Author Topic: City-elf problems and possible solutions  (Read 21749 times)

Good Gortok

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City-elf problems and possible solutions
« on: January 27, 2009, 11:12:27 AM »
I'd like to start a discussion on what might make the city-elf race more appealing to the playerbase. For as long as I've played here, this race has been lacking in all aspects of the game, and it's hardly any surprise that they're largely unplayed. I believe the main thee reasons are these:


> C-elf stats suck. They're not good for anything except pickpockets and perhaps magickers. They would also make good merchants in terms of the code, but noone in their right mind would attempt this. I wouldn't even make a c-elf burglar because their abysmal strength makes it hard to carry much without suffering coded penalties. Pickpocket is perhaps the least played guild short of sorcerer and psionicist (not even sure about that), so this isn't much of a saving grace. For anything related to combat, c-elf stats are prohibitively low, most importantly the strength which leaves them far, far behind other races. Ever since the "defense fix" which drastically reduced the effectiveness of agility as a defensive boost, c-elf warriors and assassins have been all but unplayable for anyone marginally concerned with their character's coded prowess. I believe this to be the biggest cause for the lack of c-elf PCs.

Possible solutions:
- Strength really, really needs to be balanced out for the non-mul/giant races. There's a staggering disparity between the upper and lower range of strength, to the point where such a difference will put two characters apart in terms of fighting prowess in ways that skill can never make up for. Most importantly, low strength needs to be less of a disadvantage in armed combat. Consistently doing no more than nicks and grazes with an obsidian sword just because your strength is below average is not only unrealistic but also a huge playability issue.
- Agility's contribution to defense should be increased. This is not only to make up for the offensive disadvantage of having low strength, but so that high strength doesn't indirectly give a bigger defensive boost than agility due to one's ability to wear proper armor. A c-elf generally can't wear any armor, or nothing heavier than light leathers, so when their superhuman agility does very little to help them defend themselves, it's a balance issue that affects the game negatively. Agility's current effects on defensive skills is nothing that just a day or two of moderate sparring won't even out, and the difference between light leather and heavy chitin armor is infinitely greater than the difference between good and exceptional agility.


> C-elves don't ride, but unlike their desert cousins, they lack the ability that makes up for this. This makes no sense, I don't see any reason why a race would limit themselves so much out of pride in an ability that they don't have, and it's a significant problem. Being a c-elf means you pretty much can't leave the gates of whatever settlement you're bound to, and this alone deters a lot of players. It also makes c-elf characters even less useful to the select few organizations that might consider hiring one.

Possible solutions:
- Rather than seeing c-elves suddenly riding around, I would prefer them to have some ability to travel the desert without a mount. Give them stamina losses that closely resemble the desert-elf race and leave their stamina pool as it is. This would let them get from Allanak to Red Storm or maybe Luir's without great difficulty, but not allow them to run to Tuluk and back on a whim.
- Simply let c-elves ride. I'm not too fond of this one, but it's borderline retarded that they refuse to ride out of pride in an ability that they don't have.


> There's no c-elf culture to speak of. Short of the rinth's east-side section, which has never been active enough to suffice, there's just no place in the world where a c-elves won't be among people who hate them. Surely such a numerous race would have carved out a niche for themselves in each larger center of population? There's a couple of coded tribes in one area of the game, but they're not readily accessible and they're strictly non-lawful in nature.

Possible solutions:
- Make smaller elven sectors in each city-state. Tuluk has a shred of this, but obviously not enough to build any kind of playerbase around.
- Make coded, not-necessarily-criminal c-elf clans where they can have some purpose and recognition.
- Flesh out the rinth more so that there isn't so little to do without direct player interaction which has always been sporadic at best.


Discuss.

Ender

  • Posts: 1993
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 11:33:28 AM »
There's no c-elf culture to speak of. Short of the rinth's east-side section, which has never been active enough to suffice

Having played a successful c-elf assassin in a large clan of east side elves I can tell you that this statement is flat out wrong.

