Should the Gem of Cloaking artifact be changed or removed?

RazmaelRazmael Administrator, Immortal
edited May 2019 in Aetolia Development
Hi all, we'd like to hit you with a quick poll about the Gem of Cloaking artifact. I want to open with a disclaimer that nothing about this indicates any sort of promise that the artifact will undergo changes, but this poll is just to serve as an information-gathering resource.

Gem of Cloaking hides you from the WHO list. This is problematic because it gives the impression that the game is a lot smaller than it actually is. To veterans, this isn't too much of a problem because you're generally familiar with the artifact and the real population counts. A new player isn't going to have this information or familiarity with the game. In fact when I use a mortal shell for testing, I'm often struck by how empty the QW/BW list looks, compared to what I see what I'm on my admin shell.

To this point, we're taking a serious look at the artifact and how it affects the game's health. This was likewise recognized as a problem in Achaea, and they changed the effect of their Gem of Cloaking to the following as their solution (as taken from their help file):

- When activated, removes you from the who, clwho, and bw/qw lists.
- Also removes you from the help city and house induction lists.
- Lasts for 10 minutes when activated, after which it cannot be used
again for an hour. You may freely deactivate and reactivate the gem during
its 10 minute duration without affecting the cooldown.
- Ownership of a gem removes your location from being visible via
THIRDEYE on the who lists even if the concealment power is inactive.
- While on Treacherous Planes, the gem's concealment power is permanently
in effect. This does not require activation and incurs no cooldown.
Note: This does not remove you from HWHO, or CWHO. Similarly, it
does not remove you from TRADEWHO for mutual allies, friends,
citymates, and housemates.
- Examining the gem will reveal the method of activation.
So the question we need to ask, do you all think Gem is as problematic as we do? If so, how would you like to see it changed? Please let us know via the poll, and comment if you have more to add.



  • RhyotRhyot Bloodloch
    - Ownership of a gem removes your location from being visible via
    THIRDEYE on the who lists even if the concealment power is inactive.
    - While on Treacherous Planes, the gem's concealment power is permanently
    in effect. This does not require activation and incurs no cooldown.

    I think you should still be visible on WHO, just your location is absent.

    You should still be visible on HWHO, CWHO, GWHO, HELP files, etc.

    Treacherous plane is fine as is.

  • BenedictoBenedicto Tentacles Errywhere!
    Just a thought in relation to the potential deletion of this artifact. If it should come to pass and everyone's location becomes available on the WHO list (sans special skills) , then wouldn't that also negate the elusion artifact to a large extent?
  • I'd like to delete it, but that's because I'm of the opinion that obfuscating this sort of information only serves to stifle conflict and benefit people who actively don't want to engage with the game, which is bad for the overall health of the game, as has been stated. I feel the same way about the room power.
  • edited May 2019
    It's not even on my radar of things I would need to purchase, or is it like one of those things most people would recommend. to purchase
    If I dont want to be seen I go to a hidden room or to my haven. (hiddenroom) or one of the BILLION(kind of an exaggeration) other ways to hide yourself (insert list here)

    Personally, i'd rather be around and visible for interaction, and its easy enough to say, ((OOC: Hey im just checking in from work, not really here))
    If I am not able to interact, I feel thats an appropriate response and I have never had any complaints.

    Edit: Im not of the mind to fully refund/delete, because maybe theres some fun things we could do, so give the option to keep the changes or tradein once its been fleshed out, I think there are some cool potential ideas that could be done with the gem.

  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee
    Yeah the hidden room thing if you ACTUALLY want to remove yourself from radar in some meaningful way seems like enough privacy. Chameleon is pretty meaningfully effective too if you're not too lazy to keep yourself updated with fresh names
  • Hi, I'm a refugee from another IRE game, where gems of cloaking are like opinions. I used to think gems were no big deal. In both leaving the old game and starting here, I've noticed that the 'you can still tell how many people are online' argument just doesn't cut it. Not knowing who to say goodbye or hello to because much of the game is permanently off who is not good.

    I voted for the Achaea version, and I would probably still buy one. I would support deleting them entirely as well.
  • AloliAloli Between Books
    The only reason I'm voting this way as opposed to keeping it like Achaea's setup is that there's no mention of the hood of elusion. This is negated with THIRDEYE, and the level of credit investment between the skill and hood is significant.

    While I am all for creating conflict, this game thrives on both the ability to have conflict but also the ability to disengage from it and enjoy everything else.

    I believe that there is a difference between conflict and toxicity. The reason why so many good people quit the game in the past and still do today is because of certain kinds of toxicity which are only marginally related to PK situations and wholly related to other situations stemming from stalking, rumors, stealing, etc., general bad morals.

