Author Topic: Colonial Master!  (Read 8861 times)

Chenier

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #15: October 26, 2018, 01:21:12 PM »
Distance from capital was implemented to make it easier for players to play, IE to make it so players in smaller realms had greater chance of survival.

When was it put in, though? Before or after the old tax system was scrapped for the estate based one?
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De-Legro

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #16: October 27, 2018, 05:00:42 AM »
Does it matter? Distance from the capital provides some sort of limit against endless expansion by large realms, and the potential feedback loop that creates. Estates is not a fix, as estates only limits based on characters. Large successful realms attract more characters and thus perpetuate their own expansion.

The question should be, do we want a game that potentially ends up with a handful of large realms per continent, or do we want a game that encourages limitations.
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PolarRaven

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #17: October 27, 2018, 01:18:44 PM »
It is my understanding, from what I have read, that the Devs want fewer realms with higher density to allow for more player interaction.
Boiling this down to the basics, we would have two medium sized realms side by side that could continually war each other over each others lands while the rest of the map is ignored.  Allowing for good density and effective player interaction while the balance of the map is ignored.
Better  to attack the neighbours poor badlands for interaction while ignoring the empty city on the other end of your realm.

Works for density and interaction, but not a very realistic overall.

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #18: October 27, 2018, 01:27:44 PM »
I also believe that the excess spawning of rogues was also set into place to encourage this same density and interaction.
From what I have seen, the excess spawning of monsters has had the opposite effect.  It has broken apart realms into smaller areas leaving little chance for interaction between realms.  One can not leave their realm undefended so that they can travel through many rogue occupied regions with their entire army to either assist their allies or to wage war on their enemies.  The goals of the devs may be laudable, but the path they follow to obtain those goals is, in my opinion, questionable.

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #19: October 27, 2018, 04:12:40 PM »
Here is what I think.

Devs: We want realms with higher density
-1 region with 5 nobles is more dense than 5 regions with 10 nobles but will 1 region with 5 nobles be more active than a realm with 5 regions with 10 nobles?
-10 realms with 10 nobles each won't be as active as 5 realms with 20 nobles each. More people in a realm makes it more active. Look at all these small realms with handful of nobles on Dwilight. They are inactive and they mostly only see red letters.

I don't think the perpetual growth model is bad. If you think a realm can grow forever, you are thinking this wrong. Do you really expect a realm that is mega large will manage to stay in one piece? More people you have, more conflicts you need to deal with in order to stay together. Realms will fracture if they fail to solve their conflicts thus naturally creating more smaller realms.

Devs don't want one realm unifying the whole continent because the game was never meant to be like that. But to conquer the entire continent, you need to have a system that can deal with internal issues. With some players looking to always cause chaos, good luck maintaining one contiguous empire.

Also, with BM's capital oriented system, you can't defend your border effectively when you grow too large. Even if you allow people to grow their realm without any limit, they will naturally run into their growth limit. There are roughly 250 regions on Dwilight and even back when realms could grow to 35 regions they mostly held those regions without lords. I think simply implementing some penalties for not having a lord in a region for longer than a week should be enough. Or maybe with Tim's hinterlands idea, it will all be changed.

Chenier

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #20: October 28, 2018, 02:11:21 AM »
Does it matter? Distance from the capital provides some sort of limit against endless expansion by large realms, and the potential feedback loop that creates. Estates is not a fix, as estates only limits based on characters. Large successful realms attract more characters and thus perpetuate their own expansion.

The question should be, do we want a game that potentially ends up with a handful of large realms per continent, or do we want a game that encourages limitations.

Yea, but there are many means to achieve similar results. Sometimes, diversifying is good. Sometimes, it's just... too much.

Mechanics like capital radius and density limits have the players fight against the game. It puts a roof up to which the players can aspire to reach, and then... stop.

Mechanics like recruitment in the capital only modulate how competitive realms are via each other. If there's no player to oppose a realm, then the recruitment limit lets them keep expanding very, very far, until rogues become too much of a hassle, if even that. But against another realm, it'll give an increasing advantage to the losing realm, by giving them much shorter refit cycles.

Do we really need both kinds?

