Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

Events and competitions both ic and ooc and good practice in staging events

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Chit
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Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#1 Post by Chit » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:32 pm

We are learning and refining how to create these events to give a varied set of activities. Please give feedback on both good points that you enjoyed and parts that could be improved.
Intro event introducing Charlie's office, the Hilt and Captain in Boralus.
Perilous voyage - beating the Kraken.
Finding the hilt - distracting the Port Officials and finding Eric Spindlespoon on the point of death.

Thank you to all our fabulous NPCs - I know they will appreciate it if you spotlight the best bits of rp!

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#2 Post by Nomine » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:52 pm

I am a bit on the tired side, so this might be only part one.

It is hard to give feedback on an event that is so largely NPC driven, part because at one hand it is a damned humbling show of love for the community, your fellow role-players and a wish to make more immersive stories. At the other hand, any negative feedback might be taken as comments on RP skills, which it really should not be.

I will use the term: Players for all who where not publicly part of the NPC team.

Being an NPC is an event - is not the same as being a player in an event. Even when it is a player playing their usual character just filling an NPC function/role. NPC´s exists to drive the story forward and to support an experience. Players exists to take part in an experience both as participant and as creator, as such they to have a responsibility in driving the story forward.
Both have a right to enjoy themselves.

Sometimes there is a clash in "how I enjoy myself" and what furthers the story or the experience.
If the harbor guards had arrested the suspicious Starlighter`s, it would like have been fun for the guards. It would also have been counter-indicative to furthering the story. So I applaud the choice that was made to arrest the NPC Captain Fan Hai instead.

Assumed game reality versus Assume story/bubble reality
I think a good practice for all events is to clearly state how players should relate/see the game world:
Are the Blizz-NPCs there?
Is it possible to disrupt the Blizz-NPC/presented game world? E.g. if a player goes into the a random tavern and starts a fight, is this welcome? Or the GMs have designated way-points where the main RP will be focused? -
How about items and locations?

The natural tendency for players, are to largely ignore Blizz-NPCs, and if its an NPCed event a location only invites engagement/interaction if it is described through raid/GM emote, or if there is an NPC there. If the GMs wish to invite more interaction with the game world than this, I think we must say it out-loud.

I am very glad we do not need to talk about killable NPCs vs Non-killable. But perhaps it is a good idea to state it if all NPCs can be killed during an event series without blocking/ending the event series, but that any deaths will have consequences.

Kraken fight:
I really enjoy that this was a two stage fight, e.g. first the tentacles and then the Kraken. This helped break up the monotony of a long boss fight. As well as give more room for various kind of character fight RP.
I think the Kraken was well handled, good difficulty levels.

What I would liked to see was clearer communication on the impact of the attacks on the Kraken itself.
The attacks the Kraken made was well communicated and clear. Sure one time there was a missing word, but thats just stuff that happens and does not detract :)
I think it was VERY good that it did not die, but rather retreat. Having fights end with something else than death is something I greatly approve of and often it seems forgotten.

Random tips/musings.
Moving from location A to location B, its worthwhile to use this as breaks. Giving players min-10 min to take a break and move to the 2nd location.

Improvement:
The death of Eric
Well RPed out and described, with a good amount of clues for next step.
The challenge lies in having the feeling of "we are just on the track of the killers, if we hurry up we can catch them" and then the event is over with an unknown time before next event can happen. It breaks with the sense of urgency.
What if Eric was dead, but the NPC we interacted with was somebody who saw the murder take place? Same information could be shared, but that feeling of being closer-but-OOCly-hindered could have been more easily managed.

When RPing an IC leader like Nomine, it seems to be worth it to challenge myself to take the backseat from time to time (I aim at for everytime I lead, I should let somebody else lead/not try to control once). Like speaking to the harbour guards about the bed, at the same time as I handed over the control of the distraction of said guards to others via guild-chat. Trying not to micromanage it.
Or planning a strategy against the kraken, but deliberately not noticing the first mention of canon and gunpowder giving others a chance to pick it u. Or not going up to the top-deck and the kraken there, instead giving others a hero-spot.

I will try to write some more, as there is more to say. But need sleep.

