Author Topic: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!  (Read 26578 times)

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Offline chadz

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Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« on: February 28, 2015, 04:24:47 PM »
+42
For many many reasons, and after carefull assessment of our capabilities, we decided to take a huge leap, drop the original round-based concept of M:BG and proceed directly with the development of epic (project title, name stays the same)

Quote
Melee Battlegrounds is a "third person multiplayer kingdom warfare and economy simulator".

The world is ruled by two opposing kingdoms. Kingdoms consist of factions, player-run groups. Factions consist of cities - player built. And cities consist of individual players. You are put in a large world, empty in the beginning. Players will start building up economies to support cities. The cities profit from the economies that the players establish, and the players profit from the protection and influence the city provides them.

Everything, from the very top to the very bottom, is player run. There are countless of possibilities to find a niche and become successful. Cities need an efficient economy to provide the tools, food and weapon for expanding, and most notably, warfare.

The relations of players are not strictly defined - your opponent is whoever you choose it to be.
Rivals - and friends - can be anything from the other king to the "annoying" lumber mill run by another player in the same city who's ruining your business.
There will be betrayal, murders, intrigues, backstabbing - drama! The players write the story. There is no right or wrong, there are no rules, there is only the hunt for power.

Economy
The efficiency of any economy is to a large extent location based. Some locations are good for iron, some are good for wood, others for growing crops and so on. No city will have all it needs. To get what you need, you have to trade, raid, or steal from other cities.

Cities
All cities are player built and run. There are no predefined locations where you can settle - you
build wherever you see fit. You need to build a city which is strong enough to convince players
to settle there and profit from the increased economy. Strong can mean many things - Military,
Economy, Diplomacy.

Terra-forming
While the world is untouched in the beginning, players will clear forests, build roads, mine
rocks, construct cities, outposts, castles, and change the face of the world.

Warfare
We all love a good meat grinder. Sooner or later someone will want what someone else has,
and if verbal negotiations fail, armed negotiations will start. Large warfare will feature battles
with hundreds of players on in real time.

Intrigues
There are other ways to weaken enemies - diplomacy, betrayals, assassinations. Nothing
weakens an enemy faction or even kingdom like losing an important ally in the wrong moment
or killing the people in power.

Why?
We think that multiplayer games should be played by players - against each other. The more
powerful you become, the more you run into the risk of losing everything, and if you do, it will
be at the hand of an actual human being.

You will influence the story.

You will be the story.

Feel free to discuss and ask whatever you want :wink:



Answers from other posts:

first of all, it's not a survival game. it's not a game where you chop trees all day long. it's about fighting and it's about decisions.

  • permadath: yes, however, very regulated. as a normal player, you should nearly never have to fear someone just killing you for the sake of it. We can't tell exactly what gameplay elements that will incorporate, but in general it means: if someone kills you, it is because he wants you specifically dead, and is willing to take that risk. not because he wants your stuff, it's not medieval dayz. Trying to kill someone puts a lot of risk on the killer, and will have to be carefully planned.
  • permadeath alts: also, to soften the permadeath blow, you will have multiple characters, not just one. you will control one character at a time, the others are NPCs who do the grind stuff for you (run your economy)
  • LiF: we have many different games listed as influence, LiF is not one of them. I haven't played it myself, I did watch a few youtube videos, it does not seem in any way similar to what we are doing, except that its medieval and you can build stuff. LiF seems to be a survival game. MBG is not. Our game is about territory control, faction wars, diplomacy, no grind, big wars, fighting. I haven't found any proper war video of LiF. Feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, as I said, it's really only hearsay/letsplay videos that I base this on.
  • Resources: your family will take care of that, when you are online and offline. No grind.
  • Size: Initially, one server with 225km², in the future, we will link multiple servers together.
  • Warfare: there will be fights between players, and fights between armies. The first features permadeath (although not every defeat has to end in it), he other features massive warfare (like cRPG battles/sieges/strategus fights - the best elements of em all)
  • schedule: yes, lords can move armies around that are slow and predictable. you cannot damage enemy territory buildings outside of warfare, so it is predictable when wars happen.
  • diplomacy: yes to all. and not regulated at all. all drama goes :)
  • size: we'll have older pcs in mind, but it will require some hardware.
  • 2 kingdoms: we will figure that out as we go, in general we are willing to throw out any idea if it doesnt work out
  • bands: yes, will be possible
  • regarding gamemodes: there will be always fighting to do when you want. whenever you are ingame and feel like working on your skills, you can jump to a battle and play as an unnamed soldier (possibly with your own skills, we'll see about that). some of those battles are real faction battles, others are objective based games that the two kingdoms pitch against each other. in short: if you want to fight, you can always do that, wherever you are.

