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Announcements / Titan Spokesperson
« on: March 09, 2020, 08:44:24 PM »
In an initiative to help improve communication, transparency, and community outreach with the Titans, we have decided to implement a new position: Titan Spokesperson. The initial Spokesperson will be the player of the Gildre family.

The Titan Spokesperson will be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and essentially act as communication gateway between the players and the Titans. We strongly encourage you to ask questions, obtain advice, ask for clarity on results, and submit politely-worded appeals to punishments through the Titan Spokesperson. Simple issues can be answered by the Spokesperson, and more complicated issues will be taken for discussion with the other Titans, and they will get back to you with an answer. They are there to assist you, the players, to help make a fun and safe game environment for everyone.

The Titan Spokesperson will not comment on any ongoing case or investigation or provide information on the origins of any submitted Titan Reports. The Titan Spokesperson also does not retain any individual powers, cannot apply or remove punishments, is not an Admin or Developer, and cannot make any changes to the actual game.

Titan's Case Archives / Dragoness Family Case History
« on: January 20, 2020, 01:02:35 AM »
Multiple Continents
Complaints: EC #868, #889, #904 AT #444 SI #27, #42, #73 BT #420
Date: 2011 - 2020
About: Dragoness Family

The player of the Dragoness Family has been the perpetrator of an unacceptable streak of poor behavior which has spanned years. Recently, the Titans reprimanded the player for insulting and accusing game volunteers of cheating and unfair bias. The player has also questioned the validity of their history of punishments, claiming they have done nothing wrong in the past.

In response to a public request by the player, the following is a summary of all reported and punished transgressions made by the player of Dragoness. ALL of the following have resulted in punishments/warnings from the Titans to the player.

To be clear: The Titans/Admins/Devs do not "interfere" with the game. Their jobs in these positions require them to interact with the game, and sometimes will result in shifts in the in-game balance of power. This is a normal part of the game, and not an abuse of their positions or otherwise something they are to be reprimanded for. Some are players, while others are former players who no longer play yet still offer their personal time to support the game. There is zero tolerance for insulting or disparaging them, particularly in a venue where they have no opportunity to respond and presented in an unconstructive manner.

The following are the resolved punishments laid against the player of Dragoness. Messages have not been edited other than to redact names, realms, and specific profanity.

#444 2011: Inappropriate OOC vulgarity (F-word)
And again we have to vote and I don't get HOW THE [email protected]#$ to vote.

#27 2014: OOC calling another player a "retarded idiot"
I simply find it surprising that I got promoted and  a <<real live retarded idiot>> figured one of my messages was not appropriated and accidentaly/surprisingly at the exact same moment proclaimed against it. That is meta gaming abuse, the lowest of things you can do in a game. If you can't beat them you call for the game master, chat moderator or worst case some ueber admin.

#420 2015: OOC insult to another player after being tortured (A-word)
That should be an out of char message. Not possible from prison.
So: thank you that you are such an [email protected]#$%^& in real live that you tourture me causing me to lose a sword fighting point which takes me month if not years in real life to regain.
Thanks [NAME REDACTED], thank you so much ... next titan requests about you I wont ignore but answer with: "Ban that [email protected]#$%^& prick!

#42 2016: OOC calling realm mates "stupid" and "dumb"
(OOC: next time you vote for rulers get a damn clue about what is IC and what is OOC and what is *in the game*. You traded OOC fun ... understandable, for game play. I play the game for winning. We are not playing against our 10 year old sons or daughters where we can be soft to give them a chance to *learn*. Not finishing [REALM REDACTED] in the beginning of the game was fine. Destroying your own realm by voting a "role player" into rulership where it was obvious that he would "play that role" till the end: that was pretty dumb ... no offense to the player ... actually: I would do the same. No offense to that player: but yes, I'm really offended that my realm mates are so stupid that a majourity actually voted for him ... not sure if I enjoyed XMas ... and I'm even more offended that people/players defended the situation with words like: "you voted for him, deal with it!" )

#868 2018: Banned a new noble who had been in the realm for three days for "not following orders". While technically an IR violation, the issue was punished as "Not Giving Newcomers the Benefit of the Doubt".

#73 2019: Inappropriate OOC message
I suggest you apply yourself for a name change ... no worries, I wont report you ... so you can keep it until a Titan freaks out. But getting bombarded by a "retard" with a "retarded name" with dozens of messages (which imply you know the game mechanics) is actually not really funny when you were forced to rename two of your chars just a few weeks ago, because "uh no native english speakers think your names for commoners are wrong, hah", no, it is not funny.

