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The Mystery of the Zau Brulk Trolls

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    Posted: 06 Jan 2024 at 15:34
Awesome Freyja! First example of inter-faction fighting I've seen Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Freyja. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2024 at 15:29
Typical morning for me, wake up, log on and see where the trolls are. Not typical was seeing Tipu Khan headed straight for the trolls. 

Switch to UIv4 and see that Tipu Khan is in fact attacking Zau Brulk in 6 minutes. 




Tipu Khan and Zau Brulk do not have any known relationship or standings, except that Tipu Khan is enemies with Pax Orcana, who are friends with Zau Brulk. Sticky situation. 

Zau Brulk wandered into Tipu Khan territory and so Tipu Khan attacked the intruding trolls. It was not the faction battle I expected, but it is a great example of faction activity and responsiveness. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2023 at 19:59
can we interact with factions and gain/lose points by attacking their human "friends" or "enemies" ?
i whould like something like that
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM Jejune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2023 at 14:31
I think you're definitely on the right track, Tens. To be sure, Faction ranges will play a major role in the expanded behaviors of Faction units, and you're not likely to see units from Factions roaming everywhere on the map. That being said, we expanded the inter-factional relationships to give players additional opportunities to improve their standings with factions. It stands to reason that one dimension to relationships with factions will involve not only how you interact with them directly, but also how you interact with their factional friends and allies. Attacking a Faction's enemies may improve your standing with said Faction.

There are definitely inter-factional relationships that are not justified by geography; you'll find IFS relationships where the 2 factions' ranges do not intersect. However, this might be a unique opportunity: if you seek to make friends with Faction A by making enemies with Faction B, and Faction A is close to you but Faction B is farther away, that might be a good value proposition. Sure, you might have a -90 with Faction B, but they're not likely to trek far across the map to hurt you. And you might end up with +90 from Faction A, and they will join you in battle, give you cool things, etc.

Alas, I'm not being a good GM and am hijacking this thread to make it about Faction AI. However, to bring it back to Zau Brulk, their DRS and IFS numbers are all very interesting, and a good place for players to start traversing some of the inter-factional webs.

I highly recommend players bookmarking and messing with Tensmoor's very excellent Faction Relationships tool. Selecting Zau Brulk, Parvacones, Dyadans, Kingdom of Tal, and Turyns really pictorializes what we've been talking about.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tensmoor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2023 at 08:30
If I'm understanding you correctly Jejune then you are saying that it will also be possible to encounter a given faction around hubs belonging to other factions depending on their relationship. Depending on whether they are hostile or friendly you may see military or trading visits. Again, this is opening up even more possibilities for influencing our standings with factions.

Attack hostile troops from another faction in the area of a hub and suddenly the hub owners are giving you a slight discount!

I'm also in slow time looking into ways of improving both the relationships and ranges tools. Not happy with how either of them work.

Tens



Edited by Tensmoor - 01 Dec 2023 at 08:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM Jejune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2023 at 15:08
Thanks for that, Freyja! In response to your points regarding rationales for the expanded DRSes: yes, I would definitely think about them in the context of Faction AI. Also, I wouldn't limit understanding their rationales merely based on geography. We've also used the lore and even more creative rationales to create new connections between factions.

Let's look at our not-so-friendly trolls as examples:

Several of the DRS ratings are tied to mentions in Zau Brulk's lore:

"They have been known to trade with other Greenskins, and we know from the Orcs of Pax Orcana that they have done so for as long as they can remeber. . . "

This gives some clues as to why they have a +20 with the Pax Orcana. And while there's nothing in the lore directly about their closeness with the Parvacones, we know that they have an affinity with greenskin races, and we know that they uttery loathe the Dyadans. We know this from the Dyadans' lore:

"The Dyadans now find safe haven in their peaceful, beautiful home, happy to sing and dance their lives away. But it’s not going to be all song and dance when the Zau Brulk advances northwards. Our military intelligence divisions have noted that the trolls have been supplying weapons to the Greenskins for years; why should the Dyadans consider themselves safe?"

As for the trolls' hatred of the Turyns, it is more likely a "sympathy hatred" based on their closeness with greenskins, aka Parvacones, and the Parvacones' antipathy toward the Turyns. Also, the Faction Ranges tool reveals that the trolls and kobolds' hub ranges do indeed intersect. This slim but crucial intersection could justify this relationship geographically.

Hopefully this reveals some of the thinking behind DRS "webs" like these. 

Other connections are made through references in the lore, such as Saxil's ruminations on the Kingdom of Tal:

"I learned, the neighbours of the Kingdom of Tal were a rough and warlike tribe of Trolls. Clearly a life at sea would be preferable to struggling against the merciless heat and the murderous Trolls."

This suggests that the Kingdom of Tal deal with the Trolls regularly. Also, the Tals have a mildly positive relationship with the Dyadans.

As for Drangu Mundas, the DRS between them and the trolls might be thought of more as an interesting NPC vs. NPC relationship between 2 "bigfolk" factions, so that all of the giantkind are not "on the same team" in the game, so to speak. Part of our thinking in updating the DRS standings was to eventually give players an opportunity to rank high enough with some of the more mystical creatures in Factions and have their military units come to players' and alliances' aid in battle. That's why you'll now see an opening via DRS and the inter-factional relationships to eventually move the needle with some of these mystical factions.

