Who Are The Black Watchmen?

Discussion in 'Welcome Recruits' started by nikel, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    Welcome to The Black Watchmen

    This thread is meant to introduce new agents to the story of the Black Watchmen and the world we exist in. New agents should try the beta missions on division-66.com described in the second post, and come to the IRC if they want help. These missions are not intended to be completed individually, though it is possible.

    This thread was also made several months before release of the game client. Some aspects of the story, lore and mechanics have changed or are otherwise no longer relevant to the current story.

    Black Watchmen agents work together.
    --------------

    The call came first to the Unforums, a collection of people who know that there's more to our world than one simple reality.



    The message spread quickly: Unforums, The Secret World, Ingress, The Survivors of Dies Irae, and others were swept up into the fold of The Black Watchmen.

    We are agents of Division 66, the Press arm of The Black Watchmen. Only a few know exactly how large The Black Watchmen organization is. We know of Division 42, field agents whose misfortune caused us to be brought into the fold. Division 79 seems to be Research and Development, and the fate of Division 33, for certain members of The Secret World, is unknown.


    The Black Watchmen rose out of the remains of the QADHOS Organization. The goals of The Black Watchmen are not yet known, but overall, we protect the public from dangerous phenomena beyond their understanding. We have no allegiances to the secret societies of The Secret World, but of course they exist in our world, in one form or another. We've worked with The Black Watchmen twice before, when The Secret World opened up for a brief time and once again at the end of the world, though those memories become foggier by the minute.


    Why does the world need The Black Watchmen now?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2015
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  2. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    Upon opening www.division-66.com, you may be treated to a video (downloadable here)


    These missions are our introduction to The Black Watchmen. They have the dual role of introducing us new agents to some of work we will be expected to do, and providing some information about what The Black Watchmen is working on now. We work for The Black Watchmen through hubs like this one. Hubs can take different forms than the one we access on the Division 66 website. Hubs contain our mission information, and it's important to remember that failure is possible. There are no 2nd chances. In this hub we had a variety of different mission types:

    • Mission 1: Extraction
    • Mission 2: Geolocation
    • Mission 3: Artifact Delivery
    • Mission 4: Enemy Attack
    • Mission 5: Cyber Attack
    • Mission 6: Intelligence Analysis

    In Extraction, Agent Alata, a member of The Black Watchmen before we joined, needs extraction from her current location. We use the information provided to decrypt her coordinates to send to headquarters. In doing so, we unlock some of The Black Watchmen's files. A photo of Patient Alpha.

    Patient Alpha is our CyberMage. The CyberMage is the person mentioned in Captain William Patrick's (affectionately referred to as Captain Scruffy by the community; is also totally Not Dead) report. She has the BDNF gene mutation and exposure to the 'incident' has caused the mutation to trigger. Alpha is a being of immense power who exists slightly out of phase from our reality. She was found naked at the site with only the purple scarves on her, and she has manifested the rest of her outfit. She is rather vain, and neither good nor evil, but she is helping The Black Watchmen to understand what these 'incidents' are.


    In Geolocation, a Rupture Site has formed. We use the information provided to locate and secure the site. Rupture Sites, we learn, are the 'incidents' discussed in the Captain's report.

    Captain William Patrick (for whose death I am in denial about) is a member of Division 42, the first on the scene at the Rupture Site where Patient Alpha was found. Division 42 was nearly wiped out in this incident, those who survived the initial blast went insane. Of the 2,000 people sent on the scene, less than 50 returned alive.



    This knowledge provides us our first understanding of what The Black Watchmen is working on. Our primary job is to locate, contain and study these Rupture Sites and their effects. Soldiers, Snipers and CyberTechs are all necessary to contain the sites so that Scientists can study it and the public is safe from its effects.


    Artifact Delivery: Our mission is to discover an artifact, which will be brought to a Rupture Site. Artifacts are certain objects that interact with the radiation at the Rupture Sites or Patient Alpha, and may be incredibly powerful or dangerous at the site itself or away from it.


    Patient Alpha's purple scarves are actually an artifact: a living symbiote. The scarves and other artifacts are studied by Scientists.



    Enemy Attack
    Before the next mission, some players received phone calls with the message "SATCOM intercept." An unknown enemy of ours was out for blood.

    Two of our agents, Aygolan and Phonochirp were targeted by enemy snipers, who we identified as FSB agents. FSB, or The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, is the successor to the USSR's KGB. We had an enemy, and we chose to strike back.


    Mission 5: Cyber Attack on Bolshoy Dom.

