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Warcry
2010-12-20, 07:15 AM
Hi guys.

There's been some discussion in the staff forum recently about the future of the game. Over the last few years we've seen our player numbers drop quite a bit. That means that things have slowed down a lot, and that the extremely epic setting that we've created doesn't work nearly as well as it used to. We've also come to the conclusion that one of the things keeping new players from signing up (or old players from returning) is the fact that we've got ten years worth of very complicated, very confusing continuity behind us. Something needs to be done or in the near future there's just not going to be much of a game left.

So.

There are lots of things we can do to address this. The idea that's got the most currency with us right now, though, is to wrap up the current storyline entirely. Instead of following up with a new arc set in the same universe, we're seriously considering rebooting entirely and launching a new game in a fresh continuity. This is a drastic change obviously, and even though the consensus on staff is that we could make it work and have a lot of fun doing it we're not going to do something like this without asking the players first.

Now, I want to make one thing clear. Even if the consensus in is favour of a reboot we won't just slap locks on the current threads and be done with it. We want to give the current story a good ending, and we want to give the current characters as much closure as we can on the character development we've given them. But after ten years, we honestly don't know if there's much else that we can do in this universe without retreading stories that we've already told.

We have some good ideas for where we could go with a new universe, but this isn't the time or the place to discuss them. I will say though, that if we go ahead with a new universe I intend to get as much input from you guys on the setup as we possibly can. If we're going to make a new sandbox for you guys to play in it only makes sense that you have your say on what kind of sand we use.

So please, let us know what you think. If you're an active player, I want to hear what you think. If you're a former player, a would-be player or even someone who's never even given the game much thought before, I want to hear from you too.

Blackjack
2010-12-20, 10:40 AM
NOOOOOOO!

It can't end this way! I refuse to admit it! -sobs-

Erm.

Yes, I do admit that the huge backstory isn't exactly that inviting for newer players, especially those casual ones. Plus, the backstory isn't exactly easy to read as well. Take it from someone who has read waaaay back, it isn't pretty. Especially not with the powergamers and whatnot in the earlier years of the game.

Still, as long as our current storyline ó especially Drift ó is resolved properly in the few months or so that followed, I wouldn't mind a fresh start, and would like to chip in with ideas.

Another thing that had put me off before when joining the RPG was the sheer number of threads ó Iacon, Polyhex, Kaon, Altihex et al... it's a bit disconcerting for someone without a clue where to start. Make it 'Autobot Base: Iacon' or something like that if we're redoing it.

The large amount of fanmades is also a bit unnerving. After rereading the past threads, you can't help but be in love with Aero Blade and Gigatron and Skyfall Omega and Hatemonger, but for a new player it's kinda disconcerting. The random fanmade generics (yes, I know I'm guilty of a lot of them) are kind of a put-off, TBH. I suggest keeping these to a bare minimum, or at least stated clearly in the Roll Call.

Another problem (that doesn't exist now, thankfully, due to stricter regulations) would be the conflicting backstories. Here's an example: when Bumblebee switched players he somehow disappeared from the resistance cell he's leading in Cybertron and reappeared on Earth.

Plus, a 'How to sign up!' thread would be great.

My suggestion would be a generic G1 continuity after the Marvel comics continuity or IDW or an entirely new quasi-G1 continuity ó you RPG staffers decide ó and continue on from there.

Springer85
2010-12-20, 03:04 PM
I would love to see a new continuity, although I love the current one also. Sure it can be quite a task to read the character's backstory, but you get so much in return when you do. Whatever is decided, I still hope I can keep some of my current characters though. Or at least Springer :D

Blackjack
2010-12-20, 03:47 PM
I, for one, would like to switch out my entire roster after the conclusion of this arc, barring the Sports Car Patrol (can I use one character slot for the quartet? Pretty, pretty, pretty pleeeeease?), Scorpy, Sixshot and maybe Shrapnel. If we reboot the continuity I'll probably choose all new characters for the rest.

