Making Territory Relevent



  • I managed to get my old tablet up long enough to pull the flatfile from TDM off of it. I have a LOT more time now (except weekends), and recognize a lot of the errors in judgment I made when I had it up last. Most of them involve premature open (stuff not in enough), not having the time to do it (this is honestly the worst one), and the botched attempt at a territory system, and putting unreasonable 'but you said you would...!' on a couple of folks (I should have just stepped up, made time, and done it myself. Instead, there was much muppet flailing and totally lost momentum.).

    Plus, the location was pretty rough. A pollution laden island isn't the best in a post-apoc setting, but I had expected to expand way beyond Manhattan Island over time.

    So.

    Before I even try to insert code onto a server, I'd love to try and hash out a system that'll work and not turn into 'I do X, Y gets better until it's all maxed', which is pretty much what I wound up when I tried to go super simple. The complicated one someone else wrote, I couldn't even wrap my head around - not a good thing.

    So what makes territory valuable, and what balances it?

    Secondary question: If not Manhattan Island, where?

    Or hey, there's always: Oh Hell no, you suck. Don't dooo eeet.


  • Politics

    @Taika said in Making Territory Relevent:

    So what makes territory valuable, and what balances it?

    What makes territory valuable is what resources may be drawn from it. To balance this, make more valuable territories more difficult to maintain over time.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede And harder to defend from others trying to take it for themselves.



  • @Taika said in Making Territory Relevent:

    So what makes territory valuable, and what balances it?

    IMO, npc's have to be involved. Because staff has to be directly involved in who gets what, and NPCs make it the easiest way to do that.

    If it's a vampire game, the entire city belongs to the NPC Prince. Maybe a subsection or two of the city is regarded as being under some other NPC's purview and they can 'approve' you for territory in that area. You don't get to claim territory without somebody's permission or you are stealing from the Prince/whoever.

    Players should have to participate in the game to get territory. Do a favor for the Prince. Help with some bit of plot that's happening.

    Not "oh there's a free spot here, I take it now, thanks". That's boring and leads to players feeling entitled to have territory rather than it being something they have to earn.

    Also I disagree with @Ganymede. Territory doesn't even need any sort of resources to be regarded as valuable. All my experience with MUers says that people being able to go "this spot is MINE!" or getting introduced at Court as "Regent of XYZ Neighborhood" is more than enough to incentivize players to want territory.



  • I don't remember the specifics of it, but it was basically, you get X points per Y to allocate to these 5 (I think) stats. Some of the stats were limited by others (population couldn't be higher than food and water, if you had shelter issues or security issues you lost people? Something like that). We didn't really have enough people, even with a limited number of unlocked grid rooms, to make it competitive. No one really fucked with other people's territory, so everyone had max turf in a pretty short amount of time. Which didn't have a huge impact on things.

    Then, like I said, the other system that was being written up was really confusing and complicated and I don't think it ever got playtested because of the momentum loss and collapse.



  • @Tempest This is a fantastic idea! And one that didn't occur to me. Thank you.


  • Politics

    @Tempest said in Making Territory Relevent:

    All my experience with MUers says that people being able to go "this spot is MINE!" or getting introduced at Court as "Regent of XYZ Neighborhood" is more than enough to incentivize players to want territory.

    You can disagree all you want. I'm just taking my response from basic economic theories.

    Finding value in a title? That's a resource, then. If no one gives a shit if you're the regent of BFE? Not sure what that gets you, but thumbs up.



  • I'm also leaning much more towards single sphere to start, as well. I think that'd help, too.



  • @Ganymede said in Making Territory Relevent:

    You can disagree all you want. I'm just taking my response from basic economic theories.

    These are games, where most players are primarily focused on their ego and stroking their epeen because those are the themes of the games.

    Not businesses, Professor @Ganymede.


  • Politics

    @Tempest said in Making Territory Relevent:

    Not businesses.

    Economics is not the study of businesses. And I'm a fan of the Chicago school.

    But, sure. Gamers are idiots. We knew this.


    @Taika

    The Descent MUX was a great game. I liked the mix of Mages and Werewolves. Given the post-apoc feel to it, though, I would recommend going with more of a Werewolf + Mortal mix. I feel that Werewolf is closest to the "survivalist meets Mad Max" feel of the game.


