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Community, old tales and new mysteries – an opinion piece

Community, old tales and new mysteries – an opinion piece

2023-08-17

Written by: Meadek

Views: 1917

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Community, old tales and new mysteries – an opinion piece

INTRODUCTION

The captivating world of ‘mysteriando’ has seized the interest of many players, plunging us into the intrigue of discovering ‘what really happens’ or ‘which mystery remains unsolved’. Curiosity and the eagerness to uncover secrets hidden for years become an exhilarating adventure in an insatiable quest for a definitive answer.

I remember, in my early days of Tibia, being flooded with curiosity as I wandered through the remotest dungeons. I hadn’t fully uncovered the map, and there was no artificial lighting in the caves like today, so everything was new, dark, and unknown. I recall exploring areas or house zones with my friends, seeking simple answers to the ‘why’ of certain topics, but in a very basic manner, nothing compared to the wild theories or frantic searches we see today

At first, I was unaware that Tibia had a narrative or lore. I believed it was merely a vast terrain to explore, with the primary goal being to level up. However, certain places, like Femor Hills, with its caves inhabited by goblins, rotworms, and skeletons, conveyed a mystical feeling hard to put into words.

I can recall those sensations, that something big and unknown could be revealed at any moment, something the community was still unaware of. Yet, I must admit, I didn’t delve any deeper back then. I never read a book to grasp the concept or story of the place, nor did I try any specific game mechanic.

My interest grew over time, especially after reading the genesis and realizing the rich history that lay within the game. A friend told me he had the chance to read the genesis and told me about its content and how it intertwined with the game’s narrative. By then, having such knowledge seemed like a fantastic anecdote to me, which is why I gave it a shot.

Back in the day, we didn’t have easy-to-access translators like today, which made understanding quite challenging. Still, I gradually grasped its essence and found it fascinating that a game had such a secretive background story. It reminded me of some games where you must complete certain rituals to join a cult.

Nowadays, many games immerse us in their plots from the beginning, with striking cinematics outlining the main story. However, that doesn’t evoke the same intrigue that Tibian history does. It’s as if the subtlety in which Tibia unveils its story is unique, like a secret society that reveals itself only to those truly committed to uncovering it. It’s not essential, but once you delve in, it’s hard to pull away. Even so, your efforts to join this circle don’t guarantee a tangible reward.

I believe that’s why many players aren’t the slightest bit interested in this aspect of the game, which is entirely respectable and understandable, by the way. In fact, they might be right in some aspects, as many of the quests or stories we seek may not have an answer or solution. But that doesn’t discourage me or my circle of friends and colleagues who delight in the search for mysteries. It’s something we often find hard to convey to the general public.

However, we don’t aim to impose our passions as if we were evangelists knocking on their doors and forcing them to read our wild ideas. Nor do we seek to be the first to decipher an unsolved quest or find definitive answers; we’re just here to have fun searching for the unknown.

Personally, I’m a fan of physics, the mysteries of the universe, research into ancient cultures, and all those themes delving into the unexplored, where the anticipation of what might happen creates pleasant intrigue. Yet, I’m not passionate about baseless conspiracy theories. I tend to lean more towards the scientific method and mankind’s ability to trial and error in pursuit of discovering something new. In fact, that’s part of my personal perspective that I try to apply to my investigations, even though often I’m left with no option but to speculate, since detailed and crucial information within the game is usually scant.

Be that as it may, the purpose of this document isn’t to focus on my personal tastes but to share reflections about the current situation of the community that shares this interest.

 

1. SOCIAL DISSEMINATION PLATFORMS

I’m pleased to see that currently, there’s a proliferation of channels on YouTube and Twitch dedicated to Tibia mysteries. Often, before going to sleep, I immerse myself in these platforms searching for the latest discoveries and insights from the community.

Spanish-language YouTube channels, such as 'Expedientes Tibianos X’ and 'Breakstar’, stand out for the meticulousness of their investigations. They rely on concrete evidence and provide a detailed and well-grounded view of their findings. These content creators feed the viewer’s intrigue, showcasing the process of how they connected the dots to reach their conclusions, which promotes a continuous search for curiosities and game secrets.

