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The Gulf in IC and OOC Knowledge -- Templar One

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Kybernetes Moros
Itsukame-Zainou Hyperspatial Inquiries Ltd.
Arataka Research Consortium
#1 - 2012-01-19 16:49:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Kybernetes Moros
Much as I hesitate to add yet another Templar One thread to the mix, this is a theme that does concern me somewhat -- and, don't worry, has nothing to do with the book's sweeping errors in EVE continuity. :P

One of my biggest gripes with EVE's PF from the start is the sheer volume of storyline-centric material that is revealed through vectors such as chronicles and novels: material that there is absolutely no way for our characters to know, essentially. In moderation, this is not any great issue; after all, it adds some depth to the universe, even if there is no place for it in actual roleplay. When a lot of such material has something related that our capsuleer characters would know, and it has been said that work will be done to narrow the gap between IC and OOC knowledge, it's no serious bother.

However, I can't help but feel that negative progress has been made here with the release of Templar One. A fairly sizeable chunk was revealed about the Sleepers, Jovians, DUST soldiers, and so on and so forth... almost none of which is available in any form to our characters. It seems to undermine any in-character speculation to be had on these topics when someone can come along quite readily, point at the book, and say "This is a pointless exercise: we as players already know what happened", in short -- particularly relevant to efforts such as Arek'jaalan. I was under the impression that such revelations were to come as a result of in-character work and progress on that front, but the content of Templar One

For the sake of keeping this post fairly concise, I think the long and short of this post would be "Has the aim of bringing IC knowledge more in line with what we, the players, know OOC been abandoned or put to one side, or is it just a matter of getting to the job after so much has been revealed with Templar One, alongside other tasks that need doing?".
Deviana Sevidon
Jades Falcon Guards
#2 - 2012-01-19 19:50:14 UTC
As interesting as the info in the book is, practically everything would be forbidden knowledge IC, at the very least until Dust514 is released. None of the empires has any interest in making the events in the A***** system and the first appearance of immortal soldiers known. If it would be public knowledge then the monumental clusterfuck in said system would be ingame news for weeks.

This goes even more for the info about Jove and Sleepers. I don't think any of this is ready to be IC knowledge in a foreseeable future.

....as if 10,058 Goon voices cried out and were suddenly silenced.

Kybernetes Moros
Itsukame-Zainou Hyperspatial Inquiries Ltd.
Arataka Research Consortium
#3 - 2012-01-19 21:51:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Kybernetes Moros
You missed the point, or I didn't make it clearly enough.

Intermittently in the past, CCP have stated themselves to be working towards narrowing this discrepancy between IC and OOC knowledge, whereas the material in Templar One, for the most part, widens it tremendously. I am wondering if this is just an unfortunate consequence of time being spread thin across the content teams, or something else.

Is that clearer? I wasn't saying that the intricacies of some things were meant to be IC knowledge -- although some of it being anything but is awkward in itself (the Amamake conflict being notable for that -- to disguise an in-space battle of such scale in so notorious a system is a ridiculous idea). Honestly, I'd be more inclined to have the only information out there available IC and have none of the chronicles such as Anoikis / The Vitrauze Project and what what said in Templar One, but that might just be a personal preference of mine.
Graelyn
Reikoku
PURPLE HELMETED WARRIORS
#4 - 2012-01-21 09:14:15 UTC
Yeah, we pretty much have to ignore the novels completely.

This can be a good thing if you're short on cash. You don't bother reading any of them, and absolutely nothing changes as a result.

I have no idea why this was considered a good idea, but folks were paid good money to expand the IP away from the game for some reason.

I sure as hell hope CCP doesn't take this approach with World of Darkness. Those guys get kinda pissed when you try to make the universe about something that they can never touch (Us EVE folks are rather used to it by now).



Cardinal Graelyn

Amarr Loyalist of the Year - YC113

Daniel L'Siata
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#5 - 2012-01-25 05:35:38 UTC
It's a pain in the ass because in a large way, it undermined a good few characters I know of, mine and Eva's among them.

It really is a bit of a problem.
Myrhial Arkenath
Perkone
Caldari State
#6 - 2012-01-29 20:20:44 UTC
Daniel L'Siata wrote:
It's a pain in the ass because in a large way, it undermined a good few characters I know of, mine and Eva's among them.

It really is a bit of a problem.


Can you explain? Because it sounds like something blatantly obvious yet I don't see it.

CEO of Ghost Festival :: Executor of Naraka.

