Nagdelian Conflict Origin

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Greyhawk
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Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Greyhawk » Sun May 07, 2017 8:49 am

In my quest to learn more about SoH and the backstory, I came across a post at MMORGG.com describing the conflict with the Nagdelian.

I gotta say, I am not impressed. Just another faceless, mindless, hive mentality? They might as well be zombies.

I think I can come up with a much more convincing story of the origin of the conflict. However, I'm not going to attempt to alter established canon without permission. Is this faceless, mindless hive race settled canon, or is it still possible to give them both a realistic culture and a very real reason to hate humanity?
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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Lazarus » Mon May 08, 2017 2:53 pm

I wasn't sure if someone should respond to this or not - to be honest, Greyhawk, you sound a bit like a troll. But on the off-chance that you're not trying to troll and are actually just expressing an opinion, I thought I'd comment back.

So first, here's the link to the article you mentioned just in case anyone is wondering what you're talking about: http://www.mmorpg.com/previews/ship-of- ... 1000011651

Second, I think you're being a bit unfair. The article says the following:
The Nagdelians are a hostile alien species that does not tolerate competing life forms. With a rigid caste system, short lifespan, and much lower level of individuality, the Nagdelians see themselves more as body parts of a singular empire than as individuals. Wherever they appear, they are always enemies of humanity.
Given that this is sci-fi hero game, having an enemy that is both inherently against being different and is also not human makes sense. The thing that defines the vast number of superheroes that exist in other fictions is their difference from everyone else around them - either their inherent abilities (Superman), or their force of will (Batman). An antagonist needs to contrast the heroes and what better contrast than being inherently against celebrating differences? Having said antagonist be definitely not human just adds an extra twist because there's no reason why an alien species should share any of our inherent values or cultural norms. Having the alien's culture be so different makes the aliens more realistic, not less.
Nagdelians are an advanced species, organized in clans, but completely intolerant of other intelligent life forms. Their hierarchy is a genetic caste system, so higher levels of authority are vested in breeds of Nagdelians designed to fulfill certain purposes. Ship of Heroes has already introduced the Nagdelian soldier and lieutenant, but we will be showing the Captain, the Mage, and other specialized Nagdelians in the future.
This doesn't suggest mindlessness. It actually suggests a society that is more concerned with working together for a single goal and willing to have specialized and cohesive groups in order to achieve that goal. A good analogy would probably be an army: it works towards a single goal (protecting territory or conquering new territory) and has cohesive but distinct groups with distinct jobs (army for land warfare, airforce for long-range damage, navy for controlling and protecting sea lanes, logistics for keeping everyone supplied, medical for treating the injured, etc.). It's a sophisticated system which is more realistic than perhaps you're giving it credit for being.
As enemies, the Nagdelians like to raid, seizing resources from the ship and killing innocents. Counter-raids by hero groups on the Nagdelian ship are also planned, to recover resources and discourage future attacks on the FHS Justice. It is also true that the Nagdelians are constantly alert for any opportunity to seize the Justice, kill all of the inhabitants, and capture a powerful heroship for themselves.
This doesn't suggest mindlessness or lacking in distinction, either personally or culturally. Trying to take resources from what are (in their minds) an invasive alien species with an incomprehensible culture lacking any sort of species unity makes plenty of sense - particularly since we have no idea how Unobtanium is formed. It leaves plenty of room for prominent Nagdelian villains to be created an expounded on later, such as a dangerously cunning and successful Nagdelian Raid Leader or the rare and all-powerful Nagdelian Queen. It also leaves plenty of room for plot twists or expansions, such the Nagdelians creating a caste to specifically deal with humans, or a Nagdelian born 'odd' coming to the ship to give information and understanding on Nagdelian culture in return for sanctuary from Nagdelians who want to cull him from the species.
I gotta say, I am not impressed. Just another faceless, mindless, hive mentality? They might as well be zombies.

I think I can come up with a much more convincing story of the origin of the conflict. However, I'm not going to attempt to alter established canon without permission. Is this faceless, mindless hive race settled canon, or is it still possible to give them both a realistic culture and a very real reason to hate humanity?
I think it would be more truthful to say that you don't like the canon that the developers have written, rather than that the story isn't convincing. And that's fine. You don't have to like anything they write. You can even give suggestions as to how the story could be improved - Consultant is notoriously good about listening to the community. But that doesn't mean that what's been written so far is bad or that the developers need to change what's already written.

