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Messages - De-Legro

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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Troops V2.0 - Unit Types
« on: December 11, 2017, 11:10:33 PM »
I think we need a better explanation of how you envision this new system. Because I am completely confused right now.
Do you just mean that mobilising troops from settlement garrisons will not be an instant action (as it is now) but a lengthy and costly process?

As soldiers are individuals you always have the option of moving/retraining them between forces. There would be some sort of retraining time associated.

With regards to mobilising units designated as militia, there is no current plan. I want to try and balance the ability to mobilise your militia in order to defend your neighbors, with the desire to put in some limitations regarding the ability of realms like Hawks to mobilise ridiculous numbers of troops when they go on the offensive. There is certainly a lot of balancing work to be done before this part of the troops upgrade sees the light of day.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Burn ships!
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:42:41 PM »
Being an island realm is already a somewhat one-sided option, you know. Don't see anyone complaining. When you're raiding an island, you're already fucked if they manage to block the boats. Attacking mainland settlements leaves you a lot of room for manoeuvre. If your boats are blocked you can continue damaging the victim and then just leave by land eventually. If you're worried about unfair advantages, my suggestion does not create any but perhaps helps mitigate some.

Firstly lots of people complain, the "invincible" nature of the islands combined with the abundance of fishing settlements is the number 1 gripe I hear. That said if it is already one-sided, why would we want to introduce options that increases that advantage?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Burn ships!
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:03:25 AM »
Yes let me burn ships. As a Island nation I can then force anyone that dares land on my island to remain their forever or die. Or you know I could just camp the ships and use block area to achieve the same thing.

The question is, what would the down side to burning ships be? Without some sort of consequence it would be a very one-sides option, particularly as I noted for islands.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Troops V2.0 - Unit Types
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:01:25 AM »
What is unique about M&F and what I really like about this game is persistent mortal characters who, once trained, hang around until dead or disbanded and can fill any role you need. They can ride to battle or man the walls. Every soldier has unique history. This is fantastic.

What is suggested here I see as a serious downgrade. When we go for restrictive troop types, we go back from truly flexible individual soldiers to gamey "units/unit types". I see a lot of harm in this but I fail to see any real benefits. The announced benefit was that less active players would have an easier time building up their garrisons? Not important enough for such a huge change, imo.

I do like the idea to sophisticate the equipment supply though. I don't fully understand how it's supposed to work though.

When did I say I was removing the individual nature of troops? Professional or Militia they would retain the current system of being named and having history. It would also be completely possible to train militia troops into a professional force, or retire professional troops into militia. It would simply take time instead of the instant actions we have now. Nor did I announce anything about allowing less active players an easier time to build up garrisons.

As I said at the beginning this is not about adding more flexibility, but about presenting choices. Once troops actually have on going costs Lords will need to decide if they want to dedicate their limited resources into have more of the flexible professional troops, or having a larger over all defense force by recruiting cheaper militia forces.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:07:06 AM »
All you said was "give the tutorial a skip button". That's not really addressing my suggestion at all, so how can I go into depth about that?

Tutorials, especially standalone ones that are flagged as such - they suck. All good designers say that you shouldn't do this. You teach through doing, every design guide says to do that.

Phrasing the learning as achievements lampshades the fact that it's a tutorial system. People are collecting badges instead of "completing tutorial objectives". And if it's an achievement system you're free to pick and choose the order you try the things, and people can volutarily skip parts of it, but complete it later if they feel like it.

So long as people reailse from the start that the achievements are indeed structured to be a tutorial, then what you have is

wait for it....a tutorial, simply not a scripted one.

The reason a scripted tutorial is worthwhile for something like M&F is because there are facets of the game that you can't rely on being readily accessible. Things like teaching people how to mobilise troops, how to spot people using watch towers, starting battles, joining battles, settlement defense. These are all things that require specific circumstances, ones that quite possibly people don't encounter for months. Yet if you wish to teach and more importantly showcase everything that M&F encompasses, you need a way to unlock all those parts in a timely manner.

