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  • #76
    Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
    Some people may not like the way he tackled Ex2, but he was dealing with the system as it was, not writing the system from the ground up. His work remains some of the most well-written and inspiring material Exalted has ever seen. Compare Infernals on any level to Ex3 and you will see the difference. His work is more evocative, more precise and clear, all with fewer words. I say this as someone who isn't even a big Infernals fan. If someone doesn't happen to like Ex2's direction, that's fine, but don't criticize an author for writing the game he was given.
    Neph did do quality mechanics and very evocative writing but...he had some very strongly held personal beliefs and philosophies that he was determined to work into the setting, that I would really rather not see in Exalted again. I have always wished we would have seen the post-Exalted project he was working on called Grimwatch, though.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Hark View Post
      If you refer specifically to mirror charms, that was an experiment in providing appropriate charms while minimizing word count. It didn't make Abyssals any worse off than Solars, it was just a boring approach to writing.
      The mirror charms as executed were highly impractical. Copy paste would have been preferable to needing to look up two separate books to get the full effect of one charm. But that's my only beef with the abyssal's book, really. I dig what the resonance rules tried to do, and I dig the 'dark mirror' idea behind the charms. I just wanted to be referred to one less book for all the info.



      I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Totentanz View Post

        I see a whole lot of blame-shifting here that doesn't parse. If John and Holden are writing AND deving, the only roadblock to production of that content is OPP. Fortunately, OPP has been doing a bang-up job on producing finished content of late. Additionally, the MMM have shown several Exalted projects languishing in 2nd Draft for some time now. Regardless of how much they wrote, it's pretty clear they weren't producing the necessary content to move the line forward at a quality level that satisfied OPP, where other writers/developers have shown themselves able to do that. We have a multitude of examples of OPP moving PDF-only products from development through layout and onto drivethru in a matter of weeks/months. Clearly that didn't happen.

        In terms of blaming the writers, which mysterious writers get to shoulder the delays, if not John, Holden, and yourself? I doubt it's Minton and Vance, given that OPP just entrusted them with the line, and they have produced more content (in the form of a preview) than Exalted has seen in nearly a year.. If writers get paid when they produce, and they weren't producing, John and Holden had plenty of opportunity to reassign tasks to those who did produce.

        I don't say this to rag on John, Holden, or yourself. However, as long as these conversations have been going on, your posts do some combination of attacking people for being upset, justify any and all possible problems, and shift blame to others. None of that really holds water at this point. There are too many months of silence, too much condescension when the silence breaks, and too much non-delivery.
        ...why on earth do you think I exclude anyone from 'sometimes drafts suck'? Like, seriously, we all suck sometimes. That's why they are drafts*. Like the time I forgot a whole damn section of the outline in my write up and had to redraft my entire section to fit a really really crucial section into it. If someone read that draft it sure would have sucked because it didn't address Outcastes. That's not even addressing any specific quirks about my writing and grammar that come from having a vastly different educational and writing background to the rest of the team, and working in British English.

        And *shrug* I am kinda confrontational right now, yeah. I make so secret about my bias, my friendship with the Devs, and my experience with the project. It doesn't mesh with yours, for a multitude of reasons, from the differences in bias to the very very different level of insight we have into the project as a whole.

        *Holden has some of the cleanest drafts I have read in my time, but that comes at a cost too. I draft messy, and nonlinear, so even trying to match both of us on a timeline/schedule is difficult.


        ". ... for me, the transformative power of art is you are not above the material." -= Guillermo del Toro

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Lucy Darling
          I make so secret about my bias, my friendship with the Devs, and my experience with the project.
          I accept this.

          Originally posted by Totentanz
          There are too many months of silence, too much condescension when the silence breaks, and too much non-delivery.

          But this is what matters.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by Anasurimbor View Post
            While he may have done a lot of good stuff, I understand that he was also responsible for 2e Abyssals being so punishingly unfun.
            Sort of. Neph could sometimes get carried away with how cool a design was and lose sight of the bigger picture of how it would play over the course of many games and the entire gameline. However, you have to remember: Considering that was never supposed to be his job. He was a writer, not a developer; it should have been Chambers who was taking what Neph wrote, filing off the rough edges to fit it into a larger vision of Exalted, and generally giving him useful direction.

            Chambers didn't really do that, which was part of the reason 2e was so incoherent at times. Neph was one of the best writers in the edition because he was able to put together a coherent and compelling vision capable of standing on its own in the scope of a single charmset, even with no reliable backup from the rest of the book or the rest of the line, but he wasn't supposed to have to do that. I don't think there's any writer out there who could produce a perfect design with no guidance and virtually no larger editorial oversight on their first pass, but Neph came a lot closer than anyone had any right to expect and, unfortunately, his first pass was often the last one (absent whatever testing and revisions he could manage among a group of like-minded friends and writers) because, again, Chambers wasn't providing any real direction. Many of the problems in Abyssals (and, later, Infernals) were because they had to be written "defensively", with lots of broad sweeping statements, because he knew that if he didn't do that another writer could just step in and scrawl different things all over it without considering his larger design.

