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Omicega -- Human Lore Deputy Application


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CKEY/BYOND username:

Omicega

Position being applied for:

Human Lore Deputy

Have you read the Lore Team Rules and Regulations wiki page? 

Yes.

 

Past experiences/knowledge:

As far as staff positions on SS13 go, I've held staff positions on other servers prior to coming to the Aurora. The most notable of these would be CM, where I was a moderator and later administrator for a period of almost two years. I have some understanding of how server staff works 'behind the curtain', although I'm aware that there's a lot of differences between an administrative position and a lore-related one.

I wrote lore snippets known as 'infocards' for a sci-fi themed roleplay community, which ranged from being basically long-form examine descriptions to more extensive blurbs about the setting's location lore. I've dug up some of them to serve as examples of my past work.

I've been roleplaying semi-actively for a long time now in other communities -- primarily forum RP -- but my foray into SS13 as a roleplay medium started in around 2017. 

 

Examples of past work (please provide in a Google Doc or other easily accessible external link for sake of space):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GjUxhDSuPhXVXQDL3Ffu2RymqsFOjozD4h9oHQL48w4/edit?usp=sharing - These are examples of the infocards I mentioned as evidence of past experience. These were written throughout 2020 and are therefore relatively recent.

There are other examples of general writing I could potentially include here, but most of them are either quite old, not entirely relevant, unfinished, or some combination of those. I’m happy to provide them if people are interested in seeing them, but I don’t have an extensive history of lore contributions here on Aurora or elsewhere on SS13.

 

1) Why do you want this position? Why do you believe that you could be a better deputy than others?

The reason I play on Aurora at all is the strength of its lore and lore-related features. I've never made any secret of the fact that one of my favourite mechanical aspects of Aurora is the accent system -- something that helps players tie background lore more directly into their characters in a simple and effective manner. The world on offer in Aurora's lore is something that's kept me hooked trying new characters, new concepts, and new creations since basically day one, and it's out of a desire to put my own passion for the lore here to good use that I'm applying. I like writing and I'm confident that it's something I'm good at, and as I've grown to enjoy Aurora's setting more and more I've found myself wanting to contribute to it in a concrete manner more and more as well.

I like to focus on aspects of lore beyond just the ‘quality’ of it in a vacuum. Something I like to bear in mind when writing lore or conceptualising anything is how it fits into the existing ‘framework’ of lore already on offer, as well as how this could translate to interesting characters, interactions, or setups within the game itself. In my view, there’s no point writing a planet that has reams and reams of detail to it if there’s no good ‘hooks’ off of which to build a character, antag gimmick, or something else that actually has potential to be taken by a player and turned into something interesting in-game. This is what I’d call the most important aspect of lore writing for me, actually -- taking a step back from the content itself and trying to view it from a casually browsing individual’s point of view, looking for where the unique selling point might be.

 

2) What are three things you enjoy about human lore? Why do you enjoy these things most? These should be ranked from one to three in descending order of favouritism.

My absolute favourite aspect of human lore is (and people probably saw this coming) the megacorporate themes of the setting as a whole -- and more specifically, Idris Incorporated. Each of them offers a unique and interesting flavour to its contractors and often has strong tie-ins to particular areas of specifically human lore (Idris and Silversun, EPMC and Eridani, Hephaestus and Himeo etc.), and without the due attention and care given to human megacorporate lore I think the Aurora would suffer greatly. One of my big complaints about this aspect of lore was how thin on the ground it was on the wiki until recently, but thankfully some rewrites have cleared that up to the point where there’s a ton of scope to work with each of the big corporations and their named subsidiaries.

Secondly, Solarian lore in general is something I enjoy Aurora’s general take on. Casting the largest human nation in the setting as something of a ‘bad guy’ is an interesting twist on the traditional angle of a somewhat xenophilic and open human nation forming the centre of a lot of sci-fi settings, and it throws the whole world into (in my opinion) a grey area for Solarian humans in particular, with the constant tug-of-war between Biesel’s crushing corporatocratic themes weighing up against the Alliance’s instability, xenophobia, and authoritarianism. The Human Wildlands lore added in the wake of the King of the World arc is something that only built on the lore I initially enjoyed reading when I came to Aurora, and the way the Alliance has developed throughout that arc and beyond has only made it more interesting to me.

Finally, a more specific area of lore that I liked reading and playing was just Gadpathur. I just really enjoyed some of the themes it delved into. It’s pretty cheesy, even for Aurora lore standards, but I’ve seen some really engaging characters and round-related gimmicks built off that one piece of lore in particular. I had a lot of fun conceptualising, creating, and then implementing my own Gadpathurian character as well! The only criticism I’d level at it is that I think it’s a bit too wordy overall for what it is, but it’s one of the specific parts of human lore I’d hold up as a perfect example of the kind of ‘unique selling point/hook’ thing I mentioned in my last answer.

 

3) What is an area of currently extant lore that you'd like to improve or see improvements made upon? Why do you believe this area should see improvement?

In a word -- Elyra. I think Elyra's lore is a huge question mark for human lore as a whole at the present time. I find it to be underdeveloped in general, with very short pages for its planets (if they even get full pages!) and an uninspiring and bland general theme of being the ‘nicest’ and most utopian human nation in the Spur to live in or have a character originate from. They lack a language of their own, unlike other major human players (Tradeband for Dominia, Freespeak for the Coalition, Common for the Alliance and Basic for Biesel), instead doubling up as speakers of Tau Ceti Basic for some inexplicable reason. 

I don’t want to go into too much detail as to why I think Elyra is bad, since I think the broader issue here is just a general lack of detail across the board, as well as a lack of any recent attention being given to the nation as a whole. For me, it effectively relegates Elyra -- a chunk of human lore that’s ostensibly on par with the Alliance or the Coalition in terms of its size, number of locations for character origins, etc. -- to being essentially glorified planetary lore. I think it’s a huge shame that locations like Aemaq with its chemical seas have fallen under the radar due to being smothered by Elyra as a whole, and I think fleshing Elyra out via more detail and some level of rewriting/revising existing lore would really help bring it into its own as a diverse and interesting character origin point.

 

4) Assuming you are given the position, which area or project would you like to work on first? Why?

Ideally, I’d like to cut my teeth on a smaller and more focused piece of lore as an initial project or area of work. An example would be a specific Elyran planet rather than tackling the nation as a whole -- Medina, for instance. Elyra draws heavily on real-world cultural analogues that I have a lot of interest in already (Persian influences, for example) and I’d really like to build off of those existing themes and help flesh out one aspect of its lore in particular before trying to move work towards bringing it up to the same standard as other pieces of human lore in general. Starting with something I have a personal interest in seems to me like a good way to ease myself into potentially writing for things I maybe don't enjoy or appreciate as much further down the line, at the very least.

 

5) How effectively do you work in a team environment? Remember that you will be both working in the human lore team and the greater lore team. Your responsibilities are not just writing lore, but being a small part in something larger.

I'm no stranger to working as part of staff teams in roleplay communities and beyond. I understand that this position doesn't offer carte blanche to just print off lore as and when I feel like it without consulting and collaborating with at least the rest of the human team itself, if not the greater lore team as a whole. In fact, the collaborative aspect of writing is something I actively enjoy in the right environment -- I find that feedback or active co-writing from other people invested in writing more often than not improves the end product.

 

6) What is your disciplinary history on the Aurora, if any? (Bans, Warnings, Whitelist Strips) Why did you receive these?

I have never received any bans, formal warnings, or whitelist strips of any kind on the Aurora that were not later overturned. Here is the complaint regarding the one formal warning I briefly received before having it quashed and removed. (link)

 

Notes:

This goes without saying, but I’m happy -- and almost eager, even, I guess? -- to answer any questions anyone might have about this app as a whole. I’ve tried not to drone on and on and on and give overly wordy answers to anything, but there’s a lot more I could say about gunning for this position and what I think about human lore in general!

