Majesty 3 -- with new game engine

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Periods of lesser monster activity were in both games. In Majesty, sometimes, there are less monsters on the map, sometimes, there are more.

Why want that these periods of lower activity coincide with hero free time activities?

Going back to what I stated: this is attributing to the heroes a vision of the Kingdom general welfare while their motivation is first and only purely individualistic.

If a hero needs money in time of monster scarcity, the hero has to hunt longer to make a living. Or reversely.

It is not the same game repackaged. It is a game that expands on the previous iteration, staying on course and not introducing elements that would orient the game in a new direction.

What the developpers of the original game intended to do bear little importance in this regard. If there is a redirection, there is a redirection, ordered or not by the original developers.

Either the game is conceived as a sequel to Majesty and introduced as such or it is a game drawing from the Majesty universe and loosely from Majesty concept, that is a sim set in the Majesty fantasy kingdom. Majesty's universe can support different kinds of sim without the sims being majesty like.

The bottom line is the presentation of it: a continuation of Majesty or a new kind of sim set in the Majesty universe.
 

Alfryd

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Periods of lesser monster activity were in both games. In Majesty, sometimes, there are less monsters on the map, sometimes, there are more.

Why want that these periods of lower activity coincide with hero free time activities?

Going back to what I stated: this is attributing to the heroes a vision of the Kingdom general welfare while their motivation is first and only purely individualistic.
Again, I feel this is a gross mischaracterisation of the diversity of motivations that heroes were supposed to have. I fully agree that heroes should have individual personalities- specifically, I feel that not every hero should be a cosmetic variation on Jayne Cobb. Healers, monks and paladins were supposed to be altruistic.
If a hero needs money in time of monster scarcity, the hero has to hunt longer to make a living. Or reversely.
Again, how are gnomes and healers supposed to do this, exactly? They don't go hunting, they don't have hunting-based skills, they don't have hunting-based personalities. Neither do rogues, exactly- they're urban creatures who prefer to pilfer valuables for a living. Wizards aren't interested in killing monsters for their own sake, but in the pursuit of knowledge, which might coincidentally involve some monster-killing now and then. All these classes need intervals of peace and quiet in order to be themselves.

Conversely, you repeatedly assert that warfare was not an aspect of the original Majesty. I list several quests that clearly were about warfare (along, arguably, with Elven Treachery and The Fertile Plain,) multiplayer games that were all about warfare, freestyle options for monster forces that were basically warfare. Which you ignore.

This is not a discussion, this is you talking to yourself.
What the developpers of the original game intended to do bear little importance in this regard. If there is a redirection, there is a redirection, ordered or not by the original developers.
What the developers of the original game intended is important because- unlike Paradox- Cyberlore had extensive contact with the game's existing fanbase, back when it had a fanbase worth speaking of, and felt that the best way to play to Majesty's strengths was to go in a more Sim-heavy direction. I agree with them.
 

Alfryd

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I would like to add two cents on this topic.

I'd like to see less heroes with more personality. My reason is that heroes are paragons or champions of their ideals - in the other word, leaders. Having too many of them dilute their individual importance.

This also means a revamp to the party system - heroes should each be a party leader, they would be "supporting cast members" otherwise. So instead of two dozen heroes in five or six parties, you'd normally have five or six heroes lead two dozen henchmen.

Technically dedicating more CPU cycle per hero translates to deeper simulation for each hero. The henchmen can be idiots with level and stats and shouldn't take much processing power.
I'm not sure about this. I mean, I partly agree, but there's a variety of possible pros-and-cons involved.

* If the game *did* go in a more sim-heavy direction, a henchman:hero ratio of two-to-one or higher would not be extraordinary (to the extent they can be separated.)
* It makes more sense in the context of organised warfare. It's possible that if you had some system for sending out siege weapons, this could be adapted to small squadrons of guardsmen/soldiers/militia that heroes might choose to join. I'm really really wary of following this too far, though.
* Having lots of followers seems out of character for dungeon-crawl scenarios (i.e, traditional 'adventuring'.) Small, all-hero parties seem to be the norm here.
* Not all heroes are neccessarily 'champions' of any very particular 'ideal'- rogues and gnomes, for example.
* Cyberlore did intend to have a 'barracks' building in Legends that would allow heroes to hire followers (a la Diablo II, and possibly to compensate for the god-awful follow-and-support AI of the original game, by making followers easily-replaced cannon fodder.) I remember being distinctly ambivalent about this addition, but there does seem to be precedent for the idea.


