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Thread: Magna Mundi Developer Diary #31 -The Knights of St. John

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    Magna Mundi Developer Diary #31 -The Knights of St. John

    The Knights of St John were a Christian military order that’s founding dates to the crusades. The Knights were evicted from their base at Acre in 1291, establishing a presence in Cypress. By the year 1310, the Knights had conquered the island of Rhodes, taking it from the Byzantine Empire to use as their new stronghold. The Knights began to conduct daring raids against Muslim naval interests, establishing themselves as a naval power in the Mediterranean, and earning a reputation as a terror of the Muslim world.







    The Knights of St John were in many ways a centralized Christian equivalent of the dreaded Pirates of the Barbary Coast. They conducted raids and operations against the full breath of Muslim naval activity, a Muslim shipping to battling their hated enemies the Barbary Pirates.



    THE GRAND PRIORIES OF ST JOHN

    The Military Hospitaller Order of St John received much of their funding and manpower from the Priories of St John. These priories served as the local administrative units for the broader order that operated throughout Europe. Many prestigious noble families were associated with the Knights, providing material support in the form of tithes, donations, and sons to join the order.

    In Magna Mundi, the Priories are represented by the ability of Christian countries to build Grand Priories of St John in their provinces. The number of Priories in existence determines the strength of the order in Europe, and this affects their ability to prosecute war against the enemies of Christendom.




    A country that chooses to host a Grand Priory in their borders will have access to special benefits, and their continued support will help the Knights war against the Ottomans, Mamluks and the dreaded Barbary Pirates.

    Only one new Grand Priory can be founded every five years. If a country’s relations with the Knights sour, there is no limit to how many Grand Priories they can destroy at once. A skilled Grand Master will try to keep positive relations with all the countries of Christendom to strengthen the Knights.



    KNIGHTS OF ST JOHN - ADVISORS

    One of the greatest benefits the Grand Priories provide is access to special Knight of St John Advisors. These advisors represent members of the order serving at court as loyal subjects to the princes of Europe. These advisors can only spawn in provinces that have Grand Priories or at the Fortress of the Knights. Countries that do not have Grand Priories may occasionally hire a Knight Advisor from the general pool, but the Grand Master of the order has a habit of recalling them within a few years if no priory has been established in the country.





    CAMPAIGNS AGAINST THE PIRATES

    The Knights conducted operations against the ports and safe havens of the Pirates of the Barbary Coast. These campaigns were intended to suppress pirate operations in the area, and as a means of retaliation on behalf of Christendom. In exchange for safe harbor, they enlisted the help of Christian Pirates, leading them into attacks and raids against the Barbary Coast. They cut off supply lines to the pirates and suppressed their activity along sections of the coast.
    The Knights have a series of decisions available that represent these campaigns against the pirates of the Barbary Coast. When activated, the decision will result in a campaign against the targeted country, as well as support for Christian Privateers in the Mediterranean. It will temporarily remove their ability to support the Barbary Pirates, and adversely affect the economy of the target country. The target country may choose to respond by building defences, or even to go to war against the Knights. The Knights will also enjoy higher blockade efficiency and can take benefit from Christian privateers during each campaign.



    THE TONGUES - Manning the Walls and Ships

    The Knights maintained a central fortress from which they planned and executed their operations against their enemies. These are impressive fortifications, with each section of fortification assigned to a grouping of Knights know as a Tongue. Each Tongue was responsible for one section of the walls, their upkeep and maintenance, as well as a division of duties. Tongue’s were organizational and political groupings based on region, culture, and language. Historically, there were normally between 6 to 8 tongues, but at times some of these were devoid of any meaningful membership (such as the English Tongue after King Henry the VIII closed the English Grand Priory of St John.
    The power of the Knights is linked to the manning and upkeep of their central fortress. A powerful order may be able to expand beyond seven tongues and establish an eighth, ninth, and maybe even tenth tongue. But if the order begins to decay, tongues may need to be re-organized and consolidated.


    == MAGNA MUNDI ==

    PAY GOLD,
    SHED BLOOD,
    INSTILL FEAR,
    PROMISE HOPE


    HISTORY IS YOURS!

  2. #2
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    yay! An Ubik Christmas present!

