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Yu Jing Fluff - Perception, Reality, Desire

Discussion in 'Yu Jing' started by Devrailis, Mar 28, 2018.

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  1. Devrailis

    Devrailis Well-Known Member

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    This post was inspired by the recent discussions about Yu Jing's place in the Human Sphere and the perception from many players that it has become Flanderized by its most negative traits, turning it into the "Bad Guy" of the Human factions.

    One of the things that has impressed me about the Infinity fluff is the relatively even hand all of the factions are treated with. Every faction is coloured with various shades of gray - this extends even to the Combined Army. For me personally, this keeps the setting unique, interesting and makes every faction appealing. With this in mind, I wanted to see if the current complaints (some of which I share) about Yu Jing's treatment from a lore perspective actually hold water, how it compares to the portrayal of Yu Jing as written in the fluff. I also would like to gather everyone's thoughts on how they would like to see Yu Jing portrayed going forward. Are there things you would like to see emphasized about the faction and its society. Are there angles that you think are under-represented?


    Currently, many players feel that Yu Jing has been made out to be one of the villains of the setting, Combined Army not withstanding. This is not an unreasonable perception. Yu Jing bears the brunt of various social and political stereotypes inspired by the current political system of the People's Republic of China. It is in broad strokes, a monolithic, authoritarian regime that stifles dissent with force.

    This perception is even supported on the table top with brainwashed political prisoners outfitted with explosive collars, heavy infantry penal squads, and armed political police known for their brutality. The current Uprising Event pushes this further with a rebellious Japanese population trying to break free from Yu Jing's authoritarian grip, as oppressed, second class citizens.


    It's easy to see Yu Jing as this and nothing but this. I myself was not too familiar with Yu Jing's background beyond these basic points, as I don't play Yu Jing, I play Haqqislam. Taking a closer look at the core books however, it's clear that Gutier and Corvus Belli have done some research and have made some attempts to portray the faction as more complex than a gang of boot-stomping thugs.

    Yu Jing is not a singular, all-encompassing hive mind. Every part of its governmental system is designed with checks and balanced in mind. At the top of the political hierarchy, there exists the Party and the Imperial Throne. While the Party is responsible for the day to day ruling of the Yu Jing government, the Emperor controls the judiciary and by extension, the ISS.

    The throne itself is shared between two competing dynasties, who rotate occupancy of the seat and who, in theory, keep each others ambitions in check. Likewise, the Party is also split between conservative and reformist factions. Tellingly, Yu Jing citizens do in fact vote in elections to decide between which of these two factions to support. In the end, they are still voting for the Party itself, but they have a chance to steer the direction of the Party by putting their collective support behind one vision or the other.

    The ISS was formed out of a real and pressing need to fight back against the threat of violence from organized crime. Triad power had reach such heights that these criminal gangs were committed acts of violence and murder in broad daylight.

    Even the existence of the JSA points to another nuance of Yu Jing's ruling methodology. In practice, there is a degree of Han/Chinese chauvinism which has resulted in the second class status of Yu Jing's Japanese citizens. However, Yu Jing's ruling Party decided early on that it had to be a multi-cultural society in order to maintain its power, and with that, it had to promote and encourage its various ethnic groups to celebrate their own traditions. This extends to granting these groups their own semi-autonomous armed forces. From the fluff, it can be argued that the second-class status of the Japanese is partially self-inflicted due to the friction between the Japanese population versus the greater Yu Jing state, a friction that may not exist between Yu Jing and its other ethnic groups. In essence, despite Yu Jing's misgivings of its Japanese citizens, it still allowed them their own military and one could almost say, this generosity was repaid with treachery by the Japanese ruling class.

    These points are all taken directly from the Core Books. I have not quoted anything verbatim however as I recommend you buy the books or borrow them from a friend who has. They're well worth the price tag.


    Given that Yu Jing does have these shades of gray, why is there a perception that Yu Jing is one of the less sympathetic factions of the setting? I suspect that besides the fluff, the main reason is that the factions manifest themselves mostly through their presence on the table top, where things like political checks and balances, or multicultural largesse are irrelevant and invisible.

