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Storyline Revamp

This is a game for roleplayers. We want your ideas how how to build the better game. Post your suggestions here.
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Cherokee
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Storyline Revamp

Post by Cherokee » Thu May 31, 2018 10:01 pm

Underlight is perhaps the most unique online roleplaying game in existence. Whether you are a die hard, occasional player, or only frequent the forums and Discord out of nostalgia – we all love this game and its community. I know the GMs and the players as a whole want to see it flourish. What makes Underlight so exciting is the playerbase. Each individual brings their own creativity to the game to develop the storyline together.

Though as we are only human, many of us get stuck in the cycle of forming cliques and only interacting with them alone. We have had and still have houses open with only a handful of players. Not only that, but the houses that we should be drawing from to generate exciting content have become boring, stagnant and all around inconsistent. They all seem to be clones of another “We want to protect the City” / “We want peace.” / “We want to learn/teach.” rinse, repeat. The houses today are nothing like the ones I have heard about in Lyra and the ones I experienced in Shades of Truth.

With such a small community, we should be encouraging more interaction and less seclusion. This major separation that continues to form hinders any progress to expand, and leads to players becoming jaded and eventually quitting or taking long breaks.

With each version of Shades of Truth or after every drastic change that was implemented with a patch, the GMs created shifts in the storyline. This sparked interest with the players for them to build off of something new.

What I propose is an overhaul of the current storyline. An example of this would be a monumental event occurring, such as the Chaos Eclipse, a Purge, a siege from outside forces, or even the Lowborn getting payback for the Highborn. Something drastic enough that would cut off every dreamer’s connection to the City. Then when everyone is able to dream again, time has moved forward a year or so. We return to a City being repaired by elders that have taken up residence in two great opposing factions.

The beliefs should be strong enough to elicit interest and grant the potential for future roleplays. I look back on the Sect of the Prudent vs Emancipators of Men from SoT or Dreamers of Light vs House Calenture as a reference.

I know we have tried to stay away from house Seneschals for several reasons, so I thought of a few possible reasons to remove them after they help set the scene. These elders would be old Guides/Seneschals that are about to journey to another City, (or perhaps they kill each other to start things off with a bang!) Something that ends their involvement in the faction, after passing the reigns to someone that wishes to Rule. Maybe they become the new caretakers as they retire from being Guides.

We also have several stories that faded away and never came to a conclusion. This way, we could close most of those off and start fresh. I know many are attached to current houses and other aspects of what we have now, and personally I like the Bastion of the Covenant and the Chosen guild. However, let’s try to think about the potential this would have to make things fun again for all. Tember has suggested something like this in the past and I think it could really help.

Koi-Drama is an excellent storyteller, as well as several others on the team. This roleplay could first be carried out IG that leads up to the dreamers’ disconnection, and then the prologue for the new focus of the story could be shared in the Athenaeum of Dreams. The details could be worked out among the team, if this is something they would agree to. But I’d also like some input from the players as well. Perhaps the players could have a hand in developing these houses by offering suggestions or voting on what the GMs come up with.

This post isn’t meant to cast blame on the team or the players. Shit happens, all we can do is move forward. I hope you all will consider it and let me know what you think!
”My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—It gives a lovely light!” - Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Toregord
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Toregord » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:23 am

Look at the last great purge. We lost a ton and i honestly feel if I have to start all over I would just give up. We have some in game ideas if you come around speak to a few of us and find them out on how to better the houses. As far as storylines some will always die as players just were not interested in that particular story line. If you don’t like something change it but don’t rain on everyone because you fall behind. Change you’re house and make an example of what they should do.
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by fr3y » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:50 am

Some of us who've been returned longer than a week feel differently.. and i don't think a wipe of peoples characters was ever mentioned. "Just giving up" is certainly an option, but for me personally the journey is where it's at. There's no real destination in underlight, the upper tier players will ultimately remain so, but games are like houses.. every now and then no matter how well intentioned can get stale and require a shake up or change of direction. ANYone who's been a part of a new house knows how exhilarating it can feel.

Since the rollback, things have seemingly taken a downturn. An idea like Jade's has a definite appeal, I'm sure there would be resistance but when i think about a new generation of master teachers etc and a general rush to improve characters again from the standpoint of a level playing field.. I know I'd be all in.

I think this new Koi team would flourish in such an environment as well.
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Cherokee
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Cherokee » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:19 am

I’m not talking about wiping out our characters, by the way. This idea is strictly to give us new material to RP with.
”My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—It gives a lovely light!” - Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Starling
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Starling » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:35 am

Question - In this scenario, could a certain FateSender character come back as a SoulMaster? Asking for a friend.