The problem with density was the lack of competition for titles and excessive contentness. Having too many small realms, even if dense region-wise, doesn't help with that problem at all, because lack of competition for titles and excessive contentness is worsened by the multiplication of small realms, because each realm adds a ruler/banker/judge/general/duke/marshal/vice-marshal.

I see the hinterland idea way more promising to help keep title competition without forcing realms to stop expanding and inevitably making the continents look like swiss cheese via the density mechanics like capital distance.
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Medron Pryde

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #21: November 02, 2018, 11:58:21 AM »
The only force I know of in game that managed to break all those strangeholds was the Cagilan/Taran alliance that ended up conquering all of Atamara to all intents and purposes.

And we broke that up real good in the end.  Too bad they sunk the island before we found out how that little continent-wide war was going to shake out.

My bet is they're just trying really hard to keep that from happening again, which has both good and bad aspects to it...like the bad aspects we're seeing in Dwilight and BT right now.

Chenier

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #22: November 02, 2018, 01:42:43 PM »
The only force I know of in game that managed to break all those strangeholds was the Cagilan/Taran alliance that ended up conquering all of Atamara to all intents and purposes.

And we broke that up real good in the end.  Too bad they sunk the island before we found out how that little continent-wide war was going to shake out.

My bet is they're just trying really hard to keep that from happening again, which has both good and bad aspects to it...like the bad aspects we're seeing in Dwilight and BT right now.

Atamara had the same map as BT, pre-blight. And before the third invasion, Enweil had a series of alliances that basically covered half the map. Enweil itself, at its peak, had about 30 regions. And still, BT was the most dynamic continent, and there were tons of wars between every invasion, it never felt gridlocked. With time, may of these alliances fell, and old allies turned on Enweil. Enweil even fought a war solo against pretty much the whole continent at one point. I don't remember how many nobles we had, but given that in the fourth invasion more nobles died than most realms have nobles today, I'd reckon it was a fair amount. Around 60 probably?

And Enweil has many of my favorites memories of the game. When you have 60 people, you have competition for titles. Every title earned was a real victory. You didn't just get something for being the only one to put a vote in the ballot. We had two, and then three active armies at one point. The general title actually meant something. We had a large realm, and rotating armies to defend our South-Eastern border, without exposing our north-eastern border, all while fending off many realms on our western border... it was exciting. And it's just not the same with a tiny 1-city realm. We had Fwuvghor for the North-East, which was mostly secured, but which we couldn't take for granted as Rio could siege it if we gave them the time. We also used it for raiding into Rio. The South-East was rurals mostly, and the main front against Rio (and Alluran I believe), so that was an unfortified choke to deal with, near our capital and largest city, which again, could potentially be sieged if we didn't pay attention. To the West, a bunch of realms were attacking us... We had Iato and Fheuvenem to simultaneously defend, which themselves were surrounded by rurals and woodlands, so they didn't really block the enemy movement either.

Cities were vital parts of the economy, we had 6: Enweilieos, Ete City, Fengen (capital), Fheuvenem, Iato, Fwuvoghor. But they were valid targets, unlike today. Because for one, even if all but one of these cities was on our border, they still ran taxes fine, and gave the realm lots of gold. How much gold would Enweil get with the current mechanics? Probably a tiny fraction of it. Secondly, most of their income went to knights, and thus the mobile army. Not like today where 90% of it goes to militia. And where estate distribution means the average tax efficiency in the realm hovers around 66% Enweil could, solo, siege a city, thanks to its well-funded mobile army. But enemies too, many of them solo, could siege our cities, thanks to their well-funded mobile armies, and overall humble quantities of militia. Rio had 3 cities and rich regions overall. Most of our rivals had about that.

Enweil was *fun*. It was fun to play in. And certainly, a lot of the continent had fun either siding with it or, mostly, opposing it. Sometimes it did great. Other times, not so great. In its early days, it trekked half the continent and waged wars for purely RP purposes: to stamp out tyrannies, and spread democracy. And that's pretty much exactly the kind of behavior that's always said should happen more: realms shouldn't wait for wars to come to them, they should find reasons to create fun conflicts on their own. And if it slowed down a little after those campaigns, again it re-awakened not much later, and triggered massive conflicts with small things like the invasion of Republic of Fwuvoghor.

