Ideas for Improving Tournaments and Tournament loot - other input welcome!

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Cabell

Recruit
I enjoy playing tournaments with some of my characters in the early game and have some suggestions for how tournaments can be improved. Generally, speaking tournaments are too easy to win and lose their relevance as the player character increases their level and wealth. I suggest the following to make them more challenging and rewarding.

1) More XP from tournaments
It appears that tournaments provide less Might and Vigor skill points than actual battles. I assume that there is a modifier and think should be removed completely or reconfigured. One way to reconfigure it would be to scale the modifier to the round of the tournament so that the last round gives full experience, the second to last gives 90% experience, and so on.

2) Do not reset health completely for each round of the tournament.
Tournaments currently start you at whatever health you are at entry and reset to that level after each round. I think this should be changed to partial (~50%) recovery of the hitpoints you have at the end of each round.

3) Weaken tournament shields or make them rarer.
Shields are too effective and allow for low-skilled player characters to too easily dispatch high tier troops and high level lords by just blocking and shieldbashing. To address this, tournament shield hitpoints should be lowered so that they can only take a few strikes from melee weapons and javelins. Alternatively or in addition, shields could be made rarer so that wielding a 1 handed weapon with no shield was more likely at start.

4) Relationship decrease/increase from tournaments
Part of your reward for a tournament victory should be relationship points with the clan that owns the hosting city. In addition, if you defeat a noble in the last round of a tournament you should either gain or lose points with that lord's clan based on the character traits of the clan leader. For example, more virtuous clan leaders will approve of your victory over their kinsperson while dishonest clan leaders would resent you for it.

5) Different kinds of tournaments with different kinds of loot
Currently, tournaments seem to occur randomly with their loot being drawn from the town's purchasable inventory. I'd suggest there be two kinds of tournaments:
a) Tournaments hosted by the town's merchant notables. These tournaments would be what is currently implemented in that they award goodish loot that you could otherwise buy in town. A side effect of this is that reward is generally of the same culture as the combat format.
b) Tournaments hosted by the governor/governing clan leader. The loot of these tournaments would be higher quality and related to the clan's culture, i.e. If Mesui hosted a tournament in Amprela, the combat format would be imperial and the reward would be Khuzait. The participants in this kind of tournament would also be higher level troops.

In addition, I suggest that high tier or even new tournament-specific armor and weapons be among the rewards for tournament victories.

7) More social interactions for tournament winners
Warband had feasts and I hope something similar will be implemented at some point. Regardless, I think player characters who win tournaments should have some celebrity status among NPCs. Some examples would be NPCs saying they heard or saw the tournament which would result in an instant boost of relationship points. Unmarried nobles should also react and sometimes look more favorably on tournament winners. There's a lot of potential for these reactions to be tied to existing character traits.

6) Different tiers of tournament aka "what Caesar said in his post"
As Caesar points out in his collection of observations and suggestions, tournaments do not currently scale well with your character's experience. I'm assuming that his suggestions for making a tiered system of tournaments would take a good bit of work to implement but would go a very long way in making tournaments stay relevant throughout all stages of the game.

TOURNAMENTS

Tourneys in particular need to scale better as you level, I suggest having different tourneys for different tiers of renown. When your renown is low you get small rewards which are still decent for when your renown is low, and you just fight against commoners and soldier units basically. Next tier of renown up you fight against a mix of commoners/soldiers and other nobles in the game with low renown (e.g. the bottom 10 nobles in the game by renown), but you have to pay a certain amount of money to enter the tourney. Next tier up you fight against a mix of low and mid-tier renown nobles, but you have to pay even more to enter. Last tier you fight against mid and top-tier nobles (clan leaders, kings, etc. as well as the tourney champs), the reward for winning is very high but you have to pay a lot to enter and also be a landowner.
 
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