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Allegiance and Race

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  • Allegiance and Race

    We would like to explain in more detail how the allegiance system in LoR will work, as oppose to Factions in traditional models.

    Firstly, your allegiance to Rome is not necessarily linked to your Race/Ethnicity, which is largely for RP purposes and character customization. Your Race will enable your character to craft and construct certain race-specific items and perform unique cultural actions. Allegiance, on the other hand, changes according to your actions in game with criminal actions lowering your allegiance to Rome.

    Previously we have used the term ‘barbarian’ to describe our allegiance mechanic (as a nod to the Greek tendency to label anyone outside their culture as barbarian), but we feel this might be causing confusion, and so will now use the term ‘Rebel’ to describe this play style.
    A ‘Rebel’ is any player or family which has defied the Empire sufficiently enough to be banished from the city, whereas a ‘Roman’ is any player or family loyal to the Empire. As a result, Rebels are not a distinct, recognizable faction. Instead, allegiance is fluid and changes according to a player’s actions. It is also possible to remain in a ‘Neutral’ state, although this will likely require a lot of dealing with players of both allegiances and come with its own advantages and disadvantages.

    Although only a Rebel Family Leader can construct a Rebel Camp, and only a Roman Family Leader can purchase a Villa plot, there is no other distinction in the buildings or items which either allegiance can construct.
    Your allegiance at any given time comes with certain advantages and disadvantages. Rebels no longer pay any taxes for coin trades, pay less maintenance for their land, and gain access to a personal selectable Benefit. Roman’s pay tax on their coin trades, and have higher maintenance costs, but can enter Roman politics, enjoy a powerful city-wide Roman Benefit (as voted by the Senate).
    Your allegiance also affects the types of actions which will earn you prestige, as Romans will gain prestige for killing Rebels, while Rebels will gain prestige for killing Rebels and Romans alike, and vandalizing Roman property.

    Your allegiance will gradually return to a Neutral state if you do nothing to influence it, at which point you will receive neither the Rebel nor Roman Benefit.
    In a Neutral state, you will pay less tax for coin trades and less maintenance than a loyal roman, but you will be unable to construct a rebel camp or villa. You can also trade with all npc merchants, regardless of their allegiance and your death does not earn your enemy any prestige.

    A player or family’s allegiance is not directly visible to other players, though it can be discovered during trade. A player must remain vigilante and observe the actions and behaviours of other players, and follow local news, to learn of possible changes in allegiance.

    We hope that by adopting this mechanic of allegiance and race, that we can still allow people to role play and dress as their chosen ethnicity without needing to introduce a rigid faction system. We would like to see allegiances with Rome and between other families changing regularly, sparking intrigue, rivalry and corruption and bringing some interesting political life to Rome.
    We hope that you can see why we have chosen this route from a perspective of gameplay, rather than try to force strict faction divides, we wanted to provide a dynamic political platform that can shift over time.

    There is more information about this system on the Concepts page of the website, and we will try to update this further soon.
    Community Manager - Life of Rome

  • #2
    First of all, thanks for the update devs, it is greatly appreciated.
    Is the idea of this system to try and emulate the fact that rome absorbed all of the cultures and people into the empire as they expanded? With the idea that some people embaced the empire and became loyal, some outright rebelled and others appeared compliant and were merely waiting for the right time to make a move. If I am right (anyone please correct me if you think I am on the wrong track) this would eliminate any red v blue mechanic and could be described as 'the shade of red' your family is. If I have interpreted this right, this will be very cool, if not anyone please set me straight.



    • #3
      Exactly Jaizaa! You have got it and I am glad I was able to get that across without over labouring the point. This is exactly what we meant, the absorption and assimilation of roman and 'barbarian' culture etc.
      Community Manager - Life of Rome


      • #4
        The concept of Allegiance is very interesting and would certainly add an uncommon dynamic to the game. Understanding that things may not be fleshed out yet on the developer side, several questions occurred to me as soon as I read this (and the corresponding Concepts page).

        Typically, there is some powerful underlying reason for factions to be in conflict. For example, a "barbarian" tribe may have many reasons to be in conflict with Rome. Among them would certainly be: cultural/national identity, resistance against occupation/aggression, historical animosity, establish/reclaim territory, etc. However, other than not paying taxes and having a different "benefit" mechanic, what would be the point of being Rebel? Can they form a government, claim land, function as a political entity, actually rebel and take control of Rome, or anything like that, or are they limited to hatching conspiracies and trying to remain undetected?

