re: Arelith Forest feedback

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Seven Sons of Sin
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re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Seven Sons of Sin » Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:09 am

As per -
In Sorrow We Trust wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:03 am
Seven Sons of Sin wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:46 pm

I do wish there was more interconnected-ness with the Arelith Forest (as currently to my knowledge, there's really only two entry points from the forest into Minmir region). But overall, it really is fantastic.
The Arelith Forest is due a remaster soon and if you have ideas for how to improve it, you may consider dropping your ideas in a feedback thread!

I have both broad design principles for the forest, as well as some tactical ideas for ease of play.

Big Forest Principles:

1. Three Thematic Areas


The Arelith Forest (to me) is currently carved into 3 semi-distinct areas - [1] the 'safe history' of the Burial Grounds, Silver Glade, and Druid Grove; [2] the impact of Light Keep and shadow wood in the "east", and [3] "ogre land" in the north.

I think these areas do create a sense of what the Arelith Forest should achieve. The Forest is a place for elven/nature roleplay; some parts of it are dangerous, creepy and/or weird; and it carries a very important player/character legacy that is a dominant fixture of the server (Light Keep). I think all changes to the Forest should be made with that in mind.

2. Cherishing the Old; Fostering the New

The areas of the Druid Grove, the Elven Burial Grounds, and the Silver Glades are iconic server areas - and maybe even the "Road to Light Keep." I think all efforts should be made to keep the spirit of these places in tact, but could probably still do with a face lift.

3. The Forest is Both the Most Dangerous/the Most Safe

A "feeling" of the Forest, that ebbs and flows, is how it simultaneously houses one of the most secure and majestic settlements of Arelith's canon (Myon) and now houses one of the most horrific (the Hellgate).

Sometimes the Forest gets muddied in other ideas - like the Shadow Woods (which always belonged in the Forest of Despair more than the Forest, but it was implemented way before Baator, so hindsight 20/20). There are also gnolls and ogres, but both of these creature mobs really don't tie in Baator at all.

Make no mistake - the Hellgate has been in the server for over 70 IG years. Humans have born, lived, and died, with the corrupted Light Keep in existance.

The role of elven/nature roleplay really has struggled to deal with the presence of devils. How can a druid moot peacefully occur 5 zones away from a Pit Fiend, you know?

Some Tactical Elements

With the above principles in mind, here are a bunch of things "I Would Do If I Had a Say."

1. align the "safe areas" to be closer together, to create a stronger corridor for social roleplay. Druids and rangers etc. could now really be next door to elves, and you could get a kind of "nexus" of roleplay in the Forest more easily. This would involve pivoting the Druid Grove onto the western half of the Forest, but you can easily rejig all of that.

2. make the Burial Grounds more prominent in this social corridor. Pre-Forest revamp 1.0, the Lye was a place of conflict because you literally had to walk past it. I would advocate you make the Lye closer to Myon, more in your face, and really (again) force those druids to reconcile with an elven crypt with undead guardians in it.

3. ramp up Baator's corruption in the "eastern wood." Spread out the decay of Light Keep into a broader area. Really give the feeling that as soon as you step 1 zone away from the western "safe forest", you are in the land of corrupted hellish woodlands.

4. remove the Shadow Wood and make it magically teleport to the Forest of Despair. Replace these shadow woods with a stronger Infernal occultism theme. Include some sort of mob that more readily revels in devil worship, than the gnolls (which are abyssal in their practice).

5. make the "northern" forest a gritter "Mirkwood" - where the infestation of giant-kin (maybe that ogre / giant alliance DM plot) is a military threat now to your Social Roleplay Corridor. Give Giant-kin a direct opposition to Myon and the elves, and break out of the elf/drow paradigm.

I would thus expand the cave networks of Minmir into the Northern Forests.

6. More broadly, make a lot of the Arelith Forest outside of the "western safe zone of druids/elves" strongly interconnected. We don't need fancy Secret Forest path mechanics. Focus on player knowledge bleeding into character knowledge. Make little caves. Obtuse transitions. Fallen logs over ravines, etc.

7. ramp up the dominance of devils and What That Actually Means. (have I said this already?)

8. honour Light Keep's presence in a more tragic way. expand LK as a place of ruin, not just devil-infestation. give it that "no kings in Gondor" vibe. put more zones of interaction (conflict absent) where paladin RP can take place.

I would thus smash up the entire Inner Keep, and make the whole area not recognizable to older players. Just blow it up and scatter its remains across the whole "eastern" forest.

9. Tie all mobs back to those three thematic zones - safe west has fuzzy furries; the north is giant-kin and militarized infestation; the east is all about devils.