    We split into three teams: Team Alpha took the Soldier position, preventing early warning within FSB and interfering with their response. Team Beta were our CyberTechs, taking the lead to hack their servers to download a document and upload it to headquarters. Team Delta went undercover to overload their systems with meaningless code-words to overload their firewall. All of us worked together to take over their systems and download a some files, a list of our agents known to FSB and locations of Rupture Sites. Curiously, an Agent Atala [sic] was listed, soon after Alata seemed to disappear along with an agent Sylval. Is there a connection? Hard to say.

    (3/18/15 Edit: We did not see these files in their entirety, they were uploaded via the FSB system to headquarters. Their files reported a 4th rupture site. Reference for this mission: CryGaia Wiki)


    With FSB out of the picture for now, it was time to analyze the data: we needed to know if FSB knew of all the Rupture Sites we know or if there were others. To do so, we needed to delve into the Division 66 archives.

    Intelligence Analysis

    Agent AberrantArbiter flew to Montreal to meet with Captain William Patrick (totally alive). He was lead through the underground city in Montreal with a suitcase of sensitive data handcuffed to his wrist.

    He was then brought to a safehouse where the suitcase was opened, revealing patient files, presumably of the Division 42 survivors. We connected information from previous Rupture Sites, the Halifax Explosion, the Hindenburg Crash, Luis Garavito, one of the worst serial killers in history. Where we ended was with a name, possibly the identity of our Patient Alpha: Sophie Hollins.


    This signified the end of our introductory missions. What happened next would define the future of The Black Watchmen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2015
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  3. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    Crowdfund + This Is Not The End


    The Black Watchmen needed a mobilization of resources. They searched for new recruits and partners, but unfortunately did not receive the support necessary to immediately continue functioning. However, this was not the end.


    On June 7th, we received the 'Mission Failed' email:


    Tucked away at the bottom of the mail was an image. Something pretty nasty must have happened to this person, eyes blown out, blood leaking from the mouth... It certainly appears easier and safer to ignore any information this man has on him, but we, as agents of The Black Watchmen, have a duty.


    Before anyone was able to collect the corpse, we find his cellphone, with the message "THIS IS NOT THE END" on it. Of course, we must find the person or people who sent this message. Calling the source of the message (438) 345-8258 leads us here:



    Neuropsychology clinic? What business does a hospital have sending ominous messages to recent inductees of the 'Brutally Murdered Club?' Investigations are in order.



    An overview of the website: The clinic provides services for Sleep Disorders, Neuromodulation for treatment of Psychiatric Disorders, Mood, and Psychotic Disorders. Still quite innocent, these are all typical services for a clinic. Two of the four team members stand out immediately.

    • Dr. Adam Rosenberg: He immediately attracts attention by being the head of the clinic and having a different picture. He has a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Bachelor's degree in Catholic Theology from University of Würzburg. What a remarkable combination.
    • Ms. Vanessa Baup: Baup has a Master's degree in neuroscience. She is notable for her research into the BDNF gene, one of our top keywords in The Black Watchmen. She also bears a striking resemblance to our CyberMage, Patient Alpha. What is her involvement?

    We emailed every member of the team covertly, but no response. It becomes immediately clear where we are supposed to get our information: the INTRANET tab at the top of the page. Input email and password, gain access to the system.

    After 25 hours of painful, thorough research into everything from loci of the BDNF gene in the human genome, to amino acids, to neurotransmitters, to historical psychologists of the church, to psychoses, to disgraced bishops and FINALLY to the name Anneliese Michel, whose year of death provided us with the password to Rosenberg's email: 1976. After gaining access to the system...


    Well, we are left with just as many questions as we had before. What dark things are happening in this 'clinic?'

    At the very least, it doesn't appear that we have found everything yet, there are still secrets to be found in this clinic.

    On the 'Patient Case File' Page, there used to be a line that said "Next Update 6-20-2014." Now it redirects to the blackwatchmen.com video.

    A summary of the Kickstarter mission (Msika, Gwen, Barbizon) can be found here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2015
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  4. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    (UPDATE
    3/18/15: Things change during development, so what is written here may be out of date.
    3/19/15: Replaced Sniper class with Spy and other bits.)
    10/18/2015: Classes were made minimal in season 1, but that may change in season 2. Please keep in mind that this mechanic has significantly changed and classes had little impact on season 1.)
    OOC: Classes, Mechanics

    You probably noticed me color-coding certain words. Within The Black Watchmen, we will take the role of 4 classes, CyberTech, Scientist, Spy and Soldier, with opportunities for flexibility and customization of the templates. Information about the base skills of these classes can be found below: (The graphics are placeholders and you can see new class icons in the 'Get Ready' video)

    The CyberTech class card can be found here.


    The Scientist class card can be found here.


    The Spy class card can be found here. (Class was previously dubbed Sniper)


    The Soldier class card can be found here.