Roga Dracor
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
#7 - 2012-02-16 16:47:22 UTC
Myrhial Arkenath wrote:

Can you explain? Because it sounds like something blatantly obvious yet I don't see it.


I have seen this sentiment expressed quite often, and, yet, I don't understand it, either..

I have been more invested in RL than EVE, of late, so I find myself out of sorts around here.. Templar One destroyed RP in EVE? How is this possible? Where you are now, has little inluence on where your ancestors were.

In "real life" there are people who believe the moon landing was staged. We may never know the "truth". Some people believe a "higher power" is the impetus for the entire universe, it has yet to be definitively proven. Muck Raker has been hailed as a five star journalist, because, inquiring minds want to know.

Plenty of rumour mills to choose from, don't expect to get your news from the Empires' media, or you'll be bombarded by praise for has been, drug addicted entertainers with little bearing on current events, short of their typical, explosive self destruction..

It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then, and it's a poor sort of memory that only works backward.

Jowen Datloran
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#8 - 2012-02-16 18:24:27 UTC  |  Edited by: Jowen Datloran
It is quite simply, Roga. Most of us are only "light" roleplayers or more concentrated on feeling immersed in the EVE setting than trying out our amateur acting skills.

As such we care about a general level of consistency and historical logic or it becomes too difficult to follow the setting. I will point here to the large number of people who felt (and still do) annoyed by the appearance of a capsule on the balcony in the Captain Quarters.

But the most annoyance comes when you generally do not put much differentiation between yourself and your avatar but are constantly being told from various Prime Fiction sources about magnificent and background revealing events that in no logical or consistent way can be transferred to knowledge that your avatar posses. As such there is a forced split between you and your avatar and that element of immersion is lost.

Essentially; I am not a good enough roleplayer to play a character that posses vastly inferior knowledge on events I, as a person, find interesting. And I have no interest in doing that either, by the way.

Mr. Science & Trade Institute, EVE Online Lorebook 

Roga Dracor
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
#9 - 2012-02-17 04:33:53 UTC  |  Edited by: Roga Dracor
In all deference to you, Jowen, I do respect you and quite a few other role players for their perseverence and contributions. Though my attitude often belies this fact. I am a disagreeable person.. =)

But, I personally thought that is what Arek Jaalan was for? Taking chrons and transferring the info into IC news feeds, etc.. Why else the media dissemination within AJ? With all the good, prolific writers, such should be well under way..

:shrugs:


i am not in the know as far as AJ, though.. Perhaps someone could give me an overview of the last couple months..? Did it implode?

Seems to me the chrons are cannon, so, find creative ways to open them into the game.. Expose's by media, leaked documents, etc.. YOU know, so in effect, SOMEONE knows, share that knowledge in a creative believable way..

It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then, and it's a poor sort of memory that only works backward.

Jowen Datloran
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#10 - 2012-02-17 11:59:57 UTC
True, that is what Arek'Jaalan is/was trying to achieve and I feel I have personally contributed significantly in that regard, but we are facing issues. Particularly the two I mentioned earlier; consistency and logic.

In the case of failing logic and knowledge of event provided through chronicles and the novels we can take the war between the Caldari and Gallente. Anybody who reads The Empyrean Age (or go to the Fiction Portal) will learn that everything was a setup created by the Broker. While maybe weakened, the Broker possesses the ability to kill at will and is highly secretive about his existence. Now, how can we in any logical and meaningful way explain that each and every capsuleer knows about his existence anyhow? Puzzling, as if you read Templar One it will even be outright stated that practically nobody knows about the Broker. Further, if it is common knowledge that the war is a setup why are the factions fighting then? Sure we could come up with some explanation that they simply fight because they can. And while that is the objective truth for Factional Warfare I think you will find many of its participants who enjoy the feeling that the war is in some way justified and integrated in the EVE lore and not just done for **** and giggles. This is the feeling of immersion by the way.

Another recent case of strict OOC knowledge was presented in the chronicle Breathing Space where once again you, as a player, get informed about interesting events and development in the EVE backstory (that new tech 2 modules are of Sleeper origin), but is also told "This information was so well protected that for all we know there are less than ten people in the entire cluster who are aware of it." So even our own Dropbear adds to this divide.Straight

For our A’J contributions to work we need clearly know which of our sources are OOC and which are IC to be able to bring up theories and ideas that can bridge the two. We also need consistency in the Prime Fiction so assumptions and findings can be build upon. Sadly, neither Templar One nor the Fiction Portal is helping in that regard. In fact they work against it by mixing OOC and IC knowledge at random and by preferring to rework old Prime Fiction to fit whatever "amazing" new story they made up today than the other way around.

