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91
General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by Constantine on November 21, 2017, 05:41:33 PM »
If our player base insists when given the choice on playing in a way that is basically a bunch of loners trying to work out why they constantly get bored, well that is the pitfalls of a sandbox.
This is a highly flawed approach unless you actually don't care about the success of this game.


I think you refuse to hear my point. But it is still true. The fact that the game does not incentivise cooperation, diplomacy, building feudal hierarchies, etc. but instead incentivises village hoarding and optimisation of supply chains objectively makes it a much lesser game than it could potentially become.
The fact that you try to do things differently with Hawks to not get bored is sadly irrelevant to my statement. Because you do in fact play just like everyone else - when some vague threat from without draws your attention you simply wipe it out and go back to trying to not get bored. Hawks use the "diplomacy" of do what we tell you or lose everything you have exactly because there are no gameplay mechanisms faciliating more interesting and complex conflict.


You know well that this game has lost a lot of dedicated players. This happens not because they were pussies and cry babies. And not even because of the toxicity of certain players. But simply because the game does not deliver on promised features. this is how Tom described the game:
Quote
A roleplaying game, a strategy game, a political and negotiations game.A simulation of a medieval / low-fantasy world not in the sense of realistic physics, but in the sense of having humans with human motivations and personal ambitions as the driving forces.
This is what players expect. What they get is a clunky sandbox military boardgame. Every game has rules and rules determine the way players tend to play. And when all you have is a hammer, everyone just looks like a nail. The fealty aspect of the game could use an overhaul and improvement. That's all.
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General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by Cipheron on November 21, 2017, 04:06:22 PM »
Quote
It is pretty boring though
The problem is that some people find that boring while others are more of the solo-wargamer types. If there's some super-effective thing that you can do to dominate the game, but it's "boring" then that doesn't mean people won't do it - it's a two-way street there: if the optimal strategy is boring, then less people will do it, however over time the game will be dominated by the type of people who enjoy that style of play, changing the game culture and crowding other types of personalities out.

I think the argument that the game is perfectly healthy because of the example of Hawks is flawed. Hawks is an outlier, the health of the game as a whole can't be measured by a single realm who's leader specifically encourages diversity of ownership.

One of the related problems is one I've mentioned before - the game needs to telegraph the types of opportunities available to new players. Right now there are almost zero knight's offers and the map looks pretty full. A new player perusing the map without any game-knowledge basically gets the idea that there aren't any real opportunities for them. And while they're not completely wrong, they're not actually far off. The amount of knight's offers on the table is a direct barometer of how many opportunities to get new players in the existing players have identified. However, it's clear that having more players would be good. but the current rules dictate that less players holding more each is optimal.  Only realms where the leadership deliberately limit their own power have the sort of balance that Hawks does.

~~~

One handy way to look at game design is called gameplay loops. Basically, you look at the cycle of actions that  the player needs to take to advance whatever they want in the game. e.g for might and fealty, for a knight, there's a cycle of "visit town, train troops, build buildings, visit next town" etc. That's the normal gameplay loop for current day to day play.


So then, you want to involve another player in that cycle of actions. However, you know that the player who akready has the towns might not want to part with the towns. e.g. if you hand over three towns to a new unknown knight, they'll probably just slumber or wreck them or something. Plus, you lose the information about the towns.


So what does that suggest as a solution? Well one possible thing would be a type of settlement delegation that isn't the same as Grant Control. e.g. you could just use the permission system to allow a knight to operate some towns as if they own them, but hardly anyone does that, they almost always just hand the towns over. If it there was a more formalized option for delegation, that didn't involve fiddly messing around with lists and permissions, then people might use it.

e.g. imagine if players could assign a "steward" for towns they own. The steward would have the towns listed as ones under their stewardship, and it would be a "proxy ownership" type of thing. The lord would still be the true owner, and the settlement would still count as their for corruption purposes (to maintain a trade-off here), so in effect, a free player could exceed 12 towns under their control by agreeing to be a Steward for another player. It would also act as a type of "probationary" vassalage for new knights: you could assign them stewardship only, let them manage the lands for you, then if they slumber, no harm done, while the knights that stick around and prove their worth could control towns of their own a bit later.
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General Discussion / Re: Making players an asset
« Last post by De-Legro on November 21, 2017, 01:50:30 PM »
There has been some talk about roleplay and high player population being important in this game.
This is not true. The game does not incentivise you to interact with other player on a meaningful level or to recruit them for your realm. You can run a realm of any size with just one or two friends.
The main resources in this game is the quantity of owned villages, access to metal and a large roster of characters to field small mobile armies. It is actually better to have less players to run the realm more effectively. Corruption is a non-issue. This leads to a mentality where players are encouraged to be absolutely ruthless to each other in a manner that is only fun for loners and sociopaths. This also leads to smaller realms being irrelevant and increasingly non-existent. The map will soon (if not already) be divided between several huge empires surrounded by some puppet states/protectorates. Eventually there won't be any wars fought ever again.


