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Warfare

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  • AccipiterAccipiter Member Posts: 474 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Another problem you run into is the war system taking over the world. Look at the old landmarking system to see that when something important is at stake everything moves into it and you rarely get meaningful interactions outside. I would love to see something that makes village loyalty useful and not just a way to annoy people who are at the level to bash the areas close to a city, but having open ended conflicts that really can't have a meaningful win because A) the only really useful currency is the one that pays the bills and B) you can't just subjugate the loser because they want to play the game as well isn't the best idea.

    If you put non-pvp related rewards that have some upkeep cost that means having too many of them at once is a drain after a certain period, like say the loyalty of a village has an increasing tribute requirement if you have x other villages under your sway, that gives something cool that people would care about (probably something different from each village, perhaps the crafting changes will have something interesting to provide) could work. Then you give each city a couple of free loyalty villages that can be traded away in a war (or the gains of the village are tithed to a foreign power to make it more palatable), and the non-free can be won or lost by doing X that is conflict related.

    The biggest problem there is finding rewards that the playerbase cares about but that won't mean that having the rewards makes you more likely to be able to get more rewards, and finding a decay time that encourages conflict for longer than the 3 months after it is implemented. Having some village loyalties resting on non-pvp things might be a good idea too, to encourage noncoms to engage in the activity.

    This style of thing would also allow for non symmetrical gameplay that reinforces city ideology. Sure Ashtan and Mhaldor would be doing the kill everything into submission thing, but Eleusis could reclaim the villages for nature, Targ could convert people to the light for a time, Cyrene could forge alliances through artistic impression or something and Hashan doesn't matter cause they wouldn't get involved anyway.
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    I think that's actually one of the reasons I like the idea of it being mostly a thing that Ministers do, that has visible effects, but has minimal actual input from other players. It allows the whole thing to be part of the world without it becoming the central pillar of the game.

    I think capturing villages is probably a bad idea for exactly the reason you point out - it makes the game too much about that aspect. It means that instead of the war serving mostly as a backdrop punctuated by big historical battles, everyone feels like they're forced to participate in it all the time to promote their city. I think that's probably a bad idea, for the same reason that landmarking eventually proved pretty unpopular.

    Also regarding asymmetry - I think there are a lot of good avenues for that. For one, diplomacy would be just as useful with a war system as it is now - no need to program that in or anything. Cyrene would probably focus on building a strong defensive formation, if battles caused fires in the world, Eleusis would probably focus on defending the forests and making sure other wars don't spill into them, etc.
  • AddamaAddama Member Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I dug up something I wrote and then scrapped a month or two ago about a potential war system.

    The problem with a "war system" is that the main players of Achaean combat are at constant war.  Targossas stands against Mhaldor on not just a political and cultural level, but on an existential level as well.  It's not conceivable that Targossas and Mhaldor would ever be at anything less than "total war" with one another.  That's why the current war system sucks - they can't function if their respective membership are free PK everywhere all the time, but for RP reasons, it doesn't make sense that they would be at anything less than full-blown war all the time.

    An overhauled war system that works would mean overhauling a lot of things - experience loss, raid mechanics, escape methods, room-wide effects, ranged abilities, totems, etc, etc, etc.  Basically to make combat significantly less risky and more attractive to the yeoman (denizen/fish) farmer so that they're less afraid of free PK situations and more willing to participate in group/solo fighting.  If you belong to a super-militant city, e.g. Mhaldor or Targ, you should be ready and willing to bear arms, and for a significant portion of Targ, that could drive them out of the game entirely.

    Then again, Cyrene strikes me as the city for Risk-Free Good RP, so maybe in a working system those people just migrate over and Cyrene gets a bigger role in Good/Righteousness/Light RP.  But that begs the question, are cities for war?
    ~Kresslack's obsession~
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 6,312 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    That sounds a lot like a large scale PvP system, akin to CTF, which isn't really the intent of my suggestion. My suggestion is based on the idea of PvE on a scale large enough to simulate more world involvement and story development by giving cities the options to have obtainable assets in the game (villages within their sphere of influence) and a reason to want to protect those assets while looking for ways to expand their global influence. Cities wouldn't be capturing villages in the sense of forcing the villages under their rule, but having a heavy military presence in such areas will naturally expand the city's area of influence in the land, creating a linked network with other influential points in the land.

    It has very little to do with actual combat, so it wouldn't mean a massive overhaul (to the best of my understanding) such as you described, because it doesn't involve any of things. We have raids and a PvP system which work for the small scale conflicts and the approach of out muscling your enemies. This is an approach of offering large scale conflict that relies on strategy, planning each move carefully before making it, because mistakes can be costly. It's one thing if during a raid the team totem holder forget to prop and the group gets decimated in a rush. It's another thing entirely to haphazardly field an army and effectively have them removed from the field due to carelessness or oversight.

    On the note of why cities are in conflict with each other, I'm not a firm believer that cities like Mhaldor and Targossas absolutely -need- to be at odds with each other forever. When you think about it, Mhaldor's biggest rival has always been Eleusis. Shallam and Ashtan have historically always been at odds, but the premise for that basically boils down to two guys fighting over a girl, which then evolved into a conflict over alternative lifestyles (Devotionalism vs Occultism). In my opinion, those storylines have long been played out and they've grown stale as a reasoning for extensive conflict between city-states. The reasons for going to war should expand past theological and cultural differences, or whether or not the Dawnlord cockblocked you at that festival or gala everyone attended.


  • SarathaiSarathai Member Posts: 2,139 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2014
    Kresslack said:
    Shallam and Ashtan have historically always been at odds, but the premise for that basically boils down to two guys fighting over a girl...
    I'd just like to point out here that technically, so can the Trojan War (if you discount some of the Olympian meddling going on in the background).

    Not necessarily disagreeing, just noting an example of two guys fighting over a girl ballooning out into a large-scale conflict.
    - (Eleusis): Ellodin says, "The Fissure of Echoes is Sarathai's happy place."
    - With sharp, crackling tones, Kyrra tells you, "The ladies must love you immensely."
    - (Eleusian Ranger Techs): Savira says, "Most of the hard stuff seem to have this built in code like: If adventurer_hitting_me = "Sarathai" then send("terminate and selfdestruct")."
    - Makarios says, "Serve well and perish."
    - Xaden says, "Xaden confirmed scrub 2017."



    Kresslack
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 6,312 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2014
    Sarathai said:
    Kresslack said:
    Shallam and Ashtan have historically always been at odds, but the premise for that basically boils down to two guys fighting over a girl...
    I'd just like to point out here that technically, so can the Trojan War (if you discount some of the Olympian meddling going on in the background).

    Not necessarily disagreeing, just noting an example of two guys fighting over a girl ballooning out into a large-scale conflict.
    More or less, the difference being that the Trojan war escalated into a psychotic power play, and the Shallam - Ashtan war escalated into a enthusiastic wave of genocide based on cultural differences. That, however, is a topic for another time and place, and a very interesting one at that.


