Feedback Request - City Elves

Started by Halaster, December 20, 2023, 09:04:37 PM

January 27, 2024, 02:58:24 PM #75 Last Edit: January 27, 2024, 03:47:29 PM by Dresan
Let me preface this by saying I have loved playing elves. I love city elves in the same way I love hard or hardcore settings in games or self-imposed challenges that merely make things a bit more interesting for myself.

I have had a couple some successful city elven characters; they achieved a lot, contributed a lot to the game/players and gave me a fun experience beginning to end. That said, had I played absolutely any other race with the same amount of effort, I would have achieved more, contributed way more to the game/players and would have had many more interesting RP experiences.

City elves have a lot of problems, and those problems are mostly due to poor design decisions regarding their RP documentation and to a much lesser extend the code that is there to support them. Again this is not to say they aren't fun or interesting, but other than adding more race choice in creation, you can quite easily get the same if not more from your gaming experience from just about any other race.

City elves are centered around thievery, one of the most hated mechanics in the game and one of the most dangerous and hard to pull off with IC RP with often knee jerk reactions from the people after losing any minor digital asset on their character. They have trust issues, but once they trust or are part of a tribe, its almost as good as gold.  We also have their issues with riding. And finally the opportunities they have in the IC world as city bound characters.  While some people here might come in and try to dissect and add more nuance and explanations or their own view points to elven race RP, at the end its just needlessly complicated compared to any of the other choices that allows more player freedom to play how you want. Additionally, none of these RP features of their race add any value to either the player or the game other than being an interesting challenge.

From an RP perspective, you can easily play a human or half-elf the same way you do an elf  and you would end up with much more for a lot less. Half elf hate experience is superior to elven hate, and you are still  able to join and participate much more easily with other groups and clans. The recent combat code changes have made elf low strength much more playable. But the overall IC world doesn't support city elves in any meaningful way that warrants all the challenges imposed on them. Most people screamed out about having an elf only clan but I never really supported this view, its just another way to shoehorn the race into a specific way of play. Especially since this was ignoring the fact that elves aren't able to effectively enjoy the few clans they are able join due to their excessive RP restriction. It also ignores the fact that cities offer so few opportunities for city elves unlike other city bound races in terms of advancement or just RP involvement. 

I think the race RP documentation needs to take a step back to allow players to be as creative with city elves as they can with other race. Other races have quirks but they are simple and easy to understand,  City Elf RP documentation needs to be simplified. If you decide to impose a restriction on a race, like you do with elf with aversion to riding as an example, you need to take a good look at the world and player habits and see how that really effects the experience. For example, the documentation could have been modified slightly to elves are proud of their legs prefer to walk and move on their own two feet whenever possible and dislike riding a top other beings. They do become uncomfortable on wagons and much more so on silt skimmers, but standing on their feet helps with this discomfort. Then you look at the IC world and say, perhaps the code should support elves should be able to run on roads outside of cities as well.

Again that alone, would keep the spirit of city elves while opening up many more RP opportunities. Many other aspects of elven culture could be reviewed in similar ways but the game for years has flat out said no, then proceeds to refuse to provide any additional code or RP incentives to play city elves. After all you can run around the city as a human too, its just a minor difference that almost never adds anything.  Again interesting challenge, but it comes at the cost of the overall RP experience for the entire game, you can't blame people for not being masochists all the time. 

Quote from: Dresan on January 27, 2024, 02:58:24 PMThen you look at the IC world and say, perhaps the code should support elves should be able to run on roads outside of cities as well.

Now that's an idea I really like.
"I agree with Halaster"  -- Riev

February 03, 2024, 11:47:32 AM #77 Last Edit: February 03, 2024, 02:55:08 PM by Dresan
This is an unpopular opinion, but in an ideal world where acquiring 1 karma is an automated process after 3 or so months of playing, I would recommend making city elves a 1 karma race.  I know this is partially mitigated now for brand new players choosing their first race, but it really isn't enough. Its really a demerit to a healthy game population and to the player's experience for anyone, let alone a newbie to play a city elf in their current state. If they brought in line with desert elves in terms of karma, it would be much easier situation to resolve. Again, I know this is an unpopular idea, so I digress.

