What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

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Apothys
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What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Apothys » Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:44 pm

Went exploring the shadowvar for the first time in ages, walked into the bustling hub of shadows and intrigue in Wharftown and found it almost abandoned.

The sinister lighthouse which had been a the centre of the town seems to be in ruins, the guild house dissolved into a bunch of separate apartments and in ruins.

Is it FOIG? What happened to its residents, what happened to the mini hub it used to be, its like a ghost town now...
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Skarain » Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:17 pm

Result of several FOIG plots to my understanding. I suppose we will see in time if there are more in plans for the location.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Airport Proximity Jesus » Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:49 am

Yea, seriously, good luck finding out. I was in the void cult as this was happening and I still have no clue what happened
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by AstralUniverse » Sat Jul 24, 2021 3:37 pm

Airport Proximity Jesus wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:49 am
Yea, seriously, good luck finding out. I was in the void cult as this was happening and I still have no clue what happened
Its probably unrelated to the Void Cult. I assume so because there's also an Amnish (I think?) castle just before the new crater so it's likely some Cordor-Amn related stuff rather than Sharrens. But I'm just shooting in the dark here.
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by neverwinternightly » Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:09 pm

There was a decent length plot that had been in the works there a few months ago, but, to my understanding, it had to be stepped away from partway through. Because of that, the ending was very abrupt and resulted in what Shadow Wharftown is now.

No idea if there are plans to alter it further, but it is a pretty big mess in its current state.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by magistrasa » Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:55 pm

Unforseen complications got in the way of what seemed like a really cool and interesting plot, but that's not to say that's necessarily resulted in a bad story. A good amount of the characters involved with it are still around for you to ask in-game, which I think is really where these kinds of inquiries should take place. "Find Out In Game" isn't just a funny little quip people throw at each other, it's just generally a good way to make sure you get an authentic experience. Whatever people tell you is going to have its inevitable biases, whether IC or OOC, so may as well get those biases up-front and in-character.
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Jordenk » Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:33 pm

Apothys wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:44 pm
Went exploring the shadowvar for the first time in ages, walked into the bustling hub of shadows and intrigue in Wharftown and found it almost abandoned.

The sinister lighthouse which had been a the centre of the town seems to be in ruins, the guild house dissolved into a bunch of separate apartments and in ruins.

Is it FOIG? What happened to its residents, what happened to the mini hub it used to be, its like a ghost town now...
I like Magi's response as everything is really an opportunity for more RP, and there are some FOIG bits. That said, I'll share the OOC story without FOIG bits because I believe it wasn't well handled OOCly. In the interest of transparency (with my own personal bias), here's what happened. It wasn't the result of an rp arch, it was an incongruent occurrence that didn't line up with the established rp nor were even the occupants of the area made aware.

There was an overhaul on the area being done in collaboration with its residents through a DM plot at the time. This was great and an amazing opportunity. A miscommunication occurred and someone else stepped in making sweeping changes on the area (100% not their fault they didn’t know and were just trying to help). This meant removing a very heavily used guild house and (kind of) destroying a very active player area without knowing what was happening in parallel. I'm not sure why it was not reverted when this was realized to be a mistake. No one of sufficient authority seemed to care/think it was an issue that we were getting squeezed out with no warning or rp. We were even told we could still rent the rooms in the guild house if we wanted, even though it was now completely an open space. This change explicitly went against the stated direction of the area built on IRL years of RP and team collaboration.

So the residents lost their guild house with no warning on a random server reset and had to scramble to remove things as all their formerly locked doors were now open. All current plots were put on hold by the team and the faction was in essence told to sit tight. This doesn’t really work in practice. It was a disheartening experience that, in my opinion could have been handled much better. Some folks left and/or rolled their PCs as a result. Now the area sits in a state of relative limbo and underuse. It used to be a very active, great place for rp for a wide range of PCs (surface and UD).

All in all, several unique DM plot items were lost, a super active guild house was replaced with a random dungeon and a fairly large faction + misc sub-factions had their RP effectively retconned or "curtailed," plus their character agency stifled pretty hard. I assume it wasn't some intentional conspiracy, but rather a series of oversights/miscommunications from well intentioned, busy ppl; it still didn’t sit well though. Intentional or not, it seemed to send a message to the players that were working on the pre-existing RP. My frustration was further exacerbated when follow on changes were then made to enhance other guild houses like the abyssal fortress while Shadow Wharftown + the lighthouse are objectively worse off and less used than ever before.

It doesn't make a lot of sense and felt pretty bad if I'm being honest. But it happens, game on :D!
Last edited by Jordenk on Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Edens_Fall » Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:33 pm

Apothys wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:44 pm
Went exploring the shadowvar for the first time in ages, walked into the bustling hub of shadows and intrigue in Wharftown and found it almost abandoned.

The sinister lighthouse which had been a the centre of the town seems to be in ruins, the guild house dissolved into a bunch of separate apartments and in ruins.