        Rebels cannot be in the Senate and must live outside the city. I'm assuming that mechanics are in the early stages, but it would seem that any family living outside the city and not having a member in the Senate would be informally identified as Rebel pretty quickly. This would seem to be especially true of any family that vocally supports a "cause" not supported by Rome. No Senate Seat + Loud = Rebel. If not Rebels, others would assume that they would be in the Senate arguing for their cause.

        With only a bit of information, it would seem that Rebels live pretty close to Romans. Yet they are against Romans, must kill/rob Romans to gain prestige, and will certainly not remain unknown or anonymous past their first attack on a Roman. No matter what the mechanics may intend, word will spread immediately between guilds and on the game forums. What would stop Romans from just gathering up and walking outside and stomping all over the identified Rebels? It seems like the air of mystery about who is and is not a Rebel would be very short-lived, and - they happen to live right outside, so let's go get them!

        I am guessing that there will be much more to it than what has been revealed, or being a Rebel wouldn't appear to be a very attractive option.
        Last edited by Vlad; 07-08-2015, 03:41 AM.


        • #5
          After looking at the whole culture/faction/roman/rebel description, I have to say I'm really scratching my head on this one. I don't see any driving conflict, or reason to log in beyond to craft every item in the game and then call it a day.

          To be blunt: What is the point of the game? Why do factions, or people, fight each other? What drives the conflict? What gives each faction their personal identity and reason to fight?

          I'm all for shades of gray when it comes to factions, but sometimes there really needs to be Red vs Blue at the core of it. With no real clear conflict at the core of the game, I feel like it will be a game full of players with no reason to play other than to build what's come out in the newest update, and then log out for another couple of weeks.

          If everyone is a Roman, with the only difference being vague allegiances based on a reputation/prestige system, everyone will be a Roman. It seems like there's a massive amount of focus on the Roman faction, with the "Rebels" being put in there just for the sake of there needing to be an antagonist for the Roman players to stab at.

          The idea of being a "Rebel" living in the outskirts of Rome, unable to take part in the Senate but still looking like a Roman, in a game called Life of Rome... nobody is going to want to do that.

          In my opinion this is what would make the game world really come alive...

          a) The game should be set in a border town, not Rome. You can still have all the mechanics for Romans, the Senate, and all that stuff work as they are. But it shouldn't be set in Rome. You can have a basilica/forum/whatever building in the town that acts as the Senate for all intents and purposes, being the town's 'connection' to Rome. Just if you want to have any sort of believable driving conflict in the game, do not for the love of god set the game in Rome.

          b) Barbarians should be ... barbarians! Maybe we're in Germany, or Brittania, or wherever, but they should be dirty stinking barbarians. That picture you showed us of the barbarian hut? Yeah, that's the look. They should get to build barbarian things, and do barbarian stuff. Big swords, mud huts, looking and building things distinctly different from Romans. This will be a far bigger draw for players than taking part in a vaguely defined "Rebel" faction. Right now the "Rebel" faction is literally the Roman faction, just changing a few things.

          c) Keep the idea of "Neutral" and "Rebel" factions that aren't necessarily allied with Rome or Barbarians. In fact, it's even more believable in a border town! Having a Rebel encampment a few miles outside of Rome doesn't really make much sense. But, a powerful Roman general or patrician having a de facto fiefdom on the edge of the Roman empire - that is far more believable and is super cool.

          These changes will give the game an underlying conflict, Roman vs Barbarian. There are still shades of gray - barbarians won't necessarily be fighting Rome and Romans can still play as "Rebels" who aren't paying tax or working in Rome's best interest. Now, the information of whether a Roman is truly a "Rebel" or not has even more significance - Romans would have a reason to rat each other out and see who is helping the barbarians!

          I know you guys want to set the game in Rome, you're using some 3D models or something like that, but all you're going to end up with is an empty game set in Rome. For gameplay, and historical setting, it really doesn't make sense. You'll have people running around looking at the pretty rendered buildings saying "oh, that's nice" and then logging out because there is nothing to do. Make the game fun! Give the players a reason to log in!

          tl;dr Make the setting of the game a border town. Have a distinct barbarian faction fighting Romans. Keep the idea of Rebels and Neutral, who will be the shades of gray in between the Red vs Blue.
          Last edited by baldur; 07-28-2015, 07:52 AM.


          • #6
            I agree with every word Baldur! The current plan for this game will result in a huge, sprawling, empty city.

