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In Development: Arkhona Timeline Reset, writing for EC, while preparing the future

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Oveur, Nov 30, 2017.


So I can write about squads?

  1. No.

  2. No, just no.

  3. You are one sick puppy. No.

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  1. Not exactly. Back in pre-Alpha, Ivan Mulkeen (then lead of story and lore) and Graham McNeill wrote the entire background, lore, and early motivations of Arkhona and the entire Kharon System. Then, as the game started to become more difficult to execute, they trimmed away everybody that wasn't central to getting the core gameplay RIGHT, meaning Graham's contract lapsed and Ivan's employment was not renewed, but they still had the documents so its all good at that point.

    Launch. Faction campaigns. Nathan hires a guy in Australia to write a series of 6-8 'all faction' campaigns, which start with the Skull Champion (to conincide with GW's Skulls for the Skull Throne Ad Campaign that was live in every active GW game,) the Gore Angel, A New Waaagh!, etc... They were run too close together, had 40k lore inconsistencies, and there was nothing new for veteran players to get with the points/rewards.

    Now here we are. Nathan says the metrics support the fact that fewer than 20-25% of us have seen these campaigns. The team wants to restart the campaigns they have 'in the can' so the new people can see the work. This will also buy the team and those they tap to help out time to get the Ivan/Graham lore reworked, revised to match the scope of the RELEASED game (clearly we are NOT all on one big super-continent named Malcadia, for example,) posted to a public place so both they and community writers interested in such things can have a common set of 'facts' to operate on, and let them figure out ways to implement a new, community-submitted workflow for campaign submissions. Meanwhile, the engineer-types can dig into the campaign system, line up new rewards, and figure out how to tie campaign progression into the Goals system.

    Make sense?

    What I meant was that the mechanics of the system is fine for our purposes, so long as the EXPECTATIONS are set and managed properly. Think about a great TV show ruined by lousy pacing, or a crappy/cheesy TV that managed its pace well enough to keep you hooked despite yourself (or sanity.) All story is about content and pace, and to make a story MATTER to the participants you have to walk a mid-line on both fronts.

    This has been covered by @Oveur here, on the Twitch, and by other Phenomenal Game Developers of other MMO titles big and small. MMOs as a whole are typically planned out in 10-year planning cycles, reviewed periodically and goals adjusted as design and actuality interact. I won't comment on the state of the game itself: I have my issues but the bulk of my frustrations with EC come from stuff that isn't game-related.

    Yes and no. The current campaign mechanic is a progress bar, not a true tug-of-war ala Planetside. As such, Factions aren't competing against each other as much as they are serving as roadblocks/speedbumps to other factions filling up their bar. The example you give is a very "micro" look at story-driven campaigning similar to what you find in many MMORPGs. In those you're with the character, right alongside that Alpha Legionnaire as he corners the Ork and triggers the cut scene. Problem is we can't do that due to the limitations of budget, scope, and scale, and so we're forced to pull the camera back a little bit and come at it from a wider angle.

    If you don't mind me using the Alpha and the Ork example you gave, lets lay this out and see if we can make that story work in the current campaign format Nathan gave back here:

