Family System

XenthosXenthos Shadow LordMember Posts: 6,163 Transcendent
Estarra requested some ideas regarding existing systems in the games and a discussion on where they are lacking as well as how to improve upon them, so I have decided to put together some issues and ideas.

1) Most Honourable Family.
Right now, it is not really even a competition.  The most honorable family gets a huge bonus to their honour for having that.  I believe that the intent of this is to make it so that there aren't many back-to-back posts of the MHF changing as they compete, but in practice what happens is that if one family manages to catch up, they suddenly get the huge boost added to them (putting them way ahead of the next family), and then that one *loses* the boost putting them that much further behind.
Solution: Change the boost to be a flat rate of 5,000 points.  This means if one takes over the lead, they gain 5,000 and the previous MHF loses 5,000 (which will end up with a 10,000 difference).  This is large enough to prevent rapid back-and-forth, while still being in the ballpark for competitiveness.

2) Family Council Representatives
Why?  In Glomdoring at least, the family rep is basically a puppet role.  Everyone in the family is a subset of people already represented by their guild leaders in the first place, they don't really need a second rep, so we end up just appointing a head when we require a vote and otherwise completely ignoring the person (if one happens to be in the role) as far as a Seated Vote goes.
Solution: Just remove this family perk, it's really not necessary.  If you want to replace it with something, make it so that the most honoured family in each org gets a 2/13 Village Influence buff to their org's influencing style (so a Glomdoring family gives all Glomdoring members a 2/13 village influence).  I personally don't really like families fighting each other internally for every bit of gain they can get just so that they can get a "reward," though, but am not entirely against being flexible here if there are decent thoughts.

3) Families Barely Hanging On
There are a ton of families out there right now with only one or two consistently active people in them, which makes it very difficult for them to grow.  It's even worse if those active people happen to be married into the family-- they don't even have the option to divorce and remarry, because divorcing summarily removes them from the family.  These people could be individuals who have devoted RL years to the family and the RP, and be thoroughly embedded into it (far more than most of those actually born to it), but due to mechanics are always essentially second-rate because they're not "true family".  All that can be done is to leap upon any eligible parenting-pair the moment they log on and beg them to do Something, Anything (which is also unnecessary pressure upon those people, while also encouraging leaping upon newbies for no reason except for being a "warm body to add to the count").
Solutions: There are a lot of potential things one could do here.  Pick one, some, or make up your own!
a) For people who are married into the family, create a new 100cr artifact that you buy (has your mark) and then give to the head of your family (assuming your family is large enough to have a head-- if not, maybe can just use it on your own).  When activated by the Family Head, it sets your base family in the system to being your current family.  This means if you divorce, you remain in the family.
RP-wise, this would be rather like a family head acknowledging someone's efforts on behalf of the family and officially adopting them (like any number of powerful families in the real-world past have adopted outsiders and made them official members of the family based on deeds or other such things).  This frees the individual up to have the same flexibility / options as any other "true" family member.
This person would retain their generation within the family; everything else remains the same.
b) Just open up missing-parent adoption.  The mechanical requirements would change this way: One parent initiates the adoption process, and the other parent is still informed.  However, if the other parent never even logs on during this process, instead of failing it will initiate a second consideration process (same duration-- this accounts for periods where the second parent might be away on an extended vacation).  If the other parent does not log in at all for this second window either, then the consideration will complete and the single-parent-and-child can continue on with their lives.
c) One-parent-adoption, period.  This would allow a parent who isn't married to adopt children.  If you are married, you can start the process and it then requires your spouse to *reject* the consideration otherwise it is automatically accepted at the end of the consideration period.
d) Multiple combinations of the above, allow families themselves to choose if they want to require "standard" adoptions, missing-parent adoptions, single parent adoptions, or all of the above.

4) Completely Dead Families
I'm not entirely sure what to do with this one, but there are also families out there with no active members at all-- families that have enough members to be Great Houses, perhaps even some historical ones.  Is there any thought for allowing someone to become a new generation of these families, assuming that they go through the historical-learning process that the original founders had to do (read the historical written information, etc), or are these families just permanently dead?

