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Game News The New World Update #19: The Mutants

Infinitron

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Tags: Colony Ship RPG; Iron Tower Studios; Vault Dweller

This month's development update for The New World is right on time. In this update, Vault Dweller tells us more about the colony ship's mutant population, which we'd already learned a little about in a previous update about the game's factions. Here's an excerpt:


Let’s start with our design goals:

Mutants are a time-honored staple of the generation ship genre, plus it’s an opportunity to do something interesting and add a radically different faction to the three ‘grounded in reality’ factions (totalitarianism, revolutionary democracy, theocracy) controlling the Ship.

The mutants should be viewed as abominations by some (meaning they should look ‘different’), yet still considered humans by more open-minded folks, meaning the mutants aren’t the hulking brutes of Fallout or the over the top two-headed, three-armed mutants of The Orphans of the Sky.

Thus when it comes to design, we’ll use the human model (making the grateful animator’s life much easier), which means that all we have to work with are the portrait and ‘accessories’, which limits our options.

Overall, the mutants aren’t monsters to kill but a forced evolutionary branch, a not-so-glorious beginning of a new race, perhaps what our distant ancestors were to the Neanderthals. Naturally, the Sapiens are a notoriously violent race so any challenger will have a very hard time trying to knock them off the throne.

To survive and establish the foothold, the mutants must have a specific purpose (to explain why they weren’t exterminated before) and their own source of strength (to explain why they haven’t been enslaved yet). The best way is to tie all three (mutation, purpose, strength) together:

The mutation makes them uniquely suitable for the engine/reactor work, which no ‘normal’ human would be able to do, which is enough to ensure their survival. This same talent makes the mutants the best scavengers, able to explore areas that remain off-limit to most humans due to radiation, which means they have plenty of pre-Mutiny (i.e. Earth-made) tech.

Such tech isn’t exclusive to the mutants (they aren’t a twisted form of Fallout’s Brotherhood of Steel hoarding all the good stuff) but it makes them a well-equipped ‘faction’, capable of protecting themselves against random attacks.

Culture/Castes:

In the mutants’ earliest days labor was by necessity divided, the men tending to the engines while the women tended to the men as they inevitably sickened and died. Much was asked of these mothers and sisters, and from the beginning they adopted the Christian faith to augment their strength.

Many mutants credit their people's survival on this belief, that another world awaits them after death, a counter to the hellish reality of the reactor. Due to the inescapable radiation poisoning of engine work, only the females lived long enough to take on the role of elder, and to run those aspects of life beyond the perimeter of the engines.

Thus did necessity evolve into tradition, and tradition into law. The females sustain the priesthood and all the sacred duties of religion, while the engine work and protection of the enclave have fallen to the males. Those who aren’t happy with such an arrangement leave the enclave, becoming true outcasts, welcome in neither the Habitat nor the Covenant.

Party members:


You’ll be able to recruit either a priestess aka the Harbinger or an outcast aka the Wastelander (but not both at the same time as they won’t get along).

The Wastelander – a rather antisocial mutant who makes a living exploring the damaged areas of the ship and stripping them of anything valuable. Sort of the ‘mountain man’ of the ship. He had a falling out with the Covenant, so now he bears a special hatred for all religious folks, including the Church. Religion is the only topic that can get him all worked up, so don’t take him places where someone might ask if you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior. He will leave you if you join a faction, but if you’re a “burn it to the ground” kinda guy, the Wastelander is your man.

The Harbinger – a Covenant priestess tasked with spreading the true word of God in the Habitat and warning those who were unworthy to bear the Mark about the Judgement Day. A true believer, the Harbinger is convinced of the superiority of her kind for they alone will survive the Hellfire - the ultimate test that will separate the wheat from the chaff. She wouldn’t mind speeding things up a bit and will join you let you join her if you prove your worthiness (just because you're a member of a lesser race doesn't mean you're useless). She comes with unrestricted access to the Engine Room, so she's a good friend to have.
Read the full update to learn about the history of the mutants and see some concept art of their super cool Darth Vader outfits.
 

HeatEXTEND

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Mutant A plz
 
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‘grounded in reality’ factions (totalitarianism, revolutionary democracy, theocracy)

I disagree with a notion that a totalitarianism and theocracy are different. You cannot have a totalitarianism which won't force a semireligious ideology on its citizens, they extensively copy religious way of thinking and use it for their purposes. Totalitarian regimes are really only theocracies pretending do be secular
 

Vault Dweller

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‘grounded in reality’ factions (totalitarianism, revolutionary democracy, theocracy)

I disagree with a notion that a totalitarianism and theocracy are different. You cannot have a totalitarianism which won't force a semireligious ideology on its citizens, they extensively copy religious way of thinking and use it for their purposes. Totalitarian regimes are really only theocracies pretending do be secular
In general, yes, totalitarian ideologies tend to be religion in disguise, but it takes more than religion to keep people in check. Essentially, totalitarianism is ideology + brute force, liberally applied to anyone stepping out of line. I'd say that it's the brute force that does the heavy lifting there not the ideology, whereas theocracy mainly relies on blind faith and obedience to God (not men).
 