Also, there is some justification in the lore to suggest that the Ogres could have roamed enough to meet the Trolls at some point. Di'qualinin tells us that:

"Until recently the Ogres of Illyriad were wandering beasts, roaming in managble packs - but after the Fourth Rebellion, instead of scattering as they had normally done without a war to unite them, they went on a terrifying trek through the Northern Lands, killing as they went." 

This would suggest that their roaming was relegated to the north, however, later in the lore, Di'qualinin notes:

". . . Ogres roaming the entire countryside of Illyria is now a thing of the past."

Could ogres have roamed far enough south to have met and clashed with the Trolls? Any such clashes do not appear in the lore, but it may make sense, as who among the giantkind are literate enough to have recorded such events? It would have had to have been witnessed by someone and reported.

All of this is to say that there was indeed thinking and rationales behind all of the DRS and inter-factional augmentations. Admittedly, I am not your equal in commanding the lore, but in the process of doing this, I did the deepest dive I could to make the new connections and ratings interesting.

I will fully admit that maybe some of them are probably a bit self-indulgent on my part and more a species of my imagination. Wink


Edited by GM Jejune - 30 Nov 2023 at 23:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Freyja. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2023 at 16:37

 Thank you so much, Jejune. I appreciate the feedback.

I have noticed the expanded inter-faction standings. On paper, so to speak, the inter-faction standings make sense, but looking at the map and considering each faction's behaviors, many of them are likely to never come into contact with each other. Many of the standings don't make a lot sense in the Illy world, geographically. If the expanded standings are necessary for what's planned for factions, then I'd understand the need to expand them more.

A good example are the Zau Brulk and Drangu Mundas. It's not likely they will ever interact with each other. Zau Brulk doesn't travel that far north, and Drangu Mundas doesn't travel outside of their action radius. Zau Brulk interacts with many factions along the way when they travel around central Elgea, and the other factions react to them, but they've never come into contact with Drangu Mundas. I think it's far more likely for Drangu Mundas to battle with the Guardians of Zera, who do travel into ogre territory and they have a strong hatred of each other (-70). Plus, the Guardians of Zera are one faction that I have caught attacking another faction (Crimson Dawn). Like I said above, I don't know what's coming with the AI update, and things could change in unexpected ways.


The Parvacones-Pax Orcana-Zau Brulk thing is a story that crosses several pages of the lore, and they were all probably involved in the greenskin takeover of Caer Arodd (now known as Great Mountain Home), which the dwarven clans still want back. The lore hints that the trolls were arms dealers between the orcs and greenskins. Great Mountain Home is a hot spot for inter-faction action and drama.


 "I wonder what would happen if the right person caught the right Fey at the right time?"

Us too! We've been wondering that for years. The time is 1900, but we haven't figured out what to do yet. Thank you for confirming what many of us have always believed. It's nice to know we weren't chasing a false clue. This deserves a separate thread.


"It will be interesting to see if one will be able to someday curry favor with the Fey by contesting Zau Brulk."

"Another consideration is to what degree being an orc could factor into partnering with Zau Brulk."

Those are both interesting ideas and 2 different perspectives. Make friends or don't make friends. Attack their enemies or make friends with their enemies. There will be choices to make and we are thinking and talking about these kinds of things. I encourage people to look at the factions around their towns and the ones who own the hubs where they do trade. Those 2 things are the most important factors when deciding which side to pick and where to put towns.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM Jejune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2023 at 19:16
Freyja, first off, I've been meaning to sincerely compliment you on your research and testing regarding factions in general. You've been at it for years now, and, looking over what you've written, I think you have a very accurate feel for some of their unique behaviors.

Concerning Zau Brulk: we substantially expanded their inter-factional standings this year, and they now have a clear affinity with other greenskin factions while loathing the entire Fey race, some elves, etc. (They disdain the Turyns and Dyadans, but would likely hate all other firstborn factions if they knew of them.) Also, their rivalry with the Ogres (Drangu Mundas) is also interesting, since Ogres are monsters, whereas Trolls are greenskin and technically more "sentient." Can you imagine those battles?

Above all else, I think that their alignment with Parvacones and the Pax Orcana is particularly interesting, as is their loathing of the Fey. It will be interesting to see if one will be able to someday curry favor with the Fey by contesting Zau Brulk. The Seemies, Unseelies, and Sylvans are difficult to engage with, as you have recently pointed out.  

I wonder what would happen if the right person caught the right Fey at the right time?   

Another consideration is to what degree being an orc could factor into partnering with Zau Brulk. They are not monsters, and orcs enjoy a +20 DRS. I can't think of many other factions that have such formidable units that are not monstrous and thus "reachable."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Freyja. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2023 at 13:43
Yeah, that's what they do. They travel north from Tallimar into Arran. In Arran, they either go northwest to Tor Carrock/Keppen OR they go northeast to Mal Motsha/Keshalia. And there are usually 2-4 armies (or more) moving at the same time. 

They don't go in a straight line, and seem to wander a bit, and they camp often. However, on the way home, I have not seen them stop to camp and it takes a few days to get back home. Maybe they wander around, looking for something or trying to complete a mission, and once it's done/found, they go straight home, non stop. 

This is a graphical map of their movements, which anyone can get to on the Zau Brulk wiki page (link in 1st post of this thread):

Zau Brulk map

green circles = Zau Brulk camps
green X = Zau Brulk hubs
red open circles = local hubs
purple X = Duraz Karag

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2023 at 03:13
They move north through Tor Carrock, now I noticed they also move back south through there, currently still moving but they may land around https://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/#/World/Map/-214/-168 in about an hour.
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