2017-11-05 Meeting Summary

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Atrayonis
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Proposed Agenda

  • Faction ranks: Should any of TR’s faction ranks for Great Houses replace the vanilla ranks?
  • Player strongholds

Meeting Summary

Faction ranks

In general, the discussion started with a review of a previous short disagreement whether the vanilla ranks should be kept or the ranks that TR invented for the mainland factions (which no longer exist) should be used instead.

  • The general preference in the meeting was for Hlaalu to keep their ranks; the general progression will probably be centered around TR’s questlines more than the vanilla one, as it is fairly drab.
  • Telvanni will keep their ranks and general progression; the rest can be figured out in the distant future when it becomes relevant.
  • For the most part, the TR Redoran ranks will not carry over (specifically the two changes ‘Councilman’->’War Councillor’ and ‘House Cousin’->’March Captain’, House Cousin being moved to the lower rank, pushing all the lower ranks down one and removing ‘Hireling’)
    However, the idea of changing the top rank from ‘Archmaster’ to ‘Hortator’ was eventually viewed more favourably, where becoming Hortator through the vanilla MQ would mean becoming leader of Redoran, who by their nature see the title of war leader far more seriously than the other Great Houses. This means that, whether the player is the leader of another House, a lower-ranked Redoran or not affiliated with any House, the player will become the leader of House Redoran.
  • Other than that major change, faction progression will probably stay much the same, and perhaps the player will only be able to progress through the highest ranks by completing the Vvardenfell quests, as all of Redoran’s leadership is in Vvardenfell.

Faction Questlines

It was touched up again that TR’s previous faction proposals were fairly linear and ignored Vvardenfell questlines.
As we have now merged factions, this is no longer possible, which means that endgame edits need to keep in mind that they edit around or supplant existing questlines. There has been no actual decision made on how this is to be done, just general brainstorming and bringing the problem to the attention of all meeting attendees.

Suggestions:

  • Hlaalu: The Great Hlaalu Conspiracy could only become unlocked as a questline after the player gains top rank through the Vvardenfell quests, in essence serving as an epilogue to the vanilla quests. Other mainland Hlaalu questlines would then be more localized in scope.
  • Redoran: Interaction between Redoran mainland and Redoran Vvardenfell questlines can probably be kept minimal, as TR lore states that the leaders of Redoran all shipped themselves to Vvardenfell to help deal with Dagoth Ur. Mainland Redoran then focuses on surviving from other threats to the House while cut off from leadership and resources.
  • Due to the ideas on Redoran rank progression, the Redoran questline should probably not be tied to rank advancement like other questline concepts. The player should be able to player the Redoran questline normally, or as the faction leader, and when playing it normally the player might only advance to a certain rank before needing to go to Vvardenfell and get Sarethi as a patron to advance further via the Vvardenfell quests.
  • Telvanni: Gothren took over the Telvanni Council when TR’s Dral locked himself away in his pocket realm and neglected his duties as Archmagister. The player will eventually have to go to Dral to be named Archmagister.

Faction Strongholds

As with Nav Andaram that is essentially replacing the Hlaalu player’s main stronghold, a discussion was held about how it would work for the other factions. Gnomey’s blog post served as a starting point. It was suggested that each Great House get one major stronghold (for Telvanni, Hlaalu, and Redoran, these would be the vanilla strongholds) and one minor stronghold, as follows:

Telvanni major: vanilla stronghold
Telvanni minor: a pocket realm similar to Dral’s, perhaps that even IS Dral’s after getting rid of him.  

Hlaalu major/minor: vanilla and Nav Andaram, not quite sure which is supposed to be which. Changing Nav Andaram to be the questline stronghold will be a considerable amount of work (shared global stronghold variables, “shank the other stronghold leaders” quests, the usual dialogue problems)

Redoran major: vanilla stronghold
Redoran minor: a Nordic-themed fort or mead hall, wrested from the Nail Knock Reavers, maybe the Dunkreath Mead Hall or a new fort in Ystralond

Dres major: Dres Yengrith, the clanstead of the lost clan, possibly built up from a Chap’Thil encampment
Dres minor: a Skyrender hive or a Chap’Thil encampment

Indoril major: Id Vano (already exists in Indoril-Thirr using the global Stronghold variables)
Indoril minor: a Velothi settlement added around Id Vano’s MH style fortress eventually encompassing the entire island, or possibly a family/Saint shrine the player restores or a small chapel in a Velothi village somewhere (future shrine to a Saint Nerevarine??)

