Population Scale Proposal


  • Baron

    Hey all,

    I’ve compiled the results from the population survey and here is where things stand.

    Question 1: Should we implement a general population scale (not necessarily a calculator) with the purpose of creating more cohesive world lore?

    • 77% (17) for
    • 23% (5) against

    Question 2: What should the population of a realm be based on?

    • 41% (9) mostly lore, some builds
    • 32% (7) mostly builds, some lore
    • 18% (4) even mix
    • 9% (2) only lore

    Question 3: What population density should we use?
    -41% (9) medieval analog (7 people per square km)
    -36% (8) more dense (10 people per square km)
    -14% (3) other (general sentiment is towards more dense)
    -9% (2) very dense (12 people per square km)

    Question 4: How big should the largest settlements (i.e. cities) be?

    • 45% (10) medieval analog (10,000-50,000 for regional (1-5 claims) centers, up to 400,000 for larger empire (6+ claims) capitals)
    • 32% (7) larger (10,000-150,000 for regional (1-5 claims) centers, up to 1,000,000 for larger empire (6+ claims) capitals)
    • 18% (4) other (general sentiment is towards larger/no max city cap)
    • 5% (1) smaller (5,000-25,000 for regional (1-5 claims) centers, up to 200,000 for larger empire (6+ claims) capitals)

    Using this data, what can generally be agreed upon?

    • A population scale guide should be implemented to create cohesive world lore (77% support)
    • Builds and lore should both matter when determining population (91% support)
    • Most people want a population density up to 12 per square kilometer (85% support with other 15% preferring even more dense or no limit)
    • Most people are good with either medieval analog or bigger city sizes (95% support)

    Based on the results, I’ve laid out a proposal for a scale to serve as a guideline below.

    • Population density: 0 to 15 people per square kilometer (~300,000 max in standard 1km by 2km in-game or 100km x 200km in lore claim size)
    • City size: this will be left up to the realm to apportion as they see fit based on their total population

    This satisfies both the ‘I want to stick to the medieval standard’ crowd as well as the ‘I want a populous realm’ crowd by extending the density range out to 15 people per square kilometer. This provides a wide spectrum of potential populations to choose from while keeping things close enough that the internal logic of the world feels consistent.

    The implementation of this is pretty simple. You can use the dynmap or whatever other tool you’d like to gauge the approximate size of your realm (assuming a 1:100 scale for in-game to in lore). From there, you can get the maximum potential population of your realm. After that, you can apportion the population amount you choose throughout your realm as you see fit. You want a population of 10,000 spread out among hamlets and villages? You got it. You want to have a mega city that houses most of your population? You can have that too. As long as you support its existence with lore and/or builds (this is a worldbuilding community after all), then you are good to go. The only caveat is remembering to stay under the cap.

    What about rare cases of very small claims like Pianto de Fiorina, you may ask. In order to accommodate that kind of realm, there is a first claim exception to the cap calculation. In your first claim, you can use any population up to the standard claim size cap (300,000 inhabitants) regardless of the size of the claim. In short, the cap calculation would be this:

    Total territory of realm (in square km) X desired population density
    OR
    Initial claim population + (total area of realm outside of initial claim X desired population density)

    What if I want to go over the cap, others will say. This can be handled on a case by case basis. If there is a legitimate reason to above the cap (e.g. there is a large dwarven realm underneath the surface realm), then make a post about it laying out why you want to go over the cap and supporting in-game and/or lore evidence. As long as the request is reasonable (probably not more than double the maximum density) and there is not significant dissent from the community or lore minister, then you are good to proceed. It could honestly work in the same way as land claims do now with it being brought to a vote if there are dissenting parties.

    I see a lot of benefits to this proposal:

    • It gets us all on the same page in terms of general population scale without being overly restrictive
    • Realms have flexibility to determine and apportion their population how they see fit
    • There are avenues for the lore-first and build-first crowds to support their populations
    • It is extremely easy to figure out your potential population range (no fancy spreadsheets required)
    • The population of the realm grows by the realm, well, growing and allows for a sensible and logical progression of the current lore population of a realm

    Let me know what you all think! This is intended to be a first draft. I’ve created another survey to see what people think of this specific proposal: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FHFV5WM. You can provide comments and feedback below and via the survey.


  • Minister Duke

    While I am for common guidelines, I don't like having hard caps on population size.


  • Viscount

    I second Bryson, and I don't think "calculating" realm population is okay. I aim for historical and creative accuracy to express myself in a realistic yet personal matter when I worldbuild, and I shall not be having more complications alter the way I write. Hard pass.


  • Baron

    @Darius A couple questions for you. How is this different than technological and magical limits that already exist and constrain our lore? This is similar in that it acts as a common guide and soft limit to keep everyone generally in the same ballpark.

    If this is based on realistic numbers anyway, how does it impact your ability to write lore 'realistically'? In practice, I can't see how it would.


