Author Topic: Bringing In Players  (Read 4977 times)

Velrun

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2017, 04:49:07 PM »
Which as you note is exactly what my idea was about improving.

My other idea was about letting a landless player seek membership through any settlement, basically as a way to avoid them needing to organize a hugely convoluted trek before they can actually become part of a kingdom. Basically create an option for an independent knight to take over a slumbering or unowned kingdom settlement but retain the realm membership, perhaps have the player automatically become the vassal of the relevant lord of that realm/subrealm.


Seems really gamey and not really in keeping with what vassalage and fealty means. I would much rather see the entire concept of starting as someones knight actually work. Two things that need to be done quickly for that (and it by no means solves all the problems) is for an event to be generated to the sovereign realm when a knight joins, so we don't rely entirely on the Lord to respond to the player, and likewise a sovereign realm level conversation be started.


After that we need to make being a knight actually rewarding, even if only in the short term.

Cipheron

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2017, 04:58:06 PM »
How is it more gamey that what you do now?

- find a random person (probably slumbered)
- swear fealty
- grab a few towns
- say hello to the kingdom

That's what works right now, and grabbing the towns first gives you a hell of a lot more bargaining power and thus status. Since you have to wander around until you find an actual character, "first person I find" is the one you settle for, ensuring the actual vassalage heirarchy makes no sense at all. Also having fealty to a slumbering person has advantages too, no actual lord to really answer to. Nobody to notice if you break fealty either.

and it's a HELL of a lot less work that "going through the proper channels".

So what I was suggesting is that you can gain citizenship through a settlement itself, rather than having the "wandering around" part. After all, people in distant colonies in real history were able to swear fealty to the European kings without actually getting on a boat and going to the capital city.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 05:08:30 PM by Cipheron »

Velrun

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2017, 05:08:03 PM »
How is it more gamey that what you do now?

- find a random person (probably slumbered)
- swear fealty
- grab a few towns
- say hello to the kingdom

That's what works right now, and it's a HELL of a lot less work that "going through the proper channels". Since you have to wander around until you find an actual character, "first person I find" is the one you settle for, ensuring the actual vassalage heirarchy makes no sense at all.

Being able to declare loyalty through a settlement doesn't seem gamey at all. After all, examples of people swearing fealty to the crown from a distant colony abound in history, and nobody had to go on a boat.

Just taking out the "random wandering to find random person to swear fealty to so I can speak in country chat" element would make this a LOT less gamey.


I have never done that, nor have the majority of people I play with. We entered the world through oaths, interacted with the realm and after varying amounts of time got ourselves land. What you describe is gamey rubbish, and if someone tried it in a realm I belonged to, I would call out their obvious disregard for the  sanctity and traditions of fealty, their displayed greed and disrupted natural order. If you go around playing in a manner that is obviously counter to the design of the game, why would you then promote the idea of making such behavior easier or more rewarding.

Cipheron

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2017, 05:09:41 PM »
If you want to go that route then why not just ban non-fiefed knights completely and have it that everyone requires a knight's offer to start up?

I mean, it's the general attitude displayed here which is driving players away. I already have lands and I feel like quitting completely because of this sort of attitude I'm seeing.

I mean, some players enter through a knights offer, others enter through settlements without an offer. You can't just accuse everyone who didn't take a knight's offer of "gaming the system" and call them cheats effectively, because not taking a knights offer isn't cheating it's part of the game's design.

Look, if you don't have a knight's offer, the guy you need to go talk to is in a city, with soldiers, and you can't actually get into the city because you're not a citizen. And you can't talk to them because you have no contacts. So you have to trek over to their city, and even then, you can't get into the city, and you won't know why ... because a new player won't know that it's possible to set individual "enter settlement" permissions for a person.  That's assuming the new player can even work out exactly who he's "meant" to be talking to, which isn't easy before you even have country chat.

