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When I read this update back when it came out I had more of a mixed feeling regarding it.

It all sounds cool and awesome but also like it's a toy to appeal the masses.

Is the stronghold forced on us? Since it's suppose to be a fun addition I'm mainly worried as how it's connected to the story and plot. Does it make sense in it?

Act 1 sounds so early. I'm not sure how our PC begins the game, but if s/he is a no one, getting a stronghold suddenly has a major effect on the story.

 

You sound like 'ze masses' are evil. Why are they evil?

 

And no, according to previous posts it's not forced on us. More offered to us in an irresistible way, like a steak entree.

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I didn't see mention of option to held a tea party at your stronghold...

 

/disappoint

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We already know about a few of the options for upgrades, thought it might be fun to speculate on some others:

 

Add your own.  :)

 

 

Known Upgrades

  • Inner Bailey - security and pre-requisite for training yard
  • Training Yard - strength
  • Library - Lore
  • Prison - allows taking prisoners in combat
  • Botanical Gardens - survival ingredients
  • Curio shio - produces ingredients for Lore and Mechanics

Upgrades that seem likely to be in:

  • Laboratory - crafting potions
  • Blacksmith - crafting armor and weapons
  • Kitchen* - crafting consumables
  • Bedrooms* - you and your npcs have to sleep somewhere

*These might be included with the house

 

Other options:

  • Chapel - improved healing with reduced resting times?
  • Archery Range - improve ranged weapon attacks
  • Guest quarters - you have to put guests someplace right?  
  • Torture Chamber - useful for extracting information from prisoners
  • Great Hall - grants a bonus for attracting hirelings and reduces the cost for same
  • Merchant Stores - offer merchants the protection of your castle

Castle defense options:

  • Catapult, trebuchet, mangonel or ballista 
  • Towers - allows you to hire archers for castle defense
  • add boiling oil for giving your enemies a warm reception
  • Barbican - allows you to hire swordsman for castle defense 
  • add Murder holes for added fun
  • add Porticullis for extra defense

Off the wall ideas:

  • Aviary - hmm, a dragon egg - wonder if we can hatch it and train the dragon as a pet?
  • Kennels - a war dog as a companion? (I know - too much like dragon age)
  • Cemetary - perfect for do it yourself necromancy
  • Scrying room - keeping track of the neighbors can be useful
  • Map room - magical - allows you to keep track of events in the world - similar to scrying room
  • Postern Gate - every castle needs a secret entrance (or exit)
  • Flagpole - display your own coat of arms! adds to reputation? 
Edited by kgambit
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  • Chapel - improved healing with reduced resting times?

It would be nice, if you could decide which god your chapel is dedicated to and get different bonusses. e.g. a chapel for magran would give you higher fire resistance and a chapel for the ice deity would give you higher ice resistance.

 

some ideas for upgrades:

  • Mage tower - buy spells and scrolls
  • Thieves Guild - bonus to mechanic and stealth
  • druid grove - bonus to survival
  • tavern - new quests or reputation bonus
  • animancer lab - no idea maybe a skill bonus to an unknown skill, and you could use the souls of your prisoners for soul experiments. Decreases your prestige.
  • animat/construct factory - use your prisoners to create animats/constructs, that defend your stronghold. Decreases your prestige.
  • creature breeder - you can train creatures that defend your stronghold.
  • moat - for extra security.
  • theatre - increases charisma/ mental attributte.
Edited by Prometheus
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Seems quite nice.

 

Just two little things:

 

1. I hope we do not get telepaticaly advised something is going on at the stronghold. Well, unless there's a good backstory to it. But having an upgrade for messengers, pigeons (that won't magically find you, people still need to look for you in the end) and whatnot to keep us aprised (with coherent delays and such) could be nice.

 

2. Quite a nice thing for these parallels adventures for stay behind companion would be to play them! It could work like this: your main PC leave the stronghold, go do his business, and comes back, let's say 3 weeks after. Just before he entrers back his stronghold the game gives us the option to freeze, and get back in time when our stay-behind companions leaves for their own adventure (which obvioulsy will try to avoid being in the same time, space or interact in any way with our main PC for continuity reasons). And we get to plays thoses companions, in their adventure. The goal would be to explore these left-overs companions, which could be left behind on a regular basis, get to know them. And as a player, experiment with new characters, new mechanis and class we overlooked at first, and so on.

 

Another small thing. Don't focus that much on bonuses. Yeah they may be somewhat important, but the emotional link to building something, watch it grow, watch it tremble and maybe go under before we get it back up, is amazing. I mean, people still talk about their Morrowind mansions 11 years after they played, and those didn't offer anything, were a pain to use, and so on. And still people took pride and pleasure and fun at getting them, improving them.

