Design Notes

February 07, 2024

Void Chasm - What If?

Void Chasm - A Peek at Defeat

Hello, Cylisse here again! Hope your week's been good, peaceful, eventful, or whatever you wanted it to be!

Recently, a player on Discord asked me about what would have happened in /VoidRefuge and /VoidChasm, our most recent Nulgath Nation releases, if we lost the Shadows of Doom War. (See Here for what would have happened directly after the defeat in /Camlan).

Had Gravelyn been incapacitated, who would have accompanied you to investigate Nulgath's "Dying Star?"

I wasn't going to make Design Notes for every release that was effected by your victory, which would be all of them, but it made sense to make a post since I already gave the answer to a couple of people. This way, everyone can see it!

Be aware, big spoilers for the events of /VoidRefuge and /VoidChasm!

Note, the events detailed in this post are what would have happened if the Shadows of Doom War was lost. What is currently in-game is the result of your resounding victory in /ShadowBattleon.  

If the war was lost, Gravelyn would not be present. Instead, it's Shakaz that listens to Ana and calls on the Hero to investigate Carcano, Nulgath, and the 'dying star.' Ana and the Hero would go on their own.

Without Gravelyn, Ana is far more pessimistic about why her brother saved her from being handed over to the Nation. She would be more willing to believe Carnage smuggled her to the Lightguard just so he could steal her fate, instead of taking her place in the Nation because he cared about her.

Ana fights more recklessly because it takes a combo of Gravelyn and the Hero to give her hope, and effectively control the situation. In the end, Carnage doesn't form a temporary truce with Ana and the Hero. With his pride and fear of weakness getting in the way, he can't come to terms with how he joined the Nation both to finally be special, and to save his little sister. The Hero has to focus on keeping the siblings from fighting, and does not have time to negotiate with Adimonde.

Instead of a united effort to neutralize Carcano, it's a three-way brawl. Because Ana's attention is split, she's eaten alive by Carcano. Carnage kills Carcano in retaliation, tearing the monster apart as if he'd be able to pull Ana out, safe and in one piece, but it's too late. The Hero couldn't intervene because they needed to neutralize the 'Dying Star.'

Nulgath would have arrived after the Hero and Carnage left the Void. Instead of using these events as a show of good faith to Gravelyn in-game, the entire spectacle was intended to erase what weakness remained in Carnage's heart. In addition, Carnage wouldn't have been given a Fiend Shard. In a Lose-ShadowBattleon scenario, Nulgath will not trust anyone at all after such a huge blow to the Evil Alliance. So, his inner circle remains 'me, myself, and I,' which continues to stagnate the Nation

Gravelyn being incapacitated by the /ShadowBattleon war motivates Nulgath to prioritize ruthlessness instead of trust. This would have also begun to sour the interactions between the Hero and Nulgath, since Gravelyn's absence wouldn't be the only factor. The loss of your character's morale would have also triggered these series of events.

But, none of this came to pass! You guys kept Gravelyn healthy beause you won the /ShadowsBattleon War, and your allies will be more ready for the conflicts to come. The effects of your efforts continue to cascade through the story. I usually trend towards darker tones in regards to the writing, and what better place than a Nation release to do that, but I'm moving towards a lighter mood because everyone worked so hard to get a good outcome in that War.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this was interesting! I'll make more Design Notes like this if I end up sharing other details like these in Discord or X (formerly Twitter) so no one misses out!

Coming up next are the Year of the Dragon four-parter story, March's Legion Story, and the beginning of the next Arc of the Main Story - The Rumbling of Cold Thunder. Thanks for adventuring with us, and we'll see you for the next one!

Tags: Cylisse,
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