Imperator Dev Diary - 23/10/19

Imperator Dev Diary - 23/10/19

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Arheo

Game Director, Imperator: Rome
Feb 13, 2018
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Well, we're back after a hectic week of PDXCon and office relocation. Those that were able to attend PDXCon were able to play the Livy update in its current state, and there are a number of interviews and articles emerging that contain snippets of information on the various upcoming mechanics that will be appearing soon.

However, fear not! Dev Diaries shall continue, and I'll make sure you all get a detailed view of what is coming in the Livy update, as well as The Punic Wars; the free Content Pack accompanying Livy.

Today, we'll take a look at Statesmanship, and a few of the UX improvements associated with it.

The concept of statesmanship was borne out of a desire to add both a level of character progression to the political scene, and to add a new aspect to decision-making when appointing Officers.

Statesmanship itself represents the bureaucratic skills of a character, intentionally avoiding conflation with military prowess, as we felt this mechanic did not translate well to the military aspect of the game.

upload_2019-10-23_9-17-53.png


As you can see here, Statesmanship dictates how much of a character's relevant attribute they are able to apply to their current role, scaling the effect of an office accordingly. We'll be taking a look at scaling the effects of offices to account for the slightly average top-end threshold for characters, and to ensure that highly skilled individuals have their abilities properly represented.

upload_2019-10-23_9-20-2.png


Statesmanship grows at a different rate depending on which job a character currently holds, with 'lesser' jobs such as governorships and technology offices acting as lower-level training positions. The effect of tech officers will not be scaled by statesmanship for balance reasons, and characters holding one of these offices will plateau at roughly 25% statesmanship, over a period of time.

Higher offices will yield a higher statesmanship plateau, however, characters with certain traits may find themselves able to naturally attain higher statesmanship levels, as well as those of higher social status (more on this in a future diary!) being more likely to make capable officers.

The reason we wanted to make this change was to do away with the highly simplistic choice of officers; prior to 1.3, there was little reason not to fire someone and replace them with a higher stat character.

Lastly, characters holding high office (one of the eight primary offices) yet who have low statesmanship, may result in certain undesirable events being fired, and consequently, those characters who attain a particularly high level of statesmanship may be responsible for firing positive events. This leads me on to the next feature we're implementing in Livy - the Minor Event Queue.

upload_2019-10-23_9-28-39.png


The minor event queue, shown above in the bottom right corner of the picture, is a first step towards delineating between content that we want to interrupt the player with, and content that we consider optional or of low importance.

Events spawned by characters, either due to statesmanship level or otherwise, all fall into the category of minor importance. We wanted to show these to the player, but we found that interrupting the experience with a popup demanding a choice, was often quite invasive to the gameplay experience. Instead, events categorized as 'minor', will be added to the event queue instead.

Here, they will time down to 0 days, before dismissing themselves by selecting the first, default option. If you choose to interact with them during this time, you will receive a popup event as you might expect, albeit with a slightly different visual style:

upload_2019-10-23_9-33-15.png


We fully intend to iterate on this concept in future, perhaps allowing for additional functionality, and converting events that people find repetitive or unimportant to the minor category. The most important aspect of this change in my own opinion, is that we now have a way to bring out more of the character simulation that we previously deemed too minor to interrupt the player experience with; hopefully resulting in a more engaging world, for those who wish to engage with the content.

Now I shall hand over to @Trin Tragula , who'll bring you up to date with some of the map and content changes coming in 1.3, as well as another shiny new feature!

/Arheo

Hi all :) Today I will be going over some of the flavor additions in the Update as well as the new Map Mode Manager.

Regional Changes in the Livy Update

One objective that the Livy Update aims for is to increase the flavor in the world and one way that we hope to do so is by adding more regional flavor. The map has been updated with more territories and playable countries in a number of regions, and we have also added more local Omens and Heritages to countries in the game.


Additional Omens:

While Pompey added a great deal of variety in terms of Omens to the game it was often unclear why you had a particular Omen. In Livy Patch will add a clear indication as to why you have a certain Omen available to you.

omenpatron.png


As can be seen above the tooltip of an Omen will now always state what made it available to you, in this case Helios is available as he is the patron deity of Rhodes.

New Patron Deities (ie Omens that are available because of your capital location) :
  • Poseidon: Corinth, Chalcis
  • Herakles: Acragas, Kos, Thasos
  • Hephaeustus: Acragas, Athens, Lemnos
  • Asclepius: Acragas, Epidauros
  • Aphrodite: Athens, Aphrodisias, Corinth, Paphos
  • Eros: Thespiai
  • Hera: Argos, Samos, Olympia, Elis, Ionia
  • Artemis: Ephesos, Delos, Ionia, Nesiotic League
  • Helios: Corinth, Rhodes
  • Persephone: Locri
  • Dionysus: Amphipolis, Orchomenos, Naxos, Thebes, Boeotia, Nesiotic League
  • Pan: Arcadian Cities and Tags