The entire point of tutorials is that you ARE doing, either through a scripted system or otherwise. If it wasn't doing, it would simply be a walk through or digitised manual. The tutorials I personally find most useful are those that are broken down into different topics and lessons. Allowing me to go to the ones I think I need, and also to return to things later when I find I didn't intuitively know as much about a system as I thought I did. So sure we could add "achievements" on top of a properly functioning tutorial system in the manner you prescribe, but that in no way addresses the issues of giving people the opportunity to pursue those achievements in a time frame that doesn't require significant dedication.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: December 06, 2017, 02:49:19 AM »
I think you're focusing on the least important part of the suggestion here. Having colorful icons and stuff is a "nice to have" thing because it makes systems more appealing to use, however that's not the actual suggestion itself.

A "nice appealing graphic" was all I actually said in the actual suggestion. No more detail than that, so critiquing that on hypothetical details that I never actually said while ignoring all the relevant parts of the suggestion isn't really helpful.

An "appealing graphic" could be as simple as a simple shield outline, but with well-chosen color fills dependent on the type of achievement and a gradient / metallic finish. It doesn't have to be something you pay for, because that's nothing to do with what I was talking about. it's just good graphical design sense and understanding how color theory works, along with basic psychology. You make a bunch of colored basic shields you can collect for achieving different types of things and people will strive to collect them no matter how pointless it is. People don't care that it's pointless, they see slots that can be filled, they will want to fill them. You can utilize this to get players to achieve some of the goals you have for the game if you're clever.

No actually my focus was on why this system would be superior to a completely skippable tutorial in terms of actually producing system the eases people into the game. Graphics was a throw away comment at the end of my actual point. Since you only replied regarding graphics, I followed the thread of the conversation as it was.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:55:42 PM »
By graphics I was just thinking of nice icons and stuff, not actual pictoral things. Generally, the idea was just to make it appealing, it doesn't need to be expensive.

I fail to see the difference. Icon creation, at least good icons is still the domain of artist. Unless we could find a set of matching icons that would suit the task in the free domain we would still need to pay someone to make them, or find someone willing to donate their time to create them. Given that currently Andrew is already putting his own money into advertising and simply keeping the server up and running just where is that extra money supposed to come from?

For reference when I paid a UI artist to create a set of 10 icons in SVG format for a game prototype I was working on, it cost me $700 AUD.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: December 03, 2017, 12:46:06 PM »
Well, another way to soft-code a tutorial is through and achievement system. e.g. you make a bunch of achievements, give them some nice appealing graphic, and when clicking on the info-tip for the achievement it links you to the relevant section of the manual or wiki. The advantage is that achievements are entirely optional and can be achieve sooner or later, but they are very appealing for a wide range of player types, and don't give the same groan factor of having to do a tutorial.

Or you just give a tutorial a skip buttons, and then don't need to find money to pay for graphics.

General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« on: November 24, 2017, 10:34:03 PM »
More effective watchtowers?

Watch towers might need a range boost, particularly if we boost scouting and interaction ranges. However I was more thinking of the following case. Suppose you are a border lord. Your neighbour is mustering troops 3 settlements from the border. There is no way your towers are going to spot that, but there is no reason merchants etc would not be spreading that sort of unusual activity as they travel.

More effective watchtowers?
This is the point I was arguing against from the very beginning. There can be no doubt that players' behaviour is indeed heavily influenced by gameplay. If a player improves his standing in a game mostly by accumulating villages and resources, he will interact with other players in a certain way. If a player can actually get ahead in the game by gathering other players under his banner, he will be forced to interact with other players in a completely different way.

Well he already is if we wants to be truly powerful. Even the most prolific of settlement hoarders for example didn't amass the number of settlements the largest realms have. There are plans to tweak corruption so that it becomes relevant at a lower level though, which should help with some of that. Changing the trading/resource system may also remove the mentality of needing to control everything.

We could look at something like realm rating that we used to have displaying how many players vs realm size each realm had. Perhaps something a little less gamey but along the same lines. Once dynasties are in rulers could have a renown rating based on the number of dynasties present.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Troops V2.0 Upkeep
« on: November 24, 2017, 06:07:19 AM »
For a long time we have needed to change how upkeep on troops work. As it stands there are only two costs, one continuous which is the supply of of food, and one periodic which is the supply of equipment. As the game stands now there is no reason to not simply recruit the best possible equipment for your troops. The periodic supply of equipment (assuming you have recruited your desired unit already) is in general small enough to be handled by the building supply. For example realms like Nril can maintain 200 HI in every settlement, despite having relatively little metal supply simply because they don't need to retrain troops that often, and they are one of the realms that has been involvtemed in more conflict that anyone else.

