Author Topic: Why M&F peaked so young  (Read 635 times)

Vamking12

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Why M&F peaked so young
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:30:34 AM »
1. TBH we were too eager to expand the map, every time we reached a slight lull we shouted out "more land! More kingdoms!" Even though in the long run more land rarely brought in more players in the long term think about the hordes of bay12ers who came in during the northwest expansion, within two months that dwarf kingdom was on life support.
Tom always said that the game was meant for a larger player base, I agree. This game at its full map would of been better for 1000 or so players instead of the 500 or so we had at our peak. With 1000 players even the smallest, most unimportant realms would of booming, for knights with little to do roleplay would of been fantastic instead of forced, and instead one person realms rising day and night we would of seen many more diverse realms.
I have always felt that with our smaller group of players we should move to a smaller map but I understand that isn't the goals of Tom. So all in all I'll try to condense my point.
We rushed to expand the map without the player base to keep it active which leads into my next point

2. Knight gameplay is bad and is even worse with less players. Knights have nothing to do in peacetime other then roleplay and maybe find a dungeon. So we expanded the map to give them something to do instead of thinking of  interesting new features to help them out. Either we would need to increase the frequency of dungeons to keep them occupy or in my opinion a small fast moving NPC army of goblins or whatever, they could be weak but move quickly and loot small amounts of food and gold.
What would this do?
Give knights something to chase and beat up while their liege deals with real threats, honestly small packs of goblins no larger then ten that drop very small amounts of gold, equipment, food would allow for more standard adventurer types.
(Equipment and food lets them resupply their army and gold might let them get cheap mercenaries)
As well letting followers such as priest and camp followers being buy able with gold would be nice. It gives gold more uses and lets knights feel useful as they build their own armies.
Lastly I would suggest making a really basic duel system easy to code because I'm well aware that the goblin stuff would take a lot of effort (have it be rock-paper-scissors with a D20 IE Paper over rock means you get +1 to your roll)
Let knights peacefully challenge each other and make gold even more useful by letting themselves and maybe others place bets on the fights.
Those are my ideas for make being a knight less boring, because right now your stuck trying to roleplay with maybe two other players and stuck in one city chilling till they trust you enough to take some slumberblighted scrubland.

3. We need a harsh penalty for fast expansion. During the Middle Ages who had three dudes who were able to conquer huge amounts of land and without abandoning their old lands in the process. Ghengis Khan who led the exception of exceptions and even then the mongols only really lasted at full strength for 40 or so years before becoming a bunch of feuding tribal states that ended sharing more in common with the local cultures then Mongolia. Charlemagne who's empire also fell into pieces the second he died and William the Conqueror a man with a pope mandated invasion in England. One in the 770's, one in 1066 and one in the 1200's
500 freaking years apart, three of the most brilliant generals to ever breath on this earth pulled off this feat in might and fealty any half competent dude with a few hundred troops could pull this off and that's a huge problem.
It's too easy to completely conquer a realm, remove all its vassal and replace it with your rulers in this game and has happened to many times to count. Hawks, Ragther and even Arrakesh all did this just by having a sizable army.
This is probably the source of most rage quitters in this game, so let's fixed it by making things a little more challenging for those who feel like their ghengis reborn.
If you take a city it must suffer from severe penalties like everything loses production by 10% for like a month minimum I mean they just got besieged by a foreign power after all, now instead of just conquering people making people vassals seems much more attractive
Troops get tired man, after taking a city or winning(or losing) a battle they move slower, siege slower and fight worse let them take a break.
Lastly if troops have been out marching for a long time add even more penalties, dudes who haven't gone home, and done nothing but kill randoms for a year aren't going to be too hyped to keep on fighting, maybe at a certain point have them just desert the forces.
While this is more a bandage then a solution it would be a nice way to slow down super-armies instead of being a steamroll they would actually lose some of that steam after a while. Maybe they'll settle for something less then absolute domination since losing forces will be able to recover and fight back as they slow down.

So yeah those are my three half complaints half suggestions on how to make the game better.

Also if someone could show me how to code on GitHub I would be delighted to work on this.

