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Understanding the stronghold

Stronghold Hirelings

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#21
Wompoo

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I don't think anything about it is cost effective, except the bounties, but it is an ok base of operations.

 

So what would be the point of hiring any hirelings then? Or rebuilding things that don't have a function beyond prestige/security and cosmetics?

 

Good for the story and rp value, adds a nice touch to the game "if you want it", BG2's strongholds for example... there's nothing must have about the stronghold, just an added layer to create a sense of belonging in the game world. Not everything must have a purpose, not everything must be balanced imho



#22
Osvir

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Also, Dwarf Fortress ;)

Heressy!

Orlan Fortress, of course ;)

Excellent points about the trade routes. Having Madhmr Bridge get repaired in a forseeable future (although, I don't see it forseeable to happen during the events of the "Hollowing of Dyrwood" seeing that A) Heritage Hill in chaos B) Defiance Bay pretty much in chaos C) Dyrwood Region in chaos with the Hollowborn).

Heritage Hill is, though, to the Southwest of Madmhr Bridge (Copperlane being the entrance), but maybe Heritage Hill's "revival" could be a parameter for Madhmr Bridge beginning construction? If that could be a thing to begin with... could Heritage Hill be a bit more dynamic?

Not stronghold related (a tangent):
There are a ton of rivalling adventuring groups in the world. I'm curious why they ain't solving any problems (like, at all). It'd be interesting to have some time-based adventurer's dealing with stuff, and if they deal with it before you, they'd also gain experience and become stronger (hand-placed level-scaling depending on dynamic parameters).

EDIT: Right! That's why I came back to this thread: (Some more Stronghold stuff)
- More Monster types to recruit to your Stronghold! Sparing the Vithrack, and even emprisoning one of them in the jail, made me think that "Hey, I have an Ogre, maybe I could get a Vithrack, then maybe a beastmaster or monster tamer... some Trolls maybe... why can I only hire Kith? I want a monster fortress!" :p
- Sequentially: Getting a monster-based stronghold = Tyrant ending. Caed Nua scary place with monsters. Fewer visitors, or only Cruel and Menacing visitors.
- Visitors arriving at your Stronghold based on your reputations, actually being a certain type of reputation themselves. Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings-esque, if you are evil. Otherwise good people. Or deceptive people, etc.

 

- Fulfilling certain objectives, hidden visitors/hidden companion (Secret companion). Not everything needs to be "readily available" because "User Accessibility". @Obsidian: Don't be too afraid to hide hidden gems or making surprising stuff that is rare to encounter or even miss out on. That is the nature of "rarity". Take Final Fantasy 7 for instance, two of the companions (also two of the best companions) are easily missed out on (Yuffie and Vincent). In Final Fantasy 6, Umaro, Mog, and Gogo are easily missed out on, and in World of Ruin, almost all of the characters become "optional". In Suikoden... you get the point (One of the reasons why I'm flirting with this idea is because, I was half-hoping that the Dragon Slayer was a secret companion. Both versions of her, possessed or not possessed).


Edited by Osvir, 09 April 2015 - 01:35 AM.


#23
general_azure

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Something else I noticed is that the hirelings I got unlocked from certain quests/reputations were almost all strictly worse than the bunch you always have (eg -2/+2 instead of 0/+2). The Doemenel guy was the only exception to this, being actually pretty good. Any idea whats up with that?


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#24
Osvir

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Don't know. I got all the "special" hirelings I could because, I assumed they were statistically better (class, attributes, HP/Endurance, Damage, Spells, Gear etc.). Whilst I assumed the regular hirelings were more or less "trash mob" equivalent. Meaning, they're better than the regular ones in terms of what they can do by themselves, but might not be better or worse than the regular ones in terms of Stronghold Defense/Reputation.

I did two manual combats and one auto-resolve. The first manual I did I had no hirelings, so I didn't lose anything. Then I did an auto-resolve, lost 2 hirelings. Bought new ones after. Did a manual combat after that and I lose 2 guys again (and they went down like flies).

Speaking of the Stronghold Defense... it was a bit underwhelming.

Why is the combat phase inside the main keep as well? That felt odd. I thought they were going to storm the Western Barbican or the Eastern Barbican and you'd have a stand off against several waves of enemies coming in (Depending on which tier of attackers).

I guess I can see from a design perspective why they chose to go with the battles happening in the Main Keep instead of outside (Less bugs, more of a controlled environment, smaller space where enemies can't run around too much, minimizing "Search & Destroy" for the last stragglers if it had been the outdoor map etc.). But it was still weird.

