Story Thread 3: The Search for Plot

AuthorMessage
Community Leader
Your posts and hints are always amazing! Cannot wait to see what you have up your sleeves!

Why in the world is there not a Wizard101 counterpart of you spilling hints about Morganthe's last world!

Johnny - Pirate101 Community Leader
Developer
@Flash33
1. Some of us were kinda surprised that argos the Cyclops isn't a storyline companion and is restricted to privateers only. We thought that it was either an idea that was scrapped at the last second and/or that the budget simply didn't allow for it to happen. When you think of it, we have Egg Foo Yung who leads the yakooza clan in mooshu, and catbeard who joins our crew and knew our parents; argos also knew our parents and is a friend of catbeard's too, so how come argo's doesn't play a bigger role in the storyline than he does right now?


We've made a very deliberate effort to cut back on the number of universal companions we grant - they can dilute the play experience of each class. In Marleybone we had 2 - Catbeard (who was too essential to not give away, plus we love him too much!) and Gracie (whose utility with machines will make her critical in anti-Armada stories to come). When it came to Aquila, Hawkules was too cool to not give away, so we went with him. I didn't want to give Argos away universally as well: 4 universal companions in one update was way too many. Anything we could potentially get story wise from Argos regarding his connection to Marco Pollo and El Dorado we can just as easily get from Catbeard, so we didn't need to Grant Argos the way we did Catbeard or Gracie. But, we dig Argos, and the thought of not giving him away at all wasn't cool either, so he's a class-specific grant.

2. Do you have any plans to include companions based on where we grew up at (I.e. krokotopia, mooshu, skull island, etc.) in the future to go along with the presidio 5 as well?

It's an idea I'm very in favor of, and we're looking into what it will take to make it work.

(more to come)

Developer
(@Flash33 continued)
3. With Mustang Sally, it's along pretty much the same lines as argos the cylclops is in that she plays a big role in a part of the story but again only swashbucklers recruit her; why is that?


See the first answer above. Having too many universal companions creates several difficulties:
  • It increases the burden on us to write quest dialogue for them. We're already pushing the limit here - I think the MooShu 5 and Presidio 5 are already suffering a little int terms of line count.
  • We need to write promotion quests for them. This is potentially the real problem in terms of bandwidth.
  • It dilutes the unique play experience for each class.
While Sally has a nice role to play in the story, she's not essential. Will we keep doing universal grants? Absolutely - but I doubt we'll ever do more than 1 per world again. And while story figures into the decision of who gets dropped, funny, awesome characters will often trump other concerns - I think we did the right thing granting El Toro universally instead of Sally. Ditto for Hawkules vs. Argos.

@Lucas Walker
1. Monkey King seems to be the odd ball of the main story melee companions. He doesn't have any powers, nor does he have a fancy critical strike animation. Him being my favorite companion, I wondered why that is. Is it possible that he wasn't always going to be a main story companion?

I also love Monkey King, and the decision to grant him came really early, of not from the moment we decided to use him. The omissions you're seeing are definitely oversights. When we made MooShu it was the most ambitious world we'd attempted up to that point in terms of sheer volume of characters and environments - I think this was an honest mistake. We will correct it as soon as the schedule allows.

(more to come)

Developer
(@Lucas Walker, continued)

2. Was there ever a possibility that Mustang Sally was going to be a main story companion as well? She seems to have played a pretty big role in Skull Island, Cool Ranch, and Port Regal as well.


We talked about it, but decided against it, for the reasons i explained in another post above.

3. Was Argos intended to be a main story companion? He has 3 unique critical strikes and he would of played a major role in the story, since he did go to El Dorado with the PC's parents. We recruited Cap'n Kitty who went to El Dorado, so Flash33 and I were surprised when he was made a Privateer only companion. Was this because the budget did not allow for him to become a major companion?


Your questions overlap nicely with Flash's. Short answer; no, not really. See above.

@Musket Man
I have a question: should your nautical level be nearly the same as your regular level? For example, I'm a level 54 pirate, but my nautical level is 26.


This is really a question for Ratbeard, Such things are outside my purview. However, i do know that work is underway to make it easier to keep the two numbers close.

Developer
@Lily Evans
1. How did you go blind?

Heh! Good question. In my youth I read far too many small print books in a poorly lit room. On top of that, in my former duties as Avery's private secretary I strained my eyes beyond repair trying to read the good captain's handwriting.

2. How does Blind Mew travel from Skull Island, to Scrimshaw, to Port Regal?
I sail by sense of smell. I may be blind, but I have acute steering.

3. What is Blind Mew's backstory?

I'll never tell! Well, someday I may.

@The Undead Obeah
1.Does Old Scratch's fler-de-lys amulet hint at his past life?

Not intentionally, no.

