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  1. #1
    Community Manager k0tarsis's Avatar
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    Dev Spotlight: Kingdom Management

    Greetings, Pathfinders!

    This is the first "Development Spotlight" post from the series and there will be more (name isn't set in stone though). In those posts we will tell you about the future of the project, upcoming changes, patches, DLCs etc.

    We have received a lot of feedback on the strategic part of our game – development of the Barony. So, this time, we decided to highlight most obscure parts of Kingdom mechanics in the "Spotlight of Development" and try to address some of the questions and clarify various aspects of Kingdom Management.

    Spoiler alert! There will be info about certain events, buildings or projects; some of them reference certain decisions or story elements!


    Barony Status

    Barony status - is one the most important parameters and it shows how peaceful the citizens are and how strong is their loyalty towards you as a ruler. Disregarding that parameter may lead to the barony collapse as well as the end of the game. Barony status can be lowered due to the following reasons:

    At the start of the event, if it is about riots and uprisings. If the event is successfully resolved, the status will be restored.
    At the end of some problems, if they fail.
    If you have a negative amount of BP.
    When one of the stats of a barony was reduced below zero.
    As a result of decisions made during the barony ranking up process (for example, if you decided to increase taxes significantly)

    Several events can help when barony status fell too low:

    When the status of your barony becomes "Troubled," at the start of the next month, you will get special event "Feast for the Afflicted," which restores one status level for 1000 BP and takes 5 days.
    If your barony status reaches "Riots," you will get another event - "Address the Barony," which allows Regent, Curator or Grand Diplomat to restore one status level for 25 BP, it takes 28 days and has difficulty check (DC) of 25 (if you fail this project, there won't be any bad consequences).
    And if your barony status becomes "Crumbling," the third event appears - "The Last Resort," which allows your General, Warden or Minister to restore one status level for 50 BP, it takes 14 days and has difficulty check (DC) of 21 (fail in this event will decrease respective kingdom stat by 6).


    We are planning to add some additional events to help you recover the barony status.
    There are also several buildings, projects, and decisions, which allow you to increase barony status during ranking up. Sometimes events and triumphs can lead to positive change in barony status and lead to "Serene." To give several examples:

    Assassin’s Guild (that could be unlocked from kingdom quest for CN kingdoms) can prevent going into Crumbling state, but at the cost of 10 Community, and only if you have allowed bandits ran rampant in your kingdom.
    If you have decided to help Linxia and despite all odds secured an alliance with her, you will be granted a project that occasionally makes status better (up until Worried). This project also makes Last Resort better.
    The decision to reduce taxes while increasing the rank of Economy to 3, will make status better (can even make it Serene); increasing taxes will make status worse.
    Troublemakers Kingdom Problem can make status worse on Disaster.
    Arrears Kingdom Problem can make status better on Triumph while solving with Councilor.


    "Invincible Kingdom" setting prevents your barony from being ruined when it reaches barony status "Destroyed." However, some story events (like Massive Troll Attack or The Barony Was Consumed By The Bloom) can still lead to the destruction of Barony. You will be warned about such events in advance (2 months, a month, 3 weeks, 2 weeks and a week before). Such events are prevented by completing the main story mission of the chapter.

    In the upcoming 1.1 patch, when BP drop below 0, barony status will change at the end of the day and will not when you hit negative BP. This will give you an opportunity to visit merchant Hassuf and buy additional BP.

    We are working on other improvements for barony status system, and primarily on providing clear information about status changes (which, in most cases, are enigmatic).


    Events

    There are all kinds of events in your barony and a lot of them might affect stats or status of the barony. For most events, you need to assign advisors to solve them. Success or failure of the event is determined as follows:

    D20 is rolled.
    Advisor's ability score bonus is added (Str for General, Con for Warden, Dex for Minister, Int for Treasurer and Magister, Wis for Councilor and High Priest, Cha for Regent, Grand Diplomat and Treasurer).
    Then “+2” bonus for every rank of the kingdom stat is added.
    After that, another modifier, based on barony status, is added (from +1 if it is Serene, 0 if it is Stable and -1 for each step below Stable up to -4 if Crumbling).
    The resulting number is compared to the difficulty of the event and if they are at least equal - the event is resolved successfully. If the resulting number is higher than the difficulty event by 5 - you get Triumph. If the resulting number is lower by 6 - you get Disaster.