Wouldn't mind keeping my NPC armada, though. ;)

Aero Blade
2010-12-20, 04:04 PM
While fan characters will definitely be welcome in the potential new game, we still do intend to keep regulation on them, so you don't have to worry about them overwelming the rest of the cast ;)

We will also still be honoring the current character claims, so if you are considering grabbing a new cast, you'll have to work it out with the current owners, or be ready to claim them when they drop their old boys for new ones as well (most likely I will be maintaining mine :p )

With us cleaning the entire slate this means it will be a chance for a completely new start and take on characters, possibly make room for ones we couldn't have been able to use before.

miked23
2010-12-20, 04:12 PM
Well I am somewhat conflicted on restarting the RPG. For a number of reasons. Many have already been mentioned. It is a very rich universe.

The current RPG universe getting stale was bound to happen sooner or later. Actually after reading through the archives a bit I asked my self how long it would be until this sort of thing came up.

I would kind of like to see what the general ideas are for the next arc before we go and make a new sandbox I mean if there are still some really awesome ideas then we should go with them. To me it just seems really wasteful to see all that history and character development go.

As for the problem with the massive amounts of content in the archives. I think we should just get rid of alot of it. Just keep major plot points in a summary. Keep the points for characters who had a major role to play. Keep any points affecting teams like the Comabticons. Yes it would be alot of work and yes you would get some retcons from new players. But I think it would become alot easier to pick up a new character without having to worry about the history so much. And anyways the job has already been started with the wiki.

I think in the long run though a reboot is probably the best bet.

As long as I can use my current characters in the new universe then you won't hear any complaints from me.

tahukanuva
2010-12-20, 04:45 PM
If a reboot means I can have Deathsaurus back, then I'm all for it. ;)


Seriously, I think a reboot would be a fine idea. The current story's a rather winding mess, and a clean slate on all the characters would be nice, rather than them being restricted to years of other players' interpretations.

Blaster
2010-12-20, 07:39 PM
I left for three reasons.

1. Time and enjoyment; you'd post to someone and they'd ignore you. Your character could be in a command position, you could bold it and italicize it or do whatever but you'd still be unlikely to get a response that and life is hard.

2. No deviating from the script! While I did get some leeway with certain characters, it was always just a minor move off the track before I was forced back on. I had plans to make Sunstreaker different and fun and those weren't allowed, so then I made new ones and those weren't allowed either. Sometimes there would be a good reason for it and sometimes it would just be "No, you're not allowed," depending on the staff member asked. By the end, while I still enjoyed playing him he wasn't where I wanted him to be and that kind of stuck in my craw to the very end.

3. Unscripted character actions rarely have any affect on the plot anyways. The stuff you are allowed to get away with can really be ignored by everyone else. It got to the point where I was wondering "Why do things at all if a mod doesn't direct me too for story purposes, no one will see it anyways." Sunstreaker getting blown out of the sky in a fiery explosion in a hi-jacked shuttle or destroying downtown Moscow, you'd think, would have some sort of affect on the other transformers in regards to the humans but really it was kind of ignored. Those last two I kind of pin on the lady in charge at the time, but there are smaller things more recently that I saw others do or did myself that didn't get the reaction it probably should have.

That being said, like all times when I leave the RPG I feel that urge to come back but I really don't want to leave anyone else hanging cause it isn't very fair.

verytired
2010-12-20, 08:18 PM
I'm in for the re-boot. Fresher the better in my opinion. :clap:

Warcry
2010-12-21, 08:05 PM
Wouldn't mind keeping my NPC armada, though. ;)
NPCs are something that the current game relies on way, way too much for my taste. I would honestly prefer to keep them to a minimum, at least to start. The same goes for staff-run NPCs too.

We will also still be honoring the current character claims
That is, assuming you guys want us to. We figure that most of you would like to have first dibs on the characters you've got now when we choose characters for a new RPG, but if that's not true please let us know.

We'll also have to decide how big we want the character rosters to be. Depending on what we decide you might need to cut some characters lose regardless...or you might end up with another slot or two to fill. That's something we can talk about a bit later.


Reaction to this idea has been a lot more positive than I was expecting, honestly. I'm glad to see that, but like a lot of you I'll also be sad to see the end of the current game. I'm sure we'll give it and end worth remembering, though. :)

In a little while, I'm going to set up a "New RPG Planning" forum for us to discuss specific ideas. If you've got any requests, any plot ideas or any character-specific schemes you'd like to see included in the new game, please post them there so that we can all take a look at them.

