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Topic ClosedWild Animal (NPC) management & Commander Training

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Wild Animal (NPC) management & Commander Training
    Posted: 12 May 2012 at 08:20

Wild Animals are Non-Player Characters (NPCs), which until recently had spawned randomly on resource plots and unlike normal NPC armies Wild animals have no faction. Additionally the relative size of wild animal populations was less than their faction based equivalents, and their party size was always shown as oppose to having to scout them first. (for party sizes chart see

Now it seems that wild animals do not spawn randomly nor are they confined to the resource wells they had been previously confined to. (for an update on the changes consult the herald’s article “Order of Allembine Announce Cartographic Breakthrough” ( or GM Stormcrow’s post here These changes have created 2 problems affecting the entire Illyriad community. The first is the possibility of over hunting animals and causing their suppression; the second problem is training commanders for new players.

The suppression of wild animals.

Some may not think that the loss of Wild animals is significant to Illyriad, to these people I would point out that wild animals are still the only combat army without faction universally accessible available to all players. Secondly Wild Animal NPCs are the only armies with small enough numbers to allow new players to use them for training. Thus the loss of Wild Animals would be more of a detrimental to new players than established ones.

There has been mention that Wild Animals will attack players eventually. (See GM Stormcrow’s comment reposted here: While attacks on player armies in the field is not a significant issue, if the wild animal attacks do begin attacking Player cities the topic of suppression of Wild Animals would need to be revisited. As for right now Wild Animals are a benefit to the entire Illyriad community. As such we may want to consider adopting some conservation practices across the entire community especially for the larger players.

The easiest practice would be to not attack Wild animal groups smaller than a predetermined size category, allowing them to grow into larger communities and have splits. This of course would be a burden on new players not being able to level commanders until they could have armies in the thousands. And it would also be extremely easy for the trolls to grief the community by killing off small packs. Ultimately we will need to adopt a policy with a greater likelihood to succeed. To this regard I suggest medium size players and larger (3 cities or equivalent population) not attack wild animal populations smaller than “many”. This is pretty easy to do because we don’t get much benefit from attacking armies that small. But we should also adopt the protection of breeding communities. And not attack legion size groups or larger. This will be harder to do because it may cause Boredom for larger players. (see scaramouche’s comment. Hopefully after time larger number of higher level breeding communities could be established. This would allow players to increase the minimum size of breeding animals; making more animals available.


This of course leaves the problem of Training commanders, and as a peace loving elf, I lack much of the experience necessary to develop this.  However in my experience I have learned that training commanders must meet certain criteria.

1.       The target must not require the use of scouts. Often for players who only play the game once or twice a day the need to scout a target to find out the needed number of troops will prevent them from utilizing that training option.

2.       The solution must not kill the commander of any involved party. Nobody likes spending lots of time and money to resurrect their commanders.

3.       The solution must not be cost prohibitive to all of the parties involved, i.e. not needing thousands of troops or adv resources.

4.       The solution must have a way of clearly identifying the participants.

I have tried for some time now to find a loophole in the game mechanics to allow members to attack within their alliance or even their own cities. It seems that the mechanics keep accidental attacks to a minimum which is good, though with the difficulty this adds to training commanders, I wonder if the developers are deliberately implementing changes to encourage warfare.   

I would suggest the community of players develop something around the raid technology/tactic. Ideally it would work best if larger players could set an army to occupy a tile in the wilderness and allow smaller players raid these camps. The players providing the occupying armies could be identified by a section in their player profile which lists their training armies. Hopefully if the armies are sent out without being covert then the need to scout would be removed and would allow the raiding player to check that the army is available for training.

Another option would be to have a town without city walls which could be reinforced. Again towns would be identified by listing the town in the player’s profile. Training towns obviously couldn’t have a city way because they would cause the cost burden to fall disproportionately on smaller players; which would oppose the objective(s). Yet another option is to use the abandoned towns of former alliance members (people who left the game not just the alliance). To this regard keeping 1 or 2 inactive players in an alliance might be helpful. The obvious disadvantage to this is the locations of these towns. First these towns would hinder other players from taking their “advantageous” location. Secondly they may not be located near enough to the training player to make this a feasible option. The last option I can think of is a bit of an exploit. This involves the creation of a “fake” alliance in which towns are placed from to-be abandoned accounts. This alliance is then confederated or Non-Aggression Pack (NAP) with the relevant players alliance. The advantage to this last option is that many towns could be built from the same account and things like town storage could be maxed to allow players to use the town(s) as repositories of free resources.

The biggest problem I can foresee is trolls griefing training players by intentionally killing the armies set to occupy/reinforce. This might be overcome by the occupying player utilizing a large army so casual trolls will think twice before attacking. Additionally it adds the advantage of not needing to recall their armies after every training battle. This might allow larger players to no longer need to “hunt” experience for their commander but rather wait for it to come to them.

I am not certain how feasible some (any) of these options are as my experimental attempts did not have the breadth of resources necessary to test these theories. It is at this point that I look to more veteran player to help form idea. it is my goal that from this; the Illyriad community can have a practical agreement for training commanders across the majority of players and alliances. 

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