This system ties into the proposed recruitment system, so please read that first. Under this proposal there are four possible upkeep factors
  • Food for the troops
  • Gold for building upkeep
  • Gold for equipment upkeep and purchase
  • Gold for troop wages
Again lets examine militia first. The militia draw equipment from the settlement Armoury, which is in effect the Lords personal armoury. As such the Lord would already be bearing the cost for supplying and maintaining the armoury (under a yet to be described system). As they are only part time troops and they live in their own homes, food is also their own concern (ie draw out of the same system as general population the same as now). So the only cost on militia gold for upkeep of the Garrison building and troop wages. In general the wages should be less the for equivalently equipped professional soldiers to offset the limitations of militia.

With professional troops we have the cost of the barracks structure, cost of procuring and maintain equipment and cost for wages. Food is something I have still considering. We could have them just continue to draw from the general food production of the settlement. What I was thinking about was since the barracks have a responsibility to feed their troops possibly they could use some of their treasury/operating budget to purchase food should there be a shortage in the settlement.

In terms of calculations we have two options for equipment/wages. Charge a single fixed amount based on a full contingent of troops and stored equipment regardless of the current state. Alternatively we could calculate the cost based on current troop numbers and stored equipment. The first allows for a barracks to accumulate its own wealth, which can then be used when for example it suffers catastrophic losses and needs to purchase vast amounts of replacement equipment. It also makes it much easier to calculate the ongoing cost you need to service. The 2nd system potentially saves you gold at various times and if we have a separate system for one off payments you could still provide an injection of cash to meet specific needs.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Troops V2.0 - Recruitment
« on: November 24, 2017, 05:20:02 AM »
So currently recruitment is a purposeful action, something that you need to monitor and initiate. The design purpose was to foster "activity" in terms of needing to log and and consider the situation. The reality in my opinion is that we see characters that exist for no other purpose then to manage recruitment, traveling from settlement to settlement, or perhaps being assigned to a single settlement to manage. Thus the system favors the active and those that subscribe so as to have plenty of character slots to assign to such a task. I am a firm believer that "busy work" is not a valid replacement for actual meaningful interactions and tasks.

Secondly we have a rather "gamey" tech tree of buildings required for training specific troops. Guard houses, Barracks, Garrisons, buildings that have actual meaning and roles in RL, but here exist purely to unlock weapon x and armour y. We already limit the creation of the tools of war, and restrict the speed of fabrication due to population and resources. I personally don't see a lot of point to yet another hierarchy.

This concept ties into the work I am current doing with military grouping, as well as the idea of having a differentiation between professional troops and militia. As each type has a slightly different set up lets start with Militia

Militia is trained by the Garrison building. It is defined as a single unit, with optional sub units. The size of the militia is not restricted, but the number of new recruits under training at any one time is restricted by the size of the garrison building. Recruitment is automated, you specify the desired size of each sub unit and the equipment load out, and the militia will take people from the population and train them as required. equipment for the militia is drawn from the settlements armoury
Militia spend half their time working the fields etc just as they do now.

Professional units are trained and housed in barracks. A city can support multiple units, with each requiring its own barrack structure. The size of the barracks determines the maximum size of the unit as well as the number of recruits that can be trained at any one time. Just like militia the player defines the sub units equipment and size, and the game will recruit and train them in an attempt to maintain the desired numbers. Equipment for training and for resupply is drawn from the barracks own armoury.

The devil however is in the detail which I haven't yet really settled on. Settlements retain the concept of maximum number of peasant recruit available per day. So it would be desirable to be able to determine the priority between all the recruitment centers in the situation where we have a greater number of positions to fill then we have available recruits.

