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I know the reality is distasteful but please consider a torture/interrogation upgrade for the dungeon. Especially if you do a respect/fear scale the implications in game could be severe. Reducing the chances of a prison-break and maybe converting mooks into minions, but if one DOES happen an escaped villain gets put back into encounter rotation with buffs for revenge and your security/prestige drops as people hear of the horrors your dungeon commits. The actual room in the game could be as hands-off as a blacked out room or maybe used comically like in the old Dungeonkeeper PC games ( http://www.gog.com/game/dungeon_keeper_2 ) with a Dominatrix sprite and, as an old gf used to say, "yummy sounds".

 

The treatment of your prisoners could all be handled via a dialogue with your jailer. Graphically I don't see a need to go much beyond that. Leaving it to the imagination seems sufficient.

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Sounds excellent to me, everything I was hoping the stronghold would be, even a little more.  This is the sort of update we needed!  Not sure why some posters are upset over spoilers and what have you.  I mean "your stronghold may be attacked!" is hardly a surprising revelation, I would say it was a foregone conclusion even.

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It sounds great. It's always nice when an RPG let's you do stuff other than just chasing the main story or side quests.

 

The only thing I'm curious/worried about is if it's gonna be too demanding and time-consuming. Personally I wasn't the biggest fan of the keep system in Neverwinter Nights 2.

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When I heard about the stronghold I wasn't very excited. Figured it would just be a tacked on money sink, somewhere where you can rest, store your stuff and upgrade to look prettier. Nice to know it is a lot more. My favourite parts are the prisoner mechanic and random guests showing up that might want to pay to get someone out.

 

Also I haven't followed the project in quite a while, have they made a way for backers to choose their "rewards" yet?

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I wouldn't have a problem with companions and hirelings dying while on adventures, so long as you can rez them in your Maxed-upgrade stronghold chapel or maybe as undead minions in an equally upgraded crypt.

We already know there won't be resurrection/raise dead magic in PE, nor (much) healing magic for that matter, so that one's out. Animating them as zombie minions sounds cool though. Macabre, but cool.

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Other than that, the stronghold sounds great! I hope events surrounding it won't be too disruptive to regular gameplay, though (what's that about certain events requiring immediate attention, will I be teleported? Please don't send me notifications, like angry spam emails, about every little event that takes place in my home while I'm off killing undead.)

 

And a request: please, no magic psychic reports "you are attacked!" while I'm 8 floors underground in a dungeon. 

 

I want to chime in with these two chaps. Great update, the Stronghold sounds exciting :D the notification business is really the only thing that made me raise a curious eyebrow a la "How will this be handled?".

 

 

Maybe they have mobile phones in the PE world :dancing:

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The Stronghold does sound awesome, but as it I stands I do have an observation.

 

- Taxes periodically give you money.

- Hirelings (it seems) periodically take your money.

- If you don't pay hirelings they leave, implying that "paying your hirelings' salaries" is something you manually have to do yourself.

 

It'd be nice to take some of the micromanagement out of that. Why not allow the player the option to set it up so that Hireling Salaries are automatically deducted from your Tax Income?

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Another exciting update!

I can see why Tim has been advertised as "having fun with stronghold" int he past couple of weeks.

 

A couple of questions:

 

You can continue adventuring, and you will be notified when they are built.
[...]
As you play the game after getting the stronghold, whether or not you are physically there, you will be told if a random event happens at the stronghold.
[...]
You will be warned ahead of time

1. How will we be notified? Some sort of spell (similar to Sending)? Carrier pigeon? Long distance duck? An arrow?

 

2. Will the stronghold be fully explorable by foot (before and after restoration), or will we just have a special UI interface for it and some selected areas?

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I wouldn't have a problem with companions and hirelings dying while on adventures, so long as you can rez them in your Maxed-upgrade stronghold chapel or maybe as undead minions in an equally upgraded crypt.

We already know there won't be resurrection/raise dead magic in PE, nor (much) healing magic for that matter, so that one's out. Animating them as zombie minions sounds cool though. Macabre, but cool.