Ideally, I'd like to see a single AI-engine with enough plug-in variables to allow for significant differences in personality and career development, rather than class-and-henchman-specific behaviour-apartheid. The real bottleneck on AI development is unlikely to be CPU cycles, but the developers' willingness and ability to test and refine the AI in the first place. If that's not there- because, for example, they feel that it's okay for half the characters to behave like idiots- then no amount of CPU resources will help.
 

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'It is not the same game repackaged. It is a game that expands on the previous iteration, staying on course and not introducing elements that would orient the game in a new direction.'

You talk about staying on course with the previous iterations, but how on Earth did Majesty 2 stay on course with Majesty 1? Majesty 1 was the Fantasky Kingdom SIM, and the new developers expressly stated Majesty 2 was an RTS, i.e. Majesty 2 The Fantasy Kingdom RTS. There has been no consistency so far, what consistency exactly are you looking for in Majesty 3?

As for hero personality and motivation, it's becoming increasingly obvious that this is not something which can be discussed with brief comments, it's more of a system and needs to be thought of -and more importantly, explained like that. Otherwise we'll be playing Wittgensteinian language games which each other all day, as we each apply our own conception of hero behaviour and motivation onto the comments being expressed by others.
 

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@ Alfryd: I agree re the henchman. The game needs to focus on the heroes and having factors in between may well have something of a negative impact by displacing focus. The only way this could be made to work, as I alluded to in previous post, is if the way that heroes are created is adjusted, so that these henchman have the potential to become heroes. Even if this wasn't adopted the odd 1 or 2 henchmen (not per hero) might be interesting. For example a brave knight/warrior followed by his corwardly squire (shield-bearer) or vice versa!, a wizard followed by his apprentice or familiar, a cultist followed by his wolf etc.

Also the fact that henchman might lead to possibilities of war is problematic, we don't want war here, or peace either :)
 

Alfryd

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@ Alfryd: I agree re the henchman. The game needs to focus on the heroes and having factors in between may well have something of a negative impact by displacing focus.
Well, I actually wouldn't mind seeing lots of 'henchmen' around- in the sense of workers for the various buildings that heroes would visit- millers, blacksmiths, weavers, apothecaries, town criers/heralds (possibly a way of announcing quests/rewards,) gong farmers, etc, as well as the palace guards and tax collectors we know so well. (Perhaps 'citizens' would be a better term?)
The only way this could be made to work, as I alluded to in previous post, is if the way that heroes are created is adjusted, so that these henchman have the potential to become heroes. Even if this wasn't adopted the odd 1 or 2 henchmen (not per hero) might be interesting. For example a brave knight/warrior followed by his corwardly squire (shield-bearer) or vice versa!, a wizard followed by his apprentice or familiar, a cultist followed by his wolf etc.
Personally, I'm in favour of abolishing hard distinctions between heroes and citizens/henchmen, so I'd be perfectly happy to see kids as apprentices, town guards joining the warriors' guild, or hoary old rangers retiring to tend goats for that matter. So, yeah, sure. :)
Also the fact that henchman might lead to possibilities of war is problematic, we don't want war here, or peace either :)
Well... as I've elaborate on, personally I feel that either interludes-of-peace and/or maraduer-repellant-city-walls are necessary for a Sim-style game to work. I'm less hung up on dedicated support for organised warfare, and that does entail higher risks of 'losing focus'.

But the Sim-nut in me keeps saying 'how do all these big city-states exist without some kind of standing military? And if you have city walls, where are the siege weapons!? I want my mangonel!!!'
 

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Periods of lesser monster activity were in both games. In Majesty, sometimes, there are less monsters on the map, sometimes, there are more.

Why want that these periods of lower activity coincide with hero free time activities?

I'm not 100% sure about what you're saying here, but I think you might have it the wrong way round. In my vision heroes do other things besides fighting because there is less activity. When there is less danger heroes can pursue other quests. The other reason is that it just makes sense, 'free time activities' as you call them, are just that, activities becuase the hero is free, if the hero is fighting for his life, or desperately trying to save his guild (or here's a new one- fighting to save someone else!) then they can't do other things. In Majesty 2 because heroes are constantly embattled they never do anything else besides fight. Heroes might go and pursue their own quests, like Rogue's might try to find hidden treasure buried in the wilderness while the town is burning, but these would need to be kept fairly limited (although not removed altogether). This is both because heroes, as Alfryd has noted, need to have a degree of awareness beyond their own self interest because that is basic intelligence, and secondly it would be incredibly frustrating for the player if their palace burns down while their heroes are off planting flowers.
 

