View Poll Results: How would you like to resolve Stalkers Season 5?

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  • Keep going, but in a stripped-down version

    4 57.14%
  • Fast forward to the ending

    3 42.86%
  • Just End

    0 0%
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Thread: Resolving Stalkers Season 5

  1. #1
    Cheers and Good Times! Neo Emolga's Avatar
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    Resolving Stalkers Season 5

    Well, first thing first, I had to start this poll as I’m really struggling to keep Stalkers 5 going and I think the number of remaining people that are still participating is very low at this point (to the point where I don’t think completing the game under the standard method is possible now). I can’t blame the people who left, either, I haven’t been that active and this has been going on since October. I also haven’t gotten much done in the way of narrative posts because I’m busy and I’m kind of burnt out as well.

    So here are the options on how we could go forward with this to finally finish this up, because I think it’s time. I’ll admit I pulled the same mistake that was done in Season 2. I made Stalkers 5 too big and too long and by the time I realized what I did wrong, it got to be too late and despite attempts to make things easier, it just hasn't been easier on me anyway.

    I don’t want to outright pull the plug and end it (unless everyone agrees to it), so here’s some remaining alternatives that I think might be good to do to give this some decent closure. As nice as it sounds, there’s no “let’s just keep going as is” option because I’ve tried doing that and it’s just wearing me out and not working despite my best intentions and efforts.

    OPTION #1 - KEEP GOING, BUT IN A STRIPPED-DOWN VERSION

    This is the ultimate “let’s just cut to the chase already” scenario. And this is what it entails.

    It will be assumed all components of the Sin Purge Ritual (United Universe, Holy Divinefire Reedmer, and Dawnlight Reckoning Summing) have been completed. Where it currently stands, these things are about 50% done. With these considered done, there’s 0% chance of a bad ending (under normal circumstances, the less of these three parts you had completed, the worse the ending would have been).

    All Stalkers revealed. You’ll know exactly who the Stalkers are, as it will be assumed you finished all the routes and got to see who is who. I also have noticed a few of the puzzles have been abandoned and things are stuck at a deadlock because of that (and it hasn't been realized yet). It’s another thing that’s telling me the cord needs to be cut on that.

    Searching and Interviewing are no longer options. You won’t need to do this, and you guys have more than enough weaponry, armor, and money to do what would be left. So what exactly would there be left to do? The simple answer is whoever is left in the game will fight off the remaining Stalkers and once the last Stalker is eliminated, you win. Basically, whoever is still left in the game will arm themselves to the teeth, you guys pick which Stalker you all want to fight, and the battle will play out so there’s at least some game and storyline element feeling to it along with some closure of having earned the ending.

    The Phylacteries will be taken out. Instead, you’ll have to fight every Stalker, though you guys will probably not have too much trouble with it as long as whoever is remaining gears up.

    OPTION #2 – FAST FORWARD TO THE ENDING

    Personally, this is probably the option I’d choose.

    Simply put, I just write the ending as if all the remaining components were completed successfully and you see what I had in mind for the ultimate ending. This also means Stalkers RPG is done for good and we close the book on it.

    OPTION #3 – JUST END

    Kind of like a Monopoly game that’s gone on until 2am, sometimes it’s just best to end it and get on with life. In terms of the overall storyline, this ends the game as if it didn’t happen.

    The only difference between this and Option #2 is the slim possibility I may decide to try and “restart” Season 5 but with a MUCH smaller package. Certain things will need to be removed. Combat, while nice, just takes too long and takes too much energy to resolve. Map would be much smaller, Stalker routes would be much smaller, I might consider taking out weapons and just have armor and jewelry for dealing with traps and such. But again, this all is under a big “IF” umbrella that’s no guarantee, because I’m badly sacked for time and energy.



    So with all that said, please vote on what option you’d like to go with. I’m leaving this open until March 5th, but if there’s a tie or I don’t get more than five votes, I’m going to default to Option #2.

    @EmeraldSky @Noblejanobii @Scytherwolf @SlickSlack @Lychee @AD @Suicune’s Fire @Shruikan @Chibi Altaria @Bulbasaur @James-Typhlosion @TylerNinetales

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  3. #2
    Johto's Finest AD's Avatar
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    I accidently picked option 1. I meant option 2. Sadge.


    ·»Your focus determines your reality«·

  4. #3
    Ace Trainer Lychee's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the effort you've put in is monumental!
    But yes, this hulking beast has so many add-ons and cool features that it's become unwieldy to play! I'm glad you've addressed it.

    That said, I hate to leave things undone- I'd rather see everyone die in an accelerated fireball of a bad end than just leave the thread to languish forever. "Fast forward to the end" doesnt have to be a full win.

  5. #4
    The Perky Palpitoad SlickSlack's Avatar
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    I think we should go for the stripped down ending. Sure, it may be less satisfying as all this work would be done for us, it would also be a perfect run as if everyone banded together even if they weren't here.

    But with the way Neo describes this 'Ultimate Ending' it's actually rather enticing to me, even though I've already voted. Regardless, it'll never be the true end of the Stalkers. As Neo said, spinoffs and other things anecdotally possible! So whatever you do is perfectly fine by me.