    If you want to increase the ability score bonus, you can equip your companion advisors with magic items increasing respective abilities. For NPC-advisors special projects like "Strengthen Jhod's Skills as an Advisor" appear when the corresponding barony stat rank increase; these projects increase bonus that NPC advisors provide.

    There are two types of events: Opportunities and Problems. Failing an Opportunity won't lead to severe consequences, but ignoring the Problem might. When possible, you should assign an advisor with the highest bonus for resolving Problems. You can risk appointing advisor with a smaller bonus to the Opportunity and have a chance to grow barony stat, rank it up and eventually make a bonus for this advisor better. You can ignore the event (there is a special button at the bottom of a card), and it will be resolved as Failure on the next day.

    If an event requires an advisor, you need to appoint him before the 1st day of the following month. In case you didn't assign the advisor for an event, one will be assigned automatically on the first day of the next month. And any events left without an advisor are automatically resolved as Failures. In the upcoming 1.1 patch, you will be able to resolve all the events that appeared after 20th of the current month, until the end of the next month.

    You can assign advisors while you are inside the borders of the barony - there is no need to be in your capital. So you should plan your adventures accordingly and come back once in a month to assign orders. If something important happens (or you were away for too long) - you will receive a messenger raven. So, it is essential to claim regions and expand your barony.

    And if the event requires baron's personal attention - you need to visit the throne room. Some of those events are related to the problems and can lower stat of your barony once in 14 days until you visit the throne room. Examples of such events from the beginning of the Barony would be: Troll Invasion, Visitor Waits in the Castle, New Troll Sightings, Problem with Taxes…

    Some events, like those related to Bald Hilltop (Ancient Curse quests), are especially dangerous for your barony. First events of this kind called Eight-Legged Plague and Rotten Beasts. While these events are quite rare, they can significantly lower the stats of the barony. You can find the timer for the Bald Hilltop in Linzi's Journal, it shows the time left for the whole quest. The corresponding problem will appear in the barony and enemies will spawn on the Bald Hilltop 14 days before the end of the quest. Problems such as Eight-Legged Plague and Rotten Beasts lower barony stats once in 2 days, while an advisor can solve it in 1 day and even adverse outcomes (Failure and Disaster) will stop Problem from recurringly lowering stats. To complete the quest and receive rewards you must defeat enemies and successfully complete the problem in the barony. At the moment, you can easily miss the start of this event, and it will lead to harsh consequences. We have plans to add notification 2 weeks before the beginning of the Bald Hilltop problem to remind about its arrival and give you some time to prepare for it.

    Difficulty level affects events directly. On Easy levels the difficulty of the event is lowered by 2, Hard level increases it by 2. We have plans to add additional difficulty level - "Effortless Kingdom." On this level any event is resolved successfully with the roll of at least 8 and, if the advisor can achieve success with lower roll, the game will use advisor's stat. It will allow developing your barony much easier.


    Barony Development

    To develop your barony, you should claim regions, improve them, construct buildings and complete projects. All those actions require BP. Barony receives 30 BP/week from Brevoy. For every rank of the stat, income increases by 1 BP (but it can't be bigger than Economy, for example, if you have 4 ranks in Economy and 6 in Loyalty, Loyalty will provide just 4 BP). Trade agreements and economy related decisions will also increase your BP income. Half of this additional income will be sent back to Brevoy. When your barony becomes a kingdom, it stops paying half of the income to Brevoy, at the same time it loses 30 BP/week.

