King's Landing Remaster October Update and Plan

Hello team,
Following on from the initial discussion post, the recent Rookery article and the new block update, the mods think we're now ready to officially get started on the King's Landing Remaster!

What Are We Changing
We're proposing a simple way of classifying houses for the level of update required. It is a three colour system of classifying houses as either green, orange or red depending on the level of work required to bring them up to the current server standard, as follows.

Green
  • Would take <15 minutes work to be acceptable by current server standards
  • Updating consists of simple tasks such as replacing windows, fixing gradients, adding new daub and wattle blocks, removing overhangs and logs etc
  • Likely between 5-30% of houses (dependent on district).
Orange
  • Would take 15-30 minutes work to be acceptable by current server standards
  • Updating is more extensive than green and entails fixing daub and wattle patterns, changing facades and roof shapes, fixing outdated interiors etc
  • The majority of houses will fall into this category
Red
  • Would take >30 minutes work to be acceptable by current server standards (if not much longer)
  • Updating would be considered more difficult than redo/massive overhaul
  • Houses that would meet criteria to be classified as red include houses with unusual roof/facade shapes, very poor exteriors, very poor/difficult to quickly update interiors and houses that have an extensive combination of problems that would take an excessively long time to resolve
  • Also may include houses that are outdated for other reasons (i.e. some of the tiny shacks that are scattered through the city, which would be easier to be redone entirely or replaced with yards/industry)
  • Likely between 20-30% of houses (dependent on district)
The reason for this classification system is to guide builders to the level of update that is expected (and allowed) for each house.

When we say “acceptable by current server standards” that does not mean perfect or excellent, because that is going to be unachievable for most builders in the time we expect, and would end up entailing almost total redos of every house in King’s Landing.

What we are aiming for is acceptable and updated, which will not require extensive overhauls of every single house. Of course we should still encourage people to build well, but not at the cost of totally redoing the majority of King’s Landing.

The overarching theme of the KL update should be kindness: kindness towards the people who built these houses, not mocking or disrespecting them and when possible staying true to their original vision. Part of the colour-coded system is giving people a guide for how much of an update is required/acceptable for each house - so as to not let people run riot and redo perfectly acceptable houses because it does not reach the highest standards of today. If that was what we were after we would be redoing King’s Landing, not updating it.

The Plan
King's Landing has now been completely copied to the Test World at /warp klcopy - mirror warps for other major places around town have also been made (e.g. /warp mudgatecopy, rkcopy).

Reservation Grace Period
Given that many people who contributed to the current KL are still active on the server, we'd like to offer anyone who individually made a house in KL the opportunity to be the one to update it.
If you would like to reserve your house/build, please tag it's klcopy version with a block/sign that says "Reserved [Name]" before October 16 2020.
Though we want to be as accommodating as possible with the reserved houses, obviously there may be cases where a house will need to be nuked as part of necessary larger replotting. Those organising these replotting plans will be asked to factor any reserved houses into their plans and find the best solution in each circumstance.

District Applications
We've divided the city up into 37 separate districts and attempted to use the larger roads and predominant class as a guide for the dividing borders.

Our plan is to open up each district as available for individual application for those interested in leading its update.
District Applications will mirror the Immersion Build process, where a leader will post a thread to the forum and include the following:
- Which district they're applying to update;
- How they plan to color classify the houses, particularly those that they think need to be classified Red and almost totally redone/replotted;
- Any Fire & Blood canon they seek to include (link to overview list); and
- Any major changes to reserved houses.
Depending on the size/significance/scope of changes planned, one or two Mods will then approve the application and ensure consistency with the color classification (i.e. so not all houses are labelled unnecessarily as red).

Once their application is approved district leaders may then begin updating houses according to their color classification. We expect district leaders to open up the houses in their district for other builders to update in line with their instructions and guidance (and not just do it all themselves).

It's important to bear in mind that a district's update doesn't finish when it is pasted into the production world, other things to keep in mind:
  • When copy/pasting sections from test to the production world, profession signs, plates and clotheslines will change appearances (as their texture is dependent on coordinates). People should be aware of this, and in the case of profession signs this will sometimes require fixing on the production world.
  • House interiors/professions can also be updated at the discretion of a district leader, and other features/interest points can be added with approval on their district application thread (i.e. applying to remove a handful of red houses to create an industrial area or a larger building).
  • Roads + street detailing will need to be consistent and factored into plans.
We will officially open Districts for application on October 17 at the end of the end of the reservation grace period. Mods will be putting together update guides at /warp klupdate and will likely to a preliminary update of one of the districts as an example. We'll post another update to announce when applications are open and which districts will be initially available.

