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Thread: Idea - Zereph Faction

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    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Default Idea - Zereph Faction

    I was going to post this in another thread, but I consider it off-topic enough that it needs its own thread. I DO NOT want to talk much about gameplay elements, but I do want to hear people's opinions on this highly hypothetical idea, how it fits in the story, and even how you might go about implementing a third faction, and/or the return of Zereph in Rift.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Zereph is just about the only truly sensible character (or at least '100% good') in Rift, so of course he had to die.

    I almost wish that there comes to be 3 factions (after many, many plot events and disillusionment by Asha towards the Defiant):

    1)Asha & Ghost Zereph - A United Telara

    Strengths - They offer unification between all Telaran factions, just like in the Blood Storm War. They realize that peace cannot happen between the Guardians and Defiant, so they offer a middle path to any who come in peace.

    Weaknesses - Their tactics don't exactly fit this 'New Blood Storm War', and in fact prove weak against the overwhelming presence of the cultists, on top of their own low resources and manpower. The Vigil doesn't fully support them, yet, but they venture to offer a slight amount of cautious assistance. Magitech scientists join them, but most have been brought to more solidly support Orphiel. Anti-Vigil hardliners also stick strictly with Defiants. Anti-Magitech hardliners stick strictly with Guardians. Orphiel laments turning against his spiritual daughter, but a < plot event > occurs that shows that he thinks he has no choice. Sylver has issues as well. Cyril angsts over Zereph refusing to follow the Guardians and even condemning Guardian agression after the Fall of Port Scion, so he sadly allows violent action against this new faction, eventually declaring them terrorists and a threat to Telara.

    2)Cyril, Borrin, Shyla (assuming she doesn't go all corrupted or something) - Guardians

    Strengths - They still have the blessing of the Vigil, and a truly thoughtful long-view plan. As time has went on, they also find more allies and more openings through the Ward to shine the Vigil's power through. The have also collected enough to have an army solidly in place (think the expansion of Stormwind over time in WoW), and are fully prepared to be invaded, and certainly to invade the planes themselves.
    (Possible New Race - a new planar or far off Telaran race. IMO a 'demon' race that comes to embrace the Vigil would be amazing to witness, and cause both tensions and positive dynamics in years to come)

    Weaknesses - They are torn by Zereph's actions, and lose some moderates to this rebel faction. As a result, the Guardians become increasingly more strict and even fanatical, with people like Brother Jebiah having much more say than he would otherwise. They lose key members of the Guardians, even Ascended, but also with the Vigil's help, encounter others (ahem new race?) that eventually stabilize the faction once again, into a more rounded and self-aware group.

    3)Orphiel, Sylver, Faceless Man, Anthosia, Rahn(spelling?), New Eth leader (big plot event which I won't bother thinking about)

    Strengths: They gain huge strides in sourcestone tech progress. Rahn takes up the martial element of the Defiant in place of Asha, as the bahmi story continues to develop. Orphiel also has many developments that shake up the entire faction, causing a minor exodus, but also for many Defiants to hold onto their allies even tighter than before, believing that Orphiel has a true plan to see them through to their golden age of peace and power. They still hold the increasing power to create a new paradise for all three races, and many become only more sure that this will happen, Kira and Uriel included.
    (Possible New Race - Robotic sourcestone constructs... far beyond anything seen before. They are tabula rasas, like newborns, except in adult bodies and the souls from the soulstream filling their consciousness. Just like the Guardian new race idea, this would allow an alternate starting zone)

    Weaknesses: Losing Asha brought a massive blow to morale that they have not nearly recovered from. Guardians begin a much more earnest agression as a result of events, and the Defiants find themselves only barely able to hold their lands. While on the other hand, they have gained much more of a fortified position (Freemarch overhaul anyone?), they could crumble at any moment. This does NOT mean they will, of course, but it brings back a sense of urgency and intensity for the faction that is kinda lost after Terminus. Faceless Man comes into direct conflict with Zereph for a so far unknown reason, and many moderate Defiants and scientists willing to co-operate with Vigil worshippers, sneak out of Meridian underground, in a United Telara Chronicle.

    I can dream... but hey, at least this stuff is conceivable, right?
    I just think that any return of Zereph should be a RBD (Really Big Deal, ha), and it's not like faction shakeups to this scale haven't happened to an MMO before. I also think that people wouldn't exactly flock to the new faction, as the other two will have enough interesting changes and progression of their themes that they will still remain compelling. Who wants to be the moderate peacekeepers under siege when they can be the holy warrior or defiant technomage, right?

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    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that this is not a story pitch, but just a first draft of ideas. I know most of these things will simply not happen.

    My only goals are to:
    a)get people thinking of how, in some way, Zereph could leave the Soulstream and how Telara would react
    b)get people, including maybe Trion, thinking of how this game can grow and not just stagnate through very minor events. Basically, imagination.