#889 2019: OOC suggestion that other players are a detriment to the game because they are more active than him (also arguably an IR violation).
(OOC: this is a game, not a part time job. If you can not agree to make the game more fun and more easy for everyone, that is up to you)

#904 2020: OOC messages to realm accusing Devs/Titans/Admins of cheating/bias/influencing
So the devs are again interfering with the game ...
I spare me the correct term, and just call it: a bloody shame!
There is nothing to approve. There is no "game rule" that devs have to approve or deny a merger.
It is just the same [email protected]#$ as every were: devs are players too, and they can not distinguish between being players and being a dev. They took Bescanon from Perdan, they took the finest R5 SF RC of the continent from Perdan - did not restore it yet after nearly a year, probably to stupid, to hand write some SQL statements to put it back. But most likely: simply ill evil purpose. Some devs playing on the Perdan enemy side thinking they can invent new meta rules ... that is the point why I'm leaving.
Admins/Devs/Titans interfering all the time is the death to this game. I hear we once had close to 10,000 players, now we are ... 250? Or what? Whose fault is that? Certainly not the players faults.

(The game's peak was at about 2,000 registered players around the time that Dwilight was first opened in early 2008.)

To be clear, any complaints or disagreements about these punishments in-game are still entirely unacceptable, and will be punished accordingly. If you wish to discuss these, please do so here, in a civilized manner, or over email at [email protected]

Announcements / January 2019 Update
« on: January 02, 2020, 03:30:48 PM »
Minor Changes
  • Feedback for region descriptions can now be more detailed

  • Sympathy losses due to looting were being misattributed to the looted region's owner
  • Personal messages sent by players were not being correctly labeled as such
  • A number of other, minor bugs

Titan's Case Archives / Beluaterra, Case #476 "Group Migration"
« on: December 13, 2019, 05:18:05 PM »
Complaint #476
Date: November 29, 2019
Title: Group Migration
About: Zeminemesis Kabrinski

This case was brought to our attention when a group of newer players were banned while leaving their realm of Luxx Nova to try to create a new realm near Thalmarkin. In addition, there was some concern about OOC knowledge being used IC.

The Titans judged this was not in violation of rules.

The Titans issued no punishments in this case.

We conducted a quite in-depth investigation on this case. When newer players are involved, we try to give the benefit of the doubt, and ensure they are being treated fairly. During the course of our investigation, we discovered the following events:

1. Players from Lux Nova had included the newer players into their realm. There was evidence of promises of war and titles, and also assurance that the newer group's minority culture would be allowed to exist within Lux Nova's laws.
2. The newer players decided that they still wanted their own realm, and they had enough players to do it.
3. The newer players sent a message to a different realm asking if they could set up their new realm nearby.
4. The newer players began moving there, with no communication to Lux Nova, which was obviously very quickly observed by nobles of Lux Nova. Leadership within Lux Nova sent several warnings that anyone moving outside of sanctioned areas would be banned.
5. After investigating, we found that Lux Nova learned that the newer group was moving to be near a rival realm, and that this information was gained legitimately through in-game and in-character means.

The main problem with all of this stems from the bolded and underlined portion of point 4. There was no relevant communication to Lux Nova. All Lux Nova saw was a bunch of nobles, who had units and presumably gold provided by Lux Nova's taxes, heading outside the realm in a direction they were not supposed to go. Upon receiving the information that the newer group was setting up a realm with their rival's assistance, it was an easy and fair deduction to label the newer players as traitors to Lux Nova.

As Titans, we cannot stress enough the importance of communication within the game. A lot of the cases brought before us would not be cases if players communicated openly with each other. One can not simply pick up a large force of a realm's nobles and move off to a rival realm without any word of explanation and not be considered traitors.

An OOC message explaining that they felt their characters did not fit in well, and wanted to make their own realm would have been an acceptable start. Even better, a developed IC reason.

In the end, we felt for the newer players. Undoubtedly, they are frustrated. However, BattleMaster is a game that is simple to play, and extremely complicated to master. They found themselves in a difficult position, but the nobles of Lux Nova broke no rules, and more importantly, we discovered no evidence of OOC malice in their actions or communications. They were simply acting on the information they had available.