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby GladDog » Mon May 08, 2017 7:23 pm

I think I can come up with a much more convincing story of the origin of the conflict. However, I'm not going to attempt to alter established canon without permission. Is this faceless, mindless hive race settled canon, or is it still possible to give them both a realistic culture and a very real reason to hate humanity?
Why not develop a separate Alien species using your ideas? The dev team is actively seeking ideas for villain groups. There are some very good ideas in this thread. I put my 'FORGOTTEN' gang idea there, and I hope that the writers for this game get some usable ideas from it.

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Greyhawk » Tue May 09, 2017 3:12 am

I wasn't sure if someone should respond to this or not - to be honest, Greyhawk, you sound a bit like a troll. But on the off-chance that you're not trying to troll and are actually just expressing an opinion, I thought I'd comment back.
Not a troll. This is my honest opinion. As they are now, the Nagdelians are faceless and mindless. Their only purpose is a punching bag for heroes. References to "clan", "caste", "lower level of individuality" do not sufficiently describe a sentient civilization. They are barely suitable for describing an insect colony. My apologies if this offends anyone, but I am completely serious.
I think it would be more truthful to say that you don't like the canon that the developers have written, rather than that the story isn't convincing. And that's fine. You don't have to like anything they write. You can even give suggestions as to how the story could be improved - Consultant is notoriously good about listening to the community. But that doesn't mean that what's been written so far is bad or that the developers need to change what's already written.
Do us a both a favor, do NOT try to read my mind. "I think it would be more truthful" assumes you know my mind better than I do. Trust me, you do not want a peek inside my head. It's dark in here, and filled with indescribable horrors.
I think I can come up with a much more convincing story of the origin of the conflict. However, I'm not going to attempt to alter established canon without permission. Is this faceless, mindless hive race settled canon, or is it still possible to give them both a realistic culture and a very real reason to hate humanity?
Why not develop a separate Alien species using your ideas? The dev team is actively seeking ideas for villain groups. There are some very good ideas in this thread. I put my 'FORGOTTEN' gang idea there, and I hope that the writers for this game get some usable ideas from it.

Ship of Heroes/ What's Cooking/ Another Alien Group

Okay, these are both good points. So I will take it upon myself to develop an alien species AND I will try to shift through the abstractions and ambiguities to coalesce some kind of vision of Nagdalians, at least enough to write a more convincing story of how the conflict arose. It's going to take a few days, maybe even a couple weeks, but I'll come up with an example of the kind of thing I expect to see when I read game lore.

Seriously, folks. It is very apparent from reading the "backstory" that there are no storytellers on the staff. Looking over the roster confirms this. PR people, designers, programmers, and artists, all important, but not a single storyteller.

How do these very talented people develop a coherent game without a story foundation? They can't. That's why the revealed "lore" and game elements so far are such a mishmash of ideas with few details.

Give me a few days to come up with some better story. Maybe I'll convince you. Maybe I won't. I'll give it my best shot and whoever reads what I come up with can decide for themselves whether or not my points are valid.

It would help if I had a map of Prometheus. Also, does the "canon" have a religion yet? There must be some kind of religion in the city, even if it is minor with very few followers. Wherever there is sentience there is religion. There are many beautiful buildings in the city, but I have yet to find out which organizations are housed in which buildings. A map should include that information, by the way. Is one of those beautiful towers still empty so I can fill it with alien diplomats, a religious headquarters, some medical quackery, and a criminal lab?

A map, an empty building, an existing religion or the freedom to create my own. I can't start without these minimal foundations. Well, I could, but I'd just wind up stepping on someone's toes.

Edit: "Apotheosis City", not "Prometheus City". My bad. Sorry about that.
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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Mister Nice Guy » Tue May 09, 2017 8:27 am


I gotta say, I am not impressed. Just another faceless, mindless, hive mentality? They might as well be zombies.
While I think your generel reasoning is very valid. I gotta say, zombies are not hive minded.
That said, the rest is essentially your opinion. (also very valid per definition of course)

Personally however, I think it is very hard to judge and/or create fictional stuff in a fictional world and "argue" about being "realistic".
So I often end up not "caring" too much about the realism of a story in a game.
I.e. depsite having played CoH for 7 years on/off... I can hardly remember any backstory for any of the villains/heroes (same goes for any other mmorpg I've played).

