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rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



(split from http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?p=321786#321786 )





Why would regular, non-outcast House-affiliated folks want to live in a swamp when there's plenty of space elsewhere? Not saying it shouldn't be, but, Ashlanders live in ashlands because they're ashlanders (and Ald-crab because they're Redoran); Indoril doesn't sound like it'd benefit from having a subset culture that just has to live in a swamp for no reason. (giving a backstory along the lines of this being their ancestral home that then became a swamp, doesn't sound very appealing...)

There's no specific reason why the stronghold has been placed where it is but, unless the stronghold is handled in a way that is RADICALLY different from vanilla, there's probably little reason to place it elsewhere - placement is symbolic and not much more, defensive for Indoril, expansive for Hlaalu. Bit like getting promoted to Head of a faction: a reward and a status symbol, but ultimately useless (by the time you get it you've set up shop elsewhere, there's nothing for you to do at the stronghold - neither gameplay nor roleplay - besides checking on it to advance the quests, and whether it be because of status and logic/practicality you're not going to travel back to it just for a warm bed)

Then again, if the stronghold is supposed to play a role in the story, that'd be something else entirely.


Last edited by rot on Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:28 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

This might be where Indoril inflexibility and rigid thinking could be invoked.
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Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I was thinking of the whole swamp-is-not-a-nice-place-to-live approach, but somehow that doesn't really sit well with me in regards to the Dunmer identity. While culturally traditionalists, they're all about adapting to their environment. Just look at all of their Ashland gear.
These are the people who till salt fields and use the paths left by lava flows as roads. They train Dres Hunters who, even if the details relating to them are murky, will probably be able to in some capacity enter the Argon jungle and leave it alive. These are the people who learned to breathe water so that they could drown their invaders. I could go on. I don't see them turning their noses up at a region because it isn't terribly pleasant.
I think that is also very important to stress with the Indoril: they are not decadent, and while I used the term 'lethargic' in my last post that is not to say that Indoril are not austere. Indoril would not shun a stretch of land because it isn't a nice place to live, in my eyes. They would inhabit that territory because they are Indoril and it is their land and the land they own is subject to them and the Tribunal. They do not settle lands because they are fertile. Their lands are fertile because the Indoril have settled there, and it could be no other way. If they cared about comfort zones, they would not have left Summerset Isles to cross Tamriel in the first place. In fact, they would very much resemble Altmer.

Along with all of that, Inlet Bog occupies most of the Indoril coast with the Inner Sea, which means that it is a key fishing location as well as vitally important logistically. I am also sure Dunmer would find any number of valuable resources in the swamp, as they have everywhere else.

I am somewhat playing devil's advocate here, as I would actually be fine with Inlet Bog being relatively ignored by House Indoril if there were a really good reason for it to be so, but I do get somewhat of the feeling that the above posts are seeking to explain why something should not be changed, as opposed to why it should be as it is now.
The former approach leads to a balancing act of weighing advantages and disadvantages. It does not lessen the disadvantages, it only puts them into a context where they don't look as bad. In my opinion it tends to lead to a mediocre product, and has done so many times in this project's history.
The latter approach focuses on assessing the disadvantages of a product and attempting to remove them, or transform them into advantages. If the disadvantages can be resolved, you end up with a good product. If the disadvantages cannot be resolved, then you have discovered the upper limit of the product's potential. It will not get better, it cannot be made good, and it needs to be discarded in favour of something new.

Why is there no better place for Seyda Vano than its current location? It occupies a key location, looming over at Vvardenfell, a location House Indoril never had any control over, from across the Inner Sea, which House Indoril has no control over, neighbouring Old Ebonheart, which House Indoril lost control over, within Inlet Bog, which House Indoril has little direct control over.
It stands defiantly in utter disregard of the disintegration of Indoril territory taking place around it, claiming sovereignty over places House Indoril never really ruled.
And that is why Seyda Vano needs to be there, of all places. It represent on the one hand Indoril hubris, on the other Indoril indomitability. To the Indoril it shows that they are still superior; to everyone else, who only see a once-great House resorting to building its fortresses in a swamp, it shows how far they have fallen.
It is the perfect and logical location for a once-powerful faction now teetering at the edge of Oblivion (pretty literally, as it will turn out) to build a stronghold.
Also, the Indoril nobles get a kick out of dumping the player's manor in a fetid swamp.

Why is the best way -- or at least better way -- to portray Inlet Bog, a significant portion of Indoril land that the House has controlled for millennia, as nigh-on uninhabited, with little actual Indoril presence? Because _______.

