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Medieval Engineers: Developer Diaries - Episode 8

Discussion in 'Change Log' started by Drui, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Drui Keen Update Guy KeenSWH Developer

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    Summary
    The 8th episode in our new series of behind-the-scenes footage and developer diaries has been released! This week we're delivering our 2nd Q&A with Medieval Engineers team lead Tim Toxopeus.
    A big shoutout and many thanks to players who sent us their questions. As usual, we don't have time to get to them all, but there will definitely be more Q&A in the future.



    Q&A
    1. “Why square areas? Why not dynamic areas? Why not voronoi diagram style areas?” ~ Ed Frost, Waterlimon, Frostik, Wownerd1265

    Several players asked about how these areas came to be. The reason for the fixed areas is that it's how our planet data structure works. By utilizing this, it allows us to create several features, including a few we haven’t announced yet, to create a coherent system. In addition, this allows us to quickly iterate on the concept and make adjustments as needed.
    We could experiment with round areas inside the square areas, but it would be difficult to size them. Right now, due to the way planets work, the square areas aren’t really square near the cubemap’s seams. If we put a circle inside that touches the edges, it would probably be significantly smaller. Additionally, round areas have issues with overlap, or if we don’t allow overlap, then with how to position a claim block.
    We could experiment with voronoi cells, but it would add more development time to the current sprint. Right now, we just want to get the basic implementation working so that we can get players to play with it and see how it works out. After that, we will take the feedback we get and make the necessary adjustments.
    Finally, square shaped areas makes it easier to navigate and to tell the shape of your land, and all other scenarios lead to all kinds of complexity that makes owning land very intuitive for people.

    2. “How will players in the game know where an area for claiming starts and ends?” ~ SaturaxCZ

    Right now we are making a thin, transparent border fence, similar to when you are building grids and it shows you to which grid it's aligning. We don't know yet if this is the final implementation, but it functions well as a first iteration. Ideally, we'll give it another pass in the future to polish it up for the real, non-alpha release.

    3. “Can I move my claim block?” ~ SaturaxCZ

    Nope, you cannot build another claim block while the old one is still alive. The only way to reposition it is to first make sure noone is in your area, then deconstruct it (losing ownership of the area in the process) and then quickly run to your new location, build it, and wait out the contested timer again. That means that right now, during this period, your castle will be wide open for attack, so you'll have to think about your block’s location carefully. Additionally, being able to rapidly move the claim block is unfair to attackers - it’s pretty hard to find and destroy them.

    4. “What will the taxes be? How will we pay them?” ~ RayvenQ, SaturaxCZ

    Right now, since we do not have gold, the claim block simply requires upkeep instead, and every resource has some upkeep value. Logs and small stones have low upkeep value, while processed materials are worth a little more. If we add gold, gold will be worth a lot. The process of paying taxes is simple: walk up to the claim block, open its inventory, and drag and drop resources from your inventory into the claim block’s inventory.

    5. “How do I claim an area in an intersection of 4 claimable areas?” ~ Waterlimon, Cleardragonf

    By placing four claim blocks close together, in the corners you can claim 4 areas without having to build 4 castles to defend each block separately. If a block intersects with the border of your area it will still only claim one of the areas, and that will be the area containing the center point of the pivot of the block.

    6. “How do you prevent the gameplay from devolving from ‘Attack and defend castles’ to ‘attack and defend claim blocks’?” ~ Waterlimon

    Why would you build a castle if not to protect something? Back when people sieged a castle, they didn’t tear it down completely, either - just enough to attack and take it. How did a castle get taken? By killing the lord. Now, in our game, you have endless life, so killing the lord is a mere inconvenience for the defenders. That’s where the claim block comes in.
    We are working on some other aspects of the game design that will change the focus of the gameplay, but we’re not ready yet to announce these. Please look forward to the future installments of our updates. :)

    7. “Will we see derelicts like in SE and maybe some barbarian's stronghold ??” ~ Sabo

    We would like to have encounters, and the system we implemented supports barbarian claims on land. We haven’t actually implemented anything beyond this though, simply because of the fact we haven’t had the time for it yet.

    8. “How will we deal with people destroying castles when you are offline?” ~ Grave Spawn

    Currently, we are looking at adding a world setting where the server admin can decide whether or not grids inside an area are indestructible if the owning player is offline. If the castle is under attack while the player is online, and then he logs off, it would continue to be vulnerable. This is not implemented yet, though, and still under consideration.
     
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  2. Paul Bambury

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    first!!

    Good stuff. Hope we can see some of in action soon :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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  3. noname42

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    Next question: why is there no SE Q&A?
     
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  4. MichaelC

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    SE is a lot more established and didnt have to be pulled to be reworked and re-polished.
     
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  5. Ed Frost

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    .... I would really prefer to see dynamic claims and round ones. Dont use those fixed borders, allow for randomly placed. Of a claim grows and collides, the one with the most taxpayed/supportpoints wins and will start to be an obstacle for the other claim, eventally destroying the other one.
    ofc there has to be a max size for the claim
     
  6. Scorpion00021

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    Very cool. I'm hoping for more info on what you guys were thinking on economic aspects of the game and whether or not we can expect to see standing guards at castles. Thanks for sharing more info!
     
