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Thread: Majesty 3 -- with new game engine

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Majesty 3 -- with new game engine

    With this announcement: "tell the world that the final expansion Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom will release on 7th December", it would seem a Majesty 3 might be possible. Can Majesty 3 be done with new developers and a new engine that is more like the original Majesty than the game that is Majesty 2? (not really a true sequel in gameplay as everyone knows) Keep this thread active and let Paradox know what consumers really want. The gameplay and heroes actions need to follow the original Majesty vs what Majesty 2 did. If you are one of those that never played the original but love Majesty 2, you should try the great game that is the original Majesty. I still play Majesty everyday, Majesty 2 I quit about one month after it was released.

  2. #2
    Well, the developers could/should just scroll the forum. There are so many good (and also not so good) things that players want/wanted to be in Majesty 2.
    I do not see a reason why to start another thread like that.

  3. #3
    Second Lieutenant BroodingMonarch's Avatar
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    I played both and I prefer Majesty 2. Never understood people saying that Majesty is different gameplay wise. The only thing that's different is that in the original Majesty your heroes would clear the map for you of their own accord without your input eventually which I always hated. That and they could rest in gazebos and plant flowers and you could gamble. The only thing the original has over the sequel is the custom game element which I'd really like to see return for Majesty 3.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Yliardin View Post
    Well, the developers could/should just scroll the forum. There are so many good (and also not so good) things that players want/wanted to be in Majesty 2.
    I do not see a reason why to start another thread like that.
    This.

  5. #5
    I played both and I prefer Majesty 2. Never understood people saying that Majesty is different gameplay wise. The only thing that's different is that in the original Majesty your heroes would clear the map for you of their own accord without your input eventually which I always hated.
    I found the fact that heroes would do things on their own to be one of the main charms of Majesty. Sure, it might not have been the deepest strategy game around, but it sure as heck was fun, and relaxing, unlike many other RTSs. Also, there was a larger gap between the personalities of heroes than there is in majesty 2. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed majesty 2, and I would not mind seeing the same developers doing another entry in the series, but I sure hope they return some of the lost personality to the heroes.
    What Majesty 1 was more about was preparing your heroes for battle, making sure that they were equipped for it and making sure that you don't exp starve them or let them fight against too many monsters at once, majesty 2 was more about the battles themselves.

  6. #6
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    It seems a little premature to pine for a Majesty 3 when the latest expansion was only recently released. That said, I wouldn't mind a more hybridized version of the game combining elements of 1 and 2.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BroodingMonarch View Post
    The only thing that's different is that in the original Majesty your heroes would clear the map for you of their own accord without your input eventually which I always hated. That and they could rest in gazebos and plant flowers and you could gamble.
    That was the whole point of the game, that the heros did their own thing and you had to use the reward flags to "nudge" them to try to do what *you* (as the sovereign) wanted.

  8. #8
    I want more Majesty be it similar to majesty 1 or Majesty 2 I don't care, I played both and had great time doing it and hope it will keep going. Still waiting for steam to release Battle of Ardania

  9. #9
    Is there a need?

    The AI in Maj2 is functional enough, if not especially clever in giving the classes unique personality. Short of bringing in the original creative team, it does not seem likely that a new game would get any closer in that department.

    Visual polish? Perhaps it may be worth overhauling the game in order to publish on other platforms (consoles). However, cranking up the visuals for the small population of hardcore gamers who have the latest PC hardware would not jibe with what is known about the Majesty franchise's core audience: we're not hardcore and don't choose games based on cutting-edge graphics techniques. Case in point: the original poster, still enjoying the original low-resolution 2D Majesty game.

    Having a bit of experience at hacking games, I also don't buy that the current Maj2 engine is so terribly limited in potential. The main way that Maj2 fell short of the original game was in humour and creativity, and that is exactly what the expansions and DLC have been concentrating on. Personally I would much rather see continued development of this sort, making Maj2 a better game, than spending development time reinventing the core mechanics yet again.

  10. #10
    Just give me random maps like in Majesty 1 and I'll be happy.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mantic View Post
    Is there a need?

    The AI in Maj2 is functional enough, if not especially clever in giving the classes unique personality. Short of bringing in the original creative team, it does not seem likely that a new game would get any closer in that department.
    Wrong. The AI in Majesty 2 is not functional enough because it is limited to several commands that have a cycle that they follow. Walk around-go explore-go home. Walk around-bump into enemy-go buy new potion x-go home.

