Braham, Plus Overall Story Delivery — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Braham, Plus Overall Story Delivery

Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited March 15, 2018 in Mar 2018: LWS4 Episode 2

I noted that Braham seems to have calmed down through the course of this episode. While it's realistic for people to get over being mad, having it happen so subtly in this particular instance feels a little anticlimactic. All that build up and then "hey, well, glad you had my back, maybe we should talk." Enough so to make me wonder, is this part of the overall planning of the storyline or is it in response to the general negative response by the players to his angstfest?

Semi corollary, how much behind-the-scenes knowledge do you guys have for your guiding canon that never makes it into player view? (This is not a jab -- the nature of the beast is that you'll have a bigger framework than can be shown in a game of this nature. But it does mean that sometimes we feel we are getting the glossy highlights and have to assume and infer a tapestry of detail).

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  • Oglaf.1074Oglaf.1074 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:
    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    See the thing is that this only makes sense from the perspective from a non-Norn Commander's perspective. My Commander who is a Norn not only knew Eir way better than Braham, but also the way Norns "function" and as such should've been able to have a nice lil' talk with Braham over it.

    That is my biggest gripe with how Braham was handled - my Norn Warrior was treated, and reacted, like a non-Norn character. I would've loved some special interaction with Braham to calm him down as a racial perk for Norns.

    I mean, it of course wouldn't have affected the story and Braham would've still been mad and all (as to not break the overarching storyline) but it would've been nice to have my character at least try and resolve the situation as a Norn rather than a non-Norn outsider.

    Please Anet give us a hide Chest Armour-option. Tattoo-clad Norns everywhere beg of you.

  • @Oglaf.1074 said:

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:
    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    See the thing is that this only makes sense from the perspective from a non-Norn Commander's perspective. My Commander who is a Norn not only knew Eir way better than Braham, but also the way Norns "function" and as such should've been able to have a nice lil' talk with Braham over it.

    No argument there, beyond that the Commander's also had a lot else on her plate. Killing gods, dying and coming back to life... :-)

    Plus Braham was the one who behaved unreasonably, so it's sort of on him to make the first move toward reconciliation.

  • Oglaf.1074Oglaf.1074 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Oglaf.1074 said:

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:
    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    See the thing is that this only makes sense from the perspective from a non-Norn Commander's perspective. My Commander who is a Norn not only knew Eir way better than Braham, but also the way Norns "function" and as such should've been able to have a nice lil' talk with Braham over it.

    No argument there, beyond that the Commander's also had a lot else on her plate. Killing gods, dying and coming back to life... :-)

    Plus Braham was the one who behaved unreasonably, so it's sort of on him to make the first move toward reconciliation.

    I'm kinda talking about earlier interactions right after Eir's death. Braham really talked down to my Norn about how I was disrespecting her memory. In actuality this probably should've resorted in a slap across the face, either literal or proverbial, from my character since as a Norn you have a very special relationship with Eir during the earlier stages of your personal story.

    Quite frankly, Braham would be in no position to tell another Norn off in this sitatuation. Our characters really had a closer, more intimate relationship to Eir than he has ever had at this point.

    But sadly, because the story doesn't take race into consideration much, my Norn just recoiled all confused as if he didn't understand how Norn culture works - as you would expect from the other races in this situation.

    Please Anet give us a hide Chest Armour-option. Tattoo-clad Norns everywhere beg of you.

  • @Oglaf.1074 said:
    I'm kinda talking about earlier interactions right after Eir's death. Braham really talked down to my Norn about how I was disrespecting her memory. In actuality this probably should've resorted in a slap across the face, either literal or proverbial, from my character since as a Norn you have a very special relationship with Eir during the earlier stages of your personal story.

    Quite frankly, Braham would be in no position to tell another Norn off in this sitatuation. Our characters really had a closer, more intimate relationship to Eir than he has ever had at this point.

    But sadly, because the story doesn't take race into consideration much, my Norn just recoiled all confused as if he didn't understand how Norn culture works - as you would expect from the other races in this situation.

    Ah. I can't really speak to decisions made before I was here. :-)

  • Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭

    But now you ARE here :) -- So, are there plans to take race (and profession) more into consideration at least insofar as instanced dialogue/puzzle solving goes? Obviously it's more work for you and for the VA's, but so far I think the pay off has been huge in terms of positive player response.

  • @Jessica Price II.9813 said:
    "We've got a character that our player base is angry with."

    Some of us aren't so much angry at him as feeling that his dialogue made him whiny.

    So I started reading/watching what was already written for Braham, and what I saw was a grieving teenager.

    Yes, that's what I saw, too.

    Anyway: I came in, read up on Braham, and that was my take. But it's clearly NOT much of the audience's take, which means that the story hasn't done its job in conveying all that.

    Part of the difference I saw in community response was sometimes due to whether people had known a grieving teenager (or themselves aggrieved without being able to see their way forward).

