Author Topic: Kingdoms - what's the right number, which is your favorite and why?  (Read 3852 times)

Chalgyr

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So, this is a bit more of an open-ended question, but I've had a lot of thoughts on the 'kingdoms'. Obviously they were a major consideration when we started KotL. A moment's background for those who weren't here from day 1:

We started with 5 kingdoms and themes:

- Murkwood: foresty, nature-loving (Gedland's idea)
- Armengar: Plains and hills, militaristic and anti-arcane magic (Janus' idea)
- Klevnone: fields and mounters, harsher elements, barbarian kingdom (my idea)
- Mesilena: Dark land with curses upon it, home of undead (Gilly's idea)
- Calararian: A sky kingdom set upon the clouds, apart from the world (Merlin's idea)

Then we decided we needed a neutral place, Tolin, that was run by no one

As the MUD began to grow, we sometimes saw upwards of 50 people on a night. Ranks were getting crowded, so we asked for people to propose two more kingdoms for player-run and that is where Tozain and Lapis came from.

Then after an extended player wipe while we retooled some things, we had a mush lower showing of players than we had before. Things were too spread out and we reduced Tozain and Lapis back to non-player kingdoms. (we went through a similar culling process with religions at one time as well, which I will touch on in a future post).

Several questions here:

- Which is your favorite kingdom and why?
- Which has been your least favorite kingdom and why?
- How many kingdoms/factions should a game reasonable center itself around? Most Godwars MUDs had a trio of factions. World of Warcraft has 2. The game we came from, RCD had 1 city (and multiple player-run religions).

Thanks!
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Daklore

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There is no real -right- number. Having multiple factions, even if they can't all be joined actually adds depth into the background story of the world.

If for instance, you just had Murkwood and Mesilena, and they were aligned against one another, you'd have a very monotone history. Black and White. Or Grey and Green as it were.

Then you have the playerbase size, which is often the source you take for how many factions you have. In its prime pre-wipe, KotL was seeing 50-60 highs, and 20 or so averages. Across seven factions(eight if you count Tolin, I don't), that led to a fairly decent grouping. Nowadays, we tend to average 4 with a normal high of about 12 and an extreme of 20. Not really "great" for sustaining diverse numbers.


But still, having different idealogies in the game in the form of factions, gives you a lot more breadth with the story. Klevnone as an angry collection of brutes who have been a failing nation for quite some time on the rebound. Mesilena cursed to decay in a swamp, rampant with rumours of undead and vampiric rulership. Murkwood with their forests. Armengar with their hate of mages(which appears to be breaking down). Calararian with their... magical cloudiness. Tozain... I'm honestly not really sure what Tozain's backdrop is/was... I always saw it as a desert trading city with sea ports to distant and undiscovered lands. And of course, Lapis, with their tread toward science and incorporating the mystical elements of the land into it, diverging from a purely mysticism backdrop that all the other people are in.

Obviously, Lapis is my favourite. >P

Part of the problem, however, is that Tolin has become the "go to" place for everyone, because they're an alt, or they don't like the ruler, or can't join Lapis... and it's deflating the ranks for the actual kingdoms, because... Tolin is kind of just there. I always thought Tolin to be a "punishment" for not being part of a city, as it were.

But, there is not "optimal number" per se, more factions is better for the story, bad for player density.
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Tylon

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- Which is your favorite kingdom and why?
I'll go with Mesilena, its got the right kind of size and layout for my tastes. Also a considerable backstory.

- Which has been your least favorite kingdom and why?
I didn't really care for Tozain and Lapis... its obvious from their map layout they were implemented more as afterthoughts than actually being integrated into the original design.


- How many kingdoms/factions should a game reasonable center itself around? Most Godwars MUDs had a trio of factions. World of Warcraft has 2. The game we came from, RCD had 1 city (and multiple player-run religions).
I think the number of factions is in material as long as there's a good quantity of crossing paths between players. To be honest I can go a week without actually seeing a player in the same room I'm in without trying hard. I'm not sure if this would have a solution at this point in time. But yeah, on my wish list is some kind of unifying game function where people are at least exposed more to each other.