2. (suggestion) could you perhaps do a homage to Portobello Road in Marleybone? It would be fascinating since Marley is obsessed with relics of the past and I would just love to see the "street where the riches of ages are stowed".
Interesting idea - I wonder if it not not fit in Wizard's version more, but that's definitely a cool idea. I'll take it under advisement.

3. I know you can't tell us the name of G, but could you at least tell us whether he is based slightly on a historical person?
G is based more than slightly on a person - I will not confirm if that person is historical, fictional, vegetable or mineral. I think the reference will be clear when G shows up.

4. If we ever go back to Marley, would we get the chance to get a Radical Fox or a Cat Smuggler, or is this thinking too far ahead since we probably won't return there in the near future?
Well, you never know when a plot thread will roll back to MB - I certainly love that world, and intend to get much more use out of it. I can't give a firm answer to your question, but I will say that we made a bunch of neat characters in MB and then didn't grant them as companions - that's a situation that could bear correcting.

5. Will we see any more of Meowiarty? I love his character and think he would make an interesting NPC.

One never knows... You can see more of him in Wizard101, which is where we drew him from.

(continued)

Developer
(@The Undead Obeah, continued)
6. In Valencia, might we see the Great Italian Cities like Florence, Venice, Naples, Rome, and Milan? You say the next update deals with Intrigue and these cities and their rivalry would make the perfect breeding ground for it (plus, you already mentioned Florenzia in the Clockwork Birds side quest).

To focus on intrigue, we'd be hard pressed to pick a better place then Renaissance Italy. Our last glimpse of Valencia was the shadowy corner of the back yard. I'm hoping to show a lot more of the place the next time we go there.

7.If we do see these cities, would we also deal with incarnations of the families like the Medici, The Sforzas (the ruling family of Milan that was not always mentally well), and the Borgias and if so, wouldn't the Borgias be monkeys (considering they originally came from Spain)?
If we were to focus on Italian cities, we'd be fools not to touch upon these sorts - it's way to easy to hang good plot hooks off of them.

(more to come)

Developer
@William Darkflame
1.) The secret message that Marco Pollo gave to Merle Ambrose say's that El Dorado is far too dangerous for anyone to travel to, and that the everyone in Pollo's crew almost lost their lives there. So why haven't Egg, Argos, or Catbeard given us a heads up on how dangerous (they might have, but I can't remember). Even if they have, still, why would Catbeard want to go back there with us?

Why indeed? It's a question that bears answering. There's going to be a lot more discussion about El Dorado in the future, fear not.

2.) Who built El Dorado? Pollo's secret letter says the Celestians did, but the Puppet Show about it made it look Aztecan (I'm probably wrong, but wasn't the real life legend of El Dorado supposed to be built by Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, or some culture similar to one of those?).
I dispute your reading of Pollo's letter. The precise quote is:

"... the vanished masters of El Dorado were closely linked to the enlightened builders of Celestia, and that much knowledge and commerce passed between them."

Closely linked is quite different than being one and the same. As to who built El Dorado, that's a very important question, and it will be one of the last ones we answer. So stay tuned, and be patient.

3.) Is the Gracie Conrad from Wizard101's Celestia related to Grace Conrad in any way? Considering they're both in the SGS, have very similar names, and have the same character look.

They're meant to be one and the same. We call her by a more familiar name, is all.

4.) Speaking of Celestia, if we were to venture there someday in Pirate101, wouldn't that mean our ships would be sailing on an actual ocean? I just think that's something cool to think about and discuss.
It is cool to think about - I expect you'd just sail above the water, as you do over the lake in Hamamitsu.

(to be continued)

Bosun
Oct 15, 2010
359
Thanks, Blind Mew for the many, MANY hints! I'm glad you're able to keep answering our questions!

Lieutenant
May 06, 2012
131
someone on p101 central wanted to ask this but does not have a membership.

Hi Blind Mew, I would like to ask you why no Portugal references? I mean, we were owners of half the New World, we have the oldest alliance in the world, with England (Marleybone), Vasco da Gama was the one that discovered India (Rajah) and I can go on for lines but not a single reference? I'm not mad, I love the game, but I think this country deserved at least one reference.

Captain
Feb 02, 2013
721
Blind Mew on Oct 8, 2013 wrote:
6. I haven't seen any quests exlpaining this, but how exactly did the Eagle Shades become...well...shades? Does this possibly allude to a future explaination in the story or even have more involvement than what we thought like the Mechanical Birds?

There was a LOT going on in Aquila, so we never got around to telling their story. It's something I'd love to get back to - a promo quest for Hawkules would be the perfect opportunity...

@The Admiral
1. I noticed a cave in Achaea nearby the Saytrs. Above the cave was a face that looked like an old man perhaps with some horns which could make him a Saytr. There are also some flames before the cave entrance. Is there anything you can tell us about it and will we be going in there soon?

