Echoes of the Past Debriefing



  • The Official Feedback Topic

    Poll: How well do you think the story went? (11 member(s) have cast votes)
    How well do you think the story went?
    Echoes turned out fairly well.
    (5 votes [45.45%])
    Percentage of vote: 45.45%
    Meh, it was okay, but could've been better.
    (4 votes [36.36%])
    Percentage of vote: 36.36%
    Ugh, that was horrible!
    (0 votes [0.00%])
    Percentage of vote: 0.00%
    I'm horribly confused.
    (2 votes [18.18%])
    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

    Echoes of the Past is wrapping up, so it seems fitting to poll the participants (and readers too!) on how they felt the story went. Please vote one of the options above (yes, maybe, no, what?) and then below rant about what you think was good and which parts were bad.

    Hopefully an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of this story can help for the next one.



  • Descriptions of why you answered what you did would be helpful. Especially if you were confused.

    Also since its ongoing, if you which to change your vote - let me know (here or via pm). I'll need to know your old vote and your new one.



  • Well, I read the first page or so, intending to get my act together and join in. From what I know of it now, it mentions dragons, UrSylph, and the Death King, but I am not under the impression that the later parts of the story follow so logically from the earlier. Maybe they did - I didn't read the intervening sections - but I think the introduction of a new theme is something that should tie one chapter to another, not subvert one chapter in the middle.



  • I thought that it turned out fairly well. Yes, there were a lot subplots and some wondering off of the topic, but it was the first TS completed in a while and it came to a fair length with a lot members. Of course, my decision is probably influenced by several factors:1)it was the first TS that I participated in, 2)it had my villain, 3)it was the first TS finished in a long time, 4)it had quite a few members participating, and 4)I had the most posts :).



  • It was going so well, until yesterday.

    I think it would be safe to assume that we should ban the use of time magic in our posts from now on. Its not fair to those who posted before this new 'flux' to lose their precious post due to somebody else not agreeing.

    Yesterday was bull. I spent hours on that post, and was ready to spend another grouping of hours on another post. The second based a LOT on the first, so having it not happen really ######ed me over, so much so that I posted in disgust on the topic.



  • Desert Fox, on Oct 13 2004, 09:53 AM, said:

    I think it would be safe to assume that we should ban the use of time magic in our posts from now on.View Post

    Which is where I was heading, if you'd given it time to develop. ;) You see, there's a reason Kronos is forbidden to interfere too much, which Temrel's about to learn.



  • I think that it turned out ok, although to make it a little easier I think that in the next TS we should have a basic (very basic) storyline to follow, I found a few times that I woke up in the morning and there were about 6 posts while I was sleeping and the story had changed. The reason that I didn't post all that much is because the story changed slightly a few times and I didn't know where it was going so I just had to wait a bit.
    One other thing that I found anoying (probably a everyone else as well) was when you are reading down the page and then you get a god idea for your next post and then you scroll down and they have already moved on, I just find it a little irritating sometimes but there is nothing that can be done about it, its just what happens in a TS.
    As far as ew are through the story at the moment I think that it has turned out quite good and I cant wait for the next one.



  • Its trickier than it seems. Too much control and preset plotlines lead to people complaining they have no flexibility and everyone else knows how its going to end (even if that's not the case). Too little control and everyone wanders around somewhere until someone makes up a plot line. I tried for a balance this time around, leading the group into a plot and then backing off - some of it worked, some of it didn't*. I'm still getting some people saying that it was too pre-planned, and others saying it wasn't pre-planned and organized enough. :(

    As for time magic, perhaps it should have serious consequences on the characters. I mean, being snapped back in time repeatedly is bound to cause some kind of internal injury, and even the slightest mistake could land everyone in an even worse mess. (and then a random thought about having people attempt to escape from the wrong timeline because the time machine malfunctioned)

    *Personally, I think the time the group spent split up was a weak point in the story. I also think the Death King is a sissy - all talk and little action; he's more of an annoyance than an enemy. Hopefully that'll change in the upcoming battle.



  • The Death King will be a lot tougher in later TSes. He didn't do much in this because the group didn't have much time to rescue Avatara and Theo and he wanted the group to reach the dragons before he made his move. Also, people thought that the other undead battle was too long and I didn't want to hold the story up like that again. I don't think that I thought that it'd take this long to reach the dragons.
    Another reason that I thought that the TS was good was that it moved along at a fair pace.



  • The other undead battle was considered too long because there was no point. It seemed obvious nobody in the group was the slightest bit worried about losing, it was "lets just crush these freaks" and another 1000 would be wiped out in a single wave. If the characters had cared more, it would've been okay.



