FAQ Update Eternal Kingdoms May 18, 2015 6:24:41 GMT -8
Post by Chrissy The Blesser on May 18, 2015 6:24:41 GMT -8
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS | ETERNAL KINGDOMS
1. HOW DO I GET A KINGDOM?
Every account is granted a Kingdom. They start as mini-worlds that players can use to build and explore and can be expanded to become much larger.
2. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A KINGDOM AND WHY DO I WANT ONE?
Kingdoms are smaller versions of the Campaign Worlds, not just social lobbies. You are the monarch of this world! You can explore, craft, build structures and even fight monsters… but a kingdom is limited in terms of both difficulty and power.
All accounts are granted a kingdom at the beginning of the game, but using it is not required beyond the tutorial.
We fully expect that some players will prefer to spend the vast majority of their time participating in the campaign worlds, and we intend to let them do so without maintaining a kingdom. Other players (those who want to socialize, and participate in the economy game) may spend most of their time in the Eternal Kingdoms.
As they say: Different strokes for different folks.
3. HOW DO KINGDOMS COMPARE TO (AND INTERACT WITH) CAMPAIGN WORLDS?
Kingdoms, while potentially quite large, are limited in size compared to the campaign worlds. They are also limited in functionality and content. They start with a relatively small amount of land and no buildings. If you want to upgrade them, it will take time and resources to do so.
Additionally, no kingdom is self-sufficient. To upgrade your buildings, you will need resources. Lower tier resources can be found in low quantity in the kingdoms, and higher tier (and higher quantities of) resources are only found in the campaign worlds. That means to grow your kingdom, you’re going to have to either brave the campaign worlds or negotiate with the players that do.
4. HOW ARE KINGDOMS LAID OUT, AND HOW BIG ARE THEY? IS IT LIKE A HOUSING INSTANCE?
Eternal Kingdoms are very large! Much bigger than a typical MMO housing instance. The map of every kingdom is divided into a square grid at different resolutions.
As far as buildings are concerned, the smallest unit of measure is a LOT.
Each LOT is 8 meters by 8 meters in size.
Each SUPERLOT is 5 lots by 5 lots.
Each CELL is 5 superlots by 5 superlots.
Each SUPERCELL is 5 cells by 5 cells.
Each KINGDOM can be up to 5 supercells by 5 supercells.
(Note that the “supercell” and “superlot” designations are merely for convenience. Buildings are sized in “lots” and land parcels are sized in “cells”).
A blacksmith shop might sit on 6 LOT footprint.
A dwarven keep might sit on a 7 CELL footprint.
Both footprints can be any arrangement of square lots or cells. Think of them strung together like tiles or a long Tetris piece.
The other major difference between a kingdom and a housing instance is the concurrent player population. These are full MMO servers, so we expect them to support hundreds (if not a thousand+) concurrent players.
5. WILL THE SIZE OF CELLS CHANGE?
Not likely. If we make changes at this point it would be to the size of the overall world – increasing or decreasing the total number of cells. The units of measure should be fixed at this point (fingers crossed!)
6. WHAT IS INSIDE A CELL BEFORE I DROP THE PARCEL? EMPTY SPACE? OCEAN FLOOR?
Kingdoms start with raw land filled with wilderness. We call an empty cell “wild”; it’s basically untamed (and unusable) forest. You cannot build assets on land that is wild – and, without buildings, the land has very little utility/function.
To develop one or more “wild” cells into useable land, you buy parcels (using in-game resources or from our web store) and drop them using the Kingdom Builder tool.
Each parcel represents a contiguous tract of land that can be dropped onto your kingdom map. Parcels can have unique shapes (like Tetris pieces) that always fit within the boundaries of one or more cells. Parcels cannot be overlapped (again, like Tetris pieces) but they CAN be moved, so placing them is not a permanent decision.
Parcels are just containers, though. A kingdom filled with parcels (and no buildings) would look cool, but have no game effect.
7. HOW CAN I BUILD OUT MY KINGDOM?
Easy – just place a land parcel into any unused cell(s) and the “civilized” area of your kingdom will grow (and be “terraformed”) appropriately.
8. SO, WAIT -- IT WORKS LIKE A GENESIS DEVICE?
Uhh, no, actually. The Genesis Device only works on a planetary scale.
Land parcels can be as small as a farmland (1 cell) or as large as mountain range (5+ cells chained together). Strongholds can be even larger. The new land parcels simply overwrite the wild terrain.
9. CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PARCELS? HOW BIG ARE THEY? WHAT DO THEY DO?
We have divided the parcels into two types:
Stronghold parcels are intended to act as housing and marketplace areas – in many cases, players will collect their houses on a single stronghold parcel to form villages, towns and cities. The parcel will also include natural elements like trees, rocks, rivers, escarpments and waterfalls. They include an embedded structure (like a castle or a keep) and are named after that structure.
Resource parcels are single and multi-cell parcels that players can drop around their stronghold parcels, to benefit that stronghold in some manner. Resource parcels can increase the occupancy (i.e. the number of buildings) of the stronghold and, in some cases, can offset the tax (or maintenance) cost of the buildings placed on any adjacent stronghold parcels. Players will also be able to drop some props and decorative elements onto these areas, but they are not intended for building placement.
Once you drop a parcel into a cell (or cells), these areas in your kingdom will be “terraformed” from the wild state to match the appearance of that parcel. Using different types of parcels, you can build the world to be unique. The only limit is your creativity.
Shown below is a stronghold parcel, a chain of 7 terrain squares that house a Small Keep.
As you can see, the parcel is not just the structure itself, it is the keep, the walls around that keep, and the complete region of countryside that supports that keep. (For example, one might say, “I am the Lord of the Western Reach. From my keep, I control all of the Darkspine Mountains, as far as the eye can see.”)
10. ARE ALL OF THE STRONGHOLD PARCELS THE SAME SIZE AND SHAPE?
No. There is a progression of strongholds that determines the number and shape of contiguous cells.
The progression is: Estate, Fortification, Keep, Castle, Fortress, Citadel and Palace. For each of these types, there is a small, medium and large version. Each tier of the same type will fit within the same footprint (i.e. “Tetris shape”).
If you upgrade to a Medium Keep, your parcel will get more occupancy and more buildable area. It also upgrades cosmetically. The Large Keep does the same, becoming more useful and impressive than the Medium Keep.
And remember, all three sizes of “keep” fit within the same footprint (i.e. the H-shaped Tetris piece). This was done so that you can upgrade a stronghold from small to medium to large of the same type without having to rearrange the surrounding resource land parcels.
11. CAN I UPGRADE ONE STRONGHOLD TO ANOTHER? COULD I TURN MY FORTIFICATION INTO A KEEP?
UPGRADES allow you to change a SMALL or MEDIUM parcel into a larger parcel of the same type (i.e. change a Small Keep into a Medium Keep).
TRADE-INS allow you to exchange one type of stronghold for another. This functionality is not available yet, but we are working on it. We intend to allow you to trade in one stronghold, resource parcel or building for full credit.
12. DO THE RESOURCE PARCELS COME IN VARIOUS SHAPES AND SIZES, TOO?
Yes, though the footprint of these is typically smaller. (Most are in shapes of 1 to 4 contiguous cells). The intended purposes is to “surround” your stronghold parcels with resource parcels.
As a side effect of this, it also means that kingdoms will not end up looking like industrialized nations with buildings filling every inch of available space. Instead, you will see “pockets” of civilization buffered by farmland, rivers, forests and mountains. The larger the stronghold, the larger the buffer.
13. WHY WOULD I WANT TO HAVE STRONGHOLD PARCELS IN MY ETERNAL KINGDOM?
The benefits are social and economic.
Having stronghold parcels (like a fort, keep, castle, mountain citadel or an imperial palace) added to the world is highly valuable to any monarch, especially one who is trying to build a mercantile empire, because it offers very efficient use of build space (number of available contiguous building lots), increases the concurrent player cap of the world, and increases the kingdom’s visibility for other players when the kingdom is set to “public”. All of which equates to a more popular kingdom, increased commerce and a larger potential tax base.
Note, however, that there is no direct impact on the campaign worlds due to the import/export rules of each campaign.
14. CAN I OWN MULTIPLE STRONGHOLD PARCELS?
Yes. You can even own multiple parcels on multiple kingdoms. (Thematically, this would be like a medieval lord or lady residing in one kingdom but having ancestral rights/holdings in another.)
You might, for instance, want to have a castle on one kingdom (where you produce your goods) and a handful of smaller parcels on other kingdoms located in or around central market areas (where you sell your goods).
The system is incredibly flexible to allow players to support new and existing social structures and to build a thriving, player-driven economy.
15. ONCE I DROP A PARCEL, WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
You can build on it. This is done using the Parcel Builder tool. As the world is divided into “cells”, each parcel is divided into “lots.” You can drop buildings and props onto lots the same way you drop parcels into cells.
