Why are people so obsessed with landless play

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Ecclesiasdeez__nutz

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Jul 30, 2016
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Genuinely cannot understand why so many people specifically want something that removes the vast majority of features from the game they paid for. I was replying to some guy on reddit who was talking about everything you could do with landless characters, like lobby for court positions, or embezzle money, or visit relatives at court, or fight as a foreign mercenary. The issue is that none of this is really game play, it's just a list of scenarios where you're sitting and watching the AI NPCs play the game instead of you. The thing that makes the game interesting is that your character and the ones you interact with have agency in the world, because they have land and power. Without that you are just passively existing in someone else's world. Without an army to conquer land and a family name that is worth marrying into, there's really nothing left to drive the game forward.

Maybe it's hypothetically possible to design an entirely new game play loop for landless characters, but this would take such a huge investment in time and resources to do well, for something that will ultimately not be a core part of most people's game. What's more significant though is the potential to cause huge amount of bugs by introducing extremely complicated systems that interact with every other system in the game and has to be accounted for and then updated every time any new feature is added. As it is, the various DLC features already cause a decent amount of conflicts when they interact. For example, it's very easy to have grand weddings glitch out if one of the betrothed gets given away as a hostage. That breaks the current wedding, and also might block you from hosting any grand weddings until the glitched betrothee happens to die. Even if you completely avoid using the hostage mechanic yourself, the AI's access to it opens the door to possibly unavoidable bugs when you are trying to do something completely different. Mechanics for landless courtiers would be like that times 1000. It would be something that is maybe relevent for 5% of the game, but could easily end up breaking the other 95% because of how these systems are integrated together. This wouldn't even be paradox's fault, it's just a natural consequence of the kinds of edge cases you get in software development.
 
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As one of the people on reddit suggesting this, it's not because I'm thrilled about this idea of walking around to other courts, it's because the separation of land and character appears to be crucial foundational work in order to get other features that I want. Nobody pushing this seriously is that invested in some idea of a "prologue" - it's about mechanics.

Do you want nomads? They don't own land. Do you want Republics? They don't own land. Do you want Empires? Lots of important people in them don't own land, and sometimes even the rulers of land didn't own the land, they were just granted permission to rule it by other people who also didn't own land. I get that CK2 had a lot of these things, but also a lot of these things were not good in CK2, because they were shallow implementations tacked on, because the foundations weren't there.

Do you want complex successions where people get screwed out of inheritance? Those people won't own any more land.

I want the game to have more complex state. Right now, as you amass higher and higher primary titles, barring some kind of elective law that causes your primary title to go elsewhere, you're kind of just stuck playing there. There's also tons of content in the game we almost never get to see because the systems that currently exist rarely allow us to encounter it because the gameplay loop is so restrictive. What's more interesting, the idea that your brother could swindle your inheritance and you have to gain support for a war to win it back, or playing the 8th consecutive emperor of the ERE (which itself has been abstracted down to "big kingdom" because the game can't properly represent empires)?

CK3 markets itself as having emergent storytelling in a web of intrigue with dramatic rises and falls, but right now there's just one rise. There's no fall, because falling is game over, because right now the player and their lands are tightly coupled. It's just one continuous climb up, which then turns into map-painting because you have nothing else to do.

There's a lot of negativity around this game, and I get it, because there are a lot of missing features, but I think that's missing the forest for the trees. PDX is doing something great here, which is building a game with incredible bones and foundation that can be expanded upon. They aren't just tossing stuff in because players want it, they're thinking about how they could do those things well, and what systems those things need, and then building those systems. There are so many wonderful systems in this game right now that we don't even fully take advantage of yet. As a software engineer, I can see it, and I respect the hell out of it. I don't want to see CK3 end up filled with bloated features that on the surface give players what they want, but fundamentally are just superficial. I want all the same features as everyone else, but I want them done well, and landless gameplay is a big step to getting there.

Landless gameplay itself isn't sexy, but it's foundational. I see it like travel in T&T - travelling in and of itself isn't that exciting, I'm not excited to play a game where I move on the map and sometimes an event pops up asking me to fight a knight. But travelling as a system allows for many other much more exciting mechanics.
 