As a last additional note, after the bans came into effect, the nobles became rogues and ended up fighting each other by accident. There was some call into the possibility of having their units restored. We would like to remind everyone that it is standard operating procedure in BattleMaster to not undo any in game effects. Things happen, and there are not enough resources to go into changing things to make everyone happy. Instead, we encourage players to use the bad to help develop the story of their character. Everything doesn't always go right in real life, the same applies to BattleMaster.

Dwilight/Beluaterra/East Continent
Complaint #573/#478/#898
Date: December 10, 2019
Title: Micromanagement
About: Kinsey Family

This case deals with an ongoing issue which was previously addressed. Early in November, a warning was issued addressing "single player" playing of Battle Master. The specifics of the warning discussed micromanaging allied armies and nobles, as well as retaining singular power and information of their own realm's military.

The Titans were informed barely a month later that these shortcomings had continued, spanning three continents with three separate characters.

The Titans judged this in violation of several rules:

* Exclusion of several players from military affairs, to include Marshal characters
* Failure to guide and mentor as a Government member and experienced player
* Failure to acknowledge previous shortcoming and apply solution to all characters

During the course of our investigation, we discovered at least one player who paused due to feelings of exclusion. Several other complaints were received in addition to the paused character regarding being actively excluded from military planning/command.

Due to the fact that the player is a senior player with a wealth of experience, a longstanding Government member, and has already received a warning on this subject, the Titans have decided to apply the following punishments:

* Removal of General position for all three characters
* Removal of Marshal position for all three characters
* Lock out of positions for 14 days

For reference, the following documents were applied to the investigation were: Rules and Policies, Government Rules, Command Hierarchy, and the Social Contract.

First and foremost, Government members are expected to help, guide, and safeguard the fun for other players, as is detailed in the Government Rules. Second, players should not be excluded from gameplay.

As current and former players, we acknowledge the decline of playerbase, and the fact that sometimes positions are difficult to find volunteers to fill. Often a General must act as Marshal. This is not the issue at hand.

What we discovered in our investigation was a player with all their characters as Generals. Two of these characters were also Marshals. The third became Marshal when the Marshal of that realm paused due to feelings of exclusion. A poor attempt was made after the accused was called out IC of doing the same thing he had done on the EC for his previous warning, but evidenced by the Marshal pausing it was too late. Subsequently, the player continued to actively exclude several other characters of the realm who tried to involve themselves, repeatedly, into the realm military.

Battle Master is a game involving many people, and has many aspects available to enjoy. Too much focus has been applied to winning, to the point where winning is stepping on the enjoyment of the game for players. This is not going to be tolerated any longer. The point of Battle Master is not to win wars at any cost, it is to role play a noble character in a feudal society. Realms and wars are not as important as characters and players. Placing the former above the latter will result in punitive measures on and ongoing basis.


Titan's Case Archives / Dwilight, Case #559, "Strategic capital move?"
« on: September 05, 2019, 07:29:27 PM »
Complaint #559
Date: August 21, 2019
Title: Strategic capital move?
About: Rosalind Foxglove

This case deals with the move of Westgard's capital from its original location of Gelene to Eidulb. At the time of this move, Eidulb was a fairly central location within the realm, particularly given the expansion to the southwest it had been engaging in. However, it was also very near to the front line of their war with Tol Goldora. Over the course of a couple of weeks, the Titans investigated and deliberated on this case, and eventually concluded that the capital move was not in violation of the rules of the game.

As the rule against strategic capital moves is fundamentally one of intent, that always makes judging such moves much more difficult than many other Titan issues. However, over the years, we have developed a number of more concrete criteria that we can use in determining whether the move was most likely strategic or most likely not. These are:

- Was the strategic advantage of recruitment closer to the front an important element of the discussions of moving the capital?
- Did the capital move actually bring the capital closer to the front?
- Was there a historical or cultural reason to move the capital to the new location?
- Was the new location a more central one, more likely to make region maintenance easier for the realm as a whole?
- Are there other significant in-character/roleplay reasons for the move?

In this case, the most important thing our investigations revealed was that the discussions within Westgard were firmly anchored around centralization of the realm and a proposed merger with Astrum.

Tangentially, we did find that certain foreign officials privy to the discussion were advocating for the capital move on purely strategic grounds; they were each given an official private warning, particularly as they have all been playing long enough to know better.