We have also added a whole group of new Omens for Crete:

omencrete.png

  • Diktynna
  • Eleuthya
  • Velchanos
  • Rhea
  • Diktean Zeus
  • Ariadne
  • Amaya
  • Karmanor

Specific Omens for Hellenistic Pontus (Similarly to the Serapis cult omens getting these will entail reacting to flavor content):
  • Herakles
  • Zeus Stratios
  • Selene
  • Cybele
  • Mithra
  • Men
  • Aphrodite
  • Dionysus

Lastly while the main flavor focus of the update is related to missions we have added a number of historical flavor events for the following countries:

  • Massalia
  • Thrace
  • Iberia
  • Armenia
  • Phrygia, Pontus and Paphlagonia
  • Diadochi Coronations

Map Changes

No Flavor Update would be complete without map changes. The livy update brings an updated map and new countries in a number of areas.

Hibernia & Caledonia:
hibernia.png


Not much is known about the island today known as Ireland at Imperator’s start date. Nonetheless it is certain that the island was not devoid of political entities and @Snow Crystal has given it a second go through and added a number of playable tribes here. This increases the dynamics of politics and warfare, even if migration and colonization are still necessary to control the island. Modern Scotland has also been a facelift.


Baltics:
baltics.png


Another area revisited is the Baltic coastline of modern Lithuania and Poland, adding both more colonizable land and more tribes to the dynamics in northern Europe.


Sicily:
sicily.png


As the Free Content Pack coming along Livy will focus on Rome and Carthage it felt natural to focus on adding more detail to the island of Sicily, which was often at the frontline of Punic and Italic conflicts. The Livy update will greatly reduce the conglomerate country “Siculia” which previously represented all the central Sicilian states acting independently in the power vacuum after the Carthaginian-Syracusan wars. Instead there are now 3 such states (Siculia, Calactea, and Tyndaria) in a common defensive league.

The update also sees the addition of both Carthaginian client states (Selinous and Heraclea Minoa) and the subject state Gelas under Syracuse on the southern coastline next to the independent city state of Akragas.


Greece:
greece.png


While Greece is in many ways already one of the more interesting places in the game some historically important powers have up to now lacked the detail and strategic depth that they need to be accurately represented. The Livy update revisits Attica and Boeotia with more territories and impassables, as well as the seazones surrounding the mainland itself. The objective here has been to make the region more strategically interesting (in a similar way to Peleponesos) by adding in historical mountain passes and fortresses.

Navigable Rivers

The Pompey update added a number of Navigable rivers to the game and the effect these have had on both land and naval warfare is something we have found very beneficial to the game. The Livy update will therefore add navigable zones to a number of rivers that did not have them before:

danube.png


  • The Danube/Ister River is now navigable up to the Iron Gates
  • The Ganges now has additional arms to the Ganges Delta and its tributary, Brahmaputra, is navigable up to Balipura.
  • The Rhone/Rhodanus is now navigable up to Arelatis.
  • The Garonne/Garumna is now navigable to Praemiacum.
  • The Seine/Sequana is now navigable up to Avalocum.
  • The Loire/Liger is now navigable up to Turonorum.
  • The Elbe/Albis is now navigable to Aregellia.
  • The Dniestr/Tyras is now navigable up to Clepidava.
  • The Dniepr/Borysthenes is now navigable in the entirety of the portion before it enters impassable land.



Map Mode Manager

A common request for improving the UI of Imperator has been the addition of new Map Modes. We generally agree that map modes can be a very useful way to show information, the map is after all the main interface that our game is played on. At the same time Imperator had quite a few map modes already, too many to add more in the row that is constantly shown above the mini map.

In order to accommodate more Map Modes the Livy update comes with a map mode manager, which lets you open any map mode that exists in the game, and if you so wish, drag and drop it on the bar of map modes above the mini map for quick reference. The map mode keyboard shortcuts will now point to the slots in the map mode bar rather than to specific map modes.

dragdrop.png

Screenshot of the terrain map mode being dragged to the bar above the minimap.

The update itself will not come with any new map modes but now that we have a Map Mode manager we hope to add new ones in future updates when we see the need for it.

If you have suggestions for new map modes that you would like to see, we would love to hear them :)

That was all for today, next week we will be back on our usual Monday time and @Snow Crystal will tell you all about the Carthaginian Mission Trees that we are adding to the Punic Wars content pack :)
 

Trin Tragula

Game Designer - Imperator
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Plus, what does adding more localization for omens really do? Nothing. They still have the exact same effects no matter where you are, what religion you are, etc. Just now, there's a bit more flavor. One more example of the game feeling the exact same if you're playing a Jewish state or a Druidic tribe.

They do not have the same effect with different localization. As of a couple of patches ago the effects also differ depending on what your Omens are.
As a Hindu you have a different set of effects available to you compared to a Druidic tag for instance :)
Likewise these patron deity omens unlock effects you would otherwise not have in that pantheon.

More religion specific flavor would be absolutely great, no doubt about that, but this is not a case of just adding more localizations, not in the current version and not in Livy either :) .