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11
General Discussion / Re: The Next Big Step for M&F?
« Last post by Andrew on August 14, 2018, 12:14:56 PM »
Okay, yeah, as is evident by the other topic I made, I'm redoing the message system. It'll still look similar to what we have, but it'll be a lot less confusing for me to work on and upkeep. Not sure if I'll do the in-line replies, like we have now, but I might support it down the line. Might even be possible to do something similar to what the BM view is, after the switch, if people want it. If you want to add to the discussion on that, I ask everyone do it in the other topic.

Anyways, I want that because it seems like leaving a fundamental part of the game broke while adding yet another thing would be a bad move. I might even do a stripped down version of it for an in-game message board between users, but that's down the line.

After that, Activities and Places. Possibly at the same time. Activities will be the branch-point for a bunch of inter-character events, from duels, balls, tournaments, etc. If you all have ideas what you'd like added, please let me know.
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General Discussion / Re: Conversations 2.0: What is the ideal setup?
« Last post by Andrew on August 14, 2018, 11:36:36 AM »
It just occurred to me, while reading your post, I hadn't figured out how to track whether or not you've read something. Shouldn't be too hard to add that to the permissions table though.

It may also be fairly easy to have per-conversation ability to disable notifications as well, again, in the permissions table.

Permissions would look something like: id, conversation, character, active, start, end, ignore, write, manage, owner, unread.

Code: [Select]
id is a system field.
conversation is the relevant conversation.
character is the particular character in question.
active is whether or not they're actively a participant (they get new messages or no)
start is when they had permissions to see messages
end is when they lost permissions to see messages
ignore is whether or not they want notifications
write means they can send new messages
manage lets them add/remove people (except the owner?)
owner is who started the conversation and has full rights
unread is how many unread messages they have in the conversation

This means that you can add someone for a bit, send them some messages, have them send some messages, then remove them, talk more, add them again, and they can once again send/receive, etc.

That means that they can read some old messages, but not ones they weren't present for.

It may be possible to have the game alert you to direct messages on the character list, and I can imagine how I'd implement it (as a character attribute rather than querying all conversations with only 2 participants or no group association) but it's not something I'd like to launch this new setup with. That said, when I add it, that means it'll probably load that page a fair bit faster compared to when all your characters have even a single unread message, but still, not a launch feature.
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General Discussion / Re: Conversations 2.0: What is the ideal setup?
« Last post by Cipheron on August 14, 2018, 02:35:53 AM »
I'd suggest streamlining it in ways that take into account how normal messaging systems work.

For example when you currently send a 1:1 message to someone it creates a new "conversation" so you can have multiple "conversations" between you and a particular other person. Ideally, sending a message to one other person should be streamlined, and the resultant conversation should all be in a single log. Streamlining the way that characters initially get in touch with each other would be good too. Perhaps a global mail system, but with a time delay to make the initial connection based on geographic distance.

It would also be really good to separate the concept of personal messages from group conversations. Perhaps, if there were separate sections for message board activity vs personal messaging, then people would be more responsive when you need to talk to them. Currently there's one single indicator for personally-addressed messages and realm-wide spam.

This could be an existing design flaw. The message notification system should be tailored/customizable to make sure that the player sees relevant unread messages notifications for each character. If someone logs in after a whle and sees "you have 3 new messages" but knows they're relevant messages actually for them, rather than "you have 133 new messages" but knows most of them will be irrelevant realm-wide chatter, they'd be more likely to seek out and read the actual messages.

There could be a system where there's one general "message thread" for each in-game entity. Characters of each entity could choose to turn on/off "notifications" for each conversation. That would determine whether that particular conversation ends up on your "unread messages" counter or not. So players logging in could choose which things get reports as unread for which characters. Personal messages would always count as a notification, unless you put that person on the ignore list.
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General Discussion / Re: Conversations 2.0: What is the ideal setup?
« Last post by Andrew on August 13, 2018, 01:02:35 AM »
Mmmm.... I was thinking after I posted that it'd need a fourth table to track what it's associated to (a realm, a settlement, a place, an event, etc.), but that still keeps it slimmer than what we have now. Even flags would still only be a fifth table, compared to the 9 we have now. I'm thinking for system controlled conversations, join/leave will be automatic. This will handle things like realms and places n the like. For manual convos, I definitely want a join/leave ability, and it shouldn't be hard to do.

