Author Topic: Monster Problems  (Read 18399 times)

EstionTarcyn

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Monster Problems
« Topic Start: April 25, 2016, 01:32:29 PM »
It has long been on my mind, and I felt perhaps it was the time to raise this on the forums to see if I was the only one considering it an issue, since the update.

As some of you may or may not know, I RP the character of King Estion of the Dragon Isles (D'Hara) and it had all gone by rather easily and we were allowed to do politics, diplomacy, schemes and wars until the recent monster changes which has left our realm in tatters. There is simply too many monsters that we can do anything about it in my realm, and this is despite having rather many nobles for continent standards, and relatively few regions to defend. All the same we find us unable to defend them all for a variety of reasons that I will cover later. The main issue with all of this is that it does not allow us to play the game fully as we have to rush from region to region to do ''maintenance'' work more than anything else, against an enemy that has unlimited numbers, and that will keep coming. I decided to ask OOCly in my realm if it was just me who felt this way, and several have uttered that they are feeling the exact same way as I do. It is a shame as I have really enjoyed the game, but I find myself often logging on more out of duty than of wish to play, as there simply is little to do, but log in, check the military orders, and then start walking.

The Issues as I see them:
- The inability of players to play the game, or do anything but fighting monsters.
- Players losing interest in the game because of this.
- Hordes are too numerous and common.
- Region's fortifications are not possible to rebuild because the swarms keep coming, and you cannot rebuild within two turns of an attack.
- Monsters crossing on ferries. Seems a bit strange that mindless evil can just take the ferry man across the water, and even more so that there is seemingly no defensive bonus trying to defend that way. IRL islands are often considered natural fortresses, but unless you use ships, it seems as if there is no difference. On an RP continent, it seems strange that these beasts can use ferries and boats, as well as our islands and shores not being more defendable.
- There is no end game to it, they will keep coming, and slowly whittle away at our fortifications.
- It is an evil spiral, as the lack of opportunity leads players to lose interest, effectively punishing those who fight monsters, by not only having them focus on their fighting, but also losing people who wish to actually play the game.

DeVerci

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #1: April 25, 2016, 01:41:34 PM »
- Region's fortifications are not possible to rebuild because the swarms keep coming, and you cannot rebuild within two turns of an attack.
- Monsters crossing on ferries. Seems a bit strange that mindless evil can just take the ferry man across the water, and even more so that there is seemingly no defensive bonus trying to defend that way. IRL islands are often considered natural fortresses, but unless you use ships, it seems as if there is no difference. On an RP continent, it seems strange that these beasts can use ferries and boats, as well as our islands and shores not being more defendable.
These are two of the most annoying parts about the monsters. With the ferry routes working as they do, having a death-stack of 50k CS of monsters sail up out of nowhere and attack is quite a worrying idea.

Another issue is the fact that a lot of these monster hordes just won't die, instead they're in a limbo of getting destroyed but having a few remaining so they rally and lock the region into combat, then another horde strolls through and repeats the process. In Westgard it is very rare that a region is completely cleared, despite winning. Alas, that is the world of PVE

Vita

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #2: April 25, 2016, 05:32:45 PM »
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. These are the type of discussions that used to be had more frequently on the d-list or earlier days of forum and which contributed to the community-nature of BattleMaster. Something I've recently wondered has been lost.

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The main issue with all of this is that it does not allow us to play the game fully as we have to rush from region to region to do ''maintenance'' work more than anything else, against an enemy that has unlimited numbers, and that will keep coming. I decided to ask OOCly in my realm if it was just me who felt this way, and several have uttered that they are feeling the exact same way as I do. It is a shame as I have really enjoyed the game, but I find myself often logging on more out of duty than of wish to play, as there simply is little to do, but log in, check the military orders, and then start walking.
I'm sorry. This is not the experience you should have.

