World of Darkness Blog
Created 349 days ago
Gamer, Singer, Trainer, Storyteller, and all-around swell cat.
Been playing WoD since the original VtM came out back in 1991, though I've been into RPG's since the D&D red-box in Grade 6.
First book I ever read: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (I have the hots for sinister female leads thanks to this novel)
Favourite Movie: The Sound of Music
Favourite Computer Game: Any adventure game by Sierra On-Line, particularly the Gabriel Knight series.
Merit: 1 Flaw: 0
Traditionally (pun intended) in the Camarilla, new vampires are forbidden from being created without the permission of the Prince. In some cases, a Prince will allow their Primogen the privilege of deciding whether or not to allow the Embrace of new Kindred, provided they do not abuse that privilege.
This Tradition is specifically prominent for those us who have played Troika’s VtM: Bloodlines CRPG – the opening cinematic after character creation shows exactly the potential consequences of violating the third Tradition. For those who aren’t familiar – siring progeny without permission is punishable by the immediate destruction of the childe and often the sire as well.
While this....traditional...(there it is again) approach to interpreting the Third is most likely not going to occur in the WoD MMO, I believe it can still be implemented to a lesser degree. The reason I don’t think it will be implemented as it is, is because of the fact of population numbers. In the pen and paper game, most cities follow the 1:100,000 rule. In other words, 1 vampire per 100,000 mortals. This keeps Kindred population numbers low in order to make preserving the 1st Tradition, Masquerade, easier. Because of that ratio, however, many Kindred in a city may never run into each other, let alone interact or socialize as frequently as MMO’s encourage players to do. Many Storytellers instead go with a 1:50,000 ratio instead, effectively doubling the number of Kindred any city could potentially support.
But even with double the population numbers, it would still not work in an MMO. With hopefully many hundreds of thousands of players, all probably wanting to play as Kindred, even a 1:1000 ratio would prevent too many players from being able to play as Kindred – the reason they’ve come to play the game in the first place.
So what’s the solution? CCP is going to want to encourage players to enjoy the game in whatever way they wish, but at the same time will most likely be putting a large number of such decisions in the hands of the players themselves. And that may just be the perfect solution – leave it up to the players.
With the players themselves deciding who does or does not get Embraced, it becomes a social/roleplay-driven event. NICE! But it’s not all roses in this scenario. The dangers of leaving it up to the players is in control. This method of Embrace leaves the door wide open to Elitism and Cliques, where the Have’s box out the Have Not’s in perpetuity. The benefits are quite enticing as well – roleplayers can ensure that non-roleplayers don’t get Embraced (but this is just another form of elitism, regardless of intent). Regardless, this would certainly solve the griefer problem.
Is the only fair way for the developers to make it work is for the Embrace to be a very difficult-to-obtain reward for PvE content? Is there a better way? Perhaps it all rests in how CCP plans to create the first player-Kindred in the game. There is the obvious “chicken or the egg” problem of how do the first Kindred players in the game become Kindred. Will it be a beta-participation reward? Perhaps the developers will have “god” NPC characters they themselves will play at launch in order Embrace some players and then vanish? Without this particular nugget information, we only really be able to speculate wildly. Which is always fun.
Once a thriving population of Kindred exists in the various cities of the game world, will it then be up to the players to police the population growth? Sheriffs, Hounds and Scourges may end up being extremely busy...too many vampires in the city mean constant conflict over resources. But maybe that’s exactly what the lion’s share of gameplay in the WoDMMO will be....?
