Preview: Watch Your Back in Salem

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Preview: Watch Your Back in Salem

Mashing permanent death with cute little Pilgrims is Salem's lot.

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Sounds really, really "role-playing" heavy...That's a bad thing for me. I think I'll skip it.

And the idea of being killed while offline is just wrong.

Onyx Oblivion:
Sound really, really "role-playing" heavy...I think I'll skip it.

And the idea of being killed while offline is just wrong.

Totally with you on that last part. That's a bit...Rough.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if death wasn't permanent, but combining those two mechanics?

Ow.

Rich history well for America I suppose couldn't game developers look little farther field to other places with history even if use an American main character there's whole world out there.

I love the idea of player killing carrying rather heavy consequences. I was behind it, and even considering playing my first MMO game since Diablo 2, right up until the bit where the delusional, paranoid, misogynist assholes behind the witch burnings are right all along.
Kinda lost me there.

Lazarus Long:
I love the idea of player killing carrying rather heavy consequences. I was behind it, and even considering playing my first MMO game since Diablo 2, right up until the bit where the delusional, paranoid, misogynist assholes behind the witch burnings are right all along.
Kinda lost me there.

FECK OFF!!!

(sorry couldnt help it)

When I heard death is death I was a bit put off, but seeing how they handle it I'm totally going to consider trying this. Anyone else think the idea of being a Witch Priest to defend other witches could be fun?

Colour me intruiged. I will keep an eye on this and hopeful;ly get to play the beta.

I like the ideas and as for:

Lazarus Long:
...the bit where the delusional, paranoid, misogynist assholes behind the witch burnings are right all along.
Kinda lost me there.

Its a game and having a part of that history included in some form or other is good even if it does play it the wrong way

couple of Questions though. do you get a murder scent from killing a native indian and is that distinguishable from killing a villager (as it would be very different at the time this is set). Also interested to see how the villages will rule themselves and how easy it could be to change villages (inter village warfare)

I can't chop any more wood, I'm out of phlegm.

I swear I will use this excuse next time my brother axes me to chop some wood.

This sounds like it could be really cool. Paradox Interactive has screwed up big time before though (see Hearts of Iron 3) so I'm hoping that doesn't happen to this. Yes, being a witch priest would be pretty slick. Maybe make a witch group/guild to look out for eachother? Honestly rolling a new toon in games is one of my favourite things to do, its just that I never get them to level cap...

oooh, sounds like a hardcore ver. of Wurm online.

Count me intrested.

Lazarus Long:
I love the idea of player killing carrying rather heavy consequences. I was behind it, and even considering playing my first MMO game since Diablo 2, right up until the bit where the delusional, paranoid, misogynist assholes behind the witch burnings are right all along.
Kinda lost me there.

Well, the game seems to be going for a Lovecraftian vibe, which means having witches/servants of the dark powers around. By definition I get the impression that thw witches are probably going to be corrupt and evil as well.

That said, the situation in Salem was a land grab more than anything (I've been to Salem) and the "trials" are actually a number of seperate issues, and not all of the victims were women. 14 Women, 5 men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials

At least as I remember it from when I visited Salem everyone involved including the victims were a bunch of douchebags once you cut out all the propaganda. These incidents played a key role in banning witch trials, because honestly, I think there were some serious doubts on whether there was any real religious fervor, as everyone involved had some kind of perfectly worldly stake in this.

That said, being a horror game, I fail to see why having horror elements in it is a big deal. Especially seeing as this game seems to be set well before the time of the Witch Trials, and the monsters are real.

Also while not popular with the new-age movement, I will say that while I doubt there being magic involved, a lot of the hype behind the witch hunts and the like was true. It's just that we like to put a very judgemental spin on things, and you also have the "New Age" movement which is harmless, and also has a vested interest in wanting hisorical re-inventionism.

The truth is that primitive people have some very nasty rituals, this includes primitive white people. For all of the "one with nature" celtic stuff, the bottom like is that you had tons of torture and murder being committed by pre-christian religions. Some of the sites are pretty disturbing, and once in a while they do shows on this kind of thing but few people put all the pieces together. As time went on, these beliefs never really disappeared, and you had people doing nasty things in secret because it was tradition. To a Christian anything not frm god is from Satan, so these people were Satanists even if they did not specifically worship the devil. Given that Christianity wrecked these cultures and drove them underground, these people trying to invoke their own religion against it probably didn't help matters (and the darker the magic, the nastier the requirements as well). This is of course to say nothing of actual, bona-fide Satanists, which of course themselves developed as a knee-jerk opposition to Christian domination. I think it was one of those "strange but true" real-life supernatural shows when I was a kid, but apparently there have been Satanic lairs uncovered in places like Paris. One of them had like hundreds of baby skulls set into the walls around the alter, and is probably the inspiration for tales that Satanists are still abducting and killing babies today. You look at some of that stuff and it's pretty easy to see where the whole school of "The Witch Hunters were right" dark-fantasy fiction comes from, especially when it's set decades, or centuries before things like what happened in Salem.