10. Add more elevation within the forest proper and segment zones at different elevations. The Arelith Forest is super flat - give it the Minmir treatment and make it crazy. This can also bleed into "naturewalkers" knowing where to go, and where to fight, etc. It also allows for more flowing water, waterfalls, ravines, etc., that will give the forest a real "wild" vibe.
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Red_Wharf
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Red_Wharf » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:55 am

I think these ideas are really good and I will only add a little more to 6. Most of the current paths to the Arelith Forest are through roads, I would like to see more hidden and secret out of the way paths into the forest from the surrounding regions instead, for the rangers and ne'er do wells to keep out sight when travelling around.

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Ninjimmy
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Ninjimmy » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:26 am

I actually really like the whole... Shadow Forest kinda vibe, it felt more hags/unseelie than the Forest of Despairs Malar style influence.

I think I broadly agree with everything said though, just don't think the shadow woods and Forest of Despair really share much design DNA.
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Emotionaloverload » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:01 pm

I would prefer to keep the unseelie out of FoD unless it comes about organically. That forest already has so much of its own history and the shadows and Unseelie are much more an Arelith forest thing (not to say the two forests don't have a connection. Its even IG. You just have to find it). That said, this wouldn't be the first time that those ruins were changed. We could add an area with some infernal occultists that is in-between or push back the shadows to a more fey-touched/magic heavy tiny area and give the occultists the ruins.

Also, as an aside, I wouldn't like to lose Arelith Forest's signature trees. Not only are they special to that location but they are great for breaking line of sight for stalking elves or just general misfits. It adds a terrain element that you don't find elsewhere.


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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Deryliss » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:01 pm

I am totally in favor of Arelith Forest becoming more weird/spooky the further you stray from the beaten path. I feel the road from Bendir > Myon > Shyr should be the 'safest' part of that gradient, and then get progressively weirder the further north/east/northeast you go.

As for theme, the thing I imagine is something like the Bacchanhagen in Skal. Best. Ambiance. Ever. Excellent spook forest ambient storytelling.
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Izaich
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Izaich » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:46 pm

Here are a few ideas for the Arelith Forest remaster:

- A tree with a Climb check that leads up to a watch-station. The watch-station will have a few telescopes that PCs can use to remotely view the forest floor. This would be great for forest patrols.

- Ranger shortcuts. PCs with Ranger levels can traverse the Forest more easily by navigating through secret paths.

- Rework the Cricket Caves. In my opinion, the Cricket Caves have some of the least attractive quarters on the server. They're small, out of the way, and heavily thematic.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Wings of Peace » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:31 pm

Izaich wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:46 pm
Rework the Cricket Caves. In my opinion, the Cricket Caves have some of the least attractive quarters on the server. They're small, out of the way, and heavily thematic.
Personally I really like the Cricket Caves. They're a strong option for players who want a quarter that is both un-seizable and out of the way enough that it can be reached with minimal risk of being noticed en route.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Flower Power » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:04 pm

Honestly, I'd love to see the Unseelie and Infernal vibes both dialed up.

Give us more angry fey. Give us more wandering bands of devils.

Give us both in the same space, potentially, and have them hostile to each other and to PCs.
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DM Rex
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by DM Rex » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:49 pm

- Rework the Cricket Caves. In my opinion, the Cricket Caves have some of the least attractive quarters on the server. They're small, out of the way, and heavily thematic.
You say that but everytime I check on them, they always full.

JubJub
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by JubJub » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:53 pm

I would love to see something like during the day it's a sweet normal forest, deer, bears, gnolls and such, at night the scary stuff come out to give the forest a more dark sinister vibe.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Glowing Mushroom » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:57 pm

I didn't want to start this thread out of the fear of appearing biased. But, I do have some ideas for the forest!

I. Expand the Treehouse and create a network of quarter treehouses throughout many trees above. I'm thinking Kashyyyk vibes, with high up in the trees with homes and boardwalks and lots of singing birds and fun nature things like that. Perhaps the network of quarters could be so expansive across the canopies of trees that there are hidden entrances and ways to climb up or down throughout the rest of the forest.

II. Expand the Grove to contain a fantastical and hidden oasis zone that is accessible by druids, rangers, and shamans, and contains more quarters and a meeting area designed in the shape of a Circle. Perhaps you walk down a series of steps behind a waterfall and it opens up to the hidden grove oasis that's full of life and water and trees! A nice, large facelift to the Shrine and the Grove itself would be swell.

III. I would really love to see open wilderness areas that can take advantage of the gorgeous new texture packs. No paths, no roads, no ruins, no anything. Just the forest. Hills, mountains, ridgelines, trees, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes - Huge and expansive areas that are without hostile NPCs. Just animals, perhaps passive roaming treants as well. These areas would be carefully placed so you do not have to travel through them in order to reach the rest of the forest, and they can be accessed through certain secret trails instead, out of the way of the main paths. This way they are large, sometimes even 30x30 areas of pure nature that can be explored and Roleplayed in without the fear of hostile NPCs (save for territorial animals) and they are meant for pure immersion! They would have extremely limited fixture limits as well to avoid the risk of the billboards we often see on Arelith or too many camps.