Next Steps
1. If you want to reserve a house, reserve it now at /warp klcopy before October 16.
2. If you have ideas on how we should incorporate the new Fire & Blood Canon (link to overview list), e.g. where we should put the King's Mint, or the Blue Pearl Brothel, please post them in this thread for discussion.
3. If anybody has further thoughts or contributions, we are happy to hear them. We have started work on the colour system at River Row, which we encourage people to review (and if you disagree with the assigned colour, you can leave a comment/alternative block colour so we can ensure we reach a consensus).

Thanks for reading!
 
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Hello team,
Following on from the initial discussion post, the recent Rookery article and the new block update, the mods think we're now ready to officially get started on the King's Landing Remaster!

What Are We Changing
We're proposing a simple way of classifying houses for the level of update required. It is a three colour system of classifying houses as either green, orange or red depending on the level of work required to bring them up to the current server standard, as follows.

Green
  • Would take <15 minutes work to be acceptable by current server standards
  • Updating consists of simple tasks such as replacing windows, fixing gradients, adding new daub and wattle blocks, removing overhangs and logs etc
  • Likely between 5-30% of houses (dependent on district).
Orange
  • Would take 15-30 minutes work to be acceptable by current server standards
  • Updating is more extensive than green and entails fixing daub and wattle patterns, changing facades and roof shapes, fixing outdated interiors etc
  • The majority of houses will fall into this category
Red
  • Would take >30 minutes work to be acceptable by current server standards (if not much longer)
  • Updating would be considered more difficult than redo/massive overhaul
  • Houses that would meet criteria to be classified as red include houses with unusual roof/facade shapes, very poor exteriors, very poor/difficult to quickly update interiors and houses that have an extensive combination of problems that would take an excessively long time to resolve
  • Also may include houses that are outdated for other reasons (i.e. some of the tiny shacks that are scattered through the city, which would be easier to be redone entirely or replaced with yards/industry)
  • Likely between 20-30% of houses (dependent on district)
The reason for this classification system is to guide builders to the level of update that is expected (and allowed) for each house.

When we say “acceptable by current server standards” that does not mean perfect or excellent, because that is going to be unachievable for most builders in the time we expect, and would end up entailing almost total redos of every house in King’s Landing.

What we are aiming for is acceptable and updated, which will not require extensive overhauls of every single house. Of course we should still encourage people to build well, but not at the cost of totally redoing the majority of King’s Landing.

The overarching theme of the KL update should be kindness: kindness towards the people who built these houses, not mocking or disrespecting them and when possible staying true to their original vision. Part of the colour-coded system is giving people a guide for how much of an update is required/acceptable for each house - so as to not let people run riot and redo perfectly acceptable houses because it does not reach the highest standards of today. If that was what we were after we would be redoing King’s Landing, not updating it.

The Plan
King's Landing has now been completely copied to the Test World at /warp klcopy - mirror warps for other major places around town have also been made (e.g. /warp mudgatecopy, rkcopy).

Reservation Grace Period
Given that many people who contributed to the current KL are still active on the server, we'd like to offer anyone who individually made a house in KL the opportunity to be the one to update it.
If you would like to reserve your house/build, please tag it's klcopy version with a block/sign that says "Reserved [Name]" before October 16 2020.
Though we want to be as accommodating as possible with the reserved houses, obviously there may be cases where a house will need to be nuked as part of necessary larger replotting. Those organising these replotting plans will be asked to factor any reserved houses into their plans and find the best solution in each circumstance.

District Applications
We've divided the city up into 37 separate districts and attempted to use the larger roads and predominant class as a guide for the dividing borders.

Our plan is to open up each district as available for individual application for those interested in leading its update.
District Applications will mirror the Immersion Build process, where a leader will post a thread to the forum and include the following:
- Which district they're applying to update;
- How they plan to color classify the houses, particularly those that they think need to be classified Red and almost totally redone/replotted;
- Any Fire & Blood canon they seek to include (link to overview list); and
- Any major changes to reserved houses.
Depending on the size/significance/scope of changes planned, one or two Mods will then approve the application and ensure consistency with the color classification (i.e. so not all houses are labelled unnecessarily as red).

