One town instead of 3.

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Post by Karl » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:45 am

One town instead of 3.

Hi!

I know I haven't played in a long time and my word may not be worth and I hope this isn't perceived as a negative remark as opposed to the constructive criticism it's meant to be. Just sharing my thoughts is all.

I've occasionally taken a look at Illarion's home page and every now and then I'll take a glimpse at the forums to see what's cooking. It seems like the playercount is fairly low compared to a few years ago, before the VBU. While the VBU brought some absolutely amazing changes to the game, both server and clientside, one of these changes, in my opinion, was more harmful than good, both for the gameplay and for the potential to roleplay.

I genuinely feel like splitting the already thin playerbase into three locations wasn't a good idea. I feel like it may have harmed several players' ability to find players to roleplay with consistently and with a semblance of variety. Back when Trollsbane was the main town, it was so easy to just hop into the game and find people to play with. The choice to go elsewhere (Varshikar, Tol Vanima, etc.) was still an option for those who wanted it, but for the most part, it was great having a sort of Capital where the roleplay would eventually merge.

I don't feel the need to write a big wall of text to express what I'm trying to say, I think you guys know what I mean.

I was curious if anyone agreed?

While I can't imagine you guys reverting the changes or making a new map or anything of the sort, I really wanted to get it off my chest and see what people thought.

Thank you for reading!

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Post by Tyan Masines » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:43 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

I do agree with this. It would also reduce the number of (active) GM's needed. Ain't much else to say.



However, we two (and other who might agree) are in a state of hindsight. Playerbase was great shortly after the VBU start and then, the towns made more sense than they do today. But developers could hardly anticipate the drop in playerbase, thus, it really is no one's fault.
Today, I'd focus on giving the towns more character and sense (can you 'really' become more rich in Galmair? Does being a 'subject' of others in Cadomyr benefit the subjects in any way, or only the superiors? Can you gain any 'useful knowledge' in Runewick you can't access in other towns?), as atm, all the towns basically seem to be the same. You can thrive or fail with any character concept in any town. As for playerbase, they are going to advertise at some point, possibly increasing player count again, which will render a lot of micro-problems we keep discussing solved. Given the macro stuff like crafting, balancing and roleplay opportunities through an immersive world and story are given - and those, amongst others, are things people are working on currently.

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Post by Fooser » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:52 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

It's been 2ish years so I think that's a decent enough sample size to ask "what has the faction system given us?", some may disagree but I would say "not enough to justify". I look on the online list and see a new person in an empty faction and think "well that person isn't going to stay". I quit a faction, and almost the game, because I had to sit in an empty town during my time zone. New people would skip that step and just leave. They should consider going leaner and focus on a centralized place, player driven guilds/subgroups within that place, and big overarching storylines by GMs.

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Post by Nitram » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:00 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

So we are now supposed to hold all developments for the next 3 to 4 years and redo the map and all the content scripts and lore again to change back to a single town? I do not believe that this will help the survival of Illarion. :wink:

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Post by Karl » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:20 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Nitram wrote:So we are now supposed to hold all developments for the next 3 to 4 years and redo the map and all the content scripts and lore again to change back to a single town? I do not believe that this will help the survival of Illarion. :wink:
Neither will ignoring the issue and pretending all is well. I'm sure there are compromises or midway solutions to alleviate thr problem. Does making a map really necessitate four years? Why can't a serious disease spread in all the towns except one? Or all the towns and everyone is forced in the Hemptie where the necessary tools can be placed by players around to do whatever they need for crafting? Maybe the disease lasts longer than expected and people start setting up camps or small houses for themselves around the Hemptie and it becomes "the" village.

Don't want to waste the dungeons and explorable areas in the current three cities? Make them still accessible but if you stay there above ground, not in a dungeon, for longer that a few minutes, you begin becoming sick and must leave quickly before the symptoms kill you.

Plenty of creative ideas to bring the players closer geographically.

