I’m sure the idea will never find grace in the eyes of the responsible people. Nevertheless I’ll publish it here.
- Illarion is a platform for free role play in a medieval fantasy environment.
- Illarion has a PvP and PvE fighting system with numerous different monsters. There are almost no engine side restrictions for fights.
- Illarion has a complex craft system with a lot of different professions and numerous items to produce.
- Illarion is full of magic.
- The Illarion game engine contains a number of RP supporting functions.
- The land of Illarion is huge and has a lot of interesting, nice and mysterious locations.
- Illarion is open for single player as well as groups of player.
- The game engine physics is the way the world is. The character has to manage to live in with all advantages and handicaps since he or she has no way to change it.
- Wherever possible, functions have to be designed with an automatically balancing. GM or developer activity has to be minimized.
- Whether a player or player group plays alone and ignores everybody or interacts extremely is sole decision of the player. The platform supports but doesn’t force RP.
- There is no need to play frequently but no right to reach or hold facilities, higher positions or targets without playing too.
People are motivated by possible targets they can reach. The platform should provide as much as possible different targets.
- Become rich
- Fight the incredible powerful monster
- Rule a group of people
- Play a beggar, slave, maid or other peasant
- Explore a world
- Become Jack of all trades
- Build a facility
- Become famous and powerful in an engine supported craft such as mage, craftsman, fighter …
- Become famous in an non-engine supported craft such an bards, painter, merchant …
The following functions are available right now. A redesign of these functions is not necessary.(1)
- Isometric game graphics (2)
- Basic game mechanics (3)
- Fighting (4)
- Gathering and crafting (5)
- Alchemy (6)
- Magic gems (7)
- Magic (8)
- The map becomes at least 4 times as big as now (2048*2048). (9)
- Player can build almost everywhere everything without GM or dev support. It is possible to own a limited number of tiles. (10)
- Not maintained facilities rot (11)
- There is one fix town only. Here the Don, the Queen and the Archmage resides. New player arrive here. All crafts are available. (12)
- The number of NPC is reduced from about 200 to about 60.The number of NPC in the wilderness is extremely low. (13)
- Adventure stones are placed by player. (14)
- The Don, the Queen and the Archmage own gems of power, give character an advantage and have GM power. (15)
- Monster spawns are dynamically. (16)
- Trees and plants grow dynamically. (17)
- Player can define a second target for the cross (18)
- Adapted outlaw handling. (19)
- Item prices are calculated dynamically (20)
Again we will have a gold rush like after the VBU and it will take a time until the prices normalize and a basic infrastructure is settled. But everything we build and create now will not be for eternity since the physics of the world (game engine) continuously works against every established structure.
Again there will be a lot of players having a short look and disappear like after the VBU. But this time we are open for new ideas and a situation like the huge Spanish RP group what left due to the impossibility of an own settlement will not happen.
The need for developer and GM presence will be much lower since the player can do most of the actions we need today a dev or GM on their own.
(1) Even if the code is chaotic or a function could be made different, from the point of view of the main and secondary objectives the function can be used reliable without failure or major disadvantage.
(2) The graphic is sufficient for an independent indie game. There are much worse graphics successful on the market. The current game graphics do not hinder role play. In a limited amount new or adapted graphics are even possible.
(3) Running, walking, collecting items, working, fighting, trading, reading books …. All these functions work well and reliable.
(4) PvP and PvE works reliable and predictable.
(5) Multiple crafts exist. Each craft is needed anywhere. Some unbalancing is all right. There is no reason to have everything equalized.
(6) Potions can be brewed and used for different purposes. In fact the alchemy system is a golden nugget of Illarion.
(7) Magic gems with a wide use provide an excellent motivation for long term player. Due to the exponential functionality the extra power does not grow into eternity.
(8) Mage can spell and do rituals (glyphs). Even if it would be nice to have more, magic exists and can be used.
(9) Basically the map should be much larger to have space for explorers and different player settlements, whether they are for a single player, a couple or a guild.
Technically we’d need 2 maps in an overlay structure. One map contains the developer design. This parts are unchangeable by player and contain basic features like the palace of the Queen, the university of the Archmage, the residence of the Don, the main town market and workshops, the main town harbor and teleporter, the main town tavern, the cross and dungeons.
The other map is fully dynamic and can be changed by scripts and player. This part needs a basic map design only. Developers don’t place plants or building here.
Mines with good veins, perfect sand or clay pits are randomly distributed on the map. There may even be mines for a single gem anywhere in the nowhere.
(10) Every player can rent a number of tiles. I’d say 100.Here one can build its own facility no matter what. That includes walls, lockable doors, depots, teleporter or static tools. If multiple chars put their tiles together the facility can become larger. Player owned constructions can't be dstroyed by player.
There are some central structures that can be built outside of private ground too:
Follower of a god can build temples of the god they follow. There are not more than 2 temples of a god possible. Removing a temple is a medium term process. Only not maintained temples can be removed. Around a temple there is an area that is assigned to the temple and can be used as construction ground. The area must always be accessible for everybody so lockable doors are not allowed.
With play time every player earns points that can be used to build roads, harbors, bridges or other infrastructure.
(11) Every structure on the player map decays and need a continuous maintenance. No maintenance of a player owned facility over a longer period of time will lead to the fact, the char lose the ownership. If the player doesn’t pay the rent no matter why, the char lose the ownership. The facility rots back to the underlying basic structure relative fast (< 1 RL year!) There is no problem with abandoned settlements. These are a normal part of the land.