On each parcel’s grid, some lots will be marked as “open” and others will be marked as “blocked” (meaning that you cannot place anything there). Some lots have restrictions that mean they can only be used for certain types of buildings or decorations.
There is also a method by which you can grant lots to other players in a hierarchy of lot ownership. This works in the same manner that you grant regions and provinces to other players in your kingdom.
16. HOW DO I DROP BUILDINGS AND PROPS ON MY PARCELS?
The Parcel Builder tool works in the same way that you use the Kingdom Builder tool to drop parcels onto your kingdom. Each building or prop has a footprint in lots. (You can also think of these like Tetris pieces.) A lot owner can place buildings, walls and decorations around on the grid to find the “right fit.”
Buildings can go anywhere within the designated build area(s) of the parcel, so long as the footprint of each building is clear of other structures (and of the correct lot type).
17. ARE THE BUILDINGS LOCKED INTO PRE-DETERMINED PLACES?
No. The lots that are designated as “building areas” within each parcel are typically grouped together to allow you to slide your buildings around. Generally, the building areas will be obvious. You can’t drop a building on top of a lake or over the edge of a cliff.
18. WHAT DO THESE BUILDINGS DO?
Buildings serve many purposes. They can…
· Act as personal housing and social hubs.
· Act as crafting stations for crafting new goods.
· Provide marketplaces (i.e. house player-run NPC vendors to sell crafted and collected goods).
· Hold NPC thralls.
· Hold artifacts and relics.
…and other services, as we think of them. As long as it won’t impact the balance of the campaign worlds, we are open to ideas!
19. CAN BUILDINGS BE UPGRADED?
They can! By using the resources (and rare additive materials) found in the campaigns, players will be able to level up their buildings. Leveling them up will improve them cosmetically and will sometimes increase the benefits mentioned above.
20. IN GAME TERMS, DOES A MORE DEVELOPED KINGDOM (WITH MORE PARCELS) GIVE ME AN ADVANTAGE?
Yes and no.
More developed kingdoms have more parcels. More parcels means more buildings. More buildings allow for more vassals and tenants, higher online player population caps (i.e. how many players can be on this world at any time) and better visibility when other players are browsing the kingdom list for new markets (or kingdoms). All of this also means more commerce, which can generate more revenue from other players; however, note that all of these are indirect benefits – the social and economic gains that you get from dealing with other players.
Still, the campaign worlds all have import rules that severely limit the number of items that can be brought into the world. Having a larger, more developed kingdom will not directly impact the game balance within the campaigns.
21. HOW DO I COLLABORATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE (LIKE MY GUILDMATES) ON A KINGDOM?
The monarch can select subsections of the world map and grant that area to other players. These are called “regions”.
In turn, those regions can be subdivided by the region holder and granted to other players. These are called “provinces”.
Think of this like “folders” and “files” in your operating system. The regions and provinces are like folders (they are arbitrary groups of cells, with administrative rights granted to other users) and the parcels are like files (and contained within a world, region or province).
Just like in an operating system, you can ignore these subdivisions completely and just drop parcels directly into cells. The group mechanisms are there for your convenience, to use (or not) as you see fit.
22. CAN I COLLABORATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE (LIKE MY GUILDMATES) IN BUILDING UP A STRONGHOLD PARCEL TO MAKE A VILLAGE, A MARKET OR A CITY?
Yes. In fact, the design exactly mirrors the way you collaborate at kingdom level.
The parcel owner can divide the parcel into “boroughs” and divide those into “tracts” of land. These can be granted to other players and managed independently. The system is all about giving players the control.
23. HOW DO THE FEALTY TREES WORK?
By subdividing the world, and granting pieces of it to others, monarchs can create fealty trees to manage their kingdoms as they choose. The monarch is also able to set titles based on the division of land.
We think the level of control is really awesome as it enables monarchs to create kingdoms similar to their favorite fantasy kingdoms -- like Westeros, Greyhawk or Middle Earth. Grab your favorite book and look at the map in the front. You’ll see that the map is divided into regions and provinces, with large (and small) municipalities surrounded by farmland, riverlands, forest and mountains.
This scenario explains how one could go about creating something like Westeros:
The monarch (let’s call him Robert) could designate a region of roughly 10 supercells at the top of his kingdom map and label it “The North”. He could then grant this area to a friend (we’ll call him Ned).