Edit: rereading my earlier post, I want to make sure I wasn't misunderstood: I was not advocating populating Inlet Bog in that post. I did say I would like to see it happen, and I really don't think it would require much work beyond the necessity of some more dialogue and maybe some misc quests, but beyond the first paragraph I was assuming no changes would be made to Inlet Bog. The inhabitants of Darnim and any retainers in Seyda Vano would suffice as far as the commoners are concerned, and nobles and egg miners weren't vital to my idea for Inlet Bog anyway.
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:16 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Yes, adapting to hostile environments has become part of the traditional Dunmer thing, Dres & salt - but again, *ashlanders* live in ashlands, where House populations deliberately avoid them. Indoril peasants shouldn't go out of their way to move into swamps just because they're there
(if someone can come up with a backstory on how this became a swamp -edit:or just came to be a noble family's ancestral territory- that doesn't feel like a lame retcon, please go ahead, but sounds hard)

To clarify, I'm not trying to argue against change to how the swamps are handled, but asking for good reasons for it. The fact that a swamp has been arbitrarily built there and that it has been arbitrarily decided that these were Indoril lands do not constitute good reasons to artificially graft a swamp onto Indoril identity, ideally it should've gone the other way around.
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:38 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



Two excellent posts there, Gnomey.

One of the simplest reasons I can think of for Indoril presence in the Inlet Bog has to do with smuggling. Apart from that out of all the houses, house Indoril would probably be the one that condemns smuggling the most, both as a entryway for Outlander culture and as an act of disloyalty against the laws and rules of the house, there is also the factor that this leaves an unguarded backdoor for the Hlaalu to come waltzing in through.
Since the Indoril presence in the Inlet Bog is small, and it is a coastal area with a landscape that lends itself well for hiding in, there would doubtless be smugglers, and I don't suspect house Hlaalu would see any problem in striking deals with smugglers to establish a presence in the area.

This is too simple to be the full story of the area, but it does give a reason for house Indoril to want to step up their presence in the swamps.
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:30 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

rot wrote:
Yes, adapting to hostile environments has become part of the traditional Dunmer thing, Dres & salt - but again, *ashlanders* live in ashlands, where House populations deliberately avoid them. Indoril peasants shouldn't go out of their way to move into swamps just because they're there


The Ashlanders live in the ashlands because nobody else does. It's not that other Houses would not be able to live in the ashlands. On Vvardenfell, the reason nobody lives in the ashlands is because Vvardenfell was closed to settlement with the exception of a few Temple sanctioned communities for the longest time. You'll notice that, as soon as that ban was lifted, House Redoran and House Telvanni quickly started expanding into the Ashlands.
In the case of the Armun ashlands, I'd imagine the Hlaalu would not be terribly interested in living there because there are no trade routes, and they wouldn't let any other House live there because the ashlands are company territory.
But there is nothing about the Ashlanders as far as I can see that particularly suit them to living in the ashlands. I'd almost argue that the Redoran are better adapted for those conditions than Ashlanders, and as far as the Telvanni are concerned they have the Ash Adept helm.

I'd also argue that swamps should not be compared to ashlands. Swamps are not as hostile to life as ashlands. A lot of things live in swamps, swamps just aren't very pleasant to live in. Few things are able to live in the ashlands.

If Inlet Bog isn't given some reason for existing as it is now I think we'd be better off changing it. If it's a swamp just because and is ignored by the Indoril just because, it doesn't really add anything to the project and just fills space that could be put to better use. It would be a filler area without any purpose beyond that.
The swamp can exist as a swamp, and it can be ignored by House Indoril, but I really think there needs to be a good reason for that to be the case. A reason so good that associating it with House Indoril would be less interesting. As it stands now, it seems to me that associating it with House Indoril would be more interesting, but would require more work.

As for the swamp becoming a swamp, I don't think a backstory is necessary or desirable, but as you asked it's quite possible that it wasn't a swamp before the sinking of the Inner Sea.

Edit: and just to clarify, I consider it a problem that Inlet Bog apparently remained uninhabited for four millennia. The ashlands were forested before Red Mountain erupted. Red mountain then erupted and the terrain and conditions completely changed. The Dunmer had to adapt to the new conditions, and after they did began (re)settling the ashlands to a degree despite Ashlander presence. Then the ashlands in Vvardenfell were closed to settlement.
There is a clear story there and a reason for the ashlands to have few inhabitants. The story for the ashlands is not that there was an unpleasant part of Morrowind that nobody bothered to settle. Morrowind is supposed to be unpleasant altogether. Why was Inlet Bog never successfully settled?
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:56 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

How's about Inlet Bog (which still needs a new name, let us not forget) was Indoril territory, but got depopulated after the Empire's invasion when a disproportionate number of Indoril died. Maybe any settlements were abandoned and literally sank into the marsh, vanishing altogether.

However the Indoril are rigid and have cultural OCD and that's why they want to reestablish their holdings there despite there being no practical value to it. Hence Seyda Vano. Maybe they work out where to build towns using Feng Shui or ley lines or geometry or something.

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Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



gro-Dhal wrote:
Maybe they work out where to build towns using Feng Shui or ley lines or geometry or something.


This being why their ancestors settled there in the first place?
(because no, from an in-character point of view, you don't need explicit reasons NOT to settle in a swamp when there are vast amounts of unexploited coast and forest nearby. Are these supposed to have been 'recently' vacated too? If so they should have ruins)

On its own that's still not enough to make the region interesting or justify calling attention to an association of current-day Indoril with a generic swamp - which, ill-defined as Indoril is, probably doesn't fit its theme.