But at some point, people noticed that some large realms were... not so fun. Stiffling. And that some small realms were... more fun, more dynamic. Small moving parts like the misnamed Ceded City Alliance helped keep continental politics lively. And so it was extrapolated into a broad rule that "big is bad, small is good".

Problem is, not all big was bad, and not all small was good. And that "small", back then, was larger than your typical realm nowadays. I remember when I founded Fheuv'n (IVF), it didn't take very long for me to consider it to have been a mistake, that my new realm was way too small. And that by splitting from Enweil, I had essentially doomed both (well, Enweil was already doomed by the mass deaths and the blighting of its 2 richest cities). And yet, IVF had 17 nobles and 7 regions. Our mobile army was... I don't recall, around 10k I think.

This "tiny miserable non-viable realm"... was more populous, active, and stronger than many of the realms that now live on all of the continents of BM. And it probably would have been even worse off under current mechanics, because we were surrounded by blight, and could only expand linearly, pretty much.

But even before IVF came to be, even when Enweil was still fairly large with 17 regions and at least 30 nobles (40?)... there was almost no competition for most titles already. And this was 2011.

The player decline continued, and it's like the vision of the game stayed the same, focused on the big blocs of AT.

And so... despite the player base declining, we tacked a 1 noble per continent limit everywhere. So on top of having less players per continent, those could have less nobles per player. Now, let's be clear, I think that the removal of doubles was moderately beneficial, but that doesn't mean that we should just completely ignore the drawbacks. So we end up with depopulated continents because of both player trends and dev-driven mechanics changes. But... on the other hand, we are completely ignoring how much the continents have been bled, and keep on hitting them with new density rules. "You should have 3 nobles per region, even if most realms back with more players and double nobles never had that, or else." And "oh, you have too many regions, you should break up into more realms, otherwise nobody gets any tax gold". "You better go play in a realm that has a big city surrounded but smaller cities, because otherwise, your realm will never be rich, because those border regions will have !@#$ tax rates now".

This is all a caricature of reality, of course. The changes had good intentions. And many had positive impacts. But the drawbacks are cumulative. And it feels like they are increasingly choking the life out of many continents.

PvP wars are so much less fun today than they were in 2006-2013. And some of that are the result of the community evolving and the mechanics failing to catch up, while others are the results of newer mechanics always pushing towards the same direction. "Small realms are good". "Realm destruction is bad". "Large realms are bad". "Small border conflicts are good". "Density is good".

It's like... "Yes, but"... You can't code player behavior. Sure, sticks and carrots have potential... but when you start stacking so much of it, you end up with "everyone is condemned to play in a small realm", "realms are impossible to destroy", "large realms are unviable", "the gains of wars are never worth the costs", and "expanding actually makes you poorer due to the combined effects of tax tolerance and estate efficiency".

So many mechanics have been added to help prevent one realm from imposing boredom on the realm of the continent... that wars have become both unfun and pointless. "We could invade the neighbor... but why bother? We'll get distance from the capital issues." "We could war the neighbor... but then we'd just stare at each other from our fortified locations, and never achieve anything meaningful". "We could try to take this region, but then we'd need to sacrifice two knights from the capital who get good taxes, and that region will take ages to produce any taxes at all, only to produce less taxes than those estates even when fully productive".

And that's not just speculative fear mongering. Those are all conclusions that I, and other players involved in conflicts, have come to. That have guided our decisions. And arguments I have seen by many people in game.
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Anaris

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #23: November 02, 2018, 02:44:34 PM »
This is actually an excellent example of the problem with large realms. It's not just that they're stifling—it's that they create huge inequalities.

Chénier, you may have felt like everything was dynamic and awesome around the time of the Third Invasion, but being in Riombara at that time, you know what we felt like?

We felt like Enweil was strangling everything, and whenever we talked to anyone else about doing pretty much anything, there was always fear about what Enweil would do or think. And this wasn't even during the time when Rio was actively at war with Enweil, or being cut in half and nearly destroyed by Luz de Bia with Enweil's cheerful backing.

The freedom and dynamism you experienced during that time came at a cost, and that cost was the freedom of the rest of the continent to do what they wanted.

