Valorous Dominion


  • TV & Movies

    @lotherio said in Valorous Dominion:

    @cupcake said in Valorous Dominion:

    @lotherio One of my struggles is that things are pretty insular; at the recent party it felt like people were sticking by the folks they already RP'd with and I arrived late and felt completely at a loss. It's probably also in some part my own anxiety. But we've got at least two social events in the planning works which may help. Willing to take suggestions if you have advice, though?

    If you feel anxious, I'd be glad to help meet others and do smaller groups for people to start getting out of their houses. Its in this sort of early stage where houses seem to be sort of figuring themselves out, but really the political minded should be considering relation to the other houses. We were hoping monthly pairings for Valor would help some folks meet others, but we have a few that are having a hard time connecting with their partners.

    This is completely in the air, but as staff, I'll run bigger things like today's Siege of Viergues every few weeks at most. But maybe we can add smaller type events to get folks to mingle outside of their families and circles? Like host small feasts/hunting/something where houses only send one Rep to RP with houses and others they haven't RP'ed with. A mingler or so something to get people to meet others?

    I think that the game's setup kind of encourages people to build a house out of their RL friends and whatever randos they can lure in, min-max it to cover various skill requirements (because the HoHs are forced to be turnips) and then play a lot inside that group. For instance, if you fail an econ roll (like my family did right away) it encourages you to do an in-house PrP to fix it (we are). What it doesn't really encourage is much outside RP, because 'go to another family for resources to fill the stopgap' isn't actually a good option - no one is going to give up a resource for free, and if you trade for it you've still effectively sucked the loss, just shifted it from one commodity to another. Maybe if resources were on the whole more available and a little more fluid, but as it is the trading is going to be very limited (everyone waiting 2-3 more months to get enough to trade for an addition... and then everyone will be at zero again etc).

    By comparison, as you mention it, the scene going today definitely seems good for getting people to mix and mingle as it tosses us together in one place. So we may need more events like this, at the small and large scale (big events unfortunately mostly kill RP, it's just 'line up and make your one pose at the NPC'). You may also want an evening-centric GM to do some of it (this is advice that might be good for ALL your games :P). Not everything needs to be a grand siege or tournament or major to-do, and it might help to create multiple smaller things that limit participation - that way a few people can each get a part of the plot and then have to interact. Right now, it's all solo +requests in the background with very little actual RP or interaction. You might even hand a part to each house and then kind of let them all work together to piece together the puzzle.

    Anyway, this is meant purely in the positive, constructive sense. I always enjoy your games, just brainstorming on what can be done to jolt people out a bit.



  • @lotherio said in Valorous Dominion:

    We'll definitely get more hangouts. Feel free to make suggestions too. The market and gardens are up, the sports/leisure piazzas need to go up. I'd like something with the fashion piazza. There is a seedy tavern up (Wandering Albatross), but something more upscale would be nice too to avoid the docks for some folks. Need to get planned locations out there on the grid.

    I would love to assist with making an upscale tavern. I promise my room descs are nice and tidy, not +mail breaking monstrosities. Ahem.



  • @bored It's ask good consecutive.

    On the trade, literally two houses that have done good and are communicating can have additions by June. Commodities will be available from NPCs. The Prince will pay for his stay with Sabastino via commodities. Sabastino has spent both resources but had gained enough rep to buy them back (after they gain rep for assisting Viergues) and they're netting a profit through interactions with the Prince. The intention is to use +plots to help as well as we develop that. But the info and rumors can lead to gains note. The PrP to reduce debt as an option may hinder getting houses involved it was added in to help shy folk or those running houses at odd times. Th hat and getting politics going were votes matter might help too (convincing others and figuring out rep to buy off npc house votes). There are and will be other means of netting commodities just takes leg work, but literally if two houses figured what they're all producing, we should see two or four additions in June.

    I strongly agree in needing an active night staff or two . Sadly I may seem outgoing maybe but I didn't have a great list of folks I know oocly to pull up quickly. Like I am friendly on chans but rarely talk in page. Made some invites to come in development even on this board in general, most seem intent on other projects which all sound marvelous.

    In both cases, criticism is welcome, it's the only way to get more involved in making it better.

    PS grilling food now :)


  • TV & Movies

    @lotherio ... If there's systems where people can spend resources to net gain, you probably need to actually publish those so people know what they're doing. Those systems are very unclear and some people learned about them (presumably directly from staff) vs the rest of us having no clue (ie, I thought spending resources to get an NPC vs holding them to buy something later was a choice, save up for later vs gain now, but it sounds like every time there's a PRP you should just throw your resources at it because it will get you them back and more? so saving has 0 value).