At any rate, if you like the game otherwise, I wouldn't freak out about that aspect of things. The point is simply there is another side to it, and it's a work of fantasy. I doubt the game is trying to say the Salem Witch Trials were actually justified, but as far as fantasy goes (people have used that as a horror story with real witches), why not? It's no worse than a movie some guys made about "what if George Washington was a seriel killer". :P

I really like the sound of this.

The whole, death is permenant thing. That will make a great community!

This could go really well, or really badly....

I'm not ready to place my bets on either side.

Good ideas: you die, you stay dead.

Not so good ideas: offline characters.

Scenario: "oh no, I have committed a minor infraction against another player. And this being an online RPG, he now wants massively out of proportion revenge. D'oh well, I had no plans to ever stop playing this game anyway."

This is actually sounding more and more interesting the more I read about it. Every action will have serious consequences especially pvp. Sure somebody can kill you offline but then they themselves can be hunted down and killed. I fully expect there to be quite a few people in it for the pvp aspect and will become well bounty hunters/assassins. Somebody kills you well now you hire somebody to kill them.

Oh now this sounds cool.

Ill haft to keep an eye on this.

Wait, building structures in an MMO? =/
I really like the way they stayed with the historically accurate format for the game. But I'm with Onyx...

Onyx Oblivion:

the idea of being killed while offline is just wrong.

that combined with being killed and staying dead. >(
I wonder if they let you go all "inquisitor" on other players to get them to confess to witchcraft. That would be fun as hell.

Concerned about the staying dead concept, but definitely planning on giving it a look when it comes out.

This sounds pretty interesting. All the interlocking systems sound pretty cool and although you being able to be killed while offline permenantly is pretty harsh, it's only if you commited a crime and then decided that you didn't want to hide or anything (so either you're stupid or lazy). This will probably curb the random grief murders that would happen otherwise, as now murder has to be a carefully planned thing. I still imagine there will be groups the PvP each other alot, but there will probably also be areas that are heavily patrolled by a dedicated group. Not to mention that specialization will make some people very crucial for certain tasks in a village (losing one of your few priests or expert crafter would be very bad), so some people will be very protective of each other.

And I love that only certain people can sense the witchcraft scent. This will introduce all new levels of paranioa into the game.

ok sorry to be that guy but Salem was settled in the 17th century during the 1600s and the Salem witch trials took place in Salem village now known a Danvers Massachusetts not Salem Massachusetts even though Salem would like to disagree with history because they get a lot of tourist money from bastardizing history
those two editorial errors nagged me. sorry

OT.
this game looks pretty cool and could be alot of fun

Therumancer:

Lazarus Long:
I love the idea of player killing carrying rather heavy consequences. I was behind it, and even considering playing my first MMO game since Diablo 2, right up until the bit where the delusional, paranoid, misogynist assholes behind the witch burnings are right all along.
Kinda lost me there.

Well, the game seems to be going for a Lovecraftian vibe, which means having witches/servants of the dark powers around. By definition I get the impression that thw witches are probably going to be corrupt and evil as well.

That said, the situation in Salem was a land grab more than anything (I've been to Salem) and the "trials" are actually a number of seperate issues, and not all of the victims were women. 14 Women, 5 men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials

At least as I remember it from when I visited Salem everyone involved including the victims were a bunch of douchebags once you cut out all the propaganda. These incidents played a key role in banning witch trials, because honestly, I think there were some serious doubts on whether there was any real religious fervor, as everyone involved had some kind of perfectly worldly stake in this.

That said, being a horror game, I fail to see why having horror elements in it is a big deal. Especially seeing as this game seems to be set well before the time of the Witch Trials, and the monsters are real.

Also while not popular with the new-age movement, I will say that while I doubt there being magic involved, a lot of the hype behind the witch hunts and the like was true. It's just that we like to put a very judgemental spin on things, and you also have the "New Age" movement which is harmless, and also has a vested interest in wanting hisorical re-inventionism.