    So I vote to change it to help the health of the game as I was always conflicted about being a GM and not being visible on QW and HELP SENTAARI but I also don't care for people who spend their time doing nothing but: "Oh, look at where they went, look at who they sat with."

    It creates a way for someone to find information about you without ever engaging with you - not a good thing.

    It's these things that make people tired of playing and want to leave.

    My suggestion would be to convert the THIRDEYE skill into an artifact and delete it from Vision while having the Gem of Cloaking remove your location only and keep you visible on WHO. Among all the other Achean listed changes to it, of course.
    Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost. - Khalil Gibran
  • ZailaZaila Pacific Time
    edited May 2019
    The hood of elusion is only negated with thirdeye if the user doesn't use a chameleon. OR if the person using WHO has the maxed out antiquated goggles and has access to Divine Sight. Much like THIRDEYE, CHAMELEON is a very easy to get ability. Neither even require a skill to use (acuity pill/tattoo).  

    A note, though, that since this gem is really the ONLY arti more powerful than divinesight. (hidden rooms not withstanding) so, maybe Improve the artifact version of Chameleon to also keep your true identity concealed from divinesight.

    The Achaea version of the arti solves these problems by removing your location from the WHO list, merely showing your name.

    Personally, I have this gem, and I enjoy being able to use it. It's super handy! I LOVE being able to be a ghost if I want to. But, I honestly think the game would be better off without it.  The Achaea version seems okay, but I would prefer to see people's names showing up on WHO*with* their location except for during those active ten minute periods.
  • LinLin Blackbird The Moonglade
    Please, god. I came back to an Aetolia that looks like a damn ghost town! 
  • I strongly disliked Achaea's solution to the issue presented, but it's definitely an issue. I like the privacy it affords, so I wouldn't want it deleted, but I agree that it makes the game seem much smaller than it is. I logged in yesterday and there were 17 visible, 15 concealed.

    I wouldn't mind having the power be replaced with a 'scrambling' effect. Similar to chameleon, this would change your name on WHO/QW, though with this version, you would have a different name every time someone checked. This makes it a lot harder to pinpoint who's who. You could do the same thing with the thirdeye concealment, or just keep that invisible. Since all cloaked people would have access to the same internal pool of names, you wouldn't be able to say 'Oh, only Bene has that name in their system, so he's definitely online' or anything like that - plus with how popular the artifact is, there'd be enough cloaked people around at any time that it would be impossible to figure out who's who.

    Would make the chameleon racial power useless, but it allows for anonymity without shrinking the who list. My 2c.
  • SerriceSerrice the Black Fox
    There seems to be a little confusion about how the gem works in Achaea, so let me clarify.

    Owning the gem will remove your location ONLY from the who list.
    Baroness Antheia E. Ashaela-Storm CIJ's Snow Tigress (Atop the Eleusian Gatehouse)
    Mycen Xanatov
    Lupinox Storm, Librarian of the Court (The Crossroads)

    If you owned a gem, to someone with thirdeye, you would be like Mycen. When you activate the power, you disappear ENTIRELY. So the above would become:

    Baroness Antheia E. Ashaela-Storm CIJ's Snow Tigress (Atop the Eleusian Gatehouse)
    Lupinox Storm, Librarian of the Court (The Crossroads)

    No Mycen (for 10 minutes).


    People have wondered how hoods interact with gems of cloaking. In Achaea, they decided that hoods were counter-productive to the goal of fostering conflict via their ability to hide people, and so their effect was changed to the follow:

    The Veil wearer will get cross-planar and cross continent FARSEE.

    The Veil wearer will also gain access to FULLSENSE! This allows you to detect the presences of all adventurers in the same area as
    you. If you are a class that has Fullsense already, the balance cost for using this ability will be reduced.

    In Achaea, both the gem and hood changes came in at the same time, so there wasn't any issue of, 'well, how will new gem interact with old hood?'
  • I'm like the only person who doesn't want this to be deleted it seems so I'll explain why. No, it doesn't make the mud look smaller because when you type who it specifically tells you how many are visible and how many are concealed. We don't need a list of names to know the number of people online when it's plainly stated numerically so I don't think that's a good reason to get rid of it. 

    Not everyone wants to be so easily found by everyone all the time and artifacts like the gem and hood make that possible for those who care enough to spend the credits. 
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress Sweden
    Only reason I got those artifacts is so I can see everyone, everywhere, and expose people if it's needed. >.> I've never liked that one could hide away from interaction in a roleplaying game.