    ABOUT CLASS SKILLS

    • Code Breaking and Puzzle Solving
      • Skill at breaking codes, understanding how systems work, hacking terminals and generally good at solving various forms of puzzles.
    • Online Research and Analysis
      • Ability to quickly find the needles in a haystack, connecting the dots in a large volume of information, prioritizing data and researching the web
    • Tactical Skill - APM Level
      • High level of actions per minute, using your weapon or various types of technology. High level of control and concentration over long periods of time.
    • Real World Knowledge
      • Fluent in various languages and topics including art, history, war, and politics.
    • Companion App
      • Use of a location-based device and skills in urban and rural combat through augmented reality.
    • Community Leadership
      • Ability to organize and plan group attacks. Strong skills in commanding Special Ops teams and diffusing tense situations.
    Classes will be unlocked by how you complete your introductory mission(s) and you can choose to not take an unlocked class.

    There are also four Advanced BDNF Mutations. Not much is known about these special classes, but you may choose to expose yourself to a Rupture Site if you have this BDNF gene, but the results may not work in your favor. (Not confirmed for Season 1)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2015
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  5. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    OOC: About Alice & Smith, FAQ and Resources.

    Alice & Smith is a newly formed company by former President of Human Equation, Nathalie LaCoste.

    They are based in Montreal, Canada.

    If you see people on the forums referring to hE, or Human Equation, that is because A&S was formed in the process of crowdfunding, taking the reins of the project from Human Equation. The team behind The Black Watchmen is 100% A&S.

    Q: What is an ARG?
    A: ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game. An ARG is a fictional story that is carried out through real-world means. Unlike controlling Mario with a controller, you will have to research online, email, call and, occasionally, you may have to go to a location in order to complete a mission.


    Q: What's with all the spelling/grammatical errors?
    A: Human Equation is natively a French speaking company and have to rely on editors and proofreaders to put out something written in native English. They have had some bad luck in the past with proofreaders and sometimes mistakes get through. Playing an ARG requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief and I hope that you can stretch that a bit more to see the game past these errors that will become less numerous as the game continues and they have a more reliable editor. As Vismal says below, the ARG does take place in the real world, and absolute grammatical perfection may not be the most important thing when we're trying to secure a Rupture Site.

    Q: Patient Alpha is hardly wearing any clothes!
    A: Alpha's design was done by a team of (female) artists to fit her character. She was inspired by the Greek Nymph, as well as The Fifth Element's Leeloo, and Alpha's 'flaw' is her vanity. She is obsessed with her own appearance and incredibly powerful, hence the clothes and pose to portray her as intimidating. In addition, the actress who portrays Alpha spent time in a very active photoshoot wearing that costume and it was apparently not a hardship to wear.

    After hearing lots of feedback about Alpha's uniform, the dev team decided to stick to their vision.

    Q: Why Kickstarter?
    A: The first crowdfunding attempt through CrowdTilt did not reach its goal for a number of reasons, including lack of visibility, confusing tiers and a platform that was somewhat hostile to our presence. Kickstarter will remedy some of the issues and will provide a platform that more people are used to seeing, allowing more gaming media to pick up the story.

    Q: Are account upgrades the same as the Kickstarter rewards?
    A: At the moment, we do not know what the Kickstarter rewards will be, but we have been told that the forum tiers now may apply to Kickstarter tiers. The best course of action right now would be to wait for the Kickstarter, as the forum upgrades will not apply to the $40,000 goal needed to fund the PARG. In the future, the forum upgrades will be separate from in-game upgrades.

    Q: Is the ARG for me?
    A: That isn't a question I can answer, it's all on personal taste. But please don't be intimidated by the ARG. We are a community that works on the missions together. You don't need to be able to summon knowledge about bishops who performed exorcisms or neolithic structures, any knowledge and skills you bring to the table helps us all, whether it's cars, medieval weaponry, Russian literature or classical music, the more the better.

    Q:I live in a hut in Siberia with my pet Baikal Seal, Stewart. How will I play the ARG?
    A: The Black Watchmen is an international project, although it's main language is English. You can play from anywhere. By participating in the ARG, you bring your location into the world of The Black Watchmen. Locations with many players and easy access by the dev team will see more 'real world' action, but that doesn't mean that you will never have to leave your house when playing the ARG. Also, a fair amount of the game will happen digitally, and that will always be open to you.

    Q: What do the different agent levels represent?

    A: The levels follow the visible light spectrum and decide how much the ARG will interact with the real world. Red is the lowest, limited interaction, Yellow is the highest (chose-able) level where you'll be getting phone calls, geocacheing, and other real life components. There are rumors of a green clearance but no one has discovered if it's real or just a myth.

    Reserved for more Q&A.


