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21
General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by De-Legro 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.
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General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by Andrew on November 24, 2017, 06:32:14 PM »
I didn't say I wouldn't add religions, I said I wouldn't give them mechanics in game. Religions are on the TODO list but you shouldn't be able to take over a region just because the locals believe in the same faith in M&F--you play what the mortals effectively consider a demi-god.
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General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by Constantine on November 24, 2017, 12:58:19 PM »
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.
More effective watchtowers?
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.
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. Think about it.
Not so much on religions though, as I don't want to recreate BM in M&F.
Andrew, that's not fair. Having mechanical religions in a game is not intrinsically a BM's thing. It's like saying that you don't want to have feudal hierarchies in M&F because you don't want to recreate BM.
Religions offer another parallel hierarchy and in a game of fealty this could be really interesting.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Troops V2.0 Upkeep
« Last post by De-Legro 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.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Troops V2.0 - Recruitment
« Last post by De-Legro 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.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Troops V2.0 - Unit Types
« Last post by De-Legro 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.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by De-Legro 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.
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General Discussion / Re: Things to Do
« Last post by De-Legro 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.
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General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by De-Legro 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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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by Demivar 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.
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