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Well, I actually wouldn't mind seeing lots of 'henchmen' around- in the sense of workers for the various buildings that heroes would visit- millers, blacksmiths, weavers, apothecaries, town criers/heralds (possibly a way of announcing quests/rewards,) gong farmers, etc, as well as the palace guards and tax collectors we know so well. (Perhaps 'citizens' would be a better term?)

Personally, I'm in favour of abolishing hard distinctions between heroes and citizens/henchmen, so I'd be perfectly happy to see kids as apprentices, town guards joining the warriors' guild, or hoary old rangers retiring to tend goats for that matter. So, yeah, sure. :)

Well... as I've elaborate on, personally I feel that either interludes-of-peace and/or maraduer-repellant-city-walls are necessary for a Sim-style game to work. I'm less hung up on dedicated support for organised warfare, and that does entail higher risks of 'losing focus'.

But the Sim-nut in me keeps saying 'how do all these big city-states exist without some kind of standing military? And if you have city walls, where are the siege weapons!? I want my mangonel!!!'

Firstly general city henchmen are good, and their levelling up is something a few people have wanted, me included.

I think I would be careful in drawing a too indistinct line between heroes and henchmen, heroes are designed to be special, and if henchmen and heroes are completely alike this mechanism evaporates. It doesn't need to be too indistinct though, reserving the in depth trait and intelligent ai systems for heroes would suffice, and perhaps limiting the ability to go for flags to heroes and any henchmen they enlist would also be handy. I wouldn't really like to see a city guard confront a dragon in the wilderness, unless that guard had become a hero first and progressed on his path to becoming a warrior. The other thing would be to limit special hero quests to heroes, although I could imagine some pretty amusing one's involving tax collectors.

Finally I think you can quench the simist in you if you perhaps have the starting settlement as a fringe outpost in the wilderness, just a small fortified hall. There wouldn't therefore need to be any war/war equipment, rather a need for heroes to drive away the things lurking in the darkness. As that outpost grows into a city however, then questions about war readiness might come into play. If however you had an evolution mechanic where your same starting settlement grows and grows, it wouldn't really be an issue that arises. Although you could always have dwarves constructing the odd fortification or contraption for you...

Edit: Ah sorry, didn't see that you had written 'hard distinctions', as long as there are soft distinctions it's fine.
 

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Again, how are gnomes and healers supposed to do this, exactly? They don't go hunting, they don't have hunting-based skills, they don't have hunting-based personalities. Neither do rogues, exactly- they're urban creatures who prefer to pilfer valuables for a living. Wizards aren't interested in killing monsters for their own sake, but in the pursuit of knowledge, which might coincidentally involve some monster-killing now and then. All these classes need intervals of peace and quiet in order to be themselves.
Same here. No requirement of moments of peace and quiet to express their hobbies, past time and all. I already answered to that.

Besides, healers do hunt in Majesty. They hunt vampires for example. Healers clearly track and seek to destroy vampires.

But again, this point was already answered to. Once more, I recall that wizards for example prefer to rest over explore over hunting. They show this hierarchy in prioritizing their time in Majesty without a time of peace and quiet.

If a wizard goes to rest while there are monsters in town, they do it. There is no impossibility for them to carry out their behaviour.


Conversely, you repeatedly assert that warfare was not an aspect of the original Majesty. I list several quests that clearly were about warfare (along, arguably, with Elven Treachery and The Fertile Plain,) multiplayer games that were all about warfare, freestyle options for monster forces that were basically warfare. Which you ignore.
Still a stretch from making it the general direction of a game. On the same line, one could tell that Majesty was about all about treasure hunting.
All this to state I never said that war was not evocated in Majesty. Simply recalled it was not the main direction of the game which is heroes hired by a kingdom to tackle monsters issues.

I ignore MU because I dont think that Majesty should be assessed through MU. The MU side imposes a demand on balance and must exclude every event that are tied to luck and the likes. The MU side had a heavy bearing in the turn given to Majesty 2, which switches to FPS as it is easier to balance out.
MU forces to remove random elements in a game.