  • Avatara, on Oct 12 2004, 07:35 PM, said:

    Its trickier than it seems. Too much control and preset plotlines lead to people complaining they have no flexibility and everyone else knows how its going to end (even if that's not the case). Too little control and everyone wanders around somewhere until someone makes up a plot line. I tried for a balance this time around, leading the group into a plot and then backing off - some of it worked, some of it didn't*. I'm still getting some people saying that it was too pre-planned, and others saying it wasn't pre-planned and organized enough. :(

    ...

    *Personally, I think the time the group spent split up was a weak point in the story. I also think the Death King is a sissy - all talk and little action; he's more of an annoyance than an enemy. Hopefully that'll change in the upcoming battle.
    View Post

    I am very much in favour of the idea of splitting a TS up into chapters. The first chapter would be 50-100 posts (depending on the number of participants) and be mostly exploratory. It would be the job of the participants to get an idea of what is going to happen, and (probably) to have all met up by the close of the chapter. Then, a small cadre of a couple of people able to communicate frequently would take on the role of villains/plot movers.

    Successive chapters would probably be 30-50 posts each, with the goal of resolving a plot element. Although members are of course able to introduce new themes, they must first finish the current chapter, and it's up to the cadre as to which plot element will get resolved next.

    I'm not certain about any of these numbers, of course, but I think the idea comes across.



  • I wouldn't limit to a set of numbers too much, because sometimes it takes a lot longer to work out a decent plotline, and sometimes there's not much to do - so "chapters" can have wide variance. "As long as it takes" seems to work, if people stay focused and motivated.

    I'm also not too sure about the exploratory section, seems like too much time for nothing to happen (you saw Sarg's most recent 'chapter 1' and how it took a year for someone to finally say "okay, we're moving on").

    At the least, I'm hoping to address something Bryce mentioned before. Starting with Echoes, I'm hoping to at least have continuity between stories - one begins where the last left off and carries off a story in a new direction. That should work out as long as enough loose ends are left open for a new plot, while the ones pertaining to the original story are wrapped up. So, sort of your suggestion, except with less of an overall plot (at least, at this point) between "chapters".

    And if done right, the end of a story/start of the next will still provide enough flexibility for people to change up the cast.



  • The problem with the Ares RPGs nowadays is that the Officer's Club is dead. Also, the current one has the predestination problem, since it's explicitly stated that the story must lead to the start of Ares. Phoenix wasn't an exploratory section, it was a character introduction.

    By the way, the purpose of the numbers was mostly to contrast it to the current one - which is well over 100 now. As for the chapter concept itself, I suppose it's not much different from the concept of "separate TSes with continuity," except in that a chapter is explicitly part of a larger story.



  • I personally didn't feel like it turned out as well as I would have liked, that mostly refering to my own participation. As for the general story, I haven't read it since page 2. However, I am fairly sure that I would have leaned even more in the negative direction if I had.

    cache22, on Oct 12 2004, 04:22 PM, said:

    Which is where I was heading, if you'd given it time to develop. ;)
    View Post

    At this point I reference an ancient post

    Theo Nean Donly, on Sep 23 2000, 09:05 AM, said:

    Also, it completely pointless to make an "invincible" character, or even one that has "invincible-like" powers/abilities.
    View Post

    I count being able to control time as fitting very comfortably within that "invincible-like powers/abilities" category. I haven't read it so perhaps I here err, but, cache, you said some one could have fixed it (other than you), but to me, that just defeats the purpose to begin with. When you throw in something like that, it either nullifies someone elses post, or some one else needs to nullify that one. Either way, people's posts get nullified and as a reader, it's annoying due to completely wasting everyone's time.



  • Theo Nean Donly, on Oct 13 2004, 07:19 PM, said:

    I count being able to control time as fitting very comfortably within that "invincible-like powers/abilities" category. I haven't read it so perhaps I here err, but, cache, you said some one could have fixed it (other than you), but to me, that just defeats the purpose to begin with. When you throw in something like that, it either nullifies someone elses post, or some one else needs to nullify that one. Either way, people's posts get nullified and as a reader, it's annoying due to completely wasting everyone's time.
    View Post

    Which is why I was working to impose some serious limits on it, since one or two others had started to show some leanings in that direction. It is, however, no less annoying when someone posts something with a complete disregard for the natural and obvious reactions of the other characters. Wading in and slaughtering people, apparently without need, and without stopping to justify it to the other characters in any way, most definitely falls into that category. It was very reminiscent of the Ferazel debacle on the island, in 'Air Tower'. In this instance, if I'd been using, say, Flynn as my character, he'd have been trying his darndest to take Desert Fox out of the fight before too much damage was done.

    You do err slightly in saying it served no purpose. In fact it served two, although neither contributed much to the story. First, it showed the serious difficulties inherent in meddling with time. Second, it developed both Temrel's and Kronos' characters a little. That might not mean much to anyone else, but it doesn't really have to, does it.