IV. Idea courtesy of Midnight on Discord: The forest feels quite linear. This is likely because of the developmental restrictions at the time of course. But finding ways to let the forest flow and meander with wider and more expansive areas would help it feel more naturally.

- Building off of this idea also coincides with my idea for the pure wilderness areas. Getting lost in vast areas that you can relax and RP in, listening to the forest day/night music from Jeremy Soule? That would be nice.

V. I really like the ideas of building up the Shadow Wood more that have been previously mentioned. The deeper you go into the forest, the spookier and darker and more haunted it can become. A descent into the Shadow Wood that becomes darker and deeper as you go until you reach the dark heart of the shadow wood forest. Banshees and witches and all kinds of neat stuff!

That's all for now. Might be back for some edits!
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Flower Power
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Flower Power » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:00 am

DM Rex wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:49 pm
- Rework the Cricket Caves. In my opinion, the Cricket Caves have some of the least attractive quarters on the server. They're small, out of the way, and heavily thematic.
You say that but everytime I check on them, they always full.
A quarter is a quarter is a quarter.

You can have terrible quarters, but as long as there are players on the server in that area, someone will step in to occupy them.

They're bad. They should be made much more neutral - I don't know why they need to have sarcophagi, bloodied altars, and hanging skeletons? The themes of the INSIDES of the quarters is just utterly at odds with the theme of the areas just OUTSIDE of them.
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Kuma
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Kuma » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:38 am

Izaich wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:46 pm
- Rework the Cricket Caves. In my opinion, the Cricket Caves have some of the least attractive quarters on the server. They're small, out of the way, and heavily thematic.
as the guy that made them, you're not wrong

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Party in the forest at midnight
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:48 am

I like the cricket caves because they're high turnover and in a fairly neutral location. Any time I want non-settlement housing, I check the caves regularly. If the caves were "cozy," they would probably stop being high turnover.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by In Sorrow We Trust » Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:50 pm

Thank you for posting this, it will be helpful to see some thoughts of the regulars. Keep the feedback coming.
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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Beard Master Flex » Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:46 am

I used to be heavily involved in a very active Ranger community from 2012-15 and had my favorite time on the Server living in Arelith forest.

I know a lot of my own opinions and wishes for the server are in opposition to the current designer's focus on larger, more open areas - but from my own experience being a Ranger was a lot less fun once Lightkeep was destroyed and diminished further when the server continued to grow larger.

After lightkeep there was significantly less foot traffic through the forest and random encounters started to fall off. I really enjoyed those along with helping travelers reach destinations in the forest, stalking people in the territory and overall keeping tabs on what was happening through what was once a very busy thoroughfare gave a lot of fun things to do. Once the constant trickle of encounters start drying up people find other things to do and things taper off.

TLDR; I'd love to see Arelith Forest have something to draw more traffic to the area but understand thats just not in the cards these days. Cool little things like the little scrying tool in the Dreaming Tree can help too. It'd be cool if there were little Treestride locations that would allow a Ranger or Druid to quickly cycle through areas to sniff out tracks.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by JubJub » Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:47 pm

Here is one concern if you make the wilderness seem too large. The walk from Guld to Minmir is really nice to look at, I love the area.
But once you learn a few portals it usually isn't worth the time to walk it and fight mostly the same things all the way down. Most just teleport to minmir and save the time from the long walk. Or the shyr area, again I love the look and feel of it but there is simply not many reasons to go out that way. So it always feels sort of empty to me.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Dr. B » Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:36 pm

I'm in favor of the idea of having lots of large open wilderness areas with few or no mobs where people can actually go congregate without constantly being interrupted, but which one does not have to travel through in order to get through the forest. I like the idea of expansive wilderness areas, so long as they do not break up the player base (can't stress that latter point enough).

People have commented that large, open areas don't attract a lot of people and so their implementation is pointless, but to me, that's the point. Not every corner of the world needs to have traffic, and vast areas of uninhabited wilderness can bring an epic feel to the world. Plus it make it very interesting on the offchance you *do* encounter someone.

As a lure, of course, you could put high rewards, like resources, in some of those areas, but require long travel times to get there. Then it becomes a big old epic journey.

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Re: re: Arelith Forest feedback

Post by Jordenk » Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:30 pm

I wish it was way more dangerous in certain areas. Like a random alpha predator cruising through or a rebel sub gang of a local gnolls or whatever that are just higher CL and rare spawns. Would be cool to have less predictability.

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