Given that the system introduces the concept of multiple armouries within a settlement, a system to control the flow of equipment to each armoury is needed. We don't want the situation where your favourite elite unit is under manned because all the swords are flowing into the settlement armoury. Ideally the system would be mostly automatic, but I don't see a problem with also allowing for manual intervention, at least in the case of moving items from the settlement armoury into barrack armouries. My first draft allows you to set the min and max storage quantity for each item in each barrack, as well as to rank each barrack/armour priority.

I should also note that this system will tie in with other proposed systems, like troop upkeep costs and weapon/equipment trade between settlements. Particularly the weapon/equipment trading system as it is envisaged that the barracks will use its own treasury to attempt to maintain adequate stock of weapons and equipment by purchasing off the open market.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Troops V2.0 - Unit Types
« on: November 24, 2017, 12:00:24 AM »
As the game stands, troops are just mobilised militia. Our troops can fill any role at any time which provides flexibility, but does not provide for choice and consequence. I propose a system that has three potential troop types.

1) Standard Trooops/Professional Troops

These are the troops that accompany our characters in war. In addition to martial training, they receive training in field marching, fortified camp construction etc.

2) Militia

These are your local troops, troops that perform both a defensive purpose and provide what passes for a police force in medieval times. In general they are not meant to be used outside of the settlement though we could consider allowing them to be mobilised with some sort of penalty, perhaps lower morale. In contrast with Professional troops they don't require as much infrastructure, since they live within the settlement in their own houses they don't require barracks, and they are equipped directly from the settlements armoury.

3) Levies (future possibility)

Giving your populace weapons from your armour and pressing them into emergency service. They likely have little to no skill in combat, generally don't want to be there and constantly worry about getting back to their fields for the harvest. I am not proposing to add these guys in at this stage, but they are a future possibility to plan for.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: November 23, 2017, 10:25:54 PM »
Thatís a good idea, generally speaking, but thereís actually more to it than that. I personally consider it to be a matter of players adding value to each other, and the importance of history to provide context. I had the good fortune of starting amidst a group of players within Ascalon, and whilst we did a lot of stuff amongst ourselves, the interactions that happened as a result of the Princeís County being in the same court as other players were good because it meant that people talked and argued to a broader range of people in a good general context, which is great.

Itís completely understandable that people want to do their own thing because it seems appealing, but in reality, itís unwise. Players add value to each other through interaction, and Iíll admit that I donít see enough of it happening, and a lot of times itís difficult to chat with your neighbour without seeming like youíre only talking because you need their resources or whatever. Inter-realm diplomacy can be good, but itís too infrequent and a lot of people tend not to play ball when theyíre approached by something interesting from abroad, but perhaps thatís as a result of the bunker mentality entrenched in the oldest realms whose core players somehow managed to keep playing the game after so much time without development. As they still exist, we can all hope that a bit of nudging alongside some good and appealing updates might draw some more good players out of hiding.

Still though, itíd be nice to see what else we can do in the future to give new players a better introduction to the game.

Tom was always against a tutorial, but I think some sort of tutorial run in a area separate to the game world is needed. Something like earning your spurs before being allowed to announce your presence to the world maybe.

General Discussion / Re: Things to Do
« on: November 23, 2017, 10:22:41 PM »
I like the idea of being able to interact more with settlements too, though I also like the ease the existing interaction system allows when it comes to accessing things, so rather than replace it, I'd like to add something in tandem that allows a more immersive experience.

Tavern chat rooms could be added I think. I'll add it to my todo list.
Buildings with descriptions, already on my todo list.
Custom buildings, sort of on my todo list.
Add jobs. . . . . . Elaborate please.
Scale back the required power level, there's a thing I'd love to do involving new player characters being created and arriving in a city but it requires player complexes to be added first.
Players needing to eat, I'm going to decline on the grounds of M&F not being a survival game--maybe when I add the warrens though, we can reapproach this.
Zero sum rule, we might bend ti down the line, when I manage to teach the game what an actual storage system is, but I don't plan on removing it anytime soon.
Player armies, doable. Could you elaborate more on what you'd like to see with this?
Crafted items, me and De-Legro were discussing this at one point. I think our visions are a bit different.
Player economy, eh.... Technically we already have a player economy. Most of the players seem to be against me adding new resource types to it though. :(
Player owned businesses, I've discussed this with De-Legro before, but at the earliest this won't even be considered for adding until player complexes are added.
Owning land, this is sort of already on my todo list.

