Majesty was a game that my brother and I played a lot over Easter about 10 years ago, because in my family, we got presents on Easter - resurrection trumps birth in material yield, my father used to say (he didn't). The game had a certain iconic magic to it, you played a king who had to run a D&D kingdom indirectly, creating the economic incentives for the various heroes to go out and explore, kill monsters, gather loot. The heroes then spend the profits of their adventures on better equipment, healing potions, or new spells. It was a process not unlike the engine that allows the US to conjur money out of nothing and scare the rest of the world into honoring it. It's fantasy Keynesianism, as opposed to the Keynesian fantasy we deal with in real life. But I digress, insulting two religions in the opening paragraph, and I haven't even talked about the religions in this game, which are comparatively more useful.
Majesty 2 was released in 2008 and gave the original game a more "epic" 3D treatment while retaining the same iconic sound effects of the original, like the nasally tax collector, the Edinburough-esque narrator, and the personified tones and accents of the myriad hero classes. The original release focused on re-creating this experience with higher production values, but largely absconded from deep variation in content. The expansions tried to remedy this to varying degrees, Kingmaker and Battles of Ardania amped up the difficulty, but Monster Kingdom got clever and inverted your citizenry with vampire tax collectors (would make a great band name) and hero classes replaced with varieties of monsters. Paradox has another team working on a tower defense title set in the same universe, complete with converse roles where you can lead the attacking monsters, so it seems like the evolution of the franchise has lead completely in the direction of battle management and away from economy management.
I think that's a shame, I'd like to see more social layers regarding healthcare, education and sanitation (the rat-spawning sewers that can't be destroyed and increase in number with your peasant population is a jab in that direction). I want to know what kind of society the heroes are fighting to defend, and how that influences their gear, their proclivity to fight, their sensitivity to quest distance relative to their greed, and thus how bid the necessary rewards to get quests done feed back into the tax-paying pool. In other words, I want Dwarf Fortress, above ground, with plush graphics and candy UI. I want a game that, instead of pretending to be deep with Otacon talking about the "war economy", actually simulates something like it. However what's here is solid and I suspect a lot of you will find value in it after trying the demo.