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In the largest single release in the game’s history, the game economy of Illyriad, the acclaimed HTML5 massively multiplayer online strategy game, sees a dramatic expansion today, with new commodities, equipment, an expanded gathering system, crafting system and an expanded regional trade system.
Posted by BenAdams on Aug 1st, 2012
Sam, do you know the Athelas plant?
As of today, there are a lot of new resources on the map. These show up just like the Wood, Clay, Iron, Stone and Food that you can already gather with your caravans. Look for little icons on the map.
But these are different from the basic resources in several important ways:
The patches are:
The basic patches, of Minerals, Herbs, Hides and Grapes, are gathered by basic labourer units called Cotters. Cotters live in Cottages which you can build in your settlements, and are recruited in your Market. One Cottage, one Cotter. Cottages cannot be built above level 1, so you are tying up a building plot just to build one Cottage, in order to have one Cotter. Players with big settlements will immediately notice that it is not worth tying up a building plot just for this. Small players with spare building plots will just as swiftly realise that they can easily build lots of cheap Cottages, in order to gather these resources.
Some patches also have special resources on them. We aren't saying how many types of resource there are, but let us say, more than 20.
Special resources are not gathered by Cotters, nor Caravans. These rare, special resources require highly skilled gatherers.
Many players not be able to find room for three guild buildings in each of their towns. We know. You will have to pick and choose – to specialise your towns appropriately to the local availability of resources.
So, in more detail....
Grapes and Herbs are living things. They appear in appropriate terrain – some only in very specific areas, some more generally. If you exhaust all of a resource on one square, it will be destroyed, gone – you have dug up every plant, so it isn't growing back. Some patches are quite small, and will always be exhausted by a single Cotter, but others are quite large. If you harvest carefully from a larger patch, you can keep the patch going for a long time, as harvested contents do grow back. When a patch is eradicated it will likely respawn elsewhere on the map, to prevent the complete extinction of a genus.
Devious players will notice that unfriendly forces could deliberately over-harvest from a valuable square just to destroy it. We promise that that possibility had not even occurred to us. Honest.
Minerals are fixed, both the generic Minerals deposits, and those containing special resources. Mineral deposits can only yield a certain quantity of resources per day, but they can never be eradicated by over-gathering. Some of these deposits are very small. A very few deposits are extremely large, and these will require multiple Miners' Guilds to exploit. And by 'multiple' we do not mean 'two'.
Animal drops – Hides, and the special resources from animals - result from the skilful hunting, or mindless slaughter, of animals in the world by players' troops. These drops have fixed quantities, and do not regrow. Once the drop has been fully looted, or after a few days if not fully looted, the patch will disappear. In short, you the players therefore control when and where these appear, and the contents are dependent upon the animals killed. The hunchback will have something to say about this!
Gathering units working to collect Herbs, Minerals, Grapes, Hides or any specialist resources function in much the same way as Caravans.
The chocolate coating makes it go down easier!
Nothing is made from just one ingredient. Most of the equipment that you might craft requires a single key special resource, and then some more common stuff.
Responsibility for creating military equipment comes from a range of new buildings.
Three Armourer buildings exist to allow you to craft special armours. The Leather Armourer works in conjunction with your Tanner (you will need both), the Chain Armourer with your Blacksmith, and the Plate Armourer with your Forge.
For weapons, a Swordsmith, Spearsmith and Bowyer work with, respectively, your Blacksmith to make swords, your Spearmaker to make spears, and your Fletcher to make bows.
And there's a Horse Trainer, who works with your Paddock to produce superior horses.
The exact requirements will become clear as you unlock each Research.
But as an example, a typical sword would require:
I ask only for the strength to defend my people!
Equipping military gear does not require a specialist building, but it does require you to complete the Military Outfitter Research. Once you have that Research, and once you have appropriate equipment, you can equip each Division in the Armies screen, and your Commander in the Commanders screen.
Troops may be equipped with superior versions of whatever they were built with. So, if you built a swordsman by using a sword and chainmail, then that swordsman can be upgraded with swords and chainmail. You cannot give bows to spearmen, leather armour to troops who only wear chainmail, etc. In the odd case where a soldier was recruited without a weapon (e.g. T1 Cavalry units), he will take a spear; if he was recruited without armour, he takes leather armour.
Commanders apply weapon bonuses to their skills after Commander skills are applied. So, giving a weapon with an Attack bonus to a Commander with a high Heroism skill is much more effective than giving it to a regular soldier. Three drops of your blood must be put in the potion.
This change does not take effect yet, but... in the next release we will be changing the spell casting rules.
In future, spells will require special resources to cast.
All spells will require some new resource to cast. The low level spells only need generic Minerals, Herbs or Hides. Big spells, like Nature's Bounty, will require something quite rare. So, although these resources cannot be used yet, the special resource that you will need are already live on the map. So, you can start collecting these ahead of the change to spell casting.
(Hint: the magic resources occur in very small quantities; if a deposit only has 2 or 3 pieces of a herb or mineral in it, at maximum, then it's probably a resource that is required for higher level spells.)
Well what did you expect? Pumpkin juice?
It's worth noting some of the consequences on this update:
I would sell Haga to a slayer such as you?
You need to be able to trade this stuff, so we have upgraded the trade options with the release of Trade v2.
The Trade screens will be updated. This allows you to:
So, to explain Faction Hubs:Each Faction Hub has a market, at which Orders may be placed. These can be Buy orders, or Sell orders. The difference is that goods for trade are present in the Faction Hub, not in your town AND these can include the new resources and equipment.Each player can see Orders available at the closest Faction Hub with which he or she has a Standing of -35 or better. (In most cases, that is just the closest Hub to you. Unless, for example, you decided to settle next to the Daedalons – they want to eat you, not trade with you.)If you can see a Faction Hub, you can Accept the orders placed there.
Simple enough. But...
As an aside on wine.... You will notice a new Wine Making Research. Wine is made from Grapes, so that explains why there are now Grapes resources on the map. (Fun fact: in the real world a barrel of wine requires 3960 bunches of grapes. So, guess how many Grapes resources are required for a barrel of wine in Illyriad? We expect prices for barrels of Wine to be... well, rather higher than for barrels of Beer.)
In summary, viewing distant Faction Hubs requires Trader units, which require a Merchant Adventurer's Guild. Placing orders also requires a Trade Office and relevant Researches.
Advanced warning regarding town-to-town trade: For now you can see all town orders, anywhere in Elgea. In the near future we will activate 'market visibility', which means that you will only be able to see town orders, and engage in town-to-town trade, within a fixed radius of your settlements. At that point having Trader units to trade in the Hubs will become increasingly important.
The Gold price, or the Iron price?
We have disabled the Theft of these new resources and equipment from towns, and also the looting of these items from towns by military forces.
In the future, we will turn Theft, looting and blockade back on.
This is a short term measure to let people gather a few items before needing to worry about protecting them from thieves and attacks.
Temporarily and to help any immediate debug issues, using blockade will not capture caravans or gatherers returning to a town.
Also at present, Trader units cannot be assassinated. We make no promises about whether or not this will change.
What will not change is this: any goods in a Faction Hub are safe. Resources, equipment and gold in a Faction Hub cannot be taken by thieves, nor by armies.
This release has many inter-dependencies both between the new systems as well as with existing systems. We have therefore chosen to stagger the release into some separate component parts. Going live right now is:
... are being staggered during this release.
So they're not going to be on the live server the moment you get back ingame, and will be switched on independently (so don't panic if you can't see the new crafting technologies, they're just not there right now!)
Hope you enjoy