More like:
- to attack someone you need a levelled character (no throwaway)
- if you kill someone, it can be traced back to you
- put some negative perk on you, possibly one that you cant get rid of (eg being capable of being murdered in your sleep by the family of whoever you killed)

those are just a few ideas, not necessarily what will be in game. but that goes for anything in this thread, really, we are developing iteratively.

A few elements of h&h is an inspiration for sure. the grind of that game isnt :wink:

as for player numbers, we are very optimistic about some groundbreaking numbers, but dont want to say anything specific until we can back it up with a prototype.

Very good point. Also, wasn't taken as an insult :wink: We'll work on doing some rephrasings to make our differences more clear

 - Will there be lvl´s? If yes, how big will be their impact?
We thought about having parallel fighting and economy skills, so you don't have to decide between them, but level them both. As for their impact, we want to stick to the original goal of sideway levelling instead of upwards. In general, though, we havent given that topic too much thought yet, as it's not that important for the first playable version, and wont have that much impact

 - How will gear be handled? Like crpg/strat now? (gear of the faction for armies and gear of the player for fights between them and on normal servers)
yes, although instead of making armies carry a bunch of weapon, you draft people into a certain troop type, eg axe + armor = axeman. Also, the troops that are used in warfare will actually be the alts of the cities, which means drafting an army hurts your cities economy - what this means is that cities should be as inviting to players as possible, because the more players settle in their area, the more troops can be crafted.

 - Will there be still the tavern-server (wouldnt really make sense but still :D)
no :wink:

 - Is the timesetting still the same? Will there only be european/eurasia equipment or also asian? (Would be fun to hire Ninja´s for assasinations)
we'll see. for now, we stick to the same timesetting, but it might change/expand

Currency: we want to implement some kind of player run currency. we need it so there is an easy way to trade and also a way to pay people playing in battles. how that is actually going to work is still undecided, as players need to trust the currency. The easy way is to back the money with an actual value (use money to buy something special), the hard way is to create a fiat system. We have a few ideas and will figure something out.

If you can be a banker? In theory yes. The question is if you can find a way to extract the debts of non-paying people. Will probably also depend on the city you are living in, what is allowed and what not.

In general, we will not impose any artificial limits - we give you the tools to produce stuff. What you do with the stuff is up to the players.

In MBG, anything you can possibly do, you are allowed to do. as in there are no rules of behaviour. there will most likely be ingame laws enforced by city authorities (=faction leaders), but there will be hopefully no need for admins. We'll see how far we can push this, maybe even to the point where you can mute someone permanently by cutting out his tongue if he gets on your nerves :wink:

Faction Leaders want people in their city. if they are cruel, they will drive away players to others, more save/welcoming cities. If you are too nice and dont take enough taxes of your people, you will not be able to defend the city from invaders, and people will leave. It will be a very large symbiosis between all players. Not just top down.

As for running a pure military faction, sure, that's possible. Eg as mercenaries or bandits. You don't need to set up a big city, just a camp. As it has no intrinsic value, no one will bother you. Probably.
As for running a pure economical faction, that might be difficult... If you can't protect yourself, people will take your stuff, I guess.

As for bullying:

It will be very difficult to send huge armies far away. The more agressive your army policy is, the weaker your economy gets. If you send off your army to the other end of the map, where it will take them days to get there, you are hurting yourself more than the faction you are attacking. So warfare is location based, to some extent.

