PROPOSED IDEA: NPC-Ran City-State: Esterport

RunasRunas Member Posts: 89 ✭✭✭
Have a fifth City in the game with the political structure dictated by NPC's.
Laws devised as a Neutral Merchantry City/State
No protection within boundaries but a way for those who dont desire to participate in a tether, to work alongside bolstering Esterport as an up and coming City.

Develop Research for a Pylon for Esterport, allowing openings in trade between Esterport and Delve...pushing a furthering of the Free City and the merchants goals.

A Communications channel for rogue players to help Citymates within the City and plan events. No Tethering but also no Ylem bonuses such as Manipulation.

Ylem works, collection of Mists, purchasing wares, and gold tithe for ylem collection top three ranks for members of the City.

I think there are -alot- of people who are kinda over the tether system and being forced to either be Enorian or Bloodloch, the other two cities Spinesreach and Duiran Council are somewhat forced within the idealism of the others in the means of conflict despite perhaps organizational difference this is not going to change, and we -have- to deal with these other Cities and that will never change, and cant change.

There is no reason to have treaties or political grounding as its always just a status quo.

Consideration for a Fifth Player run city could also work...

Might shake things up a bit.

I know there are plenty of players who dont really fit the mold of Undeath or Light, and right now the RP in between isnt strong enough to not really change away from that.

I dont know the tether system is just boring and I havent seen any reason other than us being told "Well this is just how it is"


  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 622 ✭✭✭✭
    I would have to agree with Illidan on a few points.

    If you made a fifth player run city or even a fifth city in general, it would skew the game way too much. Simply being is that if this city was completely neutral, there would be absolutely no reason to fight at all. People who don't enjoy conflict would just flock to this neutral city and just play there. The four founded cities would crumble and be eradicated into history because 3 people can't keep up with all of the requirements to run a city. Additionally, at this point, there would be no reason to run a city at all.

    This would cause conflict to become completely erased. There would no point in having Orrery anymore, no point in lessers/majors, and no point in pretty much any continued conflict system that we currently have. Even the gods would have no reason to squabble with each other because they'd all be represented in this neutral city to appease everyone, which removes even more conflict, especially for the admins (though I'm sure this would ease up a lot of their time as well if they're not having to RP bickering with each other).

    However, it would not really cause any imbalance in team combat that there isn't already. As it stands, there's no real rules that says a Templar can't fight with a Praenomen, or a Zealot can't fight with a Teradrim. It would make this city superbly overpowered though with the ability of having every class at its disposal with 0 repercussions, because the founding cities wouldn't be able to force them to drop the class... especially if everyone rallies to protect the rogue person. People already whinge about the numbers game, this would be no different. However, Esterport wouldn't need to fight for any reason because they're neutral and they wouldn't care what happened so long as Lanu Du isn't trying to destroy the world.

    That said, Bloodloch is not all about undeath (though that is our primary focus still) as Bloodloch now accepts living members. Though we're still not sold on Yeleni joining the ranks.

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    About combat imbalance, currently there is nothing restricting that four or five determined person to band up together in a roving band of warriors. So let us put that aside for the time being. Of course it would not make sense for a nature loving Sentinel character to band with a Necromancer who causes death and decay as he walks. But there are classes which are more neutral in their flair let us say towards nature.

    Before I move onto the discussion I would like to state that tether system itself limits the conflict. It places artificial sides, yes there will be occasional conflicts among lumped-up cities but they will be small/medium scale dramas. What I would like is to break the tethers totally and put city RP on the fore instead of Shadow vs Spirit. For example, Spinesreach is full of living beings, why not Bloodloch try to dominate them, enslave them and teach them their undead superiority? Instead Bloodloch bends its laws to allow living to become citizens. Sure that is a sound decision, but still then Bloodloch can set its sights on Spinesreach regardless of they give citizenry to undead or not. Try to subjugate it to its will in one way or another. It is easy to RP "We are dominators!" and chest-thump; let us see you dominate and prove that might makes right? The other three cities should be nothing compared to the glory of Bloodloch. Bloodloch will not because when the tether related conflicts come, they have to fight together. So why truly bother? In the long run tethers will always stiffen the maneuver area the cities could have without them. The cities sharing same gods also make some ties stronger, so the possibility of ally conflict is reduced dramatically.

