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Offline Nosferatu Numbers Station

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Idea for Cities
« on: May 15, 2013, 05:16:36 am »
Game Idea time hooray!  Feel free to critique my idea, but in the end it's just an idea.  I think I based some of this on a past poster, but I really can't remember who if I did.

For stuff like endgame (if you want to call it that), they are going to have find a new hook that'll make politics ingame work but at the same time make for content that is not affected by it, since real life politics are just outright depressing.  Maintenance of status is a given, will certainly keep the hardcore in tow.  For a casual crowd they are going to have to spice things up as well as be unrealistic about politics (it IS a game after all), a written set of rules that can be broken (they WILL be broken anyways, as our emergent roleplaying thread is certainly discussing).  We talk about princes alot, but what the focus should be on is his/her contacts, company, and rivals.  It's not just about being voted into power, but it's also about mutual benefits for those who support him/her, as well as the mutual benefits given for those who oppose the prince, and all these come into play with the players themselves as you all are aware.

Example of City Grid Setting: Prince power of a city currently has 8 districts in total (min number 4, and max number 12).  Each district brings in revenue, and the more districts the more revenue.  He can bring his favor and influence on 3 (more or less depending on districts) of those districts (typically ran by another player with lesser power than the prince), giving them an increase on revenue, protection, and traffic.  At least one district will suffer, and in turn attract a rival, like a crime lord, the opposite sect, or a bonafide Revolutionist with a capital R (Anarch in other words).  The last 4 districts are the contested grounds, and depending on the actions of either side will maintain a steady income or suffer like the black sheep district because of the actions given.   All districts have at least one area that has elysium status, and those with a healthy status can blanket more areas with said status.

Things like promises of rewards (favors, money, protection, even an influenced status should another district owner lose his grace with the prince), negotiations, threats, and a well enforced district can keep the revenue steady and viable.  But things like violence on the streets, poorly enforced district (be it corruption, masquerade violations, or too much enforcement), threats, and negligence can make the income falter, and the only way to make it go back up, aside from putting in hard work to make sure it stays in good standing, is having the prince's influence.  Which under his/her influence the NPC violence decreases because the traffic increases (making it harder to get away with things), and the enforcement is given a boon so they can keep things on the level with less worry about too much enforcement (still a limit but it's smaller).

How does this play into the grids?  The owners of the districts can side with the prince, or whoever desires to overthrow the prince who in turn could give favor to the districts that supported them...assuming that vampire is one who sticks by their word.  The less districts in the prince's favor, the less protected his HQ is, the less revenue he receives and the revenue can in turn be circumvented towards other kindred, corruption outside the prince's favor in other words.  This is one of the many conflicts that can sway the hectic flow of the game for anyone playing the politics game: they can kiss the prince's ass, team up with the enemy in return for possible benefit (benefits never guaranteed), be a corrupt Fellow and deal on the side so he can leech off the other districts instead of maintain a healthy district.

Where does the little kindred work in all this?  They can keep the wheels turning by providing conflict and counter conflict.  They don't need to own a district to play the game, they don't even need to be involved in politics.  Those who do want to be involved can choose to help either side by providing assistance in destabilizing another district, by violence, or bribery, perhaps steal from people.  Or stabilizing it by countering any of the aforementioned objectives, and then some.

A prince can be dethroned if he loses his HQ, outvoted, or has done too many masquerade violations of his own (personally this is a good way to ensure only the careful can maintain power).  Successor is chosen through successful HQ seizure (typically this is by a hostile takeover, but there are other ways I reckon), or for the other two options through votes.  Keeping your word is typically the approved method of keeping power, but sometimes you may not have the resources to commit to others, and you can never have enough unless you withdraw from your own wallet.

Districts are owned by those who pay for it, and can be gained by others through violence, chosen by the former owner, or paid for by another if the former owner did not maintain his upkeep over the district.  The upkeep is forwarded to prince initially, but the amount the prince gets is lowered pending on district count, city rating (the poorer the districts the higher the taxes), and sect taxes.  If the city rating is low, it's usually because of corruption on behalf of district owners.  If too many of them are skimming off the top, the city will falter and this in turn lowers the city's status.  And the lower the status, the less protection the city can provide against threats and masquerade violations (which means vampire hunters and maybe more).

