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Messages - Andrew

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So, the topic has come up again and I'd be interested in hearing as much input on it as possible this time, as I'll probably not bring it like this again for quite a while (years?).

Should we allow First Ones to be non-human races?

Alternatively, should we allow people to say that they are playing elves, orcs, or other, pre-defined races?

I say pre-defined because it allows us to have specific descriptions of what the races look like in one place, and it means we won't get people coming in and just creating another race simply because they can.

Personally, I'm for it because it allows us to introduce a new dynamic into the social-aspects of the game. I will state though, this will be purely a cosmetic addition (if we add it). No sort of in-game bonuses or penalties regardless of whatever race your First One claims to be or actually is.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: M&F Changelog
« on: February 17, 2018, 09:45:06 PM »
(double reserved -- just in case!)

General Discussion / Re: Why M&F peaked so young
« on: February 11, 2018, 11:30:11 PM »
So, I've a few ideas to address these problems, and yes I recognize them as such. Firstly, the new player arrival experience needs changed, and I've talked about this elsewhere. If I had more time, I'd repeat it here. Basically, arrival to the realm as an unaligned, but part of the realm, first one, then choose from there, with having already gotten some sort of brief on what the realm is like.

Second, with that first change, you'll no longer drop out of the realm if you liege quits/dies/whatevers, as the game will track what realm you're part of via a new primary means of figuring it out.

Third, I'm looking to get away from this whole fear of unknown people a bit by adding dynasties, which will be the next major update after this one. I can't gaurantee it'll make people less paranoid, but it should make it easier for them to trust people.

As far as trusting people goes, if someone wants to make a separate topic about that, I'm all ears (or eyes, as is the case here). If someone has given some thought about how we can prevent spies from learning things so easily or has some idea about how we'd encourage people to not be so paranoid, I'm willing to hear about it.

Regardles, Ayruin, I'm sorry that's how the experience in your first two realms went. It's not an attitude I encourage, but I'm only seriously active in one realm.

General Discussion / Re: A discussion the importance of lore upon gameplay
« on: February 05, 2018, 10:07:19 PM »
When I say the game isn't a medieval simulator, what I'm saying is that it's not simulating medieval life on earth. If it was, you'd be looking at a map of Europe, rather than whatever it is we call the continent. If we make it a medieval simulator, we lose a LOT of the liberties on how things operate or work, and I'll probably stop developing it because I don't have the time to research how much food a medieval baker can produce.

The mortals in game aren't human. At least not so much as we are. The game doesn't even explicitly state that the mortals, or first ones, even look like exactly like humans, just that they are "not unlike". The closest you get is these:

"So the gods went about creating a new creature much more similar to themselves then all the others ones. The First Ones. A race not unlike man, but stronger, smarter and not subject to aging."

"First Ones look much like mortal men at first glance, but you can spot very fast that they are not the same. No disease or illness can touch them, save one. As such, they never need healers or herbs, and they can recover from wounds that would strike every mortal down for sure. Their teeth and skin are perfect, their hair is fair and their eyes are awake and shining, deep as a clear lake on a summer day."

Personally, I'd love to go a little less low-fantasy and add other races into the game. People seem to be against this idea, for some reason though. You could, for what it's worth, argue that we're all playing Tolkien-esque elves, and that this is where the Elves from early BattleMaster originally came from. :P

And yeah, most of the art and images do reflect European standards, though I think that's more so we have something to look at that's standardized more than anything. A few people are aware of the debates I've had about weapon effectiveness and how it could be altered. I'd love to break away from this purely European thing though, and am toying with the concept of making culture packs more than just name lists, but there are many things that don't have similar conventions across geographic areas.

My goal is to make M&F a good game, one that's interesting, not necessarily historically accurate. If there's an area that can be fixed or improved upon in such a way that makes sense and adds to the gameplay, I'm more than willing to try it, but I try to avoid major changes without serious consideration as to what the consequences might be.

Sure. Though I still think that they should have to read about realms *before* they spawn in anywhere and preferably before they even make the character. If they knew of the major cultures of the game, they could make an Ascalonian and spawn somewhere else but still have an idea of what an Ascalonian should perhaps be like to some extent.

