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Author Topic: State of the Galaxy  (Read 241 times)

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Offline Niarra

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State of the Galaxy
« on: 11/30/18, 08:09:19 PM »
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Today Bioware published the article Charles Boyd promised some time ago: a State of the Galaxy post leading up to the Jedi Under Siege release. Here it is.

It has some useful information in it for role play purposes, such as the name of the new Supreme Chancellor (since Madon steps down no matter what was decided at Iokath), the definitive word on the Jedi Order, and some very interesting stuff on the new political structure of the Empire.

Unfortunately, it doesn't solve the Schrodinger's Galaxy core problem, which is that there is still no universal canon on the Empire's leadership and there also appears to be different realities in terms of which power (Republic or Empire) is holding a position of strength. These aren't trivial questions, and they are a little hard to gloss over in RP.

It feels like the devs are possibly setting things up for the next major expansion to have somewhat different trajectories and settings depending on your faction, unlike the original game where there was one universal canon situation and every story was a subset facet of it. This might make for interesting gameplay and story replay value, but it does present a RP challenge.

So... interesting stuff and useful info, but looks like we're still going to need to apply our creativity to trying to play ostrich on certain galactic reality facts. Very unfortunate for those of us who want to play characters that are close to the political happenings of the galaxy, but not too bad for most fringer types.

As a Jedi-phile, it's a little depressing to realize that the Order is indeed still just as scattered and broken as we've been playing it now for years, if for no other reason than that we've played that angle into the ground. But at least it does sound like things are positioned to make their comeback a significant part of future story content.
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Offline blingdenston

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Re: State of the Galaxy
« Reply #1 on: 11/30/18, 09:21:40 PM »
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It's a terrible problem, and  a bitter one....the good intentions of Single Player storytelling fragmented unthousand times across players and then subdivided amongst their characters. Some potential solutions:

1). We just make up an NPC Outlander and vote on the potential outcomes and then treat those as community canon.
2). We accept the break in continuity between the game and community RP and treat in-game story developments as a skeleton, then apportion the roles and effects of those to community characters...someone gets to be Outlander, someone gets to be Sith Emperor, someone gets to be Jedi Grandmaster, someone gets to be Mandalore, et cetera.
3). We just choose someone's character to have been Outlander and let their choices be 'canon' for communal RP, keeping the story in-game as is and allowing the potential deceleration of the importance of 'Outlander' to sunset that character as the protagonist of the world, and allowing us to take up our roles as agents/traitors to the Republic and Empire and all that in the upcoming fracas.
4). We continue to leave it kinda sketchy and only have the canon come up as important to group storylines, so that in a Member A-led roleplay their Jedi Knight was a light-side Outlander while Member B's stories extend from their adventures as a dark-side Imperial Agent and just have a gentlefolk's agreement to submerge that stuff for greater community/crossover events.

Just some off-the-cuff stuff. You can make Pehn the Outlander whenever you want, he'd be great at it.
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Offline Orell

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Re: State of the Galaxy
« Reply #2 on: 11/30/18, 10:49:39 PM »
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That they're merging some of the branches is a bit of a good sign, at least. I wonder if the upcoming content is going to merge more of them, especially when it comes to who's in charge of the Empire...

Shall have to see what happens to Acina when the update comes. If I were them, I'd go to the old standby for the "sided with Acina" storyline: "Empire's on the verge of defeated the hated Republic and Jedi, time to stab other Sith in the back!" :D
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline SquigglyV

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Re: State of the Galaxy
« Reply #3 on: 11/30/18, 11:35:46 PM »
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On the positive side I like that they've found a way to make the Hutt Cartel neutral again and not just a Republic puppet. Means I don't have to constantly correct people about it anymore lol. I feel like siding with the Republic is probably going to turn out more canon in the end, because siding with the Empire is shaping up to look like the Republic's death sentence more than the other way around. o.o

I don't think the Jedi being scattered (or having the appearance of being scattered) necessarily means they're broken, I imagine they keep in contact and it's just done less conspicuously now. For most of them it's probably business as usual, they don't really need the High Council to tell them to go help the Senate or the Army or whoever else needs help and i'm sure the more local councils would try to stick together even if it's somewhat covertly. The galaxy may struggle to see what they're doing but it's far from a KOTOR 2 situation.

I do think a solid solution to Schrodinger's galaxy is kind of needed, imo those first three options seem good. We're already just leaving it kinda vague, it's easy I guess but annoying to reconcile if people happen to assume different things for their characters' stories and certainly difficult for anyone who wants to be close to galactic politics. The one upside of a shrinking community means options 2 and 3 would actually be feasible for once, it would be very fun being able to interact with the important in-universe characters played by other people here.