  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited November 2014
    Trying to limit how long something goes on via gold is probably not doable. Larger population cities have much deeper pockets and a much more substantial ability to generate gold. Generally speaking, having to constantly grind out "upkeep" on things is not very fun and I don't think people would welcome more of it - we already have fonts to upkeep, icon shards, gold for city guards, upkeep for city improvements, etc. While I don't think it's necessarily excessive right now, adding the sort of thing you're suggesting seems likely to make the game feel a bit too much like a job, just like landmarking did.

    Also, you are describing a relatively complicated system, specifically the kind of complexity that is difficult to balance - that's a lot of gameplay variables and balancing them against each other in a satisfying way that feels fair and keeps the political/military situation mutable, but retaining a certain stability would take an astronomical amount of work. As Sarapis pointed out, a complicated system that relatively few players interact with is pretty questionable from a coder-time perspective. Something as simple as pseudo-Risk is probably already too complex, but something where they have to design and balance variable legion compositions and where legions meeting results in "tactical turn-based battles" over villages using the actual dimensions of the world map (which isn't designed to support this kind of play) seems unlikely.

    Also @Addama, the reason I suggested what I did is specifically that it allows for total war by relegating the war to the backburner 99% of the time, having it still contribute to the game's atmosphere, and having players mostly not have to worry about it. Targossas and Mhaldor should be in a state of total war at all times. It feels sort of silly that they largely aren't right now. Having "war" be a simple minigame mostly played by ministers that is nonetheless visible to most players in the world at large helps to cement the atmosphere of fundamental conflict without forcing players to deal with endless PK largely devoid of narrative. So long as the system is balanced such that one side "winning" a war is an exceptionally rare event (though still a player-driven, organic event rather than a Divine-created "event", which is I think desirable for a game with a lot of focus on player-run factions), then you get the set piece of total war without the annoying parts of a conventional PvP war. And if winning leads to something like an icon-war-like siege on the enemy gates, then you also get the excitement of actual PvP warfare. And if those rare events don't have a predefined reward/loss, then you're opening things up for interesting city conflict RP that isn't just one city posting on news boards saying "Your city sucks and you're going to lose" and the other one saying either "We won, your city sucks" or "We lost, but we're not going to let it get us down so really we didn't lose". Having rare events thats outcome might actually change the political landscape of the game a bit every once in a while would be a good thing. But, crucially, so long as the system tends toward stalemate (which should not be hard to design), you actually can have the atmosphere and RP of total, endless war without the normal downsides of total endless war - because it only directly impacts the players on the very rare occasions where the stalemate is broken.
  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Don't mean to seem stubborn, just explaining my logic.
    Tael said:
    Trying to limit how long something goes on via gold is probably not doable. Larger population cities have much deeper pockets and a much more substantial ability to generate gold. Generally speaking, having to constantly grind out "upkeep" on things is not very fun and I don't think people would welcome more of it - we already have fonts to upkeep, icon shards, gold for city guards, upkeep for city improvements, etc. While I don't think it's necessarily excessive right now, adding the sort of thing you're suggesting seems likely to make the game feel a bit too much like a job, just like landmarking did.
    Cities can refuse war. It only happens when both cities accept. I'm speculating because I wasn't around for landmarking, but I think that was a chore because it happened every 12 days and you had to do it to get any devotion/essence. It was the repetition and enforced participation, not the activity. Wars are opt-in.

    Large cities will generally have the advantage in anything. But, without knowing actual numbers, I believe cities that aren't PK powerhouses, like Cyrene and Hashan, still have large bank accounts. The idea isn't that the war ends when you're broke. But gold is a relevant resource to cities, without inventing a new metric like 'war points'. It encourages ending the war ASAP. If Ashtan is hurting financially from its last war on Targossas, they'll be less eager to declare a new war on Hashan. Gold is already integrated with other game systems, so you could get interesting stuff going on like Cyrene financing Mhaldor to continue their war with Eleusis.

    I can see cities selling off credits as de facto taxes, that type of revenue raising. But I don't see war costs becoming a grind for individual players. I think city improvements are a good example of how the general citizenry would largely be shielded from the responsibility of upkeep, with it instead being handled by a couple of leaders/ministers allocating the resources.
    Also, you are describing a relatively complicated system, specifically the kind of complexity that is difficult to balance - that's a lot of gameplay variables and balancing them against each other in a satisfying way that feels fair and keeps the political/military situation mutable, but retaining a certain stability would take an astronomical amount of work. As Sarapis pointed out, a complicated system that relatively few players interact with is pretty questionable from a coder-time perspective. Something as simple as pseudo-Risk is probably already too complex, but something where they have to design and balance variable legion compositions and where legions meeting results in "tactical turn-based battles" over villages using the actual dimensions of the world map (which isn't designed to support this kind of play) seems unlikely.
    I get the virtue and elegance of simple systems. But I think a war system has to be somewhat complex, if it's going to be separate from other systems like PVP, because you're essentially building a whole new game system. If you make it something simple like a PK death counter in 'warzone' areas, then that's intrinsically connected to PK, so the city with the PK advantage has the war advantage.

    Mass involvement is a valid point. It's tough to balance against the timezone issue (and the PK capability issue, if you make wars involve that). I had half-ideas for stuff like lower-level players questing/bashing/exploring for resources to fuel the war engine, but as you point out, that's added complexity, a grind, and a contrived task that doesn't connect their actions with the real winning of the war.
    image
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited November 2014
    The latter points are precisely why I think a separate system that is both simple and unconnected to PK is probably the best bet, if anything were ever going to be added. A couple of ministers playing a very slow game of Risk that very rarely culminates in a PK event is (1) simple and easy to balance (2) offers the atmosphere of war to most players (3) doesn't inconvenience players who aren't interested in "war" gameplay all the time (4) offers PK people both raid targets (the associated rooms) and much rarer large-scale PK events like icon warfare offered.

    The main point I've been trying to make is that I think involving more people is, somewhat countintuitively, a bad idea. A simple system that doesn't actually impact most players most of the time (even though war technically is going on most of the time and you get purely aesthetic signs of how that war is going in the world), has most of the benefits people want from a war system without most of the drawbacks. The one major benefit it doesn't have - giving a large number of players a new, regular activity to participate in - largely just can't be implemented in a satisfactory way. I think that last point is pretty widely accepted - the thing that isn't as widely accepted, that I think merits deeper consideration, is how worthwhile a war system that doesn't have that one benefit could still be in other ways.
  • AccipiterAccipiter Member Posts: 474 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I think basing it around gold is problematic for one reason: Gold is vastly more relevant for citizens than the city as a whole.

    Cities can generate vast amounts of gold from credit sales that they get for free, lowering the cost of credits and diluting the income stream of IRE. Some other currency though, that worked like essence/devo where cities get some amount per year but citizens can do X activity to get more would work better.