            Smaller settlements, distinct cultures at war. That is how to make a game like this work.


            • #7
              The problem we have here is that it's really difficult to understand how this fits into the bigger picture without all of the puzzle pieces. It's not possible to talk too much about allegiance and race without getting into the prestige system, and for that we need to talk about the plans for the skill progression system, combat system and religion system, which in turn feed into our plans regarding families, owning land, building, and our political system.
              Unfortunately, the only way I can really disclose those fully at the moment is to post up all of our gameplay mechanic documents or spend ages decscribing each mechanic in detail in a more 'marketed' way.

              However, to be completely honest, this is premature, and it seems like that approach would open up more questions which then need addressed. To do this, I have to stop working on the data object tables, which the coders need to keep progressing, and stop working on the historical crafting examples, so we can keep adding and testing content. Add to this that there is not much point releasing detailed mechanics on the webpage etc while they are still being tested, and I hope you can see it isn't a good use of our resources at this point spending too much time to explain ideas in detail which are still being developed.

              I see what you guys are saying about Rome, I really do and I can't say I disagree (personally). However the game is called Life of Rome, and deals have already been brokered and contracts signed - this is a fundamental design decision that was made way back at the beginning and changing this would mean making an entirely different game. We considered the border town idea too, but apart from the fact that has already been done (with limited success), we also felt it would be too restrictive and the feedback we had was that people wanted lots of different races for roleplay, which raises awkward questions as to why you have Egyptians in Britain, for example. Rome seemed to be the best fit as a melting pot of cultures and races, which would allow people to roleplay their ethnicity as they wished.

              Believe me there are a ton of other problems around this sort of issue, not just the fact that its Rome, but in making a 'historical' game. For example, the Romans didn't mine a great deal and imported most of their ore/ingots - however in a crafting game people want to be able to gather raw resources etc, not just buy them from an NPC (for sure there will be some rarer resources that are only available in this way, e.g. Tyrian Purple Dye, or Cinnamon) but it would hinder gameplay if an essential resource like iron was only from an NPC - so we have had to make decisions to bend the rules of the real world to fit gameplay. There has to be quite a lot of that to make a fun game, and not just an Ancient Life walkaround. This may seem off topic, but I hope you can see what I am trying to say. To be quite honest, I can totally see why the majority of developers choose to set their game in a fantasy setting, because it gives you all kinds of leeway to make concepts/mechanics fit to a game without worrying about accuracy.

              This is a labour of love for us and its a really tricky line to walk. After realising some time ago that the game we want to play is just not out there, we decided to make it ourselves. That is not as much fun as it sounds and its definitley not easy. Its entirely possible the game we want to play is not the same game you guys want to play, and thats fine too, I really do hope you find what you are looking for.
              Most games requires some suspension of disbelief, and I think we all know its impossible to please everyone. Sorry we can't give any more away at this point.

              Community Manager - Life of Rome


              • #8
                Thanks for the response. Obviously it's you guys making the game and investing the time in it - maybe some of the things I've suggested will resonate but it's not like I expect you to go change everything you've done. The game definitely looks very promising and I'll be keeping up with the development, that's why I bothered to write all that!


                • #9
                  I am with Baldur, thanks for actually responding with an explanation. I can appreciate that all the devs are working hard on the game but I like how you are taking time to answer questions etc. I think it is important in building and keeping a solid base of interested people. I have followed a few games over the years and I have always lost interest when the only dev posts I have seen are "we are working really hard guys."
                  I guess there is a lot of stuff you can not tell us, but then our minds run wild with possibilites, so at this point I appreciate any bits of info such as that little bit about the rome setting allowing for many differerent races.


                  • #10
                    I appreciate that you've set upon a course that can't really be changed, I just fear that it wasn't a wise one. History fans like myself might end up feeling alienated by the lack of historical accuracy, and those who want to play as barbarians might be disappointed by the "rebel" faction.

                    However, like everyone else here I'm only here because I'm interested in this game and I want it to succeed. I will reserve judgement until I play it for myself.


