Why not a PROPER Majesty Game?

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Colombo

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I remember that hireable henchmen (at the barracks) were an intended feature in Maj: Legends, and there was a lot of discussion on this topic during the older Maj3 thread. I'm very skeptical about it thematically, but in terms of strict realism, there's some logic to it. So, I don't know. Maybe just for warriors' guild residents, since they are an explicitly military force.

I think that they could give better feeling that heroes are special. Your kingdom won't be swarming in heroes-units, but heroes would be in small numbers and strong individuals. You could even distinguish between lone warriors and leaders.
 

Alfryd

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I think we're falling afoul of the whole "what counts as a hero?" problem here. I mean, in a certain sense I'd actually like heroes to be more ubiquitous, in the sense of giving all your henchmen decision trees and personalities and gear upgrades and private lives, et cetera. But whether you'd formally label them as heroes is another matter.

I mean, sure, you want heroes to feel important/special, but increasing their rarity might actually backfire in that regard. This idea might be a better fit for certain 'power-up' or prestige classes- for example, I do feel that it shouldn't be possible to cram your warriors' guilds with nothing but Paladins/Wods. These should be a tiny handful of uber-units, and it's possible this is the feeling you're going for when you talk about 'heroes'. But bread-and-butter warriors, rogues and rangers? I don't see intrinsic harm in having two dozen of those walking around the place.
 

Alfryd

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I think that they could give better feeling that heroes are special. Your kingdom won't be swarming in heroes-units, but heroes would be in small numbers and strong individuals. You could even distinguish between lone warriors and leaders.

Well, maybe it would help if I described this in terms of an apprentice-journeyman-master system. e.g, to take a few examples:

Page -> Warrior -> Lancer or Knight at Arms
Bondsman -> Ranger -> Slayer or Realm Guard
Acolyte -> Priestess -> Reverend Mother
Neophyte -> Monk -> Patriarch

The basic idea is that apprentice-level heroes would function something like the supporting-henchmen you suggested: They'd probably be recruited automatically, study under their master until they're ready to become journeymen themselves, and accompany him/her on less dangerous assignments. You might have each journeyman-level hero gather one or two apprentices over time as they gained experience.

Masters, on the other hand, would require the player's direct approval to be appointed, possibly come in different flavours, and influence the training style of the guild as a whole. You'd only have one or two master-level heroes associated with a given guild, so they'd function more like the leading elite you were discussing. (In the case of temple heroes in particular, one could imagine them being responsible for casting sovereign spells.)
 

Colombo

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Well, maybe it would help if I described this in terms of an apprentice-journeyman-master system. e.g, to take a few examples:

Page -> Warrior -> Lancer or Knight at Arms
Bondsman -> Ranger -> Slayer or Realm Guard
Acolyte -> Priestess -> Reverend Mother
Neophyte -> Monk -> Patriarch

The basic idea is that apprentice-level heroes would function something like the supporting-henchmen you suggested: They'd probably be recruited automatically, study under their master until they're ready to become journeymen themselves, and accompany him/her on less dangerous assignments. You might have each journeyman-level hero gather one or two apprentices over time as they gained experience.

Masters, on the other hand, would require the player's direct approval to be appointed, possibly come in different flavours, and influence the training style of the guild as a whole. You'd only have one or two master-level heroes associated with a given guild, so they'd function more like the leading elite you were discussing. (In the case of temple heroes in particular, one could imagine them being responsible for casting sovereign spells.)

I don't know, this seems to complicate things too little too much. What I thought was a way to simplify things while making game still complex. Way to add another units (and make kingdom population bigger) without complicating that and way to increase population of realm, again without complicating things much by adding another task for player.
 

Alfryd

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I don't know, this seems to complicate things too little too much. What I thought was a way to simplify things while making game still complex. Way to add another units (and make kingdom population bigger) without complicating that and way to increase population of realm, again without complicating things much by adding another task for player.
Well, there would certainly be added complexity in terms of simulation-programming, but in terms of UI or micro... it's much the same as researching upgrades or having multiple hiring options (like, e.g, the warriors' guild in Maj1. Bear in mind that apprentices would auto-recruit, so the player only needs to think about hiring journeymen and masters.) I don't think that's a significant extra burden on the player.

In terms of verisimilitude, it has definite advantages, and I think the overall effect is similar to what you were looking for, in terms of added population and a hierarchy of specialness.
 

