Plot maturity

AuthorMessage
First Mate
Jan 17, 2012
481
Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else that the script writers borrowed a page from J. K. Rolling and are making the plot for a more mature audience the further you get into the game?

I mean, in Skull Island you were going around collecting diamonds, helping captains who were trapped inside their boat bottles, and stuff like that.

In Marlebone, you are trying to help end a war (that you helped start, but never mind that now) and supress an uprising of foxes. And Bonnie Anne's promotion...that's almost heartreaking. Usually the promotions end with, "Yay! We did it! Let's go celebrate in a tavern!" But this one ends with, "I'm so sick of all this... Let's try to forget..."

Is this intentional? If it is, you have made one of the best MMO's ever. Young players have a short attention span, and will likely bore of the game the further along they go and want to start over with a different class. More mature players will want to get to the end to find out the whole story.

Good job.

Developer
Max DeGroot on Oct 30, 2013 wrote:
Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else that the script writers borrowed a page from J. K. Rolling and are making the plot for a more mature audience the further you get into the game?

I mean, in Skull Island you were going around collecting diamonds, helping captains who were trapped inside their boat bottles, and stuff like that.

In Marlebone, you are trying to help end a war (that you helped start, but never mind that now) and supress an uprising of foxes. And Bonnie Anne's promotion...that's almost heartreaking. Usually the promotions end with, "Yay! We did it! Let's go celebrate in a tavern!" But this one ends with, "I'm so sick of all this... Let's try to forget..."

Is this intentional? If it is, you have made one of the best MMO's ever. Young players have a short attention span, and will likely bore of the game the further along they go and want to start over with a different class. More mature players will want to get to the end to find out the whole story.

Good job.
Do bear in mind that in Marleybone you also track down a villain who lives in his mother's basement, and deal with the terror of the were-man - there's a little silly there too.

That said, you're right - the plot of Book 13 was much darker, and that tonal shift was very deliberate. This wasn't necessarily our intention from the very beginning - Book 13 really evolved over the course of development.

When we were first breaking out the main story, Marleybone was very hazy. Our first thought was to take it in an entirely different direction, set in a Jane Austen/Downton Abbey countryside to create a stark contrast to Wizard's urban adventure. The Napoleguin jailbreak was set in the plot, and as I was making the detail outline for Book 8, the thought occurred to me - why not have you start a war to cover your tracks? The response was "whoa - that's pretty intense" - but it was too gonzo to resist. Once that decision was made, the war was now on the table - by Chekov's rule, that pistol has go off sometime.

After that decision, a lot of the story of Book 13 almost wrote itself - the idea of the War made a perfect central theme. And to invert expectations even more, I embraced the idea that Marleybone would be losing. It let us show you the might of the Armada, and gave you a perfect story reason to stop running and face them head on. It's the Battle of Britain, the Spanish Armada. The high stakes and desperation really made it stand out, and let us bring the idea of consequences to center stage. It's one of the reasons I love the Book so dearly. And it stood in very stark contrast to Wizard's Marleybone, even with urban areas.

As for Bonnie Anne's promotion, I once again decided to invert expectation and go serious (it certainly fits the chapter, after all) - the notion of this happy go lucky, cheerful fox having a troubled past really appealed to me. Watching her find the limits of her optimism, seeing her heart break a little, really added to her character. I love that quest. Besides, we have the Ratbeard promo for the funny.

Those bits that invert expectation, they're the ones you remember: they generate depth. I recall Star trek TNG's Best of Both Worlds - from the first second of music, you knew this was going to be different. Our heroes, so invincible thanks to their tech, are now outclassed. What do they do?

Book 13 is deliberately much more serious. Some future Books will be too, or at least major elements of them will be. As for a J. K. Rowling arc, I don't think we'll go to the extremes she did, but to make the end of the story have weight and meaning, the stakes are going to have to rise. At some stage we may reach a tipping point, where instead of occasional episodes of darkness in a light-hearted story we end up with occasional episodes of pure levity in a serious story. But there will always be jokes.

One of the best MMOs ever? I'm biased to judge. But I'm very proud of the story we've built.

Thanks for the kind words!

First Mate
Dec 12, 2011
419
Blind Mew on Nov 1, 2013 wrote:
Do bear in mind that in Marleybone you also track down a villain who lives in his mother's basement, and deal with the terror of the were-man - there's a little silly there too.

That said, you're right - the plot of Book 13 was much darker, and that tonal shift was very deliberate. This wasn't necessarily our intention from the very beginning - Book 13 really evolved over the course of development.