    But that's not even what I'm talking about. I was discussing the idea that there's no value to interacting with another house to 'fix' a failed roll (although you suggest this somewhere on the wiki, I believe): You still end up at basically 0 for the month, because you've now spent 1 to get 1 then spent that one to cross off a -1. I don't understand how this is supposed to be viable or how the in-house PRP isn't the vastly superior option.



  • @bored said:

    Those systems are very unclear and some people learned about them (presumably directly from staff)

    Let me fix this. Staff told no one what to do. Players saw info and rumors and put in requests to track leads to hunt rumors on their own initiative. Like I said I don't talk to many folks oocly other than Galileo.

    If one only looks at gain of commodity as the only value to interacting with other houses and that trading has no value outside of commodities, I don't know that adding more commodities fixes this. I'd imagine being in a pinch now means one would return the favor later but that's me.

    Outside of MSB we only advertised on CoH, The others posted to us. The idea of getting NPCs and rewards and trades was pretty much all discussed here and I'm comfortable believing most active players visit from msb.

    The trade - your one gain to get the commodity from another house to pay debt means break even. This is intentional. Its basically using any gain your house has to pay any debt incurred but asking players to rp the exchange versus staff just accepting the exchange. You're right 1 commodity credit and one commodity debt balances to zero. The PrP doesn't help with house interaction as a quick write off and is a more viable option mechanically I agree seeing it play out.



  • Personally I like the idea of going into debt, and then solving that debt through favors. One vote for in the Major Council, or something or the other. I mean, it sucks failing, but everybody is going to fail at some point right? And it gives you a reason to interact with the other Houses if you're willing to do that.

    Failing at the very beginning of course isn't ideal, since you have nothing banked to pay with, and the whole favor system isn't really in effect any. But as a long term incentive I like it.


  • TV & Movies

    @lotherio I don't mean to be attacking you here, so I apologize if it seems like it, but this also seems unecessarily defensive.

    The systems were not posted.

    While its obvious players could interact with NPCs, the context, rules, etc for doing so were not available. I'm not accusing you of giving a player special information, but rather suggesting that when they contacted you, you presumably communicated to tell them how their +request would work or what choices they had. Other people didn't have that info. Even as of these very posts, we're getting new information: for instance I'd assumed it was more of a trade off (get the high prestige NPC, but pay for it), where now it sounds very win-win (get the high prestige NPC, they pay for themselves and then some).

    The game is very new, so we expect to learn things as we go, but its also pretty clear you have some things detailed out more than we're aware, and the clarity is important.

    The trade - your one gain to get the commodity from another house to pay debt means break even. This is intentional. Its basically using any gain your house has to pay any debt incurred but asking players to rp the exchange versus staff just accepting the exchange. You're right 1 commodity credit and one commodity debt balances to zero. The PrP doesn't help with house interaction as a quick write off and is a more viable option mechanically I agree seeing it play out.

    So I think this is a place to focus on looking at some new mechanics.

    As it stands, the whole income rolls aren't very satisfying. First, its a flat out punishment for a bad roll, no strategy, despite everyone having the same stats. Then it encourages an insular PrP, that while it might be fun the first time around... I'm willing to bet will quickly turn into 'busy work' as more of these rolls fail. This isn't a personal negative, just a statement that this mechanic that doesn't seem like it's working to promote interactive stories.


  • Pitcrew

    I will say, as the Contessa of Gaspari (so not HoH, but working closely with), we've been trying to reach out to a couple other HoH (yes we're being picky; we have our reasons! Political intrigue and all)... But we've been hitting the wall of... lack of communication.

    Some people have been awesome. Sabastino is great. We got a couple new players and worked with them and Arbore for a betrothal.

    But there's a handful of houses doing...nothing. And that isn't on staff. At all. If PCs are trying to play with and arrange things with PCs and getting no reply....yeah we might think to ask about NPCs.

    I do agree maybe a post could have gone up about it. But a lot of what I've learned has just been through reading, asking, etc. None of it has been fed to me. And my plot engagement has just been through tossing in requests like "Garden is going to approach X" or "Garden is going to spend time with the other ladies and..." (Since there's 30 great houses in total; plenty of NPC ones to mill for info...cmon, we've always used NPCs as info mills). Then staff tells me what to roll and usually I fail, but based on degree of failure, I usually get something to work with. They've been awesome about that.



  • @auspice It probably should be more transparent and open about the systems, though. I mean, I commend you for poking into it and just giving it your full go, but a lot of people tend to just follow what's easily out there and defined. I usually think everybody benefits if the systems and the expectations of staff are clearly written. It makes for less confusion, and less disappointments. They've taken some steps with that with suggesting people use requests if they have things on their minds, but still not the most effective way of doing it I think.

    Edit to add: Of course some people will just sit around and expect to be spoon fed no matter what you put out there. But some just don't want to bother staff unnecessarily, too.


  • TV & Movies

    @auspice Or maybe don't blame the entire playerbase?

