Foreword: This post is a continually evolving and updated treatise on a MMORPG that (to date) lives in my brain. For information about this, please read the next post titled ‘The many artificial lives of me’.
Vague key: White = Lore
Green = Commentary
———————————————— last updated 27 April 2014
– Guiding Principles
– Game Engine
– The World of Lorea
– Player vs Player (PVP)
– Progression and Endgame
– Death and the Underworld
After the beginning of time, the four deities came together to form the world. The eldest sister, Omnia whispered stories of light and so light came to the world.
Her brother Kerebos spoke of shadows. His words divided the world in to night and day, and formed the dark places whose contrast defines the world of light.
The brother, Lugus shouted words of order and balance. In turn, the world came in to balance. Patterns like tides and seasons came to be.
Finally, the youngest sister, Kharnli screamed words of chaos. And from it the first life was born.
Through these four founding gods, words of Lore filled and formed the world. And thus, the world of Lorea came to be.
The founding gods worked together creating the flora and fauna of the world. Together, they also birthed the first races. These races quickly came to rule the lands in which they were placed.
Then, one day, Omnia broke from tradition and created a race on her own. Beautiful, graceful and long lived creatures. She named them Elvenkind.
Omnia’s kin gathered to admire this first creation that was uniquely of Omnia alone. Lugus and Kharnli took inspiriation from this firstborn favoured race and left to attempt creations of their own. Kerebos also went to try his hand at a favoured race, but did so harbouring resentment against Omnia, for his is a jealous nature.
When the founding gods next came together, Kerebos hosted the gathering in the portion of the lands he had chosen for his favoured children. He also asked his younger brother and sister to unveil their creations first, so as to save his own unveiling for the climax of the gathering.
Lugus unveiled his children. In the nature of their creator, they were a scholarly race. Tall, and thin with pale skin and wide eyes. Lugus had installed them on a large lush island called Atlantis, so named his children Atlanteans.
Kharnli’s unveiling followed. Her children were fierce warriors. Broad sholdered and hunched with scales of a reptile and long tails. These, Kharnli called Sslikk.
Kerebos then brought forward his creation. Creatures of darkness in the manner of their creator. Possessing a canine snout with long sharp fangs. Clawed hands and wolven ears, with a mammalian tail behind. These Morridite studied black magicks, and often preferred to wear hooded cloaks so that only the tips of their fanged snout protruded. The rest of their faces hidden in shadow.
Kerebos felt pride in his creation and in arranging for his presentation to be the climax, but before he could dwell on his achievement for long, Omnia interrupted.
She had another creation to show. A second favoured race. And so she unveiled a race who were not as graceful as the Elvenkind, nor as wise as the Atlanteans, not as fierce as the Sslikk, nor as magical as the Morridite. Yet within this one race existed the potential to be Artists, Scholars, Warriors and Mages. And a race so varied in shape, colour and appearance that it seemed the possible variances in their form were infinite. Omnia called these Humankind.
Kerebos felt rage toward his elder sister. The gathering ended and the gods separated with a mind to continue in creating new favoured races.
Manifesting his desire to strike at his sister, Kerebos created the immense and powerful Ogres. He then had those monsterous beings invade the lands of Omnia’s children and snatch entire villages of both Elf and Humankind. These were turned over to the darkest sorcerers and torturers of the Morridites. Their dark rituals twisted their captives. Not only in physical form, but in mind and spirit as well. By the time their work was done, the twisted results felt hatred for the rest of Omnia’s children for abandoning them to their cruel fate and joined their fates to their Morridite masters. Those that were once Elves came to be called Roto’a, which means ‘Broken ones‘. Their skin was darkened and their nature was one of guile and deceit. Those that were once humans had become thin and their skin had hardened and cracked in to thorny spikes. These ones came to be known as Fiends.
Omnia had gone on to create the small and fragile race of the Fay. Tiny guardians of the forests. Fearing that these children may also fall victim to Kerebos‘ rage, she created a race of cat-like hunters called the Felion to help protect her other children.
While events were transpiring between Omnia and Kerebos, Lugus had gone on to create the industrious Dwarves, the honourable Minotaur, and the insatiably inquisitive Gnomes. Kharnli had created nature guardians called Trolls. The Trolls had inherited the chaotic nature of their creator and abandoned their role as guardians to become exiles. Kharnli also created the avaricious Goblins and the scavenging rodent-like Vermicite.
