Dev diary

A youtube sneakpeak of Essos

Here is a mega treat : youtube video letsplay ! Remember it comes out the 17th !

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Categories: Dev diary, News | 13 Comments

Essos last dev diary – Release Date

So it’s December and the promised release of Essos is on track. Testing is going well so, barring unforeseen circumstances, we shall be releasing on Tuesday 17th December! In the meantime here is a couple of things we’ve been doing:

Dany Quest
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Daenerys is obviously a very important character in the Song of Ice and Fire, and so we have given her a detailed event chain that spans the Clash of Kings and Feast for crows scenarios to try and recreate her story for the player in the mod.

 

The main chain will follow her progress from Qarth to Astapor where she claims an Unsullied army. From there the player must defeat the other cities of Slaver’s Bay, and will hopefully one day eradicate slavery and return to Westeros. There are a few tangents the player can go on as well, maybe you will choose not to go to Slaver’s bay and go straight to your homeland to reclaim your birthright?

Faith of the Seven
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The Sons of Abraham DLC has given us an opportunity to expand on the Faith somewhat. We have applied the Cardinal mechanics to the Faith, so the High Septon is elected by a Council of the Most Devout. We’ve also taken many of the flavour events from the DLC and given them an AGOT twist. The High Septon can now also be much more important and powerful within a Kingdom, that is if his Faith Authority is high enough:

As you can see the higher his authority the more power he has within the realm, on medium or higher for example the Faith is allowed to arm and form the Holy orders of the Faith Militant. There also buildings which can now be built in temple holdings for certain religions. The Faith can build them if they have High Faith Authority:

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Essos Dev diary : Some Flavour

Essos information has been scarce these past few months, the reason being a lot of us have been busy in that time and progress has slowed. But rest assured we are still going, we have decided on a vague plan to make our next release an Essos one. This will be after Sons of Abraham has been released so we can take advantage of any features we can use for the mod. So hopefully a December release! In the meantime here is some things we have been working on:

Piracy
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The regions of the Stepstones and the Basilisk islands shall be inhabited by pirates! Aurane Waters shall be a playable pirate in A Feast for Crows:
pic1

As you can see pirates have their own piracy religion which both allows them to raid provinces and negotiate rivers. They have mechanics very similar to that of the Wildlings, in that they have a free invasion casus belli and a philosophy of only following strong rulers. If you have a weak heir your realm will fracture with all higher titles being destroyed, but of course you can try and rebuild your pirate realm if this happens.

Triarchs
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The Free City of Volantis has a unique system of Governance which we are trying to replicate in the mod. Volantis is ruled by three Triarchs with equal power that are elected in yearly elections. Of course the game engine only allows for one ruler who directs foreign policy and the like, but we have introduced an election system whereby two junior Triarchs are elected each year:

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Any landholder of the republic chooses a political party: Either the Elephants, the party of merchants, or the Tigers, the party of the warriors. Any Valyrian party member of the republic can stand for Triarch:
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At the moment the head Triarch, the ruler of the republic, rules for life (something which we are hoping will become moddable in the next patch so they to are elected yearly). The junior Triarchs, elected yearly, have a few powers they can wield against the senior Triarch, including veto of wars of aggression and appointments to the council:
pic4

But if a Triarch doesnt toe the party line, e.g. the Elephant party expects Elephant Triarchs to veto wars, the party members will be unhappy and their re-election will become less likely. To balance this Elephant pacifism Elephant patricians can much more easily sieze trade posts from non-Elephant patrticians using party support. Hopefully this will all make Volantis a more unique merchant republic to play!

The Bleeding Years
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After the Doom of Valyria and before Aegon Targaryen invaded Westeros, the nobles of Volantis tried to establish a new Valyrian Freehold themselves, conquering Myr and Lys before attacking Tyrosh, upon which Aegon came upon his Dragon to oppose them. In the Bleeding Years scenario, which has replaced the Seven Kingdoms, the war betwen Volantis and Tyrosh is in full swing:
pic5

If the Volantenes are successful they can continue their war against the other free cities, with the aim of unifying the new Freehold.

