Forums » The Druid

Masae's Fox

    • 125 posts
    July 11, 2018 5:02 PM PDT

    Here's for my maiden post on the Druid forums here!

     

    I've been eyeing the Druid class for some time now. I'm a career healer, so I knew that I'd be maining either Cleric, Shaman, or Druid (with a huge maybe towards Enchanter if it simply offered enough support). I really liked the hints that we got about it being a more indirect healer from Joppa during Pax, and I loved the idea of them having weather manipulation as Kilsin teased two months ago. I've always liked the natural themes to classes, so it was definitely looking like Druid was the class for me.

    With the class reveals, I'm thoroughly intrigued by Druid, with its positionals (due to the tree), and its verdanfire. I'm loving how it looks a bit more situational, with ranged damage shields, invisibility and bridge-making and light sources. My only definite complaint (implementation could always cause some disturbances, but I mostly trust VR to implement things well) is about the fox companion.

    I'm mostly speaking from a roleplaying standpoint, and I understand that we roleplayers are in the minority, but hopefully I (and anyone else who might join in the discussion) can offer some efficient and good solutions to the problem I speak of.

    The fox shoehorns a roleplayer's character.

    The fox, according to the text on the class page, was a gift from Masae, the Halfling ward who is known as the preserver of the natural world. My problem with it is that it isn't something you get to choose, or slot in to your character build. It's a passive that's forced upon you, that might have a lot of implications. Because of the fox companion, are we as Druids beholden to the ward Masae? What does that mean for our character? Does being a Druid necessarily require connections with the Halflings, since the one who gave us our fox was a ward of the Halflings?

    Depending on the answers to these questions, the simple choice of being a Druid might end up making a large handful of decisions for our character automatically. This, of course, happens to a larger or smaller extent no matter what class you choose, but I worry that in the case of Druid, it might impact too much.

     

    Other games have gone down this road, and I personally found those games much more difficult to roleplay in, and I found myself much less able to create the character that I loved.

    Final Fantasy XIV is an example of this. Most of the classes in FFXIV have quite focused lore, meaning that by making one decision, several others are automatically made for your character, if you're attempting to respect the lore of that universe to a high degree. Do you want to be a monk? Then you were necessarily Ala Mhigan, and you are necessarily a certain age, since the temple of Monks only existed in Ala Mhigo, and was largely destroyed by a Mad King some years ago. Being Ala Mhigan almost necessitates that you're a Highlander Hyur, and since becoming a Monk requires a very specific training history, by simply making one decision, nearly the entire backstory of your character is filled in for you. Also in FFXIV, being a conjurer meant that you necessarily had to pay homage to the elementals, which were the source of your power. This in turn meant you had to pay respects to the conjurer's guild and that required you to be in a specific city for large amounts of time. Simply by choosing that class, much of your history was penned in as well.

    Some games took a much more lenient approach, like World of Warcraft. Although you did pick a class, and you had a definite class identity (as far as lore goes) and "class centers", there were so many different class centers that you could pretty easily bend the class lore to fit with your character concept by weaving in with the local lore and racial lore around a particular class center.

    Other games were almost entirely freeform, like ArcheAge, which barely mentioned your skill choices at all. Being a certain class had almost no impact because there wasn't much lore about the classes, and there weren't class hubs.

     

    I know that in Pantheon, the developers want each class to have an identity, and a purpose, and I really appreciate that. I don't see any issue with any of the other classes, albeit we haven't really seen too much information lore-wise about most of them. The worry here for me is that concept being taken too far, to the point where choosing nothing but your class ends up determining a large portion of your character's history or allegiance. Especially when it comes to roleplayers, we need to be able to craft our own characters that can harmonize with a class and race's lore.

    I think there are really good ways to give a class identity lore-wise, like we see with the Paladin. A Paladin was once a Cleric that chose to advance further and specialize in the martial aspects of worship. While this might sort of imply that a Paladin would be a slightly older character, and have a certain set of views, hopefully the regimen required to become a Paladin isn't too much more limiting than that, and hopefully there are a handful of "righteous" deities that Paladins can respect, a la DnD.

    Another good example is the Shaman. They definitely have a class identity, with elemental aspects and the "vision" concept, which seems very interesting, but that identity is broad enough to have a multitude of personality types harmonize with that. In fact, the whole point of Shaman is that they aren't beholden to any one culture or religion, because they must ease away from those restraints to see more of the past eras.