    You can purchase additional BP from merchant Hassuf in your capital (80 gold = 1 BP). The merchant with his stand could be found on the central square of your capital, he has many goods to sell so to find BP easily it is advisable to use filter “Other” and Sort by Name (From A to Z).

    Special projects appear when you can claim a region, and they require Baron to spend 14 days to complete it (later you will be able to half the time needed for a project). That means 14 days will be skipped. You shouldn't start such projects if you have less than 14 days until the end of the month - it might lead to failing events which appeared at the end of the month (before patch 1.1). Every new claimed region increases barony stats, and you can build a settlement there. Some regions have prerequisites that should be fulfilled before you will be able to claim them. For example, North Narlmarches require Community rank 3, and Kamelands requires Loyalty rank 3. You will be able to found one settlement in each region.

    Settlements can be upgraded. To upgrade your Capital from Village to Town you should fill 8 building slots and have at least 2 other Villages. The second town requires 6 settlements in the barony and 8 filled building slots in the Village you are going to upgrade. Capital can be upgraded to City if 16 building slots are filled, and there are three Towns in your barony.

    Regions can be upgraded after Capital becomes a City. Those upgrades improve region stats and provide barony with additional effects. Every upgrade has its own conditions to appear, some of them are connected to story and side quests, others - to barony stats.


    Artisans

    Artisans are craftsmen, who create various items which are useful in travels across the Stolen Lands. You can meet an artisan after you have claimed the region where he lives. Some artisans will come to your throne room and ask for help, others can be visited after you have built a settlement in the region (you should enter this settlement from the global map). It is strongly recommended to visit North Narlmarches and Kamelands to talk to different characters. Artisan quest starts after you have spoken with him. To receive gifts from artisan you should construct a particular building, Artisan’s Shop, in the same settlement you have met the artisan. To give a couple of examples: Bokken's Alchemical Shop or Dragn's Armor Shop. After this you will receive gifts every 2-3 months - artisan will bring them when he visits baron in the throne room. If you have artisans - don't forget to visit your throne room, even if you don't have events.

    With time, artisans will create more powerful items. To enhance items, created by the artisan, you can: complete artisan's quest, reform barony into the kingdom, increase specific barony stats and improve artisan's shop (after 1.0.16 patch). If you fulfill all the requirements mentioned above, the artisan will start working on masterpiece - especially powerful item, that can come in handy later in the game. The artisan will notify you before he starts working on such item. Masterpieces are one of the best items you can acquire in the game!

    We have plans to add Kingdom events that will provide information about what’s happening in the regions you control and advise to visit the local settlement when artisan appears.


    Barony Alignment

    Initially, alignment of the barony corresponds to the alignment of the baron, but baron's alignment might change with time. When you receive an informational event that your barony becomes known across Golarion, barony alignment synchronizes with the alignment of its ruler. At the same time, a quest for cooperation with other countries appears.

    _____________________________________

    That's all for now! We hope this rather long helped you better understand how kingdom management works and cleared up any misconceptions. Stay tuned for more!
    Last edited by k0tarsis; 11-27-2018 at 01:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Could all this be... in game...?

    As for comments about it:

    -> BP generation rate is still rather obscure.

    -> Barony status needs a progress bar for each status level, so that events can affect the barony status in a more organic (analogic?) manner.
    Especially, debt is a thing countries have IRL, and it does not affect their citizens' morale as strongly as, say, bandit attacks or tax increase.

    -> The feast costs 1000BP. Do I need to comment on this?... srysly? Who has 1000BP when their barony is already in difficulty?
    -> Events "in the throne room" need to alert you more clearly when it'll decrease you status level (an "are you sure?" dialog might help)
    -> High level in stats like Stability and Loyalty need to have at least some impact on the... well... stability of the barony.

