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Summary of Maelstrom and 3rd Cycle Changes
I feel like even more of a "newbie"  after hearing about the history of Alamaze.  That after being here a bit more than three years.  It really is exciting to see what an advancement Maelstrom is from 3rd cycle.  Seeing so many players from the past rejoining the player base lately has to be a thrill for both Rick and Mike.  I do wish I had been around to know Phil as I often hear kind words about him.
Keep up the good work Ry Vor.  I can say from personal experience that you really do care about and listen to your players and the way the game has developed reflects that.
That was a great write up Rick.
Mike and I have been in contact and I kind of promised to have the next design edition of Maelstrom to Mike in about a week.  I saw the things on the forum before, and I would like a focus to be revamping the PC Improvement module, making the conquest of Stormquest more difficult including no land passage to the region, making Standard Rex Victory five regions instead of four, various other smaller changes.s

Do you think anything major needs to be done?  Any real need for a couple new kingdoms?  How about the presentation of turn results - not so important?
I think that weapon artifacts need to be fixed. That aspect of the game is lame as it currently stands. I also think the SA needs riders trait or else it is a broken kingdom.
Ashgar the Bloodthirsty. 

My blood, your blood, what difference does it make!  

Time will tell.................
With projects at work and with limited budgets/time, we always think of low-hanging fruit: biggest wins with least effort.

For instance:
Remove the ESO advantage for the 4 kingdoms that are no longer dispersed.
Fix the fleet problem for AT and others who start with 13 or better quality (and should increase at the customization) but have no port (maybe just require a port if one tries to increase quality?).
Fix the trail group cheat that allows groups to cross water they otherwise could not cross.

Stuff like that Smile
If we want to keep Primeval going it needs either a 6th player or new victory conditions.  4 regions is just too easy.
The new unit types need to be finished.   They need some abilities.
I would also agree with all that Vball said earlier.
What about a caravan route or trading post or something that can act similar to a port for landlocked regions. The port does give a huge resource advantage to regions with water access.

Something else I would think useful is a new automated draft. You log into an open game you chose a draft position right in the game que. When it is your turn to draft the system starts sending out requests for you to draft at certain intervals, say like 30mins. You input your choices and when everyone is done they are already in the game que so the game begins. Anonymous games can still be anonymous as no one will know who is choosing what or who is even in the game.

This would also allow a game or even a couple games of different types to always be in que and filling up. The whole drafting on the boards takes a long time and is confusing to new players IMO.
Live your life, so that when your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing Your Death Song And Die Like A Warrior Going Home.
Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief
Another idea that just came to me in anonymous games you can allow some communication right on the turn sheet. You could request to trade etc right and they print out right in the turn sheet so there is still anonymity but there is also a record of what is being said that Rick can always check when someone makes an accusation of collusion, but mainly it allows kingdoms that depend on trade to function as planned even in an anonymous game. I like the idea of having to use an em to send the message. But that’s just me.
Live your life, so that when your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing Your Death Song And Die Like A Warrior Going Home.
Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief
-stormgate I think removing land access is likely to make stormgate even more a single kingdom takes it and keeps it type of event. I would propose give stormgate an additional land entrance instead making it accessible from both darkover and pellinor. this would help to encourage a battle over the city and also provide another path with the city in the middle.

-windstorm instead of reducing its effect make it have no effect vs PCs. it seems to work as intended vs groups. even at 50%/12.5% it would still be the must cast spell to take PCs especially cities. I would rather that not be the case where you always need a certain spell. as well with PC defenses getting in the 200k+ range already if you lessen the effect of this spell you could make taking PCs not only hard but basically impossible. so a need to change defensive norms may need to be looked at when making this change.

-forts/castles currently you get the full bonus of each addition. so when done building a legendary castle you are at or above 200k defense. I think changes should be made here as well as with windstorm. 1st fort and the 1.7 defense rating should not go away when a castle is built. perhaps change the bonus to counter espionage to +10 and do not have the fort/citadel removed when upgrading to a castle to indicate to both defender and attacker there defense rating bonus is still there. have greater castles and legendary castles add less to defense that current values. (+25k, +60k) vs current (+40k, +100k). this would put a fully upgraded PC fort/castle/GC/LC at +115k so a normal city around about 140k defense without windstorm it would basically require about 280k strength group to take it less with other spells but I think much more on line with what it should be for the cost of developing that legendary castle. currently it seems after you upgrade from a fort the defense rating bonus goes away which is kind of weird.

I agree with Vball and ashgar. especially about the SA they are overmatched currently. I would love to see some kind of creative new bonus the SA could get. perhaps paladin troops in SA groupsncan lay hands heal similar to phx for dragons. the new units should have abilities like the older units.

give SO there hidden capital back. SO took it in the shorts in the transition going from the best spell list to one of the worst for pure mages and had two of there three traits removed. moving dome to p6 for the SO was already a massive debuff and adding no fertile fields. the SO is now a shell of old and really not worth taking vs other pure mages.
i like the Rex at five regions. make a few games last into turn 30 and beyond. lots more time to develop your kingdom.

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