Technically all item producing buildings already are player owned businesses. Even those that are force built like blacksmiths pretty much dedicate their production solely to us. I have spoken before about making some town building more automated and remove complete control over a settlement from the player, but it would be a big change in terms of repercussions so it something that really needs to be thought out better, at the moment it is just a thought bubble.

Yes I have been against player crafted items, just as I am against jobs in general. This is mostly because I can see the entire game and dev efforts being sucked into little side projects that don't address the core of the game. Lore wise First Ones were not always all aristocracy. There was a time that we filled every spot in civilisation and no doubt at least some of the survives are craftsmen, architects and the like. The problem game mechanic wise I have with things like crafting is that once it is added it becomes a must have thing, and we become swamped with crafting characters.

Armies are in for a rework as I have said. I will post today about my ideas here which cover things like recruitment, upkeep and movement.

General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« on: November 23, 2017, 09:49:02 PM »
Aristocrats donít just go to the pub! They book out a private room Ďn stuff

One would think they avail themselves of the far superior beverages and company at the local lords manner, or at dining facilities that cater to their taste. Mostly to me Taverns just feel odd in the way we use them. They could be a First One only thing, though I would probably rename them to something like Guest House in that case. But that is a mostly inconsequential side issue.

We're not tied down by Tom's vision, you know this right? He very clearly told me that this is the community's game now, and we have creative liberty on what we want to do with it.

Adding a system in the tavern to show what wars have recently started or what large battles have recently happened could be a neat addition. I'd prefer not to clog up people's already expansive list of event logs with more event log things.

And why do I need to talk to start a war? If I want to march 2000 soldiers to someone's city and attack them, why do I need to delcare that I'm attacking them? Just do it. They'll figure out they're under attack pretty quickly I assume.

There are other things knights can do though, it's just not as obvious anymore. At one point someone was trying to handle the lack of a ruler conversation by creating an organization that coordinated contact between people. There have been dungeoneering guilds. Trade companies. Mercenary outfits. Religions. Technically, these are all "knight game", just without mechanics to support them (for the time being).

I would agree here, if there were better systems in place to get forewarning of the troop build up. There should be ways for at least a chance to exists that you find out the troops are coming before they cross the border. Perhaps large troop build ups could be subject to the gossip system, or perhaps this is the place spies should fill.

As for your example of knight activities, let us be realistic. 90% of the things you listed die off within a month, and those that don't have largely been the vanity project of a single player. M&F is getting pulled in two directions and needs to decide what it is going to be. A character centric RPG, or a Grand Strategy/Political sandbox. To do both would require far greater resources then we have available, as well as some extremely careful thinking and clever mechanics.

That's what I'm talking about. In a feudal world simulator you'd expect to interact with envoys a lot, send runners to other courts, invent casus belli and parley at least as often as you fight. Instead you foster the Destiny Sphere mentality, when you always attack silently and preferably in the dead of night. And when the defender reaches out to you, you stay silent or go "kek". Because you don't need to ever talk to people unless you're really bored. This makes M&F extremely gamey and poor in flavour department.
A separate activity, adding nothing to lords game. Have to agree with Legro here.
Religion is different though. It needs infrastrcture to work.

Casus Belli are simply excuses you make to people that object to your attack. Sneak attacks have been a part of warfare since well before medieval times and remained so. However the point about silent attackers/troops in general is a annoying point. I am not sure about trying to force something though, we have the attack messages which are almost universally rubbish. To me this seems like a problem that is only fixed through changing the actual attitudes of players rather then mechanics, but if I are being honest we are moving beyond a the sphere that I am able to provide much insight.

I have been thinking about religion quite a bit lately. To me it would seem Religion is a two faceted thing in M&F, in that we potentially have the religious practices of the First Ones, whom having known and shared the world with the Gods potentially have very different religious beliefs then we are familiar with, potentially far more secular. On the other hand we have the mortal whom to my mind at least never encountered the gods and either view the First Ones as the gods, or at least a type of angel/lower level gods.

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