It's important to bare in mind that a district's update doesn't finish when it is pasted into the production world, other things to keep in mind:
  • When copy/pasting sections from test to the production world, profession signs, plates and clotheslines will change appearances (as their texture is dependent on coordinates). People should be aware of this, and in the case of profession signs this will sometimes require fixing on the production world.
  • House interiors/professions can also be updated at the discretion of a district leader, and other features/interest points can be added with approval on their district application thread (i.e. applying to remove a handful of red houses to create an industrial area or a larger building).
  • Roads + street detailing will need to be consistent and factored into plans.
We will officially open Districts for application on October 17 at the end of the end of the reservation grace period. Mods will be putting together update guides at /warp klupdate and will likely to a preliminary update of one of the districts as an example. We'll post another update to announce when applications are open and which districts will be initially available.

Next Steps
1. If you want to reserve a house, reserve it now at /warp klcopy before October 16.
2. If you have ideas on how we should incorporate the new Fire & Blood Canon (link to overview list), e.g. where we should put the King's Mint, or the Blue Pearl Brothel, please post them in this thread for discussion.
3. If anybody has further thoughts or contributions, we are happy to hear them. We have started work on the colour system at River Row, which we encourage people to review (and if you disagree with the assigned colour, you can leave a comment/alternative block colour so we can ensure we reach a consensus).

Thanks for reading!
For those of us who joined after KL was built do we have to wait until the grace period is over to update houses? Also do we have to wait until district leads say plots are available like if it were any other project to build?
 
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For those of us who joined after KL was built do we have to wait until the grace period is over to update houses? Also do we have to wait until district leads say plots are available like if it were any other project to build?
That's correct on both counts, the grace period is limited to just reserving houses that you personally worked on, and want to update yourself (and not just a general calling dibs on something).
And yes we expect district leaders will flag houses that are open for updating when there classification has been confirmed by the approving mod(s). Thanks for noting that I'll update the original post.
 
I'm a bit taken aback by the update plan. I was under the impression there would be room for more changes within a district than changing house facades and getting rid of the worst style offenders, such as changes to plotting within the district and adding special structures or changing existing ones, as long as these changes fit within the rest of the city, match canon and doesn't remove houses that do not need to be removed to fulfill the new plans for the district. However, reading these plans it appears as if the KL update is nothing more than a facelift, for which the goal isn't even excellence but mediocrity.

I consider Kingslanding the showpiece of the server, regardless wether it is up to standards or not. It's often the first place people go to when first visiting the server. I was excited we finally decided to lift the city up to higher standards, but I feel let down because the goal isn't even to give it our best shot.

I know we will never fully redo the city, nor do I want us to whipe everything within the walls of the city from the face of the server, but I really expected more ambition out of this update. While "fixing" issues in the main infrastructure is unrealistic, many, if not all, of the uncanon roads, alleys and squares could be fixed in a "district to district" approach, which was advocated in the discussion thread:
Any "local" issues (such as bad plotting) can in principle be completely fixed as long as one is careful to copy sufficiently large regions.
The current demarcation of the city into districts does not allow this. Many of the districts contain not more than 4 blocks of houses, while the districts with market squares are often even smaller, having not more than the square itself and the houses directly around it. There simply is not any space allotted for meaningful, quality improving changes such as extending existing special structures, adding new ones or adding industry.

Another concern I have regarding the update is how we will deal with changes in professions. Surely we do not intend to keep the numerous ropemakers, tanners, dyers and whatnot working from within their house or backyard? The professions we used to place in houses are nowadays alotted a lot more space, but we need room to incorperate these large enterprices into the plotting properly.

I hope I interpreted the plan wrong and the changes I mentioned are intended to be part of the update. If not, I hoped we would give Kingslanding the extra effort it deserves rather than little more than a palette update.
 
I'm a bit taken aback by the update plan. I was under the impression there would be room for more changes within a district than changing house facades and getting rid of the worst style offenders, such as changes to plotting within the district and adding special structures or changing existing ones, as long as these changes fit within the rest of the city, match canon and doesn't remove houses that do not need to be removed to fulfill the new plans for the district. However, reading these plans it appears as if the KL update is nothing more than a facelift, for which the goal isn't even excellence but mediocrity.

I consider Kingslanding the showpiece of the server, regardless wether it is up to standards or not. It's often the first place people go to when first visiting the server. I was excited we finally decided to lift the city up to higher standards, but I feel let down because the goal isn't even to give it our best shot.

I know we will never fully redo the city, nor do I want us to whipe everything within the walls of the city from the face of the server, but I really expected more ambition out of this update. While "fixing" issues in the main infrastructure is unrealistic, many, if not all, of the uncanon roads, alleys and squares could be fixed in a "district to district" approach, which was advocated in the discussion thread:


The current demarcation of the city into districts does not allow this. Many of the districts contain not more than 4 blocks of houses, while the districts with market squares are often even smaller, having not more than the square itself and the houses directly around it. There simply is not any space allotted for meaningful, quality improving changes such as extending existing special structures, adding new ones or adding industry.

Another concern I have regarding the update is how we will deal with changes in professions. Surely we do not intend to keep the numerous ropemakers, tanners, dyers and whatnot working from within their house or backyard? The professions we used to place in houses are nowadays alotted a lot more space, but we need room to incorperate these large enterprices into the plotting properly.

I hope I interpreted the plan wrong and the changes I mentioned are intended to be part of the update. If not, I hoped we would give Kingslanding the extra effort it deserves rather than little more than a palette update.
The way this is being planned should not come as a surprise to anyone; the methodology for the update had been discussed in the Summer 2020 Rookery and in subsequent forum posts.

I think what you are asking for Stoop, which is a fairly extensive amount of re-plotting, something that KL would certainly benefit from, but in my opinion would fall squarely in the realm of redo rather than update.

I personally do not understand the motivations behind this update, though I am happy to support it. I have never heard a guest say that KL was not up to standards or lacking in any regard. All I hear is praise and awe from visitors. It seems to me that the people who take the most issue with the current state of KL are builders and moderators, and I think we should own up to that. This goes back to that age old question: who (or what) is the server for? A question I think we all have different answers to.

This server has always chased after its own tail. The rise in quality in builds has increased year on year and there seems to be no end in sight. I know limiting new textures and discouraging redos are strategies to combat this, but I would say they have failed because our builders are just so damned talented and will continue to improve even if nothing else changes. The most recently completed build will always be the best one, and the bar is pushed higher. To update KL every few years as this bar keeps moving up is a Sisyphean task.

I would recommend (now a little too late) that we wait until KL ages even more and do a more extensive update/re-plotting like what Stoop has in mind once there is a majority consensus that KL is inexcusably outdated. If this already the case, we should do a more extensive re-plotting now rather than pulling our punches.

I still have a lot of time for our present KL.

PS: All that said, I am glad we have this plan as it facilitates anyone's desire for an update to KL in a way that is sensitive to what currently exists. Our builders have the right to choose how they spend their time, and just because I or anyone else feels it isn't worthwhile doesn't mean people shouldn't be allowed or encouraged to improve the city. As I said, I have no qualms with and support the plans for this update, I just personally think we'll get stuck in a loop of endlessly updating it until Westeros is "done" and so won't be spending any of my own time on it in the immediate future.
 
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To update KL every few years as this bar keeps moving up is a Sisyphean task.
It is, if you imagine an update/redo/etc. as a highly centralized process where we throw all/most of our resources towards it for a year or two, then let it sit idle for a few years, then repeat, etc. Arguably, most of the costs of this process, and the reasons it takes so long, come from the organizational and planning aspects.

We're at a point in server development where I think we really need to stop thinking about updates/redos as "reinventing the wheel" every couple years, but rather an active maintenance process, where we have a baseline level of effort dedicated to more or less continually keeping places deemed "final products" up-to-date with new blocks or aesthetic developments. Any large software company, professional video game dev, etc. follows paradigms like this, and I think we could do well to borrow from that mindset.

What I had in mind for the remaster is taking a different approach - letting people freely apply for "spot updates" of a version of the city in Test (thus not impacting anything on the real map until we deem it acceptable) without as much central organization or time constraints. This is kind of similar to the proposal Thamus_Knoward made in the original thread. In principle, we could just have this opportunity available to people indefinitely, in the same way that people have the option for applying for immersion builds now.


As far as whether it's worth it to go forward with any particular update strategy, including more extensive changes in plotting like EStoop mentioned, I'd ask the open-ended question "what are the potential harms in doing so?". I can think of two off the top of my head:

1. Many of us still really like specific aspects or sections of the city, and hope that they aren't changed too much from how they are now. More extensive changes in areas which doesn't really need them, just for the sake of change, might lead to areas which end up being worse-off than they would be with just a facelift - if the final product ends up being, for instance, too sterile or losing the charm of the initial area. Additionally, people might feel that their personal work in the city is disrespected if it's just wiped down rather than given special care.

