Thank you to everyone for participating in this arc, as players, as roleplayers, as authors, as admin, and as a community. While there were certainly some problems, I think it was a noticeable improvement on Arc VII, and we’re bringing a lot of innovations and best practices forward into Arc IX.
On that note, I hope to have another post about Arc IX very shortly. Thanks for bearing with me as I wrapped Divinity. I hate to delay, but I felt it was important to wrap the previous arc and enter the new arc with a clear plan and a delightful lack of baggage.
Arc IX Plans
I thought I’d write a short addendum about plans for Arc IX—what its focus will be, and how we will improve on administration.
- It will be a 1v1 arc.
- Easier match creation. This will make match organization much easier, as we won’t need complicated rules about alliances and subs.
- Clearer story. It’s hard to juggle four factions’ plotlines at once. It’s difficult on the writing side, and I suspect it’s somewhat confusing on the audience side as well. A 1v1 arc will make for a clearer, more focused story.
- Keeping it short. I don’t want it to get boring, though, so it’ll be a relatively short arc, running from 4-6 weeks.
- Added spookiness. As a further check against boredom, and just because it’ll be fun in its own right, we’ll be mixing in the Shadow Isles. At certain times, both factions will end up scrapping with spooks.
- Lore efforts will be focused into one numbered update per 2 weeks.
- Reduced volume. The thing is, there was a lot of lore written in both Lines in the Sand and Divinity. But I don’t think that was necessarily a good thing, because it tended to sprawl out. It was also so demanding that both arcs ended up being slowed down because of personnel overload.
- Predictable schedule. Another problem with the “traditional” lore approach is that lore had to be produced somewhat unpredictably. “Oh, wait, we need some lore for that event, don’t we?” Having it as a regular two-week process will streamline that.
- Story focus. As I mentioned, lore has a tendency to sprawl out, fraying into a number of disconnected threads. The Arc IX plan combats that in two ways. First, it’s 1v1 arc, which makes the story easier to follow. Second, concentrating lore into biweekly updates forces us to do the hard but necessary work of consolidation, figuring out how a lore event roll here and a FM win there and a Champion pickup over there all comes together to make a story.
- We’re keeping World Systems mostly as-is.
- No World Systems design delay. A lot of the most recent arcs have gotten off to a delayed start because we keep spending weeks and months re-inventing the wheel on World Systems. I think we struck upon a good basic system for Divinity, and we can reuse much of that.
- Continuity. World Systems works best when there’s continuity between arcs, and people have time to get used to the rules and understand them.
The overarching purpose is not only to make this arc run smoothly, and to make it more cohesive story-wise, but also to make a beginner-friendly arc that will make it easier for new people to get involved. I think we’ve gotten a bit too “wonky”, and it’s time for some back-to-basics cleanup.
Anyway, more details to come. But I felt I ought to expand this post with some details.