Own wishful thinking: if it absolutely has to remain a swamp (it's probably a well-made one at that), at least let it be red (or orange, or anything but monochromatic swamp green) and give it freaky flora
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:17 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Before we continue discussing how or why Inlet Bog is however it may or may not be, could we first figure out what everyone actually wants Inlet Bog to be? Because I'm a little confused on that count.

Should Inlet Bog be an untamed wilderness?
Should Inlet Bog be controlled by House Indoril?
Should Inlet Bog be changed?

I was working under the assumption that Inlet Bog would not be significantly changed, and that it would be controlled by House Indoril, as it is part of Indoril territory and House Indoril is very well established.
I want to make sure that that is actually how the majority want Inlet Bog to be handled.
Because if it isn't, we can try and figure out how Inlet Bog should be handled and turn our energy to that end.

Personally, I'd like Inlet Bog to be changed in some capacity, preferably by giving it a larger population, or failing that by making it really hostile, like Red Mountain. I'm hardly going to insist on that goal, but that would be my preferred goal.

rot, am I right in thinking that you would prefer Inlet Bog to be changed, and would want it to stay a wilderness area?
gro-Dahl, am I right in thinking that you would prefer to leave Inlet Bog as it is but give it an Indoril association?
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I'm really not seeing the problem with having a portion of the Indoril peasant population living in a swamp. People can make a productive --if not particularly comfortable by urban standards-- living in a swamp by fishing, hunting, collecting ingredients or pearl diving. The residents of the Bitter Coast seemed to get by well enough --including the ones not tied to smuggling rackets. Why else would they live there when the rest of the island is open to settlement?

Besides, who's to say the Inlet Bog was always the way it was. The Inner Sea could have flooded a more pleasant region in ancient times. With the Indoril being too stubborn to bow to any form of change, they continued to occupy the region. The peasants remain tied to the land because they don't recognize the better opportunities elsewhere. Central Morrowind is already pretty crowded anyway --or at least it will be when the new region plan for the Alt Orethan is implemented. The Indoril presence in the bog could also be explained by the need to prevent necromancers and cultists from making permanent homes in the more isolated corners of the swamp.

Adding a couple new clusters of shacks, perhaps one or two with an Indoril manor, could be a reasonable way of tying the bog closer to civilization. I'm not in favor of redoing it with freaky fauna. It currently makes good use of the Bitter Coast set, which we aren't using anywhere else currently. I also think we should save our imaginative swampy ideas for the Argon Jungle down the road.

I hope I don't come across as justifying the Inlet Bog simply out of not wanting to redo it. Gnomey's posts have convinced me that it can be made a meaningful region that is tied to House Indoril's unflinching attitudes.

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Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:41 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



I'm biased against any and all generic green scenery so first here's how the Inlet Bog is generally perceived from IRC conversations:
Players discovering the mainland politely comment that it's boring (made worse by the fact that it's the interface between Vvardenfell and the Sacred East release, so it's the first thing they see and have to get out of) because it's either a large area with nothing to do and too many durzogs (pre-edits?) or a large area with no creatures and nothing to do (post-edits?)
Few devs especially like it, most don't mind it, some want it redone entirely or imagine it significantly cut in the future (tho that's those who want to redo anything anyway Razz)
(none of this concerning the exterior work which is by all accounts technically fine (tho there's an awful water/scum interface I've seen somewhere))

I'm with those who just find it boring and useless, and I don't see it being made more interesting by adding nondescript shacks here and there with no story behind them just because "regions should be inhabited" (again, I find this makes the least sense here).
It is currently filler, plain and simple, and was probably designed as such - to only serve as an occasional change of scenery when sent to its dungeons. I see no concept behind it as a specifically Indoril region. Ignoring it is a compromise based on the fact that it's decent reversible filler; trying to shoehorn it into Indoril *without an in-depth plan*, just placing a few NPCs for the view and adding it on the plate of a faction that doesn't even have a clear identity on its main holdings, imo makes it an even worse compromise by cementing a boring region with half-measures.
Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:26 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Gnomey wrote:

gro-Dhal, am I right in thinking that you would prefer to leave Inlet Bog as it is but give it an Indoril association?


I don't really mind. No vote.

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Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:13 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



oh and forgot to answer-
"Yes", I think ideally that swamp shouldn't be where it is, but in practice, it probably won't be fundamentally changed. Please just don't start dumping generic shacks/shack villages with generic NPCs there, those stay useless forever and make boring things worse
Post Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:58 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

We should probably move this Inlet Bog talk to a separate thread for discussion, though not at the moment. Right now we have bigger fish to fry. Smile

That being said:

rot wrote:
Players discovering the mainland politely comment that it's boring (made worse by the fact that it's the interface between Vvardenfell and the Sacred East release, so it's the first thing they see and have to get out of) because it's either a large area with nothing to do and too many durzogs (pre-edits?) or a large area with no creatures and nothing to do (post-edits?)


