Author Topic: Messaging and Publications System Rework  (Read 3678 times)

Foxglove

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2015, 09:17:59 PM »
Ok. As a concept, it's improving. I'm still not a fan, but it is improving. It still has lots of problems, so let's have think about those.

All First Ones automatically receive all messages sent through all Lendan towers in range. The sending range of towers is higher than the receiving range, so you can receive messages that you cannot reply to without getting closer.

Why? What's the point of getting messages to which you can't reply without travelling? Seems annoying and frustrating. There's also the point that if you receive messages from a tower as you're travelling (and messages would have to be somehow tagged with a tower identification so you know which tower they've come from and where you could go to be in range to reply) and you then have to turn around to get back to a tower in range in order to reply, that's going to be a royal pain. Particularly for more casual players who might set a long travel route one day to then log in the following day to find they have to turn around in order to reply to a message.


Many messages that you receive will be magically sealed for others, and you cannot read them. Anyway you will know that there was a message, and your scribes will give you a summary of received, unreadable messages in addition to your own messages. This information can actually be useful, to have an estimate of local messaging activity, especially when it changes suddenly which is often an indicator that something is going on.

This seems largely pointless. I get that it's trying to simulate radio chatter that the military and other organizations monitor to look for changes in behaviour that signal build ups to attacks, terrorist events, and such. However, I don't think that in this game changes in message behaviour would be that easy to read. I can only see this summary becoming message clutter that people ignore or resent because it has no relevance to their conversations. Particularly if it has to be cleared in some way, in which case significant numbers of people will hate it.


Linked Stones
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One additional very important option is that you can enter a Lendan tower and *link* one of your personal stones to the tower stone. This takes a short time after which the stones are synchronised on a magical level and can communicate with each other over very large distances.
This is most useful for keeping a link to your lords esatate, or to one or more of your own estates while you travel abroad, or to the realm capital. But of course you can also use it to attend a tournament and stay in touch while you travel on, or to build a network of important diplomatic contacts that you can always message.

The most important thing about linking stones is that you have only a very limited number of them, so you cannot maintain as many links as you probably want. You will have to make tough decisions about which links to keep and which to sacrifice.

This is a decent idea, until you realize that you'd have to personally make these links for every character you play to every character who you consider to be important to them. That's one hell of a lot of travelling and is very likely to become an annoying chore. My suggestion would be to semi-automate this somehow so you can do it remotely. Let's say you can send a herald to any tower, carrying a personal lendan stone for you, that they then synchronize to the tower. Doing that cuts out all that pointless and potentially repetitive travel. You could have this automated process simulate the herald actually travelling across the map so that it takes how ever many day's travel to establish the link.

There are some good ideas here, like the 'broadcast'. But this concept still isn't addressing some of the things that people have been asking for in the message system for a long time, such as the ability to increase and reduce the number of people in an existing conversation as they want (would configurable message group for numbers of characters even be possible in this new system? I'm not clear on that). This new system also still won't address the problem people have with getting the same messages across mulitiple characters that is driving some people insane (particularly in the Imperium of Aelwyn, if we're to believe their realm chat).
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Tom

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2015, 10:38:16 PM »
Why? What's the point of getting messages to which you can't reply without travelling? Seems annoying and frustrating.

Granted yes, it could be. But firstly I like the idea of seperating this and want to experiment with it and see how it works out. Secondly, this gives people a softer approach. As you come close to your destination, you begin to hear some chatter from there, but you can't participate, yet. Then as you get close, you can join the conversation. Or the other way around, as you leave an area, you still hear some exchanges, but then you are out of range and it falls quiet.
This can have a very good psychological effect. But it is certainly something that can be changed if it doesn't work out, and it can be changed very easily.


Quote
I can only see this summary becoming message clutter that people ignore or resent because it has no relevance to their conversations. Particularly if it has to be cleared in some way, in which case significant numbers of people will hate it.

In my current experimental code, this is one line at the top of your messages screen saying "also, there are 13 sealed messages". That's not much clutter, is it? And it doesn't need to be cleared.


Quote
This is a decent idea, until you realize that you'd have to personally make these links for every character you play to every character who you consider to be important to them. That's one hell of a lot of travelling and is very likely to become an annoying chore.

And that is how it is intended to be. I do not want everyone to have 100 of these links. There will really be a very low number of them. I'm talking low single-digits here. Basically the idea is that you can have a link back to whatever you consider your home, and one or two that you can use for tournaments, things and other meetings.


Quote
There are some good ideas here, like the 'broadcast'. But this concept still isn't addressing some of the things that people have been asking for in the message system for a long time, such as the ability to increase and reduce the number of people in an existing conversation as they want (would configurable message group for numbers of characters even be possible in this new system? I'm not clear on that). This new system also still won't address the problem people have with getting the same messages across mulitiple characters that is driving some people insane (particularly in the Imperium of Aelwyn, if we're to believe their realm chat).