The truth is that primitive people have some very nasty rituals, this includes primitive white people. For all of the "one with nature" celtic stuff, the bottom like is that you had tons of torture and murder being committed by pre-christian religions. Some of the sites are pretty disturbing, and once in a while they do shows on this kind of thing but few people put all the pieces together. As time went on, these beliefs never really disappeared, and you had people doing nasty things in secret because it was tradition. To a Christian anything not frm god is from Satan, so these people were Satanists even if they did not specifically worship the devil. Given that Christianity wrecked these cultures and drove them underground, these people trying to invoke their own religion against it probably didn't help matters (and the darker the magic, the nastier the requirements as well). This is of course to say nothing of actual, bona-fide Satanists, which of course themselves developed as a knee-jerk opposition to Christian domination. I think it was one of those "strange but true" real-life supernatural shows when I was a kid, but apparently there have been Satanic lairs uncovered in places like Paris. One of them had like hundreds of baby skulls set into the walls around the alter, and is probably the inspiration for tales that Satanists are still abducting and killing babies today. You look at some of that stuff and it's pretty easy to see where the whole school of "The Witch Hunters were right" dark-fantasy fiction comes from, especially when it's set decades, or centuries before things like what happened in Salem.

At any rate, if you like the game otherwise, I wouldn't freak out about that aspect of things. The point is simply there is another side to it, and it's a work of fantasy. I doubt the game is trying to say the Salem Witch Trials were actually justified, but as far as fantasy goes (people have used that as a horror story with real witches), why not? It's no worse than a movie some guys made about "what if George Washington was a seriel killer". :P

Perhaps. But there's also a lot of evidence to suggest some 'witches' were just very knowledgeable.

There's some issues in the UK surrounding the rising to prominence of modern surgical medicine and the wholesale discrediting of the old traditional healers, many of whom were women.

But that's not to say there weren't horrible rituals in old religions. (but newer ones don't have such a brilliant history either. - Consider the inquisitions; a lot of people convicted of witchcraft, heresy and so forth were tortured into confessing.)

But I digress.

I don't quite know what this game is intending with it's representation of Witchcraft - I personally don't see the point of mystical/magical abilities that can only be used for 100% negative purposes.
Kind of sucks all the fun out of it for me. But whatever. XD.

Vault101:

FECK OFF!!!

I do wonder if the game will include NUNS!!!

Therumancer:

I think there were some serious doubts on whether there was any real religious fervor, as everyone involved had some kind of perfectly worldly stake in this.

Definitely. While I haven't done the kind of research you seem to have done, I feel pretty confident in guessing that at least one victim died as a result of, say, adultery coupled with a reputation to uphold.

That said, being a horror game, I fail to see why having horror elements in it is a big deal. Especially seeing as this game seems to be set well before the time of the Witch Trials, and the monsters are real.

Well, I'm not howling for the developers' blood or anything. Best of luck to them, and I hope they sell 1042 copies. I'm just put off by witch-burning portrayed as an unambiguously good thing, the same mild "Eh, it's not for me" put-offness I feel about Frank Miller and his World O' Whores.
And maybe I should re-read the article more carefully, but aside from some monsters out in the deep wilderness, I didn't really get a horror vibe from this. More Minecraft than Lovecraft, if you will.

One other thing: Do we know if you can be killed offline any time, or does it have to be one of those "summoned via your murder-taint" situations?

in before "churches increase civilization" enrages an atheist and starts spouting bullshit like the Religion & politics forum.

Sounds good, and gives griefers something to fear. It seems if you do nothing wrong, you can't be hunted down and killed while offline. However the "murder" part is a bit scary since it seems people can kill you without permission to PVP. Who knows? Maybe it will be civilized when griefers can be punished by vigilantes.

Sounds like a very interesting niche premise, I wish them all the best. Will even give it a whirl, as it's free to play. Sounds like it shares a few aspects with Minecraft, whilst building a closer community. Could be interesting to see if that will work in the anonymous internet environment...

sounds pretty hardcore. I'm not sure if I'd be up some of that. No matter how cool it is. I really wouldn't want to lose a character I'd spent months on.

Zachary Amaranth:

Onyx Oblivion:
Sound really, really "role-playing" heavy...I think I'll skip it.

And the idea of being killed while offline is just wrong.