In our discussions, we had to address multiple complicating factors: the proposed merger with Astrum, the unsolicited illicit advice of foreign leaders, the push by Tol Goldora up the western side of Westgard immediately prior to the merger, and the loss of western regions after the merger.

The main issue with the merger with Astrum was that it was not, and could not have been, approved, given the sizes of the two realms. Unfortunately, I personally contributed significantly to the confusion on this point, as I was asked for advice on this over Discord, and got mixed up about the requirements we have set for merging realms (no more than 15 nobles, as opposed to regions). This resulted in Astrum and Westgard believing for some time that their merger would go forward, when that was not the case. However, ultimately, the fate of the merger is irrelevant to the case, as the people involved in the discussion believed in good faith that the merger would be allowed to proceed. Thus, their intent was clearly not strategic in that respect.

Though, as mentioned above, certain foreign leaders were advocating for the move on strategic grounds, because none of them were members of Westgard, we decided that their transgressions were not directly relevant to the primary issue of whether the move itself was legitimate. So far as we could tell, their advice did not actually cause anyone involved in the discussions within Westgard to take up the idea.

The strategic situation on the ground was a tricky point, as by the time the capital move occurred, Eidulb was just a couple of regions from Goldoran territory. However, it quickly became quite clear from the message histories and the timing of the region takeovers that the efforts to move the capital significantly predated the Goldoran western offensive. Indeed, I can personally attest to hearing of discussions of moving the capital from months before this incident. Thus, we determined that the specific proximity of Goldoran regions to Eidulb at the time of the move was not enough of a factor to outweigh the clear intent demonstrated previously.

Some Titans did raise the issue of the current state of Westgard's regions, and the fact that, subsequent to the capital move, Eidulb quite clearly lost its central status within the realm. However, once again, the only factors that are relevant to the Titan case regarding the capital move are those that predate the move itself. Later events do not affect our judgement.

Complaint #246
Date: July 19, 2019
Title: 'Rulers not making game fun?'
About: Mephista Beldragos

A case was reported to the Titans regarding a ruler, Mephista Beldragos, making the game not fun by being very controlling about estates in their region. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered Mephista was not making the effort to engage the players in their realm but insisting on blindly following orders. More effort was expended being paranoid about a new character to the realm than attempting to welcome and incorporate them into the realm, going so far as to interpret "please" as demanding. Rather than being open to constructive criticism on more efficient estate allocations, they were immediately shut down. Furthermore, a long record of attacks on fellow players, including developers and Titans, was discovered.

The Titans judged this in violation of several Government Rules:
*Enforce the Community Rules
*Make Fun Their Responsibility
*Try to Guide Not Order
*Be Open To Criticism—never believe they know everything
*Be Friendly and Courteous
*Make Failures Their Responsibility

As well as in violation of the Social Contract rule to not attack fellow players.

Given the player's record of past of Inalienable Right violations, complaining about player-developers, and our renewed effort at enforcing Government Rules, the Titans elected to apply the following punishment to the player of Mephista Beldragos: Removal from the position of Ruler & Banker of Lukon, Duke of Lukon, Lord of Lukon, a restriction against holding the positions  for 14 days.

There has been a lot of controversy revolving this case lately, so we have decided to post a public summary of how and why we reached the decision we did.

The Titans operate on a principle that players new to the game or to leadership positions deserve some leniency, but players with a history of rulebreaking should be treated harshly. Furthermore, we believe very strongly that many small acts that, taken individually, might not merit even a second look, can add up to the creation of a toxic, hostile atmosphere.

At the time of this investigation, the player of the Beldragos family had five complaints against them, ranging from violating the SMA on Dwilight, to violating the Inalienable Rights on two occasions, and several instances of publicly complaining about the Developers/Admins. In addition, punishments regarding Government members have been more strict lately, as we have noticed a slacking in the responsibilities that Government members are accountable for. These are the factors which dictated the severity of the punishment leveled.

There have been rumors that the player was targeted by the Titans due to some grudge. This is simply not the case. To be noticed by the Titans, a complaint must be lodged. There are simply not enough volunteers to supervise all interactions within BattleMaster, and even if it were possible, we would not want to do that.

However, once a complaint is lodged, an initial investigation is launched. We will verify whether or not an actual rule has been broken, and accept or reject the case. Once a case has been accepted, we conduct a full investigation. During the course of that investigation, if we come across further infractions, we will add them to the case, and thus increase the punishment.

