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19
Pseudolonewolf
2 years ago

How do you feel about MARDEK so far?

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: MARDEKQuestions
I've been updating the Alora Fane blog a lot with my progress on the new version of MARDEK, but I'm curious about what the general feelings are about it so far. I've made a poll to get an idea: ∞ LINK ∞

I really, really hope that it can turn out well, but I've been on the receiving end of so much scathing criticism in response to changes and new ideas in the past that I can't help but feel very nervous about the same thing happening again...
36 Comments

on 25 Roots

36 Comments

Michael
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If you remember me, it probably shouldn't surprise you that I'm not a fan...

However, while I considered voting "You're ruining what I love", I didn't because that felt far too histrionic. I'm more like "Meh.. I'd rather have a new chapter in the old MARDEK, but whatever..." (In the end I went with "not interested".)

Even the old MARDEK was never such a big deal to me -- Sure, I'll certainly play them through when/if they come out but I can wait.

If I could wish to resurrect any one of Pseudo's many abandoned/rebooted projects, I wouldn't waste it on MARDEK classic. Rather, I'd choose to bring back the tactical version of FHO. (FHO was rebooted twice. The first reboot switched it from tactical to a conventional eastern-RPG format, and the second turned it into AF:C.)

Oh, I guess it would also be sad to see the last standard-bearer for the elemental-glyphs system fall.
FifteenthMember
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Bearded Man #3 is confirmed.
The hype continues...
Magnema
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(First off, sorry about the length of this, but I have a lot to say, all out of love for the series, and I'd rather have it all be said. The TL;DR version is that I like what you're planning, but still want to be able to play the old ones, because they're excellent, too, and I would miss them if they were eliminated entirely.)


I've followed the series for a while, and I loved the current games, which gives me opinions on the new series. I just read all your other blog posts, and they inspired various thoughts on the matter.


Firstly, regarding the original series: people will always love the old games (myself included). Maybe change them to "MARDEK Classic" or something like that, where they're playable but clearly not the primary series, but don't just replace them without maintaining the originals' presence on the web, they're too good to destroy like that. Furthermore, that makes sure that even if people don't like the changes by comparison, they can always still go back and play the old games, and it makes new discoverers of the series able to see what it once was (like the older FF games: FFI-III may not have had all the features of the later ones, but I would be sad if I could never play the originals because the designers retroactively updated them). Deleting the old games feels like erasing the past: the past has a place and should be recognized, even if the new ones (and remakes of old ones) end up being better.


That said, regarding the changes themselves (the first sentence gives a TL;DR for each paragraph):

I like most of the mechanical changes. I LOVE the emotion-magic tie-in, more than I can possibly say (and yes, I do mean that literally), so I'll just leave it at that. The battle-plot tie-in in general seems pretty excellent, but I'll leave that up to you.

The ability to "complete" a chapter appeals to my inner completionist, although the old MARDEK had that to some degree (defeat all the secret bosses, etc.). I think the idea of finite resources will make for a very different style of game, but also a less generic and more interesting one. The only issue I foresee is the same one Zelda suffers from, to some degree: with infinite potions comes infinite between-battle replenishment, so run your game balance carefully there, as one of the things I loved most about the original series was the essentially-perfect game balance. The only thing I want to say is that I liked the original MARDEK's sidequests, so... side-missions of some point are desired, I guess? Or something like that? It could be that random encounters run out after a time, but a side-boss is required to buy ALL the items from the merchant (or that the side-boss itself gives you its own memento).

The lack of XP is hard on an RPG, but I think it's necessary. At the end of my Game 3 playthrough, Mardek had mastered EVERY skill. There's not many places to go from there, developmentally; if this game is going to be of any reasonable length, you're going to have to do that anyway. (Imagine if you leveled up the same characters through all of the FF games - Yikes! Especially in the later ones!) While I love the mastery system, and think it was unique and VERY well-fitted to the original games' playstyle, abandoning it is a necessary part of eliminating levels, and I accept it as a casualty of that. I'm not sure I particularly like the lack of buildup that comes with the Memento system over the Mastery system, but I suppose it is simply necessary.