Truly impressed by the events so far and looking forward to the next!

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#3 Post by Syrawenn » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:33 pm

Goodies
Hugely enjoying all the npc interaction, the natural banter, the feel of a living world they create, also through their logical actions towards us, the players.
The story itself is intriguing. Enough is given at any moment in the story to keep it interesting. There's a reason why I wanted to log in despite having some physical troubles. This is it :)

Loved the tentacles. So much fun! So many options to get creative, also for us with wins and losses. Great timing stuff too. Not too long, not too short. Just enough fun to get the ARGH and a timely stop before the UGH.

I felt WOUNDED when 'Ava' transported me back upstairs! I had such a good plan...really...damnit :P

Help?
I have a very well known problem with fighting scenes. I feel uncomfortable, especially when the dice again confirm Syra shoots worth shit. Somehow...my average of a succesful shot in any given fighting situation is 1. Yep. Sure, I'll make it work :) So by now I got a Syra who hates fights with a passion when she has to participate.
Another part of the discomfort lies in me not always understanding which emote was supposed to be there in the timeline or not. When everyone gets their own chance to emote what happens, things get muddled for me. It seems for isntance I Was fighting on the wrong side of the boat while I was CONVINCED I was near Ana.
Woops.
Still wondering on what I can do myself to get such situations more clear :)

I've been mostly zoning out through these two evenings due to aforementioned troubles and still had great fun listening to all the banter and interactions, so...I'd say this was succesful on more than one level (for those deeply involved AND for those on the fringes). That...is a feat!

I am looking forward to being more actively present :)
Wilsby: "She's the energy ya never knew ya needed."
Kien: "How come a warrior who thrives on rage never seems to get half as much in a fight as Syra does in an average conversation?"

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#4 Post by Anadelonbrin » Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:37 am

I’ve been nibbling on this feedback for days. It’s personal and kinda messy, but if I’m gonna post at all, it’s got to be posted some time, though, and I doubt it’ll benefit from waiting.
Huge thanks to all the people who put in so much time and effort to make this work! Both GMs and players. It really makes a difference to have actual people rather than NPCs that are only described. But the bigger the number of people involved is, the harder things are to coordinate, so thank you for putting in all of that extra work!

Giving back the tracker and meeting the Captain

The characters we faced here were interesting and well rounded, each with their own distinct personality. Charlie’s discomfort with the Worgen lady, for example, really brought the scene to life.
Sometimes, in events, there is a deal to be struck between staying as true as one can to one’s character and just having fun with the event. I tend to err on the side of loyalty, which in turn often seems to place me in a passive role as my character is guarding her fellow people, seen or unseen. While being “the muscle” makes perfect sense from an IC perspective, OOC it means I’m more or less watching other people RP while I’m just standing there.

For the meeting where we gave the tracker back and met the Captain, my one single worthwhile contribution was stealing something from a crate while Tiks and Eritis created a diversion. The NPC I was playing against in that was an actual NPC which was not in any way played or emoted as the whole point of us being there was not getting noticed. With my character being an alchemist, I took the vial stolen from that crate and ran with it, using it in later RP etc, so something still came out of it on a personal level.

So, what am I trying to say with this? Maybe it might be an idea to limit the number of participants to the people who actually have a role to play. In this case, Nomine and Devvy while talking to Charlie and the others and Nomine and Violet for talking to the Captain. Not saying people should be blocked from coming, but some things may be better suited to be done with a smaller group and planned as such rather than as a guild event. When a guild event is put on the calendar, it comes with certain expectations. For example, if there is an event and I am online, I feel bad if I don’t go to it, particularly as an officer, wanting to show support for the effort that’s being put into it. However, if it’s like the caster thing tonight where it’s announced more casually and aimed at a specific group of people, I feel comfortable opting out. I also feel that if I want to go, I’m welcome to.

Voyage

The kraken attack was interesting and unexpected. Like Nomine, I enjoyed that it was made to retreat, not killed. The tentacles vs the maw made for a good dynamic, giving multiple ways of participation. Well done on the visual representation of the tentacles as well.