On the other hand, YouTube channels, such as 'Mirius’, 'Nati Couto’, and a handful of others focus on quirky aspects, quest solutions, and lore breakdowns. These channels educate and inspire new players to see and explore Tibia in a different light.

On Twitch platform, streamers such as 'Bubba’, 'Mirius’, 'Libosi’, 'Tibialee’, 'Hegal’, and 'Turco Serafan’ offer (or used to offer) an excellent mix of entertainment and ‘mysteriando’. They manage to maintain a balance between fun and discovery in a relaxed manner, something not everyone can easily achieve.

Regarding Fansites, I’m a big fan of our TibiaSecrets site, even before I had the honor of being invited as a member. I work alongside a spectacular team, serious but also very friendly. I’m continuously amazed by the vast amount of secrets and curiosities our members handle, which we promise to share with you when the time is right.

Another Fansite that I truly love is TibiaQA. Although it’s not specifically dedicated to mysteries, it provides a space to ask questions about any topic. When I have some free time, I explore queries related to mysteries or lore, providing answers based on my experience and knowledge. This dynamic has driven me to explore areas I hadn’t considered before, enriching my understanding of the game through a fascinating feedback process.

On the other hand, I nostalgically recall the old Brazilian and Polish forums where, years ago, mysteries and secret quests were a constant topic. I remember reading contributions from people with impressive knowledge for those times, to whom I’m deeply grateful for being part of the community that introduced me to the world of Tibian mysteries. However, it strikes me as curious how the prominence of the Brazilian and Polish community, which was once characterized as the TOP players in Tibian knowledge, has waned in recent times in terms of quantity.

Platforms like Discord have solidified communication between players from all over the world, and as a result, the exchange of knowledge has seen significant growth. However, it’s crucial to be aware of certain consequences and aspects that this fact entails:

There have always been players who claim to have solved a mystery or possess the 'definitive truth’ about a quest but choose not to disclose it. As I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t something new; personally, I’ve seen it repeatedly since I started in the world of Tibian mysteries years ago.

I must admit that initially, I believed all these claims, and in a way, that also drove me to investigate further to try to conclude the same things they claimed to know. However, what I hoped to find to align with them never happened. Instead, over time, I came to the conclusion that many of these proclamations were unfounded, merely aimed at capturing attention through falsehoods.

Let me recount an incident that still resonates in my memory. Once, on a forum, I came across a statement made by a player who claimed to know the secret of the 3 Banshees on mainland (Jakundaf, Whiteflower Temple and Ghostland). He hinted that these banshees were sisters but did not reveal how he had come to such a conclusion.

His comment sparked my curiosity, even causing me a slight anxiety. I envisioned a complicated puzzle, with dialogues between numerous NPCs, the exploration of ancient tomes, and perhaps the revelation of a quest that would unravel this mystery. I wondered, ‘How did he find this out? He must be a top-notch researcher, probably having dedicated years to this small but significant finding.’

Thus, I began an expedition across Tibia, talking to countless NPCs, exploring various libraries, and repeatedly traveling the enigmatic passages of Jakundaf (it was then that I completely memorized the desert maze). My goal was to decipher how that player had reached that seemingly profound conclusion. However, after an extended search period, I found the answer, and to my surprise, it was quite disappointing… Let me explain.

It all boiled down to a simple interaction with the NPC Edowir in Thais, who, when asked about the ‘Queen of the Banshees’, responded something like ‘It is rumored that she is kinder and less aggressive than her sisters.’

Why didn’t that player mention that his ‘revelation’ came from a simple dialogue with an NPC? Moreover, Edowir was probably referring to ‘sisters’ not in the literal sense of kinship but creatures of the same kind.

My discovery expectations crumbled when I realized that the 'great secret’ was nothing more than a simple and basic fact, albeit interesting nonetheless. That player had presented his 'discovery’ as 'the greatest secret’ that only he knew, which turned out to be just a text line between him and an NPC, without any additional effort.