Colombo

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Well, there would certainly be added complexity in terms of simulation-programming, but in terms of UI or micro... it's much the same as researching upgrades or having multiple hiring options (like, e.g, the warriors' guild in Maj1. Bear in mind that apprentices would auto-recruit, so the player only needs to think about hiring journeymen and masters.) I don't think that's a significant extra burden on the player.

In terms of verisimilitude, it has definite advantages, and I think the overall effect is similar to what you were looking for, in terms of added population and a hierarchy of specialness.

I need to test my ideas if they could work well enough. I am slowly learning SDL so I'll be ready in few months.
 

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Alfryd said:
Let me furthermore posit that their specialty is, e.g, making swords and potions and cloaks of stealth, et cetera

*This* is where I have an ideological? problem with. I just don't see the heros, as defined in Majesty, as doing these things. You have a Blacksmith "making" swords. You have a merchant selling potions (presumably gotten from caravans). You have the Ranger "making" Potions from the Herbs that Healers plant, but that's about it, they're not "tied" to some building other than their Guild (and I think they just make them on the fly anyway). Having those roles may make sense to you, but it doesn't to me, sorry.

Alfryd said:
I was hoping, partly out of the (charitable) assumption that you might represent some non-trivial demographic, and partly out of respect for our acquaintance, that I could make a game that you would also like to play. I am still hopeful of that, in that I don't think the priorities I favour actually interfere with yours.

thank you :) but since I'm the only one really replying in this thread about my views/positions, I certainly wouldn't say I represent any sort of demographic; if anything, it'd be trivial than non-trivial. :)

Alfryd said:
But you were, in fact, the first to pass judgement in this thread, and I hope you will consider that.

I don't know about passing "judgement", I believe I merely started off by saying I either disagree with what you an Colombo were discussing what Maj2 should be or they weren't the kinds of things I wanted to see in a Maj2. I don't believe that your view is "wrong"; Maj2 can certainly go that way. It's just not what *I'd* want to see in a Maj2.
 
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Spiderman

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Sorry, it was really just a mis-spelling. I'll edit that one.
 

Alfryd

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Colombo, I'd have to say that just about anyone's entitled to address you by your official handle.

*This* is where I have an ideological? problem with. I just don't see the heros, as defined in Majesty, as doing these things...
Well, I'm sorry Spidey, but I don't think you've articulated the rationale behind that dislike very well. Given that, again, gnomes and healers clearly had more of economic focus than a military one, and there seems to be a double-standard regarding your tolerance of them.

But let's take a look at this from a purely numerical standpoint. Majesty 1 had 6 henchmen classes (3 guards, taxmen, peasants and caravans) and 16 hero classes. Now, if we take away the racial classes and healers from that total (given that you're okay with dwarves/elves belonging to a variety of professions, and healers don't fight), then you're looking at around 6-8 henchman classes and 12-13 hero classes.

Now, we've been discussing the possibility of an apprentice-journeyman-master system for most heroes, which could roughly triple the amount of hero units in the game (though not the number of structures.) If you multiply the amount of economic classes proportionately, then you're looking at maybe 18 types of non-heroes. And you can do some fairly fine-grained economy simulation with that.

Now, naturally, this is somehow assuming that time and cost were not major constraints here, and you could afford to lavish attention on both hero and henchman development. (This is the scenario where I get a trillion billion dollars, the space shuttle, and a private continent. :p) But in principle, this kind of game would be neither more nor less henchman-focused than the original. It would just be deeper.
 

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Given that, again, gnomes and healers clearly had more of economic focus than a military one, and there seems to be a double-standard regarding your tolerance of them.

See, I disagree here also. Healers healed the fighters who were doing the fighting, they didn't contribute to your economy. Less so, because they didn't buy Healing Potions. Gnomes, maybe, since they built, but frankly, I only used them in preset scenarios/quests where you had to have them because they came with the scenario/quest. In freestyle, they weren't needed at all so they probably could be chucked out.

Anyway, I'm sorry you don't get why I don't like it but like I said, it's my personal preference. Add them in your game if you want, I certainly won't stop you :)
 

Colombo

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See, I disagree here also. Healers healed the fighters who were doing the fighting, they didn't contribute to your economy. Less so, because they didn't buy Healing Potions. Gnomes, maybe, since they built, but frankly, I only used them in preset scenarios/quests where you had to have them because they came with the scenario/quest. In freestyle, they weren't needed at all so they probably could be chucked out.

Anyway, I'm sorry you don't get why I don't like it but like I said, it's my personal preference. Add them in your game if you want, I certainly won't stop you :)

Note that you are refering to your particular playstyle. Gnomes were amazing for steering early economy and fast buildup. Essential to krolm-rush multiplayer strategy.
They were also cheep and hard to hit, so they could slow monster push as well as quickly repair nearly-destroyed buildings or repair them even when multiple strong monsters attack it. While doing that, your heroes could slowly assemble and kill those monsters, resulting in no or just little economy damage that would be otherwise done. So restricting yourself from gnomes may as well be not optimal strategy.
 

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Note that you are refering to your particular playstyle. Gnomes were amazing for steering early economy and fast buildup. Essential to krolm-rush multiplayer strategy.

I agree about it being my particular playstyle. I only played multiplayer once so I can't comment on that (although I know multiplayer and single player are two different games). What I can say is in freestyle, I beat every expert combination* without the use of Gnomes, so while amazing at fast buildup, they weren't essential and why I said they were not needed (but again, did not take MP into account). Rather, I would say Elves were essential although perhaps someone else has beaten every expert combination with Gnomes than Elves.

* The only combination I could not beat, even with Gnomes, was the NE combination of Ice Dragons, Yetis(?) and something else. Frozen Wastes? I can't remember...
 

Colombo

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I agree about it being my particular playstyle. I only played multiplayer once so I can't comment on that (although I know multiplayer and single player are two different games). What I can say is in freestyle, I beat every expert combination* without the use of Gnomes, so while amazing at fast buildup, they weren't essential and why I said they were not needed (but again, did not take MP into account). Rather, I would say Elves were essential although perhaps someone else has beaten every expert combination with Gnomes than Elves.

* The only combination I could not beat, even with Gnomes, was the NE combination of Ice Dragons, Yetis(?) and something else. Frozen Wastes? I can't remember...

This is exactly something what I would like to see and why I like certain complex games. Multitude of equally optimal strategies. You could play a game for years and never notice certain playstyle because you don't just play in that way while someone is playing the other way around. This sort of amazing experience. Thinking and not just following buildorder.

If you notice, most of my suggestions tried to punch in that way, allowing new combinations (eg. that some heroes could do different "professions" and thus provide additional bonus, greatly expand what was already in original Majesty and expanding way how to give direct or undirect bonus).
 

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In theory/abstract, I don't think it can be done. Each hero class has its advantages/disadvantages/what sets them apart from the others and those traits make them "the best" against certain monsters and situations. For instance, Krypta's priestess summon skeletons, which are great against dragons/ranged monsters. Cultists' Charm Monster is good against monster-heavy maps. You can defeat the maps with other heros like Monks and Paladins if you go Dauros though.

So you won't get "equally optimal" strategies if you try to keep heros unique. If you keep them the "same" and are just adding types/classes "for the sake of it", then they're really just fluff and not worth it.
 

Alfryd

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In theory/abstract, I don't think it can be done. Each hero class has its advantages/disadvantages/what sets them apart from the others and those traits make them "the best" against certain monsters and situations. For instance, Krypta's priestess summon skeletons, which are great against dragons/ranged monsters. Cultists' Charm Monster is good against monster-heavy maps. You can defeat the maps with other heros like Monks and Paladins if you go Dauros though.

So you won't get "equally optimal" strategies if you try to keep heros unique. If you keep them the "same" and are just adding types/classes "for the sake of it", then they're really just fluff and not worth it.

Skeletons' dragon-resistance was a substantial trump card for priestesses, but never really made much sense (it's not that skeletons are actually super-agile, it's that missiles are supposed to bounce off their bony carapace. If dragon-fire can punch through armour, it'll certainly burn bone, though.) But I digress...

Your overall point is certainly valid- to the extent that heroes actually have unique roles and behaviour, you certainly can't speak of them all being 'equally optimal'. But that's true of any attempt at RTS-style balancing- it's not that, e.g, zerglings are unequivocally better or worse than ultralisks, it's that there are different circumstances where each can outperform the other. In majesty, however... the circumstances where cultists/priestesses/WoDs (to take one example) would really outperform monks/healers/paladins were comparatively rare and specific. Sure, skeletons have great missile resistance, but so did monks and paladins. Who also had great melee resistance, and/or heavy armour and/or magic resistance. Monks/paladins with a bit of spell backup could reliably trounce nearly anything, including 90% of what cultists could charm, while at the same time those WoDs were, e.g, off on the other side of the map chasing butterflies.

In principle one could re-jigger things so that fervus/krypta could actually stand up better (Maj2 actually had skeletons reliably protect their mistress, for example,) but by and large I'd actually prefer if cultists were dangerous for entirely different reasons- because they used stealth and deceit and subversion and hit-and-run tactics to hit soft targets and avoid a direct fight in the first place.


