Wardens in 2020

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BlackWaltzes
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Wardens in 2020

Post by BlackWaltzes » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:48 am

Is there any way to learn more about them? I asked around and nobody is sure if any Wardens are still active players. Thanks!

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Nobody » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:05 am

I know at least one, but haven't felt up to playing my warden, sorry!

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BlackWaltzes
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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by BlackWaltzes » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:32 pm

How about just for a little while? Just long enough to bring my self-sufficient wildling into the fold? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? :D

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Ruta » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:21 am

I've never been able to get a straight answer about what this guild is or how to learn more about it. Last time I asked, I got some vague information about them being druids interested in the gaea who RP rituals a lot, and got a link to a website with RL pagan spells and rituals, which was weird. From what I've seen IG they seem to be fortune tellers of some kind? Their page on the wiki is still a broken link. I'm already in a guild and not interested in joining this one, I just think it's weird that they seem so resistant to others learning anything specific about them. Seems like a very exclusive group not interested in outsiders. More of a secret pagan witch coven than druids as we know them in CLOK.

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Uyoku » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:41 am

Without going into too much detail, the Wardens of the Grove are a group of druids that focus on the wilds and the land and use their connection to Gaea in this way to care for it and heal it, unlike the Udemi whose goal is combat against the Resen and use what they have learned to combat th ethreat and take care of the lands. Udemi split their focus between these things while the Wardens primarily focus on herb lore, the land, druidry and teaching others as well as providing services with their knowledge.

This group has grown and changed since its creation as the original GM in charge of it is no longer on the team and no notes were left behind in their wake.

The Wardens are more non-combat, however they are not at all pacifistic in any way, but combat is not the focus.

This is a RP heavy group that takes time, dedication and patience to join because frankly, it is a slow burn sort of group, it is for characters in the long term and not focused on grinding skills by any means.

The Wardens used to be focused more on secrecy, however some of that is changing, however, there are some particular guild secrets that will never be shared openly. It is based on old world druids as they existed at one time, however this isn't quite the case, there has been some inspiration taken from them, however it is not meant to exactly resemble any real life form of Paganism in anyway, though it does have some influence.

I apologize to anyone who has found any information about this group hard to find, it is not meant to have a huge amount of members, but it is not meant to be so closed in that information about what they do is impossible to get.

As I stated before, this group has changed from what it was likely build as originally and changes and growth will continue to happen. Right now we unfortunately don't have regular Wardens playing, however, if you make your interest known we may keep an eye out, but joining will take time, possibly months due to real life taking our time and as well because it is intended to take time. Many times we have people join only to leave once they've gotten bored because they cannot take how roleplay heavy the group is, so care is taken in choosing.

The Udemi and Wardens share some abilities, however, they have some that are specific to the Wardens that are more focused on Gaea, reading and healing the land. Other abilities may become available over time, this group is still quite new despite being around for a while. I do hope that more abilities can be added, but this will be a slow process.

I hope this has helped to clear up at least some confusion. As for the Wiki page, I realize it needs updating, I'll have to see about getting that done sooner than later to provide a clearer image of what the Wardens of the Grove are.
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Ruta
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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Ruta » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:08 pm

Thank you for some answers Uyoku.
Uyoku wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:41 am
Many times we have people join only to leave once they've gotten bored because they cannot take how roleplay heavy the group is, so care is taken in choosing.
I think being more open about what the guild is and what they are expected to do will go a long way to mitigating this kind of problem. If your guild is very secretive, people will want to join to learn what those secrets are. And if they don't like what they learn, they'll leave.

Is there any information you are able to give about what a warden of the grove would do in the day to day? Do they have tasks or ways to earn guildpoints? Do they actually have ways to perform healing for the gaea as mentioned, like spells they can cast, or is it all done through RP rituals pending GM response? Is that what is meant by slow burn? I'm not saying it's bad if it's the latter, only that it should be clear and up front so people know what to expect. You would hopefully have less turnover.

I am also still curious about the fortune telllings, are one of the warden exlcusive powers the ability to use druidry for divination? That was not an aspect of druidry I was aware of until this guild. I could see this being useful for Udemi in fighting resen, a way to have quickened response reflexes with brief glimpses into the future, like a Jedi?