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mansa

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 12:16:10 PM »
There's no c-elf culture to speak of. Short of the rinth's east-side section, which has never been active enough to suffice

Having played a successful c-elf assassin in a large clan of east side elves I can tell you that this statement is flat out wrong.

I'm sorry, B-Ender, but that's the only statement that Good Gortok said that I think is correct.

Quote
> There's no c-elf culture to speak of. Short of the rinth's east-side section, which has never been active enough to suffice, there's just no place in the world where a c-elves won't be among people who hate them. Surely such a numerous race would have carved out a niche for themselves in each larger center of population? There's a couple of coded tribes in one area of the game, but they're not readily accessible and they're strictly non-lawful in nature.

Possible solutions:
- Make smaller elven sectors in each city-state. Tuluk has a shred of this, but obviously not enough to build any kind of playerbase around.
- Make coded, not-necessarily-criminal c-elf clans where they can have some purpose and recognition.
- Flesh out the rinth more so that there isn't so little to do without direct player interaction which has always been sporadic at best.
These are awesome ideas.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 12:37:38 PM by mansa »
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Good Gortok

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 12:21:11 PM »
There's no c-elf culture to speak of. Short of the rinth's east-side section, which has never been active enough to suffice

Having played a successful c-elf assassin in a large clan of east side elves I can tell you that this statement is flat out wrong.



 ::)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 12:32:10 PM by Good Gortok »

Jingo

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 05:20:26 PM »
Posting my thoughts.

Quote
C-elf stats suck
I don't think this is an issue. I've seen a few badass assassins and maybe even a warrior trolling around the 'rinth. I think there are problems with the stat system such as rewarding strength too much in combat. But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat. Look around and you'll see plenty of desert elves that can tear you apart as well.

In my opinion there are three problems with city elves.

Riding/Running

This is the big killer, I think. And also why you don't see elves in the byn. The Byn usually leaves the city for missions but elves arn't allowed to tag along because they'll be a burden. If they do, the sarge is going to have to pull out a tent every five minutes if they want to go off the road. One of my first characters was a city elf that played in the days shortly after Akasha (I don't remember when it was). The sarge of the time, sent me back to the city the each time after I got too tired to continue. I had a lot of fun in the byn with this character but being unable to go on missions was really fucking ridiculous.

Quote
Possible solutions:
- Rather than seeing c-elves suddenly riding around, I would prefer them to have some ability to travel the desert without a mount. Give them stamina losses that closely resemble the desert-elf race and leave their stamina pool as it is. This would let them get from Allanak to Red Storm or maybe Luir's without great difficulty, but not allow them to run to Tuluk and back on a whim.
- Simply let c-elves ride. I'm not too fond of this one, but it's borderline retarded that they refuse to ride out of pride in an ability that they don't have.

I'm in favor of either of these options.

A third possible option is that a elf, born and raised in the city might be able to train himself to run properly in the desert. I.E. make a few logs about jogging around the city submit it and in the time of a game-year submit a request to have desert-running ability (though maybe never as good as real d-elves). I don't see any reason why this couldn't be possible currently, beyond preventive staff policy that I suspect may be in place. I havn't tried it, so I don't know.

Lack of clanning.

The next problem is lack of clanned opportunity. In the south, if I want to stay out of the 'rinth; what are my options if I want to join one of the game's staff supported clans? One merchant house and thats it. My guess it that in the south (in the north things are a bit different), clans make up three-fourths of PC interactions on Zalanthas. Almost all the long-lived characters and therefore most of the neato plots belong to clans. And city-elves are shunned from all but one of them.

It does make IC sense that clans might shun a race that is notorious for thieving but I think this can be worked around. Merchant clans, interested in a profit I think would recognize city-elves for skill at merchanting and innovation. And anyone who has worked with elves long-termed might know that elves will become extremely loyal if given enough time. And for anyone suggesting that elves are overall unemployabe, I would like to point out npc evidence proves otherwise.

