Proposal: Call "Vigilantes" "Zealots" instead.

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skywraith
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Proposal: Call "Vigilantes" "Zealots" instead.

The reason is because in COX, it never really made sense for a "vigilante" to go around adventuring with criminals. He/she would want to kill them instead. I didn't see a whole lot of players building toons around the vigilante idea for that reason.

"Zealot" is a more broad catch all. An anti hero. A terrorist could be considered a "Zealot". For example, an eco-terrorist who plants bombs in trees to kill the lumberjacks who come to cut them down. It's evil, but "for a good cause".

Zealots are happy to shake hands with the devil if it will forward their particular cause. They are idealists who are not motivated by money (so certainly not mercenaries), but they are totally ruthless and feel like any rules of right and wrong (outside their particular fixation) simply don't apply to them.

A vigilante is just a zealot who becomes fixated on punishing criminals. But even a proper hero might still go outside the law sometimes to bring a particularly nefarious criminal to justice.

That's why I'm suggesting that, if we want people to seriously take this aligment and make characters around it, then either Vigilantes need to never work with villains - or that name shouldn't be used. Zealots can think of themselves as vigilantes if they want.

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Batman is considered a

Batman is considered a Vigilante. At times he has worked with Catwoman. There has also been a few stories where he worked with Bane (at the time it was thought bane might have been a half brother of Bruce.) The point is that it's rare but sometimes for a common cause Batman has worked with Villains.

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Do you want to design a

Do you want to design a character around really rare occurrences?

Superman also has worked with villains sometimes. That falls along the idea of Cimmerra in COX. I don't think any superhero gets past 100 issues of comics without doing that at least once.

As for Batman, I don't see any good reason why Batman would have access to the villain areas. If Batman is a vigilante (and I'm not disagreeing that he is), then why bother having a whole category for them? They're basically just heroes who haven't been given any official recognition or authority by the government to do what they do.

Batman isn't going to help the Joker blow up a building full of people. A zealot might.

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That is of course would City

That is of course would City of Titans system work like City of heroes. The talk made it look like you start off on a blank setting and the choices you make changes how the game sees you. So no one automatically labeled Hero or Vigilante. We simply don't know that much about the system.

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Sorry I edited that last post

Sorry I edited that last post.

It's true we don't know how the system works in COT. In COX, it was silly to have Vigilantes because the way they were implemented they made no sense. I'm just hoping that won't happen in COT.

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Vigilantes and Rogues in CoH

Vigilantes and Rogues in CoH weren't really integrated in the story. It was a system that let heroes or villain to go to the other side to play with friends with out full switching.

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If they're integrated, then

If they're integrated, then vigilante will probably be cool. But how would you migrate from vigilante to villain? There's just not a lot of overlap in those two groups' outlook on life. Zealots are just villains who think they're right. But Vigilantes have a bit less depth.

Think about, for example. General Zod in the recent Man of Steel movie. Is he a villain? Yeah kind of. Is he a rogue/mercenary? Certainly not. He's a zealot, plain and simple. You might think of him as a vigilante fighting for Krypton, perhaps, but he's most certainly not like Batman.

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skywraith wrote:
skywraith wrote:

Sorry I edited that last post.
It's true we don't know how the system works in COT. In COX, it was silly to have Vigilantes because the way they were implemented they made no sense. I'm just hoping that won't happen in COT.

It's possible that your definition of "vigilante" is a little too strict.

Several online definitions define the word "vigilante" generally as one who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands. There's nothing in these definitions that specifically imply "will never associate with villains" or "will always try to kill/arrest any type of criminal at all costs".

So in that context it might be perfectly reasonable for a vigilante to do almost anything (even technically illegal) to accomplish their ultimate goals including associating with known villains if it meant they could stop a greater injustice. Think of James Bond for instance - he doesn't care about money for himself or avoiding doing naughty/illegal things; he only cares about the ultimate goal of defeating the main big bad guy by any means necessary. Another example is a given vigilante might only care about catching rapists and would be perfectly willing to work with other types of criminals in order to find rapists who have evaded the law.

