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Messages - Demivar

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1
I think it's a little more of an issue than that.

Currently, I have a completion time on one event of "Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:05:00 -0600"

Where I am now, the local time is 4:27 AM on Sunday.

How to convert one to the other isn't intuitive, and even if I get a formula for doing so, I'd have to take into account that both my location and the server location have entirely incompatible daylight savings rules, so there could be up to 4 different time offsets depending on the time of the year, and even with a formula, it's possible to make a mistake now and then, and having to recalibrate it manually every time is just a waste of effort, when you only want to quickly know when something is finishing. Also, there's the fact that this is going to trip up just about every new player with an unnecessary obstacle to getting information they should have easily available. With a game with new player recruiting issues there's no excuse for leaving annoying things in the UI that can easily be fixed.

Another related issue is that the game mixes up ETAs in server time and game-specific time. e.g. when I first started playing, I set travel, it said "X days" to get to the next town, and I thought "geez that's slow!" And I'm not the only one. I'm pretty sure that quite a few of the knights who sign up then never log in again have been fooled by the ETA system into thinking it's going to take e.g. 2 actually real-time days to get to the nearest town, rather than 12 hours. Or if they start training and see "15 days" to train some basic troops, they're likely to think that's 15 actual days, not < 4 days. Such a sense of "slowness" might be turning a number of new players off right at the start. It would perhaps be better if the game signaled how long ETAs were in both game-time and real-time so that new players can know when to log in to continue. All the little things that turn new players off add up to a game that is counter-intuitive about things that should be immediately clear.

There are effectively two* different ETA systems, and they are ingeniously designed such that neither of them tells you how long something is actually going to take without applying a bunch of arcane math formulas that you need to memorize. Both of them display a mastery of user-interface design thinking: if the term "days" is ambiguous to new players then how do we expect that new players are going to stick around long enough to realize "oh, when it says 'days' it means '6 hours' ". That's not "good design" or "flavor" - it's just shitty design.

* in fact, the weapon production system showing as per-week rather than per-day effectively makes that a third ETA system, which is also incompatible with the other two types. Rather than per-week it would be much better to display produced weapons per-day, but have two decimal places. It will both be more accurate and easier to use: you could multiply amount produced by days remaining, to work out how many items will be finished by the time training ends without needing to add a conversion factor for weeks to days every time. Weeks being 36 hours are entirely irrelevant to anything else, they should be removed from relevance from the few remaining places they pop up, because it's not a good design decision to even have them.
DST is indeed an issue, and even I barely check when messages were sent now that the server time is it inconvenient. The bottom line is that for a big game, these features are to be expected. For M&F, weíve got one guy with a full time job trying to improve the game whilst dealing with a playerbase which is disgruntled and significantly diminished through years of the game being undeveloped and with underlying problems.

Your troop script was and is incredibly useful, but hasnít been updated in a while so still formats data differently and caps out at 198 soldiers due to the old limits before the server change. If someone could update the clock system to have live time counters which are relevant to the player then thatíd be great. Itíd be great if buttons like leave conversation actually had an are you sure? Button so that people stop leaving old conversations by accident, and itís be great if the train troops and recruit entourage pages didnít have the same text for settlement owners and people with permissions.

If people could make contributions like this then itíd be really good, but M&F just needs help for the game to benefit from improvements which are going to be made in the future. Iíve made mini contributions to text things but I donít have the necessary knowledge to actually add to the gameís code. We all saw how well the troop script was received, and the more little helping bits like it that are added to the game, the more people would enjoy it and the better player retention would be.

2
Bump. Logging in, I'm seeing this: Est. complete: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:35:51 -0600.
Every day I need to make these needless calculations in my head. Can't we at least add (will happen in X hours). This does not seem to be hard to add but it will be very important quality of life feature for many people.
All you need to do is memorise the time gap. Memorise lots of time gaps and it's not a problem. All I'll say is that it is annoying that the server time zone has changed. I'm not sure what inconsistencies it may have added (it will probably never matter), but when searching through old logs it is a tad confusing.


The server was in Germany, now it's in the Central US timezone (I think), so that's a 7 hour gap. Right now the current server time is recorded on messages, but are we assuming that a message posted at 9am server time a year ago will still be marked as that same time in conversations? At what point did the timezone switch (I can't remember the date of the server transfer), and how did server time carry forward as the server changed? When someone has the time, it'd be nice to confirm.