    That also speaks to the writing, but with a different point: this game has a very diverse audience and the same dialogue that resonates powerfully for one group, even a majority, might make no sense at all to others.


    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    My feeling was that the Commander never sounded like they were biting their tongue; they sounded like they had no clue what to say or how to be a mentor or a leader or any of the other things that the player character had seemed to have learned in fighting Zhaitain, in bringing diverse tribes together, in choosing to part from the Pact to worry about existential threats to Tyria.

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Internal canon can be a trap, too. There are times where we've proceeded on the assumption that something we all Know To Be True has been said publicly, only to find out that we... never actually said that. :-)

    Thanks for posting that. It can't be easy keeping track of what you said, what you thought of saying (but decided not to), what you plan to say (but haven't yet), and what you said (but wish you hadn't because it's tied the story into knots).

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Ashen.2907Ashen.2907 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Donari.5237 said:
    I noted that Braham seems to have calmed down through the course of this episode. While it's realistic for people to get over being mad, having it happen so subtly in this particular instance feels a little anticlimactic. All that build up and then "hey, well, glad you had my back, maybe we should talk." Enough so to make me wonder, is this part of the overall planning of the storyline or is it in response to the general negative response by the players to his angstfest?

    Why not both? :-)

    I started here at ArenaNet in August, and part of the discussion from my very first day in the studio was how the character arcs for major NPCs should tie into the overall arc for the season--and Braham specifically was "We've got a character that our player base is angry with."

    So I started reading/watching what was already written for Braham, and what I saw was a grieving teenager. His mom wasn't particularly present in his life, and then she died. And the big thing for him here isn't just that she died: it's that at some level he had to be hoping that there was a point in his life where she'd finally have time for him. If he was enough of a hero, if he built enough of a legend--or maybe once she'd finished building her legend, after she retired, so to speak, they'd be able to get to know one another.

    And that is never going to happen. He largely grew up without a mother, but there was always the hope that he'd sort of retroactively get one, and now that's gone. I know it feels like forever in real time, but it didn't actually happen that long ago--it was last season. It hasn't even been a year in game time.

    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    Anyway: I came in, read up on Braham, and that was my take. But it's clearly NOT much of the audience's take, which means that the story hasn't done its job in conveying all that.

    Which makes our job going forward to try to nuance Braham, and show him thinking about his relationship with the Commander and what he actually wants that relationship to be--not what feels good in the moment, not what's going to give him an outlet for his anger and his grief and his frustration at what can't be, not the Commander as a symbol of Eir's death, but what the future looks like.

    I know a lot of people are like "just KILL him." That reaction's coming from two groups of people--one that's just annoyed by him and doesn't really want to have to deal with him, and one that cares deeply about story and character and recognizes that his treatment of the Commander was unfair. Can't do much for the former group, but for the latter, I think they think that will be satisfying, but there's no actual closure there. I think what they actually want is to see him humbled. And that's not meaningful unless he comes to understand the problems with what he did, and looks for ways to make meaningful restitution.

    So where he is right now, although obviously this is a guy who's gruff and it's not realistic to have him explicitly say it, is in a very reflective place. He's making tentative gestures toward reconciliation. (I mean, dude's 22. Don't expect him to be GOOD at this right away. I was kitten at apologizing when I was 22. He's trying to figure out how you repair a relationship.)

    And there's going to be stuff in his arc that's a lot more on the surface and dramatic, but what you're seeing right now is the soil above the seed starting to buckle.

    Semi corollary, how much behind-the-scenes knowledge do you guys have for your guiding canon that never makes it into player view? (This is not a jab -- the nature of the beast is that you'll have a bigger framework than can be shown in a game of this nature. But it does mean that sometimes we feel we are getting the glossy highlights and have to assume and infer a tapestry of detail).

    When you're dealing with a game that's been around this long, and has been constantly updating and building new lore, you have some areas that have an entire ICEBERG of work supporting them and you only see a little bit of it above the surface. That's the way I prefer to do things, because I think the richness comes through even if the audience doesn't see all of it, and it makes for better-informed decisions. (When I was working on Pathfinder, I wrote a 64-page campaign setting book for one of the countries in the world. And before that, I wrote roughly 200 pages of content about the history and the surrounding political context and the food that they eat--none of which was intended to be published. Oh, and an 80-page reference grammar of the language they speak. And the reviews started coming in and they were like, "whoa, this feels like a real place." That's WHY.)

    There are pieces of GW2 lore that are like that. Someone here loves that event or that character or that place and there's a ton of internal canon about it. At the same time, when you've got a game that's this expansive, you CAN'T do that for everything. We just don't have enough staff. So there are some bits where basically everything that exists is onscreen. It's like, if you've ever watched Spartacus on Starz, that show had a tiny budget for a historical epic series, and every dollar of their set budget was clearly onscreen. You look at this bedroom the characters are in, and at first glance, you're like, "Yes, that's a lavish Roman bedroom," but then you realize that outside the ornate bed in the center of the screen, everything is basically just cleverly draped fabric suggesting there's an expensive room there. And on the other hand, you have something like Lord of the Rings, where there was a ton of lovingly crafted stuff that was outside the camera's field of view.

