Rogues: Seeking Feedback/Suggestions



  • Myrnma said:

    Sure, it shouldn't maybe have the same exact benefits as city life, and it should definitely have cons, but it should have its own distinct benefits too, things they might even be able to do better than people in cities, because it is a choice as valid as any other for the people who take it.

    This was kind of my thought pattern with making new privileges for rogues. Make being rogue a different experience instead of just City Lite, so people have to make a conscious decision as to what appeals to them more: rogue benefits or city benefits.

  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    Myrnma said:

    Sure, it shouldn't maybe have the same exact benefits as city life, and it should definitely have cons, but it should have its own distinct benefits too, things they might even be able to do better than people in cities, because it is a choice as valid as any other for the people who take it.

    The roleplay benefits that Rogues get is unique to them in that they are not beholden to the political whims of a City org. That, imo, is where the explicit 'benefits' (personal liberty, hermitage, whatever you wanna call it) should end.

    I also can't emphasize enough how much I hate the idea of making a City Lite for rogues. I think that's an overcorrection in the extreme.

  • I think the intention is to make the rogue option viable and overall less of a punishment, not to have it supplant the primary method of playing the game.
  • Agree to disagree, I suppose. If the option to be rogue exists, then it should have its own identity, benefits and consequences both mechanical and rp same as any other option.

    That obviously doesn't mean the benefits and consequences need to be calibrated in the same proportion cities are, but they need to exist, and they need to be more than the bare minimum of playability some argue for.

    Anything else is perpetuating the rogue are third class player mentality.
  • That’s a good point. I think it’s worth pointing out that ‘primary method’ of playing the game is constantly in flux, evident in how many paradigm shifts we’ve seen in the game over the past year. Play styles that have historically been labelled troublesome, lesser or third class by other players in the game are now primary features of org identity. The same people that were told ‘you’re playing the game wrong’ are now successfully trailblazing new org identities and adding to the vibrancy of Aetolia.

    Just a personal opinion, but you aren’t playing the game wrong by choosing a path outside the four major cities. I don’t agree that every secular ideology deserves a new org, but I certainly don’t agree with players being treated as second class due to a desire to play differently than the norm.

  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    I feel like the "identity" of the rogue is basically the increased freedom to make the identity whatever you want. You're free from country ties. If someone wanted a pre-wrote model to funnel their character's identity into, I think they'd join a city. Let's not forget that you can be a city-rogue who is still, say, in an order and a guild. There's lots of freedom in the game to tailor your character's identity. I think the core thing here is making sure that people who don't fit into cities aren't heavily punished mechanically for not fitting in.

    Creating an Org Lite (especially one that isn't at least first RP-driven by players via a clan that illustrates engagement with the idea) seems outside the scope of how to address the rogue experience.

  • See, I thought about something like orgreqs, where rogues could more or less apply for sanctioning for RP, items or mechanics, someone could build some tower for example that develops technologies even beyond the spire. A lot of that can be done messaging Icti though, I'm sure.

    The problem I have is that the biggest support to the cities is the number of people and the collaboration of those within to make it bigger and better. What are things that you guys would even want included in the rogue experience not generated by the collective playerbase? Do you not want a means of communication with other rogues, access to trade goods, farming fields? Calling it City Lite doesn't change what it was intended as in a suggestion, which was a means of giving functional experience and engagement to people actively choosing to roleplay outside of the collective experience.The technical abilities without identifying with a particular side or state. "I trade in Esterport," is a lot different than, "I'm from Spinesreach."

    If it's the players that ultimately give a city the cultural experience, and it is therefore up to the rogue to create their own, what more can a person really ask for other than a place to utilize similar technical functions?

  • edited December 2022
    I'll weigh in here, both as someone who was cityless on another char for almost a year for RP reasons and someone currently struggling with the hyperfocused identities of the new cities.

    The rogue experience is a horrendously lonely one for anyone who is not already a well-established and well-known player. More, it's mechanically brutal, but it's honestly the isolation that's the worst for me when I go rogue (or am kicked out lol) more than the myriad inconveniences of being cityless. This is a roleplaying game, and events and NPC involvement are (totally valid statistics incoming) 70% focused on cities, 20% untethered general, 6% focused on guilds, and 4% focused on orders. If you are citiless, you don't even know about the vast majority of things happening in the game, and very few people will think to reach out and invite you or inform you. And atop that, there is a powerful sense of org ownership of events intended for them, and outsiders are generally unwelcome - which is fine! Just not great for rogues.

    The mechanical maluses have been discussed enough above, I think, so I want to weigh in on the social aspects.

    Let me preface this whole thing with this: I think it's a good thing for the game as a whole to have stronger and ore focused identities.

    That being said.