    The priorities are tied by the engine to exact variables, instead of making those customizable. For example, "beast" attracts heroes strongly, while "hero" hardly ever triggers hostility. This is clearly seen from heroes of the opposite fractions walking near each other like people in the city park. The only way to cause them attack each other is to attack their lair (causes hostility) or walk directly into them (also causes hostility). While "beast" for example, attracts heroes practically from another map end.

    Now, when we talk about enemy AI, there is no AI at all. there are linear commands that are executed by the program. Go-there. Attack-that-target. Wander. You may see how heroes run towards an attack flag, and ignore everything on their path, even monsters who run at your base (who by the way, have the same invisible attack flag, simply triggered by the attack command). It is so funny to watch lines of monsters and heroes passing through each other, sometimes bumping directly into each other, and keeping to roll on their own business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantic View Post
    Visual polish? Perhaps it may be worth overhauling the game in order to publish on other platforms (consoles). However, cranking up the visuals for the small population of hardcore gamers who have the latest PC hardware would not jibe with what is known about the Majesty franchise's core audience: we're not hardcore and don't choose games based on cutting-edge graphics techniques. Case in point: the original poster, still enjoying the original low-resolution 2D Majesty game.
    Visual polish is not needed. This game has wonderful graphics, and a good rendering engine. Sunshine, landscapes - look great, even at the lowest resolution and minimized graphics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantic View Post
    Having a bit of experience at hacking games, I also don't buy that the current Maj2 engine is so terribly limited in potential. The main way that Maj2 fell short of the original game was in humour and creativity, and that is exactly what the expansions and DLC have been concentrating on. Personally I would much rather see continued development of this sort, making Maj2 a better game, than spending development time reinventing the core mechanics yet again.
    If you would really have experience at "hacking" games, you would notice that current Majesty engine is terribly flawed by a very low limit of entities on the map simultaneously. Each built building is about 7-15 entities. Each hero is 1 entity. Each map object is 1 entity. When you have about 1000 entities at the map (which is not much, that's about 70 buildings, some 60 heroes and misc. stuff on the map) your game will start to crash, your game saves that you make are 100% corrupted and unloadable, hanging on start, and your computer lags as if you were playing Crysis and much more.

    Now if you would dig a bit deeper into the matter, and make a little research, you would see that the game has numerous incompatibilities with modern systems, which affect the gameplay to the extent when the game is totally unloadable on some machines. The DLC also were not polished well, because the ingame store somehow lost data for them, and some people would have all DLC lost on next game load, even if they would buy it.

  12. #12
    The word is 'factions.'

    So there are bugs in Maj2. The devs do have the original source, and probably it is OO, so the AI routines are most likely compartmentalized. If changes have not been made as part of patches to date that suggests the developers are either uninterested in or incapable of writing better routines -- how is starting over from scratch any easier?

    Entity limits are apparently NOT hard-coded (hardly any modern software uses true hard limits), else you would not be seeing errors from pushing the limits of your system. Other games may use various optimizations to be more robust in that department (not the least being LOD methods to keep the polygon soup from compromising mid-range systems), but massive system-busting hordes of critters doesn't seem to have been a priority with the Maj2 game design. Nor am I convinced it should be.

    I've not experienced any unexpected problems with downloaded content through GamersGate. It does annoy me that I need to be connected to the 'net to use what I paid for, and that has caused problems. However, that is a design flaw that transcends this particular game.
    Last edited by Mantic; 18-11-2010 at 23:32.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mantic View Post
    The word is 'factions.'

    So there are bugs in Maj2. The devs do have the original source, and probably it is OO, so the AI routines are most likely compartmentalized. If changes have not been made as part of patches to date that suggests the developers are either uninterested in or incapable of writing better routines -- how is starting over from scratch any easier?

    Entity limits are apparently NOT hard-coded (hardly any modern software uses true hard limits), else you would not be seeing errors from pushing the limits of your system. Other games may use various optimizations to be more robust in that department (not the least being LOD methods to keep the polygon soup from compromising mid-range systems), but massive system-busting hordes of critters doesn't seem to have been a priority with the Maj2 game design. Nor am I convinced it should be.

    I've not experienced any unexpected problems with downloaded content through GamersGate. It does annoy me that I need to be connected to the 'net to use what I paid for, and that has caused problems. However, that is a design flaw that transcends this particular game.