Conflict in this game would be absolutely different if player characters were an important asset. We'd see much less wars to elimination, much more diplomacy and intrigue if convincing a player to change his allegiance instead of just crushing him was even slightly beneficial.
The one way I see it can be done is making huge swaths of land held by one player unfeasible. No one player should be able to own enough land to run an infinite HI conveyor. If players absolutely needed to attract other players to govern lands and pay them tax, they would respect other players as highly valuable resource. If loyalty becomes an important resource, players would pay more attention to diplomacy, reputation, even roleplay. Politics would become a meaningful pastime.
I don't care how many characters paid accounts can have, but it is clear to me that drastically limiting how many villages any one player can own is absolutely crucial.


Mechanics wise, sure you can run a realm with 2 people, you can run them with a single person. It is pretty boring though, to keep interest you need interaction of some sort, either within your own realm, or with other realms. Thus higher densities are important. But if you really want to push the point, if you are on Discord ask Andrew how many players are within Hawks. It could be argued we are the single most "effective" realm in the game. Ascalon would I think be the only other realm that could lay claim to the title. I think you will be surprised how many players are within Hawks and how many players make up our war machine. Of course if we had nothing else in life to do, and could stay glued to a screen for 15+ hours a day just to log into a stack of characters and move them around in response to any event, I could possibly do better on my own, but that is not reality for most people.


There are tweaks and things Andrew and I are talking about for settlement ownership and corruption, but to be honest I don't see the point of having to FORCE people to play in a way that is long term viable. If our player base insists when given the choice on playing in a way that is basically a bunch of loners trying to work out why they constantly get bored, well that is the pitfalls of a sandbox.
94
General Discussion / Making players an asset
« Last post by Constantine on November 21, 2017, 01:21:23 PM »
There has been some talk about roleplay and high player population being important in this game.
This is not true. The game does not incentivise you to interact with other player on a meaningful level or to recruit them for your realm. You can run a realm of any size with just one or two friends.
The main resources in this game is the quantity of owned villages, access to metal and a large roster of characters to field small mobile armies. It is actually better to have less players to run the realm more effectively. Corruption is a non-issue. This leads to a mentality where players are encouraged to be absolutely ruthless to each other in a manner that is only fun for loners and sociopaths. This also leads to smaller realms being irrelevant and increasingly non-existent. The map will soon (if not already) be divided between several huge empires surrounded by some puppet states/protectorates. Eventually there won't be any wars fought ever again.


Conflict in this game would be absolutely different if player characters were an important asset. We'd see much less wars to elimination, much more diplomacy and intrigue if convincing a player to change his allegiance instead of just crushing him was even slightly beneficial.
The one way I see it can be done is making huge swaths of land held by one player unfeasible. No one player should be able to own enough land to run an infinite HI conveyor. If players absolutely needed to attract other players to govern lands and pay them tax, they would respect other players as highly valuable resource. If loyalty becomes an important resource, players would pay more attention to diplomacy, reputation, even roleplay. Politics would become a meaningful pastime.
I don't care how many characters paid accounts can have, but it is clear to me that drastically limiting how many villages any one player can own is absolutely crucial.
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General Discussion / Re: Talking Point - Character Relationships
« Last post by Cipheron on November 18, 2017, 02:17:03 AM »
One possible idea is that "roles" could be like a knight's offer. e.g. instead of just manually spawning a child character who is the child of two existing character, you could create an offer to play that character for a new player. e.g. a Knight's offer but you play some noble's son or daughter. Basically, have knight's offers which are tied into the family tree of some other player. Then you could have real "family dramas" unfolding, but it would be optional.

Actually for the whole inter-mingling thing, the game mechanics for free play don't really encourage it very well. To get your 12 towns you need exactly 4 characters each holding three towns. if they're nearby, the most straight-forward thing is to just set them up as a connected family unit, e.g. have a married pair and children. Lots of people would do this because it's just a quick way to get established. Basically, rejigging the character system for free accounts could reduce the amount of that sort of thing.

Another system that could encourage intermingling is some sort of extrinsic rewards system. e.g. have some useless point system that you accumulate "prestige points" that don't actually do anything in the game, however there's a leaderboard that tracks the characters with the most total Prestige, but also the most per month or whatever. The way it would work is that being married to, or having kids, or having vassals from, or being vassal to, different accounts would all be worth Prestige. However, each other account only counts once, and like a pyramid scheme, you get some prestige as well for every character two-links away as well. So, basically all characters have a rating for how well interconnected they are to separate accounts, however this has no actual in-game effect other than that. People love accumulating useless points, it gives them something else to optimize that's not land-grabbing. It might keep more people logging in more often if there's some kind of counter like this, and it gives them a reason to link up with each other.