As my character was sneaking around, following a suspicious scent in the Captain’s quarters, I spent quite a large portion of the fight just waiting for a response to what I was seeing (and smelling). Then when my character was finally up on deck, there was some confusion on where the creature really was. As it was emoted that it was at the stern of the ship, that’s where Ana went, which meant I was out of say and emote range from everyone else for nearly the entire fight. A couple of times, there were questions in guild chat that would have affected the next move, but as I was waiting for replies to whispers before I could answer, by the time I actually had information, it was too late. Such is the chaos of large scale emote fighting.

In pen and paper RP, initiative is generally the key to solving this problem. Everyone does their thing in a set order so that everyone gets their turn, moderated by the GM. This may take some flow out of a fight, but it also gives it a structure other than “the faster you can type, the more impact your character can have” while also letting the GM focus on one thing at a time rather than everything at once. It might be worth looking into.

Finding the hilt

Again, the harbour guards came with different personalities and internal relationships that made them plausible and made the scene immersive. Poor Fleabag who lost his job! I laughed so much when he tried to explain that someone had blown something through the vent and the others interpreted it as him having an itchy crotch. Glorious!

Stormwind – Boralus – ship – Stormwind – Dalaran – Valiance Keep – tower. I get the idea behind using the first ship as it could be searched and had other opportunities as well as some degree of continuity, even though a different ship was used in the journey round. A lot of time could have been saved by starting in Valiance Keep, though.

Despite the travel issues, I experienced this part of the event as much more responsive in terms of communication than the previous one. Maybe because it was a less stressful situation as we were not in combat, I don’t know. But for me, the end of this part had a great flow. I felt like my character was given the agency to contribute with her particular expertise as well as others contributing with theirs.

My character came away from it with furious frustration. All that time and effort and nothing to show for it but a mangled corpse that her healing somehow had killed. A double failure. And if she hears one more dick joke in the next few days, someone might get castrated. XD That’s all IC, though.

It might have been an idea to give the event a slightly different title to manage OOC expectations.

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#5 Post by Violet » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:14 pm

Sorry for the late feedback! I had it open the other night and then I just forgot about it, had a bit going on in my mind. Very sorry! :x

In general I really enjoyed the event as a whole. Since I'm still fairly new to Starlight I had no idea about the previous event in the chain (about the blade) and so I didn't quite know what to expect. I really did appreciate the involvement of player NPCs, since for me it makes the play much more immersive and lively.

1st part - bringing back the tracker and meeting with the Captain

At first I found it a bit hard to get into the scene and fully understand what was going on, but once I was there, I really enjoyed the RP. I liked the different characters and the energy they brought to the RP.
I was also very thankful that I could contribute something when it came to meeting with the captain. Being all noble-y and such. Although I feared I might drag it out a bit too much. Sorry if I did :D hugely enjoyed it though. It was a nice change of course for my character and me behind it. Rather different from fighting things with fire.


2nd part - The Voyage

The split Kraken attack into two phases was really nice - it was a good change from a round based straight forward bossfight. I appreciated the effort that was taken into it (with the tentacles and everything) a lot - thank you once more for that.
A little con I have for this though is that it sometimes was not very clear what effect the attacks of the monster had - for example the waterblast, where I didn't quite understand what exactly would happen to my character, being far away and on a different level of the ship.

3rd part - The dead man

This is basically the only part I do have cons for. The addition of the harbor guards with their individual personalities and internal relationships was something I greatly enjoyed. But the RP felt really confusing and overwhelming at some point and I was only occupied with keeping up with the chat and so on - mostly not knowing what to do in that situation. I thought it was a really nice touch to have the Player NPC captain arrested instead of the Starlighters - still made it feel like there is some consequence to the scene.
I also found the location a nice pick, giving my character more ways to respond to it, tying it into its personal history and so on. I truly expected that we would find this Spindlespoon guy alive and that it would probably be a little verbal fight to get him to trust us or something - it surprised me in a good way that he actually died. I do understand that the hour was getting rather late and that people ofc have to go to sleep and such. And that even the best of events has to end at some point. But I wish there wasn't this "cliffhanger" with the sense of urgency of being right on "their" heels just to pause for a week or more and the trace getting cold.