"A new player should, before placing a character down, be able to get an idea of what a realm is like, what opporunities there are there, and know a little about where they are going." --Me, my previous post.

Sure, why not. Seems like a sensible thing. Perhaps the liege can choose what his knights will be a part of?

Ideally, it'll be part of the revamped knight offer system.

General Discussion / Re: A discussion the importance of lore upon gameplay
« on: February 05, 2018, 08:32:49 PM »
I'm not against creating more game lore, but there'd have to be a good reason to add something that would constrain, possibly even overwrite, the creative activities of players. I've toyed with putting some game history into the game's fiction, so there's an understood "hey, this happened" that can't be argued, but that means it can't be argued, and there's less opportunity for contention on the subject.

One might suggest that we limit the setting of Might & Fealty to a specific era in our history, to which I'd respond that M&F is not a medieval simulator, is not set on earth, and does not humans (unless this is actually a sci-fi title, which it might be). Even then, which time era would we set it to? From which area of the world? Based off which group of people there?

A better question would be, what exactly does the game lore already establish, as fact?

And a follow-up would be, what do we need to expand on from there, so that people can better enjoy the game?

To switch gears to your discussion of Knight Offers, a rework of the new character arrival system is on the TODO list, for a later update. Before I tackle it though, I need a few things, some of which I'm already experimenting with in 1.1. The main things are a I need a way for characters to be part of a realm, without holding land, titles, or vassalage in it, and a place for those new characters to arrive to that actually improves on the new player experience rather than just dropping them in a sea of information. For the previous, it will require some effort. As for the latter though, the first part of that will come in 1.1, with Places. Ideally, the bulk of it will happen in 1.2 or 1.3 when I roll out Complexes.

That said, I'm not saying I won't change things in a smaller update somewhere rather than waiting for a major update, but I'd like to make it so rather than arriving as a knight, you arrive as a person. Rather than just being a knight, your first choice is becoming a knight of someone, or not. A new player should, before placing a character down, be able to get an idea of what a realm is like, what opporunities there are there, and know a little about where they are going. When they arrive, they should have an opportunity to learn more about a realm, talk to people in it, and decide if they want to stay or go someplace else. They shouldn't have to kill their character to go someplace else.

Oh, and what realms you're a part of should be more obvious. This silliness that you inherit the realms of your liege will be ending when I get around to figuring out the alternative to how it'll work instead.

Helpline / Re: Artifacts - Dead creator
« on: January 27, 2018, 10:56:35 PM »
The same way you assigned it originally, through your user account menus:

Helpline / Re: Re-founding old realms
« on: January 27, 2018, 10:55:34 PM »
If it was a top-level realm, you can't yet, at least not without me going in and manipulating the database (no).

As for subrealms, the ruler of the realm above them can recreate them.

Announcements / December 2017 Report
« on: January 26, 2018, 11:55:47 AM »
Salutations Everyone,

Sorry about the delay in getting these out, but I had been focusing mostly on the upcoming update and life stuff.

As per usual, first, lets talk funding.

Income & Must Pays
(Keeping the Lights on)
Credit Purchases+105.00 EURHow much we received from players purchasing credits
PayPal Transaction Fees-3.05 EUREstimated Percent lost in fees to PayPal
PayPal Transaction Fees-3.00 USDPer Transation fees to PayPal
Hosting Costs-40 USDAmount spent on server hosting

Total= 84.09 USDMonthly Total
Leftover+ 28.17From Previous Month
YTD= 112.26 USDYear to Date Total

Like I mentioned last month, the joys of the credit system. It's not exactly predictable, but I'm not complaining.

What else would we, ideally, pay for though?

Additional Costs
(Things that improve the situation)
Advertising Costs-60.64 USDAmount spent on Google ads (Results will be broken down below)
Test Server Costs-40 USDAmount spent on the test server's hosting

Total-100.77 USD

As you can see, that costs a bit of money. The test server uses the exact same hosting plan as the live server, and has much of the same data, allowing us to push big updates to it first in order to make sure they don't catastrophically break something. It's not a required costs, but it's very much a nice thing to have. In regards to the advertising costs, that's got its own table below that goes more in-depth. These are the things I handle myself, as the game can't currently afford their cost.