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There is simply too many monsters that we can do anything about it in my realm, and this is despite having rather many nobles for continent standards, and relatively few regions to defend.
The density-rate for the spawn rates is based on island density, not realm density. We wanted island density, not realm density, because once the frontier stabilizes we wanted to avoid realms being isolated away from each other and unable to interact.

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- The inability of players to play the game, or do anything but fighting monsters.
Unfortunately for D'Hara, it is on Dwilight's frontier. That reads much more unsympathetic that I intend, but I'm simply trying to explain why that is so.

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- Players losing interest in the game because of this.
Our concern are the players lost from realms too silent, afraid, dead, or obsessed with peace to do anything. Thus, the focus on increasing player density last November/December, with island sinkings and density-based spawning for BT and DWI, in order to increase engagement between more tightly-packed players that provide a more welcoming and interesting experience for new players in not just one realm, but throughout the whole island. There has been a years-long unaddressed player loss that has given many years of the impression that everyone should become a lord, but players have kept the same land area despite losing the nobility to manage it.

But we did not want to repeat the western swarm overwhelming Asylon/Barca/West like it did, where they had no chance or time to react to events. That was a huge mistake and player loss. One of those moments in BM history I go 'ugh'. But it's done and can't be changed, we learn. And this is us trying to learning, by not repeating it. So the spawn rate was meant to be a gradual pressure, and why some portal events have cleared out rogues for humans lately. Hence why it is now just over four months since the density-spawn went live and minimal lands lost. Which I personally think might be a touch too slow.

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- Hordes are too numerous and common.
As above, minimal lands have been lost, without a huge increase in Dwilight players, so the spawn rate is still spitting out new monsters to assert pressure on humanity.

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- Region's fortifications are not possible to rebuild because the swarms keep coming, and you cannot rebuild within two turns of an attack.
You need to stop the swarms before they reach the fortification. This is the same code human realms had when expanding into Dwilight's frontier in the first place. And an element of the gradual pressure upon humanity that would be lost if humans could repair whenever, requiring much much larger hordes to overcome full fortifications instead of gradually wearing down the frontier bit by bit.

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- Monsters crossing on ferries. Seems a bit strange that mindless evil can just take the ferry man across the water, and even more so that there is seemingly no defensive bonus trying to defend that way. IRL islands are often considered natural fortresses, but unless you use ships, it seems as if there is no difference. On an RP continent, it seems strange that these beasts can use ferries and boats, as well as our islands and shores not being more defendable.
Again, monsters have always crossed ferries for as long as I can remember. And preventing such would make it impossible for monsters to move east except through the northern bridges by Westgard/Arnor. As far as defendable, they are highly-fortified, even if hit by constant monster attacks. If it had not been for those island fortifications from north to south, I imagine the monsters would be further east now than they are.

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- There is no end game to it, they will keep coming, and slowly whittle away at our fortifications.
Since the spawn rate was announced to be density-based last December, it should lower as either land is lost in BM or additional players found. The spawn rate does not care where the humans live on Dwilight, only that humanity lives a bit less spread out than it is. It should adjust naturally to the human-occupied regions and nobles/players on Dwilight. Effectively, the early Dwilight frontier has returned and will adjust its strength based on humanity.

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- It is an evil spiral, as the lack of opportunity leads players to lose interest, effectively punishing those who fight monsters, by not only having them focus on their fighting, but also losing people who wish to actually play the game.
Again, this is concerning. But it is also concerning that there are so many players spread out through so many realms with so many regions that many realms will become places obsessed with avoiding war, failing to engage their players, and boring their nobility away into inactivity. And there aren't enough people at any given time to challenge that status quo in each realm, thus driving people from the game. Is there a middle solution?

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having a death-stack of 50k CS of monsters sail up out of nowhere and attack is quite a worrying idea.
Fortifications and archers up the ying-yang! Stacks of that size have been defeated on walls in the recent past.