3
Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: November 23, 2017, 03:47:28 PM »
Oh, I've also added logic for restricting new players to only knight offers or with family, so we can steer them towards player interaction.
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.

4
General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« on: November 23, 2017, 03:28:36 PM »
This is all pretty time intensive for one guy to do though, for the record.
If only there were some helpful, well trained individuals with knowledge of how to work on these things who would be willing to provide this unsupported  individual with tangible assistance.....

5
General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« on: November 23, 2017, 12:48:20 PM »

You want to hob nob with mortals in their drinking Dens, power to you. I shall spend time with beings of worth.
Aristocrats donít just go to the pub! They book out a private room Ďn stuff

6
Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Equipment Overhaul
« on: November 07, 2017, 02:35:32 PM »
It's based on whichever time period we want it to be based on. I'm more of the type that we should make it loosely based on a time period, but include things we find interesting or contribute to the game.

The goal isn't to make it require micromanagement, it's to make it have depth. Right now, the battle system is barely a puddle. There's not really much to it, and it's kind of boring.

And chaning the troop classification would, realistically, only impact people's egos. I never said I'd change the values of existing weaponry, except maybe the Javelin if we make it multi-use.
Better boring than unfair. And no, troop classifications affect morale, so the impact would certainly be tangible.

The depth that might be added would simply add to the confusion. The ability to customise troops more? Sure. But effectiveness should be effectiveness.

If I stick my army in a field, enter a battle and go to bed, I can get picked apart and ruined even more because their shield troops fought my archers, my Heavies got maced and my cavalry fought spears.

7
Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Equipment Overhaul
« on: November 07, 2017, 12:34:51 PM »
Bonuses vs cavalry, or mounts, or ranged attacks, or armour are all total no-nos in my book. M&F has a battle resolver which tends to be fair most of the time, and how to do better than your enemy is also fairly clear, and there's a bit more depth for if you want think harder about what exactly you're doing. As soon as we add counters and bonuses vs different types of things, the game will become far more rock/paper/scissorsey and it will focus even more on micromanagement.


As for classifying things as heavy and not heavy, it would all depend on what exact time period M&F is based around to determine how people would see heaviness. However, leather/shield troops count as mediums and chainmail armoured troops are classified as heavies, if we changed this it would cause massive impacts.

8
Helpline / Re: Error when accepting knight offer as a new player
« on: November 02, 2017, 06:48:26 PM »
I've just started playing and I've accepted Ascalon's knight offer at Chysis and it keeps giving me an error. I've done this about three times and it says I have 30 soldiers but if I click on them it tells me I need to set my location first. Also, it seems that it is removing knight offers each time I select it. Is there a way to fix this? I didn't expect it to accept the offer three times and mess with the guy.
They're my knight offers, and the game has now consumed all of the troops that were in those offers :|


Anyway, this is probably linked to the recent game updates relating to knight offers and allowing other players to act as mentors. Evidently this system isn't working properly, so I'll repost the offers with this function disabled and hopefully it will work.

9
Realms Chat / Re: Major Cultures of the Game
« on: October 20, 2017, 03:17:34 PM »
Had Jason Lasar returned to the isles (and been able to prove his credentials as the true Lasar), Aldric would probably have just given the old retreat back to him. Aldric always had mixed feelings about the rebellion and would rather have had the High King retain a role as ceremonial ruler. Aldric rebelled against the increasingly irrational demands of Jason Lasar (as Aldric saw them), not against the birthright of Lasar to be High King of the Fading Isles.

That depends on how you're defining legendary and also whether you're talking about an actual family, or just a character from a family. Jason Lasar would definitely be a legendary character, but would the family name be legendary? I'm not so sure. Same for Alexios Eirenikos, Tacitis Symmachus, and Roran of Arescod. I'd say the same about my Fox family. It's Aldric people have heard of and not the other members. Also, there are families that are famous within certain spheres of influence, but unknown in others.

In terms of an actual famous family (i.e. more than one generation) the main one I can think of is Calinus.
Roran properly played a dynasty of other characters and at various junctures attempted to expand those playing in the family. Itís also worth noting that Richard of Arescod is still the King of Ascalon, and in terms of a family name, Iíd certainly say that the House of Arescod is very well known. Believe it or not, there is also a strange ďEasternĒ side of the map which doesnít touch the Isles, yet have still done many things throughout history. At this stage House Plantagenet should be well known, and there are many members of the House.