I don't yet have a concept for conversations, the whole organising of messages is a topic I am just now beginning to design. But there already is a "mark as read for all my characters" button in the experimental code I am playing with, and with this new system it will be quite easy to code.


Dorian

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2015, 10:52:24 PM »
I really like the realistic approach and the idea of Lendan Towers. It sounds very ambitious though, and highly complicated. In theory at least. In practice it is probably way more simpler to understand it. Looking forward to this but I hope communication will become /simpler/ and easier to maintain.

Mookzen

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2015, 11:14:54 PM »
I'm all for reworking the system, the suggested approach is novel and adds additional depth to both gameplay and the game-world.

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2015, 09:26:20 AM »
So, my thought about conversations and groups.

Yes, I think we need some game mechanics for these. Firstly, there needs to be a mechanic to group messages that belong to the same topic, conversation, exchange together in a meaningful way. But that way is not threading as we have seen it. I don't know waht it should be.

I will try an experiment using utter freeform tags. I'm half sure that it will fail because people will troll and abuse it. But maybe not, and maybe that can be countered with filters. I'm willing to give it a try.


I also think we need some kind of message groups, an ability to send messages to a fixed list of people instead of the realm or one character. I want this ability limited somewhat. I'm thinking of maybe making a second Lendan-related building where such groups can be created. I'm not yet sure about the mechanics. Because I'm not fond of people being added to groups without their consent, and of course groups should not be "open membership", someone should control them. But I don't want a two-step acceptance system (they're always a hassle). So one of these things has to go.



Tom

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2015, 01:49:47 PM »
I'm almost ready to deploy a testing version of this. I'm thinking we should just give it a shot for a defined period of time, gather feedback and decide where to go from there.

Weaver

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2015, 05:16:09 PM »
I also think it would be a nice addition to seal letters based on ranks. It would require a modification to the politics system, to number ranks from 1 to 10; 10 being the ruler, and 1 being.. well, a 1.

Then you could message everyone in range, or of a realm, with say, rank 7+.

Just a thought. I already like it as it is.

De-Legro

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2015, 04:42:48 AM »
So, my thought about conversations and groups.

Yes, I think we need some game mechanics for these. Firstly, there needs to be a mechanic to group messages that belong to the same topic, conversation, exchange together in a meaningful way. But that way is not threading as we have seen it. I don't know waht it should be.

I will try an experiment using utter freeform tags. I'm half sure that it will fail because people will troll and abuse it. But maybe not, and maybe that can be countered with filters. I'm willing to give it a try.


I also think we need some kind of message groups, an ability to send messages to a fixed list of people instead of the realm or one character. I want this ability limited somewhat. I'm thinking of maybe making a second Lendan-related building where such groups can be created. I'm not yet sure about the mechanics. Because I'm not fond of people being added to groups without their consent, and of course groups should not be "open membership", someone should control them. But I don't want a two-step acceptance system (they're always a hassle). So one of these things has to go.


So long as people have a way to exit message groups, just as they have now what is the issue with them being added without consent? Add a feature to block being re-added and you should be right. Message groups certainly go some way to dispelling my misgivings about this system.
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Ratharing

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2015, 05:02:15 AM »
Does this mean my southern character in a diplomatic mission in the north will lose all contact with his liege?

Tom

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2015, 06:39:20 AM »
Depends on how far out he is. If you are a spanish diplomat in Italy, you can send letters. If you are in China, you are on your own. I've currently set 400 km as the distance for a linked tower. When you consider the whole map is 512x512 km you will agree that it covers a lot of it.

Ratharing

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2015, 02:19:43 PM »
But there are currently no linked towers, which means there will be a general shutdown in communications, right?

Tom

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2015, 04:25:58 PM »
There will be a transition time where both old and new message system are available until towers are built.

For the experiment I plan to launch soon, I will use Inns as towers, so if the settlement has an inn, it counts has having a tower.

Tom

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2015, 05:04:18 PM »
So I have towers working (inns count as towers, simple), sealed messages are working, you can send and receive. Broadcasts are working. Message groups are working partially (you cannot manage them, but you can create and join and leave).

What is not working is tower links. I think it's not far away, but not there yet.


Anyway I think I will roll it out, parallel to the existing system, for playing around, testing and getting some feedback.



Arx

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2015, 07:45:56 PM »
Will the transition time be long enough to not completely screw people in the West currently? Presumably under the new system, they would have been able to make links with their lieges at home before setting out, but that won't have happened - so there'll be a bunch of knights totally cut off from their homes.

Tom

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Re: Messaging and Publications System Rework
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2015, 09:43:52 PM »
I can't cover everything, but I will think about adding vassal-lord links or something.