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  6. #5
    Cheers and Good Times! Neo Emolga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AD View Post
    I accidently picked option 1. I meant option 2. Sadge.
    No worries, thanks for the heads up about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
    I appreciate all the effort you've put in is monumental!
    But yes, this hulking beast has so many add-ons and cool features that it's become unwieldy to play! I'm glad you've addressed it.

    That said, I hate to leave things undone- I'd rather see everyone die in an accelerated fireball of a bad end than just leave the thread to languish forever. "Fast forward to the end" doesnt have to be a full win.
    Yeah, in trying to make this the grand finale, it ended up being way too demanding and unwieldly. I really wanted to make the combat and inventory system work because it seemed so nice on paper, but it’s an absolute doozy to put the time and energy into and I have found myself plugging multiple hours into individual posts because of it. Before in previous seasons, it was maybe 30-45 minutes, which wasn’t so bad. It was also easier when there was only one item or thing to find in each location. When you plop in like 3-4 like I did for this one, add a combat instance, and have to roll things like loot drops, that bumps it up significantly. Individually those things don’t seem too bad. When you pile all those little things up together, it becomes a flood.

    In hindsight, the issues were:

    • The combat system is cool, but it’s too much of an extra to tack on. Even if it works and is fully functional (have to credit Suicune’s Fire for managing to come up with a great working system), it’s just a lot of extra time required and I also made too much use of it with adding random encounters. Not to mention Huskpuppet’s route had a whopping 9 combat encounters intended, so even though you had done 2 of them, there were 7 more to go. 4 would have made more sense.
    • Stalker routes (the path that the players need to take to find the Phylactery and discover who the Stalker is) were too darn long again. I get this crazy fix of great ideas to use for them, they pile up, and then when they get put together, it’s a mess for me to manage and I see the players having a tough time with them. I’m also looking back at some of the Sin Purge ritual stuff and I did the same thing with those as well.
    • Some of the puzzles for Stalker routes were too difficult and I saw two of them go abandoned (The Corrupted Children’s Book and the Deranged Codec).
    • Player inventories were probably too big as well. Utopian Aspect was a nifty idea, but not really needed. If I dropped combat, then weapons weren’t needed either. I think armor and jewelry would have been fine as shields and bonuses to stats to deal with the traps and stuff that were around. But even so, a lot of people didn’t really even bother with the equipment stuff (they had heaps of items to choose from, but didn’t really bother picking anything out to equip). That pretty much tells me it wasn’t needed and people weren’t really too attached to it, so I think it could be completely stripped out. Season 3 didn’t have them and it worked fine.
    • Map size was huge. I really wanted to try and make a city setting work for once (especially because it was to be the site of the ultimate end) and boom, it just doesn’t. Small towns and villages are really the only thing that work for this. 40 or fewer searchable locations and a suspect list of 30 or less just make more sense.


    But yeah, like you said, too many add-ons and features made this a time-devouring beast. I found it hard to set aside the time to do narration posts for Stalkers simply because it required huge chunks of it (also requires me to have like 9 tabs open for all the stuff involved!) and splitting them up into multiple sittings does make it tricky to pick it back up again as I would need to remember what I updated and what I didn’t. That’s very prone to mistakes…

    Where Stalkers had its appeal before is just reading about your character doing stuff and finding out what dark things they run into. Looking back, that should have been more of the focus.

    In the end, I would way prefer to resolve it some fashion rather than let it hang indefinitely. To me, closure in some way, even if the idea didn’t quite work out as intended, has to happen eventually. Leaving people hanging isn’t fun and nobody likes that…

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlack View Post
    I think we should go for the stripped down ending. Sure, it may be less satisfying as all this work would be done for us, it would also be a perfect run as if everyone banded together even if they weren't here.

    But with the way Neo describes this 'Ultimate Ending' it's actually rather enticing to me, even though I've already voted. Regardless, it'll never be the true end of the Stalkers. As Neo said, spinoffs and other things anecdotally possible! So whatever you do is perfectly fine by me.
    You would get the good ending either way. Option 1 just has the final Stalker battles, chopping out all the long narration stuff I did for the other posts. When it comes to the battles themselves, there would only be a max of four players involved, though. Having everyone in the same battle would be massive and hard for me to manage.

    Spinoffs are possible. There was a parody version of Stalkers called “Squawkers” released on an April Fools Day that essentially took the same game engine but made everything silly, goofy, and cartoonish. And it actually worked, although that didn’t finish either because another major PXR event was coming up and I couldn’t manage both. But it proved you could reskin the game to different themes and such. Doesn’t need to be horror every time and exploring other possibilities could be fun.

    While I don’t want to make any promises (been so busy lately), I may revisit the game engine for something else, building something akin to it with a different theme and genre. And yeah, I would try my darnest not to go overboard with it again.

    I think a “rebranded” version of Stalkers that has really only the needed essentials to make it fun, less of the heavy unneeded baggage, and prepared in a way that keeps it short and sweet would be what I would do moving forward.

