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Thanks for updating! FWIW I figured out my loading problem was due to Comodo antivirus tagging it as unrecognized and running it virtually.


Really liking the game so far and looking forward to your KS. Here are a few thoughts and comments:

1) Characters and actions
As others have mentioned, the current game often leads to spamming certain actions repetitively over a short period (eg "share ideas" to set someone up for promotion) often followed by long periods of doing nothing.

I'm thinking it might work best to move to a system where each character on the map can take one action per turn. Most of these actions would be standard administrative or diplomatic tasks that non-enthralled characters will regularly do based on their own agendas, like Train Troops, Build Fortifications, Cultivate Farms, Send Scout, Send Messenger, Suppress Revolt, Eradicate Worms, etc.

For non-enthralled characters, the action they choose to do each turn will be based on their beliefs, personality and skills plus a random component (e.g. a Militarist character could often choose to Recruit or Train Troops, a Xenophilic character could choose Organize Trade Caravan, a Pacifist character would more often do Diplomatic actions, etc).

For enthralled characters you can command them to take any action (including special Dark Actions and rituals etc) but doing something far out of the ordinary for them will build Evidence against them. Alternately you could let them Lay Low and continue normal actions to decrease Evidence slightly. For non-enthralled characers, you can choose to spend dark power to change what a character would do (e.g. one potential strategy would be to interfere with beneficial NPCs at a crucial time, like preventing a skilled General from raising troops effectively through a sudden bout of lethargy or madness :)

Anyway, that's a thought for how to make actions a little more natural and interesting, and avoid repeated spamming of actions within a single turn. As the game develops you could also add lots more interesting actions for characters to do and for the player to interfere with (e.g. crafting magical artifacts, adventuring to explore hidden dungeons, etc etc)

2) Characters, stats and traits

The fact that most actions and attitudes are based on the Militarism/Xenophilia/Monarchy sliders seems to make the characters a little 1-dimensional. (ok, 3-dimensional.. ;) As a result, it can get repetitive if your basic goal is just to manuever M/X/M sliders into the right combo.

It's always a treat when someone with one or more of the personality traits shows up, even if they are currently pretty standard like "Charismatic". As development continues, I hope you'll continue to add lots more interesting traits similar to games like Crusader Kings 2 to make characters more nuanced (could be things like Pious, Dogmatic, Chaste, Ascetic, Lustful, Wrathful, Temperate, Drunkard, Decadent, Sadistic, etc etc). Characters personal likes/dislikes and their actions can be modified by their traits, making manipulation less of a "cookie cutter" approach and leading to lots of interesting potential..

Also, it could make sense to give each character some stat or skill sliders in addition to their 3 attitudes (e.g. Martial, Diplomatic, Administrative, and Arcane skills could influence what type of actions characters tend to focus on and give them an appropriate bonus to the result.)

Your dark powers could bless or curse important stats, and voluntarily or involuntarily cause enthralled to gain certain warped traits or mutations, opening up all kinds of evil possibilities.. >:D

3) Tooltips and UI

Though I'd assume everything's currently based on their MXM sliders, I often can't tell why lords vote or like/dislike things the way they do (e.g. in voting for offensive focus, wasn't sure what to do to convince more lords to target a certain country). It would be great to have a tooltip textbox appear when hovering over their portrait (like in Crusader Kings 2), which lists the factors contributing to their attitude/vote. Even better, you could display voter portraits along a line from "Strongly Opposed" to "Strongly Favor" and let players use tooltips to find out more.

For voting, it's cool to get the option to interfere with votes, but once you have several enthralled this often leads to repeated messages nearly every turn about votes that don't matter much (e.g. an "open gates" vote which repeatedly fails due to lack of support); these messages can be hard to dismiss and can get annoying. IDK what the best solution is, but maybe let certain votes happen less frequently or make the notifications less obtrusive?

Anyway, sorry for the long message but I'm excited about the game; good luck with continued development and keep on truckin!

Okay, I'll try to answer as much of this as I can, but you'll have to forgive me if I miss something.


1) Characters, actions and politics

It used to be, back before the first released version, that enthralled could only take one action per day. I removed it because I personally found it very irritating to play. I had to constantly click "next turn" which was annoying, and if there were two enthralled you'd have to keep switching between the two. This meant that if you were doing a lot of political work you had to keep two plans in mind, and switch between them constantly, rather than just accumulate a bunch of power then do all your political actions in one go. I guess it's personal taste, but that was my experience.

Having ordinary characters do stuff would be interesting. I like the idea, especially about interfering with individual plans. My feature roadmap includes something at least somewhat like this, with "political subcomittees", which handle various things. They'd be tiny political battlegrounds, where you trade reputation, favours and liking and in return the society gets bonuses or disadvantages. It would let you sabotage societies from within a bit more easily, and have a bit more stuff to muck around with. Was planning on making it a game option, in case some people don't want to deal with it, or don't feel it's important for the gameplan they wanted to try out.

2) Traits

You're right. You make a good point about needing more traits, and I've added it to my roadmap. Bunch of different traits could be added, and would make the game much better, and definitely add some flavour to the characters. 

As an aside, they actually have five values, actually, but two of them are hidden. There's "suspiciousness" which affects how quickly they gain suspicion, and "dark vulnerability" which affects how quickly the shadow spreads to them. They were introduced in v10, because I disliked how easily shadow would spread down an entire society if you because king. Now at least some will resist. I'll make those values visible to the player, probably.

3) UI work

There's a bunch of UI stuff which needs fixing. I'll add "make the voting a bit more transparent" to the list. My plan was to have alerts have a "Dismiss and don't show messages like this again for the duration of this game" button. So if one of your enthralled doesn't care about votes about Open Gates it'll never display those as alerts for that character, or if you're bored of "world evidence spotted" messages you can tell those to shut up. Should help message spam a bit, making important messages easier to spot.


Hope this clears things up, thanks for taking the time to comment. It's nice to know what needs a bit of fixing, so I can plan for that before starting the next phase of design work.