Vampires - that old chestnut.

LeanaLeana Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
edited June 7 in Idea Box
TL;DR: Each section has a tl:dr: Nightstalkers, Bloodlines, Community. I know this is a lot.

Let me preface my essay by stating I want this thread to be more a discussion than a call to the Admin to change anything within the game. I think my ideas might make the culture of this aspect of Aetolia better for everyone and therefore much more fun. I hope a lot of people see this and respond, so we can work off each other's ideas to form something concrete. I've played as a vampire on various characters over the years and the experience was relatively the same. I have one right now, super secret but seldom used because I have a lot to focus on with Leana. MOSTLY, these are just my thoughts and you might think nothing needs to change. This is a thought exercise for the most part. I think with all the changes, the vampire aspect of the game is still roughly the same as it was years ago when the PURGE happened.

Without further ado, here is my plan to reform the Vampires of Aetolia. I shamelessly steal from other vampire fiction, so if you see it, feel free to point it out. We can share a laugh.

Vampires are one of the main unique features of Aetolia that separate it from the other IRE muds. When the focus shifted from good vs evil (because that was too ambiguous) and undead vs living, some of the allure of Vampires got dampened. There is also the shift in popular fiction to consider too. A lot of what is currently there is good, but there is room for improvement. Here is my take. I'm going to divide this into a few parts and bring it all together at the end. Most of my suggestions require (Almost) no change to the code and be applied almost immediately, roleplay allowing.

Part 1: Nightstalkers

Background:
Nightstalkers are vampire novices, just like guild novices mechanically, but with different lore surrounding them. Originally they were created because OG vampires had no class (before multiclass existed) and getting to the level requirement for embracement was a huge tedious affair (Punch to lvl 50). Rather than having them be in a guild and waste lessons on a class that wasn't their main purpose, Nightstalker let them 'Taste' the class without relying on others.

Observation:
Changes to how novices work made it so the Academy gave them class at graduation, with entry into their associated guild, and guild rank 2 gave them permanency. Nightstalkers follow a similar path(unless I got this wrong!) Nightstalker, novice, join house after academy, novice, embraced, mastery. To parallel, other classes follow the: Novice, no lesson lost, Class, 10% lesson loss, Mastery, 50% lesson loss. Nightstalkers are still handicapped at Skilled in two skills. The lore states the third skillset is locked behind the 'Bloodgift' and is thematically appropriate in my eyes, but I'm only one opinion.

Novice vampires have two choices: follow the path to embracement set by the dominion and find a player sire or seek Vinessa for embracement to unlock their class.

Suggestion:(Requires little coding)
Remove the skill blocks on Nightstalkers after the academy and let them know that graduating means a 10% lesson loss. Simple.

CRAZY SUGGESTION:(requires admin coding)
Have academy graduation be different for Nightstalkers, with them being embraced by Vinessa, a low thin blood, and that until they are 'Sired by a House vampire to strengthen the bloodhold' they can QUIT CLASS (or give them a REJECT BLOOD) to lose 10% lessons and move on. Basically, class without permanency. Remove the GEAS messages, tt's just annoying. Instead, have it render all 'siring' skills unusable.

TL:DR NIGHTSTALKERS: Either remove the skilled restriction for nightstalker players or give them full vampire after the academy, with the ability to REJECT BLOOD up to the point they are SIRED for the first time by a player. Make the Geas prevent all siring related skills from working.


Part 2: Bloodlines

Background:
On paper, the bloodlines each share unique 'qualities' that their Houses attribute to themselves. Forgive me if I'm wrong, I'm trying to summarize complexity in a word or two:
Bahir'an - Prestige of Blood
Nebre'seir - Warriors
D'baen - Excellence
Ve'kahi - Unity and Freedom
Bouchard - Family and Freedom

They stem from Yrtez/Belladonna and the primus (after Yrtez's demise). The history is not as long as some other classes/factions but it has a lot of history where things can be changed. Lore can be added and altered to affect the ideas I'm going to present.

Observation:
In action, most Houses act the same and are functionally identical to outsiders. Each vampire is the same in function, look, and design. They're all carbon copies with different lore applied to them, but without the titles, it would be difficult to tell them apart. Each House does try to set itself apart from the others and some do better than most (Like Ve'kahi), but for the most part they're all the same Praenomen.