    So far, Druid is the only class that's absolutely linked to one singular deity (which usually means worshipping that deity and following their tenets), the only class that's definitely attached to a single creature (even Shaman have at least a choice between a bear and a wolf), and tied to a specific concept (nature).

     

    Solutions

    One of my pet peeves is when people offer complaints without bothering to spend much time thinking of a workable solution, so I wanted to avoid that, so here are some very basic ideas for a better way to handle a Druid companion.

    1) Different deities can offer different companions based on race/decisions made in the first Druid quest, etc.

    The goal here is to un-limit the Druid roleplayer from being necessarily connected to one singular deity/ward/thing. There don't have to be 10 different options, maybe just a handful, and I definitely am partial to the companion being either chosen by the player or even selected based on decisions made early on. Models could be borrowed from other mobs and given a simple reskin (or even not!).

    2) The pet could be optional.

    Could there be a Druid that wasn't blessed by Masae? Could be a thought for those that don't think their character concept necessarily fits with that. I know I personally had envisioned my character as being somewhat agnostic.

    3) We could have the option to change the pet from a fox to other creatures as we level, to suit our playstyle.

     

    What do you guys think about all this?


    This post was edited by Temmi at July 11, 2018 5:48 PM PDT
    • 1312 posts
    July 11, 2018 5:18 PM PDT

    Hello Temmi,

    I know it's only a small part of what your post was about, but the description stated "As a preserver of the natural world, the Halfling Ward known as Masae..."  This could be taken the way you presented it, as the Ward of the Halflings, or it could be taken that Masae is a Ward that just happens to be a Halfling.  Either way, though, I think it only lessens your predicament a little.

    • 177 posts
    July 11, 2018 5:53 PM PDT

    What they did with the fox is somewhat risky but I like it. People that do not care about the Lore are not affected. White fox comes with the class period. Some people that care about the lore might feel that it is cool. Others might not like it. Like everything, it is impossible to have 100% concensus. 

    I am wondering if some others classes abilties will be tied to other dieties. I am wondering if VR hesitated a lot to have more than one dieties involved with the druids and have more than one animal depending of the race. 

    Temmi said:

    1) Different deities can offer different companions based on race/decisions made in the first Druid quest, etc.

    The goal here is to un-limit the Druid roleplayer from being necessarily connected to one singular deity/ward/thing. There don't have to be 10 different options, maybe just a handful, and I definitely am partial to the companion being either chosen by the player or even selected based on decisions made early on. Models could be borrowed from other mobs and given a simple reskin (or even not!).

    2) The pet could be optional.

    Could there be a Druid that wasn't blessed by Masae? Could be a thought for those that don't think their character concept necessarily fits with that. I know I personally had envisioned my character as being somewhat agnostic.

    3) We could have the option to change the pet from a fox to other creatures as we level, to suit our playstyle.

    What do you guys think about all this?

     

    1) It could have been cool but I think it would add complexity and definitely more work for VR.

    2) Their decision was made and it is too late. The white fox, gift of Masae is an important part of the Druid class. There is still time to rethink a background for your character.   

    3) Perhaps it will be implemented as an epic quest for the class. I doubt it though.

    • 125 posts
    July 11, 2018 6:02 PM PDT

    Ithaca said:

    What they did with the fox is somewhat risky but I like it. People that do not care about the Lore are not affected. White fox comes with the class period. Some people that care about the lore might feel that it is cool. Others might not like it. Like everything, it is impossible to have 100% concensus. 

    I am wondering if some others classes abilties will be tied to other dieties. I am wondering if VR hesitated a lot to have more than one dieties involved with the druids and have more than one animal depending of the race. 

     

    1) It could have been cool but I think it would add complexity and definitely more work for VR.

    2) Their decision was made and it is too late. The white fox, gift of Masae is an important part of the Druid class. There is still time to rethink a background for your character.   

    3) Perhaps it will be implemented as an epic quest for the class. I doubt it though.

     

    You're wrong. The whole point of these developmental forums is that things aren't set in stone. We can prompt change if we make our voices heard. If the vast majority of other Druid roleplayers like the white fox, then by all means, I'll suffer. But if that's not the case, our voices should not be silenced because of this initial class reveal. So long as we can voice our concerns in a respectful and constructive way, we should.

