Bloodborn Rituals / Report 1485

VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
For people who don't read liaison reports, @Ilyon submitted a report that may essentially make all the Hematurgy rituals visible to everyone who joins the Bloodborn, removing the need for new Bloodborn player characters to solve the guildhall puzzles.

Some of the puzzles are terribly out of date and wrong, which leads to frustration, and I do understand why people dislike some of the puzzles. However, my Skype and mobile have both blown up with both former and current players asking me how I feel about the idea that one of the defining features of the Bloodborn may perish, so I wanted to invite some discussion from people. I realize that neither I nor anyone else has any control over what @Oleis, @Razmael, or @Valdus do to any class and that nothing is guaranteed to stay the same forever.

The Bloodborn were originally designed as Aetolia's first stab at an advanced class. Ten years ago, the only people who could join the Bloodborn were those who were already fully Embraced vampires. That didn't last a terribly long time as we (the guild leadership and the administration) came to understand that not having actual novices was extremely detrimental to the guild's ability to thrive.

So, I completely understand the desire to make Hematurgy just like any other skillset in any other guild, where the only work you have to do to learn skills to to acquire the lessons and type LEARN SKILL FROM TUTOR. 

That said? I'm a little melancholy when I think that the old method of learning hematurgy may disappear. In the early days of the guild many of us found it enjoyable to solve the puzzles. They were a great source of social interaction for the new guild. It also fit with the whole premise that the practice of hematurgy required sacrifice, because it was often literally true. I can't remember how many times Veovis died tried to figure out Sanguispect or how many afflictions he got when I couldn't figure out Acid Blood.

So, what do you folks think? Does anyone have any reasonable ideas about how we can have our cake and eat it too? Is there a way to make the acquisition of the rituals painless without removing the idea that hematurgy actually requires study, patience, and perseverance? Maybe a quest from Geryon after Rebirth to acquire a tome of rituals? Only revealing certain rituals at particular skillranks?
Brayden

Comments

  • ErzsebetErzsebet Altaholic Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    With as little vitriol and venom as possible:

    It's already painless. People already cheat and use the wiki and acquire instant-knowledge. Even people who otherwise have decent RP standards do it--mostly because you kinda have to, if you want to be immediately viable at PK.

    My problem, personally, with this change, is that from an IC standpoint it is basically saying, 'hey, y'know all that guild history/lore that's been going on in the guild for -centuries-?' Yeah? 'Screw you.'

    I mean. A very small part of my objection is nostalgic. Like, man, I remember putting heads together with Tenedos and piecing together all the puzzles. And it was fun, and maybe I died once or twice, but it provided us with hours of RP and entertainment and interesting theories. And even once I'd learned, I'd get bored sometimes and look at them just so how to learn them from that way stays fresh enough so I can actually answer novice questions from the people bothering to learn it the right way.

    But in honesty, the rituals are one of our very, very, VERY few consistent lore bits. We've loosened the secrecy on them a little, by sticking all of the clues into a book, and giving that book to people who are apprenticed to the guild, but ICly, we've always been discouraged from directly sharing. Helping, guiding, nudging in the right direction, making a suggestion in vein with a common mistake, sure, but generally letting people figure out the actual answer itself on their own. And there was a lot of RP in that. In doing that from either end, seeking help from a guild higher up, or, as my group did when we were learning, from our peers instead, so we didn't lose whatever respect we thought we'd lose from leadership in asking five hundred questions, or in being the peer from which help is sought, or the teacher.

    I think this change is excessively detrimental to the Bloodborn as a guild, to its RP, and to its lore in general.

    Frankly, the cake is -clearly- a goddamn lie though, because beyond a vehemently spoken 'Do NOT do this if you care at ALL about the Bloodborn history/lore.' I don't know of any suggestions.
    imageimage
  • RiluoRiluo The DoctorMember Posts: 821 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2014

    Back when we formed the guild it was helpful, but it is out-dated now as people just get it from the wiki or other players, even some systems on the forum have the full rituals added to them. Which does take a lot away from the guild RP. However, that is the way of things, people just would rather have it now than enjoy the ride.