Chalgyr

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Good points so far - I'd like to see more on the topic.

Tylon touches on a point, and maybe Daklore can relate too when I bring up the Rcd example: There's only a handful of people here who still recall RCD, but with only 1 city (the religions were all attached to it) - people had a tendency to run into one another more. 3 people on at a time? Good chance you'd run into them. The multiple auto questors or cities - does that spread people out too much, or do they make an effort to congregate when they want?

I admit that I still like the idea of diverse kingdoms/main cities because it does encourate more unique history and back story, I just find/found myself wondering if it spreads out a thin playerbase to feel even thinner?

Again, thanks for the comments so far. As you can hopefully see by the questions, I'm trying to look at a wide variety of topics lately!
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Daklore

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It -does- spread the player density pretty badly. More the questors than the number of cities, since the quest office is where 90% of us will be, 90% of the time. Which may be why people go Tolin with alts, because the Tolin quest office is often more populated than others(especially, say, Lapis which often only has a grand total of me, if I'm logged in).

It's nice to have different types of tokens, though... but if you're looking at an option to increase player density to increase RP opportunities, multiple questors is most definately a problem to that goal.
"Okay, who let Odin out of his cage?"
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"That's it, I'm outta here."

Chalgyr

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Do you think more quest officers, maybe not having as much token return but lower quest timers would keep people from huddling up in one spot? Is there too much emphasis on the need for quest tokens because of the custom gear?

I admit both on here early on and on RCD, I was big into questing because I used those intervals between quests to do other things like build.

What about if there were only two kingdoms, but maybe different regions within the kingdoms you could come from? What if say Murkwood and Mesilena took everything over, and Lapis was an area within Mesilena you could come from, or Armengar a part of Murkwood's region? I'll again use the WoW reference, but you have alliance and horde, but you have several capital cities within each you can come from (of course, those are driven by race, but I'm just thinking along those general lines)
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Daklore

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I think the problem is more the diversity of the quest masters. If you concentrated them into one location, or one person... it would probably increase the interaction of players.

Problem is, it would lower the diversity of tokens--unless you coded it so you could request for a type--and make customs/quest items so monotyped that... well, it wouldn't actually be -bad-. Look at tokens like diamonds, amethyst, and turquoise. Outside of limited use on customs, and moxes, no one really -needs- them.

Which is why I have like 60K turquoise, because even -I- don't need them(fully customed, and what not). Putting us down to one questor and one type would help the token economy, though.

Faster quests/lower rewards would just have people moving more often and lowering the chances for RP. So, that's definately not a viable option.


Also, Lapis would not fall to Mesilena. We have guns. >.> And explosives. And Daklore has his own "undead" army to repel with. >P
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Chalgyr

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I thought the note on faster quests/lower rewards leading to no RP being a notion I was considering when I was typing up my earlier response. I guess that begets another question though - at what point do you weigh the RP versus the rewards of gameplay. Would more people rather be actively doing things than waiting for the next round of quests? Is the rp beneficial enough - or a matter of a person's personal preference? I know when I first started up KtoL - I was largly trying to do a bit of everything:

- RP
- lots of levels/skills/classes/races
- questing/custom gear
- pvp
- ranks in kingdoms/religions

Should game mechanics consider things like people wanting to rp? I suppose it depends on why you are there. Very few people use Guild Wars 2 or WoW as a channel for roleplay, but they're still very popular because of their other offerings. I realize the topic's diverging a bit here - still just trying to figure out what feels like a good use of time, and if spread out kingdoms or not conflict with some of the goals we have, like giving people a reason to meet/interact, or if they do serve a great purpose in giving players more to do and more world to travel?
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Daklore

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Well, in my instance, I judge based on how things were pre-wipe. But roleplay was more player driven then, and most of us often quested in a similiar location, either by coincidence or intention. Post-wipe... it seems more like god-modding is the only way to RP... okay, I -may- be guilty of this, but Daklore built up to this through real-life years of roleplay. Not just me writing a store and wanting him to be god-like, I mean it was developed through years of interactive RP with -other people-.

