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danp164

How loud is the call for backstory now?

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From just a cursory glance around the forums I've noticed something that quite a few people seem to be getting annoyed about, this relating especially to the Relthoza and Sorylian races (For some reason Aquans don;t seem so cut up). Players seem to think that a lot of the new release models aren't fitting with the consistency of what we previously knew about these races, whether its complaints about the Sorylians leviathan-a-saurus or what part of the Relthozan army is actually Relthoza and not a robot. Now admitedly so far what we know for certain about these races is very limited, we've only got 2 or 3 rulebooks to go on between Armada and Planetfall plus the two force books from armada but those focus more on ships then social structure or biology.

 

Has Firestorm as a fictional universe reached a point where we as players simply need more solid information and if so what would players like Spartan to do about it, its all well for us to complain but without suggesting a solution it doesn't help the problem.

 

So what do you think we NEED to know in the Firestorm universe and how would you go about releasing that information?

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I would love such a book with more background. I think you are right, danp164, that the game has reached a point where more background is needed to grow. Both to satified allready players but also to get new ones.

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Im finding thats my issue with this compared to Halo, im all giddy because i want to recreate battles from the past using admirals/captains i read or saw in the games/books. Until that pdf gets out and the back story built, FSA feels slightly hollow...and i may gravitate slowly to halo more as my main game. Depending on the popularity of course. Hell even simple artwork with a paragraph would be fine. I want to see the other Aquan races, how do their laser nodes work? How about how they grow their ships? I can't enjoy a race i can't get to know...

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I think fluff is what ties players to games.  Look at the biggest games in the industry right now.  They all have compelling stories that make you want to play even more games.  I bought a kurak fleet manual just because there was fluff in it.  I love the tidbits that already exist, but I am ready for more.  BRING IT ON... cant wait

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In one of his latest Pod-Casts, Neil said there is a huge free PDF (about 80k words I believe he said) detailing more on the background of the Firestorm Universe including tech and races etc, on it's way.

 

Let's hope it's out soon!

 

That is the awesomest news since they showed us the Leviathans! Love you Spartan Games!

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I think on the other hand that a lack of solid fluff can also help people to build their own, and maybe use it to enhance their games by building campaigns around it.

 

For example, I've been toying with the idea for ages of what would happen when the DIndrenzi find out the Directorate manipulated them into the whole war in the first place? I've had wonderful thoughts about secret diplomacy with the Terrans, with the Dindrenzi and Terrans ending their war to allow the Dindrenzi to attack the Directorate. I don't think it's going to go that way, but it's just one of the possibilities that my over-active imagination brings up.

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I think the problem with not enough fluff is that people build a narrative in their head. Then when a bit of fluff comes out that contradicts it, people freak out.

Pretty much this is why I don't think some people are going to be happy no matter what. It happens in pretty much every game though. Just look at Infinity recently, huge deal over one of the factions getting access to Cubes after 3rd edition. Or whenever a certain other game releases a new Codex.

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Well said. Look at the 'controversy' over the Relthoza drones. Sheesh.

 

The term 'headcanon' makes me cringe, but it is something that you need to respect - people feel passionate about little more than information, stories, and ideas they've developed themselves.  When something contradicts that...  it can sometimes encourage a more extreme response.

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The issue is more that the lore is in a bit of flux; FSA had moderately vague lore, now with FSP they have to pin it down a bit more and tweak it to a working semi-final state, that way when FSSO drops they don't have to retcon everything then. I mean, how is FSSO gonna really work if the Jabbri are NOT Relth but spider bots?

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The fluff is certainly experiencing growing pains. People have had FSAs vague sort of skimming the surface for years and now any added fluff can cause ripples in how people perceive the story. 