While I'll grant you there could be a subset type of vigilante who hates ALL types of crime to the point they want to kill/arrest ANY kind of lawbreaker I'd have to say that would be a relatively small minority of the overall types of vigilantism. With that in mind your use of the generic term "zealot" really is pretty much equivalent to the more conventional use of the term "vigilante".

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James Bond would be a good

James Bond would be a good zealot also. My issue is that, I think when most people (potential players) think of the word "vigilante", they're thinking about Frank Castle. "The Punisher."

A good archtypical villain to use for this comparison would be The Joker. He's about as villainous as they get.

I could see James Bond teaming up with the Joker if it helped him thwart the bad guy he's currently fighting. However, I could never imagine Frank Castle would do that. Not unless the whole fate of the world hanged in the balance (in which case Superman, or any of the other goody goody heroes would probably make the same decision.)

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skywraith wrote:
skywraith wrote:

If they're integrated, then vigilante will probably be cool. But how would you migrate from vigilante to villain? There's just not a lot of overlap in those two groups' outlook on life. Zealots are just villains who think they're right. But Vigilantes have a bit less depth.
Think about, for example. General Zod in the recent Man of Steel movie. Is he a villain? Yeah kind of. Is he a rogue/mercenary? Certainly not. He's a zealot, plain and simple. You might think of him as a vigilante fighting for Krypton, perhaps, but he's most certainly not like Batman.

The basic problem here is that anyone can be a zealot. A zealot is simply someone who is fanatical about "anything". This means you can have a:

Zealous Hero
Zealous Vigilante
Zealous Villain
Zealous Rogue

But in the context of someone who is technically "doing the right thing but may be doing it in a questionably illegal/amoral way" you have the "vigilante" which perfectly fits between a strict hero and a strict villain.

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skywraith wrote:
skywraith wrote:

My issue is that, I think when most people (potential players) think of the word "vigilante", they're thinking about Frank Castle. "The Punisher."

I'll again grant you that "The Punisher" may be a type of vigilante. But I don't really see him as the only "type" of vigilante. I played several vigilantes in CoH which varied quite a bit from each other and "The Punisher" in their overall outlook. *shrugs*

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Maybe so, but would the title

Maybe so, but would the title of vigilante then boil downto politics?

I don't get mad, I restructure the laws of quantum physics and resolve the situation with temporal engineering.

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Automatisch wrote:
Automatisch wrote:

Maybe so, but would the title of vigilante then boil downto politics?

Maybe. It's definitely a "relativistic" term in that it strongly depends on your society's standards and rule of law. For instance if you had to kill a person who was invading your home you would not be called a "vigilante" but if you went out and killed a person who you knew had invaded someone else's home then you be a labeled a "vigilante".

Regardless the term "vigilante" is a specific type of thing that fits in the grey area between "hero" and "villain". Unfortunately a term like "zealot" is simply an adjective-oriented term that could apply to anyone.

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Agreed, zealot is a poor term

Agreed, zealot is a poor term to discribe a moral grey. Maybe if you developed a term alongside rogues you would get a better idea of what you are going for.

I don't get mad, I restructure the laws of quantum physics and resolve the situation with temporal engineering.

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Automatisch wrote:
Automatisch wrote:

Maybe so, but would the title of vigilante then boil downto politics?

I would imagine that you could boil the credo of a vigilante down into the slogan "Justice, not Law" -- doing what the vigilante perceives as being for the good of the individual or community in the face of laws that criminals exploit the loopholes of to shield them from having to face the due and proper consequences of their actions.

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Ambiguity is a good thing.

Ambiguity is a good thing. Non-specific ness also. That's how you give players a wide berth to be creative in.

But vigilante is much more narrowly defined. In the general use, it has to do with taking the law into ones' own hands, and usually by way of punishing evil.