As for fairness, there will (maybe not initially) be kings that may have an interest in keeping peace within their kingdom. So it's their job to make sure the factions in his kingdom dont rip each others throat out.

But apart from that... we won't protect small factions. If you are a small faction, you better excel at something (fighting, a very high quality item/resource, etc) so you have some leverage. There is not only miliary power, there is also economical power and diplomacy. If you figured out a way to produce something so unique that everyone wants it, people will trade with you, and money buys power.

The main character is your family, under that is your regular playable characters (the family members), and all of those are susceptible to get killed (permanent death) in the world.

Perma death is just what it sounds like, permanent death. Character is gone, skills and gear lost. After a while in comes a distant cousin to replace your loss (or something along those lines).

We'll have instant battle (battle-siege equivalent), what we are undecided on is how and if they'll affect The World, and 'where' they'll happen (disconnected instanced map? instanced part of the world? in the world? Lots of questions to figure out).

We'll have mechanics governing faction size, something we're keenly aware off with Strategus in hindsight.

I'll answer the other questions soonish, but it seems perma death is a hot topic:

I can't tell you exactly what game mechanics killing someone will have to prevent it. One idea is in fact that you can only kill people of certain power, so you are actively putting yourself in danger by seizing power.
possibly yes
Definitely yes. If highwaymen kill you, I would expect every lord in the vicinity to hunt them down. you gain nothing from killing your victim, but you risk everything you built up.

What I can tell you is the idea behind it: It's not killing, it's murder. Murdering someones character should be one of the most horrible acts in the game you can commit. It's a powerful tool that can be used to weaken enemies, but will come at a great price. Once you murder someone, that character has crossed a line that will make the rest of his virtual life and his family different.

I think "randoming" someone is one of the worst possible game mechanics, and before that happens, I'll remove the feature of permadeath alltogether.

One idea in my mind is also that, to kill someone, you need to watch him for some time. So there will be a way to disguise your identity and then kill him. The one who is killed (his family or faction) doesn't know who it was. He does however know that it was one who was within his vicinity. It must be someone he interacted with. Murder weapons will not be disposable, but must be hidden for some time. When the murder weapon is found, or the killer, it will be possible to backtrace where his weapons or money came from, so you cant just make a pure throwaway killer account.

Those are just ideas to give you an idea about the permadeath feature. Murders will be rare, special events, and something that will always be investigated.

On the other hand though, a murder will hurt. A lot. It will be very disruptive, possibly destroying your economy or political agenda. I have a few ideas how to do that, but will also take a lot of testing.

You won't "live" only with the people you like. You live in cities, very public to some extent, and you will not like everyone within that city. There are people coming and going, traders, new immigrates, and lots of social tension.

As I said, that feature will take a lot of finetuning to get right. But I think when we get it right, it will be an interesting concept of the game, because some murders will be executed in a way where the murderer can't be found, and will cause distrust in communities. Possibly wars between families. Drama. Stories :wink:

The gameplay meant for MBG (KS) is also to be incorporated into this. There will be objective based battles to join etc (ranked arena), similar to just jumping into a Battle/Siege server where you can quickly get in and have some fun, play a few rounds and quit.

Also in regards to the overall gameplay don't think of it as an MMO, we're specifically trying to hit that middle-road where the focus is on fun gameplay and less any sort of tedious tasks.

Mega Carebear Alliances @
I'm trying to fix that problem at the root. As in, even if you are super strong, you will have an unquestionable control of your current location, but you will never rule the entire world.
But at the same time, locations only offer a certain amount of resources. If your group is too big, you are not as efficient as when you would split up a bit.

All the ideas regarding punishing factions for too many members... It's not gonna work out. Too easy to bypass.

@Crafting
Good questions. For the beginning, however, I want to keep it simple. There will be different qualities depending on who/where/how it was crafted, but maybe not visible in the beginning.

The entire economy boils down to one goal in the end: support your military power. So everything you do, either top or bottom of the resource chain, ends in either weapons, armors, troops or military structures at one point.

