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Stronghold suggestions

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#1
phimseto

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Early in the PoE2 crowdfunding campaign, I made some suggestions to Feargus that he really liked. I decided to put those on here so the devs would be able to find them easily if they wanted to use them. I also ported over a few stronghold suggestions that I made for PoE that Aarik and a few other Obsidian types liked, but couldn't implement because it was too late in the life cycle of the game. 
 
Feel free to comment and add suggestions of your own. If I like them, I'll be sure to add them into this post (with due credit to you). 
 
 
Stronghold:
 
Personally, I'm hoping for something two-fold - a Tortuga-like island that is your actual base and of course your ship, both of which can be upgraded. You could use the ship upgrades to gate off areas of the map you don't want players to get to (ie stronger design upgrades to negotiate stormier areas or some such thing). The island would be where you conduct the vast majority of your traditional stronghold business.  
 
 
Plotlines: 
 
If you do a couple of plots akin to "The Master of Caed Nua" (and I hope you are), the only real suggestion I have is this: it was way too easy for players to finish that plotline without having mustered the cool alliances that made the final battle easier and more epic. Now that you'll be crafting out stronghold plotlines right from the start, work on building them out so players most likely will have encountered and acquired such resources so they can bring them to bear. Oh, and just to throw in a shout-out to the Black Isle fundraising effort: provided we secure the funding, have the Black Isle Bastards be one of those battle resources to call upon!
 
 
Player characters:
 
Holding court was one of the most fun, "epic"-feeling elements of PoE. It was great how your party could contribute, either in dialogue or participation, to the resolution of those interludes. If you are looking to take those encounters to the next level, consider having a couple of the party characters have parts of their quests intersect with stronghold activities like this.
 
 
Sidekicks: 
 
While I get that sidekicks are not full companions nor do they need the full companion treatment, I have seen some players (and admittedly I feel likewise) clamor for something beyond how they have been initially pitched. The stronghold offers a great opportunity to meet players halfway on this. There should be at least one quest/event for each companion out there in the game world, and some of those could easily be stronghold-related, be they interested visitors, quests given by the sidekicks while at the stronghold, some kind of relationship between one of your captured prisoners and a sidekick, etc., etc.
 
 
Hirelings:
 
I was always a little disappointed that I could build an ampitheater, hire a scald, and then...nothing come of it. Think of a few ways to make the stronghold interactive, particularly with a combination of hirelings and locations within. Likewise, everyone I know who has played the game enjoyed the way you could recruit folks like Korgrak or ambassadors of allies to join the hireling crew. Keep that up. For unique characters like Korgrak, think about how they could have follow-up quests in the form of stronghold events. If you do make alliances in the game, have those ambassadors weigh in on your decisions, just as a way to keep the players on their toes. It doesn't have to impact the game at all, but it'would be very cool to see other nations or groups' representatives react to your play style.
 
Forumite Blotter hopes we'll be able to recruit our unique Caed Nua visitors, and I do, too, but I have the sneaky suspicion that Obsidian will say that Eothas soul ate everyone. In defense of my pal Korgrak, though, I'm going to say that he missed all that because he was out on the trail with the Warden of the Wilds, so he's ready to go for PoE2. ;-)
 
 
Pets: 
 
Whether just in your house or around the whole base, make it so that your excess pets can be seen wandering around. And since this is a sequel, don't be afraid to consider something unexpected and cool like "sequels" to some of these pets. What if another wizard comes looking for Concelhaut's skull? What if your baby lagufaeth has grown up a bit and can now be a hireling or plays some key role if there's a lagufaeth-related questline? And just to cement his legacy as your world's Boo, there should absolutely be some kind of wild quest or stronghold event around the Miniature Giant Space Piglet.
 
 
Upgrades:
 
Build some reactivity in the world to the upgrades, where random NPCs might remark upon new base or ship features. To reinforce what I wrote in the hirelings section, have some of these upgrades make the stronghold come alive. To use the ampitheater example, Suikoden III had a stronghold feature where you build a theater and stage plays. Two of those plays were based on events from the first two games. In the case of a game like this, you could easily port over player choices (or settings) from PoE that tell a PoE story that reflects the player's experiences. Stuff like that.
 
