Author Topic: How to improve the game without changing mechanics  (Read 3000 times)

pcw27

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We often come to the Dev team with changes we'd like made that we think will make the game more fun, however we rarely ever talk about what we as players can do to make the game more fun for ourselves and each other. Most of the time the way to do this involves finding interesting new ways to start meaningful conflicts, conflicts within realms, conflicts between realms, even conflicts between two individual nobles.

Here are a few ideas people should consider to keep things interesting, all point out specific high power positions in the game that often get neglected, but they also explain ways for lower ranking players to get these elites involved:

For Judges:

Organize prisoner exchanges with enemy judges. You offer to release a prisoner if they do the same. Now you may be thinking "Wait what if they don't hold up their end of the bargain". Exactly! Now you've got a personal enemy. If you really don't trust them, demand a hostage. Their noble must offer to join your realm, or an additional noble can be sent to perform this service. If they break the deal then you can ban and execute their noble. Of course if he's real sneaky and all that fails it might be time to take some revenge on his realm mates with some quality time on the wrack.

For everyone who's not a judge, you can put pressure on the judge to get more involved. When you get out of jail and read your mail look for a list of captured enemies from a recent battle, then demand to know why you had to rot in a rat infested hell hole when they could easily have organized an exchange. Protest his indifference to your suffering, challenge him to a duel if you must.

For Bankers:

Get serious about regulating trade. Make sure no one is trading to enemies. Somewhere down the line we might have a black market to make this even more intriguing but there wont be much motivation if we don't have active bankers.

For everyone else, I hear the enemy is offering high prices for food.

For Dukes:

If a lord leaves your duchy, get mad! That's a betrayal. Have a duel with that duke, maybe bring your whole duchy into it, knights and all. It's the closest to private warfare the game can accommodate and that's really not so bad. Imagine two dukes four lords and four knights all squaring off and dueling on the same day. That would be an event worthy of tales. I'd find it infinitely more exciting then even a very large ordinary battle.

For vassals of these dukes, take a look at your taxes and see who's offering competitive rates.

Who else has ideas for how we can play the game in a more fun way using just the mechanics we have here?

Anaris

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In general:

Advocate for wars that don't destroy realms.

If you're not very active, and hold positions, give up those positions to people who are more active (assuming your realm has such).

Don't require near-certainty of massive overwhelming victory before you're willing to commit to a war.

Remember, Losing Is Fun.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Zakilevo

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Advocate for wars that don't destroy realms.

Need to learn to ask for monetary compensations maybe

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If you're not very active, and hold positions, give up those positions to people who are more active (assuming your realm has such).

Already did this :D

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Don't require near-certainty of massive overwhelming victory before you're willing to commit to a war.

Definitely need to work on this

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Remember, Losing Is Fun.

We all know this is a lie!

Anaris

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Need to learn to ask for monetary compensations maybe

Monetary compensation, taking a single region, requiring the stepping down/banishment of a particular noble, requiring the construction of temples to certain religions....

There can be loads of good goals for a war that have nothing to do with the destruction of the losing realm.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Zakilevo

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Would be nice if we could find a way to get money from enemies more easily.

JDodger

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destroying realms should be encouraged in certain cases. having this blanket attitude that no realm should ever be destroyed leads to more stagnation than any other cultural problem in the game.

destroying realms clears up room for new realms, new ideas, and new players rising to prominence. it can often be the only way to remove entrenched leadership, ideas, alliances and rivalries that stagnate the game.

there are so many realms dominated by one single active player or a small group of active players clinging onto their little titles, so afraid of change that they drive out any players bringing new ideas to the table. they cling to their old alliances, stagnating continents. they won't take risks, stagnating their own realms until all that remains are zombie chars and gold farmers. these realms should be destroyed.

splitting up big realms is not enough, because most often all it accomplishes is turning a big stagnant realm into a big stagnant alliance bloc. check out morek on dwi, after a year of essentially pointless kerfluffle you now have an alliance bloc that covers the entirety of morek as it was before the breakup other than HD. so all we got out of it was a couple new realm names and the same old, same old with the exception of one stagnant and marginalized realm.

im not advocating for every war to be a war of total annihilation, but just imagine how much more boring and stagnant bm would be if the realm list never changed. regardless of how many secessions there are you will reach a point where you cant secede anymore (and lets not get into how bad a one city per realm BM would be).

realms need to have life cycles like everything else.
Why then Selenia should DEFINITELY come to visit? Richer AND Happier you say? That must be seen to be believed.

