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Node Development - Full vs Blended racial appearance

Getting away from all of the dumb P2W takes on this forum lately, let's talk actual mechanics and visuals.

Let me define my terms and provide an example:

Full racial appearance of a Node - a node that adopts the visuals of a specific race for all of its buildings etc.
Blended racial appearance - a node that mixes the visuals of multiple races for its buildings etc.

Example:
One Node develops to level 1 - it adopts the appearance corresponding to the most populous race at that time. For this example we'll say Ren'Kai.
Same Node levels up to level 2 - assuming a potential demographic change, now Py'Rai are the more prominent citizens. The Node now assumes the Py'Rai appearance in its entirety.

My questions are:

Should the node entirely switch its appearance, essentially "erasing" its past, in favor of a fully new look?

Would it be possible to have the Node gain a sort of blended racial appearance? Something akin to having a specific area of the example Node retaining the Ren'Kai appearance. This would simulate the idea of a quarter being that of the early settlers, and the city then evolving with a different cultural touch.

Does this incur too much of a feature creep for the game?


My opinion:

Personally, I fell like the Node possibly shifting appearances in its entirety from one level up to the next, feels a tad too radical and ultimately "disrespectful". (Can't think of a softer word to mean the same) It removes the history of that Node to some extent.

Examples in real life can be found all around the globe -- but perhaps most clearly in Europe -- where one city will have its innermost areas born of a specific type of architecture, and the later areas -- usually further outwards from the center -- deriving from later styles.
Thus I do think it could be a cool idea to adopt for AoC. Giving the Nodes further personality and history.

Of course, I do believe that if some node were to be destroyed or abandoned entirely and having to restart at level 1, that the initial racial components could be reset, giving birth to new history for the Node.
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Comments

  • NatashaNatasha Member, Settler, Kickstarter
    edited August 6
    I love the idea of a blended node look or perhaps "quarters" of a city that appear as the node progresses with the individual style of the newest most contributing race so that each contribution (and the history of the city) is represented. So there'd be an empyrean quarter and maybe the next node level up the renkai are the most contributing so the newly laid quarter is in their style.

    I think this would be a great thing to add in an expansion further on from launch.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    I guess a starting question here is whether any of the previous node architecture is retained when the node levels?

    Even if we limit it to a single dominant race from 0-6, I do like the idea of wandering about a metropolis and seeing the areas where remnants of the level 1 village still stand. Maybe where the fishing hut was - or a section of wall from stage 3?

    Once you identify what those holdover artifacts might be, then you can code them with the racial version of that asset, then you'll have a blended little pathway a citizen who has been with the node since launch can look back on and say - "Oh, yeah - that's where we had @PenguinPaladin assassinated so @dygz, @Nerror, and I could afford our caravan fees." :D
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited August 6
    If the nodes are big enough that having actual racial quarters make sense, that could be cool. I don't think they are going down that route though, even if the nodes are big enough.

    My biggest concern as a possible home owner in a node is having my house be forcibly changed in racial style. That would really suck. I think that is the current plan, but I would like Intrepid to reconsider it.

    Just like they plan to allow players to stop the advancement in size of the in-node house when a node levels up, I think a different checkbox should let players stop a change in housing style, independent of the size change. This means we might end up with a Tulnar mansion on main street in a Py'rai metropolis, yes, but that's ok. Please give players that freedom.

    I am not talking about changing the style as the player sees fit. But if a Dünir village with Dünir style housing advances to a town, and the Vaelune have taken over, please let the players keep the Dünir housing style if they want. Those who prefer the Vaelune architecture can change. Once the town grows to a city, and let's say the Empyrean have taken over, both the Dünir and the Vaelune style housing should be allowed to keep their style if the players so choose. This helps provide that visual node history the OP mentions.

    I also thought about letting the mayor decide whether or not the constructible node buildings should be able to be static in style when the node advances, but I am actually ok with them changing automatically if they let us keep the housing styles as the player owners want to. There is a lot to be said for having the node match stylistically to a large extent. Another reason is that, generally speaking, I want to limit the mayor's powers to only the areas where they absolutely need them.
  • MaiWaifuMaiWaifu Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    I really like the idea of having blended appearances.