All in all I greatly enjoyed the event as a whole and I think it was handled in a very nice and creative way. I'm very curious about what's coming next and hooked on the story of the blade! Thank you once more for all the effort you have put into it! :D

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#6 Post by Lylieth » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:10 am

Howdy folkens, i write this just have a night shift so i apologise for the mistakes that are likely to occur.

So i played the Npcs Rodney in the Kraken attack and Elizabeth when playing as the harbour guard. I am speaking my opinion only and not for the whole npc group. However, i'll getting to what i think I did well, what the npc group did well then maybe what could have been done better for both events. as well as maybe give an extra angle to some of the things people have replied. so this might get a bit long.

But firstly, i want to say i had alot of fun playing both characters for people and enjoyed the parts of the events that i played. if anyone has any feed back, be it praise or what people felt i could have done better, or something they didn't like, let me know please, i don't bite too hard.

So! Kraken attack event i think went really well given we were dealt a bad hand at the begining of the event. For those that do not know, about 10 to 15 minutes before the event began, another guild arrived on the ship we intended to use and basically told us "to use Warmode". Given how we didn't know people would feel about going into war mode and not having much time. we used the ship that we did, which was small but to me, aesthetics wise, i thought was better. however, this did create an issue with the chat box being clogged up as were much closer together due to the ship being much smaller and most of the free space being at the back of the ship. Though also i think there was a little bit of a catch 22 in this situation, which i'll get into at the end of the section.

I think the NPC team did really well with the numbers we had. Richeron did his best to keep the event DM'ed, Rumour and Darthias did a great job at the special effects with all the tenticles and Shino and I passed off as deckhands. I'm not sure how the team could have improved things as a whole. some mistakes were made with a communication or two as to where the Kraken was meant to be, which maybe we could have spotted. so if we get the numbers. so maybe a bit of vigilence on that behalf. As well as looking at some of the feedback, looking at how we can do attacks that we ensures we know who is hit and who isn't.

For me i feel i gave a good comedy relief, a sense of a working persons humour and offering the help of the gunpowder when we couldn't use the cannons due to the krakens locations. As well as giving a bit of authenticity that we were merchant sailors, along with staying behind to give people a chance to ask questions or try and discover things. As for what i could have improved on, i think i was a little too slap stick with the npc and tried to be a bit too funny at times, i also feel i should have tried to engage with players more, given them more hints and the like.

All in all! i think the Kraken attack was a great event. i liked the two tier battle, how the scene was set for stormy seas and the effects used with the potions and the tenticles.i think Richeron and the people doing the special effects did a great job running the event. So, i mentioned about a catch 22. Hindsight is wonderful thing, we could have used warmode, but then comes the thing i think which would have improved the event to greater heights. I really think we needed an extra 3-4 npcs for this event. Two extra crew and two extra tenticle deparment. maybe even some redshirts. i think if we used the larger ship, though it would have helped with the text box. i think we would have been stretched way too thin.

Also, i think something i noticed is people not always using raid chat for emotes. (something that took place in the harbour guard part as well.) It's really important for the Dm that people do, i might have missed the people who had. but it did seem the case. i know it's very weird but it does help that people do.

So! with that out the way. lets get to the elephant in the room, the dark horse so to speak. which was....the harbour guard part.

Right, so. i'll come clean with that I had alot of fun with it, as confusing as it was. I had fun with it, i think i improved on the trying to be too funny, played a character who could have come over as quite authoritian to Starlight and i really do feel we genuinely got the jump on the majority of you. I was honestly shocked that we got everyone (bar one) on the top deck and, in fairness, might have taken the wind out of our sails a little bit, (no pun intended) along with everyone elses. I think maybe the whole "no one expects H.M Customs and revenue" might have killed the pace a little bit and left people with a "Well...what the hell do i now?" So for that, i apologise. i think maybe we might have spent a bit too much time below deck as well, but again. i liked that and it felt authentic to me, which i hope it did other people as well.