 

1250943-bigthumbnail.jpg

 

Sounds awesome. Become a mythical figure a la Count Dracula (conceptually).

 

Is the Stronghold a sort of "Landowner" type deal (what with taxes and all) or can it be an isolated and individual location not necessarily tied to a deed of land? Or is the Stronghold tied to a Players "faction"?

 

What kind of upgrades can we see the Stronghold undergo? Infernal? Undead? (as spoken of before) Druidic? Human? Dwarvish~? (Tunnels/Underground) Wizard Tower? Or is it a "Various different aspects" type of Stronghold? (The Library can upgrade to a Wizards Tower, the west wing into an armory etc. etc.).

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Everything sounds great. The only thing that's not completely understandable to me is the decision to give the stronghold to the player EARLY in the game. Sounds a bit too easy, even granted that the stronghold is initially in a sorry state. Acquiring a stronghold in Baldur's Gate 2 involved partaking in a difficult and long quest, and it wasn't available from the start. It was an achievement in itself to get it, even though it wasn't particularly useful. I just hope Obsidian didn't make that decision to appeal to a wider gaming demographic.

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Excellent news overall, but I have two points to discuss .

 

1. Prestige vs. taxes

 

Your take: Higher prestige means higher taxes

My point: Common people like it when the taxes are LOW, and then they love BECAUSE of that. So, either low taxes and high reputation, or high taxes and low reputation, that's how the world works. Prestige should have different rewards: valuable NPCs showing up and volunteering for service, more people signing up as guards, and also what you said, lower chance of "bad" events. This creates decisions: do I want MOAR money to upgrade the castle and buy unique stuff, etc., or do I want to become popular with the people, so that I can enjoy other, less material advantages? (see: Castles 1-2, King of Dragon Pass).

 

2. Reputation as a lord and the "bad guy" approach

 

One of the most definitive books on the subject of rulership is a classic one, "The Prince" from Niccolo Machiavelli (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1232). In that book he shows that there are two basic ways to maintain rulership for a longer period: to be loved (charismatic, the Renly Baratheon way), or to be feared (oppressive, the Tywin Lannister way). Then he argues that "it is better to be feared than it is to be loved". Whether that's true, I won't go into that now (and it's also possible to mix up the two to some degree).

 

As several people pointed out, the current framework only supports the charismatic way of ruling. I would like the mechanics and rewards changed so that it's possible to rule via the oppressive way, and get appropriate -- and somewhat different! -- rewards for that.

 

Instead of prestige, a single measurement, I would like to have a Love-O-Meter AND a Fear-O-Meter. That would improve the whole stronghold experience immensely, and also open up a lot of new possibilities in the stronghold content.

 

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I've been reading every update since the beginning, but finally there is one that made myself completely unable not to sign up and talk about.

I was a big doubter of the stronghold idea at first - I didn't think it would spoil the game, but I just felt it was a fairly needless request by people who don't really like adventuring and want to play the Sims/romance, etc. However, in making the stronghold into a much more fully-realised system than in BG2, you have converted me into a believer.

 

I feel that differenciation is important. Unlike BG2 with different class-specific strongholds, it would make sense in terms of resource allocation to only offer one given how much customisability it has. However, please make sure that it can be wildly different each time - make sure we cannot build a Mary Sue fantasy castle with absolutely everything. This will allow for two benefits:

 

1. each playthrough will result in an opportunity to specialise in a different style of stronghold, and have a different play experience

 

2. it allows for players to customise a stronghold to best suit their class of choice. So rather than a special "mage stronghold", they will customise the stronghold to have more mage-oriented additional structures, such as libraries, and lore-bestowing things. A druid or ranger type class will focus on gardens, and animal care. A warrior will be best suited to fortification, rendering the stronghold more defensible and safe, and yet they get less benefits from non-military structures, as they can afford to build less.

Make sure that the player can nowhere near afford to upgrade everything to max, or make it so that you only have space to build a certain amount of buildings. Also consider allowing upgrades of each building type, which have superficial visible differences (not too strong) such as a couple of additional turrets/gargoyles.