GundamMerc

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destroying realms clears up room for new realms, new ideas, and new players rising to prominence. it can often be the only way to remove entrenched leadership, ideas, alliances and rivalries that stagnate the game.

Sounds like something that needs to be done to Perdan.

JDodger

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you should try, but this thread and my post are not in regards to any particular realm or continent. in the interest of not derailing an actual interesting and potentially constructive thread please keep the perdan hate in the perdan-hating section aka the ec local.
Why then Selenia should DEFINITELY come to visit? Richer AND Happier you say? That must be seen to be believed.

Anaris

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destroying realms should be encouraged in certain cases. having this blanket attitude that no realm should ever be destroyed leads to more stagnation than any other cultural problem in the game.

I never advocated this, and I have not seen this as a prevalent attitude. I've seen it in certain cases, but overall, what's much more destructive to the game is the idea that every war that's declared is a fight to the death.

This is true, to a lesser extent, even if the war ends without any realm involved being destroyed or significantly reduced. If the intent of the war is to destroy another realm, it adds massively to the stress involved in fighting the war.

It should be possible to fight a war without knowing that losing will mean losing everything. That's the kind of fear, after all, that leads to drawing in allies to form massive alliances that stagnate a continent.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

JDodger

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i agree that not all wars should be fought to the death, but some should. its not morally unacceptable to destroy a realm in a game where that possibility exists, and as i mentioned there are cases where i strongly believe realms MUST die for the ongoing health of the game.

i would contend however that most wars fought to the death occur because the losing side refuses terms of surrender.

every war ive participated in that came to the point that one side or the other stated an intent to fight to the death was because the losing or perceived losing side refused terms. ive been on both sides of the coin.

there are times when i feel refusing to surrender or accept terms is justified, like in cases where you believe the health of the continent is at stake or the terms require something completely morally unacceptable in ic terms.

an example of both is when dustole's superalliance on fei was trying to gangbang cathay into joining "the new empire" and serving in its army to gangbang ohnar and Coralynth into submission, forming another continent-spanning empire. we refused and we won, well as much as a war interrupted by the destruction of a continent can be said to be won.

an example of purely the latter was in caelum when spearhold demanded caelum worship the daemons and join them. it wouldnt have hurt the continent but no caelish were going to join the daemons. caelum was destroyed. we all accepted the consequence of not surrendering and moved on. not a single whiny forum post about it.

but in too many cases it just comes down to player ego. case in point, westfold vs swordfell. when swordfell was swamped with monsters we offered them to surrender four relatively poor rurals, two of which we already had TOed, and return shomrak in exchange for peace. their ruler refused and as a result they have now lost twice as many regions as we wanted to take from them. westfold's objective in this war was never to destroy swordfell, but swordfell took it to the "one of us will be destroyed" level all on their own. we will see if they develop some common sense with a new ruler or if they will still be stuck in ego land.

what i do consider to be out of line is if a winning side offers terms, those terms are rejected, and then they say "that was your last chance" and refuse peace even if the losing side comes back to the table. this is what happened with the cathay-kabrinski diplomacy minus the attempt to come back to the table, since we started winning hardcore once everyone realized our backs were against the wall. im sure it has happened at some point though.

but again, if a war's expressed purpose is the destruction of a realm i dont see that as inherently bad and immoral. some realms are just bad for the game.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 02:34:45 AM by JDodger »
Why then Selenia should DEFINITELY come to visit? Richer AND Happier you say? That must be seen to be believed.