    Cheers ;)

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    Plane Walker
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    I like these ideas as well Maeloda :) new factions, what I would love to see as well, is that if new factions do come into play, that an option for all the race characters to begin as Neutral could be there as well, and a new series of quests given with choices and these choices could determine what faction you become. You could end up following Prince Hyla :) or following the Ember Scholars, or like you say Asha and Zereph.:)

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    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythue View Post
    I like these ideas as well Maeloda new factions, what I would love to see as well, is that if new factions do come into play, that an option for all the race characters to begin as Neutral could be there as well, and a new series of quests given with choices and these choices could determine what faction you become. You could end up following Prince Hyla or following the Ember Scholars, or like you say Asha and Zereph.
    Well Hylas is dead. And sadly, I don't think Trion is looking at the depth that either of us is considering.

    One difficulty is the way they placed characters in the game. Actually doing something to the scale of my idea would not just require a single zone change, but the entire game world. That leaves two overt options:

    1)Cataclysm - Redo the entire older game world. This wasn't done entirely well in Cataclysm, with some zones changed too much for little reason or appeal (Hillsbrad), and others changed too little (Arathi for example). There are only so many resources to do something like this - and then AGAIN you also have to make changes for the dungeons, many many quests, and so on. Asha in Deepstrike Mines? Lastly, it causes a great disconnect between the middle content (like Ember Isle would be at that point) and the launch content (updated mainland Telara). We saw it was kinda nice to witness in Cataclysm... but it also made things VERY jarring in the transition to Outlands and Northrend... just to return to Cataclysm Azeroth again.

    Solution: Don't know if there is one, other than moving the factions entirely to a whole new area (a new continent? or even a Plane? there are options, but difficult ones) with a new story. It worked well enough in Outland and Northrend, but it then fell apart a good bit once the developers decided to return to the main world mass and update the faction stories and world design. Good news is that there wouldn't be *that* much to change compared to WoW - many of the 'kill/collect 10's could stay fully intact, and even several of the main questlines (hag in Gloamwood, Jakub in Freemarch) could stay structurally intact, but nicely include new lore and in-game cutscene material to flesh it out. It CAN be done in Rift, but it would be significant project in all areas of development, and likely not in Trion's sights currently as they expend Telara itself, and possibly into the Planes. It appears they also enjoy creating linear questing content and that hasn't changed a ton in Ember Isle, so I don't expect a 'return to.. Stillmoor or somewhere, and save it' thing to happen again, outside of Chronicles and other instanced-type content.
    THAT said, Chronicles and other possible upcoming tools/features do allow Trion to advance the story in a given area for Lv 50+ characters. There are also several main areas that haven't been approached yet, like the Bronze Tomb being guarded by Abyssal for some reason, the dwarven Lord's Hall, the land to the west of Firesand, and the blocked off portion of Moonshade Highlands (northeast).

    2)Guild Wars 1 - Just wipe everything away and treat it as one big instance. This creates a 'new and updated Telara' with new everything, and lessons learned from the first 1-3 years of Rift. A player will still start where they start (Terminus/Mathosia, new starting zones remaining a possibility), and explore Telara, but eventually reach an 'epic conclusion' that advances the whole world forward.

    Solution - This works well enough for such a largely instanced game as GW1, and possibly even for a game with the tools that GW2 may have, but Rift doesn't have that. It focuses on open world content with many players, and seperating the playerbase so much is just silly - they have to have a limited number of zones due to world design.


    So again, Trion is limited in what to do. Everything in my first post is probably hypothetically possible and moves the story forward at some point, but it is a big task no matter which way they go about it. One thing is clear to me though - they have to significantly move forward within 1-2 years, in some form, in order to keep any one liking the lore interested.

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    Soulwalker
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    While this is a good idea, you have to keep in mind the things that Trion themselves have in mind. It's a common thing for developers to take to players suggestions, as many do with classes, but plot and storyline is so very hard to develop.

    You make good points about Cataclysm, however, I think the big thing with Cata was that there was already SO MUCH existing in that game as opposed to what there is here, it could be done here with far less problems in the timeline and phasing.

    However, I'm all for continued open ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeylor View Post
    While this is a good idea, you have to keep in mind the things that Trion themselves have in mind. It's a common thing for developers to take to players suggestions, as many do with classes, but plot and storyline is so very hard to develop.

    You make good points about Cataclysm, however, I think the big thing with Cata was that there was already SO MUCH existing in that game as opposed to what there is here, it could be done here with far less problems in the timeline and phasing.

    However, I'm all for continued open ideas.
    There's a reason why I didn't put this in the Suggestions forum.

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    Thanks to Cyril, I don't think your idea will ever have the opportunity to grow into fruition. Zareph's soul is lost to the soul stream thanks to Cyril's destruction of the Soul Cypher. There are only three characters even capable of retrieving him, and he's already stated that he doesn't really wish to return as a specter.
    Regardless of what happens, people will always be unhappy. Be thankful for what you have and always be constructive.
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    good or the best
    This quote offers insight into why there are so many perceived balance issues. To some, it doesn't matter how good something is; if it isn't the best, it isn't worth using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caydin View Post
    Thanks to Cyril, I don't think your idea will ever have the opportunity to grow into fruition. Zareph's soul is lost to the soul stream thanks to Cyril's destruction of the Soul Cypher. There are only three characters even capable of retrieving him, and he's already stated that he doesn't really wish to return as a specter.
    Come on, imagination! How stories are written!

