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Acharis

Group vs group

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There are kingdoms composed of players. Each kingdom has a king elected by players. The king can start a war with any other kingdom. The king can launch up to 3 battles against kingdoms (or to be more precise he selects a city to attack ) his kingdom is in war with (any kingdom can participate in any number of defensive battles and up to 3 offensive battles). Once battle is launched players from both kingdoms can participate and depending how well they did the battle is lost or won and the kingdom gets a reward (individual players also gets glory as a reward, but that's irrelevant). Kingdoms are highly unbalanced (some are huge, some are tiny).

How to make reward system for kingdoms (taking into account that kingdoms have very different strenght/number of players)? The reward can't be land or control of a city (cities are predefined and belong to the kingdom forever and ever). Also I don't want looting players belonging to defeated kingdom.


Example solution:
Kingdoms have prestige. If you win against a kingdom with equal/similar prestige than you you get +1 prestige and their prestige does not change. If you win against higher prestige kingdom you get +1 prestige and they lose -1 prestige. If you win against much lower prestige than yours nothing happens.

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What's the point of prestige? You also have prestige inflation and there's no point in attacking someone stronger than you since you get the same prestige than attacking someone slightly smaller.

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What's the point of prestige? You also have prestige inflation and there's no point in attacking someone stronger than you since you get the same prestige than attacking someone slightly smaller.
It was just an "example solution" and I don't like it either :) I hope someone invent something better than that :D

As for "what's the point" there could be kingdom attributes like "kingdom stability" which determine bad events chance or "bonus wealth" which boosts kingdom income. "Kingdom prestige" could provide some bonus to all players in that kingdom.

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The whole point of these games is to acquire more resources than the other guys to climb the ladder. Attacking is a way to access these resources. It's a risky operation because you need to invest some of your resources in hope of getting a bigger return. If you can't get land or towns for your efforts, then you need something else that will end up being higher than what you risked by attacking. If this isn't possible, then attacking will become a losing activity.

You need some form of resource plundering. You could either loot it right away or leech resources for a while. The victor of the battle could get 10% of all resources produced by the town until liberated or conquered by another kingdom. The town would still remain in control of whatever entity had it before the battle, but the victor would have dividends as long as they keep control over it. Attacking will be profitable if you can get more resources than you spent attacking and will spend defending the town.

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Assuming that you have a solid, practical reason that cities can't be conquered and then owned by another kingdom (I don't see any particular reason why this has to be the case, but I doubt you'd be open to changing your mind on it in any event), I'm with tiblanc. Resources are the only way to go, unless you can present some other existing factor for war to affect that would justify the cost.

Introducing a largely useless and behind-the-scenes metric as a gimmick to make war less meaningless sounds like a bad idea to me. The idea is to make war meaningful by impacting significant game mechanics in some way, not to add a tangential mechanic to impact because you've already decided that war won't affect anything important. That marginalizes the entire war mechanic, and makes it a loser in terms of the costs it requires.

To add a new mechanic just so that war matters would need a major design adjustment to make that new mechanic relevant to the game, and I don't think that it's a given thatthis would be less work or less destabilizing to your current design than allowing war to impact an existing mechanic via a different design adjustment.

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I was thinking about Eurogames mechanics. Also, it does not have to be a zero sum game (the winner could get more than the loser loses).

- war costs nothing, also there is no risk (from individual player's point of view)
- individual player has battle actions that can be used on battles only (this is limiting number of battles each player can participate in)
- individual player gets a reward (resources come from the game, not from the defeated player/kingdom)

So, all kingdoms will want to make wars, so the citizens/players of that kingdom can spend their battle actions and get their individual reward. Now I'm trying to make it so war make sense for the kingdom as a whole too.

Do not overlook that there are two types of entities, a player and a kingdom. A player belongs to a kingdom and wants it to thrive, but not for all cost and not as a priority. The kingdom is not property of any single player. It is shared with many fellow players. The game is not a strategy where kingdoms fight versus kingdoms. It is a simulation where players live in a world and happen to be citizens of a kingdom. Some will care about their kingdom a lot, some will care less, some won't care at all.

The primary purpose of this wars between kingdoms feature is to build bonds with fellow players, to have a common enemy, to add inter kingdom diplomacy. The strategic aspect is secondary at most (but it would be a nice addition).