Effectively people here are saying "screw you" to any new player who didn't join the game via knight's offer, while the "correct" procedure for joining your fabulous kingom without a knights offer is all but undoable and would require a week or two real time of working out stuff before the player even gets country chat to ask the questions they would have needed in the first place to do it the "proper" way.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 05:25:53 PM by Cipheron »

Velrun

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2017, 05:23:41 PM »
If you want to go that route then why not just ban non-fiefed knights completely and have it that everyone requires a knight's offer to start up?

I mean, it's the general attitude displayed here which is driving players away. I already have lands and I feel like quitting completely because of this sort of attitude I'm seeing.

I mean, some players enter through a knights offer, others enter through settlements without an offer. You can't just accuse everyone who didn't take a knight's offer of "gaming the system" and call them cheats effectively, because not taking a knights offer isn't cheating it's part of the game's design.


That was actually the original design, but since knight offers rely upon players actually generating them, it was eased so that we didn't end up like the game fairy tale online, where you have to queue for a considerable number of days to actually get into the game. Similarly being able to spawn in settlements was added by Tom as a way for the guided start to actually work. I never said they were cheating, I said that IC declaring fealty to someone under slumberblight and then assuming control of their estates is hardly a noble thing to do, and show little respect. You can very well start in a random settlement and not go off looking for easy land to assume control of, it is actually the better thing to do as an established player in my opinion, and leave knight offers for new players who need a bit of extra guidance to have a chance of picking somewhere that is active.


Just so you know, I play in Hawks, the Elysium area to be precise. Recently we started the process of forming this realm, using our own troops to establish a small colony, recruiting knights into the realm and then convincing the Hawk Emperor to grant the the independence we had promised (probably something we should have squared away earlier, but then even in its reduced state, Hawks needs Elysium too much to argue).


http://mightandfealty.com/en/realm/749/view


Twenty four nobles, all of whom I believe were marked as being from new accounts all of whom are still active.

Constantine

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2017, 05:27:18 PM »
If you want to go that route then why not just ban non-fiefed knights completely and have it that everyone requires a knight's offer to start up?
What route are you taking here? Your logic is broken.
I personally want people to still be able to strike out on their own as rogues.
I just don't think we should incentivise that behaviour because it is not good for the game overall.



Velrun

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2017, 05:32:57 PM »
What route are you taking here? Your logic is broken.
I personally want people to still be able to strike out on their own as rogues.
I just don't think we should incentivise that behaviour because it is not good for the game overall.


Amen, if you are going rogue, then simply accept that is what you are doing. You are trying to make a gain by upsetting what our characters generally understand to be the natural order of things. This behavior by the way would be acceptable in some realms, the Low Lands in particular comes to mind. But I took umbrage with the fact that it appeared to me to be presented as the ONLY viable course.

Demivar

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2017, 06:17:16 PM »
I think the issue we have is managing expectations, really. I'm in a more objective position to talk here because I differ from most M&F players in a variety of ways. I haven't been here since the start of M&F, nor would I have ever have heard of it if not for the fact that I knew Roran (which is in and of itself, odd.) The basic principles of M&F on a good day are appealing to me and the people I know, because you can fit it in at virtually any part of the day, with (in actual battles) solid combat mechanics so that it's hard to feel cheated, and the interactions in game are often in the end quite meaningful.

At the very first step however, this seems to fall apart. Most people that are drawn to M&F come from similar spheres, comprising primarily of forum pseudo-intellectuals. What people want to do is jump into it with some inverse exponential growth, and watch as you make your own little place get bigger and better indefinitely, where you can keep checking every micro-modifier to min/max what you're doing. I love efficiency, I love outdoing people, and everyone loves to have nice things, but M&F is actually better because if people play their cards right they can "catch up". People don't seem to realise this, and get annoyed as soon as they start. I get that everyone wants to build up their own super-palace with bells and whistles on, but people often start the game not realising that being within a realm is far more engaging.