While being able to run on roads would be a good quality of life change, it doesn't address the problem of city elves character having a challenging time integrating with the rest of the player base.

In order to resolve this, these are the changes I would recommend exploring:

  • Remove unnecessary and detrimental complexity from the race RP. In particular thievery aspect of city elves. Which removes more opportunities and gameplay possibilities then it adds
  • Provide coded support to city elves so they can better participate in group activities outside of city walls. More on that below.
  • Do not start more city elf clans/tribes instead allow them to join existing clans or tribes where possible such as salarr, kadius, crimson winds bringing them a bit more in line with half-elf and dwarf options for clans

Elf travel outside of cities should support their participation in events with other races/clans, but not allow solo or even city elven group wilderness exploration (this is desert elf domain).

Some ideas would be:
  • Allow city elves to run well on roads and decently on rougher paths
  • Allow city elves to run decently on well known travel routes between civilization points.
  • Allow city elves to run well alongside(follow) wagons, and decently behind medium/large mounts such as beetles/inixes. Again only when following, it isn't their thing to be leading/guiding in this environment.
  • Allow elves to run decently in rooms with fresh or recent tracks of medium/large animals or mounts

These following thoughts are much less important and can be ignored as my own personal bias and preference. That said, I have sometimes imagined that the old north road, between allanak and luirs, even in its broken state with huge sink holes dividing it could be used by city elves as almost a super highway. A long distance marathon where they would put their agility, climbing, acrobatics and even combat/stealth skills to the test by getting running through it in the same way that moving through rooftops feels in allanak...except with much more possibility of death or ambush. In my mind, city elves should be at home in civilized and urban terrains, but should be fairly nomadic within their tribes and value the ability to move between these civilized hotspots, some more than others but the majority would have no loyalty or citizenship to any one town or city. They should be quick to adapt to any place through language or accent, but marking of citizen ship such as tuluki tattoos should be abhorrent to the elves as riding. 

Allowing c-elves into certain clans/roles. It makes no sense to me that the city states don't utilize them as assassins, considering they already do that in the alleys, just much more expensively. Pretty certain even if only 1% of the AOD were elves that'd still be pretty useful to the Templarate.

Also a commoner-side elf only clan in Allanak would be excellent. As far as making the play more interesting, giving them the same stamina benefits as D-elfs only seems fair after the change, though if we're sticking to our guns on that one, something that they are flatly better at than delfs. Currently the only things celfs are good at is very situational, and I get that the idea is to force players to operate in the cities, but I feel like that should be RP enforced or something. No other race gets this weird handicap. It should be made up for with some other boon or removed entirely.

Clan wise, elves are far more interesting when they're pretending NOT to be templarate dogs. Give them a reason to exist, self-sufficiently (as a family) that doesn't involve outright stabbing and thieving. This is where the Akai Sjir (ever)shine. They have goals and skills and connections that are not outwardly "We kill for Tuluk".

Non-rinth elves should have access to something, even if its a copy of Akai Sjir stoneworking or some other creation/crafting bend due to their agility. Or even a family of Creatives who do stonework, claywork, and paintings and if you want a portrait done RIGHT, you get it done by the Akai Pain-tirs
Quote from: IAmJacksOpinion on May 20, 2013, 11:16:52 PM
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

February 27, 2024, 06:27:59 AM #80 Last Edit: February 27, 2024, 06:34:29 AM by NinjaFruitSalad
City elves need to not be shoehorned into the roles of thieves and assassins. In fact, the racism, while I'm sure it is still prevalent, needs to be toned down so that c-elves can participate in social events and join other guilds and organizations. Since they make up such a high percentage of the population, it makes absolutely no sense that they ALL are thieves and are unproductive leeches on society. Even the claim that a majority of them are thieves and assassins does not hold water. There are many elf npcs that are not thieves - be they beggars, merchants, or even guards. Yes, I have seen many a elven guard in Luir's and Red Storm. There's no reason they can't belong in the Allanak militia, aside from extreme, undue racism. There are also countless vnpcs that are never seen, but should be implicitly imagined. No one's stuff is randomly disappearing around these ghosts for no reason, but curiously enough, with all the elves on the streets going about their day to day affairs, only the PC elves get singled out, bullied, and threatened.