    A legion system run by players could work though, where an adventurer leads the legion and if they die reduces the npc capability greatly, though that really just ends up with the npcs being flavour. Officer players have to be in the local area for troops to have the leadership bonus, and have to give some kind of orders the the group that makes being in the same room as them a benefit. Orders being yelled would allow the opposition to know who is commanding them, some kind of like subjugation bonus where while you can capture unopposed, it takes much less time if armies are actively fighting and scaring the locals into obeying the winner.

    The system really has to work with the current PvP system somehow, because that is where all the money is made. Saying 'Oh, you spent $10000 on artefacts but now the system of organizational conflict doesn't care about them' is not a good marketing strategy. If they system doesn't compliment it there is really no point in putting it in, the PK rules of city soldiers being open PK during a war means that anyone can opt in/out of it whenever they want (so long as cities don't have rules forcing citizens to enlist in what is essentially a PK flag). Mhaldor and Targossas could be at war 100% of the time like @Tael says and anyone who doesn't want to be open PK just isn't in the army.
  • AccipiterAccipiter Member Posts: 474 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I took too long editing, wanted to add:

    It still doesn't really address the major problem though: What is the win condition and what is the reward for winning? Win reward could be as simple as citizens of the conquering city have something like grace in the conquered city (that has a far shorter reject balance) with a couple of other restrictions on it to prevent theft/ect, only protection from/to citizens of the losing side while in there. Cause you know people would enjoy just walking around a conquered city taunting people. Win condition is something difficult though, it really has to be mechanically decided or else you get the hard nosed people who will just never accept defeat.
  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think war should be more about making a point. There should probably be some kind of prize, just because it makes sense that the winners win something, like war reparations or whatever. But it shouldn't be like "I want that prize, let's go to war with Cyrene." War is a point of escalation - the highest form of escalation - to settle a dispute by force, eg. stop using Chaos, give us mining rights in the Siroccians, stop expanding your civilisation into the forests. Once the war is over, that conflict is settled.

    If you want to loot and pillage, that seems like something for raids or piracy, but not a full-on war.
    image
    Kresslack
  • AccipiterAccipiter Member Posts: 474 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Yeah, but it isn't just about winning, it is about not losing. There needs to be something that makes winning the war a good thing, or losing a war a bad thing. That something also needs to not affect your chances in the next war. Without that there is no real point in making the system because it ends up like sailing where no one does it. That is why I said like a grace against citizens in their conquered city. It is a mechanical effect that people can enjoy. It has no tangible benefits, as cities would make shopkeepers not sell to enemies and you couldn't start a raid in a conquered city, but how sweet would it be to walk in there and taunt Hashan knowing that they can't do anything about it cause they lost a war? Right there in their own city. Say for an IC year after the war is done, Targossians get to wander around Mhaldor preaching, the time limit makes the interactions more meaningful because people will go out of their way to do it if there is only a window. You get nothing from it but personal interactions, but it is the kind of thing after a war people would use and it doesn't change the outcome of the next war in any mechanical way. 

    It also protects a city from being kicked while it is down (from the side they accepted war with at least, maybe Ashtan rushes in to be an ass after Mhaldor lost to Targossas) to allow the citizens time to recover.
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 6,312 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think war should be more about making a point. There should probably be some kind of prize, just because it makes sense that the winners win something, like war reparations or whatever. But it shouldn't be like "I want that prize, let's go to war with Cyrene." War is a point of escalation - the highest form of escalation - to settle a dispute by force, eg. stop using Chaos, give us mining rights in the Siroccians, stop expanding your civilisation into the forests. Once the war is over, that conflict is settled.

    If you want to loot and pillage, that seems like something for raids or piracy, but not a full-on war.
    This is what I was aiming for, in the sense of making conflict meaningful and available in a more serious (but still fun) large scale context. The last few wars have been little more than public pissing matches, if we're being honest with ourselves. This would also lend a stronger unity between cities and their village allies. Mhaldor could have troops stationed in Blackrock and Enverren, and should someone march on it, they would be obligated to march in response; that's the guarantee cities give to their allies, that they'll be there for them and help protect them.


  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2014
    The idea of having NPC armies is cool, but I can see that getting confusing and complicated and it would in no way change the amount of raids that happen right now because people like raiding...

    There are a couple of problems that need to be fixed:
    1) Non-coms want a way to take part but not necessarily through combat.
    2) There is no way to "win"
    3) Raids are, for the most part, pointless because they don't have lasting damage and very little reward.
    4) There isn't a whole lot of strategy to war right now, there isn't a real "long game" that can be played.
    5) Wars are mind numbing for those in the cities who aren't/can't participate in the combat. Having to always leave the city because City X has been raiding for 8 hours sucks. 
    6) Alliance/Enemies costs vs. benefits. Right now, no one cares if City Z is their enemy or ally because City X could overpower City Y even if City Z helped them or fought against them. City A could care less if another City B is at war with City C, even though City C is right next door to them. 
    7) The rinse-repeat of raiding. It all boils down to who is one and who feels like raiding at that particular moment. Most raids are so similar and it can get boring. "Oh, you guys are back to do the same exact thing you did yesterday and the day before and the 100 days leading up to today...how original and unexpected..."

    Landmarking sucked because it was a constant chore and they were so quickly and easily changed. I think a possible solution to most of those problems would be a scenario similar to landmarking, but without the chaos and endlessness that was tied to it.  A more strategic approach to selecting which "landmark" to conquer and maybe a certain way it could be prevented. More "Game of Thrones"ish, where more alliances could be formed and breaking alliances would be more risky. 

    The System:

    This war system is a mix between Risk, Game of Thrones, Settlers of Catan, Achaean icon wars, and our current raids. There are a fixed number of strongholds across the mainland (this could be expanded across islands and even Meropis). I would suggest 18, three per city. Each city has a certain number of troops to start out with to properly man the three strongholds their city begins with. To win a war, troops must first make it to the enemy's city then win a battle. Before reaching the city, they would need to go through a handful of strongholds and stretch the limit of their supplies, thus weakening their army. Actually sacking a city would be extremely difficult and likely impossible. Most of the wars would be played out between the strongholds, this would get the wars out of the city proper so that non-coms aren't required to leave their city for hours at a time while the combatants duke it out.  To conquer a stronghold, you must first march your troops there, which could take a minimum of 1 Achaean day to a maximum of 3-4 Achaean days, depending on the distance of the stronghold from the troop's current position.

    Why the time limit:
    The movement time is meant to give the enemy troops time to gather forces and start moving their own troops. This provides a HUGE amount of strategy to the placement of troops. Let's say Ashtan wants to take a stronghold near Jaru because it would mean they are super close to Targossas and could launch attacks on the city quickly because of the proximity of the stronghold. But it takes troops 4 hours to move from Ashtan to the stronghold near Jaru but only 1 hour for Targossas to move troops from their city to the stronghold near Jaru. That would give Targossas 4 hours to realize that Ashtan is targeting Jaru (or somewhere in that general direction) and send troops to fortify Jaru and prepare for the assault. But it is only 1 hr to move troops from the stronghold in the Mhojave desert to the stronghold by Jaru. Cyrene holds the Mhojave stronghold. So it would mean that Ashtan would be focused on capturing the Mhojave desert stronghold first (or forming some kind of agreement or alliance with Cyrene so they may store troops there) and having troops stationed there so that they are only 1hr from the stronghold by Jaru for whenever they planned on launching the attack on Jaru, which would give Targossas less time to organize and send out troops to defend Jaru. At the same time, Targossas would want to pull their troops from the stonghold up by Hashan because that is 4 hours from Jaru and if Ashtan attacked Jaru from the Mhojave there is no way their troops could get there in time to defend it. So as different cities move their troops around the map to different strongholds, other cities have an opportunity to somehow figure out the movement of the troops and try to guess which stronghold they are headed for and organize their troops in response. This is the Risk factor you've been talking about.

    Strongholds:

    I would suggest that there be some kind of intrinsic value to possessing a stronghold. It could be a source of commodities or some other kind of benefit and the benefits could vary by stronghold. A stronghold in a forest could provide the city with a steady supply of wood and a small amount of wild game. A mountain stronghold could provide metals, a plains stronghold could provide a lot of food, a stronghold by the sea could provide fish, a stronghold with an active market could provide money. When I originally thought up this idea, the strongholds didn't have any rooms in them, it was just a one room kind of tower with a wall around it where the troops would fight it out. There could be room for expansion here, even with player/city run shops or commodity markets. There needs to be a value to having a stronghold so that it would suck to lose one. It would be necessary to have strongholds in order to feed and supply your troops. You can't make more troops if you don't have the strongholds to supply/train/store them. Your city can't just bitch out and say, "Meh, I don't care if they take that stronghold from us, we'll just pull all 10 troops back to the city" because without it the city would see a dramatic drop in their revenue and supplies that are required to properly feed and supply the troops to defend their city and other strongholds, troop moral would drop, etc. You would need certain types of stronghold (or trade with other cities) in order to build troops with the wood/iron/leather/food/mounts that they produce. 

    A stronghold must have 1 troops stationed there in order to keep possession of it.

    Here is an example layout:


    Troops:

    Each city would start with the same amount of troops. I would suggest something between 10-15 troop, this would allow them to properly defend three strongholds and anything more than three strongholds would weaken the ones they hold already but would give them the potential to secure 6+ strongholds and weakly hold them all without any additional troops. We could get into different types of troops (knights, archers, footmen, bards, etc.) and I think that would be fun and add another dimension to the war system, but I'm not going to go into that here. 

    Troops would be raised and trained as a group and the group would be named. These troops move as one unit, fight as one unit, and require a fixed amount of food/gold/wood/etc. per month. They would function similarly to a ship crew. They would gain experience slowly over time by training. They would also see a quick and significant boost in their experience when they win a battle. As they gain experience, they fight better. This would allow cities to move veteran troops to strategic strongholds because of any number of reasons (that stronghold is more important, or they need to station a lesser number of troops there so they send their best, etc.) One highly trained, veteran troop could stand their own against two brand new, greenback troops, or at least last a long time against them, giving the players more time to defend/attack a stronghold. 

    If a troop dies, a new troops would need to be trained. This is a lengthy process, taking several years. This does several things. It makes troops valuable, they aren't just a commodity you can easily risk or throw away because you can just churn out another one and try again tomorrow. Another huge reason for this is so that when a city wins a battle against their enemy and steals one of their strongholds, the results are felt for a while, by both sides, because they'll both lose troops more than likely. It also slows down the war process. When a city takes control of a new stronghold, it may take a year or two before the fields are repaired or the market rebuilt, so it will take a little while before they gain the flow of commodities/food/supplies that comes with possessing a stronghold. If they lost 2-3 troops taking the stronghold, they won't immediately be in a position to attack the next stronghold, they'll need to wait until more troops are trained, giving the enemy time to accept your terms or accept the alliance of another city who offers them help in return for whatever.
    There would be no hardcoded maximum number of troops, but there would be a realistic limit to the number of troops because the city wouldn't be able to feed/supply 30 troops, even if they held 10 strongholds that supplied them with resources.
    Resources:

    Each stronghold would produce certain resources. There are four things that could be done with these resources.
    1) First, they would be used to feed/supply their current troops.
    Any leftover resources could be used for other things.
    2) They could be stored. A city would be required to purchase storehouses, each storehouse could stockpile X amount of resources/food. These would be stockpiled for times of war when they might need to train more troops than their current number of strongholds could supply.
    3) They could be be passed along to the citizens in the form of credit sales or some other kind of reward (the city could trade x amount of resources/food per year for an xp boost or critical hit boost or some other kind of icon like power boost for all citizens)
    4) They could be traded with other cities. 
    The more troops your city has, the more strongholds that are required in order to feed/supply them all. A city could be plenty happy with their three strongholds because they've pared down their military to just 9 troops and they have enough surplus resources coming in that they're able to get the XP and critical hit boost. They wouldn't want to start a war because they would lose this, thus they would be more open to an alliance with some other city because they city doesn't want your resources, they just want to be able to store troops in your stronghold so they can more easily attack someone else. 

    Alliances/City Relations:

    As it is, a city's proximity to another city is of no consequence. Under this system, temporary and longterm alliances would be formed because it would be beneficial to both sides. Troops would need to be allowed to stay as guests in ally's strongholds or they would need to conquer that stronghold in order to complete their longterm goal.

    Example:
    Hashan doesn't really have any reason to care if Mhaldor is pummeling Eleusis into the ground because it doesn't effect them, even though they are neighbors. Right now, Mhaldor doesn't care about Hashan or their strongholds, they've been at war with Eleusis for the past X years and are finally in place to begin the main assault on Eleusis' strongholds. Mhaldor demands Hashan let them temporarily station troops in Hashan's strongholds so that they can better attack Eleusis, under the threat that they'll take them by force after they are done with Eleusis if Hashan doesn't comply. Hashan is faced with a decision. They can either aide Eleusis by supplying them with troops to better garrison their strongholds against Mhaldor's attacks, or they can make a deal with Mhaldor and let them stay in their strongholds.