That's why I stand by the principle of restricting the ability of realms to grow that large, even as I recognize that some of the specific measures we've taken in the past (and even some we have in place now) to enforce that restriction are far from ideal.
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Chenier

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #24: November 02, 2018, 04:35:01 PM »
This is actually an excellent example of the problem with large realms. It's not just that they're stifling—it's that they create huge inequalities.

Chénier, you may have felt like everything was dynamic and awesome around the time of the Third Invasion, but being in Riombara at that time, you know what we felt like?

We felt like Enweil was strangling everything, and whenever we talked to anyone else about doing pretty much anything, there was always fear about what Enweil would do or think. And this wasn't even during the time when Rio was actively at war with Enweil, or being cut in half and nearly destroyed by Luz de Bia with Enweil's cheerful backing.

The freedom and dynamism you experienced during that time came at a cost, and that cost was the freedom of the rest of the continent to do what they wanted.

That's why I stand by the principle of restricting the ability of realms to grow that large, even as I recognize that some of the specific measures we've taken in the past (and even some we have in place now) to enforce that restriction are far from ideal.

When was BT stiffled? Before I went to Enweil, I was in Fronen. And we warred Enweil and Luz de Bia alongside Riombara. And from Fronen, I don't recall anyone complaining at all. It was a fair distance of marching, but nobody complained about it. Then there were some rebellion shenanigans, and my side lost, so I moved on for a while, namely settling up in RoF. There, we weren't on Enweil's side, relations with them were cold at best. We still had a blast.

And from all accounts I had, Rio was dynamic and engaging. Was there a boogeyman next door? Sure. Did it bring stiffling peace to BT? No. BT never had stiffling peace. Not until rogue became the largest realm on the continent and realms were all impossibly far from each other (now), at least.

Now, the war with Enweil+LdB/Rio+Fronen was already in motion when I joined the continent for the first time, or started soon after while I was still too new to really grasp anything going on, so I don't know who started it or why. But every single other war following that, Riombara was the one declaring war on Enweil. After the third invasion, it was following a direct provocation, with Enweil swiftly conquering Republic of Fwuvoghor, but every other inter-invasion war was really just the continuation of that one. And they were always renewed by Rio, Enweil was always quite willing to put the war with Rio in the past and focus elsewhere.

So who stiffled who? Did Rio have limited paths to pursue? Maybe, but warring Enweil was never an obligation during my playtime, since 2006. And those limitations were due to Rio being an island realm, for the most part... a city choke to the north, and a peninsula with a bunch of chokes to the South. Once LdB was killed and it put a friendly nation there, what else were you going to do? And how was that in any way Enweil's fault?

And Enweil pretty much *needed* to be as it was. Rio was a powerhouse on its own. And with allies like whoever had Eno... that was quite a cluster of cities down in that corner of the map, many incredibly wealthy. Very concentrated. Enweil, on the other hand, all of its cities were on the border. You cut capital distance, and you cut out basically all of Enweil's cities, and basically none of Rio's. A Fengen+Enweilieos "Enweil" would have been pathetic. Rio would have steamrolled it, and then would have been surrounded by allies and the seas. I doubt that would have been a lot more fun.

Huge inequalities are worse than ever. Because now, you've got a select few elite realms, like Obeah (Rio) and Luria and Astrum (and to a lesser extent, Westgard), which with a minimum of nobles can overpower everyone else. Because they have dense rich region clusters. And the other guys? Even if they have a crap ton of nobles, they'll never compete, because the rich regions are out of reach, or inefficiently placed.

Huge realms like Enweil offered a counter-balanced to super wealthy cluster realms, because size allowed them to compensate for lack of quality. When Ete was blighted, and then later Enweilieos, Enweil quickly became a pathethic realm that contributed little to the continent, and got quickly overwhelmed by Rio, which in so doing isolated itself far from everyone, surrounded by seas of rogues.

And now let's go past Enweil-Rio, for most of my BT play-time, I had characters in different realms. One in RoF-Enweil, one in another central or northern realm. Again again, never did I experience any of these realms getting stiffled by Enweil. Even when Enweil was somehow involved, it was all proxy wars. And even that's a bit of a stretch. Old Grehk, Sint, Heen, Bara'Khur, Fronen, Thalmarkin, Hetland, Vlaanderen... they all had a bunch of wars for all of their own reasons. With Melhed joining in a bit later. And except for the numerous times where THEY declared war on Enweil, Enweil mostly had no role in their wars whatsoever. There were land disputes, religious disputes, who sided with what inhuman during the past invasion, and complex diplomacy. But Rio+Alluran alone was typically enough to prevent Enweil from doing anything anywhere else, though Hetland often also joined in to force a flank.