Thus far we have the following tables (not counting flags):
Conversations - Tracks conversation topic, start date, convo-level settings, and any system info, with relations to who started it, which group it's for (realm, settlement, etc.), and who has permissions to it.
Messages - Tracks message subject (if we want it, setting perhaps?), who sent it, when they sent it, individual message contents, and (maybe) what message it is in reply to (if we want it?)
Permissions - Tracks who is active in the conversation (current participants) and who has access when. For active participants, tracks their rights to a conversation.
Groups - Associates a conversation to a particular in-game entity, be it a realm, house, place, etc. System controlled.

And because I'll forget this later, I'm going to post some shorthand logic on how to grab all messages a person sees below:

Code: [Select]
$permquery = SELECT entity:permission FROM msg_perms WHERE permission.user = :character_id;
$msgs = array();
foreach ($permquery->getResults() as $permission) {
$start = $permission->getStart(); $end = $permission->getEnd(); {
$msgquery = $qb->select('m')->from('Message', 'm')->where($qb->expr()->between('m.time', ':start', ':end'))->setParameters(array('1'=>$start, '2'=>$end); $msgs[] = $msgquery->getResult();
}
}
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General Discussion / Re: Conversations 2.0: What is the ideal setup?
« Last post by Weaver on August 12, 2018, 10:59:35 PM »
It should have the ability to display MOTD (or 'mood' if it's a roleplay); People should be added manually to the creator's wishes, with the creator also able to select who else has these powers. Additionally, there should be an option to select who gets auto-added based on several conditions, like 'joins Realm' or 'Walks into this place'. That's all I can think of.
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General Discussion / Conversations 2.0: What is the ideal setup?
« Last post by Andrew on August 12, 2018, 04:44:52 PM »
So, i've been looking at the conversations system the last few days when I've had time, and the more I look at it, the more I come to think that modifying it to track who has access when to a conversation would be more of a pain than it's worth, based on how it's setup. You might expect that it just track which user has access to what conversations and what messages are in them, when it really tracks which user has access to which conversation and message metadatum and which conversations and messages those relate to, repsectively, and which have what relations to what users. Which makes it a but of a tangled mess, and one I'm not sure it's worth me sitting down trying to untangle.
Thus, I'm entertaining creating a new conversation system, and would like to know what you'd like it to include. I'm entertaining this because if I write one from the ground up, it becomes far easier to track who has access to what messages when, along with fixing most of the problems the current one has (like, how to handle people having access to part of a conversation that they've been since kicked out of--which I've already got a good idea on how to handle).
I'm thinking a rewrite will consist of 3 main parts: conversations, messages, and permissions. Conversations and messages will work mostly how they do now, but permissions will double both as a "who manages this convo" and a "who has access to what messages". When someone joins, they get added to a conversation's permissions with a given start and end period. When permissions change, the old one's get ended and a new one added.
If you're wondering why there's no "User" for this new system, that's because it'll tie straight into M&F rather than be a quasi-dependency like we have now.
Thoughts? Input?
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Realms Chat / Re: Order of the Dark Star Ascendant
« Last post by Dystopian on August 11, 2018, 10:39:42 AM »
Its called Bree now, search for it shouldn't be too hard to find.
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General Discussion / Re: The Next Big Step for M&F?
« Last post by Andrew on August 08, 2018, 05:16:09 PM »
Gear wise, well it depends if you want to add new slots. I think swords should become backup weapons similar to short swords and maybe add an extra slot equipable with either horses or shields.
If I do change it, I'm doing a full gear system tracking several body parts and what is in each hand plus what gear you may be carrying.

I have no problem with adding fuel as a resource neither tbh. Either from charcoal or coal mine. Maybe even replace the Goods with  since that resource is useless.

I doubt I'll remove Goods. They just appear useless because they don't really have a building that uses them, mostly because once something is built it's basically free to maintain. If anything, I'd be more likely to make buildings actually require resource upkeep, meaning Goods will become valuable due to being needed by not only some higher end fortifications, but also resource producers like the mine and straight military equipment makers.