    The game is new and had a lot of initial interest, so its fairly obvious people want to do things. People are also RPing in House because, as discussed, the system encourages it. But I really think the biggest thing is understanding what's available and what the options are. For instance... 30 great houses worth of NPCs? I've never heard of any of them and I'm not sure what they are or what they do if they haven't been mentioned in a specific +bbpost.

    We've seen one big NPC who quickly went over to a house. That's good on them, but that process wasn't terribly transparent (personally I thought he wouldn't make a choice right after that first event, for instance), and it may discourage others from acting on that plot thread since it now feels like it 'belongs' to that house. Also people now save their parties/events till the next NPC shows up? Other bits are culturally/factionally/etc coded: not everyone is going to jump on the religious stuff (the religious PC in my house did), not everyone has ties or interests in X part of the world, etc..

    Finally, I've had several people ask me what 'Pelcortia' even is. It's definitely @Lotherio's style that he has tons of theme in his head and will shotgun out names of people, places, groups etc. Some of it's on the wiki, but not all, and some requires working out what the historical analogue is supposed to be to make sense of. I'm willing to bet this is another barrier.

    Basically: Never assume your players will pick up on everything easily. 3x the info/clues/NPCs/plot hooks/etc for 1x the results. Etc.



  • No, no one paged and asked. They submitted +requests to info mill as noted by @auspice and we as staff responded to +requests. Not trying to be defensive, but the words, though not intended to be attacking, are implying staff could be making favorites. We don't everyone's getting the same treatment, which could be better on my part.

    Honestly, I'm rooting for @bored's groups, I am glad their on the game, I'm glad Corso is on the game with them. I said we have good players on the game and mean it.

    They systems were not posted on the game or wiki. This is my fault. These are developing systems as I've tried to indicate. They have been said in the coming soon, I am sorry for not getting them into help or on the wiki. The wiki is slow at the moment as folks have indicated they would like to see improvements, we've offered for input and help, and someone is working on that. It looks awesome, and we'll check with current players before any transitions this time around.

    I'm not blaming the player base for anything, I'm willing to admit I can give more info and am glad to do so to anyone who asks. We haven't given unfair treatment to anyone. My fault for not having everything out there, realizing this, I absolutely posted that +request is out there (its in the help files unlike other needed help files). If I put out all the theme, I'm worried just the same it would be met with the other side of the spectrum 'too much theme don't like it'.


  • Pitcrew

    Who said I blamed the entire player base? I specifically called out two houses that have also been active. I just said there are some that we've been trying to get in touch with and engage with that haven't been responsive or active at all.

    Where in that is blaming the entire player base?

    You're the one trying to insist it's staff's fault or making up some conspiracy that they've handed people special secret information. I'm telling you that they haven't. As someone who has moved forward on plot and whose house has gotten a fair bit of plot information...not one of us has been handed anything. We've just taken initiative and asked questions. Either of staff or on channels, where staff or other players have been able to answer.

    Literally all I have done is read the wiki, ask questions, and put in jobs as above. I didn't know there were that many other houses either until I began asking how the council worked.

    Just ask questions. Stop assuming everyone is out to get you or twisting words to craft malicious intent.


  • TV & Movies

    @auspice said in Valorous Dominion:

    Where in that is blaming the entire player base?

    Go read your post. You specify 3 houses are good, and then say a 'handful' of others (there really aren't that many) are 'doing nothing.' If that's not some nasty ass bitchy vague-shade, I don't know what it is. It's also pretty much bullshit on its face as I'm fairly sure every house is doing at least something. Maybe not all of it is stuff you're privy to?

    You're the one trying to insist it's staff's fault or making up some conspiracy that they've handed people special secret information. I'm telling you that they haven't. As someone who has moved forward on plot and whose house has gotten a fair bit of plot information...not one of us has been handed anything. We've just taken initiative and asked questions. Either of staff or on channels, where staff or other players have been able to answer.

    That's pretty hilarious. Quoting myself: "I'm not accusing you of giving a player special information." What I am saying is that people are learning how the game works as they go, through +requests. Including asking questions. But that's my point. People shouldn't need to +request to ask a question to learn a basic mechanic (and if they do, it sure as hell should get posted rather than just replied to them). Those things should be available, but aren't.

    Trying to spin into anything more is just looking for a fight where there isn't one, and also hilarious. Because I have played under @Lotherio before and have a high opinion of him. But I also know HOW he staffs, the good and bad, and some of these issues (shotgun theme blasts) are tied into that.


  • Pitcrew

    @bored I play Cristofano, the HoH of House Sabastino. I agree with you. And I think @Lotherio seems to have agreed, too. The game needs better documentation. You are right to call it out, and I think @Lotherio has also acknowledged that they need to do better in that regard.

