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Topics - Foxglove

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Conduct & Design Discussion / The new 'Units' System
« on: September 06, 2018, 02:25:50 PM »
From the manual:

"Supply is either drawn from a settlement under your command, or the settlement of the Unit's origin (TODO)"

Will the second part of this (supply from settlement of Unit's origin) be implemented before the new system goes live? Or will every First One in charge of a Unit need to also be a settlement owner? Implementing the new system without the TODO finished seems like it would be a bad idea (People left with characters unable to do anything military if they lose settlements).

Also, and this might seem a bit random, is there any chance we can call these groups of soldiers something other than a "Unit"? The reason I ask is because, as far as I know, the idea of soldiers being divided in to a Unit is a pretty modern idea that doesn't seem all that in keeping with the atmosphere of the game. The main alternative name I can think of is Warband, but anything more in keeping with the game world would do.

General Discussion / Talking Point - Character Relationships
« 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?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Strange Log ins
« on: December 09, 2015, 08:27:11 PM »
Occasionally when I've logged in to the game during the past week or so I finish the log in details and then the next screen it takes me to is a huge picture of a crest that's used by some family in the game. The latest one that happened just a few minutes ago came up like this:

When I then click 'back' on my brower (Firefox, latest version) it takes me to the Might & Fealty homepage, and from there I can access my character page. This doesn't happen every time. It's seemingly pretty random.

Also, on a presumably unrelated issue, when I click on the forum thread here that's supposed to link to the bugtracker, it takes me to the Battlemaster bugtracker instead.


Conduct & Design Discussion / Scrap Forum Karma
« on: August 11, 2015, 11:56:23 AM »
Over the lifetime of this forum, I've seen many instances of people being given negative karma for no apparent reason, or simply for expressing an idea someone else disagreed with, or due to being involved in a disagreement with another person even when the spat remained civil. Most often this has led to a worsening of relations between people due to them being targeted by what I've described in another thread as an anonymous trolling tool.

If the original purpose of the karma score was to try to encourage people to remain polite and respectful to each other on the forum, it's not really used for that. So that begs the question of why it's actually there? It appears to exist to allow people to try to silence others who express an opinion that someone else dislikes. Is that really something we want here?

Recently, I've been thinking about non-war based ideas to encourage people to interact with each other and get them out of their cosy settlements. This is the first of the ideas that I've managed to get into a form to present as an cogent feature concept. This idea flows from the theory that to encourage increased interaction we also need to encourage increased travel - getting people to explore beyond the areas of the map where they hold settlements so they will meet and interact with strangers. This idea is to give players a simple tool to create quests for other players. By quests, I don't mean the typical RPG game-generated find Object X and return, then rinse and repeat. Rather, I mean putting it into the hands of the players and giving them the ability to create custom quests only limited by their imagination and the game mechanics.

The way this would work is pretty simple. The owner of every settlement would get the option to create quests. They would be like a poster nailed to the village gates, to a sign post, or to what ever (it's essential that the quest poster can be viewed from outside the settlement to bypass worries people have about letting strangers into settlements). The poster (quest description screen) would have a description of what the quest is (written by the player setting the quest) and the reward for completing the quest, which would likely be gold, soldiers, or perhaps a settlement or the hand of a son or daughter in marriage (or any other reward the player setting the quest can think of).

Once it's written and finished, this quest poster would then be nailed outside the settlement for passing characters to see. This would need some sort of map marker that would be visible at a similar range to battle markers (the whole idea being that it can be seen by characters who are just passing through the area). The quest marker acts as a lure to give passing characters a reward-based incentive to interact with the settlement owner. And it also creates incentives for people to send characters off across the map in order to find quests and, as a by-product of the travels, interact with new people.

And that's basically it. Quite a simple idea, but hopefully something that would encourage travel, interaction, and activity between strangers. Perhaps also with the added benefit of giving landless knights something to do, making the questing knight a viable option. The main things it would need are the creation of the quest description screen, a quest marker for the map, and perhaps some button for the quest-setter to deliver a quest reward once it's been been completed (to avoid the questing character needing to travel back to settlement where the quest was found).

The biggest question hanging over the idea is whether current game mechanics give players enough possibilities for things to set as objectives of quests. I think there's probably enough content in the game so far to allow it. Objectives could be things like "Go and locate some dungeons for me and report their locations"; "Hunt down and kill or capture this bandit"; "Go to realm X and put me into contact with their king"; "Raid me X number of thralls (or resources, etc)". Naturally, a quest system could be greatly enhanced by creating some new game assests as special objectives for them, but that would depend on how much Dev time was dedicated to it. But I think people could probably get pretty imaginative with thinking up objectives for quests even with the restrictions of the existing game mechanics.

