Allowing background feedback

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  • Allowing background feedback

    I'm aware that there are no current avenues for giving feedback on background, and for good reasons, such as not infringing on copyrights.

    However, I do think that feedback is needed, should we think the background should go in another direction, or should we feel that it could be better, and that this in turn could lead to better gameplay.

    Some examples (the quality of the arguments for them not being relevant) are as follows:

    • Some of us think KoE Paladins should be more generic monster slaying or hero duelling cavaliers, as opposed to specifically being religious demon hunters.
    • Some think the Vermin Swarm should utterly drop the Ancient Rome theme.
    • Some prefer the legacy themes where even the 'good' nations were pretty awful.
    • Some prefer the legacy themes where the Dark Gods weren't about the cardinal sins.
    Obviously some of these don't matter, but some affect gameplay.

    It leads to situations where one might criticise a rule, and receive the response "but it fits the background"... which isn't very useful when one doesn't agree with the background to begin with, and cannot engage with it either.

    If the rules follow the background, and feedback is needed for rules, it stands to reason that feedback will also be needed for the background, if only to ensure that the rules fit the desired themes.

    Would it be possible to allow some limited engagement with the background for players, like there is with the rules? If copyright infringement is an issue, could guidelines be laid out?
  • There has been some feedback taken into account in the past.
    You may remember, initially, all the background released was released by in-world humans. Now, we have significant releases coming from elves, saurians, dwarves, goblins etc. Obviously translated in a human language, with sometimes details lost in translation.

    For current procedures, background feedback has been encouraged for LABs while they are under work.
    I don't know if it was done at all, perhaps it was subtly limited to ACS testing out some background concept with the fans.
    More an more, we try to give ACS a say about what the community seems to wish. That's not direct, but that's a feedback still.

    In any case, we're talking about details, not wider decisions such as the ones you describe.
    The setting is based on a certain level of realism, where no faction is 100% "good" or "bad" and where all factions have good reasons to fight all factions (including civil war), and good reasons not to fight them. This is not likely to change any soon IMO.
    Curious, I see no "good" faction to remain, they have all their distateful aspects, although most can't be described as "awful".

    So, basically,
    - the policy may change (slowly) as it has already; make yourself heard!
    - the wide aspects of the setting are not likely to change, since that would mean retcon and lots of work,
    - the details of each army being under LAB works is the best time to express your feedback.

    Advisory Board

    Background Team

    Social Media Team

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • Calisson wrote:

    The setting is based on a certain level of realism
    Mentioned this before, T9A is marketed as "Fantasy Battles." Absolutely hate it when you guys argue about the need for realism.

    "T9A: Medieval Set Science Fiction battles" is the one with realism. You are misleading the player base when you describe it as "fantasy"

    Please, more fantasy in the background.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Chronocide ().

  • bluntpencil2001 wrote:

    Some examples (the quality of the arguments for them not being relevant) are as follows:
    • Some of us think KoE Paladins should be more generic monster slaying or hero duelling cavaliers, as opposed to specifically being religious demon hunters.

    That sounds aweful. I hope you get your way on this one, as I like the generic monster slayers much better.

    I've always hated the KoE (and the brets before them) as a faction, and as redundant variant of EoS (and Empire), so I've been staying away from KoE LAB feedback (if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all), same issue with DE LAB feedback (I don't appreciate elves....should just be an EoS variant).

    bluntpencil2001 wrote:


    • Some prefer the legacy themes where the Dark Gods weren't about the cardinal sins.

    I don't think anyone really likes this choice. I feel that it was more about moving the Dark Gods to a "definitely not copyrighted" theme and less about picking good choices. And they did a good job in this respect.

    I mean, just look at the armybook, 8 character options in an army where no one has the points for more than 2 or 3 characters...but if you have 7 gods, you kinda need 8 characters (1 for each god and 1 neutral).

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Chronocide ().

  • Chronocide wrote:

    Mentioned this before, T9A is marketed as "Fantasy Battles." Absolutely hate it when you guys argue about the need for realism.
    Lol, there is a large choice between high fantasy and low fantasy, that's still fantasy.