This is not a discussion, this is you talking to yourself.
If it is not what you are doing yourself, how comes you have not yet explained why heroes time spent on hobby should be expressed during times of quiet and peace.
What the developers of the original game intended is important because- unlike Paradox- Cyberlore had extensive contact with the game's existing fanbase, back when it had a fanbase worth speaking of, and felt that the best way to play to Majesty's strengths was to go in a more Sim-heavy direction. I agree with them.
What do you mean by Sim direction? If it is The Sims as a game, well, it is a redirection.
If it is sim as in sim genre, well, sims can be articulated around various axis, making not one sim less a sim than another.

Again, meaningless as it is all about redirection. Either people want the game to keep going in Majesty's direction or they want a redirection. Their quality does not matter. A redirection remains a redirection.
 

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You talk about staying on course with the previous iterations, but how on Earth did Majesty 2 stay on course with Majesty 1? Majesty 1 was the Fantasky Kingdom SIM, and the new developers expressly stated Majesty 2 was an RTS, i.e. Majesty 2 The Fantasy Kingdom RTS. There has been no consistency so far, what consistency exactly are you looking for in Majesty 3?
Some people want Majesty 3 because Majesty 2 has not brought them satisfaction as a sequel to Majesty, therefore getting them to ask for a Majesty 3.

I did not mention Majesty 2 as a possible source of inspiration for Majesty 3 other than once, quoting it for map size limitation.

Finally, I dont understand the ground for your comment and I dont see why the very fact there is a loose continuity between Majesty and Majesty 2, there could not be a tight continuity between Majesty and Majesty 3.

So I re-iterate my major remark on that topic: the whole issue is to know whether or not Majesty 3 should be as or more discontinous to Majesty as or than Majesty 2 was to Majesty.

Clearly, some players want a deep redirection from Majesty, being or not satisfied with a deep redirection offered by Majesty 2.

As to me, I'd prefer Majesty 3 to be the continuation of Majesty, going further in the direction laid by Majesty.

As for hero personality and motivation, it's becoming increasingly obvious that this is not something which can be discussed with brief comments, it's more of a system and needs to be thought of -and more importantly, explained like that. Otherwise we'll be playing Wittgensteinian language games which each other all day, as we each apply our own conception of hero behaviour and motivation onto the comments being expressed by others.[/QUOTE]
 

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As to me, I'd prefer Majesty 3 to be the continuation of Majesty, going further in the direction laid by Majesty.
[/QUOTE]

I see, when you said 'Majesty' in earlier posts I thought you meant it collectively to include both Majesty 1 and 2, but you just meant continuity from Majesty 1.

Regardless of how it turned out I would, like you, much rather a game that followed the Majesty 1 direction than the Majesty 2 direction. The discussion above has really just been about how far to take that direction. I may be oversimplifying but me and (from what he has suggested) Alfryd are quite radical about how the game should progress and improve (deeper sim elements, more quests/variety, henchmen etc) but you are (far) more conservative. This is where our clash is coming from. If it is any consolation, on a fundamental level I don't envisage my ideas for Maj 3 playing significantly differently to Maj1 in core gameplay, although it might be fundamentally improved with a lot more features and depth.

Incidentally I'm concerned that you are getting hung up with the notion of war, no-one has suggested that armies or siege weapons etc should be introduced. People use 'war' broadly, to include situations where heroes go out and kill monsters. It doesn't really matter whether you define this as 'war' or 'ordinary life in Ardania'. That said, from a plot perspective there is nothing like a good war...
 

Alfryd

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Same here. No requirement of moments of peace and quiet to express their hobbies, past time and all. I already answered to that.
No, you did not. Altruism- or just plain common sense and rational self-interest- are not compatible with ignoring impending threats to the settlement as a whole, particularly when your own home is being demolished.
Besides, healers do hunt in Majesty. They hunt vampires for example. Healers clearly track and seek to destroy vampires.
No. They don't. They don't have any seek-and-destroy behaviour encoding in their AI at all. (You might argue that they should, but one could equally argue that undead-pest-management is more properly a priestess schtick.)
But again, this point was already answered to. Once more, I recall that wizards for example prefer to rest over explore over hunting. They show this hierarchy in prioritizing their time in Majesty without a time of peace and quiet.
No, they cannot. When monsters are actively attacking your settlement, they get drawn to attack flags with high frequency, rather than researching/resting/exploring. And if monsters are not actively attacking your settlement at a given point in time, what you have is an interlude of peace and quiet.
Still a stretch from making it the general direction of a game. On the same line, one could tell that Majesty was about all about treasure hunting.
No, one could not. One could deduce that Majesty was partly about treasure hunting, which is perfectly accurate. Similarly, one could deduce that Majesty was partly about warfare. I'm not calling for all-war-all-the-time by any stretch of the imagination. Just that it was a component.