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Omi's a good friend of mine and probably one of my favorite players on Aurora. I think he'd do a good job as human lore deputy - if there is anyone I'd want to see (other than myself, of course!) get the slot, it's definitely going to be him.

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Hi there.

You're a friend and so whilst blindly +1 your app is tempting, that would of course be biased and somewhat unfair. 

Soooo I have a couple of questions instead.

1) Whilst Elyra is certainly somewhat bear bones, there's a lot of human lore that is practically untouched relative to its cousin (off worlders, large parts of the CoC, Mictlan, ect). Why do you think this is and would you work toward these elements at all?

2) What do you feel your biggest OOC hurdle toward writing lore for the team might be? There's always a risk when going from player to staff in any community that things can get a bit sucky. It's not unheard of  for some of our lore devs to practically vanish, after all.

3) A lot of your answers understandably focused on only human lore within its own setting. How do you feel about the race's integration with other species? Is there anything you'd like to change, work on, ect?

Good luck with your app ^^.  Sure you'll do great.

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I have seen some concerning behavior from you in-game, such as when you are frustrated with whatever happened, you can come off as rude or raging. One case, in particular, was when you said something along the lines of the server being ruined, despite all the great lore, because of antags and that staff did not anything about it (in which I also got fed up with said comments and told you to come to the job of a moderator if it was that easy). Keeping your cool is very important in the lore team because we can take part in a lot of discussions that can get kind fierce when both sides don't agree or the situation is controversial. Another point is that while you have few notes, they are all somewhat related to the issue that I explained above. So, do you think this is also an issue at all, or won't be a problem if you are part of the team?

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9 minutes ago, Lemei said:

1) Whilst Elyra is certainly somewhat bear bones, there's a lot of human lore that is practically untouched relative to its cousin (off worlders, large parts of the CoC, Mictlan, ect). Why do you think this is and would you work toward these elements at all?

2) What do you feel your biggest OOC hurdle toward writing lore for the team might be? There's always a risk when going from player to staff in any community that things can get a bit sucky. It's not unheard of  for some of our lore devs to practically vanish, after all.

3) A lot of your answers understandably focused on only human lore within its own setting. How do you feel about the race's integration with other species? Is there anything you'd like to change, work on, ect?

1. First and foremost, I think a lot of this lore ends up looking 'untouched' due to a lack of maintenance. As far as I'm aware, the current human team has done a lot of work going over older pieces of lore recently in order to bring them up in terms of quality. In my app, I mentioned Elyra specifically as an area I'd like to improve because the application itself only called for one example, but you're absolutely right in that things like Mictlan are in similar need of attention. I don't think they're beyond saving, and I'd certainly like to look at things like Mictlan if I got the chance, but they wouldn't be as much of a priority for me personally on account of simply preferring other areas of the lore. That's it, really.

2. I'm not unduly concerned about this angle of things beyond how my real life situation might change in the weeks and months going forward. I've had a lot of disruption in my academic and working life on account of COVID, and it's probable that my free time might get cut drastically compared to what I've become used to once (or at this point, if...) lockdown finally lifts for good. Other than that, though, I don't think that a lore-centric position brings as much baggage with it as something like a proper administrative staff position might. A lot of what I found contributed to burnout in the past when I was staff were things like an overexposure to staff-only information wearing down my ability to enjoy the game for what it is, and I don't think that really applies here.

3. Since the app was a human lore app, specifically, I tried to stay well within the boundaries of human lore. The obvious answer here though is that I think human lore is intimately locked in step with IPC lore in particular, and I foresee coordinating with the IPC team as a big priority for anything to do with human lore. Other than that, though, I don't think there's an undue amount of integration with other species in areas that don't verge into general lore (I'd view something like Biesel as more of a general lore thing now rather than specifically human, for example -- and you could say the same about megacorporate lore) and this isn't really something I'd like to focus on changing, at least initially. Species lore tends to be pretty insular as it is, in my experience, and I don't have an issue with that.

2 minutes ago, Alberyk said:

I have seen some concerning behavior from you in-game, such as when you are frustrated with whatever happened, you can come off as rude or raging. One case, in particular, was when you said something along the lines of the server being ruined, despite all the great lore, because of antags and that staff did not anything about it (in which I also got fed up with said comments and told you to come to the job of a moderator if it was that easy). Keeping your cool is very important in the lore team because we can take part in a lot of discussions that can get kind fierce when both sides don't agree or the situation is controversial. Another point is that while you have few notes, they are all somewhat related to the issue that I explained above. So, do you think this is also an issue at all, or won't be a problem if you are part of the team?

I remember that deadchat conversation from a few months back, yeah. All I can say here is that I don't really intend to make it a secret that I can get fired up and angry about things -- 'passionate' is the usual word people use to excuse this behaviour, which is why I was on the fence about writing it in my app at all to begin with. With that said, though, I have always operated under an understanding that there's a difference in the level of expectations players can and should be held to and those which apply to people in positions of authority, such as lore or administrative staff. I don't sugar-coat things to an undue degree and I prefer to have frank and forthright discussions about anything I don't agree with. The best thing I can say here in the moment -- without trying to sit around and sleep on what the best possible answer might be -- is that I already recognise this as a potential issue, but I don't foresee it being a problem for me going forwards. I am aware that expectations for staff members' behaviour are more stringent than those applied to the playerbase at large, and where working within the lore team itself is concerned I'm confident I can uphold those same behavioural expectations regardless of how I might feel about something in the heat of the moment.

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I really like your suggestions, and I think you'd be a great candidate, although I agree that there's more places than just Elyra that are quite lackluster, even Biesel (outside of Mendell) to a degree. Now, with another language question: would you propose an Arabic like language for Elyra? Would you 'split' Freespeak, considering how it's basically spoken everywhere? What would you like to add to these planets in particular, their industries, their customs and culture, etc?

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Posted (edited)
Quote

 

What is your stance on doing more cross-species interaction?

What game plans do you have to work with other members outside of the Human Lore Team? (I'd ask that you attempt to cover all the species, if possible)

Do you have any plans for Mictlan or Eridani? 

 

Goddluck. No answer is the wrong answer, just want to get to know your opinions and thought processes a bit more. 

Edited by Caelphon
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Posted (edited)

The lore aspect of this server can, at times, be very frustrating. Sometimes you'll want to do something really badly but hit a roadblock - whether that be a species loredev telling you that what you want isn't feasible or, worse, a loremaster telling you at the last minute that whatever you want isn't feasible.

I know you've been improving on this, especially given that I prodded you about it a few times and you don't seem to be doing it anymore, but you really are too passionate for your own good sometimes. At other times, when things don't go your way, you have a tendency to let it show too much in public and for a lore position that's especially bad. You'll be dealing with a lot of shit sometimes and it can get to your head very easily. Everyone gets pissed off at games, but being pissed off at people in public where they can see you is undesirable. Doubly so for a lore position where you'll be critiquing others' work and dealing with heated arguments on server direction.

With that said, I think you can temper your attitude. I want to believe that you can fix this problem and I know you can since from my perspective you've been improving on it. Pretty fast, too, but it's nonetheless a concern that I have to bring up out of respect.

Onto actually relevant questions:

Let's talk about languages! I've wanted to rework human languages in the code for a very long time and I know you have experience in the lore aspect for this. We could work on this together if you get accepted, but I want to know your plans. Let's say that you have complete creative direction - what's your ultimate plan for reworking Aurora human languages?

Do you have any plans for Eridani? Some of the planets there are extremely barebones. I'd also like to know what you think about Eridani as a whole, about a paragraph or so should suffice, but I want to compare what you think about it with what I think since it's a particularly good piece of lore in my view. Well... the Federation page, that is.