    Wow! What a pathetic attempt from a script-kiddie or worse to pass for a coder. Know the old saying? "Better look like an idiot and say nothing than to speak and prove it"? 'cuz my friend, that last post, you just proved it with gold stars.

  14. #14
    ...It's nice up here! Alfryd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroodingMonarch View Post
    I played both and I prefer Majesty 2. Never understood people saying that Majesty is different gameplay wise. The only thing that's different is that in the original Majesty your heroes would clear the map for you of their own accord without your input eventually which I always hated.
    Why, exactly? I mean, yes, they usually *could* clear the map for you eventually without intervention (beyond topping up with fresh recruits every now and then,) but it tends to be a highly inefficient way to go about things. I mean, how many game-days do you have to sit around in order for that to happen? Can you think of no more edifying use for your time?
    That and they could rest in gazebos and plant flowers and you could gamble. The only thing the original has over the sequel is the custom game element which I'd really like to see return for Majesty 3.
    The whole element of doing things that had no practical purpose from your perspective was essential to the 'Sim' atmosphere. Characters who do things solely at your bidding don't really give the impression of being independent characters, just slavish minions- and highly inefficient slavish minions at that, since you can't order them around directly and they have the same instinct for self-preservation as a manic-depressive lemming.
    Quote Originally Posted by DorthLous View Post
    Wow! What a pathetic attempt from a script-kiddie or worse to pass for a coder. Know the old saying? "Better look like an idiot and say nothing than to speak and prove it"? 'cuz my friend, that last post, you just proved it with gold stars.
    I think the AI in Maj2 was actually deliberately, shall we say... scaled back?... in certain respects, precisely in order to give the player "more to do". I would guess it's not that the devs weren't capable of better AI, the problem was that their initial gameplay assumptions demanded the AI be actively hobbled. Until those basic assumptions are corrected, the problem is basically insoluble. Even worse, correcting those assumptions (to appeal to Sim-inclined players) may well involve alienating users who found Maj2's 'alterations' more appealing. I honestly think that would still be a worthwhile tradeoff in the long run, but I'm skeptical as to whether Paradox would be willing and able to do so.

    Anyways, I have nothing much to say on the subject that hasn't been repeated a million times. Part of me actually wants Majesty to just lie dormant for another ten years so that some other company can dust it off and do it justice, rather than seeing it continue further along it's current werewolves-in-top-hats trajectory. But maybe I'm just mean-spirited.

  15. #15
    ...It's nice up here! Alfryd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirGrotius View Post
    It seems a little premature to pine for a Majesty 3 when the latest expansion was only recently released. That said, I wouldn't mind a more hybridized version of the game combining elements of 1 and 2.
    I mean, don't get me wrong- there are aspects of Maj2 that I *would* like to see kept in future- e.g, hero parties, carrying heroes from mission to mission, 'upgrading' heroes to different classes, etc.- but they need to be implemented quite differently in order to work within a Sim context.

    I don't hold up Maj1 as a perfect game by any stretch. It had shoddy balancing in MP in both military and economic terms, and the AI was still pretty wonky in places as far as common sense was concerned. And there's any number of other features I'd love to see installed- stealth/infiltration, diplomacy and inter-kingdom trade, craft skills and a detailed economy, etc. But the thing that gave majesty most of it's charm was a sense of unique personality and spontaneity/free will in it's characters. That has to be preserved.

  16. #16
    Second Lieutenant BroodingMonarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfryd View Post
    Why, exactly? I mean, yes, they usually *could* clear the map for you eventually without intervention (beyond topping up with fresh recruits every now and then,) but it tends to be a highly inefficient way to go about things. I mean, how many game-days do you have to sit around in order for that to happen? Can you think of no more edifying use for your time?
    The thing is when Majesty was released the whole appeal was this new indirect control of your heroes through setting bounties. However there are many maps that you never, ever actually need to offer money for your heroes to do anything. Only the largest of maps require flags of any sort. To me that's just bad design. The very thing the game is meant to be about just doesn't work well. It works in Majesty 2 and God do I pray for a defense flag whenever I go back to Majesty. Yeah it's true that setting flags speeds things up considerably but if I'm trying to get the game over and done with I'm probably not enjoying myself very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfryd View Post
    The whole element of doing things that had no practical purpose from your perspective was essential to the 'Sim' atmosphere. Characters who do things solely at your bidding don't really give the impression of being independent characters, just slavish minions- and highly inefficient slavish minions at that, since you can't order them around directly and they have the same instinct for self-preservation as a manic-depressive lemming.
    It's true, I do like the "sim" aspect of Majesty but it was never that deep. I mean it wasn't Theme Park in a fantasy world (which I think would be awesome). I would like to see the sim element increased but I totally dispute the claim that it makes Majesty better than Majesty 2 because like I said, it was never that deep to begin with. On a similar note, the heroes in Majesty almost never run away. They would almost always fight to their inevitable death. The heroes in Majesty 2 do run away when it's sensible to but usually end up dead anyway if they're facing a ranged opponent. Ultimately the ideal Majesty 3 for me would be a combination of the best elements of both games and a massive expansion on the sim element.
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  17. #17
    Sure sure, Dorth. I never claimed to be a "coder," but I do take "script-kiddie" as an unwarranted slight. It's true that all I've ever done was play with other people's toys and a lot of things are over my head, but if you're a C++ coder you're not all that far removed from a "script" language. My primary exposure to object oriented methods has been Unrealscript, so yeah, that's me... a "script-kiddie." Doesn't mean I don't have a fair understanding of the methods employed in a typical 3D game engine.

