gaslamp theme

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gaslamp theme

Postby Xyra » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:38 am

So, I'm still very new, only been playing a week or so, but one of the things that drew me to the game was mention of gaslamp, along with western frontier. But honestly I don't get that feel very much from the game. I've read some of the lore for the game, and see how it is mentioned there. The Grummer being a virtual steampunk city from what I can see, the Rhuidim using magic powered mechanical automatons, and I'm sure plenty of others that I haven't seen. Similar the entire Lost Lands are essentially a frontier compared to the more civilized homelands.

Right now, from my perspective (and I remind you I'm new, so I may be missing out on some things) the only gaslamp thing about the game is the handful of firearms we have access to, and possibly the clothes, we do seem to be quite nicely dressed.

Similar the frontier part is more something I hear about than experience. There doesn't seem to be anyone clearing forests for a new town, roads abound and seem very highly guarded to important locations, towns seem to have everything someone might want. Apparently the map is changing to reflect new things being discovered and such which is cool, but overall it lacks the feel to me.

So overall it feels largely like a fantasy game that has decided to include guns. Please don't get me wrong here, I enjoy the game from what I've played so far. I think the skill system is cool, the RP is fun, and overall it's a great game. I'd just love to see those other two themes addressed a bit more. Where is the inventors guild that builds little mechanical minions to assist them? Where are the homesteads far from civilization trying desperately to eke out an existence? Perhaps the starting towns are supposed to be this, but from what I've seen they all have everything they need, and aren't particularly reliant on or desperate for anything.

So, sorry if this sounds like nothing but a big complaint, and maybe to some degree it is, but I do want to balance it out by saying I do enjoy the game very much regardless, I'd just love to see the non-fantasy themes embraced a bit more. Some mechanical trinkets would be cool, even if they don't do much/anything um... mechanically. Pocket watches, pneumatic picks, little farming bots, bombs, mechanical horses. I feel like there are a large number of things that could be added fairly easily that wouldn't change the game much, but would certainly invest in that feel quite a bit.

As for the frontiering aspect, I'd be neat if players could get together and build up a town. A collection of homes, private buildings like shops, etc. This would likely be a huge endeavor though, and perhaps not entirely practical given how easy it seems to be to get from town to town.

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Re: gaslamp theme

Postby Kunren » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:38 am

I like this. I like this a lot. Maybe there could be some sort of mechanic for clearing out a league or two of wilderness to build a player made "city" (lacking most every amenity the true cities have of course). Carpenters would become an essential, working on expanding these constantly. Even building the space for one would need two to three irk weeks to clear it, and would probably irritate the Gaia more than anything else. I'd love that. As for mechanical guild/doodads, yesh pls.
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Re: gaslamp theme

Postby Solaje » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:07 am

Good ideas, Xyra, and welcome to Clok!

I like that the mechanical aspect of Clok is minimal, but I'm sure that's a personal preference. I always imagined high-tech gadgets are rare in the lost lands because of the quarantine.

I'm just happy there are no people with wings and bug eyes in this game.

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Re: gaslamp theme

Postby Konrad » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:11 am

While I agree with some of the ideas posted here, I think we have to be realistic with what time and development allows. Everyone wants their own bit of the pie to be fun. But, I think there is a way for some of what has been suggested to take place, using assets already in place.

Xyra wrote:Right now, from my perspective (and I remind you I'm new, so I may be missing out on some things) the only gaslamp thing about the game is the handful of firearms we have access to, and possibly the clothes, we do seem to be quite nicely dressed.
I actually agree with this a bit, but, at the same time, it comes with the setting. The "setting" of the world might be Gaslamp. However, we are Currently in the Quarantine. It's basically a disaster zone where folks are struggling to survive. There is all sorts of wondrous things outside of the quarantine, but where we are has to make do with what we can get.

Xyra wrote:Similar the frontier part is more something I hear about than experience. There doesn't seem to be anyone clearing forests for a new town, roads abound and seem very highly guarded to important locations, towns seem to have everything someone might want. Apparently the map is changing to reflect new things being discovered and such which is cool, but overall it lacks the feel to me.
Perhaps it lacks the feel because players past and present have been working to better the towns they reside in in order to make them safe and secure, building them up and such. An example of this would be the Blacksmith Ardor making armor for the Mistral town guard. Resources are scare enough that new towns are not going to be popping up in these dangerous lands everywhere. But, perhaps you can get the feeling you looking for by investing yourself in a home in a small town, and working to make it a better place.

Xyra wrote:Where is the inventors guild that builds little mechanical minions to assist them?
The mechanical inventions you speak of are Nether animated constructs using a combination of sorcery and I think, Gruum technology. For the most part, most people distrust the nether at best, and fear it at worst. There is an artisans guild, but, the skill and resources to create such a construct, if one were of a disposition to create such a thing, are rare, expensive, and require a specialized skillset. Even if someone in the lands were capable of doing so, they probably would keep that skill to themselves. The lands are dangerous after all, and knowledge is power. If you expecting like little clokwork robots and steam powered gadjets, well, that seems a bit more steampunk, and not what the setting is aiming for.

