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Hi, I made an account here just to say this:

 

Please, make sure that not keeping a stronghold is possible. If I decide that I don't like the mini-game that this really is, I'd hate to feel like I'm missing out on something really important. Please, don't make me mess about with taxes, reputation, attacks and whatnot just for, say, having access to those botanical gardens. Or just having a place to safely stash items. The stronghold should be a cool option, not something players will have to take part in to have a full game experience.

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Fantastic update. Sounds like one of the most, if not the most promising feature so far. I'll echo comments here about being able to rule by fear, and being unable to develop every stronghold feature/experience every event in a single playthrough. This will add a lot to replayability.

 

I'll also add that it would be fantastic if having certain features, upgrades, visitors, hirelings in your stronghold would add options to your interactions in the world at large. Examples would be to "convince" a NPC wizard to collaborate with your goals by threatening him to have a small army at his doorstep, or unlocking a certain magic door in the optional dungeon only if you know an ancient magical password by having developed your library and hired a researcher.

Edited by makryu

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Woah. The stronghold sounds rather like a game of its own.

It does. And I find it a bit worrisome, as it sounds almost overwhelmingly so. How much will it interfere with regular game flow with all these random events and management issues? How often does it prompt me to get there in the middle of quest or when I'm half a continent away and going the opposite direction to do something that's seemingly important?

 

The feature in isolation sounds very neat, but how much and how often is the player randomly prompted to switch adventuring to sim-castle-tycoon?

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I hope there will be some evil options like being able to kidnap people to put in your dungeons for ransom, "annexing" nearby territories, hiring "specialists" to "neutralize" the leaders of other strongholds so that you can place a puppet ruler in their place, raising armies to raid/invade your neighbors, luring foolish do-gooder adventurers into trying to attack your keep so you can kill them and take their stuff.

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This update sounds interesting however i'd love stronghold to be optional. Somehow i don't feel like an owner of the stronghold and this building/ mamaging/ repairing stuff isn't something i'd like to do. Also I hope I won't have to come back to the stronghold during missions, cause people came to talk about sth or stronghold has been attacked. Or if i won't come back then something bad will happen. I'd like to have an option to travel freely and avoid managing stronghold, supplies, taxes and the voice of the crowd. Maybe i could hire someone i trust to do it for me? However missions sound tempting :)

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Will the stronghold have upkeep and a standing army?

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I have an idea. What if we could make use of certain parts of more powerful monsters to display them in our own museum?

 

E.g. We've dispatched group of trolls or witches. Having taken the skull of their leader we can put it on a display as a part of our monstorous collection available to be watched for a reasonable fee. That would be interesting way of making money and also would serve as a good game mechanics adding some monster hunting feel into the game. Also, for more evil characters perhaps we could be given opportunity to show off with the heads etc. of good characters we have killed during our 'adventures'. Give us a choice to either be sinister mother***, hero of the people or just a mere business-making adventurer. Note that probably making evil-likish museum will not bring us a lot of visitors and give us tremendous income but will rather serve as a magnet for all kinds of evil guys who may want to meet the guy who has managed to kill ABC in order to for example make a business?

 

And what about adding another galery to the game where we could display sets of weapons rather than sell them to merchants?

Edited by Rozkurwiciel
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In reference to the prestige/taxes discussion. I think we may taking the terms and equivalency a little too literal. Tax rate (that is the amount you tax the inhabitants) and prestige are most likely separate things. I would assume that prestige affects how close you get to the actual taxable income. A higher prestige means that the inhabitants will pay their taxes with less grumbling, will be less likely to turn a blind eye to bandits and such, and less likely to throw the tax collector down the nearest available well. Now, this could be all abstracted in the prestige stat, with the functional outcome being higher prestige = more money. This prevents the scenario from becoming over complicated and turning into a mini game that consumes a lot of player time. 

 

Or, they could be cooking up something where you have a variable tax rate, with happiness and productivity and growth (I have playing too much Civ) reduction the higher you set your rate, but the higher your prestige, the less severe said penalties are. Conversely, with a low prestige, you will have a harder time getting the anyone to pay even the most minimal of taxes. They could also make prestige a +/- scale, with a positive meaning you are winning the hearts and minds of people figuratively so they willing follow the laws, and with a negative you are winning the hearts and mind of people literally and they will follow the laws, since you have their hearts and minds, in jars, in your pantry. 