For me it's the players and the "gameplay" (alt-holism) that make the game fun. (Which is why I love games like i.e. League of Legends... they just "lack" some of the rpg elements, to be called mmo"rpg". And there's plenty of backstory in league of legends too.) Edit: Those backstories I remember virtually nothing of either.

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Dying Breath » Tue May 09, 2017 11:45 am

In my quest to learn more about SoH and the backstory, I came across a post at MMORGG.com describing the conflict with the Nagdelian.

I gotta say, I am not impressed. Just another faceless, mindless, hive mentality? They might as well be zombies.

I think I can come up with a much more convincing story of the origin of the conflict. However, I'm not going to attempt to alter established canon without permission. Is this faceless, mindless hive race settled canon, or is it still possible to give them both a realistic culture and a very real reason to hate humanity?
I assume you've already found it, but just in case:

Another Enemy Group
OK, the goal of this post is to solicit ideas for the next enemy group aboard the Justice. Go ahead and lay out your ideas for their name, their appearance, and their goals --anything that makes them real to you.

This is meant to be an interactive exercise, so let's all be kind to each other. :) But go ahead and let us know what you like and what you don't like.

For the record, I agree with you about the lore. IMO, in order to put out a commercially viable game that will hold the interest of fans, there needs to be deep, well written and well conceived lore. I think it needs to be developed in parallel with the technical aspects, since commercially viable games can't be too far behind on the tech curve either. CoT takes a lot of flak for putting out more lore updates than technical (and to be fair, many of the "lore" updates were closer to short fiction than game back-story). SoH appears to be taking the opposite route and getting their tech in place before building their story.

Personally however, I think it is very hard to judge and/or create fictional stuff in a fictional world and "argue" about being "realistic".
So I often end up not "caring" too much about the realism of a story in a game.
I.e. depsite having played CoH for 7 years on/off... I can hardly remember any backstory for any of the villains/heroes (same goes for any other mmorpg I've played).

For me it's the players and the "gameplay" (alt-holism) that make the game fun. (Which is why I love games like i.e. League of Legends... they just "lack" some of the rpg elements, to be called mmo"rpg". And there's plenty of backstory in league of legends too.) Edit: Those backstories I remember virtually nothing of either.
Really? I found the Rikti origin fascinating, and it formed a large part of the backstory of one of my characters. After learning the origins of Vanessa Devore, the Clockwork King, and the Malta group, those enemies became much more interesting to me. Certainly I also had characters that were built purely by power combinations, but I think the ones that I remember the most are the ones that had a story that would fit into the lore already provided by the game.

As always, YMMV

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Lazarus » Tue May 09, 2017 4:20 pm

I think it would be more truthful to say that you don't like the canon that the developers have written, rather than that the story isn't convincing. And that's fine. You don't have to like anything they write. You can even give suggestions as to how the story could be improved - Consultant is notoriously good about listening to the community. But that doesn't mean that what's been written so far is bad or that the developers need to change what's already written.
Do us a both a favor, do NOT try to read my mind. "I think it would be more truthful" assumes you know my mind better than I do. Trust me, you do not want a peek inside my head. It's dark in here, and filled with indescribable horrors.
Of course I'm going to try to understand what's going on in your mind. That's one of first steps in understanding others and trying to peacefully resolve conflicts. I'm not sorry if I've offended you since your first post offended me and turnabout is fair play. That being said, I really don't understand you and I would like to. If you think extensive storytelling is absolutely essential to making a game and that SOH's is terrible, then why are you here? What attracts you to this indie game and not another?
How do these very talented people develop a coherent game without a story foundation? They can't. That's why the revealed "lore" and game elements so far are such a mishmash of ideas with few details.

Give me a few days to come up with some better story. Maybe I'll convince you. Maybe I won't. I'll give it my best shot and whoever reads what I come up with can decide for themselves whether or not my points are valid.

It would help if I had a map of Prometheus. Also, does the "canon" have a religion yet? There must be some kind of religion in the city, even if it is minor with very few followers. Wherever there is sentience there is religion. There are many beautiful buildings in the city, but I have yet to find out which organizations are housed in which buildings. A map should include that information, by the way. Is one of those beautiful towers still empty so I can fill it with alien diplomats, a religious headquarters, some medical quackery, and a criminal lab?

