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 Parish donating 
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 4:14 am
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Post Re: Parish donating
To: Voltair, et al.

I was working out how to reply to your remarks in an engaging and thought provoking way; so, here it is. I have enjoyed my time playing SHK, but it is decidedly in need of some seriously improved balancing in-game. The basics of SHK have been unbalanced; by neglecting the three fold branches of player interests. All players should be able to comfortably enter the game and take a position of pursuing the role of a warrior, merchant or monk (Diplomat/Herald & Rogue added in a later section). Once, these three roles are identifiably laid out and worked towards, only then will the SHK MMO be completely enjoyed by all current and new players alike. That said I will illustrate my points with a brief collection of postings that hit on these core topics.

A. Capital Occupation Proposal

Objective: This immediately incorporable and completely useable component for Stronghold Kingdoms adds visual dynamics (World Map with hatch lines), the use of already incorporated, but non functioning Capital structures (i.e. Military School) and allows for additional strategic elements without unbalancing the game in favour of those players who hold office in the various capitals.

This allows for additional strategic elements without unbalancing the game in favour of those players who hold office in various capitals. This critique just leads back to the issue of needing to hold a limited number of offices to achieve the results I already propose without the need to be in office.

As for the length of time needed, I believe that you will find that even with all of the additional researches, it is still far less than those needed to use all of the various church powers. And that brings us to the final element, of offering a truly war-game style, of play, that is not as dependent on players needing to be fully developed in the areas of research regarding church power usage. The effect that this proposal has on the vote eligibility is precisely the point of using a non-church powers alternative of restricting or causing electoral upheaval unlike the current monk influencing of parishes and therefore having its effect on counties, provinces and kingdoms.


B. This is a synopsis of what I inferred from some past posts loosely placed under a general heading called Economic Warfare.

1. Reduce Merchant Unit Space Cost (Scouts were 10 unit spaces also in this Beta before being changed to 1 unit space)

2. Offer Sub-Category of Research to Increase Merchant Carrying Capacity (Currently only available as Card options)

3. Offer Mercenaries to All Player Villages (Using the current Capital’s Mercenary costs is suitably implementable)

4. Interdiction - This is a difficult topic to broach, because the prevalent attitude is less interdiction and not more. The concern is that it will bring combat to a halt and quickly lead to few players. So, I would suggest the course of “how to reduce the interdiction” and I think it has been provided us with this answer. The introduction of a sub-category research skill, call it “Church Contribution” that automatically reduces an amount, of proscribed time, off of the Interdiction for gold, carried by merchants.

5. Introduce an Army Rations Cost - This covers many of the basics outlined; it encourages food production, it eliminates the “free” cost to support said army, and it curtails the desire to continually have troop units idle for no apparent cause or reason. If this were combined with a Popularity modifier that was based at zero and negatively increased with the addition of village supported troops, it would mean even more. (Populations do not enjoy the increase of idle warriors and in times of war they weary quickly; so, again the negative implications.)

6. Introduce Events that Increase and Decrease Food & Ale Production (Calculated in terms of its effect on production and/or rations, e.g. “Bountiful Harvest” x3 Food & Ale output or “Royal Birth” x2 Ale rations modifier)


C. Intrigue

I have seen the need for an additional and entirely new category of research to be added to reflect a more robust definition of “Diplomacy” in the technology tree and I have dubbed it “Intrigue”, because it covers more than just this singular element of the game. Within the “Intrigue” category are all of the other needed elements to be added to SHK, like setting up various treaties, pacts, and trade agreements. This idea could be placed under the general heading, “Guilds”, which would encompass numerous elements. There would also be room for “Spying”, “Assassination”, etc.

In the sub-category of “Guilds” could be the various researches that also reflect a viewpoint more befitting of the “Underworld”. Using titles, like “Guild Protection (i.e. protection racket) that generates additional gold from your villages, “Brothels” (i.e. prostitutes) that lowers other negative modifiers, “Gambling”, “Skullduggery”, “Extortion”, “Smuggling”, “Fencing”, “Bribery”, etc. One of these could reflect gaining additional percentage points made off of each “Sale” to your parish in gold you pocket in your own coffers.