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Hi, I made an account here just to say this:

 

Please, make sure that not keeping a stronghold is possible. If I decide that I don't like the mini-game that this really is, I'd hate to feel like I'm missing out on something really important. Please, don't make me mess about with taxes, reputation, attacks and whatnot just for, say, having access to those botanical gardens. Or just having a place to safely stash items. The stronghold should be a cool option, not something players will have to take part in to have a full game experience.

 

 

This update sounds interesting however i'd love stronghold to be optional. Somehow i don't feel like an owner of the stronghold and this building/ mamaging/ repairing stuff isn't something i'd like to do. Also I hope I won't have to come back to the stronghold during missions, cause people came to talk about sth or stronghold has been attacked. Or if i won't come back then something bad will happen. I'd like to have an option to travel freely and avoid managing stronghold, supplies, taxes and the voice of the crowd. Maybe i could hire someone i trust to do it for me? However missions sound tempting :)

 

+1.

While all this stuff sounds really interesting, I'd like to see well balanced game without taking care of stronghold.

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While I think most of this update sounds pretty good (love the prison idea) I gotta say I'm disappointed not to see any mention of decisions you have to make about your lands. This is something that was in BG2 and those were fun little decisions that would really make you feel like you were a lord, instead of some guy with a pretty big house. Especially in a game that's all about reactivity, wouldn't it be great to see political choices you make work out on the way your lands look?

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Hi, I made an account here just to say this:

 

Please, make sure that not keeping a stronghold is possible. If I decide that I don't like the mini-game that this really is, I'd hate to feel like I'm missing out on something really important. Please, don't make me mess about with taxes, reputation, attacks and whatnot just for, say, having access to those botanical gardens. Or just having a place to safely stash items. The stronghold should be a cool option, not something players will have to take part in to have a full game experience.

 

You can likely rest assured that the Stronghold will be optional, there is, after all, also "player housing" for those who simply want a house to rest & store their loot in:

 

At $2.0 Million, your support funded a player house. Inspired by features like The Sink found in Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues, the house is a convenient place to store gear, interact with companions, craft items (thanks to the $2.4 Million stretch goal), rest, and buy and sell from special merchants. Some of you wanted something that went beyond the standard player house, allowing you to take control of a full stronghold and its surrounding lands. Well-done strongholds provide players with the ability to make large scale changes, undertake special quests, customize the contents of the stronghold and the surrounding environment, and engage in light strategic gameplay between adventures [...] —Josh Sawyer, Update #20

 

(unless the stronghold completely replaces the player house, but I doubt that.)


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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(unless the stronghold completely replaces the player house, but I doubt that.)

I seriously hope that. If nothing else, getting both a house and then a stronghold in Act 1 would be sort of silly. Getting the house after you already have a stronghold would be equally silly.

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So the stronghold in PE is basically NWN2 keep (with some minor changes). I hope we won't have to defend it from the King of Shadows again  :p

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(unless the stronghold completely replaces the player house, but I doubt that.)

I seriously hope that. If nothing else, getting both a house and then a stronghold in Act 1 would be sort of silly. Getting the house after you already have a stronghold would be equally silly.

 

 

This needs to be clarified because there are two stretch goals with different things. From this update today, it appears the player house is the stronghold. :blink:

 

I always took it as two different things.

 

10z0ikh.jpg

 

Now that I read update 20 again, it can be read two ways. It appears the player house has been upgraded to a stronghold. I thought we all got a player house and if some people wanted to play a stronghold, the game gave you that option. Seems I read it incorrectly.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II

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Hi, I made an account here just to say this:

 

Please, make sure that not keeping a stronghold is possible. If I decide that I don't like the mini-game that this really is, I'd hate to feel like I'm missing out on something really important. Please, don't make me mess about with taxes, reputation, attacks and whatnot just for, say, having access to those botanical gardens. Or just having a place to safely stash items. The stronghold should be a cool option, not something players will have to take part in to have a full game experience.

I respectfully disagree. There's a lot of systems going into this feature, and it would be artificial and difficult to separate it from the storyline. The stronghold was very much not an option in Neverwinter Nights 2, and IMO it was one of the better parts of the game, so it's not like there's no precedent.

 

I.e., my vote would be to fully integrate the stronghold into the storyline. Just like the dungeon of Od Nua for that matter.

 

However, I think it ought to be possible to complete the game while being a lousy baron, just like there ought to be plenty of optional areas in the Od Nua dungeon. Always assuming suitable consequences naturally – missing out on cool/powerful items and/or XP, like with any optional content.