Rot's picture
Rot
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" becoming Hortator through the vanilla MQ would mean becoming leader of Redoran "
I'm going to assume this is one of those tunnel vision aberrations that will be forgotten when the time to actually do Redoran comes and so won't bother pointing out why it's bad, but for the record a less bad way of doing this is to give the non-Redoran player another faction with the display name Redoran.

Atrayonis's picture
Atrayonis
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It's not quite a tunnel vision aberration and quite a bit of thought was put into it. I think the unique way the House handles that Hortator/faction leader issue will give them a lot more unique flair and that's worth the scripting and dialogue effort tradeoff.
We'll see how it works out when we get around to it.

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Rot
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" We'll see how it works out when we get around to it " is exactly the amount of thought I'd assumed was put into it, thanks :P

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Kevaar
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It's to go with the notion that the Redoran are the House most likely to consider the Hortator thing seriously, instead of just a matter of politics that's all but forgotten once the Dagoth Ur threat is gone. Also, as they are the House built around war, a war leader (which the Hortator is) would be especially important. We wanted to give that feeling to the player, that yes, you literally ARE the war leader of Redoran, and with how Redoran is set up, that may mean the leader of a whole bunch of other things within the House as well.

Mechanics-wise is another story. Promoting the player into the House as the top rank is simple, but it does have the potential to break a lot. I personally don't mind that this breaks the convention that the player can only join one House, because again, that lore piece of the Redoran have a lot of reason to highly honor their Nerevarine. (They sent off all their best people to Vvardenfell to fight what is essentially a losing battle. If the Nerevarine hadn't shown up, their House would've been black crunchy toast, and some of Redoran are bound to recognize this.)

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Atrayonis
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Rot

" We'll see how it works out when we get around to it " is exactly the amount of thought I'd assumed was put into it, thanks :P'

We have basically the following constellations:

The Player is already Hortator of House Redoran

Minor dialogue changes as you don't need to make yourself Hortator as Archmaster as you're already Hortator (and "Archmaster" no longer exists) - it might be that you need to the council to reaffirm your position in face of the allegation of Blades membership to make the rank and file fall in line. We could just script the quest closed after 1 day or immediatly otherwise ("The prophecies demanded me to become Redoran Hortator, but I had already gained that rank before. What a convenient coincidence.").

The Player is a lower-ranked member of House Redoran

The Hortator quests take care of the rank gain, and no more House Redoran quests are offered after the rank gain as in vanilla. It would pretty much be a shortcut. We should make an exception for our own Nail-Knock Reaver questline. As none of this has been coded yet, we can just place these on top of the "What can I do for you, Archmaster?" reply and progress with minor dialogue alterations.

The Player is not a member of any House

The Hortator quests take care of that, plus we might add some of the normal quests to the post-lead rank questlines we were kicking around (centered on "leading House <X>"), or adding them on top of the max rank filter for house quests. They would be justified by Redoran needing their leader to actually know how the House operates.

If we're feeling lucky, we could add a reply where the player wants to be called Hortator but otherwise stay neutral (to be above the houses, because Dunmer are creepy, or for whatever reason). This would keep the vanilla dialogue.

The Player is a member of another House

Set by a global variable, so we wouldn't have to check membership for every single reply. The Hortator quests give them max rank, but characters essentially say that while they lead House Redoran by inspiration, their membership of another House means that the council has taken over business. No further quests are offered.

 

In summary, the big problems are checking if the player is already a member of another house and switching our own storyline on even if the player is already head of house. Neither of these are overly complicated, although they do need a lot of gruntworks.

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Kevaar
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As far as blocking out quests if the player was already a low-ranking member of House Redoran--personally, this would upset me immensely, as I would lose all those quests, their rewards, and their storylines.

I THINK I know what could be done, though it'd involve editting vanilla dialogue (onoes). Here's my logic:

First, the addition of a Global variable, RedoranBlock. 0 == player can do Redoran quests; 1 == player is blocked from them
Then, edit that blocking piece of vanilla dialogue in the topic duties to require RedoranBlock == 1

When the player is promoted to Hortator through the Nerevarine quest (whatever dialogue Response completes it, it would go into the Result box), then a script like this would run:
 

