Hey all, I just wanted to kickstart some discussion about our open world section - Galamion. For a long time now, it's been lying dormant despite the efforts to draw attention to it, sporadic though they may be. There was a bit of hype that was reared when Sole was planning his Crown of Thorns event in the summer of 2013 with the other Guardians, but outside of that... relatively little is ever spoken of our poor collaborative environment, barring the odd comment here and there in the welcome threads for our new users. It's a sad time for what could really be a cool place to roleplay. And I am genuinely interested in changing that. I have had some quiet conversation with a few members over the years about how to make Galamion a tantalizing environment to engage in, even as early on as when it was back at Magnolia. There have been quite a few varied answers, but they have given me some ideas on how to really broaden the horizons of the subsection. If you guys don't mind listening to these ideas, I'll lay them out below for discussion. What I don't want to do with this is step on the toes of the Guardians of Galamion who put a decent amount of work in setting things up, so if I am overstepping any 'boundaries' then let me know! Otherwise, I will keep chugging along. Give me your feedback. Give me your ideas. Let's get this going together and make Galamion something really special, collaborative, and open, as was planned at its inception. ~ A ~ ( M O R E ) ~ O P E N ~ W O R L D ~ I really want to emphasize the 'openness' of Galamion to everyone. It is meant to be a canvas for our imaginations to run wild, and I hoped to get the "Manaverse" crew involved with that when we were integrating Galamion into the Manaverse proper. There is an endless space for opportunity in this collaborative world, so fittingly, my first talking point is about how we're not really opening the world up, so to speak. Anyone is able to start a quest, but I feel like people are apprehensive of starting a quest line within Galamion for fear of stepping on the toes of the country 'owners.' As Sole and Inkblot (and ostensibly Blackout) are gone from the community, their countries are probably going to fall to the wayside if the expectation remains that only the country owners will start quests. ~ F R E E F O R M ~ A N D ~ S T A T I S T I C A L ~ I N T E G R A T I O N ~ This is the meat-and-potatoes of where my thoughts for a better 'integration' of Galamion stems from. A few members of the IRC chat have mentioned to me that they would be really interested in seeing a Galamion statplay come to fruition. This is the reason I started the Statistical Tutorial - to teach people who were interested in learning about statistical roleplaying for the purpose of opening up/demystifying the medium so that it could extend to include all of ZEJ. Since we have two 'main' ways of roleplaying around these parts, and inevitably everyone will have their own preferences, I think it makes sense to integrate both to coexist in harmony in what is to be our whole forum's collaborative roleplaying environment. What I am not saying is that we make every quest have a statistical portion to it. That would be 1. unfeasible, and 2. alienate people who just don't want to roleplay with statistics attached. I do think there is a time and place for statistical roleplaying, and that it brings interesting things to the table in terms of how characters can grow and evolve over time (more on that in the next section). ~ C H A R A C T E R S : ~ F R O M ~ T H E ~ G R O U N D ~ U P ~ How do I propose we go about integrating both of our most popular 'mediums' of roleplaying? Well, at the most basic, I want to incentivize participating in quests. There are a number of ways in which we could go about this, of course, but mainly I want to start with character growth. Something I've been discussing quietly is the idea of starting a character from scratch - at Level One, as you would in a video game like Skyrim. If we use that as a base model, and look at the expansive world in which your decisions ultimately change your gameplay path, then we can easily apply the same principles to Galamion. So, what I am proposing is that every character be given a (relatively) equal footing. Characters gain experience from going on quests, freeform OR statistical, which allow them to Level Up (statistically), and then use that as a basis for their freeform powers. Profiles - freeform and statform - and other pertinent character information (all their worldly possessions, money, powers, relationships with other characters, whatever) can be tracked in a "Character Chronicle" type thread (essentially a Dramatis Personae of all Galamian characters, with a Table of Contents [similar to the Cult of Ustream profile thread] for easy navigation). In my mind, this will allow both types of roleplaying to exist in a symbiotic relationship. What Cerby brought up to me when I was discussing this with him was that some people don't even want to create any profile, let alone both a statistical and freeform profile to keep track of, especially if the character is not meant to last forever. I made a proposal; just drop the name of the character in the Character Chronicle, and keep track of the experience/affinity/items that your character obtains on quests. That way, while you don't immediately need to create a profile to participate (except in statistical quests, naturally), what happens can be appropriately documented until you get around to filling out a profile skeleton. ~ Q U E S T ~ L E A D E R B O A R D S ~ One final thing on the note of 'incentivizing' quests - I would be interested in implementing a 'champions list' of characters who have embarked on the most quests. It's kind of nice to be recognized for your efforts, and it adds a little bit of friendly competition to see who can clear the most quests with their character. Or maybe have other people have incentive to eliminate the 'reigning leader' in-character. Notoriety should come with a price, in- and out-of character, and I feel like it could make things interesting, depending on how we choose to play it. ~ ~ ~ So those are just some points for discussion that I'd like to hear about the thoughts of the Guardians ( @Rose , @ShadoeMayari , @CodasterTheDisaster , @blackoutEquinox ) especially, but also the rest of ZEJ's staff. Do you guys see these musings of a lunatic as something that could hypothetically work? I'd be interested in taking Galamion head-on to revive not only a barren open world, but also the ZEJ statplaying scene. Hopefully this can be an environment in which both types of roleplaying are acceptable, and character growth is encouraged. I'd be happy to talk more about my thoughts in this thread, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once I've gotten some staff input, I might move this out into the open for some more discussion, but I have some plans that I'd like to just roll out soontimez. A couple statistical questlines, for instance, are on the horizon (and have been for quite a bit). I'd also be totally cool with helping the Guardians get more acquainted with statplaying, if they're interested. I know it's a bit cumbersome to navigate for the first little bit, but it gets to be quite fun and entertaining when you get the hang of it. Discuss away, lads and lasses!