    What are the factions doing this campaign cycle?
    * LSM - A Blood Angel Captain has summoned the faction to dig into the facilities under the surface of Arkhona in an attempt to recover further information on the fate of Inquisitor Severina. There may be Tyranic presence in the arcologies.
    * Eldar - A Biel-Tan Scorpion is trying to plant "proof" that the Blood Axes are taking contracts from a local Dark Angel. The Eldar are trying to either destabilize the WAAAGH! by instigating some in-fighting or turn the WAAAGH!'s attention on the LSM so they can do something else in the confusion.
    * Orks - Skarblitz is managing to dig up some of this tech from an unknown alien society and needs to find new sites to find stuff that's lying about. The more ground you cover the faster this'll be and the sooner his eyes turn back to something else shiny.
    * CSM - Your Mission briefing pops up and you're greeted by this guy:
    ** Intro - "A situation is developing and I need extra assets to complete my mission. Normally I would only trust a select few with this intelligence, but the Warmaster has brought you along for a reason and caution must yield to speed in this situation. Sometime during one of the last fights between the Greenskins and our misguided kin, one of the Orks got his putrid green fingers on a Deathwatch Inquisitorial Rosette. I have the means to break the Cryptomantic Wards the Ordo Xenos uses on these relics, but in the last few days I have lost track of him. Sweep out and find him; that Rosette is currently worth twice what you are. -- Alpharius"
    ** <50% - "I understand the enormity of the task before you seems daunting, but consider all you have done in the name of our Dark Gods. Consider all you must do to remain in their favor and in the favor of the Warmaster... Then put this at the forefront of your meditations. Do not tarry; too much is at stake here."
    ** >50% - "Most of you do not maintain detailed intelligence on our deluded brothers, but I shall enlighten you as to WHY this tiny little badge is so important to our efforts. The physical insignia of the Deathwatch is both Symbol and Signum. Inside the little seal are datastores containing local and system vox channel authorities, dataslates on intelligence regarding the xenos races the brother has fought, and a myriad of other pertinent data to our war effort on Arkhona and throughout the Crusade. Normally these things are destroyed and it is only by the sheer stupidity of its current owner that we have this chance at such a trove of information. Find that green beast and take the rosette from his corpse."
    ** Win - "'Many are the heads of the Hydra, and twice as many eyes,' as I once said. You have served well and your name will be brought forth to the Warmaster when next I speak with him. The device was badly damaged, but despite that it has given up a few secrets already, and surely more shall follow... 'What secrets?' you ask? Valiant effort, if foolhardy."
    ** Lose - "'Many are the heads of the Hydra, and twice as many eyes,' as I once said. We are everywhere, and we see everything. Perhaps trust should be harder to earn next time. Perhaps your quality should be put to more strenuous tests before you are trusted with recovering a little metal token from a dead Ork... Perhaps the Imperial Fist pain glove the Slaaneshi cultists in orbit are using needs to be turned on less motivated brothers of our Long War... I am certain you will be the first I inform of that decision."

    See? Still "fill the bar," nobody has the same mission to complete (removing the possiblity of 'all-win' and 'all-lose' outcomes,) and we either do or don't recover the Rosette as the result of direct player activity/participation. Sure we don't ACTUALLY, physically recover the Rosette in game, but the story proceeds with a clear direction: the Rosette was (or was not) recovered and we will see what secrets are uncovered in future installments of the story.

    Rivindesh likes this.
  2. Valrak Valrak Arch Cardinal Superior

    I will gladly write the LSM story. I will make myself Campaign leader, Leeroy will be my second but tempted to Chaos, we have a combat knife duel on top of mountain and I take off his head.
    AngelsAbomination17 likes this.
  3. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access

    Dont bring a Knife to a Boltgun-with-Drummag-fight.
  4. Krayt Krayt Preacher

    that would imply that you could approach him without dying :OrkMoon:
  5. Necromancer Rivindesh Subordinate

    I guess your right. I just felt that it would be nice to reward the exceptional players, kinda like what they did with the custom guild banners.

    It would probably lead people to be more resentful of being left out than being a fun moment for the champion.
  6. Hunter Tarrus TARINunit9 Well-Known Member

    Also Belial -- who bE already have the rights to -- if you read the books (and can get past the dated "har de har, Dangles are all closet traitors" jokes that haven't even made any sense after Ophidium Gulf got retconned out of the timeline)
  7. I concede that point, except you must likewise concede that we don't REALLY have narrative control of Belial. We WOULD, however, have have the rights to another Dark Angels Master, or a 'random' Deathwing member placed here at the command of Belial who encounters a Fallen, is present for his interrogation/confession, and learns a terrible truth he struggles with over the course of a year of campaigning...
  8. Duximus Duximus Steam Early Access

    EC is non canon at this point anyway.
    no story, no content, not lore accurate.
    + future contents will come from workshop 90% by user. unless some rich ass publisher decide to touch EA.
  9. Hunter Tarrus TARINunit9 Well-Known Member

    While that is certainly the safer option from a real-world loremaking standpoint, in-universe there's a different issue: four-fifths the Arkonan liberation fleet (defense fleet? Space Marine Alliance) would probably ignore the wishes of your hypothetical Sixth Captain, regardless of which of the five chapters he comes from

    (Citation: World Engine by Ben Counter. The Ultramarines 7th Captain assumes himself to be the leader of the Varv Deliverance fleet -- because he's an Ultramarine, why wouldn't he be in charge? -- before the Astral Knights say "7th Captain? Pshh. You might be able to boss these Guardsman around, but we are gunna ram that Necron planet!")
  10. First off the Astartes do understand there is such a thing as "Operational Control" and "Theater Command." The PLAYERS DON'T, but actual Astartes would. Second, That's why we'd use EC's existing art assets to have orders come down from multiple faction reps. It doesn't make sense to hear an Iron Warriors rep talk about setting up ritual stones any more than it makes sense for a Word Bearer to discuss how they need you to go assault X number of fortress maps, so have a number of Faction reps handle various aspects of their faction's 'culture.'

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