    Not sure how it'd be implemented though, but for some long standing nodes which cycle through different mayors I think it'd be cool if the mayors had some influence on the node and if the mayor's race influences the style the node changes to or remains the same.
  • LeukaelLeukael Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I like this idea a lot as well. It would be nice if as it builds out the percentage of contribution becomes represented. Like it gradually builds out representation as it grows.
    Stag-Axiom-Sig-LEAUK3.png
  • Natasha wrote: »
    I love the idea of a blended node look or perhaps "quarters" of a city that appear as the node progresses with the individual style of the newest most contributing race so that each contribution (and the history of the city) is represented. So there'd be an empyrean quarter and maybe the next node level up the renkai are the most contributing so the newly laid quarter is in their style.

    I think this would be a great thing to add in an expansion further on from launch.

    I said something like that a while back and totally agree it would be awesome to see. Maybe the top two or three racial contributors having an impact on parts of the city.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Wanting to retain the racial style of your home is a great motivator for rallying your preferred race to remain the dominant population of your Node. Might also instigate a Siege.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    Wanting to retain the racial style of your home is a great motivator for rallying your preferred race to remain the dominant population of your Node. Might also instigate a Siege.

    I disagree. It does not motivate my gameplay, it does not enhance my gameplay loops in any way and it certainly does not make a victory feel any better.

    It's a fact that is barely if at all under my personal control. And if I don't like my racial architecture technically doing work in nodes I want actively hurts me getting architecture in a node I want to participate in so I have even LESS agency than most other people in that case relative to a nodes architecture.

    It's just a fact, if I lose my home stops looking like home. But since it is no longer my home on account of not being a citizen, I just don't care. If I think the enemies' win was a fluke I'll stick around. If it is not I'll move. It not looking like home anymore makes it easier to move on and feel detached from the loss if anything.

    Steven hopes other people will share his opinion, I'll make no claims about how many people agree with my disagreement. But I do not personally think it is 'a great motivator'.

    Will it instigate a siege? It won't instigate sieges for me personally. Maybe some big guilds might care but I leave such things to them since they are the few people with actual agency to effect things in this situation. If I want a spot I'll try and get it regardless of what my architecture style looks like. And again I have no real choice in the matter because racial architecture is determined by population numbers far beyond my ability to effect it via social means.

    I think I'd care slightly more if I got to actually choose my architecture style separately, but that's not going to happen probably so who cares.
    Alkali Witch
  • AsgerrAsgerr Member
    edited August 6
    Dygz wrote: »
    Wanting to retain the racial style of your home is a great motivator for rallying your preferred race to remain the dominant population of your Node. Might also instigate a Siege.

    The thing is, if I'm a citizen of a Node that has a Ren'Kai appearance, and then my entire city changes to Py'Rai because of an influx of Py'Rai players, sieging the Node won't give me back my Ren'Kai aesthetics.

    You're assuming that a Siege will be composed of a majority of Ren'Kai players, and that somehow that will change the look of the Node.

    But it won't. Those sieging are citizens of a different Node already. And you can't, as a citizen, siege your own Node. You're immediately registered as a defender. I would need to quit being a citizen of the node, join a different node, siege my original node and then hope that somehow all the Py'Rai will leave, and that the majority of citizens remaining are Ren'Kai.

    It's ultimately entirely out of my or anyone else's control.

    Whereas a blended appearance retains a trace of the city's lineage and history, giving it even more character and personality.
    Sig-ult-2.png
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited August 6
    It's definitely not under your control if you don't attempt to rally your preferred race to remain the dominant population.
    And, if there is no Metro, including your own, with your preferred race as the dominant population - that is more likely than otherwise to nudge you to Siege (even if you have to renounce citizenship in order to Siege) and try again for your preferred Metro.
  • AsgerrAsgerr Member
    Dygz wrote: »
    It's definitely not under your control if you don't attempt to rally your preferred race to remain the dominant population.

    You're also assuming an equal distribution of races amongst the players. There could be a way in which your race is the vast minority, and short of all other races entirely eschewing that particular node, you couldn't "retake" the racial looks of the Node.
    Sig-ult-2.png
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    It's definitely not under your control if you don't attempt to rally your preferred race to remain the dominant population.
    And, if there is no Metro, including your own, with your preferred race as the dominant population - that is more likely than otherwise to nudge you to Siege (even if you have to renounce citizenship in order to Siege) and try again for your preferred Metro.

    If you think you can influence large swaths of the population all on your own without a guild you are going to be in for a bad time. Either guilds will dominate nodes, or due to the outsize population requirement to prevent guilds from dominating nodes you as an individual actor will have very little ability to rally more than a guild can.

    I personally won't be friends with people who share my race. Most of my friends and guild mates will be different races. So again, no it really is not under my control.

    Also if racial augments matter enough that all races who don't have a metro on server are crippled without the augment, the game will not be worth my time as a Nikua player. I'm probably not going to pick a server based on it having a Nikua racial guild since again, I have friends of different races. If it's that big an impact on gameplay I'll probably just play an elf and therefore not have to worry about that sort of thing.
    Alkali Witch
  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The way they are doing the node building. You could in theory have two nodes of the same type , level and racial majority and the two nodes would not look the same.



    How hard is it to designate certain buildings to stay a specific style when the node levels and most of them change their foot print? At what point do the developers have to say no, this is where we draw the line to prevent scope creep? What is the cost in resources time and money to Intrepid to design and implement such a thing?
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The way they are doing the node building. You could in theory have two nodes of the same type , level and racial majority and the two nodes would not look the same.



    How hard is it to designate certain buildings to stay a specific style when the node levels and most of them change their foot print? At what point do the developers have to say no, this is where we draw the line to prevent scope creep? What is the cost in resources time and money to Intrepid to design and implement such a thing?

    I mean... They could just say 'we plan on working on this post launch'...
    Alkali Witch
  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    JustVine wrote: »
    The way they are doing the node building. You could in theory have two nodes of the same type , level and racial majority and the two nodes would not look the same.



    How hard is it to designate certain buildings to stay a specific style when the node levels and most of them change their foot print? At what point do the developers have to say no, this is where we draw the line to prevent scope creep? What is the cost in resources time and money to Intrepid to design and implement such a thing?

    I mean... They could just say 'we plan on working on this post launch'...

    Why?
    Why not just leave it as it is and move on to bigger things?
    To appease the 1% that have a minor concern?
    Many things besides aesthetics will be tied to the nodes primary racial contributor quests and and vendors will change.
    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Nodes
    Racial quests

    Quests may be based on a character's race.[107]

    Different quests may relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node. This won't lock out content, but will add flavor to the quests.[107]

    There might even be different directories of the quest that exist for specific races, and even though you're sharing a quest to kill a boss, if you're human and I'm an elf, I will have a different arc potentially that leads in a different direction than you, even though we took the same quest; and this can relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node unlocking different arcs for cultures that share the primary culture of a node - not that locks out content but it gives a flavor in a different direction so that not everything is so cookie cutter.[107] – Steven Sharif

    Race matters because narratives have paths that also are influenced based on the primary contributing culture to the node... If you're a Niküa and you have you're in a Niküa node that's predominantly Niküa, you're going to have certain services and/or abilities as a member of the Niküa race that other races may not have access to... They may have alternative quest lines, but they won't have specific ones. Now those specific Niküa quests will then relate to the meta-narrative that's present in the world and they'll start to direct some of that meta-narrative; and that'll be beneficial for your kind because it will unlock certain content for your race that other races haven't unlocked yet. So there is an incentive there to see progression along that line now in order to curb the progress of a dominant race.[108] – Steven Sharif

    Quests that are race specific, title specific, or guild specific will likely be less than 10% of the total number of quests. 90% of quests should be able to be shared by everybody.[109]
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    JustVine wrote: »
    Dygz wrote: »
    It's definitely not under your control if you don't attempt to rally your preferred race to remain the dominant population.
    And, if there is no Metro, including your own, with your preferred race as the dominant population - that is more likely than otherwise to nudge you to Siege (even if you have to renounce citizenship in order to Siege) and try again for your preferred Metro.

    If you think you can influence large swaths of the population all on your own without a guild you are going to be in for a bad time. Either guilds will dominate nodes, or due to the outsize population requirement to prevent guilds from dominating nodes you as an individual actor will have very little ability to rally more than a guild can.