    Now the small back and forths in the past, can be considered as conflict examples, sure. But the mechanical tether implication will not encourage people to break ties with their allies in the end. So what is actually needed is to put forward points of interest which will turn allies into rivals or enemies, serious objectives not subgame conflicts when it is done they will go on their merry ways. Set them against each other, fan the flames.

    Let us return to idea of @Runas that kind of thing has been accomplished very well with a Nationality mechanic in MKO back in time. Every city had Nationality i.e you could not be a citizen of Krondor but could still be national of the Kingdom of the Isles and capture certain points of interest on the map. The Free City of Natal was the Esterport counterpart of the game and it had a nationality too. Also only FCN nationality could be hired as mercenaries, in city-initiated sieges, otherwise like a city Nationality they could still capture/liberate townes. For example, Port Natal being a part of Free Cities, was a conflict zone. That would give a motivation for a FCN national to strike back whether it is Krondor, Elvandar or Sar-Sargoth tried to dominate the place. Of course Nationality mechanic would not fit to Aetolia since cities are not part of a greater whole mostly.

    Of course, rogues/non-fitting should never be on the same footing with cities and in no IRE game even in MKO (which provided a good accomodation to roguery) they were not in equal footing. But it is a point of interest for a certain subset of players, they can be more inclined to purchase things if their preferred roles can be enabled in a sense. It is great to encourage organizational RP, but then it is great to RP as a vagabond, wandering skald, freeblade, mercenary or even an evil necromancer living at a distant tower plotting the next movement.

    So any idea which expands the roles upon the game and provides new avenues of conflict/RP would be a worthy idea and should be considered seriously.

    Edit: Also doomsayers will always exist, but time and again I have seen that neutrality does not have to be nice or conflict-less. Perhaps I should rather say roguery (i.e not belonging/fitting to cities) does not equate to pacifist neutrality, you still have your own storylines. That is my perception and experience though.
  • TragerTrager Raiding your underwear drawer.Member Posts: 574 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Neutrality doesn't exist. Human nature being what it is, I won't hesitate to call anyone that claims they can play neutrally a liar. One way or another, this 'neutral' city will sway one way or the other, and then the complaints will rise anew.
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's go-... Oh.

  • KanivaraKanivara Member Posts: 27 ✭✭✭
    @Kalak Will you please stop trying to make Aetolia like MKO? It's not going to happen. You're not even interested in conflict, since you bought an artifact specifically to avoid the conflict you brought on your own head.

    @Runas Ashtan did this. Ashtan was destroyed because this was a really really bad idea in practice. To use Achaea, Cyrene and Hashan are "neutral" and they... sit there. They're pretty useless in the grand scheme of things. With a playerbase this small, it's really not feasible.
  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 622 ✭✭✭✭
    The problem is Kalak, is that you're assuming that there's something wrong with the tether system. There isn't. The tethers exist for a reason and in no way, should that be altered or changed to pander to the few.

    That said, adding a fifth city into the mix which will allow everyone to flock there and raise a banner of neutrality so that we no longer have to fight each other, will kill the game. Sure, it might have worked in MKO, but Aetolia is not MKO. MKO didn't even make it 10 years, I believe they only made it 6 years. So let's not blunder the success (or failure as it was) with that of Aetolia.

    Does neutrality mean that no conflict will arise? No. It just means that its further decreased. Why bother paying attention to some half baked city of 3 vampires who proudly beat their chest about being superior when you can be like 'Eh. We've a city of 30 people, all of whom agree in neutrality. You can't do unicorns. Go back to your holes peons.' and boom, just like that. All conflict is over. Why bother trying to fight against undeath, or light, or go against the woods, or anything else? As a city, you have to bring people together, tie them together. A neutral city would essentially allow everyone to work together, in one big happy family.

    Additionally, this "neutral" city would then proceed to wreck shop on every little event that came its way. The leadership would decide on something that doesn't really advance the world or hinder the world either because they'd rather keep things neutral. This also kills conflict. The only conflict you would have at this point is who will be your leaders.