    Besides that, there's no argument with anything I said in your post. I'm not claiming to know everything, but what claim did I make that is so naive?
    Last edited by Mantic; 21-11-2010 at 09:04.

  18. #18
    ...It's nice up here! Alfryd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroodingMonarch View Post
    The thing is when Majesty was released the whole appeal was this new indirect control of your heroes through setting bounties. However there are many maps that you never, ever actually need to offer money for your heroes to do anything. Only the largest of maps require flags of any sort. To me that's just bad design. The very thing the game is meant to be about just doesn't work well. It works in Majesty 2 and God do I pray for a defense flag whenever I go back to Majesty. Yeah it's true that setting flags speeds things up considerably but if I'm trying to get the game over and done with I'm probably not enjoying myself very much.
    Well, from my perspective, the first and foremost purpose of Majesty was to be a Sim, and from that perspective heroes going out and destroying nearby lairs, on their own initiative, makes perfect sense. I mean, sooner or later any hero who isn't completely heartless/gutless/preoccupied will get the itch to do something about those monsters ravaging the townsfolk. I don't see any way to get rid of that behaviour without either (A) undermining verisimilitude or (B) creating monsters that essentially never threaten you.

    But I mean, I would be essentially happy playing Majesty if there were no permanent 'win' conditions at all, but most players sort of look blank if they're not given a clear indication of 'what they're supposed to do', hence the quest structure. I just saw the bounty system as a method of player-hero communication that was 'organic' in the context of the simulation.

    I mean, if I'm looking for a challenge on a given map, I'll either try to beat it within a certain of days, and/or- preferably- without casualties. That's very difficult to do without personal intervention.
    It's true, I do like the "sim" aspect of Majesty but it was never that deep. I mean it wasn't Theme Park in a fantasy world (which I think would be awesome). I would like to see the sim element increased but I totally dispute the claim that it makes Majesty better than Majesty 2 because like I said, it was never that deep to begin with.
    It wasn't particularly 'deep', but it pervaded the design in ways which were often subtle and quite thorough. It affected the AI, not just in terms of what the heroes did, but what they didn't do- (e.g, paladins wouldn't poison their weapons, monks did not buy potions, healers did not visit brothels.) Different hero classes had substantially different decision trees, and EVERY class did something on their own initiative other than shop and snooze, even if it was just visiting the local inn or stretching their legs. Many, as you observed, hunted monsters spontaneously, and/or were only weakly responsive to monetary rewards. In Maj2, essentially all of this has been erased.

    (That said, I would not object to an AI that gave the heroes' 'hobbies' a lower priority- so that, e.g, monks did not visit inns when minotaurs were razing the marketplace.)

    I understand that when hero behaviour has been standardised, 'balancing' the classes becomes easier, but given that balancing requires many iterations of tweaking and observation during development regardless, why not try to 'balance' the factions in terms other than hit points and DPS? Wizards wouldn't need hit points if they were intelligent enough to not get hit. Cultists wouldn't need to be formidable in combat if their real strength was reconnaissance and infiltration. Paladins wouldn't need to be nerfed if moral scruples limited their tactical usefulness.

    Besides- heretical as this may sound- from a sim perspective, unique personalities are simply more important than being perfectly balanced. Undercutting personality for the sake of balance is not a worthwhile tradeoff in that context.