Similarly, Majesty already had intervals of peace and quiet- not just during missions, but once the mission completed (as external monster visitors tended to be sporadic, weak, and often not concerned with attacking the main settlement. To be honest, I barely saw the point to them.)
I ignore MU because I dont think that Majesty should be assessed through MU. The MU side imposes a demand on balance and must exclude every event that are tied to luck and the likes...
I agree that catering exclusively to the needs of multiplayer deathmatches would probably have a detrimental effect on core sim gameplay, but not all multiplayer needs to be a fight to the death. Co-op games against monster opposition are a fun and relaxing way to spend time, and there are also possibilities for economic co-operation between kingdoms, depending on how much detail you invest in trade and crafting skills.

Personally, I feel that if you make the simulation aspects of the game intriguing and complex enough, then you no longer need to resort to PvP in order to seek out an adequate source of challenge. After all, if different religious/racial heroes don't easily rub shoulders, then keeping the peace could be just as demanding as waging war.
What do you mean by Sim direction? If it is The Sims as a game, well, it is a redirection...
As to me, I'd prefer Majesty 3 to be the continuation of Majesty, going further in the direction laid by Majesty.
Part of the problem here is that the original Majesty did not have a single clear direction. Like Cyberlore did, I feel that Majesty was a simulation trapped underneath an RTS with RPG elements. And as a result of that lack of direction, the russian developers (and perhaps Paradox) evidently got the impression that Majesty was really an RTS with RPG elements with annoying bits of simulation tacked on. Unfortunately, they couldn't actually get rid of the sim elements without making it not-Majesty-anymore, and the result was a lot of compromises and tacked-on kluges with respect to the AI and character development. Maj2 then turned out to be (A) a mediocre RTS and (B) a god-awful Sim.

So, I'd prefer that Maj3 actually establish a single clear top priority- namely, simulation- just like it says on the tin. Questing is an important part of that, but so is capturing the various nuances of a believable world, characters, economy and setting.
 
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Alfryd

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Incidentally I'm concerned that you are getting hung up with the notion of war, no-one has suggested that armies or siege weapons etc should be introduced. People use 'war' broadly, to include situations where heroes go out and kill monsters. It doesn't really matter whether you define this as 'war' or 'ordinary life in Ardania'. That said, from a plot perspective there is nothing like a good war...
Ooh! Ooh! I do! I want siege weapons! Yes, please!!!

*jumps up and down holding up hand*

No, I really mean 'war' in the more specific sense of a concerted, sustained, and coordinated effort to raze or conquer a given territory by a particular species/polity (like in The Siege, or Rise of the Ratmen.)


See- Problem is, I'm really in two minds about this. Part of me says 'War happens. Even in fantasy. It's an important part of the setting and of the background literature that inspired it. You can't just leave it out!'

But another part of me says 'War is all about obedience and control and regimen and discipline. Majesty is about characters' individual motivations. It'll turn the game into another assembly-line RTS.'

Then the first part says, 'Well, some heroes are supposed to be loyal and disciplined- warriors and dwarves and paladins and adepts. That's why you get Call to Arms.'

Then the other part says 'Okay, but Call to Arms is a defensive tool. (I'm assuming you'd rework it so it didn't *literally* teleport guild members from across the battlefield?) You can't really use it offensively.'

First part says 'Look, you're the one who wants City Walls so that heroes can do their thing in peace between quests. If you've got city walls, you need siege weapons to counter them. And siege weapons don't just get up and go exploring by themselves.'

The second part says 'That's only a problem if you have some kind of deathmatch multiplayer. You *could* just have co-op MP and single-player PvE. Then nobody needs to lay siege to anyone else.'

First part says 'But how do all these semi-independant kingdoms exist without ever going to war against eachother? And how come ratmen get siege engines and I don't?!'

Second part says 'Look, it doesn't make much sense to have two 'kingdoms' co-existing on the same map in the first place. If you really want to wage war, you'd need to do it by sending heroes off the map.'

First part says 'But then you have no control over the outcome. And if kingdoms don't exist on the same map, how can you have co-op MP?'

Second part says 'Not having control isn't so bad as long as you can at least watch the battle- you know, like in Deadlock. It's not like you have direct control over hero combats in the first place. Maybe you can view the enemy kingdom once the battle starts, and cast sovereign spells, but that's it.'