Suggestion:
Each bloodline should have some unique trait to them, both physically and in their personality. I'd leave it up to each 'Emperor/Empress' to decide, but it would need to be set in stone once decided. It would even be amazing if after deciding there was some way to add unique skills based on these bloodlines. But that requires a lot more work than a simple roleplay fix.

Examples: Nebre'seir could take on more physical changes, pronounced claws, enlarged veins, larger fangs, etc and this causes them to wear more armor to hide their deformaties or possibly show them off with pride. D'baen could be taller, slimmer, fairer, with extra grace in their step and a pension for haughtiness. You get the point, I think.

CRAZY SUGGESTION:
Just like Shapeshifter, which there are a lot of parallels, have there be various 'Vampire Kinds'. Lock certain paths off from some or add skills to make them unique. Even passives which do other vanity or hindrances. Like Nebre'seir don't burn in sunlight, but suffer more from fire. D'baen get passive +1 int, but recover endurance slower. ETC IT'S CRAZY FOR A REASON!

TL:DR BLOODLINES: All the Houses are different and I believe would benefit from identifiable qualities attributed to them in both physical and personality traits that are expected to be applied after embracement. Or, go so far as to split the ckass up like Shapeshifter for each House and add passives and active skills to further divide the bloodlines.


Part 3: Community/Name/Dominion

Background:
Vampires have a rich culture with a lot of lore set over a decade ago. They approach the world as nobles, superior over normal mortals, and they have innate powers that give them that advantage. Since as far back as they've existed, peerage and formality have been adopted by the majority of them. Some Houses abandoned it for their own, like Ve'kahi. The word, "Consanguine" was used over 'Vampire' and Praenomen became the class. The Dominion serves to connect the Houses together and work as a council for the various laws and edicts of their kind.

Observation and Suggestions:
The term Praenomen was made to distinguish between normal vampires and bloodborn when that class came out. I think this was a missed opportunity to keep things simple. Praenomen should be dropped for Vampire or if suggestions above are followed: Vampire(D'baen). That really hits home that despite the social aspect of Vampires being 'Feral' and insulting, they are still classed as one, but are higher by will.

If the term 'Vampire' is considered offensive, then I suggest adopting a mandatory 'Masquerade' for Consanguine outside of private gatherings. Allowing them to drop their disguise in times of conflict or violence. Would need the admin to add it to the 'Sanguis skills outside of class' table. I would drop all formal titles too, but continue to use them within private gatherings and channel conversation. Exceptions for obvious high ranking members, like Primus and Emperors. Give more of a second society feel to being a Vampire by purposely excluding details from daily life.

CRAZY SUGGESTION:
Remove Houses. Run all projects and scrolls through the Dominion, leaving each House to take advantage of their various clans for private communication. This will make the community feel much larger and it will definitely cause infighting and a new social structure to prevent 'Poachers' from claiming new vampires.

Give the Dominion a new name and rank system based on bloodrank, where each member is also identified by their bloodline in DWHO. Have low ranks have fewer privileges than higher ranked members. I've never liked the name 'Dominion', so I'd suggest calling it something more traditional. Praenomen Court? Vampire Court? Consanguine Council?

TL:DR COMMUNITY: Rename 'Praenomen' to 'Vampire' for the class. Drop all bloodrank titles and have a perma-masquerade. Keep all vampire details as secret as possible from others. Crazy idea: remove all Houses, funnel everything through the Dominion but give it ranks, mark members by bloodline as well, and perhaps change the name to be more appealing.


------
Even if all my ideas were accepted by everyone, they would require admin and org leader planning to weave into the narrative. It would take time and it would change fundamentally as other players altered things with their characters. Just like what happened with the Primus event.

This is just something that I thought about while talking to people OOC in webs. THANKS FOR MAKING IT TO THE END. Sorry about the typos.

Post edited by Leana on
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Comments

  • IazamatIazamat Member Posts: 33
    edited June 7
    There are a lot of interesting ideas here. I like most of what I'm reading.