Ned could drop a castle parcel (which he names “Winterfell”) and subdivides the rest of “The North” into smaller provinces, such as “Wolfswood” and “The Barrowlands” and “The Lonely Hills”. He can then grant management of these provinces to other players. Those players could place stronghold parcels (naming them things like “Deepwood Motte,” “Barrowton” and “Dreadfort”) and then carve THOSE up into boroughs and tracts that they grant to other players (their bannermen) to place buildings.
Note/Disclaimer: The above example is illustrative only to show what COULD be done with this system! Please don’t use Westeros or Middle Earth. It’s much more fun (and cooler) to make your own Kingdom!
By granting a player an area, the monarch or noble is enabling them to have (secondary) administrative rights over that area -- and the ability to override the settings of any player further down the chain.
24. CAN I OPEN (OR CLOSE) MY KINGDOM?
Yes, kingdoms can be made PUBLIC (open to all players) or PRIVATE (limited to only the players that you allow).
25. WHY WOULD I MAKE MY KINGDOM “PUBLIC”?
For social and economic reasons. Players who want to create a marketplace (or social hub) will want to set their kingdom to public and create one or more attractive, easy to navigate marketplaces in that kingdom to attract other players.
26. WHAT CAN OTHER PLAYERS DO IN MY KINGDOM?
As the Monarch, you control the administration of your kingdom. You can set the PvP rules, collect taxes and grant regions, provinces, boroughs and tracks to other players, making them part of your kingdom. You can collect taxes in whatever form you want to from your vassals, be it resources or materials. Hey, it’s good to be the monarch!
As a Noble, you can grant lots to other players, making them vassals of the kingdom and allowing them to place buildings on your land.
As a Vassal, you can erect buildings on your lots and grant access to these buildings to other players as tenants.
As a Tenant, you can place relics and thralls in the buildings you have access to, using these buildings as crafting stations and market/vendor locations.
(And remember, these permissions are hierarchical in nature – a monarch can naturally do everything that his or her subjects can do!)
27. CAN I CONTROL THE LAYOUT OF MY KINGDOM? CAN I LOSE CONTROL OF MY PARCEL?
The monarch and his or her nobles have the ultimate control on how the kingdom is laid out. Parcels fit together like Tetris pieces. You can arrange them however you like as long as the pieces fit together. You can even pick up and move the pieces if you change your mind or need to make adjustments later.
Parcel ownership, however, is not subject to the fealty chain. That means if you own a parcel, you can be evicted, but your parcel can never be taken from you. If you have a disagreement with a monarch, you also have the option to pick up your parcel and move it even to another kingdom.
28. WHAT IF THE MONARCH OF MY KINGDOM STOPS PLAYING?
If your monarch quits, you can always pick up your parcels (and any buildings/improvements) and put them in a different kingdom. Everything (buildings or props) that has been placed on that parcel will remain unless the owner clears it off. The borough and tract grants associated with that parcel will be kept intact, to make it easy and painless to move kingdoms.
There is no cost to do this. We want to make it easy to for you to move your land when and if necessary.
29. IS THERE AN UPKEEP COST ON THE LAND OR BUILDINGS?
Buildings have a recurring maintenance cost. (We use the word “tax” because it’s easier to say than “recurring maintenance cost”.) The base cost is different for each type of building.
Stronghold parcels do not have a direct tax. Instead, they apply a multiplier to the building(s) placed on that land. Resource parcels that are adjacent to the stronghold have two effects. First, they increase the occupancy rate of the stronghold parcel: How many buildings can I place there? Second, they adjust the tax rate of the buildings placed in the stronghold parcel.
If your taxes fall into arrears, the buildings on the land will begin to degrade (but the parcel itself does not; for example, a Medium Keep parcel isn’t directly taxed, so it never downgrades.)
If a building fully degrades, it won’t disappear but instead goes to rank 0, the “Ruined” state. At that point, the building becomes unusable (and stops incurring additional taxes).
You only can repair and upgrade your buildings using in-game resources (i.e. the resources that come primarily from campaigns).
30. IF I INVEST IN PARCELS OR BUILDINGS AND DROP THEM ON A WORLD, ARE THEY LOCKED THERE? WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND AND WANT TO LEAVE?
If you decide to leave a world – or if you are ejected from a world by the players above you in the fealty chain – all of your structures (and any relics or thralls placed in them) will be moved into your account bank.
Parcels and buildings can be moved easily from your account bank into a new kingdom once you find one.