A map, an empty building, an existing religion or the freedom to create my own. I can't start without these minimal foundations. Well, I could, but I'd just wind up stepping on someone's toes.
These guys have been working for about a year. Of course they don't have a bunch of detailed lore. Most games at launch have already had two or three years to work on the game - including lore creation and lore consistency with game mechanics. And while it's nice to say that without a story foundation no coherent game can be made, it's also true that until the developers know what they can and can't create within reasonable time/cost/effort constraints no lore can be canonized. It is, after all, relatively easy to change words on a page and much harder to change code to reflect it.

I rather strongly suspect we will see more lore revealed (or created) once more parts of the game are finished to the point of being playable (note the word 'playable' and not 'perfectly bug-free'). Most likely, they'll take whichever suggestions they like best from the community and combine it with the best ideas that they've come up with. So feel free to write whatever you think would be cool/good/interesting - if they like it and have your permission to use it, they might do so.

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Capzlock » Thu May 11, 2017 3:44 pm

to be honest, Greyhawk, you sound a bit like a troll.
I'm surprised that you thought he was a troll. Just looks like someone who cares about good storytelling. I'm also surprised at how much you're defending the current backstory of the Nagdelians. It's fine to be content with it, but I don't think we should pretend like it's believable. If I was going to rewrite the story to Ship of Heroes I'd go all the way back to the beginning—heroes on a spaceship—and start from there.

That being said, I don't think it matters all that much. I think that most players are going to be happy to play SoH as long as it has good customization and good gameplay. If the story ends up being subpar, I'll just focus my attention on other parts of the game.

Consultant has stated that he wants the community to share their ideas so they can make a better game. If you have some good ideas for the story then please share them. I even think it would be interesting if SoH outsourced the lore-writing to the community. Approved community writers could have their own private forum section where they work together on backstories and plot lines, which would then get implemented into the game. Just an idea, though. :D

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Lazarus » Fri May 12, 2017 12:33 pm

to be honest, Greyhawk, you sound a bit like a troll.
I'm surprised that you thought he was a troll. Just looks like someone who cares about good storytelling. I'm also surprised at how much you're defending the current backstory of the Nagdelians. It's fine to be content with it, but I don't think we should pretend like it's believable. If I was going to rewrite the story to Ship of Heroes I'd go all the way back to the beginning—heroes on a spaceship—and start from there.
If you look at his first post, Capzlock, you'll notice that it's actually quite negative to the devs. In fact, one of the first things he says is:
I gotta say, I am not impressed. Just another faceless, mindless, hive mentality? They might as well be zombies.
This isn't meant to make the story better or let the devs know that there's a plot hole or some other specific flaw, it's just a verbal attack that puts down the whole premise. It's completely unnecessary if you actually just want to give the devs a way to improve the story - but completely necessary if your real goal is to cause conflict in the community.

Then he claims that he can do a much better job but doesn't want to change canon. While it's not a bad thing to claim yourself a good writer or to say that you think you have a better idea, saying that you don't want to change canon implies that whatever you say should be considered canon over whatever the devs write which is bit too arrogant to be polite. You'll notice that others who have given ideas such as GladDog and Jesterghost don't say that their ideas are better than the devs and that anything they write should be considered canon. They just say that they have a cool idea that they want to share and that they hope the devs will consider putting something like it into the game.

He also claims that he doesn't know if he's allowed to write an alternative idea. Now, if this were his first post that would be completely understandable. But it's not his first post. He's posted elsewhere in the forums. Which means that unless he is especially dense person (which I doubt), he knows that there's no problem with posting your ideas to the devs in the forums - in fact, Consultant has asked for ideas from the community. Which means he's being dishonest about not knowing whether he can post an idea or not - he knows and he's just using it as cover for the fact that he's being impolite.

Therefore I can only conclude that he's not posting because he's a supporter of SoH but because he's someone who wants to inflate their own ego at the cost of putting down someone else.

You'll notice that although he has posted his ideas elsewhere on the forums, he didn't post them in the discussion about new enemy groups or in any of the forum areas where serious ideas are discussed. Instead he put them in the Fan Creations and Roleplay section where they will be treated like fanfiction.

I won't expound further on why I like the Nagdellians - I think I've already written a nice long post on that already :). I will state that the Nagdelians have a very Predator/Alien feel which is a very welcome change of pace from the usual Star Trek 'aliens are just humans with cosmetic changes and slightly altered cultures' style.