    Something that immediately stands out to me and makes me recoil a bit is the idea of forced physical or personality traits. It's okay to suggest them or even have them mixed into skill messages as flavour, but I'm not sure I care for the idea of being made to be haughty just because I joined something like D'baen. I especially don't like the idea of further stat bonuses/maluses for bloodlines, it feels completely unnecessary.

    Of course, this is a complete non-issue if Houses were to be deleted, which I don't mind the idea of. Functionally and thematically, each House is exactly the same, only differing in their ranks, members, and name. I think there's a lot more that can be done mechanically and thematically with a single organization versus five separate ones with an overarching organization that might as well be dead. It also helps to prevent fragmentation of the playerbase, which is something Aetolia's struggled with for several years. If people really desire that royal house aspect, clans are still available to them for that.

    I don't agree with giving Masquerade more importance, personally. It's a pointless skill outside of personal RP, which is fine -- I've considered having two almost vastly different forms between masqueraded and non-masqueraded, because it's a fun concept to mess with. But we're at a point in Aetolia that it's unnecessary. Unless there's an extinction-level event for vampires, there's no point in forcing masquerade on people, because everyone knows vampires exist. There's no taking that back and it completely invalidates the gist of Masquerade as you want it. And there's no way to stop the spread of 'x is a vampire', especially if they see you bashing with the class.

    Beyond that, there are some fun ideas that could be toyed with here. I definitely agree with the idea of changing the class mechanically, so that we function a bit more like guilded classes and no one's skills are locked behind ridiculous requirements for full class. I enjoy the idea of the Dominion becoming THE ORG for vampires, and I don't mind it being called something like The Court or whatever, but I think it has to be open-ended enough to invite vampire playstyles beyond the stuffy noble that has become the norm.

    My own personal suggestion is a mechanical one: make Feed the bashing skill for the class. Not only is it more thematically appropriate, it's dex-based, which is important for a class that seemingly hinges on dexterity. With Elusion, the class is meant to be dodging incoming attacks while wielding two-handed weapons in combat (to take advantage of Thirst and Gash). If you want to participate in both PvP and PvE, you need a decent mix of strength and dexterity. I can't think of any other class that has that sort of distinction, so I'd like if vampires got an update on that front.
    Leana
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,335 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re stats, vampire bashing is...weird.

    You want to be +eq for whispers, and get a crown to be even faster. So you're an EQ class. But EQ classes all use int stats. But not vampires, vampires use str. And str uses balance. So you need str/con for pk/bashing, and dex for avoidance. But not int because int vamp wouldn't do any damage. It's...weird.

    Yes pls to delete Houses. I've been in like 3-4 since I started and while I know people are attached to them, all it does is make each org seem really boring and empty when there's 2 people on, when in reality there's like 15 vampires and the place could be hopping. Everyone ignores Dominion, because Dominion doesn't mean anything. Nuking Houses and having them be 'paths' or cliques within the Dominion, but everyone is forced to talk on Dominion...tells? DT? I don't even know and I've played 2 vampires in the last few years.

    I actually really like the bloodlines having physical distinctions, because it gives a clear-cut way to differentiate between the other Houses and think it would be amazing in an RPI. I don't think it works here because we have winged, kitty-eared Tsol'aa, or SHUT UP NIGHTSHADOW in descs and enforcement would be impossible. Some small merit/demerit would make Houses interesting, and maybe some ceremony for 'transferring' a blood over to a new one causing unpleasant/uncomfortable/pleasant? changes would be super cool. You get sick of Nebre'seir and find them weak, so you decide to hop to D'baen and go through a ceremony and get inducted and you get a little custom ritual etc. etc. and now you can, idk write better. I think stats would be a bad idea here, but you could definitely give them like a custom premote and some once/day ability for flavor. Like Nebre'seir leaves bloody footprints similar to the racial echoes, Ve'kahi get alcoholic blood and get drunk/anyone feeding off them gets drunk, whatever you like.

    IMO the issue with vampires has always been it requires compromise between x orgs, and none of them have any real incentive TO compromise because who gives a unicorns about diplomacy. What are you going to do, call me mean names? By law you can't pk me, and my clique thinks you're stupid so you're not going to like, inspire a coup against me. I'm secure in my little kingdom, and you can't hope to contest me because it's me and my 3 buddies for simple majority so neener.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
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    oh wait, toz is famous
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    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
    IazamatLeanaVyxsisTeani
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
    You could have description modifiers only visible to other vampires or something, potentially. Sort of like an aura, so you just know who is part of which bloodline, regardless of what their title is, just by glance.