...Anyway. This isn't really what I wanted to get at. I'm not sure what you mean by 'adding types/classes' for the sake of it, if you're talking about apprentices and masters or a larger population. I think they serve exactly the same function as heroes having a bunch of apparently extraneous behaviours, in that they help the world feel more substantive and relatable. I'd like to, e.g, see the kind of stories that you get from, e.g, seeing a newborn street urchin rise up the career ladder to become a crimson hand assassin in the king's employ. That's just a cool thing to see.
 

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but never really made much sense...
I just chalk it up to "the way Majesty is". Like how Elves are in charge of the brothels (or Lounge...) doesn't really make sense from traditional Elves *or* even from what little in-game lore there is about Elves in the first place...

Monks/paladins with a bit of spell backup could reliably trounce nearly anything...

Well, *anything* with spell backup could trounce nearly anything... but I do agree that the Fervus/Krypta spells seem overpriced for like Agrela/Dauros spells... 400 Heal vs 200 Heal? 2000 Animate Dead vs 1500 Resurrection?

I'd like to, e.g, see the kind of stories that you get from, e.g, seeing a newborn street urchin rise up the career ladder to become a crimson hand assassin in the king's employ. That's just a cool thing to see.

This is probably the fundamental difference here. While it might be cool to see, *I* don't really want to see it in a Majesty game as it stands right now. There really aren't any "stories" to follow a hero right now; to do so, it really requires re-jiggering/rebooting what Majesty is, frankly to the point where (to me!) it's not Majesty anymore. Just like Maj2 took Majesty to the "extreme" RTS route, it would seem going this way would take it to the "extreme" sim route.
 

Alfryd

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I just chalk it up to "the way Majesty is". Like how Elves are in charge of the brothels (or Lounge...) doesn't really make sense from traditional Elves *or* even from what little in-game lore there is about Elves in the first place...
Yeah, but there's nothing physically impossible about elves being hedonistic gamblers, and if you back to original sources, it's actually no stranger than tolkien's interpretation.
Well, *anything* with spell backup could trounce nearly anything... but I do agree that the Fervus/Krypta spells seem overpriced for like Agrela/Dauros spells... 400 Heal vs 200 Heal? 2000 Animate Dead vs 1500 Resurrection?
It's worse than that. A single 100-gold blessing spell will raise the average monk/paladin's dodge/parry into the 90+ range, which means you rarely need to heal them in the first place. (From a thematic standpoint, I can understand the higher prices, in that fervus/krypta are more on the 'good offence is best defence' end of the spectrum... the problem is that spells like Animate and Illusory Hero are damn near worthless, so there's no upside here.)

This is probably the fundamental difference here. While it might be cool to see, *I* don't really want to see it in a Majesty game as it stands right now. There really aren't any "stories" to follow a hero right now; to do so, it really requires re-jiggering/rebooting what Majesty is, frankly to the point where (to me!) it's not Majesty anymore. Just like Maj2 took Majesty to the "extreme" RTS route, it would seem going this way would take it to the "extreme" sim route.
I would say there are some stories associated with the heroes in Maj1- at least, I remember the cyberlore boards having after-action reports where people would relate how, for example, their level-50 warrior and one plucky healer swooped in see off 3 black phantoms in The Day of Reckoning. Maybe not shakespeare, but the the principle is the same. (Players would do the same in X-Com, apparently.)

I think it is reasonable to ask whether I'm strictly talking about a Majesty 'sequel' here so much as a spinoff or reboot (much as would be the case with a turn-based grand-strategy title within the franchise, which I'd also love to see.) But I think the important question is whether this is (A) a worthy project on it's own terms, and (B) has enough of a thematic overlap with Majesty that brand association would be a benefit here. Whether you'd call this Majesty FKS 3 or Crusader Kings: Majesty Edition or Majesty: The Adventures of a Yeti Bladder Oil Merchant is more of a marketing concern than an existential quandary.
 

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I would say there are some stories associated with the heroes in Maj1

Well, you could make up any stories you want about your heros, but you could do the same in Warlords, Warcraft, Stronghold, pretty much anything. No one is "physically evolving" though and having their story actually playing out on screen to the depth you are describing.

But I think the important question is whether this is (A) a worthy project on it's own terms

Worthy compared to what? As a commercial product "sold to the masses" or having one man's dream come true or what? For the latter, anything is worthy if that person deems it important enough.