    Sometimes we're Lord of the Rings, sometimes we're Spartacus.

    Internal canon can be a trap, too. There are times where we've proceeded on the assumption that something we all Know To Be True has been said publicly, only to find out that we... never actually said that. :-)

    I dont want him to be humbled, or even killed off. I just dont want him around. He is a detraction from the mission. How likely, if lives depended on you, would you be to allow a tantrum prone adolescent to hang around and interfere?

    Sure someone may not exit mental adolescence until age 25, and sure it makes sense for a character to grieve when their mother dies, and sure an adolescent might, understandably, lash out in response to that loss...but why must we deal with that distraction from what actually matters?

    It is decidedly foolish to risk the lives of thousands because one has decided to babysit some kid we have no reason to associate with.

  • Just drop his grumpy butt into the mists, have him meet Eir, she tells him she's proud of him, she tells him to man up and stop acting like a butthead to people who care about him, pass around the tissues, and then everyone can move on.

  • ziad.4270ziad.4270 Member ✭✭

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Donari.5237 said:
    But now you ARE here :) -- So, are there plans to take race (and profession) more into consideration at least insofar as instanced dialogue/puzzle solving goes? Obviously it's more work for you and for the VA's, but so far I think the pay off has been huge in terms of positive player response.

    Yes, we try to look into providing race-specific variants in dialogue. Bear in mind, however, that it's not just a matter of work for us and the VAs--it's a matter of budget. Our line count is budgeted very tightly.

    Speaking of VAs would you be open to volunteers/players doing some lines?

  • Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Not sure if this should be a new thread, but it feels like part of the flow in this one:

    Would you be willing to deliver some story out of game? There's been mixed reactions to that by players, true, but short bits like Marjory's meeting with E or Taimi's lab issues prior to Embry Bay really helped flesh things out. It would be a way to give us more on (for example) Malyck and his Tree without having to use full game development resources.

  • Haleydawn.3764Haleydawn.3764 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ziad.4270 said:

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Donari.5237 said:
    But now you ARE here :) -- So, are there plans to take race (and profession) more into consideration at least insofar as instanced dialogue/puzzle solving goes? Obviously it's more work for you and for the VA's, but so far I think the pay off has been huge in terms of positive player response.

    Yes, we try to look into providing race-specific variants in dialogue. Bear in mind, however, that it's not just a matter of work for us and the VAs--it's a matter of budget. Our line count is budgeted very tightly.

    Speaking of VAs would you be open to volunteers/players doing some lines?

    Ooo I'd love to do this!

    Better get a wriggle on.

  • @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    So where he is right now, although obviously this is a guy who's gruff and it's not realistic to have him explicitly say it, is in a very reflective place. He's making tentative gestures toward reconciliation. (I mean, dude's 22. Don't expect him to be GOOD at this right away. I was kitten at apologizing when I was 22. He's trying to figure out how you repair a relationship.)

    Pulling in your own experiences can make him feel more real and that is awesome. However, as a player, I also want everything his actions to also pass the test "He is a norn, would a norn act this way?" If you do this for each character/race in our little band of heroes, they'll feel all the more distinct and special. Sometimes I worry they all feel too human when it comes to their motivations and their logic.

  • Helreginn.1894Helreginn.1894 Member
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    Since a Braham topic is already open, and he's the one I mostly wanted to talk about in this episode, I might as well put this here. First of all, thank you, Jessica, for the detailed explanation above. After reading through that I breathed a sigh of relief that my friend and I (we always play together) weren't going insane speculating Braham's behaviour.

    What we usually do is we pause and talk for fifteen-twenty minutes at the end of each instance, sometimes between story steps within an instance, to discuss what's going on. I think the instance we discussed the most was LS3-3 last one where Braham went and did all that. Now, ever since HoT itself we knew it was coming, and since I came into the game late (just before PoF), I'd been spoiled a little, but when it did happen it was quite a blow. It hurt to hear what Braham said, and I think he hated saying that too. Anger and grief do that to you. He knows he's hurt the Commander and he can't take those words back, and perhaps he feels they were justified in some manner, but his manner of expressing was entirely uncalled for. I love Braham, so that just hurt a lot more. So, back to LS4-2, at first we weren't sure what Braham was trying to do with his reluctant tone and words, but at some point it occurred to me that he was actually kinda worried for the Commander? I might be wrong, of course, but I think you guys have been working towards a theme that shows that the world shouldn't depend so much on heroes as much as work together to beat back great evils. If the story until LS3 was all about the failings of the hero (in this case, the Commander), then the theme from PoF onwards seems to be building toward that. The Commander can and does fail. They've always failed to protect what's most important to them, in order to protect the world at large and you can see it wearing them down.

