The Main Quest/The Blades

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SamirA
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The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby SamirA » 11 Jan 2014, 18:13

The MQ will use this thread for discussion. We have long discussed a story with an offspring of Jagar Tharn coming back and causing some of the issues you hear talked about in the early stages of Oblivion and that are mentioned in our lore timeline. The story revolves around Thadas Tharn who was raised by adoptive parents and one learned of his heritage after some sort of sabbatical. The PC gets involved with Thadas in some way and befriends him only to be faced with the task of having to destroy him in the end or watch Tamriel fall into chaos as his former friend goes mad and power hungry.

This synopsis does not have to be what we use for the MQ. This thread can be used to come up with an entirely different story or change the story of Thadas Tharn dramatically. Either way we need to come up with a story that can be told in game and not be predictable or seen a thousand times.
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Infragris
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Re: The Main Quest

Postby Infragris » 12 Jan 2014, 01:04

I've always thought Tharn was part of the old Niben Battlemage aristocracy. The old Tharn Manor could still be out there somewhere in the jungle, burnt down long ago, but still containing ancient plot-relevant knowledge or whatever.

As an aside, why is young Thadas Tharn stepping into the footsteps of his infamous predecessors like this? Is being an evil jerk hereditary?

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Re: The Main Quest

Postby SamirA » 12 Jan 2014, 01:11

I don't know. Perhaps something about the revelation of who he is has something to do with it.
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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby sasquatch » 24 Jul 2014, 18:31

Should be time to start thinking on this. The main quest should be compatible with other mods and vanilla. Where the story will take player and if that will include other provinces (skyrim and morrowind or instanced areas) should also be considered. My suggestion is that the story proceed through each area as released. The task of recreating a scaled up entire province of Cyrodiil is impractical. For that reason, my hope is that any long term content not be released in any concurrent geographical order, but instead various smaller regions related to our main plot.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Tarius » 25 Jul 2014, 00:26

sasquatch wrote:Should be time to start thinking on this. The main quest should be compatible with other mods and vanilla. Where the story will take player and if that will include other provinces (skyrim and morrowind or instanced areas) should also be considered. My suggestion is that the story proceed through each area as released. The task of recreating a scaled up entire province of Cyrodiil is impractical. For that reason, my hope is that any long term content not be released in any concurrent geographical order, but instead various smaller regions related to our main plot.

The idea on whats going to be worked on is already set; unless of course my idea about working along the TR border gets implemented.(if you dont already know, the current idea is work up along the western edge of the province towards Skyrim and then likely procede east along the border after reaching that point, thats just to start with though)
As for making the province, thats exactly what is being done. Its just going to take a very long time. haha

As for this main quest, the foundation should be thought of and making sure its compatable with any content we create. This is already happening with Stirk. As for everywhere else, I dont think we will get to the main quest anyway until a huge amount of work has been done and large swathes of the province are nearing completion.
Key thing here is that more man power is needed.
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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby sasquatch » 25 Jul 2014, 02:09

Have you checked my updated proposal for release order?
http://i.imgur.com/lmuQxoF.jpg
I think it would work well with a matching border for TR and would also connect Skyrim. The plan would also drastically reduce workload.
SHOTN also has a long way to go to be able to have a complete border and TR is a long time from completing NPCing and questing near Valus mountain region. All three projects are also lacking people, sharing resources and cooperating to make compatible worldspaces seems mutually beneficial. Doing this would offer a unique lore friendly multi-province experience that no other elderscrolls modding project can. The easiest solution would be to simply connect provinces via ship transport at the coast and a wagon transport at or near Cheydinhal.
Releasing content on a smaller scale more often would set achievable goals and allow some short term wins and create more positive buzz for all three projects. It will be hard to attract or hold new people without smaller achievable goals. Releasing small areas as shown would allow us to create episodic story more quickly and provide a benefit to SHOTN and TR by allowing additional area to explore much sooner. I think the number of people active on these projects represents a small percentage of those who would be willing to try getting involved if they knew more about it or saw things were more active on any of the three projects.

