What’s old is new again

April 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm
filed under Roleplaying
Tagged , ,

There’s one last rumor I’ve heard, and I’ve gotta get this one off my chest. It’s a doozy.

It goes like this: not only is the World of Darkness MMO based on the old World of Darkness, but it will also be accompanied by a re-launch of the old World of Darkness.

Yikes.

Now, it’d be difficult to write up any sort of impassioned response to this. It’s just a goddamn rumor! I hate it when people on the Internet get seriously bent out of shape based on conjecture and hearsay.

Still, you know where this is going— obviously I’m saying something about it. You’re reading it right now! That’s because I can’t resist tossing out an opinion. Hell, if a blog’s not for this kind of speculation and bloviating, what’s it for? We might as well shut down the entire Internet, too.

So, yes, here it is: if that rumor’s true, I’ll be deeply, sorely disappointed.

It’s not partisanship that motivates my preference for the nWoD over the oWoD. While there are are pluses and minuses to each, I genuinely prefer the new World of Darkness for a plethora of reasons, and it’s tempting to rehash all of the reasons why. That way lies madness— it’ll be 2004 – 2006 all over again. I’ve had enough of those arguments to last me for a lifetime. So, without delving into too many specifics, I’ll speak to the oWoD game that was far and away my most favorite game for many years: Mage: the Ascension.

I most assuredly wasn’t the most avid fan of oMage. For one thing, I liked Revised better than 2nd Edition. Maybe that alone disqualifies me. But as my friends at the time can tell you, I was pretty deeply into the game for kind of a long time.

Now, though, years later, M:tAsc holds little appeal for me. The problem with staking out edgy political territory is that, when that era passes you by, it hardly seems relevant anymore. Maybe someday Ascension will feel retro. The ’90s sort of feel that way, although it’s hard for me to really nail it down.

My feelings have changed on other parts of it, too. I used to be ambivalent about many of the Traditions. The ones that I find interesting now are the exception. The wacky setting elements never thrilled me before, and now they actively bother me. The notion of paradigm feels more self-congratulatory than transcendental. The Technocracy might’ve been more relevant in the ’90s, but now that whole conflict feels like a straw-man. I’m not sure whether to attribute this to my tastes evolving, changing times, or simply growing up. Perhaps all three are inextricable.

This is to say nothing of the other of the Big Three. In their modern incarnation, I enjoy them. Their previous incarnations hold even less interest for me than the old Mage.

I feel obligated to give whatever they come up with a fair shake. I don’t want to be ridiculous Internet bombastic. So whatever it is, I’m willing to hear them out— if nothing else, they’re smart, creative people whose material I enjoy more reliably than any other’s in the business. That’s perhaps one reason why this rumor sticks in my craw, that it seems like a huge step back.

In any case, we’ll see. It’s all rumor and speculation and hearsay and all that kind of bullshit. Until we hear more, I will maintain a cautiously optimistic outlook, and wish the folks over at White Wolf the best of luck in shipping their upcoming work.

  • I totally agree. The settings of the nWoD are much more internally coherent (within the fiction of each line and across of the lines), and well-integrated with the rules. Not to mention the fact that their goal has got to be to try and get some kind of crossover market; people aren’t going to easily switch from nWoD tabletop to oWoD online and vice versa.

    But I suppose all this is just rampant speculation, as you say.

  • Matthew

    I think the reason why I find it even worthy of discussion is because there is kind of a group of ex-World of Darkness people who’re still relatively vocal. Bringing it up with anybody that used to play is likely to end with an argument.

    Much to my surprise, I heard a discussion like this at my FLGS fairly recently. Some time ago I probably would’ve taken the bait. These days I have a policy of trying to avoid what I refer to as “religious discussions.”

    But yes, I’m wondering if there’s not some notion that there’ll be crossover, for folks who enjoy the online experience to play in person. Perhaps with some solid online tools, they can pursue a similar goal to WotC’s digital initiative.

  • As far as LARPing is concerned, it’s not a rumor. I can’t give you a link although I know it’s out there. it might be on the LARP lists, though. But yes, oWoD is coming back to the official LARP family.

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