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USH'S MATRIX GAME: 'DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE'- The Storyline and the Philosophy Choice
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

USH'S MATRIX GAME: 'DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE'- The Storyline and the Philosophy Choice

What with all this hardcore combat practice lately, which is now entering its final phase and will spawn the 1.3 version of the moves and rules- which will most definitely be the version you will use on Assignment, and should be the most polished, tested and accessible version yet- it's quite easy to forget that I am intending there to be a bit more to this game than just endless moving and shooting! Combat practice is all very well, and cool combats can be fantastic if done right, but if that is ALL there is to a game, it becomes just so much dice rolling.

So my game, like my other games, does, of course, sport a plot. It is, in many ways, perhaps the most in-depth plot yet- a reflection of the more intellectual side of the franchise it is based on!

Like my other games you will be drawn into the plot in-game rather than just have it thrown at you. My Star Wars game began with a diplomatic mission to Damagran which led to the players discovering the activiites of Kuylen and his plan to pillage ancient Sith sites. My LOTR game began with players heading to Fornost for many different reasons and simply travelling together for safety- and then being drawn into Arvedui's plan to thwart the Prophecy of his name and defeat the Witch-King. Likewise, in this game, you will find out what you are being drawn into in the course of gameplay.

As planned, the plot also has the most intriguing characters of any of my games so far as well- after all, I have to live up to what the film has provided us in the way of Morpheus, the Oracle, the Merovingian and Smith. I am not just trying to do the same thing the film does, though, so expect a different approach to be taken. But the idea of a complex artificial world with many complicated people with different views of things will be intact.

The first main plotline should last for several Assignments with several big fights that should last us a while! There are subsequent plotlines that can come after that; all of them, as planned, still take place between the first and second films. Setting it during or after Reloaded/Revolutions is still somewhat complex.

Obviously I cannot give too much away about the details of the plot, but I am confident that if you like the idea of role-playing and you like the Matrix films and ethos, you should like this.

However, this leads me on to an important point, and the point of this thread. This is about the Philosophy/Non-philosophy (or combat) choice.

Always nice to start of Matrix game off with a choice, of course- even better, a choice that determines your Path in the game. Very thematic. I have already talked before on the reason this exists- to create a game where people could chose the Matrix experience they wanted, to have both very valid approaches to a Matrix game contained inside one singular experience, to please the most people. At several important points in the game, the two Paths will split with only occasional contact with each other, both doing their own- equally imporant- things of relevance to the main plot, but with different approaches.

When myself (and, at home, my brother) first introduced this idea, the worry was that everyone would want to ignore the bullshit and get on with the hardcore fighting. As it turns out, a very great number of people indeed want to go for Philosophy! Which is gladdening in many ways, but before the choice is finalised for people (plenty of time yet), I wanted to make sure that people knew what they were getting themselves into, and make sure everyone takes the plot that really does suit them!

Right now, the choices of those in the Training Mission are:

Burn- Non-philosophy
Ares- Philosophy
Hephaestus- Philosophy
Mors- Non-philosophy
Rade- Philosophy
Virus- Philosophy (preferred but not essential)
Coeus- Philosophy
Cloud- Non-philosophy
Fire- Non-philosophy
Castor- Philosophy

Which gives us 6 Philosophy, 4 Non-Philosophy. That's perfectly workable- I do not need a direct 50/50 split, and we have at least one Veteran in each to lead a group if needed. The Combat path also has at least one gunner and one MA specialist- that is very good news, you want to be well covered there. Still, if the split became 50/50 it would be very aesthetically pleasing!

So, if you will look at this small presentation, I will further expand upon what these choices entail...


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Nov 17th, 2003 at 04:07 PM

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 03:09 PM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

From the films

As it so happens, the Philosophy/Non-Philosophy choice can be seen in action in Reloaded.

This MAY surpirse some of you. Morpheus and Trinity were on the Non-Philosophy path. NEO was on Philosophy.

