I have been thinking about the setup of cities; the 'tiers of power', Citizens and Residents etc. and one thing that I noticed is, despite all the focus on getting a group of settlers to claim a city, electing a Governor, determining Vice-governors, applying for citizenship, claiming residency and so on,
and despite the discussions about how guilds ought to work in cities; whether the Governors guild should have complete control or whether all represented guilds should have equal say, there isn't really much for anyone to have a say in.
I'm not sure how the alliance/siege aspects of the game work, but I assume they are determined by the Governors, in the same way that the cities tech tree is (I think?) and while the Governor will generally act in accordance with the populations interests, or at least justify their action to them, governors are basically the only politically active players in the game.
What I am interested in doing is finding some sort of way to increase the political dynamic of the game, particularly considering that Fractured is set to be purely player driven, perhaps there should be something for the players to drive.
While I'm not really sure what would work, I have a few ideas that might be worth thinking about.
Currently, there are four ranks of citizenship: Governor, vice-governor, citizen and resident.
Governors and Vice-Governors have all the power, with the only difference being Governors can demote and Vice Governors can't promote Vice-Governors.
Citizens have access to city owned property and residents have to build their own (for some things) however, they both have to pay for property.
I think that the current setup feels unbalanced somehow; the difference between the ranks is too much in some places and not enough in others.
I'm not sure if the election process is implemented yet, but I assume that citizens will get voting rights and residents won't, but I will address voting later.
I suggest integrating two more tiers of citizenship: 'Hermit' for want of a better name, which would be the re-introduction of single land parcels in the wilderness. This would not require payment, but can only support primitive technologies/crafting stations.
And 'Guild citizenship', which might work better as a parallel citizen rank; where members of the ruling/Governors guild would be highest, members of a Vice-Governors guild next and so on.
As to how this would work, see the Voting and Guild sections.
I have mentioned in a previous post the idea of a trial for criminals, which would be one of the things that voting would affect.
I imagine a lot of players will be thinking that anything to do with voting will be: un-wieldy, make the game too complicated, boring etc.
I admit it probably would end up that way, however I still think it worth consideration.
One of my personal problems with a lot of games is the pacing; you get on and yes there are mechanics that allow you to craft, to farm, to sleep, mini games and so on, but they don't really make that much difference, so you end up running from quest to quest without stopping and the atmosphere of the game is brushed aside because there is no real reason not to run from place to place and do the things that 'the game is all about', any attempt by the game to add 'realistic' features just get boring or frustrating and you do them impatiently when you do them at all.
I don't doubt that anything I suggest, were it implemented, would end up the same, however, here is my idea:
Based on the citizen ranking above, players would have voting power to match their rank; from the Governor, to Vice-Governors of the ruling guild, to the Vice-Governors of other guilds, to ruling-guild citizens to non-guild citizens, residents, 'hermits' etc.
This would encourage political activity within a city/region, so that guilds vie to become the ruling guild, non-citizens have a real reason to become citizens, rather than having a stagnant city that only changes hands when it is conquered or the Governor gets sick of the game and leaves.
This voting system would work by percentage of votes made, not by relying on every player to vote.
Voting would also affect commerce which I will discuss in it's own place.
As I understand it, I may be wrong, and there may also be un-announced plans, but as it is now, I believe that there is nothing that guild actually affects, except owner-ship and property rights.
I once posted a concept for a 'Messenger guild' which is an idea I still love, but would require the game to be very different, however, it is an example of what I am suggesting here: namely, that membership of a guild affect the game mechanics and not just inter-player dynamics.
Things like assigning a guild, based on either a vote, bribe or taxes, to have a monopoly on an aspect of the game, or paying less rent, getting things cheaper at markets, cheaper transport etc.
I will explain more about this in the Commerce section.
Basically, I would like guilds to have the power as a unit that they have as individuals; a guild is a group of players, which naturally means that its members will act towards the same goal, but as it is, they have to do it individually, member by member.