  • Pitcrew

    Status symbols are overly expensive and still get purchased. Rational actors humans are not. One of the shortcomings of many Economics and Political Science models.



  • @Ganymede said in Making Territory Relevent:

    The Descent MUX was a great game. I liked the mix of Mages and Werewolves. Given the post-apoc feel to it, though, I would recommend going with more of a Werewolf + Mortal mix. I feel that Werewolf is closest to the "survivalist meets Mad Max" feel of the game.

    Not related to the topic at hand but I would be incredibly wary of wasting my time making a single sphere werewolf game.

    Unless your goal is to have all your players hole up in private and never come out to see the light of day once they've made their pack.

    Like yeah, Mage has cabals, vampire has coteries, changeling has motleys, etc.

    Never in my years of MUing have I seen anything anywhere nearly as insular and divided and sequestered as a werewolf sphere though.

    Yes yes, there are exceptions, but werewolf is primarily a game about making your pack and then focusing on your pack explicitly.



  • I was thinking wolf or vamp. Vamp's could really jack each other up by wiping out populations in held territory. No people; no bluds. No food/water/shelter, no people. Etc.

    Wolf does get insular, but it is my favorite splat.


  • Politics

    @Tempest said in Making Territory Relevent:

    Not related to the topic at hand but I would be incredibly wary of wasting my time making a single sphere werewolf game.

    Unless your goal is to have all your players hole up in private and never come out to see the light of day once they've made their pack.

    Last I checked, The Descent was heavy on the spirit stuff. Like, that was the key to its theme/setting. If you're heading in that direction -- and that makes sense in a post-apoc world -- Werewolf is the best suited for that.

    You're not wrong, though. You're dead-on right. So, some tweaks might be necessary.



  • We have several big wounds, plus a couple grid squares where the gauntlet was missing entirely. Might have to work harder to make wolf work without the packs pigeon-holing, but probably doable. It's been like 18 months since I saw the grid, so I'm not 100% on everything and working from an 'ish' of what I remember.


  • Politics

    @Taika

    Suggestion: disable the discretionary regain command for pools. Make systems to regain Willpower and Essence based on territory. Might make holding territory a bit more important.



  • To me, Territory should offer t least one benefit. Theoretical benefits include

    • spendable resource (Blood/Essence)
    • connections (temporary Allies/Contacts/Influence)
    • some other nebulous benefit (Skill bonus? Status trait?)

    The big problem with Territory is staff. You need staff to manage it unless it's something extremely automated. Theoretically you could create a Territory system that allows players to use Merits, Downtimes and such to attack another person's Territory and erode their control. Things like making the people unfriendly to 'certain elements,' drawing the ire of the cops to non-Masquerade breach vampire business, etc. and have it go up and down based on defense actions and attack actions.

    This is something I've been playing with for HotB, so I'm going to compile my ideas and post them here and pay attention to this thread for cool stuff.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tempest said in Making Territory Relevent:

    @Ganymede said in Making Territory Relevent:

    You can disagree all you want. I'm just taking my response from basic economic theories.

    These are games, where most players are primarily focused on their ego and stroking their epeen because those are the themes of the games.

    That just means that the ability to stroke ego and epeen are the commodities, basic economics would still apply.
    Ganny aptly said what economics isn't a study of, but I will go ahead and say what it is. It is the study of how limited resources are used to satisfy unlimited wants. (There is always unlimited wants.)
    If your players want titles for no other reason than ego that is fine, make sure there is a limited number of them and players will fight just as strongly for them as powergamers would over limited set of mechanical benefits.



  • If anyone is interested, my skype is taikaovtings. I haven't gotten a server set up yet, or any of that. I really want to have a system sketched out before I push the code onto a server.

    There should be some code I can cobble up from another tidbit on there to keep manual track of things, otherwise it's a spreadsheet or a place on a wiki (Project tracker code I can poke and rework, I think). Which is clunky, but 'ok' until I can find a coder to do such an 'easy in theory' project for tracking things.



  • @Taika

    I don't skype, but feel free to ping me here or I'll ping you my MU*s address and we can bounce ideas. I have been thinking more heavily about 'attacking and defending' in automation and have some theories I'm putting down to paper to see how they go.


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