"But.. Neo had all these fights against Smith and stuff!" I hear you cry. Well, yes, but I did point out that if you thought the Philosophy path was about sitting in a big lecture room waffling on about the nature of being for eight hours, think again! Though if you want to talk about the nature of being, feel free...

Let us look at what happened to the main cast in the plot:

It is Neo who had to go see the Oracle and receive all the thoughtful comments from her. It is Neo who had to kiss Persephone and bring out the idea of love into the equation. It is Neo who was confronted with the issues of choice, causality, free will, control, deceit... and it was Neo who had the involved chat with the Architect.

And yes, Neo had big fights as well! But the fight with Seraph had a point other than just being a hard opponent, and even Smith had a fair few lines on the subject of Purpose to give to Neo before the fight! In the end, the most important thing Neo did in the film was exercise choice- or understanding of choice- at the Architect's room. The fights just made it more fun on the way!

Now, let us look at Trinity and Morpheus. Oh, they sat in for the Merovingian's speech but they didn't really get into it- Morpheus was happy to believe what he believed and just accept events as they happened. And after that? Continuous fighting! They fought the Twins, they fought just about everything in the Highway Chase, and Trinity had her big fight scene at the end as well. The most important they did was bust the Keymaker out- a function of pure fighting power!

The only distortion this example creates is because Neo fought the most powerful enemy- Smith. But this is only because Neo is so very powerful! In a game where both teams will be of the same power, the Combat Path will get the more dangerous enemies.

Some important lessons can be drawn from that. Just because Neo 'took' the Philosophy plotline, does not mean he sat on his backside yapping all day- but yapping certainly WAS a function of his plot, that is for sure. Also it is worth noting that Neo is no Philosophy Major- not even brain of the century! He didn't have to know anything about Philosophy at all to do it. But he DID have to make an effort in that regard. More about that below- but basically, you don't have to know much about Philosophy to take this Path, just willing to make an effort. I am not denying that a good education or interest in Philosophy may be helpful, though.

And on the other side of the equation, just because Trinity and Morpheus were on the Combat Path, that didn't make them stupid, did it? The combat Path isn't meant to be where we bundle all the dumb people, far from it! Morpheus is the smartest of the lot of them! Some might say that they had considerably more fun than Neo! Of course, some might say that their plot was more shallow than Neo's. So, it is all down to preference.

Somethings for you to think about there...


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Nov 17th, 2003 at 04:12 PM

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 03:26 PM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

Dos and Donts

Re-iterating some of what I said above, here are some things to be wary of.

- DON'T reject the Philosophy Path because you don't know anything about Philosophy. Like I say, that only makes you like Neo. Those who do know something about it might be more settled and happy but not necessarily advantaged.

- DO reject the Philosophy Path if you are worried about the thought you are going to have to put into it. I will not deny that there is good room for brainpower in this Path. If you are going on as a 'Philosophy Virgin', like Neo, what you definitely need is the willpower to engage with things, and talk back, and think about things. Aside from anything else you might be worried that you don't have the TIME for this nonsense! That is as good a reason as any to reject this one.

- DON'T take the Philosophy Path because you think it is safer or easier than the Combat Path! Big mistake that. There is danger a-plenty on either Path. Yes, the Combat Path gets the bigger enemies, but the Philosophy Path gets dangers all of its own. If you cannot think your way out of a problem you could be in serious trouble, if you cannot engage meaningfully with the plot you will not achieve.

What a Philosophy player is certainly at risk at, if not his life (and it CAN be his life!), is in experience. All of you, I am sure, want better Stats or more room to Download stuff. Such privilege is easily earned in Combat, but Philosophy players who sit at the back and do nothing won't develop at all.

- DO reject the Combat path if one of the reasons you wanted to RP the Matrix experience was because you LIKED all that talky stuff. That's what Philosophy is there for! By the same token, if what you really loved was the fights and you fell asleep during the rest of it, that's a good reason to go Combat.