I'm not sure if this is a strong objection to more extensive changes, because we have a number of ways in which we can regulate this on a case-by-case basis: (1) the reservation system, for cases where someone wants their own work to be respected, and (2) the application discussion and approval, where people can voice their concerns about unnecessary replotting.

2. Whether it's the best allocation of our work and resources. We have limited time and builders, and putting effort into updating KL in the test world takes up some of these resources from being put to other uses (even if it's not as centralized a process). That said, given the nature of our server, work ends up being a sort of complicated dance between planners and builders. Something like Sunspear or Oldtown isn't going to go faster regardless of how many active builders we have, because the current bottleneck is the planning stage. So a lot of the time there's slack in how our resources are being allocated. I don't think it hurts to have a reliable "sink" where builders can devote their effort when there's a lull in available plots, or planners for when they just need a break from their current project to rekindle motivation. City houses are also just more fun to build than rural houses, which can become a bit cookie-cutter after a while.

As far as facelift vs. more extensive changes, I'm not entirely sure it makes a significant difference in terms of time, since it is true that sometimes building something anew is quicker than retrofitting it.


Overall, though other mods may have different opinions than me, I did imagine the remaster as in principle allowing anything fitting into a district, so long as the proposal for that district is considered and approved on a case-by-case basis. At the same time, I also pictured the number of districts as being similar to those above - relatively "bite-sized" slices of KL that people can be responsible for updating without it being a massive endeavour. There's a lot of variation in the district sizes in the map above, though; it should be possible to re-draw some districts if there are any issues.
 
Thanks Emote, I think treating KL as a site of active maintenance helps me to understand how all of this works going forward. Keeping the city as functionally WIP long term will allow it to continue to be updated using the system mentioned in the OP. Hopefully then the boulder will eventually reach the top of the hill :)
 
We’re coming up to the end of the grace period on the 16th if anyone still wants to reserve their house.

We’ve been putting together some example house guides at /warp klguide and Codd and friends have been adding color classifications to the houses in District 35 with a view to putting together an example district application. Take a look around and add yours thoughts if you haven’t had a chance yet.
 
A quick note to say that if anyone wants to do a wiki entry for their district upon completion, I'd be happy to create dedicated pages for each on the wiki, branching off the main KL project page (as the main project page is already pretty long). Would be great to keep a record of the major features of each area, and of course, who contributed. Just fill the form out normally, as you would for any other project, with the district name and number at the top.
 
I just wanted to make this post and I didn't want to put it in the dragon square topic as it mostly pertains to the surrounding districts. I just want to start off by saying I am not in any way against the dragon square update and I don't mean any ill will towards the update or anyone. I just wanted to point out that the dragon square update is completely dwarfing the surrounding districts and its obviously going to look grand and that's great. However if the surrounding districts aren't adjusted and updated accordingly the square is going to dwarf the surounding districts and completely stick out like the dragon pit does in the entire city.

I just believe anyone who picks up those surrounding sections should just be made aware to adjust their update accordingly from the dragon square outward. otherwise you go from this grand, huge, and beautiful dragon square to being immediately surrounded by what would then look like poor slummy dwarfed houses.
 
I just wanted to make this post and I didn't want to put it in the dragon square topic as it mostly pertains to the surrounding districts. I just want to start off by saying I am not in any way against the dragon square update and I don't mean any ill will towards the update or anyone. I just wanted to point out that the dragon square update is completely dwarfing the surrounding districts and its obviously going to look grand and that's great. However if the surrounding districts aren't adjusted and updated accordingly the square is going to dwarf the surounding districts and completely stick out like the dragon pit does in the entire city.

I just believe anyone who picks up those surrounding sections should just be made aware to adjust their update accordingly from the dragon square outward. otherwise you go from this grand, huge, and beautiful dragon square to being immediately surrounded by what would then look like poor slummy dwarfed houses.
I agree, I was a bit surprised to the size (height) of some of the facades on the square, some reaches 30 blocks high. They're all very stylistic and beautiful, but I think they're too tall. The square itself will also feel overwhelmed, crushed by the tall houses in my opinion.
 
I agree with both statements!! I think the hugeness and extra grand style should be reserved for the market hall, the bathhouse and the guild. The houses can continue to have the style they have but they are too tall, I'm not even sure if there are any irl 30 meter tall half timbered city/town houses.

Edit: Same as Dork I stand corrected on the size, they are the same height as the original ones but I still feel like they are too tall, even if the previous version had them that way.
Edit2:Actually the size isn't that bad looking at it again, imo its just the transition that needs extra attention, so this comment is completely useless xD
 
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