The result is that we lose the engagement from the few players that actually spend the time to know the EVE lore so well that they are capable of create credible theories and lessen the gap, like Kaito. A darn shame, if you ask me.Sad

My current stance on EVE fiction is that it is something that is best consumed if you know as little about the setting as possible. Trying to be a contributor is pointless, so I will just be a consumer now like the rest of you now.Ugh

Mr. Science & Trade Institute, EVE Online Lorebook 

Senn Typhos
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#11 - 2012-02-18 15:32:11 UTC
Roga Dracor wrote:
Myrhial Arkenath wrote:

Can you explain? Because it sounds like something blatantly obvious yet I don't see it.


I have seen this sentiment expressed quite often, and, yet, I don't understand it, either..

I have been more invested in RL than EVE, of late, so I find myself out of sorts around here.. Templar One destroyed RP in EVE? How is this possible? Where you are now, has little inluence on where your ancestors were.


I don't think the complaint is that it destroyed RP. What it destroyed, potentially, is a person's given character.

Case in point, remember the backlash for Amarrian RPers when TEA arrived on the scene. Suddenly, anyone who was loyal to the Empire because of religious fervor wasn't a person of honorable service. Now, they're idiots for following the command of upper echelons that don't even believe in God.

With Templar One, consider the fate of someone who was loyal to Ishukone in-character, and now is faced with Ishukone's betrayal of the State and the banning of Ishukone citizens from the STI.

If something in the books changes a fact you've used as a foundation for your character, it screws up your profile and you have to retcon, rewrite, or otherwise adapt.
FeralShadow
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#12 - 2012-02-22 23:04:30 UTC
Such is the problem with deep RP I suppose.

One of the bitter points of a good bittervet is the realisation that all those SP don't really do much, and that the newbie is having much more fun with what little he has. - Tippia

Zaxix
A Blessed Bean
Pandemic Horde
#13 - 2012-02-24 21:05:46 UTC
I'm not sure I see how the novels are a problem. I confess I've never read them and am unlikely to do so. However, since they're books in RL and fiction needs to be written from at least one character's perspective, OOC knowledge is unavoidable. The information given (like the existence of this Broker person) isn't actionable in any meaningful gameplay way.

In cases where game information leads to issues with character backstory, it seems, well, like life. Stuff happens and we react to it. We spend time working with or for someone we admire highly only to learn they're a charlatan and then deal with the fallout. We feel betrayed. We feel like fools for having believed them. The causes we worked on with them are undermined or their credibility damaged. That's life. If you're looking for RP opportunities, I can't think of better ones than those thrust upon us by an indifferent universe.

Bokononist

 

Esna Pitoojee
Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque
Khimi Harar
#14 - 2012-02-24 23:16:26 UTC
Going to break down what I see as the major reasons people have issue with the IC/OOC knowledge gulf, hopefully making it a bit less confusing to understand.

1. I can't help what I know as a player affecting how my character acts.

This is a big one I see a lot. To provide an example, "If the novel tells me that the Leader X is going to ascend to power, I can't help but have my character try to buddy up to him, because I don't want to loose out on that. This damages my RP, because something my character cannot know is affecting my RP."

2. I am not interested in investigating something when all the answers are provided automatically.

This swings a lot more heavily into the RPG element of things, but the general gist of things is that for some people, the mystery is the game. In a universe as vast as EVE's, with lots of disappeared races and shadowy background actors, this is/was quite common. But oops, then the book comes through and drops all the answers in your face.

3. I don't want my character to be set up for a fall.

Touches on #1 a bit, but this has more to do with player preferences. As Zaxix said, in real life you can find your hopes in your favorite figure crushed due to some revelation. However, this being a game and something people play for amusement, some people aren't that interested in having their characters dropped off a cliff and many potential months or years of work destroyed. This becomes all the more painful if you can see an upcoming disaster for your character, but don't want to act on it because of point #1.