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Another issue is the fact that a lot of these monster hordes just won't die, instead they're in a limbo of getting destroyed but having a few remaining so they rally and lock the region into combat, then another horde strolls through and repeats the process. In Westgard it is very rare that a region is completely cleared, despite winning. Alas, that is the world of PVE
I'm not sure on the monster-hunting mechanics, but that would be my most first attempt. Is monster-hunting not very effective? BM is a 15-year-old game, and with the player loss, there are areas that might need (and have been) adjusted to rebalance it for Today.

I fear this was perhaps more explanatory than solution-oriented, but I am open to solutions. We need to improve our player density (either players gained or land lost) to improve engagement to improve newbie retention. But players should not feel such a slog playing becomes a 'duty'. The middle ground is out there somewhere.

Anaris

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #3: April 25, 2016, 06:09:07 PM »
Some further things I think are worth noting:

  • There is no right in BattleMaster for any player or group of players to be able to play wherever they choose, and have the game support/enable that. D'Hara's particular position inherently leaves it open to hordes battering down its western doors.
  • Dwilight was initially created as a frontier island, with the human realms being small and isolated around the edges of the eastern half. Beluaterra has always had periodic invasions. The idea that fighting monsters is not "playing the game" is a wrongheaded idea, and will not help anything. Fighting monsters has always been part of the game, and moreso on these two islands.
  • That said, it has never been our intention (since the initial expanding-civilization period) for Dwilight's primary activity to be fighting monsters, nor for people to feel like it should be impossible to maintain a realm in a reasonable position on Dwilight.
  • If people are feeling like something is actively wrong with the game—whether because of bugs, unpleasant players, or dev team decisions—we want to hear about it. We won't always be able to—or choose to—do what is asked of us, but we definitely want to know all we can about the feelings of our players.

To address this specifically, I do feel that the realms on the ferry routes between the halves of Dwilight have been getting hammered a bit too heavily in recent weeks. I will investigate what it would take to allow monsters to use actual sea zones, which should spread out the pain much more if I can make it work in a sensible manner.
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EstionTarcyn

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #4: April 25, 2016, 06:31:18 PM »
Thank you for the replies, and whether everything is working as intended or not, I felt it was time to offer you this piece so that you at least were aware that these mechanics slowly have been driving away some players. We discussed it in the realm, and then agreed that we had to take it up so that at least you were aware that there was a situation. Only that way can we hope to keep the player base alive over a long period of time.

The idea that we were meant to stop monsters before they came to our land is simply just impossible as we tried to seize Paisly, which proved impossible due to the constant hordes. At that Port Raviel were being hammered by Golden Farrow. Meaning for us to stop the attacks of Port Raviel and rebuild (That was lost yesterday) we would have to conquer most of the immediate coast line, this not taking into account what might come from the East.

You mentioned that the loss of land was minimal which I would have to dispute in that 4, out of D'Hara's 9(Ugh, I hate our name.. xD) has been lost and continues to be in limbo. Simply put, we are going to have to decide whether it is worth staying where we are as players, because it is just one long series of monster fights.

However, I am fully aware that the game should not focus on making it easier for some than others, and I understand the reasoning behind the monster invasions, however, it is very self fulfilling prophesy that in fear that things will get boring without them, you are making many players indifferent to playing on the continent. More or less the entirety of D'Hara were in agreement that they were losing interest in this, because there was little we could do.

The thing is, that there is no point in fighting monsters at all, there is no end game, there is nothing to work towards. It is just unrelenting punishment and it is killing D'Hara slowly, the Refugee realm from what I have seen, and I can only imagine many more in the future.

Vita

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #5: April 25, 2016, 07:10:12 PM »
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Thank you for the replies, and whether everything is working as intended or not, I felt it was time to offer you this piece so that you at least were aware that these mechanics slowly have been driving away some players. We discussed it in the realm, and then agreed that we had to take it up so that at least you were aware that there was a situation. Only that way can we hope to keep the player base alive over a long period of time.
Thank you. Please encourage more to join in.