Events like this, where players claim to be ‘holders of the ultimate truth’, led me to completely reject the philosophy of ‘I know something you don’t, but I won’t tell you what it is.’

It was at that moment that I decided to create my own YouTube content, focused on disseminating my own research and the information other players had shared with me.

My intention was to counter that selfish and dishonest stance. In fact, I planned to do exactly the opposite with the knowledge I had, explaining in detail how I reached each conclusion, only to show newcomers in this field that, with determination and a correct approach, anyone can decipher the topics that intrigue them, as long as it’s done coherently and humbly.

In this way, my channel was (generally speaking) well-received, and I learned more about how players appreciated the mysteries, and it also gave me the opportunity to meet people with vast knowledge.

While I present a personal perspective in my content, I always encourage players to adopt an approach similar to the scientific method for their research (adapted and limited to the context of a video game, obviously). I believe this is the most responsible and credible way to approach any research.

Today, with the ease of publishing offered by digital platforms, there is a proliferation of research or theories presented as unquestionable truths. It’s crucial to emphasize that neither my investigations nor anyone else’s should be considered as such. A good researcher is always critical and questions what they read, not in a destructive but constructive way. The idea is to create a consensus where we all agree that, under certain circumstances, no other options are possible, and therefore, that theory is accepted until evidence to the contrary arises. For this reason, I always stress that my findings are personal interpretations, and I invite readers to form their own opinions.

A research that lacks a solid foundation or that is highly speculative and easily refutable can mislead those delving into the world of mysteries. As I shared in the previous anecdote, assuming a simple fact as an unmovable truth can lead to a chain of erroneous assumptions.

It’s often beneficial to see such investigations as just different viewpoints. But until you’re not sure of their truth, don’t let others’ speculations guide your own research.

2. OLD AND NEW CONTENT.

The growth and maturity of Tibia are evident in the implementation of innovative quest mechanics and the evolution of its lore.

On the one hand, the new quest mechanics have opened a world of possibilities for trying out different things from what we were used to doing in the past. The Planestrider arc is a prime example of this.

The ‘Cube Quest’ is one of the latest mysteries unraveled by the community. Its plot and background are fascinating, and I admire the innovative mechanics the developers used. This quest is perfect for the average explorer, being accessible for players of level 100 or 150 who can complete it without difficulty and delve into its details.

In contrast, more recent missions, which offer lucrative rewards, are typically targeted at players of level 500 or higher. Take the Secret Library, for instance, a place I’m personally passionate about.

I recall reading years ago, before its implementation, the story of Crunor’s Caress, Ferumbras, and his mother Yenny the Gentle, all pointing to the city of Carlin and Ghostland as a meeting point for such cults. Similarly, I remember publicly discussing with other players on some Discord channels the suspicion of a secret room hidden in Ghostland or the Isle of the Kings, where Ferumbras should be, or at least, the powerful mage had visited at some point.

With the announcement of the update introducing Zathroth’s Secret Library, it was thrilling to confirm that our speculations weren’t too off the mark. It’s gratifying to realize that, by deeply understanding the stories, you can 'predict’ future events to some extent.

However, there’s a detail concerning the community of explorers: these new and mysterious places are inaccessible to the typical researcher. Mystery enthusiasts often lack the required level and the group of players needed to venture into these areas. This fact leads to a mix of frustration and disenchantment. Many of us wish to explore these corners, dusting off tomes in search of hidden clues about Zathroth’s forbidden knowledge.

Fortunately, players like Acolyte Storm, with a level of 1000+, have a fervent interest in the game’s secrets and have shared and detailed the places others can’t access.

Given these scenarios, I wonder how to balance the enjoyment of updates, allowing both mid and high-level players to explore these places. One solution might be that most of a quest is within the reach of a mid-level player (250+), reserving only the final stages for higher levels. Conversely, I fear we will increasingly become outdated regarding the new content.