    Also, like Trager said, there's no such thing as neutrality. Eventually, this city would be forced to pick a side. Good or evil. Shadow or spirit. Light or dark.

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    Kanivara said:

    @Kalak Will you please stop trying to make Aetolia like MKO? It's not going to happen. You're not even interested in conflict, since you bought an artifact specifically to avoid the conflict you brought on your own head.

    I am very much so interested in conflict and you should stop assuming things about other people. That is quite unbecoming of you. Character's storyline continues, whether it is visible to "cool boys and girls of the game" or not, thank you. Remember that my purchases also support our dear game like any other customer's. And maybe, just maybe you should consider that I contribute in my own way, eh?

    And the artifact along its mechanical comforts, has RP reasons behind it which you possibly do not care. Maybe you do, maybe one day you can surprise me with your ability to differentiate between character and player. That remains to be seen.

    @Runas The main reason it did not work was financially, not that it had botched mechanics or such or lack of player interest to support the game. It was not an IRE-brand IP so it was presenting constant costs annually. At the end of the day this is a business.

    Also that is true if I offered this idea, I dread to think. I mean when I offered just a title change ability for clans, we were speaking about end of an idea of this magnitude would turn into people discussing IRE going out of business, I suppose.
  • SessizlikSessizlik Muffin Mage Member Posts: 491 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The thing with being neutral in Aetolia is that you can claim to be neutral all you want. Your character can consider itself neutral and have friends both in Spirit and Shadow. Here's the thing though..
    Spireans might not care that you are friends with Lighters, but I can assure you that most Enorianites will not approve that you befriend Spireans or Lochians, and same probably goes for Duiranites. They will dub you Darkie, because you befriend the Undead and their allies. So, even if YOU consider yourself neutral, many in the game will not, resulting in you not really being neutral. If you refuse to pick a side, the game will pick one for you and it will most likely be Shadow.
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm normally for variety and more options for the players but in this instance I do not think this would work as well as some of you hope or think it will. As stated, the playerbase would be spread thinner and the natural intolerance of the Light side would ultimately swing you one way or another. Secondly, if the point is merely to congregate without a single player in real power then the option is already available to you in the game. Players shouldn't forget that there is already a lot of power at their disposal currently to shake things up and organize themselves enough to extend their influence on the world like normal orgs. House Cardinalis springs to mind. The Du Naya clan (pretty sure I butchered the name) is another one. While it is nice to have, you do not need the full mechanics of regular orgs to extend your influence throughout the game.

    That said... I do believe an NPC "5th city" would be beneficial to the game if it served more as a launch pad for campaigns and story arcs for the admin to use instead of acting as another city for players to join. While the Dre... I can't for the life of me remember their names but the dragon people that dominate Albedos - while they serve as great antagonists, I'm not aware of any ways for the players to strike back. The other NPC towns, villages, and cities that decorate the game are for the most part static. It would be interesting then if there was a mechanic introduced that allowed players to interact with them on a more fluid level. It would also be good to have a centralized hub of NPCs that players could negotiate, attack, and defend themselves from on occasionally to shake up the status quo.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
  • JensenJensen Corruption's Butcher Member Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trager said:

    Neutrality doesn't exist. Human nature being what it is, I won't hesitate to call anyone that claims they can play neutrally a liar. One way or another, this 'neutral' city will sway one way or the other, and then the complaints will rise anew.

    Mate, I'd go neutral and puff cigs, shoot bourbon, and leer at barmaids with you all day at neutral city.
  • LinLin Blackbird The MoongladeMember Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If anything we could stand to remove cities, we hardly need new ones.

  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,148 admin
    The possibility of using an NPC city structure, like say.. Delve or Esterport... this exists. It could be cool to have a helpfile that looks populated like player cities. But letting players in? I dunno. That kinda defeats the selling point of player run orgs.