So instead of an "open doors" policy to elven recruits; what I propose is that merchant houses might consider bringing in elves with demonstrated talent and loyalty. Perhaps an elven artisan which has proven the quality of their craftmanship might be invited into the house by a sponsor. Or an elven mercenary who has faught along side and even saved the life of a few hunters might be considered to be brought into the house.

So basically, I'm proposing a sponsorship system for the merchant houses that might allow a pc elf or two into the clans. If the elf turns out to be a bad apple, the sponsor will get in shit for it. I think there is plenty of opportunity for roleplay in this situation, especially if the elf planned it all along.

I have to get to class, so I'll talk about culture and social position in another post.


There's no c-elf culture to speak of. Short of the rinth's east-side section, which has never been active enough to suffice

I just want to say that I'm in agreement with GG, here. Minus 'rinth elves (active or not), city elves have really no discernable culture, that I can see as a player.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 09:02:49 PM by Jingo »
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Good Gortok

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 06:25:04 PM »
Quote
But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat.

Actually, this is a common misconception. Desert-elves are significantly stronger and tougher than city-elves - quite close to humans, I'd say.

Qzzrbl

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 06:29:59 PM »
I'll say this once.

Agility > Strength when it comes to combat. Agility more than makes up any disadvantages of low strength.
--

As far as elves riding, I don't see why they just don't say, "Fuck it, we've been in the city too long, we can't run that damn far, gimme a kank."

I know if  I played a c-elf, he'd be riding.

"But Qzzrbl, the docs says that's a shameful thing for an elf to do!"

Shameful to who? Other tribes? Piss on them. My c-elf doesn't have a tribe.

But then again, I guess that's why I've never rolled up a c-elf.

Don't want any bad account notes, y'know?


 

staggerlee

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 06:47:52 PM »
I'll say this once.

Agility > Strength when it comes to combat. Agility more than makes up any disadvantages of low strength.
--

As far as elves riding, I don't see why they just don't say, "Fuck it, we've been in the city too long, we can't run that damn far, gimme a kank."

I know if  I played a c-elf, he'd be riding.

"But Qzzrbl, the docs says that's a shameful thing for an elf to do!"

Shameful to who? Other tribes? Piss on them. My c-elf doesn't have a tribe.

But then again, I guess that's why I've never rolled up a c-elf.

Don't want any bad account notes, y'know?


 

I don't think that advising people to break the docs or admitting a desire to do so is particularly clever.

It isn't just about shame, it's culturally ingrained that it isn't even an option. Likely as not an elf wouldn't be weighing this rationally, that'd be like rationally weighing the value of your pet as meat. Sure, maybe in a moment of total desperation you'd consider it, but maybe not, and even then only with huge reservations.

I'd argue that city elves might have even stronger taboos that desert elves. Sort of the same way French Canadians are often more staunchly "French" than natives of France. When surrounded by another culture, you have something to prove, and you hang onto your traditions and values all the more rigidly.

If city elves started joining the militia and patrolling nak on beetles, someone might point out that they'd been living with humans so long they'd become humans. No elf wants to hear that.

Edit: Uh. Sorry for mixing metaphors so tragically.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 06:49:40 PM by staggerlee »
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Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 07:06:58 PM »
I'll say this once.

Agility > Strength when it comes to combat. Agility more than makes up any disadvantages of low strength.
--

As far as elves riding, I don't see why they just don't say, "Fuck it, we've been in the city too long, we can't run that damn far, gimme a kank."

I know if  I played a c-elf, he'd be riding.

"But Qzzrbl, the docs says that's a shameful thing for an elf to do!"

Shameful to who? Other tribes? Piss on them. My c-elf doesn't have a tribe.

But then again, I guess that's why I've never rolled up a c-elf.

Don't want any bad account notes, y'know?


 

I don't think that advising people to break the docs or admitting a desire to do so is particularly clever.

It isn't just about shame, it's culturally ingrained that it isn't even an option. Likely as not an elf wouldn't be weighing this rationally, that'd be like rationally weighing the value of your pet as meat. Sure, maybe in a moment of total desperation you'd consider it, but maybe not, and even then only with huge reservations.

