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Speaking of Options...

Azure_Zero
Bringslite
Edam
Bringslite
I don't see any real solid reason for it right now.

I thought the reason for it was obvious.

There are player groups in the game who have randomly kept grabbing more and more settlements. Vastly more than they need or can use. When new players eventually come into the game the only way they have a hope of getting a settlement is to grovel and beg to the groups with excess settlement in the hopes they can make a deal and get one for themselves.

Out of the thirty odd landrush settlements none are currently available to just take they are all tied up. Sure you can negotiate with someone and buy or otherwise acquire one but that is beside the point.

What the game actually needs is someway that unused settlements if they are not maintained turn back into NPC settlements (not just become available for some large group to grab) so that eventually they can be made available for new groups to compete for when the game picks up.
Well that's not exactly true. The Commonwealth has already given, freely and without restrictions/requirements, a settlement to a guild from outside this game. We did this because the real goal here is to have the game GROW by making it be less onerous to get started. We will probably do so again for groups that show honest interest in playing the game. Would be nice if more "Groups" with more than one "castle" might follow that example. Another reason, is of course, that The Commonwealth simply doesn't need as much land or control at this really down time in the game situation. We are working on reducing the burden's of support, hoping that the game will get less "chore-full" than it is now, for now.

Also remember that these multi settlement groups formed organically because others were doing the same thing and it is human nature to want to "win". Most around today basically started as One Settlement groups and created Alliances <- a natural result in any Territorial MMO I have ever seen.

Edit: But I do agree that more land should somehow be freed up before OE. If not simply so that new players coming in, feel like there is hope of having their own castle. Who said anything about limiting the ability to take over settlements anyway? Even if shut down they still have to be sieged…

I agree that the game actually needs is someway that unused settlements if they are not maintained turn back into NPC settlements (not just become available for some large group to grab) so that eventually they can be made available for new groups to compete for when the game picks up.

I would like it that IF a settlement has and or is shutdown for over 6 months ALL buildings (sans Keeps) start degrading -1 every month after the 6 months, so +5 becomes +4 etc. When a Building is +0 and time to degrade comes it goes puff and is gone. When all the Builds sans the Keep is gone, the Keep starts degrading every month, when it goes puff and is gone the settlement is Now NPC with all the companies being kick out.
This gives A LOT of time for the group owning the settlement and it's banner companies to get back in gear and keep the settlement though with some losses if they decided NOT to keep an eye on it.
This means a Complete +5 settlement has 17 Months before it becomes NPC, while any +0 settlements will have 8 to 9 months before becoming NPC.
The degrading effect would force the issue of Maintenance even for dead settlements and make the taking of them easier for new groups with No strings attached and never have the appearance (public or hidden) of strings attached when settlements are given away.
Furthermore this approach gives the new groups an idea of WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED in running a settlement, as I think being given a settlement tells the new group it'll be easy running one. But when they get to it, they find out it is harder then they thought and might leave.
Bringslite
lol, don't trust much do you?

The trick of your idea would be preventing existing groups from gobbling up the new NPC settlements. Putting conquest "off limits" to established groups in a game that has territorial conquest as a major factor.

If that could be solved then maybe something like an "OE Land Rush" could be held. Might even be a part of the eventual marketing strategy for OE… After all, most active settlements were won through a LR contest and not won through war. That is a significantly less onerous task than taking one by war and then also having to build it up.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Azure_Zero
One part is an easy reason why groups would not want to take another settlement.
The Cost of Taking another settlement and then Maintaining it when you already have even a single +4 or better settlement would be enough of a pain and burden that groups would not want to put the effort in taking another.
In that would be even more taxing to the point that folks would likely rather leave your settlement or group then help with the need to take and maintain another settlement.
Even if you did take the other settlement and lessened the burden of maintenance as much as possible you'd likely keep it rather low which makes for much easier sieging then a mid or higher level settlement.
Smitty
Not all this goes in this thread but is related to what some of yall are talking about so im putting it here.
The work required to take over a vacant settlement that is shut down is way out of portion from what it should take - If there is no keep and the settlement is in shutdown mode- why require a siege to take over the settlement?
Currently what is needed is for a group to make a supply train - clear the core 6- have the founding settlement company feud the target founding company and all companies that are going to be involved in taking over the settlement do the same.. and keep those feuds going until the bulk in the settlement is reduced to 0 and then the buildings destroyed ..

All of that to “attack ???“ a ghost town ???

You want to talk about zero fun and things that are a chore - at least with a mule you get to stock holdings that produce more resources or allow you settlement to run higher. Taking a ghost town with the current rules reminds me of my service days where things were done just to demonstrate my ignorance through the chain of command..
Taking over a ghost town should to be like our old system - if you surround the settlement for ? 4 weeks ?? and nobody puts up a keep / reactivates the settlement or tries to kick you out - that surrounding group should be awarded the settlement.