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by BlackWaltzes » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:56 pm

Thank you for this insight.

I think I may be a "I want to have my cake and eat it too" player. I am definitely a fan of RPI muds, but it's a game and I want robust game mechanics to back it up. I've played (or I should say sampled) some muds with tons more players, but they are mostly grind bots with generic systems and settings, so it all seems pointless to me. Your not really engaging in anything, just running your processor for its own sake.

Conversely, Snowpine lodge is a good example. Thematically, it fits with my natural living bushcraft character, but there's no mechanical benefits to do so, so I wouldn't join that guild. Between snowpine and Udemi, at least with the Udemi I will get archery perks, stealth boosts, and Druidry to open up more gameplay options to me (as I am here to play a game, not just LARP).

I am the type of player that does develop elaborate concepts for characters, but I also fit that within the framework of the system. Making a survivalist druid in Clok? Sure. Doing the same in a mecha rpg? Even if the GM let it slide, the system (whatever it is) likely wouldn't.

If the Wardens had a wiki page, it would help tons. Then we could know how a character concept would fit in the game both thematically and mechanically. I think it's especially important for this guild being that it's an invite-only guild so finding warden players active and online are few and far between.

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Maina » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:45 pm

Uyoku wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:41 am
Many times we have people join only to leave once they've gotten bored because they cannot take how roleplay heavy the group is, so care is taken in choosing.
Going to be maybe a little too blunt here:

I am taking a break from CLOK (and my Warden) not because the Wardens are too RP-heavy, but because there were no other Wardens around to roleplay with and no (responsive) GMs to enable achieving any of a variety of RP-oriented goals I had been putting requests in for. I recently checked on the game and my request related to some Warden RP we had been attempting as a group, placed there weeks before taking a break, had not moved a spot on the request queue. I understand staff is limited and busy, but when I can't RP with other Wardens (because they're all also taking a break from those characters) and can't drive Warden-based RP on my own (events take a lot of time and effort to plan and run, especially alone, and GMs don't seem available to help pursue other plots, which - again - is understandable), it's very discouraging.

That's not to say I've quit CLOK. I do plan on being back, eventually. But for me, it was a lack of RP. Not RP being too heavy. I had little to do but grind.
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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by BlackWaltzes » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:13 pm

Maina wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:45 pm
That's not to say I've quit CLOK. I do plan on being back, eventually. But for me, it was a lack of RP. Not RP being too heavy. I had little to do but grind.
I do think that's a good point. An RPI mud does require either more administrative involvement or more agency provided to the players. For the former, it's tough since this is a side hobby for most devs, so I'm sure it's hard for them to have the time for it. The latter can be quite dangerous, or at least a lot of work to check out players that can handle the responsibility (though based on rep, I would think you and Aleari have earned your stripes). I think Sindome is a perfect example of a mud that does RPI and does it horribly in every single way. Clique-ish admins who ignore most players, an abundance of toxicity in the community, straight up lies from the devs about what is actually in the game. I think running RPI is tough to do well for something that is a hobby.

But, this is why I look for coded content of emergent complexity in a game. If nobody else is on, I still have something interesting to do and not just grind. If there are griefers and pkers, I can fly under the radar and do my own thing. If GMs aren't available to run events, there are other things to do to keep me busy. I don't mean to sound like a powergamer when I ask about the guild abilities/mechanics, but I want to know that if I'm the only person on I want to play with, I still have plenty to do. In truth, I'm the opposite of a power gamer, and tend to build characters that can do interesting things, not so much powerful things.