Almost as if there's a second entrance somewhere.

I also encountered Leaden Key Agents (they were questioning Kana) on the first floor as I was coming out of the dungeon, and it was a large group of them too and I wondered "How the hell did they slip past all of my defenses??". Is there a second entry into the dungeon from another map??


Edited by Osvir, 09 April 2015 - 02:14 AM.

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#25
mudd1

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Why is the combat phase inside the main keep as well? That felt odd. I thought they were going to storm the Western Barbican or the Eastern Barbican and you'd have a stand off against several waves of enemies coming in (Depending on which tier of attackers).

I guess I can see from a design perspective why they chose to go with the battles happening in the Main Keep instead of outside (Less bugs, more of a controlled environment, smaller space where enemies can't run around too much, minimizing "Search & Destroy" for the last stragglers if it had been the outdoor map etc.). But it was still weird.

 

 

Well, I don't mind there being no tower-defense style mini game. And I perfectly understand why they didn't add a full-scale siege mechanic. Heck, even the way the terrain works in regular combat probably couldn't make good use of fighting from the top of a wall. There could be a lot more logic to the whole thing though. Because let's face it, to take such a stronghold you do need an army (if it's properly manned of course, which it isn't with the dozen or so guys you can hire). A bunch of thugs won't get into there. Unless of course they are serious about the northern defenses consisting of a hedge maze. Like, seriously.



#26
philby

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I don't think anything about it is cost effective, except the bounties, but it is an ok base of operations.

 

So what would be the point of hiring any hirelings then? Or rebuilding things that don't have a function beyond prestige/security and cosmetics?

 

 

Well when I first got a notification that shadows and lurkers were going to attack, I tried to fight them and got trounced. I re-loaded a save, hired a bunch of guys and did 'auto resolve' and they won but a couple died. So I thought maybe this would make it easier to take care of attacks if my party can't do it. Then some other bandits tried to attack, I did auto resolve and they all died and now my main keep and something else has been destroyed. I gotta spend and wait to build that again? argh :p 



#27
general_azure

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Don't know. I got all the "special" hirelings I could because, I assumed they were statistically better (class, attributes, HP/Endurance, Damage, Spells, Gear etc.). Whilst I assumed the regular hirelings were more or less "trash mob" equivalent. Meaning, they're better than the regular ones in terms of what they can do by themselves, but might not be better or worse than the regular ones in terms of Stronghold Defense/Reputation.

 

Hm, I always assumed their actual combat prowess would somehow correspond to their security value, but when thinking about it again this is probably not the case. Would be useful to get this information when hiring them... not that I trust those guys to fight off the enemy without me in any case.

 

Unless of course they are serious about the northern defenses consisting of a hedge maze. Like, seriously.

 

 

I think they are, actually... and the time the enemies need to find the right way is what we get as early warning for incoming attacks. It all makes sense suddenly :p 


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#28
Osvir

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Why is the combat phase inside the main keep as well? That felt odd. I thought they were going to storm the Western Barbican or the Eastern Barbican and you'd have a stand off against several waves of enemies coming in (Depending on which tier of attackers).

I guess I can see from a design perspective why they chose to go with the battles happening in the Main Keep instead of outside (Less bugs, more of a controlled environment, smaller space where enemies can't run around too much, minimizing "Search & Destroy" for the last stragglers if it had been the outdoor map etc.). But it was still weird.

 

 

Well, I don't mind there being no tower-defense style mini game. And I perfectly understand why they didn't add a full-scale siege mechanic. Heck, even the way the terrain works in regular combat probably couldn't make good use of fighting from the top of a wall. There could be a lot more logic to the whole thing though. Because let's face it, to take such a stronghold you do need an army (if it's properly manned of course, which it isn't with the dozen or so guys you can hire). A bunch of thugs won't get into there. Unless of course they are serious about the northern defenses consisting of a hedge maze. Like, seriously.

Don't need to fight on top of the wall, but the outside (Where you fight all the Spectres, Shadows and the Will-O-Wisps before getting the Stronghold).

Getting in from the road of the Eastern Barbican or the Western Barbican, for instance (through the gates). Could maybe even be possible to code "Waves" of enemies storming over the bridge, as to give a sense of "Lots of enemies attacking".


Edited by Osvir, 09 April 2015 - 05:54 AM.


#29
Crucis

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By the time I was in act 3 I had over 100,000 gold and nothing to really buy.  At which point I upgraded every building in the stronghold, bought some crafting items and hired some "hirelings" for awhile.  I ended my upgrades at like 66,000 gold.  I mean, I get what you're saying, but I cannot imagine really having money issues unless you're buying tons of potions, scrolls, etc.