Or you can keep going like nothing is wrong, I'm but a mere old inactive fart that doesn't play anymore, but as long as players get on and find no one, expect things like these to keep happening: https://www.reddit.com/r/gamingsuggesti ... me/cvoga41

Try as I might to spread the word about the game where I can, it's impossible to get a new player to stay on for longer than a few minutes for the same reasons I won't either.

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Post by Nitram » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Changing the map takes long, but not that long.
What takes long is adapting the content scripts, the database any everything that is tailored to the current map. Forcing the players out of one city is not that much of a problem. But we'd also have to move the NPCs around that are unique to that places, alter the arrival island, redistribute the crafts that are currently limited to the specific towns, alter the NPCs that promote the towns as a place to live. Just to name a few of the tasks such a change would lead to.

We are very well aware that we have too few players. We are also aware that the map is too big for the players we have. But the map and everything that is tied into it is something we can't scale quickly. If we scale down now and then get some more players we can't get the map bigger in a acceptable speed. So we have to stick with one size and try to overcome the problems this implies.

The plan for the next months is clear and will hopefully lead to some increase of the player base. I wrote in the promotion board what I am planning. For now we'll stick with that plan and see how it plays out. If everything fails we look for a new plan.

Nitram

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Post by Karl » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:53 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Nitram wrote:The plan for the next months is clear
Can you share what the plan is?

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Post by Pugnacious » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:11 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

Promote, Promote, Promote. If you build it, they will come.

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Post by rakust dorenstkzul » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:04 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

I'll start a subreddit and a general thread on /vg/

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Post by Nitram » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:42 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

Karl wrote:
Nitram wrote:The plan for the next months is clear
Can you share what the plan is?
See: Promotion board

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Post by Annabeth » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:03 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

DIviding the playerbase we have is currently very bad, to the point where in Cadomyr it's so hard to get citizen to show up for quests during weekdays that it's usually just the leaders in Cadomyr + 1 or 2 attendees from Galmair/Runewick that happened to be on at the time. Might as well shut the gates to Cadomyr soon.

When we have a playerbase as small as we do, with vastly different timeschedules, separating them into smaller factions is counter productive. Shutting down two towns to reopen them later and giving resources to the third, or using the hemptie as proposed, should seriously be considered, despite the work that comes along with it. This has been a discussion since the start and it's still going strong and it's coming from both lurkers as their reason for not playing, and players who play actively.

It could atleast provide an RP game where you can actually find RP for more than a few hours during the weekend, as opposed to the current situation. Otherwise the few loyal players we currently have playing will soon find themselves losing interest in the game and joining the lurkers, unless you think promoting the game will somehow work miracles.

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Post by Jupiter » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:53 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

We have a small player base. That is a problem. Therefore, we want to start a big promotion campaign. Any major changes to the game content will delay this (and making the game a one town game would mean delaying it for a very long time).
Currently, the best shot is to try to make the promotion a success. By the way: Players can contribute A LOT to the promotion if they simply play a lot during the first days and weeks of the promotion. Just log in, be there and play. I myself will have a busy time then but I will try to find at least one hour of time in the evening of most days to play.

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Post by Mr.Oldie » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:48 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

suggesting something to bring the online players together for RP:
/dove Purple **where are you?**
/dove Don **at the sand pits near cado**
/dove Purple **get your ass back here.**
:D
you get the point, ryt?!
(ofcourse the name are to whom the dove its sent, like in whisper commands)

limit the number of character so that players wont abuse it.
a quick relief for making RP possible until the mail system kicks in.

i think this is far more easier work than closing all towns or.. etc etc

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Post by Mephistopheles » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:37 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

My opinion is the same it was two years ago..

Gobaith succeeded because of the sandbox style that it was where players had immense control over the entire game world. Well at least more so than now.

I will admit that it appears that the GMs and devs are working together so that players are able to do what they want instead of simply getting a solid "no" to all their suggestions. This was not so a year ago and I feel that is why we lost so many players, because the game was boring, stagnant , and frustrating.