Question to you guys and bob and company in regards to settlements in general..
Why not ease up on building settlements - if you make them easier to build the threat of losing them is not as severe - instead of building each building 0,1,2,3,4, and 5 - - why not just make them like holdings - where you build it and place it - and can upgrade it to its maximum number? ( Still would need DI to bank- so you still have to have holdings ).

That just makes more sense to me -

The need to put so much time an energy into a settlement led folks to justifying enormous cost of what it takes to siege one. One of the core pillars of the game is settlement warfare and the current rules make it too expensive to even consider settlement warfare, just food for thought - ease up on siege rules - make settlement warfare not so much a very rare and expensive thing – it is suppose to be one of the selling points of the game.
Not 100% related But Can we have a discussion about influence cost ?
Tearing down and rebuilding hexes - If my company owns a hex and wants to restructure it - why do I need to tear down outpost- wait a day - tear down the holding the next day- and then on the final day- I have to make sure I am on right after downtime to place the new holding ( in case someone notices and snakes the hex ..). This is always felt clumsy to me.. If my company owns the hex I should be able to change holdings and outpost when I want.
Why cant we just upgrade the hex with holdings and outpost in our inventories and overwrite ones already in the hex ?
While I’m complaining about outpost and holdings - One more thing that needs to be looked at / talked about –
The reason for the 25% loss when downgrading an outpost/holding .. If I recall this was put in because right after holdings came in, during the time when you could run a +0 holding with +3 outpost and get full bulk . Groups would set the holding to +0 - and then when feuded they would bump the holdings up to +3 for the added guards - and once the threat had passed move them back down to +0 so they wouldn’t use additional resources.
That all has been taken care of with outpost only producing bulk at the same rate the holding is set - So Can we get rid of the self-imposed 25% penalty on influence for reducing a hex? We aren’t allowed to change holding/outpost pluses during a feud so why do we still need the 25% tax in breaking them down or reducing them?-
Bringslite
Not everyone agrees with me but this game does seem to have "stick" all out of proportion to "carrot" in many of the mechanics. It could be simply lack of a healthy population. That is probably key to most everything.

I'll say this: I am not sure what I would do(as far as playing on) if The Commonwealth lost a lvl 20 sett or two. It was/is a hell of a lot of work…
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Bob
Smitty
Not all this goes in this thread but is related to what some of yall are talking about so im putting it here.
The work required to take over a vacant settlement that is shut down is way out of portion from what it should take - If there is no keep and the settlement is in shutdown mode- why require a siege to take over the settlement?
Currently what is needed is for a group to make a supply train - clear the core 6- have the founding settlement company feud the target founding company and all companies that are going to be involved in taking over the settlement do the same.. and keep those feuds going until the bulk in the settlement is reduced to 0 and then the buildings destroyed ..

All of that to “attack ???“ a ghost town ???

You want to talk about zero fun and things that are a chore - at least with a mule you get to stock holdings that produce more resources or allow you settlement to run higher. Taking a ghost town with the current rules reminds me of my service days where things were done just to demonstrate my ignorance through the chain of command..
Taking over a ghost town should to be like our old system - if you surround the settlement for ? 4 weeks ?? and nobody puts up a keep / reactivates the settlement or tries to kick you out - that surrounding group should be awarded the settlement.

I'll be rewriting the siege rules shortly to take into account structure upgrades, and while doing that I was planning on easing up the requirements for sieging smaller settlements a bit. In particular, the requirement to completely surround the target settlement was primarily put in place so that I wasn't suddenly swamped with siege declarations. Given that there haven't been any sieges yet, I think it's safe to make that aspect a bit easier.

Also, we do eventually plan on setting some level of minimum maintenance for settlements, with failure to meet that minimum resulting in the settlement becoming abandoned. At that point, the settlement would be claimable simply be surrounding it with holdings and outposts (2 per hex). One possible simple version would be that any settlement that's inactive for over a month or two would be abandoned. It's not exactly a high bar to meet, but we've been reticent to put any additional requirements in too quickly. Still, it might be worth considering while I'm in the middle of a quick rules update.

Smitty
Question to you guys and bob and company in regards to settlements in general..
Why not ease up on building settlements - if you make them easier to build the threat of losing them is not as severe - instead of building each building 0,1,2,3,4, and 5 - - why not just make them like holdings - where you build it and place it - and can upgrade it to its maximum number? ( Still would need DI to bank- so you still have to have holdings ).

That just makes more sense to me -

The need to put so much time an energy into a settlement led folks to justifying enormous cost of what it takes to siege one. One of the core pillars of the game is settlement warfare and the current rules make it too expensive to even consider settlement warfare, just food for thought - ease up on siege rules - make settlement warfare not so much a very rare and expensive thing – it is suppose to be one of the selling points of the game.