[EDIT]Regarding Myles' concerns, I think we've done a lot to address them in the last couple years. I'd like to see even more involvement from the players in determining the direction that the plot goes. The staff needs to do a lot less "hand-holding" now than we did in bygone years, and that says some very good things about the calibre of players we've got. :)

Chip1123
2010-12-21, 08:49 PM
I have thoroughly enjoyed the RPG, even if i'm not as active as others :)

I do think a new, fresh continuity could be fun. I have enjoyed learning what others have done with some of my characters and building upon it, but at the same time, that can also take away from ideas that some people have or feel too constrictive. I'm definitely on board though!

Ackula
2010-12-22, 03:46 AM
Well, I have discussed this at great length already, off site, with Warcry. But I'll post my two cents. Yes the RPG needs a reboot, and yes it needs to be a completely new continuity. Most likely a G1 continuity beginning when the Autobots and Decepticons first crash on Earth. Hence the actual need for an alt mode for disguise, and not just for cool weapons, like it has become.

I also think it needs to be different than any other G1 continuity, and not in any way at all tied to the current RPG. The multiverse is huge, there are infinite choices for a continuity to play in, but the best is always a homebrew sandbox. My suggestion would be a beginning point on Earth, without the whole 4 million years passing and so on, because really..that is a bit shit.

As far as involvement, I would gladly help with the staff side of it if I was asked to do so. I made and ran homebrew campaigns for other RPGs for a large portion of my life, and have no problems in helping develop the campaign setting if needed.

As far as playing, yes I would play, if for only one character that I would want to develop from scratch to make him what he is now. That being Glit of course.

As far as NPCs, I would limit them only to staff, and they should be used for setting story hooks and the like, more than used as an extra character to develop. And I think there should be human NPCs as well as human PCs if someone wants to play one.

That is all I can think of off the top of my head, without getting in too deep with what I'd want to do as far as setting the campaign backstory and enhanced rule set. And that is only assuming I'd be asked to help in that capacity, and considering I'm not longer officially "staff", I don't know if that is going to happen.

Blackjack
2010-12-22, 08:09 AM
NPCs are something that the current game relies on way, way too much for my taste. I would honestly prefer to keep them to a minimum, at least to start. The same goes for staff-run NPCs too.

As far as NPCs, I would limit them only to staff, and they should be used for setting story hooks and the like, more than used as an extra character to develop.

Agreed. As much as I hate to say it, I think that only staff members should be allowed to play NPCs in our new RPG. Otherwise we have guys like the mods, or me who have literal armadas of NPCs. While it's fun for those who play them, I don't think others would appreciate it...

Of course, to increase the population we could consider Micromaster teams and gestalt teams as a single character again (or the Constructicons permanently NPC-ed by a staff member like in the past), if needed be. Just throwing ideas out here...

I also think it needs to be different than any other G1 continuity, and not in any way at all tied to the current RPG. The multiverse is huge, there are infinite choices for a continuity to play in, but the best is always a homebrew sandbox. My suggestion would be a beginning point on Earth, without the whole 4 million years passing and so on, because really..that is a bit shit.

Sounds good to me, if we're going by that route. :)

Springer85
2010-12-22, 08:12 AM
My suggestion would be a beginning point on Earth, without the whole 4 million years passing and so on, because really..that is a bit shit.

This is what I had been thinking too. How about the members that start with the new RPG can pick the characters that they want to play and those will the crew of The Ark and the Nemisis? :)

Maybe have the Decepticons on Earth first, looking for alternate energy and the Autobots follw them to prevent them from raiding the Earth of its resources? Or maybe a search party to Earth and one to Nebulos? So that you can immediately introduce Headmasters, Targetmasters and so on?