I think making up an NPC outlander would be the best probably tho, since you'd really only have to vote on the major stuff like who they sided with on Iokath. Could easily avoid the minor stuff like their species and sex and such. It wouldn't be as fun as option 3 or especially option 2, but also less likely to step on toes because I know there's roleplayers on the server who don't use this site.

Will have to wait and see how all the new content/story stuff turns out I guess.

Offline Toasty McGrath

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Re: State of the Galaxy
« Reply #4 on: 12/01/18, 09:01:09 AM »
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I mean, basically the only real difference between the two reports is the Empire being ruled by Darth Acina versus Darth Vowrawn. Unfortunately, that's a pretty big detail for RPers. That being said, I suspect even Sith players might be okay with taking the Republic-choice storyline due to Vowrawn having a dynamic background and more facetime with the player over the course of TOR. At least for the Sith Warrior class.

As for the other details, I'm happy to report that with a newly-neutral Hutt Cartel, B'abbo the Huttfather is now again open for business with the Empire at his Golden Palace on Nar Shaddaa...

Offline Ela

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Re: State of the Galaxy
« Reply #5 on: 12/01/18, 09:22:04 AM »
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The first that jumps out at me is that I *love* that they actually put the time and effort into writing this. Too much has been completely frizzy over the past couple of years, and it's nice to finally have some clarity.

Otherwise, I plan to continue doing my very best Ostrich impression, which I've become very good at, and basically not even acknowledge any "outlander" until the story people bring that chapter to a final close. I'd like to wish and believe that'll happen in 6.0, and I actually think 5.10 is a super big step into unifying all of the stray cats into a single super funky cat. I can hope, right?
@>~~~ SONG SQUADRON ~~~<@

| Alexandra ~ 70 Sage | Meagan ~ 70 Sharpshooter | Medley ~ 70 Sentinel | Sariyah ~ 70 Shadow | Evany ~ 70 Vanguard |

&>~~~ (UNGUILDED) IMPERIALS ~~~<&

| Inivera ~ 70 Marauder | Aubrey Anna ~ 70 Operative | Julan ~ 70 Bounty Hunter | Maladous ~ 70 Sorcerer |

Offline Niarra

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Re: State of the Galaxy
« Reply #6 on: 12/03/18, 03:41:21 PM »
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My interpretation of the article is that the difference in the pre-war state of the galaxy is more significant than just whether or not it's Acina or Vowran in power.

For example, on the Republic side, the article lays out that if Malcom is alive then Chancellor Rans has managed to militarily strengthen the Republic so that they are strongly positioned to defend against an Imperial attack. Whereas if Malcom is dead it states the Republic is weakened and not well-equipped to defend against a Sith invasion.

On the Imperial side, if Acina is alive then the Empire is stable, in-fighting is at a minimum, and Imperial strength has been built up to a point where the Empire is strongly positioned for an offensive (and in this case it's strongly positioned for an offensive against a weakened Republic). Whereas if Vowrawn is Emperor then Sith in-fighting is back in play and the Empire is in a weaker state and not ready to commit itself to an offensive (in this case against a Republic that is well fortified).

So aside from the significant question of who is leading the Empire, this set-up could potentially mean that one power is in a losing position and the other in a superior one. This changes the motivations and sense of urgency for characters attempting to defend either faction.

My guess would be that the devs will at some point in the expansion storyline put in events that will force the two powers onto more even footing, if only because in faction-based MMOs it's very hard to let one faction come out definitively on top without angering half of your player base. However, KOTFE/KOTET established that they are also willing to shift the storyline heavily into single player territory so there's no guarantee they won't let things further schism.

As for whether or not we as a community want to agree on a community canon, I would put out for consideration that maybe a good way to go would be to say that no one died on Iokath. Sure the Outlander might have sided with one faction or another, but since it's most likely that most players sided with their own faction it's probably a safe bet that most players have as their personal head canon that either Malcom or Acina are still alive depending on their main's faction. So maybe we all agree that both characters are alive, and as such both faction governments are stable in such a way that we can hang plots off of it. (Alternatively, if we want to create more urgency and drama for faction defenders, maybe we agree that both Malcom and Acina died. That seems less likely to align with most individuals' head-canons, though.)

I don't see much of a need to codify an Outlander, honestly, as the Outlander themselves feels sort of... irrelevant? Certainly it's more or less irrelevant to anyone who isn't RPing their characters as deeply involved with the Eternal Alliance. And though I know some people have attached their characters to the Alliance in the past, the Alliance's growing irrelevance to the plot along with the long-established understanding that no one is the Outlander/Barsen'thor/Wrath etc has already made it so that no one has ever really introduced the Outlander as a significant RP element in community stories. (Though if we were ever to establish one, I'm all for Pehn-generated chaos.)

It might behoove us to revisit these questions after Jedi Under Siege drops, though, in case that gives us plot elements that start to even out the faction power imbalance again. Of course, that still won't solve the Empress/Emperor question.  :sigh:
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook