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Alfryd



Joined: 03 Dec 2002
Posts: 914

 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 8:19 am    Post subject: Alfryd's assorted disjointed rambling wishlist. Reply with quote Back to top

Like it says. Do feel free to chip in with comments, refinements, suggestions, etc. I'd like to be able to synthesise these ideas into something more consistent, but I suppose that can be worked out later. I'll post in different segments approximately related to seperate ideas, but there's no guarantee of anything like a thread of coherence here. I have probably also casually plagiarised earlier suggestions shamelessly, but I hope I've at least given them a new spin.

Without further ado:
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Alfryd



Joined: 03 Dec 2002
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 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Apprenticeships, Journeymen and Masters.

While I was playing HoA, and judging by the teaser maj2 shots, followers for heroes seemed to be a potential upcoming feature. And some suggestions to the effect Heroes could be recruited from the henchman population have also been circulated, and of heroes with 'guild head' status, and of developing into different classes. My suggestion is that heroes (and certain ordinary citizen craftsmen,) could pass through up to 3 phases of development, corresponding to the stages of medieval guild training: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master.

Here's a quick sample:

Apprentice/Journeyman/Master:

Page/(na)/Warrior (possibly Knight at Arms?)
Pickpocket/Rogue/Shadow
Apprentice/Wizard/Archmage
Bondsman/(na)/Ranger
(na)/Barbarian/(na)
Disciple/(na)/Adept/
(na)/Solarus/(na) (Solarii have all 3 stages, but you won't see them.)
Acolyte/Priestess/Reverend Mother
(na)/Cultist/Changeling
Initiate/Monk/(na)
Novice/Healer/Anointed One
Initiate/Paladin/Templar, Oracle
(na)/Warrior of Discord/Immortal, Dreadnought


The interesting factor here is that Master heroes would be able to take Apprentices and train them into heroes as they gained experience, at no cost to the sovereign. In addition, some forms of apprentice will accompany their Master in the field, providing basic support. The advantage of apprenticeship over straightforward training is that apprentices will start off with several levels of experience, because experience gain is continuous between all levels of training.

An apprentice will usually develop into a journeyman between levels 3-6, but can be delayed longer or even happen earlier. Becoming a master typically happens beteen levels 18-21, but again, can vary in exceptional cases. Becoming a Journeyman or Master is a matter of guild ceremony rather than strictly personal development, and although a certain mystic or even supernatural change can be invoked, often this is simply a formality that allows access to better equipment or guild privileges. Most hero types do not have all 3 stages, and in some cases more than one Master class exists.

(Certain civilian craftsmen could also go through two or more of these stages, including city guards (veterans are no longer researched,) smiths, brewers, foresters, masons, carpenters, thatchers, etc. These will be covered in more detail elsewhere.)
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Last edited by Alfryd on Wed May 25, 2005 6:19 am; edited 1 time in total
 
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Alberinian Wildmaster



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 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

COOL!!!!!!
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Alfryd



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 PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Um, thanks. Be aware this is substantiallly less than vapourware atm.

Trade Skills

Nothing astonishingly original here, to the extent I won't offer any deeper general description than above. I am interested, however, in whether these would develop in sync with the hero's XP level, or completely seperately, since some heroes would only have a passing acquaintance with a particular trade skill (barbarian knowledge of prospecting, for instance.)

Etiquette:
A detailed knowledge of formal and informal protocols used in diplomacy, barter and negotiation. Combined with good charisma, can be exceptionally useful in a tight spot, or securing an advantageous business deal.
Associated with: Elves, paladins, priestesses, rogues, wizards.

Anatomy:
An extensive acquaintance with the human and not-so-human body can greatly improve the application of healing arts- and allow devestatingly accurate blows that can topple and subdue stubborn opponents. A few individuals can also find more imaginative uses for working on others' 'sensitive areas.'
Associated with: Healers, monks, rogues, elves.

Larceny:
Housebreaking, coin-filching and unorthodox accounting methods are all the province of this shady trade skill. One who develops it will find that theft, fraud and stock valuation are both much more profitable and less risky endeavours.
Associated with: Rogues, elves, cultists.

Herblore:
Well-versed in the properties of all manner of indigenous flora, the practitioner of this skill can apply their arts to soothe injuries, replenish vigour and cure ague, or employ fatal toxins and sedatives in battle.
Associated with: Rangers, healers, cultists, gnomes, wizards.

First Aid:
A basic familiarity with the treatment of injury is often useful to veterans on the field of battle, and can be used to staunch a wound or delay a seeping poison. Although it's usefulness is limited, the swift use of the skill can spell the difference between life and death.
Associated with: Healers, rangers, warriors, cultists, adepts.

Prospecting:
A few heroes with an eye for the practical and possibly future retirement in mind, or simply a devouring curiosity, can identify outcroppings of minerals, rare or mundane, that they can use for purposes varying from whetstones and flintknapping to acquiring shares in a full-scale mining operation.
Associated with: Dwarves, wizards, barbarians.

Alchemy:
An advanced study of transmuting base materials into more refined concoctions, alchemical knowledge transmutes mineral, animal or vegetable ingredients into complex potions, philters and elixirs.
Associated with: Wizards, gnomes, dwarves.

Tracking:
The ability to trace an elusive quarry's path across leagues of baffling terrain, including human prey, lies under the heading of this trade skill. It also confers some skill in obscuring traces of your own passage, and covers knowledge of how to prepare animal skins and meats.
Associated with: Rangers, barbarians, solarii, elves, gnomes, WoDs.

Construction:
Heroes with this trade skill can participate in building projects beside other construction-related peasant artisans.
Asssociated with: Dwarves, gnomes.

Metallurgy:
A deep study of the properties of metals and techniques of their refinement allows this hero to maintain equipment in good condition, spot defects in armour, or even supervise the forging of their own toolkit given the right facilities.
Associated with: Dwarves, warriors, paladins.


You will note that some of these trade skills have a sort of assembly-line feel: Herblore, tracking and prospecting can provide raw materials for alchemy, indirectly prospecting can complement metalllurgy via discovery of a good mining site and supply of a blacksmith, metallurgy can complement construction, anatomy can complement first aid, possibly poisons from herblore/alchemy, and even the elvish brand of etiquette.

I think the simplest system would be to have a trade skill similar to standard hero abilities, except it has a level of it's own, that advances with practice in the art, and also contributes to overall hero XP. Since the odds of applying a given trade skill successfully depends on hero stats like intelligence, willpower, charisma, etc, however, various hero classes are unlikely to progress far in a particular trade skill despite possessing it.
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Alfryd



Joined: 03 Dec 2002
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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Citizen Diversity

I'm just going to spout out some names for now, and add a little more description later.


Outlaws: Beggar, Harlot, Thug, Smuggler, Brigand, Assassin, Courtesan.

Peasants and Vassals: Farmhand, Fisherman, Forester, Potter, Weaver, Thatcher, Carpenter, Miner, Mason.

Merchants and Artisans: Peddlar, Fletcher, Baker, Brewer, Stall Vendor, Smith, Innkeeper, Mercenary, Tanner, Tailor, Banker, Jeweller.

Scholars and Nobles: Herbalist, Priest, Librarian, Apothecary, Archivist, Esquire, Physician, Marquis.

Civil Servants: Peon, City Guard, Militia, Almoner, Conscript, Tax Collector, Sentry, Palace Guard, Herald, Sovereign.

Note that outlaws would probably be drawn from all of the broad classes described, excepting the civil service.
There's a brief description down below, but most are self-explanatory.

It may seem that having so many citizens would be an intolerable burden on content production, but I think there are techniques you can use to render the problem manageable that I'll touch on later. In any case, you could probably dispense with half of the above and still keep the overall system going. I mean, hey, it's a wishlist.

These citizens would be housed in various homesteads and work in industries or on estates, by and large completely seperate from sovereign interference. My reasons for supposing this even vaguely desireable will follow later.

You'll also note I seem to be imagining a complete manufacturing chain with multiple resources, goods and commodities. This is correct, but in fact the demands this should make are comparatively slight. Items in majesty don't require anything by way of graphics, and since these chains of manufacture are the same for all players, balancing should not be a big issue. From the sovereign's perspective at any rate, these mostly work out to the cash he creams off the top of every transaction. He will rarely if ever have to concern himself directly with the underlying production.




Beggar-
Appear from homeless citizens unable to relocate or emmigrate. Largely harmless, but lower property values.
Harlot-
Destitute citizens who sell themselves for a living. Often roped into protection schemes, diverting cash into organised crime. Spread disease, lower property values.
Thug-
Enforce protection rackets and generally deal in nastiness. Sometimes hired as bodyguards. Symptomatic of a decline of confidence in the sovereign's ability to offer protection.
Smuggler-
Import goods in evasion of duties and tariffs. Goods, and sometimes people- can help other outlaws evade capture.
Brigand-
Outlaws who flee your settlement for fear of punishment, waylaying travellers and caravans at a high cost in both goods and life. Can become local powers in their own right. Bear in mind draconian laws can drive innocent men to join their ranks.
Assassin-
Take vast commissions to dispatch the wealthy and well-protected, usually rich themselves. At this point law and order are an empty formula.
Courtesan-
Use blackmail and other arts of pursuasion to extort vast sums from their hapless clients, specialising in rendering the idle rich neither idle nor rich. Extremely difficult to audit, often obscenely wealthy.