    Sure you can it is called leadership. Build a community and lead them to build the node you would prefer.
    Leadership is not easy and I am not saying it will be easy to do BUT if it is that big of a thing to you pick up the banner and lead the way.

    I personally won't be friends with people who share my race. Most of my friends and guild mates will be different races. So again, no it really is not under my control.

    Control is an illusion. Attempting to control this kind of thing people will just abandon you.

    Also if racial augments matter enough that all races who don't have a metro on server are crippled without the augment, the game will not be worth my time as a Nikua player. I'm probably not going to pick a server based on it having a Nikua racial guild since again, I have friends of different races. If it's that big an impact on gameplay I'll probably just play an elf and therefore not have to worry about that sort of thing.

    Not finding anything pointing to where a Metro has influence on your racial augments. Is there something I am missing here?
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    JustVine wrote: »
    Dygz wrote: »
    It's definitely not under your control if you don't attempt to rally your preferred race to remain the dominant population.
    And, if there is no Metro, including your own, with your preferred race as the dominant population - that is more likely than otherwise to nudge you to Siege (even if you have to renounce citizenship in order to Siege) and try again for your preferred Metro.

    If you think you can influence large swaths of the population all on your own without a guild you are going to be in for a bad time. Either guilds will dominate nodes, or due to the outsize population requirement to prevent guilds from dominating nodes you as an individual actor will have very little ability to rally more than a guild can.

    Sure you can it is called leadership. Build a community and lead them to build the node you would prefer.
    Leadership is not easy and I am not saying it will be easy to do BUT if it is that big of a thing to you pick up the banner and lead the way.

    I personally won't be friends with people who share my race. Most of my friends and guild mates will be different races. So again, no it really is not under my control.

    Control is an illusion. Attempting to control this kind of thing people will just abandon you.

    Also if racial augments matter enough that all races who don't have a metro on server are crippled without the augment, the game will not be worth my time as a Nikua player. I'm probably not going to pick a server based on it having a Nikua racial guild since again, I have friends of different races. If it's that big an impact on gameplay I'll probably just play an elf and therefore not have to worry about that sort of thing.

    Not finding anything pointing to where a Metro has influence on your racial augments. Is there something I am missing here?

    That's a question for Dygz. I assume he meant 'racial augment quests in metros'.
    Alkali Witch
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    JustVine wrote: »
    The way they are doing the node building. You could in theory have two nodes of the same type , level and racial majority and the two nodes would not look the same.



    How hard is it to designate certain buildings to stay a specific style when the node levels and most of them change their foot print? At what point do the developers have to say no, this is where we draw the line to prevent scope creep? What is the cost in resources time and money to Intrepid to design and implement such a thing?

    I mean... They could just say 'we plan on working on this post launch'...

    Why?
    Why not just leave it as it is and move on to bigger things?
    To appease the 1% that have a minor concern?
    Many things besides aesthetics will be tied to the nodes primary racial contributor quests and and vendors will change.

    I doubt it's 1%.

    As for 'why not spend it on 'bigger and better things'. It's a passion project, having more complex richer city generation that's effected by historical architectural styles is definitely something that would raise the immersion quality and world feel in my opinion. Just because it's not something you'd appreciate doesn't mean others wouldn't. And I bet the % of people who would appreciate such a 'polishing touch' is much higher than just the people who want more racial representation in architecture.

    You are definitely entitled to your opinion that it wouldn't add anything for you though. So that's fair to say it isn't worth it in your eyes.

    I just think it's a matter of taste and not worth arguing about from this particular perspective.
    Alkali Witch
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited August 6
    Asgerr wrote: »
    You're also assuming an equal distribution of races amongst the players. There could be a way in which your race is the vast minority, and short of all other races entirely eschewing that particular node, you couldn't "retake" the racial looks of the Node.
    I am not assuming any such thing. What led you to that inference?
    If you are already in a Node where your home has the racial style your prefer, that means the race you prefer is the dominant population. It can't be the minority.

    Your preferred race could become the minority and could even become the vast minority.
    Which is why, if you really want your preferred racial influence to retain dominance, you should be actively rallying your preferred race to remain the dominant population. If all you do is hope your preferred race remains dominant...
    Better to be proactive about that than passive and non-chalant.