JDodger

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and even as i write these words, morek empire reunites
Why then Selenia should DEFINITELY come to visit? Richer AND Happier you say? That must be seen to be believed.

pcw27

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Thoughts on Wars of Annihilation.

It is true that this gets problematic for a lot of reasons. I don't think these necessarily counter stagnation. As has been mentioned people form huge alliances to avoid being destroyed. Demanding certain leaders step down as terms of surrender is a much better way to get some turn over out of a war.

The complaint that some realms refuse to surrender is valid, however there are ways around this. For starters, if a realm really has the upper hand they can let the war go cold. Drawn out hostilities can add just as much fun and intrigue as a cataclysmic battle. Also players in the realm being defeated should consider rebelling or protesting if they want to save the realm.

I've also seen the opposite with realms refusing to accept a peace even when they can't reasonably hope to achieve victory. It's annoying but I think it's made possible in part by the lack of intra-realm conflict. How Luria Nova managed to have such high player density yet no internal strife for so long is beyond me.

I think creative new ideas for terms of surrender is a good thing to discuss. Going off my exchange of prisoners idea, one term of surrender could be that certain key members of the defeated realm must swear a binding oath never to return to the lands of their former foes. How do you make this oath binding you ask? Simple, they have to briefly join the realm and then be banned. Once that happens they're fair game for execution. Of course at some point the rest of the realm might decide they want to renew hostilities anyway, forcing the leader to either put their lives at risk or be branded craven for putting their life before the dignity of the realm.

So as a more general topic which impacts all of this, people need to stop being so overly compromising and indifferent. By playing nobles we agree to certain rules of courtesy and respect, that doesn't mean we should all get along. Right now I'm playing a character in D'Hara who's a straight up pirate and part of a bastard lineage to boot. As of yet no one seems to care. I got one message asking why I was on the Western Continent and that's it. Someone should at least be grumbling about how my pillaging is a disgrace to our once proud realm.

Zakilevo

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I think it will be difficult to get people away from the old mentality of war = destruction or all in.

This has been an issue for BM for a very long time and few people trying to change won't work. I am literally reducing a small realm that declared war on mine to a pulp yet they don't want to surrender. Already destroyed most of their capital. I am not even asking much. I just want the gold we spent to get there paid. Not in one go either. People would rather see their realm get destroyed than lose wars.

I am sad to say this but in order to change this, we will need a system where demands need to be forced to a realm like CK2 with a forced peace period of 3 months or so.

JDodger

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@pcw i dont think i understand the meaning of this paragraph:

"I've also seen the opposite with realms refusing to accept a peace even when they can't reasonably hope to achieve victory. It's annoying but I think it's made possible in part by the lack of intra-realm conflict. How Luria Nova managed to have such high player density yet no internal strife for so long is beyond me."

Luria won the southern league war, so I don't think I understand what you mean by "cannot hope to achieve victory" if Luria is your example.. are you referring to the southern league refusing lurian peace terms?

Luria had internal strife, but it was kept in check by a few things. the SLW had Luria on its own fighting every realm on the continent but swordfell, when you face those kinds of odds it tends to unite the realm. after the SLW was over you still had a pressure valve for a fair number of dissatisfied players because of the promise of a new realm in the north, which became westfold. even still there was massive tension between rossgyr/kilhorn and theon whiteheart in the military council and a lot of future westfold nobles left to HD for a while, some partially because they couldnt stand Luria.

third and perhaps most important factor was a rock solid core of leaders who worked really closely and rarely fought, which was able to maintain order among the less powerful nobles. knights and minor lords were allowed to bicker amongst themselves as long as it didn't become a disturbance to realm goals, if it did they would be shut up pretty quickly. if they had the audacity to criticize, sometimes even merely question,authority figures, they'd be chewed out via the trademark Old School Lurian Player Wall of Text until they learned their place or left the realm.

are you pillaging rogue regions in the west? hows that going for you?