General Zod is hard (although not impossible) to rationalize as a "vigilante". James Bond has a "License to kill" and therefore has legal permission. .

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Quote:
Quote:

Regardless the term "vigilante" is a specific type of thing that fits in the grey area between "hero" and "villain". Unfortunately a term like "zealot" is simply an adjective-oriented term that could apply to anyone.

Ambiguity is a good thing. Non-specific ness also. That's how you give players a wide berth to be creative in.

But vigilante is much more narrowly defined. In the general use, it has to do with taking the law into ones' own hands, and usually by way of punishing evil.

General Zod is hard (although not impossible) to rationalize as a "vigilante". James Bond has a "License to kill" and therefore has legal permission. .

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srmalloy wrote:
srmalloy wrote:

Automatisch wrote:
Maybe so, but would the title of vigilante then boil downto politics?
I would imagine that you could boil the credo of a vigilante down into the slogan "Justice, not Law" -- doing what the vigilante perceives as being for the good of the individual or community in the face of laws that criminals exploit the loopholes of to shield them from having to face the due and proper consequences of their actions.

I agree with the term "Justice, not Law" here. Vigilante is a specific term, but it's not as specific as it could be. A vigilante does what they think is right, no matter what society says. A zealot is obsessed with one thing and one thing only. Like stated before, a rapist killer or some such person. But a vigilante is not afraid to defer from the strict moral code of a clean-cut hero, and does things they cannot or will not.

The Punisher is a vigilante, but I do doubt he'd join forces with someone like the Joker. However, if there was no other way, he might. I don't know very much about him, but I know enough to be able to say that with sufficient confidence.

A zealot would not be afraid to do so at all, because they are wholly obsessed with doing what they do. They don't care who gets them to their goal, they just want it.

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When ever I hear zealot, my

When ever I hear zealot, my first thought is religion.

Google search wrote:

noun: zealot; plural noun: zealots

1.
a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
synonyms: fanatic, enthusiast, extremist, radical, Young Turk, diehard, activist, militant; bigot, dogmatist, sectarian, partisan; informal fiend, maniac, ultra, nut

And that fits in along my thought lines as well.... Being described as a zealot gives a totally different feel compared to being described as a vigilante (not to mention as well that you could be a zealous vigilante...)

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It's hard to role play a

It's hard to role play a vigilante becoming a full on villain. At what point would they cross over? They are, after all, fundamentally good people still. Just a bit unorthodox.

In order for it to be a good cross over classification, there needs to be a way to imagine the person going a step too far in their role and not wanting to go back. I don't see Frank Castle getting so carried away that he starts his own criminal empire. But I could see General Zod conquering a world and becoming a tyrant. He's at a place where the transition from well meaning (but misguided) idealist to self serving psychopath is just a fuzzy line.

A read a comic once (which might have been one of those alternate universe type comics) where the Justice League caught Martian Man Hunter experimenting on humans, trying to genetically modify them into martians in order to re-create his race. He argued that it was the right thing for him to do, rather than let his race die with him. It's not an improbable trip for a hero to take, crossing over to Zealotry.

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I thought the point of this

I thought the goal of this games character creation department is to be as generalized and vague as possible to allow the player to dictate the specifics of their character. Though I don't support Zealot as the replacement for vigilante, as it comes with more negative connotations. City of Heroes/Villain morality system actually made a lot of sense, not often does one suddenly slip and change sides, it is more of a degenerative process that takes place over time. They did talk about future plans for having a lengthy task force where you do something REALLY good or REALLY bad to screw over a lot of people and switch sides instantly. That was never expanded on much.

On one hand they could have a five distinct classifications fitting every character that you can work towards through your actions in game. Hero, Anti-Hero, Rogue, Anti-Villain, Villain. Each one is an established character type.

Every villain is a hero in their own mind.

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skywraith wrote:
skywraith wrote:

Quote:
Regardless the term "vigilante" is a specific type of thing that fits in the grey area between "hero" and "villain". Unfortunately a term like "zealot" is simply an adjective-oriented term that could apply to anyone.