Bridges and roads expire and rot after a time, unused harbors and teleporter collapse.
Player depots that decay and disappear are lost with everything in.
(12) The main town is the gravity center of RP. Chars have everything they need. The resources around the main town are rather limited. The town contains:
- A castle where the queen resides with training facilities for fighter a hospital and the cross.
- A university with the library, classrooms, a laboratory and the Archmages office.
- A craftsmen quarter with workshops of all trades and the Don’s residence.
- A harbor where new player arrive and ferries dock.
- A teleporter.
- A tavern.
- A town wall.
- A prison mine.
For the faction leader see the separate chapter.
The main traders (10%) are in the main town. They have a deputy trader (5%) one can ‘rent’ for his/her own land. There is only one deputy trader per craft possible except two deputy barkeeper and two repair NPC (basically what we have today!). To woo a deputy trader away from a player rent one has to pay twice as much as the previous ‘owner’. If not paid in time the deputy returns to the main town and is free for another rent. The rent for the first half IG year has to be paid in advance. If the trader was wooed away in that time the money is lost.
(14)Every char has the right to place a single adventure stone anywhere. Restrictions might be visibility and a minimum distance to other stones. The donator of the stone is shown. That way the adventure stone system stays attractive since there will be new stones anywhere from time to time. There might be the right for a second stone after years of play time.
(15) The Don, the Queen and the Archmage own a faction each. They give their follower magic gems and advantages.
Don: Crafting base attributes plus 1. One cannot craft the 100% equipment perfect without the Don’s favor.
Queen: Fighting base attributes plus 1. One cannot kill top level monster without the favor of the Queen..
Archmage: Magic base attributes plus 1. One cannot perform 100% magic perfect without the Archmages favor.
The collected taxes and donations lead as now to magic gems.
The rank system needs a revision. I’d say there are 1 rank 9, 2 rank 8, 4 rank 7 and so on characters. In total there are 256 ranked characters per faction possible. The ranks are assigned every month anew based on the current rankpoints and the activity during the last 2-4 RL weeks. The rankpoints mainly are given by player promotion and activity in game.
The GM power of these NPC allows every GM to correct any strange, stagnating or dangerous IG situation in the center of Illarion. Every player in the main town has to take the interests of the powerful guilds into consideration.
(16) Monster spawns are almost everywhere except in the main town. The monster level and spawn rate depends on the last killed or not killed monster. That way almost monster free areas are possible everywhere but have to be maintained. Not maintained areas become more or less dangerous after a time again.
Some monster spawns move along dedicated routes even.
(17) On not rented tiles of the player map trees and plants grow dynamically. The tile just defines what can grow and how big has to be the distance to the next tree or flower. A cut tree or harvested flowers regrow at any possible tile but not per se at the same as before. Player can plant trees or flowers at positions where that plant could be grown on its own.
Plants and flower on the static map regrow at the same place.
(18) After reaching the cross every player can (not must) jump to a predefined location. The definition has to be done before the dead at the cross.
That way player can jump to their home or outlaws to hidden safe places.
(19) Handling outlaws is a big issue. The point is a lot of player will not log in if chars like Jefferson could enter the town.
I’d set a multi-level ban.
- Lowest level: The banned cannot enter the secure area of the faction. That does not include the market, cross, training ground or library. Every member of a faction, except banned can apply such a ban. You have to have a higher or equal rank than the char who banned to revert a former decision on short notice. (something like 2-3 RL days) If the banned attacks a member of the guild in the main town, prison mine follows.
- Second level: The char can enter the main town but cannot attack anybody without being thrown into the prison mine immediately. This is applied if there are at least 2 of 3 factions with a low level ban.
- Third level: The banned char is not permitted to enter the main town. The character cannot attack any character in the suburbs of the main town without being thrown into the prison mine immediately. This happen if all 3 factions set a ban.
There is a teleporter, one repair NPC, a travel book trader, a buy everything but for 2.5% trader and the Hemp Neckty Inn depot anywhere in the suburbs in a rather suspicious environment. Maybe the Hemp Neckty Inn is placed a short distance outside where the real wilderness started.
(20) All prices of items are continuously (1/IG day) recalculated based on how many of the item was bought or sold at the market merchants. Often bought and never sold increase the price, often sold and never bought decrease. The item quality and durability has an influence to the price.
From time to time there will rise items where one can buy the material at the market produce them and sell the crafted items. Why not? The function will correct that soon.
Don’t ask me how the world of Illarion will looks like in detail after such a change. I can’t say where the best places are and what the best way to survive it and be successful is. The only thing I’m absolutely sure about, it will be a highly dynamic world with a lot of challenges and opportunities for everybody who is willing not to die with the stagnation of the Illarion nowadays.
What looks like an enormous amount of work isn’t that huge. According to my experience in the development for Illarion (books, quests, gems for crafter, glyph magic, GM tools, NPC’s …) and after more than 30 years in software engineering I’d say 3 persons with all necessary rights, 6-8 hours per week and knowledge of the server for setting up the few necessary server calls could have it easily ready for roll out in one year on Christmas 2018.
Take into consideration, compared to individual solutions a generic self-adapting function is slim, easy and error proof.
The map will contain about 5% of fully designed areas on the main level. Everything else will be created by some slim scripts. A lot of components can even copy from the current map.
What hinders us to start such a project technically?
- There is nobody with rights and knowledge to apply functions to the server.
- There is nobody able to introduce new people into the development of server and client. Setting up a working development environment is not possible.