@zakky what war are you referring to?
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pcw27

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@pcw i dont think i understand the meaning of this paragraph:

"I've also seen the opposite with realms refusing to accept a peace even when they can't reasonably hope to achieve victory. It's annoying but I think it's made possible in part by the lack of intra-realm conflict. How Luria Nova managed to have such high player density yet no internal strife for so long is beyond me."

Luria won the southern league war, so I don't think I understand what you mean by "cannot hope to achieve victory" if Luria is your example.. are you referring to the southern league refusing lurian peace terms?

I'm talking about the war that broke up Morek and got Astrum to found Westfold. Realistically all Luria could ever do was raid Astrum and Morek from time to time. There was no chance of conquering either realm in any meaningful way. Eventually Morek gave up and split apart more out of frustration then anything else. The same is true for Astrum ceding land for Westfold.

Furthermore all the while Luria could have gone after Swordfell and actually expanded to accommodate their larger noble population but for some reason they never went for that.

Luria had internal strife, but it was kept in check by a few things. the SLW had Luria on its own fighting every realm on the continent but swordfell, when you face those kinds of odds it tends to unite the realm. after the SLW was over you still had a pressure valve for a fair number of dissatisfied players because of the promise of a new realm in the north, which became westfold. even still there was massive tension between rossgyr/kilhorn and theon whiteheart in the military council and a lot of future westfold nobles left to HD for a while, some partially because they couldnt stand Luria.

third and perhaps most important factor was a rock solid core of leaders who worked really closely and rarely fought, which was able to maintain order among the less powerful nobles. knights and minor lords were allowed to bicker amongst themselves as long as it didn't become a disturbance to realm goals, if it did they would be shut up pretty quickly. if they had the audacity to criticize, sometimes even merely question,authority figures, they'd be chewed out via the trademark Old School Lurian Player Wall of Text until they learned their place or left the realm.

If all that was going on I'm all the more perplexed that it so rarely boiled over into something visible from the outside. Sure eventually you had Luria Boreal break off but only after a prolonged and relatively pointless war.

are you pillaging rogue regions in the west? hows that going for you?

Great, 14,000+ gold on my last expedition. I just wish it were a tad bit more controversial.

I think it will be difficult to get people away from the old mentality of war = destruction or all in.

This has been an issue for BM for a very long time and few people trying to change won't work. I am literally reducing a small realm that declared war on mine to a pulp yet they don't want to surrender. Already destroyed most of their capital. I am not even asking much. I just want the gold we spent to get there paid. Not in one go either. People would rather see their realm get destroyed than lose wars.

I am sad to say this but in order to change this, we will need a system where demands need to be forced to a realm like CK2 with a forced peace period of 3 months or so.

I think this problem stems from a general unwillingness to give up grudges and concede to a victor. In some ways the game accommodates this. If your realm is destroyed you can join another hostile realm, or turn a non-hostile realm hostile, and just keep on fighting and getting pushed back until you're this overpopulated cluster dedicated to winning a war you lost fair and square ages ago.  Character death might help this a bit but people can still just go on to make vengeful descendants as their new characters.

This is one of the cases where encouraging people to change their play style will help. Two things will break up the trend a bit.

1. Just tell people to give up the grudge already. If you lost, accept it and look for a new conflict. You can't fight every cause ad infinitum, it's not fun for anyone.

2. People need to balance things out a little more when it comes to character motivations. We can't all be honorable upstanding heroes and we can't all be conniving backstabbers, in fact most of us should be neither of the two because realms made up of only those two archetypes don't work. How about playing a lord who's dedicated first and foremost to his region? Then when the enemy rolls in and the king wont bend he might just decide to put pressure on the king, stating that he wont fight for this lost cause at the expense of his land, and if the king will not accept peace that he'll change allegiance to another realm, possibly the enemy. 

I'll note that I think I might have just inadvertently prevented such a destruction from happening in Luria Boreal. I dueled and wounded their king and the Margrave of their capital thanked me for it and now wants to pursue peace.