 

Add in the fact that SG now adding and adjusting fluff to fit the structure of the planetfall game system rather than the universe. using the most obvious example, the sorylian leviathan and its relationship to the sorylian sub-species system. The dino leviathan had no precedent in pre-established sorylian lore. It most likely didn't exist in anybodies mind until the SG guys sat down and hashed out ideas for leviathans for the different races and someone said 'Theyre reptiles right? how about a dinosaur?'. The fluff was superseded by the need to fill a design space. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and any sort of interactive art/story medium (whether it be video games, miniatures games etc) is always going to be a push and pull between story and mechanics.

 

One of the things a lot of FSA people seemed to enjoy about relthoza lore was that they eschewed the mindless bug horde cliche available in every other scifi setting. Planetfall has changed that aspect of the relthoza  and possibly the flavor of the faction because of it by introducing mindless baby bug swarms. Old hats invested in the old fluff are likely to see it as a violation of the pre-established rules while others might enjoy the new direction and expansion of the lore. There's not really a right answer. 

 

For my part I enjoyed the firestorm armada settings refusal to adhere to certain scifi tropes. that combined with a general adherence to certain realistic aspects of space such as ships being thousands of kilometers apart, smart missiles, being able to flip ships upside down etc created an atmosphere that made it seem like firestorm was a setting that took itself seriously.

Dystopian wars was SG silly setting with giant metal dragons and robo knights and fsa was their serious space opera. Now planetfall has come along and pumped the rule-of-cool amps up to 11 with giant robots, giant dinosaurs, flying churches and tap-dancing frog-horses. Not really what I'm interested in or what I signed up for when I first started playing Firestorm games.

 

That said, I'm super glad people are getting excited about the new fluff. its cool to watch a setting and a community grow and evolve like this. The gameplay itself is flipping awesome and (most of) the models look excellent. I have nothing but mad respect for the guys at SG and what they do.  :)

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Oh, I think I just found them in the Aquan infantry upgrade packs.

Those are.... Interesting....

They infuriated me to no end when I first saw them but by now I've made peace with the fact that they are in the game there's not a darn thing I can do about it lol

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They infuriated me to no end when I first saw them but by now I've made peace with the fact that they are in the game there's not a darn thing I can do about it lol

 

 

Yeah the number of critters in Planetfall is not making me happier about the game. I want to like it, but aqua-horses, giant dinosaurs and that weird hover chariot Sorylian recon got...

 

I get that they don't want it to just all be tanks and AFVs, but I don't want a game that gets into the silliest of a certain game set in the 41st millennium

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I just look at it as a repurposed ore cart. Seems like the kind of thing the Kul'Vok would do. That's how I see them using the Huk'Ka transport as well (just piled on the outside, like a Sherman).

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My brothers are Warhammer players, but I've always hated the whole Warhammer universe, skulls, death etc.  However, what I just realized tonight while playing a Planetfall game with one of my bro's, surrounded by Warhammer stuff, is that the fluff is what they love and what keeps that **** game going. 

 

My epiphany was that by writing story books that accompany the models is that you get the "play along" with the stories.  And when you are not playing table top games, then you can read the fluff and imagine all of the awesomeness.  That, IMO, is GW's success.  Write stories about your models and people will get engaged.

 

I originally thought the "fluff-void" of Firestorm was good so you make up your own stories.  But now  I realize how engaging it is for the publisher to write stories and then your games fulfill the stories.    So, I would recommend that SG take learning from others' successes, hire few writers, and start making fluff-books for us.  I think it will pay long-term dividends for the life and fun of the game. 

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I'm not inherently against biological elements making it into a scifi minis game, especially not in a faction of biological engineers (though if they were interested in speed they should have made the frog-horse 4 limbed or a biomechanical jetbike. bipedal animals in nature tend to be slower).

I'm against the fact that it was poorly implemented. it looks terrible. It looks like someone took a render of a fish, slapped human legs on it and decided to put an angler fish lure on top just for complete silliness sake. it looks like an enemy from World of Warcraft more than an alien animal. 

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