    But we'll hit it in the townhall, neutrality specifically.
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    We can make it like RL and have some place for players to "Apply" for citizenship to other NPC cities, get 2-3 RL months of pre-programmed redtape run-around and then ultimately a stamp of disapproval once the city uncovers your "violent past" so that only those who still have divine grace and are no longer newbies can apply.
    (no one)
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Council of Five: Qayyam, Holgraid, Tirriki, Rhav, and Veran
    Lord-Provost of the Ecclesiarch: Wahelei
    Seneschal of the Guard: Horvatz
    Prelate of the Helm: Kull
    Nestled on the far north-western coast of southern Albedos, the Port City of
    Delve is the last bastion of hope for the populace of those not yet
    enslaved by the Dreikathi. Its very location provides a sphere of
    natural protection, and effectively has been cut off from the rest of
    the continent. Bordered on three sides by typhoon-prone
    waters, the city is guarded by sea as well as protected via land by the
    expanse of the Dramedo Crags to the east.
    With the Dreikathi having razed all other cities and settlements not under their iron fist, the port
    of Delve quickly grew into a melting pot of all the various races of Albedos. The city itself is a
    sprawling assortment of various districts
    ranging from the massive docklands to the expansive military yards. Delve is a bustling city that
    despite the threat of the Dreikathi, is full of life.
    Those counted as enemies of the Dreikathi are welcomed as allies within
    the walls of Delve, as long as they abide by the laws of the city. Delve
    is also home to the only known access point between both the continent
    of Sapience and that of Albedos outside of attempting to brave the
    violent waters that separate them.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,148 admin
    I don't have time to read helpfiles! I am too busy writing helpfiles.
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Psh, you can't even send mob messages to those named NPCs ruling in Delve. Doesn't quite promote diplomatic endeavors! 

  • AnteheAntehe Immortal Member Posts: 476 Immortal
    They don't have time for foreigners, that's what ambassadors and the embassies are for. Chain of command, chain of command.
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, our ambassador is too swamped with work to respond, so maybe we should hire more staff!

  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To quote Rehan, he's too busy "Ambassin'."
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Nothing is as good as some aggressive negotiations.
  • EliadonEliadon Somewhere Over the RainbowMember Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    When you want to be neutral, all you have to do is be @Didi =)
  • XeniaXenia Member Posts: 1,088 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Trager, Neutral character: Didi!

  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 622 ✭✭✭✭
    If a new NPC city is made... can its leader's name be Pmurt?

    Cause we have to make NPC cities great again. Nobody takes care of cities better than Pmurt. Pmurt knows all the cities, has friends in all of them.

  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Antehe said:

    They don't have time for foreigners, that's what ambassadors and the embassies are for. Chain of command, chain of command.

    Isn't that just a chain that you beat someone with until they remember who is in command?

  • IllidanIllidan Pray AreaMember Posts: 1,155 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Eliadon said:

    When you want to be neutral, all you have to do is be @Didi =)

    Funny you should mention that. As neutral and harmless Didi has been for the entirety that she's played this game, she still managed to killed by no fault of her own, because of how neutrality gets treated here.
    They didn't listen when I said Shamans were strong in groups. 
    Aetolia Buzzwords: Bad actors, disingenuous, disingenuous bad actors, and bad actors being disingenuous. 

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Illidan said:

    Funny you should mention that. As neutral and harmless Didi has been for the entirety that she's played this game, she still managed to killed by no fault of her own, because of how neutrality gets treated here.

    It is not something unexpected.

    Though people put too much meaning into the word "neutrality" and take it granted that neutral will mean they will be utterly harmless and within their own world. On the contrary you can still be harmful, influential and assertive while you are neutral. Of course, your actions may benefit one side or the other depending on how the story of your character unfolds. But that does not mean you pledged for those sides.

    There is allure to not be in any of the organizations. And a game is as strong as it can accomodate many varying roles. It is always nice to encourage organizational participation. But when it comes to RP vs organizational advantages, I would not be moved.

    From business perspective, allowing a pylon within Esterport would be great which would give non-aligned players to participate in ylem stuff too. That translates to them caring about Refining skillset and whatever ylem-entails (artifacts, antiquated goggles, antiquated gauntlets etc.) Maybe even allowing them to choose only one tree from the various trees for their efforts would be cool. But let me not get ahead of myself.

    In the end, established people who control the player-run resources will always look at neutrality/rogueness/non-aligning suspiciously. It is an unpredictable element after all.
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