Darth Roxor

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‘grounded in reality’ factions (totalitarianism, revolutionary democracy, theocracy)

I disagree with a notion that a totalitarianism and theocracy are different. You cannot have a totalitarianism which won't force a semireligious ideology on its citizens, they extensively copy religious way of thinking and use it for their purposes. Totalitarian regimes are really only theocracies pretending do be secular
In general, yes, totalitarian ideologies tend to be religion in disguise, but it takes more than religion to keep people in check. Essentially, totalitarianism is ideology + brute force, liberally applied to anyone stepping out of line. I'd say that it's the brute force that does the heavy lifting there not the ideology, whereas theocracy mainly relies on blind faith and obedience to God (not men).

497.jpg
 
Joined
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‘grounded in reality’ factions (totalitarianism, revolutionary democracy, theocracy)

I disagree with a notion that a totalitarianism and theocracy are different. You cannot have a totalitarianism which won't force a semireligious ideology on its citizens, they extensively copy religious way of thinking and use it for their purposes. Totalitarian regimes are really only theocracies pretending do be secular
In general, yes, totalitarian ideologies tend to be religion in disguise, but it takes more than religion to keep people in check. Essentially, totalitarianism is ideology + brute force, liberally applied to anyone stepping out of line. I'd say that it's the brute force that does the heavy lifting there not the ideology, whereas theocracy mainly relies on blind faith and obedience to God (not men).

Ideology requires the blind faith as much as a religion does. And don't think that the 3d Reich or Soviet Union were not successful in getting and maintaining power because of a good number of blind, fanatical followers. Theocracies rely on brute force as much as totalitarianism. Both systems needs to punish heavily anyone who voices their skepticism towards their ideas. They even use the same language as religion when doing so, like Trotskyism being a heresy of Marxism-Leninism.
 

Daedalos

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Goddammit Vince, kneedeep in D:OS 2, and you post this beauty.

Like seeing a beautiful girl walk by, when you're talking a walk with your much lesser beautiful gf. Simply amazing.

Somebody make a meme pic ;X
 

Jack Dandy

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Divinity: Original Sin 2
Gradually building a good amount of hype for the game.

I really should read some of the classics that created this genre.
 
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I already love this piece of lore but why Christianity as a basis for the mutants' religion? The original generation of the ship would no doubt comprise of a diverse roster of ethnicities as well as religions, unless it was an exclusively private project by The Church of Holy Light and its Servants. Certainly there could be something maybe a bit more esoteric as a basis for the current religion, born out of the original religions as well as who knows what.

edit: I do realize that a covenant with priestesses is already quite a way to go from Christianity but I am not questioning how much Christianity there is in the current religious order but how much of it was there in the beginning and how it has become a singular reference to the past origin of this covenant. That feels a bit hamfisted at a glance.
 
Last edited:

Vault Dweller

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I already love this piece of lore but why Christianity as a basis for the mutants' religion? The original generation of the ship would no doubt comprise of a diverse roster of ethnicities as well as religions, unless it was an exclusively private project by The Church of Holy Light and its Servants. Certainly there could be something maybe a bit more esoteric as a basis for the current religion, born out of the original religions as well as who knows what.
Evolving multiple religions and representing them properly would be too much work for one writer, which is why the ship was bought and launched by a Neo-Christian conglomerate dedicated to establishing a religious colony on a distant world. From update #1:

Who’d launch and most importantly pay for an undertaking that costs so much yet delivers so little? Even if Earth were overpopulated, launching a ship to Alpha Centauri – a flight that would take hundreds of years if you’re lucky enough to have mystical elven Engines of Speed X10 (thousands of years if you don’t) – solves zero problems and thus gets zero cash.

Thus, it would have to be a private enterprise with a pinch of religious zealotry. Would a neo-Christian American foundation pay to establish a 100% Christian God-fearing colony on Alpha Centauri in the distant future? They conquered the New World once and by God’s grace they can do it again - even if it takes a thousand years to get there! Yee-Haw, gentlemen!
 

Infinitron

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Grauken

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The Wastelander – a rather antisocial mutant who makes a living exploring the damaged areas of the ship and stripping them of anything valuable. Sort of the ‘mountain man’ of the ship. He had a falling out with the Covenant, so now he bears a special hatred for all religious folks, including the Church. Religion is the only topic that can get him all worked up, so don’t take him places where someone might ask if you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior. He will leave you if you join a faction, but if you’re a “burn it to the ground” kinda guy, the Wastelander is your man.​

In that case, does it mean he's antagonistic merely toward religious factions, or due to being a 'mountain man' hates factions in general? Also, how viable is a "burn it to the ground" approach toward getting through the game.

In general, if I understand it correctly, mutants have a higher resistance to radiation, so if your group goes through decks open to space, is there a radiation mechanic in place that slowly kills humans? Also will there be trips to the outside surface of the ship?
 

Severian Silk

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Will the mutants be able to teleport or weave rugs?
 

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