Do you think there are any parts of human lore that are 'beyond saving' and should be cut?

Edited by MattAtlas
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9 hours ago, Desven said:

Now, with another language question: would you propose an Arabic like language for Elyra? Would you 'split' Freespeak, considering how it's basically spoken everywhere? What would you like to add to these planets in particular, their industries, their customs and culture, etc?

At the very minimum, I'd like to add an Elyran analogue for Sol Common/Tau Ceti Basic that's more or less specific to Elyra itself, although ideally it would have some level of penetration beyond just Elyra into places like the Coalition. This would be somewhere further down the line, though, as I'm aware that something on the scale of an entirely new language is probably beyond a lone lore deputy's reach, but it would be something I'd really like to push for. Languages lore is an aspect of the Aurora canon that I think gets overlooked a lot, and since languages are an area of personal interest for me IRL anyway it's something I'd love to sink my teeth into.

Splitting Freespeak isn't something that occurred to me, to be honest, although I only have vague and less well-conceived ideas about how I'd tackle other languages. The main one that came to mind for me, actually, was Tradeband and how it doubles up as a Spur-wide language of culture and affluence and the mother tongue of Dominians -- an isolated people parked light-years away from Sol proper. I'd like to do a potential split between Classical/Lunar Tradeband and Morozi Tradeband (placeholder names, just to give you an idea), hooking in the existing partial intelligibility system that's already in code to give them 90-95% mutual intelligibility while still giving some level of differentiation between them due to the decades/centuries of linguistic drift.

As far as getting to grips with planets go, like I said in my opening post, I'm trying hard to care less about the nitty-gritty details first and foremost and to work 'backwards' (so to speak) from an interesting and eye-catching concept or idea. Something like Assunzione or Gadpathur are examples of how I'd like to end up going about things -- a strong and immediate concept that hooks you in (a planet with no star? A post-apocalyptic hellscape?) and grabs the reader/player's attention far more effectively than statistics about planetary industry. I think these more grounded aspects of lore are really important, too, don't get me wrong -- how any potential location lore fits into the existing jigsaw of the Spur is of paramount importance, and if I had to criticise Assunzione and Gadpathur specifically on this angle it's that they're kind of like lore 'islands' in a way, with not a lot of importance to the setting. Industry is just one way I think you can tie a planet into the greater lore framework -- Pluto is tied in as a major source of helium-3, for example -- but things like Eridani's unique culture and Dominia's weird and almost alien customs are good examples too. I'm definitely interested in trying to tie in interesting themes similar to these into location lore.

8 hours ago, Caelphon said:

What is your stance on doing more cross-species interaction?

What game plans do you have to work with other members outside of the Human Lore Team? (I'd ask that you attempt to cover all the species, if possible)

Referring partially to one of my previous answers -- I foresee having to work closest of all with the IPC lore team, considering how intimately interwoven human and IPC lore already is. I'm entirely up for this -- synthetic lore is something I already have a real interest in, and I love playing my IPCharacters and playing around with the themes of synth lore as a whole. This is an area I'd be really invested in getting into, personally.

Skrell are probably the next biggest candidate for collaborative lore, given how they've already sunk deep into several human megacorporations and the position of power/clout they enjoy relative to basically any other alien species in the Spur. Again, they're an area of Aurora I happen to have an interest in, even if my character concepts for them can never quite get off the ground, but I think there's a lot of potential for really exciting and even gritty interactions between Skrellian areas of lore like the Federation itself and some aspects of human lore -- particularly with the Alliance weakened post-KOTW. In short, though, the Skrell are another species I personally like, and I'd very potentially be interested in integrating them with human lore a bit more than they already are.

Tajara aren't really a species I associate very closely at all with human lore and how it works. The main points of overlap are the Tajara ban from Solarian space and the ongoing story of D6 in Mendell itself, as near as I can pick out, but ultimately I would be happy to leave Tajara lore mostly to its own writers and wouldn't foresee much interest from my end in collaborating with them at this point. I don't think they have the same level of relevance to human lore (and vice versa) as IPCs and Skrell do. These are my sentiments towards Unathi as well, too -- there's some overlap here with Dominia and Zavodskoi, off the top of my head, but again these aren't areas of lore that particularly grab my attention and as such wouldn't be a priority for me at all.

Finally, I have essentially no interest in dionae or vaurcae at the time being. Neither race has particularly caught my eye despite reading through their species-specific lore, and as near as I can tell they have very limited overlap with human lore as a whole outside of Zo'ra's status inside the Republic of Biesel itself. Of all the alien species on Aurora, these two would be by far my areas of least interest. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't be open to collaborating with their respective lore teams if the right project or angle should come up for it, though -- all I'm saying is that in all honesty I wouldn't have any overt desire to pursue anything like that on my end.

8 hours ago, Caelphon said:

Do you have any plans for Mictlan or Eridani? 

Mictlan -- yes. It stands out as something of a blank slate right now, and I think it's a great example of lore that missed the mark in terms of its unique hook. Essentially, I see it as something I could really get to grips with without upsetting too much established canon, and given its newfound importance in the lore as the biggest new member of the Republic of Biesel I think it's the perfect time to give it actual relevance for once. That said, the plans I have for writing something around it are in a very early stage and are extremely vague, but suffice to say that there is an interest in developing it.

Eridani -- no. Eridani isn't really one of my favourite areas of lore, because I find it way too cheesily cyberpunky for my liking, but despite that I think it holds up well in terms of player attraction and general interest. Way way further down the line I could see myself interested in making some more nuanced changes to it, primarily for believability's sake, but right now I have no real plans to touch it at all personally.

7 hours ago, MattAtlas said:

Let's talk about languages! I've wanted to rework human languages in the code for a very long time and I know you have experience in the lore aspect for this. We could work on this together if you get accepted, but I want to know your plans. Let's say that you have complete creative direction - what's your ultimate plan for reworking Aurora human languages?

If I had complete, unilateral control and didn't have to worry about immediate feedback? I'd like to hypothetically implement an initial overhaul to the languages currently present in game along lines such as these:

  • addition of Elyran Standard (placeholder name) as an Elyran analogue to Sol Common. This would be a fully-fledged language in its own right.
  • splitting of Tradeband into Classical/Lunar Tradeband and Morozi Tradeband. These would have high (90%+) mutual intelligibility. Another direction to take this would be making Morozi its own language and splitting it from there into High and Vulgar Morozi, but on the whole I'd like to solve this with a Tradeband split more so than introducing another parent language.
  • addition of more prominent dialects as full 'languages' in game (NHP Common and Gadpathurian Common as children of Sol Common, 95%+ intelligibility, for example). This would be a lot more contentious due to potential bloat (the dreaded b-word...) as well as the coding that would be needed to accent-lock these specific languages to prevent them being taken willy-nilly. Anyone familiar with Baystation may already know how the Selenian-ZAC interaction on Bay works -- this would be what I'd be aiming for here.
  • Skrell get Solarian Common to shore up some aspects of their lore that drive me mad. If there needs to be a new 'human only' language to replace it, I'd like to see Elyran Standard slide in and take up that mantle rather than handwaving another new language in to fill the void.
  • very potentially hooking the existing mutual intelligibility/partial understanding system into pre-existing human languages. I don't think Freespeak should be 100% unintelligible to a character who speaks Basic and Common, for example -- I'd like to see maybe 25-30% of the words able to blend through. This would probably be contentious to a lot of people, though, and the partial understanding system seems a little barebones as well. This is something I would have an interest in but would be a lot more cautious pushing forwards (hypothetically, anyway)

That's about it as far as a longer-term plan would go. This would already need a lot of collaboration with other members of the lore team, and while I think Aurora languages could be pushed further and expanded on even more angles than this we'd just be entering the realms of pure speculation.