Ambiguity is a good thing. Non-specific ness also. That's how you give players a wide berth to be creative in.
But vigilante is much more narrowly defined. In the general use, it has to do with taking the law into ones' own hands, and usually by way of punishing evil.

While I agree you can define "vigilante" very narrowly (i.e. vigilante = The Punisher) I'll simply maintain that its use in CoH was in fact much more broadly defined. Even your definition above defines the term too narrowly; all vigilantes "take the law into their own hands" but the "punishing evil" bit is something only a subset of vigilantes do. For example you could probably label the Sovereign Citizen folks as vigilantes because they think they are, among other things, not required to pay Federal income taxes. What evil are they punishing by not paying their taxes?

skywraith wrote:

General Zod is hard (although not impossible) to rationalize as a "vigilante".

General Zod could easily be considered a vigilante from the point of view that he exceeded his authority granted to him by the Krypton ruling council so most of what he did in the name of "preserving Krypton" was very "illegal". He was also a zealot because he did what he did with a blind uncompromising passion to the bitter end. But being zealous didn't make him a vigilante or vice-versa.

skywraith wrote:

James Bond has a "License to kill" and therefore has legal permission.

Yes everyone knows about Bond's "License to Kill". But seriously - where is it "actually" legal for anyone to kill anyone else the way Bond does? Did the UN issue him that "license" so that it's legal for him to kill in every country of the world? No, of course not. All his so-called license means is that he's been specifically tasked by MI6 to do anything necessary, including ILLEGAL things like murder, to achieve his goals. MI6 is not Parliament, it does not represent the "law of the land" so strictly speaking he does not have "legal" permission to kill people. It's not like he actually has a paper "killer license" that he keeps in his wallet next to his driver's license. lol.

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Alpha0177 wrote:
Alpha0177 wrote:

srmalloy wrote:
Automatisch wrote:
Maybe so, but would the title of vigilante then boil downto politics?

I would imagine that you could boil the credo of a vigilante down into the slogan "Justice, not Law" -- doing what the vigilante perceives as being for the good of the individual or community in the face of laws that criminals exploit the loopholes of to shield them from having to face the due and proper consequences of their actions.

I agree with the term "Justice, not Law" here. Vigilante is a specific term, but it's not as specific as it could be. A vigilante does what they think is right, no matter what society says. A zealot is obsessed with one thing and one thing only. Like stated before, a rapist killer or some such person. But a vigilante is not afraid to defer from the strict moral code of a clean-cut hero, and does things they cannot or will not.
The Punisher is a vigilante, but I do doubt he'd join forces with someone like the Joker. However, if there was no other way, he might. I don't know very much about him, but I know enough to be able to say that with sufficient confidence.
A zealot would not be afraid to do so at all, because they are wholly obsessed with doing what they do. They don't care who gets them to their goal, they just want it.

I might accept the idea that a "zealous vigilante" (like The Punisher) might be willing to push the boundaries of legality farther than a "cautious vigilante" (like Dexter for instance). But again the adjective "zealous" only describes the kind of vigilante you're talking about, not that a "zealot" (as a noun) is something fundamentally different from a vigilante.

Ultimately I still think the problem with this conversation is the confusion between trying to define a zealot as something that could exist as a peer term on an alignment scale versus the fact that it's really only a generic adjective that could apply to any of the terms on that alignment scale. Or put more simply: how can "zealot" be a replacement term for "vigiliante" when I've already pointed out that you can have zealous heroes, zealous vigilantes, zealous villains and zealous rogues?