First part says 'Y'know, there are quests like Scions of Chaos and Vigil for a Fallen Hero that would have made much more sense as a band of plucky heroes being led by their king than as a traditional city-building exercise. Maybe you could extend that to laying siege or meeting enemy forces in the field?'

Second part says 'Ooh- maybe that's how it would work! The only way to command forces directly in the field is to lead them in person! That way, you're risking life and limb along with your heroes!'

First part says 'A controllable sovereign got debated extensively on the old Cyberlore boards- they were pretty much split down the middle on the subject. The idea certainly got implemented in the Stronghold series, but it didn't really make a big difference to the mechanics.'

Second part says 'Yeah, but Stronghold allowed you direct control over military units from any distance, with the predictable consequence of idiotic AI being given a free pass. This would require that the King/Queen be within a certain distance of the troops commanded- and they could still break and run if the odds are too poor.'

First part says 'Yeah. Maybe the heroes would be sub-commanders or lieutenants, supplemented by siege weapons or militia. Maybe you could use a system of Heralds to relay orders at a distance?'

Second part says 'But that removes the element of personal danger. Maybe it's 'demanded by tradition' or something that the sovereign has to be out in the fore? Or maybe that affects the morale of your troops, so that 'leading from behind' makes them very likely to break and run?'

First part says 'Like Tywin Lannister vs. Robb Stark. Yeah, I dunno. I'm still worried this would be a drastic change in direction. More like an RPG where you play the king, commission shops rather than visit them, and give quests rather than chase them.'

Second parts says 'True. But what's wrong with that?'

First part says 'Well, for starters, there's a lot of work involved, both mechanically and in terms of user interface. Also, if you're dealing with the exploits of a single character, players will want to zoom in close to the action, which raises the bar for textures and animations and frames-per-second and anisotropic filtering and all that crap.'

Second parts says 'What were we talking about again?'

First part says 'I... don't remember. Anyway. 3D graphics suck.'
 

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Lol! If you want war it's best to confine it to the existing mechanics of the game. I never thought I would see the day - but I agree with Chien on this one, introducing a whole war mechanic would be a very very dangerous thing to do. This isn't because a larger scale war mechanic couldn't be an exceptional addition to the game, but the common sense point, what developer is ever going to be able to do that right--in a way that doesn't destroy the game, or leave it completely skewed, a la Maj2? (Incidentally I have no confidence in any developers whatsoever, I think they all lack ambition, and I'm morbidly depressed by the deteroriating quality of games, e.g. BG2 is exceptional, but it's 10 years old! why isn't there anything better? It's shocking)

It would also intefere with the notion of heroes doing their own thing, questing and adventuring out in the wilderness- a bit too much. Although if it only happened once or twice in the game it would be pretty cool to see heroes flocking from all over Ardania to join your legion.

If you consider my (admittedly railroaded) suggestion of persistence, large scale confrontations could be worked in, computers are more powerful now and should be able to handle a lot more activity on-screen. So you could have a heavily plot based example where there is an impending goblin invasion of terrifying scale, and all your heroes are called to face it (for extra reward of course). If the sim elements we've been discussing were implemented too, you might see a change in the whole mood of your settlement, heroes getting defensive, buying weapons and armour, buildings getting fortified, henchmen inc. peasants equipping themselves, behaviour changing to reflect the fear. That would be incredible (Think Helms Deep while the Urak-Hai are assembling around it).

Furthermore one of the best (and underutilised) elements of Majesty 1 was kingdom-kingdom conflict. While I would rather see more co-op than conflict, it was a good part of Maj1 which we didnt see much, except in the siege and quest for the ring or chalice (whichever it was).

That said, definately no direct control, definately no siege weapons, definately no regiments. These things could be amazing features, but in reality would likely be implemented in such a way that it would justify all of Chien's fears to date.
 

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No, you did not. Altruism- or just plain common sense and rational self-interest- are not compatible with ignoring impending threats to the settlement as a whole, particularly when your own home is being demolished.
Nothing altruistic in saving your own home.

No. They don't. They don't have any seek-and-destroy behaviour encoding in their AI at all. (You might argue that they should, but one could equally argue that undead-pest-management is more properly a priestess schtick.)
In Majesty, healers harass vampires when they see one. Always read in that a kind of magic of life against undead magic story but who cares?
They hunt vampires.