7 hours ago, MattAtlas said:

Do you have any plans for Eridani? Some of the planets there are extremely barebones. I'd also like to know what you think about Eridani as a whole, about a paragraph or so should suffice, but I want to compare what you think about it with what I think since it's a particularly good piece of lore in my view. Well... the Federation page, that is.

Do you think there are any parts of human lore that are 'beyond saving' and should be cut?

Like I mentioned in my previous answer -- no, I don't really have any plans for Eridani. It has a lot of characters in-game representing what lore it does have already, and I don't think it has any issue at all attracting new players invested in both the 'corporate' lore and the 'dreg' lore.  Some of the planets there are barely more than names on a wiki page, yes, but as a whole the Federation has a very strong playerbase and far less problems to solve than other areas of human lore. I'd be open to giving it more detail and so forth further down the line, of course, but right now I have zero plans for it personally.

Unless there are little offcuts of really wacky legacy human lore sitting around that I'm not aware of (like the extraneous Dominian House page tracked down and obliterated by Schwann a while ago) -- nothing is immediately jumping to mind here. I'm a big proponent of reworking/recycling existing settings in the canon rather than out-and-out deleting them where possible, especially when they might already be incorporated into players' backstories to some degree. Even something like Mictlan, which is building a reputation as a problem child, isn't something I think can't be saved with a strong concept behind a rewrite.

Edited by Omicega
i hate forum formatting
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22 minutes ago, Omicega said:

At the very minimum, I'd like to add an Elyran analogue for Sol Common/Tau Ceti Basic that's more or less specific to Elyra itself, although ideally it would have some level of penetration beyond just Elyra into places like the Coalition. This would be somewhere further down the line, though, as I'm aware that something on the scale of an entirely new language is probably beyond a lone lore deputy's reach, but it would be something I'd really like to push for. Languages lore is an aspect of the Aurora canon that I think gets overlooked a lot, and since languages are an area of personal interest for me IRL anyway it's something I'd love to sink my teeth into.

Splitting Freespeak isn't something that occurred to me, to be honest, although I only have vague and less well-conceived ideas about how I'd tackle other languages. The main one that came to mind for me, actually, was Tradeband and how it doubles up as a Spur-wide language of culture and affluence and the mother tongue of Dominians -- an isolated people parked light-years away from Sol proper. I'd like to do a potential split between Classical/Lunar Tradeband and Morozi Tradeband (placeholder names, just to give you an idea), hooking in the existing partial intelligibility system that's already in code to give them 90-95% mutual intelligibility while still giving some level of differentiation between them due to the decades/centuries of linguistic drift.

As far as getting to grips with planets go, like I said in my opening post, I'm trying hard to care less about the nitty-gritty details first and foremost and to work 'backwards' (so to speak) from an interesting and eye-catching concept or idea. Something like Assunzione or Gadpathur are examples of how I'd like to end up going about things -- a strong and immediate concept that hooks you in (a planet with no star? A post-apocalyptic hellscape?) and grabs the reader/player's attention far more effectively than statistics about planetary industry. I think these more grounded aspects of lore are really important, too, don't get me wrong -- how any potential location lore fits into the existing jigsaw of the Spur is of paramount importance, and if I had to criticise Assunzione and Gadpathur specifically on this angle it's that they're kind of like lore 'islands' in a way, with not a lot of importance to the setting. Industry is just one way I think you can tie a planet into the greater lore framework -- Pluto is tied in as a major source of helium-3, for example -- but things like Eridani's unique culture and Dominia's weird and almost alien customs are good examples too. I'm definitely interested in trying to tie in interesting themes similar to these into location lore.

Referring partially to one of my previous answers -- I foresee having to work closest of all with the IPC lore team, considering how intimately interwoven human and IPC lore already is. I'm entirely up for this -- synthetic lore is something I already have a real interest in, and I love playing my IPCharacters and playing around with the themes of synth lore as a whole. This is an area I'd be really invested in getting into, personally.

Skrell are probably the next biggest candidate for collaborative lore, given how they've already sunk deep into several human megacorporations and the position of power/clout they enjoy relative to basically any other alien species in the Spur. Again, they're an area of Aurora I happen to have an interest in, even if my character concepts for them can never quite get off the ground, but I think there's a lot of potential for really exciting and even gritty interactions between Skrellian areas of lore like the Federation itself and some aspects of human lore -- particularly with the Alliance weakened post-KOTW. In short, though, the Skrell are another species I personally like, and I'd very potentially be interested in integrating them with human lore a bit more than they already are.

Tajara aren't really a species I associate very closely at all with human lore and how it works. The main points of overlap are the Tajara ban from Solarian space and the ongoing story of D6 in Mendell itself, as near as I can pick out, but ultimately I would be happy to leave Tajara lore mostly to its own writers and wouldn't foresee much interest from my end in collaborating with them at this point. I don't think they have the same level of relevance to human lore (and vice versa) as IPCs and Skrell do. These are my sentiments towards Unathi as well, too -- there's some overlap here with Dominia and Zavodskoi, off the top of my head, but again these aren't areas of lore that particularly grab my attention and as such wouldn't be a priority for me at all.

Finally, I have essentially no interest in dionae or vaurcae at the time being. Neither race has particularly caught my eye despite reading through their species-specific lore, and as near as I can tell they have very limited overlap with human lore as a whole outside of Zo'ra's status inside the Republic of Biesel itself. Of all the alien species on Aurora, these two would be by far my areas of least interest. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't be open to collaborating with their respective lore teams if the right project or angle should come up for it, though -- all I'm saying is that in all honesty I wouldn't have any overt desire to pursue anything like that on my end.

Mictlan -- yes. It stands out as something of a blank slate right now, and I think it's a great example of lore that missed the mark in terms of its unique hook. Essentially, I see it as something I could really get to grips with without upsetting too much established canon, and given its newfound importance in the lore as the biggest new member of the Republic of Biesel I think it's the perfect time to give it actual relevance for once. That said, the plans I have for writing something around it are in a very early stage and are extremely vague, but suffice to say that there is an interest in developing it.

Eridani -- no. Eridani isn't really one of my favourite areas of lore, because I find it way too cheesily cyberpunky for my liking, but despite that I think it holds up well in terms of player attraction and general interest. Way way further down the line I could see myself interested in making some more nuanced changes to it, primarily for believability's sake, but right now I have no real plans to touch it at all personally.

If I had complete, unilateral control and didn't have to worry about immediate feedback? I'd like to hypothetically implement an initial overhaul to the languages currently present in game along lines such as these:

  • addition of Elyran Standard (placeholder name) as an Elyran analogue to Sol Common. This would be a fully-fledged language in its own right.
  • splitting of Tradeband into Classical/Lunar Tradeband and Morozi Tradeband. These would have high (90%+) mutual intelligibility. Another direction to take this would be making Morozi its own language and splitting it from there into High and Vulgar Morozi, but on the whole I'd like to solve this with a Tradeband split more so than introducing another parent language.
  • addition of more prominent dialects as full 'languages' in game (NHP Common and Gadpathurian Common as children of Sol Common, 95%+ intelligibility, for example). This would be a lot more contentious due to potential bloat (the dreaded b-word...) as well as the coding that would be needed to accent-lock these specific languages to prevent them being taken willy-nilly. Anyone familiar with Baystation may already know how the Selenian-ZAC interaction on Bay works -- this would be what I'd be aiming for here.
  • Skrell get Solarian Common to shore up some aspects of their lore that drive me mad. If there needs to be a new 'human only' language to replace it, I'd like to see Elyran Standard slide in and take up that mantle rather than handwaving another new language in to fill the void.
  • very potentially hooking the existing mutual intelligibility/partial understanding system into pre-existing human languages. I don't think Freespeak should be 100% unintelligible to a character who speaks Basic and Common, for example -- I'd like to see maybe 25-30% of the words able to blend through. This would probably be contentious to a lot of people, though, and the partial understanding system seems a little barebones as well. This is something I would have an interest in but would be a lot more cautious pushing forwards (hypothetically, anyway)

That's about it as far as a longer-term plan would go. This would already need a lot of collaboration with other members of the lore team, and while I think Aurora languages could be pushed further and expanded on even more angles than this we'd just be entering the realms of pure speculation.

