This is a summary (sort of) of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, November 29, 2014. It's been a while since the last Skype meeting, so this was mainly an orientation meeting between lead developers. We covered a lot of topics and often delved into specifics:
-We discussed the fact that various sticky threads are very much out of date. In particular, the showcase stickies need updating, especially in regards to stuff like models and sound. We've been moving away from formal claims and, for that matter, formal showcases for those kinds of assets, and that shift should be clarified in those threads.
-We discussed the topic of game versus simulation, but were pretty much in agreement anyway. Basically, it is important to distinguish between content that enhances gameplay or fleshes out the world, and 'filler' content that should perhaps logically exist, but serves no in-game purpose and does not enhance the player's experience.
As an example, the economic aspect of House Dres, in particular its heavy use of slaves, is very important to the House, as well as to the overall world of Morrowind. As such, Dres lands will probably include a lot of fields tilled by slaves, slave markets and slave pits. The economic aspect of Old Ebonheart, however, is of little to no interest, which is why we will probably not add -- for instance -- the farmlands that should no doubt logically exist outside of the city to support its inhabitants. Such distinctions are naturally fairly subjective, which is why it is all the more important to keep the difference between a game and a simulation in mind.
-We also discussed the need for an index of (in particular) House Hlaalu topics to provide an easier overview of what has been said about the House and, perhaps more importantly, which posts reflect our current plans for the House.
-We went through the various sections and discussed what work should be prioritized for each section. This has resulted in fairly specific plans:
We currently have enough on our plates without Almalexia to worry about, so we will leave that section be for now. Either way it would probably be better to only work on Almalexia after Alt Orethan has been redone, which requires new assets and such, and probably won't happen soon. The same goes for Othrensis, naturally, it also being in Alt Orethan.
Swiftoak wanted to put together an asset kit for Othreleth Woods before opening up claims for this. He tentatively stated he might drop by again in December. I might try and get a claim map with descriptions done by then, at least as something to work off of. For the moment, though, we will focus on the remaining sections.
I will implement the buffer zone, mostly involving a long canyon with a river flowing along some or most of it. The river will either empty into the Inner Sea, the river Thirr or both, and may be partially subterranean, but those details are of secondary importance; the main focus for now will be on the buffer zone itself and the south merge, not on how the river would pass through the north merge, if at all.
While I'm at it, I'll widen a narrow stretch of road at Indal-ruhn and slightly widen the Thirr River Valley.
Arvisrend will merge in the interiors that need merging. (That is to say most of them). We'll see where to go from there, as several aspects of the section could use work, as noted in the last post of this thread. In particular, we need to figure out the status of Andothren and what work still needs to be done on it.
I will prioritize getting Indoril-Thirr (except for Roa Dyr and Almas Thirr) ready for (updated) NPCing and quests. (Said preparation will involve merging interiors and opening up claims for the buildings I have added that need new interiors). The remaining exterior work can wait, as it should not get in the way of NPCing. Roa Dyr and especially Almas Thirr could use more discussion anyway. I will also open up a claim for Vul misc quests.
Some of the misc quest ideas that have been put forward in the last few days might work well for this section as well, and should be assessed in that light.
As before, we will mainly focus on the town for now, both in the way of NPCing and quests. We feel the concept for the castle is not quite at the point where it can properly be worked on. As far as changes to the landmass south and east of the town are concerned, they will certainly not be considered for the time being. However, a separate exterior claim to add islands to the Thirr River Delta would be a good idea, both to improve the appearance of the delta and give exterior modders other than myself () something to do. The islands should probably not go much further north than Old Ebonheart, to avoid shrinking the Inner Sea again, and should not appear easily fordable, so as not to undermine the entire purpose of Almas Thirr.
As far as the town itself is concerned, in particular, the various misc quest designs should be looked into. We managed to discuss a few of them in the Skype meeting:
-Annoying Bard - the concept behind this quest is solid, but the dialogue needs to be written well for it to be worthwhile. I might take a stab at the dialogue.
-Exploding Kwama Eggs - a very nice quest idea, but, as Tondollari noted, it might work better in Hlaalu territory.
-The Simple Life - the book can make or break this quest. I am personally not entirely convinced by the concept; I feel as though the length of Morrowind books is insufficient for what is supposed to represent years of writing. Unless whoever writes the books makes heavy use of square brackets. Or makes full use of the 10,000 (I think) character limit of Morrowind books. Or splits the book into several volumes. Either way, though, I think this quest can proceed after the book is written.
-Mundrethi Plantation - the main hitch here is that Mundrethi is a fairly important figure, at least locally, as the second largest plantation owner in the Thirr River Valley. His character and any intrigues surrounding him, such as any ties to the Camonna Tong, need to be worked out before we can really decide if this quest would fit him or not.
-Burying the Past - This quest could work very well with the questgiver living in or around Old Ebonheart. (Dondril would be another option). Perhaps the family were originally refugees from Ebonheart when it was razed at the time of Tiber Septim.
-Troublesome Guar - perhaps a worthwhile quest of the variety designed specifically to annoy the player, like the Imperial pilgrim to Ghostgate in vanilla Morrowind, but potential claimers should be warned that this quest will likely involve a lot of very troublesome scripting.
-The Undead Traitor - like Annoying Bard, this one requires solid dialogue to work. I'll take a stab at this one too.
-The Weasel - the basic concept could work very well for one of Old Ebonheart's manors, but the quest could probably be simplified somewhat without losing much of its effect.
-The Judas - the concept could perhaps be clarified a little, and on second glance I think alternative paths need to be considered, but otherwise this also seems like a good concept.
We also dedefecated a few names, as seen here.