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Dear Lords and Ladies, Recently, we have delivered in Public Beta our first post-release free update, aimed at the Customization of gameplay. But let's not stop there! Right now, we have two additional updates in the works for you, so let's look at what they are going to bring!

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Update #2 - The Artisan Update

In this update, our main focus is on the nobles. In their initial design, we thought of them as another class of peasants with few extra privileges and perks. In reality, we were receiving feedback often mentioning that the nobles are not delivering on their expectation, as they don't impact the gameplay enough. We realized two things here - first that calling the noble professions "noble" was a poor choice of a name. Second that the expectation of nobles having an impact is a core part of the appeal of Lords and Villeins and we need to deliver something more significant here.

Introducing Artisans

On the surface, Artisans are simply a new name for what you grew to recognize in our game as nobles. All noble professions are now artisan professions, families that are capable of performing them are part of the artisan social class and just like nobles before, they come with increased demands on a standard of living and retain many of their freedoms, such as their ability to leave the settlement. Only a few things will be removed from them, those that should be exclusively reserved for those of true noble heritage. They include:

  • Chapel is no longer used by artisans. They share the church with everybody else
  • Tavern as a zone will be removed. Artisans will arrive through the inn, and wine and higher-quality meals will be served at the inn as well.
  • Donations to clergy no longer reflect noble families. The clergy simply expects the player to donate a calculated amount of valuables over a period of time, to maintain their relationship.
  • Artisans are visiting the church with everyone else, instead of the chapel.
  • Theater is now visited by everyone, including peasants.
  • Artisans now live in households much like peasants. Villa is no longer used to be occupied by artisans and will serve a different purpose.
  • Artisans can not be proposed to (see later why).


As part of the Artisan overhaul, we will also take a look at the alchemist, ropemaking, and glassmaking professions, to give them more use in the economy.

Nobles are gone, say hello to nobles

With the change to artisans, we believe the game will get more clarity on what the intended purpose of these professions is and how they should interact with the game. However, we don't want to just remove a bunch of content from the game to address your criticism. So we are also adding a new class of Nobles.

These new noble families are generated at the start of the game. You can see them in the population book, but they are not present on the map. In fact, they live in their own settlements, in their own manor, ruling over their own land and their growth is simulated by the game. The potential for diplomacy now grows!

  • Use a villa to build a guest house at your manor! Then invite a noble family to spend time there. They will visit your settlement, spend money buying expensive goods, consume your meals, and use the Chapel to participate in Sunday Mass. After two weeks they will leave, and improve their relationship with you as their express gratitude for your hospitality.
  • Having low relationships with nobles now may cause a loss of relationships with royals. When the relationship is low, there is a chance every day, that they will use their favor to damage your reputation with the royals!
  • When the relationship is high, the player can propose marriage to a member of a noble family. This game mechanic works in the same way as it did previously, but it is limited to the new type of Noble families instead.
  • New game mechanics of quests will cause noble families to give optional opportunities to deliver shipments of goods and material, to earn money, and royal favor, and improve their relationship.


Royal Tax Redesign

A common criticism of royal taxation was that it is not rewarding and too restrictive. Narratively, this setup made a lot of sense to us. Since the players are one to collect taxes from their peasants, it seems like a good fit that players themselves are taxed and expected to pay them to the royals. Not for an extra reward, but simply as a baseline expectation, since that's the rule of the society they immerse themselves in.

Over time however, this narrative element does not justify the restrictiveness of this challenge. The difficulty is also often unpredictable and either too easy or too hard to respond to. So we will be turning taxation into a more optional and reward-based system.

First, we will start calculating combat power for regiments. This is simply a combination of attack and defense properties of all soldiers in it, reflecting their equipment, age, stats, and training.

Second, the royal taxation will only demand a generic target - resources of the player's choosing, which add up to a certain market value, and regiments composed of any kind of soldiers, that add up to a certain combat power.

And lastly, much like nobles, royals will introduce their own quests - optional deliveries of specific resources and material, for an additional bonus favor.

Both taxes and quests can be sent away as deliveries at any time during the year, and as long as the target values have been delivered within the year, the taxes are considered successful.


New Ways To Control The Economy

We will also improve your ability to control the economy. This is a collection of tools and quality of life improvements, that should give you more control over the flow of goods and correct behavior of your villagers.

  • Adjust demand generated by families for the material they need to produce goods (i.e. manage their material reserves)
  • Limit stock of resources which triggers villagers to sell excess goods, with an option to stop producing excess goods if they reach the threshold.
  • Manage cooking strategies for families (i.e. limit used ingredients and stock targets).
  • Enact embargo on caravan resources to prevent caravans from buying or villagers from purchasing that specific resource from caravans.
  • Force families to produce an unprofitable resource.
  • Enact policy to prevent Inns to sell beds and meals to local villagers.


General Improvements

And finally, we will finalize a small number of performance optimizations and quality-of-life UI upgrades, as promised in our previous articles:

  • The prioritization UI will be redesigned to visualize its impact in better ways.
  • Add information in the animal limitations UI to communicate values about breeding strategies.
  • Allow copy and paste of storing priorities between different zones.
  • Intelligence Reports will be updated to provide more guidance on how to solve the issues.
  • New "color drop" tool (also switchable with key bind), that will let you select the object for construction by clicking on it on the map.
  • Accounting finance page will also list quantities sold and purchased.

Update #3 - Campaign Mode

In this update, we will focus on redesigning the tutorial experience. Common criticism stems from its length and that it only explains features on the surface - it tells players where to click, with very little explanation on when and how these tools should be utilized best. To cover these topics in the tutorial, we would only end up making it longer, so we decided on a new approach - a campaign mode.

In this campaign mode, we will take you through a set of designed scenarios. Each with a defined starting point, focusing on a new system or game module in bigger detail. As a baseline, this only breaks down the existing tutorial into multiple chapters, that you can play through. We will also incorporate small elements of storytelling, and add new challenges and quests, that aim to make the introduction and learning of the game even more friendly.

This campaign mode can be further expanded in the future, with challenge maps or even community mods!

That's it for the updates we have currently planned for the near future. We do not have any specific release dates ready to share at this moment, but they are fully prioritized by our team. And that's not all! We will continue working on Lords and Villeins even beyond these updates, and reveal more of our plans later when we are ready to announce them.

Thank you for supporting us throughout our journey and continuously enjoying our game, sharing your feedback, and allowing us to keep making Lords and Villeins better. We appreciate every one of you! If you want to support our work further, please share your excitement with your friends, and help our community to grow - even just leaving a review here on Steam helps a lot!

If you would like to help us more and in turn get a very early look on our future updates, consider joining the Champions program with Fulqrum Publishing. You would be among the very first people to get to test future Lords and Villeins updates as well as other games from our publisher if you'd like, and impact their development much more with your early feedback. Just send an e-mail to champions@fulqrumpublishing.com to find out more.

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