I think it would be great though, especially for a game like this, if it had a stronger RPI player base. As is, I mostly run into "merchant" PCs with the occasional Udemi. I think once the Py3 conversion and cloud migration is complete and the devs can work on content, there will be something new to brag about in promo and numbers will bump up. Here's to hoping! :)

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Alila » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:08 am

Hi,

While I generally try very hard to not be negative about things, especially in persistent forums or forum-like environments, I wanted to try and contribute a little to the warden--and maybe more generally, the smaller invite-only guild problem, of which the Wardens may be the most severe example:

The guild may be a heavily rp focused guild, but there simply are not the wardens to support it. Maybe there are other more personal reasons for a scarcity of them, but I spent a month very much feeling as if a warden hopeful was the primary reason wardens were occasionally available, and that was particularly unappealing and not fun to me, knowing that others were having less fun or felt as if there was an obligation to CLOK because of another character. It was fun for a time, and yes there is the very reasonable and valid argument that there is more to rp than joining a guild, but it is also incredibly demotivating feeling as if the only recourse to joining a guild that fits a character is to make someone feel in charge of you or never feel as if you are making meaningful progress toward a goal for reasons entirely out of ones control.

In theory there are gms. In practice, there are surely a hundred more important things they could and likely should be doing than monitoring the progress of a single player. Especially given they are also busy people, responsible for much more, and generally stretched thin enough as-is. This makes sense to me: gms should be prioritizing making everyone's time fun over making a single player's time fun, if that is the decision which needs to be made. Please do not feel as if the blame lies there.

The most frustrating aspect and a primary contributing factor to not speaking about it before, is because it feels like a very cyclical problem. The only thing more disappointing to me than risking discontent or someone being upset by trying to describe a problem is not having a solution to it. Wardens are a small, player-run guild which require players to induct other player; a general sentiment seems to be a lack of interest due to a lack of active and rping wardens, which leads to a lack of active wardens, which leads to a lack of warden hopefuls capable of joining the guild. There were certainly others who waited even longer--Shanah was active for maybe a month? And yes, there is the argument to be patient and a month is far from the longest someone has waited, but truthfully, playing a game should not be about feeling as if things are a chore to you or others. This need not be exclusive with a waiting period, either, only that the waiting period should not feel like a struggle for progress, or an obligation to other wardens. And not wanting to play a game because it no longer feels like a game and more like work is also entirely reasonable; please do not think the blame lies here, either.

Sorry to be so negative and potentially confrontational, that was most certainly not the intent. From the perspective of a reasonably? long-term warden in training, hopefully this helps someone or provides some insight somehow?

Thank you and sorry,
-Alila
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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Tangela » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:24 pm

In my experience playing a long-running warden, I'll echo many of the problems many have stated here.

I love that the wardens are an RP focused guild, but have found very often that after inducting players, they do tend to quickly disappear, meaning that new warden hopefuls still only have to go through me. I don't want to be a gatekeeper. I do want to make sure people know what they're getting into, but I've inducted at least 3 other members in the past 2 years, and still, when new hopefuls arise, I'm the only name that people know to get in contact with. I don't mind that, but it does potentially raise the question of if or when that won't be the case. People know me both in and out of character, because I've been playing for years. But I don't want to be, and shouldn't be, the only source for new warden hopefuls. That creates an unfair power imbalance and frankly, locks me into playing a particular character for months when interest, real life, mental health etc. don't always permit me to be as active.

Again, I love the wardens. I love what they represent and the niche they fill in clok. But having any one player as the only active voice for a guild is a lot and puts all involved in a really weird position.

The problems Maina mentioned are real ones. It is isolating when you're the only warden around, and I respect that. But at the same time, the wardens are by nature a small group, and the only way for that to change is to actively play people who can change that and recruit new people.

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by Tangela » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:41 pm

Regarding fortune telling, I don't think its a spoiler to say no, that's not an ability, its entirely a roleplay ability that you could use without being in a guild. Aleari has done it often enough in public places that it makes sense to me that would be at least semi-common knowledge. Just look up different divination methods to get some ideas and modify them for clok. I draw random carvings from a set, others have used stars, clouds, drawn sheets of bark, there really is a lot that can be done without abilities, and I would strongly argue that most of a Warden's utility outside of combat isn't ability related. I don't mind answering your other ability question but am not sure if I have permission to do so so will leave that to the gm to chime in on if she feels its appropriate.

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Re: Wardens in 2020

Post by BlackWaltzes » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:28 am

Tangela wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:24 pm
I love that the wardens are an RP focused guild, but have found very often that after inducting players, they do tend to quickly disappear,
I should mention that I've played this game a few times over the years. I haven't been back a long while this time, but I have seen a lot of player behavior and feel like I'm starting to get a good sense of things.

