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GM Stormcrow View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: 19AUG13 - Factions
    Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:05
Hi everyone,

As some of the more eagle-eyed amongst you have already noticed, some NPC factions are now out and about on the continent of Elgea.

What we've started here is an incremental release of Faction AI to the live environment.  

This release is going to be incremental because - with AI and emergent behaviour algorithms - we really need to test what happens in a live environment before opening the floodgates.

Anyone who remembers the entirely overrun island of Poisonous Crawlers (basically our own, personal, accidental Galapagos/Jurassic Park) during the first release of NPC nature will know that there are dangers in releasing emergent behaviour systems.

And, unlike our natural beasties, Factions will ultimately have aggressive options open to them as well; so it's doubly, triply important that we get this right and take it slow.

As of this moment, a handful of factions have had their most basic rulesets (spawn and patrol orders) unlocked; but also with "avoid confrontation at all costs" enabled (regardless of the specific Faction's philosophy).

This means they're spawning, and heading out of their relevant faction hubs to carry out tasks, and are travelling around the land according to the AI rulesets we've set up for each of them.  

We have not turned on any combat decisioning at this stage, so you will *not* be attacked by a faction.  If a faction arrives to occupy a location that you are currently occupying, the system will automatically move the faction on and let you know it passed by your location.  

Currently, all factions are set to only move to "NPC squares" ie Ruined Towers and the like; so at this point, you won't get a faction moving to a non-NPC square.  This may change.

At this time, you are welcome to scout and/or attack factions on the map without consequence.  As the factions are currently determined not to have a confrontation, there's every chance they'll try and escape.  We haven't yet turned on Faction Standings (your personal relationship with a particular faction), and we will give *substantial* notice before doing so.  So please, feel free to go kill Circle of Five warlocks (or any other NPC) with impunity.  We'll let you know when it might become a bad idea.

As each day passes we'll be putting more Factions live, and you'll be seeing a lot more of them.  Each Faction has its own set of philosophies and guiding principles that steer their preferred behaviour in certain directions, and differentiate (eg) the Blood Reavers from the Dyadans.

However - once faction standings go live - your own personal (as well as your alliance's) engagement with a particular faction will also colour that faction's behaviour towards you (and your units and towns).

Over the next few days and weeks we'll also be turning on many different parts of the Faction AI as we become more confident that they're doing what they're supposed to - running smoothly and within parameters... without the King's Praetorians running across Elgea with torches and pitchforks, looting and pillaging as they go.

Some of these parts of Faction AI include factions killing nature, factions dropping equipment, factions killing each other, and - ultimately - factions attacking player encampments, committing atrocities against civilians... and perhaps even sacking cities.

As we turn on different parts of the AI we'll let you know; and we'll let you know well in advance before we enable the longer-term Faction Standing consequences of the nature of your engagements with factions.

Best wishes,

SC


Edited by GM Stormcrow - 19 Aug 2013 at 17:14
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arnesson View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:12
Awesome SC!  This will be fun!  Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:15
/me does happy panda dances all round Elgea.

Thank you :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:20
SC - will Faction standing from battles with Faction troops (pre Trade v2) be reset for full release of the Faction AI ?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:24
Faction Standing clarification
I've had a few mails from players concerned about faction standings.  For the avoidance of doubt, all players will have their faction standings reset to their racial defaults when we're ready to go live with personal and alliance Faction Standings.  Anything you do (or have done) to any faction up until this point (and we'll give 2 weeks' notice of when this change point will be) will not be reflected in your personal or alliance Faction Standings.

Cheers,

SC
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:25
Thanks for the 100% clarification SC :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:41
Coolness. :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:44
this is great news, i am so excited, as for the numbers of factions, will some factions have tons of troops and some have very few? or will it be like npc's where they can combine or divide as necessary? 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 17:44
While I do like this update, and it looks interesting.. is there a way to opt out of being involved in faction politics? I can imagine one would be rather gutted if a super hostile faction happened to be near cities that someone had no interesting in either moving or turning into a military based city.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2013 at 18:12
When faction standings come live will we have a new type of diplomat, [@i=5|44] Runemasters, and will they require wine to build?
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