  • MordionMordion Member Posts: 32 ✭✭
    I'm new so keep in mind I wasn't here for all the big changes in the past like multi class, forming the dominion, etc but I still want to share my experience as mord the vampire. I tried a few classes and I have to say, prae really sucked to level with due to the skill cap, major exp loss on death (I know I know  different subject) and biggest most glaring issue at least at the time was that I could not get embraced because the houses were so inactive. Luckily, we're allowed to house swap during novice time but it was a bummer having to swap when I really liked the lore of the house I had chosen.

    It seems like with this many houses the vamp players are spread too thin for them to really flourish as I suspect they once did. That said, I like pretty much all of Leana's ideas but I don't think that's going to fix the issue with houses. Kinda just makes them go back to clans and a dominion with a different name. I really do think there are just too many houses and a dominion civil war ending in a couple less houses would be a good thing. Proceed to throw rotten tomatoes now. But seriously.. it's been quiet too long in vampire land anyway and a shake up of that magnitude would be cool. I'm sure the "tree lickers" would enjoy the show. harhar! 
    Unofficial Founder of the Cult of Tiur
    IazamatVyxsisLeana
  • EmirEmir Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    We've been cutting back on Houses since forever. We're fighting the inevitable. Just delete them and roll them into the Dominion and focus all admin and player efforts there. The Bloodlines can still exist within it and take pride in being smart or combat oriented or whatever. If you want it to be different than a guild than you can still hardcode path benefits or differences within the Dominion itself or whatever. 
    (Web): Toz says, "Emir's Express Evacuation and Existence Eradicator, Every Experience is Explosive - Experience the Entirety of your Existence!"
    IazamatLeanaTeaniRhyot
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Back in MY day Barhir'an's whole deal had been debauchery and it had been since the dawn of time! Boo




    EmirLeanaMordion
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited June 8
    Back when the sire changes were discussed I offered a Blood Potency mechanic inspired from Vampire the Masquerade which can make blood matter and also to whom you are bound. So I shall copy/paste for relevance:


    I would like to offer a counteridea to the sire-jumping mechanic. Perhaps my judgement might be colored by Vampire: the Masquerade but you could introduce something like blood potency which allows vampires to have additional powers (whether over other vampires or generally, disregarding Sire mechanics to a degree) to reflect their generation level. Now initial potency value is derived from the potency of your sire and amount of time you have played the game (you will get slightly better potency as a veteran player then a novice but still far lesser then your original sire) As time goes by you will gain potency due to your mastery upon your blood and if you kill other vampires by sucking them (not in Sect or ylem combat, but hardcore sucking them dry outside) you will gain potency as well to further your generation. Also getting Blood Offers from vampires with higher potency can elevate your blood potency in exchange for their hold upon you (not Sire jumping but a kind of blood-bonding) Also acquiring Blood Ranks will give a modicum of potency because you are being exposed to the secrets of a vampiric House and learn new ways to utilize your blood. (But losing rank, getting sucked dry, dying under sun, due to lack of blood will weaken the blood)

    Now I am not entering into a debate about balancing benefits etc but to emphasize on the concept....when there is enough blood potency/blood rank difference:

    - Might allow control over other undead.
    - You can summon any weak blood to your side (compared to your potency)
    - You can dismiss any weak blood away (compared to your potency)
    - If the gap is way too high, you can instantly boil their blood and paint the walls with their entrails (your blood potency probably equal to an Elder or Ancient vampire)
    - The powerful vampires will require less sustenance then weaker bloods
    - Their Consanguine abilities will require less blood due to their potency
    - Additional techniques/abilities depending on Blood Rank and House would definitely make those ranks desirable aside from Blood Rank potency bonus.

    On Abhorash, I will not say anything much but probably I would prefer a player dictator rather then an admin dictator. But again we return to the modern mindset and in a game where leaders are elected, player dictators have limited options. Though blood potency could deal with this issue as well because you know...the Ancient Vampire will snap your insides out.