When Fronen fought its neighbors, we cheered on. But we sent them an army, like, once? In all of those years?

So whatever Rio had going on, "big realms are bad" is terrible conclusion to draw from it. Maybe it's a fairer conclusion to draw from whatever happened on AT, but definitely not from BT and Enweil. If ever there was a period when Enweil was stiffling, it was short lived. And as far as it imposing its will in the earlier periods, like the democratic crusades, that's always been exactly the kind of behavior that's been encouraged by the dev team. But to think realms will fabricate reasons to go to war against equal or stronger enemies is wishful thinking. BM has a strong reactionary culture, where the guy that declares war is automatically the bad guy for almost everyone else. Realms that want to dare to start a war need to have the confidence to be able to take on the inevitable gang-bang that follows. Otherwise, what you get is realms posturing during RL years, trying to goad the other realm into being the "bad guy" and declaring war first. To then gangbang and annihilate them anyways. Westfold being the latest example among many.

The old "inequalities" had balance. The new ones don't. Enweil almost got defeated a bunch of times, had the coalition against it been slightly better coordinated, slightly less dumb, OR slightly more persistent, Enweil would have fallen. Instead they attacked us all on their own, attacked us where we were strong, walked into probable ambushes, and quickly accepted bilateral peace accords. That's not an inequality problem, that's a political problem on the Coalition's side. The great thrill of being general in that war was how we constantly defied all odds, by continuously defeating a coalition that had like 5x our CS and economy. And which, for the most part, were all neighbors, and flanked us. Enweil didn't win because it was overpowered, it won because it was well organized, and its enemies did every mistake they possibly could.

But take Luria, and tell me who will invade it now? Or who would invade Astrum? Or who would invade Obeah? or Westgard?

Nobody. Because the game is now hard coded in favor of small clusters of dense rich regions like these realms have. There's no counterbalance. The only way to defeat these realms is to wait for their players to get bored and leave the realm, as seems to have partially happened in Astrum. But otherwise, even with average noble counts, those realms are now impenetrable.

Which is, again, on top of all other mechanical changes that make the mobile army lose potency/importance. Like ambassadors badmouthing the enemy and making every region spawn huge peasant militias. This mechanic has absolutely nothing to do with density... and yet, it still greatly amplifies all of the problems related to it. The synergistic effects are real, and the stymieing power it can have was blatant on EC. Fighting Caligus basically became pointless because of a single ambassador. What do you want to do, when entering a region causes a peasant horde that has more CS than half of the mobile armies? Does this sound "fun"? But even if I dislike that mechanic, if realms were more like the old days, and thus larger with a greater tax revenue, their mobile army would be much bigger, and thus the average realm mobile force would be much larger than this large peasant militia, and thus the stymieing power of it would be exponentially smaller.

I want to insist, though, that I totally understand that there were valid reasons behind these changes. But as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In a similar vein, the loss of density led to an increase in individual wealth, and nobles having so much more gold than they used to started generating it's own array of issues. So measures were taken that reduce tax efficiency, so that while the average noble still gets way more than he used to way back, it's not a linear progression.

But what matters more than a noble's wealth is a realm's wealth, and this cut funding for realms drastically. With expenses remaining the same, available income dropped by a far greater % than the gross income drop. In other words, the mobile armies, on the whole, get less gold. Thus, less CS. But something else also made sure they had less CS: the declining density meant nobles had larger units, and large units get less CS/men than smaller ones. So bam, density loss now punishes mobile army CS twice, through completely unrelated mechanics. All while militia CS stays pretty much the same (or even increases, mostly, as now many cities have few knights and know that the mobile army isn't as able to defend it anymore).