    A nice way to fix it would to be have novices complete small quests for Geryon. For example:

    • Geryon asks you to buy a tinderbox, steel, wood and return to him in the guild pit (full of sand) then he helps you create the athame. He then rewards you with a the ritual for it and a old athame (lasts two months).
    • He asks you to go to the swamps up north near the old keep of Belladona to gather mud, and to the desert to collect sand (to make a tablet) gifts you with a bloodborn novice robe!
    • Teaches you a few basic chants and describes their purpose. Asks you to retrieve a phial from the guild merchant and return it too him as "He ran out" Once you do he teaches you to collect blood in it and rewards you with a password to open his great book of rituals.

    Something fun like this is better than a kick in the arse. Also excuse the rushed post I am at work >.<



    Abhorash says, "Ve'kahi has proved that even bastards can earn their place."

    Veovis
  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    @Erzsebet

    I'm not really disagreeing with you, but you and I being older Bloodborn players also have to realize that the guild has changed from when we were both GM. There is currently little social atmosphere, and the guild roleplay has been ignored for so long that it's practically non-existent. Most of the recent leadership doesn't know why things are the way they are, up to the point that when the novice clan the Bloodborn no longer needed (because the guild actually has novices and GNT) disappeared with an old HoN, a Bloodborn GM wasted gold on buying another novice clan. 

    I'm not saying that we old fossils who remember this stuff can't or shouldn't try to reinvigorate the guild as far as its roleplay and atmosphere are concerned, but I think we're going to have to come to grips with the idea that the rituals are actually learnt and closely guarded secrets won't remain anything more than roleplay (the same way the Indorani and Cabalists guard theirs). 

    Personally, I'd be more than okay with a quest of some sort, or even easier puzzles. I'd like to see the uniqueness of Hematurgy preserved while people that maybe don't want to do the puzzles can acquire abilities without such a headache. 
  • DamonicusDamonicus Member Posts: 637 ✭✭✭✭
    Just because the ritual list will be visable to everyone (it aleady is people), does not take away from the rp of the guild. I know of one specific guild member named Alice, that had the rituals already, but she still wanted to "learn" them the proper in game way. It all is just depends on the person playing. Some are going to want to dive right into pvp and use the rituals for what they are for, then you will have a select few that will want to rp the secret ritual lore of the guild. It is a much needed change in a time where you need to give a little to get more back in the end.
    Erzsebet
  • ErzsebetErzsebet Altaholic Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Veovis - Yes, the guild has changed, and those changes should be reflected in the roleplay and so on and so forth, but there's a difference between changes that make sense for an org's RP, and changes that just push off all the RP in the trash leaving us with approximately nothing.

    @Damonicus ...so much is wrong with that statement. First. It's available OOC. To people who effectively metagame the information. Which. Though I: don't like it, don't endorse it, raged about it on forums when it first started happening widespread etc etc etc, it does NOT detract from the game RP itself, because IG the RP of it being secret and/or taking dedication/intellect/study/effort/etc to pick up, is still in-tact. The guild isn't effectively just handing its membership and apprentices a list of the rituals. Which is what this is/feels like. This gives nothing back. Ever.

    imageimage
  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,392 admin
    This is one of those times where gameplay > roleplay. The idea that a change like this is a "screw you" to years of roleplay is so hyperbolic that it's downright meaningless. Why on earth would any of us intentionally and maliciously hurt a guild, as your statement implies? Let's try to be reasonable, and keep things in their proper context.

    RITUAL LIST is still an OOC mechanism to deliver IC information. It always has been, even when its details were drowned in secrecy and fine roleplay. This change is one of many, many things we've done in the past year or two to make life easier. Sometimes that ease comes at a cost, as in your perceived loss of roleplay opportunity here. But it's darn worth it if it saves even two newbies from saying "eff this, I'm doing something less complicated." 
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
    Aishia
  • RiluoRiluo The DoctorMember Posts: 821 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    I tend to agree, as I said before people do not want to wait around now a days, they want to get started straight away. So I suppose in the long run as you put it, the result is better for all parties involved. Although, I know personally I will still be encouraging novices to do mini quests for me such as, collecting sand, dirt, steal, wood and more so as to teach them where to go to collect it. Plus its nice to get people involved in the game.

    Abhorash says, "Ve'kahi has proved that even bastards can earn their place."

