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Hold golems, artifacts, and other "magical" entities to be non-canon regardless of antag involvement.


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I'm going to keep this brief. Perhaps on account of the setting change to the Horizon, we've recently had a number of situations where golems and especially artifacts (in one situation, a machine that makes crabs out of thin air) appearing ingame. While these are fine in the course of gameplay, they are largely incompatible with our setting and dissonant with our tone, as evidenced by the frequent mentions of these entities in the relay and the cyclical and bizarre conversations that they bring about. No, I'm sorry, machine that draw out your blood and turn them into green blobs of flesh or create infinite sources of food don't belong in our canon.

 

Artifacts and golems are technically canon, according to the bluespace page - https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Bluespace#Artefacts - however, this lore is nearly a decade old and is a relic of a time when Aurora was a much sillier server. It doesn't have a place on our server.

I suggest that all golems and artifacts be decanonized. Perhaps in order to give xenoarcheologists something to talk about, people could be allowed to ahelp to ask for explicit permission to keep an interaction with an artifact canon, provided it is one that fits more in line with our standards as a server. But otherwise, I see no gain in keeping artifacts canon and I am getting tired of seeing them referenced in IC mediums and derailing conversations and interactions with bizarre tonally-dissonant tangents.

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Rework over remove would be more reasonable.
Golems are interesting, but it would be nice to swap out the magic-y parts of it like "Golem" and the rune with something more tech-like. Changing them to be "constructs" instead of "golems" would do wonders just to how people interact with them.

Artifacts are also cool and interesting, the only problem is A. A lot of their phrasing is incongruent with current lore, and B. A lot of their mechanics are busted. Instead of "Machine that makes infinite crabs" for instance, we change how those machines work so they can only make X amount, x being a believable number (somewhere between 5-15?) Things like mundane containers that produce infinite amounts of liquids should be reskinned to be technical looking contraptions. A lot of the cult stuff being removed from artifacts would be good, though. The cult items really don't belong outside of the game mode.

Maybe temporally changing the ruling for them would be a middle ground, but with the understanding we're not removing them from discussion permanently, but only until a reasonable rework on them can be done? Also, it would be a massive headache to manage having moderation permit what can and cannot be cannon on a case by case basis. That's a really unreasonable ask for the long term imo, because I absolutely would hate to do that, so I couldn't reasonably expect moderation to.

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I support the purpose of this, but I don't think this much of a de-canonization is a requirement. Golems I think are perfectly fine, they have plenty of RP potential provided players actually RP them out properly, which is an issue for the players, not the mechanic.

That being said, Artefacts are a very different story. I was under the impression that they followed antag canonicity rules, being that they're canon within the round, but not following rounds (including extended rounds). In my eyes this is the best course of action, as allowing them to remain canon fundamentally breaks the lore of the server in ridiculous ways. Like, there's one that makes infinite Phoron. during a Phoron Crisis. We can't let that remain canon, that's just ridiculous. In game, they should be beholden to antagonist canonicity rules.

Outside of the game, I.e. lore on the wiki, I think both golems and artefacts are fine to keep existing, just have it be that artefacts are so rarely found that nothing lore-changing has been found yet, and golems are in a fine position for RP and lore as it is. Keeping artefacts canon on an out-of-game basis also keeps the potential for horizon artefact discovery events.

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Just now, Bejewledpot said:

Rework over remove would be more reasonable.
Golems are interesting, but it would be nice to swap out the magic-y parts of it like "Golem" and the rune with something more tech-like. Changing them to be "constructs" instead of "golems" would do wonders just to how people interact with them.

Artifacts are also cool and interesting, the only problem is A. A lot of their phrasing is incongruent with current lore, and B. A lot of their mechanics are busted. Instead of "Machine that makes infinite crabs" for instance, we change how those machines work so they can only make X amount, x being a believable number (somewhere between 5-15?) Things like mundane containers that produce infinite amounts of liquids should be reskinned to be technical looking contraptions. A lot of the cult stuff being removed from artifacts would be good, though. The cult items really don't belong outside of the game mode.

Maybe temporally changing the ruling for them would be a middle ground, but with the understanding we're not removing them from discussion permanently, but only until a reasonable rework on them can be done? Also, it would be a massive headache to manage having moderation permit what can and cannot be cannon on a case by case basis. That's a really unreasonable ask for the long term imo, because I absolutely would hate to do that, so I couldn't reasonably expect moderation to.

I am not suggesting we mechanically remove artifacts or golems. I'm just saying all we should do is decanonize. Their mechanics are, as such, irrelevant in the course of this discussion. 

