Re: Nail in the coffin

Rich Skrenta (
Mon, 6 Dec 93 7:37:06 EST

> AAAAARGGGGHHHHH! I go away for one day, and the ground moves away from
> under my feet.

We work fast here at Olympia central.

> This is happening with the EPCC (Diplomacy) as well. STOP IT.
> I think you lose a lot of potential with no FTs.
> I may well stop playing it if it turns into Atlantis.

Now, now, let's not make nasty threats. You know very well that, even
without FT's, Olympia is nothing like Atlantis. :-)

Back when Olympia _didn't_ have FT's, and I wanted to add them, I received
equally strident arguments that they would be the death of the game. A
survey of 57 players came out nearly 50-50 for/against FT's.

I think the (ex-current) FT system is somewhat too complex.
Perhaps it would help to find out what parts of the design were
liked, and what parts can go.

1. FORMed units must always have the forming noble as their lord.
Thus, FT's cannot be arbitrarily flattened without having the
vassals visit the top character.

2. The subtree loyalty check on death and desertions.

3. Displaying the immediate lord in all location reports.

4. No tree-stealing; a noble deserting doesn't take his whole
subtree along.

Let me sketch an alternate system:

SWEAR by default makes the unit's lord the player entity of the
target character. However, one may give a flag to swear directly
to the target. So you could make a tree if you wanted to, but
by default, there would be no FT. (FORM would work similarly; by
default, the noble's lord would be the player. A flag would make
the new noble's lord be the forming unit).

It's too nasty to have #4 if we force players to use FT. If they
are entirely optional, however, we can have tree-stealing. #2
has no purpose if we have #4.

What about #3? I think it's ugly to display the lord of every unit.
With mandatory FT's, I would rather show no-one's lord than everyone's,
since it just looks like "lord %d", rnd(1000,8000) to me anyway.

What about allowing players to display or conceal their lord, without
having to learn a stealth skill?

Rich Skrenta <>

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