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Early in the PoE2 crowdfunding campaign, I made some suggestions to Feargus that he really liked. I decided to put those on here so the devs would be able to find them easily if they wanted to use them. I also ported over a few stronghold suggestions that I made for PoE that Aarik and a few other Obsidian types liked, but couldn't implement because it was too late in the life cycle of the game. Feel free to comment and add suggestions of your own. If I like them, I'll be sure to add them into this post (with due credit to you). Stronghold: Personally, I'm hoping for something two-fold - a Tortuga-like island that is your actual base and of course your ship, both of which can be upgraded. You could use the ship upgrades to gate off areas of the map you don't want players to get to (ie stronger design upgrades to negotiate stormier areas or some such thing). The island would be where you conduct the vast majority of your traditional stronghold business. Plotlines: If you do a couple of plots akin to "The Master of Caed Nua" (and I hope you are), the only real suggestion I have is this: it was way too easy for players to finish that plotline without having mustered the cool alliances that made the final battle easier and more epic. Now that you'll be crafting out stronghold plotlines right from the start, work on building them out so players most likely will have encountered and acquired such resources so they can bring them to bear. Oh, and just to throw in a shout-out to the Black Isle fundraising effort: provided we secure the funding, have the Black Isle Bastards be one of those battle resources to call upon! Player characters: Holding court was one of the most fun, "epic"-feeling elements of PoE. It was great how your party could contribute, either in dialogue or participation, to the resolution of those interludes. If you are looking to take those encounters to the next level, consider having a couple of the party characters have parts of their quests intersect with stronghold activities like this. Sidekicks: While I get that sidekicks are not full companions nor do they need the full companion treatment, I have seen some players (and admittedly I feel likewise) clamor for something beyond how they have been initially pitched. The stronghold offers a great opportunity to meet players halfway on this. There should be at least one quest/event for each companion out there in the game world, and some of those could easily be stronghold-related, be they interested visitors, quests given by the sidekicks while at the stronghold, some kind of relationship between one of your captured prisoners and a sidekick, etc., etc. Hirelings: I was always a little disappointed that I could build an ampitheater, hire a scald, and then...nothing come of it. Think of a few ways to make the stronghold interactive, particularly with a combination of hirelings and locations within. Likewise, everyone I know who has played the game enjoyed the way you could recruit folks like Korgrak or ambassadors of allies to join the hireling crew. Keep that up. For unique characters like Korgrak, think about how they could have follow-up quests in the form of stronghold events. If you do make alliances in the game, have those ambassadors weigh in on your decisions, just as a way to keep the players on their toes. It doesn't have to impact the game at all, but it'would be very cool to see other nations or groups' representatives react to your play style. Forumite Blotter hopes we'll be able to recruit our unique Caed Nua visitors, and I do, too, but I have the sneaky suspicion that Obsidian will say that Eothas soul ate everyone. In defense of my pal Korgrak, though, I'm going to say that he missed all that because he was out on the trail with the Warden of the Wilds, so he's ready to go for PoE2. ;-) Pets: Whether just in your house or around the whole base, make it so that your excess pets can be seen wandering around. And since this is a sequel, don't be afraid to consider something unexpected and cool like "sequels" to some of these pets. What if another wizard comes looking for Concelhaut's skull? What if your baby lagufaeth has grown up a bit and can now be a hireling or plays some key role if there's a lagufaeth-related questline? And just to cement his legacy as your world's Boo, there should absolutely be some kind of wild quest or stronghold event around the Miniature Giant Space Piglet. Upgrades: Build some reactivity in the world to the upgrades, where random NPCs might remark upon new base or ship features. To reinforce what I wrote in the hirelings section, have some of these upgrades make the stronghold come alive. To use the ampitheater example, Suikoden III had a stronghold feature where you build a theater and stage plays. Two of those plays were based on events from the first two games. In the case of a game like this, you could easily port over player choices (or settings) from PoE that tell a PoE story that reflects the player's experiences. Stuff like that. Forum user DigitalCrack reminded me of an idea that others want: a class-specific add-on. My suggestion there is to choose one area of the stronghold and have any class specific design slotted in there. Also have it accompanied by a hireling (who doesn't count against the # you can hire) and have at least one quest, even if it's just a "choose your own adventure" type, associated with it. Forum user Algroth suggested the idea that some upgrades have variants that allow you to really customize the stronghold. Items: This was the part that Feargus most liked. Over the course of PoE, I acquired some legendary weapons, armors, and grimoires. However, they sat in boxes and on shelves, meaningless. Have it so that certain items add to your prestige and/or security. Make it so that possessing unique items or books might trigger quest lines (a family wants a heirloom sword you found) and stronghold events (a scholar wants to study that orb you discovered). There can be a museum where you display certain items. The library can highlight certain books that you possess. Events: While I envision the island as having 90% of stronghold-related events, you can still surprise with some ship-based ones. Perhaps a treasonous crewman can be made to walk the plank! Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that one of the events be a ghost ship encounter. Would also suggest one of the sidekicks come from it. ) One pie in the sky idea I had: if it isn't too huge an issue, you could implement a "multiplayer lite" option. Namely, have players be able to send a messenger to another player. This will trigger a unique one-off quest, again even something as simple as the Choose Your Own Adventure style, that the player receiving the messenger could resolve and send back. Nothing more than that, but a fun way to share in the journey with friends without having to build a full MP architecture. Another benefit of doing this is that it builds out the community: people would come here to look for folks to connect with the get the mission and hopefully stick around and participate. One thing referenced by others below and that I've definitely heard feedback on: people want more out of the prisoners, be they interactions in the dungeons, trials, or events. That was a popular feature especially in the early PoE build that showed how deep the stronghold might go, so it's definitely a place where you should look to expand. Forumite Kirk raises a good point that for events like attacks on the stronghold and the Battle of Yenwood, the PCs not in your party were nowhere to be found. Something to consider addressing for similar sequences in Part 2. Economics: Forumite Tanos and others have mentioned that the economics of Caed Nua were a bit wonky and that the new stronghold should have a better system, ideally with player choice and opportunity to drive economic success. Forumite Fardragon suggested that if ships are involved in the stronghold calculus, that they could be used in goods trading.
In the Kickstarter stretch goals, a player house is mentioned: However, no mention of whether it's just 'a house', a hideout, a base... whether or not it can be upgraded or not. I mean, it seems like you can adjust the furniture and so on -- but perhaps it could be upgraded in other ways too -- both functional and aesthetic? For example: Going from a shack to a city mansion would not only lend you extra storage space, but perhaps have companion-benefits as well. And I wasn't thinking specifically of 'romance', but your companions might be in a better mood if they were sleeping on real beds rather than on the grass. Perhaps paid companions would be much cheaper if they had a place to stay for free as well? Depending on how notorious or infamous or wanted you are, picking a place that is well hidden might lend you additional bonuses as well. Perhaps buy you some time to avoid bounty hunters, or even to protect your stash(es?) from thieves. With a full estate or some 'training grounds', perhaps there could be benefits to skill gain or for one companion to teach another companion some skills? Perhaps your hideout, base, or estate could be upgraded defensively, so that if you were attacked by either would-be mauraders or a small pursuing army, you would be able to fend them off or defeat them? If multiple locations are possible for these things, perhaps in your 'home city' you could own an estate, but in more dangerous territories, have a cave hideout? Maybe your archmage companion, once you've gained his trust and pursuaded him -- could seal it with a stone, for example.