The dev team didn't cause the player loss. And it was an impressive feat for them to put a stop to it. But it does feel to me like BT and Dwi, at the very least, are living on burrowed time. The game mechanics are stiffling. There's little to do, and the little to do, there's little reason to do it. People are bound to lose patience. I've enjoyed killing monsters there, it's the most fun I'm having with BM at the moment, but visibly most people don't enjoy it as much as I do. On BT, realms are dying, and we are just droning by, always considering to just give up. Some realms have the numbers, possibly maintain more fun... but how long until they bore themselves, alone in their corners? The most dense and populous realms are basically at opposite ends of the map. And between them, the realms are struggling to even survive. What will happen if BK, Vale, and Nothoi fall? And the other struggling northern realms? Even if 100% of the players of lost realms migrate to those two realms (they won't), then what? Not only are they too far to really war each other, those two realms are friends... allies working together.

Now the devs aren't responsible for all of the changes between 2006 and today. But before joining with Enweil, I've opposed them from various realms. And I still had much more fun seeing them as the vile giant next door, than... whatever it is we are doing on Beluaterra right now. BT was never peace-locked until now. And right now, the peace is mechanic-induced, because a bunch of realms would giddily gang-bang Bara'Khur.
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Chenier

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #25: November 03, 2018, 02:02:50 AM »
Sorry for that wall of text... that said, I can't help myself from wondering: how fun was Riombara, after Enweil was no longer around to stifle it? Enweil died in April 2014. Rio died in July 2016. That's 2 years and 3 months without Enweil to stiffle it. Without talking about how Enweil hasn't been a meaningful power since at least 2011, with the death of at least 27 nobles and the blighting of Ete, Enweilieos, and Fengen. Some of that even being in 2010 I think.

I've not played much in Rio, but to my eyes, it always seemed like a huge part of Rio's identity was about opposing Enweil. The other was their republican government and laws. Yet after fighting Enweil for over a decade, when they finally won... soon after they turned into a monarchy, and then were destroyed. And nobody ever attempted to remake it.
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De-Legro

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #26: November 06, 2018, 09:52:26 PM »
Sorry for that wall of text... that said, I can't help myself from wondering: how fun was Riombara, after Enweil was no longer around to stifle it? Enweil died in April 2014. Rio died in July 2016. That's 2 years and 3 months without Enweil to stiffle it. Without talking about how Enweil hasn't been a meaningful power since at least 2011, with the death of at least 27 nobles and the blighting of Ete, Enweilieos, and Fengen. Some of that even being in 2010 I think.

I've not played much in Rio, but to my eyes, it always seemed like a huge part of Rio's identity was about opposing Enweil. The other was their republican government and laws. Yet after fighting Enweil for over a decade, when they finally won... soon after they turned into a monarchy, and then were destroyed. And nobody ever attempted to remake it.

Note the very important part - to your eyes. This reminds me of Arcaea and other big successful realms, hell it reminds me of how everyone feels about my own realm in M&F right now. It is fun being part of the big winning team. It is generally less fun for everyone else, particularly when you are the target of the big team. This is only really a problem though once the imbalance becomes too large, particularly with the design of BM.
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Chenier

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #27: November 07, 2018, 12:15:25 AM »
Note the very important part - to your eyes. This reminds me of Arcaea and other big successful realms, hell it reminds me of how everyone feels about my own realm in M&F right now. It is fun being part of the big winning team. It is generally less fun for everyone else, particularly when you are the target of the big team. This is only really a problem though once the imbalance becomes too large, particularly with the design of BM.

Thing is, nearly all the wars that Enweil was involved in were the result of others declaring war on Enweil.

In all of my BM play time, since 2006, Enweil declared war, like, once. And it ended immediately.

So yea, I have a really, really, really hard time accepting the argument that Enweil was, at least after 2006, stifling to other realms. If anything, I'd argue that Enweil itself was stifled, by Riombara and the ridiculous coalitions it would always mount, because Enweil never got a say in what we would do, past that one time. We'd always be forced to defend ourselves from one invasion after the other after the other after the other. Sometimes, those coalitions would more than double our economic power, and our victories were almost miraculous.

Thing is, you can't really avoid losers in a competitive game. And the mechanics to prevent winners just make it so that everyone's a loser. How fun's the war on EC? How fun are the realms that were forced to secede? Highmarch seceded because Vix's tax tolerance was too low, and it quickly declined in activity after a short initial boost. Same thing in Luria, on Dwi. The game mechanics forced a secession, and then both halves total a fraction of what the unitary realm had. Same thing earlier on, when I split IVF from Enweil. Perleone wasn't having any fun until they recruited dozens of new players to turn on their neighbors. BT was filled with small realms that are just withering away one after the other.