Forum user DigitalCrack reminded me of an idea that others want: a class-specific add-on. My suggestion there is to choose one area of the stronghold and have any class specific design slotted in there. Also have it accompanied by a hireling (who doesn't count against the # you can hire) and have at least one quest, even if it's just a "choose your own adventure" type, associated with it. 
 
Forum user Algroth suggested the idea that some upgrades have variants that allow you to really customize the stronghold.
 
 
Items:
 
This was the part that Feargus most liked. Over the course of PoE, I acquired some legendary weapons, armors, and grimoires. However, they sat in boxes and on shelves, meaningless. Have it so that certain items add to your prestige and/or security. Make it so that possessing unique items or books might trigger quest lines (a family wants a heirloom sword you found) and stronghold events (a scholar wants to study that orb you discovered). There can be a museum where you display certain items. The library can highlight certain books that you possess.  
 
 
Events: 
 
While I envision the island as having 90% of stronghold-related events, you can still surprise with some ship-based ones. Perhaps a treasonous crewman can be made to walk the plank! Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that one of the events be a ghost ship encounter. Would also suggest one of the sidekicks come from it. :-)
 
One pie in the sky idea I had: if it isn't too huge an issue, you could implement a "multiplayer lite" option. Namely, have players be able to send a messenger to another player. This will trigger a unique one-off quest, again even something as simple as the Choose Your Own Adventure style, that the player receiving the messenger could resolve and send back. Nothing more than that, but a fun way to share in the journey with friends without having to build a full MP architecture. Another benefit of doing this is that it builds out the community: people would come here to look for folks to connect with the get the mission and hopefully stick around and participate. 
 
One thing referenced by others below and that I've definitely heard feedback on: people want more out of the prisoners, be they interactions in the dungeons, trials, or events. That was a popular feature especially in the early PoE build that showed how deep the stronghold might go, so it's definitely a place where you should look to expand.
 
Forumite Kirk raises a good point that for events like attacks on the stronghold and the Battle of Yenwood, the PCs not in your party were nowhere to be found. Something to consider addressing for similar sequences in Part 2.
 
 
Economics:
 
Forumite Tanos and others have mentioned that the economics of Caed Nua were a bit wonky and that the new stronghold should have a better system, ideally with player choice and opportunity to drive economic success. Forumite Fardragon suggested that if ships are involved in the stronghold calculus, that they could be used in goods trading. 

Edited by phimseto, 21 February 2017 - 12:47 PM.

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#2
DigitalCrack

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like what I am reading! only thing I would add would be 1 (base) class specific upgrade. so each class would have a single unique add on with a unique function for the ship.
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#3
ericdy

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Like what I read. Especially a quest regarding giant miniature space piglet :)
But also the emphasis on items. I read a lot in these games an I feel that books and lore should get more focus. The books in PoE is just optional, and when you find a book that is related to a quest, you read it "automatically".. it would be fun I you have to look for clues and read books (yes, plural for e.g. 1 quest).

#4
evilcat

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I wish for tradeship with:

  • magical chest to store our junk
  • trader, we can buy potions and sell junk, also ask him about place we are
  • unequiped companions chilling or doing deckworks.
  • quests: hunting pirates, or ferring illegal stuff
  • we use it primary for fast travel

Captain Watcher Island

Old Stronghold topic had some nice ideas, probably should check them out.



#5
Fardragon

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A ship seems like it could have a good selection of cosmetic upgrades: change the sails, change the figurehead, trophies on the walls of the cabin, etc.

 

On the whole, I wouldn't want to big a thing made of it. The PoE1 stronghold was a pointless distraction from the main plot, with poor quality gameplay that broke immersion.


Edited by Fardragon, 19 February 2017 - 12:54 PM.


#6
DigitalCrack

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A ship seems like it could have a good selection of cosmetic upgrades: change the sails, change the figurehead, trophies on the walls of the cabin, etc.

On the whole, I wouldn't want to big a thing made of it. The PoE1 stronghold was a pointless distraction from the main plot, with poor quality gameplay that broke immersion.


That's a bit unfair statement. the ruling aspect and defending your claim to it was awesome and very much in line with the tone of the game. loved that aspect of it. I do wish more of what you built you could interact with, so in that respect yes some upgrades were pointless bonuses to resting there...

#7
blotter

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Good ideas.