    Also, sure, there's a number showing how many are there, but the list of names might entice more people to stick around and seek some special people out rather than logging out. That would add to the list!

  • I agree fully with @Rhyot. I want to stay on the WHO list but hide me from Thirdeye. Chameleon tattoo doesn't remove anyone from the WHO list, it just changes your name, so the name "density" wouldn't change and the Cham tattoo is fine as is. Privacy rooms need to prevent farsense and Thirdeye, but not remove from WHO.
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight School
    Yes please. Perception is reality.
    1. Delete Hood
    2. Change Gem of Cloaking (Delete is a better option tbh)
    I don't like the Achaea change at all. @Steele's idea of scrambling seems like an interesting direction but in case that's not an option another solution could be to replicate the old grove ability (I think it was the Druid...maybe it was old Sentinel... whatever. Oldbies remember!) where you mark a location with the gem and you'll always appear at that location on the who list. You could also make it upgradeable so that if you're actually IN the room you marked, you gain additional benefits like that of the hood artifact and the gem's current effect of who removal. Another upgrade could be allowing you to change marked rooms once per howling. Regardless - this way Chameleon can still be useful and people can still have agency on how easily they can be tracked but if they are going to go off grid for whatever reason they have to actively dedicate themselves to a specific location.

    To be honest though, there are enough room options out there to satisfy needs for privacy and what not that these artifacts aren't needed and ought to be deleted.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
  • edited May 2019
    So I don't want to vote because realistically speaking my opinion doesn't mean much as somebody who hasn't played seriously in a little over two years, but I will say that every few months when I log on for a few minutes to see if I'm ready to be sucked back into the world, the super low number of people on who/inability to see anybody familiar at first glance that I'd want to try and start up some roleplay with plays a pretty big role in simply deciding to log off shortly after and try again a little later down the road.

    /.0002 cents, but I would imagine I may not be the only one that runs into this same kind of scenario.
  • VyxsisVyxsis Vyxsis
    i voted for a change because i was trying to see things from the perspective of people who own and love it, but honestly, i'd be super fine with it being deleted.

    i dislike both the hood and gem personally - both for the reasons stated above regarding population perception, but also because the mobile invisibility field is a huge advantage in group combat.
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    The mighty Jy'Barrak Golgotha opens his maw, catches the glowing spear in his many jagged teeth, and chomps down. The Divine spear breaks with a noise like thunder, shards toppling from the Emperor's jaws. "OM NOM NOM!" He declares, then spits the last of the ruined weapon from his lips.

  • Give it the axe.
  • I am pretty much okay with the achaea version except for one thing. One of my favorite things about the gem is that it is a toggled effect. With this "Ownership of a gem removes your location from being visible via THIRDEYE on the who lists even if the concealment power is inactive." being a permanent thing I lose a good chunk of that functionality. If this effect could be toggled (maybe as simple as dropping the gem in a pack or something?) then I'd be fine with the achaea rework. Paz may hide a lot, but sometimes its nice to be seen too.
    By the divine might of Omei, you are restored to life.
    Omei gives the corpse of a headless cadaver to you.
    Omei offers you a quick wink.

  • ZailaZaila Pacific Time
    What will be the difference between hiddenroom and obscuringfog? They are the same cost and I know some people likely have both on their rooms because obscuringfog is described as having more capacity than what the hiddenroom change sounds like it'll be.

    Can we remove room features for a full/partial refund? I have never tried
  • RazmaelRazmael Administrator, Immortal
    Oops, I had wrongly conflated ObscuringFog with Hood of Elusion, and HiddenRoom with Gem of Cloaking. Good catch!

    I did discover while looking into that, that HiddenRoom was bugged and duplicating ObscuringFog's effects in addition to its own. And this code seems to have been in place for at least 8+ years now. Yikes!

    With that in mind, we'll approach HiddenRoom in the following ways:

    1) Rooms that have both ObscuringFog and HiddenRoom set on it will have HiddenRoom removed and refunded appropriately.

    2) Rooms that just have HiddenRoom on it will get set to ObscuringFog. If you decide you don't want this, you can contact us for an appropriate credit or gold refund.
  • TekiasTekias Wisconsin
    Will this effect Havens too (with appropriate haven point refunds, as HR is 2 while OF is 1)?
    Formerly: Spiegel. Eidycue.


  • RazmaelRazmael Administrator, Immortal
    We'll just unset HiddenRoom for all Haven rooms and you can choose to reinvest the Haven Points wherever.
  • edited May 2019
    EDIT: I learned to read a post.

This discussion has been closed.