    -> Multitasking is a thing IRL. Ingame, your companions can be advisors and still go adventuring with you, so why couldn't they pause a task, go to another one, go back to the previous one, all in an organic manner?
    -> For the same reason, 14 days locked out with your advisor for a stat increase? What were you thinking?
    And even if it was OK for it to be a 14 days task, why does the game have to "auto-skip" time then, preventing you from doing anything else?
    Like I said, your advisors/companions can go adventuring while on a task, so why not the player too? There's litteraly no valid reason for that!

    -> When building inside a town/village, a toggle for the grid and and buildings names would be helpful.
    -> Also, in that area, building rotation does not work, and building placement needs trial and error. This would not be a problem if BP were not spent immediatley and if there was a "commit/rollback" button before leaving the "town screen".
    -> About building placement, does a building get the bonus when placed diagonally, or does it only work orthogonally?
    -> Moving upgraded buildings requires to rebuild them from scratch, and then re-upgrade them. How come?!

    -> Upgraded regions don't show which upgrade has been attributed to them. This is annoying.
    -> Upgrading regions before we have unlocked all 3 choices is pure random choice. Thus you should be able to change an already applied region upgrade when you unlock a new possible one. For a price, obviously.

    -> You explain how events resolution works. Good, but I believe you already noticed all this RNG leads only to save scumming...

    And finally, I think everyone agrees about how all these too-long-and-too-frequent loading screens plague the whole game, and especially the Kingdom management part. This could be addressed via a redesing of the management menus, or/and by giving us a "simplified management menu" that could be popped up at any time, like the boat menu in Pillars 2.

    I tried to be exhaustive, but I might have forgotten things here and there. Other players will surely have other things to add.

    Allow me to emphasize how I love this game, and how much it pains me to see this core feature that is Kingdom Management, being so flawed.
    I have confidence you will improve it in the near future.

    I hope these comments are helpful to you.
    Keep up the good work, and don't take criticism wrong. We all want to help you in this :-)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mberthault View Post
    Could all this be... in game...?
    I would also appreciate an ingame help function that explains the mechanism. So far, there are only tutorial pop-ups and only few of them.

  4. #4
    A lot of the project and region upgrades don't seem worth it. Just looking at the Math. Anything that costs a lot up-front better pay for itself quickly.

    Example: A lot of region upgrades/projects lower the cost of certain buildings. Paying 200 BP to lower the cost of anything by 10% means I would need to spend >1800BP on that thing for it to be worth it. Since I don't plan to do that (or cannot afford it) the Project/Upgrade is a bad deal.

    Similarly, Trade agreements that cost 1500BP at the start of the kingdom are a bad investment. How many weeks to recover that investment? By the time I have recovered it, I won't need it. The Game lasts 3-4 years (150-200 weeks), and most of the game is in those first 2 years, so I need any "investment" to pay for itself in less than a year to be worth it.

    If the game lasted 10 years (1500 weeks) or there were easier ways to get BP (weekly revenue was 2x or 3x current) a lot of these options would be more palatable. As it is, I spend 80% of my gold on BP to drive the kingdom (I am always sad when I meet the merchant at the Rushlight festival, as I have already spent too much $$ on BP to afford any of the cool things they have for sale).

    Thanks for this detailed explanation. It has made kingdom management easier to understand, and I imagine even more for newer players.

  5. #5
    My suggestions :

    - I find somewhat disappointing that in the end, kingdom stats don't really do anything. The story happens the same, events happen the same, there is next to no visual changes in the game. I know it's foremost a RPG and the management is mostly here for fluff and immersion, but still, I would have liked to get other options if my kingdom was especially weak or powerful in some area.

    - Buildings are just too confusing to use, and anyway are mostly useless (just a one-time bonus for a lot of BP). It's a pain to plan anything with them as there is just not enough information known beforehand, no way to easily sort them and no building tech tree to get an idea of where we're going. We need a whole different UI to be able to do anything, but considering how little this all count... It feels like a wasted opportunity here.