Seriously though, I like the idea of change and movement that this brings about. And the concept of having certain things like war mean a whole lot more or have more passion and reason behind them (like they did back in Lyran days). But I also appreciate the current state - especially since I only recently returned to playing about 3 months ago.

While my char is still working to achieve goals, I still have lots of opportunity/experience ahead of me as a payer, but I know that there are others who have achieved all these goals, who have been dedicated players for years, and are looking for other exciting opportunities in the game and more game movement (outside of the typical RP storylines). I also feel like the GM and dev teams (special shout out - thanks for all y’all do!) are constantly looking for more ideas for movement (as I’ve seen it in their forum posts and in all the recent updates and new arts, changes to arts, etc). So, I’d imagine ideas from players (like this one) are both exciting, encouraged and appreciated, even if only parts of it only come to fruition.

I’m all for anything FUN! As long as it brings people together and we are having a blast playing a game, that’s what matters most to me!
Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world. The disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days, a purpose.
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Arnaya » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:06 pm

I've typed up a couple of replies to this, and deleted them before posting. But, they all really boil down to the fact that I don't think this would change anything. With a couple of exceptions, I basically see the same cliques formed. Most of the players not bothering to play unless messaged on discord to tell them that there's a fight going on, and similar. There's also a LOT of OOC crap between various players... to the point that most people who create a new character, will avoid a bunch of people until they find someone they enjoy talking to OOC.

I'd like to think a reset of the playtime would get people excited in the game again, but after trying again and again to get things going in game and have people either not bother to get involved.... or take the responses to such extremes that it kills any enjoyment... I guess my hope and faith in the majority of other players is gone.
The most important lesson I've learned over this past year, is not to let anyone make you cruel. No matter how badly you want to give the world a taste of it's own bitter medicine, it is never worth losing yourself.
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HarleyofCienn
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by HarleyofCienn » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:15 pm

8====D
Last edited by HarleyofCienn on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Uthanatos
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Uthanatos » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:49 pm

Thing is, you take away their houses, you are going to lose a lot of players to that. I think that's part of why the new house structure rules came out, because of the smaller player base, to add more leniency. As it goes, I know for certain that people from Calenture interact with people from every other house, even the Bastion. I'm of a mind with Arnaya on this one that unless you could resolve the OOC issues, even resetting everything to nil and wiping the database isn't going to help these issues.
“Sometimes it isn't easy to be sane, smart, and responsible. Sometimes it sucks. Sucks wang. Camel wang. But that doesn't turn wrong into right or stupid into smart.”
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by HarleyofCienn » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:55 pm

8=====D
Last edited by HarleyofCienn on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dina
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Dina » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:41 pm

Hi, lez all be fwiends!

Edited by Dina! Shocker huh?
Last edited by Dina on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fr3y
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by fr3y » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:55 pm

I'm of a mind to take it farther and wipe the characters as well.

As far as cliques, who said you have to reveal your new character at all?

I think keeping everyone guessing as to who you really are would be quite a badge of honor as far as ones RP abilities and put an entirely new spin on this game. IF you choose to share your identity go ahead but imagine how fun it would be to keep everyone guessing. Any move towards true role playing is a good one, imho.

A fresh start isn't saying anything is necessarily wrong with the current one, but it might be time to throw a new coat of paint on this incarnation. Basically I still believe we all want to have FUN here, but we're mired in our own history and prejudices that it's next to impossible at this point. Playing a new toon in a new rp where i exist in a dream without friend or enemy sounds badass to me.

Also remember it's just a suggestion, let's lighten up a bit.. If you're truly happy with how things are going politically and socially in the game, more power to you. I'm just saying what would keep me around.
11:11:28: Purple Lace: Frayed logic
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11:11:43: You Say: Freyed logic

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Cherokee
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Cherokee » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:02 pm

I like the new house structure rules that were implemented, though several current houses were grandfathered into it. I know people become attached to their houses and things they're accustomed to, but this game should have a dynamic environment and the houses add structure to the game.

I'm confused as to what OOC issues you two are referring to. There is a rift in the game that was brought on by in character actions. It happens, it's not necessarily a bad thing. But when we have such a small player base, it can be crippling. We shouldn't have FIVE houses with a handful of players each.

Every current house is watered down in comparison to the houses in Lyra and SoT. -For the most part- there are no charters or standards. We don't hold Initiation, Knighting, or Ascension ceremonies. They don't have oaths, a main goal or things they highly oppose. They have become nothing more than club houses.