Xyra wrote:Where are the homesteads far from civilization trying desperately to eke out an existence?
You travel around a bit you might run into some farms and other ruins of homesteads and the like, places that have not survived the onslaught of Infested, Canim, and worse.

Xyra wrote:Perhaps the starting towns are supposed to be this, but from what I've seen they all have everything they need, and aren't particularly reliant on or desperate for anything.
Then perhaps learning the history of the various cities would help. For example, Mistral Lake. Look around you. If you try to cross the bridge to the south of the town, you may notice there are guards preventing you from doing so, for your own safety! Curious indeed! It is also rumored that Haiban was constructed after a a fire of some sort destroyed the old Western Coalition headquarters! Rumors also say the Dweadyn Wyr are considering attacking the city for one reason or another. I wonder why? Or Shadgard, a city with it's own mysteries, which has suffered numerous attacks from the Corvus Outpost. Even going down the road to Shadgard one can witness the effects of those attacks. I dont know about you, but, the feeling of these towns speaks of a bit of desperation to me.

Xyra wrote:Some mechanical trinkets would be cool, even if they don't do much/anything um... mechanically. Pocket watches, pneumatic picks, little farming bots, bombs, mechanical horses. I feel like there are a large number of things that could be added fairly easily that wouldn't change the game much, but would certainly invest in that feel quite a bit.
Pocket watches should be a thing. Pneumatic picks? Maybe a bit much, sounds like you need a specialized skillset to even think about such a thing, let alone how would it be powered? Bots? Same thing, how would you power such a thing? seems a bit steampunkish to me. And the horses. Maybe you can find someone to craft a..nether powered mechanical horse. It would be undead, but, I mean, it's close enough. They might have such things in Tol Rhun! Dont mind the smell.

Xyra wrote:As for the frontiering aspect, I'd be neat if players could get together and build up a town. A collection of homes, private buildings like shops, etc. This would likely be a huge endeavor though, and perhaps not entirely practical given how easy it seems to be to get from town to town.
I think this is already a thing, for the most part. Players find themselves a town they like, buy a home, and can work on improving their home town in whatever way they see fit! STRENGTH IN UNITY!


I hope I've been able to show you how some of the things that you have suggested are already in place within the game! As for some of the other stuff, well, Ya just gotta keep in mind that while the rest of the world is awesome, the game itself takes place in a preatty crappy place to be. I hope you make the most of it!
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Re: gaslamp theme

Postby Bryce » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:19 am

Xyra wrote:possibly the clothes, we do seem to be quite nicely dressed.

It'd be nice if the fancier clothing had pricing and limited availability to reflect its rarity in our quarantined post-apocalyptic corner of the world. All the hoities want to look real purty, though, and easy access fancy clothing is a simple to way get happy players. We've got a now-established Trade Coalition these days, though, so I suppose the easy access can be considered a result of that.

Similar the frontier part is more something I hear about than experience.

Things have changed a lot from when it was just Shadgard and the wilderness. At this point we've got three (or four, if you count Corvus) major towns and a bunch of smaller hamlets, settlements, guild halls, and outposts dotting the wilderness, which does make the place lose a major chunk of the frontier vibe it used to have.

There doesn't seem to be anyone clearing forests for a new town

I think we've got too many already. Too many towns A) takes away from that wild, untamed frontier vibe and B) splits up the playerbase too much. Course, there's also that little problem that you try and start a new settlement and you're likely to get et by some canim, sacrificed by cultists, assimilated by infested, used as raw materials by nethrim, pillaged by brigands, driven off by Dunwyr, and so on and so forth. There are far more dangers in our little land than unhappy natives and wild animals.

roads abound and seem very highly guarded to important locations

An old kingdom used to exist here before it was plagued and fell into ruin, so that's where the roads come from. It'd be a nice touch if they were described as partially overgrown and things like that in places. The only guarded road I know of is the Ebon Pass leading to Haiban, and it's still a risk going through there. Those bandits are tough. There might be others at this point, but I haven't done a lot of traveling lately.

towns seem to have everything someone might want.

I like the idea of certain resources only being available in certain towns, or being far more expensive in towns where they aren't local resources. I think most people get uppity when they can't have their home town be a one-stop-shop-for-everything, though.

Apparently the map is changing to reflect new things being discovered and such which is cool, but overall it lacks the feel to me.

It does feel very populated and prosperous compared to the olden days when things were fewer, far between, and wilder, but that's progress for you. /lastcowboysong

Where is the inventors guild that builds little mechanical minions to assist them?

That'd need sorcery, and sorcerers can already make animates to assist them.

Where are the homesteads far from civilization trying desperately to eke out an existence?

Like Konrad said, there are evidences you can find of places where people obviously tried, but failed. Remember those canim, cultists, nethrim, brigands, and infested? And the fact that we're in a quarantine zone? Reckon there's a reason most people choose to band together in the major settlements instead of homesteading it on their own.

