Author Topic: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade  (Read 5204 times)

Cynic

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Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« on: March 03, 2014, 04:33:56 PM »
In most online games I've played, regardless of role-playing constraints, most characters somehow inherit the players' feelings about teamwork and co-operation and very few try to role-play anything but a total team player.

Battlemaster (I know everyone refers to this, but I'm afraid I'm going to do it again) is a prime example - how many realms were almost entirely obedient to the ruler/general and focused on outside wars, and how many realms actually had meaningful internal rivalry and conflict? All of the realms I played in, apart from one, boiled down to 'log in, check orders, set movement, log out' and it was a fine-able offense to not be in the appointed place with the appointed soldiers at the appointed time, and any squeak to the contrary would have 90% of the realm down on your back telling you to get lost if you weren't going to work for the good of the realm.

In medieval times people were polite in public, certainly, and did not tend to fight in public, but most of what I've read suggests that actually they were a bunch of disloyal, greedy, selfish ********.

We've got the opportunity to set the tone. When you see someone trying to take something, when you see an argument, when you see someone being aggressive, don't try to stop them. Think about how your character might want to benefit from it (possibly by stopping it of course, but equally likely by not stopping it).

These actions will almost certainly be unspoken, but by omission or intervention, or by carefully choosing a word, try to do something more interesting than just making the realm strong.

If a large minority or a majority of the realm focuses only on avoiding conflict (political or military conflict) then it will just stagnate the place, which would be thoroughly boring.

On a related note, thank you Curs - good work!

Zakath

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 05:17:30 PM »
It's a bit unfair to say that all nobles in the medieval age were greedy, selfish buggers even though it does hold true in quite a few ways.


For example France did have quite a few issues during the Hundred Year War, where the "loyal" vassals somehow failed to get the summons to battle from the king, and let's not even start with the cohesion of the Holy Roman Empire. Still there was a perception that certain bloodlines had the right to rule, and you wouldn't find a lowly count or duke claiming the throne. Unless said lowly count or duke had the right bloodline where his mother's father's third cousin, twice removed, was miraculously related to the beloved King X who saved the realm from the barbarians, and had the military and political clout to make that stick of course.


If you look at the Byzantine, or the earlier Imperial Rome, it was another story. Both were rife with backstabbing, everyone of import was seen as equally good Emperor material, and bloodlines could be explained away with a simple "The Will of God!". How Byzantium even survived for a thousand years with a system like that mystifies me.


But I tend to agree with your point. The only problem is that we're more able to see that if we have too much internal strife we'll get gobbled up by external threats, the compressed timeline makes that abundantly clear. While in the real world the effects of a civil war and neighbouring conquest might not be noticed for a generation, we'll feel it in a few weeks or months at most. Especially given that regions here can simply be taken from you, while in the real world possession wasn't nine tenth's of the law in that regard. Holding someone else' estates didn't make them yours, it simply gave you very good bargaining chips for the eventual peace talks. You get that mill, the village over there and trade concessions along the river, in return I get back my castle and the city.

Cynic

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 05:26:25 PM »
I'm inclined to agree with your points - I do worry a bit that people haven't (at least in Erstes) addressed the idea of rights and ownership yet.  This makes your final point particularly relevant.

If the game doesn't offer up enough obstacles to taking over big swathes of land it will make people too defensive in their outlook - you'll get everyone making deals to protect each other and stagnation. If realm F goes the happy-clappy route and goes to war with realm G which didn't, then realm G won't survive if it's too easy to take everything and move your own family into the estates.

It's not possible (or desirable) to make every realm go down the same route of internal strife so that kind of can't be avoided.

I guess we'll see when the first big inter-realm war happens!

jomala

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 06:32:28 PM »
A lot of it comes down to leadership, doesn't it (in BM and the medieval world)? A strong leader offering good opportunities to all (which usually means a good war) could hold the realm together; a weaker leaders and peace-time encouraged internal strife. Most of us playing now are happy with war or internal strife (but find both a bit hard work) I suspect.

For me it shouldn't be "let's all get along", it should be "I'm doing nicely, Jack, as are my friends, so we're not going to let you muck this up for us". Similarly, as you say, it shouldn't just be a teenage "I'm causing trouble to stir things up", it should be "I think I've finally found a way to get on top of that bully".