Illarion is recovering and things are happening, I'm content to ride it out and see where it goes (albeit trying to find time to advance my own plots) its up to the players to try and make the game interesting. The lore can provide a problem, because of the whole gems of power bit. Player chars shouldn't be able to aquire such powerful assets, but they exist nevertheless in the hands of gm controlled characters. I don't think this is beneficial because it leaves the players feeling as if the GMs have the control and they do not. Also gm chars seem practically unassailable with their click and imprison (I know they don't do that, but the point is that they can) and engine bans. How to remedy this beyond simple awareness is over my head. My char will always try to assume power whether a gm lets him or not, I think if more players thought this way there would be much more rp plots to go around for those who are interested in anything beyond campfire roleplay.

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Post by wolfsword » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:28 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

rakust dorenstkzul wrote:I'll start a subreddit and a general thread on /vg/
Haven't checked but someone should snag the name "illarion" for a subreddit ASAP. I'll do so and give it to the mods if it's still free.

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Post by Banduk » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:28 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

Shrinking is not an option
I read here from a few people that we should shrink the game concept because the numbers of players decrease.
From my point of view this has no perspective. It might help the current player base for the moment but these players will leave one day too. What then? Shrink from a town to a desk?

Let me explain my view:
Illarion is a game. There is whole world around called real live and in fact these ominous RL influence the number of player much more than any IG construction.
Usually you have in your live a time you play and try. It’s not a secret, but most of our players are students. But this time of live will end. Your partner, your family, your job … all the RL takes your attention and your time to play becomes shorter. And it’s a damned overassessment that our game would have more power that the rush hour of the live. So the general fact we lose player we cannot influence.

Therefore the only way to hold the number of player is not to hold the existing player in game in any case. This must fail. We have to get new player into the game.

And even here we have to take into consideration (don’t take the numbers too serious):
1. One of 100 read about Illarion will take a closer look to the webpage. (1 / 100)
2. One of 100 visiting the webpage will give the game a try. (1 / 10.000)
3. One of 20 starting the game will stay for more than a few minutes (1 / 200.000)
4. One of 20 playing more than a few minutes will stay for longer (1 / 4.000.000)
5. None of the players playing longer will stay forever.
Therefor the key to survive is not shrinking because it just extends the agony of step 5.

Currently Nitram redo the step 3 because we lost here almost 100%. Once this is done we must invest all the power into step 1and 2 – that means promotion!
And during the hot promotion phase step 4 has to be supported by the active player.

There is a plan.
There is a lot everybody of us can do.
Do!

http://illarion.org/community/forums/viewforum.php?f=77

But don’t try to ride the undead horse shrinking the game concept.

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Post by Karl » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:11 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

Hey everyone!

I'd like to bump this thread again and bring it to the wonderful team's attention. Since the creation of this thread, the argument against bringing players closer geographically (as opposed to splitting them into three towns) was that there were plans to promote and raise the playercount drastically. Unfortunately, this hasn't succeeded.

Is this something to reconsider, perhaps? Even as a temporary "event" just to test how it goes? The plague spreads to two of the three towns, forcing everyone to regroup, taxes and other town-specific restrictions are lifted.. hell, maybe all three towns but the central Inn (Hemptie?)

I know you're not fond of the idea, but I genuinely feel like you should take it in consideration, it might sound crazy, but so is the fact this wonderful game you've invested so many years getting barely seven players at peak, it deserves so much more.

Thank you

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Post by Katharina Brightrim » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:28 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

I like the idea of a temporary event, reducing the number of towns temporary at 2 or less. But besides that I don't think reducing the towns would lead to a permanent raise of players.

And everytime I look on the online-list I see numbers of 10-20 players, so I am not sure what you mean with seven players. ^^

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Post by Jupiter » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:45 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

The town are starting to get a player shaped image. Working against that would now be like hitting those in the face who actually put effort into it. We have seen a lot of improvement and I am sure it will keep heading in the direction. Many problems were found (e.g. that the banning npc do their job a bit too well) and will be dealt with.

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Post by Dantagon Marescot » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:13 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

I remember there being a plague event being done many years ago, so I could see it happening again (different disease, different side effects). Could make for some fun rp especially paired with a lead up event since someone has to be patient 0.