Perhaps the starting towns are supposed to be this, but from what I've seen they all have everything they need

Agree with you there, some of the towns feel really prosperous and wealthy at this point, rather than outposts in a dangerous crapsack quarantined world with more horrors than you can count on your fingers and toes. But again, that's progress for you. Over the years the players have done a lot to secure and provide resources, renovate, protect settlements under siege and secure their safety, and all that. The world you see before you is the reward for their efforts, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Progress and change means some of the old world and its feel is lost.

and [towns] aren't particularly reliant on or desperate for anything.

Too many damn heroes! Not a minute after a town communicates it's on hard times before a bunch of do-gooders (player characters) band together and get things taken care of quicker than you can bat an eye. Not a bad thing necessarily, but I figure that's why every town seems like it's doing just fine. They can't have problems or wants fast enough to keep up with the attentiveness of the players.

Pocket watches

They come up for sale now and again, they're just not sold off the shelf 24/7. I think that's a good thing, and preserves that feel you were wanting before. I've got a nice silver one.

little farming bots

Bots don't really fit here, like mentioned before something automated would need sorcery for its AI and then it'd be more of a golem or construct or ghoul or something.

bombs

Some makeshift explosives have been used a time or two (I did once, it was fun), but if explosive devices become common, I think that'd be a bad floodgate to open as far as the tech level.

mechanical horses.

Again, sorcery. And then, like Konrad said, you're gonna need a power source. Unless you're a sorcerer or have a lot of sorcerer friends, that monstrosity ain't gonna last long.

As for the frontiering aspect, I'd be neat if players could get together and build up a town. A collection of homes, private buildings like shops, etc. This would likely be a huge endeavor though, and perhaps not entirely practical given how easy it seems to be to get from town to town.

Yeah, we already got tons of towns and outposts all over a this point. Do we need any more? Who's going to run things while the player characters are away? What's stopping a bunch of local badguys from overrunning the place? Would NPCs have reason to and be willing to move there? What would the playerbase gain from it? Would it be worth the cost (yet ANOTHER location to split up the already thin-spread playerbase)? I'd rather have more opportunities to participate in the development of existing towns, like the donations and work projects for Haiban and Shadgard.

But yeah, overall I can agree the game doesn't have as much of a gaslamp or frontier (anymore) feel to it. I do miss the olden days when everyone was united in one town and worked together instead of everyone wanting their own slice of the world to themselves to do their own thing, but don't mind me, I'll just be playing a lonesome tune on my harmonica over at the Hearth & Home.
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Re: gaslamp theme

Postby Lysse » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:40 am

I think the introduction of some simple, but nice, bits of artificery can make the game seem more appropriately gaslamp. But the issue tends to be, if you (for instance) add in clock tower to one place, that has a nice fancy mechanism room full of gears and doohickies, then the people in other towns might get jealous, and decide they want one too. And so then you have a clock tower (for this hypothetical scenario) in every town. Well, now that everyone has this nice and shiny thing, other players would think it's neat to create conflict by wrecking them up. Which either requires Staff Intervention, or specialized mechanics put in place. And then, once Conflict has happened, you'll need to cater to those that would want to fix the Clocktowers.


What I'm basically saying, is that while the game COULD do with neat things like that, which add thematic depth to the game, it can also end up creating more work for the already thinly stretched Staff, and that's something to consider. Like, I'd argue that it'd be really, really, REALLY cool and in theme for there to be some rich fellow in Mistral or Haiban that owned a steam powered boat. But adding that in could create more problems, versus the Cool RP stuff it adds in.
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Re: gaslamp theme

Postby Bryce » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:44 pm

A new craft profession to produce small scale things might work. Pocketwatches, clocks, music boxes, wind-up toys, and things like that. But I think most people want things like automata (robots), clockwork crossbows, powered tools and armor, steam wagons and tanks, and stuff that would be too powerful if they were able to be produced by players at their whim. Then our technology level and tools have advanced too far and our lower-tech things that we currently use daily and have been balanced to work well in the game will be worthless.

The really big problem is that we're not in Grum, and on top of that, we're in the Quarantine. Nobody's invented the Internet yet, so our accessible knowledge base is seriously limited. I doubt they toss many brilliant clockwork geniuses into the Quarantine. People with that level of knowledge and skill are far too valuable to get rid of, turn loose, or let escape. And why would someone with that skillset voluntarily enter the Quarantine and give up all their resources, labs, colleagues, libraries, and so on? It would make for a great temporary event sometime, like a clockwork genius is on the run from his crazy homicidal competitor and escapes to the Lost Lands and makes some cool stuff players can witness and maybe even use and keep, but eventually the guy leaves or gets removed somehow. But it makes sense that we don't see clockwork stuff all over the place in the Lost Lands. It's a highly specialized and rare skill that requires knowledge and resources that are far beyond the reach of our area. So, when it does show up, it can be really amazing and powerful and crazy, but be temporary and limited in its supply.
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