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Although one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is whether the stronghold is going to be a generic, one size fits all type or if it's going to differ in any way depending on your race/culture/class etc.

 

I mean I'm sure the basic elements are all going to be the same regardless, but is there going to be any thematic / art differences to the stronghold depending on such issues? Is our wizadry types going to be creating more arcana filled towers compared to our warriors military fortifications? Our close to nature ranger-types establishing a blending-into-environment stronghold? Or our roguish types pushing more of a fortified caravanserai?

 

Will they effect the possible extra's and additions we get to push for the strongholds? Are some only going to be available if you're of a specific class, or if you have a particular companion / henchmen / hireling / minion?

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^ If I had to guess, based on the style of the rest of their design choices, the stronghold probably starts exactly the same no matter what, and it'll be potentially possible to upgrade it in various manners (actual mutually exclusive styles/upgrades, like you're suggesting), but they probably won't be tethered to class/race.

 

Obviously I could be wrong, but, it seems like it would contradict their design philosophy to prevent an Orlan Warrior to choose arcane, Aumauan architecture for his stronghold.

 

Just my two cent guesstimate on that.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Although one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is whether the stronghold is going to be a generic, one size fits all type or if it's going to differ in any way depending on your race/culture/class etc.

Level 1 Stronghold "One-Size-Fits-All" I believe. Then, this is just an idea, the Player could cultivate the Stronghold as they see fit without restriction (save for some requirements, but it shouldn't be impossible for any class to fulfill these requirements).

 

You want a Wizards Tower as a Warrior? Hire some contracted Wizards. You want that Aumauan architecture as an Orlan? Hire some contracted Aumaua builders. Vice versa, of course. However, for obvious reasons, upgrading a section to a Wizards Tower might lock you out from being able to make that area into a Soldier Training Grounds or something.

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I really love all the features implemented with that stronghold. I find it utterly exciting and it gave me some thoughts that others already mentioned, except for the last one :

 

- I also loved the ideas that you can make use of equipment that your party doesn't fancy anymore, to melt Iron or equip your guards for Instance.

 

- To be able to custom your castle with loots/exploits/prisoners/trophies that your party valiantly fought for is also neat. No way you don't bring back the head of that huge dragon you just vanquished to your stronghold if you are an adventurer !

 

- A stronghold would be great if you could organise events such as jousts, fairs, political receptions or balls or weddings useful for a broader plot in a mission ! It would be an investment to organise such events, but could bring revenue, or prestige. That beast you just captured might do the show, or maybe the joust could be an other way to prove you're still the best fighter in the area if you are willing to join...

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I really love all the features implemented with that stronghold. I find it utterly exciting and it gave me some thoughts that others already mentioned, except for the last one :

 

- I also loved the ideas that you can make use of equipment that your party doesn't fancy anymore, to melt Iron or equip your guards for Instance.

 

- To be able to custom your castle with loots/exploits/prisoners/trophies that your party valiantly fought for is also neat. No way you don't bring back the head of that huge dragon you just vanquished to your stronghold if you are an adventurer !

 

- A stronghold would be great if you could organise events such as jousts, fairs, political receptions or balls or weddings useful for a broader plot in a mission ! It would be an investment to organise such events, but could bring revenue, or prestige. That beast you just captured might do the show, or maybe the joust could be an other way to prove you're still the best fighter in the area if you are willing to join...

 

Good ideas.  :)      A trophy room, an armory and some form of storage vault for treasure

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally strongholds take a beating with the designer stick. This is an awesome update. I love the taking prisoners idea, but what i like most is fact that this creates a template for other games to use as the structure for how to implement strongholds that matter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello there,

 

I know I'm a bit late, but I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts about strongholds.

 

First of all, let's me explain some things : Did you ever wanted to be, not a hero, not a "mot*****cka lord of darkness that kill verything", but the "bad guy" ?

 

So, you know, you start as a peasant, prisonner, son of a god or wathever; you play your role, resolving some problems around and getting some respect or hate from the fellow inhabitants(depends who you helped ^^), and, you choose your way. Ok, the way, the path, your character ''reputation" (Let's say Good/Neutral/Evil, and all that come along to be easy to understand).

 

Say that I'm a Necromancer ok ? I'm here wandering with my little bastards companions (Lawfull Evil party maybe ?), and here we go, we are offered a stronghold (That's a ****ing bad idea to offer them such a thing by the way, as they already have murdered all citizens in 3 towns, leaving no witnesses).

 

As a player, I want to be an evil man (I don't want to burn the planet to the ground ! That would make no sense for me). I got a stronghold now, so I am gonna make it a nice and shiny castle with flamboyant tapisserie or am I gonna let my walls cold and inhospitable ? I'm a Necromancer after all, why would I be happy with shiny walls made of marbles and decorated with gold sequin ?

