it is also possible that our power was increasing the awareness of the NPCs around us instead, especially since we were treating the world as more real, it may have been becoming more "real" by our apparent wish that it was so.
Sort of. Remember that the game is a hyperdimensional structure existing across many universes, and that those "instances" of itself in each universe were routinely interacting with each other just like you/Michael were the same entity also interacting with other-universe instances of itself.
* In the universe that was Morrowind on my PC, "the PC" being (played by me/ directed by you) was the point of greatest intelligence and awareness. The game npcs were automatons. "Michael" was intelligently directed.
* In the universe that was Marooned in Morrowind being played on the bay12 web forum, the capability of "npcs" to act with self direction was bottlenecked by you/our focus on them. Prior to coming into contact with any given npc, their basically existed in an uncollapsed waevform. Once they were interacted with...well, as an observer from this
universe, it's difficult for me to know whether they had existence outside my observation of them. For example, it wasn't until somebody noticed/observed
(forgive me if I don't track down the post) that it was odd that npcs stood aroun and did nothing until you walked up, that they gained the ability to "act" outside of your interactions with them. And in general they only did after
your interaction with them. For example, the guy in Seyda Neen who left Morrowind after you bought his ring. Or Draren. Even major npcs like Yagrum and Divayth by all indicators sat around not doing anything until you met them. Were they acting autonomously apart from your interaction with them? Again, from the point of view of this universe, I can't know. But they certainly appeared
to not be doing anything until an interaction with Michael. Look at Cinia. She had an extensive backstory of how she got to Tel yr and why she was there, and yet nevertheless she "just happened" to be in exactly the place that she's found in game at the time Michael first encountered her? I suggest that she as existing as a quantum superposition until she was observed, and only after that that exchange did she begin galivanting across the world.
* In the universe where Morrowind was a spell that had grown self aware, being played in Equestria, "reality" is difficult to convey via this medium, but in general: like the hyperentity that is you/Michael/etc "your" collective awareness of your unified self was incomplete. Similarly, the "entire spell" that is (Morrowind, the spell cast by Celestia) was not completely self aware of its entirety. "The Michael" was more or less the focal point, but "Michael" was not the spell, and the spell was not "Michael." What you perceived as an interaction between two separate and distinct entities, like Michael and an NPC, in that universe that interaction was the spell being aware of itself
. Michael/spell was the observer. Npc/spell was the observed. And in the act of observation, observer and observed became a single phenomenon known as an event.http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/CHIM"...is a state that exists beyond mortal death in which one can break free of all known laws and corruptions of the gods. It allows for the user to...manipulate the Aurbis how they please""...is normally recognized by a "Crowned Tower that threatens to break apart at the slightest break in concentration""...can only be achieved by viewing the Tower, which encompasses the universe, yet keeping your own individuality in its presence"
Where the spell observed itself, it was able to act, free of the deterministic limitations of the gamecode/spell. Where it stopped observing itself, those unobserved portions ceased to act free of determinism. In all universes, the degree of awareness of all entities, "npc" or not, was a function of the degree to which awareness was being experienced by them.
Remember Clover's surprise that Michael was able to do the simple thing of following Awesomicus back to Pelagiad? To their experience, that wasn't a behavior the npcs of their spell exhibited. The "PC gamey aura" wasn't an effect local to the "PCs."
It was the default nature of all not-conscious
parts of the spell acting deterministically according to its "spell programming." Just like the not-conscious npcs in the universe of the game being played on my computer.
It would have been very interesting had there been any meaningful interactions with three parties
: a pony, Michael and an "other" that you would consider an npc. Clover might have been very surprised to see what "npcs" in the presence of Michael were capable of.
So we did what we always did, which was two or three things at once poorly for something like eight different reasons. The crossover did have some advantages, but I still feel like picking one or the other likely would have had better results. I just have no idea which of those was the right path to pick and stay on, though.
Like you said a couple days ago, probably any path would have been ok if you'd simply stuck with it. If you're a farmer planting crops, it doesn't matter all that much whether you plant corn or potatoes, so long as you pick one and stick with it. You guys had an unfortunate tendency to plant corn, then dig it up and plant potatoes, then dig those up and plant something else. Very few of your actions were given enough time and attention to come to fruition.
On the game side of the issue, I'm not entirely sold on the completely open world thing. I feel like the utterly scatterbrained approach we had was somewhat predictable for a pure democracy thing, and that some GM forethought and guidance might have resulted in a better product. Admittedly, that would have more or less ruined the premise and run the risk of turning the game into Legion Quest or something instead, but I suspect there may have been some middle ground in there somewhere.
Admittedly, it's been a problem in some of my previous games
, perhaps more than once
, that I've given players too long a rope. Give people a choice of A, B or C, and they can usually pick one. Say "anything is possible! Do what you will!" and some people stumble on that. Which is unfortunate, because I strongly prefer that sort of game myself, and Morrowind
is exactly that sort of game. And the very premise here, growing self awareness and enlightenment...yeah, making you choose from canned potions was contrary to the spirit of what this was about. "Literally, anything" was possible as a fundamental premise of the game. Coralling you into specific choices just didn't fit very well with that.
Maybe I misjudged how cohesive you guys could realistically be. But you did so well
in the beginning. Skipping ahead to Vivec was a stroke of genius I hadn't expected, and it completely worked out for you. I didn't know how you were going to convince him to open the door, and you figured that out very easily.
If you collectively could simply have continue
with the same level of cohesion and insight that you demonstrated early on, this game would have ended like two years ago. BUt from my point o view, it seemed like after Vivec, collectively you guys just fell apart.