            Basically, for almost all of 2e, the writers were doing a high-wire act without a net; Neph was one of the few who managed to avoid splattering all over the floor. Compared to (say) Sidereals, 2e Abyssals was golden.

            Also remember that Abyssals was greeted pretty well when it first came out. People only started to really look in askance at it after Infernals came out, which meant that many of its flaws were only made obvious by Neph outdoing it elsewhere.
            Last edited by Aquillion; 04-06-2017, 05:32 AM.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Hark View Post
              I suspect that Neph avoided writing Abyssals material. He was pretty open about writing to his mood, Infernals got cool stuff when he was feeling crazy, and he wrote Abyssals material when he was feeling suicidal.
              That... doesn't strike me as a particularly healthy approach to working on elfgames.


              I made dis

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              • #82
                He'd have felt crazy or suicidal regardless of whether he wrote or not; he might as well draw a check from it.


                Come and rock me Amadeus.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post

                  That... doesn't strike me as a particularly healthy approach to working on elfgames.
                  One could see it as therapeutic.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Lucy Darling View Post

                    ...why on earth do you think I exclude anyone from 'sometimes drafts suck'? Like, seriously, we all suck sometimes. That's why they are drafts*. Like the time I forgot a whole damn section of the outline in my write up and had to redraft my entire section to fit a really really crucial section into it. If someone read that draft it sure would have sucked because it didn't address Outcastes. That's not even addressing any specific quirks about my writing and grammar that come from having a vastly different educational and writing background to the rest of the team, and working in British English.
                    .
                    You're right. All writers suck sometimes. I'm a writer; sometimes I'm completely disgusted with my material. Some days I write bad code at my day job, and then I have to fix it or rewrite it. I'm still expected to make (most) of my deadlines, and to communicate when things aren't going as planned, AND to make up for it.

                    If I can't do that, then I have to find another way to earn money and feed my cat.

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                    • #85
                      Can this not turn into another "shitting on the devs & writers" thread, please?

                      It's real easy to pick out what they could have done differently with the benefit of hindsight and without fully knowing their circumstances. They've already paid for it by being called liars and cheats for 3 years while not getting paid.

                      Enough.


                      Jade-Screened Exalted Finding the Path
                      Need a dice-roller? Check out Dicemat.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Totentanz View Post

                        You're right. All writers suck sometimes. I'm a writer; sometimes I'm completely disgusted with my material. Some days I write bad code at my day job, and then I have to fix it or rewrite it. I'm still expected to make (most) of my deadlines, and to communicate when things aren't going as planned, AND to make up for it.

                        If I can't do that, then I have to find another way to earn money and feed my cat.

                        To be fair, just because they weren't communicating about their deadlines with us doesn't mean they weren't with OPP. They were obligated to communicate with OPP, not the consumer. That's OPPs responsibility (which they might or might not have delegated to Holden and John). I'm not going to pretend to have any insight into the situation and prefer not to take sides.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Fata-Ku View Post
                          Can this not turn into another "shitting on the devs & writers" thread, please?
                          I'm pretty happy with turning this into a "Neph was/is awesome" thread.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Hark View Post
                            I'm pretty happy with turning this into a "Neph was/is awesome" thread.
                            Lurking in this thread I've realized: I don't actually know what Neph wrote, aside from vague notions of "something in Infernals and something in Abyssals".


                            Jade-Screened Exalted Finding the Path
                            Need a dice-roller? Check out Dicemat.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Fata-Ku View Post
                              Lurking in this thread I've realized: I don't actually know what Neph wrote, aside from vague notions of "something in Infernals and something in Abyssals".
                              A lot is the short answer.

                              Off the top of my head that I know for certain.

                              Social Combat
                              Abyssal Charms
                              Parts of Wonders of the Lost Age
                              Ebon Dragon Stats
                              Created Ink Monkeys
                              Broken Winged Crane
                              1000 Correct Actions
                              Under the Rose
                              Infernals
                              Alchemicals
                              Dragon Blooded Charms in Dreams of the First Age
                              Creation-Ruling Mandate
                              Stats for the Incarnae
                              Bunch of Errata

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Fata-Ku View Post
                                Lurking in this thread I've realized: I don't actually know what Neph wrote, aside from vague notions of "something in Infernals and something in Abyssals".
                                This is off the top of my head, so I might get something wrong, but I remember the following: 2e core system, artifacts in Wonders of the Lost Age, Abyssal Charmset, Infernal Charmset, Incarnae statblocks in Glories... I think he also co-wrote Alchemical Charms with Holden.

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