    For this discussion to have any meaning, there has to be enough of your preferred race on the server to be able to retain your preferred racial style.
    Because if there's not, yeah, you are SoL in any case.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited August 6
    JustVine wrote: »
    If you think you can influence large swaths of the population all on your own without a guild you are going to be in for a bad time. Either guilds will dominate nodes, or due to the outsize population requirement to prevent guilds from dominating nodes you as an individual actor will have very little ability to rally more than a guild can.
    Where did I say "all on your own, without a guild"?
    You should proactively participate intead of merely wishing it's just going to always magically happen without your help in attracting your preferred race.


    JustVine wrote: »
    I personally won't be friends with people who share my race. Most of my friends and guild mates will be different races. So again, no it really is not under my control.
    Your preferred race for Node dominance doesn't have to be your own race.


    JustVine wrote: »
    Also if racial augments matter enough that all races who don't have a metro on server are crippled without the augment, the game will not be worth my time as a Nikua player. I'm probably not going to pick a server based on it having a Nikua racial guild since again, I have friends of different races. If it's that big an impact on gameplay I'll probably just play an elf and therefore not have to worry about that sort of thing.
    Racial progression will matter to some people. Not all.
    The progression of your home in the racial style you prefer is part of racial progression.
    I didn't say anything about crippling...
    If it matters so much to you for your Nikua character to have an Empyrean style home in an Empyrean City and retain its racial style when that City becomes a Metro, it behooves you to proactively strive to ensure that the dominant population of that Metro will be Empyrean.
    If all you did was wish it so, well... you're not a fish.

    I am planning to have my Vek be a citizen of a Nikua Node, so...
    I'm not merely talking about trying to get your own race be the dominant race of the Node.
    Your own race may not be your preferred race for the Node of which you are a citizen.
  • XefjordXefjord Member
    edited August 6
    So this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, I have had people tell me that racial warfare won't be that prominent because everyone is working together to build up a node and it doesn't have to be about race unless "people make it so."

    But the current mechanics of the dominant race at the point of node upgrade taking the whole city really does promote racial segregation to reap all the benefits of races living in nodes of their own. And it also creates a lot of hostility for foreigners coming in that may upset that balance and can result in racial wars.

    On one hand, I find that fascinating and like an interesting motivator for unique content, but on the other hand, it really does make it difficult to create a fulfilling multi-cultural metropolis, and like some people have said in the thread above, it can really rob many players who helped settle the node initially from being able to keep their influence and history, and there isn't really a way to take it back.

    When doing a cost-benefit analysis we obviously want to increase immersion and give people that representation and mark to leave on the Node, but full on dynamic blended cultural influences and automatic districting based on racial populations is reasonably difficult and cost inefficient.

    What I would recommend since Mayors do have some impact on taxes, building development, etc, is to give Mayors a certain level of zoning power to designate certain existing buildings manually to be of a "heritage" style. They can designate a couple buildings in proximity of each other or scattered about to use any older style of a previously contributing majority culture and essentially create a district of their own, but it won't receive the same perks the new majority culture/race has, nor have the same questlines as a racially dominant city, it will just be a skin essentially. Mayors should also have the ability to raise a monument in respect of the cultures that came before, and this could potentially increase the amount of NPC's of that race in the city slightly. Again a mostly cosmetic function, but one that could offer some diversity and recognition of the minorities there. This would also give minorities in a city something to lobby for and mayors a way to appease them

    Since the above suggestion is purely cosmetic changes on a building by building level, and a single monument that increases the volume of minority races slightly as background characters, my hope is that this suggestion offers some player interactable diversity and recognition of minorities without being too taxing in the development cycle. Lemme know what everyone else here thinks.

    Edit: as a quick side note, monuments already exist for many races to my knowledge, and we already have a building cosmetic system with freeholds. I think that going for an individual building by building decision relinquishes some of the responsibility and cost to develop detailed mechanics for an entire districting system while still giving players the choice for representation :) They could hopefully repurpose existing systems without going too crazy into content creep.
  • XefjordXefjord Member
    Alternatively, don't change anything about the buildings, culture, or opportunities. But still have 10% of the background NPC's represent second place culture, and 5% of the NPC's represent 3rd place culture. That way at least the ethnic diversity is represented, if not the cultural architectural one.
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