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Can't help myself. The whole

Can't help myself. The whole "Licence to Kill" reminded me of Brock Samson from The Venture Brothers.

http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/551224/730021.jpg

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RottenLuck wrote:
RottenLuck wrote:

Can't help myself. The whole "Licence to Kill" reminded me of Brock Samson from The Venture Brothers.
http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/551224/730021.jpg

Yep the whole reason that was a "funny thing" in The Venture Brothers was that it was a joke in reference to James Bond's supposedly "real" Licence to Kill. ;)

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skywraith wrote:
skywraith wrote:

Do you want to design a character around really rare occurrences? .

Wait, this question just made me blink. We're talking about super heroes, right? hahahaha. Sorry, don't mean to disrupt conversation.

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skywraith wrote:
skywraith wrote:

Do you want to design a character around really rare occurrences?
Superman also has worked with villains sometimes. That falls along the idea of Cimmerra in COX. I don't think any superhero gets past 100 issues of comics without doing that at least once.
As for Batman, I don't see any good reason why Batman would have access to the villain areas. If Batman is a vigilante (and I'm not disagreeing that he is), then why bother having a whole category for them? They're basically just heroes who haven't been given any official recognition or authority by the government to do what they do.
Batman isn't going to help the Joker blow up a building full of people. A zealot might.

Well I think many things in super hero MMO are designed around relatively rare occurrences. Such as teaming, although fun, is relatively rare in the super hero realm compared ot each major super hero getting their own book, doing their own work, dealing with their own problem with the storyline delving into the superhero's past with the story going on how they deal with villains and their personal mindset. There are a few groups and a few spin off usually non-canon occurrences where heroes team up, but mostly, they are on their own and more often then not they are facing each other. I think Justice league and Avengers are a couple of the few actually have their own canon in super hero comic lore that consist of super hero teaming up. Yet the entire basis of most super hero mmo is designed around super heroes teaming up to complete tasks instead of on their own.

But with the zealot thing, anything or anyone can be a zealot. Whether hero or villain or in between. And you're right about that it's rare that super heroes, even vigilantes, working with villains. But even heroes working with villains were a decent chunk of COX towards the later issues, even though it is a rare occurrence in the super hero realm. Although zealot would add some spice to it if it could be fit in somewhere somehow.

zealot-fanatic, extremist, person who shows zeal (fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor. Intensity, Passion). And of course the usual about the A.D 69-81 group that wanted to violently overthrow the Roman rule at the time.

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Unfortunately the name zealot

Unfortunately the name zealot carries a very strong connotation indead of a religious motivation. Which makes it kind of useless for a superhero game.

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Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

Unfortunately the name zealot carries a very strong connotation indead of a religious motivation. Which makes it kind of useless for a superhero game.

That's one of the things that comes up if you google "Define zealot." It's also why I'd personally not want to see it used instead of vigilante.

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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indeed

indeed

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Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

Unfortunately the name zealot carries a very strong connotation indead of a religious motivation. Which makes it kind of useless for a superhero game.

There are other terms that could be applied; 'Militant' and 'Crusader' come to mind.

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srmalloy wrote:
srmalloy wrote:

Nadira wrote:
Unfortunately the name zealot carries a very strong connotation indead of a religious motivation. Which makes it kind of useless for a superhero game.
There are other terms that could be applied; 'Militant' and 'Crusader' come to mind.

While those words might not be as strongly associated with "religious" motivation (crusader is of course questionable) I think they still suffer the main problem the word zealot suffers from in this context: they are "adjective" oriented words that could still be attached to descriptions of ANY Hero, Vigilante, Villain or Rogue.

Again think of it this way: Just because an average Vigilante might be more willing to work outside the limits of the legal system doesn't automatically make him/her more "militant" than your average Hero. I can easily see where you could have a hero willing to aggressively fight villains at every opportunity (i.e. The Hulk) whereas you could have a Vigilante who pushes lawful boundaries in cautious, measured, behind-the-scenes actions while keeping physical confrontations to a minimum (i.e. Dexter).

Basically a Vigilante could be a militant/crusader but not every militant/crusader is a Vigilante.

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"I'm not a vigilante! I'm a

"I'm not a vigilante! I'm a freelancer ..."