This is not a survival game, it is not a death match open world, it won't be either. It's something else you haven't seen before, just like everyone doubted everything about how cRPG/Strat would work in the beginning :wink:

There's battles of various types you can play in at any time (like instant battle via joining/queue), e.g. "cRPG" as we've stressed (a lot). Then there's also the world, where you don't need to participate if you don't want to. There will be consequence-free combat whenever you want, at any point of the day, even at 4 AM in the night.

We're talking layers combined into a nice middle-ground, without being too broad, without being too specific. No doubt very different from other games. The idea and concept of this is not new within the team, it has been around from before MBG/Asinus was even known, and it is by far what attracted me personally to this project more than anything else.

Combat will still be key, it will be a focus, there will be plenty of battles and fights to participate in, and we'll do everything we can to make the combat amazing because without that the game doesn't work, combat needs to be top notch.

@Abandoned Settlements
It won't go away until someone takes it over. Which should be rather easy if it's not defended.

@PK
In general, just because you knock someone out, doesn't mean he's dead. If you beat someone, he is unconscious or similar. Then you actively have to decide if you want to end his life OR take his stuff (it might be mutually exclusive, realism aside)

Also, murders will depend a lot on where they happen. Killings in a city can be pardoned by the city, so it is possible to kill people if you are in power of the location.

@Mains, Alts, Family system
You will most likely have a family name (=your last name), and can only change the first name. Everyone knows that you and your "brother" are in fact the same person.

There will be constant fights, nonstop; some are more important, some are less important, but they happen all the time.

As for the 2nd sentence; For this game to work, there needs to be some persistancy. So usually you will never be overrun because of being unsuspecting. When you go to sleep, you will wake up next morning and know that all the stuff you had yesterday will still be there.. unless something very catastrophic happened.

So you will know when an army approaches you. Unless you fucked up your intel.

We'll probably have a few different states:
- Healthy (anything from 100% to 1% of HP)
- Gravely wounded (knocked out for hours, possibly days -> play a different family member)
- Conscripted (tied to an army on the move -> play a different family member)
- Dead (well... dead...  -> get a new family member :wink:)
falling off a cliff means "gravely wounded". no one likes dying to gravity :wink:

Is there plans to have a NPC population in cities (even if merely numerical, not actually NPC characters in the city), outside of player families?
Ideally, none: If we manage to pull it off, everything is player run. If that doesn't work out, we'll introduce NPCs, but the goal is 100% player driven.

How much emphasys will be on crafting/businesses that are unrelated to combat and wars (aka not wall building, weapons, armor) but more on general medieval economy, as in ale production for taverns, paper/scriptures for the church, food production, pottery, tool making, etc etc?
None and a lot at the same time. As we have no NPCs that you can sell to, everything that is produced must have a meaning. And ideally, everything that is produced, must be used up somewhere to keep the economy going. That's why offensive and defensive objects are just perfect for that: They will always get used up. There will always be fights, wars, and they will get rid of those items that are produced in the economy.

There will still be many intermediate objects, though; There will be food for armies, there will be ale for armies; Having versatile nutrition for your armies will allow them to move faster/further/have more HP/to be decided.

If you want to craft an advanced armor, it will probably take 10 to 20 different economical steps inbetween, and each one will require someone with the right tools, skills and resources to create the best possible outcome.

It's intentional that no one can do everything by himself, trading will be a big factor, and not just external trading, there will be a lot of trading within your own city. But all items come from (more or less infinite) resources, get manufactured by players, and then exit the cycle through wars. By wars, you can seize control of better resources. Increase manufacturing cycles. etc.

I'd like to implement more medieval stuff later (after alpha) to make the economy even more nuanced, but for now it's important to get the basic cycle of resources right.

tl;dr: no NPCs, no NPC economy, therefore, every object will have a meaning.