Benefits I see from releasing in this way are:
-creation of a network of areas connecting east and west
-complete areas of importance while avoiding heavy workload of fully completing landscape
-connect skyrim, morrowind, and cyrodiil with least effort
-increase focus on locations important to story, related to transit and or in close proximity to SHOTN / TR
-decrease overall landmass, increase story depth and quality

Of course the downside would be having to rely on transports to move between instanced areas unavoidable invisible walls. The order # is really up in the air too. My main hope is that we simply use this method of smaller areas to make the project more feasible.
Last edited by sasquatch on 25 Jul 2014, 18:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Infragris » 25 Jul 2014, 10:22

Here's the problem with your release order plan, Sasquatch: landscaping isn't the bottleneck. Your proposition would place an ever greater burden on modeling, planning and (with all these cities) interior building, all departments where we are lacking in people - especially since Nibenay will require many new and complex assets, which we can phase in gradually going west to east. We have a relative abundance of excellent landscapers who can make all that "empty" landscape while a city, no matter how complex it is , can only be worked on by so many people before it starts going schizophrenic (look at what happened to Almalexia over at TR).

I can see where you're coming from with this: I'm pretty psyched to build the Imperial City, myself. But if we only focus on the fancy, photogenic pieces of the mod, and neglect what lies in between, we'd be doing ourselves a disservice: rolling landscapes, dungeons and exploration are as essential to the experience as a crowded city or a gripping storyline.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby sasquatch » 25 Jul 2014, 16:38

Good points. In terms of planning it seems like it would be easier to work from cities out. Beside imperial city it also seems like most could be roughed out (planned) in a month or so, especially with input of the whole team. One of the main benefits is that planning for more cities and quests could start sooner. The issue with doing large stretches of wilderness is that it will likely never be finished. Focusing on one city and the surrounding area might take longer than doing large areas of wilderness but it seems a more attainable goal. Maybe this would be more feasible if the entire imperial city is reserved until last?

My goal in writing this and presenting this updated image is to brainstorm how creating story and representing the world space could be expedited. IMO story and consistent progress should take priority over larger landmass. My fear is that the project might slow even further working through all that wilderness. This is a staggering amount of exterior work required for a mod this size. Working on the cities listed before imperial city and their surrounding areas should offer the player a good amount of wilderness, content rich areas with variety, and connect world spaces sooner. The order is in no way fixed either. We could obviously focus more on wilderness area in any one of these areas like the mountains in the NE as already proposed.

It would be wise to take lesson from TR. They had much more support when they started and it has taken them so long to accomplish what they have. Even now, half of their landmass is not NPCd or quested and there is still no functioning main quest. This isn't meant as a disparaging remark against TR, they have a TON of very high quality content, but I think creating landmass from west to east won't offer the amount of anticipation or gameplay that focusing on connecting separate, content rich regions and several cities would. Maybe some of this is not possible because we are lacking models, but I think that may be a smaller hurdle than taking on the entire province. I'm sure that is one of the reasons Stirk was chosen. Developing smaller areas allow the team to showcase the best of a region and and make a smaller space with richer content.

I enjoy wilderness areas as much or more than cities in Morrowind, but considering the scale of this mod I think we should be more selective and make the best of what is here. Something similar to the plan I posted above would potentially offer content of high value sooner and more often. I think it would be helpful to define our ultimate goals. If our goal creating more adjacent space there is no need to alter our process. However, if we want content rich progress an alternative is needed. A focused story based plan that avoids the largest workloads and prioritizes areas of highest reward, whatever these are and however that is done, seems most practical option. The goal should be to get what is here in a working state and offer a quality experience with smaller, content rich areas that showcase the best of each region and are central to story.

Hopefully that makes sense and is well received. If not, I won't press the issue further.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Scamp » 26 Jul 2014, 13:04

Of course you raise valid points; However, I am still not sure if releasing all cities one after another would help... because you'll have a couple of isolated "islands" here and there and a lot of empty wilderness releases to follow in the next years...
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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Infragris » 26 Jul 2014, 14:20

And it still doesn't make sense from a modeling/planning point of view. With the assets we already have/will have soon, we can create the entire Gold Coast. If we were to start city-hopping, we would have to redevelop our main set of architecture/clothing/creatures/flora etc. pretty much every time, and only use each set for a very limited area.