You probably won't see the under 10 numbers if you live in Europe. I've noticed that the numbers start dropping after dinner in the Americas. People in Europe are starting to head to bed. By 10 pm on the East Coast I am lucky to see 10 people online on a week night. Though in my opinion the best way to increase this number is to get on and play because someone wavering on if they want to get ig game or not may look at the list and be more likely to play if they 7 players instead of 6.

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Post by GolfLima » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:57 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

I see a lot of problems when pushing all char into 1 town only.

i) distribution of mag. gems (old and new char.)
ii) some char. have trouble with one of the towns
iii) what about all the "younger gods" (for example: Nargun / Cherga / Moshran <-> Runewick)
iv) at the moment each town has a craft that could not be done there --> rework of map is needed when having only 1town
v) what about the town conflicts
...
...
...

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Post by Seajiha » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Well I like the current faction system. But to be fair, I have never played with another setup. However, normally three factions allow a lot of lore-conflict-generation.

If the problem lies in the player location (spread across three locations), then I could imagine a redesign, where there is one cities with three/four district, each one controlled by one of the factions, the last one a public one open for everyone who's not a known criminal.

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:30 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Let us first recall the Gobaith situation:
We had one central city called Troll's Bane. It was the place to be, the meeting point. Then, we had four additional major towns, originally created as racial towns or hideouts. Additionally, we have half a dozen or more minor settlements that were run by guilds. Most of the places were abandoned at a given point of time with some minor settlements being lost places for years. Other places were very active for some time and abandoned usually after all "goals" (house, depot,...) were achieved.
Image

The VBU brought the following situation:
Three cities instead of five plus a neutral inn. There are no minor settlements anymore except for some places in the homelands, clearly linked to a city. The Hemp Necktie Inn is basically a minor settlement with very limited resources.
Image

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Post by Karrock » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Set in one place all would harm to rp in my own opinion. There are groups what are opposing to each other. Sadly that is much sense in telling that many player settlements exist as long as their have mechanical goals (depot, houses). But in the other hand one town would be much boring and would end all conflicts what we need in these days. Check how many players log when exists conflict or fight. Of course this is not topic about conflicts, but I pointed there is something else what could attract players to game than play with mechanics (more or less towns).

Some people think that we lack settlements for "evil" chars. Reduction of towns number would even make situation worse.

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Post by Lennier » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:30 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Jupiter wrote:The town are starting to get a player shaped image. Working against that would now be like hitting those in the face who actually put effort into it. We have seen a lot of improvement and I am sure it will keep heading in the direction. Many problems were found (e.g. that the banning npc do their job a bit too well) and will be dealt with.
I agree with that and want to make addtions:

The charm of the old Illarion was, it was built by players and had some development and some history - formed by players. I tried to do a lot to support this in position as builder and tried to handle different player projects. Lots of years were necessary.

To create fractions leaded by GMs was the answer at the chaotic situation of the past. Communities depanded on only few players and their chars and chrased regulary with bad effects for the whole game. We tried to get some sets of different but stable community systems, able to survive about time, not in same risk to crash by the leaving of individuals (I hope you get the right intension of my words).

I hope, that we will get a good balance between these fix settings and the involvement of players again. Currently I think the way is the right, but the quality is not.

The map is not too big in my opinion. But the settlements are oversized and lots of structures does not seems to be neccessary. Do we really need an arena for each town? And how much training areas Cadomry has? 3-4?

Maybe we can find a way to remove not needed structurs in same way like we will get back the possibilty to build new buildings.

I think what we need is a permanent developement of what we have. Development in lots of small steps instead of changes of whole systems few hits.

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Post by Karl » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:22 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

Okay, lets try something else, since most seem to disagree that concentrating the playerbase in the same region is a good idea.

Since the current method of promotion is clearly not working, what's a solution to increase the playercount now?

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Post by Achae Eanstray » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:52 am

Re: One town instead of 3.