 

What difficulty level are you using?  I'm playing Normal and I've never been over 30k and that wasn't until I'd finished upgrading the stronghold, i.e. I could stop flushing copper into the money sink. 

 

I pick up ever single piece of loot, find everything that I can find, etc. and yet I don't come close to that level of copper, so I'm wondering if maybe playing on higher difficulty levels gets you more money.  For one thing, supposedly higher difficulty levels have more enemies to kill, so that probably means more stuff to loot.  Is that enough to explain the difference in income? 


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#30
Ceranai

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So I'm trying to understand how to best use the stronghold. There are some issues that have come up though:

 

1. Bandits take nearly as much as I earn through taxes even though I have much higher security than prestige. How are the bandits so effective if I have sky-high security? This means that I'll earn something like 50 copper. Camping just once is more expensive than this, and what's worse is that when I subtract the cost of hirelings, I'm losing quite a bit of money.

 

2. It seems that hirelings are paid per day, but taxes are earned per turn. This means that you can never generate infinite wealth, but you can LOSE infinite wealth. Is that really true?

 

I do like the stronghold, don't get me wrong, but so far all it does is cost me money. A lot of money. I understand that you can get resting bonuses, sure, but for the thousands I spend upgrading the stronghold, I'm sure I could have gotten a full game's worth of resting bonuses from inns.

 

What am I missing here?

 

PS: If it had generated taxes per day, it would have made sense. Sure some nutty people could have gained infinite wealth, but does that really matter?

The secret to stronghold is to pretty much ignore it, rush for the shops if you can but other than that all it really serves as is a drain for money, EG the building that gives you herbs costs like 3000k and you are gonna get like 5-10 herbs out of it, you could buy that elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. In my first run i tried to plan out my stronghold but now i just click random upgrades when the last one finishes and pay basically no attention to it otherwise, not even when it is going to get attacked i just let it autoresolve. Its not worth your time or effort unless you are roleplaying and like having your own castle


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#31
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Travel-map.jpg

 

 

Mudd1, thx for posting this pic of the map.  I wasn't even aware of the Pearlwood Bluff or Searing Falls areas until you posted this map.  Actually, I should say that I very recently got a bounty from the stronghold about someone in the Pearlwood Bluff area, but haven't had the slightest idea where it was or how to get to it. Now I do.  So, thanks.
 


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#32
Crucis

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So I'm trying to understand how to best use the stronghold. There are some issues that have come up though:

 

1. Bandits take nearly as much as I earn through taxes even though I have much higher security than prestige. How are the bandits so effective if I have sky-high security? This means that I'll earn something like 50 copper. Camping just once is more expensive than this, and what's worse is that when I subtract the cost of hirelings, I'm losing quite a bit of money.

 

2. It seems that hirelings are paid per day, but taxes are earned per turn. This means that you can never generate infinite wealth, but you can LOSE infinite wealth. Is that really true?

 

I do like the stronghold, don't get me wrong, but so far all it does is cost me money. A lot of money. I understand that you can get resting bonuses, sure, but for the thousands I spend upgrading the stronghold, I'm sure I could have gotten a full game's worth of resting bonuses from inns.

 

What am I missing here?

 

PS: If it had generated taxes per day, it would have made sense. Sure some nutty people could have gained infinite wealth, but does that really matter?

The secret to stronghold is to pretty much ignore it, rush for the shops if you can but other than that all it really serves as is a drain for money, EG the building that gives you herbs costs like 3000k and you are gonna get like 5-10 herbs out of it, you could buy that elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. In my first run i tried to plan out my stronghold but now i just click random upgrades when the last one finishes and pay basically no attention to it otherwise, not even when it is going to get attacked i just let it autoresolve. Its not worth your time or effort unless you are roleplaying and like having your own castle

 

 

Actually, I think that the game warden's house may be the best thing to invest in because those bounty quests are well worth the effort.
 



#33
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Nice idea, bad execution.  The Endless Paths and the Bounties are the only decent gameplay features in CN and they could easily exist elsewhere in the game world.

Building it up is nice and all but it costs a ton and really gets you nothing for most of the buildings.

 

The merchants are dog****.  You are paying these dudes to come set up shop and they have generic inventories and give you no discount vs merchants in other places.  Its literally the worst collection of merchants in the game.

Prestige and Security are too vague.  Far too many of the random events are bad.  Autoresolve has never worked out for me, I always lose building(s).

