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Things that irk me about the BZPRPG

Posted by Katuko , in BZP-RPG Jul 26 2012 · 2,174 views

Yep, things that irk me about the BZPRPG. It should probably be noted that right now the ILS is the only thing keeping me in the game, because it's simply too big of a deal to let die, and I still enjoy the RPG at its core despite all its shortcomings.

Still, here's a list of things that annoy me.

1) Lack of description. People moving back and forth between villages in the span of three sentences, people writing IC without specifying which of their 30 characters they are using, people doing something important to the action at hand but not explaining exactly how, where, with what, when and to who.

2) Multiple actions in an extremely short time, when such actions would either overlap or trigger a response in-between. This includes stating two attacks in the same post without letting the first one take effect.

3) People making a bunch of characters and making them form the majority of a group. This game is about interaction, really, so making a lot of characters just to have them stick together in some special co-operation seems more fit for Short Stories to me.

4) Introducing new (story) elements specifically to counter another. Examples could be a character having their backstory amended to include knowledge of something that just popped up; OOC knowledge being used to equip a character specifically to face a threat they know will be coming; introducing characters so they can join the enemy of whomever is being fought by the player at the moment; etc.

5) Importing stuff directly from real life or other fiction works to the RPG. I've tried to tune myself to accepting more human physiology, more human science and terms, more human ways of culture... but to me it's just intrusions on the lore. Things like whiskey, potassium, suddenly human biology like skin or inner organs... even getting drunk in the first place I find questionable within the bounds of what we know of BIONICLE. While abolishing the gender restriction on genders is one thing that breaks canon, I'm perfectly fine with that. New custom Vortixx tech, and some new elements/powers, OK, because they are still made to fit into the established lore somehow. But porting stuff 1:1 over, like obviously human habits, clone characters and stuff? That just doesn't sit well with me given the MNOG-esque setting this game was supposed to have.

6) I'm also worried about the supposed romance in this game apparently having taken a bad turn lately. There is a good version of romance, I think, when it touches on character relationships and how they actually care for each other. But over the past few days I've noticed what I can only believe to be thinly veiled sex scenes interspersed here and there in Le-Wahi, in a certain bar. Fade-to-black or not, such scenes breaks the little immersion that is left in this game for me, because it seems at odds with the setting I've come to expect from BIONICLE. BIONICLE has been a breath of fresh air in the middle of a plethora of other fantasy and sci-fi stories because the main characters work so differently from us. But when it gets to the point where I can't tell if this is BIONICLE characters or just humans with magic powers, I'm a bit annoyed.

I've managed to ignore most of these things, though, and I will continue to play along with them given their existence in this game. That leaves me wondering why I just wrote all this, but a rant's a rant.

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Cosmic Titan
Jul 26 2012 11:26 AM
I left the bzprpg for many of these reasons. I just couldn't be part of something that changed a story I enjoyed so much. I find the consumption of alcohol morally wrong. And I can't stand how they devalue the power of a Toa.

And don't get me started on the restrictions in character creation. I just found them too much.

So I can see where you are coming from.
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I have only one thing to say.

I miss 2010.

Oh, and also that a team of Zealot assassins would be an epic answer to gripe 6.
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I am ashamed.

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I don't give a rat's tail about the morality of drinking, given that wanton murder is generally a permeating theme of most RPGs and drinking generally keeps you from doing that. What I do mind, however, is how many people just have their characters drink themselves under the floor for no good reason and think it's funny to excuse randomness by "being drunk".

The power of a Toa isn't really devalued so much as it is countered by the amount of other Toa and powered beings. In fact, I think a lot of people overestimate their own power way too much. Character creation is a bit too restricted in some ways and too lax in others, in my opinion.

This is the bane of a purely text-based RPG with no defined rules, because one's definition of "a fireball" can vary so wildly. One could think that it's supposed to be able to blow apart stone walls, while another could think that it's just flame with no force. In character creation, what seems fine to one is bad to another. If people had stats, however, described looks wouldn't matter as everyone would be on a certain scale anyways.

Zealots? No, the less religion I see the better. Regardless of what one's views of it is, and even if it's fictional, it always leads to flame wars. No exceptions. It's the last thing I want to see on this site.
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Jean Valjean
Jul 26 2012 12:34 PM
:kaukau: I agree with most of this stuff, though the human biology isn't necessarily something that irks me so much as it is something that makes me feel conflicted. It's an area where I don't know where to draw the line. I have to admit, getting a character drunk would be extremely cool and fun to write about, so I would include that as a possibility and a line that I would be willing to cross. Thinly veiled sex scenes, on the other hand, fall on the other side of the line.

