Author Topic: Power, Hierarchy and Winning vs Losing (in a game environment)  (Read 1922 times)

Barek (jerm)

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Suppose you have a game in which the players are landed nobles - Barons.  They have land, serfs, soldiers, etc.  When the game begins, the players are all on relatively equal footing.

Suppose there is a mechanic that allows players to swear fealty to one another, and if two players swear fealty to a third, then the third is no longer a mere Baron, but a Count.  And if a Count swears fealty to a second Count, then the second becomes a Duke, and so on.

So in the scenario that I've outlined, I'm curious how it would work out "in the wild".  If my goal was to see a hierarchy form, I suspect that I would instead find that players would go to war seeking vassals, and that the loser would either stubbornly refuse to click the "swear fealty" button, or would simply ragequit.

What's funny is how it relates to the Perception of Power.   No one wants to submit to someone who's presumably of equal power, but if a "King" comes along, its an easier pill to swallow, swearing fealty.

(Battlemaster is of course full of awesome players who are humble and clever, and often willing to be vassal to another.  Just to go ahead and address that before someone cleverly points it out)

So - organic creation of hierarchy in a game environment.   What do you think?  In the world of gamers today, is this a recipe for failure?
You should take everything I say with a grain of salt.  But I'm not a werewolf.  Really.

Zakilevo

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That doesn't sound bad at all. Pretty close to what the real world went through. The problem is, like you said, there will be people rage quitting. Unlike the real world, people might try to recreate and start again. Also, this organic way would encourage diplomacy on more individual levels unlike BM which is more of realm to realm (well that is what I think).

Norrel

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Don't really see it happening unless you had a very good community. Gamers are a stubborn bunch and don't like admitting defeat.

Anaris

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So in the scenario that I've outlined, I'm curious how it would work out "in the wild".  If my goal was to see a hierarchy form, I suspect that I would instead find that players would go to war seeking vassals, and that the loser would either stubbornly refuse to click the "swear fealty" button, or would simply ragequit.

I don't see it working out unless there is the possibility for the winner to kill the loser. If there is no risk to saying "no", almost no one will submit to someone they don't want to.

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So - organic creation of hierarchy in a game environment.   What do you think?  In the world of gamers today, is this a recipe for failure?

This is actually extremely close to some ideas Tom has bounced around for a sort of "BattleMaster 2.0" idea. It was never entirely clear whether he saw it as a replacement for BattleMaster, a separate game running in parallel, or a sort of successor that would slowly take over from BattleMaster as we know it.
Timothy Collett

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Barek (jerm)

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I kicked around a game that drew a great deal of inspiration from Crusader Kings, and would feature a scenario similar to what I'd outlined, though lately I've been on a mobsters kick and figured it would also translate to the world of organised crime.  Each player is owns a racket.  But there's the organic hierarchy again.  Instead of letting one player be the Don, it seems to me to be much more fun to let it happen... but would it?

Seems to me that a few players would play right along. "You beat me fair and square.  Here's 10% of my take, and we're part of your organization. (and maybe will plot your demise later)"  But most would be stubborn, or quit, etc.

Unless its somehow made enticing.  There's zero "cool" in admitting defeat to someone and then giving up some of your income to them.  It'd have to be a pretty awesome game for me not to immediately reload a save, or just quit outright.  So the carrot system.  There'd have to be something in it for them...  but what's cool about being someone else's vassal? (everyone wants to be king)
You should take everything I say with a grain of salt.  But I'm not a werewolf.  Really.

Bedwyr

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Unless its somehow made enticing.  There's zero "cool" in admitting defeat to someone and then giving up some of your income to them.  It'd have to be a pretty awesome game for me not to immediately reload a save, or just quit outright.  So the carrot system.  There'd have to be something in it for them...  but what's cool about being someone else's vassal? (everyone wants to be king)

Why are there any multi-duchy realms in Battlemaster, instead of a lot of city-states?
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Barek (jerm)

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Why are there any multi-duchy realms in Battlemaster, instead of a lot of city-states?

(Battlemaster is of course full of awesome players who are humble and clever, and often willing to be vassal to another.  Just to go ahead and address that before someone cleverly points it out)
You should take everything I say with a grain of salt.  But I'm not a werewolf.  Really.

Gustav Kuriga

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I saw myself as the lieutenant type well before I played Battlemaster. I would have become someone's vassal willingly.

Tom

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The other project, the one with the polygon maps, that I was kicking around recently has exactly this idea at its core. Not roughly, but exactly.


Zakilevo

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The other project, the one with the polygon maps, that I was kicking around recently has exactly this idea at its core. Not roughly, but exactly.

Really? That is awesome. This has a lot of potential. Like intra-realm conflicts  ;)

vonGenf

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What's funny is how it relates to the Perception of Power.   No one wants to submit to someone who's presumably of equal power, but if a "King" comes along, its an easier pill to swallow, swearing fealty.

When you are a Count and want to become a Duke, you need to ask yourself which is the easier path: to force other counts to submit to you, through strength and conquest that you will have to prove alone, or by submitting to a Duke, help him become King through strength and conquest as part of a an already formed grouping of skilled and rich nobles, and hope he makes you Duke when he becomes King? Both historically and in gameplay, I think the second route is often the most sensible one.
After all it's a roleplaying game.

Bedwyr

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Barek,

Not everyone does it for humble/clever reasons.  Quite a lot do it for other reasons, and the biggest one is the ability to kick other people's asses.  Look at how the alliance dynamics work on, say, Atamara, and you'll see what I mean.
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Penchant

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Barek,

Not everyone does it for humble/clever reasons.  Quite a lot do it for other reasons, and the biggest one is the ability to kick other people's asses.  Look at how the alliance dynamics work on, say, Atamara, and you'll see what I mean.
One reason to submit in scenarios are for protection of the group, you are no longer your own boss and with some scenarios will be forced to give some of your income/resources but you are protected by being in a powerful group compared to being a loner, and it need not always be literal protection. If a group is powerful enough and person a hears that  person b is in it then they won't attack at all because person a knows of the groups strength compared to the group needing to always actually defend.