Like I mentioned in my previous answer -- no, I don't really have any plans for Eridani. It has a lot of characters in-game representing what lore it does have already, and I don't think it has any issue at all attracting new players invested in both the 'corporate' lore and the 'dreg' lore.  Some of the planets there are barely more than names on a wiki page, yes, but as a whole the Federation has a very strong playerbase and far less problems to solve than other areas of human lore. I'd be open to giving it more detail and so forth further down the line, of course, but right now I have zero plans for it personally.

Unless there are little offcuts of really wacky legacy human lore sitting around that I'm not aware of (like the extraneous Dominian House page tracked down and obliterated by Schwann a while ago) -- nothing is immediately jumping to mind here. I'm a big proponent of reworking/recycling existing settings in the canon rather than out-and-out deleting them where possible, especially when they might already be incorporated into players' backstories to some degree. Even something like Mictlan, which is building a reputation as a problem child, isn't something I think can't be saved with a strong concept behind a rewrite.

All of this sounds good. You're a beloved player, we haven't really interacted OOCly but I know you get along with plenty of people, which is also a good thing for a deputy. You have my +1.

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In the interest of transparency, I've interacted with Omi plenty before and count them as a friend.

I think this is a very solid application! Your plans for languages, both in the original post and in further replies, seem very solid and well-thought-out while keeping potential code limitations in mind. I can personally attest to other people's concerns about behaviour and temper, I've witnessed this a couple times and been the target of it once that I can remember. However, Omi seems to be well aware of this issue and seems to be taking steps to try and change that problem; this demonstrates a willingness to address issues in your own behaviour and approach that outweighs the negatives of the initial behaviour, in my book.

I tried to think of some questions, but all the ones I'd really go for have already been asked. So +1 from me, to be reductive.

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 I'd love to see these aspects of Elyra's lore more fleshed out than ever. It's almost bizarre how one one of the largest independant space nations in our lore has been put in such a backseat position where it's almost left unmentioned or unheard of.  I'd love to see its potential as its own living, breathing world come to full fruition through all these tidbits of culture and languages being gradually introduced, as well as the plans to develop a new world sound awesome!

 

You've already tackled on the concerns in regards to some your past conduct, and I like to think you're genuinely looking out moderate your 'passion' as you put it. Passion doesn't always have to be a negative trait, as is shown by your ambitious talks on discords when it comes to our server lore. You've always come off as honest in your attempts to introduce concepts, and make talking points to address problems in our lore and its atmosphere.

 

You have my +1. Glory to Mankind!

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Omi is a person that I have an overall positive opinion on. They do have their uh oh gamer moments, but the vast majority of the time they are fairly agreeable, and Omi's attention to the lore is very noteworthy. Not to mention we desperately need to do something with Elyra, and the fact he wants to tackle it is the icing on the cake. Though I do have some questions because why not. 

Do you plan on fleshing out Elyra's opinion on Vaurca at all? Such as more detailed history on the Lii'dra attack or how said event has shaped the culture of the nation?

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2 hours ago, Roostercat said:

Do you plan on fleshing out Elyra's opinion on Vaurca at all? Such as more detailed history on the Lii'dra attack or how said event has shaped the culture of the nation?

I'll admit that this is an area of lore I'm not really that strong on. I spoke briefly with some people recently about this, actually, and this particular chapter of lore seems to have some less-than-ideal documentation on the wiki and to have been primarily done through news articles. I am aware of a general streak of xenophobia running through Elyra, though, owing to the Hegemony's belligerent attitude and the Lii'dra invasion both, but while I'd like to expand on this in a cautious manner (I don't want to encourage a streak of one-note xenophobe characters by any means), I think that I'd like to end up pulling in some faces who were around in that era of Aurora's history -- ideally members of the Vaurca lore team, if possible, for where Bursa is concerned -- and collaborate extensively with them on bringing the wiki up to standard regarding those events. I don't think news articles and the like should be a primary source of information for worldbuilding aspects like these.

I don't foresee anti-Vaurca/Unathi sentiment being a central feature of what I'd ideally like to write into Elyran culture. I'd like to tie it into something martial, maybe, in order to channel it towards something a bit more constructive or well-rounded than just 'we hate aliens'.

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Posted (edited)

The questions posited here have all been good, and your answers to them all eloquent. I cannot say I have the degree of personal experience here as other people responding to the thread do, so I will refrain from commenting there. I would like to ask if you could pick a couple of pieces you've done to showcase your talent— despite being rough around the edges as you may put it, seeing what you can do, Aurora related or otherwise, would help tremendously.

Now, for a couple questions. These are all hypothetical, so I'm not looking for a "gotchya" moment to throw in your face later on. I just want to see your creative process and how you view the lore currently.

1) Human lore (despite King of the World) has been focused on revamping factions and locations instead of news articles and running events. Do you have a particular interest in either of these things? What type of arc (articles, in game, or both) would you want to write and manage if you were given the green light?

2) If the human team was faced with the difficult choice of removing a faction, which one would you propose and why?

3) What is your opinion on retconning lore? A retcon, to be on the same page here for this question, would be a rewrite of a piece of the lore's narrative that is large enough to impact most or all of that lore's relevant characters. A couple of things to keep in mind: the impact on player characters, the capacity to remove poorly written material, the amount of time dedicated to fixing rather than furthering the narrative, the ease of which future lore writers will be able to/could overwrite your work.

Thanks again for putting in the time and effort to apply! 

Edited by Haydizzle
Quick touch up
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33 minutes ago, Haydizzle said:

I would like to ask if you could pick a couple of pieces you've done to showcase your talent— despite being rough around the edges as you may put it, seeing what you can do, Aurora related or otherwise, would help tremendously.

I have a very early draft of a piece of Aurora location lore I started writing for this application just as part of a writing exercise. It's in extremely early stages given I'm juggling replying to the application itself with the rest of my free time, but I'll be editing it into the original post further down the line. It's not intended to be something I would push for canonisation, though -- I'm not applying for this position with the idea trying to push something of my own straight into the Aurora canon.

A lot of the writing samples I have are from back-and-forth forum roleplay and don't translate super well to people outside of the setting, unfortunately. One thing I do have as an example of extended writing that should be easy to get around, though, is the character story from mid-2018 (aka back when CM still had a semblance of RP) I used for my synthetic app on CM-SS13, which you can find here. It's not the longest or most recent thing I've ever written, and it definitely isn't really a lore-centric format, but I hope it can show you something at least!

34 minutes ago, Haydizzle said:

The questions posited here have all been good, and your answers to them all eloquent. I cannot say I have the degree of personal experience here as other people responding to the thread do, so I will refrain from commenting there. I would like to ask if you could pick a couple of pieces you've done to showcase your talent— despite being rough around the edges as you may put it, seeing what you can do, Aurora related or otherwise, would help tremendously.

Now, for a couple questions. These are all hypothetical, so I'm not looking for a "gotchya" moment to throw in your face later on. I just want to see your creative process and how you view the lore currently.

1) Human lore (despite King of the World) has been focused on revamping factions and locations instead of news articles and running events. Do you have a particular interest in either of these things? What type of arc (articles, in game, or both) would you want to write and manage if you were given the green light?

2) If the human team was faced with the difficult choice of removing a faction, which one would you propose and why?

3) What is your opinion on retconning lore? A retcon, to be on the same page here for this question, would be a rewrite of a piece of the lore's narrative that is large enough to impact most or all of that lore's relevant characters. A couple of things to keep in mind: the impact on player characters, the capacity to remove poorly written material, the amount of time dedicated to fixing rather than furthering the narrative, the ease of which future lore writers will be able to/could overwrite your work.