I also feel that it is *very* important to allow for not only an "evil" running of the stronghold, so to not force players out of character in the way they manage it, but also to allow for a grey-area middle-ground way. Sometimes you torture/send heavies to get tax if you need it, maybe you won't - you probably won't, but having the option is important.

Re. being informed of a stronghold attack, I like Osvir's ideas, and would also suggest that the complaints about telepathy won't be an issue if only a mage could receive such notifications. This would naturally slightly punish parties without a mage, but asymmetrical gameplay is important for a mature experience. Druid-types can sense a disturbance as enemies enter their domain, etc. Messengers will be fine for everybody else, you just might get there a little later. Perhaps an upgrade to the stronghold can be a reflecting beacon to better amplify warning signals to magically-attuned characters. Or you can upgrade a tower for carrier pidgeons, which are faster than foot or horse messengers, for people without mages, who want to get faster warnings.

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My point: Common people like it when the taxes are LOW, and then they love BECAUSE of that. 

 

Have to back up this notion.

 

Not to completely insane degree though. Low taxes is one thing, but people would also love a rich splendid ruler better than a poor fellow.

In the long haul, fleecing peasants would lead to abandoned fields and widespread banditry, probably not in a few years time though.

Also, low taxes would lead to merchants and enterpreneurs flocking in, maybe even affect how many new settlers you get.

 

But then, can't make the whole game about managing a stronghold! Or actually you rather can, but not if you actually want to make an RPG.

So it'll need to be pretty well simplified, can't put in all good ideas in the world (chamber of spanking for the prisoners is obviously a priority).

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Everything sounds great. The only thing that's not completely understandable to me is the decision to give the stronghold to the player EARLY in the game. Sounds a bit too easy, even granted that the stronghold is initially in a sorry state. Acquiring a stronghold in Baldur's Gate 2 involved partaking in a difficult and long quest, and it wasn't available from the start. It was an achievement in itself to get it, even though it wasn't particularly useful. I just hope Obsidian didn't make that decision to appeal to a wider gaming demographic.

 

Maybe it takes quite long to upgrade it. Also sounds like something you'll be wanting to work on all the time, an actual key part of the game, so it'd be pointless to not add it in until late in the game.

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Excellent news overall, but I have two points to discuss .

 

1. Prestige vs. taxes

 

Your take: Higher prestige means higher taxes

My point: Common people like it when the taxes are LOW, and then they love BECAUSE of that. So, either low taxes and high reputation, or high taxes and low reputation, that's how the world works. Prestige should have different rewards: valuable NPCs showing up and volunteering for service, more people signing up as guards, and also what you said, lower chance of "bad" events. This creates decisions: do I want MOAR money to upgrade the castle and buy unique stuff, etc., or do I want to become popular with the people, so that I can enjoy other, less material advantages? (see: Castles 1-2, King of Dragon Pass).

 

Could be that "High prestige = Higher tax income" is simply because more people are drawn to your lands because you are so awesome. More inhabitants means more tax payers means more revenue.

 

Also, I don't think people mind high taxes that much provided the government doesn't take so much that people fall below the poverty line, isn't corrupt or doesn't just keep all that tax money for itself. If a high tax rate goes together with serious investments in infrastructure, affordable education and healthcare, a sold social safety net and so on, people won't complain that much (although they will complain because people are people) simply because they obviously get something in return for the taxes they pay.

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My only concern is if the optional adventures for idle members can also be group activities or if they'll be restricted to solo missions. Giving the option to send them out in small groups would, I imagine, increase the yield for any gathering missions or in the case of npc-related quests, increase the chances of a successful escort/rescue mission.

Edited by Xienzi

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Great update, lots of good quality stuff going on and to do! :)

 

Yet, here's a thought: You have a stronghold, right? You need to hire guards, military, people like that to defend it. Why not hire more of them and let's say, oh I don't know, order them to "CHARGE!" into the world, the dungeons, the enemies on your way... basically the whole storyline! You just sit tight, chill out drinking wine and wait for the entire story to get sort out by itself. You have an army, let them do all the dangerous sh@# ! Why bother and risk getting yourself killed?