I think you're also underestimating how much planning we really have to do for pretty much every part of the mod (the Gold Coast included): TR and to a lesser degree SHotN have the advantage that the landscape, culture and civilization they are depicting is pretty well-defined. We do not have that luxury with P:C. If we want to reach a level of fidelity and immersion on par with Vvardenfell, we have to put a lot more work into the big picture.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Praedator » 27 Jul 2014, 08:59

[deleted] was asleep typing :P

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby sasquatch » 28 Jul 2014, 00:06

I expect it wouId require 11-12 years to compIete those areas with peopIe being active and a minimum amount of quests and if we have a coupIe consistent members NPCing/ questing. Maybe, not even incIuding 7a or 7b. It couId req signicantIy Iess with even 1 or 2 more dedicated members. Each # or #x represents an annuaI reIease. There is time enough to pIan and produce assets if the team stays active, especiaIIy if we pick up new members as things start roIIing.
Infragris, GoId Coast wouId be entireIy compIeted in this pIan. 2a+b wouId be smaIIer areas that provide beIievabIe access to VaIus region and are smaII enough to be reasonabIy accompIished. With an aIternate reIease Mir Corrup or Bruma couId be next pIayabe area and the space between be connected. Some of these areas can use vaniIIa assets too (VaIIus Mountains and swamps). Yes, new assets wouId need to be made, but so too in any other region. There wouId be a two year Iag before that point, but I suppose Worsas wouId best be abIe to say if that is a reasonabIe amount of time. Steady, significant progress is important to encourage peopIe to stay active and to attract new active members. AIso, it seems pIanning and asset creation is the primary activity here. We dont have enough motivated peopIe to create things in game. A reaIistic pIan and significant short term goaIs wiII heIp resoIve that.

CompIeting #s 1-3 and 6a onIy and expanding outward couId be a good option. A two ceII buffer around the isoIated areas couId create a space beyond visibIe cutoff (depending on surrounding eIevation maybe more or Iess). Doing cities first with this method wouId obviousIy be for the required fast traveI. We have the option of focusing Iess on compIeting more cities and more on expanding their borders instead. This wouId aIIow creation of a coupIe Iarge pIayabIe areas faster rather than a Iarger fast traveI seIection.

I stiII beIieve using this method to prioritize deveIopment is absoIuteIy the best way forward. Because reIease order is now distracting from main topic here I wiII carry this to a different thread if there is support or any additionaI doubts I can answer.
Last edited by sasquatch on 28 Jul 2014, 06:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Tarius » 28 Jul 2014, 00:28

Ok, last post on this, or split the thread here.
sasquatch wrote:I expect it wouId require 11-12 years to compIete those areas with peopIe being active and a minimum amount of quests and if we have a coupIe consistent peopIe NPCing/ questing. Maybe, not even incuding 7a or 7b. It couId req signicantIy Iess with even 1 or 2 more dedicated members. Each # or #x represents an annuaI reIease. There is time enough to produce pIan and produce assets if the team stays active especiaIIy if we pic up new members as things start roIIing.
Infragris, GoId Coast wouId be entireIy compIeted in this pIan. 2a+b wouId be smaIIer areas that provide beIievabIe access to VaIus region and and are smaII enough to be reasonabIy accompIished. With an aIternate reIease Mir Corrup or Bruma couId be next pIay area and the space between connected. Some of these areas can use some vaniIIa assets too (VaIIus Mountains and swamps). Yes new assets wouId need to be made, but so too in any other region. There wouId be a two year Iag before that point. I suppose Worsas wouId best be abIe to say if that is a reasonabIe amount of time. Steady, significant progress is important to encourage peopIe to stay active and to attract new active members. AIso, It seems pIanning and asset creation is the primary activity here. What we are dont have are enough motivated peopIe to create things in game. Having a reaIistic pIan, and significant short term goaIs wiII heIp resoIve that.

CompIeting #s 1-3 and 6a onIy and expanding out couId be a good option. A two ceII buffer around the isoIated areas couId create a space beyond visibIe cutoff (depending on surrounding eIevation maybe more or Iess). The reason for doing cities with this method wouId obviousIy be for the required fast traveI. focusing Iess on compIeting more cities and instead on expanding their borders wouId aIIow the creation of a coupIe Iarge pIayabIe areas faster.

I stiII beIieve prioritizing deveIopment in this way absoIuteIy the best way forward. Because this is now distracting from main topic here I wiII carry this to a different thread if there is support or any additionaI doubts I can answer.