That is exactly how this case unfolded. It stemmed from a simple complaint between two characters, but went on to reveal a long list of poor behavior. This, once found, is not something we ignore.

Announcements / Forum Upgrade & PHP 7 Update
« on: July 02, 2019, 03:03:10 AM »
We're working on upgrading the version of PHP on the server to the latest (version 7). For the game, we've done some work to see that this should have minimal effects—hopefully all you'll notice is a slight speed increase.

We also have to upgrade the forum to support this, and the default theme we've been using isn't compatible with the new forum version. We're going to be setting up the upgraded version with a couple of different themes besides the built-in one—one darker theme, similar to the current brown theme, but with more of a bluish cast, and one lighter theme with support for mobile browsers. Feedback on this will be appreciated, but bear in mind that there are only so many SMF themes compatible with the 2.1RC2 release.

These upgrades should be happening within the next few days, and this announcement will be updated as we have more specific information.

Announcements / Spring 2019 Supplemental Changes
« on: May 16, 2019, 08:25:34 PM »
Major Changes
  • Density Minimum raised to 1.8 from 1.7
  • Indications of alliance bloc size added to some diplomatic pages

Minor Changes
  • Add Donator role for Discord
  • Reduce tournament cooldown
  • Adjust display of buttons for mobile users

  • Fix creating new estate
  • Fix banker's tax overview
  • Fix LostPay calculation
  • Fix autopayment text bug
  • Correctly permit alliance within existing alliance bloc, even if it's above the continent limit

Announcements / February 2019 Recent Changes
« on: February 28, 2019, 09:37:54 PM »
February 2019 Recent Changes

Major Changes

  • Militia Nerfs:
    • Increase pay for all larger-sized units (mobile & militia)
    • Increase pay for all SF units (mobile & militia)
    • Add corruption overhead to militia pay, the wealthier the region the more militia units must be paid
    • Remove militia being cheaper than mobile units
  • Prevent secessions for duchies with less than 15 nobles
  • Make daimons and humans fight each other in rogue regions
  • Display list of top twenty wealthiest characters on island with more than 10k wealth (gold+bonds), accessible via Information page
  • Display realm hierarchy with family heraldric crests, can toggle back to old text version
  • Allow allies to contribute to takeover progress at 1/3rd effectiveness
  • Include allied troops in region when calculating having enough troops to takeover a region (allied troops only count for 1/3rd)
  • Automatically redirect new players to create their first character after signing Social Contract
  • Add hotkeys for sending and previewing messages, just like on wiki and forum
  • Send more effective infantry armour to stable
  • Enable refusing ducal position
  • Add filtering messages by last 24 hours and 48 hours (today/yesterday filters are based on the full turn)
  • Don't remove a player's last five medals of each type
  • Don't remove a player's medals if they've received one in the last 6 months AND given one in the last 3 months
  • Added a softcap to gold accumulation in rogue regions to deter excessive gold levels

Minor Changes

  • Add Report Bug link to top right of page, clarify script page vs island stable/testing/war debug info
  • Enable NPC/GM characters to command regular non-NPC troops
  • Display count of nobles in duchy on duchy list
  • Improve clarity of sage/wizard moving on texts
  • Improve MessageSearch.php's display
  • Adjust wounding in duels
  • Chance of stealing unique item from dead, wounded, or captured character in battles or duels
  • Chance of discovering a unique item when traveling into a region for those with normal turn-based travel
  • Improved response text visual presentation for actions
  • Add warning that Statues and Memorials are set in stone and cannot be altered once constructed
  • Prevent cavaliers from using the more brutal half of takeover actions
  • Add text strongly recommending War Island for new players
  • Choose a default message type (Letter, Roleplay, Out-of-Character, etc.) based upon the message type you are replying to
  • Notify peers of Government members losing office
  • Change standing orders while at sea
  • Give one-week grace period for anyone unpausing, not only vacation pausers