    There's also blatant disregard the Commander has for their own life and their inclination for doing everything alone (which, of course, is the nature of the game), so we were wondering if Braham's sullenness before the middle part was somewhat out of worry. Of course, by the end of the Charge, I was pretty sure that Braham really does want to make amends, and he cares. It's just that he has no clue how to fix this, and the Commander being the Commander doesn't make it easy. However, they care a lot about him so I guess it wasn't that hard. (I'm a little peeved we didn't get to see that hug you guys mentioned in the Guild Chat episode, or that Gorrik interrupted that conversation, BUT.)

    Anyway, tl;dr version is that I loved the episode quite a lot. And please don't worry, we love to spend analysing the story and what path it's trying to take. I'm sure quite a few people do even if they are not the vocal majority. Braham's arc was a bit too offscreen, yes, but it wasn't invisible. I'm guessing it's hard to decide what to show and what to tell. Thank you for bringing us this wonderful episode.

  • Cronos.6532Cronos.6532 Member ✭✭✭

    He's going to rollercoaster back into being the final boss of the Shiverpeaks expansion along with his guild of norn. The Commander & Aurene vs. Braham & a newly woken Jormag.

    signature

  • @Donari.5237 said:
    Not sure if this should be a new thread, but it feels like part of the flow in this one:

    Would you be willing to deliver some story out of game? There's been mixed reactions to that by players, true, but short bits like Marjory's meeting with E or Taimi's lab issues prior to Embry Bay really helped flesh things out. It would be a way to give us more on (for example) Malyck and his Tree without having to use full game development resources.

    Wait and find out. :-)

  • Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Donari.5237 said:
    Not sure if this should be a new thread, but it feels like part of the flow in this one:

    Would you be willing to deliver some story out of game? There's been mixed reactions to that by players, true, but short bits like Marjory's meeting with E or Taimi's lab issues prior to Embry Bay really helped flesh things out. It would be a way to give us more on (for example) Malyck and his Tree without having to use full game development resources.

    Wait and find out. :-)

    Oops, I left out one comment as part of that -- what ever happened to the traveling asura and her moa? I don't think her series of story blogs ever concluded.

  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Donari.5237 said:
    I noted that Braham seems to have calmed down through the course of this episode. While it's realistic for people to get over being mad, having it happen so subtly in this particular instance feels a little anticlimactic. All that build up and then "hey, well, glad you had my back, maybe we should talk." Enough so to make me wonder, is this part of the overall planning of the storyline or is it in response to the general negative response by the players to his angstfest?

    Why not both? :-)

    I started here at ArenaNet in August, and part of the discussion from my very first day in the studio was how the character arcs for major NPCs should tie into the overall arc for the season--and Braham specifically was "We've got a character that our player base is angry with."

    So I started reading/watching what was already written for Braham, and what I saw was a grieving teenager. His mom wasn't particularly present in his life, and then she died. And the big thing for him here isn't just that she died: it's that at some level he had to be hoping that there was a point in his life where she'd finally have time for him. If he was enough of a hero, if he built enough of a legend--or maybe once she'd finished building her legend, after she retired, so to speak, they'd be able to get to know one another.

    And that is never going to happen. He largely grew up without a mother, but there was always the hope that he'd sort of retroactively get one, and now that's gone. I know it feels like forever in real time, but it didn't actually happen that long ago--it was last season. It hasn't even been a year in game time.

    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    Anyway: I came in, read up on Braham, and that was my take. But it's clearly NOT much of the audience's take, which means that the story hasn't done its job in conveying all that.

    Which makes our job going forward to try to nuance Braham, and show him thinking about his relationship with the Commander and what he actually wants that relationship to be--not what feels good in the moment, not what's going to give him an outlet for his anger and his grief and his frustration at what can't be, not the Commander as a symbol of Eir's death, but what the future looks like.

    I know a lot of people are like "just KILL him." That reaction's coming from two groups of people--one that's just annoyed by him and doesn't really want to have to deal with him, and one that cares deeply about story and character and recognizes that his treatment of the Commander was unfair. Can't do much for the former group, but for the latter, I think they think that will be satisfying, but there's no actual closure there. I think what they actually want is to see him humbled. And that's not meaningful unless he comes to understand the problems with what he did, and looks for ways to make meaningful restitution.

    So where he is right now, although obviously this is a guy who's gruff and it's not realistic to have him explicitly say it, is in a very reflective place. He's making tentative gestures toward reconciliation. (I mean, dude's 22. Don't expect him to be GOOD at this right away. I was kitten at apologizing when I was 22. He's trying to figure out how you repair a relationship.)

    And there's going to be stuff in his arc that's a lot more on the surface and dramatic, but what you're seeing right now is the soil above the seed starting to buckle.

