A terraced rice field near Port Valiant showing three levels. The top has been flooded and planted. The middle has been flooded and is in the process of being planted; and the bottom is being ploughed.
'Al Saqr' or 'the Falcon' Tower is an impressive structure build on one of the highest points of the new Loreesi colony of Port Valiant. From the top of the tower the sentries have a full view of the wide expanse of Sandy Bay, and can provide early warning of vessels approaching the port. The tower's construction was supervised by Loreesi explorer and pioneer Captain Alphoso de Rojas who can be seen inspecting the view from the top.
The problem I'm seeing with just waiting for the next piece of story and GC is, when, when are they actually going to be released? Is it going to be a couple days, weeks, months? I think this is why me and others are getting frustrated with the current system, there is little transparency of the KC, and I would know, I was part of it for a time. If the KC can be truly transparent, put out updates on a semi regular schedule, and listen to the two threads and several pages of people asking for change, then maybe, just maybe, LoR won't die. And if the KC can't or won't put out story updates/GCs, then please, spread the load, there are a number of people in these threads who really want to see LoR survive and evolve into something sustainable. My two cents. CCG
It works both ways - for ordinary members and the KC. Imagine my frustration when I put hours of work into organising GCs, mini-challenges, etc, only to have minimal participation/feedback. Note the numerious times I have asked for feedback on how things are going to be met largely with crickets chirping in the background - or unconstructive critisim. I don't think it is fair to say "the game is failing and it is the fault of the KC" (I know that's not what you are saying, but I just want to make my position clear). Having said that I agree that the KC construct doesn't really work anymore, and we all need to be more active in revitalising the game. I really like the idea of the KC simply acting as moderators...
Anyway I agree that change is required, so lets do it. Let us all put something together here in the open (you guys want transparency). I suggest we start small, do we want to prioritise an economic system? a warfare system? Do we want to run a trial GC with some components of both? We could devise a system for personnel fiefs.... anyway the point is, I think we need to act on this momentum, and that it is important to start of small and manageable. The alternative is that this post continues with some great ideas, but nothing is ever acted upon.
I can help with the administration/setting up of any system, I'll participate in the discussion and offer suggestions and draft rules/posts. But I won't be be primary driver this time. I simply don't have the time right now and after driving numerous attempts here in the past with lacklustre results, to be totally honest I'm not sure I have the motivation.
The main reason I joined LoR over other castle based RPGs was the factions. I love them as they are and would strongly support keeping them and the map unchanged. If you are going to consider new factions and a new map then it is no longer LoR, but a new RPG (just my opinion). I would keep everything that has occurred previously as official lore. You can still create anew, borders can change slightly, the outlaws can become a nation if that is what they want (or we could make them NPC?), but lets not simply wipe out the years of role play that have gone before.
While I do believe changes are needed as outlined in the jibber-jabber thread, I do believe that the game in its current state has the mechanisms in place for more player based stories. The under-used guild system and even the rival challenges would be great ways to advance stories and can be done in collaboration. Perhaps as a intrem solution we could make a way of making these systems more meaningful?
While I would be willing to assist with reforming the game, I remain sceptical that all this won't just all blow over in a few weeks when everyone looses interest/goes back to work/school etc.
Therefore if we do go ahead, what I would propose is a transition period where people get active again and prove a commitment to make it work. To that end I say we continue with the current format for a short time - the KC will release the next storyline update which will shift focus back to the mainland. As this happens we work in the background to create a more player based system that relies less heavily on a leadership group. We take a role call and re-populate the factions. Maybe some minor border changes. Maybe 4 is too many? Then when ready it's a clean slate but within the old geographic world. We start again. Factions can determine new leaders, new cities or whatever. We could implement a feudal type system like what is being discussed in the other thread....
Meanwhile as all this is going on, we the players could do some sort of mini colab refocusing on our factions? Maybe an Army flash mob like Garheim did a while back? Or everyone just builds a small classic castle theme build (either a LoR themed MOC based on one of TLG official kits eg. Blacksmith, Guarded Inn etc) or just something typically castley...
Ok, so I have put together a summary of what people want and the general consensus of things that need to change. If I've missed or misinterpreted anything just message me and I will edit this. If I've put a question mark after any statement it means I'm unsure if I have interpreted this right.
1) Switching the driving force of the GS from the KC to the players, allowing them to influence the storyline and play how they want. More interaction between players and their storyline effects. Easy said, harder to implement. I like the suggestion someone made above about the KC becoming more like moderators. I need to think on this more...
2) Campaign map dynamics. Eg: territory switching sides, battles over resource locations I think this is too complicated to begin with. A new system should start simple and then possibly build up.