 

The people living on my lands, do I want them .. physically alive, or just turn them into skelettons and zombies (Hey I'm a hero at the base, I can do whatever I want with my powers).

So the taxes arn't really of my concerns, or their happiness neither, since they're all dead already (Or if I let them alive, do I really care ?).

 

Same goes for the guards and Hirelings, even if some hirelings arn't too picky on who they serve if they get paid well (Or not so well if you take care of some troubles of them, or if your threaten them).Let's talk about the prison in the same way. Do I just want to lock them up, or do I want to torture them a little as long as they sojourn in my jails.

 

That's all for the exemples, this is just an sketch of what I'm thinking, but it resume it well I think.

 

 

Conclusion : I know that you've already made a really good work, and I'm really, really glad about that stuff.

But can't we work on the overall ambiance ? You know, the stronghold would really look akward if it is lead by a Lich (Even if lichs don't exist in PE, this is an exemple), that look like a big compendium of celestial light.

 

I think by now you know of what I'm talking about, so I can't say really more since my english isn't good enough to write a large reading ^^ (And sorry by the way about my spellings etc).

 

PS : I really am a huge fan of Blackguards/Necromancer and all sort of undeads and I always play the bad guys (But lawfull evil tough, I'm not a brainless demon chaotic evil , I respect some laws too, if they fits to my goals assuredly).

 

Nyhilla Sillish'ari.

Edited by Nyhilla
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Hello there,

 

I know I'm a bit late, but I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts about strongholds.

 

snip

 

That's all for the exemples, this is just an sketch of what I'm thinking, but it resume it well I think.

 

 

The stronghold is optional.  If you don't think it makes sense for the character you want to play then don't accept it.  Your choice.  :)

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Hello there,

 

I know I'm a bit late, but I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts about strongholds.

 

snip

 

That's all for the exemples, this is just an sketch of what I'm thinking, but it resume it well I think.

 

 

The stronghold is optional.  If you don't think it makes sense for the character you want to play then don't accept it.  Your choice.  :)

 

 

Well yeah I know, but even if optional, it has great potential for any who wish to go deeper in the game they provided to us. So it would be a shame to skip it ^^.

 

^^^ Perhaps the Stronghold can be mod-able to give it alternative themes?

 

That would be a great idea if they allow people to do that. But I don't know if someone will ever take the time to make such a huge work.

Edited by Nyhilla
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Nyhilla, I think with the way Obsidian does things and the way they're handling P:E, the only big obstacle in the way of your necromancer example would be more whether or not you'll be allowed to be that kind of necromancer, and less whether or not you'll be able to make different choices regarding the stronghold.

 

In other words, if the game/world lets you kill and raise people, then you could probably make that sort of decision with a stronghold's population. Necromance them, and force them to be your undead slaves. But, if the game doesn't allow that (it might just be too far outside the bounds of what is necessary for your character and party to actually move through the story), then you won't be able to do it. But, I think there'll be a lot of feasible options (within the context of the world) for what you can and cannot do with the stronghold. IF they let you be dark and broody, and kind of evil (to whatever extent -- maybe you get things done for the greater good, but you're a tyrant about it, so you want to save the world so that you can continue to live in it, but you'll use other people like tools to get that accomplished, if you need to), then they'll probably let you make dark and broody/pseudo-evil decisions regarding your stronghold.

 

Something else to consider, though: It's a moderately realistic economic thing. Unless you can literally force people to live in your stronghold and get work done, they're not going to really get anything done for you without the necessary things (food and rest, materials to work with, etc.). If you just go "LOLZ! I'm going to tax everyone 100%, and they'll never get any food or anything, and I don't even care if crops grow! HAHAHAHAHA!", and you're that kind of irrational "evil" (I'm not saying this is what you're suggesting you want to be... just making a point here), then even if the game lets you do it, you're basically going to screw yourself over. If you literally impede your people's ability to do work, then it doesn't matter how much you require of them... they're not going to deliver, and your stronghold isn't going to prosper. And that's kind of one of the relationships I think they're trying to represent with the stronghold. So, they can only stray so far with choices. I mean, they can let you do lots of stuff, but I don't think you can just be "evil" for evil's sake.

 

Necromancer's a bit of a different story, but there's still a lot to consider there. It's possible, I suppose, but we'll just have to see what all they're planning for the game to know if it fits in with the rest without upsetting anything. :)

 

I like the idea of that kind of flexibility, though, with the stronghold. For what it's worth.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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This is all about flexibility in our choices (Not only for the stronghold).

 

So yes it would be really great if we were just able to move a little from the archetype of the "Hero" from time to time.

That could allow a vast amount of new stuff to add in the game.

 

By the way, the tyrant and the greater good is a good idea ^^.