I agree that everyone should be favour making the game interesting over making the realm run smoothly, but don't be surprised if occasionally making it run smoothly looks like the most fun thing to do, as well as the right thing IC.
Playing the Holk family in M&F.

Alexskr

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 04:08:59 PM »
I absolutely agree with your points especially in regards to Battlemaster. Which is why I am not going to do things for the sake of avoiding conflict. Sure I won't be actively looking to cause conflict either (that can be just as bad) but instead I will follow my own path and wheter that conflicts or converges with someone elses will not be because I have planned it to be that way. I am willing to compromise and get along but I am also 100% to refuse.

LGMAlpha

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 03:13:12 AM »
I like this idea, but it's difficult to put into practice. There is also a fine line between an interesting realm with strong internal competition and complete dysfunction. Another relevant observation is that most people tend to gang up on the "trouble makers." I expect something is going to come out of this Imperial Election.

Mookzen

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 09:38:59 AM »
Another issue is that gamers often employ binary modes of thought due to their inherent min-max nature, that is to say that they will likely be in 'buddy-buddy' or 'all-out-war-or-plotting-and-about-to-be' action patterns. Doing something in-between is a novel concept.

Tom

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 10:22:15 AM »
This is something you guys control - you set the mood that other players will follow.


And, btw., love how some people have started to use their in-game crest as forum avatars. :-)

Bubba

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 02:14:33 PM »
I know of at least one war in Rathgar already. The person next to you is usually more of a threat than the person far away. Usually.

jomala

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 05:54:26 PM »
I like this idea, but it's difficult to put into practice. There is also a fine line between an interesting realm with strong internal competition and complete dysfunction. Another relevant observation is that most people tend to gang up on the "trouble makers." I expect something is going to come out of this Imperial Election.

The expectation that trouble-makers will be ganged up on is what holds civilization together, I'd say. I don't think we need to fight that. But it only takes a relatively small proportion of the power to be in the hands of the troublemakers to make things interesting for everyone!
Playing the Holk family in M&F.

Foreign_Curs

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 08:47:23 PM »
I think the game already offers a solid platform for economical or political sabotage, rebellion or secession (much more than BM). If part of the realm disagrees with a decision it is entirely possible to stop all trade until a concession is made (since a good realm in MF seems highly dependent on internal trade) or block a bridge with a sizable force until an enemy army is gathered to support the rebellion.


It's frankly all well thought-out; the players just need to be aware of it.

pcw27

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2014, 03:49:30 AM »
I think the game will have a lot more internal strife then BM because the game mechanics support it. Already on my island there's tension between the three counties. The king has basically declared that he'll only intervene in the most serious of land disputes. As land gets more scares in Erstes the same will happen.

In BM the most you could really manage in terms of internal struggles were duels and rebellions. So it pretty much came down to personal disputes or total overthrows. Now it's possible to fight feifdom vs feifdom or even estate vs estate. When there's no external threat it's actually in the best interest of the reigning lord to let his vassals squabble a little. Sure some peasants will die but the survivors will be battle hardened veterans. A fair trade off seeing as you can always draft more fresh recruits, but the only way to get a veteran is through combat.

Cynic

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 08:58:33 AM »
The king has basically declared that he'll only intervene in the most serious of land disputes.


This is the key point - which was what I was discussing in my post. The senior people need to establish and maintain the right attitude.

De-Legro

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2014, 01:19:47 PM »

This is the key point - which was what I was discussing in my post. The senior people need to establish and maintain the right attitude.


Why be so prescriptive about it? There will be sub realms that exist to explore internal disputes and conflict as a focus, and there will be sub realms that wish to be more co-operative and there will realms everywhere in between. All are valid paths, and all will appeal to different players, which is important when we are trying to attract as many players as possible.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 01:21:53 PM by De-Legro »
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Cynic

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Re: Foiling the 'lets-all-get-along' brigade
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 02:13:15 PM »
Re-read the first post, which states clearly that it is not about the decision taken, it's about having a proper reason for making that decision. How can it be a problem to prescribe that people should try to act in character? And not even that, it's a suggestion that some people doing so might encourage others to do so by setting the tone.  How dare I?!

I'm really not suggesting that any particular in-character opinion is necessary, if you think that's what I've said re-read my previous posts.