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    Just asking but isnt comparing the Knights with the Barbary coast pirates a little unreseanable? I mean the barbary coast pirates had huge fleet, thousands of slaves for their galleys and direct state support from Ottomans.
    I don't know that much about the Knights as I know about the Barbary coast pirates but I haven't ever heard of big fleets maneuvering through muslim lands. They did some well placed raids in small numbers and survived mainly because of European Christian aid and their heavily fortified strongholds.
    Also the Knights were not only hated by Muslims, but also by the Italian city states which considered them as rivals. Due to lacking support they even attacked non Muslim ships to secure their income.
    So making them as powerful as the barbary pirates seems a little ahistoric to me. They should definately be NOT stronger than them.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Korsan82 View Post
    Just asking but isnt comparing the Knights with the Barbary coast pirates a little unreseanable? I mean the barbary coast pirates had huge fleet, thousands of slaves for their galleys and direct state support from Ottomans.
    I don't know that much about the Knights as I know about the Barbary coast pirates but I haven't ever heard of big fleets maneuvering through muslim lands. They did some well placed raids in small numbers and survived mainly because of European Christian aid and their heavily fortified strongholds.
    Also the Knights were not only hated by Muslims, but also by the Italian city states which considered them as rivals. Due to lacking support they even attacked non Muslim ships to secure their income.
    So making them as powerful as the barbary pirates seems a little ahistoric to me. They should definately be NOT stronger than them.
    I would agree that the knights were not on an equal footing with the Barbary coast pirates in terms of raw size and power. They are not an exact parallel, the Knights being a centralized military order, and the pirates being more of an enterprise then a structured organization, but they were fierce opponents of each other.

    The Knights maintained a small fleet, but it was considered elite. They were well trained, well equipped, had a very high level of moral, and had a fierce reputation for much of the time-line. Beyond the actions of the Knights small elite navy, the Knights actively encouraged, and supported piracy against “infidel” shipping, issuing letters of marque. Both Malta and Rhodes were a haven for christian piracy in the Mediterranean, theoretically aimed at Muslims, but of course having spill over against Christians as well, especially due to the policy of 'vista', which enabled the Knights to stop and confiscate the cargo of any ship suspected of carrying Turkish goods.

    You are correct that they didn't generally maneuver huge fleets through Muslim waters, as they had a fairly small fleet. However, they were known to boldly give chase to much larger groups of ships, often successfully due the quality of their ships and crews.

    Check out Barbarossa's wikipedia entry and you will notice that the Knights are commonly mentioned throughout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayreddin_Barbarossa

    As to the mechanics in the game, I am not sure how much has changed from the mod, but I can speak to the original design.

    The Knights were designed to:
    • support more military capability then a single low quality province could provide through the use of the tongue system
    • have a slow degradation in direct fiscal support from the tongues over the course of the time period
    • Perform targeted campaigns against Muslim countries that briefly suppresses piracy and causes economic damage
    • Provoke Mediterranean Muslim countries into declaring war on them. This normally results in them losing Rhodes in a semi-historical context
    • Ability to pop back up in logical spots if they have sufficient support, Malta being the most likely province, but others also being possible
    • Provide advisers for other nations. The Knights were actively recruited to serve in European navies, such as France, Russia, Spain, ect.

    In the mod they were not as powerful as the Barbary pirates in economic impact terms, as their campaigns are aimed at specific regions, are periodic, and can be countered by destroying the Knights stronghold.

    And now back to lurking...

  5. #5
    To be honest, I`m somewhat underwhelmed by this DD (and by DD about Barbary pirates as well). All I see here is a copy/paste from Magna Mundi the Mod manual. Even modifiers are the same. Where are all new shiny mechanics - Merchant Marine etc? How are Knights and Berbers linked to a "new" naval system or faction system? Is there any special interface for Knights?

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    Of course several features were taken over to MMtG as well. However, while in MMtM we were bound by the limited possibilities of a mod (you can't change the core engine), now we have total liberty which means that every already known feature will be more detailed and more fun.
    Barbary piracy is a great example of this. ALthough those who played a lot with MMtM will say at first: "Oh, I know this one, nothing special, nothing new". Then they will realize... True, you'll have an indicator of the piracy level and you won't see pirate fleets blocking your provinces and easily destroyed by your military fleet. So it will be in general similar to MMtM's system. But more expanded and detailed, I can assure you about that

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    Can you play as the Knights and capture provinces? Tunis sounds nice this time of year...
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    Big supporter of magna mundi so far.