As for non-mechanical changes: I like the change of style from "open world" to "different parties." At first, I was skeptical, but upon further thought I realized that it fixed one of the issues with the original MARDEK: you had your primary party (Mardek, Elwyen, Gloria, Meraeador for me), and then the other party members take backstage, only appearing when they're needed for a plot point. It's essentially the same issue as Pokemon, where you've got your starter, your secondary (with an XP share and who is strong against your starter's weaknesses), and then HM slaves brought out when needed (and others to that effect), for an analogy I think fits. Splitting the party will make sure everyone gets camera time, all plots get explored, etc., which (I think) will make Donovan and Sharla better liked, as their comparative combat weakness (being unable to properly exploit elemental type weaknesses) made them unused and therefore unseen. So, ultimately, I like this idea.

I like the change of the plot to character-driven; I think it will make the plot of the game seem more real, and the character parts were the best parts of the original plot.

The new setting seems fine, as its similar enough that it doesn't change the parts I love while being different enough that its interesting. I loved the libraries in the original, so obviously make sure to have a well-developed cosmology again, although I have literally no doubt that that is already done.

Gender-swapping and (protagonist) racial diversity seem like an appropriate update to make if you're rebooting, but I'm still wary of the female Mardek idea - despite my desire for more of the female protagonists you describe, I don't think swapping Mardek's gender really works in this case, mostly for external factors (in particular, the interpersonal dynamics with Deugan and Emela, and possibly to some degree Elwyen, although that plotline could also remain pretty much intact if you want to increase diversity in other ways as well).

The only change you suggested that I DON'T like is changing the name of the game. I feel like the game isn't really about Rohoph; Rohoph is one character among many whom the game is about, and the engine (so to speak) of the main plot. Titling the game after him makes it seem like he plays a bigger role than that, as though HE were the central character in the inter-character dynamics, which (obviously) he isn't (at least right now). Your creative vision, obviously... but personally, I don't think it fits.

And finally: a memento from the old game to start you off in the first game (maybe phrase it as having gone through MARDEK's "other childhood stories" or something like that) would seem appropriate, just to give those who have played the original games a nice transfer-package for doing so (and leaving the old games on the web would allow new players to go back and get it too, so that would work as well).


Not sure how I feel about the new structure yet; I love webcomics, so I think I'd love this, but I'll have to see how it works out. If it ends up being super-intermittent with new games - which it may very well be - then I'd prefer the giant-project-that-may-or-may-not-happen method, but if it DOES work out then I think I'll really enjoy it. And by the way: I DO archive-binge somewhat regularly, thankyouverymuch.


All those comments made: really looking forward to what comes out, whatever it is; I'm a huge fan of the series, and am super-excited for this new generation of MARDEK!
timtoborne
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timtoborne 19 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic ENTP 512 186C
As long as you keep all the characters and their personalities as close to the original as possible, I could not care less how much the plot or gameplay changes. Just please, don't cut characters, I know it sounds stupid, but it really does make me sad when any characters, good or bad are cut. (also, do you think you could add a nostalgia part of the Encylcopedia this time around, that way we can still see our classic cast?)
Onisuzume
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I'd rather you worked on Deliverance.
A far better game by far, imo.

Also, I do not use polls on suspicious sites.
Chessplayer
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Chessplayer 19 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic INFP 925 38C
I have a lot of mixed feelings about the whole thing, to be honest.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE many of the ideas. New Mardek is every bit as adorable as old Mardek, I love the battle system changes (using emotions instead of ideas. Interesting and creative!), and I'm fine with most of the character design changes, (Emela's new meek design? Yes! Those ears look incredible on her! Mereador as a girl? That could totally work!). In fact, the only one I really dislike is Gloria, because she looked a lot prettier in the old MARDEK.

My problem isn't that I hate the new stuff, so much that I love the old stuff, and I don't want to see it go away.

I might be mistaken, but it sounds as if this new MARDEK is designed to replace the "old, messed up, and inferior" MARDEK, and I just don't view the old MARDEK that way, and I wish I could understand why you do. :(

I LOVE the old MARDEK; if I didn't, I wouldn't care at all about the NEW MARDEK. And I don't want something to replace it no matter how good or even how much "better" it is.

Imagine that you adopted a puppy (you're probably not an animal person, but please bear with me). As the years grow by, the puppy grows up and you become attached and form a bond with your loyal companion. Then one day, your dog dies; a tragedy. After a grieving period you visit the animal shelter, and you find another puppy. He looks and acts lot like your first dog, though there are some minor differences. However, you are not over your first puppy yet, so rather than giving this puppy its own name, collar and identity, you simply give it your old dog's name and collar and pretend that this is the same dog that you've always had.