  • Viscount

    @Ikram I hardly use magic, period. I have no need for technology as the Romans are already pretty technologically advanced and within constraints. This however, could jeopardize my freedom to do things the way I see fit, all at the hands of a pointless calculator. Not interested. I'm always one for more freedom in any situation, so I'm definitely not in favor of more complications / guidelines / limitations.

    Realistically, my realm is large due to my lore and plans for building. Claim size shouldnt matter, considering I plan to make claim after claim after claim. Will I have too rewrite my lore every time I do that? This is a big big big big big no from me. I find it absolutely pointless, as it is trying to solve a completely nonexistent problem, and proceeds to create a problem for me, and potentially others. Counterproductive.


  • Viscount

    That said, if anyone wants to use this method for themselves as their own little thing on their own will, that's cool. Feel free. Have fun. But to try and impose it as a necessity upon everyone by implementing a population scale as a guideline? Absolutely not.


  • Baron

    @Darius It isn't solving a non-existent problem. If populations are all over the place, then it is hard for realms to have meaningful connections with one another. How is a realm of 10,000 supposed to have any kind of significant diplomatic connection to a neighboring realm of tens of millions? Realistically, it wouldn't. This causes a breakdown in the world lore when these connections can't exist. The purpose of this is to pave the way for those connections to exist by getting everyone on the same page in terms of general scale so we can create a world together. This is the same as what is intended with technological limits. If you don't want a soft cap or any kind of scale, how do you propose that realms of the same current territorial size but vastly (like 100x) different populations interact in a meaningful way from a lore perspective?

    On a related note, this discussion exposes a problem that is created when too much lore is written about what will be and not what actually exists in terms of territory and builds. The problem is minimal when a new claim is created that hasn't been fully developed yet since reality will catch up with lore pretty quickly. There is a serious impact, however, when lore gets too far ahead (i.e. months and years) of what actually exists in terms of the territory and/or builds of a realm. How can another realm interact with a realm in the current lore time when the territory of that realm as it stands currently is far smaller than what is claimed in lore? When the lore of a realm gets too far ahead, it greatly hinders the ability of other realms to interact with said realm. The ins and outs of diplomacy, war, and territorial claims themselves fall apart when one realm has lore that matches its current state and another does not. I haven't been around this particular community that long, but I've hardly seen any inter-realm interaction. I've seen this brought up by others too as an issue. For the most part, people are isolated in their own little lore world. In my experience, the best worldbuilding happens when people work together to flesh out current events (war, diplomacy, trade, etc.). This is made significantly more difficult when it is impossible to gauge a realm's current state because all of the lore is focused on what will be and not what is. There is bound to be some lag time between where the lore is at and where claims and reality are (especially for newer realms), but lore being IRL years ahead of the territorial/build reality makes real community worldbuilding very difficult.


  • Viscount

    @Ikram I don't see how you're trying to make a problem out of this. Reference things as lore only. A realm can have relations with another realm's lore-- it doesn't matter if it isn't entirely fleshed out yet. For example, what if someone wants to say something occurred in 21SC between realm A and realm B. Realm A is very developed, while realm B was just founded. Realm B, lore wise, was founded a thousand years ago, and maybe realm A was too. However, realm B just began and only has two builds. So, a thousand years into lore during 21SC, they should have to change their lore entirely and say they haven't developed at all by this point just to accommodate to the other person, because they "don't have enough builds"? How bout a three months later-- they surpass realm A in builds because they are active. Now, that lore they wrote in 21SC is completely invalid. Work on a lore basis, not a build basis, and these problems won't occur.

    Also, it is bullshit that a realm with a greater population can't meaningfully interact with a smaller realm. Rome had connections with smaller populations across the globe for trade and diplomacy. That can be said here too.

    Are we not allowed to plan ahead anymore, and only do things in real time? That leads to really disproportionately written lore with our calendar. I could build 20 builds a day, or one a month. Those are two extremes that could throw lore into a terrible mess.

    Let's not over complicate it. Lore and builds are separate. Ultimately, we are here to worldbuild. We write lore, and minecraft is our representation of what we write. I shouldn't have to do it the other way around, with my lore being a representation of what I build. That sounds like some sort of weird lore orientated towny server--- we aren't a towny server for crying out loud.

    To summarize, a realm's current state is what the realm owner wants it to be, and they will build up to that state when they have time to build. Things can't just sprout up overnight after making a land claim with lore ideas in mind.

    If things were only based on builds, all I'd be able to write about would be some farmland, a small market, some giant house, a dock, and some roads that are all quite distant from each other. In reality, all these things are part of the same city that I am gradually filling in, and I have a lot of lore written on it and the rest of the realm.

    For hopefully the last time, HARD PASS.


  • Baron

    @Darius I'm bringing it up because I see it as a serious obstacle to developing a common world together. The vast majority of people who responded to the survey seem to agree. That's why we are having this discussion.