It's left open for future use - something important and satyr related. Can't be much more specific at this time.

@The Admiral
Why is Hades staff in Achaea emitting a strange fog over where the Eagle Shades are?


Because it's spooky! Something pretty bad happened there, and the place is cursed. We'll get to that...

2.How was the volcanic eruption caused in Knossos?

The Ophidian fire cult did it with big magic.

3.Will we be able to explore more of Troy in the future?

I'd certainly like to - the environments are too gorgeous to use just once.

4.I noticed we don't really have a lot of Witchdoctor companions in the game. Will we ever see anymore of these preferably for everyone?

I think I can safely say yes.

@Victor Ice
Hi blind mew one thing that I don't get why is there bison ships instead of bird ships. Don't get I love the bison ships it's only like when I first started playing and when I went to Cool Ranch it was something I notice and its bugging me a little . Anyhow you guys did an awesome job on the update and I hope for more thanks


It was ultimately easier to make the equipment fit the Bison Boats - the paddleboats didn't work so well from a systems standpoint.
admiral 1 that head sounds like pan the god of the saytrs and nature who can also summon panic prehaps we awaken pan and calm the saytrs

Lieutenant
Dec 13, 2008
135
I have a question Mr. Blind Mew, currently I am in Port Regal and I love it there. It is as close to Marleybone as someone can get until I actually get there Do you have any plans to go back there for something? I haven't heard of anyone saying that we get to go back there. That makes me sad... Thanks!!

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6038
Grizzley117 on Oct 10, 2013 wrote:
I have a question Mr. Blind Mew, currently I am in Port Regal and I love it there. It is as close to Marleybone as someone can get until I actually get there Do you have any plans to go back there for something? I haven't heard of anyone saying that we get to go back there. That makes me sad... Thanks!!
You will go back, amusingly on your way to Marleybone.

Lieutenant
Sep 17, 2011
160
I always enjoyed reading the thread. ^^ I'm glad you've returned Blind Mew. Now, I've got a question to pester you with. (If you don't mind.)

If Gracie Conrad is the same person as Grace Conrad, how would Grace be in Celestia? (I hope I didn't read your response to William incorrectly.)

I'm pretty sure somewhere you stated that around the time that our pirate is in Mooshu, our wizard is there as well. So, following that, when our pirates are in Marleybone, our wizards would be in Dragonspyre, and when our pirates are in Aquila, our wizard would be in Celestia. (Is that correct?) So I'm just confused as to how exactly our dear Gracie can be in two places at once.

Thank you for taking the time to answer the community's questions. ^^

~Quick Pearl

Lieutenant
May 21, 2009
114
Blind Mew, yer back! Break out the Yum! Great to have another story thread up, I love them all. Since you're back to posting, perhaps this means we can get a Book XV status update?

Ensign
Apr 26, 2012
8

hey blind mew I am finding this Q&A to be very interesting i have a few questions myself
  1. When we get to el dorado will we be able to visit whenever we want?
  2. will we have to do some fighting in el dorado?
  3. will we ever get to know phule he has always been a favorite of mine
  4. will we ever have to do battle with the mysterious female clockwork?
  5. I need to have peace in mind about this so please tell me that there will be more stories after we reach el dorado.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6038
Quick Pearl on Oct 11, 2013 wrote:
I always enjoyed reading the thread. ^^ I'm glad you've returned Blind Mew. Now, I've got a question to pester you with. (If you don't mind.)

If Gracie Conrad is the same person as Grace Conrad, how would Grace be in Celestia? (I hope I didn't read your response to William incorrectly.)

I'm pretty sure somewhere you stated that around the time that our pirate is in Mooshu, our wizard is there as well. So, following that, when our pirates are in Marleybone, our wizards would be in Dragonspyre, and when our pirates are in Aquila, our wizard would be in Celestia. (Is that correct?) So I'm just confused as to how exactly our dear Gracie can be in two places at once.

Thank you for taking the time to answer the community's questions. ^^

~Quick Pearl
Our wizard's went through Celestia quite some time ago. Perhaps that is the answer to this paradox?

Lieutenant
Oct 01, 2010
103
Hey Blind Mew! Good to see you back! Thanks for answering my questions! I hope you don't mind answering a few more. Thanks in advance
  1. Is there anything you can tell us about the Class trainers that we don't know about?
  2. Speaking of Class trainers, are there any more plans to add more trainer quests?
  3. Also, who is your favorite Class trainer?

Petty Officer
Mar 04, 2012
52
Dear Blind Mew, I would like to ask you a few questions.

1. Will we get any companions in El Dorado?

2. Will El Dorado be a dungeon?

3. (This might be 'that would be telling') Are you planning on having our pirates travel to Krokotopia and/or Grizzleheim?