    Tweak: Now looking back to that idea, possibly some benefits of one vampire over another can be Sect-Immune. Such as they will always be subject to same blood-rules at Sect but in real world one will wipe the floor with the other due to blood potency differences. And those who are High-Gen enough (like House leaders) can possibly try to drink out the Ancient Vampire. And then I added some criticism back then:


    Actually I do understand the reservation towards not dealing with the PvP and PvE capabilities, but that also runs the risk of not taking a very top-of-the-ladder vampire seriously. From the outlook, I would expect that an Ancient/High-Gen Vampire to be more troublesome then a Fledgling/Low-Gen Vampire. Now I would not say let us tip the balance of Consanguine class, but those who work to the top should actually have some punch besides their hold over lesser vampires. And at the end of the day, small PvE/PvP bonuses would provide incentive for people moving up rather then becoming a serious balance concern. The class will be still effective as it is, just that who is at the top of the ladder has a bit of difference and power. And...if you are so jealous of that, go ahead and take that power for yourself!

    I will revert towards a bit criticism, but I believe there is a huge avoidance around from making players feel like they are achieving, gaining power or turning out to be something special. Because that MIGHT tip the balance. I found this is stronger in case of Consanguine and Mage classes. Consanguine has the whole bells-and-whistles RPwise but their hierarchy has no mechanical impact. Mage classes on the other hand are heavily copy/paste and they do not have anything mechanically differentiating them. See the problem is that when you work towards something and get told it has not much impact or easily acquirable by everyone, they lose their desire in our eyes. If there is no carrot, there will be no desire to stick there. I do not want to trans Enchantments, because it has no uniqueness. I do not want to care about Blood Ranks or moving to the top of generation, because there will be no uniqueness besides some flavor-sire abilities. My blood generation is not a sign of power.

    Bells-and-whistles without WOW!-factor generally is prone to fall flat on its face in the LONG RUN. You would want to have presence of an Ancient/High-Gen vampire disturbing and even taxing on your willpower and sanity. That is a prime-strength predator who sucked his way to the top and can splat you into pieces without batting an eye. But then it has the same powers with a new-vampire who threw some credits to class. I believe you should try to capture the theme of "Blood is a serious matter" instead of "Blood is a serious flavor" It works also as a carrot for achievers and a stick for those who tries to break ties easily. This was a strong pillar of the potency idea. Working through organizations and interactions provide you better potency while breaking off ties will leave you with gaining potency over time only.


    Comment: Vampirism or Dominion in my opinion should weed out most democratical things from their mechanics and be more prone to violent coups if the power is what they wish to gain. With proper tuning Blood Potency will take care of those who does not care about their underlings or go absent for extended periods of time.
    Leana
  • IazamatIazamat Member Posts: 33
    Something such as potency is a really neat idea on paper, but its execution in a game like Aetolia always leaves something to be desired and almost always leads to situations of abuse. Furthermore, while it sounds like something that would instigate intrigue and political posturing, it almost always leads to OOC jockeying instead. The sire-childe bond we have now is probably enough.
    KalakEmirLeanaMjoll
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    Iazamat said:

    Something such as potency is a really neat idea on paper, but its execution in a game like Aetolia always leaves something to be desired and almost always leads to situations of abuse. Furthermore, while it sounds like something that would instigate intrigue and political posturing, it almost always leads to OOC jockeying instead. The sire-childe bond we have now is probably enough.

    Truly, I would not dismiss a proposed mechanic and furthermore claim it would fail on execution based on imaginary might-be abuses or OOC interferences. After all every system in any game can be abused when they are provided without proper checks and balances. I did not get into the detailed explanations on per-mechanics basis because the concept is more important. Furthermore I am not the developer of this game.

    Nonetheless, if someone is way too abusive (for tyrannical standards even), no one prevents some High-Gen vampires from restraining the Ancient Vampire at a proper venue and bleed him dry to knock it off from the throne. As I pointed out earlier it is really hard to take vampiric royalty or bloodlines seriously in current form, when anyone can flip the bird at them with little to no consequence jump from House to House, Sire to Sire. In the proposed system the lower generations have to actively be "lackeys" of higher generations until they can knock their superiors off or increase their blood potency in other ways to resist their hold upon them. It might be a very foreign concept when most people in these kinds of games tend to play the game with a modern thinking and the game mechanics reinforce this with voting, everyone having a voice, sensibilities etc. etc.