    Realm A is very developed, while realm B was just founded. Realm B, lore wise, was founded a thousand years ago, and maybe realm A was too. However, realm B just began and only has two builds. So, a thousand years into lore during 21SC, they should have to change their lore entirely and say they haven't developed at all by this point just to accommodate to the other person, because they "don't have enough builds"?

    Are we not allowed to plan ahead anymore, and only do things in real time? That leads to really disproportionately written lore with our calendar. I could build 20 builds a day, or one a month. Those are two extremes that could throw lore into a terrible mess.

    Not at all what I am saying. I'm not sure where you are getting that scenario from. What I'm saying is that realm lore should be generally reflective of what exists from a territorial perspective currently in order for people to write lore about the current state of things. You can plan ahead a little, but there is a big difference between 'I have this territory now and plan on expanding to this other region in the imminent future, so I'll include that too' and 'I have plans for a bunch of claims in the coming IRL years, therefore I will consider it all part of my lore right now'. It is hard to reconcile what exists for realm A now with what may exist in an IRL year or two for realm B when trying to write lore about the current time.

    Any retconning that would need to be done would be done relative to the new guidelines, not what neighboring realms have. The guidelines would provide a wide range of densities to choose from, so any imbalance in power between realms would be in large part due to the choices of each realm owner and not just hoping that your neighbor doesn't pick an unrealistic population for their territory because their are no guidelines.

    How bout a three months later-- they surpass realm A in builds because they are active.

    The population scale is based on territory, not builds. Builds is not in the calculation at all. The owner of a realm can start the population low and bump it up over time as they build, or they can start the population off high and fill out their territory as they please. As their territory expands through the course of the Candarion timeline, so too will the population. At the end of the day, how the population changes within the range of acceptable options is up to each realm owner.

    Also, it is bullshit that a realm with a greater population can't meaningfully interact with a smaller realm. Rome had connections with smaller populations across the globe for trade and diplomacy. That can be said here too.

    Did relations with smaller populations exist? Sure. Were they significant? Not really. The power in those kinds of relationships is very much imbalanced, which removes a lot of the potential for nuance and depth. I don't want to constrict how realms can interact just because Realm A picks a reasonable population density for the tech level and Realm B goes way above what could be reasonably expected and creates a huge power imbalance from a lore perspective. What happens if someone chooses to create a realm of 100 million people because there is no guidance otherwise? The guidelines would, generally speaking, put realms on an even playing field unless they chose of their own volition to make their population smaller relative to others.

    To summarize, a realm's current state is what the realm owner wants it to be, and they will build up to that state when they have time to build. Things can't just sprout up overnight after making a land claim with lore ideas in mind.

    The current state of a realm has to have some relation to its existing territory on the map, otherwise the world starts to lose cohesion. The map, as I see it, is as much a reflection of lore territory as it is in-game territory. Again, it is certainly fine to plan out lore for your existing claim and your next impending claim in advance. But how much planning in advance is reasonable? If I say that I plan to claim and build in the entire northeastern corner of the map so I am going to roll that all into my lore now, that just doesn't seem reasonable and will greatly impact the ability of others to write lore with me. We are building a world together after all, not just our own lore worlds. At a certain point, there is a logical limit to how far you should be planning in advance so your current lore can be merged into the greater world we are building currently.

    Let's not over complicate it.

    Nothing about this proposal is complicated. Like the tech limit, it is a very simple to follow set of guidelines that helps us bring our world together instead of existing as separate entities with irreconcilable barriers to common lore because certain crucial aspects vary so wildly.


  • Viscount

    @Ikram I feel like we both may be getting at different things and I may have a bit of a lack of understanding of what you're trying to propose. Either way, I'm not in support of more guidelines to follow. I will not be changing the way I write my lore nor how I perceive my population.

    Territory has nothing at all to do with population, as a small city state such as pianto could have a million people, while a huge rural realm could have only a fraction of that in total. This is why calculators don't work. Let the author have their freedom to work, and when the opportunity for co-lore arises, the two parties can work things out as they like. You can't do co-lore without another person's consent, regardless. So my population size, or anyone else's, shouldn't be relevant as no one will be attempting to go to war with my large military unless I consent (which I won't, I do not desire to have war or anything of the like with other realms, I handle that independently). So frankly, I still stand by the idea of this being a non issue and pointless.


  • Baron

    Read both parties' comments, and I actually am strongly backing the idea put forth by Ikram. Giving a population a cap, and allowing individuals to disperse that population among their settlements. Allowing the lore minister to make exceptions to those wanting to exceed the cap, with evidence they are making something truly iconic and worthy of exceeding that of other realms.

    What is the point of every city having a huge 1million pop? It isn't special then. The only way to keep something unique and incredible is to gatekeep otherwise we'd all have it.

    My only comment is that large realms underneath the surface are not inherently dwarven. Not important to the topic, but it's a comment, definitely.


Log in to reply
 

10
Online

229
Users

1.1k
Topics

5.2k
Posts