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[Withdrawn] Datberry's Vaurcae LoreDev Application


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Ckey/BYOND Username: Datberry


Position Being Applied For Vaurca Loredev


Past Experiences/Knowledge: Nothing of note that I can remember.


Do you play Vaurca extensively? Why? I used to play vaurcae, but I stopped around fowl's retirement, mostly because the lore was changing and I was waiting for it to settle down but then I did not like the way the lore headed with chev, and then tammy took over and I wasn't really sure which parts were retconned and not and which will be, so I waited for longer, and now here we are.


If you were chosen for Lore Developer, what would your plans be for Vaurca?

  • Reduce VR importance, have it more of a training system for bounds, and a work/research/enjoyment environment for unbound.
  • Increase the content in the pre-human period vaurcae can experience, something I noticed in past whitelist apps is the lack of anything of interest pre-meeting humans. (compared to tajara/skrel/unathi etc, they feel a lot more limited).
  • Expand on the augmentation part of the lore, and see how cyborg(the actual term)-like features would fit the players and lore.
  • Rework Koi's and phoron breathing, as it never made sense that NT would hire "cheap labor" that literally breathes phoron to stay alive.
     

 

Would you embark on major or minor rewrites of Vaurca lore? If yes, why is your rewrite worth it?

I think the major rework would be Koi's and phoron breathing, currently it leaves you hanging with IC questions like "how is hiring them even profitable?" "why don't we just use kois and some bounds to farm infinite phoron?" It's also not the (IMO) best implantation of a survival-like system, it's currently a sure fire way to be killed if you go AFK, and without any outside help, makes working certain time consuming jobs not enjoyable if not impossible, I want to replace it with a crippling consequence that can be remedied afterwards, and not a round ending one.

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Sounds good, but what do you have in mind regarding the phoron replacement?

 

I don't have any plans in concrete right now, But the vague idea is, they would have to either rely on a tank (again, but a different gas) or depend on the atmosphere + implant that requires something else, giving them two ways to continue, and have the consequence crippling but not round ending for the character.

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I find the phoron mechanic to be unique. It's ingrained in who they are. The execution of it could stand to be corrected, I agree, but breathing something that is poisonous to everyone else if it leaks brings about an alienness to them. It's explaining how that's profitable that is the trouble. Unless you create a new element altogether, which K'ois is made of, which is functionally the same as phoron but overtly useless.

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Well I'm giving a +1.


Berry seems genuine in his plans going forward for the ants, though I think you should take it account the thoughts and feelings of the current species players to avoid alienating them further since they're already having a bad time with the lore as is.

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Well I'm giving a +1.


Berry seems genuine in his plans going forward for the ants, though I think you should take it account the thoughts and feelings of the current species players to avoid alienating them further since they're already having a bad time with the lore as is.

 

That's what I've been trying to do, asking what they thought about some certain parts of the lore that I want to change and asking them what they thought about it, I've also talked with bygone and shared my ideas to see what he thought of them and possibly inspire them if they get the spot instead. our ideas turned out to be very similar but his ideas were fleshed out more.

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If you were chosen for Lore Developer, what would your plans be for Vaurca?

  • Reduce VR importance, have it more of a training system for bounds, and a work/research/enjoyment environment for unbound.
  • Increase the content in the pre-human period vaurcae can experience, something I noticed in past whitelist apps is the lack of anything of interest pre-meeting humans. (compared to tajara/skrel/unathi etc, they feel a lot more limited).
  • Expand on the augmentation part of the lore, and see how cyborg(the actual term)-like features would fit the players and lore.
  • Rework Koi's and phoron breathing, as it never made sense that NT would hire "cheap labor" that literally breathes phoron to stay alive.
     

 

So let's start with going through what you want to change. I'll start with the list.

1. Reduce VR importance - I actually 100% agree with this, I find that the VR is definitely interesting, but I don't get it, I don't understand it at points, and it seems way too important for the race to actually even reasonably have an impact in real life, I would much prefer if it was more of an Augmented Reality or some place where they can still work to benefit themselves in the Material world. Perhaps there are still some Vaurca that get entirely obsessed in the recreational aspect and start to get "addicted", but overall reworking the importance and way VR works is a major plus for me.


2. Increase History - Yes, I want a lot more things to talk about, more depth, more existence, more... everything really. I want to learn about how Vaurca worked before implants and mandatory lobotomy of bound. Was polymorphism and caste system more pronounced? Less pronounced? I would like history of inter-hive conflict and wars, etc. Breakthroughs in technology, of course now Vaurca are cut off and a bit limited in what they can do, but how advanced actually was the race back on their home world? Just, history, to talk about, give depth, all that junk.