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Hi, I made an account here just to say this:

 

Please, make sure that not keeping a stronghold is possible. If I decide that I don't like the mini-game that this really is, I'd hate to feel like I'm missing out on something really important. Please, don't make me mess about with taxes, reputation, attacks and whatnot just for, say, having access to those botanical gardens. Or just having a place to safely stash items. The stronghold should be a cool option, not something players will have to take part in to have a full game experience.

 

 

Gaining access to the stronghold occurs on the critical path, but unlike NWN2, the stronghold is not an integral part of continuing the critical path. If you ignore the stronghold entirely, at worst you miss out on potential bonuses. It still becomes the common rally point for companions.

Yes, players who refuse to play the stronghold's game elements will not receive the strategic advantages they provide. We're not going to completely divorce the stronghold from having overlap with the core gameplay.

As an aside, the SA Games forum is public at the moment, so the source of these is here. Hit the ¿ by each post to skip to it's place in the full thread. Edited by coffeetable
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My first thoughts when reading this went to the keep in NWN2, it seems this will be an expanded version of that? I really like the sound of that prison thing, I think there are some nice opportunities for morally ambiguous decisions there. Also you've just raised the bar a bit, I'm glad to see you'll try do something extra with it, not just phoning it in. I look forward to the resident funny/liar companion one-upping me with tales of his own adventures :grin:.

 

I see there's also some concern about the fortress interrupting the flow of the game. I'm suspecting that it will work like in NwN2, where stuff happened as you entered the inner doors? While being maybe a bit too mechanical I think it's still better than having messengers interrupt your adventures and require an urgent return. Besides, if you're fast traveling for 3 days back to the keep it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that people that need you would know you're coming back on this and this date, either via magic or just messenger birds.

Secondly I think it would be a good idea to have the stronghold be opt-in. Have a chamberlain with an average/default stronghold progression set, so that it works on its own. Instead of giving the player money, the taxes would go towards upgrades etc., so the player wouldn't be shortened of any important stuff. When acquiring the place the player could decide if he wants to bother with it. Or you could even have options to jump in or out of the auto-management.

 

Btw, I think prestige could be interpreted as standard of living or something. If I remember right, taxes were usually based on how much you make/own, so if it's more it would be logical that you get more taxes from it.

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I wouldn't mind being given a message from my stronghold when I arrive at a resting area (camp site, inn, or brothel).

 

Maybe the stronghold system could be designed so that events only take place when you arrive at dedicated resting areas. That way it won't interrupt the flow of the game, since you are already mentally prepared for micro-management when deciding to rest.

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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.

 

 

Like I said above, " hands-off as a blacked-out room..." Its a touchy subject that some people have strong reactions to, and others not-so-much. It all boils down to the predilections of the designers, and the tone they're going for in the game. A text option to the jailer works for me.

 

 

Like many others on this board, I'm not interested in playing a one-sided hero. Being able to be a **** is uncommon in games and is something I find that I crave (even if its just the option to go down that road, whether or not I choose it). The KotOR games let you go darkside (but not Really Evil, you're just a jerk who force lightnings people), but in The Last of Us you do Bad Things and make Hard choices. It makes those games feel deep and immersive. I hope that Obsidian isn't afraid to be serious with us in this game. If that's a tone they're willing to go for.

 

Who knows, the interrogation chamber, adult humor, ****ing, and blood splatter could all be portioned off behind an option to parents to censor the game for their children. Then the game can be marketed to all the children separately from all of us 21-60 year olds who will actually play it.

 

Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is the loot that I store in my stronghold getting used by hirelings and companions if its left in storage for a period of time, or is of a lower level than myself. Perhaps the option to put gear in an Armory instead of Storage.

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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.

MAXED-UPGRADE Chapel. It doesn't have to be common, just make it expensive. If the NPCs are really something, players will get attached to them. Its a great tool to get players to act how the writers want too. If all this talk about being an "Evil Overlord" to prisoners is distasteful, they can tie desirable mechanics to being high-prestige Paladin Fancipants. Want to rez favorite NPCs? Make the totally awesome Sword of Light? Marry the Princess? Then you gotta be Good.

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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.

 

Exactly. Plus we don't know the background yet. For all we know it may not start off as a good thing for the player; an abandoned stronghold isn't necessarily an immediate benefit in the broader sense. I.e. why was it abandoned? What responsibilities are the player taking on by acquiring it? Is it in a remote location far from the seat of power? Are there dangerous and ambitious enemies nearby? Are you gaining a title with the deed, or are you initially just the caretaker? Will you have to woo and marry some noble's daughter in order to gain your title? &c.

Edited by rjshae
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