There would also need to be a few safeguards built in to avoid frustrations. Such as if the player who set the quest goes inactive the quest disappears so that the world doesn't get cluttered by quests linked to inactive characters. I can't think of any other safeguards at the moment, but I expect someone else might.

Anyway, that's the idea. Feel free to support or shoot down as you see fit.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Possible Thralls Abuse?
« on: May 22, 2015, 01:02:11 PM »
For a while now, I've been noticing thralls arriving in settlements due to some random bandit sending them there. What this made me wonder is that since thralls reduce economic security, would it be possible for people to target and adversely effect a settlement they don't own by flooding it with looted thralls against the owner's wishes? I know that the settlement owner could just switch it so that thralls aren't allowed there, but that does mean that they'd have to be on the ball to foil a co-ordinated dumping of looted thralls on them. Also, if they do want to send thralls to their own settlement, being forced to switch off the option due to the actions of others would hit their fun.

Just a thought. Maybe there are already some hidden checks in place to prevent this?

General Discussion / Bandit Thrall Soldiers
« on: March 11, 2015, 07:07:45 PM »
Springing from the Bandit Feedback topic is the idea that thralls looted by bandits could be converted into randomly generated soldiers for the bandits to use. Here's a thread to discuss the idea, as suggested.

General Discussion / Fully Unlocking the Map
« on: March 06, 2015, 12:16:24 AM »
As suggested by Tom, I've created a new topic to discuss opening up the whole map. I've set out my thoughts in detail about the current map being too small to allow for playerbase growth over in the Meta-Council topic, so please take a look at that before commenting to save me having to repeat it all here:,3071.15.html

As the game stands right now, my feeling is that the map is too overcrowded to allow new players to gain enough settlements for them to gain a sense of personal satisfaction from their game experience. They just don't have the room to set themselves up in the way that the existing players had. The fundamental aim of opening/creating more land would be to help attract and retain new players.

Thoughts and comments?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Low-end Weapon Production
« on: February 28, 2015, 01:47:49 AM »
This is the opposite of the discussion about high-end armour production since the rebalance. I've noticed that settlements with a blacksmith with the population to support 100% efficiency has the blacksmith running between about 25% and 30% efficiency. This is presumably because they also have zero incoming metal trades or production.

If this pretty low efficiency level of the building producing the most basic weapons is being effected so much by the severe lack of metal, it seems somewhat extreme considering that the vast majority of settlements in the game won't be able to fill their metal needs due to it being a scare resource. Is it really healthy for the game to have so many settlements have their production of the most basic weapons limited in this way? I'm mainly talking about the effect this will have on player satisfaction.

I admit that I haven't done a detailed study of exactly how many axe/spear/pike this efficiency level produces per day but, on the face of it, it seems harsh. Am I missing something here?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Suggestion: Show the Heraldry More
« on: February 18, 2015, 10:11:12 PM »
Completely cosmetic, and low-priority I'm sure, but I was thinking how it would be nice to show the player-created heraldic crests/shields in more places in the game. We know they're the most popular bought feature, so why not make them more visible so people can show off their purchases? It may even encourage more people to buy crests for themselves and provide a small increase in income.

Am I just imagining it, or did the crest used to be displayed on that brown window that pops up with initial details about a character when you click on their name? I felt certain heraldry used to be displayed on that screen at some point during either testing or the early launch?

Maybe crests could also be displayed on the settlement details screens when the family controlling a settlement has heraldry. Possibly also on the battle screen with crests for those involved. Perhaps other people can come up with other places they could be displayed.

I just seems like heraldry is currently a bit obscure in that it's only displayed on the detailed information screen about a character. The crests are a really nice and popular feature, so why hide them away on just one screen rather than showing them off more?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Manage Militia Page
« on: December 05, 2014, 03:11:14 PM »
The way the militia has now been split in to groups of 5 on the manage militia page makes it extremely click heavy to retrain, assign, or resupply the soldiers. If it was intentional to actively make it a lot more time consuming for a player to manage large numbers of soldiers, it's worked. If that wasn't the intention, the number of soldiers displayed needs to be much more than 5 or it needs some option to player-configure the number of soldiers displayed.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Helping the Rage Quitters
« on: June 15, 2014, 01:02:34 AM »
Having given the problem of the rage quitters quite a bit of thought during the day, I want to put forward a suggestion for a solution. Personally, I don't like this nannying, handholding, "we need to protect people from themselves and force them to play in X number of realms so they don't quit", approach that's appearing.