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and I understand the reasoning behind the monster invasions, however, it is very self fulfilling prophesy that in fear that things will get boring without them, you are making many players indifferent to playing on the continent.
I wish it were just a theoretical prophecy we could forsake, but its something we have seen happen time and again in many continents. And is still happening within some realms. The goal is that with more people in a tighter area, more interaction once again engages players, with more competition for advancement and political skill required with more people. But it would be counter-productive to bore the players in the process...so I remain open to suggestions that achieve both interests.

EstionTarcyn

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #6: April 25, 2016, 07:51:49 PM »
I have told my realm about this post, and I hope that some will chime in. Hopefully some others around the community sees it and says their piece.

I don't presume to think I know the answer, however, I will be willing to spar some theoretic ideas. Could one be to simply sink the Western Isle of Dwilight?

Blue Star

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #7: April 26, 2016, 03:30:44 AM »
...
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GoldPanda

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #8: April 26, 2016, 07:56:57 AM »
The realms with the highest player densities on Dwilight are Westgard, Madina, and D'Hara, which are exactly the realms which are getting swarmed with Monsters because "player density is too low". The human realms are giving ground very slowly precisely because they are the realms who can least afford to give up ground.

This is not the right strategy to increase player density. In fact this may be the exact opposite of the right strategy. D'Haran nobles are not going to join other realms if they lose their estates. They are either going to emigrate or just quit the game. If you want to encourage the players to bunch up, have the Monsters attack the realms with low player density. They actually have ground to give.

And I know that the GMs did not intend it as such, but putting the refugee realm on western Dwilight just seems spiteful in hindsight. "We are sinking your island. What's that? You want to keep playing? You can go play meat-shields for some strangers on this other island."
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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #9: April 26, 2016, 07:57:16 AM »
The addition of portal stones is quite interesting though.
Maybe their spawn rate could be similar to the rogues spawn rate in Dwilight, based on Player density on the continent.
Realms could destroy them selves with the effects of the portal stones or destroy realms using them.
This way the players get to do the mopping up.
In addition to their initial effects, portals could serve as beacons, drawing many rogues towards it.
This could be used to save your realm as well as destroy it or or other realms.

Another idea could be to involve the Zuma into this, play them based on player density, or perhaps even the amount of inter realm conflicts.
If there isn't enough war the Zuma come to destroy some realms.
These realms get a chance in saving them selves by defending and using portal stones, or worshipping the Zuma and go to war with their neighbours.

Rogues spawn rate could also go in waves, still based on player density.
It would give realms a moment to restore them selves and attack other realms before the rogues come back.
The waves have to be more intense then what we have now and the breaks should be long enough for realms to go to war and restore them selves a bit.

Another alternative is to adjust food production on player density.
It would be quicker and perhaps less tedious, realms would lose cities and become smaller in no time.

Just some ideas.
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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #10: April 26, 2016, 08:01:25 AM »
And I know that the GMs did not intend it as such, but putting the refugee realm on western Dwilight just seems spiteful in hindsight. "We are sinking your island. What's that? You want to keep playing? You can go play meat-shields for some strangers on this other island."

I agree with your post, and especially this part.
Creating Westgard doesn't work.
It just prevents those realms from getting hit that need to get hit.
I can imagine that playing there must be teribly boring, no way will they be able to enter a real human conflict at any time.
Offcourse we get to choose if we want to join this realm or not, but these players should actually just join the existing realms, perhaps throw those realms upside down and start some new conflicts.
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Ketchum

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #11: April 26, 2016, 10:04:14 AM »
My first impression upon seeing Dwilight island is this is People fight against Environment. (PvE as some players may call it)

To watch the lands grow and ebb is part of the process. Of course those players who open dark portals causing more problems to humans, if many realms do not like those players, they can simply ban them or put bounty on their heads for their troublemaking activities.