On the other hand, Tibia’s lore has undergone constant reinvention and enrichment, incorporating new characters, deities, and powerful and enigmatic entities.

Some old game topics, like the stories of Jakundaf or Demona, seem to have been forgotten and don’t find an evident connection with contemporary lore. While there are some research and documents made by players delving into these old topics, it’s inevitable to question whether their findings are accurate or slightly forced speculations.

Of course, this isn’t the researcher’s fault at all; in fact, I deeply value those who dedicate themselves to creating such detailed content and generously share it with the community. The issue lies in the fact that in the world of Tibia, there are so many stories created in such distant times and in different contexts that we are forced to question if the connections we identify between old and recent topics are intentional or mere coincidences of similar concepts. Given the vastness of the game’s information, it’s plausible that a recent narrative might resemble an old one, without necessarily having been conceived with that purpose in mind.

However, there are old themes that clearly intertwine with contemporary lore. A prime example is the story of the Nightmare Knights and the Soulwar quest, which picks up the narrative of Goshnar, the necromancer king, and his fate after the war in the Plains of Havoc.

When updates explicitly establish a relationship between the new and the old, it’s easier for researchers to connect the dots. In contrast, if updates present scattered contents, there’s a risk of forcibly intertwining old stories, leading to confusion and guiding the investigator down the wrong paths.

A prime example of this is the theme of the ‘Mad Mage’. Have you ever wondered why there are two mad mages? Are they the same character? Is there a relationship between them? Do they merely share a name? Or could it be that Cipsoft forgot that a Mad Mage already existed in a previous story?

How should a researcher approach such questions?

These queries have plagued me countless times, and I often find myself at a crossroads, unsure if I’m forcing a connection or if there genuinely is a bond between them.

In situations as specific as these, I wish there were some guidelines or information to guide the researcher. While I understand the policies and perspective of Cipsoft, I believe that, at times, a clue for such details, however small, can be more beneficial than harmful. The mere act of subtly guiding the player can significantly enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of the content.

 

3. HINTS AND UPDATES

Unlike some players, I fully understand and support Cipsoft’s decision not to confirm or refute whether certain mysterious and iconic locations are tied to a quest, like Serpentine Tower, Basilisk, 469, among others. I believe that these riddles exist and are cherished precisely for their aura of mystery. If these quests have not been discovered (assuming they exist as such), it gives a distinct identity and character to the game.

However, occasionally bringing up certain topics could inspire and motivate the community to delve deeper and become more interested in these areas. Unfortunately, opportunities to interview or engage with a content creator and discuss matters that we’re passionate about are rare. Likewise, articles focusing on the game’s stories, secrets, or hints to undiscovered quests are seldom published.

Such content rarely proves harmful. Simply narrating an episode from Tibia’s history or quest doesn’t give a player an advantage. Quite the opposite, it encourages investigation and can guide in the right direction.

On the other hand, the constant introduction of new content, with countless characters, sagas, and stories every semester, results in a volume of information that’s challenging to thoroughly explore. This means that parts of the content, and potential secrets or quests hidden in an update, are bound to be forgotten.

I don’t criticize the new narratives and quests that have been devised at all; in fact, I deeply appreciate the innovation. The story of Galthen or the knightly orders (Falcon, Cobra, and Lion) are captivating and well-structured tales. However, even these stories are now considered 'outdated’ content.

For an average player, it’s a challenge to grasp half the story from a new update when, soon after, another update appears with a completely different focus. Although I’m aware that these narratives are interconnected, I believe it would be more fruitful to expand upon each of these stories and delve into their details.

The silver lining amidst this avalanche of content is that, in the vast universe of Tibia, mysteries seem endless, and every update provides us with more material to explore, analyze, and test our ongoing search for unresolved stories and quests.

____

And what do you think?

Are you the type to delve into every dark corner seeking answers? Has a streamer or fansite inspired you on your journey? What differences do you see between the ancient mysteries and the most recent ones?

We’d love to read your opinion in the comments.

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