Farmhand-
Peasant farmers bound to the land, either owned or leased. Supply grain, vegetable and animal foodstuffs, and hides.
Fisherman-
Operate from communal wharves in shared boats. Supply meat.
Forester-
Tend plantations of woodland, selling firewood and lumber for construction, supplementing income with herbs and game.
Potter-
Use nearby materials to fire simple earthenware. Typically a cottage industry.
Weaver-
Produce textiles from local plant and animal fibres.
Thatcher-
Roof and repair structures of thatch, wattle and daub.
Carpenter-
Furnish tools and furniture from local timber and contribute to construction projects. Usually well-off.
Miner-
Extract mineral ores from the earth within subteranean mines. Can be wealthy.
Mason-
Cut and fashion stone from quarries and at the site of construction. Vary from unskilled to highly educated workers that command a high wage.


Peddlar-
Transport goods from the countryside to city marketplaces minus a slice of the profits.
Fletcher-
Furnish ammunition to ranged combatant heroes and simple woodland hunters.
Baker-
Produce bread for local sale from grain.
Brewer-
Produce ale for local sale from grain. All of the calories, none of the nutrition, double the price!
Stall Vendor-
Distribute meat and vegetable foodstuffs for consumption.
Smith-
Supply weapons and armour to local soldiers and heroes, and tools for the peasantry at work.
Innkeeper-
Provide lodgings for a price to weary travellers.
Mercenary-
Offer their sword-arm and protection to wary merchants and scholars.
Tanner-
Process raw hides into leather for cutting.
Tailor-
Trim textiles and fabrics into custom-fit garments for wealthier clients.
Banker-
Buy and sell money... ...In the right place at the right time.
Jeweller-
Produce decorative baubles from rare metals and gemstones. A sign of serious economic development.


Herbalist-
Apply healing arts to the sick and injured based on a knowledge of plants.
Priest-
Provide spiritual solace to the generic faithful.
Librarian-
Purveyors of enlightenment to the insatiably inquisitive.
Apothecary-
Mix potions and prepare poultices for diverse purposes, all with a price tag.
Archivist-
Record the mechanics of beaurocracy.
Esquire-
The nouveau riche among your populace, having bought a title among the nominal aristocracy.
Physician-
Highly esteemed and occasionally effective tenders of the seriously injured. Rolling in moolah.
Marquis-
Hereditary nobility either homegrown or imported.


Peon-
Penniless vassals who have entered the sovereign's service in exchange for food and shelter.
City Guard-
Keepers of the peace ever vigilant against hostile incursion.
Militia-
Eager locals who enlist to train in the realm's defence.
Almoner-
Responsible for the care and upkeep of the poor.
Conscript-
Citizens compelled to join the armed forces during a time of emergency, subject to a rigorous training program.
Tax Collector-
Ever popular gatherer of life's second great certainty.
Sentry-
Sharp-eyed marksmen who scan the surrounds for trouble.
Palace Guard-
Distinguished servicemen who defend the sovereign's bastion of power.
Herald-
Eloquent and forceful speakers familiar with the language of court who see the sovereigns' decrees are issued.
Sovereign-
The buck stops here. Right over there. Great.
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Last edited by Alfryd on Wed May 25, 2005 6:11 am; edited 5 times in total
 
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Alfryd



Joined: 03 Dec 2002
Posts: 914

 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quarters

Right. This is the first idea that I've thought could be more than mildly interesting. It's loosely analagous to the concept of zones in Simcity, but with some crucial differences- firstly, development of a particular type is not restricted to a particular quarter, but they do encourage it, and exclude any competing type of development. Secondly, quarters can overlap, but must form contiguous territories subject to price multipliers. Anyway. The idea is that certain buildings in classical maj could be raplaced by broad areas of possible development- quarters- in maj2. For example:

Marketplace.
Self-explanatory. Reserved for manufacturing and services- blacksmiths, tanners, food stalls, apothecaries, etc.

Fairgrounds.
Again familiar, reserved for various forms of entertainment, including joust arenas, puppet booths, etc.

Elven District.
Neccesary for the initial settlement of elves. All buildings within these bounds are tax exempt.

Sacred Ground.
Neccesary for the development of the more elaborate Temple complexes. Could be consecrated to a particular deity, though I suspect open competition might make things more interesting.

Regal Estate.
Excludes all forms of development. Think of it as a big-game reserve.

Palace Bailey.
The interior ground of the Palace's curtain walls. Walls will tend to spring up along it's boundaries along the front of least security.


Other possibilities you could use to make Quarters interesting is a core building (trading post, palace keep, royal booth, gatehouse etc.) that you could use to manage and upgrade the quarter as if it were a static building. The cost of maintenance/placement could vary on the basis of surface area or border length, encouraging contiguous, blocky placement of quarters. The idea is lightly based on mediaval burghess charters that relieved townsfolk from certain feudal obligations and indirectly fostered commerce. More on tithes and taxation later.