5) Family Honour Gain
The formula for family honour gain is... terrible.  It's a funky function that squishes down the honour income significantly depending on how much honour the family has.  Many honour income rates are a base of either 50 or 100 points (and then adjusted by the house style, such as Blood or Letters).  Right now, Shee-Slaugh has enough honour that anything with a base of 50 points gets squished down to being an income of around... 1 point.  The 100-point rates get squished to about 40ish.  This isn't really displayed anywhere in the game, but it basically means that all of those ticks such as village-influencing provide essentially no honour to high-ranking families.
Solution: Rework the algorithm to be a % reduction instead of what it currently is.  You can make it so that higher values are squished about the same amount but lower values are not essentially priced out entirely.
Also, just make the honour gain transparent; show the exact amount of honour gained in the logs (you do for power and essence, why not for this too?).

6) Family Consolidation
There are a lot of teeny little families out there which are not doing a whole lot.  Take An'Ryshe, for example.  I'd be willing to actually pay some real money (obviously would depend on price, but if you were to do something that could only be purchased with cash instead of credits) to have An'Ryshe folded into another family.  Functionally, I'd see it working something like Cults within an Order do (the family head can choose to create 'Sub branches' within the family, and then-- with admin approval as well as that other family's approval-- fold the families together).  Someone within one of these sub-branches can then choose to display the main family surname or their sub-branch's surname.  It could be based upon # of family members being folded in, or some other such thing-- you wouldn't want 2 huge families merging, but I can see definite advantage to families of being able to work with the smaller families-- too small to be bannerhouses-- instead of competing against them.

7) Banner Houses
Frankly, I think Banner Houses are one of the best things about the current family system.  They've allowed Great Houses to be stable that might never have existed in the first place.  Unfortunately, they suffer from a lot of the same woes as any other family.  One thing is that banner houses provide a lot to a Great House (including making them a Great House in the first place), but don't seem to get a whole lot in return (some honour ticks, seems to be about it).  Maybe banner houses, if aligned to the same organization as their main house at least, should get the same other House benefits as the House they're aligned to.  Make it more appealing to be a banner than just propping up the # count (and worrying that if you get too many members, you stop being a banner and the house you're supporting could actually lose Great House).

I'm sure the rest of you have some ideas, as well, but this is a lot of what's been percolating in my mind for a while on this specific system.
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Comments

  • ZephyraZephyra Member Posts: 18 Apprentice
    Just to toss in a bit of 2c as well--on the note of one parent adopt---I totally love this idea. As someone who has an affinity for others who I get along with I tend to 'family tree' a lot to see if A. they're married, B. if their spouse is around (these tend to be either a combination of one or the other when I do look.) While it (obviously) doesnt stop me from interacting with them, I think this would be a nice touch. 
  • PortiusPortius Likes big books, cannot lie Member Posts: 1,472 Transcendent
    Family as cartel would be massively convenient. Honor decays, though. Did you intend for losing access if it decays below the cartel threshold? Might be better to be a one-time hit to honor to buy a trade or expand the number of submission slots.

    If relations become a thing, I would like a 'rival, but not actually enemy' status.

    Customizations are always fun.
    Any sufficiently advanced pun is indistinguishable from comedy.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,163 Transcendent
    I would expect the cartels to stick around once made, just can't make more if you haven't used the slot yet and fell below the threshold.  Clans don't decay, after all.
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  • TenakaTenaka Member Posts: 56 Capable
    Being able to remove/delete yourself from a family of less than 5 people who are all inactive/retired would be a great thing. Sometimes you make a family with someone, or a couple people and they go inactive/retire and then you are screwed.
  • ArixArix Member Posts: 1,201 Mythical
    If you don't like a family, remember it only takes one person to boot them from the Council
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,163 Transcendent
    And there are other official people (like Ministers and Ascendants) you can consult for tie-breaking, too.
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  • DeichtineDeichtine Member Posts: 1,693 Transcendent
    I totally dislike there being any mechanical benefit to having a big or the biggest family.

    I would personally love it if families did not effect culture score, didn't give a council seat and had 0 mechanical benefits.

    To me remove the mechanical benefits and let houses be roleplay centers.

    Right now you are mechanically encouraged to spam recruit spawn because its a good thing for your org(even though its a sucky thing rp wise and for new players to get spam invited into families)



  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 238 Master
    I agree, especially if the family trees become more open to modification as noted: More ways to adopt, including people who aren't intended to be biological children (that have parents already, for instance). 
  • MrakMrak Member Posts: 232 Master
    Thanks for bringing this stuff up Xenthos.

    MHF Bonus: I don't know why there's a bonus at all. I'd be perfectly fine with it switching from day to day if the top houses are very close to each other. If you're really worried about too many news posts, just get rid of the post-switch news post. Cultural center is a similar mechanic and we don't need news posts every time that switches.