1. This issue will no longer factor as much when we include more coastal areas and implement fast travel between mainland and Vvardenfell ports.

2. No one complains about vanilla Morrowind starting the player off in a swamp. I personally found the Bitter Coast an atmospheric region that managed to give off a hostile feeling without it coming across as completely alien. Calling it "generic green scenery" is like calling the Ashlands "generic gray scenery."

rot wrote:
I see no concept behind it as a specifically Indoril region.


Surely Gnomey's thorough posts have to count for something in regards to this?

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Post Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:52 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Ashlands ARE generic gray scenery that is iconic to Morrowind. Generic green scenery is what m3 is mostly made of; remove the few mushrooms scattered around and it could be passed off as TESIV transposed in Morrowind. (thankfully there are (vague) plans for more unique flora) A generic green swamp in the middle of the land isn't what you think of when you see "Morrowind", the only creatures that could be placed there weren't even supposed to be found in this part of the world! but that's all besides the point-

Yeti wrote:

rot wrote:
I see no concept behind it as a specifically Indoril region.


Surely Gnomey's thorough posts have to count for something in regards to this?


apologies if I'm missing something in the many posts, but this is the only concept I can find:

Gnomey wrote:

Finally Inlet Bog would be removed from all of those associations and would effectively act as the control-group. It contains the everyday Indoril; fishers, dreugh-jiggers, pearl-divers, perhaps egg-miners, perhaps a few minor nobles. It would not really contain any movers and shakers. Its inhabitants would not be especially lethargic. They would not really be beset by any great threats. They are not especially warlike.


in other words, generic NPCs. Outposts on the coasts and patrolling guards would be of course fine, because you don't expect anything interesting from those beyond the fact that they're there. Actual population, bearing the player's interaction with the region especially since it's lacking in this regard, should be significant. I am *not* saying populating this region is a fundamentally wrong idea, but doing it on the basis of the following (grossly summed-up) reasoning:
- the Inlet Bog is useless filler (very much agreed)
- therefore it must be populated by Indoril,
is the wrong way to go about it.

1. take House Indoril, its current populated territory, and its basic themes so far (at-least-used-to-be glorious, yadda yadda) and imagine you have an undefined Indoril-populated region to create for it. Would that be a swamp? How high would something like the Inlet Bog rate on the list of things you'd want to associate with House Indoril characters, if it wasn't already there? If this passes, ONLY THEN proceed
2. to figuring out a story for them, in the broad sense. What do those characters have to say, or what do they bring that's interesting for the player to do? (here in particular, they need a backstory)
3. review the existing region. What is to be done with the current dungeons? (for instance there's a sunken Imperial fort, and ashlander burials, neither of which makes any sense as is) How does the new population fit with those dungeons around them? If you remove them, what new dungeons are added?
Post Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Yeti wrote:
We should probably move this Inlet Bog talk to a separate thread for discussion, though not at the moment. Right now we have bigger fish to fry. Smile


Good idea.

rot wrote:
in other words, generic NPCs.


That's not quite what I meant:

Gnomey wrote:
I think the role of Inlet Bog could be to explore the identity and culture of House Indoril commoners.


The stress should be on the word 'Indoril', as in 'generic Indoril NPCs'. My thinking was as follows: in the post you quoted, I suggested very focused and different roles for the various Indoril regions, mostly working off of Yeti's earlier post on the subject.
The result is that, by travelling around those regions, the player would hopefully be able to recognize certain notable aspects of Indoril society.
However, those would only be aspects, diverging from what is 'typical' of Indoril society. One is unusually archaic and perhaps paranoid, another is unusually urban and perhaps even cosmopolitan, another is unusually withdrawn and detached, and the last may be unusually desperate and perhaps conflicted.
If the player is only shown certain aspects of the whole he will not be able to form a proper picture of the whole, or at least will find it a lot harder to do so.
The Indoril from 'Inlet Bog', however, do not have any specific story to tell. As such, they are ideal to use as a reference point to compare other Indoril to.
I feel that approach could work both ways: in the other regions we can focus on telling a specific story, while in Inlet Bog we can focus on portraying House Indoril and its unique character.
But I freely admit that I largely came up with that idea because I didn't really see anything inherently Indoril about Inlet Bog. Unlike the other regions I couldn't really find any specific concept to work off of, so rather than trying to tie the region and narrative together I decided I might as well maximize on the lack of a specific regional narrative.

As for settling Inlet Bog, which again I see as a separate issue from the above, my thinking was actually as follows:
- this is Indoril land, according to this map and from what I had otherwise gleaned about the House borders.
- House Indoril is one of the more settled and better established Houses. Its regions should probably show clear signs of civilization and settlement. It makes no sense as far as I can see for there to be an unsettled region in Indoril lands.
- Inlet Bog does not show many signs of civilization and settlement.
- that is bad.