    Like Auspice, I certainly threw myself out there with requests. And many of them were seriously, like...what does that rumor even mean? If I devote a resource to this, what is that /actually/ accomplishing? Etc. I will say that the staff has been amazing about getting back to me about these things. I don't think @Auspice is suggesting that the playerbase is to blame, and neither am I. But I also think a lot of us have PTSD about staff, and prefer to look to a wiki rather than +request, myself included. Like Auspice, I will suggest that, until documentation is as robust as it should be, you should absolutely pester staff. Giovanni Acuto and Galileo have always been super happy to answer questions and, more importantly to me, work out things that will be good for rp.

    To be completely honest, I had no idea Sabastino now had enough house rep to buy any resources back. I have mostly approached this game with a go-big-or-go-home attitude. I dropped all my resources by the 11th of the month figuring that if I lacked resources for other things down the line, then that would only lead to good rp for the PCs in my house. Not suggesting that is how everyone should go about it, but if you see a lot of things about yay Sabastino early in the month and then later its all about the other houses, you will know why, at least from an ooc perspective.

    TL/DR: Yes, the game needs fully defined and outlined systems. Yes, if you aren't sure how to proceed you should +request for a convo with staff.


  • TV & Movies

    @brunocerous Fwiw, I have no issue with you guys. You're our in-laws! The downsides I see are more general. IE what I mentioned about it possibly turning people off the plot thread (which was already hard to grasp with how vague the this Prince seems) as well as a mechanics-nerd concern over investment returns; if you can spend 1 resource to get 1 resource + change near instantly (which @lotherio seemed to imply was true for your action), then growth is infinite and limited only by who spams +requests faster. That's... clearly broken (and probably not intended)?

    But I agree it's important to acknowledge that there's no universal playstyle and the 'spam +requests' mentality isn't going to be universal. Some games run that way, some games don't, some do it via very controlled processes, etc. It's not a universal mode of staff interaction so its highly beneficial to outline to people precisely how they can engage vs. expecting them to figure it out (or +request to get it explained to them).


  • Admin

    @bored said in Valorous Dominion:

    If that's not some nasty ass bitchy vague-shade, I don't know what it is.

    This is not the Hog Pit. Please behave and do not attack other posters. Thank you.



  • @bored said in Valorous Dominion:

    ; if you can spend 1 resource to get 1 resource + change near instantly (which @lotherio seemed to imply was true for your action)

    This has been posted. After Cristofano received some house reputation, I made it public so everyone would know. It's work in progress, I stated it could be altered, if rep rolls like candy and commodities become devalued this could change. Its not complete but how it's played will determine its worth. 1 commodity spent is 10 house rep, getting visitors at such an event increases the rep earned. Inversely it costs more rep to get a commodity, 20 from available to get 1 commodity.

    Cristofano didn't spam a ton of requests, it may have felt like that, but others did more. And it's not spamming its a communication tool between players and staff. Please don't be gun shy to contact us in game, we're happy to help. He went after ones that interested him and had very lucky rolls against npcs. Half a dozen or more all made Prince requests, his roll beat them. He crit successed to impress the Prince, another Sabastino impressed the Prince. In a tally of houses and success to Sabastino tallied the most social victories against the npc so to speak.

    This isn't defensive it's outlining the process. We'll work to get this from bboard to help files and wiki to keep it transparent. We could use more help, I'm trying to finish plot system code and debug as bugs are found. The plot system will help with transparency as it will show possible rewards for interacting and incurring favor with npcs and will be more clear on how to use it, with comments from staff on needed rolls our actions when folks pick up such plots.


  • TV & Movies

    @lotherio Dude this feels like spinning wheels, and you keep going back to defend things that were clarified several posts back or that clearly aren't even at issue.

    I know it was posted. Thats why you're hearing this stuff now, vs. a week ago, because a week ago few players knew how the game worked at all.

    Nor did I say Cristofano spammed requests, or direct anything at him (or any single player), so you don't need to defend him. I pointed out a very obvious math truth: if you can spend 1 to gain >1 and there's no throttling mechanism then it becomes possible for people to potentially spam requests (and indeed, that becomes the winning strategy).

    I am not saying people have done this, I am saying, you probably want to adjust your system so people are not encouraged to do this. Because it is how the system looks right now.



  • @bored Your misreading it as defense with unwillingness by staff to change. I was correcting that spamming reqests and 1 request to gain 1 resourcese was not how it works. Not to argue put to prevent jobs queue from blowing up on us. I can take criticism my undergrad is studio art, I've had far worse criticism. I'm not offended by any of this here.



  • I will say that most of my rp here has been in house but that is largely because my time is limited and I don't know what I'm doing. I'm sure I will continue to wander about and branch out as time passes and I grow more accustomed and as I escape the gauntlet that has been work the last month or so.

    Game is pretty new. I like it so far.