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Attention: Campaigns, Lore, and Writing for EC

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Katzu_HSM, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Hey everybody, Matt here.

    A bunch of you know I'm a crazy Lore nerd for EC, and one of the biggest advocates for campaigns and how they need to work since basically their inception. A week or so ago, @Oveur reached out to me and gave me permission to head up a team of volunteers tasked with turning the Lore and Campaigns into a more efficient process. Effective yesterday I am EC's "Editor of the volunteer program yet to be named that works with storyline." Honestly our name is secondary to our mission. We'll get there.

    So my team's mandate will be simple, but comes in a few interconnected parts. Before we get moving and you see what we're working on I wanted to let you guys know what our mission is, where we're starting, and where we want to head. Set the right expectations right out of the gate. That sort of thing.

    Our Mission:
    • Update the Official Lore of Eternal Crusade. Our license pins us to the end of the 13th Black Crusade in 999.m41, but we have lore details that GW has changed/retconned in their main storyline since Ivan and Graham wrote the setting fiction. We could do alternate realities, but that's a cop-out and would take too much explaining to someone coming to the game having just put away their Sanctus Reach box, for example. Some characters that haven't been revealed yet are now somewhere totally different in the galaxy, and others who were not available are suddenly either dead or free to use. We're almost done on that front thanks to the awesome work of Ivan and Graham.
    • Draft the official "Setting Bible" and keep it up-to-date. Every TV show, movie, game, or novel series has a "Setting Bible," a document that is the one-stop-shop to establish the background, context, and themes of its product. Loyalists have certain themes and ways of doing things that would make no sense if done by an Eldar instead, for example. This codifies what EC and we as the editors feel creates a narratively consistent world to set our story, because...
    • Cut down our dependence on Lore/Canon NPCs in favor of Liaisons we have greater narrative control over. Its great to know Abaddon is taking a PERSONAL interest in your efforts, but as has come up a few times in Lore and Story threads, it doesn't always make narrative sense that the Warmaster would have you out killing 6 raccoons or picking 4 juliper flowers.
    • Draft a new set of 6 Campaigns using the Warzone/Seasonal model. In brief (and I will reply here and expand on the concept we're running with,) we draft a batch of 6-8 Missions for each Faction, and those 24-32 Missions form a single narrative arc we're calling a Warzone. Each Warzone to follow will build on both the established backstory in the Setting Bible as well as the results of previous Warzones.
    • Create the pipeline for Community-submitted Faction Missions. Just as we are volunteers, we're looking for other volunteers to help us unfold the story of Arkhona/Orkona. Using the Setting Bible and a curated timeline outlining the ongoing history of the Eternal Crusade, Community members will be able to submit campaign ideas to us to be reviewed with an eye toward fleshing out side stories within the world.
    • Review existing game elements and offer suggestions to the team on how to modify them to add more backstory to the interface. Some things in-game now have Lore justifications for being there, and by reviewing things like the 'boiler plates' on each continent we can insert some backstory in for those who want to know why certain things in the world are the way they are.

    Our Limitations:
    • We can't change game systems. No matter what we WANT to do, our primary benchmark is to use the tools we have at hand. No, we can't do away with the Global Campaign system, and so we plan to use both it and to dove-tail the Personal Goals system in, too. No, we can't make the game go open world. No, we can't create assets out of thin air. Most importantly, we can’t magically make the entire approval process into a streamlined "yes/no" so that each Mission week after week tells a continuation of the same story (that's not how real life or writing works, anyway.)
    • We can't affect anything outside the Kharon System. Per the license, the Kharon system and Arkhona proper are CANON to the 40K universe, but they keep their hands off and we promise not to execute Abaddon or fly a special Op to Cadia to put "warp-insulators" on the Towers that contain the Eye of Terror. That said, if we need to blow up a planet in-system, we do it. If it makes narrative sense to kill off a non-GW NPC to advance a story, that person is gonna die. Part of our desire to move to Factional Liaisons over a single Warlord barking orders is so that we have the latitude to put them at risk, to make MEANINGFUL narrative arcs out of their battles on Arkhona, and to make our rise to glory reflected in theirs and vice-versa. We just can't go see Big E anytime soon...
    • Story advancement is going to be a slow-grow process, so patience on both sides will be essential. Rapid iteration isn't possible when you are submitting batches of story at a time, which the Dev team needs to make sure everything needed is acquired and formatted in such a way as to be usable in the campaign interface. This is why we're looking at narrative arcs in terms of Warzone-by-Warzone rather than Mission-by-Mission.