I consider the fact that Inlet Bog is useless filler a separate issue from the fact that it is rather unpopulated, and both of those a different question from the one Yeti asked, which was roughly: 'as an Indoril region, how does Inlet Bog contribute to our portrayal of House Indoril?'. They may be related, but they are different issues. No matter how the region looked I'd probably advocate populating it, unless it were made incredibly and actively hostile to life. Conversely, I do not think populating a region inherently makes the region any more interesting, and even if Inlet Bog were populated I'd advocate making changes to the region itself.
Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



"Indoril lands should be settled" isn't strong enough a case to populate a region with no more than a pretext, and

Gnomey wrote:
However, those would only be aspects, diverging from what is 'typical' of Indoril society.
(...)
If the player is only shown certain aspects of the whole he will not be able to form a proper picture of the whole, or at least will find it a lot harder to do so.
The Indoril from 'Inlet Bog', however, do not have any specific story to tell. As such, they are ideal to use as a reference point to compare other Indoril to.


Not trying to be difficult, but I feel this is a far-fetched pretext at best (leaving aside entirely the fact that nobody had ever imagined "typical Indoril" to be "swamp dwellers").
And even then, Indoril commoners without a story - that's the very definition of generic NPCs! There's a token amount of them in true civilised areas, since they're not the focus there - place them in an otherwise empty, filler region: they become the focus. That's why you can't handle the Inlet Bog's population/lack of/ in complete disregard of its currently being useless (and incoherent) filler, and that's why they can't be token NPCs with nothing to say or do besides being there. If there are outstanding issues with the region, making changes to it should (ideally address them, but let's be realistic...) at the very least not impede efforts to address them down the line - dropping settlements from an overhead map with a vague or inexistant worldbuilding idea and no concern whatsoever for gameplay, all for a poor NPCer to figure out later-never is how we end up with bland shack villages, random interiors in the middle of nowhere, and other Enamor Dayns that everybody now wants to raze... not a good thing to begin with, even worse in this case. If the motivation was really eg commoners barely getting by in shacks with spiked palisades against wild durzogs, to stress even the lowly fishermen's stoic stubbornness in an uninviting, politically irrelevant area ignored by House Indoril's true might; or illustrating how they're absurdly trying to impose order on a naturally changing environment, already building a new MH building on the roof on top of a dozen ones from previous generations, they sink at a steady pace did you know; all for [reason has made them live there for generations]...
those would be at least arguable pretexts, and even then, still conditional on wanting to have Dunmer-in-a-swamp THERE, in the first place. There's a reason everything swamp-related that could be remotely interesting, hardships, flora and all, evocates Dres-Argonia and is being kept for it, I'm looking at you, Swamp Troll in TR_Data that has never been placed anywhere/
Post Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:20 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

rot wrote:
That's why you can't handle the Inlet Bog's population/lack of/ in complete disregard of its currently being useless (and incoherent) filler, and that's why they can't be token NPCs with nothing to say or do besides being there. If there are outstanding issues with the region, making changes to it should (ideally address them, but let's be realistic...) at the very least not impede efforts to address them down the line


That is an answer to my earlier question. If Inlet Bog has outstanding issues, I think those should be addressed. Whether now or later is not the issue. Rather than saying that Inlet Bog should not be settled, I consider it more to the point to say that Inlet Bog should not be touched at all for now because it is or should be slated for reworking, and any work done on it would be a waste of time due to working off of a faulty product.
If you think Inlet Bog is good the way it currently is, we disagree. Otherwise, you are arguing a point that you don't really need to, at least as far as I am concerned, because we essentially agree.

rot wrote:
And even then, Indoril commoners without a story - that's the very definition of generic NPCs!


Without a unified regional theme to them. Vvardenfell NPCs do not have unified regional themes to them. A Hlaalu from the Ascadian Isles is no different from a Hlaalu from the Bittercoast. Is every NPC on Vvardenfell generic?

Typical Dunmer professions include fisher and dreugh-jigger and arguably pearl-diver -- all of which Inlet Bog can accommodate well -- miner (of eggs, bloat and minerals) and muck farmer -- both of which Inlet Bog could easily be made to accommodate -- and herders. While the last group doesn't fit a swamp as well as the others, Bittercoast did have a large population of netches and tame guars, so that isn't out of the question.
A lot of Dunmer would be able to make a living in a swamp and, taking a look at Bittercoast on the recently-opened-to-settlement Vvardenfell, at least some already do.

There are many ways to handle a swamp. Suggesting there aren't is the same as suggesting that deserts, forests, plains and mountains can only be handled in a single way. Meaning that there is no point in TR having more than one of any of those. My main problem with Inlet Bog is that it handles a swamp exactly like the Bittercoast handled it. There is nothing wrong with it being a swamp, though, in and of itself. I think the 'Ash Swamp' pulls it off pretty well.
As for sinking buildings, tell that to Gnaar Mok. I wasn't suggesting plonking down buildings at random. There are methods for building in swamps, and naturally people who settle swamps would use those methods. I suggested having large foundations under MH buildings in the style of Roa Dyr, for example, though not in as many words. And there are versions of the shack models on stilts for a very good reason. For that matter cantons, which Dunmer seem to have a bit of a penchant for building, are also well-suited to swamps. Though that may be too similar to how we will handle the Dres.