Bug Fixes

  • Give seceding dukes the same length of text for full realm names that existing rulers have
  • Improve mobile display
  • Prevent sentries from digging in
  • Allow recruiting 30 militiamen per hour instead of 29 militiamen per hour
  • Re-enable army and guild based titles in signatures
  • Block acquiring unique items of the same type you already possess
  • Prevent being seen with unique item in battle if you're too wounded to be in combat
  • Fix default sort order for Bounty Board
  • Fix sorting on range in several tables
  • Save message and bulletin text and give it to player when they click send in middle of a turnchange
  • Fix character counts in message editor
  • Fix low-density realms being able to contribute to takeovers when TOing a region to rogue
  • Remember the message you're replying to when you preview your own message
  • Fix tournament communication post-tournament
  • Fix filtering messages by 'yesterday' and 'today'
  • Fix unignoring a character
  • Government Details 'Last Changed Date' reworked
  • Prevent adventurers from receiving noble messages when unpausing (or other means) a character and getting the last three days of messages, to prevent using advies as spies
  • Fix playable-character limit calculation
  • Remove heraldry from OOC messages
  • Prevent bankers from accessing marketplaces of foreign realms as their own realm
  • Fix dead peasants not contributing to undead rate in region
  • Do not display secret societies in Character Details history
  • Various text improvements
  • Various behind the scenes improvements

Announcements / November 2018 Recent Changes
« on: November 14, 2018, 05:35:21 PM »
Minor Changes
  • Removed Chat link from left navbar (redundant now that Discord is our primary chat mechanism)
  • Several minor graphical and quality-of-life improvements on account page (mainly mobile)
  • Streamlining and minor quality-of-life improvements to adventurer action pages
  • Improvements to realm government details page
  • Sort list of army members on "send message to some members of army" page alphabetically
  • Add realm density to statistics charts
  • Increased minimum density level to 1.7

  • Restored battle report highlighting for your unit
  • Fixed a bug causing crashes when hunting undead
  • Fixed a bug that would prevent a secession from completing
  • Fixed a bug that would prevent removing bans
  • Fixed some post-tournament travel issues
  • Restored ability to link to regions in army standing orders
  • Fixed a bug with display of Duchy bulletins
  • No longer allow a login to time out as long as you're actually doing things with at least one character

Announcements / October 2018 Recent Changes
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:14:56 PM »
Major Changes
  • Make adventurers able to cast spells from scrolls, but at greatly increased difficulty
  • Add chance of death or serious wound for adventurers setting portal stones in a circle
  • Re-enable property and wealth taxes as an option*

Minor Changes
  • Require confirmation when abandoning a region to rogues
  • Only rulers can abandon capital regions
  • Allow messaging multiple adventurers in the realm at once as a noble
  • Give a little more information when you train
  • The collect taxes link has been moved further away from the other banker links to prevent misclicks

  • Properly checked for gender of officeholder for some uses of titles
  • Require a speech when starting a rebellion
  • Fix some issues with sending messages to all in Duchy
  • Improve display of message signatures and fix some other message display issues
  • Restore "Scroll to Top" link
  • Fix some issues with paraphernalia reports
  • Fix some issues with changing classes
  • Fix some tournament issues
  • Fixes and improvements to assigning militia
  • Fix bankers on testing islands receiving other realm income (fines et cetera) instead of ruler when there is no ruler

*Property/Wealth Taxes
Bankers may now set property and wealth tax rates for their realm. If the tax rate is at 0%, it is disabled. You must have a property tax before you can have a wealth tax. Neither tax can be more than 25%. Each tax taxes above a certain limit. For instance, a property tax might tax a character with 110 gold at 10% tax rate above 100 gold, meaning they contribute 1 gold while someone with 1000 gold would contribute 90 gold. The level a wealth tax taxes must be twice the property tax, that is, if a property tax taxes above 100 gold, a wealth tax must tax above 200 gold. Both gold and bonds are taxed the same. So, if a character has 2000 bonds and 1500 gold and their realm has a property tax of 10% above 500 gold, they will be taxed 150 bonds and 100 gold. If their realm also has a wealth tax of 20% above 1000 gold, they will also be taxed an additional 200 bonds and 100 gold. An adventurer with 250 gold would pay 25 gold in property taxes and 50 gold in wealth taxes.  Paused characters also pay property and wealth taxes. Adventurers are always taxed above 0 gold.

The tax goes straight to the ruler share. It is an intended TODO to allow government shares from the ruler share in the future, but this step comes first. All existing realm tax rates have been set to 0% so no characters or realms should have any surprise taxes.

Announcements / Development Roadmap
« on: August 28, 2018, 04:44:14 PM »
Now that the message system update is live and (most of) the bugs resulting from it are fixed, I'd like to outline some of the plans I have for near-to-medium-term future development of BattleMaster.