The children of Kerebos now declared war against the children of Omnia. Much blood was spilled and the children of Kerebos threatened to annihilate all of Omnia’s favoured races.
In desperation, the children of Omnia called upon the races of her younger siblings for aid. Lugus, whose nature preferred balance, answered. With his assistance, and much further loss of life, the armies of shadow were pushed back to the Darklands whence they came.
Just as defeat for Kerebos‘ armies seemed imminent, Kharnli, whose chaotic nature despised a predictable ending, joined her children to the fray. The war appeared doomed to end in a stalemate. But the Atlanteans had an idea, and sought to enlist the aid of the first races to put an end to the threat of darkness consuming the world. The nomadic Centaur, the winged Cloudfeather, and the elemental Geocite answered the call.
Kerebos‘ fury boiled over and he manifested himself in to the heart of the battle as a titan. His power raged. Again, despising predictability, Kharnli took this moment in the battle to order her armies’ withdrawal. This only further enraged Kerebos. In his fury, he lashed out with his divine power at Atlantis, whose interference had especially tempted his ire.
Atlantis sunk beneath the waves. It’s magical sages, with the blessing of Lugus, cast a great spell that transformed the entire surviving race of Atlanteans to allow them to survive beneath the oceans.
Omnia had watched all of this, heartbroken by her brother’s rage and wishing that their natures did not cause them to be fated to animosity. When Kerebos struck out with his divine power, it momentarily lessened the power within him. At that moment, Omnia was able to intervene and severed Kerebos‘ connection to the divine.
The great battle saw the combined races or Light and Order, reinforced by three of the first races, routed the armies of shadow. And in the end, caused Kerebos to fall. Where Kerebos fell, the earth itself opened up and swallowed him, creating the great scar on the borders of the Shadowlands, called Shadow’s Abyss.
While the wounds of that great battle healed over time, all of the favoured races bear the scars of that era to this very day.
Commentary: The founding gods’ names change every time I start writing this. This time around I took Omnia from latin. Kerebos from ancient greek. Lugus from Celtic lore. And Kharnli is a buggerisation from several sources since all chaos gods in mythology are either too well known or have incredibly stupid sounding names.
The name Lorea did stem from the founding principle that the world should begin with its lore and then the mechanics should follow. Sometimes MMORPGs seem to be a bunch of clever programming with a story overlay that can almost seem like an afterthought.
Kerebos is immortal so cannot die. He is bound in Lorea’s Underworld where his presence has drawn many dark creatures and demons to make their home.
There are a number of guiding principles that all aspects of this MMORPG world must take in to consideration. In my judgement, these principles are often the key success criteria of MMORPGs beyond the basic technical engine and graphics.
(1) Function should not drive story.
eg: Ooh look, a pretty hat. I can’t wear it though. Why not? Because that’s a rule!
I am not a fan of arbitrary rules in games. I accept that in some cases they exist because of constraints in game systems or game engines. But when imagining a game from inception, they should not exist.
If you want to wear the hat, go ahead and wear it. But if you don’t want players intended as squishy magic users loading up on heavy armour intended for tanks, then explain it…. You can wear the hat, but because your magic will be penalised in combat because heavy metals interfere with the mage’s connection to The Aether (placeholder term for the magical dimension where magical energies come from). You will be better off wearing cloth, cotton, or some enchanted fabrics that are designed to strengthen that connection.
(2) The game world should offer varied game experiences.
Many MMORPGs see players grinding alts. The term grinding is used because so often, anything that is not endgame is just repeating similar actions as were performed by previous characters to get to end game. Sometimes parts of that journey are fun, but more often it is just repeating the same string of quests.
Each time a player tries a new race/class combination, the game options available to them should be different to any other race/class combination. So that each game journey is a new adventure. To facilitate this, content will be aligned or triggered by a player’s race, class, location, and even sub-cultural factions such as tribes or clans within a race.
(3) You can only please some of the people some of the time.
Such a seemingly simple and obvious rule. Yet so often game creators change content or rules to try and make everybody happy, and always end up annoying as many people as they please. It is a waste of time and every time you do it you risk alienating your most loyal core fans.