Frontier realms should have some frontier feeling to it. Maybe frontier realms can seek other realms help; for you guard the front against monsters and undead attack on their behalf. In this way, both frontier realms and non-frontier realms can benefit from alliance, just saying one of the many ways which can benefit us all. It is up to our characters to solve the problems. If you think rogue problem is bad and your realm need help, ask other realms. Call it mutual benefits ;)
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EstionTarcyn

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #12: April 26, 2016, 10:56:49 AM »
My first impression upon seeing Dwilight island is this is People fight against Environment. (PvE as some players may call it)

To watch the lands grow and ebb is part of the process. Of course those players who open dark portals causing more problems to humans, if many realms do not like those players, they can simply ban them or put bounty on their heads for their troublemaking activities.

Frontier realms should have some frontier feeling to it. Maybe frontier realms can seek other realms help; for you guard the front against monsters and undead attack on their behalf. In this way, both frontier realms and non-frontier realms can benefit from alliance, just saying one of the many ways which can benefit us all. It is up to our characters to solve the problems. If you think rogue problem is bad and your realm need help, ask other realms. Call it mutual benefits ;)

The question, or issue rather, is not whether it is meant to have a frontier feel to it, I do think there is a point in that, but the issue is that I think it is driving away players by not giving them a chance to otherwise play the game. If a mechanic is driving away a player base, then surely it should be reconsidered. I know that I have felt less inclined to play due to the ferocity and unrelenting nature of it all, and it seems from talks in OOC that a few other players have felt the same, which I am sure was not the intention.

As for the help you speak of, the issue is that most realms are pressured, and the amount of nobles in the realms are not that grand, with that add the distance some of them would have to travel, they would come, fight a few battles, have to retreat, and it would have made no real difference due to the continuous swarms.

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #13: April 26, 2016, 11:20:21 AM »
As for the help you speak of, the issue is that most realms are pressured, and the amount of nobles in the realms are not that grand, with that add the distance some of them would have to travel, they would come, fight a few battles, have to retreat, and it would have made no real difference due to the continuous swarms.

I agree.
In Madina's case, all its nobles can do is actually try to set up a colony realm to draw the rogues to the colony instead of Madina its self.
Technically i think this is doomed to fail as the colony would lack the resources to keep up such a fight.
She cant expand any further on her own either and the only alternative is allowing the rogues to take more lands in order to reduce refit times, or change the capital.

Beeing located in quite an isolated position initially, going off to fight other conflicts with together realms means leaving home long enough for the rogues to over run it.
The same counts for d'hara i presume.

Allying frontier realms and helping them makes sense for those bordering them directly, but i doubt that these realms will be able to keep up player morale enough to send a consistent force to assist. I believe they wont see the point in doing so as long as their buffer appears to be able to at-least prevent its own destruction.

If we choose to keep this a rogue invasion, then atleast let it come in waves so its easier to prepare, save gold and asisst frontier realms, especialy if they know when the next wave is coming.

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Anaris

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Re: Monster Problems
« Reply #14: April 26, 2016, 01:55:21 PM »
This is not the right strategy to increase player density. In fact this may be the exact opposite of the right strategy. D'Haran nobles are not going to join other realms if they lose their estates. They are either going to emigrate or just quit the game. If you want to encourage the players to bunch up, have the Monsters attack the realms with low player density. They actually have ground to give.

The trouble is, as things stand, the monsters are in the west, and the realms you just named are standing directly in almost every past from west to east.

That is why I propose to allow the monsters to use sea zones.

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And I know that the GMs did not intend it as such, but putting the refugee realm on western Dwilight just seems spiteful in hindsight. "We are sinking your island. What's that? You want to keep playing? You can go play meat-shields for some strangers on this other island."

This is the one thing that has been said that I disagree with absolutely.

Why?

Because we made three refugee realms on the EC, and called out the one on Dwilight specifically as being a very hard frontier realm. And still people flocked to it at much higher rates than the others.

This may not be true of any other realm on Dwilight, but not a single player in Westgard gets to complain that the monsters are too hard, when we explicitly stated that it would be a very hard fight just to survive there.
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