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348 days ago
Good points brought-up, to be sure. That said, I doubt they'll strive to keep the mortal PC's to Kindred PC's ratio anything close to the numbers we saw in the table-top game. During a panel, they let slip that there would still be NPC's in the game (a cook was the example given at the time, and references to Mage and Werewolf NPC's have been sprinkled about as well), and one might presume, then, that other mortal NPC's would also be milling about, blithely unaware of the monsters in their midst. Another difference in the ratios is in terms of general population vs. visible population. In a city with a one vampire to 50,000 mortal ratio, a great many of those mortals will be at home and/or asleep when the Kindred lurk about at night. As such, having tens of thousands of mortal characters in the streets during play for every vampire character wouldn't be strictly necessary to give the feeling of your character being part of a small subset of the population, so even if they do try to get a sizable portion of the players to remain mortal to give the Kindred interesting mortal characters to seduce/manipulate/murder/etc, they wouldn't need the mortal playership to outnumber the Kindred by such an order of magnitude. On the other hand, they said, full-stop, that the focus of play will be on Kindred characters, so making people play mortals unless they accomplish something monumental might miss the point. I assume they've learned their lesson with EVE: Corporations are a vital part of the game, and no one can tell you who to hire, but if a new player doesn't get recruited (read: Embraced) pretty quickly after starting to play, she's not going to get a real feel for what the game has to offer, and might well just sod off on her own.
349 days ago
Make the game like VTMB with a few tweaks. First: make night clubs into instances to hunt in. Two: Mortal Vs Vampire battles (that were always fun in Bloodlines) should be held mostly in 'bad areas' of town or underground areas. Every vampire should have to find these areas or players can tell them about these areas. It wont be a bad thing to have a bunch of vampires in one town if all the clubs were instances and the masquerade rules are in place. And the only sandbox meeting areas should only be clan houses and any meeting house. Any limiting attempt will just create cliques who want to just have all thier friends and that's it. If you ask players to disguise thier non human characters and not get caught feeding; it's thier fault if they get caught or killed. Or make it so that you can only have one vampire character at a time and have mutiple different supernaturals; if you get killed as one creature you cant for awhile so that others can play as thier vampires but limited to 1:10,000 or so.
348 days ago
I like the idea of making all the night clubs into instances to hunt in, but they shouldn't limit it there. You should be able to hunt anywhere, with certain places (like night clubs) being the prime hunting grounds. To be honest, I really want to be able to own a night club myself. That way, I would have all the blood I could ever want under one roof without. :D
349 days ago
I think it would be a little bit funny to have one of the developers play "God", and then they curse the first vampire player-character "Caine", and then it snowballs from there. Crazy-awesome for lore geeks, probably not so much fun for everybody else. And then there'd be horrible balance issues, because the Second Generation wouldn't want to Embrace, and then when they did, none of the Antediluvians/Third Generation would want to go into torpor or Embrace for fear of diablerie as well... I preferred unlocking Jedi to the option of starting off as one from the beginning. One of the worst things they f*cked up after the "Combat Enhancements". But a mortal player shouldn't be able to "unlock" playing a vampire. Make them get Embraced. Vampires, however, should be able to unlock esoteric Bloodlines at some undisclosed point in the future, however. I'm okay with being seen as elitist, too, if it means I don't have to deal with as many idiots breaking the Masquerade just 'cause.
348 days ago
The problem I see with the first part is that, the player who got to be Caine would literally be the most powerful out of all vampires, which would create a pretty big imbalance. Basically, if you wanted a strong vampire you would have to join the game the day it came out so that you could become an Antediluvian or Caine himself.
349 days ago
Excellent points. I certainly would not want to see the embrace as a "reward" from the system Ye gods, does anyone remember SWG in the sandbox days and Jedi unlocking? I do and everyone hated it. The Prince had the power of destruction. Should a Prince not want to enforce the tradition of creation, then he or she will quickly find their town teeming with licks wishing to take their place as Prince. A wise Prince will enforce the traditions to some degree. Power to the players? I think so.
349 days ago
Well, to be honest I'm hoping that it's the Prince/Primogen who has to give you permission if you wish to sire. I would also hope that there's a certain sense of elitism as well because, in real life, there's elitism. That would also mean, as you said, mostly roleplayers would be sired (hopefully) while the non-roleplayers stay as mortals. To top this off, the person you would be siring would also have to be a good fit for your clan (EX: They would be really beautiful if they were to be sired by a Nossie or a Toreador, controlling liars if they were to be Ventrue etc... ) This would make the game seem more realistic in terms of what the clans want.