely like High priest random schmuck #1. It's essentially saying, "The divine has told me it is time to perform the ritual for my replacement. I will now cut my own heart out and place it at the offering so that my replacement will take a bite from it before tossing it into the maw so that Iosyne may approve of him." or something similar ritual-wise, and then suddenly? No need for new guy to have notes beyond what the general gist of what the divinity is about, the NPCs themselves could have potentially wildly different expectations and beliefs behind the tenets, and interpretations could vary depending on each Celani in and of themselves.

    High Priest Johnny mcCombatant could have a hardon for RPVP, and encourage that within the order, and that the tenets, as he interprets them and acts as the physical representation of his divine, he could place the call for this specific circumstances. But say the celani steps down, this priest then steps down, and a new priest character replaces his or her predecessor, and the new guy decides he isn't so big on RPVP, but just RP. Then he re-interprets the tenets in a fitting way that pushes for RP over RPVP, then high priest #3 comes along, and believes PVP is better than RP or RPVP, so on and so forth.
    HavenKalakNola
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Axius Precisely. This method would allow for a much more flexible and forgiving process for both the player-base and Celani involved. The divine can then be used for a much more strategic effect when necessary as Aetolia's story progresses and develops with this method while also gradually building back up the reverence and "mysteriousness" of the divine.

    Overall, I believe that the Order system in general requires a much needed update and or overhaul. The conflict mechanic it runs on is heavily flawed and archaic as well. It should be something that is dynamic and offers a fresh approach to interactions between organizations. I've never been a fan of features in the game that require you to temporarily not play the game in order to achieve something (i.e., shrine defilement mechanic, death sequence, etc.) or near endless/mindless grinding (i.e., bashing). An influence or boon/curse orientated system could potentially work here instead. If anyone's really interested, I could elaborate more on that later.

    Nonetheless, while I don't believe this ought to be top priority for the game, the update/overhaul is something that should be done eventually.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,422 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Okay, so this plan could make the gods more quote-unquote mysterious. Is that a -good- thing? And in the short-term, is it going to be a bad thing? I mean, if every god suddenly becomes more distant, it'll impact all of the characters that have had recent interactions with a god, wouldn't it? I'm just...not certain that this is even actually a problem that needs fixing.

    TeaniKalak
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Perception is reality. As such, the success of a change like this would depend largely on how it's presented and executed. Is this an actual problem that needs fixing? I cannot truly say because I'm not an admin nor privy to the info surrounding the resources dedicated to maintaining godshells and deciding factors to Celani burnout.

    I personally don't believe it's a big issue if one at all but some players think otherwise as evidenced by this thread. Based on my experience and what I've seen, I'm inclined to think that this is primarily a personal taste issue if anything. That said, overall, I think it would still be a good change because of the freedom it'd offer development and the varied opportunities it'd offer to the player base. At the end of the day though, I'd personally be more concerned with fixing the Order War mechanic than this.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
    KalakZaila
  • JaymiJaymi Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭
    So just my little addition here as someone who's not really an order focused player but has had some real fun playing with at least one Divine from across the divide. I honestly love the whole greco-roman physical shell roaming god thing. And at least for me, getting Chak's attention was pretty easy. Mind, I had a bit of a goal in mind when I went looking for Her attention, but still, it took like... 5 minutes and she's the one who reached out to me with just me wandering about her isle. Course, apparently I sorta wandered through the room she was in and didn't notice because I'm an idiot but hey, that was pretty fun too.

    And I like that they're fallible and not perfect. At one point during everything it was pointed out that Jaymi, little shy Jaymi was getting used to big scary Goddess of Corruption Chakrasul and it was absolutely on the money and that was prolly the scariest thing for Jaymi ever, that she stopped seeing Her as the Goddess of Corruption that was out for her soul and started seeing Her as just some evil witch she was making a deal with that maybe she could best. And that glimpse of humanity, fallibility in Chak makes her way more powerful and scary and godlike than any mystery or behind the scenes tinkering could ever make that character IMO. And that RP that I couldn't have with someone if I was in their order was some of the coolest.

    So like... sure, there's issues with the 'flavor of the week' or whatever with activity and rotating volunteers... there's also a lot of really cool opportunities for new players like me that we wouldn't get if they weren't around and I totally get why those green names drive up player activity. If I ever figure out any other possible reasons, even the flimsiest goals imaginable, to interact with any green name visible, I'll take it for even the slight hope of something 1/5th as cool as what I got from Chak.

    And all of this? It was all pure RP and no mechanical stuff at all. If I wanted, Jaymi could still speak, there's actually nothing mechanical that stops her from doing it, but the RPs fun. Things can be done just through RP and stick.

    Vash
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