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  • Exalted needs a Revamp

    I pop in here every so often to check up on Exalted Essence and remind people how great Nocturnals are, and I was just struck with the realization when reading all the Essence comments:

    Exalted needs a full, head to toe revamp. I think OPP just needs to bite the bullet and halt 3e, take a step back, and redesign everything from the ground up.


    The game has become so large and sprawling in concept that it's become an unmanageable beast to tame. Even peeking at Exalted: Essence, it looks like even that slimming down will still be a huge beast of a system.

    And this results in problems, like the timeline of the books being way too spaced out to be sustainable--not an attack on the writers, it's just that the system and setting itself. Wikipedia List of Exalted Publications According to that we are already in the mid-life to end-of-life phase of 3e, and there's only the Core and Dragonbloods officially, fully released. (Lunars basically, but not officially?)


    You just can't have a system that promises all of these at once, and not have publication troubles:
    • Highly involved mechanics
    • Highly broad mechanics--ranging from combat to social to naval combat to long term plans....etc.
    • Personalized character types (Exalts)
    • ...that can also do anything and anything that they want.
    It's just too much for anyone to take on, especially for a studio that isn't the behemoth DnD.

    I think OPP needs to take a step back, look at WHAT they are trying to accomplish with Exalted, why, what fits where, and be willing to sacrifice and edit down even beloved things.

    From my view, Exalted has always been about mortals being given powers beyond their comprehension, and the morality tale that follows from that. For me, here is how I would handle it. (Yes, it is similar to how Exalted: Essence is currently being listed as.)
    • The Core book would have a stripped down list of Abilities, and would contain the core 5 exalts: Solars, Lunars, Dragon-blooded, Sidereals, and Abyssals.
    • The book is more along the lines of the "build your own Exalt", with the core 5 being examples of that. There are General charms everyone can take, and then there are highly-specific ones for each exalt.
    • "Fat Splat" books would come in one of two flavors:
      • A themed set of Abilities. "This is the High Seas book (contains sailing, naval, etc. Charms)" "This is the deep political intrigue book". "This is the artifacts and evocations book, including crafting"
      • A non-core Exalt splat that catches them up to the current publication.
    • "Martial Arts" is incorporated fully. These techniques are simply how you do combat in the system: choose how you would like to do it. Streamlines everything.
    Other changes I would make, as an example of looking at anything and everything with a critical, editing eye:
    • Sorcery/Necromancy. Is it needed? What is the goal with these things? what are their place? How do you keep Sorcery from being "anything you want" and Necromancy from being "Evil sorcery"?
    • Scale back the overpowering dominant reach of the Realm. They can still be the largest power in the world, but there's only so many times you can play with the theme of "I'm being hunted for who I am..." Add space for new political powers in the world.
    • Just state that the Scarlet Empress is dead, murdered by an "anathema". (At least, that is the public story, it should be very ambiguous...)
    • Move the Sidereals out of Yu-Shan, so they become a bit more integrated with other players. Maybe into a sort of "halfway house" between Yu-shan and Creation.
    • Abyssals need to be redone. Remove the link to Solars, make them their own thing.

  • #2
    There are a lot of fascinating ideas offered here. I only have time to properly respond to one at this time.

    Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post
    • A themed set of Abilities. "This is the High Seas book (contains sailing, naval, etc. Charms)" "This is the deep political intrigue book". "This is the artifacts and evocations book, including crafting"
    I find this to be an intriguing idea to follow.

    The various systems of Exalted have always been so huge. It's an elephant to eat.

    I hate chopping mechanics up too much, but perhaps this is the way to cut this elephant up to consume it. Different books for different interests.

    I am curious if the Players who want to add a focused mechanic would invest in it & take some of the burden off the ST. Then the ST can focus of more widely used mechanics. Have you had a chance of checking out the newly released
    __________________________________________________ _____________________________________________

    Oh! Dragonmystic. Have you had a chance of checking out the newly released Manual of Exalted Powers: Eternals? The launch post can be found here.

    Given your amazing work with Nocturnals, I'd love to hear your take.
    Last edited by Daredevil; 06-20-2020, 01:46 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post
      According to that we are already in the mid-life to end-of-life phase of 3e
      [citation needed]


      Ian A. A. Watson
      Onyx Path Community Manager
      Trinity Continuum Content Lead

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Daredevil View Post
        There are a lot of fascinating ideas offered here. I only have time to properly respond to one at this time.



        I find this to be an intriguing idea to follow.

        The various systems of Exalted have always been so huge. It's an elephant to eat.

        I hate chopping mechanics up too much, but perhaps this is the way to cut this elephant up to consume it. Different books for different interests.

        I am curious if the Players who want to add a focused mechanic would invest in it & take some of the burden off the ST. Then the ST can focus of more widely used mechanics. Have you had a chance of checking out the newly released
        __________________________________________________ _____________________________________________

        Oh! Dragonmystic. Have you had a chance of checking out the newly released Manual of Exalted Powers: Eternals? The launch post can be found here.

        Given your amazing work with Nocturnals, I'd love to hear your take.
        I think modularity is the best way to handle such a beast as this. And making "modding"/homebrew easier.

        I feel I need to remind that I didn't write Nocturnals. I just promote it and did some editing. As for the Eternals, I dunno. I wanted to take a look at them but I don't feel right paying for a product for an ended edition, for a product I don't know the quality of. It seems it could be interesting?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by IanWatson View Post

          [citation needed]
          I....did. Literally linked to the wikipedia page of books and their time. Previous editions have been about 6-8 years according to it, and we're well into that with 3e.