3) Possible scraping of the new world? Lets not scrap it, leave it to exists as described, but refocus on the mainland. We can also close the colonisation challenge if desired
4) Better simulation of war. Eg: war objectives, territory only swaps hands if it was part of the initial objective and only that territory. This is seen in games such as Crusader Kings 2. However, measures must be put in place to stop factions losing control in the space of 1 real year, thus making it so players won't get annoyed. Any war dynamics are going to have to be carefully thought out then beta tested on a small scale (possibly against an NPC faction or group) so we can ensure they are fair.
5) A new system to be put in place to have to have balanced teams with active players. Hard to do, don't think we've never tried. I even swapped sides to try and give some balance I think with a fief like system below this may be addressed somewhat???
6) player controlled cities and regions, much like feudal Europe. I like this idea, but within existing factions. Ie if I'm a Loreesi player, I develop my own village up into a town, city etc using a resource/build system. The more buildings in my fief, the more powerful I become - this is exciting but needs some ground work to develop rules.
7) A new point system? war and battle points for participation in war challenges? same as point 4
8) A resource system similar to the 9 Kingdoms roleplay group? Control of these resource sites would go towards local goals. Eg: having X amount of resources would allow the faction to build a harbour, thus a local challenge would happen to build a harbour at X city? For me, this would be awesome. The Economic Game System (EGS) in BoBS is one of the best parts for me - although WARNING, it is hugely complicated and very intimidating for new players. We'd need to somehow keep the system relatively simple. Also the EGS in BoBS started off manual, and was WAY too much work for leadership. Now it is mostly automated due to the hard work of some of our members using Google forms. This level of technical detail is beyond me, but maybe we have some excel/Google forms experts here?
Ok I think I've covered everything but if I've missed something just say and I will change it straight away
I've been following this conversation but have been away the last couple of days and haven't had a chance to comment.
I totally get the lack of enthusiasm many of you have expressed. If I am honest, I too feel this way, which is why I have mostly channelled my reduced Lego time into BoBS, which is much more active and interactive. The trouble is, well at least for me, the more people participate in the RPG, the more motivated I am to participate.
From my experience in BoBS, I tried to introduce a more game based mechanic with the colonisation challenge, but without the settlement levels meaning much, they don't provide much of an incentive to actually play. I think to keep LoR going, we need a major overhaul, but that would require a level of motivation and participation that I just don't think we have at the moment. Also I think we need to pretty much scrap the new world - LoR is a castle game. I think that by re-focusing on the mainland (which was our plan btw) and refocusing on rebuilding the main factions, we could probably drum up more interest. The other major problem is that the game is too focused on a central storyline controlled by the King's Council, and as many of you have noted, we are not very active ourselves. If we could re-invigorate the factions, and re-focus on individuals telling their own character driven storylines, encouraging collaboration between individuals, I feel that would work better than relaying on a centrally driven storyline controlled by the select few...
As for the current storyline, the next instalment has been about ninety percent ready for at least 2-3 months, but RL has prevented the key story drivers from finishing it - another reason why I think we need to move away from a strict centrally controlled storyline.
If you want to revive LoR, or just build some cool castle in the LoR world (which I think is definitely worth preserving) I would suggest not waiting for the GC or even LC. Join a guild and progress your character. Maybe do a collaborative storyline with another builder (eg a Lenfel and a Garhim join up to search for a mythical lost dwarf mine filled with gold or whatever) The more builds start to populate the forum and flesh out the world, the more I believe participation will build.
Anyway that's just my two cents. Discussion like this is great however, because we see that the forum is still alive, people are still here and want the game to continue in some way.
On a personal note in a couple of weeks I will be separated from my Lego for an extended period of time. I plan on still being active in the community, but any builds will be digital until at least September at the earliest....
Here is another way using GIMP. GIMP is a free, powerful photo editing program you can easily download.
I will caveat this with the fact I am still learning GIMP and am not very good. More experienced people than me may be able to make better suggestions.
Anyway this is a method that I have been playing with for mostly black backgrounds, but it could work with white as well.
Here is the original image. I'm pretty happy with the subject, but the background is killing me!
Crop the image as required.
Now select the Fuzzy Select Tool as shown below. Click anywhere in the background.
As you can see, it selects portions of the image that it thinks match those you selected. In this case, large parts of the subject are also highlighted. This is not ideal and we need to correct it.
To correct it, go down the the Threshold box on the left hand Toolbox. Adjust the threshold as appropriate - in this case we need to lower the figure. Keep trying until you get it about right. Don't worry too much about parts that aren't selected in the background, we will fix them in a minute. As you can see below, we have a much better selection now. It's not perfect though, there is still too much of the subject (mostly the dark green leaves in the centre) selected - we will see why this is bad in a second. Anyway, select the Color menu and open Brightness and Contrast
Adjust the Contrast all the way up as shown below. The image will modify before your very eyes!