    Have to agree though, kind of underwhelming.

    "So it will be in general similar to MMtM's system. But more expanded and detailed, I can assure you about that"

    I was kind of hoping the DD would actually cover what is different. Not just rehash the mods description. I thought this system worked excellently in the mod but a lack of change here makes me worry about a lack of change in general from the mod.

    This forum is also starting to feel somewhat dead to me. I want Magna mundi to suceed long term and there seems to be less and less to keep us interested. Like the website which was announced way earlier than it actually had content.

    I also thought it was a big mistake to stop supporting the mods development. I realize it might not be easily practicable to work on both, but the mod is going to be one of the game's bigger sources of customers.

    As it stands the mod is quite dated now, nevermind the fact that many players can't play it because steam won't let them get rid of divine wind. If players lose interest in the mod they will be less likely to think about and follow the games development. Buzz is important to sales and the mod is the original and reliable source of buzz.

    Hopefully the game will be so excellent it generates huge buzz everywhere but I think it is risky to count on that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BootOnFace View Post
    Can you play as the Knights and capture provinces?
    Sure. They are one the represented countries and you can play as any country.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Gogog View Post
    ... I was kind of hoping the DD would actually cover what is different. Not just rehash the mods description. I thought this system worked excellently in the mod but a lack of change here makes me worry about a lack of change in general from the mod...
    Not everyone that is following the development has played the Mod, and so laying out the basics is important to address all of our base, not just to cater to one segment. If you are truly worried about a "lack of change in general from the mod" then quite honestly, you have not read or digested what you have read in the many Developer Diaries.

    As far as "covering what is different" - that is something still being tweaked. Helius has done a revamp on the Tongues, but the mechanics remain the same, so it may not seem like change on the surface, but during actual game-play the Knight's player will experience a difference. Just as the Burgundy Succession Crises was an improvement not foreseen, many of the things done here is things that Helius and the others are going beyond what was originally intended.

    With all "ported" mechanics from the mod to the game, there will be differences experienced just by the sheer interaction among the new systems. An example here is how the Knight's wage war. Economic War Aims are now viable; specific focused War Aims are possible, such as reducing Ottoman support to a specific nation like Tunis; never before experienced dynamics will give the Knight's player a chance to wage a totally different type of campaign then they ever experienced in the mod.

    RE: the web-site - You can lay the blame at my feet for any faults there. I continue to work on it, but its priority is lower then testing, bug-hunting, balancing, the Tutorial and the Manual.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by avee View Post
    To be honest, I`m somewhat underwhelmed by this DD (and by DD about Barbary pirates as well). All I see here is a copy/paste from Magna Mundi the Mod manual. Even modifiers are the same. Where are all new shiny mechanics - Merchant Marine etc? How are Knights and Berbers linked to a "new" naval system or faction system? Is there any special interface for Knights?
    Of course they do take advantage of the new features of the game and interact with them: factions, merchant marine, new piracy system, etc. For instance, when a raid is executed on you the merchant marine level will go down. Also, I can tell you the modifiers are in fact different than in the mod. This being said, the superb work of Sharp Alignment is being kept for a big part and he takes credit for the entire design.
    == MAGNA MUNDI ==

    PAY GOLD,
    SHED BLOOD,
    INSTILL FEAR,
    PROMISE HOPE


    HISTORY IS YOURS!

  12. #12
    Was the idea of the Priories being built by the knights in other countries dropped?

    I remember Helius saying something about it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gogog View Post
    I was kind of hoping the DD would actually cover what is different. Not just rehash the mods description. I thought this system worked excellently in the mod but a lack of change here makes me worry about a lack of change in general from the mod.
    As said before, it interacts with all the new systems of the game. For them, you need to look over the previous Dev Diaries.

    This forum is also starting to feel somewhat dead to me. I want Magna mundi to suceed long term and there seems to be less and less to keep us interested. Like the website which was announced way earlier than it actually had content.
    The DD number of views are as strong as always over each two week cycle. Facebook is registering an increase of users and "likes" and webpage visits (I checked them now) got by far its biggest for any month since release in December. On the other hand, its obvious that the nicer and more creative content was announced before but that's because we are finishing the game now. Anyway, there's still going to be a MAJOR (and this one really BIG, probably bigger than any dev diary so far) feature announced.