Thanks again for putting in the time and effort to apply! 

1. I think news articles are good fun and interesting for players in the short-term, but ultimately my problem is that they tend to age poorly and be a more obtuse lore format for newer players. When I first came to Aurora I found a lot of the newspaper threads to be difficult to follow compared to simple wiki stuff, and while I'd enjoy writing things in a newspaper format I definitely don't think it's as important as wiki-side lore.

As far as events go -- no. I have no interest in running them on Aurora for the simple reason that Aurora lore staff doesn't get any form of on-server permissions, and I think running an event 'through' an admin would just drive me mad, honestly. This isn't intended to be some kind of backhanded swing at how Aurora runs their lore teams -- it's just my initial gut feeling about something like this. I know members of some lore teams have done little canon micro-event things that have turned out well, but unless the process behind the scenes is smoother than I'm imagining it to be right now I would have next to no interest in this. I would be more than happy to write stuff that contributes to an arc being played out on the server -- in fact, I'd find that exciting, and I think I'd get a lot of personal satisfaction watching players find their way through a narrative that I'd written -- but actually running it in the moment is something I think I'd just find irritating and unwieldy given the lack of on-server permissions. This is all pretty hypothetical, though, and in the right environment and with the right administrative staff helping set things up I think I could be talked around on this.

If I were to write an arc and get involved in it, I think one of the big ones I'd like to focus on would be (maybe obviously) kicking some post-KOTW stuff centric to human lore into gear again. For me, things feel like they've kind of stalled out in the wake of the last major arc coming to a close, and while a lot of the sweeping changes I expect to see manifesting soon are more of a general lore thing than specifically human (greater SCC integration, megacorporate lore expansions, specific things like more and more contractor authority on the Aurora etc.), I think the IC reaction of places like the Coalition and Elyra to the new political landscape has been a little muted. I'd like to develop that more actively, maybe. That might be a bit ambitious to start with, though, but it's one idea I'd like to carry forwards in the longer term.

 

2. I don't know what you mean by a faction. If you mean a whole nation within the lore itself, I'd prune Elyra for reasons similar to those I've already mentioned answering other questions; their lore is extremely barebones compared to the other major human players, and I also feel as if they're something of a 'lore island' compared to things like the Alliance and Coalition. The Spur's setting as a whole doesn't have a lot of dependence on Elyra existing -- if you 'unplugged' it from Aurora's canon overnight there would be upheaval, sure, but nowhere near as much as removing far more well-integrated segments of human lore would cause. Obviously this is an immense 'what if' question that I'd never really see coming to pass, but that's what I'd do if it somehow wound up happening.

 

3. Retconning lore outright is something I'd like to avoid if at all possible unless there's no other option. You've already listed a lot of reasons I think it's an extremely damaging thing to go through with -- ripping pre-existing pieces of lore out of the setting is dicey when people have already potentially built characters around it. I think rewriting is generally a better idea than out-and-out retconning, although when I say rewrite I don't mean just paraphrasing the original work -- it'd be more of trying to maintain the same broad themes as before but perhaps using them in ways that are less clunky. The line between a retcon and a rewrite is blurred, though, and in instances where there are little to no people really using an existing piece of lore (Mictlan...) I think a rewrite can overlap heavily with the idea of retconning a lot of the source material without trying to make it work in the future where it very clearly hasn't been in the past.

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Posted (edited)

I will give responses, critiques, and questions in order of the questions you have answered, along with a miscellaneous section at the bottom of my statements. I would like if each critique or question is addressed in its entirety.

  1. I am very pleased to see that you like the lore that our station has and am happy that you can also cite mechanical features of the lore, such as the accent system, as ways that help you engage with the game and community at large. I am also interested by your approach to lore writing and am glad to see and the quality of lore outside of just within a vacuum is something that I can agree with you on, and that I think a very good approach to have when coming to the lore writing process. That all being said, I am not satisfied with an answer to my second question listed in Question 1 of the original template. What separates you from the rest of the candidates? All are passionate and have approaches to writing that indeed indicate this, but how do you differ, how would you market yourself to us, assuming passion is something excluded, or at least secondary to our decision making process?
  2. Your love and mention of specific elements in the lore is something that I can appreciate, however I do have some critiques and concerns, primarily in relation to your stance on megacorporations. Idris is arguably the most popular megacorporation in our setting, and has to the minds of some, been given unfairly large amounts of attention in the past year or so, resulting in it being power creeped by the various people that write lore for it. It is, in short, a favourite. Ironically, despite being the "main," corporation of our setting, the one that has seen some of the least amount of development in the past is NanoTrasen. How do you think that you can apply your writing to the corporations in our setting aside from Idris, and work to further develop them to the levels of lore that you believe Idris has? Moreover, I am concerned that you may exhibit favouratism to Idris incorporated, as this is already a trend that some in the community have critiqued the lore team on before. Of course you can simply say that you will not do this, and I cannot judge you as a candidate for things that have not happened yet, but it is a concern that I have and wanted to at least bring up in my response to you.
  3. Elyra is a very broad topic, and as you may be aware of the Human Lore team is in the middle of reworking the faction in a group-effort of expanding history and culture. You've mentioned wanting to start small with perhaps a planet, and this is something that I think would be a very good place to begin for a person on the team, if we are ready for such development when you are hired, assuming you get the position. I know that you are a person with a lot of linguistic experience and a person who is more or less fluently bilingual in English and French. However, linguistic changes are types of developments that have met great resistance in the past not only from some in the lore team, but also those in the developer team and among the admins. I am not saying that if appointed, these changes will not happen, but I want to give warning that they may not. Making the assumption that they do not, how in your mind, can you make a worthwhile contribution to Elyra? When you speak of a lack of detail, could you give some examples to what you think are problematic areas, and then suggestions on how you might remedy them? Two minimum. Following up on this, the lore as a whole is much larger than just Elyra and you already know this. Discounting Mictlan for its obvious choice and nearly comical status as an area in human lore that needs development, what are some places outside of Elyra that you would like to make additions, retcons, or just more broadly speaking, changes to?
  4. I have little to no issue with this suggestion as an area that you would first like to work on if appointed. This is not a confirmation or guarantee that it will be what you will work on if appointed, but it is me expressing my favour with your suggestion.
  5. Your expression of the realities of teamwork are something that I am glad to see and welcome as an attitude when working on the team. However, as some have commented already and as some in the lore team have expressed in discussing your application, you have a history of expressing your frustration and anger with both problems in the lore and with disagreements with your ideas in rather inflammatory outbursts. Part of being on the lore team, as passionate as a job like it is, is learning to at times, step back and abandon your passion for certain elements of lore, even if they are very personal to you, and I have some concerns that you may not be able to do this. How do you think that you can address these concerns, as they are not only ones that I hold. Moreover, how do you believe that you can not just only work with the team, but also work as an integral part of the greater lore team, a team that you may, or may not, disagree with quite often.
  6. I have no issues with the disciplinary history said here.

    Miscellaneous: Its no small secret that you are friends with, even close friends with, some lore team members, and that this bond could potentially impact their views on your appointment in your favour. I am not accusing you of collusion with anyone on the lore team for the purposes of ensuring your position, but I am saying that cliques and acting with them are not unheard of in communities like ours, or in communities period. Assuming you get the position, it may seem to some that you only got said position because of your preexisting social connections and not because of your merit as a candidate distanced from your social connections. How do you address these concerns? Additionally, how do you think that you will be able to work in the lore team with the presence of these friendships in the dynamic of your interactions with your co-workers? Cliques impacting policy, as I have said, can happen, and if I am to hire you, I need to know that you will not engage in this kind of behavior. I am not saying that you cannot be friends with your coworkers, in fact I encourage friendship and camaraderie, but I need to know that these social relationships will not be placed over the duties so assigned to you as a lore deputy. Please address this.