  • cache22, on Oct 13 2004, 01:06 AM, said:

    It is, however, no less annoying when someone posts something with a complete disregard for
    the natural and obvious reactions of the other characters.

    Its taken me three years, but I've come to realize no matter how hard I try, people do that anyway. They even invent abilities to suit their purposes. I just try to ignore any long-term effects of that and minimize the damage now.

    cache22, on Oct 13 2004, 01:06 AM, said:

    Wading in and slaughtering people, apparently without need, and without stopping to justify it to the other characters in any way, most definitely falls into that category. It was very reminiscent of the Ferazel debacle on the island, in 'Air Tower'. In this instance, if I'd been using, say, Flynn as my character, he'd have been trying his darndest to take Desert Fox out of the fight before too much damage was done.

    Part of this was my fault, I didn't get a post in and Selax covered most of that introduction. Then again, DF's character has to deal with his actions in the future - and he will, one way or another. I think what would have been appropriate would be to "punish" him after the fact rather than reverse time and make it not happen. DF even admitted he'd be fine with that, because it would still leave his post as part of the story.

    Another two things to consider:
    DF had mentioned his character's main philosophy is "whatever means it takes to reach a desired end". Slaughtering villagers for him was less important than his other objective.
    DF is half-possessed, and not fully in control. I don't think the evil mage in his mind cares much about killing manipulated innocents.

    I'm not saying that's a justification for killing civilians, I'm just saying that might be why he did it.

    On the other hand, you said your character was trying to avoid it. The sticky issue is that with control of time you can simply undo anything, so why aren't all bad things undone? That's what you tried to illustrate, I just think this whole thing went about the wrong way.



  • cache22, on Oct 13 2004, 03:06 AM, said:

    Which is why I was working to impose some serious limits on it, since one or two others had started to show some leanings in that direction. It is, however, no less annoying when someone posts something with a complete disregard for the natural and obvious reactions of the other characters. Wading in and slaughtering people, apparently without need, and without stopping to justify it to the other characters in any way, most definitely falls into that category. It was very reminiscent of the Ferazel debacle on the island, in 'Air Tower'. In this instance, if I'd been using, say, Flynn as my character, he'd have been trying his darndest to take Desert Fox out of the fight before too much damage was done.

    You do err slightly in saying it served no purpose. In fact it served two, although neither contributed much to the story. First, it showed the serious difficulties inherent in meddling with time. Second, it developed both Temrel's and Kronos' characters a little. That might not mean much to anyone else, but it doesn't really have to, does it.
    View Post

    The main problem I see here is that you never attempted to find out where I was trying to go with it.

    On IRC ive discussed with several different people who post to the story my plans and others ive made veiled hints as to whats going to happen. Hell, in the story itself it should be noticed that DF goes from his norm to darker to darker, showing his struggle losing its footing in his mind. He was driven to kill, but wasnt killing outright. He wanted to slay, but knew it to be wrong and held off against doing it en mass. He could use his destructive magics, but instead just fought off those with his swords.

    He is fighting his inner demons, and his general philosophy is basically close to it anyways.

    I have a nice plan for a TS to build upon the end of this current one, one that will involve quite a lot from the ending of this one and how I turn my character near the end. That post which was nullified was a nice leap towards the end and my beginning.

    I didnt mind the whole pebble thing, in fact it was quite an interesting idea. The only problem is it wasnt implemented before I put my part in, which made it harder for you, though not impossible. Stepping back in time and erasing my post just pretty much gives me the impression taht you could care less what others in the story arc are thinking, just so long as things go perfectly your way.

    Now, I hope I can post to the topic again. If in fact that is the case, youll have another post by me tonight.



  • Desert Fox, on Oct 13 2004, 08:36 PM, said:

    On IRC ive discussed with several different people who post to the story my plans and others ive made veiled hints as to whats going to happen.View Post

    Which doesn't really count, unless it's made clear in the story in such a way that others can keep their characters in character, yet still leave you to your own devices. Temrel reacted the only way Temrel could have reacted. He's learned better, now. :rolleyes: It was always my intention to bring it full circle, I just needed a bit more material to work with, first. You know, I guess neither of us bothered to find out where the other was going. ;)



  • I do sit on IRC quite a lot, I am in #cythera almost more often than #ev3 nowadays. I do appreciate you fixing that up, because I was quite angry about it.

    I dont know, but I may or may not post tonight, id like to see where the rest moves with this from here and filter it in more and more towards the end.



  • cache22, on Oct 13 2004, 02:02 AM, said:

    You know, I guess neither of us bothered to find out where the other was going. ;)
    View Post

    Which is what IRC is commonly used for*. ;)

    *Surgeon general warning: IRC may lead to addictive habits, procrastination, insomnia, and wasted time. If you feel you are addicted to IRC, please discontinue use immediately and seek professional help.

    Edit: gah, foiled by a sock! :(


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