That is essentially what you are asking us to do. You are asking us to forget everything we've come to know and love about MARDEK and accept this new, modified version as the "real" MARDEK and the old one as a failed prototype that should just be ignored... and I just can't do that!

I can accept the changes made to Deugan, but every time I see his new blue uniform, face paint, and shield weapon, I also see the old Deugan with his green tunic and greatsword.

I love the idea with attacking with feelings rather than magic, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy attacking with lighting bolts and earthquakes as well.

Female Mereador looks ADORABLE, but I can't just pretend that she's the same thing as male Mereador, especially when it was Mereador's lack of "masculinity" as the thing that attracted me to him in the first place.

tl;dr I'd love for the new MARDEK to exist, but not if it means the old MARDEK has to die in its place.

I DO have an idea to fix this, if you're interested in hearing it, but I know you don't like people giving you too much advice if you (or anyone else) want to know what it is.
timtoborne
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timtoborne 19 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic ENTP 512 186C
I would like to hear it, personally. If you want, you can PM me, that way we don't bother Pseudo.
Thewooter
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Thewooter 26 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 5w6 123C
I wasn't criticising you (>.<) I have already said that, I support you in this, even if it is going to be a new game. I'm really looking forward to playing it.

The reaction system still seems to be there though! I thought you would have gotten rid of that, but I'm really glad you did not.

Tbh, i thought you would appreciate the fact i keep my short and human as you said you dislike walls of text, and clinical responses...

But those are exactly the people you have on alora fane T^T I'm so confused, please someone explain this to me.

Do I need to learn how to code to not offend you?...you did say that you respect people that are your peers far more than normal people..
Silanine
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Silanine 24 United States ISTJ 6w5 46C
I don't think he was talking about the responses that people have given to this Mardek reboot when he said "scathing criticism", based on what was written there... O_o
Thewooter
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Thewooter 26 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 5w6 123C
He wasn't?

I'm not great at understanding things like that. What do you think he was getting at? :/

BrokenGrace
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BrokenGrace 18 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic ISFP 545 2C
To take directly from the post: "so much scathing criticism in response to changes and new ideas in the past."

Emphasis on the past.

Personally I love the changes being made, I am a bit upset there won't be some sort of bonus for having played the originals, like a code that is randomly generated at the end of the last game or something and can only be earned by having played one of them and it gives you a special "memento" (I think that is what they are called, not too sure, I've been following all this to the best of my ability.)

Anyway thanks for reading, and I apologize if the grammar on this isn't too great, I'm bad at conveying what I mean in the form of text.
Silanine
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Silanine 24 United States ISTJ 6w5 46C
Well, basically what I gather is that memories of the old criticisms are raising a bit of concern that this newer project might also get some judgement from people... And that's what the poll is for. I'm not sure what else, if anything, might be easter-egged in there, though. o_o

And also, of course, the poll is to see if people are interested in the new Mardek. So I guess I kind of got the impression that it was both of those things.
Thewooter
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Thewooter 26 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 5w6 123C
Right... I guess I just misunderstood how wolf was feeling. He does tend to look backward quite allot. I guess looking at a mind that both focuses on the immediate and the past all at once, if hard for a mind like mine that only focuses on the immediate or recent past.

Thank you for your input, it helped me understand a different mindset just that little bit better. ^-^
timtoborne
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timtoborne 19 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic ENTP 512 186C
Need Classic Mardek Characters as secret bosses, and replayable boss rush. (also would be cool if they kept their design while they fight you)
Captain Hubris
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As a fellow artist, I am totally with you on this. I would hate for you to keep doing it the old way just to cater to others' nostalgia. For me, what has drawn me to your games, is that they feel more real to me because they were a labor of love, and that means they contain a bit of you. Losing that to suit others would just be folly IMHO.
BunnyHop
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BunnyHop 27 India MelancholicPhlegmatic INTJ 1w9 36C
I think you should put up any game you like. It's you're game and we want to play!
KingCrimson
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I, for one, do not like the reboot. The new characters don't look real. They look too imaginary and dumbed down. They're not the realistic and 'gritty' characters they used to be. I don't think they fit in the universe.
You should continue with the series without making any changes like these. The first three chapters are already perfect. It's nothing but risky to tamper with it, and I don't see how you can gain anything on this.

But that's my cup of tea.