The addition of some timer, similar in nature to the “Free Cards” countdown timer could be added to represent a “Black Market” trade benefit. When it is highlighted, you may click it to take advantage of the offer, assuming you have the resources to complete it. You could wait to gain the resources or decline it altogether and start the new one. The frequency could be just like the various free card levels but tied to your research ranks in it.

The last element is probably the most important to tie all of this together is how to represent all of the “Intrigue’s” movement on the world map. I would suggest using the symbol of the “Caduceus”. The caduceus is a recognized symbol of commerce and negotiation, two realms in which balanced exchange and reciprocity are recognized as ideals. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, surmounted by wings. The same staff was borne by heralds as messengers and was used as a symbol for the protection of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves.(See: Staff of Hermes/Mercury) Now, you have the ability to send out the various, Diplomats, Agents, Spies, etc. without their true nature being displayed on the world map. This keeps everybody friendly and the dealings covert.

If you include at least two more special units, like “Diplomat/Herald” and “Rogue”, then you can begin to implement these suggestions to include more varied tactics to the game. I was more concerned with not only the introduction of these new research categories and other abilities, but how they could be represented on the world map and not compromise the secrecy involved in using them.

The “Caduceus” offers one of the most recognizable symbols that cover all of the aforementioned possibilities. Now, if you want to use a “Herald” to send a “Non-aggression Pact” (for instance, to prevent one village it is sent to, from attacking the village it is sent from), an “Alliance Pact” (preventing all of the villages belonging to the player it is sent to, from attacking the senders villages), or “Bribing an Official” (influencing) to alter parish elections, etc., it can all be accomplished.

This is all necessary for brainstorming purposes; please, continue to add your own concerns, comments and suggestions. This can continue to add topical discussion to this subject matter; so, that it may be turned into a formal proposal for implementation.

D. Roads & Unit Speeds (Collected Post Replies)

Based on this premise, I took the time to investigate the medieval equivalent of a structure that could be added to achieve the same result as having roads. The incorporation of a new building called a “Relief Station” made available to build in capitals under, let us say, the Civil Buildings Tab, because it fits the general criteria and has the additional space that would be needed.

The “Relief Station” is an upgradable building and would improve all movement for any village in the parish it is built in, to and from the parish capital only. You can title each upgrade with the typical fanciful descriptors (e.g. Dirt Path, Corduroy Road (log road), Brick, Tar, Stone-paved with gutters, etc.) and the modifier to overall movement. This would include troops, scouts, merchants and monks, both to and from the capital. The additional building of this structure in larger capitals (e.g. County, Province and Kingdom) could facilitate the same effects to and from any other capital with this same structure already built. (The lesser of the two upgrades being used between two given points.)

Finally, I believe this takes into account some other, unto now, non-discussed points in this game, like the showing of the roadway system (not necessary), the lack of waterways that are more efficient (not necessary), and the general amount of added clutter to the world map (avoided). This could also be added to individual player’s villages and the effects could be used in conjunction with their own villages, those in their faction and those in their house.

As to improving the troop unit speeds when attacking, maybe what would seem obvious is the inclusion of new unit types (e.g. Light Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry, and Knights). Or maybe, the more practical option is the ability to launch certain unit types (i.e. not catapults) as mounted troops, thereby improving their movement rate.

The ability to make all, of the qualified, army units as mobile cavalry could be as simple as a check box in the army’s launch window box accompanying the setting of the attack. Then a determinate like a gold fee to explain the expense for the addition of horses, or creating a new village building type, called “Livery Stable”, so, as not to confuse it with the Capital* building called a “Stable”. The livery stable could then produce horses and possibly be attached to the Armoury category of village resources. Since, the maximum research for the Armoury’s capacity is 600 units; this would satisfy the current Command limit of 500 units.

When considering the ability of troops stationed in a vassal village and the effects of this new unit movement speed on them. I would place it in the same general limitations as not being able to use stationed troops to attack capitals. So, it would stand to reason that stationed troops in a vassal village should not be afforded this newly suggested option of increased movement speed for army units launched for an attack. This would also seem to be consistent with some of the balances already inherent to the game, by only being able to use your primary villages for this type of advantage.