Who will be the King? For balancing reason i think it could be an admin, but for gameplay i think there should maybe be something like a voting from the factionns (1 vote from every faction, so bigger factions themselves got a disadvantage). It would be a problem if the title of the King would stay always in the same faction/on the same person, it would, why you can imagine yourself.

Either voting, a certain territory you have to hold (army power) or an object you need to posess (personal power). Which one it will be, we'll test, and maybe we try different variants in different rounds.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 03:37:25 AM by Nessaj »

Offline F i n

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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 04:37:05 PM »
+6
weeee
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 04:53:22 PM »
+3
Will there be yellow armours and yellow chat text?

Edit* Maybe you should point out that the focused will be on fighting, diplomacy and intrigue else it will sound like a wannabe of Life is Feudal
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 04:57:15 PM by ARN_ »
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2015, 04:57:58 PM »
0
Quote
Intrigues
There are other ways to weaken enemies - diplomacy, betrayals, assassinations. Nothing
weakens an enemy faction or even kingdom like losing an important ally in the wrong moment
or killing the people in power.

Can you please explain it? Does it mean death is permanent and you have to create new character every time? Otherwise I don't see the benefit from assassinations. (hope for it)

Also that new plan is even more global than before which means it's harder and takes much more time. Do you think your small team can make it?

ps Good luck with it. Now it's totally like my dream (it's true, I really made small design doc almost the same as yours few years ago) :3
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 05:11:28 PM »
+1
First of all, nice that you shared this with us poor non scholars  :)

So, some feedback.
Right now it sound pretty similiar to Life is Feudal, except that there are going to be two "static" Kingdoms. I cant even really read out that your focus (i hope atleast so) lies in warfare and diplomatic since Economy and Terraforming stuff is listed first. For me it sounds rather like economy would have a bigger part of the gameplay than battles etc. themselves.
I know its just a very raw concept with that few lines but still because of that it sounds like LiF, so just got some questions to differentiate it out.


1. Resource gathering
    So will you need to go yourself to a location (mine, forrest etc.) to gather them or can you (like you had in concept for stronghold) hire npc´s to mine? Will it take minutes to chop a tree or will you just click
    for once and its a automatic process?

2. Size/Map
   Will there a big walkable map or like strategus just that you can visit the places?
   And i hope you dont really have a fixed size for the map in mind so you can adjust it to the playerbase size. Playing with 100 players on a map concipated for 500 wouldnt be much fun.

3. Respawning/Tickets
   Will there be permadeath? Since there are assasinations it sounds like that =) Maybe make assasinations disabling a character for a certain ammount of time? And how will it be handled in battles?

4. Battles
   Will there be something like in current strat a schedule for battles? Otherwise i can imagine 5 no-lifers taking a castle at 6 am or something like that.
   Can you hire armies (similiar to the commander mode) of bots which you could command to fight for you or is it just playerbattles.
   Basically how if the entire army movement, creating, attacking stuff etc. gonna work? Atleast a little insight in a concept would be nice eventho its pretty early for that =)

5. Diplomacy
    Is diplomacy between different factions possible?  Like can there be 2 factions in one kingdom at war with each other? Can factions out of the two kingdoms have a secret truce? So basically how is
    diplomacy between factions handled?

Edit: was there some place for feedback for the kickstarter campaign?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 05:14:32 PM by Eddy »

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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2015, 05:24:07 PM »
0
Hm.Hmmmmmm.
Will there still be "old"gamemodes that you planned earlier?

It sounds like a nice idea,but I would like to see some more...
Also,how big will the map be and how will loading be handled?I mean,if I would have the whole map loaded the whole time,my laptops cpu would die.
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2015, 05:26:47 PM »
+1
Have another question. Isn't it better to make only one kingdom and player-run factions fighting for throne (and huge buffs for faction when goal is successful). 2 kingdoms sound like player will have to make a permanent choice and it usually provides to a whole bunch of alt accounts.
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2015, 05:28:56 PM »
+4
Hm.Hmmmmmm.
Will there still be "old"gamemodes that you planned earlier?