     

    1) If they use simple reskins of other creatures that already have animations, that's barely more work for VR. It could be as little work as a few different dialogue options and a few different skill icons.

    2) Again, it's not too late at all. The game is still at least a year and a half away from release. Plenty of time to tweak things, so long as we aren't suggesting an entire overhaul to the class.

    3) Start with a fox, and maybe at level 20 we are granted another companion, which we can choose instead of the fox in a demi-permanent decision depending on our preferences. Maybe we get another option at level 30, and so on.

     

    I think the most helpful thing we can offer here isn't "Well it is what it is!" That's not really a useful post. The type of feedback that might be useful is whether or not we like it, so I'm curious. Do you thoroughly enjoy the White Fox companion? Or do you see how it could be a limiting factor?


    This post was edited by Temmi at July 11, 2018 6:02 PM PDT
  • Wig
    • 173 posts
    July 11, 2018 7:21 PM PDT
    I personally like diversity. So I’m not too fond of every Druid getting a white fox...seeing all druids running around with the exact same white fox irks me but I’ll push through..maybe I’ll even like it one day
    • 149 posts
    July 11, 2018 8:32 PM PDT

    Temmi said:

    The fox shoehorns a roleplayer's character.

    The fox, according to the text on the class page, was a gift from Masae, the Halfling ward who is known as the preserver of the natural world. My problem with it is that it isn't something you get to choose, or slot in to your character build. It's a passive that's forced upon you, that might have a lot of implications. Because of the fox companion, are we as Druids beholden to the ward Masae? What does that mean for our character? Does being a Druid necessarily require connections with the Halflings, since the one who gave us our fox was a ward of the Halflings?

    Depending on the answers to these questions, the simple choice of being a Druid might end up making a large handful of decisions for our character automatically. This, of course, happens to a larger or smaller extent no matter what class you choose, but I worry that in the case of Druid, it might impact too much.

    Even though I'm not an avid roleplayer, I do still like to be able to create a general backstory for my character, and I had the same thoughts about the fox. I would definitely like it better if the idea of the divine avatar with a specific origin were changed to a more generic companion--either a less specifically identified divine avatar or even a regular animal familiar that is granted special powers from its bond with the druid. The specificity of the fox's origin seems unnecessarily restrictive to me, and it would seem a little weird to me if every single druid in the game were accompanied by the exact same avatar of the exact same divine being. And as you said, it would definitely hinder choices for roleplayers. I know zilch about programming, but it seems to me that making this change would basically just be a matter of changing the lore slightly at this point, so I would think it would be easy enough to do if enough people wanted it and the devs agreed.

    Also just want to mention that I've loved all the class reveals so far, and I'm very impressed with the Druid overall...but yes, this is one detail that I would prefer to see done a different way. I'd be really curious to know what others think.

     

    • 1275 posts
    July 11, 2018 8:45 PM PDT

    Makes little sense to pigeon hole an entire class based on lore that someone made up. Does it really matter? Not to me. Is it a valid "complaint"? Absolutely. 


    This post was edited by Keno Monster at July 11, 2018 8:45 PM PDT
    • 23 posts
    July 11, 2018 8:48 PM PDT

    I'm ok with being "stuck" with a single animal for my entire Druid career. But if I'm going to be stuck with just that one, I want to be able to choose it, not be forced to take the same one as everyone else. I'm thinking of playing a Archai Druid and don't know why I'd be recieving such a gift from a Halfling. I don't even care if the choice is asthetic only, reskinned "fox" I just want a choice.

    • 323 posts
    July 11, 2018 10:11 PM PDT

    I'm very happy with the druid concepts, but yes - an Ogre druid will have a white fox? Not totally clear whether the fox is only for halflings or for all.

    • 49 posts
    July 11, 2018 11:29 PM PDT

    Alexander said:

    I'm very happy with the druid concepts, but yes - an Ogre druid will have a white fox? Not totally clear whether the fox is only for halflings or for all.

     

    Exactly my thought. I also would rather not have a pet. Make it an optional fluff buff maybe that you can summon but dont need to. I would always run around without.