Totally with you on that last part. That's a bit...Rough.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if death wasn't permanent, but combining those two mechanics?

Ow.

It scares of the retarded "Hardcore" PvP crowd that want to be dickholes without any repurcussions. I thinks its fair that you should have to stay online for the time until the murder scent goes away so you cant just go and kill someone, then log off and wait for it to go away.

I think this is an excellent system.

Sounds like a lot of people are freaking over being killed while offline.

From the article, I think you can only be killed offline if you murder someone, not for some petty crime or any other reason. So as long as you're not murdering, you're safe, which sounds like a great idea to me.

One fluid they missed is probably semen. More semen makes you more of a man, meaning more testosterone. You lose semen after you have sex. Makes sense?

They have to solve how to prevent someone from doing cheap kills, looking for easy kills. They need adequate protection for the people that have played for a long time. Those are the loyal customers, if they die because of a bunch of low level guys teaming up on him just for fun, then that's a game breaker.

Since murder, and other crimes, can be tracked I'm suspecting there will be plenty of players simply wandering around as bounty hunters and make their living by subduing criminals and bringing them in for reward. If unconscious characters can't do anything for a while that means they can be dragged in and dealt with without the bounty hunter acquiring a scent of their own.

As Murder is a skill, griefers have to invest time into killing someone and then try to actually make good on their escape so I doubt there will be many public killings since the griefer's death will cost them time.

I'm also assuming if your character is summoned while offline they can defend themselves but at a reduced capability and additionally that there will be positive things that witchcraft can do such as healing though that might make other players lynch you at the first sign of black magic.

Does anyone else have the idea of finding a spot in the woods building your own little shack, specializing in murder and then going to neighboring towns and killing off entire villages :D

Sounds very interesting, if it comes out on the mac, I might give it a try...

You know, I wonder if it's possible to, say, start a coven of witches and take over the town... Or better yet, start a huge empire of a village and conquer the world, that sounds AWESOME!

Lazarus Long:

Well, I'm not howling for the developers' blood or anything. Best of luck to them, and I hope they sell 1042 copies. I'm just put off by witch-burning portrayed as an unambiguously good thing, the same mild "Eh, it's not for me" put-offness I feel about Frank Miller and his World O' Whores.
And maybe I should re-read the article more carefully, but aside from some monsters out in the deep wilderness, I didn't really get a horror vibe from this. More Minecraft than Lovecraft, if you will.

One other thing: Do we know if you can be killed offline any time, or does it have to be one of those "summoned via your murder-taint" situations?

I'm not really seeing them displaying witch burning as a "good" thing necessarily, it all depends on your opinion. For example, there can be a "town witch" who keeps the griefers out and protects the town, maybe even using "Wicken" (or however it's spelled) magic to heal people and being an overall good person. What the game tries to do, however, is play on paranoia, how can you trust all those high level players to be "Good" witches and not abuse their god like powers? Oh no, your crops suddenly began to die, is it that supposedly "Good" witch? Is it just a natural accident? What in the world is happening?!

CrystalShadow:
[q
Perhaps. But there's also a lot of evidence to suggest some 'witches' were just very knowledgeable.

There's some issues in the UK surrounding the rising to prominence of modern surgical medicine and the wholesale discrediting of the old traditional healers, many of whom were women.

But that's not to say there weren't horrible rituals in old religions. (but newer ones don't have such a brilliant history either. - Consider the inquisitions; a lot of people convicted of witchcraft, heresy and so forth were tortured into confessing.)

But I digress.

I don't quite know what this game is intending with it's representation of Witchcraft - I personally don't see the point of mystical/magical abilities that can only be used for 100% negative purposes.
Kind of sucks all the fun out of it for me. But whatever. XD.

To each their own about games, but I think you have some bad information. This is why I don't like current political agendas leading to people reinventing history. The inquisition did not torture people into confessing crimes, that's idiotic and I'm surprised people have gotten that idea. It's simply put stupid. By the time people were tortured they had already been convicted of Witchcraft, their death was a foregone conclusion. By the time things had gotten to this point typically the authorities had already sat in judgement and reviewed the evidence and the witnesses. Understand that in europe where most of this took place a trial did not need to be conducted with a person being able to actively defend themselves, nor did they have the right to face their accuser or anything else. That is why these rights exist, there still were proceedings however. What happened when someone was convicted of Witchcraft was the church felt it was their duty to try and save the person's soul. The torture was conducted to get them to accept their misdeeds as misdeeds, repent their evil, and accept Jesus as their savior so they could go to heaven. None of this was really used as evidence or anything like that. In cases of posession it was believed that the demon needed to be driven out of the body through pain, so the person inside could confess their sins, and thus go to heaven. Wonky yes, but not quite what you seem to think. It makes me suspect that instead of schools telling you "put bad horror movies about the Inquisition out of your mind, this is what really happened, which is scary enough" and decided to try and present the bad horror movies as what actually occured.