  7. waterlimon

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    I hope building 4 claim blocks should be the 'default', so we can freely pick where to build our castle. Otherwise the only places to build castles would be centers of regions, which probably wont be the optimal one most of the time (the optimal spot will probably end up being near the edge or corner of a region often).

    Maybe first 3 claim blocks should be free (no tax), and the ones after those are taxed? Of course player can decide how to place all of those. So effectively you pay the same whether you want castle in center of region, or at intersection of 4 regions.

    This would eliminate the issue with centers of areas being cheaper to build castle on than the edges (imagine a beautiful cliff at the corner of a region - you cant have it without making 4 claim blocks, which kinda sucks if a single claim block is much cheaper)


    Im interested in hearing what the feature(s) to solve offline castle destroying will be, its very difficult problem if going for SE-like gameplay.
    Only elegant solutions I can think are:
    1. Co-op play instead of PvP (only NPC attacks castle) - besides this is better for performance as infrastructure is shared, has people actually interact instead of hide from each other, and attack/defence can be balanced. Persistent creative sandboxes and PvP aggression dont mix.
    2. Completely unrealistic 'fantasy' solution like floating islands (which can just fly away when you go offline) or making a region extremely hostile when owner is gone
    3. Large factions PvP, so someone is always online to defend (instead of every player being solo)
    Instead of immortal castles while offline, there should just be checkbox to disable castle PvP. If castles are immortal while people are offline (and they are most of the day, some days not playing at all), there cant be much PvP anyways (against castles, that is - you can still fight on neutral ground).
     
  8. Hakon102

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    very good questions and answers . The square areas during the development process is very understandable and a good decision.
     
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  9. Stori3D Past Productions

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    Great answers, great hype, great video at the end! I -love- the idea of using grappling hooks and pulling yourself up the wall. That's a brilliant use of the game mechanics. I think you should re-release all of these "story" videos as their own thing, without the Q-and-A. They deserve to be seen & hyped. Lots of good stuff.
     
  10. Scorpion00021

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    Im not sure about making some claims free, @waterlimon, you really dont have to claim land to start building and it sounds like they could be pretty big.

    One other thing i would like to see adressed is static furniture placement. Going forward, could we "glue" furniture in place so a character cant bump it around until its damaged by something or unlocked somehow?
     
  11. Sanfard

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    Nice grapple device at the end. I've built a few similar devices, but it can be pretty tricky to get the rope endings to land in the right spot now that rope endings cannot be thrown with the manipulation tool if they are attached to a mass that exceeds ~210 kg.
     
  12. Frostik

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    Well if a castle is immortal while a player is offline, everybody will just close the game when they are sieged. We need another "SiegeBlock" which will indicate that a player is attacking you. When you logg off and this block is placed in your claim, your castle remains destructible. Also you can only place a siegeblock once an hour, preventing players from placing another one after you destroyed their block. Next to the siege block you will be able to construct your siege weapons. So it is a tactical descision where you place the siegeblock.
     
  13. Deepflame ME Producer KeenSWH Developer

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    8. “How will we deal with people destroying castles when you are offline?” ~ Grave Spawn
    Currently, we are looking at adding a world setting where the server admin can decide whether or not grids inside an area are indestructible if the owning player is offline. If the castle is under attack while the player is online, and then he logs off, it would continue to be vulnerable. This is not implemented yet, though, and still under consideration.

    We are aware of this, and we will make sure you can not pull a logoffski to avoid getting your castle destroyed. :)
     
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  14. Frostik

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    I knew I overlooked something and suspected that you are already aware of this problem. Btw. Thank you for answering our questions. :tu:
     
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  15. Eol

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    Question : Will there be a way in survival to hire peasants that can work in your claimed area through the taxes system ?? And even better : will it be possible to hire guardsmen that you can place on your walls so they act as a passive defense system when you're offline ??
     
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  16. PhoenixTheSage

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    You should look at the settings 7 Days to Die implements. Server admins can dictate the health of player/faction structures inside claimed areas both when they are online and when they are offline. I've administrated a server for a long time on there, and it a very effective way of dealing with offline raiding when you can set blocks to have 2x, 4x, 8x health etc. up to being invulnerable even. Invulnerable is never a good option IMO, but yeah, leave it up to admins.

    Damage mitigation is the best option, because then design principles still matter while at the same time attacking an offline and undefended enemy will take significant time and resources (based on the admins configuration). At that point, it is up to the players to determine the safest way to rotate their crew onto the server to defend their territory, based on the server they are playing on.
     
  17. Speshal_Snowman

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    I can't even think of a question, all I can say is great work!!!!! :):tu:
     
  18. Ghostickles

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    KEEEEEEEEEEEN!
     
  19. Mr Engineer

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    Ownership is exactly what ME needed. I'm glad its more tangible than in Space Engineers with a small standing stone than simply setting a setting, adds to the realism.