    • 125 posts
    July 12, 2018 1:13 AM PDT
    Just to reiterate quickly, I'm not at all upset with the function of the fox. If anything, it seems like a visual cue for a "stance", which is pretty cool in my opinion. I like the different effects and how it gives some reactivity to what you're doing as a healer.
    I just feel that when the only class customization we're going to get is which abilities we have slotted (no traits or talents to speak of right now), attaching us to one singular entity like this makes being diverse that much harder.
  • Wig
    • 173 posts
    July 12, 2018 3:23 AM PDT
    Same for Dark Myr druid. A fox doesn’t fit as much as an amphibious animal would.
    • 522 posts
    July 12, 2018 6:25 AM PDT

    While foxxes are a pretty premeire "godly animal", I feel like there are several other options like cats, snakes, and crows, which could also fit into rl folklore as animals a god might grant to people. You could definately have the druid pet come a little later so that the players can make a fitting, permanent choice based on their preferencess, based on backstory or coolness or lols or whatever.

    I don't really like the idea of being able to change the animal while you have it, and I'd even go so far as to say druid pets should be unkillable familiars (so long as the druid is alive) that are always out. It really looks like the druid pet is going to be a true permanent extension of the druid, like hands or feet. I love that!

    I guess I wouldn't mind some druids just NOT having pets, but I'm drawing a blank on how you would give these druids the basically free and very powerful abilities the pet has. Especially if it turns out the druid pet has an hp bar. A lot of what the druid pet does are things the pet actively maintains for a set period of time. 

    Your permanent friend should be something you choose and can therefore tolerate happily!


    This post was edited by BeaverBiscuit at July 12, 2018 6:30 AM PDT
    • 6 posts
    July 12, 2018 6:40 AM PDT

    I was going to say the same thing - I really love the concept the fox presents, but I think for lore and diversity it would be much cooler if there are more choices, whether that's based on race, quests, choice of deity, etc.  Like some of you others have said, if all druids have the same fox it's not going to stop me from playing a druid but it is a (small) downside.

    Edit:  The more I thought about it, I can see the idea growing on me.  I wish we could maybe name the fox, but the lore could be designed around a "druid order" of types, that respects nature above racial or theistic disputes, where Masae is the current leader, and just happens to be a halfing.  Or something like that.


    This post was edited by Wilsef at July 12, 2018 8:08 AM PDT
    • 179 posts
    July 12, 2018 6:43 AM PDT

    Although not a role player I as well prefer to have a back story for my character. With that said I must agree with Temme. I plan on playing a Dark Myre as hopefully a druid and, like Temme, Im having a slight issue wrapping my brain around the fox and the limitations it brings to my story. It would be great to have the option to in some way choose your companion or have your companion choose you based on your choices early on in game play.

    On a humorous side-note I find it somewhat amusing that not only is the Druid somewhat of a treehugger but he/she is now forcing everyone else in the group to become one as well by having the tree's powers become stronger the closer you get. lol

    • 1148 posts
    July 12, 2018 7:18 AM PDT

    Aatu said:

    Although not a role player I as well prefer to have a back story for my character. With that said I must agree with Temme. I plan on playing a Dark Myre as hopefully a druid and, like Temme, Im having a slight issue wrapping my brain around the fox and the limitations it brings to my story. It would be great to have the option to in some way choose your companion or have your companion choose you based on your choices early on in game play.

    On a humorous side-note I find it somewhat amusing that not only is the Druid somewhat of a treehugger but he/she is now forcing everyone else in the group to become one as well by having the tree's powers become stronger the closer you get. lol

     

    For the joke aspect, if the fox is halflings specifics, I hope dark myrs don't end up with a big tuna around the neck.

    • 15 posts
    July 13, 2018 1:02 AM PDT

    I read it from the point of view of a class description after you chose a race. Since the "mascot" druid we have  been seeing is the Halfling with the fox, it said which companion the halfling would receive. Perhaps if we'd been seeing an ogre druid, it would have shown whatever an ogre gets. I didn't take it as ALL druids will have a halfling gifted fox. Kinda similar how to Pathfinder source books refer to paladins as "she". Because their "mascot" paladin is female. It doesn't mean that all paladins must be female.

    • 48 posts
    July 13, 2018 3:27 AM PDT

    I've barely read the lore and I'm not sure if they've said anything about religion being in teh game...

    I personally would like to see an aestetic choice of familiar based on a diety you choose to worship; no matter what race you choose I think the druid should be able to choose which druid diety they worship and based on that choice get the appropriate familiar.