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This is all about flexibility in our choices (Not only for the stronghold).

 

So yes it would be really great if we were just able to move a little from the archetype of the "Hero" from time to time.

That could allow a vast amount of new stuff to add in the game.

 

By the way, the tyrant and the greater good is a good idea ^^.

Yeah, I don't know if you've played any of the Mass Effect games, but the idea for Renegade versus Paragon in that was a lot better (in terms of general idea behind it) than good-versus-evil in other games. If you were a Renegade, you didn't just go around looking for ways to kill people. You just never worried about ways to get things done that DIDN'T involve killing people. If someone was a problem, your thought was just "Well, I'll kill them, and it won't be a problem anymore." Or, if you needed information, it was just "well, I'll torture them to give me the info, because the info's WAY more important than people's lives or some principled effects of my actions, etc."

 

You pretty much still wanted to do "good," but a lot of the actions you took weren't perceived at all by anyone around as "good." The problem that comes from actually being able to just be "evil" is that, why, then, would you even be in the position you're in in the narrative? I mean, sure, an RPG offers a lot of flexibility, but it's still a story. Imagine if Frodo just said "you know what everyone? Eff it... I'm using this awesome ring to just kick everyone's arse and kill everyone in the world, for funsies." Not even because of the corruption of the ring. Just because that's who his character was.

 

If there's a conflict, and you don't care about the conflict at all, then it's a bit pointless. "The world's in trouble! But, I don't care at all! This is the story of a person who turns the conflict of the world into not-a-conflict! EXCITING!" That just sort of... grabs a loose thread from the story, and pulls and pulls 'til it unravels.

 

I'm not saying you can't have a story about evil, or bad guys. You just can't really have both, and still have the same quality of story. The story can't flex from accommodating actual overarching EVIL characters to actual GOOD ones.

 

Anywho, the point is, what IS within the realm of flexibility is how you handle contextual situations and factors; are you only interested in the technical accomplishment of your goal, or are you worried about preserving people's quality of life and helping those who need it most, etc., even when it makes your goal harder to accomplish? Or somewhere in between? Not "Do you even give a crap about accomplishing any particular goal, whatsoever?" So, even though it wasn't executed as superbly as it could've been, the whole Renegade idea from the Mass Effect trilogy seemed to be a much better treatment than simply letting the character be straight-up evil.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I'm pretty sure there's only one stronghold, since it seems to be tied to the land/lore no matter what. However, it's possible we'll got lots of different development options for it, since it seems the pursuit of the stronghold management content will consist of the rebuilding of the stronghold from an almost-rubble state. Probably enough foundation there to not literally be starting from scratch, but walls/towers/configurations could probably be changed up. *shrug*

 

Then again, they might have reasons for a lot of it to be relatively static in nature. It's a possibility, though.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I rather saw a "what can happen through the story to the character. They helped the world/country/town, ok, that's the story, but how ? By what means did they succeed and go through ?

 

That's my point. The "good" char will save people, the "evil" will not care. I'm more interested on what is the results of their actions. This is sometimes a bit worked on games, but never enough in some "point of view".

Generally, the story is about the "good" ones, and is much more worked on than the alternate results. This char will save a town for exemple and tralala all is good and all.

But if the evil one save the town, what was is purpose, why did he saved the town, and what do he get in exchange (not from the citizens themselves for exemple). He must have a reason to not skip it and go to the next step. Why for exemple would he ally himself with the paladin guarnison (and why would they accept to help him even if he saved them, if he work for "darker powers".), since he maybe can find some other "people" to join his cause.

 

It is generally assume "You fight the ennemy, you save some groups, you make them join your "alliance/army"". One exemple : NW 2 MotB : The half lich at the end, she need some books, my char is evil (I guess you already understood that I'm a ****ing **** in all my playtrhough ^^); Why the HELL would I give them to her, or DESTROY them. I want to KEEP them. For me, for my personnal use. Maybe not for the game, but let's say the epilogue. Same for the book that learn how to change yourself into a lich, I don't want to give it to this little useless priest, I want this book for my collection !

 

Don't know if I'm clear, some of my toughts are slipping out of my mind while I'm writting them dow ....

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Since when are "colorful lavish displays of wealth" and "evil -master-necromancer-lover-of-death" contradictory concepts? They certainly aren't.

 

Which is why you'll be able to build a dungeon underneath your keep... complete with torture devices and wailing prisoners, even as you grow your beautiful poisonous flower garden in the yard.

Edited by Stun
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I guess you can do it too, even if you're not "evil". In wich case you can't use some "features" since you're part of "introduce alignment", and there's some complexity mechanisms in the choices made through the game, and not only based on "you can torture someone wathever side you are", then ok. (But I guess I'm too hard too please ^^ I need complex systems.)

Edited by Nyhilla
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