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25MAY14 - Broken Lands update

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    Posted: 25 May 2014 at 03:34
Hi all,

Just wanted to bring you all up-to-speed on changes to our planned release of the Broken Lands expansion to Illyriad.

There are a number of things to run through here, so please bear with me.

New player influx
We've recently had a large influx of new players, and Elgea is now getting pretty full.  Finding an unsettled area on Elgea for new alliances is proving extremely difficult, and I don't think anyone will doubt that all the "best" locations are pretty much taken.

We want to expand the landmass, and implementing our original plan for the Broken Lands - where, essentially, everyone in the game could start again from scratch with a further 2 pairs of 10 cities on another continent - isn't really a solution to this issue.

Expanding Elgea
What we really need right now is an expansion to the current continent of Elgea.  However, this has many difficulties in implementation due to matching the boundaries of the pre-generated fractal terrain (which was generated, sadly, from a now-lost seed, so can't be recreated).

What we do have, though, is a continent to the South of Elgea - the Broken lands - that some of the more eagle-eyed amongst you have already spotted is nearly ready to go.  We've seeded most of the terrain, most of the food squares etc... and whilst it's not completely baked yet and we have a few clean-up processes to run through (faction hubs, new terrain types to load up etc) it's practically there.

So what we're going to do is release the Broken Lands continent as a pure expansion to Elgea.  

This means that: 

  • The Broken Lands will be a land extension to Elgea, pretty much doubling the size of the current map
  • The Broken Lands will be separated from Elgea by 300 squares of water (currently visible on the ingame world map), so there will be some travel distance between continents by default
  • Players will be able to freely move (exodus, Tenaril, settlers, military, diplo, trade etc) between continents - exactly as they currently do across Elgea
  • There will be no PvP-free zone on the Broken Lands (to be frank, it has turned out to be a broadly unnecessary feature that has been largely impossible to implement without becoming a "griefers' paradise")
  • BL will, however, have its own factions (you can read about them here), and its own mysteries, unique terrains, units, tournaments etc
  • There will be no second accounts, or "10 more cities".  Everyone is still limited to 2 accounts of 10 cities each, across the combined continental landmasses. On a separate note, we are aware of many of the frustrations players experience due to perma-sat accounts, and we will be addressing this separately in the near future.
In essence - because of our space limitations on Elgea - the two things that we aren't implementing for the Broken Lands are a) the PvP-free zone, and b) allowing Elgea players to start afresh with a further up-to-20 cities.

Broken Lands map data
The BL map (in terms of terrain types and seeding of eg food values) is still in some state of flux, and I wouldn't put a huge amount of weight on what's currently there.  However, this state of flux will reach equilibrium in the next couple of days, and I will then release a datafile for those of you who are so minded to analyze it.

There's a generic large map of the Broken Lands available here, but to see it in more detail, simply go to the world map ingame and head south!

In Summary
There are arguments for and against releasing the Broken Lands like this, we know - we've had them internally for weeks now.  

After much deliberation, we feel this is the best balance between opening up new space for new players to grow into, as well as providing veteran players the opportunity to leverage their existing capabilities, networks and relationships to project their influence and power (or take the opportunity to regroup!) at much greater distances from the madding crowd.

I'm sure there will be many questions, to which the answer to most will be "imagine if we'd just added more space to the West/East of Elgea - that's what this Broken Lands release will be like, in terms of core gameplay".

With very best wishes,

SC


Edited by GM Rikoo - 25 May 2014 at 23:15
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Rill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 03:37
Will new accounts still "spawn" in Elgea?  I can see benefits for either answer, just wondering which one you're planning.

If new accounts spawn in Broken Lands, we might need extra turbo speed for care-a-vans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM Stormcrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 03:38
Originally posted by Rill Rill wrote:

Will new accounts still "spawn" in Elgea?  I can see benefits for either answer, just wondering which one you're planning.

If new accounts spawn in Broken Lands, we might need extra turbo speed for care-a-vans.

Great question.  

The plan is to only spawn new accounts in Elgea; BL will be an optional "move-to".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote REX_GAMBIT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 05:16
Are there plans to increase movement speeds of units? It takes days to travel to other corners of maps right now. Expanded map will cause huge logistic and strategic problems just because of the size and travel speeds. May be units can get bonus speed if they are travelling farther than X number of tiles (say 1000)?

Edited by REX_GAMBIT - 25 May 2014 at 05:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM Stormcrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 06:49
Originally posted by REX_GAMBIT REX_GAMBIT wrote:

Are there plans to increase movement speeds of units? It takes days to travel to other corners of maps right now. Expanded map will cause huge logistic and strategic problems just because of the size and travel speeds. May be units can get bonus speed if they are travelling farther than X number of tiles (say 1000)?

No plans at present, Rex.   I expect most players who wish to be on both continents will want to establish local (continental) hubs on BL, and distribute resources from there initially.  Over time it'll become less relevant, I'm sure.

However, I believe the sea gap between the continents is actually one of the substantial plus points of the BL release in this form.

Regards,

SC
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aurordan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 07:04
Well this is reasonable, and honestly in a lot of ways a better implementation than what was being planned.  I am a bit sad we won't get the from-scratch restart.  Is it possible a new world/reseeded version of Elgea could fill that void?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flavius Aetius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 07:13
Originally posted by Aurordan Aurordan wrote:

Well this is reasonable, and honestly in a lot of ways a better implementation than what was being planned.  I am a bit sad we won't get the from-scratch restart.  Is it possible a new world/reseeded version of Elgea could fill that void?  

I may be mistaken, but I thought that the developers do not believe in new servers? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spheniscidae Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 08:29
So...after all the hype, nothing for established players with 10 cities then - unless you want to exodus your cities to BL.

Way to go, devs, way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cilcain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 09:01
Originally posted by Spheniscidae Spheniscidae wrote:

So...after all the hype, nothing for established players with 10 cities then - unless you want to exodus your cities to BL.


I was thinking that too.....

How about increasing the city/account limit to 15? That way, both established and new players could have a stake in BL, although the presence of established players would be limited to the 5 extra cities (unless they exo).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Spheniscidae Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 09:05
Or alternatively, maybe 1 free tenaril per 5 cities (so players with 10 cities get 2), with the stipulation that these may only be used to transfer cities from elgea to BL.
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