 

Ok, just kidding ;) Adventurers simply do not roll this way - they always have to make stuff more complicated for themselves. Huzzah!

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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Most of what you describe sounds great, but here are a few thoughts:

 

 

 

 The amount of taxes you collect increases with your prestige (because people know of you and like you),

 

Does that make sense? Wouldn't a system where you can set the amount of taxes make more sense? Then based on your prestige people might be less likely to revolt or more inclined towards paying the taxes...

 

 

The idea of the hirelings sounds pretty amazing. Are the companions staying at the fortress part of that mechanic? I would find it pretty cool and logical if the companions at home would boost the stronghold as well. I.e. the fighter training the guards would increase security and the lore-based class managing the library would increase your lore boost, etc.

 

Keep up the great work :) 

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Conceptually absolutely awesome. Exactly the sort of thing I've wanted from an RPG for years.

 

...now to just keep fingers crossed that the dice-rolling behind the scenes makes it enjoyable, too.

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"Upgrades are improvements to various parts of the castle, usually to add to the security or prestige of the place. Security affects how much taxes you collect as well as helps reduce the number of “bad” random events, while prestige increases the number of “good” random events as well as increasing tax collections, too."

 

A high-security fortress is likely to be short on individual freedom. Why can't you be a bad ruler and an effective leader?

 

"You can begin collecting taxes from your populace as soon as you gain the stronghold. The amount of taxes you collect increases with your prestige (because people know of you and like you), but the amount also increases with higher security, since some taxes are lost to banditry. You will want to keep both of those values high."

 

What if you want to be more feared than prestigious? People should pay up because they don't want to cross you.

 

"You can also employ hirelings to stay at your stronghold. These people will provide bonuses to your prestige and security, but they cost money to employ. Some will leave your castle if you stop paying them, but others will wait around to get paid again (but not provide any bonuses until they are)."

 

See, this is where I think you should be able to employ unsavory types, like ruffians and corruptible guards, to increase your fear rating and help you extract money and information from the weak.

 

"If you have cleared the dungeon and built a prison under your stronghold, then when you are fighting some of the named NPC’s in the game, you will be given an option to take them prisoner instead of killing them."

 

What if you want to take prisoners and make their executions public spectacles? Or have them fight each other to the death while taking bets on the outcome? Or force them to work in the mines, fields, or wherever would be most humiliating?

 

"Some visitors are wonderful and give good bonuses, and you will want them to stay as long as possible. [...] Others are not so great, and you will want to offer them one of your companions to act as an escort to their next location, or perhaps simply pay them to leave."

 

Of course, if you could play a bad guy, this would be the opposite. The wonderful visitors would be the people who the decent folk want gone and the not-so-great visitors would be the hero sorts who want to change things for the better (i.e., cause trouble.)

 

So, while I generally like the stronghold design, the theme sounds like you have to play a good guy if you want a useful stronghold.

 

 

U match my taste perfect.

 

To say that this update sounds boring is a step to far cause its better then 95% of all other game out there, but i cant get to much enthusiastic about it cause i already seen almost all of this , many years ago. I like to have some unexpected and dark choices like telling ur guards to take away all food and water for several days or torture the prisoners with a whip to get additional information from them. If they succed it could lead to an optional quest or the prisoner could be injured, sick or depressed and could lead to other options.

 

There could be a small chance that he got killed during it and all content is lost forever, even if not ur hirelings could spread rumors in a tavern that there people tortured in ur stronghold and it could trigger another event when u travel the world map where some paladin  want to speak or hunt u down for it.

 

There so many options but  what i mean is dont forget the evil path this "must always be good"  could be sometimes boring for some.

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...skip...

 

So, while I generally like the stronghold design, the theme sounds like you have to play a good guy if you want a useful stronghold.

 

 

+1.

I want stronghold of evil lord.

 

I want this kind of thing sort of, if possible :biggrin:

 

 

dkeeper2_screen004.jpg

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image-163154-full.jpg?1348681100

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