          Point is 3e is well behind on its release schedule, as everyone knows that, no need to keep harping on it. I just think it's an inherint problem with thr core of Exalted and should be addressed, rather than continue with zombie production.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post

            I....did. Literally linked to the wikipedia page of books and their time. Previous editions have been about 6-8 years according to it, and we're well into that with 3e.

            Point is 3e is well behind on its release schedule, as everyone knows that, no need to keep harping on it. I just think it's an inherint problem with thr core of Exalted and should be addressed, rather than continue with zombie production.

            [further citation needed]

            Seriously, we know exactly what the problem was. It was a bad start and a poor director that was fired. Exalted 3E didn't even really start until What Fire Has Wrought came out, and we also have a rules-lite version coming out soon too.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post
              Previous editions have been about 6-8 years according to it
              Why do you think that was?


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post

                I....did. Literally linked to the wikipedia page of books and their time. Previous editions have been about 6-8 years according to it, and we're well into that with 3e.

                I think "the number of releases" and "which fatsplats" are a much better metric for where we are in the life of a line than how much time has passed, especially considering the vast differences between the way production worked at White Wolf for 1e and 2e vs how production works now.


                Ian A. A. Watson
                Onyx Path Community Manager
                Trinity Continuum Content Lead

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by IanWatson View Post


                  I think "the number of releases" and "which fatsplats" are a much better metric for where we are in the life of a line than how much time has passed, especially considering the vast differences between the way production worked at White Wolf for 1e and 2e vs how production works now.


                  Look, even if we extrapolate out just from the Fatsplat release schedule so far, it's like... a Fatsplat every 1.5 years. Maybe every 1 year. That means that just to get what was promised delivered, we're looking at anywhere from 2027 to 2031. That's a long time! No schedule slip, no nothing. No new ideas. Just to deliver on what was promised.

                  I have no proof that there will be any accelleration of release schedule. Frankly, the opposite is always what happens. What happens if developers find a new job and you have to bring someone onboard?

                  I find this schedule unacceptable, and it's why I've pretty much tuned out of Exalted and consider it to be a Zombie line. Which is a shame, because I do like the lore and idea of Exalted, just not the execution.

                  Considering how I don't like 3e's mechanics anyway, that leads me to the question: Why not just bite the bullet and start over? Take what you learned from 3e and Exalted Essence, make a more focused product. And here are my suggestions on how you can do it. *points up to original post*

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post
                    I....did. Literally linked to the wikipedia page of books and their time. Previous editions have been about 6-8 years according to it, and we're well into that with 3e.
                    That makes the rather large assumption that Ex3's lifecycle is going to resemble 2e/1e's. Given that the RPG market, the publishing company, and probably the fanbase is significantly different for 3e, I don't think we can assume that at all. For one thing, the model of "one Exalt splatbook per year (two in years with a "minor" splat like Getimians and Liminals)" dates back to quite early in Ex3's history - I believe that as the proposed timeline came out something like a year or so after the corebook was Kickstartered? - I'd say it's clear that the relatively fast development cycle of 1e/2e was basically never planned for 3e. Now, that schedule has still slipped somewhat, it's true. But nowhere near what it would be if the plan was always to produce Ex3 in the same timeframe as 1e/2e. The plan has always been, so far as I can tell from an outside perspective, to produce books on a slower timeline, but with more consistent writing quality, both in setting details and mechanical balance, and to have better overall editing and supervision of the line. I, for one, think that's a pretty reasonable goal, and really don't want to see a reversion to the 1e or especially 2e style of book production.

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                    • #11
                      I don't think, if you're afraid that Exalted 3E will fail after 6 years and it's already 4 years in, a good solution is to give up immediately and start over.

                      That seems like just a way to ensure that it fails now. It makes a lot more sense to wait 2 years for it to actually fail and then start over after having learned from the failure.

                      It's only 2 more years, and a lot of the books scheduled for the next 2 years have had significant work done already.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post

                        I find this schedule unacceptable
                        Ok dude.

                        Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post

                        Considering how I don't like 3e's mechanics anyway, that leads me to the question: Why not just bite the bullet and start over?
                        Because you're just one guy with an opinion.

                        Because other people do like 3e's mechanics and general execution.

                        Because the devs aren't interested in doing that.

                        Because there's no real reason to think any significant number of existing exalted fans or possible future exalted fans would be more interested in a 4th edition than they are in 3e or Exalted: Essence.

                        etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
                          I don't think, if you're afraid that Exalted 3E will fail after 6 years and it's already 4 years in, a good solution is to give up immediately and start over.

                          That seems like just a way to ensure that it fails now. It makes a lot more sense to wait 2 years for it to actually fail and then start over after having learned from the failure.

                          It's only 2 more years, and a lot of the books scheduled for the next 2 years have had significant work done already.
                          In my mind Exalted 3rd Edition has already failed.

                          It's a zombie product.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post
                            Because you're just one guy with an opinion.

                            What a shocker me, as a person, is posting my opinion. It's almost as if that's the dictionary definition of a forum or something.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post


                              What a shocker me, as a person, is posting my opinion. It's almost as if that's the dictionary definition of a forum or something.
                              Pretty much the only real reason you've given for starting over is that you don't like the way exalted currently works, pointing out thats a terrible reason reboot a gameline is an adequate response.

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