 

The rest bonuses from the buildings are not cumulative with each other so you can get a better rest bonus from almost every other inn in the game, the loading screens make it an even worse proposition to rest there and finally its days away from a lot of stuff so you cant really take advantage of the rest bonuses in many instances.


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#34
mudd1

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The rest bonuses from the buildings are not cumulative with each other so you can get a better rest bonus from almost every other inn in the game, the loading screens make it an even worse proposition to rest there and finally its days away from a lot of stuff so you cant really take advantage of the rest bonuses in many instances.

Yeah, I first thought that over time you'd really build yourself some awesome rest bonuses that would make it worthwhile to travel there. But when I realized that you have to choose which of the +1 bonuses you get I was a bit bummed. Also, it doesn't really make sense why you can't build yourself a room as nice as that of any of the inns you go to. It's your own castle and you poured thousands of coppers into it already so what makes those inns special?


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#35
Crucis

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The rest bonuses from the buildings are not cumulative with each other so you can get a better rest bonus from almost every other inn in the game, the loading screens make it an even worse proposition to rest there and finally its days away from a lot of stuff so you cant really take advantage of the rest bonuses in many instances.

Yeah, I first thought that over time you'd really build yourself some awesome rest bonuses that would make it worthwhile to travel there. But when I realized that you have to choose which of the +1 bonuses you get I was a bit bummed. Also, it doesn't really make sense why you can't build yourself a room as nice as that of any of the inns you go to. It's your own castle and you poured thousands of coppers into it already so what makes those inns special?

 

 

I'm sure that there's some game balance reason to justify it.  And yet at the same time, by the time you are in the final (?) Act of the storyline and are spending all your time over in the east, you'll be wanting to rest at tree inn where you can spend 200 copper for a room that gets you something like three +2 bonuses.  And 200 copper is chump change for the party by that time.


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#36
Yosharian

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I am really disappointed with the Stronghold.

 

1) The bonuses from resting can't be combined, despite the flavour text implying the opposite.  So basically they are a complete waste of time because you might as well dump 200g into resting at an Inn to get a much better bonus.

 

2) Vast majority of the shopkeepers offer absolutely nothing of worth.  Complete waste of money.

 

3) Brighthollow is just a pain in the ass to get to, I have to go through 2-3 loading screens just to rest there, then go through another 2-3 loading screens to get back to the World Map.. are you ****ting me?  Did a blind, lobotomized monkey design this feature?

 

4) Hirelings seem like a waste of time; they die too easily in the special encounters and mostly cost too much to just have lying around for the purposes of increasing prestige/security.  If they at least got rezzed after fights then it wouldn't be so bad.

 

5) Nobody interesting moves into your Stronghold.  The game needs a Deckard Cain-type character (or three) who you actually want to visit and talk to, to make the place seem more alive.   It's just a really uninspiring place to visit, and as I've already stated the gameplay benefits are very limited.

Still better than the BG2 Strongholds, but at least they had semi-interesting quests tied to them.  Really I'm only dumping gold into this place for the sake of completing it.  I really couldn't care less about the place aside from that.


Edited by Yosharian, 12 April 2015 - 06:56 AM.

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#37
Crucis

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I am really disappointed with the Stronghold.

 

1) The bonuses from resting can't be combined, despite the flavour text implying the opposite.  So basically they are a complete waste of time because you might as well dump 200g into resting at an Inn to get a much better bonus.

 

2) Vast majority of the shopkeepers offer absolutely nothing of worth.  Complete waste of money.

 

3) Brighthollow is just a pain in the ass to get to, I have to go through 2-3 loading screens just to rest there, then go through another 2-3 loading screens to get back to the World Map.. are you ****ting me?  Did a blind, lobotomized monkey design this feature?

 

4) Hirelings seem like a waste of time; they die too easily in the special encounters and mostly cost too much to just have lying around for the purposes of increasing prestige/security.  If they at least got rezzed after fights then it wouldn't be so bad.

 

5) Nobody interesting moves into your Stronghold.  The game needs a Deckard Cain-type character (or three) who you actually want to visit and talk to, to make the place seem more alive.   It's just a really uninspiring place to visit, and as I've already stated the gameplay benefits are very limited.

Still better than the BG2 Strongholds, but at least they had semi-interesting quests tied to them.  Really I'm only dumping gold into this place for the sake of completing it.  I really couldn't care less about the place aside from that.

 

 

Much as I agree with most of your points, does everyone have to be a damned drama queen when something isn't perfect?  Jeez. 


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#38
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I am really disappointed with the Stronghold.
 