Giants!
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Not techinally Essos related, but cool nonetheless, Giants can now emerge as characters in wildling courts via a fairly rare event:
pic6

That is all for now!

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Categories: Dev diary | 15 Comments

Essos Dev Diary – Ruins & Colonisation

It’s been a couple of months since we announced Essos, and progress is coming along rather nicely. Our history setup is almost done (minus the Dothraki) and we are starting to implement some new mechanics, such as Galle’s slavery system, as well as adjusting existing ones to account for a new continent.

Today I’ll go into some more detail on our ruins and colonisation mechanics. As said in our first diary many provinces are now portrayed as ruins. They provide no manpower or income and cannot be conquered conventionally. There are currently numerous ruins across the map, examples include the ancient cities of The Rhoynar, Sar Mell, Old Ghis, the Isle of Cedars, the cities of Sothoryos, Oldstones and Summerhall.

Whilst they cannot be attacked they can be colonised, this is achieved by a special casus belli. You have to either neighbour or be within 2 sea provinces of the ruin to colonise it, and it also costs 1000 gold to start up.

You then have to move an army to the ruin, enforce a ‘peace’, (which is easy as ruins have no levies or garrisions) and finally establish the colony. The size of the colony depends on the size of the ruin, and will provide no income and troops for many years. Your vassals and kin cannot ask for this ruin, so you do no need to worry about keeping it in your demesne. Meanwhile various events can happen in the colony:

The natives may also get pissed at you for trying to enforce your will upon them:

You will also want to protect your colonies, as they are liable to fall back into ruin, with all investment lost, if subject to a siege or mismanagement:

The time it takes for the colony to be fully built depends on the size of the colony (larger colonies take more time) and the stewardship skill of your ruler. Having your steward oversee contruction there will also speed things up. Also bear in mind the costs and other elements are subject to balancing.

Please feel free to ask questions, or suggest any flavour events that could happen for your colonies!

If you have questions about this DD : http://citadel.prophpbb.com/topic3757.html

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Essos Dev diary slavery part II

In addition to domestic slaves, the civilizations of Essos also use mass slave labor to build and maintain their vast cities. These faceless masses are the underclass of Essos, who number in the hundreds of thousands. This reliance on slaves is a mixed blessing, however – on the one hand, it provides a source of cheap labor that can be used to up hold grand and glorious societies. On the other, it means those societies will always stand on the shakiest of foundations, the loyalty of thousands who have no reason to be loyal.

These thousands of slave laborers are represented by a new building chain, the Slave Camp. Slave Camps can’t be built normally – they are acquired much like domestic slaves, through Slave Raids and being bought and sold by slave traders – and come in five levels – Tiny, Small, Average, Large, and Huge – each of which provides tax income and a large supply of light infantry. The downside of this cheap source of manpower, of course, is that untrained slaves aren’t exactly known for their courage and loyalty in battle – in addition to providing you with more manpower, slave camps will also ensure that your light infantry will break at the first sign of trouble.

Besides the benefits a slave camp provides directly to its controller, it provides another advantage for the province in which it resides. The largest slave camp in a province gives that province a Slave Labor bonus – a reduction in construction time and costs that increases with each camp level Backed by this power, it’s possible to undertake vast construction projects in a slave city that would be unthinkable elsewhere.

Once again, however, this power comes at a price. The more slaves a province has, the more likely they are to disobey their masters – in addition to the construction bonuses, the Slave Labor bonus also increases revolt risk. There are ways to keep these risks under control, but the possibility of a slave revolt will remain a looming shadow over any slave economy.

Next time, in the third and final dev diary in this sequence, we’ll look at exactly what happens when that possibility becomes a reality.