It also means dead characters are revived right? If so, dibs on Kup! I've been dying to play this guy ever since I joined but found out he died. :p

Warcry
2010-12-22, 02:45 PM
Of course, to increase the population we could consider Micromaster teams and gestalt teams as a single character again (or the Constructicons permanently NPC-ed by a staff member like in the past), if needed be.
Personally, I always strongly disliked that. Combiner team members and Micromasters deserve as much attention as any other character, and they didn't get it when the teams were doled out as a group.

Also, who's to say that combiners even exist yet? They're usually part of the post-Earth arms race after all...

This is what I had been thinking too. How about the members that start with the new RPG can pick the characters that they want to play and those will the crew of The Ark and the Nemisis? :)
Pretty much what we were thinking, yeah. Although both sides would probably have unspecified numbers of other characters in stasis too, ready for when people decide they want them.

It also means dead characters are revived right? If so, dibs on Kup! I've been dying to play this guy ever since I joined but found out he died. :p
Yeah, the dead characters would all be available again.

This thread isn't for making dibs though. If it was, I would have put dibs on Jetfire, Silverbolt and Lugnut... :glance:

Clogs
2010-12-22, 02:46 PM
My suggestion would be a beginning point on Earth, without the whole 4 million years passing and so on, because really..that is a bit shit.

With one beastly interlude where Optimus wakes up briefly :)

I'm up for a reboot on the lines of back to basics, but there is - of course, I'm stating the blindingly obvious - a whole canon of material, comic and cartoon, we would need to fit around.

The TFA RPG: The Stories What Did not get Writ... :swirly:

Warcry
2010-12-22, 03:16 PM
I'm up for a reboot on the lines of back to basics, but there is - of course, I'm stating the blindingly obvious - a whole canon of material, comic and cartoon, we would need to fit around.
Actually, by starting our story out right from the beginning we'd be pretty much ignoring all of that. :)

Blackjack
2010-12-22, 04:29 PM
Personally, I always strongly disliked that. Combiner team members and Micromasters deserve as much attention as any other character, and they didn't get it when the teams were doled out as a group.

Also, who's to say that combiners even exist yet? They're usually part of the post-Earth arms race after all...

When you put it that way, yeah... ooh, this is so exciting. Rediscovering everything again... :)

optimusskids
2010-12-22, 06:58 PM
We'll be able to keep the basic outline of the situation but forge our own continuity put our own spin on it

Personally I'd like to consider them waking up earlier than the 1980's

One of the World wars would give a nice contrast to the situation they had all fled on Cybertron or the 50's and 60's the height of the cold war would be an interesting situation

Aero Blade
2010-12-22, 09:38 PM
The few million year sleep I don't mind skipping, that was just silly. But going right to earth with no prelude is not what I'm keen on. I'd rather we do a bit on Cybertron then have them go elsewhere. Granted we can always revisit things as backstories told by characters to otheres, but I'd rather do the events that take them off planet then having to work it out later.

optimusskids
2010-12-22, 09:40 PM
I agree I'd like to do a bit on Cybertron it would allow the setting up of relationships and tensions and allow us to shape things differently to the standard if we wanted

miked23
2010-12-23, 01:20 AM
Iím really liking the idea of the RPG going back to earth. It will really be a nice change considering that throughout my time playing the RPG it has been set on Cybertron.

I agree with Aero Blade and Optimusskids about starting off on Cybertron. But I think we should try to keep the time spent there to a minimum.

This will also give me the chance to possibly redesign Vindicator with a more earthen style vehicle mode. Land Raiders arenít exactly the most inconspicuous of vehicles.

Blackjack
2010-12-23, 02:07 AM
I agree. I would really prefer things being done chronologically than having backstories later on. It's much better to look at and to play in.

Warcry
2010-12-23, 06:32 AM
I've set up a new forum (http://tfarchive.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=81) where we can go into more detail about things like this in separate threads.

I'm going to post a few things tonight and probably a few more later on, but if any of you have ideas that you want to toss out don't hesitate to start a new thread.

Wildrider
2010-12-23, 10:41 PM
Wildrider likes this and maybe tempted back into the world of the RPG if there was such a reboot and will talk only in the third person unless he is once again allowed to play Tailgate as a mental health patient and Wheelie as crazy bastard minibot capable of delivering a high body count, due to his pro survivalist skills.

Yes I:wave: went there!