If wild durzogs are roving Inlet Bog, I'd argue that is a problem in and of itself. They really don't have any business there. Otherwise, as I said, I don't consider Inlet Bog unusually uninviting for a Morrowind region.

"Bland shack villages, random interiors in the middle of nowhere, and other Enamor Dayns that everybody now wants to raze..." would not appear with sensible planning and TR's current standards and methods, as well as "dropping settlements from an overhead map with a vague or inexistant worldbuilding idea and no concern whatsoever for gameplay". I know that I for one looked at Inlet Bog in-game and have considered gameplay, whatever one could say about my worldbuilding ideas. Those are matters of execution not inherent to the concept of settlements in swamps.
Post Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:57 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Problem is I can't honestly tell you that the area will be reworked (wouldn't even be arguing otherwise), nor to what extent or when. The issues shoved under the rug so far:
(- matter of taste of it being a generic green swamp rehashing BC assets, but even those who want this redone consider it lower priority than Telvanni)
- empty and purposeless, or if its purpose is being dungeonland, it isn't fitting because:
- no fauna for this (yes, wild durzogs, Tribunal-level to make the area hostile and likely because they fit the palette, though I think by now they've been toned the hell down and replaced with nix-hounds or weaker versions, which might or might not be because it was the entry point for Sacred East)
- inconsistent nature and poor repartition of dungeons (seen Ruinous Keep mentioned as not making sense and something that "will be dealt with eventually")
- no signs of it being handled by Indoril, either as a hazard (arvis had the idea to put guards around for the ashlands border, but hasn't been done there nor anywhere else) or at all (as you've pointed out)

(moving in separate thread ...)
Post Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:22 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

I'm inclined to agree with both rot and Gnomey, as paradoxical as that may seem.

I detailed the Inlet Bog back in 2009, and I found it as a badly detailed BC rip-off. This was before we decided on major redos. That being said, I can understand this region feels a bit as filler, but it is not without its merits. Darnim is an interesting place for the player to go to, but the route towards it does not suggest so. That could be fixed by perhaps, a la Lan Orethan, dispersing some smaller Indoril homes or manors throughout the area.

I agree with Gnomey that there are many ways to live off this swamp. Consider people living off gathering herbs and mushrooms, maybe even selling them through Darnim's small harbour. Or indeed fishery, or maybe mudcrab hunters.

As for flora: yes, we could spruce this area up with some unique pieces, but a total rebuilding, in my mind, would be an unnecessarily large undertaking. It would take really long, destroy work that isn't actually bad, and it might even never get finished (to satisfaction anyway.) That said, if someone has ideas on how to make this more colourful and can model for it, I'd say do it!


EDIT: I just realised something! We have a lot more interesting new assets in Data than when I worked on this area in 2009. For example, fishery pieces by Momo. Another idea is to use these plants.
Post Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:56 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Aeven wrote:
As for flora: yes, we could spruce this area up with some unique pieces, but a total rebuilding, in my mind, would be an unnecessarily large undertaking. It would take really long, destroy work that isn't actually bad, and it might even never get finished (to satisfaction anyway.)


This is essentially my stance on the issue. Brainstorm weird plant life that fits alongside the BC models. Don't go overboard though.

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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Aeven wrote:
As for flora: yes, we could spruce this area up with some unique pieces, but a total rebuilding, in my mind, would be an unnecessarily large undertaking. It would take really long, destroy work that isn't actually bad, and it might even never get finished (to satisfaction anyway.)


While I'm not sure if such an undertaking would necessarily take long, depending on how many active exterior modders there are, I think the other points are certainly significant. By this point I think most exteriors in TR meet a certain technical standard where they are worth improving as opposed to replacing. Unless there's a really good concept for a unique region that just needs to go there.
In the case of Inlet Bog, the furthest I would want to go when it comes to reworking the terrain would be to touch up the scum pools in some way to visually set them apart from the Bittercoast pools, perhaps by connecting a few of them end to end to create small seasonal rivers, without removing any of the terrain detailing, at most just moving it around. Basically an even more toned down version of my work on the Thirr River Delta.
For the rest, I wouldn't mind seeing new land textures, maybe scum textures, and having some or all of the flora search-and-replaced with new models at some point. And perhaps a slightly higher reference density, but I think I lean towards overdetailing.

Aeven wrote:
Another idea is to use these plants.


I like those plants a lot, and I think their inclusion could make Inlet Bog look more consistent with the neighbouring Alt Orethan, at least going off of the current Alt Orethan plans. I'd very much be for using them, perhaps along with some of the MH plants. (eg. Hornlily, though I'm not sure whether it's used too much elsewhere. I think Inlet Bog could probably be a more fitting place for it than, say, Telvannis, though).