The houses started out strong in this version of UL with DoL, HC, and OoSM, but things eventually changed. The main reason DoL and the Order merged was to bring two smaller groups together to make one stronger house. The Bastion came together because the players realized none of them would make it as separate houses. Personally, I wanted the Chosen to be a house and not a Guild, but I know the community is too small to open yet another house.

So many houses opened and closed during the different versions of SoT and I don’t recall a single person leaving because their favorite house was no more. I highly doubt that will happen here. There’s nothing to gain from continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different end result. Hopefully by starting this topic we can brainstorm together how to improve the game.

P.S. I like your artifact and Guild suggestions, Harley! Going on excavations or a scavenger hunt for our lost treasures would be fun.
”My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—It gives a lovely light!” - Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Rasputin » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:04 am

I agree that the current status quo doesn't support some of the stronger RP anchors that engaged me in the Lyra version.

I'm not sure that wiping the Houses is necessarily the answer.

I do think that GM characters and RPs that directly support the meaningfulness of different Essence Treatments is one way to go. I have attempted to assert specific beliefs about Essence Treatments and have often been faced with a response of "they all basically do nothing". And it would be nice if there was occasionally a GM character who cared about one or another of the Essence Treatments.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Pheasant » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:03 pm

"I'm confused as to what OOC issues you two are referring to." The smack talk, rumor spreading, and general ugliness that goes on in Discord; be it in Underlight's main channel, GM channel, and private channels that certain groups of players have made. We've all seen it, been a part of it, or been the subject of it. 'Nuff said.
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by HarleyofCienn » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:24 pm

8=====D
Last edited by HarleyofCienn on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Koi-Scribble » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:04 pm

Hey there!
We understand that threads like this have a tendency to create tension, as all of our players are very passionate about UL and the progression of in-game roleplay. However, we request that all participants recognize that every player has a unique opinion and to be respectful of those opinions even if you disagree with them. OOC issues should never cross over into IG situations and interactions, or vice versa, as this violates the rules of Underlight.

Going forward, we ask that all participants of this thread conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner conducive to positive change for Underlight. Any continued aggression will result in this thread being locked. Thank you all for your continued submission of ideas and suggestions and for your support of Underlight.
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by -Lacie- » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:44 pm

Ok, I've not been keeping up with the forums like I should.... please punish me and not Lacie!

makes out the money order for the failure to keep up with the forums out to the Bank of Underlight

Ok, that's done. Now... some thoughts.

Allow me to try to bring this thread back to the topic. Here's how I see this:

There's no main storyline in Underlight right now. Ok, not a big deal and easily fixed, but what has this problem done to our City?

Since most of the UL population has or has had children, I'll compare it to something we've all been exposed to...

We, and I mean ALL of us, have been acting like children who whine and complain about no toys to play with during the week before Christmas (Chanukah, Kwanzaa or insert whatever holiday you believe in). We are fighting and picking at eachother, pulling eachother's hair, jabbing, poking, etc. Let's all grow up for a moment here and look at what's happening, instead of whining cuz our toys are old!

Now for an adult perspective (everyone...put your big boy/girl britches on for a moment, please. I promise you can take them off in a little while!).

A man played a game and loved it. He saw the game was failing and wanted to keep it going for the friends he had made in playing it. He sunk money into it, gathered people around him to help keep it going, and together the group did a hell of a lot of work to keep Underlight alive. This... is to be commended.

Now the part where we need our big boy/girl britches.

As players, WE have a responsibility, yes, I actually used that word... a duty and should be a desire to help keep this wonderfully unique game going. We, I hate to say... are NOT our characters! So why has the storyline dwindled? Does it really matter? Nope! What matters is that WE all have the power to DO something about it. It's not going to take money or servers or new arts and tricks (altho those are terrifically fun!).

I started playing UL at a time in my life I thought I had it all: beautiful house, loving spouse, wonderful children and a dog in a huge backyard. With all that bounty comes trouble: running our own business, house payments, children cutting teeth, car accidents etc. And all I wanted was a place to escape and be in control of what happened! I found Underlight!

The storyline was strong then, true, but it gave me some basis to make my character. Problem now is that I have that character and the storyline (which is UP TO THE PLAYERS NOT THE GM'S!!!!) is missing.

Let me say this again... the storyline problem is NOT the GM's fault! It's OUR FAULT!!!!!!! Ok? Own it. When we were on Mplayer and UL would go down, we used to sit in the Mplaque chatroom and discuss new rp's that we'd like to do. Ideas formed, UL came back up and in we went with our new ideas. This isn't happening anymore. It takes thought, work, creativity and energy to do this and you all are so tired from your middle-aged crises. Get over it!