Am I entitled to it? Not necessarily, but Daklore has that foundation.

Off-topic, I know, but that seems to be one of the complaints people have. No one RPs because they're all afk questing. And to be honest, most people are. Even I'm AFK "questing"... less questing, more randomly checking legendaries and piping up to conversations as they come. Which is probably why I've been logged in a bit less of late, more of my focus has been on an internet window (I'm watching League of Legends esports pro-play right now as I type this... okay, watching is subjective. I'm listening...).

Could more interactive options be made for in-between quests? It's possible. Would they work? I can't honestly say they -would-. Everyone is looking for something different in their fun-time. Some people want to grind(Sye), some people want to RP(multiple people), some people want to occassionally RP, AFK, and just be me(Daklore... only Daklore...)... so... having in-between quest activities -might- offer something... but even if you add "mini-games" you're just going to either give a reward no one wants/needs(gold), or you're just going to give them faster questing(tokens).

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
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Elendil

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Hmmm,

Well.....out of all the kingdoms, Murkwood I think is the best because for one, I like the way it has been laid out and for the other, I am of the belief that the main purpose of the differing kingdoms is to cater to the tastes and rping of the individual person and their char's class and race. 

The diversity offered is perfect to my mind, but there is one possible solution for the player spread.  Why not just double up the questors?  For example, Jaxx and Tarsin together in Murkwood, Zena and Rhioon in Mesilena, Bryana and Quincy together in Calararian.  I think that would be the solution to that issue of the scattering of a limited playerbase.

Do you think that would be doable, Chal?

Chalgyr

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Certainly doable - just not sure if it is the solution to the RP problem that's been laid out. would having people congregate in the same room suddenly lead to rp? Or bickering? or both? :)
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Elendil

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As for your question about the rping question, it does bring up a very interesting point.  One must realise that we are dealing with individuals with their own personalities(or lack thereof) and agendas for their chars, as well their own ideas as to what constitutes rping which of course leads to personality clashs(I have experienced it and I have witnessed it over the outgame channel). As it stands, there are already cliques in existence, that will never go away.  The best you can do is try to work on improving the game, and hope the personality clashs are kept to a minimum.

That said, I do believe the idea of doubling up the questors does have it's merits as a means to have less of a spread.

Daklore

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Bickering -is- RP. Well... as long as it's tastefully done... something people tend to lack nowadays.
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Tylon

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Have you explored the possibility of removing bloody moxes shattering into the multiple quest token types? I feel like at least for me it has made it possible to sit at my hometown quester without visiting the other ones, or even trading tokens with other players.

Also as a side thought, perhaps making questing bonuses happen when you're in your home kingdom. Just random little things (and maybe rare big things) that make people more inclined to specialize in collecting specific token types could possibly spark more trading situations and "active interaction" as opposed to being in the same afk quest room. Or maybe even something more cool - the goal being getting people to start working together as they would have been with interlinked trade skills.

Group quests? Probably a bad idea.

Another really radical idea - removing the ability to quest in other kingdoms. Just your kingdom, tolin, diamond quester guy wherever he is. Potential to get REAL interactive there.
« Last Edit: 03/01/13, 19:03 by Tylon »

Daklore

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Then you run into the problem of amethyst, or else you have to remove them altoghether... cause there's no one from Tozain to quest.

Or what about Sapphires? Armengar players are, usually, fairly infrequent... and then you have the people who are hoarding just for their own customs... they don't want to fall further from that so someone else can build theirs.

Bloody moxes shattering is just silly, though, I agree on that. Get rid of that.
"Okay, who let Odin out of his cage?"
*A blue bouncy ball bounces by*
"That's it, I'm outta here."