On Latency and Awakening

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monolu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2022 5:56 am

Tue Sep 20, 2022 5:59 am

Hi! As a new player, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences regarding latency and awakening.

Latency
So, the whole process of finding out that you're latent is a bit of a mess. I know that staff are already aware of this, but I wanted to share my specific thoughts. I think the core concept is great. It's really cool that this completely unexpected thing that can radically alter how you approach the game can happen to your character. For this to have the intended effect of shaking things up, I think it needs to happen at a point where you already have a pretty good idea of who your character is.

But there's an issue here. After you've spent nearly a hundred hours of roleplay getting to know your character, you will undoubtedly have a pretty developed vision of them. The element that you're randomly assigned to doesn't always align with this vision. This is a little disheartening to me, because while you can choose to willingly ignore the associations regarding personality and demeanor which is tied to each element, I feel as if it's not the most fun. For instance, if I play a hotheaded character, I might feel a little weird if I'm assigned the element of water upon being awakened. This isn't to say that you can't choose to play against type, but I think that having some sort of elemental 'identity' should be important. To me, this creates a kind of disconnect. If I find out my character is an element which doesn't really vibe with the character concept which I've developed over the course of nearly 80 hours, there's really only two options.

1) I can ignore all the elemental mumbo jumbo and just keep playing my character the way I already was and accept the fact that there's this conflict between my element and my character concept. This is fine, I guess, but it personally doesn't sit right with me, and is also kind of boring. It also removes that sense of identity associated with an element. If my hotheaded character is indeed attuned to the element of water, what does that say about the world? Sure, this could be an exception which proves the rule, but to me it feels as if it makes it more difficult to suspend my disbelief. To me, it's super lame if the elements are just treated as a mechanical differentiator for mages as opposed to an actual thing within the narrative.

2) The other option is changing your character concept to better fit the element you were assigned. This one is obviously not fantastic either. If you've spent nearly 80 hours establishing a character, it doesn't feel quite right to retroactively change things about them. If my hotheaded character turns out to be a water mage, then I wouldn't feel particularly good toning down one of their core characteristics.

I suppose there could be a third option of carving out your own niche within the element you've found yourself assigned to, but this doesn't feel particularly reliable. I think it would be miles better if characters who find out they're latent are given the ability to choose what element they are when they find out. There are obvious benefits to this. Firstly, it can help inform roleplay. The way I understand it now, characters who find out they're latent should roleplay all of the elements reacting to their presence to some minor extent. But isn't it way cooler if a latent character could roleplay only their specific element acting up around them? A latent fire mage could see candles flare up near them, or a latent water mage might see strange ripples or reflections in water. I understand that this could create an environment where these characters who find out that they're latent metagame and choose only the mechanically "best" element (if such a thing even exists), but I feel like that's a pretty minor risk considering how long it takes and how infrequent it is.

Awakening
Awakening is obviously a massive deal. But, in terms of what the game spits out you when it happens, it's a little underwhelming. I'm not asking for much here, but a little more than what we have today would go a long way. It would be really cool if awakening someone required more extensive preparation as well. Perhaps it could be tied to Magecraft in some way, with different recipes and rituals tied to each element?

In closing...
Anyway, the TL;DR is that I really think characters who turn out to be latent should have a chance to choose their element. It would also be cool if awakening was a more involved process. But, I'm also new and fairly unaccustomed to the game's cultured, so I would totally appreciate some discussion around this.

Tasker
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:58 am

Tue Sep 20, 2022 6:11 am

Hard agree! I don't really see a reason against allowing people to choose their own element at latency, it's not really working the current way it's set up. If it assigns it based on the least represented element that's clearly not working right about now. It's not really adding in any surprise or wonderment as if you get one you're not overly keen on, that's just going to be a bit annoying to play from that point on.

mystry
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:08 am

Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:33 am

In regards to awakening, I really, really, really, really really do not like that it reveals the mage's identity through all disguises to the person being awakened, and I fully expect that this will result in zero awakenings from anyone who isn't already publicly outed as a mage. The risk factor is just so high that no one will want to take it unless they're OOC friends and know for a fact that the other person will never reveal it.

In regards to latency, I also think it'd be better if the latent was allowed to choose their own element when they're awakened.

monolu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2022 5:56 am

Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:40 pm

Tasker wrote:
Tue Sep 20, 2022 6:11 am
If it assigns it based on the least represented element that's clearly not working right about now.
If this is how it actually works, then I imagine this is another consequence of the whole overcrowding of mages thing going on. I think the idea is sound in theory, but I generally think that player agency should be more important than reaching some kind of statistical balance in the number of mages that belong to each element. If one element is less popular, surely the better solution would be to make that element more interesting as opposed to forcing people into it?
mystry wrote:
Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:33 am
In regards to awakening, I really, really, really, really really do not like that it reveals the mage's identity through all disguises to the person being awakened, and I fully expect that this will result in zero awakenings from anyone who isn't already publicly outed as a mage. The risk factor is just so high that no one will want to take it unless they're OOC friends and know for a fact that the other person will never reveal it.
This is tricky, because I feel like there definitely should be some risk involved with awakening someone. It's obviously extremely dangerous, but in a way I feel like that's kind of appropriate. I do understand where you're coming from, though, and I can see that it could be bad for the game if no mage would ever be willing to take the risk. Maybe another kind of risk could be introduced? I'm not sure.

Temi
Posts: 416
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:30 pm

We'll definitely be discussing this further as we look at this sort of thing, but I did want to mention that there's another option in case of an element mismatch: Assume the element has more impact when you're using it. If you're a nice calm sort of person, as you use your fire more, bits of unexpected temper flare up. In addition to having to deal with the fact that you are a mage, you have to come to grips with the impacts it has on who you thought you were too.

monolu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2022 5:56 am

Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:40 am

Temi wrote:
Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:30 pm
If you're a nice calm sort of person, as you use your fire more, bits of unexpected temper flare up. In addition to having to deal with the fact that you are a mage, you have to come to grips with the impacts it has on who you thought you were too.
I think this is a really cool idea! It can absolutely be fun to play into your character having that kind of conflict, but I think it's way more fun if the player is the one who gets to make that choice. I guess that's the core of what I'm getting at here.

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