With a survey of this scope, where does one even begin? I want to start on a good note, but a common feature of the survey–across the answers to all questions–was that, overall, people wrote very little when they were happy with some element of clerics, but explained in great detail when they were unhappy.
There are, however, two exceptions to that rule: roleplay potential and the related topic of spiritual flavor and messaging! These were two very highly rated reasons that our survey respondents gave for making and playing their clerics.
In fact, although raising took top honors for why people create clerics, roleplay potential is the top reason that our respondents gave for continuing to play their clerics.
Listed below are some defining or unique attributes of clerics. Which were primary reasons why you created a cleric, which are primary reasons why you continue to play a cleric (if you still do), and which have had less importance?
Despite the surveys being very mechanical, many players took time to mention roleplay and spiritual flavor in either detailed or (more commonly) brief comments–and almost unanimously in a good light.
The minority who expressed less satisfaction generally mentioned wanting more deity-specific flavor to their spells or other abilities.
However, that sentiment was echoed even by many of the players leaving 100% positive comments. In other words, those who already love the RP and flavor of their clerics were still wishing for even more deity flavor to their spells.
Below is a small sampling of comments on these highly praised elements of clerics.
Roleplay Potential and Spiritual Flavor – Overall Assessments
I love playing a cleric. I love the RP potential. […] Through RP [my cleric] was touched by Lumnis (not officially) and was changed forever. […]
Having so many diverse Arkati I think gives Clerics [an] amazing opportunity [at] some very deep role play choices. […] Converting to Lumnis was the best thing that happened to her. In her opinion that is. She still sometimes struggles with her dark side but having Lumnis as her Goddess keeps her even keeled and serene. […]
If roleplay is your primary reason for being in Gemstone being a cleric offers so much for you to work with.
I think I still play my cleric because of the spiritual and RP potential. The added spiritual flavor and customized messaging for cleric spells that are deity specific was excellent, I’d love to see more of this.
From a role playing perspective, choosing Onar has made for a lot of interesting opportunities with other players that just wouldn’t come up with a lot of the more “mainstream” Arkati/Spirits.
I had found a pair of icy wings during EG and they went perfectly with a Lorminstra Cleric […] Lorminstra provides a lot of opportunity to utilize Voln, Undead, and related lore to develop your character and backstory and create player run storylines.
The roleplay aspect of being a cleric of Voaris is the best part, choosing a deity that welcomes love from all aspects is especially welcome as a gay male. I love the messaging as well.
When I rolled my Cholen cleric, there was little to no data on the wiki about Cholen-specific cleric spell messaging and no other active Cholen clerics that I was aware of. My primary reason for creating the character was because I was curious about deity-specific cleric spell messaging and wanted to fill in more information on the wiki. The convert choice also contributed to the character’s personality and backstory development and I really enjoy the character development sandbox.
A Marital Twist on Item Creation
Several players mentioned wanting a gear upgrade ability or some other way to alter or create items. Almost all other cleric players meant it in a mechanical sense, which we’ll review in Part 10 (and a highlighted comment in Part 8), but one respondent gave a detailed suggestion for a roleplay-oriented item creation ability.
Below is a composite comment taken from this player’s responses to both surveys and reorganized for clarity:
clerics should be able to not only perform weddings, but […] work with GM’s for a price […] to set up certain standard ambient effects for a wedding (perhaps only in certain special wedding locations) […] there would be several categories of effects: lighting/color, sounds, scents, overall ambience. […]and have some special thing occur during weddings, based on the cleric’s knowledge of the folks getting married.
[…] clerics should have the ability to create engagement/wedding rings/bands […] that are unavailable elsewhere by any other method and that are attractive and desirable, whether it be via a guild skill or a spell.
My thinking is that the currently fairly useless silver-to-gold spell could be repurposed[…] cast on a gem or piece of metal like a slab of vaalin or a lump of mithril or a nugget of gold, then somehow bless it to become a wedding/engagement ring/band somehow incorporating the metal and gem, or creating one without a gem if no gem is held.
[…] I would say a cleric even ought to […] have the power to ENGRAVE a short saying inside of the special band/ring.
Similarly, while another level 19 cleric player didn’t necessarily want to create items, they did hope for “Vestments or other attire customized to their deity.”
Other Hopes and Suggestions
One cleric player took a more mechanical angle to adding new flavor to clerics:
[…] anything that adds more distinction/flavor between worshipers of each Arkati would be welcome. (Deity-specific 111 with enough religion lore? 304 granting deity-specific secondary flares for self-cast use [like how 902 has a self-cast enhancive bonus]? Even just more RP stuff like the differences when using CHANT.)
Another cleric wanted more interaction with holy places:
We somehow have to get clerics organized with temples in the lands. There is never/hardly ever a connection with in game temples and clerics that belong to those faiths. Priest of the faith only rooms or in temple flavors or RP/favor/prestige lines of serving the faith that can be automated in some way.
Lastly, even though I had cut questions about alchemy or the cleric guild from the surveys in the interest of time, a couple of players mentioned wanting new flavorful cleric guild abilities:
I wish Orisons could have been implemented for the cleric guild […] i’m a big proponent of the rp skill of each guild getting finished as it is a good way to enhance the characters and gives them something to strive for.
Cantrips from Guilds, like wizard Flick. [We] should be able to Cleric Anoint, to bless a person OR make a holy sigil upon a corpse OR mark a target “the kobold frowns at NAME for flinging oil at it”,… ETC.
Part 1: Roleplay and Spiritual Flavor