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Messages - Mookzen

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General Discussion / Re: Bringing In Players
« on: December 05, 2016, 07:01:09 PM »
I mentioned this idea before, but I think it has merit: make slumbering lands erode their claims or even kingdom membership. Right now, a slumbering lord is recorded as the lord of an area for eternity until that character is killed or similar. There could be a cut-off point implemented where lands are "slumbering" for a while, as a warning, then the ownership erodes (but the enforceable claim remains), and a while after that, the settlement reverts to completely unowned / outside any realm.

This would have several benefits:

- border lands which revert neutral would become a flashpoint for clashes or disputes

- slumbering, then neutral, then eroded become warning signs to the kingdom: to fill them up, players would need to be more proactive with knight's claims and helping newbies.

- clearly demarcating "free" areas that new players can exploit more quickly

- force active realms to be more active to maintain their borders. no more relying on some slumbered people to "look big"

The rate at which this happens could be tweaked to what works, or alternatively, the game could say "free up up to X number of unused settlements", so if too much of the map empties out it stops eroding them. So it could be a highly reactive system that is more forgiving of slumber if less people are playing.

So it would sort of be like a "mini-reset" but still inside the game. New players are upset there's not enough room for them, yet the game has a lot of "claimed" stuff that isn't even claimed by people who still play the game. Freeing some of that not-used land would solve that contradiction.


This would be an excellent step in the right direction, I support this. If a lord has been slumbering for 1 real life week or something along those lines, that fact should be visible on the map. Could be done in stages, the longer he is slumbering the more pronounced the map indication. I want to see the inactive lands and so do any new players I am sure. At some point, a month maybe, he loses the claim and the land is lordless, this would be excellent and the kind of rejuvenation the game needs.

General Discussion / Re: Bringing In Players
« on: December 04, 2016, 03:54:18 PM »
[snip] I do think the rumour system could be something though.

While ideally there would be a mechanical implementation of rumors about who might be where, who is on the move with an army, who is attacked, what realms have an election, who died, who got married etc. with a level of inconsistency and obfuscation, a helpful addition which probably requires minimal coding is an RP thing, using a special entry via the existing communication system people write custom rumors about whats going on which are then shown to characters in whatever range and conditions we decide. Unlimited elaboration potential there, also abuse of course, needs figuring out so it doesn't become an announcement system or maybe its fine if it does. Anyways the point is that players somehow need to know that stuff is happening in the game world and have actual events and story-lines they can latch onto to motivate them to leave their settlement and continue playing.

General Discussion / Re: Bringing In Players
« on: December 04, 2016, 03:20:04 PM »
I tried to introduce the idea of random events designed to provide the context for player interaction (pure RP or gameplay), which imo is a core thing the game is missing, several times. As far as I know it didn't stick. 100% of the burden is placed on player generated content from scratch, which also consequently is 100% likely to be an unsustainable, failing game design. Ideally, the game needs to give players a constant stream of foundations they can build their interactions upon conveniently if they choose to do so. Also a 'rumor' system which would vaguely inform everyone about stuff happening in the world so they don't feel so isolated, know where to look for action and have a way into the RP others are having, which is the another core thing imo the game is missing.

General Discussion / Re: Bringing In Players
« on: December 04, 2016, 03:09:25 PM »
So, player action needs to be encouraged? I don't know, but that is my view on the matter.

I completely agree and have discussed this at length before on this forum. The core of it is that the game doesn't have any design that moves players into action and interaction, the game world is completely inert when in fact it ought to be pushing players to do stuff via game mechanics.

General Discussion / Re: Bringing In Players
« on: December 04, 2016, 02:09:28 PM »
Reset on a smaller map and using the opportunity to implement otherwise impossible changes to the game and its balance coinciding with a coordinated and polished marketing spurt on all the main forums (e.g. bay12), based on the platform of a fresh start would be by far the most effective way to shock the community back to life, reinvigorate current/past members and attract new blood.

The current New Player Experience is characterized by a downwards spiral of intimidation caused by the establishment of the old and the inevitable disappointment caused by the barrenness of it all. Its frankly too much of a repelling force to overcome on top of all the other challenges the game faces in the modern market. (for example EVE online has the intimidation aspect, but it also is lively enough to compel new players to keep at it, without this even it would fail spectacularly). 'Lively' is also a matter of scale, a smaller area can be lively with less players, that's just common sense. At the risk of sounding harsh, if you think things can be 'turned-around' without scaling back, meaningful change and some kind of reset or opportunity for a fresh start (soft or hard, regional or global, existing map or not) then you are in denial.   

Not even entertaining the idea and in all likelihood dragging the game slowly but inevitably into the grave, I can almost smell a light tinge of rot already, purely out of stubbornness is surely a disservice to the project. 'people paid money' is not a good argument if you take 5 minutes to actually think it through. Make a poll (and link in on the game page), I am sure the vast majority will vote for change and a fresh start of some sort and when they do ask yourself exactly who's interests you are protecting by not considering the options that have the most potential of truly breathing new life into this whole thing.