I think it would be a good idea to decide whether we want Inlet Bog to be a hostile region or relatively docile, though. Settlements are a whole other discussion, and I agree that for them it's more important if the inclusion of settlements fit the region concept, and if the settlements can be made to look as though they fit in the region.

Speaking of which, Inlet Bog doesn't actually have a region plan yet, and I suppose making one could be a goal for this thread, or maybe for a future thread on the same topic.
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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

In regards to a region plan, I might have enough inspiration at the moment to try composing one. Give me a few days, and we'll see what I come up with.
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Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

Regarding the Indoril stronghold, even though discussion seems to have moved into more of a discussion about the swamp rather than player housing, I do not think the position of the stronghold is problematic because
1) it follows the vanilla tradition of placing strongholds in hard-to-reach places and I don't think we should make the player's life too convenient
2) story-wise, the player should have a hard time reaching the inner circle of Indoril nobility so it doesn't make sense to give the player more valuable real estate right off the bat (plus, think of all the fun nicknames we can have characters give the player, being the lord of a swamp and all that)
3) the swamp also allows us to explore what it means for the player to have to lord over and look after the few fishermen that live nearby without getting into overly complex situations. The limited amount of retainers the player would have allows us to give the player's actions real impact rather than trying to manage complex town dynamics.
4) if the player manages to rise to the rank of Grand Ascendant they'll (probably) be granted ownership of the Grand Ascendant manor in Almalexia so it's okay if Seyda Vano is not the ideal end-game stronghold for the head of the House.

As for the region itself, I've always seen it as backwater Indoril territory without the presence of any prominent Indoril lords (another good reason to give that position to the player) and I think that's fine. Giving it some unique flora sounds fun. I like ferns. Knock yourselves out.
Post Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:19 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



and to [the player] we bequeath, in the name of the ALMSIVI (Blessed Be, Lords of the Twenty-Seven Cornered House, Safeguard to the Innocent, Justice to Apostates, Mercy to the Repentent, et cetera, et cetera) the promontory at Seyda Vano and and its environs, (heretofore boglands in discord with the laws ordained: undrained, untilled, without persons, in ill regard, et cetera), with all its attendant incomes, landed persons, easements, et cetera, for the purpose of Upholding and Administering the Faith upon it, of Bringing to it Order and Purpose as the divine have decreed, of Establishing and thereafter Preserving the Peace and Unity of the House Indoril (19 Corners), et cetera et cetera...


i havent really followed the thread, does that work?

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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

It works for the stronghold, but it doesn't fully address the question of how Inlet Bog was before the stronghold was built and why.

For example, why did House Indoril leave Inlet Bog "undrained, untilled, without persons, in ill regard" for centuries if not millennia? My personal perception of House Indoril and the Dunmer makes it so that, without a good reason, that point doesn't make much sense to me.
Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:51 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I have an idea floating around in my head that the Inlet Bog could be where Durzogs go to spawn their young, laying and fertilizing their eggs in the moist swamp pools of the inland sludge-sea. That they originate in a swampy environment is already backed up by their appearance and in-game dialogue:

Fedris Hler wrote:
Frightening creatures. Possibly even more intelligent than their goblin handlers. You might hear them referred to as "sludgepuppies," but don't let that name fool you. They're strong, smart, and often well-trained creatures. The goblins use them on patrols to hunt down their victims.


Still, though this idea could be added to give the Inlet Bog some much-needed flavor, I don't think it would completely explain why its so underpopulated.

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Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:16 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

My problem with Durzogs is that I had always assumed they came from Valenwood or some other place off west. This is from a series of associations: goblins are associated with Altmer in the topic "Altmer trainers", and durzogs are associated with goblins through the line you quoted. Helseth brought the Altmer trainers over from the West. As such I had assumed that durzogs, goblins and goblin handlers were all brought in from the West too. That being said, there isn't actually anything concrete in Tribunal dialogue either way. It does appear that they are native to Morrowind in ESO...
Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Durzogs fit perfectly alongside Morrowind's other large reptilian predators. Besides that, we need additional creatures to populate our extra-large wilderness anyway.
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Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:03 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Yeah, my life won't be ruined through their inclusion or anything. They certainly don't look out of place.
Post Thu May 01, 2014 12:09 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

Since there's a burial cavern there, why not have an ashlander camp in the bog? Historically, ashlanders could have been driven from Indoril territory into the bog. The camp could be a player in the Indoril storyline. The player could be given a choice of forcibly "civilizing" them (having a handful move into the stronghold as slaves?), driving them out of the bog, or tolerating their presence in the PC's dominion.

EDIT: By the way, Darnim's dialogue refers to the packs of Durzogs as being a recent phenomenon.
Post Thu May 01, 2014 2:07 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theo
Developer Emeritus
16 Dec 2004

Location: PRAGUE

Inlet bog also could also be an ideal location to introduce more (sunken) OM ruins (Indoril area relatively close to the capital, largely abandoned/uninhabited for some time, region of medium difficulty). There are not that many OM ruins right now and this area could use some unique dungeons.
Spicing up the exterior with overgrown OM assets would also might look aesthetically pleasing.