"Rework don't remove" is a platitude repeated since time immemorial, one that is empty and has a similar outcome every time: here's the fact of the matter. It's easy to say "rework don't remove", but it's a lot harder to actually make that happen, and hoping someone else is going to do it just isn't going to work.

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decanonizing them is also pretty easy to do, but it doesn't fix the problem that it basically kills Xenoarch as a department for roleplay. Its effectively the same thing, because the whole portion of science is based off of a gameplay loop that, as you suggest, would be non canon. You might as well remove it at that point.

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If artifacts and golems are completely divorced from the canon of the setting, it begs the question of what the point of the xenoarchaeologist job is if nothing you do matters. Xenobiologist at least has the saving grace of part of their job still being canon (slimes and such, given their relationship with the Skrell too).

Ultimately, I think removing silly artifacts that do silly things based on RNG (likely a relic of extremely old code), as well as reflavoring and redoing the aesthetic of golems would be a good change. Completely removing either, though, isn't something I think would be good.

In that same vein, completely overhauling xenoarch into something new that fits the setting sounds like it would take an immense amount of coding time to do, while the golem change is simply a matter of aesthetic and flavor change.

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I don't agree, for multiple reasons.

 

1) Roleplay wise, this is the best way to make Xenoarcheology incredibly uninteresting. Making these things no longer canons means that every time a character meets an artifact, or an effect from an anomaly, the character will be seeing it for the first time. It is terribly boring, and to be frank, annoying to constantly roleplay out the same thing over and over of discovering something new that you already know about OOCly. You will end up roleplaying the same situation, over, and over, and over of discovering a "new" find that you already know about. This is what we did with sites during expeditions back on the Aurora, and it was boring, the only saving grace being that, then and there, you were generally with different people every time so you'd still somehow explore new dynamics with new character, but here? There's only you, the anomaly, and fellow scientists + miners that generally already know a fair bit about the finds too already.

Remember that Xenoarcheology is ABSOLUTELY USELESS to the crew, gameplay-wise 99% of time, it is a PURELY roleplay job, making it really boring is just how you end it.

 

2) About the tone... I don't know. Personally I've never been minding it, and that's probably because it's never been incredibly important to the lore, or roleplay overall. However, speaking of roleplay... I really thing the tone is what the players make it to be. A crab-cloning machine can sure look amusing at first, then you can roleplay out researching into it... How is it working? Where does the matter come from to make these crabs? Bluespace portals? From the electricity it harvests, somehow? Or perhaps something more sumber?

Personally I've always loved this "possibly magic" aspect. Aurora lore isn't without "paranormal" aspects, things that transcends laws of physics and the likes, with Singularities being the most well known as far as I know (Literally a being so intelligent it can affect reality with mere thoughts). As far as Xenoarcheology goes, the POSSIBLE ideas of cosmic horrors and the likes that just add spice to the job, and make it so unique! It's science, yes, but we're toying with things are definitively out there... And yet, I don't feel like it goes against the established lore because whatever the Xenoarcheologist says... It's theories! It might as well be machines grounded in reality that we simply do not understand and not death-engines from space hell or something.

There IS something that we could fix, however... With so many anomalies being pulled out, how have we not fixed some of the few issues known to the Spur? Like, just on the Horizon, how can we have issues where we're lacking some types of food when we've probably uncovered dozens of cloning machines by now? My idea is that we could add a simple note to this job, lore-wise, something to explain how we're not exploiting these anomalies (at least the safe ones) to their fullest, why they seem to no longer matter post-round... Something as simple as "Due to the toll age has taken upon them, anomalies and artifacts cannot function for extended periods of time after extraction, and tend to break down after just a few hours of use".

 

3) If anything, Xenoarcheology could use a rework (which if I remember correctly, there was a fantastic, very thorough thread on such a topic, just can't manage to find it back), but until then I feel like decanonazing finds will just kill what little interest there may be for Xenoarcheology.

 

 

 

Also on the Golem question, I always thought that the name Golems was the way the crew called them but not an official designation. Sure, we could rename them to something else, and change the runes to "opening dimensional rifts" or something like that.

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I agree with gecko, decanonisation would take what little function the role serves (pure roleplay/understanding what it is to protect mining). The job is purely roleplay based, and what's the point of RP on this server if it literally cannot develop your character? The majority of conversations relate to experiences of the characters, and for xenoarch their most interesting experiences are the artefacts. A better solution would be to have artefacts that mess with the continuity of the lore break after a short while, and have the procedure be that after basic study on the ship they be sent back to central (and also maybe stop with the old fashioned idea that foreign artefacts are cursed).