    -He could be *forced* into the world, with enough power to manifest without devolving (like Eliam).
    -The Soul Cypher need not be the only method - just the only known method at the time.
    -Another whole scenario could allow another character to retrieve him.

    Just saying that the limits of a story are not as closed in as you seem to be hinting. Especially in a video game, things can come out of the blue and change things drastically, based on either plot progression of gameplay purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeloda View Post
    Keep in mind that this is not a story pitch, but just a first draft of ideas. I know most of these things will simply not happen.

    My only goals are to:
    a)get people thinking of how, in some way, Zereph could leave the Soulstream and how Telara would react
    b)get people, including maybe Trion, thinking of how this game can grow and not just stagnate through very minor events. Basically, imagination.

    Cheers ;)
    Zeraph is free of the soul stream. Alsebeth has released him per the chronicle. He also likely defeats her because for giggles I re-entered 5 minutes later. She was at 50% health and his had not budged. The question is how do we get him to leave RoS.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galibier View Post
    Zeraph is free of the soul stream. Alsebeth has released him per the chronicle. He also likely defeats her because for giggles I re-entered 5 minutes later. She was at 50% health and his had not budged. The question is how do we get him to leave RoS.
    That's right... they kind of leave that part hanging. I need to do the RoS raid to have a more rounded view of things though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeloda View Post
    That's right... they kind of leave that part hanging. I need to do the RoS raid to have a more rounded view of things though.
    RoS won't give you any answers. After you defeat Plutonis, Cyril and Asha meet, have a debate, and Cyril ends up destroying the Cypher that Plutonis had created. Zareph is mentioned, but from their statements, it's considered that he's still lost in the Soul Stream. Alsbeth is alive and kicking.... well... not for long :P
    Regardless of what happens, people will always be unhappy. Be thankful for what you have and always be constructive.
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    good or the best
    This quote offers insight into why there are so many perceived balance issues. To some, it doesn't matter how good something is; if it isn't the best, it isn't worth using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caydin View Post
    RoS won't give you any answers. After you defeat Plutonis, Cyril and Asha meet, have a debate, and Cyril ends up destroying the Cypher that Plutonis had created. Zareph is mentioned, but from their statements, it's considered that he's still lost in the Soul Stream. Alsbeth is alive and kicking.... well... not for long :P
    So... if the Chronicle takes place a little before the raid, does that mean Zereph was subdued or sent back to the soulstream?

    Trion, please keep continuity in mind. I got confused in the other Chronicles as well (did I kill Greenscale or did the raid party?, etc). These have EASY story solutions, but it seems you don't take them. Somehow the Chronicles take place both before and during the raids, in different ways :S

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    It seems the idea of a solid stance is what they're trying to avoid here.
    it's kind of like choosing the lesser of two evils.

    I mean, looking at the situation with him, there are ways that could be presented to bring him back? But will they play out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeloda View Post
    So... if the Chronicle takes place a little before the raid, does that mean Zereph was subdued or sent back to the soulstream?

    Trion, please keep continuity in mind. I got confused in the other Chronicles as well (did I kill Greenscale or did the raid party?, etc). These have EASY story solutions, but it seems you don't take them. Somehow the Chronicles take place both before and during the raids, in different ways :S
    I prefer the Hammerknell Chronicle and River of Souls chronicle ideas, over the GSB one. "Wait... I just did the whole raid's worth of killing as one or two people?!"

    Then again, Trion may be trying to deal with the problem of "We have tons of players, but only one hero is recognized by the storyline and NPCs... hm..."
    I call it the "MMO Now Paradox". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeZ9HhHU86o

    The concepts of a third faction are great, but they'd have to be equally attractive as, and equally unattractive as, the Defiant and Guardian counterparts.
    If they're clearly the middle-of-the-road everyone-relates-to-them don't-go-to-extremes-either-way people... yeah, who wouldn't join them? It sure would solve the PvP, though.
    Last edited by Morvick; 02-20-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    I prefer the Hammerknell Chronicle and River of Souls chronicle ideas, over the GSB one. "Wait... I just did the whole raid's worth of killing as one or two people?!"

    Then again, Trion may be trying to deal with the problem of "We have tons of players, but only one hero is recognized by the storyline and NPCs... hm..."
    I call it the "MMO Now Paradox". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeZ9HhHU86o

    The concepts of a third faction are great, but they'd have to be equally attractive as, and equally unattractive as, the Defiant and Guardian counterparts.
    If they're clearly the middle-of-the-road everyone-relates-to-them don't-go-to-extremes-either-way people... yeah, who wouldn't join them? It sure would solve the PvP, though.
    There are many players who are happy to play to extremes in MMOs. As long as the Guardian get more awesomely holy in their power and presentation than they are currently, and the Defiant get more awesomely powerful in tech (war machines and fortresses? sentient constructs? who knows), I think many would stay. Not to mention, the communities forged. I don't think it would be a complete exodus to a third faction - I see it more as like the new Worgen race in WoW; many many many tried it out, many also ended up using it as an alt.

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