    • 391 posts
    July 13, 2018 8:54 AM PDT

    I am all for different animals. I am thinking of a Dark Myr druid, so having some aquatic or amphibious pet would be pretty cool. This could also play a role in diversity in terms of where druids can excel at. Dark Myr druids can excel more in the water because of the aquatic pet,  Ogre for swamps, elves for forest, halflings for plains, Archai for maybe scorched areas. Anyways, they can definitly bring some diversity with this pet even among the druids with the different climates and what they areas of the world they excel at.

    • 391 posts
    July 13, 2018 8:56 AM PDT

    Watemper said:

    I am all for different animals. I am thinking of a Dark Myr druid, so having some aquatic or amphibious pet would be pretty cool. This could also play a role in diversity in terms of where druids can excel at. Dark Myr druids can excel more in the water because of the aquatic pet,  Ogre for swamps, elves for forest, halflings for plains, Archai for maybe scorched areas. Anyways, they can definitly bring some diversity with this pet even among the druids with the different climates and what they areas of the world they excel at.

     

    Also, with druids bringing manipulation to the field, you can possiblity change the climate in certain areas to make your pet more effective, depending on what pet you got.

    • 260 posts
    July 14, 2018 7:02 PM PDT

    I was a bit surprised too at the explicit information about the halfling diety applying to the Druid as a whole. The way I chose to understand Druid's is that they interact with the nature of an ancient Terminus, namely, the world prior to being infested with the numerous races. Take a look at end the first paragraph of the Druid depiction:

    "With the manifold fragments of other worlds and realms now on Terminus, the landscape is highly diverse and treacherous. For this reason, Druids are often revered as visionaries who can see beyond the fragmented terrain and into the heart of Terminus itself."

    Seeing as how halfings aren't inherent to Terminus itself I wouldn't expect their dieties, which originate from the halfing world, to be influencing Druids as a whole. It could just be placeholder lore and as others have mentioned is easily modified as a reskin. Who knows though, maybe Masae has some deep connection with Terminus too. I love the mechanic of the fox and would love for us Druids to be able to distinguish ourselves through a variety of different familiars - be they from the individual race's lore or the independent, ancient lore of Terminus.

    • 260 posts
    July 14, 2018 7:17 PM PDT

    kdavis said:

    I read it from the point of view of a class description after you chose a race. Since the "mascot" druid we have  been seeing is the Halfling with the fox, it said which companion the halfling would receive. Perhaps if we'd been seeing an ogre druid, it would have shown whatever an ogre gets. I didn't take it as ALL druids will have a halfling gifted fox. Kinda similar how to Pathfinder source books refer to paladins as "she". Because their "mascot" paladin is female. It doesn't mean that all paladins must be female.

    I was about to comment the same. It could just be as simple as the Halfling was used in the picture to depict the Druid and the text is specific to that representative race. I think you've nailed it.

    • 1312 posts
    July 15, 2018 4:45 AM PDT

    I'm fairly sure Masae is not a halfling diety.  And if Masae was a halfling diety, you wouldn't be getting anything from him/her due to the Celestial Barrier.  I'm no master of lore, so I could be wrong on this.  Masae is simply the Ward of the Hunt

    • 125 posts
    July 15, 2018 7:09 AM PDT

    Honestly, when I read it, I did interpret it as Masae being a deity. We were told that it is still possible for deities to Descend, which implies to me that they likely can also have some influence with mortals. I read it as Masae giving the fox as an extension of herself/himself because they couldn't do as much beyond the boundary, so the fox was like, the workaround? I'm not sure, and even that is just speculation at this point.

    I will say, however, that as you had mentioned previously, kelenin, whether or not Masae is a deity doesn't really effect the dilemma.

    If it's true that we were given the Halfling fox because the featured Druid is a Halfling, then that would be alright. I'm definitely still in the boat that prefers to have our own choices effect wihch companion we get though!

    I'm really pleased that this got so much attention, and I'm really happy that everyone has been respectful. Destructive criticism is useless. Hopefully the devs can take our feedback and find some good options for us!

    • 120 posts
    July 15, 2018 8:43 AM PDT

    Maybe if this gets enough attention, they could have enough time and inclination to add in several choices for the animal companion. Having only one choice doesn't really bother me, but I could see why people would like more choices.