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 05:56:55 AM »
1 and 2 are connected problems. The game expanded because we had players and the only interesting part of the game at that time was to be a lord, so the goal was to give more players lordships to allow them to do things. And yes, knight gameplay is bad. It's boring and dull and there's nothing to do but wait for a war or wander around. Dungeons are... okay, but they're unfinished and only interesting the first couple of times. That said, they're compact code wise, so it's easy to add things to them, compared to the rest of the game. A lot of people think all land has to be occupied though, which is something I disagree with. I've always been half a mind to add SO MUCH land that it'd be impossible for it to be fully occupied. After that I'd go in and up the number of dungeons, and add rules that the bandits have to spawn near an active lord.

As for 3, I'd like to work in an occupation system, and this could include all the logic for affecting a city's production of resources.

As for coding on GitHub, if you know PHP, you just need a github account. After that you fork my repository, and from there you can edit your own copy of the code. When you've got something to submit, you create a pull request.
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Cipheron

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 04:58:10 PM »
Quote
A lot of people think all land has to be occupied though, which is something I disagree with

This is related to the suggestion I had a while back that untended areas should erode. Not really quickly, but areas without a lord should revert to "no kingdom" status after some while. To me, this is one of the games major design flaws. Other comparable games in fact completely wipe the holdings of defunct players for this very reason. "dead" players clogging up the map isn't actually healthy to a game.

However people here don't find that palatable, so a compromise is a gradual erosion of unused lands. e.g. - a slumbering lord loses towns (gradually) to "no lord" status, and later, the towns lose their realm. This gives the other countryfolk ample warning to fix things: e.g. a guy slumbered, then his towns lost their lord one by one, then the towns left the realm, one by one, reverting to free town status. The rates could be tweaked and it could possibly be capped (e.g. 1% free towns worldwide at any time).

The goal would be that it encourages more knight's offers, while also leading to more "uprisings" and border-disputes, all of which is proven to create discussion and activity in-game. And for new players, it gives the impression that there are at least some "free" towns around the world, e.g. the world doesn't look overfilled when it isn't.

One of the problems is that a new player, who only just looked at the map doesn't know about "slumbering vs active" or any of that, so they have no way of estimating the amount of opportunities that they do in fact have. And what does a new player do then? Well, they are totally free to go check out some other game which has more opportunities. It's opportunity cost. They don't have to be playing your game ... the map is the advertisement for why they should be playing this game instead of something else. And if it appears to be full of active players when it's not then you're just short-selling the game unnecessarily.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 05:41:29 PM by Cipheron »

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 06:53:20 AM »
I'm not against land eroding away, but there has to be a predictable system for it. I don't think it'd be hard to add something. Wasn't there a topic around here discussing just that?
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New Player 123

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 02:06:37 AM »
Quote
They don't have to be playing your game ... the map is the advertisement for why they should be playing this game instead of something else. And if it appears to be full of active players when it's not then you're just short-selling the game unnecessarily.

This is a very good point. As a (still) New Player, the nearly-full map did give me a feeling of lack of opportunities. I dealt with that by taking one of the few sovereign realms ruled by a slumbered player at the time. And the reaction I got was immediate invasion. Because, like Cipheron points out, the game is very opaque about lots of essential information until you join the game. But as a new player scanning the map trying to figure out where to spawn? The map is little help. It's a genuinely intimidating and off-putting issue for new players.

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 08:10:03 AM »
The game actively encourages players to start in active realms. Theoretically, that means new players should be interacting with players to learn these things before triyng to strike out with a character to take land.

That said, I'm not against an erosion system. I don't think one would be hard to implement either.

I'm also no against changing the new player introduction system, but I think I'll put that off until I flesh out the feature list a bit.
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The Vintroth

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 02:43:56 PM »
The game actively encourages players to start in active realms. Theoretically, that means new players should be interacting with players to learn these things before triyng to strike out with a character to take land.

^^^^^^^That is very important. Really, new players should be, while not forced, definitely pushed into that direction.