4. Even if I keep from acting on OOC knowledge, other people will act like their characters immediately knew about it.

EVE being Online, there are always people who are unaware of the IC/OOC distinction at best and who want to play an all-knowing "spy god" at best. Regardless, however, putting in such a massive gulf practically guarantees that someone is eventually going to leap across it for some reason and thus cause problems for the rest of the community. Naturally if they're merely unaware of what is or is not known, it's just a matter of informing them - but then we have to wonder, couldn't this all have been done somehow that didn't require such constant explenation?
Zaxix
A Blessed Bean
Pandemic Horde
#15 - 2012-02-25 19:25:00 UTC
I don't want to seem as though I'm engaging in a debate where someone is right or wrong, but this seems as good as time as any to express my personal views on a point by point basis:

Esna Pitoojee wrote:
1. I can't help what I know as a player affecting how my character acts.

If you can't stay in character, it sounds like RP is not what you're really interested in. You want to be on the winning team, regardless of RP constraints. If you can't help yourself, that's the real you. The RP character isn't the one who can't resist. Perhaps it would be best to simply not read the novels.

Esna Pitoojee wrote:
2. I am not interested in investigating something when all the answers are provided automatically.

An interesting and certainly valid point. The question here is, does the rest of the EVE population have to wait until you're done with your exploring? What if you aren't even close? What if everyone who was interested in figuring out these myseteries has, except you? Can they move on to the next item on the list? Perhaps it would be best to simply not read the novels.

Esna Pitoojee wrote:
3. I don't want my character to be set up for a fall.


This brings us back to RP constraints. If you've built a story for yourself that is propped on some major element of the EVE backstory and then that thing is destroyed in a war (or whatever) in the novels, why wouldn't you roll with that? How does that destroy your hard work? It's just the next chapter in your character's life. Life goes on. If you're involved with RP or anything in EVE really, life should happen TO you; no one else in EVE gets to decide what happens to them, it just happens. Then you pick up the pieces.

Esna Pitoojee wrote:
4. Even if I keep from acting on OOC knowledge, other people will act like their characters immediately knew about it.

This brings us back to RP constraints AGAIN. It sounds a lot like there are RP people out there who aren't really interested in RP. They're interested in writing their own story into EVE and the chief editor keeps revising the manuscript before they can finish their story. There's nothing wrong with that, but you'd be better served writing your story in such a way that it isn't utterly dependent on the main eve backstory.

Back when I played D&D (eons ago), we had a running joke about every character being related in some way to the noble families of our particular campaign. People just couldn't help themselves but write up a backstory for their character that made them a son or cousin or related minor noble. No one was ever the son of the cobbler or the daughter of a chambermaid. Occasionally the DM would smack us around for this by having things happen only to those related to royal families and nobility. E.G. the King has decided to purge titles and seize assets of all nobility and hand them back out on whatever terms he chooses to negotiate. It didn't take long for people to build better back stories. Its a problem that often crops up in long running t.v. shows and comic book series. Somehow everyone is related or gets married or whatever.

If you tie your story to highest 'levels' of the EVE storyline, you'd better be ready and willing to accept change, because that's the level at which the books will be written. If you want to get away from that, build a back story built at a lower 'level.' Rather than be the first born son of the ruler of Khanid, be the first born son of some virtually unknown land/slave holder who does things their own way. You can parallel the main storyline by adopting the attitudes and aspirations of the central figures of the eve back story and when those people's attitudes or situations change, decide if you're going along or not. If not, no harm, no foul. Now you're the with the family who's different. Do the people in the central storyline care? Who knows? You decide. It won't hurt the central storyline since there is zero chance of the books writing your storyline into the novel.

I guess what I understand least about this general topic is: what is it you want CCP to do? Stop writing novels? Consult you first? In most cases it sounds like all that needs to be done is not read the novels. In the others, stop anchoring your storyline to things at the highest level of the core backstory. In all cases it sounds like maybe the issues and concerns are based on an inability or unwillingness to truly RP.

Bokononist

 

Deceiver's Voice
Molok Subclade
#16 - 2012-02-26 06:00:37 UTC
There is a metaplot to EVE. This metaplot is ongoing, in the form of chronicles and the novels Empyrean Age and Templar One. It is also ongoing in the form of in-game changes and RP initiatives like Arek'jaalan.

This metaplot does not necessarily interact with the player characters, though it does form a foundation for the fiction of the setting. This in turn does interact with the players in the form of RP (an understandably small niche of EVE players).

That said, I'm fine with metaplot being "OOC" knowledge. As a GM for many tabletop RPG's, I know that some mysteries are meant to be mysteries to the characters, even if the answers are available OOC. CCP has, short of spelling things out word-for-word to the players, telegraphed every "revelation" in Templar One. If it wasn't a confirmation, then you weren't paying attention to the clues. That is a horrible position for a storyteller to be in, let me tell you. It's disheartening, and demotivating.