 

As you've already touched upon, I'd like to see more opportunities through the taking of prisoners, whether in the form of additional interactions, quests (party or stronghold), judgments, or even repurposing some of them as unique hirelings. The ransom/slave trade/animancer experiment fodder options in the first game were alright as far as they go (which wasn't far), but I'd to see even those "exchange and forget" type options have significance toward things like faction/NPC relations, potentially contributing to further quests and developments along those lines as well.

 

In regards to upgrades, I'd like to see more outside of the base stronghold window and tied to the Watcher's activities in the world. Seizing enemy hirelings and territory as your own throughout the game sounds like fun to me.

 

On the subject of hirelings, it'd be nice if some of the unique ones from Caeda Nua could be recruited again. Maybe instead of just chasing bounties/responding to stronghold quests, you could even invest gold and resources through the stronghold into creating bounties and quests of your own for hirelings/adventurers to carry out. You're a busy Watcher, after all, and an arrangement like this could allow you to pursue your interests with some level of plausible deniability depending on how you get the word out. If doing so allowed you to screw over one or more factions while appearing to be their ally until the bitter end, so much the better.



#8
Urocyon

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One of the problems I had with the stronghold quests was that I thought some of those quests sounded really fun to actually do. It would be cooler if, when I sent a character to go do it, I had the option to actually do the quest instead of waiting a few days for the result. It would be fun to go on a short quest where one of the companions was controllable like your main PC.

 

Conversely, if they stay with the current method, maybe make results or degree of success based on who you send. Example, Unspeakable Evil v.2 is causing a ruckus. You could send Fighter Bob to face it head on resulting in the Vorpal Fang Sword. Or you could send Fizzbang the Wizard who has a really high Lore skill resulting in Monster in a Bottle.


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#9
Leeuwenhart

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Early in the PoE2 crowdfunding campaign, I made some suggestions to Feargus that he really liked. I decided to put those on here so the devs would be able to find them easily if they wanted to use them. I also ported over a few stronghold suggestions that I made for PoE that Aarik and a few other Obsidian types liked, but couldn't implement because it was too late in the life cycle of the game.

Feel free to comment and add suggestions of your own. If I like them, I'll be sure to add them into this post (with due credit to you).


Stronghold:

Personally, I'm hoping for something two-fold - a Tortuga-like island that is your actual base and of course your ship, both of which can be upgraded. You could use the ship upgrades to gate off areas of the map you don't want players to get to (ie stronger design upgrades to negotiate stormier areas or some such thing). The island would be where you conduct the vast majority of your traditional stronghold business.


Plotlines:

If you do a couple of plots akin to "The Master of Caed Nua" (and I hope you are), the only real suggestion I have is this: it was way too easy for players to finish that plotline without having mustered the cool alliances that made the final battle easier and more epic. Now that you'll be crafting out stronghold plotlines right from the start, work on building them out so players most likely will have encountered and acquired such resources so they can bring them to bear. Oh, and just to throw in a shout-out to the Black Isle fundraising effort: provided we secure the funding, have the Black Isle Bastards be one of those battle resources to call upon!


Player characters:

Holding court was one of the most fun, "epic"-feeling elements of PoE. It was great how your party could contribute, either in dialogue or participation, to the resolution of those interludes. If you are looking to take those encounters to the next level, consider having a couple of the party characters have parts of their quests intersect with stronghold activities like this.


Sidekicks:

While I get that sidekicks are not full companions nor do they need the full companion treatment, I have seen some players (and admittedly I feel likewise) clamor for something beyond how they have been initially pitched. The stronghold offers a great opportunity to meet players halfway on this. There should be at least one quest/event for each companion out there in the game world, and some of those could easily be stronghold-related, be they interested visitors, quests given by the sidekicks while at the stronghold, some kind of relationship between one of your captured prisoners and a sidekick, etc., etc.


Hirelings:

I was always a little disappointed that I could build an ampitheater, hire a scald, and then...nothing come of it. Think of a few ways to make the stronghold interactive, particularly with a combination of hirelings and locations within. Likewise, everyone I know who has played the game enjoyed the way you could recruit folks like Korgrak or ambassadors of allies to join the hireling crew. Keep that up. For unique characters like Korgrak, think about how they could have follow-up quests in the form of stronghold events. If you do make alliances in the game, have those ambassadors weigh in on your decisions, just as a way to keep the players on their toes. It doesn't have to impact the game at all, but it'would be very cool to see other nations or groups' representatives react to your play style.