1) The bonuses from resting can't be combined, despite the flavour text implying the opposite.  So basically they are a complete waste of time because you might as well dump 200g into resting at an Inn to get a much better bonus.
 
2) Vast majority of the shopkeepers offer absolutely nothing of worth.  Complete waste of money.
 
3) Brighthollow is just a pain in the ass to get to, I have to go through 2-3 loading screens just to rest there, then go through another 2-3 loading screens to get back to the World Map.. are you ****ting me?  Did a blind, lobotomized monkey design this feature?
 
4) Hirelings seem like a waste of time; they die too easily in the special encounters and mostly cost too much to just have lying around for the purposes of increasing prestige/security.  If they at least got rezzed after fights then it wouldn't be so bad.
 
5) Nobody interesting moves into your Stronghold.  The game needs a Deckard Cain-type character (or three) who you actually want to visit and talk to, to make the place seem more alive.   It's just a really uninspiring place to visit, and as I've already stated the gameplay benefits are very limited.

Still better than the BG2 Strongholds, but at least they had semi-interesting quests tied to them.  Really I'm only dumping gold into this place for the sake of completing it.  I really couldn't care less about the place aside from that.


Agreed, but also:

Much as I agree with most of your points, does everyone have to be a damned drama queen when something isn't perfect?  Jeez.


Very much agreed.

I'd like it very much if people stopped acting like *insert random game developer* murdered their family if something isn't to their liking.

#39
Yosharian

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I'm just giving my feedback, who said anything about Obsidian murdering my family?

 

If anyone's being dramatic its you...


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#40
Crucis

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I'm just giving my feedback, who said anything about Obsidian murdering my family?

 

If anyone's being dramatic its you...

 


Oh really?  Let's look at this again, shall we.

 

 

 

 

I am really disappointed with the Stronghold.

 

1) The bonuses from resting can't be combined, despite the flavour text implying the opposite.  So basically they are a complete waste of time because you might as well dump 200g into resting at an Inn to get a much better bonus.

 

2) Vast majority of the shopkeepers offer absolutely nothing of worth.  Complete waste of money.

 

3) Brighthollow is just a pain in the ass to get to, I have to go through 2-3 loading screens just to rest there, then go through another 2-3 loading screens to get back to the World Map.. are you ****ting me?  Did a blind, lobotomized monkey design this feature?

 

4) Hirelings seem like a waste of time; they die too easily in the special encounters and mostly cost too much to just have lying around for the purposes of increasing prestige/security.  If they at least got rezzed after fights then it wouldn't be so bad.

 

5) Nobody interesting moves into your Stronghold.  The game needs a Deckard Cain-type character (or three) who you actually want to visit and talk to, to make the place seem more alive.   It's just a really uninspiring place to visit, and as I've already stated the gameplay benefits are very limited.

Still better than the BG2 Strongholds, but at least they had semi-interesting quests tied to them.  Really I'm only dumping gold into this place for the sake of completing it.  I really couldn't care less about the place aside from that.

 

I'd say that the above comments in red are overly dramatic, wiith the comment about a blind, lobotomized monkey being ridiculously so.

 

Regarding point #1, yes, I agree that it's lame that the bonuses aren't better compared to what you can get at some inns.  Agree 100%.  That said, earlier in the game, those meager bonuses aren't so bad when you may not want to spend any more than necessary to rest.  Later on when you're rolling in money (mostly because you've completely upgraded the stronghold, or at least decided to not sink any more into it), 200cp for a room that gives you a number of +2 bonuses starts looking like chump change.  And it does seem a little silly that once you've fully upgraded your stronghold that somehow an inn can provide better, more restful, more bonus worthy accomodations than your own home.  But that still doesn't qualify as a "complete waste of time"!!!

 

 

As for point #2, there are only 4 merchants in the stronghold, so there can hardly be anything vast about them in the first place.  And while their inventories ae hardly inspiring, that doesn't qualify as "offering nothing of worth".  "Exceptional" grade weapons are hardly worthless.  Bland and uninteresting?  Yeah, I'd agree with that.  But worthless?  Not at all.

 

At least when you mentioned the hirelings in point #4 you said that they SEEM like a waste of time, which is a reasonably fair way of stating whether true or not.

 

Also in point #5, I'm not sure that I'd say that "nobody interesting" shows up at the stronghold.  I think that some of the characters that do visit might be very interesting, if, as you later suggest, you could actually talk to them.

 

 

In short, you seem unable to criticize without resorting to excessive hyperbole, otherwise known as being a drama queen.  If you toned down the hyperbole and stuck to the logic of your points, you'd make much more convincing arguments.


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