  • ErzsebetErzsebet Altaholic Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I never claimed it was being done with malicious intent. I don't figure Ilyon, you, or anyone else sat down and were just like WELL. TODAY. WE'RE GOING TO MAKE CHANGES THAT DESTROY EVERYTHING. I'm saying it's being done at the cost of pretty much the only thing left of our roleplay.
    imageimage
  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    Oleis said:
     Sometimes that ease comes at a cost, as in your perceived loss of roleplay opportunity here. But it's darn worth it if it saves even two newbies from saying "eff this, I'm doing something less complicated." 

    The Bloodborn were designed to be a complicated class from the start. They were made accessible to newbies when membership declined to an unsustainable level, in part due to the need to become a vampire first and due to the state Hematurgy was released in (marginally functional). When I took over as GM we had maybe a handful of active members, because we had no access to newbies and relatively few vampires who wanted to become Bloodborn. The guild has always struggled with membership and activity because of the way it was designed and the niche it was intended to fill. In many way it was a fascinating experiment in class design but not one that worked very well in many ways.

    So, while I'm saddened to see the loss of the need for new players to at least pretend to do the puzzles, I understand why it's going to happen. A majority of our players either metagame and use Ankyrean Archive or buy a system with the rituals already built in. This is just acknowledging the reality of the situation.

  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    Erzsebet said:
    I never claimed it was being done with malicious intent. I don't figure Ilyon, you, or anyone else sat down and were just like WELL. TODAY. WE'RE GOING TO MAKE CHANGES THAT DESTROY EVERYTHING. I'm saying it's being done at the cost of pretty much the only thing left of our roleplay.
    I don't want to drag this too off topic (like you know, maybe getting something like Riluo's quest so that Hematurgy doesn't lose the entirety of its unique flavour as far as access to it goes), but I think the fact that some of us older players and leaders have become active again can remedy the "only thing left of our roleplay" part of your concern.
  • ErzsebetErzsebet Altaholic Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Veovis said:

    This is just acknowledging the reality of the situation.

    In-character. Without any real way for the characters, who would not countenance such things, to say/do anything about it. Just 'this is the way it is now'. The metagaming nonsense is all OOC.
    imageimage
  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    Erzsebet said:
    Veovis said:

    This is just acknowledging the reality of the situation.

    In-character. Without any real way for the characters, who would not countenance such things, to say/do anything about it. Just 'this is the way it is now'. The metagaming nonsense is all OOC.
    To be honest, not much changes in-character. Maybe Vampire Grandpa Simpson (aka me) and grumpy characters like mine will make comments equivalent to "in my day we had to hike both ways up the lava pits with no boots to learn Hematurgy," but it's not shattering.

    We simply assume that the characters are learning the rituals during their "off screen" time instead of their on screen time. We do that with a lot of other character related things, anyway. Yeah, I'm sad about it, but the administration is determined that this is how it's going to be. 

    When we didn't have newbies it didn't matter if an experienced player quit, because they had the option of going back to the regular vampire class. It matters now. You and I both know what the guild is like now, in terms of atmosphere, versus what it was like when we led it. It's really awesome that we have some new players who are active in the guild who also happen to enjoy roleplay, and I don't want to see them leave because they get frustrated with a puzzle and rage quit. That's a thing that happens, and the guild is a lot smaller and a lot less social now than it was, so this change is an understandable one from that perspective.

    The process of making the Bloodborn an "easier" class began a long time ago. We aren't allowed to PK people who leave the guild until they drop the class, we're not allowed to have ridiculous novice requirements because we're an "advanced class." 

    Also, when I became GM I tried to give the Bloodborn that whole ascetic spooky blood mystic vibe for a reason. We needed a better premise than "We're just normal vampires with rituals, kay guyz?" You took it and ran with it when you were GM, so while I know you're disappointed about REPORT 1485 (I am too), there's more of a roleplay foundation to stand on than just the puzzles. 
  • IlyonIlyon Member Posts: 746 ✭✭✭
    Okay, so.

    I can certainly sympathize with the stance that the change to the ritual acquisition process removes some of the uniqueness from the class - honestly, I sort of feel the same way. However, what matters is this.

    Over the years, I've been helping a lot of people new to the class - both guild members and apprentices - with the rituals. And for the vast majority of them, it was glaringly obvious that they are not enjoying the puzzles at all, and I usually ended up pointing them at the website where all the combinations are listed. In fact, of the people I have personal experience with, I can only think of a single person who did actually enjoy the hard way - namely, myself (yes, I'm weird like that).