    Having hyperspecific and enforced org identities works much better when you have more of them, like Lusternia and Achaea. Currently there are only four acceptable ways for you to play a character (if you want to be a part of city politics, events, relevance, etc - or not just be a second-class citizen in the most literal way possible, in Spinesreach's case): Nazi Scientist, Angelic Crusader, Mordor Enthusiast, or ELF Ecoterrorist. While each of those is rich, exciting, and full of impetus for plot movement and roleplay.. not everyone is going to identify with or even really enjoy those lines of roleplay, which leaves people feeling like they don't belong at best, or will be actively punished and ostracized for not being 100% on board with the org's MO at worst. And many if not all of these themes will have aspects of it that are strongly OOC-triggering for people as well - from childhood religious trauma things to PPA things.

    And there's not much to pick from, especially when we bring up the elephant in the room: OOC feels. There are some orgs that, even if they did fit a person's interests or roleplay, they are essentially unwelcome to join or would be made unwelcome when there due to people's OOC grudges or dislikes. Should this have an effect on an RP game? No, and yet it does. I had a character in top-level leadership in an org who was actively excluded of everything to do with leadership, from mass messages to in-person meetings... because of OOC knowledge of Lena being my other char. More, I've been shown pages and pages and pages of screenshots of people spending a horrifying and deeply hurtful amount of time smearing me as a person over my character's words and action, and seen people do the same to others, too. Even if I wanted to join the orgs those people were in, I'd know (from experience) that it wouldn't go well. There are many others in the same boat of having gotten on the wrong side of a group. That means that their best option is to make due where they are if the OOC element is more friendly, even if the RP now doesn't fit... or go rogue, which is miserable.

    I don't think the solution to this is watering down organizational identity again. I also don't think making rogues awesome is the only solution, but I do think improving the rogue experience is a viable way to handle a player who wants to be actively involved in the world but is throttled on options of where to go based on their personal capacity for exposure to triggers and OOC pressures.

    Based on my own personal experiences and opinions, which others may or may not agree with, here is what I think would go a long way toward this:

    Guest Privileges

    - In theory, a rogue can involve themselves with every city - it's touted as a 'perk' in every discussion. In practice, every city distrusts and shuns them at worst, or ignores them at best. By implementing the above suggestion of allowing 'guest' access to the city aether when within the city proper, you open up the ability to engage in social connection as well as rich RP possibilities. This could also be a toggleable option given to city leadership as well! When a city is holding an event that is open to the public, being able to chatter about it on CT with non-city participants instead of just citymates would keep everyone on the same level of information and also be really potentially fun! People can still be forced to leave the city if something is going on they wish to keep private, and the city can still provide consequences for poor aether behavior.

    - Allow rogues to 'rent' access to a pylon, which lets them get mists to turn in at maybe a less advantageous turnin value (benefiting the city, too), have access to modifications (maybe limited ones), as well as being able to trade in tokens for orbs and buy amulets (at higher prices for each). These things are among the most stinky of mechanical detriments to being a rogue, and this would alleviate that while still giving a mechanical advantage to those in cities proper.

    -Allow rogues with guest status to see the player-made EVENTS for the city they are standing in.


    - Without the demands of political obligation, rogues have all the time and focus in the world for study! Raise the rate of learning lessons to 30. It's still half what a city that's invested into research for it would get, but it's more than the base rate of 15 they'd get without it, which feels like a fair balance and helps ease the sting of trying to learn things without a Libram as a rogue.

    - This isn't something enforceable or even really something to implement, just a general thought: NPCs acknowledging rogues when they try to get involved would go a VERY long way toward players accepting their presence there, and their contribution. If the person isn't unwelcome (re: the event isn't an org-secret/sensitive one), even passive NPC acknowledgment (like a guard captain giving a brief glancing up at them then nodding and continuing his brief or something) would be awesome. Similarly, if they are unwelcome, have involved NPCs reflect that. This sort of tonal guidance would go a long way to giving players a framework for the interaction instead of falling back on 'I don't like that person, make them leave' or 'I don't know why they're here and I guess they can stay but we're going to ignore them'.

    -Access to an Esterport Blackmarket where they can buy cool things that help bridge some mechanical gaps as well as giving city players a reason to interact with them (to get the hookup themselves)!
    Example ideas:
    > a drug that mimics the effects of Grace (maybe with a malus after or during)
    > smuggled Albedi/Cradle of Fire perfumery and fumology ingredients
    > a short-lived potion that lets your shouts reach all Planes and continents
    > rotating wares that are city-exclusive and in small supply (like, 3 bolts of sunsilk one day, 3 Duirani fungi another, 3 impulsium another,

    Just some thoughts! Ideally, a more robust rogue experience is one that enriches the world as a whole, not only that of citiless players, and I feel things like this would do that.
    The Divine voice of Ictinus, the Architect echoes in your head, "I think you are cursed."
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