However, if this line of thinking is out of the question entirely because... because the men in charge say so, then I suppose the dynamic region-locking system or something along those lines that forces players to consolidate and cooperate would be the next best thing. Clearly way less potent for marketing purposes though.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Web or Client ?
« on: September 14, 2016, 02:33:01 AM »
Ideally of course there would be apps, but that's not realistic unless its made worth it. The website works no reason to just throw it out, surely there's a compromise. Also browser plugins etc. a unity game like this client is sure to be can be embedded into a website, also worth exploring. Its not like the website even works properly on mobile as is (the last time I checked it was a bad user experience), with the scaling, zoom and input issues.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Web or Client ?
« on: September 14, 2016, 12:56:51 AM »
Client (2D with actual map art), new world and Steam Greenlight, go go go!

P.S. Not joking. Pride, hurt feelings, past commitments and stubbornness notwithstanding, its probably objectively the best choice. If I was an investor precisely this would be happening and despite initial turmoil and resistance it would be the best thing ever. Precisely this kind of jolt is needed and the opportunity is open. This is not the kind of thing that picks up by itself as time goes by, that is obvious. In my opinion not trying would be a greatest disservice to the project. There are almost no true roleplaying games on Steam, could garner a decent, mostly untapped following if packaged well. Make a poll here on the forum or on the game website, no harm done.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Battle Simulator
« on: July 02, 2016, 02:15:25 AM »
Could be interesting, though engagement and longevity depends on how in-depth the setup will be and how entertaining the actual battle and post-battle info is. I'm imagining some sort of rudimentary conditional order system where players can define a chain of potential situations and how their troops should respond to them, something involving defined 'if' functions. 

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: New Map and/or Restart
« on: May 13, 2016, 02:53:11 AM »
The comparison to EVE Online is daft, that game works because it has a backbone of content and gameplay so people have various meaningful and engaging things to do and a function to play in the economy from A to Z, all contributing to a solid playerbase, constant interaction and thus an emergent environment, its the foundation on which the PVP element is built upon, can't have one without the other.

Ideally the game would have a foundation of meaningful and engaging gameplay stuff to do for everyone in an eventful and dynamic game world that pushes players into action and provides context and support for their interaction and thus emergent gameplay. Sure, the whole RP storyline layer may be the most interesting bit but it simply won't be sustainable without the backbone of the game itself, by design giving cause and reason for players to interact in an organic way. Without that backbone the content has to be made by creative players from close to nothing every time in a completely passive and inert game world, that's clearly a fundamental design problem. 

The blunt truth of the matter is that in 2016 gamers are not going to be enticed to play 'Might & Forum', the core gameplay loop is what?  Log in to see if someone has messaged anything interesting? Furthermore, no, the 'you should go out and try to get things rolling' is not a valid response here, the whole ordeal of fishing for or conjuring up content like that has an artificial and very uncompelling taste to it. Simply put, too much 'blank slate', not enough 'world that invites action'.

Yes, I'm being critical and not very constructive, but that is simply because I don't see how the aforementioned core problem can be solved without significant effort and commitment, the whole thing would need to be uprooted to put in a foundation.

I suppose some bandaids could be implemented and everlasting hope channeled so players continue creating content against all odds with close to zero in-game incentive, namely some gameplay for landless knights that would 1. be engaging enough to do 2. somehow contribute to the effectiveness and means of the individual player and benefit his lords lands 3. can be done to undermine enemies and will put him on a collision course with opposing players. Also some communication and information availability improvements through mechanics that would connect the player to the stuff happening in the world and hint at things that might be interesting to engage in, illuminate some options without relying on going around for an IRL week messaging random nobles, instead of isolation by design as it is now.

Restart on a smaller map would be interesting, could jolt the game back to life, even if it won't solve the core problems. On the other hand, maybe I'm wrong and the game isn't actually conceptually flawed, maybe it is about reaching critical mass appropriate for the world size, would be a way to find out. In any case g growth would resume slowly, at least in the short term, from player generated buzz, returning players and a better experience for newcomers. Honestly, Tom should simply make an in-game poll on the character select screen, this way we know where everyone stands, including those who are not among the 'forum warriors'. Sure, some might leave because of lost effort, but likely there would be more that would welcome it, sure, it goes against the 'continued history' concept, but really its about the future of the game, learning from mistakes and going forward. It would also allow light-on-dev-time improvements to be made to balance that would not be an option otherwise.  One thing is certain, a new start would be eventful and entertaining.

The alternative is to do some major shakeup and/or change in the current game, because if nothing changes, the situation is much more likely to get worse, not better. Simply slowly fading into obscurity would be a very underwhelming way for this whole project to conclude.