However, as things stand, there are very few productive opportunities available to c-elves, thus thieving is the most lucrative thing they can do. The prior fact means that other players of course distrust them, and this furthers the racism and reason to exclude c-elves from other clans and events. This is like a chicken and the egg problem and the cycle simply needs to stop. So I propose this change to lore:

Long ago, after the great catastrophe which caused much of the world to turn into wasteland, elves with nowhere else to go had to crowd into the cities with humans. They mostly kept to themselves in their own tribes, but seeing as the other races were outsiders and did not deserve honor, they were very prone to stealing. Eventually, the thieving turned into blood feuds and outright racism and there was a civil war and genocide. In the end, only the more cowardly elves remained, who submitted to the more dominant humans, or they fled into the wastes, and their descendants became the desert elves.

Very harsh laws were enacted in the city which brutally and mercilessly punished any elves caught stealing. And so it was, over time, the thousands of years or so since then and to the present, elves still remain quick and agile, and they could certainly be good at stealing, and often times they are stereotyped as thieves. However, not all elves are thieves. In fact, very few are because the laws are so harsh against elves that being caught stealing is often times a fate worse than death. Thus, those few daring thieves truly are committing acts of defiance and bravery.

So to summarize elves:
-mounts: still reluctant to use mounts, but does so when duty requires, and are always eager to show off their athleticism
-honor and tribalism: still very much a theme. hard to earn trust, but when earned it's for life
-still very fast and good at stealing. The best thief potential in the game!
-punishments for elves who are caught stealing are much steeper than for other races.
-Thieving is still considered an act of bravery, but definitely not commonplace. Many elves might be considered cowardly. Even some of their PCs!
-clans: can join a wide variety of clans and professions, but seeing as their loyalty is first to their tribe, and some profiling, not likely to get promotions
-racism: if belittling others and making their day miserable is your highlight of the evening, it still exists! Just in the form of social inequity, not a hard "all elves are thieves and are subhuman garbage"

Lastly, seeing how important tribes are to elves, c-elves should have some options to spawn into the game as part of a clan, much like how the desert elves have clans. If you want character creation to be more stringent and handpicked and require karma like how it is for d-elfs, I can totally understand that. But since tribes are so important and integral to their identity, they need that support structure. Alternatively, with far less requirements, players can still roll up a lonefoot c-elf.

February 29, 2024, 12:01:57 AM #81 Last Edit: February 29, 2024, 09:59:09 AM by Dresan
Quote from: Halaster on February 02, 2024, 11:54:07 PM
Quote from: Dresan on January 27, 2024, 02:58:24 PMThen you look at the IC world and say, perhaps the code should support elves should be able to run on roads outside of cities as well.
Now that's an idea I really like.

I see this has been implemented. I just wanted to mention that its really an excellent change and I am looking forward to playing an elf again when season one starts. I feel this makes city elves equally viable in the north, allowing them going between Luirs and Tuluk with a bit more ease. Since in the south elves already had access to Allanak, Rinth and Redstorm without too much effort.

What I would implore staff to review at this point is the old north road pathways between Allanak and Luirs , its untraversable by mount but considering the descriptions of elves jumping from one building to another, its feasible to think there might be a way for elves with enough run/climb to get through that gauntlet.

Again city elves dont have access to city content and opportunity like humans(ex. Aides) or even the other races. As well as the difficulty of travel prevents them from fully enjoying the content open to other races that can ride. All their coded bonus and rp quirks are double edged sword which can make their lives more challenging in some case or are useless in others.

I dont know if its a little cliche but i feel like being highly resistant to all magick should be an elf thing. At the very least resistances against supernatural abilities targetting their minds or trying to disable their ability to run/function in any way. Yet according to helpfiles it seems dwarves get high magick resistance on top of poison resistance. That dwarf love is enviable.

I've said this before but we need integration not segregation, Elves might still need a bit of an overhaul in regards to documentation but the idea should be to allow them to better integrate into the existing clans. Half-elves can join legionnaires, and racism in this scenario adds a wonderful spice to the experience.  With a few small changes to documentations elves could potentially join more existing clans too.

Overall though I used to play city elves before any of the quality of life changes they've been able to benefit from recently including agility/strength changes and I manage to enjoy the experience even back then. I am definitely looking forward to trying it out now.