    We have to accept that players can be and MUST BE tyrants, villains and even forces of primordial evil. If you are a fledgling vampire, you better get onto your knees when your superiors pass. And if you do not, they should have the force and reason to give you a very good lesson about peerage and proper adherence. And if you are truly annoyed with this, it gives you a reason to conspire your way to higher echelons until you can suck the person dry or surpass him in the eyes of higher vampires. After all their hold will be removed when your potency grows.
    IazamatTekiasXeniaMjoll
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited June 8
    Umm I think you are simplifying my proposition horribly. Blood potency is not just about ranks in a house. It is a more intertwined system taking number of childes, time played, house affiliation and quality of sire (maybe with even more metrics to add) into consideration. It could be enhanced or reduced by draining or getting drained, dying by fire or even sun. It is the dynamic aspect of the blood. There are many reasons why vampirism lacks allure and seriousness. And if I were to move from your simple example... in potency system the titled Count could dethrone the Arch-Duke forcefully the moment their potencies get into safe range. In current system you need promotion which may never happen. Because democratical vampire royalties who pose as they are rulers of a vast empire in all due respect.... is a half-baked premature system. We gotta sink our teeth into this issue. Guess I shall rest my case for phone typing something detailed is dizzying.
    Iazamat
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    I'm loving the discussion. Remember that you don't need to defend your points if someone disagrees, we're not actually changing anything here. This is a thread to hear idea and talk about them. We're bound to disagree on a lot.

    The clans paradox is a problem, I agree. Houses are clans, but molded into a new system. When a House dies, it becomes a clan, incidentally. The benefit of combining them all would be a massive community to dive into. It would require different policies and strategy. With how quiet houses are, I don't think it'd be a huge problem. At least people can be the bloodline they like and not have to switch because they're starved for company.



    Ansidia
  • EmirEmir Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    Blood rank, blood potency.

    Tomato, tomato.
    (Web): Toz says, "Emir's Express Evacuation and Existence Eradicator, Every Experience is Explosive - Experience the Entirety of your Existence!"
    IazamatKalakTekiasOonaghMjoll
  • AnteheAntehe Member, Immortal Posts: 467 Immortal
    Emir said:

    Blood rank, blood potency.

    Tomato, tomato.

    Excuse me, sir, but it's potato, potato. Or scallop, scallop. Depending on if Yasmar's there or not.


    Houses are a bit of a puzzle that we've had a lot of debates over. We're interested in finding ways to make the Dominion more of a priority and inclusive while letting Houses retain a purpose. The concept of Houses having more tangible aesthetics is interesting, although that would require some further compromise and possibly a shift in definition of what each House embodies and looks to as inspiration.

    If you have ideas on ways that the Blood could manifest differently per bloodline (primarily in flavour ways to begin, as passives/stats require more balancing), we would love to hear them.

    EmirLeana
  • IazamatIazamat Member Posts: 33
    edited June 8
    Speaking personally, if we really need to force cosmetic flavour to the blood in any way, I'd rather see it attached to the paths (insidiae/phreneses/rituos), where that sort of idea already exists and hasn't been taken advantage of. I'm a much bigger fan of Xenia's SMELL idea for vampires to take note of whose bloodline another is a part of.