    What IS visible are the explosive zombie political prisoners, and the penal brigades, and the heavily armed police thugs. Going through Yu Jing's recent sculpt releases, it's very clear that the ISS has received a lot of love, with new profiles, new models, lots of resculpts, and most of these figures focused on the boot-to-the-face-Chinese-Judge-Dredd aspect of the faction, which means that this aspect of the faction has received the most amount of visibility. ISS is a strong sectorial, and they're wicked stylish, but they've come to define the character of Yu Jing on the table top, especially now that the JSA is no longer there to counter-balance them.

    Admittedly, there is also a tendency for players and fans to create their own fanon over time. This happens in nearly every work of fiction (see the entry about Flanderization above). It's natural, and the best way to counteract this is by continuing to emphasis both the negative and positive portayals of Yu Jing. There is also a question then, of whether or not the overall player base, especially the Yu Jing players, even want to see their faction depicted with a more even hand (which I personally believe they do).

    What I would like to see are a few things:
    • Put some more emphasis on the heroic nature of Yu Jing's military. Show them as the good guys from time to time. Have an ISS squad defending a settlement from marauding Yuan Yuan/Druze/Ikari hired thugs. More depictions of desperate last stands by Yu Jing soldiers against the Combined Army as they cover the evacuation of civilians. Give the Invincible Army a moment to shine as they swoop in last minute to repel PanO aggression against one of their outposts.
    • Stop using propaganda as a crutch when writing Yu Jing fluff. Too many unit descriptions and fluff pieces seem to have some clever propaganda tag as a closer. It is clever when used in moderation but we really don't need to see it every other time. It also undermines the positives of the faction while accentuating the negatives. When something positive is written about the faction, we can easily dismiss it as propaganda. When something negative is written about the faction, it becomes "Hahaha! Your dastardly nature is revealed!". This further reinforces Yu Jing's feel as a villainous faction.
    • Let the Invincible Army be an Army. Keep them professional, try to stay away from depicting them as baby-eating, mustache twirling bad guys. When they're on the table top, they should make a statement about the State Army as a professional force who's primary focus is on defending Yu Jing.
    • None of the above means turning Yu Jing into a paragon of virtue. It is still an authoritarian super-power and ISS still gets to be the gang of boot-to-the-face door-kickers. But lets counter balance that with some heroics as well. When I play Haqqislam, hell, when I play Qapu Khalqi, I can stuff a list full of Yuan Yuan, Druze, Scarface, Djanbazans, or I can load up with Sekhbans, Kaplans, Hafzas and Odalisques. The feel of the faction and/or sectorials change depending on who I bring. Give Yu Jing some more of that flexibility as well.
     
  2. Stormygeddon

    Stormygeddon Well-Known Member

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    This is a pretty good write-up. You've got my support for attention. I do really like to point out the "protect its citizens" aspect of Yu Jing. From what I've read, I was under the impression that as long as you're not some criminal, you've got some safety net as a citizen. Unlike the Ateks of PanO you don't get left behind.
     
  3. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
    Warcor

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    This is one of the best and most thoughtful pieces I've seen come out of this whole situation.

    I hope that @Bostria , @Interruptor and co are listening.
     
  4. Yasashii Fuyu

    Yasashii Fuyu Well-Known Member

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    I pretty much agree to this thread....when I read the Yu Jing fluff I really enjoyed the greyness of the faction a lot, sure they brainwashed criminals, sent them to their death in penal units, and were a very police state like empire, but they also tried to include all other asian cultures into theirs (a big change to how it is nowadays I feel..) and generally gave off the feeling of "a strict father figure" that might do bad things now and then, but only to protect his children.

    But that was in the Core Book....and ever since then, I never ever saw this positive side of Yu Jing again....whenever they get mentioned somewhere they do so as the villains in one form or another, as the reason for trouble, the ones to blame in the end, the one failing in their duty, and so on and so forth......the best "positive" bits we get is "Oh by the way, Yu Jing's military is kinda busy defending humanity, but nevermind that.."

    Heck by now they even make fun of this by making the Yu Jing Aristeia Character evil on purpose, joking he's evil cause he's Yu Jing.....

    PanO gets a giant tank of a man who runs around protecting others, and a flame cleansing inquisitor healing others....while Yu Jing gets a blazing evil eyed space wizard who's sole purpose is to annoy the crap out of his opponent apparently...

    The fluff of Uprising put another set of nails in the coffin that is Yu Jings evil impression....Hahaaa look at all those mass graves, behave or lay next to them....Just the thing PanO would say eh?