    House Seat: Given that I sunk a bunch of time and effort into ensuring this went to n'Kylbar, I would be pretty annoyed at this being removed at this point. I'm not saying that it's the wrong thing to do, but it would make me unhappy. The village influencing bonus is pretty blah from my point of view. I could imagine a world in which most honourable family in an org got 1/10 general influence bonus, and then MHF got an additional 1/10 (nb, this wouldn't even benefit me, but would be a nice general-use recognition of the status).

    Adoption/"Barely Hanging On" Issues: I mildly support options b and c from Xenthos. I don't like it in terms of flavor, but I see the benefits based on population issues.

    Family Honour Gain: I have a number of thoughts here.
    - I haven't ever noticed a 1 honour gain tic. Maybe I'm just not looking at the right time (I certainly don't check right before and after village influencing during a revolt). However, the throttling is pretty rough, and it scales brutally.
    - It would be nice if the base amount of honour were listed in the help file, along with the throttling formula (or at least revealed on the forums at some point). Xenthos' suggestion to list honour gained in logs is a good step towards this.
    - Even better, from my POV, is to get rid of the current throttling/decay system altogether and do the following. Honour gains from various amounts are explicitly listed somewhere and are not throttled. Get rid of the current yearly decay system, and instead do a simply % decay on all honour above some cutoff (i.e. on 1 Estar each year your family honour goes down by .02*(<current honour> - 150000)). I think this is similar to what Xenthos has proposed for personal essence (it should be done there too).
    - We should also talk about the "rates" for various activities. Currently, influencing and offering to the family patron blows everything else out of the water. That's how I got n'Kylbar to where it is. I don't have access to their logs, but I'd bet that's where the majority of the Shevats' honour came from. To be honest, this is more a problem with the esteem and offerings economy than the formula itself, but it should be thought about.

    # Requirements - Yes, these are silly at this point in the game. It's correct that it invites a bunch of gaming, both of people logging into their old alts to leave the family, and people getting friends to create alts and join the family. Maybe something should be driven by family size, but it shouldn't be so important and shouldn't involve such a discrete jump.

    One thing I've noted elsewhere that I'd like to see is a more continuous effect of family honour on culture. Something like <current honour>/2000 gets added to the city's culture every month. I prefer this because it means that gains to family honour are meaningful, even if you aren't jumping to MHF, and it's still valuable to the org for non-leading families to gain honour, rather than the incentive being to funnel everything into the top family with the hopes of them eventually becoming MHF.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,803 Mythical
    @Veyils the reason families changed from what you describe to what they are now is because that setup was really boring and felt pretty meaningless so players started asking for change.

    The current set up isn’t what was suggested, what was suggested was something more like the essence shop where families earned a currency and spent it on family benefits.

    I still think that could work, I think you could also replace member number requirements with goals (have a deeded manse/homestead of x size, establish yourself by having spent y honour for bonuses, etc) to go up house “levels”, and then you could rework how honour gain/loss works. (It feels like a board game where everyone does their own thing and eventually someone wins, rather than a competition where you can reasonably support and attack others)
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  • AknarinAknarin Member Posts: 1 Inept
    An issue I currently see with the family system is, if a house is aligned to a City/Commune and has the highest honour (therefore has the council seat) and after time everyone in it goes dormant, there is nothing that can be done about it. So when a City/Commune wants to raise an ascendant and requires that council members approval... you're stuck.

    I think some things that would help:

    1) CL's have the ability to remove an aligned Great House from the City/Commune.

    2) For the honours sytem, for every year a family does not meet it's 'quota' honour (100% on FAMILY HOUSESTATUS) they lose more honours. E.g. the first year may be 1000 honours, the second 2000, the third 3000. So that way other houses have a chance to over take them in honours. IF the family makes honours on year 2, but not year three it resets back to 1000 honour.

    @Estarra @Ianir ;
  • EsoneyunaEsoneyuna Member Posts: 78 Capable
    Aknarin said:
    1) CL's have the ability to remove an aligned Great House from the City/Commune.
    This is already possible
  • LavinyaLavinya Queen of Snark AustraliaMember Posts: 3,382 Transcendent
    It's also super drastic.



  • DeichtineDeichtine Member Posts: 1,693 Transcendent
    You dont totally need a family rep to raise an ascendant.