  7. #6
    The Perky Palpitoad SlickSlack's Avatar
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    Either way, I'm happy with our outcome. Maybe more people would join Stalkers for its simplicity, and that way we could go longer and stronger together. I would personally prefer battling the Stalkers, because I'm neutral over Labyrinth, Huskpuppet, Twistagen and Exclude, while freaking AMGERY with Obscene (They've done most of the murders if I'm right.) and Astralnox. Jeez, he or she is everywhere!
    Revenge would be fine and all, but hey. I'm just curious to know who these peeps are.

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  9. #7
    Senior Moderator EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    I'd still be open to the idea of a "fantasy" Stalkers spinoff. (unearth a fallen wizard's final plan and stop it, maybe?)
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


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  11. #8
    Cheers and Good Times! Neo Emolga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlack View Post
    Either way, I'm happy with our outcome. Maybe more people would join Stalkers for its simplicity, and that way we could go longer and stronger together. I would personally prefer battling the Stalkers, because I'm neutral over Labyrinth, Huskpuppet, Twistagen and Exclude, while freaking AMGERY with Obscene (They've done most of the murders if I'm right.) and Astralnox. Jeez, he or she is everywhere!
    Revenge would be fine and all, but hey. I'm just curious to know who these peeps are.
    Obscene had such a TWISTED surprise at the end of the route. It was set where you guys would put these three book pages together:

    Spoiler:

    [1st Part of Death’s Lullaby]


    [2nd Part of Death’s Lullaby]


    [3rd Part of Death’s Lullaby]

    And then actually have to actually fight Shi and Kammo together. And these bastards were set to be NASTY! It was definitely one of those fights where you'd need multiple peeps (although with the addition of the Shadowmarch gear, it probably wouldn't have been so bad...).


    Astralnox was supposed to get progressively creepier, even beyond the finding your own head thing that a few people came across. There were four instances where you'd get a jigsaw puzzle (thinking about it now, four jigsaw puzzles was probably too much as well). Whoever stumbled across the puzzle would get the puzzle personalized to have their name on it with a picture of them completely EFFED UP. And heck, you saw that Pikachu and Pichu find the differences puzzle. That's what you would have looked like on these things!

    Quote Originally Posted by EmeraldSky View Post
    I'd still be open to the idea of a "fantasy" Stalkers spinoff. (unearth a fallen wizard's final plan and stop it, maybe?)
    Totally a possibility. I think of all the genres out there that I could use, fantasy seems to be the one that's the most applicable that I haven't done yet.

    But yeah, I wouldn't do a post-apocalyptic scenario again. That's gotten it's time to shine already, although I'll admit it's fun to work with.

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  13. #9
    The Perky Palpitoad SlickSlack's Avatar
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    Huh. A double battle, and I'm pretty sure neither Kammo OR Shi is on the suspect list, so we would have needed to kill two Pokemon just to find out the identify of Obscene?
    What. The. Profanity.

    And those custom jigsaws you mentioned... tbh, I'm actually rather curious to see what mine would look like. I'm not easily grossed out unless it's trypophobia. Yikes...
    Like, I'm a bit disappointed that this is having an abrupt-ish end but there's gonna be more to come. I'm sure of it!

    Also I wonder if you passed that message on to Aglome that I wasn't afraid of dying... I wonder if he would have sent a Stalker for me just because of that lmao.


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  14. #10
    Cheers and Good Times! Neo Emolga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlack View Post
    Huh. A double battle, and I'm pretty sure neither Kammo OR Shi is on the suspect list, so we would have needed to kill two Pokemon just to find out the identify of Obscene?
    What. The. Profanity.

    And those custom jigsaws you mentioned... tbh, I'm actually rather curious to see what mine would look like. I'm not easily grossed out unless it's trypophobia. Yikes...
    Like, I'm a bit disappointed that this is having an abrupt-ish end but there's gonna be more to come. I'm sure of it!

    Also I wonder if you passed that message on to Aglome that I wasn't afraid of dying... I wonder if he would have sent a Stalker for me just because of that lmao.
    Yeah, Kammo and Shi were meant to be these horrifying storybook characters that appeared throughout Obscene's route. I figured people wouldn't be too concerned about them until you suddenly realized "crap, Obscene made these creepy freaks a reality." But yeah, they were at the very tail end of Obscene's route and you would have needed to pulverize them both to figure out Obscene's identity.

    The biggest bummer for me is coming up with these awesome ideas, great graphics to go along with them, and bleh, they don't get used and players never discover these dark surprises. But yeah, I think I need to ease up on the number of puzzles involved as well. 2-3 for the whole thing isn't bad but having like a dozen of the darn things in one Season is a bit excessive...

    As for the Astralnox jigsaw puzzles, you would have seen yourself as a Pokemon all bloodied up, warped, and deranged. Eh well. All that I have right now are just what would have been the four puzzles with silhouette placeholders on it, so they're not quite as fascinating. I had intended to add the warped Pokemon once there was a player who discovered them.

    And yeah, once Aglome Oen triggered a bad trypophobia reaction with one of my players back in Season 1 with his first grizzly appearance, no less. I had to sit down and have a really long chat with him about that...

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