To give some context on the travel, and why we didn't use Valiance keep straight away boils down to what we were asked to try and carry out for the event. Richeron and I kinda decided that the ship in Valiance keep wasn't big enough for what Chit wanted us to try and achieve, it's basically the top deck then one below which is literally one singular room. It's my firm belief that the whole event would have been over in about 30 minutes if we had gone this route, given taking you in for interviews would have made the event too long (with interviewing every single one of you). I also have to come clean that the not smooth transition between Stormwind and Valiance keep was a little bit my fault due to being indecisive with decision making, an improvement for next time.

However. i think the idea of what Chit had in mind and what was executed wasn't entirely the same thing. Though it is an idea i'd like to try again in the future, as it is a really good idea and we can take the positives and the negatives with us. i think the npc team did great with the numbers we had but have some lessons to take with us on this one. we've also learnt that we can use Warmode reliably at times to use places that might not always be open to us, something worth thinking about in the future i would say.

So to conclude! i had fun playing two very different characters, i think we did alot of things very well, learnt some new things we can try and know some thing we need to improve or experiement with. So i look forward to what future events will bring.

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#7 Post by Nomine » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:49 am

Just a quick comment on
"Also, i think something i noticed is people not always using raid chat for emotes. (something that took place in the harbour guard part as well.) It's really important for the Dm that people do, i might have missed the people who had. but it did seem the case. i know it's very weird but it does help that people do."
This is something we see again and again, we fail at being clear from the arranger side on being clear which communication channel should be used, and remind people. It should be said at the start of an event, people should be reminded and it should be consistant e.g. do not change during the event.

This is not unique feedback to this event, more a best practice for every event: Clear message on how and where to communicate, up to and including saying "Do not use the SL IC communication" when that is best for the event. Perhaps to say "all fight emotes must be handled through raid" (then any other flavor/mood/character) can be kept in /emote and the GM does not need to think about/react to flavor, and can focus on only the in-raid stuff.


And I am saying this as somebody who finds communication via raid to be both immersion breaking and adding to that "wall of text."

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#8 Post by Nomine » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:00 am

To clarify myself a bit

A GM needs to care about
"Player: Nomine swings his cutlass at the Kraken"

The GM does not need to care about:
"Player: Nomine steadies himself, one hand on the mast, struggling to keep balance"
"Player: Nomine offers Syrawenn a hand, helping her up"
or even "Player: Nomine hands Syrawenn one of his spare blades, as she lost her own."

So the GMs mental bandwith can be focused on actions that are directly impacting the monster/enemy, and only those should happen in /raid.

As an idea/concept. Anything else, from the GM side - is nice to have, can be replied to, but it is not essential that they reply or communicate on it. So players and fast typers vs slow typers have a space where fast typers can act/react, play without it being critical.
And players who struggles with known what happens where, knows that in /raid they will find critical information and only critical info.

The drawback being that you have two places /raid and /emote where things happens - and must remember to communicate in the right one.
/raid if it influences the conflict directly and the GM should know
/raid for information from the GM
/emote if it roleplay/not information a GM must act-upon. Actions between two players can be handled in /emote.

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#9 Post by Anadelonbrin » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:02 am

The /me vs /r is probably what caused Syra to feel she was next to Ana. I was doing all my emotes in raid chat, meaning that everyone else saw my emotes (thus giving the impression I was there with them), but I didn't see theirs (because I wasn't). I mean, at one point, my character was not even "physically" on the ship, but under it, so if I had not used raid, the GMs would have had no chance at all to know what she was up to. ^^

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Re: Feedback request on Dark Blade 3 & 4

#10 Post by Chit » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:39 pm

I found this event series to be very enlightening as a noob event arranger.
Having only run one event before, I have a bunch of weaknesses to deal with, and this situation allowed me to use my best talents but be supported by others' talents in tasks which I find stressful.

My contributions were:
  • Nudging things along organisationally with Discord calls and setting deadlines
  • Brainstorming the plot with Richeron, and aiming to get some plot twists in like oops it's not a storm it's a kraken; and we're here to find the hilt but what the group get hit with is Customs officers and a sudden death. Getting the story clear and ensuring we were on the same page.
  • Writing ups instructions for Starlight and the players, making sure people were on the same page
  • Making sure everyone knows they are appreciated for all the work they put in - I am so grateful for the people who are willing to create 'a world of rp' that goes far beyond the imagination. It's like a little piece of Steamwheedle Cartel is reborn!
Kudos for the people I couldn't have done without!