    There are no real longterm consequences for breaking an alliance or treaty right now. This system would place a certain level of trust on each city that couldn't be ruined by the bloodlust of some raid-happy citizen who doesn't listen. There were all kinds of accusations during Ashtan's war with Shallam after Eleusis had signed a treaty with Ashtan saying they weren't going to aide Shallam any more. A couple of Eleusians ended up assisting Shallam anyway, ruining the treaty between Eleusis and Ashtan even though Eleusis had no intention of breaking the treaty, it was all the work of a couple rebel Eleusians who didn't listen. Sure, they can punish their citizens, but the damage has already been done. In this system, it would require an official response from a city in order to break an alliance/treaty/agreement that was made.  If Mhaldor promises Hashan that they won't attack Hashan's strongholds for x amount of years if Hashan lets them station some troops in their strongholds while they are at war with Eleusis, but then Mhaldor breaks that treaty... all of the other cities will never forget that. Mhaldor's reputation has been tainted. If Mhaldor attempts to make a treat with another city, it will be brought up that Mhaldor promised Hashan the same thing and then went back on their word. 

    Cities can also trade resources. If one city has a surplus of iron and leather because they hold multiple strongholds that produce that, but they need some other resource in order to support their troops, they can either conquer a stronghold that produces that resource, or they could trade resources with another city. This could be worked into treaties between cities. 

    Example:
    Cyrene needs more wood in order to support their troops. Ashtan took one of their strongholds that produced wood. Ashtan doesn't need the wood, they just needed the stronghold because it put them in a better position to attack Targossas. Targossas offers to help Cyrene retake the stronghold if Cyrene forms an official alliance with them against Ashtan and helps them conquer another one of Ashtan's strongholds. Cyrene is hesitant in forming an official alliance with Targossas because they don't want to get dragged into this war between Ashtan and Targossas, but they need the wood and have to consider the alliance or they'll lose even more of their troops because they can't supply them. Ashtan hears of this alliance that Targossas is offering and makes a counter offer. Ashtan tells Cyrene they'll give them all of the wood the stronghold produces for as long as they hold possession of the stronghold and promise to return the stronghold into their possession in x years or after they've taken the next stronghold on the way to Targossas, so long as Cyrene doesn't ally with Targossas. Cyrene accepts this offer because it means they get the wood they require and aren't dragged into the war and don't risk losing any troops trying to retake the stronghold. 


    ErnamValaria
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    Raids:

    Raids are shorter and more spontaneous than battles. A raid doesn't involve troops, it only involves players. Players can raid a stronghold, attacking some guards and staying in room doing whatever needs to be done (similar to the current war system) and the result is they run away with resources that the stronghold produces and maybe some XP or something. This wouldn't have the longterm consequences that battles have. This would provide combatants the opportunity to have the skirmishes that they love without ruining alliances or city relations or disturbing citizens who don't want to get involved in combat. 

    Battles:

    Battles are more strategic than normal raids. They involve the movement of troops and more severe losses/gains. These would be similar to an icon raid but with more ramp up and a longer cool down between attacks. 
    Once the troops have arrived at the stronghold, they begin the process of taking over, which requires a presence of players to keep the area free of any enemy players for x amount of time (probably something like 30 minutes total). During this time, the enemy will be wanting to move their troops to defend the stronghold. Once their troops arrive, the two troops begin to fight (this is where splitting the troops up across the map or keeping them in larger pools comes into play). Both troops start to see losses, but whichever side can keep the room clear of the enemy players has an advantage and their troops kill the enemy troop at a faster rate. This would mean that if you have a smaller army at the stronghold but your player force is able to keep the enemy player force at bay, you still have a chance of taking over the stronghold even though the enemy has a larger army there. Once a stronghold is captured, your troops can be stationed there.

    Example:
    5 years ago Mhaldor conquered a stronghold near the Great Rock. They keep 5 troops there and Ashtan has learned this through whatever means (spies or process of elimination by knowing that Mhaldor has x amount of troops at the other strongholds or through the years their scouts have seen a total of 5 troops making their way from some other stronghold to the stronghold near Great Rock). Ashtan holds a stronghold near Thera. Ashtan has kept 3 troops in the stronghold to defend against an attack by Mhaldor if Mhaldor ever decided to attack them (they haven't ever tried in the last 5 years, so Ashtan has doesn't see  it as too much of a threat). 

    Gameplay:
    0:00 Mhaldor decides to attack. They begin moving 4 troops to the stronghold near Thera (leaving 1 to station the stronghold, as required). It will take 1hr for the troops to arrive. 
    0:40 It takes 40 minutes before one of Ashtan's citizens notices and reports back to the city that Mhaldor is marching on the stronghold. Ashtan immediately begins to move 2 troops from a stronghold near Minia. It will take an hour to arrive.
    0:45 Mhaldorian scouts notice and report that Ashtan has started to move troops, "They know we're coming!" Mhaldor begins to raid Ashtan, trying to disorganize and distract them so they can't start preparing the stronghold for attack.
    1:00 Mhaldor's 4 troops arrive at the stronghold and begin to knock down the gates/summon something/erect pillar of takedown/whatever. Mhaldor pulls out of Ashtan to attack the stronghold. Because Ashtan has only three troops stationed there and Mhaldor has 4, the Ashtani troops must stay on the defensive, this begins a 30 minute timer after which the stronghold will fall as long as there are 5 Mhaldorians in the room. The Mhaldorians get X amount of damage bonus or X defensive bonus because they have more troops than Ashtan.
    1:25 Despite the bonus that Mhaldor has by having more troops in the room, Ashtan manages to remove all of the Mhaldorians from the room (or lessen the number to less than 5), this pauses the 30 minute timer, which has 5 minutes left on the clock. Mhaldor still requires 5 more minutes of room control with either an equal amount of troops or more to take the stronghold.
    1:40 Ashtan's two troops arrive from the stronghold near Minia. They now have 5 troops against Mhaldor's 4, which means they go on the offensive and the timer is paused until the troops are even or Mhaldor retreats. Mhaldor's players no longer have the damage or defensive bonus because they don't have a great number of troops any longer. This bonus passes to the Ashtani players. The two city's troops begin to battle. Ashtan's troops will kill Mhaldor's troops X% faster since they have more troops (5 vs 4). 
    1:43 Ashtan's troops manage to destroy one of Mhaldor's troops, bringing the fight to 5v3. However, Mhaldor is getting more player kills than Ashtan is, which has given their troops a moral bonus, eliminating most of the bonus Ashtan's troops are receiving because of the troop ratio.
    1:50 Soulspears are unleashed and a backstab group manages to take out most of Ashtan's players, affording them a huge advantage for the next few minutes while they all pray. Mhaldor's troops manage to take out two of Ashtan's troops (because Mhaldor has secured the room and is essentially winning at king of the hill), which evens the troops numbers (3 vs 3). The timer is un-paused because Mhaldor now has an equal or greater number of troops.
    1:55 Mhaldor has succeeded in keeping 5 players in the room for the remainder of the 5 minutes that were left on the clock. The stronghold falls, Ashtan's troops begin an automatic retreat to the nearest stronghold controlled by Ashtan.
    Aftermath: Mhaldor lost 1 troop. Ashtan lost 2 troops. Mhaldor's remaining troops receive a moral boost. Ashton's remaining troops receive a moral loss. Mhaldor's AND Ashtan's remaining troops receive an experience boost by participating in the battle. Mhaldor AND Ashtan's remaining troops are fatigued and wounded (similar to hull and sail damage), they'll want to spend sufficient time recovering before going to battle again. It will take Mhaldor a year to train another troop to replace the one they lost. Ashtan will take two years to replace the two troops they lost. Because Ashtan will be in a weakened state for the next 2 years and Mhaldor now stands at their doorstep, this has forced Ashtan to consider more seriously the alliance that City X has offered them because it would mean City X could help them retake the stronghold and fend off Mhaldor until they regain their lost troops. Mhaldor, however, left one of their strongholds manned by only 1 troop in order to take the stronghold by Thera, leaving it vulnerable to Targossas, should they decide to attack. 