    Semi corollary, how much behind-the-scenes knowledge do you guys have for your guiding canon that never makes it into player view? (This is not a jab -- the nature of the beast is that you'll have a bigger framework than can be shown in a game of this nature. But it does mean that sometimes we feel we are getting the glossy highlights and have to assume and infer a tapestry of detail).

    When you're dealing with a game that's been around this long, and has been constantly updating and building new lore, you have some areas that have an entire ICEBERG of work supporting them and you only see a little bit of it above the surface. That's the way I prefer to do things, because I think the richness comes through even if the audience doesn't see all of it, and it makes for better-informed decisions. (When I was working on Pathfinder, I wrote a 64-page campaign setting book for one of the countries in the world. And before that, I wrote roughly 200 pages of content about the history and the surrounding political context and the food that they eat--none of which was intended to be published. Oh, and an 80-page reference grammar of the language they speak. And the reviews started coming in and they were like, "whoa, this feels like a real place." That's WHY.)

    There are pieces of GW2 lore that are like that. Someone here loves that event or that character or that place and there's a ton of internal canon about it. At the same time, when you've got a game that's this expansive, you CAN'T do that for everything. We just don't have enough staff. So there are some bits where basically everything that exists is onscreen. It's like, if you've ever watched Spartacus on Starz, that show had a tiny budget for a historical epic series, and every dollar of their set budget was clearly onscreen. You look at this bedroom the characters are in, and at first glance, you're like, "Yes, that's a lavish Roman bedroom," but then you realize that outside the ornate bed in the center of the screen, everything is basically just cleverly draped fabric suggesting there's an expensive room there. And on the other hand, you have something like Lord of the Rings, where there was a ton of lovingly crafted stuff that was outside the camera's field of view.

    Sometimes we're Lord of the Rings, sometimes we're Spartacus.

    Internal canon can be a trap, too. There are times where we've proceeded on the assumption that something we all Know To Be True has been said publicly, only to find out that we... never actually said that. :-)

    About the first part:
    I am not mad at Braham, I never was, but what I think was the worst that the Commander just abandoned him, the Commander hurted him even more, because he wasn't cautious (keep talking about the Commander), but what was the worst thing ever in Season 3 was that his plot was also abandoned. I mean it happened in A Crack in the Ice and after we were only getting some small news from Taimi about Braham, that was planning something stupid. Why didn't you solve this problem back then?

    I think it would be much better to have the friend on your side, than worrying about the fake Lazarus, I think the friends don't do such things, and the Commander proved he doesn't really care about the ones that he's been working with for years- since Season 1. And the Commander just said: Oh he doesn't want me near, so let him do what he wants.--- We didn't just leave Braham, but also Rox. We sent her to care of Braham and make her make the dirtiest job, because we were too busy because of some potions.

    I don't know you meant that to happen or not, but leaving the Braham's plot so suddenly was a bit weird. Why couldn't you just solve this problem 1 or 2 episodes later? And you waited until the hatress of some of the community was rising, and rising, and rising each episode.

    Season 1&2 Braham was so great. _

    "I like you because you are big and dumb"~Taimi- the finale of Season 1. The cutest moment ever.... Nostalgia...

    Seek, and you shall find.

  • MithranArkanere.8957MithranArkanere.8957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I was kind of hoping we'd have to do the norn version of the 'airing of grievances' to reconcile with Braham. He is under pressure to deal with Jormag now that he managed to put a dent on the tooth, but now the commander goes and says we can't kill more dragons.

    So it would make sense to go to Hoelbrak, have the commander and Braham fight it out, the commander wins, and it's decided to follow the Commander's plan. Who would disagree with the results of a good and fair brawl?

  • Sarrs.4831Sarrs.4831 Member ✭✭✭

    @MithranArkanere.8957 said:
    So it would make sense to go to Hoelbrak, have the commander and Braham fight it out, the commander wins, and it's decided to follow the Commander's plan. Who would disagree with the results of a good and fair brawl?

    Do Norn actually make decisions based on who can win fights? They're not Klingons.

  • MithranArkanere.8957MithranArkanere.8957 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    Well, you got things like this, and this, for instance.

    Now, with norn it's usually a bout and nobody has to die. "We fight, whoever wins gets to decide what's what, and no hard feelings".

    With charr in the other hand you have a more Klingon-like approach, someone may take over a warband by fighting and killing the leader in a duel, someone who committed treason may clear their name winning or dying in a dual to the death, etc.

  • @Arden.7480 said:

    About the first part:
    I am not mad at Braham, I never was, but what I think was the worst that the Commander just abandoned him, the Commander hurted him even more, because he wasn't cautious (keep talking about the Commander), but what was the worst thing ever in Season 3 was that his plot was also abandoned. I mean it happened in A Crack in the Ice and after we were only getting some small news from Taimi about Braham, that was planning something stupid. Why didn't you solve this problem back then?