The problem we have here is twofold. Firstly, people invest time, creativity, and emotion into creating realms. I think this is the same regardless of whether they're realms with large numbers of players, or with small numbers. Forcing people to play in X number of realms to stop them quitting won't work because people will always have their main or primary realm they prefer, and if it's destroyed there will be a big temptation to quit. I've seen this time and again in Battlemaster, so I don't accept that forcing people to play in multiple realms is the solution. If the realm they're emotionally invested in goes down, they feel a natural sense of disappointment and anger. Realm death is poison.

The second aspect of the rage quit here is that paying players are much less likely to accept loss or substantial defeat. They won't pay for the privilege of losing what has been created. Again, this is natural and understandable. Very few people will pay for the experience of being punched in the face. And a lot of people simply won't accept this "loss and gain are part of the game" thing with a cheerful smile of their face.

So the solution to this is to make realm death and overwhelming defeat avoidable and preserve that into which people have poured their creativity and emotional investment. I propose we do that by always having a locked section of the map that's held in reserve as a regrouping ground for defeated realms. When a realm has lost most of its settlements, an option would appear to abandon their existing land and be moved to a section of the reserve area of land. Let's call it the Escape Pod Option. In game terms it could be some magical flim-flam about the benevolent gods intervening to save their favoured First Ones. Maybe the Escape Pod could be a magical portal that takes people to the reserve land area.

Importantly, the Escape Pod Option would be completely in the hands of the players as to whether they want to use it or not. If they're not feeling unduly aggravated or raged about the end of the realm, they can let it play out. If they are feeling raged, or unfairly treated, they can hit the Escape Pod Option and get out of a bad situation with their emotional and creative investment intact.

Once they're in the reserve land mass, the borders of the relocated realm would be locked so no-one can get in or out. That protects the escaped realm until it can rebuild and stops it being easy prey, but it also stops them from abusing the protection to hit other realms with impunity. Again, the option to release these locked borders should be in the hands of the players of the escaped realm. Once they feel they're strong enough again and want to return the realm to the game, they can release the border locks and fully take part again.

To me, this is a much better option than punishing low realm diversity or low character diversity, hitting people with corruption, and such. Most of all, the Escape Pod Option treats people like adults and puts the control into their hands, rather than hitting them with a big stick for their own good. Let people organise their characters as they want and fight wars as they want, but provide everyone with the Escape Pod Option so that everyone has a way to protect their emotional and creative investment in the game.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Culture Pack Enhancements
« on: June 11, 2014, 03:57:30 AM »

A while ago in this tread:,2727.15.html

You said you liked the idea of adding culture pack changes to equipment names and such. I said I'd be willing to work on researching the best terms for you, as you said you'd need someone to do this.

As a sample, I've got a list of equipment name changes based on Japanese culture that could be used in either the Oriental or Asian packs, depending on which it would fit in with best. A word of explanation first - in a lot of cases, there are different weapons that could be chosen, so I've gone for the ones that seem like the best fit for the way the item is described in the game. In a few cases, I couldn't really find a suitable culture-specific substitute equipment for the existing game description (e.g. horse), so I've just left them as they are.

So, the list:

Crossbow - Oyumi.
Shortbow - Hankyu.
Longbow - Daikyu.
Horse - Horse.
Scale Armour - Kozane Gusoku.
Short Sword - Wakizashi.
Sword - Katana.
Broadsword - Nagamaki.
Chainmail - Kusari Gusoku.
Javelin - Javelin.
Leather Armour - Nerigawa Gusoku.
Pike - Naginata.
Shield - Tate.
Axe - Ono.
Cloth Armour - Cloth Armour.
Spear - Yari.
Plate Armour - Tosei Gusoku
War Horse - War Horse.

I've had a look at changing the terms for some of the buildings and entourage members to culture specific ones, but in most cases it seems like it would just be a direct translation of the english word (archery school - Kyudojo. Archery range - Matoba).

If you want to move forward with these enhancements to the culture packs, I'm willing to do the leg work of the research for the terms as long as you plan on using them (since it'll take up time for me to do the research).