96
General Discussion / Re: Talking Point - Character Relationships
« Last post by Andrew on November 17, 2017, 02:01:00 PM »
Sharing heraldry across family lines was an attempt at encouraging players to intermingle their lines, a bit. Mostly, that's targeting the free players, but I'm open to things that encourage intermingling. Sad how few suitors my characters get.
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General Discussion / Re: Talking Point - Character Relationships
« Last post by De-Legro on November 16, 2017, 04:05:44 PM »
How to make them more important within the game and why people often seem to choose to create entirely single player family trees? I think the answer to the last part of that is simply because it's easier.

This comes out of an idea I mentioned in another thread - how about if, after an initial set of characters you could create when you start playing, all other characters you can create would need to be created through a relationship between one of your characters and a character of another player? Perhaps the other player would even need to tick a box/select a drop down option that says something like, 'allow pregnancy'. What if this were to even be an active choice rather than a passive one? Your character's partner has to request the birth of a child and you must agree.

There are quite a few plus points to a character creation system like this. For a start, it has the potential to greatly reduce spamming the creation of characters by one player, because a second player would essentially have to agree to the creation of a new character either actively or passively depending on the system ("A new child, my dear? How wonderful!" Or, on the other hand, "Not another child, husband. Give me some peace!"). Of course, as with most game mechanics, it would have potential abuses like two players simply forming character relationships to allow creation at will.

A character creation system like this would also encourage players to interact. No longer could you just sit isolated and create all the characters you want. Also, with this system, we might also begin to see some more realistic uses of relationships - marriage alliances between realms; disputed inheritances; etc. Basically, introducing a lot more dynamics to the game.

The trait system was meant to do much the same sort of thing by being a soft push encouraging players to interact to give their characters traits they wanted (for those who don't know, a player gets a certain number of traits within their family/familes and the only way to introduce other traits to your family tree is through relationships with characters of other families). However, since traits have never (yet) been fully enabled they don't work fully as planned. Even fully enabled, I'm not sure they would work as well as this sort of character creation system either.

Thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Mediocre idea?


Fairy Tale online had something like this, all player characters needed to be birthed in game. It also had a several month wait to ever actually start playing the game so probably not a great example. But no I don't support it, mostly because people should be free to engage or not engage in relationships as suits their characters and their personal preferences. Forcing people into something by a mechanic just makes it a chore, it doesn't make it enjoyable or relevant.


Besides which so long as we are allowed multiple paid accounts, you can sort the entire thing yourself if you wanted. Even without that people would just establish OOC links to ensure they had access to new characters.
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General Discussion / Talking Point - Character Relationships
« Last post by Foxglove on November 16, 2017, 03:38:24 PM »
How to make them more important within the game and why people often seem to choose to create entirely single player family trees? I think the answer to the last part of that is simply because it's easier.

This comes out of an idea I mentioned in another thread - how about if, after an initial set of characters you could create when you start playing, all other characters you can create would need to be created through a relationship between one of your characters and a character of another player? Perhaps the other player would even need to tick a box/select a drop down option that says something like, 'allow pregnancy'. What if this were to even be an active choice rather than a passive one? Your character's partner has to request the birth of a child and you must agree.

There are quite a few plus points to a character creation system like this. For a start, it has the potential to greatly reduce spamming the creation of characters by one player, because a second player would essentially have to agree to the creation of a new character either actively or passively depending on the system ("A new child, my dear? How wonderful!" Or, on the other hand, "Not another child, husband. Give me some peace!"). Of course, as with most game mechanics, it would have potential abuses like two players simply forming character relationships to allow creation at will.

A character creation system like this would also encourage players to interact. No longer could you just sit isolated and create all the characters you want. Also, with this system, we might also begin to see some more realistic uses of relationships - marriage alliances between realms; disputed inheritances; etc. Basically, introducing a lot more dynamics to the game.

The trait system was meant to do much the same sort of thing by being a soft push encouraging players to interact to give their characters traits they wanted (for those who don't know, a player gets a certain number of traits within their family/familes and the only way to introduce other traits to your family tree is through relationships with characters of other families). However, since traits have never (yet) been fully enabled they don't work fully as planned. Even fully enabled, I'm not sure they would work as well as this sort of character creation system either.

Thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Mediocre idea?
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Probably ones such as this:

http://mightandfealty.com/en/queue/

Which shows the ETA for action tasks you have ongoing. However if that was changed to local time then the display which shows server time at the bottom of most pages should also be shown in local time.

That's most easily done completely on the client side, if you don't need the server to know what the client's timezone actually is.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Last post by Andrew on November 11, 2017, 03:32:08 AM »
Could you be a little more specific about what pages you're referring to, please?
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