    I have no way of knowing if the puzzles caused any player to quit (I had several disappear while they were working on them, but I cannot know if this was the reason), but I don't know about anyone who stayed because of them - so the inevitable thought is, what's the point of keeping them? Hence the report.

    As for this roleplay argument, if the class RP really is based solely on skill secrecy (which I disagree with), all I can say is, good riddance - skill secrecy has disappeared (or is about to) from all the other classes, and it's about time for it to disappear from Bloodborn as well.

    In fact, had the report not gone through, the plan B involved putting all those ritual steps into a GHELP.
    DaskalosEzalorOleisDraiman
  • SolariaSolaria Charlotte, NCMember Posts: 522 ✭✭✭✭
    I haven't played a Bloodborn in years, but really want to chime in here. You HAVE to think of the new players. Think of a brand new player, new to MUDs, who has to go and try to 'discover' how to use their abilities. Yes, some may love it, but over half probably say screw it and do other things. It just, truly, isn't fair. It is the only class that doesn't properly reveal how to use their abilities, and it shouldn't be special so much that it could be actually detrimental to driving new players into the guild. The less information absolutely new players have, the more frustrated they get and far more easily they get frustrated. Frustration leads people away from most games.

    People can still RP all they want on trying to figure out the rituals - that won't change. That's up to the player to decide if they want to roleplay the research into it. A game mechanic to make things easier for complete newbies? That's a good thing and shouldn't be looked at like this. The game should be more fun, not more frustrating. The decision to use this new mechanic is not being forced, as you can still do what you want. RP Is based off of what YOU decide to do with your character. This is not forcing anyone to change, just making things easier. Please try to just keep this in mind and think of the new players more - not the old players.

    Ilyon
  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    People who want to RP it out can still do that just fine. I'm not sure why there is a ton of outrage for this, it's just putting that information in a spot that's easily accessible in game rather than forcing people to head over to Ankyrean Archives. The days of super secrecy and people not telling others what their class does and such are gone, information is way more accessible, and this aligns with that.

    When I first made a Bloodborn I almost quit the class/game because of the ritual system. I felt like I had just dumped a bunch of lessons into a skill that I couldn't even use unless I spent a long time puzzling out the clues, which I definitely didn't want to do. I wanted to bash. I most definitely would have quit the class altogether if Harad had not straight up given me the useful rituals needed to bash.

    I get the whole elitist stuff, D'baen was a similar way with its requirements. It took me close to a RL month of playing every single day to get through D'baen's requirements when I was a newbie. And while some players are able to muster the interest to do that and perhaps even like it, they are definitely in the minority. As Oleis said there is a point where gameplay comes over RP.
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    Omei
  • AngweAngwe I'm the dog that ate yr birthday cake Bedford, VAMember Posts: 978 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I feel like there's no need for a change. Let people who want to know the answers right now just look them up online. Maybe update them, but leave the game intact for people who actually wanna RP their class. My 2 cents.
    image
    Erzsebet
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Angwe said:

    I feel like there's no need for a change. Let people who want to know the answers right now just look them up online. Maybe update them, but leave the game intact for people who actually wanna RP their class. My 2 cents.

    The puzzles aren't being removed afaik, people can still RP if they want to.
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think skill/ability transparency is VITAL. Both for a healthy guild, and combat in general. Gone are the days of people hiding aff lines from each other and refusing to explain how their skills work. A new more glorious dawn awaits.
    DaskalosOmei
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Blessed is the Light!
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
    Damonicus
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Getting real sick of your unicorns Heezy.
    EzalorSetneIosyneHaven
  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    Draiman said:
    I feel like there's no need for a change. Let people who want to know the answers right now just look them up online. Maybe update them, but leave the game intact for people who actually wanna RP their class. My 2 cents.
    The puzzles aren't being removed afaik, people can still RP if they want to.

    People can still do them, but I'm pretty sure some of them are still wrong. A big part of the problem has been that, for years before the current administration, it was unicorns difficult to get some of the minor things fixed. The ritual fragment tells the player to eat the wrong kind of herb (and later slice)? They're always going to fail the ritual. SILENCE.'


    That's one of the reasons that OOC sources exist. The other part of the equation is that some of the puzzles are frustrating. When the guild was new and we were all doing them there was a lot of sharing and back and forth and experimentation. That's not really the case anymore, so it's very frustrating for a brand new player to try and go through that process when the response to "Can I please have some help with this ritual fragment" on GNT is silence, simply because there are 2-3 players on, and they're AFK.