This is the result:
As mentioned, the threshold was still too high and the contrast on the dark green leaves is terrible. If this were for real I'd CTRL Z at this point and keep adjusting until it was better. However for the purposes of this tutorial we shall push on.
The background is still not quite right, but this is an easy fix.
Select the Pencil Tool and make sure you have black selected as your Foreground colour. You can use the Color Picker Tool if you want to make sure you have the correct shade of black. Adjust the size of your pencil and draw over the ugly grey bits in the background. Soon you will have a uniformly black background! In the case of this picture, you will have to do some more selections and contrast adjustments to get background sections that weren't highlighted in the initial selection. This can be fiddly and take time, but the end result is worth it.
Anyway here is the (for the purposes of this tutorial) finished image. As mentioned if this was for real I'd spend a lot more time playing around with it to get it right.
AK_Brickster , The pedantic side of me realises these are more Photo editing tutorials and not photography tutorials, so feel free to move them if you feel somewhere else is more appropriate!
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2017 14:12:51 GMT -8 by Ayrlego
Here is a very simple way make your backgrounds more white. It does have significant limitations, but is useful for simple fixes.
Firstly you will require Microsoft Picture Manager. This used to come standard with Windows but now should be available as a free download from Mircosoft.
Here is the original image we will work on:
Personally I feel the image is a bit underexposed, the best course would probably be to retake the picture using a slower shutter speed/larger aperture(smaller F-Stop). However for this example we will assume this isn't an option.
Open the image in Picture Manager and crop to the desired size.
One it is the right size, click on the Edit Pictures option on the top toolbar. Then select the Color option on the right Edit Pictures menu. It will be the option next to a rainbow coloured ring. At this point you should also shake your head and mock the American spelling of colour.
Now click on the Enhance Color button. Your cursor will become a crosshair. Hover over any area of the background that you want to make more 'white'. The darker the area you select, the more it will adjust the image. Click on the area and the picture will adjust. Sometimes this will mess with any actual white in the image, so sometimes you may need to CTRL Z this a couple of times before you get it right. You should end up with something like this:
Now you may need to adjust the Brightness contrast of the picture.
The easiest way to do this is to select Auto Correct from the top toolbar. The picture will adjust. Or you can manually play with the settings if you like.
In this case there is very little difference.
Like I said this is the simplest way I know of adjusting the background and it only works if your original picture is fairly decent to begin with. I can suggest some more advanced ways later when I have more time if you are interested.
Hopefully this helps!
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2017 11:40:50 GMT -8 by Ayrlego
One for you guys as I was feeling nostalgic! When it was finished I couldn't help but compare it with one of my first Lenfald LC builds for Port Emerald, so I slapped in some Lenfald figs and here it is!
Sir Caedric Moore Thanks for the feedback. We'll keep it in mind for the next GC. I do find it rather ironic that Garheim did indeed fight so hard against the weight of participation based scoring because of a perceived Lenfald advantage, yet now if we were using the older system Garheim would be much more successful in recent challenges!
Sir Daren It's being worked on at the moment. The builds are mostly good to go, just need to work on the story.
Combined Roawian Forces: 70 Free Forces of Roawia: 90 The Free Forces win!!! With the individual faction winner being the Outlaws - This could just be the first time ever the Outlaws have won a GC!!!!!!! Well done you guys!!
Now Lenfald and Outlaws, you need to choose one of the three following options:
Option One. Lenfald may establish a settlement at the ruins which will begin at Level 2 and the Outlaws may establish a second Level 2 settlement in their GWI territory OR Option Two. Port Emerald will increase in size by two levels, Abnerburgh will increase size by one level and Port Scurvy will increase in size by two levels (without the normal additional points added for each level) and the Outlaws will gain an additional 25 Global points OR Option Three. Both factions may choose a new Island to claim and build a new settlement on if one faction doesn't want a new island and the other does, then the faction not claiming an island will be rewarded an additional 30 Global points.
Well done all, some great entries, although maybe not as many as we'd hoped. As always comments/constructive criticism welcome.
Speaking of 'when?' must the judging/voting take so long? Surely two weeks and every worthwhile voter has seen it, a month drags everything out just too much.
Because we try and give everyone a chance to vote, even those who don't check the board regularly. That said there are clear winners in every category except the Bignette, which the different between winner/second place is only one vote.
If there are no objections I can lock the votes and announce the winners before the end of this week.
Honestly I think this is the hardest to vote for, the vignettes are so awesome!
Yeah I agree, excluding judgement on mine the others are all so good! Kingdomviewbricks and Fritzix are two of my favourate LoR builders... and Gunnarr Leidolf gave them some serious competition for my vote this time round. It was a hard choice and I could have easily voted for any of the three!
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2017 1:18:09 GMT -8 by Ayrlego