I'd argue that city elves might have even stronger taboos that desert elves. Sort of the same way French Canadians are often more staunchly "French" than natives of France. When surrounded by another culture, you have something to prove, and you hang onto your traditions and values all the more rigidly.

If city elves started joining the militia and patrolling nak on beetles, someone might point out that they'd been living with humans so long they'd become humans. No elf wants to hear that.

Edit: Uh. Sorry for mixing metaphors so tragically.

Mm.... You've got alot of good points there.

None of which I even come close to knowing enough about elven culture to even try to argue against.

  :P


Lakota

  • Posts: 800
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 08:43:42 PM »
-- Some of the baddest warriors ever are city elves. I should know, since I played one.

-- Elves lack strength, but their exceptional agility more than makes up for this.

-- Elves do lack coded tribes. There are three off the top of my head, but one is probably not allowed at this point, and the other two are inactive. That being said, make your own virtual tribe. I've done it before, and created extensive documentation to flesh out my character's actions.

-- If you ride an animal as a city elf, you are not only a tard, you deserve all your karma to be flushed down the toilet. I once received a warning on my account for being forced against my will to ride in a wagon. Don't test staff on this.

-- Overall, c.elf stats do not suck. Either that, or I'm lucky at rolling good stats.

-- You're right about the culture. That being said, see above. Create your own tribe. Flesh out an existing one.

number13

  • Posts: 1067
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 09:43:22 PM »
The most badass assassin I've encountered in game was a c-elf.  I don't think their stats suck so much, though it's race I've played maybe once. The lack of available cultural docs/common tribes are a real problem.

There should be some kind mundane method for c-elves to develop an ability to cross distances.  Train up running, lose the pride and mount the kank. Something. One could prioritize endurance and choose the ranger class for c-elves that only need to run medium distances outdoors, but that still excludes them from the Byn.

I see plenty of opportunities for a c-elf in the northlands. Plenty in the Rinth. Not so much in Allanak proper.

titansfan

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 10:45:43 PM »
I said stay tuned!!!! lol....I'm working on it!  ;D
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Clearsighted

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2009, 11:17:33 PM »
The real problem is lack of coded city-elven tribes. There should be at least one.

a strange shadow

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2009, 11:58:27 PM »
The real problem is lack of coded city-elven tribes. There should be at least one that doesn't immediately incur the wrath of everyone around them for being blatant (and often poor) thieves and assassins and promptly being caught at it rather than at least pretending to maintain a semi-respectable business, and/or otherwise acts intelligent and as if they have a will to live.

ftfy

Jingo

  • Posts: 4791
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2009, 01:06:32 AM »
The real problem is lack of coded city-elven tribes. There should be at least one.

It would go a long way, but I think city-elves would still be limited in potential roles.

I'll say it one last time. The problem with city elves is that they are limited in roles because of a number of issues.

Where are my spice-hunters?

Mercenaries?

Unscrupulous merchants?

Why the hell is being a city elf outside the labyrinth an iso role?

Why are elves usually treated worse than half-elves, scum of the earth!?

Hell, why are city-elves, (citizens of His glorious city) treated worse than desert elves?

Why is every goddamn elf I meet in the south a lawless sneak? (I've noticed at least one exception lately, kudos to you!)

To summarize my solutions....

1. Give elven tribes with a visable position in the city states. So we actually know where elves stand in the social heirarchy. I'm not looking for anything more than a few docs and an elven friendly part of town.

2. Give elves access to more clans. I think the merchant houses would be most appropriate.

3. Give elves a way to get around. Make them run worth a damn! (again, doesn't have to be as far, or as fast as d-elves)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 01:23:00 AM by Jingo »
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mansa

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2009, 01:52:21 AM »
Quote
But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat.

Actually, this is a common misconception. Desert-elves are significantly stronger and tougher than city-elves - quite close to humans, I'd say.

This is 100% incorrect.