No, they cannot. When monsters are actively attacking your settlement, they get drawn to attack flags with high frequency, rather than researching/resting/exploring. And if monsters are not actively attacking your settlement at a given point in time, what you have is an interlude of peace and quiet.
That is totally a different story. Placing flags are in the hands of the player so the stimulus is introduced by the player. This said, even with flags around, wizards are not always on the hunt and are often in their tower to rest etc
Monks go drinking beers in inns more than often and so on...
No, one could not. One could deduce that Majesty was partly about treasure hunting, which is perfectly accurate. Similarly, one could deduce that Majesty was partly about warfare. I'm not calling for all-war-all-the-time by any stretch of the imagination. Just that it was a component.
So not the main direction.
Similarly, Majesty already had intervals of peace and quiet- not just during missions, but once the mission completed (as external monster visitors tended to be sporadic, weak, and often not concerned with attacking the main settlement. To be honest, I barely saw the point to them.)
The density of monsters is not constant, sometimes more monsters, sometimes less.
I agree that catering exclusively to the needs of multiplayer deathmatches would probably have a detrimental effect on core sim gameplay, but not all multiplayer needs to be a fight to the death. Co-op games against monster opposition are a fun and relaxing way to spend time, and there are also possibilities for economic co-operation between kingdoms, depending on how much detail you invest in trade and crafting skills.

Reads like a very large budget, while putting aside the main attraction in MU, possibility of PvP.
Personally, I feel that if you make the simulation aspects of the game intriguing and complex enough, then you no longer need to resort to PvP in order to seek out an adequate source of challenge. After all, if different religious/racial heroes don't easily rub shoulders, then keeping the peace could be just as demanding as waging war.
Sounds like a totally different kind of game once again, one leaning heavily toward diplomacy and the execution of it (not only the management but the execution of the diplomatic action itself)

Part of the problem here is that the original Majesty did not have a single clear direction. Like Cyberlore did, I feel that Majesty was a simulation trapped underneath an RTS with RPG elements. And as a result of that lack of direction, the russian developers (and perhaps Paradox) evidently got the impression that Majesty was really an RTS with RPG elements with annoying bits of simulation tacked on. Unfortunately, they couldn't actually get rid of the sim elements without making it not-Majesty-anymore, and the result was a lot of compromises and tacked-on kluges with respect to the AI and character development. Maj2 then turned out to be (A) a mediocre RTS and (B) a god-awful Sim.
What are RPG elements?

I doubt though that Paradox mistook the nature of Majesty. Most of their problems came from how to update, refresh Majesty to today standards.
So, I'd prefer that Maj3 actually establish a single clear top priority- namely, simulation- just like it says on the tin. Questing is an important part of that, but so is capturing the various nuances of a believable world, characters, economy and setting.

Simulation tells nothing. It can be a sim with diplomacy as the main direction etc

The sim game has to have a main direction given to it. Majesty was about a sim on a kingdom hiring heroes to tackle monster issues.
 

Alfryd

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@ HeroicSpur- I'll get back to your post later, but I'm essentially in reluctant agreement.

Nothing altruistic in saving your own home.
Agreed. Of course, this all depends on how broadly one defines home.
In Majesty, healers harass vampires when they see one. Always read in that a kind of magic of life against undead magic story but who cares?
They hunt vampires.
They will use their Harm Undead spell against any undead that coincidentally wander nearby, and if following-and-healing a warrior or wizard this may well happen more regularly than chance would allow, but they do not, in themselves, actively seek out undead to destroy.
Placing flags are in the hands of the player so the stimulus is introduced by the player.
Technically, yes, but when monsters are directly assaulting the settlement it's virtually unheard of for the player not to place some kind of attack flag on the marauder. In practical terms, it amounts to much the same thing.
So not the main direction.
Correct.
The density of monsters is not constant, sometimes more monsters, sometimes less.
Sometimes none. Sometimes so few that it basically didn't matter.
Reads like a very large budget, while putting aside the main attraction in MU, possibility of PvP.
It is entirely possible that budgetary constraints would make many of these features difficult or impossible to implement. I posit them merely as idle fantasies.
Sounds like a totally different kind of game once again, one leaning heavily toward diplomacy and the execution of it (not only the management but the execution of the diplomatic action itself)
I'm not certain that 'totally' different is an apt description, but again, I feel this would be in line with the vision that cyberlore had, once upon a time. But different, certainly. Any form of improvement implies change.
What are RPG elements?
Well, for example, the idea of autonomous-personality-simulation, and traditional Role-playing-game-staples such as characters gaining experience and levels over time.
I doubt though that Paradox mistook the nature of Majesty. Most of their problems came from how to update, refresh Majesty to today standards.
I think by their own admission Paradox took the game in a decidedly more RTS-style direction, or at least that was what wound up happening at the hands of the russian developers.
Simulation tells nothing. It can be a sim with diplomacy as the main direction etc...
The idea that a simulation exists for a limited purpose presumes that you have some predecided goal or object in mind for the player. Will Wright said that SimCity wasn't a game, but a toy- not in a belittling or dismissive sense, but in the sense that it didn't have a single fixed use or purpose- The player was expected to determine their own goals, and the simulation would simply react to those.