Classes do require some level of comparability, but if a certain class is unpopular or has difficulty getting groups, then add content targeted to the strengths of that class. Do not change the class. If players don’t like an aspect of gameplay, then the 2nd principle offers them many other options to try that they may find preferable. The 2nd principle, unique experiences, also means that everybody will prefer some game experiences over others. That is the nature of unique experiences. If all experiences were comparable, they would no longer be unique.
(4) Storytelling based content
This is almost the defining principle for this game concept. I have not seen anything quite like it in any MMORPG to date.
When you think about instanced content, most generally think about the standard D&D format. Party goes in the dungeon (setting may vary), fights some stuff, fights a mini boss, fights some more stuff, fights a big boss, wins the dungeon.
That isn’t how stories are told though. That format effectively presumes that the protagonist is expected to always win.
In a story a party should face setbacks. Even be the underdog. Consider this example structure:
The Princess in Peril – Act 1 Chapter 1.
Chapter 1 commences with a cinematic of The King engaging your party to escort the Princess to the neighbouring kingdom, where she is to meet the Prince that her father hopes to betroth her to.
On the road, your party is attacked by masked raiders. Your objective for this chapter is to defend the Princess for as long as possible against increasingly powerful and numerous enemies. But defeat is inevitible.
Chapter 2. A greviously wounded NPC escort that assisted your party in combat tells you that he recognised a tattoo from one of the raiders having seen it in the village where he grew up. The party travels to the village to find it under attack by the same masked raiders. Your objective for this chapter is to route the small band of invaders led by a reasonably powerful Lieutenant.
Chapter 3. A grateful villager tells you about the raiders. They are the Prison Clan. Once convicts, these criminals revolted against their captors and won. They now keep the gulag that was once their prison as their base of operations. The gulag is believed to be impenetrable, though there are tales of a hermit who did escape. You are directed to that person with a comment that your party is not the first person sent to find him this day.
Act 2. Chapter 4.
The hermit lives in a typically inhospitable swamp. Lots of monsters and stuff to fight your way through here. Basic fight your way through objectives for this chapter. Maybe a giant mosquito monster for a chapter climax.
Chapter 5. Brief cinematic of a well dressed man being swatted around by magic from an old geezer (the hermit). When the hermit sees your party, he accuses the well dressed man (whom he addresses as Prince) of ambushing him. The hermit casts a transformation spell on himself and mini boss fight time.
Chapter 6. Cinematic of the Prince thanking you for your aid. He had learned of the Princess’ capture and boldly, yet foolishly, rode out to rescue her himself. The hermit’s cave is nearby and your locate a journal that shows the hidden entrance to the gulag through a sewer.
Act 3. Chapter 7. In to the sewer. Rats, and other sewer monsters to be defeated before breaking in to the prison, with the Prince as an NPC assisting your party. Standard fight your way through objective with the complication that the Prince must survive.
Chapter 8. Inside the prison now. In this section, Prison Clan members must be crowd controlled or they will often attempt to run and sound an alarm bell located periodically throughout the prison. If the alarm is sounded, every surviving member of the clan will run to the location of that alarm with aggro. Once alarmed, if your party has managed to hide, all Clan members will be on alert and actively search for intruders. So alarm = bad, mmmkay? Prince must survive. Eventually you find a Clan Officer who will tell you where to find The Boss
Chapter 8. The leader of the Prison Clan has a kind of throne room. Also some elite guards. The princess is there held in a cage for their entertainment (not like that!). This is a boss fight. The Prince must survive.
Chapter 9. The Boss is beaten. Cinematic of releasing the Princess. She meets the Prince for the first time. ‘You came to rescue me, my Prince?’
‘I did. Your champions found me at the cave of the hermit.’ But the Princess is a sharp cookie. How could the Prince have gotten there before her champions, who had not delayed in pursuing her. The Prince is caught out, and reveals that he had concocted the scheme to use the champions to capture the gulag. The gulag had long been a blight on his kingdom and his own champions had failed time and time again. The Prince had even paid the Clan to kidnap the Princess to give you incentive. He did stipulate that she was to be unharmed, so that makes it okay – right?