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Genuinely cannot understand why so many people specifically want something that removes the vast majority of features from the game they paid for.
If you play in india as a non muslim youll miss out on
northern lords
Fates of iberia
legacy of persia
if youre not a king, youll miss out on
royal court
Much of tours and tournaments
I was replying to some guy on reddit who was talking about everything you could do with landless characters, like lobby for court positions, or embezzle money, or visit relatives at court, or fight as a foreign mercenary. The issue is that none of this is really game play, it's just a list of scenarios where you're sitting and watching the AI NPCs play the game instead of you. The thing that makes the game interesting is that your character and the ones you interact with have agency in the world, because they have land and power. Without that you are just passively existing in someone else's world
Do we not have that at present? With characters completely ignoring their traits because events decided they should happen? Your trusting, gregarious son becoming a serial killer because an event picked him. Your chaste humble wife sleeping with random people. Rulers dropping their religion and picking up random dead christian sects because they got too stressed, then converting their whole realm so we see adamite England, or cainite lotharegina, with their vassals just going along with it.
landless play gives more agency to each character, losing all your land is no longer the end as you can survive in foreign courts until an expedition or rebellion is raised in your name, rich but landless brothers might raise mercs or retainers and seize the capital whilst youre in it. Landless play would also make barons playable, maybe even restoring their ai to join plots and the like
. Without an army to conquer land and a family name that is worth marrying into, there's really nothing left to drive the game forward.
And ck says that if youre not a count you're nothing, when plenty of rulers rose from this nothing to gain vast swathes of land
Maybe it's hypothetically possible to design an entirely new game play loop for landless characters, but this would take such a huge investment in time and resources to do well, for something that will ultimately not be a core part of most people's game.
Something that doesnt currently exist cant be the core of current gameplay obviously. The gameplay loop isnt just for players but also for the player to counter ai doing the same. Rather than random northmen armies spawning. You can have exiled rulers keeping their MaA with current gold or prestige then staking it out somewhere, or raiders appearing that after enough raids try to conquer a land
What's more significant though is the potential to cause huge amount of bugs by introducing extremely complicated systems that interact with every other system in the game and has to be accounted for and then updated every time any new feature is added. As it is, the various DLC features already cause a decent amount of conflicts when they interact. For example, it's very easy to have grand weddings glitch out if one of the betrothed gets given away as a hostage. That breaks the current wedding, and also might block you from hosting any grand weddings until the glitched betrothee happens to die. Even if you completely avoid using the hostage mechanic yourself, the AI's access to it opens the door to possibly unavoidable bugs when you are trying to do something completely different. Mechanics for landless courtiers would be like that times 1000. It would be something that is maybe relevent for 5% of the game, but could easily end up breaking the other 95% because of how these systems are integrated together. This wouldn't even be paradox's fault, it's just a natural consequence of the kinds of edge cases you get in software development.
Then we just ask for paradox to have better bug testers and QA, with longer development so things arent fixed in a .1 patch. Remember how borked fates of iberia was at first, yet players didnt say stop any dlcs from now on
 
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I think you significantly underestimate just how much QA work would be required to implement landless mechanics. Every single time any new feature is added, regardless of how small it seems, would need to account for how it interacts with landless characters. Every new DLC released is yet another piece that has to be configured to work with the submechanics of every previous DLC. A landless courtier expansion, in addition to whatever is in the base DLC, would also need to go back and add things for these courtiers to do when someone holds court, or goes on tour, or is given a ward, or launches a Varangian adventure. If they were to then release a disease focused one, in addition to the base content for landed characters, they would need to also account for non landed characters and everything they could do. They would then need to go back and make sure every new mechanic for these landless characters doesn't break anything when someone holds court, or goes on tour, or is given a ward (including every possible combination of scenarios). It becomes exponentially more complex with every new feature added, for only marginal benefit. The trade offs quite simply do not work.

I also disagree about the other government types. Nomads and republics don't own land in a system of feudal relationships, but they still are government entities with geographic bases of power and the armies to defend them. A doge might not literally own every plot of land in a city state, but they're still effectively the sovereign power that rules over it, which is close enough to being landed for the games purposes. Someone who is just a courtier is a completely different dynamic.
 
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The argument about feature complexity could be made of any new feature - adding stuff increases complexity.

However in this case, I think landed mechanics could serve a net positive for integrity - having a single coherent system underpinning Nomads/Republics/Empires actually would probably make testing them easier from a software perspective as it would allow the underlying fundamentals to be tested separate from the implementation-specific fluff on top

I.e. combinatorial explosion is reduced when core components are shared
 
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Yes, I made the point that the existing DLC is already causing certain issues when minor, easily missed elements run up against each other. That is going to be an inherent issue with all new DLC, which is why I think it would he such a big mistake to go in the direction of landless mechanics. That would add a tremendous amount of overhead and complexity for very little benefit. It is something that will only add content for like 5% of most players run throughs. However, because the core gameplay of landed characters would necessarily require interaction with non landed characters, this opens the door to a lot of glitches--even for players who chose to avoid playing unlanded characters.

