Currently it can be more difficult than necessary to follow roleplay relevant to you when in highly populated areas. Part of this is because everyone is in the same location because they are not using buildings (this will be somewhat alleviated when windows are finished), but part of it is also because of the way the game shows messages. This topic is being opened to discuss new implementations that can help make roleplay in highly populated areas more enjoyable as a player.
Current features which already do something to help with this:
Setting up buildings to be areas of work where like characters can interact while working, such as a smithy.
Windows which allow communication with the outside when your characters are inside.
Event filters that let you sort through event content as a player to only the types of content you are interested in reading specifically.
Here are some suggestions which have already been posted on this topic (and closed, as we are making this topic all inclusive):
High contrast message styles for events involving your character (like someone handing you an item): Different color for messages pertaining your character
Letting the player color code characters whose actions they are interested in reading: Option to 'Specialize' Other Characters
Allowing relevant buildings (like farms/mines/docks) to automatically have access to resource gathering on the inside: Suggestion - Structural Benefits
Here are some additional suggestions from me personally:
Group Discussions: Allows sending messages that show up normally for others in your group, but they show up collapsed for others outside of it, allowing members to keep group conversation to themselves and optionally readable by others instead of always taking up the center stage. If characters outside want to get involved they will be able to open the collapsed RP and read it, which means they opt in to scenes in specific groups rather than the player being forced to read it to see if there is anything contextually relevant to them. Players will already know by default that a group discussion is probably not relevant to them if they are not part of the group. This wouldn’t require any sort of eavesdropping to read or get involved either, it just makes it easier for the player to know what to ignore right away.
– If it is group based, we could also just have a new “social” group which has the sole purpose of allowing this functionality without any of the extra trust requirements of the other groups (being moveable for example).
– Alternately, it doesn’t have to just be group based, we could have this sort of message behavior without groups at all, and just allow the player to pick characters to direct their roleplay to from the get go. Groups would save some clicking though.
– An example of what someone outside the group would see: You see [character] speaking to [their group or character list] (has option to open and read more detail like when you drag a bunch of items).
City Districts: Maybe there could be a way to expand the city into new districts that still have access to the areas resources, but which have their own set of buildings. They would have all the same limitations as the main district (like animal limits) and all the same benefits (like factories) shared across all districts. That would be a pretty huge coding project and overhaul, and could would have a lot of issues to work out (like what happens to districts when a town hall is destroyed, and if the ability to make it is based on settlement status what happens if that is lost, etc).
– A simpler alternative might be allowing the construction of a special building that which allows resources to be accessed from the inside, but that can only be built as accessible from the main tile (not as an inner room to another building, because that is too much of an advantage to defense during a siege).
– Either way, this would allow characters to spread out while remaining urbanites, and could give different towns an even more unique look and feel because they would have customizeable areas that are still considered as being “outside” for RP purposes.