It would be more impressive if a guild-master could say: "(Insert guild name) stands with/against you!" and have the guild, at least statistically, then do so, rather than each member have to personally have his say for every matter.
There should be some reason for players to join or leave a guild, something that will cause there to be an ebb and flow.
There are many commercial aspects of the game that involve 'The Game' as a participant in the transaction; I believe that buying property, rent, and harbour fees, I'm not sure about markets, all involve the player paying money, some of which goes to 'The City' and some of which goes to 'The Game'.
Also, the market system feels incredibly impersonal, which is the one thing a market should not be.
If Fractured is to be a player driven game, let the players be the only participants.
There could be Harbour masters, who get some of the fee, and the City gets the rest.
There could be Market keepers who get paid to buy and sell, with a tax by the city.
There could be Property managers who get commission and the city gets the rest.
I don't know how this could really work, but even if the player who had the job didn't actually do anything, and just had the title and pay-check, at least the money would still be in circulation,
and it would be particularly unrealistic anyway
As to markets however, while I understand why it is done in the way it is; players don't want to spend all their time trying to sell stuff, particularly when other players actually have to be online at the same time,
but I really do think it should be less mechanical somehow, I mean, I really like the atmosphere that the picture on the website gives, the one with the Chadra buying a sword.
As I mentioned above, there could be city-assigned 'discounts' to certain players/guilds where the difference, in terms of the market where the money goes straight to the player, would be made up by the city.
On a side note, in the post where I discussed the idea of criminals being punished only for the crimes they commit, requiring discovery of the crime, apprehension of the criminal and determination of their guilt, and one of the things I mentioned was that items could have a 'ownership' system, whereby if an item is made, bought, or given, it shows that it belongs to that character, but if it is stolen or looted unlawfully, it would then be tagged as stolen, perhaps even with the criminals name, so that the criminals guilt would be proven. Of course there are problems with this system,
but it is an example of ways to convict criminals even if no other players are actually on to see it, which brings me to my point:
If there were no 'magical' safe zones in cities, there would be more crime, but if there was a way to determine the specifics of that crime by players who weren't there, then that could be another dynamic to the game.
Perhaps only bounty hunters could 'see the signs' that point out the criminal.
The trouble with your proposal is your overempowering Guilds, when one of the stated goals of Fractured is that a solo player would not feel punished for not being a member of a guild or city. It is reasonable to limit some crafting to cities, making all players have to utilize cities to get everything done, but there are the starter cities and open cities for the solo'ist. It is not reasonable to make Guilds so empowered so that non-guilded players felt compelled to join a guild to get an equal experience of the game.
As to commerce, 'The Game' gets a cut of things as a gold-sink on purpose. This is an intended part of the game balancing. There is no limiting factor as to how much gold is available via mobs, so there has to be a way to reduce gold overall in circulation, not perpetually increase said circulation at an accelerated rate. As is, we don't have sufficient gold-sinks right now to keep Gold having a real worth as of yet, but they are working on it.
I do like the idea that governors could opt to give citizens voting rights conferring some say in city decisions - whether bc they are part of an allied guild or for other services rendered. I know the devs have given governors options wrt form of governance being autocratic/authoritarian or democratic, but that hasn't really been implemented yet. So, HOW that gets implemented is still an open question.
This thread might serve as a way to refine the community's thoughts on the subject.
One idea I'd like to toss out there is:
We've discussed the desirability of a town 'Notice Board' function for governors to make announcements and for citizens to post requests/party gathering info...
I'd love that Notice Board to also be a place where governors could post time-limited POLLS where citizens eligible to vote could help guide the direction of their city by letting the governor know what directions were best supported by those who actually live and work there.
I am all for the Notice-Board system, it is desperately needed for a few things, like Crafting stations so you can put in who is refining what, and who gathered what, or is working towards what project so fellow citizens are less likely to just take what's there and use it for themselves.