Rage Zone / Re: Considering Leaving
« on: April 08, 2016, 08:26:36 PM »
Your post stands. Lack of content is the problem, especially since the critical mass of players to create content themselves worldwide was never reached.

It's a feedback-loop for sure, but game design needs to get that motor going initially and keep the oil flowing.

Rage Zone / Re: Considering Leaving
« on: March 27, 2016, 05:54:29 PM »
The core problem I see is the fact that without the content players generate the game is empty as a source of entertainment. Because the game-world itself doesn't do anything and doesn't have anything beyond the back-end and the blank-slateesque front end, there is no nexus to conduct emergent player interaction in a way that reliably generates content and no systematic means for players to know that content is happening somewhere else even if it is. 

In that sense, its like getting a bunch of strangers together in a forum thread and trying to get a tabletop RPG going without a campaign, without a GM and barely a ruleset they can agree on, there is a map drawn and a combat/economy script calculator, most of the game itself is done via private messages, of course its going to be a struggle most will not put up with. Can't just throw a bunch of people on a map, give them a messaging system and say 'you are the content', for this kind of game concept to work like half of dev time should be devoted to creating in-game systems that help players generate content, the nexus, the game world itself needs to invite players into action and interaction, not be completely impotent and passive.

How to do it? Difficult question because I've not seen anything like this done. Could involve some kind of elaborate procedural event generator on a noble, family, sub-realm, realm, region and world levels that aims to shake things up with both RP and tangible in-game consequences, move players into action and thus meaningful content and interaction by tying stuff related to different players together through random, semi-random, prerequisite-based events in a way that both encourages them to react either at collaborative or opposing trajectories and provides a blurb of generated descriptive flavor text to provide the nature and context of the event players can grow their RP around as they wish and involve others as they wish or ignore as they wish or take the RP thread beyond the event as they wish. Just like in real life on all the different levels from personal to world, -shit happens- and whoever is in a position to do something about it does or doesn't and others react to consequences, or don't, but it happens and it makes life worth living.

Point is that -shit never happens in the game at the moment- so we can't be very surprised that not much action or interaction grows from it, in real life shit happening is a consequence arising from the staggering complexity of stuff, like societies, but the game needs to have shit happen at least somewhat-artificially to generate meaningful -emergent gameplay-, nothing will emerge from a blank slate, and giving players absolute control over all of their stuff in a completely static world (and no, the equilibrium economy doesn't count in this argument) could sound vaguely full of freedom and potential but is actually a big detriment to a good game. If everything in the game world is under perfect mind control of the supreme leaders and no in-game 'events' can happen for the player and others to act on and make things interesting then yeah, the whole burden from A to Z of making the game sustainable rests on the small minority of players taking the initiative to invest in RP at the level necessary to create content for themselves and others from scratch again and again and persuade others to engage in it, such a setup is a crutch for the game bound to fail sooner rather than later, its a flawed design.

The players don't need a blank slate to play on, they need shit to act upon, most can no doubt summon a great deal of creativity given a seed of a story and context and some impetus but not without. If the average gamer, even from the target audience, was brimming with free time, dedication, creativity and cooperation to the extent the game in its current state depends upon assuming they are, creativity tools would be more popular than games. A fancy stack of blank pages is not the best book we can ever read and to think otherwise is a fundamental misunderstanding.

Might be way off the mark in the rant though, just throwing it out there...

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Spectators for Battles
« on: February 15, 2016, 11:38:39 PM »
I support this, would be a worthy compliment to the, hopefully coming, battle chat thread.

General Discussion / Re: players / realms abusing exploits....
« on: February 15, 2016, 11:36:49 PM »
Has the concept of in-game moderators been explored ? It can be dressed up whichever way...

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: What If ? II
« on: February 06, 2016, 02:09:00 PM »
Well, occasionally you might get some fully/partly implemented improvement/change options to choose to marry with the live game, people browse and scavenge the code for their own purposes, there might be a branch or two that risk splitting the player-base (as much as it is against the core philosophy of the game, the idea of 'starting-over' may be compelling), many uncertainties about game mechanics will eventually become common knowledge. However, crowd-sourcing assistance with behind-the-curtain stuff in a traditional sense I feel will be hard, you would have to invest significant time and effort to make it work from a purely administrative side of things.

The most likely result is simply sporadic modification/'improvement' proposals that will go against your vision much of the time. On the other hand, specifying a detailed list of stuff you would like to do but don't have the time and letting people work on whatever they want from that list with some guidance could yield some favorable outcomes.

Clearly, this whole thing rests on the assumption that we have both able and willing coders in the community, if not, nothing is likely to happen.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: What If ?
« on: February 06, 2016, 01:47:13 PM »
I think players should have some options here, how about being able to choose which settlement to resupply from, from owned settlements, from any other settlement with approval of the owner (obviously distance and other penalties), but also I feel strongly that there should be an option to at least partly live off the land of surrounding regions, even hostile ones, though the actual mechanics of that can be made less abusive and disruptive.

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