4. Could we ever possibly be going to Zafaria in the future? (Not necessarily in the El Dorado storyline).

5. Will players ever get class pets?

6. Is it fun to work at Kingsilse? (Sorry I just had to ask, I really want to work there one day).

Thank you for your time, Daniel Radcliffe, Level 65

Ensign
Jun 20, 2013
48
Hey Blind Mew! It really is great that you're back on the boards, and I truly hope things don't get to CRAZY for you and your co-workers.

1. Ol' Fish Eye sailed with Catbeard AND Erica the Red. Would we at some point in time have to go talk to him about Erica's location or something like that?

2. Can u give ANY kind of response to the question of a new book appearing by the end of the year?

3. In a much earlier post, you referenced the possibility of 'Samoorai Yak', the character. Is that possibility becoming more and more likely?

4. Is there dissention in the Armada's ranks? What with Phule seeing so much potential in us back at Pollo's tomb, it would appear that some clockwork has something sneaky goin' on in the sidelines...

5. Have there, or will be, any references to DC or Marvel comics? For some reason, I can easily see the Sandman from Vertigo as a captain wandering the paths between realms......

It truly is great to have you back again Blind Mew, happy piratin'!!

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1876
I am glad to see Blind Mew returning to answering questions, knowing already that he's been quite busy and all. Now, I hope I get to see at least the worlds of Krokotopia and Grizzleheim added in before the first main story arc centered around the Clockwork Armada gets done, because I would like to see the new Home World 5 Companions really soon. They would really liven up the game's ongoing story arc and more. Can't wait to see how they turn out!

Other than that, great to have you back once more, Blind Mew!

Lieutenant
Sep 17, 2011
160
Chrissy Th'Blesser on Oct 15, 2013 wrote:
Our wizard's went through Celestia quite some time ago. Perhaps that is the answer to this paradox?
Well that would be by release date. I really do think that somewhere Blind Mew really did say that our pirates and wizards were in Mooshu at the same time. (Or it could be bad recall. I really don't know.) So according to that, when our pirate is in Marleybone, our wizard would be in Dragonspyre, and so on and so forth. I'm sorry if I'm confusing you more... I don't mean to offend you either. But for now we can make up something for a temporary answer until we get a real answer. Time Travel mayhaps? (But seriously, that would be awesome. )

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6038
Quick Pearl on Oct 17, 2013 wrote:
Well that would be by release date. I really do think that somewhere Blind Mew really did say that our pirates and wizards were in Mooshu at the same time. (Or it could be bad recall. I really don't know.) So according to that, when our pirate is in Marleybone, our wizard would be in Dragonspyre, and so on and so forth. I'm sorry if I'm confusing you more... I don't mean to offend you either. But for now we can make up something for a temporary answer until we get a real answer. Time Travel mayhaps? (But seriously, that would be awesome. )
No offence anywhere. It's an interesting paradox and really observant of you to pick up on it. I guess we shall just have to wait for the Master to make the call.

Ensign
Feb 14, 2010
8
Marco Pollo gave a secret about El Dorado to a unicorn, who was his student. Why didn't we see this unicorn more? Wouldn't this student know more about El Dorado, as he personally knew Pollo?

Ensign
Jun 12, 2009
1
Mew,

A pleasure to have you back you old cat.

I've been playing both Wizard 101 and Pirate 101 a lot recently, and I have to say I really like the individual touches that each game has and how the Pirate crew has made this game feel similar, but definitely different.

I gather that, no matter how powerful our pirates become, they still do not rival the power of the Wizards of Wizard City. With that said, within their own worlds, they have significant abilities.

  1. From a story standpoint, why are Witchdoctor's not recruited to be Wizards?
  2. I have a suspicion that there is a deeper linkage between the worlds than just being in the same place. Is it possible that the underlying "animation" of the Clockworks is based on Celestian magic or something from Morganthe?
  3. Will we ever see the plot lines of the two games cross?
Thank you for an outstanding game!

Ensign
May 23, 2010
16
Blind Mew,

Thanks for the wonderful feedback - and evil hints!

My questions:
1. You've hinted that getting back to Valencia is going to be "adventurous" - does this mean we might get to *ahem* commandeer an Armada ship?

2. Considering how many near misses we've had so far, where we've escaped the Armada by the skin of our teeth, is there ever going to be a situation where we don't escape and have to be rescued (or have to break ourselves out of an Armada prison - that would be fun)?

3. It seems to me that the elite clockworks we've met all share a certain arrogance. Would that be something they got from their maker, Kane?

4. New skyway, 'C'... Cadiz? Or am I being a bit too ambitious there?

5. Steed says at the end of the first Valencia mission, "The people must know" - does this mean that most Valencians think the Armada is benign or even good?

6. Will we ever see a reward posted for our capture? It seems like something the Armada might do in its territories.