The environment around the city is also a factor, if it's heavily forested you may have werewolves unless gangrels (possibly others like Nosferatu) are occupying it.  Or perhaps it has a beach where it may act as grounds for dealings and duels (mainly a brujah thing but even gentlemen carry pistols).  And the sewers are the playground of the Nosferatu, and that means dealings and a whole other form of enforcement outside of the prince's domain (so you best keep that tongue where one can see it).  These don't come into play as part of the city rating but it's also a great place for gatherings, and that in turn can bring in violence and other forms of unrest.  You can try to circumvent it if your prince or a connected district owner, but your no longer on your own terms if you do.  Anything that goes on out there is not likely to reach the ears of the Camarilla, especially if the gangrel are no longer a part of the sect!  Rangers aren't going to make this problem go away, so that's where players can come in.

Whether residences themselves should falter from the district's state, is up for discussion.

The high life in this game is about numbers, reputation, possible rule bending, and the shooter's worst enemy: THINKING.  But the lowlife can be equally satisfying with violence, so long as they can play by the rules or break them without noticing.  And if not that, then friends and contacts who can help you with objectives or even just hanging out like a normal person....frankly that should be the lifeblood of all of this but people are so impatient.

May expand on the idea later, I know some stuff isn't in there like bloodhunts and permadeath.  See what you can add to this if your up for some brainstorming.

Edit: oh and not really well proofreaded, scrubbed it from endgame thread because idea is WAY too big for a thread like that.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 05:18:36 am by Nosferatu Numbers Station »
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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 08:53:01 am »
This all sounds pretty good to me.

Whether residences themselves should falter from the district's state, is up for discussion.
I like this idea, only in reverse: the wealth of a district is [in part] determined by how many player-characters maintain havens there. This would mean that a district-owner has an excellent reason to want to play the political and economic game simultaneously, to get people to move to (or at least buy property in) their district. They can make their district attractive to some people (bring in the criminal element by purposefully lowering the NPC security response), and then those numbers of people contribute to the wealth of the district. Then, theoretically (as if!), the district-owner will share the wealth back out again in various improvements, much like the player-created cities in Star Wars Galaxies worked.
I don't know if they have a similar system in EVE Online (I think most of the taxes for space stations and whatnot go to the massive NPC/server banks), but there's a similar principle with having a lot of people in your corporation paying (higher or lower) taxes. You could make your district hostile to all but your chosen few (your Camarilla, or your Sabbat, or even just a couple coteries/packs working for you), but they would probably have to pay oodles in taxes to keep the district running and profitable. Alternately, you could have extremely low taxes, making the district more attractive to a much higher number of people, but then you have additional problems like over-feeding, over-population, and having to try to keep all the masses happy with your district-tator-ship.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 08:58:20 am by Rick Gentle »
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 01:00:30 pm »
"Rent" has always been one of the staple 'money sinks' of these games (going all the way back).

When players can all 'mint' as much money as they want, you need lots of ways to take that money out of the economy. Rent on haven(s) (why would a kindred have only one?) seems a good way to do it. If they make housing really customizable, they may bring in some of the 'decorators' who currently play EQ II (most at $15/month).
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 05:17:31 pm »
"Rent" has always been one of the staple 'money sinks' of these games (going all the way back).

When players can all 'mint' as much money as they want, you need lots of ways to take that money out of the economy. Rent on haven(s) (why would a kindred have only one?) seems a good way to do it. If they make housing really customizable, they may bring in some of the 'decorators' who currently play EQ II (most at $15/month).

Customizable havens are pretty much in; that's one of the major leaks we got from Fearless. It also implied everyone would have a ghoul and ways to upgrade it. They plan on making real money off these two things, among others.

Everyone has an haven, but how nice it is will depend on effort and money. I don't think they can or should charge a tax on the base haven though.

Offline mouser9169

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 06:01:23 pm »
"Rent" has always been one of the staple 'money sinks' of these games (going all the way back).

When players can all 'mint' as much money as they want, you need lots of ways to take that money out of the economy. Rent on haven(s) (why would a kindred have only one?) seems a good way to do it. If they make housing really customizable, they may bring in some of the 'decorators' who currently play EQ II (most at $15/month).

Customizable havens are pretty much in; that's one of the major leaks we got from Fearless. It also implied everyone would have a ghoul and ways to upgrade it. They plan on making real money off these two things, among others.

Everyone has an haven, but how nice it is will depend on effort and money. I don't think they can or should charge a tax on the base haven though.

They can do what EQ II does - everyone there gets a small inn room: which at the beginning of the game had economic ramifications (the better your house, the more stuff you could have up for sale - one of many things they've 'caved' on.  Anyway, the 'rent' on the house was a pittance. Something even a very low level character to scrape up playing a couple hours a week selling teeth and other vendor trash from mobs. If you didn't pay your rent, nothing happened to your house, you just couldn't get into it (and you're stuff stopped being listed on the broker). When you paid the rent - no back rent, just a normal week's charge, you got back in. I think it's a pretty good system, honestly.