    I think it would be much better to have the friend on your side, than worrying about the fake Lazarus, I think the friends don't do such things, and the Commander proved he doesn't really care about the ones that he's been working with for years- since Season 1. And the Commander just said: Oh he doesn't want me near, so let him do what he wants.--- We didn't just leave Braham, but also Rox. We sent her to care of Braham and make her make the dirtiest job, because we were too busy because of some potions.

    I don't know you meant that to happen or not, but leaving the Braham's plot so suddenly was a bit weird. Why couldn't you just solve this problem 1 or 2 episodes later? And you waited until the hatress of some of the community was rising, and rising, and rising each episode.

    Season 1&2 Braham was so great. _

    "I like you because you are big and dumb"~Taimi- the finale of Season 1. The cutest moment ever.... Nostalgia...

    Except we didn't leave him. Braham left himself. He pushed the commander away, slammed the door in his face, so to speak. So we sent Rox with him to keep an eye on him, hoping he wouldn't get himself into too much trouble and eventually find his way again. Braham came off to me as someone who wouldn't let the commander in, no matter what he did or said. We asked him to join our guild, Dragon's Watch, but he refused and even went so far as to interpret it as a lack of respect for his deceased mother. He "formed his own guild", Destiny's Edge, to honor Eir's memory. Never mind that one of the original DE members is in Dragon's Watch and did not take Braham's side in this debacle, Braham feels he is more entitled to DE because of his mother (he should be glad Rytlock didn't give him any flack over this, because he would be perfectly in his right to do so).

    At some point you have to let people find their own way again. It's not possible to help them with everything. Grief takes time (a different amount of time for everyone), expresses itself in as many ways as there are people in the world and can turn nice and good people into perfectly dislikeable characters. Saying we were too busy for BRaham because we were working on some potion is one of the most reductive things I've ever read. You know very well that we weren't just working on some potion, there was a bigger concern. But on any journey you come across obstacles and have to find a workaround or any way to deal with it, hence the potion. The commander recognized the fact he couldn't do any good in Braham's eyes at that point in time. And perhaps the commander himself even feels some sort of responsibility for Eir's death. If I were a leader on a mission and one of the people I was supposed to rescue died, I know I would feel responsible too. From that point of view you don't just go and tell off the son of the one who died that he should grow up and deal with it. That would unequivocally make the commander the bad guy, or at the very least highly insensitive.

    ANet could've done more to drive this part of the story home to us players. As it is, it's left to personal interpretation what goes on in the mind's of these characters and obviously those interpretations go all over the place. From understanding perspectives like the commander's, to stubborn and insensitive perspectives like Braham's. Ironically enough the people voting for Braham to die, just because he became annoying, follow much the same behavior as Braham does in his part of the story. I'm glad to see that something is being done about that, and that Braham is no longer stuck in his grief and unable to see things from others' point of view. That's the problem with story chapters becoming available only every few months: it takes a long time to tell a character's story arc, unless you rush it. And that's not a good thing either.

  • @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    @Donari.5237 said:
    Not sure if this should be a new thread, but it feels like part of the flow in this one:

    Would you be willing to deliver some story out of game? There's been mixed reactions to that by players, true, but short bits like Marjory's meeting with E or Taimi's lab issues prior to Embry Bay really helped flesh things out. It would be a way to give us more on (for example) Malyck and his Tree without having to use full game development resources.

    Wait and find out. :-)

    Any way to get more/conclusion to the Momo story that was being done?

  • @Astralporing.1957 said:

    So then why must Braham be a typical norn?
    He doesn't have to be, but he shouldn't be less. And he is.

    Not sure how you're quantifying that but I guess it's a difference of opinion. I mean, I get that he doesn't get drunk (except Rox did mention something of the sort in the latest episode), brawl drunkenly and then pass out at moots? What is there to Norn culture that he's not adhering to? I'm genuinely curious. They are all solo fighters who wish to forge their legend etc. right, and that's exactly what he was trying to do by hunting down Jormag by his lonesome.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Helreginn.1894 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    So then why must Braham be a typical norn?
    He doesn't have to be, but he shouldn't be less. And he is.

    Not sure how you're quantifying that but I guess it's a difference of opinion. I mean, I get that he doesn't get drunk (except Rox did mention something of the sort in the latest episode), brawl drunkenly and then pass out at moots? What is there to Norn culture that he's not adhering to? I'm genuinely curious. They are all solo fighters who wish to forge their legend etc. right, and that's exactly what he was trying to do by hunting down Jormag by his lonesome.

    He isn't really hunting Jormag by his lonesome (he took a Norn army for this). He doesn't seem to care about forging his legend either (remember, when we saw him first he was a completely unheroic homestead manager, completely content to live there in peace, whose strongest emotion was sulking at his mother for not loving him enough). He was trying to get everyone killed because he couldn't cope with his grief and self-worth issues. Which he had a lot - his whole character was evolving around those issues.