If we're looking at what activity would be best for the life of the game, it's going to be tournaments, isn't it? It hits a lot of points - a reason for people to interact; a reason to draw people together in groups; an element of competition/conflict; and potential for variety (in terms of different types of competitions within a tournament framework).
I kind of figured as much, to be honest. It'll need the gear overhaul, skills, and activities to be functional in a way that isn't just RNG. Probably not soon.

That being said, we wouldn't necessarily have to slavishly follow the form of historical tournaments. This is meant to be a (low) fantasy world, so there's no reason why we couldn't come up with a event that's some melting pot of a medieval tournament, the ancient olympics games, roman chariot racing, and middle eastern horse racing (just as examples).I'd go with something a bit more imaginative than some military threat from an NPC faction (or a GM controlled faction). Bringing bandits back could achieve that sort of thing.
If you've ideas on what sort of events to include in a tournament, have at. I'm listening (reading).
As for a military threat from an NPC faction, well, they'd probably only be threatening if you threaten them. I don't know though. Part of why Beluaterra on BM was fun was because you knew the monsters or undead or whatever would come eventually. It was understood. Which is probably why they'd never seriously threaten the core area of the game we have now, because I don't feel like that's something that should be forced on players. If anything, I'd probably setup a new continent that the new faction inhabits, with some specific rules on how they work.

In terms of what the something more imaginative would be, I'll need to think about that for a while and come back with ideas. But one possibility for a world event would be to create a new land mass (maybe have it rise from the seas) that's on a timer before it disappears (sinks back under the seas). This land mass could have several ancient magical 'power nodes' on it that realms could compete to control. The realm that controls the most nodes before the land mass sinks then gets some form of bonus or gifts of the ancients for a while afterwards. The catch could be that any characters still on the land mass when it disappears die, introducing a risk and reward threat. This would allow for fighting that wouldn't lead to realms being destroyed as the fighting could just be confined to the land mass (if the realms agree it).
Disappearing and reappearing islands would be a pain in the ass to code, to be honest. Also, the gamey concept of that sorta conflicts with the concept of M&F and how everything has meaning and every mark left can be found later.

Just adding in world events isn't going to help much at all. The problems with the game are the difficulty with contacting people, getting replies, getting them to set up permissions so you can visit towns. This, added to the time it takes to actually go anywhere makes the whole process hardly worth it. How are most people going to hear about these world events and actually go and interact in any sort of timely manner?
I don't know how to make people talk back. As for getting around, well, I have ideas.

For example, if you turn up to almost all towns in the game and want to get in to interact, then it's such a rigmarole to get permissions organized that it's just not worth asking at most places on the map, so hardly anyone even bothers.
The GameRequest system can solve this. It could be setup to allow temporary permissions or even permanent ones, but permanent ones are why the permissions system is a thing. It'd just need someone to code it up and tie it in. We could also finish the permissions system as well. You can also use the same GameRequest system to support invites, or pre-approved access to people. It was designed, to a small degree, with that kind of stuff in mind.

The permissions system is really broken, and it's a major PITA to do anything with it. Maybe the default permissions shouldn't be to disallow everyone from doing everything, since many new players won't set any permissions, therefore most towns are locked down by default unless you can get your vassals to follow complex instructions.
Might be worth having permission templates. You could make one for a realm that says specific lists grant entry, other lists can manage buildings, etc., and the player just needs to go to the permission screen, select a template, and hit apply. Hm, that's actually an idea I like, and haven't thought of before.
Oh yeah, very much so. The message system is awful. It's always been awful from the day it was designed. All that was really needed for this game was a simple reworking of an email system (i.e. the Battlemaster message system for those who get the reference, which is mostly perfect for this type of game). Something that's been tried, tested, and proved to work.

Added in to this, the message system actually discourages mass communication, because if you send out a message realm-wide or across your whole contacts list (for example) and a player has 10 characters in one realm or within your contact list they receive the message at each of those characters and need to click multiple times to dismiss it from all characters after reading it once. That's insane. I remember very well that several realms earlier in the game's life actively instructed players never to send a message realm-wide exactly because of this issue. All that's ever been needed to solve this problem is a simple 'mark this message as read for all my characters' button in the same way there's that to dismiss information about an event.

