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Encouraging learning new languages

Since lack of foreign language use seems to be somewhat of a concern, I had an idea how to encourage people to learn them: Give every starting character a modicum of knowledge in a second language.

Wait, wait. Hear me out!

I‘ve read on another thread that you‘ll get a full level of proficiency in a second language, if your starting intelligence is high enough. I didn‘t know that when starting, so I didn‘t get to try it out, but let‘s assume that you need to raise your intelligence four or five levels in chargen for that to happen.

With my suggestion, new characters would get a proportional amount of knowledge in a second language, instead of nothing if they are below X intelligence and a full level if they are above X. For example: Bob has a starting intelligence of 1 (I think it was „Stupid“, if I remember right), he could choose a language regardless and get 5% towards the next level. (Basically knowing „please“, „thank you“, „yes“ and „no“.)

If it is 2 („Rusty“), he‘d get 15%, with 3 („Questionable“) 25%, with 4 he‘d be at 45%, 5 gets him to 70% and 6 gives him the full level, raising the language from „meaningless“ to whatever comes next.

(Of course those numbers are just placeholders to illustrate my idea.)

This wouldn‘t give new characters much more than they already get, but it would make that language appear in their skill list and it would get them to be interested in investing more into it.

I am not sure I understand the need to give OOC encouragement to learn second languages. I get plenty motivated to know other languages because ICly it's super frustrating to sit there and not be able to understand two people having a conversation in another language in front of you.

This is the type of thing people will invest in when the need or desire arises and I think that's a good thing. I don't think every new character should see some kind of increase in a second language just for the sake of it.

People will learn their value ICly and decide when is best to make the UE investment in another language when they're free to prioritize it, in my opinion.

Quite a few people seemed to think that languages were underused and underutilized.

Though, of course, maybe that has changed in the 2,5 years since.

The people who take time to invest in languages use them quite well. And there are benefits for doing so. Everyone can learn languages without much issue as well.

There is a lot more language use as well, you might not be seeing it.

Well, I see it being used every day and it's encouraging to want to invest in that area of the game.

I think that it may not be on everyone's immediate agenda for how to spend their precious UE, or investing in other methods to obtain the knowledge, but I do think it's used and valued by other players these days.

You can keep saying it's encouraging to want to invest in another language until you're blue in the face but that won't change the fact that I don't see it. It's a massive UE sink and doesn't seem worth it.
1 day you spend learning languages is 1 day you don't spend training your skills to compete with your rivals or other NPC/PCs.
There is something in place similar to what was mentioned as the initial idea, but it is extremely underwhelming. I think giving larger language bonuses would be very helpful. Furthermore, it is also in theme considering it's a more globalized world and Withmore is a mixing pot. Look at the classis DnD example. Start with languages equal to your INT bonus or with additions by race. It's just handing them out and the reason is to promote their use.

I've done languages before and I'll say a few things. And IMO, they are very underutilized.

One, languages are pretty fun. It's a great way to bring characters closer, and honestly, even whilst you're terrible and speaking completely broken english or whatever, the mistakes you make can sometimes be very interesting. I was *this* close to killing someone I was meant to save once because of a language misunderstanding, and I had many interesting character interactions that would've been completely boring and unfun if both characters just spoke perfect English.

Two, languages should be spoken a lot more by NPCs. As it stands, I think in the entire game, I can only think of one obvious place where a language is commonly used, and even there, you're not really prevented from doing anything there you want to do even if you don't speak the language. I've actually found PCs in this area to be better than NPCs at promoting the language. I *think* there's also certain special factions that might use languages, but I never interacted with those deep enough to say if they do or not. In an ideal world, I'd like each language (or most) to have something it 'unlocks' if you can speak it well enough. Like a shop that only sells to people who speak x, or a set of apartments that only rent to people who speak a language. Things like that would be really cool.

And lastly, I think languages taking a lot of ue and time to learn is fine. It is a decent UE dump and a decent amount of time, but I think that's fine. It shouldn't be easy, and like I said, speaking a broken language can be fun. It's also technically free UE, so I probably think the investment as it is is fine.

What I always did see as a bit strange is the inability to start with two languages, especially given most characters are -immigrants- and would know another language. I think the option to give up like, half your skill UE for being mostly fluent in your secondary language wouldn't hurt at all. You could still block off certain languages like Mix-mash, which would have to be learned IN Withmore (unless you're a special character born there) but otherwise, a Japanese character that lived all their life in Japan mysteriously not knowing Japanese and making up excuses for it because playing Sindome without English is turbo-hard mode, is pretty unfun. It pushes people away from using what I think is a really cool and themely system instead of doing the opposite.

Remember UE put into languages doesn't count against the UE cap.