Another brainstorming. How about using BC trees, flora and rocks with the lush AI palette (clover and grass1). Also possibly perhaps bonsai (scaled down) version of some of the shrooms/parasols and some of the AI trees?

Just my 2 cents.

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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Sload wrote:
I do think it might be possible and wise to incorporate some pre-existing ash swamp models into inlet bog. Not to completely convert the reasion, but to incorporate patches of ash into the bog. That would at least make it look more interesting.


I'm not sure how mixing the Ash Swamp and Bitter Coast models would look aesthetically, but I'm definitely at least in favor of changing the low mountains surrounding the Inlet Bog into Ashlands, like how we're handling the western border.

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Post Sun May 04, 2014 6:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Yeti wrote:
Sload wrote:
I do think it might be possible and wise to incorporate some pre-existing ash swamp models into inlet bog. Not to completely convert the reasion, but to incorporate patches of ash into the bog. That would at least make it look more interesting.


I'm not sure how mixing the Ash Swamp and Bitter Coast models would look aesthetically, but I'm definitely at least in favor of changing the low mountains surrounding the Inlet Bog into Ashlands, like how we're handling the western border.

I'm also not sure if it would work, but to be very clear I don't mean a dispersed mixture of the two sets, but creating patches that range from like 1 to 4 cells in size of "dead ashen swamp" within an otherwise BC region. The big question is if the region transitions work.

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Post Sun May 04, 2014 9:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Aside from how well ash<->white<->BC would work - I'd first worry about whether reusing the whole ashened swamp set elsewhere is desirable, ie will the m5 ash swamp still be as cool if it's just a larger version of something that's seen elsewhere? I feel not, though a few carefully placed motifs can be a subtle way to show that it's an [ash+swamp] after it gets renamed
Post Sun May 04, 2014 11:28 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gewata
Member
19 Jul 2010



I'm just a lurker, I know, but I've had a thought about why this region could be inhabited.
Essentially, it goes that there's some plant or some other reagent that is gathered in low amounts in the swamp and can be found nowhere else. It would require specialist training to gather (To prevent the player destroying the livelihood of everyone in the region in five minutes straight), but there doesn't need to be many people actually gathering (so the towns remain small). This reagent would be sold to the Telvanni/Mage's Guild etc. for potions or whatever. The reagent would be gathered and processed in the bog, so there could be a small Indoril town present for this purpose. There could also be small shack villages to supply food for the main town. It wouldn't make a huge amount of money, so the Indoril wouldn't feel too bad about giving an outlander the estate, but enough to justify the existence of settlements. Additionally, this could be part of the Indoril stronghold quests. Clearing out smugglers of this reagent that could be funded by the Hlaalu if you wanted to make it part of the house war, or improving merchant trade routes to get the reagent to larger trading towns.

Don't know if this is useful, just an idea I had.
Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

The player stronghold Seyda Vano was mentioned in the last Skype meeting, and appears in Theminimanx's summary:

Theminimanx wrote:
Seyda Vano/Id Vano was also talked about. Id Vano was a castle-estate long before the player builds his stronghold there, but it was destroyed during the same event that created the Inlet Bog. However, House Indoril never acknowledged that Id Vano and the family living there were destroyed. Because of this, when the player becomes lord of the estate, no new title is created. Instead, the player takes over from the family that previously ruled there.


Inlet Bog was also mentioned, though I think only rather briefly. I certainly didn't keep any notes of it. However, Swiftoak had tossed together a document containing a concept for the region. Sundered Coast and Sundered Scar were mentioned as potential names for it.

Initially, my main objection to Swiftoak's concept was that it advocated keeping a(nother) stretch of Indoril land relatively untamed, which I felt didn't match the Indoril at all. However, I then realized that, with the above concept for Id Vano, it makes perfect sense for the Indoril to by and large ignore the region. As such, I'm now in favour of his proposal, a few minor details aside, though I do have a bit of trouble visualizing it.
Post Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:58 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Damn, Swiftoak is good at these immersive concept plans. I'd consider myself lucky to possess half the creative juices he has. Alas, all I can do is nod in agreement and voice my support for the bulk of his plan for the Sundered Scar. Not only does it present an actual narrative justification for keeping the area largely unsettled - one that fits perfectly into our characterization of the Indoril, who would no doubt endeavor to fit something as groundbreaking as a new upstart councilor into the framework of the past rather than create a new spot for them - but it also gives us something inspiring to put here other than a Bitter Coast knockoff. Naturally, it will take a bit of work to alter the region, but that's never stopped us before, and we can at least count on reusing some of the current interiors, with tweaks.

We should probably move the Ruined Keep elsewhere if we go with this plan, obviously keeping it for its awesome interior and quest.

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