I agree with Cipheron that the process of getting started can be quite irritating to some people, but how is that going to get fixed? There are few people with the ability to even attempt to fix things, and of all the methods of starting, selecting a settlement is the least common with new players (that haven't arrived as part of a group) for good reason. Perhaps one day we'll see an M&F free from bugs and with all of the convenience features that people would have always liked to see, but in reality the point is moot.

The way I see it is that a lot of people like M&F when they view it as an observer, but don't want to re-commit to it because so many elements get caught in cycles of self-destruction. If someone is invigorated, that's good. Whenever they're involved in something they'll likely allocate some time in their day and get done what needs to be done and that in turn reflects onto other players. That is the state where M&F thrives, however it rarely reaches that point. If someone isn't interested enough to check frequently, it might take them a fair bit longer to check M&F and receive the message, and even longer still because they aren't in the frame of mind where they're hyped to respond ASAP. Once the other players reliant on that person's action realise that no matter how many times they refresh the page, a message isn't going to magically pop through, they begin to check the game less frequently, and everything becomes far slower for everyone, and the people that are enthusiastic often stop being so quite quickly.

There are still enough good players kicking around that things can always be made to happen, however I suspect in the eyes of a new player it's like jumping into a tepid bath.

I hadn’t planned on a monologue but, sod it.

The benefits of M&F are less obvious than what entices people into the cheap browser games that plague the internet, the issue with keeping players is a simple matter of actually getting them to realise the places in which M&F shines compared to all of the other rubbish they’ve had advertised and recommended to them.

It’s important to discuss potential improvements, but what’s more important right now is general player policy. If we ignore a new player’s first few days of the game (which is an effectual shotgun blast to see whether they login more than twice when they don’t get instant gratification), we should really think about what makers players keep playing. Frankly I find it to be an iffy, atmospheric thing. If people at least see that things are going on around them, even if they aren’t directly involved they often seem to stick around to try get into a position where they can be a part of what’s going on.

Right now M&F is in a lull, things are happening but there isn’t much going on that a new player would really recognise. I personally know a fair few people who enjoy(ed) M&F and would return given the right circumstances, but the last thing we want is to drag players in so they can get bored, leave again and have their negative thoughts entrenched. We have a good stockpile of things to do to make things interesting, but for now we’re focusing on making mechanical improvements to our own realm so that the situation will be better for ourselves in the future and as a means to remind everyone that we’re still here.

When the time is right we’ll start rolling out our ideas and that should cause a spike in interest locally, but if it isn’t matched in the other realms that are potential activity hubs, any interest we create will end up fading away. As such, I think that it’d be beneficial to the community as a whole if we would have a concerted effort at some point to kickstart a bit more life into things, working on the assumption that activity breeds activity.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 04:07:18 PM by Demivar »
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Andrew

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2017, 03:40:33 PM »
The new player introduction system has never been great.

I'm tempted to start editing the conversation code (now that I can make more sense of it) to allow system conversations, like those for a group of in-game mentors, that new players would gain access to. This could be by realm or for the entire game even. We could even go as far as to not have message sender's names appear or replace them with "Mentor"/"Student" or something.

There is also, of course, editing of the introductory message from the lord, which has been on the TODO list for a while. I can't say how hard that would be as, to date, I've not completed something that would require new database tables, but I don't think it'd be a whole lot of work to add.

We could also edit the new player welcome from the game (not from thier lord) to prompt them to send a message to thier highest and lowest level realms (both of which are easy to find and functions already exist for finding), introducing themselves.

I've even proposed replacing or at least suppressing the current knight offer system to use something closer to BM's method where you select a realm and then select an estate (knight offer in our case). This would give realms a way to explain a bit about themselves before someone joins (which means less people joining realms they hate) and could also give new players a way to see what realms have opportunities, like how often they fight battles or how many vacant or slumbered estates there are.