    And the saddest part of this for me is that I don't think this will ever be redeemable for me....now that the JSA have split away, the whole "We want to unite all asian nations to build a better future" plan has simply failed, and with it a good chunk of Yu Jing's pride for me. Even if they now bring out the glittering fancy Invincible Army and White Banner, it'll just be "more military might" displayed, but the society has still failed for me...

    The fact that PanO apparently supported JSA's breakaway, and apparently got away with it, makes this even more annoying, as it's another time that Yu Jing got trolled by PanO, showing them as the inferior Hyperpower...

    I have to say from a purely fluff point, this event has ruined a lot of interest I had in Yu Jing, and I can only hope that they'll keep JSA fresh and interesting so I at least won't regret switching to them for now...
     
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  5. Telcontar

    Telcontar Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read the uprising fluff yet, but, that one quote is pretty damning. And honestly, if I wanted to partake in casual genocide I would play warhammer 40k.
     
  6. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Or you could come play CA...
     
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  7. stevenart74

    stevenart74 Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful Thread full of excellent posts. . .

    Want to say that @Hecaton also pointed a very important "Fluff Part" that define the whole of the setting immediatly from the very inception. . .

    As Yujing is explained as "Evil Fu-Manchu Yellow-Menace" kind of Bond's Villains from the start, also the Evolved Intelligence is presented immediatly as the "B.E.M. Xeno Empire" (Bug-Eyed-Monsters, sadly no more real now that Exrahs are just a footnote !!) that IMMEDIATLY start to bomb Paradiso cities with Airborne Deployed Biomecha T.A.G.s (and probably exhausted all of them, now that Caskudas are extincts !!!). . .

    Like Yujing is represented as "Bwa-Ha-Ha-Ha! Dirty Gwailos Must Die, and other Asians could at best aspire to be cherished Slaves!!" the Combined Army kind of diplomacy FIRST BOUT OPENING seemed to be taken directly from '50s Bad Sci Fi Movies ("Terran, Bring Me To Your Leaders, NOW ! And By The Way, All Your Bases Belongs To US !!!"); I will say also the "Reptile Infiltrators" but that Trope is yet very well filled by Shaasvastiis. . .

    I almost expect that the REAL aspect of the Ur Civilization is to be some kind of "Little Greys / Little Greenies" with a disposition nastier that the ones of "Mars Attacks", much as Yujing seems to be the "Evil Eastern Empire" depicted in American Comics from the '30s (all Asian Bad Guys, notwithstanding Japanese / Chinese / Koreans / Far East Indos, ALL uniformedly small, piss-yellow faced, with big glass spectacles, beaver-toothed and hiding sadistic characters under a veneer of politeness !!). . .

    Rather than presenting a cool Ur Diplomat in shining Nanotech-Weave and blazing Neon Lights saying "Howdy Human Sphere! We are the Coolest Galactic Federation of the Universe ! Wanna Join Us ??? We ask just for Collaborative Efforts and contribution to the SHARED Post-Singolarity Evolution of ANY SENTIENT !!!" what we have. . .

    Morat "Explosive Ambassadors" flattening Ravensbrucke City WITHOUT so much of an Ultimatum (I suspect Tohaa Treachery in this; the "Artichoke Illuminati" are the TRUE EVIL of the Setting, so they could have envisoned all of this; just read what they have done on Dawn and Paradiso. . .!!). . .

    And on the subject of Morats, rather than submitting the "Space Orks Oni" to a similar immediate Assault, then on the OFFICIAL Background of the Game it went more-or-less so:

    Ur Ambassador Aspect (U.A.E.)= "Please Join our Galactic Spanning Empire. . .!!"

    Morat Supremacy Tyrant Overseer (M.S.T.O.)= ". . .batok kusit !" (roughly translated from Morat Language as "Shut Up, Stinky !!")

    U.A.E.= "Please Join our Galactic Spanning Empire. . .!!"

    M.S.T.O.=". . .batok kusit !"

    U.A.E.= "Please Join our Galactic Spanning Empire. . .!!"

    M.S.T.O.=". . .Batok Kusit !!"

    U.A.E.= "Please Join our Galactic Spanning Empire. . .!!"

    M.S.T.O.=". . .BATOK KUSIT !!!"

    U.A.E.= "Please Join our Galactic Spanning Empire. . .!!"

    M.S.T.O.=". . .BATOK KUSIT !!! . . .BATOK KUSIT !!! . . .BATOK KUSIT !!! BAAAAATOOOOK KUUUUSIIIIT !!!!!"