Desert Elves and City Elves have the same strength / agility.
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Synthesis

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2009, 01:59:22 AM »
One of the problems with playing in a city-elf tribe in the 'rinth is that everyone immediately targets you like you're the fucking Ebola virus: can't let you survive, or you'll start recruiting more clannies, which obviously will lead to some zombie apocalypse. It's pretty sad when Templars from Tuluk know more about your tribemates than even you do.   ::)
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musashi

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2009, 02:27:59 AM »
Quote
But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat.

Actually, this is a common misconception. Desert-elves are significantly stronger and tougher than city-elves - quite close to humans, I'd say.

This is 100% incorrect.

Desert Elves and City Elves have the same strength / agility.

The help file does say that desert elves tend to be more muscular and leaner than city elves ... dunno how heavily that carries over into the code.
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Jingo

  • Posts: 4791
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2009, 03:28:25 AM »
Quote
But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat.

Actually, this is a common misconception. Desert-elves are significantly stronger and tougher than city-elves - quite close to humans, I'd say.

This is 100% incorrect.

Desert Elves and City Elves have the same strength / agility.

The help file does say that desert elves tend to be more muscular and leaner than city elves ... dunno how heavily that carries over into the code.

I'm 99% certain it's just an endurance boost.
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a strange shadow

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2009, 03:41:04 AM »
This matters so godawful incredibly much, why?

Can't say I've ever met an elven character and thought to myself "gosh, I wonder how much stamina he's got."

"Oh, he's a badass roleplayer, but his strength obviously sucks. NEXT!"


 ::)

Rhyden

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2009, 04:23:50 AM »
This matters so godawful incredibly much, why?

Can't say I've ever met an elven character and thought to myself "gosh, I wonder how much stamina he's got."


You've obviously never mudsexxed a desert elf.
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a strange shadow

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2009, 04:42:17 AM »
That double entendre was quite possibly intended...... and still stands.

 :P

Good Gortok

  • Posts: 197
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2009, 05:39:32 AM »
Quote
But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat.

Actually, this is a common misconception. Desert-elves are significantly stronger and tougher than city-elves - quite close to humans, I'd say.

This is 100% incorrect.

Desert Elves and City Elves have the same strength / agility.

The help file does say that desert elves tend to be more muscular and leaner than city elves ... dunno how heavily that carries over into the code.

There's a particular bow that requires above average human strength, good desert-elf strength, and extremely good or exceptional city-elf strength. I've also noticed a significant difference in combat damage and carrying capacity. Are you talking out of experience/knowledge or just assumption?

Morgenes

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Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2009, 09:43:13 AM »
Quote
But my guess is that a desert-elf fairs about the same when it comes to combat.

Actually, this is a common misconception. Desert-elves are significantly stronger and tougher than city-elves - quite close to humans, I'd say.

This is 100% incorrect.

Desert Elves and City Elves have the same strength / agility.

The help file does say that desert elves tend to be more muscular and leaner than city elves ... dunno how heavily that carries over into the code.

There's a particular bow that requires above average human strength, good desert-elf strength, and extremely good or exceptional city-elf strength. I've also noticed a significant difference in combat damage and carrying capacity. Are you talking out of experience/knowledge or just assumption?

I can't find a help file or web page doc that describes desert elves to be more muscular or leaner than city elves.  Please post the specific quote you are talking about so that it can be fixed.  Per the documents, elf and desert elves have the same range of strength.

Quote from: Races doc on website
... As compared to humans, elves have a higher agility (on average), and a somewhat higher wisdom. Due to their light build, though, they are generally less strong and sturdy than humans.

I will also point out this note in the help docs:

Quote from: help elf
Notes:
   Elves are not strong -- in comparison to most of the other humanoid
races of Zalanthas, they are quite weak.  They possess other abilities
to compensate.  If you are not happy running a character that is
physically weak, you are advised not to choose this race.
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jstorrie

  • Posts: 4564
Re: City-elf problems and possible solutions
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2009, 10:04:39 AM »
Elves are fine, and the only thing I'd think of giving city elves is a bit of urban hide/sneak as a racial skill.