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

"I'm not a vigilante! I'm a freelancer ..."

That one might actually work. Though Vigilante's a stronger word IMO. The whole V sound.

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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AmbiDreamer wrote:
AmbiDreamer wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
"I'm not a vigilante! I'm a freelancer ..."

That one might actually work. Though Vigilante's a stronger word IMO. The whole V sound.

It's a cool term. But to me it sounds more like what a Rogue might call him/herself than a Vigilante, especially when you consider the word is loaded with connotations of "working job to job with no personal attachments" and "getting paid independently with no fixed employment". Vigilantes aren't usually associated with being motivated by "earning personal wealth" the way Rogues are.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

But to me it sounds more like what a Rogue might call him/herself than a Vigilante, especially when you consider the word is loaded with connotations of "working job to job with no personal attachments" and "getting paid independently with no fixed employment". Vigilantes aren't usually associated with being motivated by "earning personal wealth" the way Rogues are.

Sure- but it's the closest suggestion I've seen so far. To me, though, most of the terms sound like something to work into the game somehow in addition to the phrases we have. I haven't seen any terms here I prefer personally over vigilante.

To me, though- Zealot honestly seems like a term you'd use for enemy NPC's.

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

Redlynne
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To be honest, the whole

To be honest, the whole Vigilante/Rogue distinction in City of Heroes came about because the Developers wanted a one-way "wheel" circulation from Hero to Villain, rather than a two-way "street" where being a Rogue was simply the "middle" between Hero and Villain in either direction. Considering that City of Titans is planning to use a three axis alignment system (Law, Integrity, Violence) a substantial portion of the Hero/Vigilante/Villain/Rogue formulation simply ceases to fit "neatly" into the new paradigm.

In other words, we're talking about a solution that doesn't address the problem as structured.


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Lothic
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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

To be honest, the whole Vigilante/Rogue distinction in City of Heroes came about because the Developers wanted a one-way "wheel" circulation from Hero to Villain, rather than a two-way "street" where being a Rogue was simply the "middle" between Hero and Villain in either direction. Considering that City of Titans is planning to use a three axis alignment system (Law, Integrity, Violence) a substantial portion of the Hero/Vigilante/Villain/Rogue formulation simply ceases to fit "neatly" into the new paradigm.
In other words, we're talking about a solution that doesn't address the problem as structured.

With almost two years to go before launch and almost everything we know about the game still in flux I imagine almost every current thread in this forum could be said to "not address a problem as structured" as far as CoT's final form goes. That fact won't stop threads like these from having a life of their own regardless.

For what it's worth I already knew terms like "Vigilante" and "Rogue" probably won't have the same meanings they had in CoH due to CoT's restructured alignment system. Still the discussion about what to call things has been interesting at least from the point of view that we can expect CoT to generate a bunch of new terms for things and, as this thread implies, some of them will probably be more appropriate than others.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
To be honest, the whole Vigilante/Rogue distinction in City of Heroes came about because the Developers wanted a one-way "wheel" circulation from Hero to Villain, rather than a two-way "street" where being a Rogue was simply the "middle" between Hero and Villain in either direction. Considering that City of Titans is planning to use a three axis alignment system (Law, Integrity, Violence) a substantial portion of the Hero/Vigilante/Villain/Rogue formulation simply ceases to fit "neatly" into the new paradigm.
In other words, we're talking about a solution that doesn't address the problem as structured.

With almost two years to go before launch and almost everything we know about the game still in flux I imagine almost every current thread in this forum could be said to "not address a problem as structured" as far as CoT's final form goes. That fact won't stop threads like these from having a life of their own regardless.
For what it's worth I already knew terms like "Vigilante" and "Rogue" probably won't have the same meanings they had in CoH due to CoT's restructured alignment system. Still the discussion about what to call things has been interesting at least from the point of view that we can expect CoT to generate a bunch of new terms for things and, as this thread implies, some of them will probably be more appropriate than others.

Indeed