Andrew defined what constitutes a suitable part of each category by a description for each on the wiki. All of the categories are properly marked, though itís difficult to place particular families in the Legendary category. Whilst Jason Lasar provided the foundation for the Isles, it was the players that came after him that made impacts. Only those few directly impacted by the Lasars at the start of the game will properly remember Jasonís antics. For everyone else theyíre just stories.

Iíd argue that an amalgamation of Eirenikos and Symmarchus have had the greatest direct impact on the world, but as well known family names go Iíd say that Calinus would top the list, since theyíve been in a lot of places alongside their rigid hold on the GF side of the Isles.

10
Realms Chat / Re: Major Cultures of the Game
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:41:53 PM »
So the Lowlands are almost gone and Ascalon owns land on the northern coast. I'm pretty sure thats unprecedented. What Strenvale just joined Ascalon, are Rothrik and Blancbaston the same? Rathgar is just a small Kingdom in the northwest. A pity though I'm sure they are still powerful. And the Imperium isn't just filled with Weaver's characters anymore, yay! This is a wild thought but maybe it'll be filled with some new interesting people instead of the masked dudes who don't let anyone do anything.
I don't play Guy Blancbaston. As far as I understand it, Strenvale lost a couple of its core players (who I've RPed with and were major landholders) and as they had lost their relevance they joined Ascalon rather than becoming an ally. If you want to know who I play outside of Ascalon of any importance, send me a PM (preferably on the M&F community Discord)


https://discordapp.com/invite/7YpAhEh

11
General Discussion / Re: Discussion - Subscription Levels
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:47:25 PM »
CK2 was released on February 14th, 2012, and XCOM was released on October 9th, 2012, though CK2 was probably a bit meh without DLCs (not that the DLCs made post-Old Gods are at all worth it)


(Removed the stupid formatting that I neither intentionally added or checked. I hate forums.)



12
General Discussion / Re: Discussion - Subscription Levels
« on: October 09, 2017, 03:07:13 AM »
Generally speaking, whether someone is a subscriber or not simply depends on how invested they are in the game. Back when I was a Baron I had two characters, and eventually made two more alongside my main one to have a trio together and a single one elsewhere. I only started paying for the game after playing for 9 months in various capacities.


Most players don't need the First Ones, some do, and some others abuse it. I've never questioned my own use of First Ones since I've only ever created more when I've had a need to make more for various reasons, and mine tend to be spread out across a very large area. The only real problem I see with FOs is that some people choose to have disproportionately large numbers of the, and then issues arise.


I started the game amidst a large group of players, and we all felt comfortable with our numbers of FOs. A single character can do meaningful things, and if you're playing the game as it's designed to be played, then it's actually very fun without needing more First Ones.


Whether you think that it's done right or not, corruption is a very impactful mechanic which has large cumulative effects. It is mechanically better to have lots of players than it is to hoard stuff, and having more players tends to be more fun anyway.


With this in mind, you need to remember that First Ones are fairly useful in war. And whilst it isn't quite a straight linear improvement, having more FOs available tends to make wars a lot easier. Not all players are the same, some are more active, some are more committed, and some contribute more than others. If every player had the same number of FOs, the game would devolve into it being a race to attract as many players as you can. Having players as a currency would detract from the spirit of the game. When I started playing, I didn't need many FOs, and now I use a fair few across many locations. Player numbers becoming the defining factor of realms would not be beneficial, in my opinion. Regardless, this is a good talking point.

13
General Discussion / Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« 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.

14
Helpline / Re: Activation email.
« on: August 26, 2017, 08:09:49 PM »
We've recently changed servers, and from what I've skim read this might mean that the source of the emails has changed too.


If the email server isn't working correctly, this may be a problem that only Andrew can solve, though at a glance there may be another solution. When I registered, I did so with an @hotmail.co.uk address, which didn't work and I ended up needing to use my gmail.com address (this is due to the former server host being German). The address could be an issue, else it's an issue with the server change which happened only days ago.


I've nudged Andrew on Discord, but due to timezones he might not be available for at least another half a day.

15
Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: travel dates and battle timers
« on: August 07, 2017, 10:53:46 PM »
Why not force the server time to stay as is? I know that the new host will be in the US, but the change will be a nuisance.

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