I'm open to any and all ideas on this though. If I had more time this evening I would've read this topic more in-depth and done a proper reply to all the discussion here but between the full-time day job and working late at said job, I needed my evening for relaxation. And I wrote this like 2 hours ago but got sucked into trying to figure out why realm elections weren't happening. Well, I made some good progress though, might even have a fix for those not firing as expected.
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Cipheron

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2017, 12:37:29 PM »
You could do that thing without actually editing in a new table. String data is a wonderful thing because you can pack your own custom tags in there to pack in extra fields of your own devising.

 Add another edit box in the page where you make the offer, then take the string for the offer description, and the "introduction" speech, and pack both the before and after messages into the same string, using some custom tags or something. Then you just have to add a regex or something to get the original strings out when you want to present them. There's a 1:1 relationship between offers and acceptance so it would work.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 12:39:21 PM by Cipheron »

Andrew

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2017, 02:52:53 PM »
There's a 1:1 offer:acceptance relationship, yes, but I can only see people having two welcome messages. One for new lords, and one for new knights.

Packing them into a single string means that anytime someone wants to edit those, they have to be unpacked and repacked, and doing that without someone tripping the special tags that limit each part, sounds like more of a pain than just having a table that stores Character ID, Lord Message, and Knight Message.

Maybe what you're trying to explain is really easy but just outside my scope though.
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Cipheron

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2017, 05:19:27 PM »
Every web language already has functions to ensure tags are encoded properly. It's not really an issue. For example you run something like this on the entries:

http://php.net/manual/en/function.urlencode.php

e.g.:

$string3 = urlencode($string1) . ',' . urlencode($string2);

This puts $string1 and $string2 into $string3, but separated with a comma. All the actual punctuation is replaced with escape codes, so people can still use commas in their strings.

Then, to get the original strings out, you call php explode, with whatever separator you chose as the splitter:

http://php.net/manual/en/function.explode.php

$strings = explode(',', $string3)

Which makes an array of the original strings (but still urlencoded). And to get the original strings, you decode them:

http://php.net/manual/en/function.urldecode.php

$string1 = urldecode($strings[0]);
$string2 = urldecode($strings[1]);

And that's how you pack an unlimited number of strings into one string field then get them back out. You should do this with the troops form so that there's only a couple of vars, and unlimited troops can be ordered, although you'd have to use the equivalent JavaScript commands for the packing, and PHP for the unpacking.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 05:37:23 PM by Cipheron »

De-Legro

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2017, 12:32:44 AM »
Every web language already has functions to ensure tags are encoded properly. It's not really an issue. For example you run something like this on the entries:

http://php.net/manual/en/function.urlencode.php

e.g.:

$string3 = urlencode($string1) . ',' . urlencode($string2);

This puts $string1 and $string2 into $string3, but separated with a comma. All the actual punctuation is replaced with escape codes, so people can still use commas in their strings.

Then, to get the original strings out, you call php explode, with whatever separator you chose as the splitter:

http://php.net/manual/en/function.explode.php

$strings = explode(',', $string3)

Which makes an array of the original strings (but still urlencoded). And to get the original strings, you decode them:

http://php.net/manual/en/function.urldecode.php

$string1 = urldecode($strings[0]);
$string2 = urldecode($strings[1]);

And that's how you pack an unlimited number of strings into one string field then get them back out. You should do this with the troops form so that there's only a couple of vars, and unlimited troops can be ordered, although you'd have to use the equivalent JavaScript commands for the packing, and PHP for the unpacking.

Maybe, you then risk running into the character limit for the specific string. For passing multiple variables we are far better off encoding everything into a JSON object and just sending that for forms.

With regards to packing multiple messages into a single database stored string, my preference is not to do that since it makes manual examination and editing of the database more of a pain in the arse. Further given that Tom's database limits the size of the string that can be stored to the already too few characters, then storing two strings is going to require a database change anyway, so we might as well set it up to handle multiple types of messages from the outset. That is also more expandable should we come up with other type cases later.
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