I think the secrecy of the Wardens and the contradiction in nature (no pun intended) with other groups contribute to this. This game may be RPI (though I would argue RPE), but it is also a game that people are playing. So not knowing what you codedly get, and being asked to sign on, can lead to mismatched expectations. My impression is that ability-wise, Wardens get druidry and not really much else. The rest is RP, and maybe a GM is available to facilitate and make it happen when it comes to bigger things. I mean, I could be wrong, but the vague allusions I've received from other players have left me with this impression.

The other part of it is that I could see a player getting frustrated with the Wardens because they seem to have no place in this game. While the guild has an opportunity to have a more complex relationship with the world (in both character and gameplay), very few other guilds have the same. Based on what I've seen, the orientation of the other guilds pretty much boil down to:

Artisans - Make stuff, sell stuff, rinse, repeat.
Brofist - punch stuff
Claw - kill stuff.....very quietly (assuming they actually exist)
Dwaedyn Wyr - Smash stuff with druidry
Elemancers - blow stuff up with magic
Harbringers - kill stuff and be scary about it, just for the sake of it
Mercs - Fight stuff, for money
Mummer - help other people kill stuff and then tell stories about it
Snowpine - you kinda get nothing for joining snowpine, pretty much just for RP
Udemi - Use druidry to kill stuff, specifically Resen, at any cost
Utasa - Urban spies, I guess, Not very similar to Udemi, but shoehorned in the same box because they also are single-minded about taking out resen. Not sure what the deal is with an intrigue-class though. All the resen I've seen are mindless hostile mobs. You don't need to be James Bond to suss that out.
Wyrvardn - Haven't seen one in game, but the wiki makes it seem like they just fight stuff for honor
Thieves - Mysterious thiefy stuff. Might be handy in an intrigue situation, maybe spy on other groups, but pretty much every other group has their cards on the table.
Templar - Like Utasa, but now we're single-minded about fighting netherim, a completely different mindless enemy.
Monk - Good news: There's a huge demand for your healing services because almost everybody else is basically about fighting stuff. Bad news: forced poverty. Good RP opportunity, but surrounded by hack-and-slashers.
Rook - Haven't met any. Haven't really figured them out. Strike me as necromancer-types, but not necessarily evil. Based on the wiki, their abilities seem to be pretty combat oriented.
Dunwyr - The first rule of Dunwyr is that we don't talk about the Dunwyr.

There isn't a whole lot of emergent complexity to the game and many groups are mutually exclusive in agenda. There's a lot of random lore that only serves to divide the player base by playstyle even further. You can argue that Templars and Udemi are quite similar, just of different flavors, for example. Player counts are too low (I think I've seen 14 at the highest) for much RP, so the more "successful", or at least active, players are the ones that are focusing on their grind (be it kills or riln). This can be a divisive. Grinding riln is ultimately a very individual activity. Even grinding kills can be. If I'm a Templar and your Udemi, we both may be on the hunt, but for different things.

Ok, now enter the Wardens. Here you are thrust into a world surrounded by other factions that are mainly oriented towards fighting, either for superficial reasons, or a superficial enemy. Other factions have their own agenda and are likely to be indifferent to the Gaea. So, Wardens have a few things stacked against them from the start. First, other factions are codedly wired to have not much going for them aside from grinding kills or riln. Second, players who are in these factions seem to be more likely to "RP" rationalizations for their grind, and less likely to be open to the Wardens' activities (which likely won't help their grind). Lastly, it's an RP-focused guild in a game with a low player count where the more active guilds are ability-oriented. Wardens don't get many abilities, their pull is RP-oriented and requires bringing people together in a game/play environment that doesn't really foster that.

I still haven't decided 100% which direction I'm going to go with my current character (and one direction may be to another MUD). I presumably have an upcoming IC conversation with another Warden that will help me make that call. But, at this point, without tightening up the lore and character archtypes and adding some more non-combat utility all around, I'm not super optimistic about Wardens being a viable option in Clok.

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