When we were first breaking out the main story, Marleybone was very hazy. Our first thought was to take it in an entirely different direction, set in a Jane Austen/Downton Abbey countryside to create a stark contrast to Wizard's urban adventure. The Napoleguin jailbreak was set in the plot, and as I was making the detail outline for Book 8, the thought occurred to me - why not have you start a war to cover your tracks? The response was "whoa - that's pretty intense" - but it was too gonzo to resist. Once that decision was made, the war was now on the table - by Chekov's rule, that pistol has go off sometime.

After that decision, a lot of the story of Book 13 almost wrote itself - the idea of the War made a perfect central theme. And to invert expectations even more, I embraced the idea that Marleybone would be losing. It let us show you the might of the Armada, and gave you a perfect story reason to stop running and face them head on. It's the Battle of Britain, the Spanish Armada. The high stakes and desperation really made it stand out, and let us bring the idea of consequences to center stage. It's one of the reasons I love the Book so dearly. And it stood in very stark contrast to Wizard's Marleybone, even with urban areas.

As for Bonnie Anne's promotion, I once again decided to invert expectation and go serious (it certainly fits the chapter, after all) - the notion of this happy go lucky, cheerful fox having a troubled past really appealed to me. Watching her find the limits of her optimism, seeing her heart break a little, really added to her character. I love that quest. Besides, we have the Ratbeard promo for the funny.

Those bits that invert expectation, they're the ones you remember: they generate depth. I recall Star trek TNG's Best of Both Worlds - from the first second of music, you knew this was going to be different. Our heroes, so invincible thanks to their tech, are now outclassed. What do they do?

Book 13 is deliberately much more serious. Some future Books will be too, or at least major elements of them will be. As for a J. K. Rowling arc, I don't think we'll go to the extremes she did, but to make the end of the story have weight and meaning, the stakes are going to have to rise. At some stage we may reach a tipping point, where instead of occasional episodes of darkness in a light-hearted story we end up with occasional episodes of pure levity in a serious story. But there will always be jokes.

One of the best MMOs ever? I'm biased to judge. But I'm very proud of the story we've built.

Thanks for the kind words!
I LOVE dark stories, specially when they're introduced into books and games that are usually characterized as cheerful and funny, lol. If I can be honest, when I first started playing, I wasn't all into the game as much as I am right now. The game was a good time waster, but that was about it. It was like playing another kid's game where you can never loose, never die, and never be defeated (and i don't mean losing a battle and going to a life fountain...), and the battles were just too easy for me (not for everybody, but for me)...

After a little while, it gets kinda boring... a little while after I finished Mooshu, I was actually thinking about quitting the game and not even playing MB or AQ. The only reason as to why I stayed till the update was because I just got a years membership and didn't want to waste it, so I joined the Message Boards to pass the time (which can be kinda fun in itself, I mean, who can resist these cool icons )..

But seriously... it wasn't till I saw some YouTube play through videos on MB that got me interested. I mean, I didn't know if that was the same 'easy kid's game that I got bored of' anymore! Sure, it had it's glitches, but the story itself and the amazing voice acting and music was incredible! Y'all actually pulled off something as serious as a World War and serious family issues, and combined it with something as silly and lighthearted as The Christmas Carol parody... I've never seen the like before. I also loved the character changes we saw in MB as well. Bonnie, who used to be cheerful and lighthearted, actually having some sort of dark side as to her family goes, was a surprise even to me. There was even a part where El Toro actually wished we had gotten his Carolina to him in a different way (Surly there must had been a better way... ~ El Toro). I liked El Toro before, but there was always something about him that rubbed me the wrong way, but after that little scene, I completely forgot why I didn't like him, lol.

MB was what saved the game for me. AQ was awesome in itself since I love Greek mythology and stories of the Greek Gods, but MB really hit home for me in a way, lol. I hope, like you said, the game may hit a tipping point where there's occasional episodes of pure levity in a serious story. I'm not asking y'all to completely flip the game into a episode series of soap operas (don't do that, lol), but to make the game worth playing and interesting, with dramatic flares every so often... I know what y'all do can't be easy, but perhaps MB could be a good base to head the game off in a slightly different direction? Perhaps in Polarus, the ice is melting because of the Armada machines, and we need to help save them and stop the machines before all the ice disappears for the next thousand years..?

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
I enjoy the Marleybone story arc a lot because of it's dark side. It give Marley that edge it slightly hinted at in Wizard. I mean, Jaques the Scratcher and Meowiarty, bravo with those incarnation Kingsisle. It shows us the domino effect that started in Port Regal and the effect it had on our companions and friends. Bonnie's Promotion Quest with her own brother Guy Fox (again, clever job with the reference) actually made me teary eyed.
All and all, I just love it and hope to see more of them.