The short version is that we will be resetting the South Island in the near future, and setting it up so that it's much easier to do that in future. After that, we'll be making some changes that will significantly affect game balance, hopefully in the direction of making war more dynamic and player density matter much less. For more details on this, please head over to the Development section of the forum to read my full Roadmap post.

Development / Development Roadmap
« on: August 28, 2018, 04:43:41 PM »
Now that the message system update is live and (most of) the bugs resulting from it are fixed, I'd like to outline some of the plans I have for near-to-medium-term future development of BattleMaster. Of course, throughout all of this, we will be continuing to fix bugs, both old ones and the ones that crop up along the way.

My next top priority is going to be the resetting of the South Island. It is egregious that we have allowed it to sit in limbo for this long, and I apologize most sincerely to those who have been frustrated by this. We will be working to make quite sure that as we go through the process, we not only document it, but automate as many parts as possible, to ensure that this kind of delay isn't necessary in the future.

After that, I have some changes in mind that, while they will require far less new code than the message system update did, should have much broader effects on the game. In summary, I believe that these changes will allow players to play in ways that provide for much more fun conflict even with the current lowered player count.

First of all, we plan to add a few temporary stop-gap measures that we hope will improve the situation while we work on getting the longer-term solutions to player density in place. Foremost among these will be limitations on the ability to take over new regions based on density—it will be harder to take over regions as your density drops, and will become impossible past a certain threshold. However, taking regions from a high-density realm will also become somewhat harder.

For the long term, the first change is one that will encourage more compact realms. It will change the bonuses and penalties for regions such that it is most optimal to have all the regions closest to the capital have both a Lord and at least one Knight. It will allow the game to recognize concentric "rings" of regions based on their distance (in region count) from the capital, and each such ring that has every region with a lord and a knight will gain bonuses. Beyond the outermost such ring, regions will begin to suffer from red tape penalties.

The second change introduces a new level of region control, which I am provisionally calling "hinterland". A hinterland region either has never had a lord, or has not had one for more than a certain amount of time. Hinterland regions provide significantly reduced resources to the realm, but also require less attention, and it is much easier to convert a region from rogue to hinterland than takeovers in the current system. Of course, it's easier for enemies to take them from you, as well.

It is my hope and intention that with these two changes, first, we will be able to do away with the density-linked rogue spawns, as we will no longer have to force realms to stay small—they will be able to take as much hinterland as they want, and the bonuses granted by keeping their realm compact should be sufficient to ensure that they don't commonly spread themselves too thin over the non-hinterland regions they hold. Second, I hope that wars will be more dynamic, with hinterland regions able to change hands very rapidly (thus removing the old expectation of sitting in a border region for a week just to take it over) and allowing the realms to maneuver around each other and get to more interesting battles more frequently.

I do have some changes in mind for the farther future (which may or may not come to pass) that would allow for a return to true sieges, interdicting the flow of food and other trade goods, and possibly adding more strategic and tactical options for both the besieged and the besiegers. Anything more concrete on those will definitely have to wait until later, though.

Announcements / Message System Update
« on: August 06, 2018, 06:32:39 PM »
Much of this update (which has been in the works for over a year now) is behind the scenes, improving things for the devs in ways that (we hope) will never have to become visible to players. However, there are several things that will be very noticeable.

  • All scribe note hashes have been removed. Scribe notes of all types are now shared through an Attachments system. You can attach scribe notes to messages either from your Scribe Notes page, or from the Attachments pane you can expand directly beneath the box where you write your message.
  • Similarly, Adventurer hunt sharing has been moved over to the Attachments system (and the hunting pages have gotten some minor aesthetic improvements).
  • Message signatures from nobles outside your realm will include a visual cue as to your realm's relationship with theirs.
  • The bug that caused long messages to be silently cut off, rather than warning the player, has been fixed. The game will now save up to 20,000 characters of your super-long messages, while indicating for you where you have to cut off to fit in the 5,000 character limit.

In about a month (once all the existing messages are finished going through the system), we will also be putting live some of the last code Tom worked on for BattleMaster before moving on to Might & Fealty: updated message-writing and message-reading pages. These are currently still unfinished, but have actually been available for general testing for years now. You can find the New Writer and New Reader in the /experimental/ area and test them out for yourself (you will want to copy those links) and give feedback, but be aware that they are still not fully complete.

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