As long as we're brainstorming - why not make cities guild based? You get your guild above <x> members and a city 'spawns' for you. Then you can choose your prince and primogen and whatever else you like outside of strict game mechanics (since every guild runs differently). Throw in some version of city vs city combat and you've got some potential for good times.

Everyone having a ghoul may mean they're thinking of all the 'solo' players - which would be a great thing, especially in this setting. Depends of course on if it's a combat pet or strictly a houseplant.
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Offline Nosferatu Numbers Station

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 06:31:33 pm »

They can do what EQ II does - everyone there gets a small inn room: which at the beginning of the game had economic ramifications (the better your house, the more stuff you could have up for sale - one of many things they've 'caved' on.  Anyway, the 'rent' on the house was a pittance. Something even a very low level character to scrape up playing a couple hours a week selling teeth and other vendor trash from mobs. If you didn't pay your rent, nothing happened to your house, you just couldn't get into it (and you're stuff stopped being listed on the broker). When you paid the rent - no back rent, just a normal week's charge, you got back in. I think it's a pretty good system, honestly.


As long as we're brainstorming - why not make cities guild based? You get your guild above <x> members and a city 'spawns' for you. Then you can choose your prince and primogen and whatever else you like outside of strict game mechanics (since every guild runs differently). Throw in some version of city vs city combat and you've got some potential for good times.

Everyone having a ghoul may mean they're thinking of all the 'solo' players - which would be a great thing, especially in this setting. Depends of course on if it's a combat pet or strictly a houseplant.

A free (or very cheap) studio or apartment is a given (or a free home in the sewers for those nossies out there), all the basics a kindred needs added with customization to ensure levels of uniqueness.  They can do what AION does and make higher tier houses and apartments that give more room and other benefits at the cost of the player's wallet.  Higher tier benefits, aside from more furniture, could be extra types of items and features that can be added like an alternate entrance/exit that leads to another part of the city or clan dependent features like a tremere (or a very rich and connected ventrue) having access to his/her own blood-fountain, perhaps a gangrel having his own little herd of (ghouled) animals to feed on when in a tough spot.

As for your guild idea, it's certainly a workable approach, the ventrue themselves do something similar after all.  It would be a healthy routine for their own city, and if in the face of a threat outside their own circle they would be more prepared to make sure their city and power stays within their own drawn boundries.  It would even suffer from the vulnerability of guild drama, and nothing spells revenge and profit like a guild kick and avid knowledge of your enemy's fortifications and tactics.  Heck, sell that info to a nosferatu info broker, and reap in the profits while any rival guilds turn the city into a shithole that may or may not recover.

It's all nice and grand if they are doing a city generator.  But the cities themselves shouldn't be limited to guild cities, after all it wouldn't be as hectic if all the district owners are actually obligated to be nice to each other instead of acknowledging a sect's rules.  Guild cities would have to be regulated mechanically as well, or else too many cities could be plundered by one really big guild, like the godforsaken Goon Squad Inc.
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Offline PANZERBUNNY

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 08:25:21 pm »
I don't think cities should be guild based.

As your guild gets bigger your guild haven could unlock features OR different guild havens unique to your player count.

Apart from interacting with the game a guilds player count should never decide who "owns" or has influence on a city.

Offline Nanaloma

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 09:53:28 am »
I don't think cities should be guild based.

As your guild gets bigger your guild haven could unlock features OR different guild havens unique to your player count.

Apart from interacting with the game a guilds player count should never decide who "owns" or has influence on a city.

Also, I feel that it would conflict with the idea of clans and primogens. 

Offline Nosferatu Numbers Station

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Re: Idea for Cities
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 10:12:40 am »
Honestly, I'm a bit mixed on my prior discussion earlier about guilds.  It's one of those things where the point of it in today's MMO standards has put guild highlights on meta-gaming and not a social club like it was really defined as.

But let's face it, people WILL meta-game the shit out of this, even if it was designed to make it discouraging.  So I guess it would be wiser to keep the guilds separate from dominant city ruling, but nothing's stopping them from making alt guilds to coordinate.  No matter how they go about it, it's not going to be perfect.

Guild haven sounds like a better alternative though, confined to only 1 district per city.  Doesn't raise influence or traffic but depending on guild rank it increases the district rating and income.  How many grids is irrelevant, all that matters is the size and accomplishments of said guild.


It'd be even easier if we ditch guilds altogether though, or at least stick with clan equivs of gatherings, or sect meetings.
If you put your head to a pipe, you can always hear ringing.  But whether it's the pipe or your head that's ringing is the question.

 

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