    U.A.E.= snaps fingers, pointing an Holo-Screen on the Background. . .

    (Live on the Screen, one of the Moons of the Morat Homeworld, their Orbital Navy Shipyards, explodes !!!)

    U.A.E.= "Are You really, Really, REALLY SURE that You Morats Do NOT want to Join Us ???"

    M.S.T.O.= "....................................................................................................!!!"

    . . . . .

    And in the same veneer the Jade Emperor of Yujing AND / OR the Party Secretary seems to have taken Political Lessons from Sheev Palpatine. . .!!

    . . . . .

    A bold move from the State-Empire should be to offer ANY Atek of Pan-Oceanian, living in Slums, and IN SOME INSTANCES chased with Guns by rich, bored Corps Brats FOR SPORTS some prospective "Political Asylum" and the extension of "Basic Right as Yujing Citizens". . .

    Really if the Party want to do something truly amazing should open "Charity Embassies" on any Atek Slum. . . . .!!!
     
  8. fatherboxx

    fatherboxx Well-Known Member

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    Yu Jing were always villains, the fact that they march brainwashed prisoners on the frontlines should be self-evident. It would take a lot to overshadow the most signature faction unit.
    Playing as a villain is fun, I love Judge Dredd comics and while 40k keeps focusing on superhero drama of millenia-old manbabies, Infinity provides a narrative of believable opressive society that does not overplay "but shades of grey" with tough times rhetoric.

    What I would love more is Yu Jing being a competent villain in the fluff, instead of a saturday morning baddie of the Human Sphere. Combined Army is a looming threat at the gates, always 5 minutes from crushing humanity, but Yu Jing are a punching bag, losing insurrections and grumping in jealousy. Combined are Galactus, Yu Jing should be Doctor Doom, instead they barely reach the success of, like Mole Man.

    Another good chance for different flavors of Yu Jing would be positive stories in new characters, someone enlisted in the Invincible Army or ISS with personal agenda and skeptical attitude towards StateEmpire propaganda. JSA characters were exactly that and with them rolling away, there is a lot of space for personalities.
     
  9. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    @fatherboxx If they were intended to be by the writers, that's lazy writing.
     
  10. Telcontar

    Telcontar Well-Known Member

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    Come for the genocide, stay for the space vampires and tags? *sigh* Sounds like me...
     
  11. East of Irem

    East of Irem Well-Known Member

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    Well for starters I've never seen judge dredd as a villain. Yu jing being morally inflexible isn't a problem their intentions are in the right place.
    I think your main problem is that the infinity narrative is one of impending and deepening crisis. As planets get ravaged, resources exhausted and valuable troops slain the more morally compromised all factions will become. That is the nature of war against a superior foe adapt, innovate use everything at your disposal or be annihilated. Yu jing shouldn't be in fluff wasting resources on asylum for ateks it should be arming and strengthening itself at a ridiculous rate ready for total war with the EI.
    I expect CA and the tohaa will have behind the scenes roles in uprising, I look forward to reading what they came up with.
     
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  12. fatherboxx

    fatherboxx Well-Known Member

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    Those are great! But they provide a sinister side to the factions with more positive PR, while Yu Jing and CA have opressive narratives as the core of their faction identity.
     
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  13. Yasashii Fuyu

    Yasashii Fuyu Well-Known Member

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    I think you are seriously mixing up public image and secrets...

    Kuang Shi and Wu Ming aren't exactly the propaganda poster boys of Yu Jing, Yu Jing doesn't go around telling everyone that they brainwash enemies of the party and send them on suicide runs, that's what is happening in the dark where no one who sees it survives...

    And like many stated above, all other factions have similar things happen, maybe not as visibly "evil" as Kuang Shi might be to players on the tabletop, but just cause those factions evil side doesn't have specific models running around on the table (though I'd argue Hexas would count as that...) doesn't mean they aren't just as evil or grey as Yu Jing is perceived by some...
     
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  14. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    PanO gives its citizens just as little control over their day-to-day lives... they're just less honest about it. It's close to a "Brave New World" dystopia than Yu Jing's "1984."
     