Is it FOIG? What happened to its residents, what happened to the mini hub it used to be, its like a ghost town now...
There's also a book IG that tells part of the story of events. Should be able to find it in most the settlement libraries unless it was purged.
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Apothys » Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:23 pm

Thanks everyone that was really informative. Saddens me to hear about what happened to the Guild house, but I'm sure the DEV/DM team are working on something :)

As for this book... ill look forward to finding that.
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by I will never sleep » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:32 am

I'll be honest, and maybe a little too blunt. Jordenk's post is mostly accurate, regarding the sudden deleting of a very active guildhouse that basically curbed most activity. Even though my once pretty quarter is also now in a ruined state, I still rp in Shadow Wharftown almost every day (enough that my character has been considered a staple of the shadow plane by others, and an rpr bump).

I was also a part of "The Sharrans" when this all was happening. My character could give you an (incomplete, since the plots were never finished!) ic explanation, but ooc? No one has ever told me quite much of anything, despite my asking. I was following the plot in game very closely, and then it abruptly stopped. Will it continue? Is Wharftown just stuck like this now? Hello? Completely and utterly left in the dark for over seven months now, with no statement, or anything- other than hearsay from other players. All the npcs seemingly vanished too, as well as the weather effects, leaving Wharftown in this transitory state. Not only the lighthouse, but my personal quarter thoroughly downgraded (bits of rubble everywhere taking up room that could otherwise be used for fixtures, general dirtiness, removal of npcs).

The most of what I do actually know is "RL Happened" and the developer doing the changes had to step away. The DMs didn't really know what was happening either and were just trying to make a plot out of what they had. Which- I get it, we're all just a part of this sandbox and player say in what happens to "The Setting" is limited and all that- but it does feel like a massive slap in the face. Especially compared to the seemingly straight upgrades the Citadel and such got. And just as Jordenk says- the complete miscommunication and the lack of care towards that part of the server sends a message to those of us that remain, even if unintentional (especially when certain characters take this ooc mess and parade it about as ic clout!).

They might be working on something, but it's been close to seven months now of complete silence and apathy on the topic, so I'm not optimistic about the future, personally. But that's just how Arelith is, making the best of what you got.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by DM Starfish » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:47 am

The main thing to note here is that not many people know what actually happened. I personally don't know why the Amn stuff popped up or why the shadow town was partly reduced to rubble. None of it was because of Void Cult/Sharran plots or whathaveyou. It just happened one day. Maybe it will be finished at some point in the future but as the above post says quite aptly, we make the best of what we have. I'm all for redevelopment of the area and/or turning it into something else. But it just has to happen. So as always, patience is probably one of the best things to have in this situation.

Edit: The rest of the Shadowplane offers a pretty neat opportunity for exploration if you're into that. Bring lots of supplies.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Batrachophrenoboocosmomachia » Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:31 pm

So.

I can't speak to everything that happened surrounding this, as it involved some older design decisions being reversed, coordination issues, and otherwise within staff. The Bitter Coast region (including ruined Real Wharftown) and Shadow Wharftown were being looked at and decisions were made between myself, Spyre, and Irongron to move forward with. None of the areas that were changed yet reflect what the final product was (is) to look like. (Things like the Citadel change are unrelated- Gron just saw the old areas there and did that spur of the moment actually.)

This thread is pretty painful to read, if for good reason; though the ultimate results were a confluence of a number of factors, the area work (the various intermediate phases that were witnessed in-game as well as following stages that had yet to go live) were my responsibility. Some of you may recall that it was around the drop-off of these changes that I had to step away from Arelith for a few months for RL. Ultimately, the buck can stop with me on this one.

This is not something I've forgotten about (it's rather acute in memory, actually... this really did/does gut me); there are later versions of the areas in varying stages of development. I don't expect to finish the remaining 'intermediate' stages, but plan instead to keep chipping away at the final version and just upload it some time rather than bother trying to bridge the plot gap, frankly. Normally I'd also commit to an 'in-between' version that constitutes a playability pass, but enough work is involved and my attention is split so much already that I don't think it'd be time-effective.

So, yeah. Shadow Wharftown is not something I particularly enjoy discussing or have discussed at length on public forums before, since I don't like releasing content until I'm proud of it. But this was not handled correctly and it would be inappropriate for me not to directly address this thread. There are still changes coming and it's content being actively worked on since I've returned. I'm sympathetic to the players affected and of course extend my apologies- but I'd prefer and intend they take the form of better, finished areas.

This sucked. I feel it. I hope to make it better.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Sundial » Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:35 pm

Well, all that being said, the area is visually stunning and I've used it as the centerpiece of plots and stories throughout my last two characters. I love how it's a realm where matter and memory are tied together, and as the history of Wharftown becomes lost to time, the shadow of what was sinks into the void. I use nearly any excuse to use it as a secret meeting place because I'm so in love with the work done there. The overarching plot was unknown to me, but I encourage other players to use this space!
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by I will never sleep » Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:42 pm

I appreciate the response and your frankness, Bat. Ultimately the radio silence on the topic I imagine put forth the message to most of the playerbase that what happened to the area was intentional and so no one questioned it, creating a sort of feedback loop of silence for those of us that were/are involved.
Batrachophrenoboocosmomachia wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:31 pm
I don't expect to finish the remaining 'intermediate' stages, but plan instead to keep chipping away at the final version and just upload it some time rather than bother trying to bridge the plot gap, frankly...