I also really don't understand people who think that nomad/republic/imperial gameplay would more closely resemble unlanded characters than they would the current types of rulers we currently have. If we ever get these alternative government types, it will probably resemble how they worked in CK2. That is, the single coherent system underlying them will be the one we currently have, with adjusted mechanics to add flavor and variety. You are still the sovereign power with all the wealth and resources that goes with it. Just because you aren't in a feudal system doesn't mean you don't control land. Why do people think they are going to throw everything out to start completely from scratch for these things, instead of building off what the game already provides?
 
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The technical hurdles are vast and likely insurmountable, and Wokeg has basically confirmed today that it's not on the agenda due to that issue: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...s-going-to-come-in-2024.1622356/post-29393293.

That said, the desire for landless play itself is pretty easy to understand even without getting into the weeds about imperial government mechanics, verisimilitude, and implementation. People want this because they want to reenact a dramatic power fantasy as the ultimate underdog or rags-to-riches story. They want to take someone who starts with literally nothing but their force of personality and a dream (and maybe membership in a minor noble family), and take them and their descendants all the way to the highest seat of power in the known world. They want to play as William Wallace, but succeed against the English crown, or mimic the achievements of Kaveh the Blacksmith. They want to lead a dispossessed and unrepresented religious or cultural minority to glory and safety. They want to earn that sweet heresiarch or peasant leader trait through regular play instead of the character creator. CK3 has all these other mechanics to make that happen and simulate the world around the player as it does, with a setting during the right time period and place as well, so it seems like a natural progression to enable that power fantasy.

It's a cool pitch, and I think it's understandable where it comes from even if it's not technically achievable at all.
 
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The technical hurdles are vast and likely insurmountable, and Wokeg has basically confirmed today that it's not on the agenda due to that issue: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...s-going-to-come-in-2024.1622356/post-29393293.

That said, the desire for landless play itself is pretty easy to understand even without getting into the weeds about imperial government mechanics, verisimilitude, and implementation. People want this because they want to reenact a dramatic power fantasy as the ultimate underdog or rags-to-riches story. They want to take someone who starts with literally nothing but their force of personality and a dream (and maybe membership in a minor noble family), and take them and their descendants all the way to the highest seat of power in the known world. They want to play as William Wallace, but succeed against the English crown, or mimic the achievements of Kaveh the Blacksmith. They want to lead a dispossessed and unrepresented religious or cultural minority to glory and safety. They want to earn that sweet heresiarch or peasant leader trait through regular play instead of the character creator. CK3 as has all thesr other mechanics to make that happen and simulate the world around the player as it does, with a setting during the right time period and place as well, so it seems like a natural progression to enable that power fantasy.

It's a cool pitch, and I think it's understandable where it comes from even if it's not technically achievable at all.

He didn't confirm anything, he said it would be a lot of work. Which it would be. That's why it'll be a major expansion ;)

Yes, I made the point that the existing DLC is already causing certain issues when minor, easily missed elements run up against each other. That is going to be an inherent issue with all new DLC, which is why I think it would he such a big mistake to go in the direction of landless mechanics. That would add a tremendous amount of overhead and complexity for very little benefit. It is something that will only add content for like 5% of most players run throughs. However, because the core gameplay of landed characters would necessarily require interaction with non landed characters, this opens the door to a lot of glitches--even for players who chose to avoid playing unlanded characters.

I also really don't understand people who think that nomad/republic/imperial gameplay would more closely resemble unlanded characters than they would the current types of rulers we currently have. If we ever get these alternative government types, it will probably resemble how they worked in CK2. That is, the single coherent system underlying them will be the one we currently have, with adjusted mechanics to add flavor and variety. You are still the sovereign power with all the wealth and resources that goes with it. Just because you aren't in a feudal system doesn't mean you don't control land. Why do people think they are going to throw everything out to start completely from scratch for these things, instead of building off what the game already provides?

If it would work like it did in CK2, we'd already have it.
 
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The technical hurdles are vast and likely insurmountable, and Wokeg has basically confirmed today that it's not on the agenda due to that issue: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...s-going-to-come-in-2024.1622356/post-29393293.

That said, the desire for landless play itself is pretty easy to understand even without getting into the weeds about imperial government mechanics, verisimilitude, and implementation. People want this because they want to reenact a dramatic power fantasy as the ultimate underdog or rags-to-riches story. They want to take someone who starts with literally nothing but their force of personality and a dream (and maybe membership in a minor noble family), and take them and their descendants all the way to the highest seat of power in the known world. They want to play as William Wallace, but succeed against the English crown, or mimic the achievements of Kaveh the Blacksmith. They want to lead a dispossessed and unrepresented religious or cultural minority to glory and safety. They want to earn that sweet heresiarch or peasant leader trait through regular play instead of the character creator. CK3 as has all thesr other mechanics to make that happen and simulate the world around the player as it does, with a setting during the right time period and place as well, so it seems like a natural progression to enable that power fantasy.

It's a cool pitch, and I think it's understandable where it comes from even if it's not technically achievable at all.
I agree it would be hypothetically cool if that was possible and they had the resources to do it, but honestly this stuff sounds closer to "wouldn't it be cool to have a completely 3d open world map where you can explore your kingdom and build towns and design castles, and also have battles like Total War" than it does a realistic proposal for future DLC. I'm a simple man. I just want them to copy and paste the council mechanics from Conclave and the game would be nearly perfect as far as I'm concerned. There's just so much more viable directions they could do in that would be immensely easier to pull off. At the end of the day it's harmess, I just get a little nervous of people encouraging the game to go in a direction that sounds cool but isn't really that meaningful, and distracts from more feasible updates that would add a lot more depth without opening such a pandoras box of issues.
 
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To be clear, I'm approaching this not from a "wide-eyed player wanting the world" perspective, but from a practicality perspective. I'm a software guy, I understand what goes into building things this complex. I just think that having one system underpinning many features is more practical and more maintainable over the lifespan of the game than building separate features from scratch. It allows them to interact better with other systems, it allows them to be more ambitious, and it allows them to be deeper instead of a shallow series of flavor facsimiles.

These same arguments against landless characters could be made about the travel system. "It's unnecessary", "it's a waste of developer resources", "where are Societies / Merchant Republics / Nomads" . Nobody wanted characters who walk around the map. But it turns out, that feature is able to unlock tons of potential, that we're just starting to see the tip of.

To me, it's the fixation of the playerbase on these superficial things they want (e.g. Merchant Republics) that would be encouraging the game to go in a direction that sounds cool, but isn't meaningful. Merchant Republics sucked in CK2. What's meaningful is core systems that can allow for truly good implementations of the things we want. I get that they wouldn't be very interesting in the current game loop, but that's why we need to improve the game loop by expanding the possibilities for what can be included in it.

My only concern about landless is how the CPU would handle performance from a practicality standpoint. That's a lot of extra characters.
 
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Personally I have never really cared about Republics and Nomads tbh. I would much rather have more fleshed out mechanics for things like the council and the papacy, which would add depth and breadth to every playthrough regardless of your start. New government types are a lot of work for something that players won't really experiance unless they happen to play that government. In other words, I would much rather have only feudal mechanics with a lot of depth and dynamicism than I would both feudal and republics where each one has relatively shallow features because they didn't have the resources to really flesh either one out. Unfortunately, time and resources are finite, and they have to make decisions on what to work on.
 
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I think you significantly underestimate just how much QA work would be required to implement landless mechanics. Every single time any new feature is added, regardless of how small it seems, would need to account for how it interacts with landless characters. Every new DLC released is yet another piece that has to be configured to work with the submechanics of every previous DLC. A landless courtier expansion, in addition to whatever is in the base DLC, would also need to go back and add things for these courtiers to do when someone holds court, or goes on tour, or is given a ward, or launches a Varangian adventure. If they were to then release a disease focused one, in addition to the base content for landed characters, they would need to also account for non landed characters and everything they could do. They would then need to go back and make sure every new mechanic for these landless characters doesn't break anything when someone holds court, or goes on tour, or is given a ward (including every possible combination of scenarios). It becomes exponentially more complex with every new feature added, for only marginal benefit. The trade offs quite simply do not work.
Yes thats how games work, especially paradox's 101 dlcs, a dedicated landless expansion which enhances both existing and new ways to play would be worth the cost of royal court when it first came out. Paradox knew that every future system they added would need something for random indian, siberian, and african characters as they decided to expand the map that much at game start, yet still they expanded the map that much. Why should future mechanic concerns mean that we cant have a mediveal game be more accurate to the period by including far more landless mechanics
I also disagree about the other government types. Nomads and republics don't own land in a system of feudal relationships, but they still are government entities with geographic bases of power and the armies to defend them. A doge might not literally own every plot of land in a city state, but they're still effectively the sovereign power that rules over it, which is close enough to being landed for the games purposes. Someone who is just a courtier is a completely different dynamic.
A doge is a leader of the Republic but theres still every noble family and senators in it taking part in some way or another
 
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Personally, I think Paradox created this more than anything. They made this game more about RPG than about Kingdom building aka country building aka map painting. This game is all about the experiences your character has e.g. the roleplay.