  6. #6
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    For my first playthrough, I run my kingdom on easy mode and I have all tutorials turned on. What more, I also take the time to actually read and understand the tutorial messages when they pop up. So far, I have had no problems running the kingdom and everything has been pretty self-explanatory. I have not spent a single gp on buying BP and I have not been bummed out by the mechanics of the kingdom mini-game except on one occasion: the Ancient Curse.

    The Ancient Curse quest is on a timer, except the curse hits you when there is 14 days left on the timer (in contrary to all other timers in the game). This particular case does not need better explaining, devs, it needs complete re-doing because no matter how you look at it from a user perspective, the information is just plain wrong and misleading. Adding conflicting information on top of this will lead to confusion. Better no information than misinformation.

    Apart from this, the kingdom mini-game is unfortunately rather shallow and easy to min-max: taking leads from above posters, you simply refrain from building buildings in your towns (because they don't pay off; exception being the bulletin board in a Lawful kingdom), you don't take any offers on upfront cost for a later discount (because they don't pay off) and you run the game with a buffer of a few hundred BP at all times so you don't get surprised by the hidden BP costs when talking to your advisors once they reach kingdom stat 60 for instance.

    OP was a really nice read. This should be printed in a manual (or would be, back in the 80's, when the games had manuals). But it was not crucial information that we have been missing out on up until now, in contrary to what many posts whine about on Steam and elsewhere. Just use the in-game tutorials and you're (mostly) fine. That's what they are there for. For some of the finer points of kingdom management though, I will surely return to this post later when I need to look something up (damn you Bokken, why are you not bringing me my masterpiece!?).

  7. #7
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    Thanks to k0tarsis and the devs for this topic. I guess it could help people who are stuggling to understand how kingdom works, and any update of the system is welcome.

    That said, it doesn't help on the main problem with kingdom management : It's neither fun or rewarding. and I don't mean tangible rewards for or character, more like a feeling of accomplishment. It completely feels just a bunch of stats in an excel sheet, completely seperated from the main game, instead of a developing kingdom.

    A few examples : An economy of VIII has no difference to an economy II if you look at merchants, or the wealth of your citizens. Stability and loyalty has no effect on your citizens revolting or not. At VI military it still involves your general and his whole army to deal with the same river maiden (for the 20th time..) as at rank I. A town with 8 buildings (including a garrison, temple, whatever) is the same dirt village with 4 houses as before you made any improvement. Region improvements are not something to look at (you can't hunt in the hunting grounds, or visit the lot of jewelers, and a religious center is just a few people with 2 carts etc.), and some of them has absolutely 0 effect, except from the "region developed" checkbox somewhere in the kingdom excel sheet. Your main NPC-s still talking about the lack of hospital in your capital, and set up shop in an old jail, even if you built one. Building a road don't affect travel times. Even if I build both goblin and kobold areas in my capital, there is not one of my new citizens appear in the city. etc etc..

    Generally speaking, if I don't count the completely optional artisans, currently the only reason a player is supposed to care about his/her kingdom is to not lose the game, while he actively plays the campaign story. And this is a disappointment, considering that is should be one of the mst important parts of the game, which sets it apart from similar CRPG-s.

    Also, as others stated, may of the projects/trade deals etc. feels unworthy, considering how much resources it takes to do them for little return, AND they also makes one of our advisors busy.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Deekin View Post
    it was not crucial information that we have been missing out on up until now, in contrary to what many posts whine about on Steam and elsewhere. Just use the in-game tutorials and you're (mostly) fine.
    Fine for you if you are a genius and us peasants are just too dumb to understand, therefore being whiny spoiled brats, I guess.

    But please, tell me which tutorial item tells you that negative BP will lower the barony status, or how to re-increase its level (which btw is not fully explained even here). It's not crucial, of course. It's just THE most important and unexplained game-over reason people encounter! But whatever, YOU must be right, and WE must be wrong, because we are just plain dumb or lazy, not like you Mr Superior.