Richeron, my partner in crime - we bounced ideas around really easily and came up with some good ideas, the story almost wrote itself.
Richeron again - the one thing that totally stresses me out is DMing - and I was able to completely abandon this aspect of the events - even to the point of playing on the other side!
Darthias, Nomine and Rumour - for the game mechanics that brought the Kraken alive! I kno nozzing...
Richeron for location and practicalities like war mode and handling phasing.
Richeron, Shinodan, Darthias, Rumour, Lylieth and Hadravar - for bringing wonderful characters to the story whose idiosyncracies and reactions helped to shape the event live and write the story in the moment. We provided the template - the players and Richeron must have had a whale of a time on Discord turning it into a live performance. It seemed a perfect meld of individualism and coordination.

Learning
  • I'd originally planned Handing back the Tracker as a tiny rp scene with just 2-3 people - but didn't specify this so suddenly more people had signed up! I think this event worked for people on the inside, but not for the people who were outside on guard. That's learning for next time - to think about everyone likely to attend and ensure that each had an rp contribution to make. I like small rp like this, just need to specify numbers. Much the same learning applied to getting all the Starlighters on deck at the start of the Customs officer section. It limited people's action so some may have been bored.
  • When Charlie introduced the diagram of the Hilt, I didn't see the description - need to think about how to do this with /raid
  • It doesn't work to end the event on a cliffhanger (Eric's death) if you don't have a plot in the diary to carry on. Yes we can fudge it - but the realism depends on the events continuing with everyday rp in the guild. It would be more realistic if there was an opportunity to build on the events between events. This is something I hadn't considered before - and it will require a lot more thought. I see now why Nomine sees Shadowlands as a great chance for integrated rp.
And so to specific feedback...

Handing back the Tracker
I thought Violet's character really came out here, she was a good foil to Nomine. And Nomine going on the attack and asking Charlie Atreed to prove he wasn't a cultist was a great twist. The engineer byplay between Devvy and Genny was also good fun - like they couldn't decide whether to be rival engineers or engineers united against idiot laymen...
  • Kudos to Richeron for coming up with the diagram of the Hilt and Richeron and Haddy for superb characters!
Perilous Journey
Kudos to
  • Richeron - for the great descriptions and actions - there were some lovely touches like having Kraken spew water across the deck and bite the mast off the ship! Not sure who thought this up? They were great ideas! And this stuff meant that I didn't 'know it all' so it was fun to play.
  • Rumour and Darthias - for the game mechanics of the Kraken - I didn't realise how hard it would be to find people who had tentacle capability - at the last minute Rumour arrived with tentacles and reflecting mirrors, counting and managing the cooldowns and integrating seamlessly with Darthias to put on a really good show. I particularly liked the fact that due to cooldowns there was an option for the tentacles to disappear - then reappear! This is a very 'Jaws' like dynamic - you think you've won and then...BAM they are back!
  • Nomine - I had to clue him in to get enough tentacles - and he introduced me to the Tamed Bloodfeaster as a mount that combined with Darthias' Shadow made a great Kraken's maw!
  • Lylieth and Shinodan - not just NPCs but living characters, a gun captain addicted to Spiced Rum yelling out FIRE THE BROADSIDE! and a scared sailor who at the worst moment couldn't find the key to the gunpowder chest (I reckon it was mislaid in his pocket all the time Nomine spent picking the lock and nearly getting washed overboard). I loved the way they kept pointing out that fighting the Kraken was Starlight's job!
Finding the Hilt...or not
Kudos to:
  • Richeron, Shinodan, Rumour, Hadravar, Darthias and Lylieth - amazing character rp both of Customs vs the suspects, and within-group dynamics between Customs Officers. We are grateful that you decided to throw Fan Hai in prison and not Starlight despite Starlight's very suspicious activities!
  • A special call out to Haddy for sticking around as Eric in the tent for a good half hour after dying! Those sad feet sticking out...

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