    You can do it with just the 3 guild leaders and commune leader.
  • PashPash Member Posts: 6 Novice
    I do think that having two non-married characters able to adopt a child would be a good benefit to families; I don't care if the rest is taken away (though in Mag, where family status is a big deal, it's nice to see numbers that put you above or below other families). We already have it in place that people can switch the family they're part of by being acknowledged in another family within their bloodline (a grandparent, an alternate parent, etc.)

    In other Iron Realms games, no one has to be married to adopt kids. Sure, sometimes it leads to awkward adoptions, but in the case of Lusternia, you could just have the child go into the family of whoever initiates the adoption, with the second parent there to also be there.

    It would also help the issue of wanting to have kids/participate in families, but not being willing to give up your personal family name to marry someone else.
  • ElironEliron Member Posts: 198 Virtuoso
    Now that everyone has the option to submit envoy reports, I'm going to give this thread a bump, both as a way to raise awareness for reports out there and to maybe get some brainstorming going again.

    There's currently report #01190801 about ways to allow characters with dormant spouses to still adopt that's out for comment/support. I'd love to see more people interact with it.

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,803 Mythical
    I mean the basics would be putting in an honour shop for family benefits and reworking the requirements to rank up your house (potentially with more ranks than there currently are)


    But seems that honour really needs to be a more active and interactive thing. It's really just a number that goes up unless the family takes a break or leaves which then feeds into the buffs for most honourable and council seats.

    The honour shop would give families the incentive to spend it for buffs and other rewards. (Maybe families can buy a "guild ritual" that can be activated through an object on their property)

    Another way to spend it might be similar to influence in Starmourn, the council seat could be elected by the heads of the families of an org and their vote weight is however much honour they commit to the vote (taken at the completion of the vote). An inactive family is easily removed because they wouldn't defend themselves, meanwhile if there's like one family member holding on to their seat over a series of these elections their honour would be whittled down to the point they could be removed.


    Maybe as a future extension, the introduction of semi active social combat would then give that ability to hit other families. (thematically I imagine this would be played out more like courtly intrigue)
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  • ElironEliron Member Posts: 198 Virtuoso
    edited January 11
    Saran said:
    But seems that honour really needs to be a more active and interactive thing. It's really just a number that goes up unless the family takes a break or leaves which then feeds into the buffs for most honourable and council seats.

    The honour shop would give families the incentive to spend it for buffs and other rewards. (Maybe families can buy a "guild ritual" that can be activated through an object on their property)
    I really like the idea of honour being something that you use for tangible benefits instead of a race to the top that, quite frankly, we don't see a lot of actual competition for. There should be a point to earning it for all families.

    I would love to be able to use honour to buy buffs. Instead of the most honorable family gets a buff, let Houses be able to choose to spend X amount of honour so that members of that family get a buff to influencing (and include village influencing here, either a universal bonus or as an option) for a year, or to debate. Open it up beyond just those two as well, because those aren't the only things that earn honour. Have something that buffs divine offerings, or bashing in some way, or that speeds up bombards. Make honour useful to families of all sizes and types. The families at the top of the current heap would still benefit, because they have an enormous stockpile of honour to spend, so it wouldn't just be a straight loss for them if we move away from a single Most Honorable Family.

    Personally I would like to see this way more than spending influence on council seats. It still has tangible benefits for both the house and the org, but it means you can't mindlessly grind astral to influence a city/commune vote (except, of course, for all the support you gain by taking people along so they get xp too. But that's just called networking).

    [Editing to Add]: Adding another potential option here instead of spamming with posts. If we want to keep rankings of Houses, it might be interesting to have more ranks in the family system than just lesser/greater house, and have each rank bought with a certain amount of honour (and then either not decay or have a really long decay). Different ranks could open up more buffs that honour can purchase.
    Post edited by Eliron on
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,803 Mythical
    One of the tangential ideas about the buff was also letting it echo into banner and liege houses. Ideally with the result that the larger houses can also help the smaller ones benefit more than they might be able to on their own.


    And yeah, I'd be looking at the current stuff and also like gifting a squad with an xp buff for family members for an hour with a lesser bonus to the associated orgs members. Which offers a more expensive option to remove the difference.

    For permanent upgrades, maybe a family obelisk that gives, effectively, prized return to the family with an honour cost.

    The economy overhaul, in theory, should also give an idea of bonuses which would be appropriate.