3. Augmentation Stuff - Honestly, I also agree with this, I want this stuff more specified, we are told in the lore that Vaurca that work in NanoTrasen facilities are the least augmented type, to what extend do the augments go? Internally, externally, is it primarily technological augments or does it get into bio-engineering? Do some Vaurca have a ton of arms? Are some essentially a different body shape? What functions do different augments have, is it possible to implement a bit of a choice of augments gameplay wise so it can feel as if it has an actual effect? I would like to reference a small section from a lore article that gives just a glimpse of some of the augmentations extent.

"for many of them it was the first time they have seen Vaurca up close. There were several unbound and their bound servants. Many Unathi were also skittish around the Vaurca warriors that were with the queen. The warriors, known as Type BB, along with the large sized queen, dwarfed all present. Some commented that their size and scale made the Guwan Guard's horned breacher suits look like hatchlings in comparison. "

Personally for me, the sheer difference in castes fascinates me, and comments like that tend to make my imagination go wild with how modified some of the Vaurca deep in hives are like.


4. Rework K'ois and Phoron breathing - Okay, so i'm mixed on this. I believe that k'ois and this mechanic is a major part of Vaurca lore, and it's part of what makes them unique, and I would avoid entirely removing the system, but instead reworking it into something similar. Now obviously, I say we have to keep k'ois, it's ingrained into the lore, it's important, it's identifiable, etc.

What I would personally propose, is create a new fluff chemical that is primarily just something native to the Vaurca home-world. Have this chemical be naturally grown in k'ois, but I would like if it was a multi-purpose chemical that Vaurca can use for various things. For example, ingested or injected (because dying because your full and can't eat more air sucks) refills internal air supply. Perhaps it can be formed into a sorta healing salve that helps heal Vaurca, considering they do not have natural regeneration and only heal from chems perhaps.

Have this chemical be extremely important to Vaurca society, as more than just a food source, perhaps the lore behind it can be it was a genetically engineered chemical created to fuel their augments, heal themselves, act as food, make it easier to breathe, etc.

Oh I would also appreciate if it wasn't the hardest thing ever to afford and not die every shift but you know, i'll save game-play related suggestions for another post, this is for lore.


I'm somewhat rambling at this point, but I think you get my idea, overall I really like the ideas you have planned, you have shown to be active in the community, and as long as you continue to work with the admittedly small Vaurca playerbase, I think you would make a good lore-dev, and perhaps we can even raise Vaurca to a more reasonable popularity again, because admittedly currently? The lore is lacking at points, it's more of a pain to play them in game as not because the limitations really hit hard, and overall? These cute buggo's need some love.


Annnnywaaays, before I go on for another hour,


+1 I'm willing to give this a try.

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4. Rework K'ois and Phoron breathing - Okay, so i'm mixed on this. I believe that k'ois and this mechanic is a major part of Vaurca lore, and it's part of what makes them unique, and I would avoid entirely removing the system, but instead reworking it into something similar. Now obviously, I say we have to keep k'ois, it's ingrained into the lore, it's important, it's identifiable, etc.

What I would personally propose, is create a new fluff chemical that is primarily just something native to the Vaurca home-world. Have this chemical be naturally grown in k'ois, but I would like if it was a multi-purpose chemical that Vaurca can use for various things. For example, ingested or injected (because dying because your full and can't eat more air sucks) refills internal air supply. Perhaps it can be formed into a sorta healing salve that helps heal Vaurca, considering they do not have natural regeneration and only heal from chems perhaps.

Have this chemical be extremely important to Vaurca society, as more than just a food source, perhaps the lore behind it can be it was a genetically engineered chemical created to fuel their augments, heal themselves, act as food, make it easier to breathe, etc.

Oh I would also appreciate if it wasn't the hardest thing ever to afford and not die every shift but you know, i'll save game-play related suggestions for another post, this is for lore.

 

I could live with this. This portion was my last reservation in giving this my nod of approval.


You've reached out to some of us that play Vaurca for our thoughts. And while I know you don't have to listen to anything we have to say or please us in any way, I could see you being a solid choice for the Vaurca future.


+1 from another bug.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

Hello! Thank you for your application. You have many interesting design choices and a few of them carry some baggage that I'd like to unpack.


 

Reduce VR importance, have it more of a training system for bounds, and a work/research/enjoyment environment for unbound.