    Edit: Insidiae could have glowing veins or runes or something, phrenesae could have longer fangs? More fangs? I don't know. Rituous could have glowing eyes or something. Regardless, attaching it to the specializations makes more sense to me.
    XeniaAliviana
  • MordionMordion Member Posts: 32 ✭✭
    Iazamat said:
    Speaking personally, if we really need to force cosmetic flavour to the blood in any way, I'd rather see it attached to the paths (insidiae/phreneses/rituos), where that sort of idea already exists and hasn't been taken advantage of. I'm a much bigger fan of Xenia's SMELL idea for vampires to take note of whose bloodline another is a part of. Edit: Insidiae could have glowing veins or runes or something, phrenesae could have longer fangs? More fangs? I don't know. Rituous could have glowing eyes or something. Regardless, attaching it to the specializations makes more sense to me.
    I think the problem with that is that paths are mechanical and were discussing flavor. Under that idea I might love the flavor of phrenesae but for combat insidiae works better so I'd end up using that instead even though it doesn't fit what I want in terms of rp. 
    Unofficial Founder of the Cult of Tiur
    IazamatLeana
  • IazamatIazamat Member Posts: 33
    Well, that argument could apply to Houses, too, in all fairness. If I like the RP of a House, but prefer the cosmetic flavour of another, a choice has to be made. But this is why I'm not particularly keen on the idea of forced cosmetics to begin with.
    Mordion
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
    Yeah.. but when you're in a House, you accept the cosmetic flavor of it. You don't really dictate what the House is about, so much. I mean, if I decided to be Nosferatu, part of the flavor is that you're hideous and horrifying to look upon. I can't be Nosferatu but look like a pretty blonde. Doesn't really work that way.

    That said, V:tM has a LOT more options to work with than Aetolia does, in terms of Vampire bloodlines.

    Also, there is a lot of distinguishing features of each bloodline so.. the argument could swing both ways with acceptable reasoning.

    Leana
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    Using Nosferatu as an example, they're the spies of the vampire world. The undead Syssin in Aetolia terms. A byproduct of being unbearably ugly is they learned to be practically invisible and that in turn let them gather information better than the others.

    Taking in the bad with the good aspects makes the choice have meaning. With everything ideal, it becomes stagnant and boring. That's part of what we experience now that everyone has said in one form or another. There's no consequence for behavior, action, choice. All the Houses are practically the same and if you can't find a good sire in one you like, you pick another and don't really suffer because you can just -act- like you're from that other House.

    An argument could be made that, "This is a game and I want things to always be fun and never sucky," but no game follows that rule. Aetolia development has to walk that 'best for most' line of consequence versus reward, erring on the reward to keep players happy. I strongly believe that harms more than hurts in the long run for certain aspects. The further away you get from a 'less favorable' aspect, the worse it is in comparison. Even small things feel unbearable and it becomes harder and harder to make the good things feel good. It's always better to stay near to the center of that scale. The Wheel is a great example of this problem in action. I'll complain in either case, because I'm a person too.

    Before the House purge and the merging of various Houses (which I still remember with deep, sleeping fury), there was a system in place to curtail dying populations naturally. A major house turned into a minor house and then back into a clan. Or it was supposed to, which I think Dar'sroth and Bouchard were the only cases. A clan could, in theory, grow into a minor house, then a major house. This allowed the old to be replaced by the young and allowed the community at large to deal with a situation where a leader has kept their position for real-life years without bringing much life to the organization. We saw this happen with Bouchard recently. It allowed for rogue factions to start up and civil wars to be fought. A need for a Dominion/Imperial ruling body.


    Since only a small percent visit the forums, if you ever have OOC conversations with House members, feel free to point them here. But don't make it weird. I just want more opinions and thoughts. We don't want to force OOC on anyone not interested in it.

  • JensenJensen Corruption's Butcher Member Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Antehe said:

    Emir said:

    Blood rank, blood potency.

    Tomato, tomato.

    Excuse me, sir, but it's potato, potato. Or scallop, scallop. Depending on if Yasmar's there or not.


    Houses are a bit of a puzzle that we've had a lot of debates over. We're interested in finding ways to make the Dominion more of a priority and inclusive while letting Houses retain a purpose. The concept of Houses having more tangible aesthetics is interesting, although that would require some further compromise and possibly a shift in definition of what each House embodies and looks to as inspiration.

    If you have ideas on ways that the Blood could manifest differently per bloodline (primarily in flavour ways to begin, as passives/stats require more balancing), we would love to hear them.

    it's pronounced "gif"


    teasing aside, I just want dominion to not be mandatory. I never picked up vamp to be in a house or in imperium/dominion/whatever. Jensen's never cared about caste and I don't really see a need to change it
    image
    Leana
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
    I just have to throw this in here. Bouchard didn't really die, it was forcibly absorbed during the House merging phase. (I don't think any Houses actually ceased, they just got merged in based on that weird system + game goals)

    I say weird system because Lunare was one of the most populous Houses, but got merged into Ve'kahi, still, due to Bloodloch not liking us, so we weren't allowed to 'rejoin' or some nonsense.