Where it comes into conflict with what players are doing is when the metaplot is opened up to interaction. Arek'jaalan is one example; certain expectations of the community do not exactly align with the intent of the project, but the nature of the project is intended to be as open as possible. This leads to players attaching their own RP to the metaplot. Sometimes (very rarely) the metaplot attaches itself to individual RP, intentionally or not; this creates a similar problem.

In both of these cases, it creates a cognitive dissonance. In short, keeping IC and OOC knowledge separate becomes an issue. You know both; how do you integrate the knowledge?

Add to that the problem of most people wanting to be the hero of their story (I don't mean that in a negative way; it's a normal drive, nothing wrong with it), and you have a recipe for internal and external conflict over the plot.

So...

Long story short, perhaps Dropbear should never have stated that the gap between player and character knowledge would be shortened. I don't think that CCP should have agreed to such an overarching metaplot to be constructed. With the number of player characters, and with the premise of the game being that of a sandbox where the players decide their own course, it has the potential to become nothing more than an exercise in self-gratification on the part of the metaplot architects.

That said, I wasn't surprised by Templar One. I was surprised at the audacity of laying out so much of the metaplot out in the open, and then saying in effect, "Okay, you can't touch this. This is mine."

TL;DR

It's not about IC/OOC knowledge, it's about storytelling in a medium that should be handled with more subtlety in storyline advancement, more transparency in plot reveals, and less overt belittling of player contributions - combined with greater handling of player expectations.
Wyke Mossari
Staner Industries
#17 - 2012-02-28 21:37:28 UTC
Long post ganked.

In Burning Life it is clear the events of the Black Mountain Chronicle are the subject of gossip amongst both the the SOE and the Angels. Also Hona's secret society is not really that secret. The reluctance/fear to discuss capsuleer affairs suggest that We are closer to the principle of the intelligence community than it's base. I think we should be less reticent to know some of this stuff IC.
Jowen Datloran
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#18 - 2012-02-28 22:10:06 UTC
I think this thread is a good example on how bad the gap currently is and the fall pits it provides. I had not read Templar One at that time, by the way.

Mr. Science & Trade Institute, EVE Online Lorebook 

Wyke Mossari
Staner Industries
#19 - 2012-02-28 23:28:32 UTC  |  Edited by: Wyke Mossari
Jowen Datloran wrote:
I think this thread is a good example on how bad the gap currently is and the fall pits it provides. I had not read Templar One at that time, by the way.


I suggest that thread is a good example of the obsession to stamp on twinking, actually strangling the story line. This seems prevalent amongst some of the back-stagers, who seem to think they hold some special status. When that thread proves they don't really know as much about the real story line as they think.

The Broker IS prime fiction, he's is talked about in hushed tones in intelligence circles in the same way as the clear allegorical "Keyser Soze" is talked about in hushed tones by criminals and coppers. To deny his existence is to deny a very useful plot device. The Broker can be considered IC to be an 'Urban Legend' or Boogie man but his existence, or that others believe in his existence cannot be denied. I am an atheist, I don't believe in God, but I cannot deny that other believe in God. The same is true of the Broker. It doesn't matter if he actually exists or not what matters is that people believe he does. (There is also the twist that the person telling the story, which may or may be true, could potential be Soze).

As an aside, has anybody else ever noticed that 'Kobayashi' places the Usual Suspects in a no win situation, and the Kobayashi Maru places Star Fleet Captains in a no-win situation. The Broker does the same. The Ship that carries the Maltese Falcon bears the same name. I've long felt that final piece is a clue in the Eve mystery but I'm still trying to figure it out, and wondering if Maru(Eve) is part of it, and connected with Maru(Japanese Celestial Being) or perhaps Maru(Maori Mythology).

When it comes to things like the events on Aivonen, these can largely be confirmed by visiting the planet IG or via RP.

A way to get these into IC knowledge is for characters with a plausible claim to know to 'leak' these IC in IGS and not to stamp on attempts to do so as twinking.
Deceiver's Voice
Molok Subclade
#20 - 2012-02-29 03:42:51 UTC
Wyke:

If you can't identify who's saying what in the Anoikis chronicle, you probably should evemail me.

The answers are... dependent upon facts not available in the chronicles.

It may not make sense at first.
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