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Greyhawk » Fri May 12, 2017 12:43 pm


Therefore I can only conclude that he's not posting because he's a supporter of SoH but because he's someone who wants to inflate their own ego at the cost of putting down someone else.
I see. So failure to conform or agree is impolite and condescending?
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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Mister Nice Guy » Sun May 14, 2017 4:20 am

to be honest, Greyhawk, you sound a bit like a troll.
I'm surprised that you thought he was a troll. Just looks like someone who cares about good storytelling. I'm also surprised at how much you're defending the current backstory of the Nagdelians. It's fine to be content with it, but I don't think we should pretend like it's believable. If I was going to rewrite the story to Ship of Heroes I'd go all the way back to the beginning—heroes on a spaceship—and start from there.
If you look at his first post, Capzlock, you'll notice that it's actually quite negative to the devs. In fact, one of the first things he says is:
I gotta say, I am not impressed. Just another faceless, mindless, hive mentality? They might as well be zombies.
This isn't meant to make the story better or let the devs know that there's a plot hole or some other specific flaw, it's just a verbal attack that puts down the whole premise. It's completely unnecessary if you actually just want to give the devs a way to improve the story - but completely necessary if your real goal is to cause conflict in the community.

Then he claims that he can do a much better job but doesn't want to change canon. While it's not a bad thing to claim yourself a good writer or to say that you think you have a better idea, saying that you don't want to change canon implies that whatever you say should be considered canon over whatever the devs write which is bit too arrogant to be polite. You'll notice that others who have given ideas such as GladDog and Jesterghost don't say that their ideas are better than the devs and that anything they write should be considered canon. They just say that they have a cool idea that they want to share and that they hope the devs will consider putting something like it into the game.

He also claims that he doesn't know if he's allowed to write an alternative idea. Now, if this were his first post that would be completely understandable. But it's not his first post. He's posted elsewhere in the forums. Which means that unless he is especially dense person (which I doubt), he knows that there's no problem with posting your ideas to the devs in the forums - in fact, Consultant has asked for ideas from the community. Which means he's being dishonest about not knowing whether he can post an idea or not - he knows and he's just using it as cover for the fact that he's being impolite.

Therefore I can only conclude that he's not posting because he's a supporter of SoH but because he's someone who wants to inflate their own ego at the cost of putting down someone else.

You'll notice that although he has posted his ideas elsewhere on the forums, he didn't post them in the discussion about new enemy groups or in any of the forum areas where serious ideas are discussed. Instead he put them in the Fan Creations and Roleplay section where they will be treated like fanfiction.

I won't expound further on why I like the Nagdellians - I think I've already written a nice long post on that already :). I will state that the Nagdelians have a very Predator/Alien feel which is a very welcome change of pace from the usual Star Trek 'aliens are just humans with cosmetic changes and slightly altered cultures' style.
Dude - you're doing exactly what he did with that one "zombie sentence" and taking it to the next level (of badness).
Also he didn't claim that he could make a better story, although he "thinks" he can (as in he doesn't know for 100% sure).

But we can all do better, the question is mostly just a matter of how long that will take - and then if you actually have that time ('cause time is money and all that jam).

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby Blue Battler » Wed May 17, 2017 6:32 pm

It's not an inherently bad concept. A hive-mind/insect type mentality could actually make for some interesting ideas. For example, maybe Nagdelian breed their warriors to face a given type of foe. So we start off with facing the human-centric Nagdelian but later we land on another world where the Nagdelian there were bred to face a species and have different abilities. Perhaps we could have the equivalent of Nemeses among the Nagdelian where a specific NPC Nagdelian is created to face your specific hero ... and you get more powerful, the next generation of that Nagdelian becomes more powerful as well. Maybe as the Nagdelian tasked to fight us evolve they develop a more individualistic nature, and we have something along the lines of the Rikti Cultural Split that occurred as they absorbed the Lost into their ranks. Maybe one of the super villains we'll fight will use Nagdelian-DNA to create henchmen we'll be tasked with fighting.

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Re: Nagdelian Conflict Origin

Postby GladDog » Thu May 18, 2017 2:37 am

The Nagdelians strike me as more like the Covenant from the Halo series than the Borg. Caste systems and undying loyalty, plus you can get booted out of the society.
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