    Basically, when i imagine a Norn, a whiney 16 years old (i know he's older, but the way he acts doesn't show that at all) that is used to blame everyone else for his own issues that has not a single heroic bone in his body is one of the last things in my mind.

    And, what is more important, i don't see how this makes the story better.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • @Sarrs.4831 said:

    @MithranArkanere.8957 said:
    So it would make sense to go to Hoelbrak, have the commander and Braham fight it out, the commander wins, and it's decided to follow the Commander's plan. Who would disagree with the results of a good and fair brawl?

    Do Norn actually make decisions based on who can win fights? They're not Klingons.

    They actually do sometimes. Norn have a ritual where if one party wrongs another and wishes to seek forgiveness, they can lay a wreath at the door of the one they offended. From there, the offended party can choose to take the wreath into their home, lay an empty stein in it, break it, or ignore it entirely. If wreath is broken, the two parties have to fight until only one is left standing, and all is forgiven no matter who wins.

    In fact, I hope Anet references that ritual when it comes time for Braham to actually try to reconcile with the Commander. I like when Anet remembers that Norn aren't just bigger humans.

  • FrizzFreston.5290FrizzFreston.5290 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    I personally really don't mind Brahams story arc so far. If not actually quite like it. It seems like he's grieving, we don't know what to do with that at first, he causes trouble, we have to deal with him, we kind of do want him to be our ally because we need people who we can depend on. And simply killing him off or just ignoring him entirely seems like an easy cop out for any story. Yeah it distracts from the main story, because he is also our kitten to deal with. I find it refreshing that we're not just dumping and ignoring him, or just killing him off or whichever other rather shallow suggestions from the forums here.

    I don't understand why the story only gets better by only colouring within the lines of that story either. We have this dispute going on with Braham, we were good friends at some point, maybe still are and at this point we're sort of starting to make up for that. It seems quite natural to me that even as the commander we do care, even if we don't always have time to care.

  • @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Part of the difference I saw in community response was sometimes due to whether people had known a grieving teenager (or themselves aggrieved without being able to see their way forward).

    Another thing that might have influenced my reaction as compared with yours is that I didn't see Braham as a teenager. 22 is young, yes, but still an adult, and he looks like an adult in the game. Also, the pc didn't do anything that I could see to provoke such an extreme reaction and for such a long time. I didn't like that the pc couldn't stick up for herself and just had to stand there and meekly take all the toxic things Braham said to her. Why would the pc want this person as a friend or take him on important missions?

    @Ashen.2907 said:
    I dont want him to be humbled, or even killed off. I just dont want him around.

    This.

  • aandiarie.7195aandiarie.7195 Member ✭✭✭

    Hey, Taimi also almost died so maybe that changed stuff for Braham. Maybe he noticed his anger will have to wait. A certain god is dead and right now they have to focus on finding Joko to stop bad stuff from going down.

  • @Jessica Price II.9813 said:
    So he's been lashing out at the Commander. That actually seems kind of natural to me--not okay, not ethical, not right, but understandable--as does the Commander's restraint. They're not equals. Braham's what, 22? Your brain isn't even out of adolescence until you're 25ish. The Commander's an adult. I probably would have bitten my tongue, too, in that situation and, like, given him a year to finish mourning before I was like, "okay, my dude, let's talk about how you were kind of a jerk."

    Anyway: I came in, read up on Braham, and that was my take. But it's clearly NOT much of the audience's take, which means that the story hasn't done its job in conveying all that.

    My biggest problem with this is it's simply not consistent with how grief is portrayed across Tyria, more egregiously it's not consistent with how grief is portrayed (or more specifically, not portrayed) after HoT. Throughout the Personal Story, the Living World seasons and the two expansions - a lot of death takes place but never before has grief been this over the top and obnoxious when juxtaposed with how others in similar situations are handling their grief. It's very jarring from a player PoV to be told to take Braham's grief seriously when from our positions, his loss is a drop in the bucket - even the specific moment of his grief is nothing compared to the sylvari who experienced a near genocide, have trauma from both killing and being killed by their own, the first of their race fallen (and another racial leader and also one of the original 12 - Faolain - also dead). If grief was going to be a theme in Season 3 and onward, why wasn't the broad experience of grief portrayed? It's actually incredibly important even without Braham's story.

    Yes there is context for how Braham is specifically dealing (or not dealing) with his loss, but what about everyone else? Sylvari players were forced to kill, with their own hands, a mentor, close friend and the first of their race. Why isn't grief over the loss of Trahearne portrayed at all close to Braham's grief over Eir? What about the sylvari survivors, how are they dealing with the number of sylvari killed? Caithe was among the first of her kind with only 11 other siblings and she just lost two of them (one she loved intimately) and we don't see that grief portrayed.

    How are players supposed to look at Braham's grief, even knowing the context of it, and engage with that story when so much is missing from how everyone else (including ourselves) handles their grief? You've told Braham's grief story as if it occurred in a vacuum, when it very much doesn't occur in a vacuum. It looks like the story is so focused on telling the iconic character's stories that it fails to tell Tyria's story.