    For the election bit, it's intended "in addition to the shop" as opposed to instead of. In the initial period I'd expect the current highest honour houses would be able to maintain their seats because they could afford the honour to vote, but doing that would be draining and when houses are closer in honour you need to start politicking for people to use their honour on you rather than buffs or other stuff for their house.
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  • KistanKistan Member Posts: 194 Master
    Don't most families only have 1-3 active members?

    Families and orders always strike me as cliques and personally, for me, it seems a waste of effort going forward. I remember when i thjought about starting a family, I was told that I should arrange it all on Discord otherwise it would be impossible to get the numbers

    I think they should drastically redefine what active and inactive mean for families.

    Having said that though I do love the family mechanism. Whether honour should buy you anything, I do not know - the benefits of being in a family are that you are in a family.


  • ElironEliron Member Posts: 198 Virtuoso
    Different families have different activity levels, and families have been hit by the change in population just like the rest of the game.

    There's also been ongoing issues with the mechanics of adoptions/bloodbonding that limit family growth even when you have active people in the family and players who would like to join the family. That's why there's a report on it, and why I wanted to re-start conversations on how to address it and other issues that make the family system as is struggle.

    I can't speak to Discord--I don't use it. But for me, families being more than just a group of people who hang out is one of the things I love about Lusternia.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,803 Mythical
    On a more game designy level, they're ultimately groups that some players find engaging and improving them provides reasons for players to regularly not only spend time in the game but do so interacting with others.

    For example, a family buff to bashing xp encourages the family to organise bashing times together.
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  • EsoneyunaEsoneyuna Member Posts: 78 Capable
    edited January 11
    Eliron said:
    Different families have different activity levels, and families have been hit by the change in population just like the rest of the game.

    There's also been ongoing issues with the mechanics of adoptions/bloodbonding that limit family growth even when you have active people in the family and players who would like to join the family. That's why there's a report on it, and why I wanted to re-start conversations on how to address it and other issues that make the family system as is struggle.

    I can't speak to Discord--I don't use it. But for me, families being more than just a group of people who hang out is one of the things I love about Lusternia.
    It is completely impossible to at this point start a new family and make it into a greathouse without cheating by getting 30 people to oocly make alts to join it. Likewise there are great houses with only 1 active (in the playing sense, not the family system sense) player that are not having their status drop. Until families are converted to a system where it relies on active players rather than characters that have not played for rl years there should be absolutely no mechanic rewards like buffs for families.
  • ElironEliron Member Posts: 198 Virtuoso
    edited January 11
    Esoneyuna said:
    It is completely impossible to at this point start a new family and make it into a greathouse without cheating by getting 30 people to oocly make alts to join it. Likewise there are great houses with only 1 active (in the playing sense, not the family system sense) player that are not having their status drop. Until families are converted to a system where it relies on active players rather than characters that have not played for rl years there should be absolutely no mechanic rewards like buffs for families.
    I'm definitely not trying to dismiss the issue--I just don't have any particular response to something discord specific.

    I'm speaking as a player who is already in a GH and is super frustrated because it feels like mechanically we've been forced into the situation you describe. We had real-life years where all our active players were married in, and we all liked the house and concept and people enough that we didn't want to abandon it.

    I'm also speaking as a player who can fully understand that other people have different frustrations with the system. I want the family system to be fun and engaging for anyone who's interested, not just those already in a GH or looking to join a GH. That's why I bumped this thread back to life. Broader perspectives will, I hope, mean better ideas generated and reports submitted to fix the system.
    • Would it make more sense to let families of any size pledge to each other or a great house and start accruing their own honor and benefits?
    • Should greathouse/lesserhouse/whatever status be strictly linked to honour generated or honour generated going forward?
    • Do we need to put in a new system that severely reduces the honor stockpiled by families if families can use it to buy buffs?
    Some of those I'm in favor for and some I'm not, but those are just ideas off the top of my head.

    I like the idea of honour having a mechanical rewards because it means that families actively earning honour now can use it instead of it just being a place marker in a race to the top that the winners have already won.

    [Edited to make my first line clearer.]
  • MinkahmetMinkahmet Member Posts: 44 Apprentice
    Esoneyuna said:
    Aknarin said:
    1) CL's have the ability to remove an aligned Great House from the City/Commune.
    This is already possible
    What he actually means is remove a FAMILY REP from the org's council. That if I recall correctly, is a function only the family head can do to place a rep and remove said rep of their family and if they have a dominant or higher family rep status than the other families recognized in the organization. Otherwise yes, removing a family is something that's possible and would be rather drastic indeed I agree.
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