As far as those accused of being witches simply having knowlege, I think that's a retroactive justification. After all it's a way for the New Age version of a witch to claim ancient traditions, and provide an air of mystique and secrecy to the whole thing. "Secrets the world feared because they didn't understand them" or whatever. The problem with that logic is that The Church was actually the big defender of knowlege at the time, and the force which moved science along in the early days. Herbalism and the like was not exactly an alien concept to The Church as a whole.

It's also important to understand that current conflicts between herbal cures and modern medicine are because herbal medicine is largely unregulated and tends to cause as many problems as it solves. Modern medication and such gradually evolved from herbal remedies
and such, and in general given the option seeing a doctor is going to be far more effective than seeing a Guru. This is not to say that herbal cures are ineffective, but in some cases they can cause complications, or by treating symptoms never get to an underlying cause until it's too late. Right now there is so much negative-press aimed at the drug companies where a lot of people will look for "alternative medicine" in the belief that there is some great conspiricy to prevent people from using this stuff so big drug companies can make money. In reality if anything like that was going on, you'd have the big companies buying out the herb gardens and stuff and selling the herbal remedies for $100 a bottle or whatever. :P

-

As far as Witchcraft having to be used for 100% negative purposes, it's a solid concept. The idea of Lovecraftian type horror is the insignifigance of people compared to the supernatural horrors out there. All magic by definition comes FROM those creatures and as such it taints the people who use it. This is why sorcerors in that style of horror ALWAYS come to a bad end, either becoming evil, turning into degenerate mutant creatures through the energy they channel, or having their minds shatter and going totally bonkers. You see this kind of thing in the concept of "Chaos" as it applies to say Warhammer 40k, where those who use Sorcery do so through the Ruinous powers. The thing is that in an even darker universe there is no flickering remnant of a psionic god's soul, or naturally occuring psionics who can resist taint with the right training. That's part of what makes this kind of concept horrific as opposed to just dark... we're totally irrelevent due to the way it defines the universe.

That said, if they are going with a system based on the beliefs of the time in a literal sense, then there are only going to be two powers, God and The Devil, anything not from God comes from The Devil, and thus any power Witches wield is inherantly evil and corrupt. They probably would have to go through a sort of "sign this contract" type faustian bargain to get power. As I understand things, I'd imagine they are making it a high level thing because your character has to prove themself worth the trouble to begin with.

The flip side of that would of course be the power of god, which would be wielded by the faithful. Probably involving the invocation of various saints for blessings (think of the old game "Darklands"), mystical dispelling, and similar feats. Belief wise it wouldn't do any of the more dramatic D&D Cleric stuff. I'd imagine in this kind of system a Witch would be really powerful, but would have to remain in hiding because someone with a lot of faith like a Priest or whatever would be able to ignore whatever they have and take them down rather easily (meaning such characters would have to be subtle and remain hidden, since if the player base as a whole ever finds out, perma-death awaits). At the high end a character like this might wield an artifact involving a piece of the true cross, or the fingerbone of a saint or whatever.

That's getting well off the subject though, it sounds interesting, but I'm not sure if I'll have time for it. Also, I admit I don't much care for the whole perma-death thing. If I was going to implement it I would probably look at old school "Star Wars Galaxies" for an inspiration. The way it sounds Witches are going to be really powerful, and that makes a degree of sense. Using Permadeath in that case would be a way of keeping them in hiding where they should be conceptually. In old school SWG when Jedi or Sith died (after all the work to become one) the character turned into a "glowie" (think Obi-Wan appearing in the movies) and could no longer do anything. You could pretty much just log it in and walk around to show "hey, I actually got a character up to Jedi!". For a while it pretty much ensured that the force users were hiding like they were supposed to be. Later when they got rid of that mechanic you'd have bored Force Users waltz into a busy Cantina and start break dancing until Bounty Hunters showed up, then there would be a big fight, everyone would die, and then go laugh at the infirmiry. Then came the entire rehaul of the game and it just got worse. :P

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