... There are still changes coming and it's content being actively worked on since I've returned.
Glad to also know that development has not completely stopped. I'm content with the plot being unfinished and the area being finished. I'd also be content with just a full on reversal/retcon of the plot, honestly, and things returning to how they used to be, but new stuff is also good.

The shadow plane always felt to me like a massive pit of unused potential, delegated to being mostly an epic level pve area, similar to how Dis was before it was spruced up, funnily enough. At least now we know there is actually a light at the end of the tunnel (funny also, considering the setting of complete and eternal darkness).

I'll finish by saying I can't tell people to not seek information IC or whatnot- but I feel like there should be a disclaimer, at least. That the IC information is simply incomplete. There's a lot of delusion and wild interpretations of what happened. Those characters are free to have their beliefs on what they think happened, or sometimes what they think they are directly responsible for, but ultimately it's inconclusive. Just a weird meta bulldozer that we cannot actually address in terms of just in character means.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Fava Beans » Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:29 pm

*raises hand* i was actually there for a good portion of it!

So here's two sides, this happened right about the same time that 'other' things were going on around the void cult, and those together i think cast a largely negative light on the current state of shadow wharftown.

That being said, the events i was a part of, while maybe a bit scattered in delivery, were still fun, and i felt included. Personally, no i dont like the result, but it was a fun ride owed in large part to the DMs who were engaging with us on it. as one of the people with boots on the ground during that whole episode, i dont blame anyone for it really, and i appreciate everyone's efforts to engage with us.

As for my IC knowledge, if you manage to put the puzzle pieces together and ask me IC, i may very well share some of that story with others.

To answer the question of what happened to shadow wharftown, a lot, and yet not enough.

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Xantor_Stromgate » Tue Jul 27, 2021 1:24 pm

The Plane of Shadow? Always shifting ... always reflecting, mirroring in its own way the Prime ... It lives and breaths, has thoughts of its own ... What used to be a building can easily become a black hole in a matter of seconds. Be wary, adventurer, for those Shadow Gates may just not lead to where they did the last time you dared venture there ...
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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Airport Proximity Jesus » Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:36 pm

AstralUniverse wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 3:37 pm
Airport Proximity Jesus wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:49 am
Yea, seriously, good luck finding out. I was in the void cult as this was happening and I still have no clue what happened
Its probably unrelated to the Void Cult. I assume so because there's also an Amnish (I think?) castle just before the new crater so it's likely some Cordor-Amn related stuff rather than Sharrens. But I'm just shooting in the dark here.
Oh I know it was unrelated to us, but we were parked in shadow wharftown at the time it happened.
8-) Cool kids wear shades during the endless night 8-)

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Re: What ever happened to Shadow Wharftown?

Post by Airport Proximity Jesus » Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:41 pm

Batrachophrenoboocosmomachia wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:31 pm
So.

I can't speak to everything that happened surrounding this, as it involved some older design decisions being reversed, coordination issues, and otherwise within staff. The Bitter Coast region (including ruined Real Wharftown) and Shadow Wharftown were being looked at and decisions were made between myself, Spyre, and Irongron to move forward with. None of the areas that were changed yet reflect what the final product was (is) to look like. (Things like the Citadel change are unrelated- Gron just saw the old areas there and did that spur of the moment actually.)

This thread is pretty painful to read, if for good reason; though the ultimate results were a confluence of a number of factors, the area work (the various intermediate phases that were witnessed in-game as well as following stages that had yet to go live) were my responsibility. Some of you may recall that it was around the drop-off of these changes that I had to step away from Arelith for a few months for RL. Ultimately, the buck can stop with me on this one.

This is not something I've forgotten about (it's rather acute in memory, actually... this really did/does gut me); there are later versions of the areas in varying stages of development. I don't expect to finish the remaining 'intermediate' stages, but plan instead to keep chipping away at the final version and just upload it some time rather than bother trying to bridge the plot gap, frankly. Normally I'd also commit to an 'in-between' version that constitutes a playability pass, but enough work is involved and my attention is split so much already that I don't think it'd be time-effective.

So, yeah. Shadow Wharftown is not something I particularly enjoy discussing or have discussed at length on public forums before, since I don't like releasing content until I'm proud of it. But this was not handled correctly and it would be inappropriate for me not to directly address this thread. There are still changes coming and it's content being actively worked on since I've returned. I'm sympathetic to the players affected and of course extend my apologies- but I'd prefer and intend they take the form of better, finished areas.

This sucked. I feel it. I hope to make it better.
If its any consolation, I loved/love the changes as they were happening/the physicality of the area.
8-) Cool kids wear shades during the endless night 8-)

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