- DON'T reject the Combat Path because you think it is dumb. As noted above, that's unfair! The Philosophy Path isn't about being more clever- it is simply about having a different approach- an approach some people may not like or be interested in, in which case, go combat! Some people could, with justification, argue that there is plenty of intelligence required in strategic and tactical thought in a big Matrix fight, especially with all your powers and stuff.

- DO chose Philosophy if you are looking for something a little different from my other games, even other on-line games in general. It's experimental, for sure, but with committed Matrix fans playing it should be great!

- DON'T reject combat because you think it will get boring. If that happens it will only be because I am not doing my job right. The Combat Path is basically like my Star Wars game, only with fewer pauses between action scenes as the Philosophy Path will pick up the 'slack', as it were. If you like my Star Wars game, you should enjoy the Combat Path.


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Nov 18th, 2003 at 04:11 PM

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 03:48 PM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

Finally, don't be afraid to ask me any questions you like, though I am not giving the plot away!

However, one final warning. Once the split happens in the game, it is permanent, for reasons you will see at the time. You cannot mix and match- certainly not for the duration of the first entire storyline (future storylines might not have such a split at all). So... it's worth thinking about before you chose, Don't worry, I will let you know when the split is coming!

Anyone have any comments to make?


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Nov 17th, 2003 at 05:02 PM

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 03:50 PM
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JediHDM
Jedi of the Matrix

Gender: Male
Location: United States

hehe...dumb people are fighters...hehe...

J/k people...im still up for Philosophy...


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FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!
KMC KGB

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 05:10 PM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

I had hoped that- you being the Philosophy Veteran and all.


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 06:07 PM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

hmm mind me changing to Philosophy?


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Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 08:03 PM
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JediHDM
Jedi of the Matrix

Gender: Male
Location: United States

hehe...dont wanna be dumb anymore, Fire? hehe...j/k big grin


__________________


FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!
KMC KGB

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 09:13 PM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

lol we'll see who's the dumbass after we end that CTF game stick out tongue


__________________

Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 10:14 PM
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JediHDM
Jedi of the Matrix

Gender: Male
Location: United States

three on one...hmmm...well, i guess we'll see...stick out tongue


__________________


FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!
KMC KGB

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 10:25 PM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

THAT's the way a team works :P


__________________

Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 17th, 2003 10:27 PM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

Well, that would make it 7/3, Fire, which might be a bit too much imbalance. Can you find someone to swap with?


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 12:13 AM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

so anyone willing to swap?


__________________

Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 12:21 AM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

or I can wait till someone from philosophy becomes inactive HEHE evil face


__________________

Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 12:26 AM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

hmm I just did a small activity check, the non-philo have a lot of less active ppl

TPT it will mostly be you and me mate


__________________

Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 12:31 AM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

Burn and Cloud post often enough! The ten players from the Training Misison all post often enough to play.


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Nov 18th, 2003 at 01:26 AM

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 12:48 AM
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Fire
Senior Member

Gender: Male
Location: On vacation

depends on what you call enough stick out tongue


__________________

Be smart, be cool, be sexy = be LIBERAL!

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 01:03 AM
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REXXXX
Networking

Gender: Male
Location: San Diego

Moderator

I'll go to Combat mode, Ush! Especially with Fire switching over.


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Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 02:28 AM
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Ushgarak
Paladin

Gender: Male
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin

Ok! So now we are:

Burn- Non-philosophy
Ares- Non-philosophy
Hephaestus- Philosophy
Mors- Non-philosophy
Rade- Philosophy
Virus- Philosophy (preferred but not essential)
Coeus- Philosophy
Cloud- Non-philosophy
Fire- Philosophy
Castor- Philosophy


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 02:32 AM
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JediHDM
Jedi of the Matrix

Gender: Male
Location: United States

so know we got BOTH vets in the philosophy? fine by me...*old man voice*old geezers are good for sitting around and yammering on and on...ain't that right, ush? ...big grin j/k


__________________


FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!
KMC KGB

Old Post Nov 18th, 2003 04:10 AM
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