    Resources:

    CryGaia Wiki
    Files from the End of Days ARG
    AMA with Anashel pt 1, compiled by Santiak
    AMA with Anashel pt 2, compiled by Santiak
    A not-very-well-maintained Wiki for QADHOS ARG
    The Human Equation Website


    Read a synopsis of the End of Days ARG HERE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2014
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  6. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    That's a recap of everything so far. Please tell me if there are any inaccuracies, or if you have comments, suggestions or questions!

    Is it possible to have the forums automatically underline hyperlinks? The grey and white are very similar and I don't want to miss future links.

    Anashel: I don't know what might be changing in the "Class" section from the crowdtilt to the kickstarter, with the reduced goal. Let me know if I should cut that section.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2014
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  7. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Active Agent

    Good job Nikel, this will be really helpful for new players!

    The sources also made me think that we need a Black Watchmen wikia. ;)
     
  8. Zerosh

    Zerosh Sleeper Agent

    To nikel:
    You sir deserve more likes
     
  9. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    Thank you for the internet validation :p

    And thanks to everyone who have sent me comments here and through PMs, I've updated here and there a few times with really small details.

    Yes, that'll probably be a good idea, we just need to make sure it doesn't end up like the QADHOS wiki that contains absolutely no description of the events, characters, what QADHOS actually is! I'd really appreciate it if a player of 'Behind the Yellow Curtain' could come in and give a brief synopsis of the ARG.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2014
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  10. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Active Agent

    Yeah, it should be updated very often and have detailed information. Spoiler warnings might be a good idea though. If we do set up a wiki like this, I will be happy to do my part, but right now I am pretty much stuck in exams and all that. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2014
  11. Deepthroat

    Deepthroat Guest

    Fixed.
    I agree to say this part can't be neglected and I'm very pleased to hear some efforts will be made.
     
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  12. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    I too am pleased that effort is being put in that field, but:
    For the suspension of disbelief; kind of hard to immerse yourself without having people make a few mistakes. You aren't dealing with literal cunning linguists; you're dealing with agents who's jobs aren't proper pronunciations/well-spellings/golden syntax of the gods; they take care of evil shit and have shady agendas.
    When I speak to anyone in the real world, their speech is never classical theatrical quality. Their speech is normal, flawed and real. This is immersion to me.
    Now if you want to get *lost* in a story, you need to have the story construed within the rules of the English language; but that's a story, and not an ARG (as far as I can tell).
    Maybe it's just me, and most likely it's just a matter of perception and the myriad ways others perceive/feel immersion is to them. I rather say my part though.
     
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  13. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    That's a good point, I'll add it in.
     
  14. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    I reckon it boils down to who the speaker is; if it's OOC "Here's some relevant information about the game" type stuff, I can understand the need - and desire - to have it being articulated in such a way, and with as few errors as possible, that the meaning comes across clearly, and the reader isn't left with a sensation of "Am I sure I understand this?".

    If, however, it is IC "You are being called upon, Agent!" type stuff, then I agree, blemishes can make things more immersive; because after all, if you're scrambling to get back-up at a Rupture site, you're likely not going to spend 5 minutes proof-reading your message, when you could be using those 5 minutes to insure you remain alive instead. ;)
     
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  15. Deepthroat

    Deepthroat Guest

    Perhaps people today suck with spelling but I don't think this is a valid reason to ignore it, with a few exceptions, like imitating the original character of the children's language and expressions. But if I read a mission report with spelling errors, it will be hard for me to take it seriously.
     
  16. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    Yeah, mission report sure. Like Santiak says, there's other aspects that aren't bookish and reportish that would not have the greatest attention to grammar details. I'm talking voice-overs/quick info vids/captain's voice logs/rushed writting...that sort of stuff.

    In a report you usually have to adhere to a strict format, so it makes sense to have that proofread. Nikel posted something cool to the IRC and I think he'll elaborate on it.
    *waits on it...waits on it*

    Anyways, just know that I have mentioned that I agree that the immersion experience is different for everyone due to the quasi-infinite way human perception is. I can see you bring to mind clearly your relative side of the medal, which is nice. We need that. Fuller experience is shaped from different views.
     
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  17. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    7/7 Edits: Underlined links and made minor changes regarding new revelations about End of Days/33.
     
    3 people like this.
  18. Gr3ylok

    Gr3ylok Senior Agent

    Couldn't find a button to bookmark so this is for later use.
     
  19. Mustafa Said

    Mustafa Said Senior Agent

    Wait...People from Ingress were called up for this?
    No wonder I'm here.
    I'm an Investigator of the event that created Ingress, the Niantic Project.
    Interesting....
     
    2 people like this.
  20. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    The Black Watchmen has recruited a few of those searching for answers about the Niantic Project. The skill sets involved have a lot of... crossover.

    Anyone who is coming in now and is unfamiliar with these past events, I'd appreciate feedback on my initial posts. I'll up updating as more information comes out in the coming weeks.
     

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