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Topic ClosedMajor Release 14SEP10 - World Topography

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GM Stormcrow View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Major Release 14SEP10 - World Topography
    Posted: 13 Sep 2010 at 15:01
MAJOR RELEASE 14SEP10
WORLD TOPOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION
As mentioned in The Newness, we're changing the whole geography of Illyriad to give us a real, non-random, living breathing World in which to expand.

Today is the first step in this process with the release of Topography. 

The World Map has been redistributed (fractally based on random seeds) into topographical features - mountain ranges, lakes, forests, hills, oceans, islands, rivers and so on.

The first thing to note is that:
  • Already settled cities (active or inactive), and
  • Squares directly to the North, South, East and West of any (active-only) cities, and
  • Sovereign-claimed squares
are NOT affected by these topographical changes.

We made this change now largely because it becomes more difficult to do with every single additional new player who joins the game.

This release provides us with a basis on which we can start applying biomes ("Cold in the North, Hot in the South"), seeding the New Factions into Illyriad, and - ultimately - applying pathfinding to units and movement and thus enabling water-based adventuring, commonly known as "messing around in boats". Smile

As far as the graphics for the water features are concerned, these are simply placeholders for the moment - we will have proper rivers, riverbanks, lakes, lakesides, seas and beaches in the fullness of time!


NEW RESOURCE DISTRIBUTIONS
Whilst we were making this change we've also taken the opportunity to apply some resource variation to the existing, unsettled regular squares on the map.

Here is a summary of the new types of resource distribution available on the world map:

WOOD-RICH TERRAIN
Thick Forest 7 5 3 5 5
Dense Forest 7 5 5 3 5
Forested Hilltop 6 4 5 5 5
Wooded Land 6 5 4 5 5
Wooded Glade 6 5 5 4 5
Light Woods 7 3 5 5 5

CLAY-RICH TERRAIN

Rich Clay Seam 5 7 3 5 5
Abundant Clay 5 7 5 3 5
Exposed Clay 4 6 5 5 5
Clay Seam 3 7 5 5 5
Turned Clay 5 6 4 5 5
Heavy Clay Seam 5 6 5 4 5

IRON-RICH TERRAIN

Craggy Peaks 3 5 7 5 5
Bleak Mountains 5 3 7 5 5
Lonely Peaks 4 5 6 5 5
Sharp Crags 5 4 6 5 5
Treacherous Mountains 5 5 6 4 5
Mountains 5 5 7 3 5

STONE-RICH TERRAIN

Abundant Quarry 3 5 5 7 5
Rich Quarry 5 3 5 7 5
Wooded Quarry 4 5 5 6 5
Rocky Outcrop 5 5 3 7 5
Landslip 5 5 4 6 5
Stony Ground 5 4 5 6 5

FOOD-RICH TERRAIN

Abundant Crops 5 3 5 5 7
Bountiful Land 5 5 3 5 7
Fertile Pasture 5 5 5 3 7
Fertile Orchard 4 5 5 5 6
Alluvial Plain 5 4 5 5 6
Fertile Ground 3 5 5 5 7

NOTE:
When we introduce the biome variations (jungle, arctic, desert etc) there will be further, more radical resource distributions to unsettled & unclaimed (in terms of sov) squares.

For example, a jungle square might be 7|7|2|2|7 or a resource-rich arctic mountain might be 1|7|7|7|3.

These more exotic squares will, of course, be commensurately rarer than regular squares.


Q. WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR ME RIGHT NOW?
Well, not a vast amount in practical terms, except that you now have a proper, sensible, non-random geography to consider for future settling.

The four things you will notice from now on are:
  • Settlers are not able to settle on water terrain (lakes, rivers, seas etc - you will get an error message if you try)

  • Armies cannot occupy, siege from or blockade from water terrain squares - although any armies currently performing these functions from squares that have recently become liquid will remain there until their mission is complete.

  • Not all square types are near each other anymore. Whilst the resource distributions of the squares directly around your city in the 4 cardinal compass directions have not changed (and neither have your city or sovereign squares), you will discover that if you're out in the middle of a plain, your nearest forest or mountain might actually be some distance away - and vice versa

  • New players will actually be started in areas suitable to their race from now on:
    • New Human players will be settled in Plains
    • New Elf players will be settled in Forests
    • New Dwarf players will be settled in Mountains
    • New Orc players will be settled in Hills
The movement of troops, diplomats, and trade are *currently* unaffected by the topography, so please feel free to have a laugh at your troops and trade caravans as they walk on water.

We urge players not to rub their crystal balls and try and second guess what factions might be placed where, or whether X or Y terrain will be a jungle or not. 

We also urge players who settle around the map at this point to *carefully* consider whether they want to settle on an Island or not, because at some point in the future this will mean that you are cut-off from regular troop, caravan and diplomatic movements, without using a boat or ship, or building a bridge etc.