  15. stevenart74

    stevenart74 Well-Known Member

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    I will rather see Hexas of Pan-Oceania as the stereotypical "Grayshaded C.I.A." of Action Flicks (we do despicable thing to You, because You were in the WRONG Place at the WRONG Time. . . . .But Your wife and children will STILL have their own merry "Beavertown Villa", posh "Desperate Housewives" cliques of friends and "Beverly Hills" styled High School !!). . .

    The Imperial Security I daresay seem far no more as "Judge Dredd" (30 Years old stereotypes, it works just for the "Adeptus Arbites" of Warhammer 40.000) and rather far more as the "Tetragrammaton Clerics" of the movie "Equilibrium". . .!!

    Now I want a Gun-Kata Hsien shooting down a ghetto full of Nihonjin Yakuza Terrorists (I LOVE the Japanese Culture, but Yakuza Goons I HATE as much as My own homeland "Mafiosi" !!). . .!!
     
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  16. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    Nah, all UR are "assimilated" inside the Evolved Intelligence, so their society is... nowhere. They are looking to trascend... at any prize.

    CA does not start with the bombing when faced with interesting civilizations (ones able to make AIs, like humanity or Shasvastii). The Sepsitor is the answer, though ;)
     
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  17. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    If you read up on the way the OCF works, genocide is the order of the day.
     
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  18. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    I think @fatherboxx is less providing an argument for that Yu Jing are the bad guys and more providing an opportune example for the developers and the storywriter to look at - this is how Yu Jing is perceived. According to psychoticstorm, this is not what Yu Jing are, so there are definitely adjustments needed to align perception with intention.
    We've got the Yu Jing villains, now please give us the Yu Jing heroes!
     
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  19. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    We are taking for PanO the nation were O-12 has to intervene to push for traffic updates to be free to download after yet another Atkes death because crucial data for not dying in your workplace are behind a paywall and the anti Atek lobbies response was "if they cannot pay their problem".

    At least Yu Jing care for their citizens regardless of their income level, in PanO if you are an Atek you may as well be dead.

    Frankly Yu Jing is one of the most meritocratic superpowers of the human sphere and the most law abiding, PanO corporations have no issues using Yuan Yuan for example to do their dirty jobs while Yu Jing have a constant crack down on organised crime.

    I said it before you view Yu Jing with the wrong point of view, the state and the law are two separate entities, ISS has Quang Shi not the state and for the Imperial system those in the quang shi are irredeemable, on the other hand Wu Ming are persons who should be shot after court martial given a second chance, quite lenient of the imperial system.

    I do not think that the events of uprising will give any credit to the idea that a Japanese population decided to throw their shackles as second class citizens (who is entirely their fault to begin with) and rebelled against the oppressive Yu Jing, but more of the Kuge wanting their nobility (and all its privileges) back and damned be the sacrifices.
     
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  20. stevenart74

    stevenart74 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, what is said by @psychoticstorm could indeed give a lot of good background stuff; especially for a committed "Character Fluff" of an Oriental Player . . .

    On the Yujing Side, You can have an honourable "Detectived Dee" kind of Bao Officer that is appalled by the callous cruelty of its Pheasant / Hsien / Crane Commander goind "Mwuah-Hah-Hah-Ha !! Blessed be the Jade Emperor, NOW I can complete My collection of Cut-Earlobes of Dastardy Nihonjins ! Shoot, boyz, SHOOT!! It's open season on the Japos !!!". . .

    On the J.S.A. Side could be a brave Keisotsu Sergeant that see an "Imperial Sangi" going mud-headed and scream to terrified "Eta-Ateks" some shit like "How You Dare Look At ME ! Dirty Peasant, Now give immediatly Your Nubile Pre-Teen Daughter to Me, in Reparation, that I could sell it to My Oyabun Cousin and be paid in Nitrocaine! I count to Three, then I slay You with MY INVINCIBLE Monokatana !!". . .

    Before the count arrive to Two, the brave Keisotsu (of Working Class Stock, whose Father was obliged to lose Health by working shitty Turns to JAPANESE Overseers, and Mother burned Her youthful beauty at Home-Cooking, and whose Younger Sister, after being left for pregnant by a Rich Schoolmate, was constrained to become a "Red Light District Geisha" !!), knowing full well that its meager CC skill with Tanto Knife are not a match for a Keiretsu Scion that passed all free time practicig Iaido then apply a judicious use of Explosive Slugs from its Boarding Shotgun that wrecks that INVINCIBLE Monokatana. . . . .And also ALL that is in a 1,5m. Radius of it. . .!!
     
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