Karl wrote:Okay, lets try something else, since most seem to disagree that concentrating the playerbase in the same region is a good idea.

Since the current method of promotion is clearly not working, what's a solution to increase the playercount now?
*grabs player Karl and gets him to bring his char in game* :D

I believe some might be looking at Steam however if you know a place, no one would object to you advertising your favorite game either.


I assume you saw this...http://illarion.org/community/forums/viewforum.php?f=77

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Post by Seajiha » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Achae Eanstray wrote: I believe some might be looking at Steam
For now, I don't think Steam is a good idea. Too many mechanics depend on the website or the forums (many of them could be integrated in the game, some are in the process of) which would "scare" many new players. Some other systems should at least exist in some basic form, too, before promoting the game on steam (like magic otherwise 1/3 of the attributes is just useful in rp).

Why not put it on Steam and implement the features later? You would get negative reviews there because of that. And once you get such reviews it is hard to get a score better than "Mixed". Any many people use this score to decide if they should skip the game or not.

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Post by Dantagon Marescot » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:59 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Seajiha is probably right. Though getting Illarion on Steam would be awesome and a huge step, certain things like magic need implemented. There are a lot of trolls on steam who wouldn't think twice before giving the game a negative review because they can't play a mage. You think some of the trolls on the illa forums are critical?

Want to get magic going so something like that can happen? If you have even a lick of understanding of computer programming, I hear they need help.

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:30 pm

Re: One town instead of 3.

Dear all,

I fully agree with Lennier. I think with our trinity of three cities, we have found the right number and also, leave enough room for conflicts and separation at the same time. The quest for us developers and GMs now is to bring players together in events and, at the same time, empower the players to shape the factions. One core feature we need for this is housing. My basic idea is that the cities just provide the core buildings (workshop, market, palace, tavern, temples) and the rest of the cities is built by players. The more players, the bigger the city. Galmair for example is really huge and even though there are hot spots, it is easy to miss other players or search for them for a dozen minutes without success. Many buildings are not needed, though, and can be replaced with player real estate.

I know there is a desire to "build your own thing". While I totally encourage to add sandbox elements to Illarion, we should not try to turn Illarion again into a game for small groups of players that basically play independently from each other. In two other games I played I was told that "Sandbox means there is no content. There is no lore." - To define something by the absence of another thing is bs IMO. So our sandboxing needs to go beyond and empower players really to shape the world and not just a small hut in the wilderness no one gives a damn about but them.

On housing, see:

http://illarion.org/mantis/view.php?id=9829
-In each town, there are predefined places where one can build houses
-Guilds can buy/rent predefined real estates inside the towns
-Outside the towns, a limited number of real estates is available
-In each town, there shall be 4 areas for houses. In each homeland, there shall be two areas. And in the wilderness, one area for each faction. So in total 12/6/3 areas.
-The areas inside the towns and homelands fall under the jurisdiction of the associated faction.
-Each real estate comes with a depot of the associated faction.
-On their real estate, players can build houses like they wish
-The basic layout of the house (walls, tiles) is chosen from a catalogue. Restrictions may apply to fit the style of the town
-The interior is freely designed
-To build, a tool is used and from a menu, one can chose the desired item or tile (e.g. a wall or a bed - static tools outside the towns excluded)
-Catalogue houses can be paid step by step and are built once all materials are there. The interior can then be freely designed.
-Each item or tile costs money and resources (e.g. boards and bricks)
-Housing items outside the towns in the homelands cost twice the price. Items for wilderness houses cost four times the price
-Items can be removed without refund
-Only the owner (guild member) may build on the real estate.
-Every real estate requires an upkeep. If the upkeep is not paid, the house degrades - item are deleted
-A time stamp of each item determines when it degrades
-If the upkeep is not paid for an extended time, the real estate becomes "free" again and can be rented by another guild
-Houses with up to three levels are possible
-A "signpost" indicates who is the owner and also, allows the owner to change parameters of the house (e.g. function of doors, warping to a higher level to build there
-If the map is full, we have too many players ;-)

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