    I also thought it was a big mistake to stop supporting the mods development. I realize it might not be easily practicable to work on both, but the mod is going to be one of the game's bigger sources of customers.
    We didn't have the resources unless we sacrificed significant new content for the game... wich would lead to more criticisms about "rehashing the old content of the mod". I think by now everybody who played the mod knows there is a Magna Mundi game being finished. What would be interesting was to cater to new ppl who never had contact with the game.

    As it stands the mod is quite dated now, nevermind the fact that many players can't play it because steam won't let them get rid of divine wind. If players lose interest in the mod they will be less likely to think about and follow the games development. Buzz is important to sales and the mod is the original and reliable source of buzz.
    Good news is the mod is not dead at any rate. Even yesterday a new mod was announced for it! Anyway, ppl who come to the forum are well aware of the game. At least that is my reasoning. Buzz is important of course, and its the poor man's marketing tool. That's all we have and hope to generate at any rate. We believe the game is good enough to build a strong following over a long period of time... as buzz alone cannot hope to be reflected on immediate sales. Anyway, Magna Mundi has been a learning tool for us, too. Two years later, we are now a bit less ignorant on the fine art of making games!
    == MAGNA MUNDI ==

    PAY GOLD,
    SHED BLOOD,
    INSTILL FEAR,
    PROMISE HOPE


    HISTORY IS YOURS!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zmantle View Post
    Was the idea of the Priories being built by the knights in other countries dropped?

    I remember Helius saying something about it.
    Here is a good example of things being placed in the context of the new systems of the game: Whereas Sharp Alignment system of modifiers to abstract priories was in place for the mod, now we take advantage of Foreign Buildings to do the same.
    == MAGNA MUNDI ==

    PAY GOLD,
    SHED BLOOD,
    INSTILL FEAR,
    PROMISE HOPE


    HISTORY IS YOURS!

  15. #15
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    Will the Jerusalem mission still be in or is it gone? It was the most important goal for me in every Knights game in MM the mod.

  16. #16
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    re: number of visitors

    It's the holiday season, there has been a HUGE dropoff on every forum.
    I for one have never actually played the Magna Mundi mod, but am extremely excited to buy and play the full game though. I, like I suspect many others, just don't have a ton of interest in spending much time speculating on things or asking for features. I trust ubik and the MM crew 110%, and am willing to give them the complete benefit of the doubt as I expect their actual product to be a perfectly balanced set of systems and an enjoyable game.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caban View Post
    re: number of visitors

    It's the holiday season, there has been a HUGE dropoff on every forum.
    I for one have never actually played the Magna Mundi mod, but am extremely excited to buy and play the full game though. I, like I suspect many others, just don't have a ton of interest in spending much time speculating on things or asking for features. I trust ubik and the MM crew 110%, and am willing to give them the complete benefit of the doubt as I expect their actual product to be a perfectly balanced set of systems and an enjoyable game.
    Thanks...

    ... anyone wrote the word "perfect" in any form, though? I would not bet on it.
    == MAGNA MUNDI ==

    PAY GOLD,
    SHED BLOOD,
    INSTILL FEAR,
    PROMISE HOPE


    HISTORY IS YOURS!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hegix View Post
    Will the Jerusalem mission still be in or is it gone? It was the most important goal for me in every Knights game in MM the mod.
    Factions may demand that or you can set that as a War Aim.
    == MAGNA MUNDI ==

    PAY GOLD,
    SHED BLOOD,
    INSTILL FEAR,
    PROMISE HOPE


    HISTORY IS YOURS!

  19. #19
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    What a nice christmas present :P
    But what will happen if the Knights get annexed? Will "pious" christian nations be able to grant them a new land within their realm?

  20. #20
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    Not entirely related but: will Jesuits make an apperance. Also: are the Knights linked to Catholicism or Christianity e.g. what happens if a country with priories changes religion to Protestant?
    Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come to those whom thou allied. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of France, master of the fates of Europe. Therefore with my explorers thou shalt see, and with my spies thou shalt hear; and never shall thou be released from vassalage until all is fulfilled unto its bitter end.

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