    I look forward to your responses. Thank you.
Edited by TheBurninSherman
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1 hour ago, TheBurninSherman said:

1. ... That all being said, I am not satisfied with an answer to my second question listed in Question 1 of the original template. What separates you from the rest of the candidates? All are passionate and have approaches to writing that indeed indicate this, but how do you differ, how would you market yourself to us, assuming passion is something excluded, or at least secondary to our decision making process?

I made an effort to address this in my reply to the first question as it stands, but I’m happy to expand on this and reiterate some of it to potentially make it clearer. Like I said, I’m interested in writing lore that isn’t just ‘good writing’ in a vacuum but that actively offers something to engage players and actively works towards selling them something worth building a character around. Some of our existing lore already falls into that trap (Himeo is an example I’d point to), I feel, and this is something I feel I put a particular emphasis on avoiding in my own writing. I want to create lore that will appeal to players rather than just being interesting to write in and of itself -- I like to focus more on the cultural and societal angles of location lore, for example, rather than drier and less engaging minutiae like historical, governmental, and geographical lore tends to fall into. That isn’t to say that I think these parts of location lore in particular aren’t important, though -- it’s more that I think it’s very easy to get carried away expanding on these in lieu of genuine attention-grabbing USPs that can inspire unique characters. Given that I’m coming into this application process already aware of this issue (or at least what I see as an issue), I think that’s definitely something I can offer from a purely mechanical writing standpoint -- an intention to write lore that looks to contribute to the in-game roleplay environment first and foremost, ideally by inspiring characters that represent the lore directly. There are reasons I think things like Eridanian dregs overshadowed Venusian Jintarians, for example, and why Dominian nobles have overshadowed Lunarian 'new money' characters despite both of these comparisons containing similar lore themes to one another, and I'm arguing that I have a particular focus on finding these bits of spice that other candidates might not.

1 hour ago, TheBurninSherman said:

2. Your love and mention of specific elements in the lore is something that I can appreciate, however I do have some critiques and concerns, primarily in relation to your stance on megacorporations. Idris is arguably the most popular megacorporation in our setting, and has to the minds of some, been given unfairly large amounts of attention in the past year or so, resulting in it being power creeped by the various people that write lore for it. It is, in short, a favourite. Ironically, despite being the "main," corporation of our setting, the one that has seen some of the least amount of development in the past is NanoTrasen. How do you think that you can apply your writing to the corporations in our setting aside from Idris, and work to further develop them to the levels of lore that you believe Idris has? Moreover, I am concerned that you may exhibit favouratism to Idris incorporated, as this is already a trend that some in the community have critiqued the lore team on before. Of course you can simply say that you will not do this, and I cannot judge you as a candidate for things that have not happened yet, but it is a concern that I have and wanted to at least bring up in my response to you.

I think any favouritism I might have towards Idris in particular would quickly become clear if and when I ever wound up writing megacorporate lore. Like you said, you can express these concerns and I’m happy to address them, but short of assuring you that it’s something I will at least try to avoid, I agree with you in that I don’t know how else to address this at this point.

NanoTrasen is easily the most boring of our megacorporations right now, yeah. Zeng-Hu was a contender for that spot until it got a little bit of a facelift recently, but even so I’d still say it’s solidly in the second place spot for dry lore -- especially if you take their unique stance on positronics out of the equation. This might be a little contentious, but I don’t think that NanoTrasen being the ‘blank slate’ of corporations as a whole is entirely a bad thing. It’s part of why I think Biesellite lore is fine as it is, despite being (in my opinion) painfully generic as a character origin point for humans in particular. These two pieces of lore have to play host to a lot of newer players, and the sheer volume of Aurora lore is already quite overwhelming to deal with. As a somewhat newer face on Aurora myself (under a year is somewhat new, right?) I remember keenly how much of a struggle it was to try and work my way up through wiki reading to a point where I felt confident I knew what people were talking about ICly a majority of the time. On that front, I think NanoTrasen’s ‘genericness’ helps ease newer players into the setting more so than experienced community members might realise -- there’s not a lot of specific lore you need to know to fit the NanoTrasen corporate ‘theme’ like you might with Idris or Zeng-Hu, for example.

To that end, I think that touching NanoTrasen and giving it more ‘flavour’ should be done quite delicately. I don’t know if KOTW foreshadowed a potential lore transition from a ‘NanoTrasen plus contractors’ focus to a ‘SCC as a whole’ focus, but if this is the case I think it’s the perfect opportunity to help NanoTrasen feel a bit more distinctive by specialising it a bit more. The other megacorporations have an inherent advantage in the Aurora’s setting because they come onto the scene already pushed into specific niches; Idris in security and service, Hephaestus in engineering and supply, et cetera. Again, this is pretty speculative since I have no idea what’s on the cards regarding lore’s long-term direction with the SCC and shift to the new map (coming soon???), but I can definitely see it offering a good opportunity to fix some of this to some degree.

As far as the other major corporations go -- I think they’re all doing well in terms of their unique flavour, but I agree with you in that they could all do with a lot more fleshing out. During the mini-rework all the megacorporations got recently I agree with you in thinking that Idris got the biggest boost out of it -- not that they were even doing badly beforehand! -- with Zeng-Hu coming up right behind it in terms of exciting new additions. The industrial side of Zavodskoi and its arms manufacturing is something I’d be interested in developing more, rather than just its security angle; as well as that, I think Hephaestus could use some subsidiary corporations to give it more character. The existing approach of Hephaestus simply absorbing new acquisitions into the megacorporation as a whole is something I think stifles room for creativity right off the bat -- contrast how Idris, for example, has its unique subsidiaries based around fashion. These are a couple of hypotheticals on how I’d specifically go about trying to improve megacorporations that aren’t Idris itself, because as I’ve already said I agree with you in that while they’re a personal favourite of mine, they don’t need anywhere near as much attention as their counterparts do at the moment.

1 hour ago, TheBurninSherman said:

3. Elyra is a very broad topic, and as you may be aware of the Human Lore team is in the middle of reworking the faction in a group-effort of expanding history and culture. You've mentioned wanting to start small with perhaps a planet, and this is something that I think would be a very good place to begin for a person on the team, if we are ready for such development when you are hired, assuming you get the position. I know that you are a person with a lot of linguistic experience and a person who is more or less fluently bilingual in English and French. However, linguistic changes are types of developments that have met great resistance in the past not only from some in the lore team, but also those in the developer team and among the admins. I am not saying that if appointed, these changes will not happen, but I want to give warning that they may not. Making the assumption that they do not, how in your mind, can you make a worthwhile contribution to Elyra? When you speak of a lack of detail, could you give some examples to what you think are problematic areas, and then suggestions on how you might remedy them? Two minimum. Following up on this, the lore as a whole is much larger than just Elyra and you already know this. Discounting Mictlan for its obvious choice and nearly comical status as an area in human lore that needs development, what are some places outside of Elyra that you would like to make additions, retcons, or just more broadly speaking, changes to?

I know a little about Aurora’s history regarding sweeping changes to the languages system and the roadblocks they’ve often encountered higher up the chain, yes. Everything I proposed was very hypothetical and I’ve spoken at length with other people -- maybe even yourself? I don’t remember -- regarding earlier iterations of those same ideas and how much difficulty I foresaw turning them into anything other than a pipe dream. I want to clarify that first and foremost.