Q. WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEXT?
Initially, our expert and diligent geography, content and lore teams are working hard on producing the geopolitical reality of the new topography:
  • A set of named regions and areas
  • Named geographic features
  • New Factions and their geographic locations, cities, and trade hubs, and
  • Introductory Faction lore and backstory
So, for example, you're not simply going to be "in the Northwest quadrant, 150 squares from the center of the map at -130|-125"... instead you're also going to be "Located in the Middle Kingdom, just south of Kirikor Forest in the Duchy of Linkshire, not far from the Trollsbridge trade hub that's run by the Council of Illyriad".  (note this is by way of example, don't go settle there!)

At the same time, our superlative arty-types are working on producing new world map graphics and underlays that suit the specific biomes (eg desert terrain such as dunes, tombs, ziggurats, oases etc).

Whilst all this is going on, the work on the User Interface (UI) v2 will provide additional levels of zoom on the world map so you can actually see a much more comprehensive view of the world, as well as apply overlays (such as "show my alliance members" or "heat-colour the map by total volume traded" or "heat-colour the map by total troops killed" and many, many more options).

The arrival of Trade v2 and Faction standing/dynamics will be the culmination of all of the above work; and the arrival of Crafting (though be warned that this last one is many moons away!) is the crowning glory.

Q. WILL I BE ABLE TO MOVE MY CITIES?
We understand that changing the world on you is something that you didn't necessarily expect, and we fully understand that many players will want to move for a wide variety of reasons (roleplay, trade, etc).

We are going to provide a mechanism for people to move their cities around the map, but not until we have most of this (but definitely before Crafting and pathfinding/ships) out and live. 

As it stands, the impact of the topography on its own is fairly negligible for existing players, but once biomes and factions are in place - and especially when pathfinding is in place - people will want to move.

Please note that moving your city (in general) will be a painful process (the amount of pain to depend on city size).

We're still working out the exact mechanics, but there's a thread here where you can contribute your thoughts.

Players who AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME, TODAY are settled anywhere on the map will get a "free" move without any penalty to population/building levels - and we will provide details on how to apply for relocation further down the road.

If you are one of these players, don't ask us to move you yet, because we won't.  Once the Factions and biomes are in place, we'll provide details on how to apply for "free" relocation.  Please note that there will be a 'minimum square distance' from another town during the city relocation phase, to prevent people from using this as an excuse to create new powerblocs right next to their foes :)

If this does not apply to you, and sometime after today you settle a new city on an island, you will not get the penalty-free move when it becomes available.

We hope you all enjoy the changes we've made and are making in the future.

GM Stormcrow


Edited by GM Stormcrow - 14 Sep 2010 at 20:10
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 15:45
A world map for people to look at, showing the entire continent of Illyriad, will be available soon (tm).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 15:55
Originally posted by GM Stormcrow GM Stormcrow wrote:

A world map for people to look at, showing the entire continent of Illyriad, will be available soon (tm).
Although hopefully sooner (tm) Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:03
Would there be an option to also change the non-special squares directly next to 'my' cities to conform to changes?  It looks so....  out of place...

Edited by Zangi - 14 Sep 2010 at 16:04
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:18

Pretty much the coolest thing ever...


as the TF2 medic would say:  SANK YOU!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:21
Originally posted by Zangi Zangi wrote:

Would there be an option to also change the non-special squares directly next to 'my' cities to conform to changes?  It looks so....  out of place...

Hi Zangi,

We took the position that people would be more likely to complain if the squares directly N,S,E & W around their cities changed their nature; as many people have settled in areas specifically to be able to take (eg) Sovereignty over these specific neighbouring squares - so we left these squares alone.

Best,

SC
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:26
@StormCrow:

I mean on an individual choice basis. 

There are a lot of players who settled before sovereignty also and would actually prefer a random roll of the squares around them.   Or for aesthetic reasons, especially since they don't choose their capital location.

EDIT: Another random roll chance, but conforming with the terrain around them.

Purely optional choice by the players on a city by city basis.


Edited by Zangi - 14 Sep 2010 at 16:32
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:38
I am liking the direction of the updates, but I am missing the mini-mountain ranges near my cities already. Now all I see is a sea of plains. Cry

Any chance of introducing terraforming in the future?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:44
What disturbs me, is many in my alliance have built up entire hubs and city defenses based on their surrounding terrain and low and behold, that terrain has changed.   Yes, some sovereignty squares are still there but others that players may have been interested in taking, are gone.       I appreciate all the hard work you do on this game but this change is a bit too much for my liking.   Sorry. :(
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 16:46
You guys want to kill me or what? 
When I saw the changed map around my capital I thought I had a virus on my pc or something... I freaked out for a few seconds!

So, I like your ideias to change the world map... I just have a small problem. My city is now completely sorrounded by mountains ( I'm a Dwarf ).  
Its really weird to have my caravans and armies cross treacherous mountains to get anywhere. Is this suposed to be like this? I have to say that its a little heavy to the eye.

And I have another question.  What is this "pathfinding" you guys are working on?

Bleash
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