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Thread: Dragon Cults need more flavor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Dragon Cults need more flavor

    It seems to me that all of the Dragon Cults in game are for the most part very interchangeable and don't seem to represent the ideals of their Blood Storm gods very well. Every single storyline involves the cults trying to find and free their Dragon god. Okay, that's great, but nearly quest is so dull and uninspired that they lack any kind of character. Looking at the Dragon Cults themselves it seems like there is a lot of room to really give them personality and flavor, but right now it seems like the developers missed the boat and didn't do so.

    Take Akylios for example. He is the Dragon god of secrets and magic. His whole mythos revolves around uncovering dark secrets and granting power at the expense of sanity. Yet none of his followers exhibit these traits. None of them really act eccentric. You can almost cut and paste the dialogue from any Abyssal member with any other Dragon Cult. Shouldn't they be obsessed raving individuals with moments of cryptic lucidity? Isn't that what Akylios represents? The only storyline that even remotely touches on this is the Lakeshore quest line in Freemarch which feels like a Lovecraft reference more than anything else. Where are the crazy mages driven mad by his whispers? Where are the dark sacrifices to the hidden things in the deep? It seems like Akylios is just a generic evil who happens to like the water.

    The Endless Court is probably the best example of a Dragon Cult, but only because they represent a generic and greater evil anyway. It's easy for them to just be a "kill them all!" kind of villain since they worship Regulos.

    The Wanton had a nice set up in Rock Ridge, but with no real explanation or development it feels like there was more that could have been added. Where is the representation of Maelforge's cyclical nature? It's all burn burn burn, but none of the Wanton storylines ever mention how they want the world to regrow afterwards to do it all over again. There's no insight into the absolute fanatical nature that they should possess.

    Greenscale's minions are also disappointing. The Aelfwar are cool and they clearly want to release Greenscale, but what about the aspects that Greenscale represents? Shouldn't they hate the Defiant above all else since they rely on machinery and man-made machines? Are they not the pinnacle offense to Greenscale's vision of a natural (and deadly) Telara? And what about the eternal hunt and struggle for survival that the Plane of Life supposedly embodies? None of that trickles out into the story lines you see in Scarwood.

    Crucia's minions suffer a similar problem. Iron Pine Peaks gets close, but doesn't quite hit the mark. You get to hear from NPC's about how the Storm Legion takes over people to join them, but it never really attaches you to the story. It would have been nice to follow an NPC's sibiling or love one and see them get turned into a cultist over the course of the zone's storyline. Another example where the lore just didn't make it to gameplay are the Storm Legion Mercenaries in Shimmersand. Why does the Storm Legion have mercenaries in their employ when every Storm Legion member is part of their hive collective? Shoudldn't they just be warriors? I know it is just semantics, but to me it just highlights the disconnect between the world they tried to create and the world they wrote in the lore.

    All in all it would be nice if the Dragon cults got some more flavor and personality in them. I can't help but feel that right now they are all so similar and generic that it's difficult to tell the Dragons apart. The Dragon cults all represent some really cool ideas on paper, but I feel like Trion missed the mark on translating them into the game.

  2. #2
    Sword of Telara
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    I agree, particularly on Crucia. Now, the "mercenaries" thing I can kind of see, if they hired some dudes and eventually Crucia would bring them into the fold on a more... permanent level, but the regular cultists still seem very individualistic. It would have been creepy as HELL to see most of them walking around in complete silence, and the majority of their communication being directed towards you. Preferably in groups of three or more, with them all speaking at the same time. And if you voice acted it, had a distant echo in their voice.

    When I read the lore for Crucia, I was like "holy CHRIST that is creepy". And when I got to Ironpine it wasn't... nearly as potent as my first impression had been.

  3. #3
    Plane Walker Sebiale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    I haven't played through the entire game yet, but from what I've seen so far, I would agree as well. It seems that the cults often lack anything beyond their physical themes to truly distinguish them. Still, this seems like something that would require a major overhaul of game components to correct, so I'm not sure how they'd implement it. I'd be happy if they could at least alter the quest lines to give them some of the cult's "flavor" but if they could somehow modify the invasions as well to give a similar effect, that would be awesome.
    Again though, this seems like a massive undertaking, I wouldn't expect anything until an expansion at the least.
    Last edited by Sebiale; 06-11-2011 at 09:15 AM.
    Akylios, the Profane: "is beyond understanding. The living interest him because the tortured howls of races sound almost like music. He does not seek victory over men any more than the ocean strives against the land. One day he will simply wash all mortals away just to hear them scream their silly symphony. He was mad even before he learned all fears and secrets. There are no words for what Akylios is now."

    Laethys, Queen of Avarice: "The Gold Dragonís flesh flows like molten metal, and diamonds are her eyes. The riches of worlds will fall through her clutches, and she will never have enough while anyone else has anything at all. Laethys will feast atop a pile of famished wretches. All will adore her alone, and she will never give them quite enough."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    You make a pretty lengthy case here, but I agree. For all their importance and ties with other pieces of lore, they really do just seem like a camp of anti-cult enthusiasts in the middle of a desert. They (among others) could benefit from having a sigil, for a start.

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