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Topics - The Vintroth

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General Discussion / A discussion – the importance of lore upon gameplay
« on: February 05, 2018, 06:55:08 PM »
I would for a moment to no one’s great surprise, raise a discussion, concerning Might & Fealty. As the title says, it is a discussion primarily focused on lore and the effect it has on the gameplay of Might & Fealty. Though, as any who know me to any extent will know, it will touch on other matters as well.
 
Let us first try and define a few terms, at least for the part of my own discussion and post. You might very well believe that I misuse terms or disagree on the definitions that I intend to use. However, the definitions of these terms are hardly the important part of this discussion. Instead, it is the skin on the meat as it were.
 
  • Game Lore – It is what I would define as the official lore of the game. It is what we find written on the game’s fiction page. http://mightandfealty.com/en/fiction This is canon.
  • Clique Lore – The lore that exists, written or unwritten, in a single or a number of players’ hands. The exact form of this lore may vary, but it does not exist as a written part of the game and ways to explore it remain limited to, either, OOC interaction or *acceptance into the fold IC* (which might very well contain OOC parts as well. A mix of both IC and OOC factors would not be overly surprising, if to varying degrees.).
  • Wiki Lore – That which exists on the wiki. While some more general lore is to be found here, both things related to game lore, clique lore and other lore; it is often outdated or irrelevant. The other part of wiki lore is the gathered personal stories, which despite possibly important to the game, is irrelevant to a large extent to the game lore and setting but holds some importance to other written lore.
  • Other (Written) lore – This is the lore you find gathered throughout the game if you are looking. Realm pages, character pages, and within both living and dead realm conversations. This is the source of the wiki lore, for it stems from gameplay and the ideas of players of the area of the world they inhabit. This might very well (at times) be the source of the clique lore.
  • Setting – The gathered, specific, context of the world of Might & Fealty. It does not only include the game lore, but also the other types of lore to various degrees, plus the various cultures, realms and history that existed within the game, recorded by game or player.

Let me begin by saying that I view Might & Fealty as a roleplaying sandbox game, where it is the actions of characters, and relations between them that matter above all else. To view it in any other way will, in the end, drive it to become little more than a wargame in the guise of something greater. It is also worthwhile to say that Might & Fealty is a terrible platform for wargaming anyways. The battle system does not reward skill in battle mechanics, but rather, activity, time already spent in the game, and the ability to acquire better estates. This is however, somewhat besides the point of this discussion.
 
So, what influence do these types of lore have upon gameplay? Game lore has one obvious influence on those who play by it (which they might not), it binds their characters, and their actions to a specific context. It gives some manner of background to where they place their characters and some idea of the setting in which they play. The fiction that exists for Might & Fealty is however, very limited both in length and depth. Due to this very limited nature, it has a very small effect on gameplay.
 
In comparison, clique lore, which is hidden (to varying degrees), seems to influence gameplay to a much larger degree. This type of lore is not inherently bad, but it sets a precedent of people on the inside, and those on the outside. In some cases, it might not even be something that is actively organised, but an unwritten understanding of a realm’s lore and code of conduct.  It is difficult, if not impossible, for a new player to explore and make use of this lore. Not only does it then leave new players as lost sheep, unless someone is able to explain things to them in a good, and concise manner (like Roran did to any of my questions back in the day). But, as another problem, if the holders of this lore leave, it is simply lost. I have on numerous occasions argued that established realms and cultures are more important that what a new player might wish to create, as a fresh thing. To be introduced into a realm in an efficient manner, given context (like I was given) will surely be a more efficient system of introduction that the void of information that this game often can seem to be. However, to return to the main point, it seems to be that this ‘hidden agreement of IC culture’ is what really binds a character in most places.
 
The wiki, and the lore within it can lessen the problem of depth somewhat. It is a good source of information concerning various things if it is updated by players. Yet, it is not a good method of introduction, nor does it contain the broad context that the game would generally. It is simply a place to find more in-depth knowledge once already introduced; a place for further context and player-made lore. Does this influence gameplay? To a large extent I’d say no, but it can influence play even so. If what has been is recorded well, it can drive players to take it into account in a manner they might not otherwise do.
 
To summarise, game lore has a very small effect, even though it should be the very setting and context of the game. It should bind characters to the world in a more effective way than any other. Yet, it seems to me that if any type is really responsible when it comes to binding characters; it is the clique lore and to some extent the other lore. Lastly, wiki lore by itself might not bind characters to a specific setting, but it can influence the way people play the game and how they view it.
 
The setting of the game, mainly based on game lore should bind both new and old characters. Yet, in my experience, it rarely seems to do so. Why is this? Why does clique lore take the upper hand? – I believe there is a very simple answer to this. To generate a setting to bind the character fully, one needs lore of some complexity. It does not need to be super complex or extensive, but it cannot be *simple* or irrelevant to gameplay to have an actual effect. If you read relevant lore, that carry some complexity, you will make a character *from* that and already there, you bind it to the setting and lore. If you do not, it will have consequences IC if the lore and setting is activity used. Perhaps such an approach limits the infinite freedom sandbox, but I, personally have nothing against it for I’d rather play within the confines of the sandbox with actual characters bound in lore with some complexity. The problem that is so easy to face in the infinite sandbox is that the character is made, then either not bound at all, or bound much later and much more loosely that it would otherwise be.
 
I believe an example can be made of such a system. Myself, and others that I know, have in the past or in the present played on Warband Roleplay servers. These servers, are always bound in some manner of complex lore to be found on the forum in these cases for the game does not allow to show it. – But once read and character made, it is bound in that lore and acting outside of it will not do you any favours, either IC or OOC.
 
In the main, the purpose of this discussion is to raise points and bring thoughts to those who read it. Even so, some suggestion to solve the problems I raised are probably expected for raising problems without suggested fixes is generally, and sometimes rightly, frowned upon.
 
So, what can be done to improve the binding of characters in the setting and the lore? Firstly, I believe the main and most important step is to make more game lore. Make things ‘official’. Make things specific and let the lore be complex and relevant. Not just about the First Ones you play, but the factions and nations you’ll encounter. If that lessens the infinite sandbox, so be it.
 
My second point, would be a new Knight Offer system. Where leaders of realms (large and small? Only large?) may open the capital for new knights to spawn, even if no traditional knight offer is open. However, the difference would lie in when you choose where to spawn. I would have it done first, where the player is presented with a list of realms, paired with introductions and descriptions of said realm. That would allow the player to form an idea and bind the character in the specific setting that he only after choosing realm, creates.
 
I shall leave it at that and I hope that, if nothing else, it did at least make you think.

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Bug Reports / How does this even work? Report/Bug?
« on: November 27, 2016, 06:39:10 PM »
Posted on request of Rothrik as his forum account does not work (or something). Not fully sure where this should go to be honest.

This person: http://mightandfealty.com/en/character/view/8601 appeared in Chysis and well, simply removed 700+ men. Mind you, he had no permissions to do so.
Followed by this:
" I am the ebony death.

Not a single man of your 777 man garrison landed so much as a scratch on me, and now all of them are rotting corpses outside the gates of Chysis. Broadsword will not harm me, nor will plate and chain resist me, for my death magic knows no peer.

Perhaps there was once magicians on my level. There are none anymore.

Farewell."

It is possible this person: http://mightandfealty.com/en/character/view/8598 tried and failed to do the same in Arescod. Correction; he did nick the garrison, then killed himself.

Uhm... What do I even say?
How can anyone play the game like that? Surely it is not even allowed.

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