As you've probably guessed by now, I imagine that most buildings in maj2 would place temselves in sensible locations, without explicit sovereign control. Hence the term development. I'll try to cover the practicalities of implementing this and the constraints of sovereign interaction later on.
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Alfryd



Joined: 03 Dec 2002
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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Bounties, Commissions and Contracts.

Since I picked up at some point that the 'sim' which I presume relates to economic aspect of majesty was going to be expanded in the sequel, if RTS immediacy is going to be preserved, the sovereign needs techniques of managing a large urban settlement with minimal maintenance hassle.
So one idea could be to use 'contracts' to encourage, rather than order, building placement in a similar fashion to how you encourage, but don't order, heroes.

The system is: you select 'contracts' from a menu, select a building type, and click on a candidate site with a certain sum of cash attached. You can set the sum of cash to anything you desire. The cash represents the investment you are willing to make in constructing the building on that site, with a local businessman supplying the remainder of neccesary starting funds.
Moreover, the share of starting funds you provide determines your share of the profits and cost for the enterprise- a blacksmith, a brewery, a jewellers, etc. All these buildings, can, in theory, appear by themselves without your assistance. But liberal applications of government cash can earn themselves back and jump-start the economy. Of course, any other blacksmiths/breweries/etc. will then have to compete with a government-subsidised industry, which can retard long-term economic development. So use with caution.
Neccesary for all this to happen is a fully-fleshed capitalistic supply/demand simulation. I'll cover the reasons why you'd want this later, though maybe you've guessed already. In theory, it's low-maintenance.


I'd just like to enumerate the standard Bounty types I'd like to have at my disposal:

Attack Bounty: Search and destroy.
Explore Bounty: Look but don't touch.
Track Bounty: Similar to explore, but attached to a moving target.
Trail Bounty: Similar to track, but the gold is only released once the target enters a building in sight of the trailing character.
Defend Bounty: First friendly (not in range initially) to arrive without hostiles in sight claims the cash.
Capture Bounty: Bring 'em back alive.

All this asumes that heroes are bright enough to ignore intervening distractions en-route to a bounty, if the price is high enough, and possibly use stealth abilities to evade detection and interference.


Commissions are simply the idea I've touched on previously of being able to issue detailed requests to a single hero, with a suitable reward attached. Ideally, you'd open the commissions tab, select a hero, and select a list of actions for him/her to perform. These can be queued in a particular sequence indefinitely.
E.g:
Go to the east wall of Lord ConMara's castle and meet up with Sniv the Lifter. Scale the wall and enter the keep. Capture the visiting baron's daughter and cut the drawbridge catch to make your escape. Your reward will be 3000 gold pieces upon your return. Do you accept?

Having chosen the sum of cash and dispatched the commission, the hero will stop and consider once he/she gets the news (a local herald might see to this.) The hero will weigh the risks involved in the commission and either accept or decline. The reward offered cannot be revoked, but if the hero definitively fails in their mission, the gold returns to your treasury. If the hero declines, the gold simply disappears.

Another possibility would be the ability to select a group of heroes- via their guild, perhaps- and issue the same commission to them all simoultaneously. Depending on the quality of AI, the odds are they could team up in an effort to fulfill this common objective.
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Sorotor



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It seems to me that most of the citizenry could also double as heroes, and that some of them would either be heroes or have functions already associated (or potentially associated) with Heroes. Especially assassins. Whatever the specifics, I can't escape the idea that "Assassin" sounds like a Rogue prestige class.
 
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Alfryd, how about some magic orientated trades? Like Collecting spell components ?
 
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think Majesty II is already going the direct of settlers / knights and merchants. If cyberlore can pull it off, it will be a monumentally fun game.
 
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sorotor wrote:
It seems to me that most of the citizenry could also double as heroes, and that some of them would either be heroes or have functions already associated (or potentially associated) with Heroes. Especially assassins. Whatever the specifics, I can't escape the idea that "Assassin" sounds like a Rogue prestige class.


This works jolly well with the multicasting idea. Simply have a hero take s civilian class and voila
 
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Alberinian Wildmaster



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Travelling to Distant Lands

 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Blahblahblahblah can't you make those things a little shorter? I only got through half of it before I got bored.
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

off you go then.
 
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Sorotor



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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Cooker wrote:
Alfryd, how about some magic orientated trades? Like Collecting spell components ?


I think he rather has. Alchemists especially, but any kind of person who deals with Ardania's raw materials (herbalist, miner) is going to need some skill in magic. I mean, how much are you willing to bet that the native flora has magical properties, and that you'd find magical ore in the right spots? Never mind that, traditionally, every metal had magical properties associated with it. All I can think of off-hand are the holy attributes of silver and the magic-retardation effects of iron, but i'm sure there are more.
 
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

perhaps Very Happy
 
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