    I know a lot of people are like "just KILL him." That reaction's coming from two groups of people--one that's just annoyed by him and doesn't really want to have to deal with him, and one that cares deeply about story and character and recognizes that his treatment of the Commander was unfair. Can't do much for the former group, but for the latter, I think they think that will be satisfying, but there's no actual closure there. I think what they actually want is to see him humbled. And that's not meaningful unless he comes to understand the problems with what he did, and looks for ways to make meaningful restitution.

    I think many people feeling strong enough about anything in the story to post about it on a forum probably falls into both groups. I doubt there are many people who don't care about story and character that are spending their time complaining about story and character. What you said about wanting to humble him instead of kill him really seems to me like he's just going to escape consequences. I'm fine with a character dieing without understanding the problems of what they did. If they begin down a self destructive path which goes against wisdom (conventional or otherwise), I consider if a fulfilling story to see that character wind up dead, as long as the journey to their death is well told (and that's something that could be done with Braham). Putting the kid gloves on and touching his image up to re-position the audience on his side feels disingenuous to me. There is poetic tragedy in Braham becoming one of the legend seeking norn that goes off to take on Jormag and winds up dead, like all the norn before him that Eir sculpted in stone (it's part of why she joined Destiny's Edge in the first place). It would also subvert our expectations that Braham will eventually build a legend that rivals his mother's.

  • Turin.6921Turin.6921 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    @Jessica Price II.9813 said:

    Anyway: I came in, read up on Braham, and that was my take. But it's clearly NOT much of the audience's take, which means that the story hasn't done its job in conveying all that.

    Which makes our job going forward to try to nuance Braham, and show him thinking about his relationship with the Commander and what he actually wants that relationship to be--not what feels good in the moment, not what's going to give him an outlet for his anger and his grief and his frustration at what can't be, not the Commander as a symbol of Eir's death, but what the future looks like.

    You nailed it right there. This ¨mourning teenager¨ aspect came out of nowhere for me personally (which was before you came in). And i think for many others. The issue is that the HoT story gave Braham already a bit of an arc that implied closure in his mourning. He took some time off the fighting to mourn, he came back with conviction to kill the dragon to avenge his mother, his interactions with Taimi showed he was mourning but that he was also in control. He even shows strength overcoming the mind games Mordy plays with him on the final story instance (if you take him with you). And the last dialog after killing the dragon also implied closure through avenging his mother´s death. And then the next time we see him is in the infamous LS3 story and the anger and frustration feels out of nowhere.

    That is why i am really fond of the way he is shown in this last episode. Make a bit more sense to me.

  • Lillis.9473Lillis.9473 Member ✭✭

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    My feeling was that the Commander never sounded like they were biting their tongue; they sounded like they had no clue what to say or how to be a mentor or a leader or any of the other things that the player character had seemed to have learned in fighting Zhaitain, in bringing diverse tribes together, in choosing to part from the Pact to worry about existential threats to Tyria.

    THIS!!! The most annoying thing about this subplot is my character suddenly developed a stammer during "Breaking the Ice" while dealing with Braham. They didn't hold their tongue, they FAILED at the task of talking. Braham had shown himself to be impulsive before, but here he was disrespectful and petty and my character just swallowed it, incapable of responding intelligently. Braham was putting together an expedition with a high likelihood of getting someone killed and we just shrugged. Part of the anger at Braham is that he revealed our sudden, incomprehensible incompetence. He represents the writers who decided we needed to be humiliated.

  • @Lillis.9473 said:

    THIS!!! The most annoying thing about this subplot is my character suddenly developed a stammer during "Breaking the Ice" while dealing with Braham. They didn't hold their tongue, they FAILED at the task of talking. Braham had shown himself to be impulsive before, but here he was disrespectful and petty and my character just swallowed it, incapable of responding intelligently. Braham was putting together an expedition with a high likelihood of getting someone killed and we just shrugged. Part of the anger at Braham is that he revealed our sudden, incomprehensible incompetence. He represents the writers who decided we needed to be humiliated.

    This conveys what I was trying to say even better.

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Braham fits pretty well in the mediocre story and writing of GW2 - I would actually be surprised if there was a well written character here. There were a couple of characters that were way worse than him; though the anger at this Norn is due mainly to his presence in most of the post base game story - we just can't get a break from him.

    The fact that ArenaNet puts an overgrown emo kid in the middle of a war party on a mission and then builds his whole environment as a family picnic with plenty of understanding, support and nurturing is equally absurd as most of the writing in the base game. No person with Braham's attitude would ever survive a moment in the harsh reality of a brutal conflict and constant life or death situations affecting whole continents and no team would ever approach such a person in the ridiculous way it is handled in the game.

    Brothers Grimm fairy tales are way more realistic than this...

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