    Advantages of this system:

    It allows non-coms to participate by keeping track of enemy troop movement, moving resources between strongholds, spying on enemies, getting close to citizens in neutral cities to gain information that may be useful. Maybe they aren't great combatants but they are amazing strategists or always roll nat 20's on their diplomacy checks and are great at getting foreign city officials to bend to their wishes. Maybe they can't swing a sword but they can seduce a member of another city's council and give them incentive to let their home city house troops in their stronghold for "just one itsy bitsy, teeny weeny month pretty please I love you baby" 
    Decisions have long term effects. Your city leader made a dumb ass move by moving troops from Stronghold X to Stronghold Y because he thought it was best and then you lose Stronghold Y because it wasn't poorly defended? Guess who will be contested. You decide to make a deal with City A because you're attacking City B and need to use their stronghold, but then you go back on your word to give them X amount of resources for the use of their stronghold? Don't whine and complain when you try to make a deal with City C in the future and they refuse because you have a history of not holding up your end of the deal. You spend 10 years turning your resources into an xp boost instead of stockpiling some of it in the storehouses but then you lose two strongholds back to back and don't have enough supplies in reserve to keep your troops supplied so you have to take out a loan with interest from some other city in order to stay afloat? You don't have anyone to blame but whoever made that decision. 
    There are longterm and short term goals in this system. Want to be able to get some more resources so you can buy whatever boost you're citizens have been wanting? No need to win a war, just win a battle, take that easy stronghold that is poorly manned on the outskirts of the map. 
    You can actually "win". I don't know what that could look like, but you could call conquering all of an enemy's strongholds a "win". Or conquer all of the strongholds that produce a certain commodity, forcing a monopoly and requiring other cities to pay a steep price for it. Or pummel your enemy's troops until they only have 1-2 troops left and have to take out loans from other cities or form alliances to get back on their feet, which will take them 10 years or however long. There wouldn't be a way for you to realistically hold all of their strongholds AND properly defend your own, and other cities wouldn't want you to be able to hold so many strongholds for too long because you could become a super power so they'll take advantage of your troops being spread thinly across so many strongholds. So your enemy would eventually be able to get back on their feet and train their armies. Now they won't run so quickly to declare war on one of your strongholds because they've tasted defeat at your hands once and just got done spending 5-10 years recovering from it and they've just now been able to get that xp/critical hit bonus their citizens have been without for the last however long years. 
    You can get to a point of contentment, an era of peace where all cities are happy with what they have and don't want to risk losing one of their strongholds because they declared war on someone else. Of course, eventually this won't last forever, but there will obviously be times after a brutal war where cities MUST take a break so they have time to train new troops to replace the ones they lost and replenish their storehouses with reserve resources. 
    City leadership positions won't be based on popularity or combat prowess. Over time there will be those who prove to be the better strategists or excess at negotiations and they'll stand out over the people who would have normally just gotten elected because they're well known. So-and-so so skillfully worked the negotiations out with City A and during the war with City B they advised we move troops from this stronghold to that stronghold and to release possession of stronghold X so that we could take the troops to blah blah blah and look, they were right, it played out exactly how they said it would, it worked out, they obviously know their shit... and now Mr. Popular who is only good at bashing in skulls wants to step up and take his position? Good luck. Likewise, bad leaders will be more obvious. If someone is a hot head and is on an ego trip they won't be able to form important treaties that may be needed to secure their victory. If some smooth citizen is able to step in and secure those terms, it won't be forgotten. 
    There will be a lot of unknowns. You may notice City A is taking certain strongholds, but you may not know why. Maybe they're trying to get certain commodities, maybe they're trying to save up so they can train more troops, maybe they're trying to get strongholds closer to your strongholds so they can attack you. Maybe your neighbor only has their own troops in their stronghold, or maybe they secretly made an agreement with your enemy and that stronghold is actually full of your enemy's troops and they're preparing for an assault. Maybe City B is using their excess resources to get a bonus for their citizens or maybe they're stockpiling them so in a few years they can do a mad rush to secretly train a handful of troops and march them out at once against your nearby stronghold. Maybe that city is moving that veteran troop to that stronghold because they fear that some other city may attack it or maybe they're moving it there because they plan on launching an attack from it on you. 

    Valaria
  • AddamaAddama Member Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Could you possibly sum that up in ten sentences or less?
    ~Kresslack's obsession~
    Ernam
  • ErnamErnam Member Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited November 2014
    Addama said:
    Could you possibly sum that up in ten sentences or less?

    I think "tl;dr" is probably the main reason a war system hasn't been accepted or even implemented, tbh.

    edit:  That, and the other 15 projects they're working on.

    "Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."


          Manda  |  Godzilla  |  SLC
        Valaria
      1. LintonLinton Member Posts: 59 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
        Read the whole thing easily. Felt a good measure of excitement doing so.
        Azelay
      2. GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
        Addama said:
        Could you possibly sum that up in ten sentences or less?
        Lol. I'll try, just for you.

        1. Addama like Evil.
        2. Addama no like Nature.
        3. Mhaldor want kill Eleusis.
        4. Eleusis want kill Mhaldor.
        5. Big buildings in way.
        6. Warriors need food or no fight.
        7. Building make food.
        8. Must take building so food will come so warrior fight.
        9. Ashtan being dick, must squash Ashtan to pound tree people.
        10. Mhaldor fight everyone now.

        It is long but isn't very complicated. I was verbose in the description in order to preemptively answer some of the questions and to be as descriptive with examples so it was better understood.

        In reality, it would be an undertaking to implement, but a lot of the mechanics are already in place. Icons are similar to strongholds, ship crews already track wages and food and moral and experience, king of the hill and the current war system. 