Fantasy. Kingdom. Sim. Very succinct mission-statement. What the player wants to do with that kingdom should be up to them. If you want to hunt marauding monsters, well and good. If you want to build up a strong economy in peace and quiet, fine and dandy. If you enjoy political intrigue, stealth and subversion, break a leg. If you wish to see your enemies driven before you and hear the lamentation of their significant others, more power t'ya.

That, at least, would be my ideal imagining of Maj3. I have no real expectation this will happen at any point in the foreseeable future. Your mileage may vary.
 

Alfryd

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HeroicSpur said:
Lol! If you want war it's best to confine it to the existing mechanics of the game. I never thought I would see the day - but I agree with Chien on this one, introducing a whole war mechanic would be a very very dangerous thing to do. This isn't because a larger scale war mechanic couldn't be an exceptional addition to the game, but the common sense point, what developer is ever going to be able to do that right--in a way that doesn't destroy the game, or leave it completely skewed, a la Maj2?
Yeah... I guess I can't argue with that. Well, if push comes to shove, I guess I'd be happier with a quest-focused Sim and no organised warfare, than organised warfare and broken Sim.
Furthermore one of the best (and underutilised) elements of Majesty 1 was kingdom-kingdom conflict. While I would rather see more co-op than conflict, it was a good part of Maj1 which we didnt see much, except in the siege and quest for the ring or chalice (whichever it was).
Unfortunately, if city walls were implemented (which I very much support,) I think that any form of kingdom-kingdom conflict would be problematic.

The general reason why walls and towers have been heavily nerfed (or removed entirely) in RTS titles down over the years is that in most cases, they only delay the inevitable- by the time you have an opponent hemmed in behind their walls, they've already lost the strategic initiative, so that defeat is just a matter of resource starvation or gradual attrition. In Reality(tm), the logistic costs of supplying an army in the field often made long sieges infeasible, but to my knowledge there's no current RTS that really models the concepts of 'lines of supply' very well. (Maybe the Total War series? ...Must play that at some point.)

Although, since Majesty's economy isn't based on mining finite resources, another way to manage this might be through control of territory. That is, income from trading posts/marketplaces could be based on the amount of land that your peasants have settled autonomously, once they feel the surroundings are safe enough (i.e, nearby lairs have been cleared away.) Since you can't really fence in an entire kingdom (unless you happen to be China, and even they couldn't be arsed half the time,) the player who managed to raze enough farmlands would cut off their opponent's economic base.

In fact, you might just make that a victory condition- control enough of the map and you're done. Another twist to add might be converting 'enemy' citizens with 'hearts and minds' heroes such as healers and cultists, thereby getting land-holders to switch allegiance, if you wanted to go about things less violently.


At any rate, I have some other projects on the back-burner at the moment, so I'll have to leave it there for a while. (e.g, Days/weeks...)
 

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It is entirely possible that budgetary constraints would make many of these features difficult or impossible to implement. I posit them merely as idle fantasies.

I mistook the angle for this thread continuation as being
I'm starting to think that maybe the remedy to these problems is not just constructive criticism and suggestions. I think the most effective way (at least in terms of getting it right) to effect positive change is to present a suggestion for the whole schema.

Now, if it is about fancying on Majesty, not only Majesty 3 should have war/peace, but it should have a demand/offer based economy with closed environment leading to the possibility of famine, spread of diseases like plague and all, all ages in life with kids choosing their path in life, elders retiring if they have enough money, migration of all sorts, auto generation of lore with NPCs creating their own monster and monster legends, corruption, heroes falling on side of monsters, monsters redeeming themselves, succession laws of various forms, coup d'état, serfs revolts, technological advancement, syndicates of mages lobbying against technology, possible invasions from space through connection to space worms, conflicts with vastly more advanced species, a full 3D interface and rendering , the trivial possibility of associating a pic of oneself to a hero, connection to social networks, playing it should be a paid job (and well paid job at that) and so much more including a balanced gameplay.