However, I believe there is a point to be made that the Knight offer system could be expanded to further apply incentive for new players to use the knight offer, and above all find the correct one for their own wishes. While the current KO system works, it is also somewhat limited in the amount of information you can give to the new player. While I suppose, not only new players accept them, I imagine most new players actually do, and we do want to cater to them somewhat. To hopefully incurage a growth in the playerbase.
 

An ideal system, in my opinion, would give a list of nations along with a description of what to expect from the various nations. Presumably written by the ruler of said nation. In that way, a setting can be established at once and the new players have some idea of what to expect depending on what he picks. Then, from there he is presented by the KO's of that realm, presumably again with some short text.

I do admit that I have no idea if this is a reasonable idea in terms of actually making it work, if it is even possible. However, if it could be done it would present a more clear view of the world for the new player other than the map. From such descriptions of nations, he would, presumably, be able to gauge culture, some history and general setting to then decide what would fit best. 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 02:45:43 PM by The Vintroth »

Demivar

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 02:48:01 PM »
The erosion of land doesn't make any sense. If people are completely hell bent on making new realms (for some reason) then they should understand what region they're going into before they start spawning random first ones. Marking settlements as independent just because they aren't being used doesn't help anyone other than opportunists looking to cause trouble, and given how boring and prolonged M&F can be, those sorts of people are just an uninteresting pain in the arse.


As for new player introduction in general, it is in my opinion the most important thing that M&F needs is an improvement on the Knight Offers system. I'd say more, but it turns out that Vintroth was writing at the same time as my and my thoughts are similar to his.
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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2017, 09:23:27 PM »
I'm refering mostly to this topic here: http://forum.mightandfealty.com/index.php/topic,6035.0.html
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Cipheron

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 09:04:51 AM »
Well, one idea is that perhaps town color is under-utilized. Color is cheap way of emparting much more information.

Currently there's just blue = no-lord and red = lord, but what if slumbering was delineated by purple? That would be a compromise solution that doesn't go for the erosion thing, and would be handy for both new and existing players.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 09:11:26 AM by Cipheron »

De-Legro

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 06:33:55 AM »
Well, one idea is that perhaps town color is under-utilized. Color is cheap way of emparting much more information.

Currently there's just blue = no-lord and red = lord, but what if slumbering was delineated by purple? That would be a compromise solution that doesn't go for the erosion thing, and would be handy for both new and existing players.

Taverns already tell you who is slumbering locally. I see no reason why you should magically know who is slumbering all across the map. Though to be far I would also remove the blue dots, and most the settlement info that is available to all. I can not fathom what IG logic allows me to see the population of every settlement for instance.
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Cipheron

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 06:46:12 AM »
You can already see who's slumbering across the map by clicking on towns, without using taverns. (The information is already there on the map if you click enough times. "You can do X if you just click a lot" is in fact a clear game design flaw. If merely clicking gives you the information you need then it's always better to just automate that to remove the need for clicking. This is game design 101).

However, a new player looking at the map can't see that information (who is slumbering) via clicking until they've made a character and already placed it in the world. They also can't see that any knight's offers even exist until making a character and trying to place it. e.g. if you come across the game for the first time all you see is "this game is completely full. there's no room for me!" At this stage, things like "knight's offers", "slumber" etc aren't even concepts that have been introduced to the new player, nor can they discover this by clicking until after they have a character, at which point it's completely public information.

At the point of game-discovery they're just deciding whether it's worth their time to make a character and start playing. The only information they have right then is "blue town = free, red town = taken". They cannot be expected to understand that there are concepts hidden to them, which mean some towns that appear "taken" are in fact "free" (not owned by active players). Unless your goal is to scare away new players, this is clearly a huge problem.

So ... if you want new players to come in, then you probably need knight's offers to be visible on the main map before you log in, and/or some way for new players to discover which realms are truly full of active knights, and which ones have space for new people. Slumbering gives that information, but it's not available to someone just checking out the game. Making slumbered towns purple would convey this information to new players, and it doesn't give existing players access "magically" to any information they don't already have.