    T9A has dragons, magic, all the usual fantasy species. Heroes do massacre whole units in a few blows.
    The need to make the setting "Fantasy" is never lost by the background team.

    But that won't become the absurd AoS fantasy.

    Advisory Board

    Background Team

    Social Media Team

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • Calisson wrote:

    Chronocide wrote:

    Mentioned this before, T9A is marketed as "Fantasy Battles." Absolutely hate it when you guys argue about the need for realism.
    Lol, there is a large choice between high fantasy and low fantasy, that's still fantasy.
    T9A has dragons, magic, all the usual fantasy species. Heroes do massacre whole units in a few blows.
    The need to make the setting "Fantasy" is never lost by the background team.
    It's not low fantasy either. Low fantasy would have less wizards, magic, and magical item access. It would be almost entirely horses and humans, with only the rare magical encounter. A single magic sword is game breakingly powerful in low fantasy...

    And Dragons are not innately fantasy.

    If the dragons are a proper species that has realism within the setting and "magic" is a well studied force with predictable results, it's not fantasy...that's science fiction.

    Like how star wars is science fantasy, because it doesn't bother with real science and just does whatever fits the plot they want to make.

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Chronocide ().

  • Chronocide wrote:

    Calisson wrote:

    The setting is based on a certain level of realism
    Mentioned this before, T9A is marketed as "Fantasy Battles." Absolutely hate it when you guys argue about the need for realism.
    "T9A: Medieval Set Science Fiction battles" is the one with realism. You are misleading the player base when you describe it as "fantasy"

    Please, more fantasy in the background.
    I've related this for the longest time to poorly disguised references.
    Pretty much everything in every piece of fantasy is a reference to something, but when it is not hidden more or transformed into something not-that-obvious is really shows in a bad way. In the worst case takes you right out of the setting it tries to do.
  • Jarec wrote:

    I've related this for the longest time to poorly disguised references.Pretty much everything in every piece of fantasy is a reference to something, but when it is not hidden more or transformed into something not-that-obvious is really shows in a bad way. In the worst case takes you right out of the setting it tries to do.
    I mean, in fantasy video games, a part of that is them doing parody because parody isn't copyrighted in the same way.

    Though that does bring up another point, T9A has no humor in our setting. Keep suggesting it to LABs, but for whatever reason, can't get it into the setting.

    Even VS, no pokemon references at all, despite having an electrical based rodent faction...I tried. GW was huge on that sort of fun. Their rodent wheel was just a hamster ball, and ours is a suicide-vest terrorist in a go-cart....
  • Jarec wrote:

    Yes, there should be some contrast. That is what keeps me most interested in things, but I feel that everything is just a big flat grey blob of politics. Barring demons, I guess...
    DL, if you ignore the evil focus of the T9A DL background (and the name dropping) and try to go more silly, can make for a fun army,

    Just because T9A, for whatever reason, wants a bleak science fiction setting, doesn't mean you have to design your army around that.
    Turkeys in the 9th age (turkey the animal)

    And it isn't just me, lots of people have fun army themes.
  • Calisson wrote:

    There has been some feedback taken into account in the past.
    You may remember, initially, all the background released was released by in-world humans. Now, we have significant releases coming from elves, saurians, dwarves, goblins etc. Obviously translated in a human language, with sometimes details lost in translation.

    For current procedures, background feedback has been encouraged for LABs while they are under work.
    I don't know if it was done at all, perhaps it was subtly limited to ACS testing out some background concept with the fans.
    More an more, we try to give ACS a say about what the community seems to wish. That's not direct, but that's a feedback still.

    In any case, we're talking about details, not wider decisions such as the ones you describe.
    The setting is based on a certain level of realism, where no faction is 100% "good" or "bad" and where all factions have good reasons to fight all factions (including civil war), and good reasons not to fight them. This is not likely to change any soon IMO.
    Curious, I see no "good" faction to remain, they have all their distateful aspects, although most can't be described as "awful".

    So, basically,
    - the policy may change (slowly) as it has already; make yourself heard!
    - the wide aspects of the setting are not likely to change, since that would mean retcon and lots of work,
    - the details of each army being under LAB works is the best time to express your feedback.
    I was under the impression that the background isn't really up for discussion when at the LAB stage? I was directed to post here when I asked about it.
  • @bluntpencil2001

    Nice and well-reasoned post.


