Re: The long-term

Walt Pesch (
Tue, 27 Sep 1994 18:08:01 -0600

>> Atleast for the successful serious empire builder, 50+ NP depending on
>> swearings and such, 40 castles, 300+ garrisoned provinces. When other
>> empires give over nobles as they are leaving for whatever reason, I am
>> willing to bet that there will be players with 100+ NP, even 200+.
>The alpha test ran for 112 turns, which is about two years at the
>current rate. It started with a more generous NP allocation policy.
>At the end, one player had 80+ nobles, counting those belonging to
>control artifacts (which we really shouldn't count as NP's). The
>average, however, was still about 10 nobles/faction.

One problem that I see is that you can swear nobles to another, so when
folks leave they give over everything. There are gong to be some monster
players. I would dread writing their turns...

I would actually wonder about implementing a system of control where when a
player quits any nobles they transferred to another player has a percentage
chance of a massive heart failure (permanent death & NP lost). This would
be proportional on how many months it had been since the transfer.

This is a b*tch to track, especially transfer of goods once the noble is xfered.

The empire builder is different than the mage. In fact I think it is
interesting to extrapolate what the mage player will be like in 5 years. I
bet a half-dozen mages and another half-dozen support nobles. And their
weakness is that I don't see how they are going to keep up study without a
small empire to generate gold.

In fact, I think that it long-term is a weak position for they are not
offensive enough to stop their holdings from being squished. (Note, this
is in reference to what I as a long-time open-ended gamer view as
"winning", dominance/power both personally & through allies. They will get
the joy of their arts, which is a differant goal. It is just that they
will need to re-build every once in a while... ;-)

>> That game will be Risk, a few really big stacks waiting for the right
>> alignment of stars and alliances to unleash devestation.
>Perhaps. But remember that the world is awfully big. Making a killer
>stack is not enough; you have to be able to move it around quickly to
>get all of your enemies.

Nah, there is no reason to hunt nobles in this game, they regenerate.
Atleast not "minor nobles" who hold castles, trade, etc. The way to hurt
someone is to take their resources.

Did you ever play Takamo? The playing field was a galaxy with LOTS of
locations (down to planets around stars). It was utterly impossible to
triumph over a foe, for you could never find all of their installations.
You got big, and then you got bored... Battle was finding and taking out
installations, which you could never do faster than they were built.

I think it is the same here. My theory in g1 is (obviously my theory)
empire-building. And I more than able enough diplomatically to ensure that
large enough forces are never assmebled against me to take out everything.
In worst case I lose an area, some NP that are regenerated, and regroup
elsewhere and plot my revenge for a year later, real-time.

>> Of course, do you think that the game will hold interest and uniqueness to
>> run that long?
>It depends on what you want out of the game. Some players read Oleg's
>lore archive and quit, since they have already "collected all the blurbs."
>The main interest in Olympia is provided not by the GM, but by the
>player-player conflicts. I can only come up with so much new stuff,
>but new enemies to hate are always available.

That's the joy in my terms of playing with experianced PBM'ers. There is
more to PBM than beating your enemies, there is dominating them. (You
rarely get total victory, atleast in open-ended games.) Anyways, I'd
rather have the atomic bombs than use them...

>How did BSE stay interesting for that long?

What ABM provided was the story-line. (I still find it fascinating,
literally thousands of minds gnerating an interactive plot for a decade+).
But just as important was the diplomacy & role-play in terms of the plot
lines constantly being developed.

<Unfortunately, ABM fired the best GM two years ago, and the slide was
quick. However, if ABM didn't threaten KJC with litigation if they start
serving US players, we'd all be playing the English game... It still is a
game unmatched except maybe my Midgard at it's height (which wasn't long),
see the bse-list>

This is what I see as missing in StarWeb/Takamo/Capitol and unfortunately
OLY. But I do really like your rule system, having everything email (I
have yet to make a call!), and the challenge of efficiently putting
together the empire.

Beyond this, that was why I was wondering at five years from now.

>I am starting to think that position growth through nobles and even men
>is probably detrimental to any long term open ended pbm. My thinking for
>future designs is that positions should be fixed somewhere around 3-6
>characters, and that's it. Permitting ownership of buildings and property
>without requiring a noble to be present might allow empire building to
>occur without the world overcrowding that accompanies it in Olympia.
>But any limited resource that a position can grow in will eventually
>eat up the world, starve out new players, etc.

What I would contemplate is adding a new area in a year or two, but not for
newbie's. In fact, make it another dimension and have *things* gating out
looking for us. Better than barbarians. And start programming the module
now to have them want to take and keep things, interlligently. And make
them some form of Cthulu'ish creatures that when they kill a noble, they
eat the soul (NP). <hee, hee>

I'd love to see the diplomacy between those who wanted to attack, and those
who would rather just not be noticed.

This will prevent the monster stacks, atleast fighting eachother!

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