Pets:

Whether just in your house or around the whole base, make it so that your excess pets can be seen wandering around. And since this is a sequel, don't be afraid to consider something unexpected and cool like "sequels" to some of these pets. What if another wizard comes looking for Concelhaut's skull? What if your baby lagufaeth has grown up a bit and can now be a hireling or plays some key role if there's a lagufaeth-related questline? And just to cement his legacy as your world's Boo, there should absolutely be some kind of wild quest or stronghold event around the Miniature Giant Space Piglet.


Upgrades:

Build some reactivity in the world to the upgrades, where random NPCs might remark upon new base or ship features. To reinforce what I wrote in the hirelings section, have some of these upgrades make the stronghold come alive. To use the ampitheater example, Suikoden III had a stronghold feature where you build a theater and stage plays. Two of those plays were based on events from the first two games. In the case of a game like this, you could easily port over player choices (or settings) from PoE that tell a PoE story that reflects the player's experiences. Stuff like that.


Items:

This was the part that Feargus most liked. Over the course of PoE, I acquired some legendary weapons, armors, and grimoires. However, they sat in boxes and on shelves, meaningless. Have it so that certain items add to your prestige and/or security. Make it so that possessing unique items or books might trigger quest lines (a family wants a heirloom sword you found) and stronghold events (a scholar wants to study that orb you discovered). There can be a museum where you display certain items. The library can highlight certain books that you possess.


Events:

While I envision the island as having 90% of stronghold-related events, you can still surprise with some ship-based ones. Perhaps a treasonous crewman can be made to walk the plank! Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that one of the events be a ghost ship encounter. Would also suggest one of the sidekicks come from it. :-)




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#10
Silent Winter

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Love the ideas in the OP.

Also:

 

Conversely, if they stay with the current method, maybe make results or degree of success based on who you send. Example, Unspeakable Evil v.2 is causing a ruckus. You could send Fighter Bob to face it head on resulting in the Vorpal Fang Sword. Or you could send Fizzbang the Wizard who has a really high Lore skill resulting in Monster in a Bottle.

yeah - originally I thought there was a chance for success or failure depending on who you sent on a quest.  But it turns out not so I just sent whoever seemed to fit the best thematically.  We also were told the rewards before taking the quest.

Getting different rewards based on who was sent would be cool.

 

(I don't think playing the quests ourselves would be in the budget - it's much cheaper to write up a quest/resolution than to code all the interactions, create environments, etc).  Perhaps having a small number of scripted-interaction based quests would be doable.


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#11
injurai

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#12
phimseto

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like what I am reading! only thing I would add would be 1 (base) class specific upgrade. so each class would have a single unique add on with a unique function for the ship.

 

Ahhh! I made that very suggestion in response to someone else wanting class specific strongholds and completely forgot about it! Great call! Added it in!

 

Fardr

agon, on 19 Feb 2017 - 3:51 PM, said:snapback.png

 

On the whole, I wouldn't want to big a thing made of it. The PoE1 stronghold was a pointless distraction from the main plot, with poor quality gameplay that broke immersion.

 

 

 

 

 

I have to disagree strenuously with this. At the game's launch, the stronghold was not what it might have been, but by the time the game had content patched in and both White March expansions were out, there was some great gameplay for the location. Apart from Maerwald, the stronghold may not have had much to do with the Leaden Key narrative, but it was an important part of the main character's story: establishing your character's place in the political world, dealing with the mystery under your very feet, and reasonably allowing your character to mix with nobility and tribes because you have the strength to back it up.  


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#13
rjshae

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They could always just dump the stronghold idea and let us upgrade to better and better ships. Start off with, say, a clinker-built cog and gradually upgrade until you can finally purchase that elite elven windrider. Each model can have upgrades, which will improve the sale price, performance, and combat capabilities.



#14
algroth

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Plenty I love here! I reckon my only two disagreements would be with the multiplayer option (I'd rather there be Co-op or no multiplayer at all), and with the Miniature Giant Space Piglet quest, since I'd rather really leave that pet to being a humorous nod to Boo and nothing more. I'd rather avoid attracting attention to the elements in the game that act as fan service, especially given that we'll already be having a Black Isle and some Bastards to go along with it.