*Capitals could also build a “Livery Stable” and incorporate it as a non-upgradeable building, like the Barracks, Supply Depots, or Labour Billets. Once constructed it offers the ability to make eligible troops as mobile cavalry before launching an attack for an additional gold cost.


E. Army Interception (An Alternate Approach)

How about this suggestion then; when the attacker launches, they would need to have some sort of secondary screen to set their own defences in the field, call it a “Skirmish Layout Screen”. That part is easy, because it eliminates the argument that the other player needs to be online. The much more complicated question, “How to intercept the other units?” is a much more difficult one.

The game is based on the assumption of always having fixed targets and not moving ones (possibly operating at different speeds) to encounter. My initial thoughts would suggest using some sort of fortified base camp created by another player’s armies to protect or surround (i.e. Open Field Reinforcement or Pitched Battle Reinforcement) the target location (e.g. Villages and Capitals) and a way to highlight this on the Map View. In this way the game would indicate that a village or capital was being reinforced (units placed outside of the castle), the player sending the reinforcements still sends them to a fixed location and the player encountering them still has a defence set.

Clearly, the next obstacle in my suggestion is what happens with multiple attackers and defenders at any one given target site? In the case of multiple defenders, the players sent the units to reinforce, so I think that it is easy enough to suggest or assume that they are not threatening each other. In the example of multiple attackers, I suppose it could be calculated by having the defending armies with the highest unit counts encountered first. This would be done for all belligerents and continue until the reinforcements are dispatched or the attacker(s) fails.

While this might not address directly the “Chain Attack” or “Interception”, it does offer interesting solutions to both. More defenders mean more attackers, but the defenders need only to reinforce and wait. As to the idea of interception, it just got more interesting because now you are encountering those armies outside of the Castle Battle View and still offering a challenging way to include extant game mechanics.

F. Battle for Stronghold

A minigame set in Stronghold Kingdoms where factions battle against other factions to gain control of strongholds. Strongholds can only be taken or defended once a week, and there are various stages of preparation before factions can go for battle.

This application has already been done in another MMO (War of Legends) and would be simple to implement in Stronghold Kingdoms as I have outlined. The addition of a dozen or more historical strongholds added to the game map and then clustered into groupings, which allow for greater rewards if a faction/house controls one group or more than one group.

When I started playing Stronghold Kingdoms more than a year ago, I thought then that this is really a very good platform to introduce the exact same concept with very little (i.e. minor) alterations to the overall in-game mechanics. The two types of games have very similar features that are cross compatible; factions that have designated officers, a fairly simple combat system, the ability to donate units, and rewards.


Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:26 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Parish donating
You have some interesting and well thought out ideas there Baldrake.

Reduce Merchant Unit Space Cost (Scouts were 10 unit spaces also in this Beta before being changed to 1 unit space)

I can't count how many times that has been asked for in the forums and chats but since it hasn't changed in two years I doubt it will now but we can hope.

Monk abilities has/is being looked at and Lord Alacrity had a post on the forum in regards to Interdiction asking for player opinions. I believe he received quite a few replies to that!

I am still digesting your post of ideas and will edit this response if I have more to add.

Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:03 pm

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 4:14 am
Posts: 202
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Post Re: Parish donating
Thank you, for making the opportunity to reply. You will note that the singular quote you chose was merely an inference I took from the implication of the original poster (TheSwiftSniper) under the heading “Economic Warfare”.

The entirety of the ideas that TheSwiftSniper brought up are completely accurate to varying degrees. His core complaint was that there is no way to inflict economic upheaval on your adversaries and he is correct. The in-game economics is badly in need of repair or an overhaul. In my original reply to his post and to some of the others that continue to broach the subject, I included links to view topics that included mock merchant interfaces and improved sorting and viewing features, but this is still far from enough of what is needed to make the system work for the gamer who likes the merchant (i.e. trader) aspect of games and is still social enough that they want to provide assistance to their fellow faction/house members.

Stronghold Kingdoms (SHK) should be just as much about the economics as it is in its other two central endeavours offered to players, like warrior (i.e. Fighter) and monk (i.e. Priest). In studying the SHK mechanics, I can find no plausible reason(s) that would inhibit the incorporation of more robust market functions and the corresponding abilities of players to engage their adversaries in causing them economic strife and hardship.

Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:37 pm
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