Also, I'd need a guide for what cultures you'd prefer the culture packs to represent (presumably based on the name databases that you're using). For example, I was assuming that the Northern European pack would need norse/viking weapons. But I'd need the specifics for each pack so that I don't waste time researching the wrong cultures.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Resources and Trade
« on: May 20, 2014, 02:46:53 PM »
I just wanted to make some observations about my experiences with the supply of resources and trading. These are things that have been bothering me for a while now, and I wanted to give some feedback on them.

Firstly, there's the trade costs that appear to discourage long distance trading. Even with merchants, the trade costs appear to become quite high. Breaking long distance trades up into a chain of smaller trades doesn't seem to make a huge difference. But it's also undesireable to have a long trading chain because it's too easy to have it disrupted and so not really worth the bother. What this mainly effects is metal trades. Most other resources are easy enough to get locally, but metal isn't on many areas of the map. I'd be horrified if the resource rebalance makes it even harder to get metal over distance without awful trade costs.

The second relates to food, and again mainly concerns trading for metal. It was said in the rebalance announcement that supplies of metal outstrip demand. I don't think this is accurate - I think the problem is that metal traders want food in return, and very few people are willing to trade food away. I don't think this is entirely due to people not being willing to reduce the size of populations by trading food. In my experience - and also by talking to others in-game - few people trade food because of the difficulty in managing population reduction and warding off starvation (this is also related to the population crashes/so called 'death spirals' that I and others have reported in the Looting thread (and during the alphas)). Once your settlement reaches max. food supply/demand level for your population, you can't really trade away much food to get other resource without bringing about a crash (this is my experience, and I accept others might have different experiences to report).

There's also the problem that the more complex a resources supply chain becomes, the more likely it is to discourage wars. I wouldn't want to fight anyone with whom I'm trading. But, also, if I have a complicated web of trades set up, why would I want to risk having it disrupted by getting into a war?

Lastly, here's the issue that I've had with the whole resource system from the start - it's unlikely that we'll ever see large cities appearing that can reach the max. population levels up at the higher end of the tech tree. This is partly because of the trade costs for long distance trading and the ease with which long chains can be disrupted. I'd be interested to know exactly how many feeder settlements it would take to create the large cities, with the feeders still staying at a reasonable, defendable, level of development and not becoming drained husks. Maybe a quarter of the current map to create one city? Just a guess. It seems counterproductive to have things up at the top of the tech tree that will probably never (or rarely) be built because the food demands to create such a city are so incredibly hard to gather.

Anyway, here ends my ramble and grumbles about resources and trading.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Disenchanted with the Sandbox
« on: April 29, 2014, 02:57:49 PM »
So, over the past week or so, I've found that I'm feeling a bit disenchanted with the game. This has even come as a surprise to me because I've been an enthusiastic supporter of Might & Fealty before it even existed and it was just a discussion topic on the Battlemaster forum for an unnamed future project.

Although it's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the disenchantment, my feeling is that it largely comes from a sense that everything is a bit samey (i.e. repetitive and lacking diversity). At the moment pretty much all you can do is build settlements and fight. I've certainly enjoyed building the settlements (this has probably always been the aspect of the game I've enjoyed most). I've done some fighting this time around, but after being heavily involved in wars during all the Alpha tests I'm finding that I've already got a sense of "been there, done that" with the fighting. Sure, there have been improvements to the battle code all the time, but it's still the same basic activity.

My feeling at the moment is that the gameplay is heavily geared towards a 'rinse and repeat' style. By this, I mean that you build up settlements, go out and have a war, win or lose. And then repeat. It's actually almost a more sophisticated and elegant version of level grinding. And I think this may now be what's struggling to hold my interest. My feeling is also that this is partly behind why so many players have dropped out or not remained active. I remember that someone said here on the forum that they wasn't enough content in the game to justify paying the charges, and another couple of players have said this privately to me as the reason why they've stopped playing. Fundamentally, I don't think the game is living up to its sandbox tag-line. It's a sandbox where you're ok if you want to build or fight, but it's not a genuine sandbox environment.

Obviously, we're still in the beta and improvements are coming online all the time (as fast as Tom's overworked fingers can type them). But the thing I'm wondering is if future work on the game is likely to be focused on refining the existing gameplay (i.e. building and fighting), or whether there will be more diversity added (i.e. things to do apart from building and fighting)? I should be clear that I'm not talking about minor additions to gameplay like duels or tournaments, but rather an essential diversity in the branches of gameplay that you can take. Will this become a genuine sandbox, or remain a quite narrowly focused one?

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