Think about this: if vacant towns are the only visibly "available" towns to a casual observer, then why would you be surprised that the new people attracted to come in want to try and make their own new tiny kingdoms in the visible free space? That's the only thing the game map (before you have a character to log in with) is advertising as the available thing to do. There's nothing on the front page of this game to indicate to the casual observer that the existing realms offer any opportunities whatsoever - they all appear full even if 80% of the towns are basically free to take, and you don't see knight's offers.

Slumbering areas and knight's offers are 100% public knowledge once you spawn your first character, but they're something people need to know before they spend the time to create a proper character. As it is, the game's public information is selectively attracting the very players you say you don't want - those who want to carve little chunks off for new kingdoms.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 07:28:37 AM by Cipheron »

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2017, 11:45:42 AM »
The game actively encourages players to start in active realms.

Maybe, but only after creating and placing a character. You say new players should learn essential things by talking to other players in established realms, but for all the reasons Cipheron says, there's no way to know there's anything to learn until you've placed a character.

I think The Vintroth's suggestions are the way to go for addressing the problem.

Cipheron

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2017, 02:46:04 PM »
"Knight's offers on the main map" would be my main suggestion for that. Show people where the openings are as soon as they open the webpage. If people want new players funneled into knight's offers, make that the most prominent thing they're going to pick up on straight away.

Perhaps have it so that if you open the main map, it shows knight's offers as the default thing, then if you click on a knight's offer it takes you straight to the character-creation screen, account creation screen or whichever is relevant. And then when you've completed whatever steps were necessary, it goes straight to "well do you want to accept such-and-such knight's offer?" Streamline the whole thing, and as they say, close the deal.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 02:49:35 PM by Cipheron »

De-Legro

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Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2017, 01:21:18 AM »
You can already see who's slumbering across the map by clicking on towns, without using taverns. (The information is already there on the map if you click enough times. "You can do X if you just click a lot" is in fact a clear game design flaw. If merely clicking gives you the information you need then it's always better to just automate that to remove the need for clicking. This is game design 101).

However, a new player looking at the map can't see that information (who is slumbering) via clicking until they've made a character and already placed it in the world. They also can't see that any knight's offers even exist until making a character and trying to place it. e.g. if you come across the game for the first time all you see is "this game is completely full. there's no room for me!" At this stage, things like "knight's offers", "slumber" etc aren't even concepts that have been introduced to the new player, nor can they discover this by clicking until after they have a character, at which point it's completely public information.

At the point of game-discovery they're just deciding whether it's worth their time to make a character and start playing. The only information they have right then is "blue town = free, red town = taken". They cannot be expected to understand that there are concepts hidden to them, which mean some towns that appear "taken" are in fact "free" (not owned by active players). Unless your goal is to scare away new players, this is clearly a huge problem.

So ... if you want new players to come in, then you probably need knight's offers to be visible on the main map before you log in, and/or some way for new players to discover which realms are truly full of active knights, and which ones have space for new people. Slumbering gives that information, but it's not available to someone just checking out the game. Making slumbered towns purple would convey this information to new players, and it doesn't give existing players access "magically" to any information they don't already have.

Think about this: if vacant towns are the only visibly "available" towns to a casual observer, then why would you be surprised that the new people attracted to come in want to try and make their own new tiny kingdoms in the visible free space? That's the only thing the game map (before you have a character to log in with) is advertising as the available thing to do. There's nothing on the front page of this game to indicate to the casual observer that the existing realms offer any opportunities whatsoever - they all appear full even if 80% of the towns are basically free to take, and you don't see knight's offers.

Slumbering areas and knight's offers are 100% public knowledge once you spawn your first character, but they're something people need to know before they spend the time to create a proper character. As it is, the game's public information is selectively attracting the very players you say you don't want - those who want to carve little chunks off for new kingdoms.

Directing new players to vacant or slumbering towns is a recipe for disaster. Nothing tends to attract hostile response faster then moving into unused land that some realm considers theirs. As for the clicking for slumbering characters, I would argue that the unlimited access to all character information is not a good thing. Far too many "wars" revolve around knowing about slumbering estates that are "good", and the current trend of setting up unrelated feeder realms across the map because you notice slumbering lands is also hardly a good thing for the game. So I would argue that the path forward is not making such info easier to access, but rather make it harder.
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