    So as much as I don't like the idea that it has come to this, I'm hopeful that the change will mean that more of our newbies stick around and become active members, because man, it kind of sucks coming back and seeing the guild you spent 4 RL years of your life in various leadership positions with quiet as a church mouse. 

    If this change helps keep people around and helps to put an end to GT being nothing but "Greetings, Reborn" followed by SILENCE, then I can't say that I'm going to regret it in the end. 
    Oleis
  • NeomaNeoma Member Posts: 131 ✭✭✭
    When I joined the Bloodborn doing the puzzles and figuring every ritual for myself was the best part because I love a challenge like that. But I agree that it is not for everyone. It seems to me that aetolia has gradually but consistently moved to make sure all guilds and houses are real easy to gain full knowledge. And every org is concerned about getting their share of novices that stay but I wonder if there should not be some kind of org that one could join knowing full well it was going to be damn hard... tell me I am not the only geek around who loves such challenges.  8-|
  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    Neoma said:
     I wonder if there should not be some kind of org that one could join knowing full well it was going to be damn hard... tell me I am not the only geek around who loves such challenges.  8-|
    That was the way the Bloodborn were originally designed by the previous administration. We were described as an advanced class for players who were looking for a unique challenge. That has gradually changed over the years to where we are now. Players will (apparently) still be able to do the puzzles, but they'll have a full ritual list from the moment they join. 
  • EleanorEleanor FOR SCIENCE Member Posts: 818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Cabal recently had a similar thing to what Erz is talking about happen- the RP always and forever was "we don't tell you the combinations because it's better for you to discover them yourself". Wuwu secrecy etc. Then it got changed! Now apparently we do tell them, and the combos are in the help files.

    I get that it's for new people and making everything pants-on-head easy is the admins' prerogative, but it kind of sucks that we didn't get any warning or time to, you know, realign our RP about it. Now if anyone asks, we just sorta have to shrug and go "yeah for the longest time we did say that but now we don't lol"
    Erzsebet
  • VeovisVeovis FloridaMember Posts: 282 ✭✭✭
    Eleanor said:
     we didn't get any warning or time to, you know, realign our RP about it. Now if anyone asks, we just sorta have to shrug and go "yeah for the longest time we did say that but now we don't lol"
    Well, like I said earlier in the thread, there's the concept of on-screen and off-screen. Personally, I just assume that the character has been doing to research in their off-screen time instead of on-screen. 

    I still think it's unfortunate that the two classes with unique skill learning processes are being made just like every other IRE class, but I do understand some of the motivation for doing that.
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,568 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wrote a whole book on the whole Numerology thing - it was beyond frustrating to try to do anything other than bash as Cabalist when the only reply you could ever get from people was 'lol just trans numerology, idk what does what'. So I spent like 3-4 RL hours puzzling out every. Single. Combination. 'Skill secrecy' is, to be kind of blunt, annoying if you don't know the answers OOC already. At least for people like me. I don't mind RPing not knowing how to do something/being bad at doing something, but if I want to go out and pk, or bash, or do anything and I can't because I have to go spend a few hours screwing around with trying to figure out if I need to focus on 6 and 7 or 7 and 9, or if I have to wander around to try to find a phial of blood and an ancient scroll telling me what to chant, I'm going to get frustrated and go do something else.

    /2 cents
    Ishin
  • EleanorEleanor FOR SCIENCE Member Posts: 818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Six and nine aren't even prime numbers
    AarbrokVeovisErzsebet
  • AarbrokAarbrok Breaking things...For Science San Diego, CAMember Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am new to the Cabal and personally wanted to figure it out based on the meaning of the numbers and it took me a good few hours, but if you actually take time to research it and dont let things like the immortal number distract you or the what ifs, its not incredibly difficult.  I enjoyed the challenge as a player.

    I think thats part of the allure to that sort of thing, also two hours, so just imagine two days of Aarbrok pacing before a big iron door muttering to himself about numbers and what they mean.

    It was a thing. I loved it.
    Veovis
  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,392 admin
    We could make everyone suss out what cures what, but that sucks. We used to have a thousand affliction lines for people to gather, but that sucked.

    Your RP can still exist in exactly the same way it does now. We just made the alternative an officially-supported one rather than some website.
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
    DaskalosIshin
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