NOPE! Princess is not happy. The Prince has insulted her and her father’s realm. He dealt in deceit and betrayal when a simple petition could have served his purposes. Prince decides that therefore, the King should never hear about it. Final fight vs the Prince. This time, the Princess fights with you and she must survive. The Prince isn’t that tough but does have a series of annoying dirty tricks.
Epilogue – The heroes have saved the day. And the treasure trove behind the throne room is located so lets loot up. THE END
Commentary: The cinematic sequences add to story and allow for strategising whereby party members can voice or text chat strategy for the upcoming objectives. Chapter objectives will have quality of success. Survived = you made it but didn’t trigger any bonuses. Bronze = a par. In chapter 1 this could be the par time or number of waves survived. In other chapters, time to complete. Silver = birdie, good job. Gold = Eagle, VERY NICE! Platinum = managed something beyond expectations. The quality of results for each chapter drive how many loot rolls in the epilogue and the quality scale of each roll.
Story Arcs (the term for this story driven instanced content) can be of differing lengths (conceptually short stories, novellas, novels and epics), and may be part of a series where subsequent Story Arcs are only unlocked when their predecessor is completed – eg: Sequels and Trilogies. So when sitting down to design one of these, you aren’t creating a dungoen, you are writing a story where players can experience the adventure. You can take the elements from any action movie story and overlay them to this world and end up playing them. Try watching a movie with action scenes with that in mind.
(5) Never outgrow your favourite content
Hand in hand with Principle 4, while Story Arcs may have minimum requirements to first enter (eg: min level, party size, unlock quests completed) once opened, a player should be able to return to that favourite location whenever they chose. How may WoW players that remember Burning Crusade endgame have heard, ‘I miss Kara’? Story Arcs should scale in level and party size. So that a Story Arc accepts any number of players between x and y. This mechanic has been done before and the best I have seen is in City of Heroes/Villains. The more members in your party, the tougher the enemies and more there are of them. The level of the enemies will be driven by the highest level member of your party. This does effectively prevent Power Levelling runs via Story Arcs, though a levelling down mechanic will be included to allow higher level players complete Story Arcs with their lower level friends.
(6) Tradeskills do not require balancing
Many players enjoy crafting aspects of MMORPGs and these help to build economies. Eventually I hope to expand in a Tradeskills section. But one thing that is again liked to Principle 3 is the constant fiddling with trades to balance them. Why? In the real world does a farmer earn the same amount as a carpenter or plumber? (No, not intending a plumbing trade in game – just making a point)
There is a balancing tool for trades already in existence that requires absolutely no effort to implement. It is called Supply and Demand. If one trade has a higher demand, then it will charge higher prices and make more profit. This will lead to more people pursuing that trade, which increases supply, and competition lowers prices and reduces margins. If a trade is unpopular, then its supply is low, and those that do require access to the trade will pay a premium to access somebody with that skill set. Don’t like it, try a different trade. Some support for switching between trades should be permitted so that players aren’t trapped in a trade that loses profitability and supports the ebb and flow that Supply and Demand will, by its very nature, affect all trades with.
(7) Core content and optional content. Not everything core content.
eg: PVP. Some people love it. Some do not. Even though many do enjoy it to a degree, PVP servers are almost always in the minority. Some games give such enormous rewards for PVP that players are almost obliged to participate even if they would prefer not to. There will be some key content that everyone will see, mainly at endgame. But there should also be a wide range of optional content that may appeal to only a subset of players. Some games heavily incentivise this content to get more people involved in it. If the content appealed to players, incentives would not be needed. Thus, for optional content, unique rewards should be primarily cosmetic.
(8) Expansion Packs
Oh how MMORPGs love these. How many of them just feel tacked on for the sake of squeezing some more money out of the players? Too many for my taste. I do allow the potential for additional Story Arcs being added to the game. Other than that, this concept will look at the game in its Final Form. In practical terms, developers might look to release it in stages, but this is it. The entire game from beginning to end. While the endgame content is significant, there is an end point and that will be the end. No mysterious new continents will miraculously appear. If you get to the end, that is it. You can go back and continue exploring, or revisit your favourite content, or create an alternate character and explore the world from their perspective and unique path, or try one of the unlockables I have planned (eg: Legendary races – I will expand on these when I get around to the races section). But a game should have a grand finale. A point where players can say – I did it! I beat Lorea!