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Not in support of this when it comes to artifacts. At best maybe "silly" ones could be removed but I don't really think any of them are that bad if handled well. Golems, I don't care about and they're just another aspect of xenobiology rather than its entire thing.

Arguing from the point that it could still exist, but remain non-canon is essentially the same as a removal in that it would invalidate an entire role. People are supposed to talk about their experiences here. If we still had expeditions in a state of "didn't really happen" like Aurora's expeditions used to be as an example, nobody would really go on them.

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I don't see the point of implementing this maximalist policy. Golems rarely come up in gameplay, and the canonicity of artifacts or their properties is usually at the reasonable discretion of the Xenarch. If there is a problem, someone can get talked to. Having to ask every time you want to have your work matter is more load on the staff than vise-versa.

If memory serves, development is actually interested in working on xenarch stuff. At some point. Maybe. Eventually. You know how it is. I remember seeing the developer in question talking about wanting to tone down some of the more absurd anomaly characteristics and combinations. Until something happens, we don't need to make the Xenarch's job more Sisyphean than it already is. Captain Gecko said what needs to be said about this.

Golems are another matter. If I could describe most golems I've encountered, they would all be annoying, stupid, and disruptive. We took out the random rune spawn for this reason. As they are, I wouldn't miss these things if they were straight up taken out of the repo and lore. On the other hand, I would prefer and love to see these things redesigned into a more interesting extra-dimensional entity. So much so, I might do it myself. 

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I really don't like players interacting with things that are noncanon on a canon round. We should really avoid that where possible.

Because of that I'd rather see them just removed or reworked or a rule forbidding their creation without being an antag.

Otherwise if they stay; the lore is entirely up to us. We can just say magic exists. Nothing is stopping us.

Edited by Marlon P.
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8 hours ago, Captain Gecko said:

I don't agree, for multiple reasons...

 

There's a fourth reason I thought about, forgot while writing, and now just remembered!

4) There's also a gameplay aspect to the knowledge of anomalies. Now, when I said that "Xenoarcheology is ABSOLUTELY USELESS to the crew", I meant that it didn't contribute to the station's/ship's... Well being. You cannot regularly find easily activating and safe healing anomalies for medical for instance. However, that doesn't mean that anomalies and artifacts can't interact with the crew in other ways... Generally negative. In this case, you need an expert to deal with them.

So here's the thing; if you have a gas leak, tainted air, something like that, you expect it to be the Atmos Tech (or some other engineer) to know better how to handle the issue and fix everything. If you have problems with troublesome prisonners, the Warden should be your go-to specialist to deal with that. If your crew is hungry and somehow can't use vending machines, none should be better fit to feed us all than the chef... Each problem has a job to counter it, generally, an expert who can respond to a threat efficiently, or at least, better than his less-trained peers. So what happens if you take away artifact canonicity then?

Well, let's take the infamous statuette. Now, first, what does it do exactly? Basically it drains blood of nearby players (And perhaps some other creatures? I'm not sure about that part), and uses its blood to fuel various abilities, mainly summoning creatures. These range from greimorians to passive wraith that will make you pass out on contact, and of course, the dreaded horror that will dismember you in seconds if you're not prepared for a fight. If left unchecked, the statuette can, and will probably, keep on spawning creatures, over, and over, and over again. This can get, obviously, extremely dangerous, and even possibly round-ending. Now, obviously, you need an expert for that, and generally, Xenoarchs are expected to know how to deal with it, or at least, guide/assist crewmates that are better equipped/trained for combat. Except that if you remove the knowledge of prior statuettes being discovered, you basically delete this expert, and you are now clueless against against a possibly round-ending threat. It would be like having engineers forget how to deal with delaming engines, in this very situation.

By removing artifact canonicity, you remove the crew's first (and in most cases, most effective) line of defence against active artifacts and anomalies: experience and knowledge on how to deal with them in the first place.

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On 21/06/2022 at 18:47, Boggle08 said:

Golems are another matter. If I could describe most golems I've encountered, they would all be annoying, stupid, and disruptive. We took out the random rune spawn for this reason. As they are, I wouldn't miss these things if they were straight up taken out of the repo and lore

 

Honestly the only times I've seen golems used has been to handle an extremely fucked antag. The only recent examples I can think of are the armies of them that got summoned to beat back a horror form during the short time the horror form was a literal tank.

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