Even before LordFowl, even before me, VR was the defining characteristic of Vaurca. They are a complete inversion of the rest of our races. All other species' within our canon (and within usual scifi) a spacefaring species looks outwards and seeks to expand. The Vaurca are the trope subverters. They want to fold inwards, retreating from the great expanse to live within the paradise of virtual reality. They've created a utopia for themselves and every single decision is to try to get closer to returning to this dream. They sent out their arkships not out of a need or want to colonize, explore, or conquer the galaxy, but as a way to survive and remain within their VR. The ideal world of Vaurca is one which is sealed off from the galaxy. If this were stellaris, Vaurca would have the inward perfection civic.


Downplaying the importance of VR downplays the literal reason Vaurca have to exist. Building and maintaining virtual reality is the foundation upon which all other elements of the Vaurca society revolve around.


How can you justify reworking the importance of VR? What will be the life goal of Vaurca, if not to experience utopia within virtual reality? Why would Vaurca want to live in the harsh galaxy with their limited lifespans? A Vaurca in VR is virtually immortal.

 

Increase the content in the pre-human period vaurcae can experience, something I noticed in past whitelist apps is the lack of anything of interest pre-meeting humans. (compared to tajara/skrel/unathi etc, they feel a lot more limited).

 

I assumed the information was already there? Before and even during LordFowl's reign the Vaurca pre-human history was on their history section. It followed the history of pre-Bound Vaurca as the Hives divided Sedantis amongst themselves and fought in the tunnels under its radiation-blasted surface. It emphasized that the Vaurca were crazy good engineers and masons, and that the were able to build the staggeringly advanced and impressive Arkships within an unbelievably short amount of time in order to evacuate their world, while skeptical hives simply dug deeper into the planet to wait out the end of the world.


Do you want more pre-contact history of what life was like on the arkships? Because that was touched on - the Arkships slowly spread over the galaxy, occasionally depositing Vaurca on a planet, while the Unbound inhabitants focused on remaining in VR as knowledge of how to actually maintain the ship was slowly lost over time until they now have almost no idea in how to fix anything. An arkship stopping in a system is a big deal because the hundreds of thousands or even millions of Vaurca in the ship literally can't go anywhere else, and the locals have to figure out what to do with them.


What about this would you change and expand on? What theme are you going for? Did I interpret your plan here correctly?


Also, the fate of Sedantis is meant to be a scary mystery hanging over all of our heads. Pre-LordFowl lore had fully established political factions duking it out back in Vaurca space. The fact that in our new version of the lore we have NO IDEA what the Vaurca left behind have managed to accomplish is scary. The Lii'dra have a single ship and they can terrorize an entire world and sweep aside whole navies - what a hypothetical Lii'dra empire could bring to bear against our worlds is meant to be a chilling thought that drives us to gag the Vaurca. If they actually established contact with more Vaurca in deep space it could invite giants into the playground.

 

Expand on the augmentation part of the lore, and see how cyborg(the actual term)-like features would fit the players and lore.

this one is cool no problem here

 

Rework Koi's and phoron breathing, as it never made sense that NT would hire "cheap labor" that literally breathes phoron to stay alive.

Vaurca needing some gas we don't typically breathe is an interesting mechanic, but (as Tammy expressed shortly before her leaving the lore team) it left Vaurca literally asphyxiating in the halls when the crew didn't feel like giving them phoron.


It's pretty ingrained into the canon that they need phoron to breathe, and that K'ois has phoron in it (Mendell City just had a phoron cloud float through it from burning K'ois) so rewriting this would be a Big Deal. What sort of rework do you see? Do you think we can have phoron be required but make K'ois literally the only thing they need to breathe proper air? We don't have set in stone lore (yet) of where Phoron actually comes from, so it being in K'ois isn't that big of a stretch in terms of it being Vaurca's gimmick.


The fact K'ois is literally a class 10 biohazard on anything other than a sealed and sterile space station and doesn't produce as much phoron as a miner can haul in is probably enough to explain why we don't have massive k'ois farms grinding out phoron for NT. Not economical in terms of cost/reward. What do you think about this?

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Even before LordFowl, even before me, VR was the defining characteristic of Vaurca. They are a complete inversion of the rest of our races. All other species' within our canon (and within usual scifi) a spacefaring species looks outwards and seeks to expand. The Vaurca are the trope subverters. They want to fold inwards, retreating from the great expanse to live within the paradise of virtual reality. They've created a utopia for themselves and every single decision is to try to get closer to returning to this dream. They sent out their arkships not out of a need or want to colonize, explore, or conquer the galaxy, but as a way to survive and remain within their VR. The ideal world of Vaurca is one which is sealed off from the galaxy. If this were stellaris, Vaurca would have the inward perfection civic.


Downplaying the importance of VR downplays the literal reason Vaurca have to exist. Building and maintaining virtual reality is the foundation upon which all other elements of the Vaurca society revolve around.


