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Update: Lead and Follow
December 14, 2019


This week, we have an experiment in voluntary hierarchical leadership.

Each player can optionally pick one other player as their direct leader, by saying I FOLLOW SALLY SMITH, to follow them by name, or I FOLLOW YOU when standing near them. You can switch leaders at any time, and you can go back to having no leader by saying I FOLLOW MYSELF.

Following someone has absolutely no direct impact on gameplay, and is simply a source of information. People who have the same leader are marked as allies, and they wear the same color badges on their clothing. Leaders can follow other leaders, resulting in a dynamic hierarchy. Higher-order leaders have more elaborate badges and tiles, including Lord, Baron, Count, Duke, King, and several levels of Emperor. Your badge color is determined by the leader at the top of your tree.

Everyone can also exile other players at will by saying I EXILE SALLY SMITH, to exile them by name, or I EXILE YOU. This allows you to keep track of players that are causing trouble, and you will see a black X mark on their chests. I REDEEM SALLY SMITH, or I REDEEM YOU, allows you to bring someone back from exile.

The people exiled by leaders are seen as exiled by all of their followers further down in the hierarchy. Thus, information about troublemakers can be shared easily and efficiently. When a high-order leader exiles someone, a large group of people will all know about this person's status. Leaders can also be exiled, and any remaining followers are marked as dubious. An exiled person can appeal over the head of the person who exiled them, and higher-ups can override and redeem the exiles made by leaders beneath them.

When you're born, you inherit your mother's leader. You can change leaders when you are old enough to speak the necessary command.

When a leader dies, their followers are passed up to the leader above them, if any, and their list of exiles is passed downward to each of their immediate followers. In other words, the tree does the right thing automatically, behind the scenes, to preserve valuable information.

The inner workings of this system are a little complex, but on the ground, as one cog in the machine, you just need to make a single, very simple decision: who to follow, if anyone? And if you find yourself in a leadership position, you can also make decisions about who to exile. The tree will take care of the rest.

This system was inspired by forum-user Kinrany's post here:


More details and discussion about this system can be seen in this very lively thread here:


In other news, the Bell directional arrow has been moved down from the top of the screen to a more visually pleasing location. Thanks to Twisted for pointing out that it was visually jarring up there.


I just added an order system, where order messages get passed down through the leadership tree to followers. To issue an order, say something like ORDER, EVERYONE COME TO THE TOWN CENTER

Please note the comma in there. No comma, no order.

Your immediate followers will pick up the message whenever they get within 10 tiles of you, and their followers will get them message when they are in close proximity, and so on, until everyone in your tree has the message. As an example, you might be away at an outpost and then return to town. When you return, you will be automatically told the leader's most recent standing order. When you get an order message, it's accompanied by an explanation of which leader issued that order.

Exiled people do not see the message themselves, but do pass the message on to their non-exiled followers.

Also, in the original post, I forgot to mention the new verbal kill trigger feature. If you're holding a weapon and say I WILL KILL SAM JONES, you will enter the murder-mouth state against Sam Jones (or I WILL KILL YOU for the nearest person). There are a bunch of variations on this wording that work, too. The point is to allow you to start kill-chasing someone who is hard to click (maybe they just raced by on a horse), or to allow you resume a kill chase after dropping your weapon to eat. As another nice side effect: this kill state trigger is visible to everyone around you, so new players can learn how to do it (where shift-right-click is harder to learn).
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