The stronghold is a nice idea, but honestly it feels incomplete or even rushed. This post might be somewhat spoilerific to people who want to discover what the stronghold offers on their own first.
A few suggestions I would make on the stronghold. Some of them minor, others major and could be part of an expansion.
1) I find it very strange that I have my own city which is completely devoid of life. As we repair things, add more NPCs to the stronghold. I should see guards standing by the gates and villagers walking around the city. The closer I get to full repairs, the more populated my city gets. These NPCs don't need to have any unique dialogue so it shouldn't be too much work to add them. When I build the forum I should see people there talking to one another. When I build the training center, I should see guards there training. Seriously this breaks immersion. Who is building all of my structures? Why would any of the visitors (good or bad) want to come visit my stronghold just to sit alone in the keep? Basically now I'm forced imagine that my stronghold is a city with people that I just can't see in the game for whatever reason.
2) Allow resting from the stronghold button when anywhere on the stronghold map. Having to walk into my house and then again to the 2nd floor is tedious and pointless. I should be able to enter the stronghold map, build something, rest right there, and then leave without needing to walk to the house for the 100th time.
3) There needs to be more rewards for investing the time, money, and effort into building the stronghold. Currently you get very little return for sinking so much cash into the repairs. After completing the stronghold I was very underwhelmed with the result. The money from taxes is minimal and will take forever to cover the costs of repairs. The advertised incentive for the stronghold is earning income, but it fails miserably at that goal. If we aren't building it for the tax income, than there should be other incentives. Going back to (1), it would be cool if some unique NPCs starting showing up after you do a lot of repairs. These NPCs could be quest givers or even add a new party member whom you can only get when you fully repair the stronghold. Another cool way to do it could be to have a unique hireling who randomly appears after a certain prestige who if you hire and then go talk to offers you a quest or becomes a party member. Right now the stronghold is more of a liability than anything else because I have to run back and take care of bandit attacks from time to time.
4) The prisoner system doesn't make sense. The gold rewards are very small. Its much better to just kill the guy and loot him for any unique gear he might have than to put him in jail. Also it seems like a lot of people are having trouble with prisoners escaping even with high security. Maybe this feature is bugged? At minimum, it would be good if there was at least a little more transparency with how the prisoner thing is supposed to work. A long form text description for each upgrade would go a long way here.
5) The merchants don't really offer too much value. One option could be to upgrade the merchants via quests and/or additional repairs to improve trade routes etc.. With the end result being that each merchant will sell some unique powerful loot at the end, making your investment in the stronghold all the more worthwhile.
6) Other RPGs with strongholds allowed the player to recruit NPCs from the world to live in their stronghold. Examples from the SNES era include JRPGs like Breath of Fire 2 and Secret of the Stars. This provides yet another incentive. Build the stronghold and then you can go out and get people to come live there, offering further benefits in terms of additional quests, merchants, prestige, security, etc..
Edited by fmatthew5876, 08 April 2015 - 02:10 PM.