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Cejo

EKs/Stronghold Types and the Social Structure

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I wanted to get some thoughts.  Basically, how do you plan to use your EKs and strongholds to facilitate your guild and/or social aims?  How would you if you had more resources than you currently have?

 

Will your EK be inhabited solely by guildies?  Will you open it up for "settlement?"  Will you focus on one really large stronghold in your own EK, or will you try to maintain numerous smaller holdings in various EKs?  Would you rather keep a bare-bones EK for yourself and place your largest stronghold on a bigger EK, gaining some kind of connection?  Or will you have a couch to crash on in every EK possible and leave your own place in ruins?  Something else I haven't thought of?

 

How does that mesh with your playstyle and your approach to guilds and/or friends on an MMO?

My thoughts:

 

As context, I have always gravitated towards smaller guilds of like-minded players with similar play-styles, and we tend to develop sort of "organically" through game-play.  We tend to be interested in fighting, so we eventually glom up based on whoever we know fights well and isn't a complete d-bag.  Due to the sort of loose and casual way we tend to come together (and the base individualism of the members), we tend to each maintain wide and often overlapping networks. 

 

So...

Castle + Small forts:  Having forts all over would be nice.  They're smaller, and should be easier for even very large EK's to "fit" into their plans.  Plus, I could have more of them and spread them wider.  They'd be like embassies.  Lower standing (titles), but spread through more circles might be helpful.  Besides: most of the people I tend to play with would more likely value a person by their contributions in a fight, not the size of their holdings, so who cares about titles?  I'd still have a really solid HQ (castle), which I think alongside the large keep is one of the best strongholds for a small- to mid-sized (by my standards) guild.

Castle + Keep:  On the other hand, a single person with both a small castle and a large keep will eventually become statistically rare; we must remember that the real estate market is currently skewed...eventually, most players won't be backers.  Having "population capacity" available on offer to allies/friends from other groups/guilds might prove to be vital early on; plenty of futons for those who don't want to maintain an EK, and just want to fight or craft or whatever without having to build a keep (ideal allies, IMO).  Thus, a Castle + Keep in home EK is pretty nice.  Alternatively, I could offer to place my keep in another EK, which could create a pretty strong tie because that's a pretty significant investment, and I'd still have a solid base in my own EK (the castle). 

Larger than a Large Castle:  This is where I struggle to find advantages, as it doesn't fit my social style I guess.  What do you guys think?  Efficient for trading I suppose.  Perhaps a focal point or recruitment banner if that's what you're after?  There's certainly the awe factor.  Perhaps ideal for large "anyone welcome" types of guilds?  Or communities-but-not-guilds?  I can see that.  Anything else I'm not seeing?

 

I think I'm happiest with my setup (small castle + large keep).  It might be because that's what I have, and I'm stuck with it, so I've been intent on finding ways to (intellectually) make it work.  But I kind of think that's what this thread is ultimately about.  IMO, many of us are sitting here with honestly insane "real estate holdings."  I think at this point, we OUGHT to be thinking of how we intend to put them to use, and I think viewing it from how they contribute to the social scene of the game might be constructive.

 

Anyway, curious to see what your strategies are, and how (or if) you expect they relate to your overall approach to social/guild aspects in the game.

Edited by Cejo

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I hope for my guild to live in a community based EK to use as a social hub to meet people to RP and engage in some friendly pvp with. It will be a much more relaxed environment than the campaigns and so it should give a different game feel. I will definitely spend most of my time in the campaigns but I expect them to be extremely dangerous and cutthroat (and hopefully with zero safe zones) making community based EKs necessary to provide a less stressful place to relax and hang out.

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Frankly, If ACE doesn't make features cost an arm and a leg (like they do currently) I could see spending a good amount of time (and money) personally crafting a unique, thematic and interesting EK open to the public.  I enjoyed building several different plots in Wildstar, which in my opinion heretofore has the best housing of any MMORPG to date.  ACE has the opportunity to one up Carbine as we have a whole kingdom to play with.  It is my hope that it wont just be about the castles and keeps, but that we can build other interesting though perhaps less grandiose structures.  Inn propriety could very well be in my future... 


The Artist Formerly Known as Regulus

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Good thread, good questions. :)


I think that a lot of people underestimate the scope of strongholds. And overestimate their use. A Fort is dedicated to support groups of 10-20 players/shops, a keep 20-60 and a castle 60-120. The maintenance costs will very likely reflect these relations. There simply is no need for a 30 members guild to get a capitol stronghold. A keep  - or a small to medium castle if you like their represantative impact - would be more than enough.

It is a clever game from ACE though to set these specific numbers, because people will tend to (and already do) want more than they need. It's just so much cooler to have a keep, even if you only need a fort. And a lot of people will fall for it. But that's a good thing. It will help to drive the economy as well as the campaigns. And the game itself. However, the new pricing calculations will help to limit this tendency in the future.

This said, i expect a lot of people ending up with larger strongholds than they need. The early days will be flooded with more or less empty strongholds/kingdoms. The pure size of the early strongholds won't be decisive for their or their kingdoms success. It will foremost be a question of supply and demand. And a question of wise decisions, hard work, passion and tactics of course - like with any other kind of success.
Some small or huge kingdoms, that won't make the mistake to offer more than their customers needs dictate, may stand out and after a while gather more attention and attract those who feel lost in other early kingdoms. To say: Some will make smart decisions - others won't. Part of the game, huh? xD

Regarding one single big stronghold vs. multiple small strongholds: that really depends on what someone calls small or big. And on the grade of isolation/openness of a kingdom.
A single person don't need a kingdom but can participate in others - nevertheless it's nice to have a little fort at home where you can place/secure your stuff.
A guild will be served well with a central castle - and maybe one or two keeps for siege training, roleplay, storage or whatever.
A community hub however could use central province parcel ... IF it's customer base is big enough.
And customer base is not similar to the supported player/shops numbers. At least count 10 necessary customers per supported players/shop to get things going in a community EK. Thats 1,200 customers pe capitol. Multiply this with the number of strongholds you would like to place in such a community kingdom.

One of the concepts of which i think they might be more successful than others in the early days are conglomerats. Several groups in one kingdom with one central trading and social hub. Over time, when the groups grew, they may split up to make their now well founded own kingdoms - giving space for new groups who want to be partakers of joint benefits and healthy prosperity.

But i am biased, because that is what i will do with my land and wanted to do since my early kickstarter days. So i am ought to be confident about this concept. xD

 

I think that conglomerats and other kinds of community hubs will take an important place in crowfall. I don't expect a lot of people to care about kingdoms (and frankly, otherwise the game wouldn't work). But they will be needed as places where new players find help and company, where frustrated players can cool down, where crafters can craft in peace and peoples can just have fun without permanently having to look over their shoulders. So some people just will have to make it possible. Be it small or big style.


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I think most players will eventually move toward a primary house in either their personal, guild, or conglomerate; a few crafting thrall properties; and a few secondary houses in other EKs for trading.  The kickstarter and preorder packs people will likely have large empty castles sitting on their tax free parcels, either attached to their guilds EK or independent.  Most guilds will try to maintain their own fort or castle but only the big ones will be able to maintain large castles/palaces.  The most sociable and successful EKs will be the trading hubs and zerg guild EKs.  Trading hubs will be governed by conglomerates, and these will likely consist of about half the primary groups involved and half the secondary properties of people from other EKs who are looking for space for trading.  There will probably only be a few successful conglomerates.

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