        One of the best things about a system like that is it has some monotony to it (keeping track of troop movements of other cities), but it doesn't have the endlessness and constant monotony of refilling something by killing a certain type of critter or whatever, and it will undulate in intensity over a longer timeframe. A city may have a whole week of high intensity warfare, but the game mechanics will require them to take a break for a couple of weeks to train new troops or gather more resources and months could go by while resources are reserved and troops are trained secretly for an upcoming attack that has been planned.
        Azelay
      3. LintonLinton Member Posts: 59 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
        Posting to hopefully encourage some closer look at Grandue's very detailed proposal. I feel it is much more than just a war system. It kind of tries to tie everything together, giving life and purpose to other areas outside of war. It doesn't feel very complicated mechanically and feels very doable codewise.
      4. TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
        I like almost everything about the proposed system other than the notion of moving raids entirely out of cities.

        While it's obnoxious to have endless raids disrupting the city, having no raids disrupting the city is almost as bad. Cities shouldn't be 100% safe zones. The occasional raid keeps things interesting - when I first started playing a long time ago, it was enormously exciting when Mhaldor raided Cyrene and there was an effort to collect all of us newbies and portal us out.

        I think the right thing to do is retain the raids we have right now, but (1) have them use the same resources as the other raids such that most raids will take place outside of cities and (2) associate a few city rooms with the new war system to give raiders an actual target rather than just trying to destroy whatever rooms are most convenient for the raiders and most inconvenient for the citizens.
      5. AddamaAddama Member Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
        Yeah, well, I asked for a digest version so that I could be interested or uninterested before reading the ten-volume unabridged version and I got condescending shite.

        Forgive me for now not being that interested.
        ~Kresslack's obsession~
      6. GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
        I'm so sorry I hurt your feelings. I forget how fragile people can be on the internet sometimes. 

        Like any good proposal, it started with a introductory section that summed up what was about to follow. I think that is more along the lines of what you were looking for. Since I assumed (my mistake) that perhaps you would have at least read the first paragraph or so before asking for help, I thought you were just being silly and poking fun about the length of the proposal, to which I responded in kind. 

        If you need it broken down even further than the introduction breaks it down, let me know and I can help you. 

      7. GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
        Tael said:
        I like almost everything about the proposed system other than the notion of moving raids entirely out of cities.

        While it's obnoxious to have endless raids disrupting the city, having no raids disrupting the city is almost as bad. Cities shouldn't be 100% safe zones. The occasional raid keeps things interesting - when I first started playing a long time ago, it was enormously exciting when Mhaldor raided Cyrene and there was an effort to collect all of us newbies and portal us out.

        I think the right thing to do is retain the raids we have right now, but (1) have them use the same resources as the other raids such that most raids will take place outside of cities and (2) associate a few city rooms with the new war system to give raiders an actual target rather than just trying to destroy whatever rooms are most convenient for the raiders and most inconvenient for the citizens.
        The whole concept of raiding the city proper is very subjective. In my opinion, cities should almost be 100% safe zones... almost. There shouldn't really be an option for 5 bored combatants to just waltz right into a bastion/citadel/fortress/city and start slaying citizens whenever they want for however long they want. It breaks the immersion of it being a city with walls, in my opinion. 

        That being said, I agree with you that there should be some way to create conflict within the city itself, but making that an option that won't be abused could be difficult. Restraint isn't something Achaeans have fully mastered yet. 

        This system allows combatants to raid whenever they want, but on strongholds, which will obviously draw combatants out of the city that controls the stronghold, allowing those who wish to fight an opportunity to do so while affording those who wish to stay out of combat a safe haven behind the city gates. Alarm bells would go off, the city channel would be aflame with calls to arms, there would still be a level of panic and excitement for novices who watch soldiers rush by and see them fall on deathsight. 

        I would even encourage real city gates of some sort, where non-enemies can enter freely, but enemies literally cannot get into the city at all except by jumping through some pretty difficult hoops. Perhaps make it so that serpents can sneak into enemy cities with a certain amount of ease so that assassinations can still be done and espionage is still an option for a class that was built around it, but for all other classes, they can either remain a non-enemy or they literally cannot make it into the city without first slaying all of the guards patrolling the entrances. This would prevent groups from just flying into the city and portaling in a group that camps out and is difficult to uproot. It would focus guards around the city gates and the occasional guards throughout the city to deal with serpents who were able to sneak in. Groups could still raid the city if they would like, but they would have to contend with getting through stacks and stacks of guards (and make it so that they literally have no way of getting free roam of the city without having to hack their way through 5-10 rooms of guards). You could even make it so that getting out of the city would be just as difficult, so unless you're prepared and well organized, you'll know that the likelihood of you surviving the raid will be slim.

        The system allows for an actual raid of a city with troops, which would be the end all of a war. This would be difficult and would take a long time to prepare for and would be rare, but would be epic and historical in nature, you could even have some kind of a submission by the city leader where they kneel in surrender or else they lose all of their city's gold and credits and resources instead of just a part of it, or they city leader would face death or something (which would log them out for 10 days or something, lol, instead of just playing the whole, "I'll never surrender!" card and then being resurrected 30 seconds later with no consequence)

        This would prevent the random, "Let's go be dicks to Eleusis for 3 hours because there are four of us and only one of them logged in and we're bored". 

        For me, as much as I've enjoyed raiding and defending against raids, I can't get immersed in the roleplay of it anymore because of how unrealistic it is in my mind. As it is, 4-5 combatants can literally break into a whole fortified, guarded citadel, the home to "thousands" of NPC's and players, pretty much whenever they want and start slaying citizens. In what way is that at all realistic or even fun, especially since immediately afterward those combatants are having a drink back in their home city, completely unscarred even though they just died 3 times each and interrupted the day of people who might not have wanted to be involved in their conflict. There isn't really any pride or accomplishment to raiding cities, sure there may be a little reward if you're successful, but nothing like the sense of accomplishment you would feel if you had just waded through 5 rooms of guardstacks, sent the enemy to the halls to pray, and managed to sit the Iron Throne for 10 minutes before the regrouped and forced you to retreat. 
        Aldair
      8. JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,246 @@ - Legendary Achaean
        Grandue's proposal is an interesting and well-thought out one. Doesn't mean much, but it has my total approval. You should email Tecton and/or Sarapis with it, Grandue. If you haven't already.
      9. GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
        Jovolo said:
        Grandue's proposal is an interesting and well-thought out one. Doesn't mean much, but it has my total approval. You should email Tecton and/or Sarapis with it, Grandue. If you haven't already.
        I'm sure that @Tecton‌ and @Sarapis‌ are reading through the warfare threads, so they've probably already seen it. I've other thoughts about how to make it all balanced and fun and other things that I eluded to in the original post (different types of troops, city relations beyond just neutral/allied/hostile, etc.) that I would be more than willing to share if it looked like they were interested in hearing it out. No need to waste time fleshing out the details if they aren't interested though, ya know?

        Honestly, one of the most exciting things about a system like this is all of the information that cities would want to gather. As it is, there is very little information that isn't public knowledge, or at least known by a large percentage of the population, just because there isn't any real need to keep anything a secret. There isn't any REAL way to commit treason that actually has some kind of impact. "Oh, you're unhappy and are going to join our enemies? Oh no, you're going to tell them all of our SUPER secret secrets that everyone already knows because the last traitor already spilled the beans about what books are in our library? Oh you're going to withdraw 25k gold and kick out 10 citizens before you run off?"