                    • #11
                      Wow, I'm feeling pretty deflated after reading this thread. I guess I totally misunderstood the barbarian vs rebel thing. This is now a year after the last post on this thread, so I'm sure you are much further down that same road you guys decided to take. Honestly, Sulis, I greatly respect your hard work and the tough decisions you have had to make......but I totally agree with Baldur and Jaizaa. Baldur said it very well, sometimes you have to have Red vs Blue. There are no "sides" in this game. My desire to be a Roman Legionnaire and to participate in large battles wouldn't seem to fit this system. Roman soldiers would be nothing more than cops, so why even establish a Legion? A lot of people I've gamed with would have jumped at the chance to play a barbarian horde fighting Roman injustice from scattered villages.......but becoming an outcast for refusing to pay taxes? Too much grayness here, black and white works better, imo. Would it be possible to add the barbarian side as a third choice? Keep your rebels and add another group?

                      At this point, I'll take Claudius' stance. I'll wait and see, and I do want it to succeed, but I have serious doubts. I'll keep reading through the forum, hopefully I've misunderstood again and other threads will clear this up for me. :-/

                      Edit - and the devs killed Roma Victor, not the community. The interest was there, but the promises to the players were never kept and it was constructed for a platform that too few people had back then.

                      2nd Edit - This is bothering me so much, I had to say more. First of all, what I am about to say is completely without any animosity or ill will. What I am offering, as were the others, is my best constructive criticism. I hope you can take it in the spirit that it is written. I know that even constructive criticism is tough to take, especially when it involves a dream that you have that is important to you. I know because I am a writer, and I ask for criticism of my work. It is difficult to do, but I've managed to grow a thick skin....and my writing is better for it. There have been times I have had to throw months of work out. It was painful, but it had to be done. It has been over a year since this thread was first posted and I do not see a single post that says, "Wow, this is a great approach. I can't wait to be a Roman rebel!" Instead, we all seem to agree that we would have liked to have seen a different approach. You have to ask yourself exactly who you are aiming this game at. It seems to me that Baldur, Jaizaa, Vlad and I are exactly the type of people you would hope to attract. If there are other types out there, they certainly haven't shown up on these forums yet. Telling us (as kindly as possible) that your game may not be for us, and to go find another game (which you know doesn't exist) may not really be what you want to say. Yes, you have put a ton of work into this, and your direction may seem set in stone because of that work, but, if, in the end, "Life of Rome" goes the way of "Roma Victor", all of that work will have been wasted anyway. You are getting advice from historians, and I applaud that, but please heed the advice of gamers also. They are the ones who will be buying and playing your game, not the historians. Most of us have absolutely no problems with suspension of disbelief with altered history, as long as it is explained.....and works well. We are like you, Sulis. We love Roman history, and would like to walk the streets of ancient Rome. But to experience only the limited scenario you have set out leaves out the reality that as much of Rome was the Roman army as it was what happened in the shops, baths and political centers. You want to appeal to as many people as possible, and I fear you may be trying to attract too restricted of a fan base. Rome always had enemies (Red vs Blue), many of them it created, leaving them out may be a fatal error. If so, someday, you may remember this thread with some regret. I know that your followers have been waiting for this project to be finished for some time, but I, and I think most of them, would be willing to wait another year.....two years....for you to give us something we can't stop playing, rather than something we try for a couple of months, and then give up I've seen happen so many times before with other developments. I honestly, truly, hope you succeed, both for yourself....and for us.

                      Warm Regards,
                      Last edited by Titus Aurelius Silva; 08-22-2016, 09:08 PM.


                      • #12
                        Greetings, fellow roman citizens.

                        I'd like to state, that I really love this game idea and - as all of us - can't wait to see it grow and released!

                        Until then word about this title has to be spread, even among those who don't understand the english word. To do so, I translated the initial "Allegiance and Race"-Post into german; my native.

                        Before I simply post it into nowhere, is there a place to post it properly for visitors to find easily? Inside here or for example inside the game's Steam forums?

                        I've heard about decreased activity in steam forums, so I came here to be verified for this translation posting.

                        Thanks in advance.


                        • #13
                          Hello Valerius, I would suggest that you post your comment on the Steam community hub for LoR. It appears that the developers do not visit here any more and most activity is happening on Steam.


                          • #14
                            Hello. Yes, Titus Aurelius Silva is right. Right now the forum of Steam is much active.
                            -CHORUS: Who then is the helmsman of Ananke (Necessity)?
                            -PROMETHEUS: The three-shaped (trimorphoi) Moirai (Fates) and mindful (mnêmones) Erinyes (Furies).
                            -CHORUS:Can it be that Zeus has less power than they do?
                            -PROMETHEUS: Yes, in that even he cannot escape what is foretold.


                            • #15
                              Is allegiance something controlled by the server, or is it given to you by the current politicians in power.