Why are the 2.0 rules being revised one more time?
Hello Knight Realms friends!
This is James Kimball, for those who may have only joined Knight Realms over the last year, I have been the creator, owner and director of the game since it launched in 1997. I want to spend some time with you in this post, elaborating in better detail the reasons that spurred me to push for a final revision.
On our 20th year anniversary of Knight Realms I decided to switch us over to a completely rebuilt game system. This newer version we have referred to as 2.0 or various iterations. I was very happy and excited for the update, although I have often acknowledged that there are aspects about the new rules that I love and there are aspects that I did not love as much. The core of our newer game engine allowed us to overcome some pretty huge problems that existed in the original rules and in most larps. This was and still is a tremendous benefit to our newer system.
Part of the switch over to the newer rules also included bringing some order to a system that appeared to be random and chaotic in terms of what classes got what. It was good and necessary to bring order to this part of the game, but when we buckled down and really tried hard to balance the rules we inadvertently ended up sucking out some of the flavor and fun that our players enjoyed. We wanted to go the route of balancing numbers as tightly as we could and allowing players to free form all of their RP and out of combat experience. While this desire felt like a good and noble one, I have not seen many of our players truly be able to embrace that style of play to a successful degree. I now truly believe that the majority of our players prefer to have RP, Nuanced and Out of Combat skills to give them a more comfortable narrative framework to start in. This belief was recently confirmed to an overwhelming degree on our polls related to RP and situational skills.
In more recent versions of 2.0 we flirted with returning some of this flavor to you, but we never committed to it. I certainly did feel much better about the rules published right before covid, but something still scratched at the back of my mind as not being fully satisfied, and in recent weeks and months I’ve identified the lack of the RP, nuanced, flavor skills as a major cause of that. The recent polls have also showed us that you largely prefer flavor and role-play over simplicity. It is nice to have both when reasonable but it appears that flavor and role-play are more important than simplicity to most if a choice would need to be made.
The overall analysis and result is that most of the community desires the game to be reworked to be more of a hybrid between the 1.0 and 2.0 systems. There are unfortunately some specific issues that I can not reconcile changing which are desired by some. Despite that, there is still much of the game that can be reworked to fit this overall desire from the player base. I personally feel more excited about the potential outcome of this final reworked version than I have about many of the recent iterations of the rules. I feel like we can get to a place where I no longer have a scratching at the back of my mind telling me something is not completely right. What we are working to fix in this final version, is something that I believe 80 - 90% of our community is eager for.
Some core principles for this final re-work are:
- Each class needs to feel fun to play for those who are playing the classes as they are intended. As an example, a gambler does not need to match all classes in combat, it just needs to feel fun to play as our intended concept of what a gambler is in the Knight Realms world.
- Fun and flavor for all is more important than perfect balance. Some disbalance is acceptable because we are not a PvP centric game. Balance is good but does not need to be perfect; it just needs to not be egregiously nonexistent.
We have been polling the players on various topics to help us with the decisions on the details. We will also be reaching out to player who primarily identify as some of these classes to see how they feel about the new look. We plan to have the basic rules side of this done by the 15th of May and should be able to be share it a little afterwards. After we are done with that, the database team will need some time to work all of those reworked details into the database as they are currently waiting on us to finish the details.
I could have left well enough alone with the version published around a year ago, but I did not want to just settle on a rule set that was simply better than the last one. I felt that the heartache of going there yet again was worth having a rule set that the majority of players and myself could be more fully excited by.
When we do resume live play it will be in a more limited capacity for a few months and so this whole thing will be done in time for the live game in which we require card use again. This will be the final major re-work for 2.0. Since larp is an ever changing environment, we will likely need to release some alterations each year or so, but this is it for the larger overhaul.
Thanks for taking the time to read my update! You have been extremely patient and understanding and we really look forward to bringing forth a more immersive and exciting rules set for us all to enjoy.