BattleMaster is game with a very long history. It has been under continuous development for over 10 years. In those many years, the developers have fielded an immense number of feature requests for things that players would like to see added to the game. Since this is a text-based game, and we love to play it, it should come as no surprise that we also love to talk about it. And one of our favorite topics is ways in which we can improve the game, and give the players more features they love, too.
However, we do receive a lot of feature requests. In order make sure that all feature requests that are considered by the dev team are as well thought-out as possible, we have developed a standard format for feature requests. This standard format ensures that anyone submitting a feature request has considered all of the various facets of the feature. This includes what feature will be added, what tangible benefit it brings to the game, any negative things it could bring to the game, etc.
Submitting a Feature Request
This is a page for serious feature requests. By "serious" we mean that the originator bothers enough about it to describe in detail what exactly he wants and why.
Feature requests will be entered on the community portal by the Community Manager(CM). The CM will not create the feature requests (unless it's his own personal project), nor will he develop them beyond basic organization. All feature requests should be submitted to the Forum by the originator for discussion among the BattleMaster community. Once enough discussion has occurred, and the request deemed to be a good addition to the game, the Community Manager can finalize the discussion, wrap it up, and put it here on the wiki. (Note: The CM has a direct line to the developers, so he should have a good idea for the technical feasibility of any proposed request.)
Remember: The first step of requesting a new feature is to check the existing list of feature requests. Make sure that your feature isn't already on the list of accepted, in-process, or rejected feature requests. Also, check the list of frequently rejected features. These are things that simply will not get added, regardless of how many times you ask.
There are three things you should always consider when writing up your feature request:
1. What is the root problem I am trying to fix and/or What is the root benefit I am trying to achieve? (i.e. asking to increase the rate at which people lose positions from wounds is probably at root a request to increase turnover)
2. Is this the smallest/simplest/least disruptive change to the overall game I can think of to accomplish my goal? (i.e. changing the percentage that you lose your position is a lot easier than an entirely new system of Council positions that takes into account realm conditions to provide the maximum number of people with positions)
3. Does this issue reflect a local (i.e. one realm/religion/island/region/whatever) problem or a game-wide state of affairs?
If you don't know, make your best guess. You won't be penalized for guessing wrong, the idea is to stop and think about these issues before posting. If you want some help drawing up a feature request, shoot the Community Manager an e-mail (which can be found on his IG family page, link to that here or find him on the #battlemaster channel on IRC (username: Bedwyr) and ask for help.
Once you send a feature request to the Discussion List, don't forget to check back and make sure that your idea is not being misunderstood, or that some people have found some serious holes in it. Someone may even have some good ways to alter the idea to make it better. Eventually, the Community Manager will take a look once discussion has died down. If its unacceptable, he'll reply to the thread with such information. If its acceptable in his eyes, it'll be discussed by the devs. If it's acceptable to the dev team, the CM will post it here on the wiki, and a bugtracker feature request can be created.
This is the only approved way to get feature suggestions added onto the bug tracker. This will prevent the bug tracker from filling up with excessive, unacceptable feature requests, or used as a discussion forum for debating the merits of any particular request. A Sample Feature Request can be viewed if you have any questions. If you have further questions about this process, feel free to talk to the Community Manager or his Deputy on one of their talk pages.
Current Feature Requests
Needs to be Developed and Formally Submitted
- Message Exchange Treaty for the Enhanced Diplomacy System
Feature Requests that have been fleshed out and are waiting for approval or rejection.
- Hierarchy Bonus to Honor and Prestige
- General Bonus for Multiple Armies in Battles
- Religious Estate
- Tournament Region Communication
- Freeform Oaths
Feature Requests Tom has approved, but which have not yet been added to the game.
- Alternative Funding System for Temples and Guild Houses
- Leaving Religion With Debt
- Newbie Retention
- Marshal and Sponsor Prestige Bonuses and Penalties for Battles
- Facebook Wall Posts
- "No Autopay" Setting
Feature requests that have already been added to the game. After a decent amount of time, the old ones will be deleted from the list. You should be able to find an archive of everything at The TattleMaster. These might be be in testing or the code not updated to the game yet, but once here it should be in the code.
- Add Army and Sponsor Names to Battle Reports - Tom emphasizes need for readability in report
- Religion Treasury Report
- Shade Nobles in Realm Hierarchy
- Expanded Militia Placement
- Unit Line Settings and Unit Status
- No New Realm Restrictions for Secessions - Technically more a bug than a feature request
- Day and Night BM Image
- Static Harvest Length
- Cavalry Hunting Bonus
- Leaving Distant Religion
- Accidental Death from Surrender Duels
- Killing Character Via Death Duel Added to Family History
- Additional Mortality
- Priests Outside of Organized Religion
- Additional Adventurer Messaging Options
- Infiltrator message interception
Feature Removal/Simplification Requests
These are suggestions for removing or simplifying features of the game that you feel do not add to the overall experience. Before making one of these, please consider the following:
1. How many places in the game is this used? For example, while you may feel that honour should be removed, you will need to provide a fairly good justification for why as it is used in a few important places (unit recruitment, classes, etc), whereas removing mixed infantry merely removes one unit type.
These are wishes that people have asked for many times, and Tom has decreed that they will never be granted. So don't ask about them, here, on the bugtracker, or on the discussion list. Reasons are provided by the development team as to why they are rejected.
- Recruiting away from capital
- This would make it much easier to fight long-distance wars, which messes with game balance in ways Tom does not want. The capital needs to be an important place, and this keeps it so.
- Reply to all on messages
- This would increase spam in the realm, which is a definite no-no.
- Transfers of gold (not bonds); transfers of money not in cities; anything related to guilds/religions that turns them into banking houses
- These would seriously upset the balance of the game, allowing long-distance wars and a number of other things Tom does not want. There's a reason for the difference between gold and bonds.
- Changing of region types (including building or destroying cities)
- This would utterly destroy game balance, as well as being infeasible with the way the maps work (they are static images, created painstakingly ahead of time)
- Archery skill or archery contest in tournaments
- Archery was not something nobles did. It does not fit the milieu
- Anything to cater to the specific problems of MSIE users
- Internet Explorer is an abomination unto the world
- Use a real browser like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera
- Prison break option for infiltrators
- They already have slightly better chances than others
- This is a Dungeons-and-Dragons-based concept that doesn't fit the milieu. If you want to play Dungeons and Dragons, go ahead...but this is BattleMaster
- Newbie-only island
- This would shut newbies away from some of the most interesting aspects of the game - the players - and would, in the end, be counterproductive. Integrating them into the general population right off is the best way for them to learn the game.
- Non-Human races
- They do not fit with the milieu. Yes, there is magic, there are undead, and there are monsters, but it's still (more or less) an Earth analogue, which means that everyone is human. Except for Sirion on the East Island, where you can find Elves (special dispensation due to long-standing, pre-existing RP when the human-only rule was created), but that's another story. They keep to themselves, and don't flaunt or otherwise push it on other realms.
- Confirmation dialogs
- Unless the action is a very drastic one, you don't need your hand held. Confirmation dialogs have also been shown in several studies to be ineffective. You just get used to them and hit the "yes, I mean it" button automatically.
- Plagues, famines, diseases, etc.
- Random events having significant effects on characters and realms don't make the game fun.
- Any kind of whole-island "reset"
- You don't have enough money to convince Tom to reset an island.
- Navies/Sea Combat
- While a naval combat game could be fuin, it is not within the scope or style of BattleMaster.