This problem with the message system is part of the reason why it's so hard for anyone to know what's going on world wide. If you could send out mass communication messages without spamming people across multiple characters, I bet people would be much more inclined to spread news.
Pretty sure I fixed that. It's up to players to enable it though. Hm. Could setup a toggle to enable it on character gen though. Ideas. Doing it as a "mark this as read for all my chars" button I didn't implement because it's not as easy as it sounds.

I had some other stuff here about the message system, but looking at the code for it now that I can sorta say I know what the heck PHP is, let me get back to you. I may be updating it next, now that I look at it. We'll see. Depends how intensive I think this'll be.

I do have a question, when being added to a conversation, should you get the last few messages, or not? Maybe only those from the last turn? Also, would notifications (as system messages) be preferred when people are added/removed? Input requested.

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General Discussion / Re: The Next Big Step for M&F?
« Last post by Foxglove on August 08, 2018, 03:52:33 PM »
Just adding in world events isn't going to help much at all. The problems with the game are the difficulty with contacting people, getting replies, getting them to set up permissions so you can visit towns.
Oh yeah, very much so. The message system is awful. It's always been awful from the day it was designed. All that was really needed for this game was a simple reworking of an email system (i.e. the Battlemaster message system for those who get the reference, which is mostly perfect for this type of game). Something that's been tried, tested, and proved to work.

Added in to this, the message system actually discourages mass communication, because if you send out a message realm-wide or across your whole contacts list (for example) and a player has 10 characters in one realm or within your contact list they receive the message at each of those characters and need to click multiple times to dismiss it from all characters after reading it once. That's insane. I remember very well that several realms earlier in the game's life actively instructed players never to send a message realm-wide exactly because of this issue. All that's ever been needed to solve this problem is a simple 'mark this message as read for all my characters' button in the same way there's that to dismiss information about an event.

This problem with the message system is part of the reason why it's so hard for anyone to know what's going on world wide. If you could send out mass communication messages without spamming people across multiple characters, I bet people would be much more inclined to spread news.
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General Discussion / Re: The Next Big Step for M&F?
« Last post by Cipheron on August 08, 2018, 01:40:07 PM »
Quote
feasts, hunting parties, weddings, actual questing that has some purpose to it. Basically, we need ways to tell the stories of everyday life.

The active player density is so low per settlement that implementing formal events probably won't help that much. If the game only consisted of free account players with their maximum 12 towns each that would be a density of one active player per 12 towns. Which is laughably low for any sort of location-based roleplaying.

Right now "There are only 0 knight offers open at this time" which underlies one of the main issues. The game is very not-full but not one single active player can see a reason to try and attract new people.


The cost/benefit of getting new vassals vs centralizing obviously needs to be improved. (obviously, because nobody wants more vassals at the moment). That's what my capitals/taxation idea was addressing: it reduces the incentive to hoard settlements under one player, while also integrating the new Seats feature into the game better.

it's also important to focus on quality over quantity: more active players, not more active characters. A player with 20 characters is going to roleplay each one particularly poorly, perhaps only focusing on one or two. Removing situations where a player is lead to think "I need to create a new character because" of some game mechanic is clearly a problem. For example, a free player thinks "I need to create a new character because I want more towns", so they create 4 characters with 3 towns each, not for any roleplaying relevant reason but because the game requires them to do so to gain their full complement of 12 towns. Making it a limit of "12 towns per free account" rather than per-character would remove the perverse incentive to spam extraneous characters, while creating more choice: play between 1 to 4 characters, with more thought put into why they want to create additional ones.

However, i think it's important to heavily increase the active-player density on the map to boostrap any serious amount of roleplaying. Having 12 settlements to one active player doesn't leave much room for people being in the same location to actually RP meaningfully. One idea is to replace the free account character and settlement limits with a "command points" idea, and you need to make a trade off between what those points are used for. Split of "armies" as a concept semi-separate to characters. A character could lead an army, but it counts as one command point, as does controlling a city, fortress or making another character.
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