    This won't be an overnight process, though most of our groundwork is nearing completion.
    JojoKasei, Torahn, ZceeNook and 7 others like this.
  2. Campaigns, and how they will work

    Our first order of business regarding campaigns will be to deliver Realistic, Rewarding, Mission-Focused, Multi-Storyline, Evolving Campaigns to you in a timely fashion. Here's what I mean:
    • Realistic: We will use the tools at hand to create the best experience we can. Any system than can be co-opted we will try to exploit to better your experience.
    • Rewarding: Our primary plan is to work towards making a heavier use of the Personal Goals system, and tying those goals to encourage continued participation in your Faction's Missions beyond the 'normal' 10-win contribution. This is something Nathan and I both place VERY high priority on.
    • Mission-Focused: Every Mission in each Campaign will advance the overall storyline of your Faction and of the Crusade. Missions will yield rewards, and have costs, and sometimes sacrifices will have to be made for the war effort to advance. Say it with me: Grim. Dark.
    • Multi-Storyline: DEATH TO BINARY CAMPAIGN RESOLUTION WITH FOUR FACTIONS! Each faction is here for specific reasons, and some Sub-Factions have their own motivations for being here independent of their Faction Lead's command. To explore those stories, we can't ALL be chasing the same chickens every campaign! So instead of ONE storyline everyone is "forced" to follow, there will be FOUR storylines; each one telling the specific story of your faction. To see the whole picture you have to play all four Factions, but if you want to just follow your favorite faction, so be it. You don't even need to read the text! Just get your Req/fRTC and let the people who dig Lore get into this stuff!
    • Evolving: Missions -> Campaigns -> Warzones. Warzone after Warzone, the story of Arkhona will be shaped by YOU the players. Your successes and defeats will shape the ongoing conflict and the fates of NPCs in the game world as a whole.
    • In a timely fashion: As Missions within a Warzone conclude, the next Warzone will be drafted and submitted for review and implementation. Ideally I can get somebody with a strong sense of story to write 'bookend' fiction for each Warzone, setting up like Star Wars opening crawls to let people know what to expect from the next batch of stories.
    Torahn, Corie, Cplex and 2 others like this.
  3. @Asheru sticky please? Also the Writing for EC post can unsticky. The Campaign post is up to @Oveur.
  4. Krooza Nob Bozz KroozaNob Well-Known Member

  5. Sounds awesome!!!
    Is there a rough goal for when we (the players) might be seeing anything in game?

    This has massive potential and could bring EC to its rightful place as the dominating 40K game.
    Corie likes this.
  6. Yes!

    Death to the Patriarchy, now is the time of the LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! :OrkGoff:

    Krayt likes this.
  7. First off lets be realistic: This doesn't fix coding errors, or texturing, or the ponderously slow process of opening the Workshop for submissions and voting. What my team and I are working on doesn't fix a single mechanical issue with the game. All this does is take this aspect of the game off the shoulders of the Developers so they don't have to fight with it. It also hopefully turns the story around and tries to create some context for those people who want or care about context. Some people want Red versus Blue in a box canyon, and that's fine. Our work is for the people who want more...

    The Setting Bible and Lore rework is close to 90% done at this point. I've been compiling a lot of this information for a while so I just needed a few lore-nudges from a couple of extra internal documents to fill in some holes I didn't understand.

    As for Warzone 1? We're running the Factions, Skull Champion, Gore Angel, and New Waaagh! campaigns over again to give people some opportunity to experience those, TO AFFECT A POTENTIAL DIFFERENT OUTCOME THAN LAST TIME, and to buy us some time to get Warzone 1 up, edited, and formatted/ready for play. If each campaign runs for 10 days as before, you're looking at nearly two months before the first Warzone goes live, much less if each Faction gets their Faction Campaign deployed at the same time.

    If I get the team I want put together, you may see official fiction or something along those lines shortly before that.
    Vaanes likes this.

  8. Awesome. I can't wait to actually see some background and campaigns that work and make sense... and 2 months will be here before we know it!

    I really hope that the narrative aspects of what you're doing draw a lot of new players, which could get the devs the money they need to make EC even better
  9. You guys are really awesome! Thank you so much for what you're doing. I'd love to join you, but realistically I ain't got the time :(

    I'm really excited for the first warzone!
  10. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access

    I will gladly help with anything but the actual writing. Let me know, what I can do.

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