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The Present Automaton
Jul 26 2012 01:07 PM
I'll be honest, I left the BZPRPG for some fairly similar reasons. I don't have a problem with the human biology part, as it adds a bit of drama that a realistic RPG would lack. But what I didn't like was the alcohol part which was fairly prominent. It's hard to try and start off a plot, when suddenly everyone around you starts dropping to the floor, completely hammered for no reason other than a chance at random comedy. That's really why I've decided to stick with epics and short stories, although I've had the urge to return to the RPG every now and then.
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Yeah, maybe I should just strike everything above and list it as

1) randomness
2) non-sensible actions
3) lore-breaking

Probably simpler. :P

My main deal with human biology is that the bio way of doing it has so much potential compared to what I see in every single other media based on humans. I find it an interesting prospect that armor and tissue is integrated; that there are some form of magnetic/elemental emitters in the palms of beings; that they have lungs but not normal blood and thus can choke but not really bleed out the way we do. They are also capable of enduring a bit more punishment than us, and even though the rules say that we should assume human capacity for combat injury due to the way higher mech strength balances out the heightened personal defense, it does make a difference when it comes to jumping/crashing/getting hit by things that are not related to an enemy.

But everyone seems to skip these interesting functions, and instead go with regular human biology, resulting in not the 85% mechanical characters I'm interested in, but the 95% organic meatbags that make a fuzz out of tripping over a stick.
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Jean Valjean
Jul 26 2012 02:34 PM
:kaukau: I guess I'm the type of person who would use alcohol for character development and plot purposes. Huh, comedy didn't really occur to me (Other than romantic comedy. Thank you, Lois Lane from Smallville).

I actually don't quite see the benefit to keeping a large team that works all by itself. If anything, it would make more sense to create a large team and divide it up amongst the regions so that you have more opportunity for interaction (because I hate waiting for hours when all my characters are in the same Wahi and and the other guy isn't responding).

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I find your qualms with the rpg to be similar to mine own. However, I believe the reason for all the "humanity" in the game is due in large part to the fact writing about something alien us much more difficult than hacking at the keys and telling one's imbibed life story. I tend to keep an open mind when interacting with other players who refuse to make jumps towards the "work" of writing since the rpg is just a game after all. As for the thinly veiled sex scenes: I actually wouldn't mind them if they were actually written well. It's like picking up a teen romance novel and someone's ran a sharpie over the love scenes and inserted troll face pictures in their stead. My motto is: if you can write it well then do it, but don't beat around the bush. Thanks for making this blog post as I see it's given an outlet for many players to express themselves.
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My motto is: if you can write it well then do it, but don't beat around the bush.

There's my thoughts as well. If you can write it well enough, it sits better with me. Still, even a long, well-written post can feel out of place to me if it feels like it belongs in a different setting. I have no problem with love stories (and no problem with explicit stuff either for that matter) but when it pops up in the Mata Nui era of BIONICLE of all places, I don't like it one bit.

Indeed, writing BIONICLE characters is harder than writing regular humans, but i like it that way, and I think that even newcomers to the RPG and BIONICLE at large could do it if they just put some thought into it. I'm an optimist that way. :)
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I agree with pretty much everything in that post.

I sort of feel like a hypocrite saying that, because some of my characters have had very human and un-Bionicle attributes given to them.

This is actually because others have done this, and one of the real rules of collaborative storytelling is always saying yes to what the other person wants, so when someone else starts posting about bycicles or cars or rubber ducks, you have to assume they exist on the island.

It's unfortunate that the MNOLG feel is mostly ruined by some of these real world additions.
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Zealots? No, the less religion I see the better. Regardless of what one's views of it is, and even if it's fictional, it always leads to flame wars. No exceptions. It's the last thing I want to see on this site.

Zealots in the varnacular, not in the strict definition. They don't have to have any form of religion; look at Aenarius, the zealot I made.
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Zealots in the vernacular, not in the strict definition. They don't have to have any form of religion; look at Aenarius, the zealot I made.

Ah. I haven't seen the word used without some religious attachment, so I was confused.
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I agree with most of your views, and the Biology part too. The part where the Matoran cablecar conductor had his heart ripped out is not possible Bionicle. Okay let's say it's a power battery, but blood? Not so sure. And I'm confused with the origin of characters. Families and children in the MU? On Bara Magna, maybe, but here on the island of Mata-Nui is not possible, unless the staff explicitly say so... ;/
And this getting drunk part is odd. I understand the fact that BZPRPG "assimilated" to quasi-human circumstances, but getting drunk for random humour makes no story-sense. Thanks for this outlet, Katuko, or I would've just let it stew and leave BZPRPG. :)
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Yes, the whole family thing is a prime example where things irk me, because these characters aren't even supposed to have a system of reproduction. Hearing about families just breaks the entire setting, because I mean look at the MNOG, Metru Nui, the serials... family beyond maybe some marriage/life partner equivalent simply don't fit into any MU societies because they're not supposed to have any concept of it. :/

Well, I plan on having the ILS stick to the basics as much as possible. Pick up where we left off after the Toa Mata failed. Saving people, hunting things... the island business. :P
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Speaking of which, how exactly do I get my characters to join? What are the things we have to do? Fill out some form or rooster, right?
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^That blog post should hopefully explain most of it.
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