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Sigh, whenever I try to talk about some modern eurogames mechanics there is silence... Everyone is fixated on traditional wargames, early player elimination, loot based mechanics :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German-style_board_game

More information about special kingdoms to fuel the discussion:
- There is "infidels" kingdom (the game is in medieval ages in the era of crusades), no player can be a member of that kingdom (computer controled), it is purely to be attacked only.
- Papal States, the Pope resides there, in permanent peace with all kingdoms (except infidels), it acs as an international organization. The ruler (Pope) is elected not by the kingdom citizens but by clergy from all kingdoms.
- Swiss Confederacy, in permanent peace with everyone (except infidels). They can not wage wars but all citizens of the kingdom are mercenaries. Any kingdom can hire swiss mercenaries (a kingdom level contract). Once it is done all citizens of Swiss Confederacy can participate in wars of that kingdom as mercenaries (they get standard loot, plus bonus wage depending on the kingdom contract).

So, I will need non only kingdom vs kingdom wars, but also a special case, a crusade (war against infidels). The trick is infidels are not a real country (0 citizens), so I can't use a standard comparison of power there. I think it should be done as a "campaign" with a selected dificulty level. A small kingdom would select a border raid and fight against small forces only, while big strong country would launch a full scale attack (to get more benefits/loot).


Maybe like this:
* Each city can be plundered after a battle. A city has some abstract wealth (of NPCs, not players) that is being accumulated over time. Wherever any kingdom plunder that city they get half of the city wealth (it is converted to gold and added to kingdom treasury OR it is distributed among their own cities).
* Each kingdom has a level. You can only start a war against a kingdom that is no more that 2 levels lower than you. The king can increase the level at will, decreasing it is poossible only if your cities were plundered recently. Whenever a kingdom's wealth (treasury+infrastructure+cities wealth) is significantly bigger than of other kingdoms that kingdom's level automaticly increases. The level grants some bonuses to the kingdom.

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The basis of games is the choices offered to the players. With your eurogame mechanics, you remove all choice. As a player, I lose nothing for participating in battles, but I can earn rewards for doing it. There is no choice here. The optimum move is to participate in as many battles as I can, no matter what they are.

The reason it works with board games is because they have a start and an end. All players start at the same time and earn points throughout the game. If a player wanted to join midway, he would be at a severe disadvantage because other players have more points and can generate points faster. In my opinion, in a persistent online game, the same mechanics hurt the game because they disallow a new player to reach the top until top players quit. The new player has no way to influence their score and is left trying to increase his faster than the top players which will be impossible.

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The basis of games is the choices offered to the players. With your eurogame mechanics, you remove all choice. As a player, I lose nothing for participating in battles, but I can earn rewards for doing it. There is no choice here. The optimum move is to participate in as many battles as I can, no matter what they are.
Well, actually it's even worse. You don't even select in which battles you participate since you will be TOLD by your senior (lord) where to go and where to fight :) Sure, there will be a few players (commanders) that will make decisions regarding battles, but majority will not. Anyway, the war is not about choices. It is about fellowship. One player shouts "let's kill them" and eveyone grab their clubs and rush mindlessly to beat other "gang", that's what this war thing here is about :D

It's true games are about choices, but games are not only about choices. There are other sources of fun in games than choices. I don't know, maybe I'm weird, but I do enjoy mindlessly rushing with my gang to kill some enemies, even if my only choice there is whose skull to club next :)

There might be some choices involving battles (mostly how to fight, but not when and where) but that's not the primary purpose of this feature. The choices will come from other parts of the game.


The reason it works with board games is because they have a start and an end. All players start at the same time and earn points throughout the game. If a player wanted to join midway, he would be at a severe disadvantage because other players have more points and can generate points faster. In my opinion, in a persistent online game, the same mechanics hurt the game because they disallow a new player to reach the top until top players quit. The new player has no way to influence their score and is left trying to increase his faster than the top players which will be impossible.[/quote]That's another can of worms I want to avoid to open. Generally, all online games that have no resets (are everlasting) are broken to a degree and a new player can not outrun the older player (unless the old player is really unskilled/stupid/lazy). I have not seen any solution to this that really works, I don't belive such solution even exist. The only thing to do is to tread this as a virtual world rather than a game and ignore that problem.

Generally, everything you said is true, but you focus too much on singleplayer / competitive gameplay. This would be more like a multiplayer world where groups cooperate. I guess I should have included more background on the game in the first topic...

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This all depends on what reward you give to the player and how you present it. If the game is about growing your character and your character happens to be part of a kingdom, players will not care much for the kingdom well being. If the players are faceless and all they do is for the kingdom, they will care up to their contribution level which is inversely proportional to the numbers of players in a kingdom. In a 2000 player kingdom, players will not care at all. The king of a 2000 player kingdom will care about the kingdom. Everyone else won't. If they are 5 or 6, then they will care a lot more. The bigger the group of player, the more players will want to use the common resources for their personal gain. See Tragedy of the Commons.

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