Advertising Info
(New players are good thing)
TypeViewsClicksInteraction RateCost
Text Ad6,7683425.05%30.40 USD
Display Ad34,6047142.06%30.24 USD

Total41,3721,0562.55%60.64 USD

Like I said before though, this is something I've been paying for, myself, for quite a while now. From March of 15 through October of 16, I was paying for just a text ad. In November of 2016, I added the display (picture) ad. Lifetime, they've gotten 27,825 people to at least look at Might & Fealty.

Subscribers & Purchases
(What credits are spent on)
Subscriptions11,100 Credits
Heraldry1,500 Credits
Culture Packs0 Credits

Total12,600 Credits

How many players do we have though?

(How many gods?)
Count TypeAmountNotes
7-day142 Players
14-day154 Players
30-day169 Players

Based on that, the game has gained, as of this posting, 7 returning players over the last month and a half. Soon, I'll update the method I use to get this info so it does a lot of this for me, and shows me a better breakdown of info, but until then, this is what you're getting.

Helpline / Re: Artifacts - Dead creator
« on: January 25, 2018, 12:29:51 PM »
Just to make sure I understand, the "user" is the player account and not the orig. creator of the item as it is listed in a characters history?

The creating character is dead and the item holder is blighted.  My other character wants the has to go and capture the blighted character.  Before I allow that to happen, I want to make sure that accidentally killing the character in the battle that has to take place to capture her, will not force the artifact to be lost because the game can not find its creator.

So if user means my account, cool! If you intended to say creator... not as cool.

Characters do not create artifacts. Users do. Users then choose to place the artifact with one of their characters. For now, unless the game is certain that someone could take it (via kill or execution), artifacts return to the user on holder death. This will eventually change, but no idea when.

Helpline / Re: Artifacts - Dead creator
« on: January 24, 2018, 03:38:57 PM »
Artifacts go to who a player gives them first. As it stands, unless they are explicitly killed by a first one, the artifact returns to the creating user right now on the holder's death. Tom didn't finish implementing the logic to tie them to the map, but it's on the TODO list.

It's not something that will come with the next update, but the next update will shine some light on how one would go about this. I'd also need to figure out mechanics for these things actually being found by someone else.

Off-topic Chat / Re: Stellaris
« on: January 19, 2018, 05:04:31 PM »
I thought destroying planets was a paid add-on?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: How to Tutorial
« on: January 04, 2018, 09:12:46 AM »
Topic has been split because this is way past the 1.1 update's scope.

If we're going to do videos, I agree on them being specific. Only a few areas would really need them, though, in my opinion.

I'm not against some sort of achievement thing though. It'd not be particularly hard to code, if we had it set in such a way that it was smaller, individual tasks.

[ ] Won a Battle
[ ] Lost a Battle
[ ] Became a Lord
[ ] Became a Ruler
[ ] Joined a Realm


Stuff that doesn't actually require me to make systems for players to interact with it should be much easier to do than things that require me to let people change it (the system changing it based on different criteria is much easier).

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:27:29 AM »
For the curious, I've moved into the "hammer the bugs" stage of development, alternatively known as the "you forgot WHAT!?" stage. In other words, I'm very near to actually being able to show something for my work these last few months.

So, not something you'd be interested in seeing then?

So, as it stands, every action that blocks travel, to include traveling, shows up on the character list now. That's a 266% increase over the number of things displayed there since I took over.

I've been looking for ways to encourage people to subscribe, and making it so subscribers can see the hours, or minutes even, remaining on these things might not be a bad idea. It doesn't restrict information from free players, but rewards subscribers.

On a different note, De-Legro, if you do the time swap in javascript, you can have it grab the user's timezone info from the local machine rather than have to figure it out server side. Nothing says we couldn't grab that through registration though, much how forums do these days. If there's an easy way to have it convert to local time before page generation, having a method for it wouldn't be bad as we'd not need to duplicate code elsewhere, though we could do that in Javascript through the twig implementation.

Alternatively, displaying in days/hours/minutes wouldn't be bad either. I'd have to look at how long the actions processing actually takes though and see if we can bring that down to once every few minutes rather than every 15 as it is now.

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