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ericbomb

What are the wastrels?

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I keep wondering, what are the wastrels? I know some people call them "downers" but I don't think that's correct, as they talk about taking Joy and they "Try" to act like wellies. They have teas parties, worship the tv with uncle jack, attack the player unprovoked for being a downer, ect. All things wellies doe, but they seem insane about it (well a different type of insane compared to wellies.)

 

My best guess is that they are people who had a bad reaction to Joy, so either take it and deal with the side effects, or are on a never ending with drawl. So I almost wonder if they're downers but not by choice (like the player) but are instead forced to be downers who desperately want to be a wellie, but they can't for some reason.

 

What do you guys think?

 

 

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They describe the Wastrels in this update:

 

http://compulsiongames.com/en/news/11/weekly-update-wastrels-and-combat

 

And here's the relevant quote for people who don't want to search on the page:

 

"[...]Wastrels are Wellies whose Joy went wrong and turned them into sad, schizophrenic outcasts. They've been ostracized by the Wellies and forced to scavenge in the Garden District. They are always on the brink of survival and don't appreciate their resources being taken from them."

 

There's not an abundance of Joy in the Garden District so I'm guessing that Wastrels will gladly take Joy if they can get their hands on any, but it's a scarce resource there.

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The "Joy went wrong" thing indicates there's some drug psychosis going on -- that, rather than calming them, it has caused permanent psychological damage. They probably want to take Joy, perhaps even scavenge for it, but it either has no or a paradoxical effect (for example, smoking pot to relax and finding it makes you skin-crawlingly paranoid).

 

Alternately, wastrels could be people for whom Joy simply stopped working. We don't know what they did that drove an entire society to resort to it in the first place, but if it was something sufficiently terrible maybe having to live with the memory is enough to drive them insane.

 

The distinction between wastrel and downer seems to be that downers have made a conscious choice to eschew Joy. There's a huge difference between choosing to face reality and being forced to do so, and the latter would certainly explain the wastrels' distress. It would also explain why the Wellies are so hostile. If a downer is someone who has chosen to face the past, it only serves as a reminder to everyone else that they're using chemicals to run away from it. People in denial don't act too kindly to being challenged.

 

 

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This has already been discussed here.

 

A quote from @Sam:

The Wastrels are the people in Wellington Wells that Joy affects badly. For some of them, this makes them withdrawn, psychotic, etc. They are deeply sad. They stay segregated from the Wellies, because the two groups just do not get along. Don't mistake a Wastrel for a Downer though... while wastrels are mostly Downers, not all Downers are Wastrels. @Alex might be able to answer a little bit more.

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Heard a female Wastrel say the line "Why did you take the vanilla? You know it doesn't work on you! How could you forget that...?"

 

Very interesting implications there about the Wastrels, and the chemical components of Joy itself.

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