Every question about this DD should go there : http://citadel.prophpbb.com/topic3715.html

Categories: Dev diary | 4 Comments

Essos Dev diary : Slavery I

The societies of Essos stand on different foundations from those of Westeros. To them, Westerosi serfdom and feudalism is utterly barbaric. Democracy may be rare in Westeros, but across the Narrow Sea, it thrives. None of which, however, is to say that the people of Essos lack their own demons. This is the land of the Valyrian Freehold, of the Great Cities of the Ghiscari, of Qarth and Volantis. This is the land where men live free and build great cities, but only at a greater cost. This is the land of slavery.

Our plan is to model slavery using two separate, parallel systems – one to track individual characters trained and sold as domestic slaves, and another to track the large slave populations that serve as the working class of Essos’s great cities. This developer diary will concentrate on the first system.

First and foremost, there is now a new crown law – called, appropriately, slavery. This law determines the legality and technicalities of slavery in your nation. For most kingdoms, by default, slavery is simply strictly Legal or Illegal, but the Ironborn use a special form of slavery that allows only for the enslavement of prisoners of war, while minor restrictions on the slave trade can be forced on other nations through war. For nations where slavery is simply Illegal, owning a slave yourself is right out – you’d be caught almost immediately. Selling prisoners into slavery is still possible, but comes at the risk of being discovered – and punished – by your liege.

Fresh slaves can come from a few sources. First, under Chattel Slavery, the children of slaves are born slaves, and slave traders may take steps to ensure that there is a healthy supply of such children. Second, prisoners can be either enslaved by their hosts, or sold directly to slavers. Third, there is a new Slave Raid casus belli available under Chattel Slavery and Thralldom. Slave Raids target a single province – either one that borders the raider, or a coastal province if the raider has access to ships – and, if successful, sack that province and randomly generate five new slaves of its culture and religion for the raider. On the other hand, if a slave raid is completely defeated, the defender can liberate any slaves of their culture or dynasty the raiders may have in captivity.

The newly enslaved are, understandably, rather upset about it, and will almost always despise their masters. Both this problem, and the distribution of slaves throughout the world in general, are handled by slave traders. Any patrician operating under Chattel Slavery may become a slave trader, but it tends to be most common in the great cities of Slaver’s Bay.

A slave trader has the unique distinction of being in the business of buying and selling slaves, in a system which ties into the trade mechanics. Slave traders benefit from controlling trade posts by gaining the right of first refusal in every slave transaction made in that province. If the lord of that province wants to sell a slave, he’ll have to hear the local slave trader’s offer first, before anyone else’s. If he wants to buy a new one, the selection at the local trade post will be the first he sees. Either way, the slaver benefits.

When actually buying and selling slaves, the trader has the ability to set the price. Slaves can be sold for one of three prices – low, medium, and high. It is the goal of the trader to pick a price they believe is fair – or, more likely, the best price they think they can get away with. Once the trader has set the price, the buyer or seller has the option to either accept it, or walk away and try to find a new slave trader. The result is a sort of mini-bidding-game – how low can you buy, and how high can you sell?

Once a slave is actually in your custody, you have many options for dealing with them. If they’re uncooperative, you may have them lashed in an attempt to break their spirit. Repeated lashings can turn even the most rebellious slave into a meek, obsequious servant – or into a bloody corpse. Be warned! Slavery is a grim, soul-destroying practice, for both the slave and the slaver. It is a rare man who can trade in human suffering each day and not come out empty ad hollow on the inside. Or, in less poetic terms, if you become a slave trader, expect to wind up with very little piety and lots of lots of negative personality traits.

Next time (in this sequence, not necessarily the next Dev Diary) we’ll look at slavery on a larger scale – all about the vast, faceless masses, without whom the cities of Essos would crumble into dust.

You can talk about this Dev diary here (and he pic are in greater definition there too)

Categories: Dev diary, News | 6 Comments

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