It sounds like a nice idea,but I would like to see some more...
Also,how big will the map be and how will loading be handled?I mean,if I would have the whole map loaded the whole time,my laptops cpu would die.

That. Giving up completely the idea of other gamemodes is sad, and will make your game become another one of these open world MMO sandbox games. On the other hand, making this sandbox the playable Alpha, and making it one of the gamemodes later seems rather good.

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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 05:38:39 PM »
+3
making this sandbox the playable Alpha, and making it one of the gamemodes later seems rather good.

Yeah, it'll get more attention as it's being developed if it's like this. And the persistent world stuff is what i was looking forward to the most with their mechanics, round based stuff can get a bit meh, remember how excited we all were at the prospect of a 'Tavern' server where people could hang out and show off their property?
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2015, 05:49:46 PM »
+1
Sounds great, it really does.

My question is about a players freedom, say he feels he does not want to contribute to the main economies or main factions, can she/he still have the option to create small bands that are neutral or independent? (So I am thinking a small community of friends making a little camp in the mountains to use as a base if they wanted to be brigands or just have their houses away from the hussle bussle of the main towns).

Thanks!
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2015, 06:26:42 PM »
+5
mmorpg warband minecraft for 1000 players? i'm getting ready for 2030 release :)
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 06:56:45 PM »
0
similar to life is feudal with warband combat ? What will be the capacity of servers ? will there be bots ?
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2015, 06:58:43 PM »
+14
first of all, it's not a survival game. it's not a game where you chop trees all day long. it's about fighting and it's about decisions.

  • permadath: yes, however, very regulated. as a normal player, you should nearly never have to fear someone just killing you for the sake of it. We can't tell exactly what gameplay elements that will incorporate, but in general it means: if someone kills you, it is because he wants you specifically dead, and is willing to take that risk. not because he wants your stuff, it's not medieval dayz. Trying to kill someone puts a lot of risk on the killer, and will have to be carefully planned.
  • permadeath alts: also, to soften the permadeath blow, you will have multiple characters, not just one. you will control one character at a time, the others are NPCs who do the grind stuff for you (run your economy)
  • LiF: we have many different games listed as influence, LiF is not one of them. I haven't played it myself, I did watch a few youtube videos, it does not seem in any way similar to what we are doing, except that its medieval and you can build stuff. LiF seems to be a survival game. MBG is not. Our game is about territory control, faction wars, diplomacy, no grind, big wars, fighting. I haven't found any proper war video of LiF. Feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, as I said, it's really only hearsay/letsplay videos that I base this on.
  • Resources: your family will take care of that, when you are online and offline. No grind.
  • Size: Initially, one server with 225km², in the future, we will link multiple servers together.
  • Warfare: there will be fights between players, and fights between armies. The first features permadeath (although not every defeat has to end in it), he other features massive warfare (like cRPG battles/sieges/strategus fights - the best elements of em all)
  • schedule: yes, lords can move armies around that are slow and predictable. you cannot damage enemy territory buildings outside of warfare, so it is predictable when wars happen.
  • diplomacy: yes to all. and not regulated at all. all drama goes :)
  • size: we'll have older pcs in mind, but it will require some hardware.
  • 2 kingdoms: we will figure that out as we go, in general we are willing to throw out any idea if it doesnt work out
  • bands: yes, will be possible
  • regarding gamemodes: there will be always fighting to do when you want. whenever you are ingame and feel like working on your skills, you can jump to a battle and play as an unnamed soldier (possibly with your own skills, we'll see about that). some of those battles are real faction battles, others are objective based games that the two kingdoms pitch against each other. in short: if you want to fight, you can always do that, wherever you are.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 07:07:40 PM by chadz »

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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 07:21:31 PM »
0
linking servers ? so we will have shitloads of ppl on servers possible in theory ? you say two sides, that means that there will be only 2 factions ? or each player can start his own faction like a clan , guild and build a kingdom in future ?
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Re: Melee Battlegrounds - New Gameplay concept!
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2015, 07:24:10 PM »
+6
Am I going to have to say halt! And wait 10 seconds before I can kill someone?
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