One thing, we need more manpower or it will take a long time anyway. That said, I do agree/think that perhaps we do need to prioritize certain things. Is it really needed that we complete all the side quests of a given area before moving on? or do we really need to people an area before a release?
Eitherway, there is a set method to follow, but yea more discussion could happen in this regard.
Perhaps we should sit down and lay out the bare minimum needed for things to be complete and prioritize them according to what is more urgent. As it stands, do we need to create things in big chunks? or why couldnt we build up the wilderness and add in the cities when ready?
These are all various questions and it might be good to finally just sit down and lay out that we are going to do it "this way". As of the moment, I believe anything we have on methods or timeline is piecemeal scattered about the forum.
Tarius: I have now conquered the galaxy twice and am working on a third. Once thats out of me, I will be back to work.
TDF: Which game is that(I assume its a game and not real life)
The Khan: If it was real life, we would know about it. And I dont think he means this Galaxy.
Tarius: Yes, I really lead a secret double life where I am a galactic overlord.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby Worsas » 28 Jul 2014, 17:53

At least for now I disagree with the idea of switching between cities without dealing with the space between before.

If someone motivated comes along and provides the needed assets for a far away area overnight, I am likely to change my mind though. Right now it isn't just the buildings and interior shells, but also a lot of clutter and things like clothing that would need to be created from ground up. We would likely end up in a situation where exterior and interior- modders wait on models to be created before they can take up work and modellers the other way around feeling under big pressure to create more and more assets.

I would really prefer an approach that gives the modellers more time to work ahead. If we continued with the Colovian highlands right after the gold coast, as it has been the plan so far, only a comparably small amount of additional assets would need to be made right away and there would be more time to prepare other future regions.

I nevertheless somehow understand the idea of focusing on important locations in the province, because if they are delayed too much, I imagine, creativity may have exhausted by the time the place is reached via the conventional way and they may end up uninspired or not made at all.

I think we could plan and work ahead within the modelling section, at least. But right now we are still stuck with things for the gold coast and Stirk. I am currently working hard to get PC_Data to a state where Stirk can be released and I will continue on barrow assets and anything else needed next after that. I hope (maybe it's just a dream) we will get the assets for the Colovian west done in a not too distant future.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby sasquatch » 28 Jul 2014, 21:39

Well, I think developing that way would be a mistake but release order could really be a different topic at this point. Stirk then Gold Coast are obviously the first priorities and story needs to be in planning already. I think we should also have threads opened to brainstorm quest ideas and design the good ones before they are implemented. Side quest ideas can be detailed now too.

I'd like a main story that isn't in on epic scale of most of the others, at first at least. With our first two releases being coastal areas I would love something related to smuggling, illicit trade, or w.e. I think main quest should have fairly humble beginnings. The thieves guild could* make an appearance in anvil for cloak and dagger, illicit affairs and deception could be a fitting storyline for the area. As the story progresses player could uncover a more sinister plot or be captured and turned to the imperials as an informant while smuggling, or something. This could pull the player into something more epic at a later point. I'd like to start small with story and get bigger, maybe huge, not be hit with being a messiah or demigod near the opening chapter. If we start P:C in a dungeon the player could be released from their cell by thieves guild in a case of mistaken identity and kickstart the game from there. If we go for a freeroam approach where any player can travel in or out of Province Cyrodiil from elsewhere we could initiate the same questline in a case of mistaken identity as well. First being arrested for being a high profile thieves guild member or smuggler (not enough to be remembered later) upon entering Anvil. The player would have no pay fine option, if resisting arrest and killed they would respawn in prison. Once in prison they would of course also be released be thieves guild and introduced to main quest

As for the episodic content this should be done regardless of release order. Side quest would always be optional. I think the main quest should be optional as well for those who simply wish to travel through the area. Freedom of choice has been core to elderscrolls games.
Last edited by sasquatch on 28 Jul 2014, 22:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Main Quest/The Blades

Postby SamirA » 28 Jul 2014, 22:16

Worsas wrote:I hope (maybe it's just a dream) we will get the assets for the Colovian west done in a not too distant future.

I don't think this is unrealistic IF you don't include the city architecture and hostile creatures. I think we have come a very long way in terms of the daily items that would be seen in the West and are also closing in on passive animals which is a huge boost.
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