@GamerSeuss This is exactly the point I failed to make that there should be some sort of 'politics' to give dedicated players, citizens and guild members a 'reward' of some sort that wouldn't be much in terms of actually playing the game, more of a social thing.
On the one hand, players should be able to play solo, but on the other hand, there should be something to being part of a guild besides merely being in a group.
I imagined a scene where a player could live out in the sticks on their own terms, owing neither money nor allegiance, but receiving none of the technological or social benefits that a city would offer.
Or , they could settle somewhere there was fertile ground or mineral deposits, somewhere that they could be with other people, but not in a commercial center, where they could live and work, but where they would have to pay a little tax for the use of the 'crowns' land.
Alternatively, they could live inside a city, where rent was higher, but they were close to markets, technologies, etc.
This is all solo. But then, they could be a member of a guild. I don't know what would work, given the current game, as 'guild benefits' or what could be added to the game, but there should be some aspect of the game that allows a guild to gain something that a single player couldn't, I mean, a group of solo players could kill monsters just as well as a guild, so...
As to money, perhaps it could be worked that there is a set amount of money in the game; if no money leaves the players, then there doesn't really need to be 'new' money does there?
Just an idea, but, there is supposed to be weapon repair at some point right? what if metal ores were lessened, respawn set a lot slower, and players could 're-cycle' metal from weapons and armour?
A player could smelt his gold armour into money, or his money into armour.
This might also make players more likely to purchase equipment rather than make it themselves, which I think most people are doing, or at least getting it from associates, I haven't personally seen any armour or weapons in the markets.
Not to mention players would actually have to buy and sell to get money, rather than just farming it, and new players have to fight with primitive equipment anyway, so getting money to buy land would be the same, except that new players wouldn't absolutely have to kill monsters to get money, they could just sell flowers.
Question; what exactly is the deal with the militias? I've never joined one, are they just sort of 'NPC Guilds'
And my point is, there shouldn't be any in-game incentivization to Guild membership. It is purely a social construct.
As to Militia, it was one possibility for testing/utilizing PvP on Syndesia. If you joined a Militia, then you could attack anyone of a different Militia, but if no Militia was chosen, you were opting out of PvP play. Nobody really took advantage of it.
Back to the previous point: Guilds create their own benefits, and the game should not add to them. A supportive guild can loan money, come to the rescue of its members when doing corpse runs, band together for larger raids, and yes, form up and back one of their own to be a governor of a city, but that is all Guild internal things. The game does enough to support guilds by letting you join your guild in-game, and allowing resources to be shared to your Guild as one of the options (as opposed to Friend, Party, Co-Owner, Citizen, or Everyone)
these games always penalize the solo player. small groups, maybe even duo's will be better than solo. it's just the nature of the game. (at least in pvp terms)
then the solo players complain. then the devs try to accommodate them. then they can do things they shouldn't. then guilds break up or leave.
(i didn't read all the pages, just a few comments here and there.)
Considering that Fractured is an MMORPG, the entire game is essentially a social construct, and while solo play is technically possible, well, was, and might be again if they re-introduce single land plots, it would not allow a complete game experience, as the higher technology equipment will only be available in cities, speaking of which, if only syndesian cities will have a tech tree, how will alloys and higher technologies work on the other worlds?
Assuming then that any play style involving advanced technologies requires interaction with other players, which a solo player couldn't avoid anyway, and assuming that anything multiple players can do will generally be done by guilds, my suggestion is that there be game mechanics to facilitate guild activity.
I agree that guild membership should not be required to play any aspect of the game, but guilds will be the main framework of all social aspects, ie: most of the game, so if you want to solo play, but also want the best equipment, you will need to work with guilds, even if only buying and selling.
Guilds do provide their own benefits, but it would both easier and more immersive if there were mechanics to use; yes, you could just give money to a guild member, or you could give him a position that generates income. Yes you could give your guild members free/cheaper equipment, or you could have an armoury/guild rates at markets. And so on.