How can you justify reworking the importance of VR? What will be the life goal of Vaurca, if not to experience utopia within virtual reality? Why would Vaurca want to live in the harsh galaxy with their limited lifespans? A Vaurca in VR is virtually immortal.

 

VR is nice on paper, but when you're left to make vaurcae character you're hardpressed to involve a large portion of it to being in either VR or with humans, another point is that VR is a new(relative term) concept to vaurcae, they had operated as a hivemind before and can do with out it.


The goal of every vaurcae would be the survival and thriving of their hive, it's a goal that can lead to more than one direction, be it isolationism, imperialism etc.

vaurcae would be an ultra-nationalist species, and where that takes each unbound would be up to their player.


on the other hand, having a utopia in a box that everyone can't get enough of means the bugs would rather play with their 3d waifus than actually get anything done in the physical world for the hive's benefit, it would be bad design for a hive that has all of it's member's loyalty guaranteed.


It's also connected to the next point.

 


I assumed the information was already there? Before and even during LordFowl's reign the Vaurca pre-human history was on their history section. It followed the history of pre-Bound Vaurca as the Hives divided Sedantis amongst themselves and fought in the tunnels under its radiation-blasted surface. It emphasized that the Vaurca were crazy good engineers and masons, and that the were able to build the staggeringly advanced and impressive Arkships within an unbelievably short amount of time in order to evacuate their world, while skeptical hives simply dug deeper into the planet to wait out the end of the world.


Do you want more pre-contact history of what life was like on the arkships? Because that was touched on - the Arkships slowly spread over the galaxy, occasionally depositing Vaurca on a planet, while the Unbound inhabitants focused on remaining in VR as knowledge of how to actually maintain the ship was slowly lost over time until they now have almost no idea in how to fix anything. An arkship stopping in a system is a big deal because the hundreds of thousands or even millions of Vaurca in the ship literally can't go anywhere else, and the locals have to figure out what to do with them.


What about this would you change and expand on? What theme are you going for? Did I interpret your plan here correctly?


Also, the fate of Sedantis is meant to be a scary mystery hanging over all of our heads. Pre-LordFowl lore had fully established political factions duking it out back in Vaurca space. The fact that in our new version of the lore we have NO IDEA what the Vaurca left behind have managed to accomplish is scary. The Lii'dra have a single ship and they can terrorize an entire world and sweep aside whole navies - what a hypothetical Lii'dra empire could bring to bear against our worlds is meant to be a chilling thought that drives us to gag the Vaurca. If they actually established contact with more Vaurca in deep space it could invite giants into the playground.

 

I think I failed to word that part properly, what I meant was the history of individual vaurcae, their experiences outside of VR and before being sent to work with humans.

there was a point in time where every vaurcae whitelist app was a variation of "enjoyed doing X in VR, got popped out to work has depression but keeps going for his queen/the hive"


compared to almost any other species, there is no place for conflict and character development in their own habitat.

 

Vaurca needing some gas we don't typically breathe is an interesting mechanic, but (as Tammy expressed shortly before her leaving the lore team) it left Vaurca literally asphyxiating in the halls when the crew didn't feel like giving them phoron.


It's pretty ingrained into the canon that they need phoron to breathe, and that K'ois has phoron in it (Mendell City just had a phoron cloud float through it from burning K'ois) so rewriting this would be a Big Deal. What sort of rework do you see? Do you think we can have phoron be required but make K'ois literally the only thing they need to breathe proper air? We don't have set in stone lore (yet) of where Phoron actually comes from, so it being in K'ois isn't that big of a stretch in terms of it being Vaurca's gimmick.


The fact K'ois is literally a class 10 biohazard on anything other than a sealed and sterile space station and doesn't produce as much phoron as a miner can haul in is probably enough to explain why we don't have massive k'ois farms grinding out phoron for NT. Not economical in terms of cost/reward. What do you think about this?

 

the main issue with it is that with current numbers of vaurcae workers, it makes no sense how their labor costs equalize with the potential phoron they can could be selling.

my current plan would be adding a new gas, a compound that includes phoron in it, but extracting it would not be cost effective compared to mining it.

as a gas it would be similar to phoron but more toxic and less combustive (not non-combustive)


those changes would be lore friendly, and would only require a few amendment instead of complete retcons.


mechanics wise this would make the issue even more harsh for vaurcae, so I was thinking of making the consequences crippling but not round ending for vaurcae.

so instead of suffocating to death they would for example have capped oxyloss, waves of pain, seizures, randomly drop things etc, consequences that would force them to drop whatever they're doing to get kois, but not take them out of the round completely.

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