    Salt aside, I'm all for more cosmetic perks. Lemme smell bloodlines. Give me random rituals that do nothing practical but give cool flavors... I literally have no ideas right now. Heck, if the decision to merge all the Houses into the Dominion, then make the bloodlines more defined/distinctive, you could have sub-lines as well based off of the absorbed Houses or something that grant cosmetic things.

    Just... just please don't make Diablerie(Amaranth) a thing. Pretty please.

    Iazamat
  • IazamatIazamat Member Posts: 33
    I'm down for more flavour rituals. It seems like there was an attempt to preserve some of that when BB were nixed, but it was a pretty paltry effort. Expanding that could be a good way to add cosmetic and flavour RP!
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    They tried to give houses a purpose, for example Nebre'seir got to be the Dominion muscle or its police force. There was nothing to police since all vampires MUST belong to a house and bloodline. A combat house without constant combat can't survive. Not without help from other houses.

    (This is a bit ranty, sorry)
    The rules aren't strict enough either. Even when they were broken, like vampires acting like mortals ( since players are mortals) the admin supported them and undermined the RP. The edicts around food consumption, family names, being part of family clans, and having family names are what I mean. More people may have hated that than liked it, but it served a real propose to separate vampires from the living. I don't think it's necessary in most cases, but there's little subtly in daily play and these blunt differences did serve their purpose.

    Have a group of people together and unless they're not using Masquerade, you have no way to telling the vampires from the living. Which would be good if that's what they were going for, but they're not. They're trying to be Superior while being exactly like everyone else.

    There needs to be a way for people to rebel and not be mechanically screwed so bad they don't want to play Aetolia.


    IazamatMordion
  • ChurchChurch Member, Bot Posts: 5
    edited June 10
    I don't​ really have a bat in this belfry, but on the topic of House-themed cosmetics... Why not a style specific to each house for frenzy/gash/whisper? Should be pretty easy to work in the "type" of vampire each is supposed to be there without forcing anything on anyone or having any troublesome mechanical ramifications.

    Examples:
    With practiced ease, [Nebre'seir] slices [target] open with [weapon].

    Voice rife with dark promises, [D'baen] whispers urgently to [target].
    IazamatOonaghLeanaSatomi
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
    On one hand, that's a good idea. On the other, the first complaint I can see is that combat all uses uniform lines for capture, and if it is bashing related, that's what Style Scrolls are for.

    Dunno if that is still something considered important for scripting these days, but making all combat-related stuff have the same messages is generally justified as reducing some of the scripting burden, or something like that.

    I have no issues with it though. It'd be neat.

  • EmirEmir Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    Combat messages give flavor messages a lot of wiggle room. 
    (Web): Toz says, "Emir's Express Evacuation and Existence Eradicator, Every Experience is Explosive - Experience the Entirety of your Existence!"
    ChurchOonagh
  • KelliaraKelliara Member Posts: 538 ✭✭✭✭
    Satomi said:

    On one hand, that's a good idea. On the other, the first complaint I can see is that combat all uses uniform lines for capture, and if it is bashing related, that's what Style Scrolls are for.

    Dunno if that is still something considered important for scripting these days, but making all combat-related stuff have the same messages is generally justified as reducing some of the scripting burden, or something like that.

    I have no issues with it though. It'd be neat.

    I think most people use generic messages in PVP anyways don't they?

    I.e. Kelliara uses Comments on a thread about vampires.
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Chibi-Kelli by @Eleanor.
    Leana
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    @Antehe Would it be possible for Masquerade to prevent the sun irritation messages at full blood? It'll let them hide better and the second they use a blood ability it'll break the disguise and bring the irritation/damage. 

    Right now,  it's good that it doesn't hurt but it's annoying and exposes them easily. People would know, of course, but the irritation is a reminder that shifts RP to acknowledge it. Any kind of light/shadow rp will collapse at that, because most light side people are expected to reject vampires.

    Mordion
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