 

if Redoran Block == 0 (keeps script from running more than once in strange circumstances)

if player is member of Hlaalu
set RedoranBlock to 1
Messagebox "<insert in-character blurb about council running things>"
copy-pasta elseif player is in Telvanni, Dres or Indoril

elseif player is member of Redoran
if player has high amount of faction rep (put it at a number that assumes the player has done most of the quests)
set RedoranBlock to 1
else
Messagebox "insert blurb about Hortator still expected to do duties for the House"
(keep RedoranBlock on default of 0 )
endif

else (if player is member of no House)
Messagebox "insert options menu"--> This would open up a conversation (think like how chargen/Seyda Neen class selection does it) that asks if the PC wants to keep the option open of doing House Redoran's duties (quests). I'm not sure how to disguise this in an in-character fashion though, so that would need some thought.
endif

endif

Meanwhile, if the player gains the Hortator rank through normal House Redoran progression, it'd just be a simple script attached to that promotion's dialogue (advancement topic?) that sets RedoranBlock to 1.

I'd have to look up the actual syntax for this of course...

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@Kevaar So basically, instead of saying something to the effect of "This is beneath you, don't worry about it", if you're a member of House Redoran who've became Hortator through the main questline (instead of the traditional climbing through the ranks) they'd instead say something like "You have better things to do, but if you insist..." likely followed by a yes/no choice that, if PC says yes, the quest will activate as normal.

I like it.smiley

Rawr.

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Kevaar
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Oh, no, this would be a one-time script to mirror the functioning as it already is in vanilla, which is having the questgivers refuse to offer any more quests to the player at the top rank. I think that it goes beyond our mod's role to let the player do all of House Redoran's quests if they are already in another House, but I also think it would be an unpleasant surprise for players already in Redoran, or who had held off on joining a House, to suddenly get locked out of all that content.

However, I do like your suggestion, if I can think of a clean way of implementing it for Redoran and unaffiliated players...The way I did it is probably a lot cleaner for someone who does want to do a Join All Houses compatibility patch--just set RedoranBlock back to 0--rather than go into the dialogue and re-ordering all the Responses, which is what I think your method would need. But I'll have to think on it.

At the least, does that look feasible to you, Rot, what I suggested?

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The Violet Euphemism
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I was tired when I wrote that, I meant specifically for House Redoran/undecided players to have the option. If that's even possible.

Rawr.

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Rot
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Come on, I know chat meetings are perfect brainfart factories but you don't have that excuse anymore here. Not a single person to point out you were talking about yanking out one of the player's main choices?

This isn't to say there aren't many other conceptual or technical issues with this particular brainfart, but that's the simple thing that could and should have stopped your attention first. And this is supposed to be a RPG. And the RPG's main quest. What's next, schedule another meeting to go back on that false promise not to screw up the main quest beyond the mainland's inclusion? Good thing Redoran is years away and I still have a policy not to argue with people about things they're not going to do, but please try not to always be so short-sighted! @Kevaar sorry - the only technical input this deserves from me is ^ already in my first post here.

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How is it yanking out the choice? Not being able to join another House after the MQ? This could probably be scripted for too, I am sure.

I do want input, because all I see is you shouting about brainfarts without looking at a solution that may not break anything about how vanilla functions, and solve our issues with the faction merge with mainland Redoran and their projected storylines in the process.

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The Violet Euphemism
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@Rot If I wasn't the person you were replying to, then I apologize and please disregard this. I'm assuming so since I was the last in the thread before your reply.

What I was trying to say is that if the other Houses will allow you to still continue with their questlines (which they do in vanilla unless I'm misremembering) post-Hortator quests, then House Redoran should as well - even if just for symmetry's sake. I don't see how it takes away from the role playing aspect to allow the option, but I could be wrong.

I would love to hear your thoughts on why it wouldn't work/why it'd break vanilla Redoran. I'm incredibly new at this (as evidence by my showcase), so chances are I'm missing something. Is it because before getting the vanilla Hortator quests you're told to finish any desired business first? Because that gets resolved upon meeting with Vivec, and originally doesn't effect the House questlines themselves if I remember correctly, outside of having some of the late game quests accessible despite your House affiliations (or lack thereof).

While I enjoy blocking quests due to player choice, vanilla avoids this for the MQ, and imo TR's additions to it should as well or else it'll feel less cohesive as a player, blocking other consequences and alternate paths is fine. Blocking an entire faction questlines (especially when the faction in question is one of the 6 biggest factions in the province, and fun fact the biggest in vanilla) during the Main Quest is not as much so imo.

Anyways, this post is long enough, I look forward to reading the reply and I hope you reconsider, but if not then I'm hoping understand where you're coming from.

Rawr.