Jade made a post. She brought up a dilemma she sees and suggested some solutions. Ok, that's one good way to start a brainstorming process to solve said problem. Toregord can't read and hasn't been back long enough to know his ass from a ... ok, nevermind. Toregord misread the post. So he complains and twists what he just read. Frey then tries to untwist it only to have others twist, distort and otherwise SCREW UP the idea behind the post.

Ok, so then the Koi-police come in and try to fend off the mass bedlam that ensues. DUH! Do you people understand the term BRAINSTORM? Obviously not, cuz here's how that works:

Person A - tosses out an idea
Person B - finds good parts of A's idea and BUILDS on it
Person C - likes parts of A & B and creates (you guessed it!) an idea we'll call C
Person D - finds a problem but also offers a possible solution after bringing it to the attention of A, B, & C.

You see how this works? Noone is cutting anyone down, no flames are flying and noone's delicate feelings are hurt.

Geez people! Do you raise your children like this? Of course you don't!

Disclaimer: Not to exclude those without children, substitute nieces, nephews, neighborhood kids, kids you TEACH.

Now, the idea placed was that a storyline be created that Underlight has calamity X that tosses all the citizens out and we can't get back in for AN IMAGINARY period of time. When we DO get back in... W, Y & Z has happened and so many years have passed. What in the world will the citizens do?!?!??!

Ok, I don't particularly care for the idea, but the concept is a good one and should be discussed in this thread.

So put your petty differences aside, help the GM team out, or just go ahead and LEAVE!

Luv ya all and let's get off our ASSES and DO something to HELP Wishbringer and the GM team!

Damn... I feel soooooo much better now. Can we get back to the idea now?

Here's my suggestions:

1. The City's conduit energy system has a fault of some kind, which has drained energy from major functions in the City (i.e. the "Study" rooms in the Library don't spin anymore, the water-pillars in Lambent Sanctuary don't flow any more, and/or the Lucidity Portals in Inchoate only send you to the Temple of Insanity!)

2. An after-effect of the most recent Chaos Eclipse has finally emerged. Mebbe there's a new crack where baddies can enter or energy is flowing out of it!

3. Ideas from previous versions could be referred to at this point. I cite the access to when the Houses were broken and the people had to build bridges to get to their Strongholds (access WAS possible from Threshold, if anyone remembers back that far).

Anywho, let's be serious for a moment. The GM's are doing all they can. They have had some issues and are working on it. What are the PLAYERS doing to help? Hmmmm? Whining doesn't count.

We have a saying on my planet.... Shit or get off the pot. Do something to help or go whine someplace else.

Hugs and Kisses,

~Lacie~
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Arnaya » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:32 pm

Apparently people thought my last post was taking aim at someone. It really wasn't. It was a general note about what I've been seeing from the players as a whole (Not any one faction or house or anything like that. Just in general. Like, pretty much ALL of us).

If people are looking for honest feedback and suggestions on this, I'll put out two things:
1) The new houses are completely set up by the GM's (Perhaps as a result of a contest, with the GM's reviewing submissions and putting together the ones they feel are most sustainable and likely to be engaging?).
2) There be more than 2 factions. 2 Factions in a game like Underlight, would be suicide for the game at this point, I think. The characters present are too diverse and varied to readily fit into 2 simple factions. A third would be needed to provide variety and complexity, and help break up some of the Cliquish manner that we all fall into when things are polarized.
- 2A) Each of the houses should have a conflict point with each other house, AND something that they can unify over. Plus some overall thing that they can ALL rally behind and work together on. Plus long term objectives for each house (Which perhaps could be part of the conflict/unification points).
- 2B) And, most importantly to me at least, I think that each of the houses should have a significant tie into EXISTING GAME LORE. Past and current players put too much work in to completely throw it away. There's a lot that could be built on (most of it, without doing a rebuild/reset of the houses) in new and interesting ways, without having to start from scratch or invent completely new theme's.

Those are what I'd suggest if a full reset of things is gonna happen or is being seriously considered.
The most important lesson I've learned over this past year, is not to let anyone make you cruel. No matter how badly you want to give the world a taste of it's own bitter medicine, it is never worth losing yourself.
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Cherokee
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Re: Storyline Revamp

Post by Cherokee » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:49 am

While I think a house/guild wipe and time jump would help, this was just one idea to initiate a conversation. I’d welcome any ideas anyone has to work toward improving the game. Because it’s just that...a *game*. I want it to be fun for all.
”My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—It gives a lovely light!” - Edna St. Vincent Millay
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