Basically, we wanted to make settlement growth a slow/steady process where it takes lots of time and work to build a really advanced settlement. Our expectation was that settlement turnover would be more common in the less settled, wilder areas of the map, while the advanced settlements at the center of large nations would remain more stable, though occasionally a nation would fall completely. As such, a basic settlement is pretty cheap to set up, and thus not as big of a loss if it falls. Advanced settlements represent a great deal of effort, and therefore require a great deal of effort to tear down.

Smitty
Not 100% related But Can we have a discussion about influence cost ?
Tearing down and rebuilding hexes - If my company owns a hex and wants to restructure it - why do I need to tear down outpost- wait a day - tear down the holding the next day- and then on the final day- I have to make sure I am on right after downtime to place the new holding ( in case someone notices and snakes the hex ..). This is always felt clumsy to me.. If my company owns the hex I should be able to change holdings and outpost when I want.
Why cant we just upgrade the hex with holdings and outpost in our inventories and overwrite ones already in the hex ?

We'd like to add the ability to replace holdings/outposts without first tearing them down, much as you can raise the Max Upgrade for a holding/outpost from a kit in your inventory, it just hasn't reached the top of our priority list yet.

Smitty
While I’m complaining about outpost and holdings - One more thing that needs to be looked at / talked about –
The reason for the 25% loss when downgrading an outpost/holding .. If I recall this was put in because right after holdings came in, during the time when you could run a +0 holding with +3 outpost and get full bulk . Groups would set the holding to +0 - and then when feuded they would bump the holdings up to +3 for the added guards - and once the threat had passed move them back down to +0 so they wouldn’t use additional resources.
That all has been taken care of with outpost only producing bulk at the same rate the holding is set - So Can we get rid of the self-imposed 25% penalty on influence for reducing a hex? We aren’t allowed to change holding/outpost pluses during a feud so why do we still need the 25% tax in breaking them down or reducing them?-

A large part of that is simply that we wanted companies to lose some influence if buildings get taken from them, and we didn't want to leave things such that companies could see a feud coming and just downgrade or tear down their buildings first to avoid the influence loss. Generally speaking, we weren't picturing that holdings or outposts would be getting downgraded or torn down very often unless a company was forced to do so, and a minor loss of influence felt appropriate in those circumstances.
Bob
Bringslite
Not everyone agrees with me but this game does seem to have "stick" all out of proportion to "carrot" in many of the mechanics. It could be simply lack of a healthy population. That is probably key to most everything.

I'll say this: I am not sure what I would do(as far as playing on) if The Commonwealth lost a lvl 20 sett or two. It was/is a hell of a lot of work…

In general, we're in agreement here that the game needs more carrots and less sticks. Switching to the half-support mechanic was a step in that direction, and one that we could do pretty easily, but ultimately we hope to find ways to make support feel more like a carrot than a stick. Those are just going to take more work.
Smitty
In regards to part of you response -

“Basically, we wanted to make settlement growth a slow/steady process where it takes lots of time and work to build a really advanced settlement. Our expectation was that settlement turnover would be more common in the less settled, wilder areas of the map, while the advanced settlements at the center of large nations would remain more stable, though occasionally a nation would fall completely. As such, a basic settlement is pretty cheap to set up, and thus not as big of a loss if it falls. Advanced settlements represent a great deal of effort, and therefore require a great deal of effort to tear down.”

I think you guys need to put that dusty design document away and look at what we have left in the game as of today- and make a few design decisions that might actually lead toward some growth in the future. While the original design may have had some merit - a few years later it has lost its luster-
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It needs to be tweaked and you guys need to decide what you want the game to be in the short term and what it should be in the long term. I cant express how frustrating it is to listen to an explanation about what was intended 5 years ago when there was funding- and entire dev team working on the project.
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My entire point is that premise is wrong - I understand what the original intent was - but things are far from where those visions started - I feel you would get a better response in marketing this a settlement warfare game - if you made it easier to build a settlement - and not a 8 month + ordeal to fight over one.
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Brings just said it above “I'll say this: I am not sure what I would do(as far as playing on) if The Commonwealth lost a lvl 20 sett or two. It was/is a hell of a lot of work…”
So he put a ton into what it is - and if there is ever a fight over it - and it doesn’t turn out his way - he may just walk away … That should resonate on some level- You don’t want the loser of any battle to feel like they don’t want to go through building it all up again or have no shot at building it back up-

Azure_Zero
—-
Edam
The history of the game so far is that if a settlement fails (original BWG, original Hammerfall, Phaeros, all of Aeonian league, all of Xelias) all but one or two really dedicated players leave the game rather than move to another group.

If you read the early comments by the original dev team they expected players attachment to be to their companies and settlements to just be the place "where they hung their hat at the moment" . For most players in the game this is NOT the case, companies are something they jump between willy-nilly and their real attachment as a player is to their settlement or alliance group.
 
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