    Calisson wrote:

    - the details of each army being under LAB works is the best time to express your feedback.
    It seems like there are layers which are subject to feedback, and layers which aren't. In the SA LAB process, the Guidelines were published that described roughly what the SA are and how they should play. Some people took issue with the the "What the SA are" part of that, and were generally told, "the background is already written, the guidelines just describe how it shapes the design." But then there were some details, like the "Caimans as poets", that seemed up for discussion - like they were a level of detail that could change, perhaps?

    So I guess the question is, once an army gets to LAB, what kind of feedback is valid?
  • bluntpencil2001 wrote:

    Calisson wrote:

    There has been some feedback taken into account in the past.
    You may remember, initially, all the background released was released by in-world humans. Now, we have significant releases coming from elves, saurians, dwarves, goblins etc. Obviously translated in a human language, with sometimes details lost in translation.

    For current procedures, background feedback has been encouraged for LABs while they are under work.
    I don't know if it was done at all, perhaps it was subtly limited to ACS testing out some background concept with the fans.
    More an more, we try to give ACS a say about what the community seems to wish. That's not direct, but that's a feedback still.

    In any case, we're talking about details, not wider decisions such as the ones you describe.
    The setting is based on a certain level of realism, where no faction is 100% "good" or "bad" and where all factions have good reasons to fight all factions (including civil war), and good reasons not to fight them. This is not likely to change any soon IMO.
    Curious, I see no "good" faction to remain, they have all their distateful aspects, although most can't be described as "awful".

    So, basically,
    - the policy may change (slowly) as it has already; make yourself heard!
    - the wide aspects of the setting are not likely to change, since that would mean retcon and lots of work,
    - the details of each army being under LAB works is the best time to express your feedback.
    I was under the impression that the background isn't really up for discussion when at the LAB stage? I was directed to post here when I asked about it.

    ^ This.

    I'm mostly only active in the KoE forum, but at least there, the answer so far always seems to be (more or less): "the background is already finished and fixed in place".
  • Lawot wrote:

    It seems like there are layers which are subject to feedback, and layers which aren't. In the SA LAB process, the Guidelines were published that described roughly what the SA are and how they should play. Some people took issue with the the "What the SA are" part of that, and were generally told, "the background is already written, the guidelines just describe how it shapes the design." But then there were some details, like the "Caimans as poets", that seemed up for discussion - like they were a level of detail that could change, perhaps?
    So I guess the question is, once an army gets to LAB, what kind of feedback is valid?
    The LAB team receives the broad background directives which are provided to the community as well. This is not open to discussion since it is linked with the broader scheme of T9A in which the faction is inserted. For example, VS are Roman-inspired, that is the way T9A big story is written.
    Now, the detailed expression of the directive in each unit is left to the LAB team to elaborate. This is as open to community feedback as the LAB team wishes. For example, that is where the description of caimans is somehow flexible.
    Overall, flexibility is rather limited but some degree of adaptability exists - much more than in any other game system that I can think of.

    Advisory Board

    Background Team

    Social Media Team

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • I'm not sure it would be as risky as the team expect to allow feedback on background.

    Most of time it would affect only one sentence in a text. That could only be deleted, so anyone could think what he would like.

    For vermin, I'm not sure anyone as a problem with "Roman inspiration", it's more of "use of Roman language" that bother people. So it mean, it could still be Roman inspired but using other terms from Vermin language more than Latin.

    Have said that many times before : I think the topic of this thread is a very important point for the team to work on. And I'm not sure there would be so much subjects with a so clear majority asking for change.
  • Coherency is king for a good story IMO. Having too many people work on the background will lead to it being a mish mash of disjointed ideas and concepts. So in general I agree to have background relatively closed and in the hands of only a few people.


    Apart from that, this topic is made difficult by the same issue that affects everything else done by the project. We do not know what "the majority" of "the community" thinks as we have no way of finding it out. The only thing we can tell is "what is the opinion of the loudest forum users" and sometimes also "what is the opinion of the majority of active forum posters". Is this enough to allow their input to influence the background to a significant degree? I don't know.