So, I want to roleplay my character. The idea of playing as a knight in a holy order. Or building a merc company and fighting all over. Or starting as a nobody and building myself up to the top a true rags to riches story.

Now they might push the game back towards a more "system" based gameplay mechanic and make it more challenging to build your nation. If you do that, I probably wouldn't care as much about unlanded gameplay.

So, if they keep pushing this as a dark ages style RPG, than we need landless gameplay. If the goal is to make it more about your kingdom and country; they need to add systems and increase the difficulty.

PS CK2 had a real nice unlanded gameplay mod called rise to power, it was pretty fun.
 
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Personally I have never really cared about Republics and Nomads tbh. I would much rather have more fleshed out mechanics for things like the council and the papacy, which would add depth and breadth to every playthrough regardless of your start. New government types are a lot of work for something that players won't really experiance unless they happen to play that government. In other words, I would much rather have only feudal mechanics with a lot of depth and dynamicism than I would both feudal and republics where each one has relatively shallow features because they didn't have the resources to really flesh either one out. Unfortunately, time and resources are finite, and they have to make decisions on what to work on.

Replies of this thread already provide many good answers of why people want landless characters. But it seems that you don’t actually want to know the reasons, you just want to to express your opposition toward landless characters.

And this post show the real problem of your thread. You don’t want the development time and resources being put into aspects you’re not interested in. But obviously you’re not the only player of this game, so you try to use some unproved number to convince people that the aspects you're not interested in are very "unrelevant" to the game.
 
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Replies of this thread already provide many good answers of why people want landless characters. But it seems that you don’t actually want to know the reasons, you just want to to express your opposition toward landless characters.

And this post show the real problem of your thread. You don’t want the development time and resources being put into aspects you’re not interested in. But obviously you’re not the only player of this game, so you try to use some unproved number to convince people that the aspects you're not interested in are very "unrelevant" to the game.
This goes back to the pre-release discussion in regards to Navies; some people pushed for it, while most of us argued it was a waste of resources for a system that would barely see any use that the majority of characters couldn't even use.

So yes, there is certainly an opportunity cost involved. It's fair to say "I think we need to focus elsewhere", which is fine. But being against a system for the sole reason of being against said system is NOT ok.
 
This goes back to the pre-release discussion in regards to Navies; some people pushed for it, while most of us argued it was a waste of resources for a system that would barely see any use that the majority of characters couldn't even use.

So yes, there is certainly an opportunity cost involved. It's fair to say "I think we need to focus elsewhere", which is fine. But being against a system for the sole reason of being against said system is NOT ok.

And what have you argued for in almost 4 years time... that is so GREAT .. the game can be compact into 3 DLC Northern Lords Royal Court and Tours and Tourneyment.

WoW what a product and feedback for almost 4 years time, when in the same time period CK2 was in Way of Life Phase and becoming a best seller and flagship of Paradox.

So fine you want feudal Empire or Feudal improvements, start making a concrete FEEDBACK not bunch of general vague ideas.
Make a structure plan, if not then let people who were silent for 4 years take over and do some creative growing.
 
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So fine you want feudal Empire or Feudal improvements, start making a concrete FEEDBACK not bunch of general vague ideas.
Make a structure plan, if not then let people who were silent for 4 years take over and do some creative growing
Not sure who you’re addressing, but this Feb. 12, 2023 post from Wokeg seems relevant to your discussion (bolded italics added):
On the feedback: honestly, I find that the best feedback is often either very general or hyper-specific, so you're good. "X value is too high" or "I struggle to feel connected to the warfare system" are both a lot more actionable than a detailed proposed rework (though, ngl, I do quite appreciate those from time to time) because the former can be adjusted immediately, if needed, whilst the latter speaks to where a particular pain point might be, but stuff in the middle tends to be too big to actually change much on whilst often disguising the problems the writer has with solutions to what they think are the problems.