Small is not fun. Some small realms are fun, but breaking a large realm into smaller parts does not make it any more fun, it usually makes it much, much less fun.

There are winners and there are losers, this is a competitive game. But when you just punish victory, and remove all incentives for people to strive for success, then nobody bothers, and everyone loses.
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Anaris

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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #28: November 07, 2018, 12:23:37 AM »
Do you not understand that perception of a threat can be just as effective at shutting down action as a real threat?

At this late date I can't remember the details, but I remember quite clearly that when I, as ruler of Riombara, talked to other rulers on BT about doing things during the period before the wars against Enweil, at least two of them straight-out said that they didn't want to do anything that might risk the wrath of Enweil.

It's the same principle as the Inalienable Rights. It doesn't matter if you don't include an explicit threat of a ban when you talk about how much you hate people who don't log in at least twice a day within 15 minutes of the turn changes: if you're in a position of power, the fact that you can inflict negative consequences on people who just want to play at their own pace is enough.

Similarly, it doesn't matter if Enweil explicitly said anything threatening to the realms in question. The fact that a) Enweil was a monstrous powerhouse of a realm, and b) we had all seen Enweil go to war fairly recently to force other realms to change their government type told us all that Enweil was a realm that would happily throw around its weight to make the entire continent behave exactly the way it wanted them to.

To be clear, I don't think that "large realms are inherently evil." Nor do I think that we need to have code in place that prevents realms from ever getting large.

What I do think is that the type of restrictions we have, and have had, on large realms are good in principle, and where they prove to be counterproductive in practice, we should change them to be better balanced and achieve the overall goal of the most fun for all.
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Re: Colonial Master!
« Reply #29: November 07, 2018, 12:48:17 AM »
I think pretty much everyone will agree, when thinking of their own realm out of context, that they would much rather their success and growth be limited by their own capabilities, than hard-coded limits to what they are allowed to strive for.

The inherent troubles of fighting far from the capital and defending a large territory are the fairest and most fun restrictions to growth. You end up with lots of equipment damage, rations can be an issue, salaries, troop losses from battles, the inability to be everywhere at once, etc. Because these allow players to do their best, and these allow skilled players to shine. IC action and coordination are rewarded.

Hard caps that can only be overcome by OOC actions, like recruiting more players (or multi cheating, because let's not pretend that cheating will never again occur and that these mechanics don't give huge incentives for it), are the least fun. They prevent players from even trying, and tend to just make realms sit contently on their asses, unable to aspire for more, just waiting to wither away.

Large realms were one form of behemoth. But we still see behemoths anyways. Obeah on BT, if you removed the rogues, could still just steamroll everyone, and moreso than ever, because the difference in noble count means the other realms, for the most part, just struggle to maintain a livable core of regions that will both produce a minimum of wealth and feed their capital. If you look at Luria, everyone tells me that it's "dead" since the secession. In Westgard, my greatest fear is that we become "too successful". If we reach a hard cap, I strongly fear that it may demotivate players, and plunge it into a spiral of decay. Less players, a lower cap, which in turn drives more players away, and so on. We've had cycles of various sizes, but at least it was always the result of glorious combat, not hitting an super meta gamey limit on density. But to return to behemoths... the large realms were, in my opinion, needed to balance out the dense realms. Luria and Rio are examples of dense realms, a small cluster of rich and fertile regions that tend to attract lots of nobles and benefit from low distance from the capital. Luria fended off the whole continent united against them, even when they had lost many regions. Rio held its own quite well against Enweil, when it didn't have other realms helping against it. I mean, in a sense, Luria was "stifling", D'Hara could not, ever, stop thinking about the Lurian menace. But... there was also the North. We couldn't even stop thinking about the northern menace. And the Zuma... and the various realms that tried to colonize our islands when we lost regions to rogues. But it was thrilling nonetheless. Same thrill as when I commanded the armies of Enweil against invaders from all sides, in 2009. It wasn't about being an overpowered realm, quite the contrary, it was about the stakes being sky high, and player agency being determining for what would happen next.
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