 

That aside, some ace ideas here! One aspect not touched upon is that I'd really like there to be some more variety to the choices as to how to build your stronghold. I reckon there will be, however, given that Josh has mentioned that as a disappointing aspect of the first game a few times.



#15
phimseto

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Plenty I love here! I reckon my only two disagreements would be with the multiplayer option (I'd rather there be Co-op or no multiplayer at all), and with the Miniature Giant Space Piglet quest, since I'd rather really leave that pet to being a humorous nod to Boo and nothing more. I'd rather avoid attracting attention to the elements in the game that act as fan service, especially given that we'll already be having a Black Isle and some Bastards to go along with it.

 

That aside, some ace ideas here! One aspect not touched upon is that I'd really like there to be some more variety to the choices as to how to build your stronghold. I reckon there will be, however, given that Josh has mentioned that as a disappointing aspect of the first game a few times.

 

Yeah, the MP idea I can give or take, but it seemed like a fun way to share in the experience with friends and fellow enthusiasts without having to build in a full MP architecture so I wanted to at least put it in writing. 

 

As for the piglet, I get what you are saying but I disagree. True that it, along with Concelhaut's skull, are both easter eggs, but at the same time they're both interesting in their own right. A sequel is an opportunity to move these things from beyond easter eggs into their own unique place in the lore of the world. I already offered up some suggestions for the skull in the post, but for the piglet...well, I have ideas but I would rather let the Obsidian peeps have fun with those! 

 

And good call on upgrade variants. Will add that in.



#16
Fardragon

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A ship seems like it could have a good selection of cosmetic upgrades: change the sails, change the figurehead, trophies on the walls of the cabin, etc.

On the whole, I wouldn't want to big a thing made of it. The PoE1 stronghold was a pointless distraction from the main plot, with poor quality gameplay that broke immersion.


That's a bit unfair statement. the ruling aspect and defending your claim to it was awesome and very much in line with the tone of the game. loved that aspect of it. I do wish more of what you built you could interact with, so in that respect yes some upgrades were pointless bonuses to resting there...

 

 

I selected the "Wanderer" background. My character didn't want a home and wasn't interested in ruling, There should have been an option to reject the stronghold.

 

As for the tone, what has a story about gods and souls got to do with a crude management sim?!


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#17
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It would be great if there's event that we meet Captain Le Chuck or Davy Jones and their crews. Or Guybrush Threepwod with Elaine they could join us as our agents!



#18
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A ship seems like it could have a good selection of cosmetic upgrades: change the sails, change the figurehead, trophies on the walls of the cabin, etc.

On the whole, I wouldn't want to big a thing made of it. The PoE1 stronghold was a pointless distraction from the main plot, with poor quality gameplay that broke immersion.

That's a bit unfair statement. the ruling aspect and defending your claim to it was awesome and very much in line with the tone of the game. loved that aspect of it. I do wish more of what you built you could interact with, so in that respect yes some upgrades were pointless bonuses to resting there...
I selected the "Wanderer" background. My character didn't want a home and wasn't interested in ruling, There should have been an option to reject the stronghold.

As for the tone, what has a story about gods and souls got to do with a crude management sim?!

The gods wish you to settle down and make da beebees

Edited by Leeuwenhart, 20 February 2017 - 07:51 AM.


#19
Fardragon

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A ship seems like it could have a good selection of cosmetic upgrades: change the sails, change the figurehead, trophies on the walls of the cabin, etc.

On the whole, I wouldn't want to big a thing made of it. The PoE1 stronghold was a pointless distraction from the main plot, with poor quality gameplay that broke immersion.

That's a bit unfair statement. the ruling aspect and defending your claim to it was awesome and very much in line with the tone of the game. loved that aspect of it. I do wish more of what you built you could interact with, so in that respect yes some upgrades were pointless bonuses to resting there...
I selected the "Wanderer" background. My character didn't want a home and wasn't interested in ruling, There should have been an option to reject the stronghold.

As for the tone, what has a story about gods and souls got to do with a crude management sim?!

The gods wish you to settle down and make da beebees

 

 

My character was also a godlike...


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#20
Leeuwenhart

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Try harder XD





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