    I'm not saying that you didn't care about/enjoy the Sim elements of Maj1. But I also think you cared about the RTS elements more. Majesty could be the basis for a solid RTS, but that requires a very different set of changes.
    On a similar note, the heroes in Majesty almost never run away. They would almost always fight to their inevitable death. The heroes in Majesty 2 do run away when it's sensible to but usually end up dead anyway if they're facing a ranged opponent.
    Heroes in Maj1 would usually die when they decided to fight a superior adversary, but that initial decision was much rarer than in Maj2. In Maj2, all it takes is a 100 gold reward to have a level 1 wizard solo a werewolf, which from a sim perspective is nothing short of appallingly bad. When Maj2's heroes realise the fight is hopeless, they don't retreat- instead, they yell for help, presumably from you, and only flee on the very verge of death. Maj1's AI left a good deal to be desired, but it's a lot less broken than Maj2's.

    The problem with trying to take the 'best' elements of Maj1 and Maj2 is that you have to ask, "best for what purpose? Sim-fans or RTS-fans?" Because what's good for one group will in many cases conflict with what's good for the other group. You cannot serve two masters.

  19. #19
    (That said, I would not object to an AI that gave the heroes' 'hobbies' a lower priority- so that, e.g, monks did not visit inns when minotaurs were razing the marketplace.)
    I don't think that their hobbies needs to be lessened, so much as that it needs to be properly balanced. Some heroes were plain better than others, simply because of how they acted, without this being reflected in their cost. Warriors of discord vs paladins was not really a hard choice, even thought their difference in price was low. Paladins were probably the best heroes in the game, while discordians (hail eris!) were rather lackluster, even with the changes that came about in the expansion. And if a hero simply ignores threats because of their hobbies, then the hobby itself should be changed, or at least tweeked. The monks, as you mentioned, were particularly problematic, but there were some other annoyances, like Helians that would simply go to guardhouses instead of doing their job. But it was their hobbies that gave those heroes character. Watching the rogue visit the brothel ever so often was simply in character for him, and it made him more interesting. The lack of hobbies for heroes was what made majesty 2 less interesting than majesty 1 (with that being said, I still own all expansions for Majesty 2, and I don't regret buying them).

  20. #20
    ...It's nice up here! Alfryd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFnord View Post
    I don't think that their hobbies needs to be lessened, so much as that it needs to be properly balanced.
    Oh, I agree. I absolutely want to see those hobbies present. But, y'know- they should do them in their spare time, with spare time being defined as 'when minotaurs are not razing the marketplace', or similar such emergencies- at least if you're dealing with classes that are genuinely supposed to be noble and selfless, such as, e.g, monks.
    Some heroes were plain better than others, simply because of how they acted, without this being reflected in their cost. Warriors of discord vs paladins was not really a hard choice, even thought their difference in price was low. Paladins were probably the best heroes in the game, while discordians (hail eris!) were rather lackluster, even with the changes that came about in the expansion. And if a hero simply ignores threats because of their hobbies, then the hobby itself should be changed, or at least tweeked. The monks, as you mentioned, were particularly problematic, but there were some other annoyances, like Helians that would simply go to guardhouses instead of doing their job. But it was their hobbies that gave those heroes character. Watching the rogue visit the brothel ever so often was simply in character for him, and it made him more interesting. The lack of hobbies for heroes was what made majesty 2 less interesting than majesty 1 (with that being said, I still own all expansions for Majesty 2, and I don't regret buying them).
    Yeah, the WoDs never really stood up that well in MP- partly because of how they behaved, and partly because dodge/parry mechanics were broken. Krolm beat everything, Dauros/Agrela beat Fervus/Krypta, Solarii beat Adepts and everything else once you could afford them, Elves beat Dwarves and Gnomes but Gnomes were good for rapid construction before you evicted them, etc. etc. The game's classes were often horribly unbalanced. Monks vs. Cultists? In any straight fight, a joke, and unfortunately the game's AI tended to force 'straight fights'.

    Again, I fully agree that rogues visiting brothels was 100% in-character for them, and I can even imagine them ignoring marketplace-razing-minotaurs when doing so. But that's specifically because they're selfish bastards.

    If anything, I'd like to see the list of 'hobbies' expanded on (such as healers tending the sick, or monks praying, or solarii forging weapons, etc.) I just want them to exhibit some common sense about using them- e.g, healers should NOT be idly planting flowers when several warriors are being thrashed by trolls a stone's throw away.
    Last edited by Alfryd; 22-11-2010 at 14:12.

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