With that in mind, even if my hands were tied entirely regarding linguistic changes I think there’s so much room for improvement in Elyra it’s difficult to know where to begin. I don’t want to reiterate too much of my original reply here, but I think individual planetary lore for the nation falls flat on its face, in addition to what I see as vague and ill-defined themes regarding its status as the Spur’s closest thing to a utopia. Comparing the length of the lore pages for Persepolis and Medina to planets like Europa, Venus, and Gadpathur, for example, highlights the lack of overall detail right away. Persepolis has roughly 2,300 words on its page, with Medina clocking in at roughly 1,200; Europa has just under 5,000, and both Gadpathur and Venus are over 6,000. I don’t think sheer length is the be-all and end-all as far as measuring lore quality goes, of course, but this already illustrates the lack of general detail I’m arguing is present here. These two specific planets are lore-wise the two biggest and most prominent in all of Elyra, and even when combined there’s less raw written material here than a single Solarian world.

Each of these specific pages just need more raw detail added into them -- the existing content is so thin that I think it would be easy to justify full rewrites and partial retcons of what’s already written in order to build something more concrete in its place. Personally, I’d like to double down on Persepolis’s existing lore about Elyran media and cinematic culture and end up writing it as a sharp contrast to Venus’ take on the same angle, while also incorporating a commercial sort of cosmopolitan trade hub vibe to the planet as a whole. I’d have it specifically pinned down as Elyra’s biggest centre of trade, as the sci-fi concept of great dockyards and massive amounts of cargo being moved day-in day-out is something I already quite enjoy.

Medina’s existing content incorporates elements of phoron extraction (another of Elyra’s unique lore facets -- having its own phoron sources -- which I’m surprised didn’t come up more in the KOTW arc) and I’d like to again tighten the planet’s scope and focus on this if I were to get to grips with it. This gives it a strong tie-in to the rest of the Spur’s lore as a whole, since phoron is a central commodity to our setting, and this feeds back into something I mentioned earlier about liking to ensure lore is ‘tied into’ other lore rather than existing just as an island in and of itself. The hard point here for me would be thinking of ways to build off this concept in a manner that would encourage people to make and play Medinan characters specifically, and I’ll admit that at this point I don’t have many ideas coming to mind how I might do that.

Outside of Elyra, I already mentioned Himeo as an example of a planet whose lore I think missed the mark in terms of USPs, and given how low its in-game representation is in terms of a playerbase I think it’s an area that could use some attention in the form of ‘de-drying’ it a bit. The direct democratic system and anti-corporate themes there are well-written and interesting, sure, but it’s lacking the same difficult-to-quantify spice that locations like Dominia and Eridani evidently have in spades. How exactly I’d go about incorporating this is, again, tricky for me to say right now (I’m writing this reply all in one go), but Himeo is something I think could use some additions and minor rewrites to help sell it more to the playerbase as a whole. I don’t think it needs many (if any) outright retcons, though.

1 hour ago, TheBurninSherman said:

5. Your expression of the realities of teamwork are something that I am glad to see and welcome as an attitude when working on the team. However, as some have commented already and as some in the lore team have expressed in discussing your application, you have a history of expressing your frustration and anger with both problems in the lore and with disagreements with your ideas in rather inflammatory outbursts. Part of being on the lore team, as passionate as a job like it is, is learning to at times, step back and abandon your passion for certain elements of lore, even if they are very personal to you, and I have some concerns that you may not be able to do this. How do you think that you can address these concerns, as they are not only ones that I hold. Moreover, how do you believe that you can not just only work with the team, but also work as an integral part of the greater lore team, a team that you may, or may not, disagree with quite often.

This point keeps being brought up, although I understand why. It’s not a secret that I like to speak my mind and be blunt about things -- or, to put it less clinically, that I have a tendency to get loudly and publicly frustrated with things that work their way under my skin. I’ve addressed this to some extent in previous replies already, but I’m more than happy to expand on it. Like I said, I understand and support an idea that there are (and should be) different standards to which staff should be held compared to those applied to the playerbase at large. This isn’t intended to be an excuse for any pre-existing behaviour pattern so much as it is an assurance that I understand that anything I were to say as staff could and would be taken with more weight behind it, and that it would then reflect on the team as a whole rather than just myself. I’d encourage you to speak with other members of staff on this issue if you have deep and grave concerns about it to get their opinions on my conduct, because I can’t offer you a lot here other than assurances and a finger pointing back towards staff teams I’ve worked as part of in the past without an undue amount of controversy.

As far as working with the lore team in general goes -- like I said, I’m aware that staff channels such as internal lore team stuff is a more professional environment than the server itself, its associated Discord, and so on. I know how to disagree with someone without flying off the handle -- I'm writing these answers out of sequence and I'm going to disagree with you in the next question, actually -- and as I’ve said in a previous reply, this is something that was highlighted as a potential issue going into this application before I even put pen to paper, but it’s not something I foresee as a problem for me going forwards.

1 hour ago, TheBurninSherman said:

Miscellaneous: Its no small secret that you are friends with, even close friends with, some lore team members, and that this bond could potentially impact their views on your appointment in your favour. I am not accusing you of collusion with anyone on the lore team for the purposes of ensuring your position, but I am saying that cliques and acting with them are not unheard of in communities like ours, or in communities period. Assuming you get the position, it may seem to some that you only got said position because of your preexisting social connections and not because of your merit as a candidate distanced from your social connections. How do you address these concerns? Additionally, how do you think that you will be able to work in the lore team with the presence of these friendships in the dynamic of your interactions with your co-workers? Cliques impacting policy, as I have said, can happen, and if I am to hire you, I need to know that you will not engage in this kind of behavior. I am not saying that you cannot be friends with your coworkers, in fact I encourage friendship and camaraderie, but I need to know that these social relationships will not be placed over the duties so assigned to you as a lore deputy. Please address this.

I’m not a fan of talking in veiled language like this and I’d rather tackle this issue head-on, so I’ll be direct here. It’s not a secret that I consider Schwann a close friend -- to clarify, he’s about the only person on the lore team I’d call a friend at all, although I’ve definitely gotten along well with and enjoyed speaking to several others from time to time. I’m going to proceed under the assumption that this question is essentially trying to point at the elephant in the room that this has apparently become.

Bluntly put, I think the onus falls on the lore team’s end of things to decide how best to work against any whisperings like these. I can’t control the selection process beyond trying to give the best answers I can to any questions put into this application thread, and it’s a waste of effort for me to just say “it won’t affect anything” when I have essentially no way to guarantee that to anyone. I trust the transparency of the process as much as anyone else does -- if I were to get the lore deputy position, then I’m assuming that everything that goes on behind closed doors has been above board, just as anyone else might. If anyone were to criticise me with accusations of nepotism on behalf of the lore team, then that’s on them -- all I can do is write the best application I can and point to that as evidence that I’m not half-assing this under the expectation that I can be carried in based on community connections. Any further concerns about the transparency of the selection process are not something I can affect.

As far as friendships within the lore team would impact my work going forwards -- in all honesty, I don’t share your concerns here. You can ask anyone who’s asked me for feedback on essentially anything for testimony if you want -- I don’t shy away from telling people, friends or not, if I think something they’ve written needs improvement, is a bad idea from the very beginning, or anything else along those lines. I don’t support people blindly in things just because I like them; in fact, I consider that kind of mindless ‘yes-man’ mentality frustrating and downright insulting when it’s delivered in lieu of actual helpful feedback.

If you want a more specific answer on this, you’ll have to be more specific with a followup question or two, but if you are concerned that I’d support a friend pushing a lore-related agenda, for example, solely on account of them being a friend and without any regard for the content, consequences, or ramifications of what’s being pushed, then all I can tell you is that that isn’t the case.

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Thank you for your detailed reply in the addressing of my points. I see nothing here that I take immediate or blatant issue with, but I will read over this more to glean any information from it that I can. If I have further questions or concerns, I will post them here. Thank you again, and good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

After deliberation with my deputy and the rest of the lore team, we have come to the collective decision to accept this application.

Congratulations! You will receive additional details to your new position over Discord.

Edited by TheBurninSherman
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