        Troop movement would be crucial in a system like this, so keeping track of who is moving troops and where they are moving them to would actually be very valuable information. It would provide opportunities to form secret alliances:
        -Eleusis and Hashan could have an informal alliance where every week they get together and compare notes on the troop placement of everyone else, to make sure they didn't miss something.

        It also provides way more opportunities for spies, bribery, and real treason.
        -Targossas could pay off an Ashtani soldier to spill secrets to them whenever Ashtan moves troops.
        -Mhaldor could have poisoned the mind of some Eleusian and offered them a place among their ranks and a furnished house in their subdivision with a view if they would give a false report about Mhaldor's troop movement, convincing the war council that Mhaldor was about to attack a certain stronghold, influencing them to move troops to it while Mhaldor actually attacked a different stronghold.
        -Maybe Ashtan noticed that Targossas recently got rid of their city improvements. Are they in a financial bind or are they saving up for the next few years so they can launch a war? Perhaps a citizen of Targossas would know and just maybe that citizen could be convinced to share that information for the right price....
        -Maybe each city has a room with a big giant map of Achaea on a table that shows their troop placement, and this room could be broken into (which would be extremely difficult and risky, but possible for a skilled spy or a traitor) and the troop placement could be copied onto a manuscript after studying it for X amount of time without interruption and then delivered to the highest bidder or returned to another city's war room where it would be deciphered (using it up) to reveal the troop placement.
        -Perhaps Cyrene is trying to figure out how the hell Mhaldor ALWAYS knows their troop placement, even when they move them around during off-peak hours while creating a distraction elsewhere. Now Cyrene believes they have a spy and begins the process of moving troops one at a time and only telling certain citizens to try to zero in on who could be sharing information with the enemy. 
        -Maybe a certain High Clan is formed that specializes in espionage. They have built a reputation of "The Blah-Blah-Blah-clan always keeps their word" and cities know that the information they buy from THIS clan is always confirmed and accurate, or if they pay the clan to keep their troop placement a secret, they will. 
        -Cities would gain reputations based on their actions. "A Lannister ALWAYS pays his debts" kind of a thing. 

        It would just provide so much opportunity to buy/sell information and give those who wish to specialize in gathering information an opportunity to climb the political ranks based on their character's skills instead of their popularity.  
      10. TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
        edited December 2014
        Grandue said:
        The whole concept of raiding the city proper is very subjective. In my opinion, cities should almost be 100% safe zones... almost. There shouldn't really be an option for 5 bored combatants to just waltz right into a bastion/citadel/fortress/city and start slaying citizens whenever they want for however long they want. It breaks the immersion of it being a city with walls, in my opinion. 
        I see where you're coming from, but I don't think that's the right way to see it. I tend to see the walls as being a thing that keeps armies out, whereas adventurers are more like special forces teams with extraordinary means of infiltration (and it isn't just serpents who have infiltration as part of their flavour/mechanics - that's one of the primary purposes of blackwind, astralform, etc., not to mention a number of travel abilities).

        I think this perspective is born of a trap that is very easy to fall into - forgetting that adventurers are a tiny, exceptional part of the population of the world. The fact that city walls don't stop adventurers who possess means of infiltration from getting in shouldn't mean that the walls aren't doing much of anything - those walls are doing their job perfectly well, keeping out the vast majority of normal (non-adventurer) threats. The fact that it's possible for small groups comprised of some of the most exceptional few hundred people in the world to magically infiltrate a city isn't really a problem in light of the fact that they're still keeping out thousands of less exceptional people.
        Grandue said:
        That being said, I agree with you that there should be some way to create conflict within the city itself, but making that an option that won't be abused could be difficult. Restraint isn't something Achaeans have fully mastered yet. 
        We already have levers in place that can limit it - they just need some adjustment. That was, for instance, the point of tanks. And of the changes to tanks making them require kills. Mechanical limitations are possible - we don't have to rely on restraint.

        And I certainly don't expect restraint in Achaea - I've been playing the game far too long to have much hope for that.

        But if stronghold raids cost the same resources as city raids and are, generally, more useful in the war effort, then I think that's a nice medium. Particularly if there are only one or two targets inside cities, but plenty of targets offered by the strongholds - that means raiders can't dig into arbitrary rooms that are hard for defenders to get to and it also means that city raids are concentrated in very circumscribed areas, meaning that noncoms don't have to evacuate the entire city as a precautionary measure - just avoid that small area for a bit.
        Grandue said:
        I would even encourage real city gates of some sort, where non-enemies can enter freely, but enemies literally cannot get into the city at all except by jumping through some pretty difficult hoops.
        I could not possibly disagree more strenuously with this idea.

        Safety is boring. Safety is the death of conflict in the game.

        Cities already allow you to run away from conflict and yell "BASE!" to a frequently problematic degree. Building in actual mechanics that literally preclude entering enemy cities without "jumping through some pretty difficult hoops" is, to be blunt, a terrible idea.

        It's also an ugly way to implement the goal of making cities harder to infiltrate - if you wanted cities to be harder to infiltrate (and, to reiterate, I don't think you should want that) you want to make them harder to infiltrate, not just slap a Minia-style mechanic on it that artificially stops people from infiltrating. Talk about hurting immersion.
        Amarillys
      11. LintonLinton Member Posts: 59 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
        On the thing about safe rooms, I would like to offer another view.

        I believe it has been largely agreed upon that no one should feel forced to do what they do not want to do in a game. For example, if you are not up for defending against a raid, for whatever reasons, the advice given was to either stay away and -do- the things you want to do, or to logout.

        And people do that. People do logout when their city got curbstomp by an overwhelming raid party. Or they go on their ships, their journals, their beds, their forum persona.

        Here is where I see an advantage of safe rooms. Or rooms safe from conflict. People who do not feel like conflict that day can -do- other things that contribute to the game with other people in the safe rooms instead of qqing. And hopefully, people who wants to fight won't be disgruntled with them.

        Going further, think about cities being curbstomp day after real life day for long hours. One of the complaints we have heard before in those situations is that the CWHO became so sparse that normal operations within the city got disrupted. Newcomers were not properly received.  Novices had no guidance or people to oversee their progression.

        So, this kind of gives an advantage to the suggested safer cities too. Imagine a city protected by layers of strongholds. The fighters are out at the borders defending against raiders. The educators and civil servants are in the center keeping the city going, all the while fearing the day the strongholds should fall. For that will also be the day where the enemy will come knocking on the gates.

        tldr: combatants should want to fight other willing and eager combatants. Essay-writers shouldn't impose essay writing(or essay reading!) on combatants(sorry!).
         
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