    What more, I also take the time to actually read and understand the tutorial messages when they pop up
    So what? Do you think we are braindead bozos who skip all the deefikultt reeding beecauz it hurtz the insyde of the head? Oh, you're so superior because YOU read the tutorial, when WE just wallow in our ignorance and whine like mere plebeians.
    ...
    Well surprise, I read the tutorial too (yeah, maybe we're not all lazy dumbs after all...)
    And after that, I read the whole ingame "encyclopedia" (it hurts to call it that, but hey).
    ...And you know what? I did not find a single piece of information about the unexplainable increasing unrest in my otherwise flourishing kingdom... Until I found out on forums that debt made you lose a full level... Great, just great! And just the tip of the iceberg, here, Mr Superior.
    All the useful information and (sadly) invaluable meta-knowledge I found about this game, I found on the Internet, not in-game.

    I don't know what version of the game you have, but obviously yours has much more documentation than everyone else's, it would seem...


    Just one advice, Mr Superior: brag and be self satisfied all you want if that pleases you, but try not insulting other people's intelligence while doing so.
    Only thing you earned with your post is exactly what you showed: disrespect.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Arktor View Post
    Fine for you if you are a genius and us peasants are just too dumb to understand, therefore being whiny spoiled brats, I guess.

    But please, tell me which tutorial item tells you that negative BP will lower the barony status, or how to re-increase its level (which btw is not fully explained even here). It's not crucial, of course. It's just THE most important and unexplained game-over reason people encounter! But whatever, YOU must be right, and WE must be wrong, because we are just plain dumb or lazy, not like you Mr Superior.



    So what? Do you think we are braindead bozos who skip all the deefikultt reeding beecauz it hurtz the insyde of the head? Oh, you're so superior because YOU read the tutorial, when WE just wallow in our ignorance and whine like mere plebeians.
    ...
    Well surprise, I read the tutorial too (yeah, maybe we're not all lazy dumbs after all...)
    And after that, I read the whole ingame "encyclopedia" (it hurts to call it that, but hey).
    ...And you know what? I did not find a single piece of information about the unexplainable increasing unrest in my otherwise flourishing kingdom... Until I found out on forums that debt made you lose a full level... Great, just great! And just the tip of the iceberg, here, Mr Superior.
    All the useful information and (sadly) invaluable meta-knowledge I found about this game, I found on the Internet, not in-game.

    I don't know what version of the game you have, but obviously yours has much more documentation than everyone else's, it would seem...


    Just one advice, Mr Superior: brag and be self satisfied all you want if that pleases you, but try not insulting other people's intelligence while doing so.
    Only thing you earned with your post is exactly what you showed: disrespect.

    I don't understand how you could consider a bankrupt kingdom as "flourishing".
    The tutorials state, in plain English, how BP is generated. Tooltips (mouse over your kingdom stats, your income in this specific case) will also explain it.

    The problem really isn't a lack of information, it's that the kingdom building process is punishing in an un-fun way. The rank-up and claim projects take way too damn long and prevent you from actually ruling your kingdom while they happen. Buildings are a terrible investment, especially compared to Kingdom Resources (the blue sites you can claim for some bonus).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Grifta's Avatar
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    Have you considered having an Effective Kingdom Level along with Event CR? I think that this would clear up the vast majority of the complaints about later game events.

    Effective Kingdom Level (EKL): Like character level; this is a simplified summary of the power of your kingdom.

    Event CR (ECR): Like traps or monsters CRs; this is a simplified summary of the power of an encounter.


    This allows players to clearly see how much attention they should be paying to their barony:
    EKL > ECRs: Great, your barony is strong. You can spend more time adventuring
    EKL = ECRs: You're doing OK, but maybe you should spend some time developing
    EKL < ECRs: Woah, you're going to fail a lot of events. You should spend more time developing your barony


    Possible calculation for EKL: (Sum of all ranks / 10) + (Adviser stats / 10)

    Possible calculation for ECR: Basically Pg. 422 of the CRB "Designing a trap" / "CR modifiers for mechanical traps". How hard is it to beat + How much damage will it do.

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