(9) Accounts and money
When I first envisaged Lorea, pay to play via subscription was the norm for MMORPGs. This often alienated players with limited time to play because they didn’t feel like they were getting their money’s worth. My concept in response was a $ pay to play model that bought you X game hours. However, if you used all those game hours inside a calendar month, then you automatically received unlimited access for the balance of the month. Thus, casual players might only pay one amount for several months.
But the modern era of games (with exceptions) is a Free to Play model with Optional Paid content. I do like this, though personally I found myself forking out more $ than if I were on a subscription model anyway. I suppose the game has to make $ or nobody would ever make them.
One thing I would include is a one time $ payment (it need only be small, say $5) that must be paid before players can use any mass communication, direct messaging, or mail systems. This is purely to combat gold spammers in game (a pet hate of mine). And in return for that one time payment the player can receive a bunch of rewards beyond unlocking those messaging options. Have some bonus xp. And some extra bank space. And a token to get yourself a familiar from the selection held by your city’s local dealer (options vary regionally). The usual collectors edition gets you extra in game stuff – and since you are paying for that no need for the $5 unlock. You can have that included.
I may come back with more principles as I think of them
The enemy of all MMO gaming is the dreaded LAG MONSTER! And since I want some pretty damn impressive graphics, the key must be minimizing traffic between the player and the server.
What does the server need to know about a character? Their coordinates in an X/Y/Z series plus orientation (which way they are facing). The character’s race/class. What they are wearing to render different equipment. What the character’s current action is.
But how many of those factors change continually? The race/class is static once established. Equipment may change but not constantly the way coordinates do while moving. And the current action?
Consider: Elven Sorcerer is in combat and trying to cast a fireball. The Elven sorcerer is a collection of objects (equipment). But really, unless the sorcerer moves, the server doesn’t need to update anything. The animation of the fireball can occur on the player’s end as the client.
Consider melee combat. How often is MMO combat a bunch of players mostly standing around swinging a weapon at a NPC who is doing the same thing in reverse. But combat isn’t standing around. It is dynamic, moving. Think about the great cinematic swordfights. The Princess Bride springs to mind…
Now THAT is combat! I want my combat sequences to look like that. Two characters (player controlled or otherwise) engaged in melee combat should have animated auto attack sequences (based on their respective classes and equipment). The server must control combat roll random number generation, and activated abilities are queued so that they only execute when their animation can be seamlessly inserted in to the flow of combat.
Multi player combat, eg: 3 on 1, should allow for the outnumbered character to assess defensive priority based on threat mechanics. And strength should be a primary factor to drive initiative, which determines who is pushing the other person backwards. Tanks fighting bosses should get used to backpedalling, and their parties should get used to moving with them. The two engaged characters essentially then gain characteristics like a single combined collection allowing them to automatically move together.
The trade of for having so much of the work happen on the client end is that if you sat two PCs next to each other, animations may be out of alignment depending on the comparability of the machines processors. I doubt anyone would chose that over killing the lag monster.
I am generally against zone lines. Mainly because of how they are abused with Trains to Zone (I created a few of those).
Another thing. Imagine if one of the characteristics of characters in an area was to inherit local weather characteristics. So if it is raining in game, your character looks wet. If it is windy, then cloaks and hair blows about.
A race is not just a different model to stick your armour on. It should be an entire culture, each with its own rich history. Visiting the capital of a race for the first time should come with all the wonder of travelling overseas.
Initially, I intend 12 playable races. 3 from each faction of favoured races. Within each faction will be a mid level quest to unlock the fourth race associated with that faction. 2nd and 3rd tier unlockable races discussed later in this section. Races will be naturally suited to certain playable classes. For instance, large powerful races will naturally make better tanks and their racial stats will support this. Smaller races make better rogue type classes. Smart races make better mages. While there will be opportunity as the game progresses to offset any natural racial bias through training and equipment, races will be best suited to certain combat roles. Some pics added more for flavour than as a intended representative of the concepts in mind. Any true development would begin with concept art from scratch.
Fellowship of Light – favoured children of Omnia
The eldest race are graceful and largely aloof. Thin and tall with long pointed ears. Their culture is templated on renaissance France. Lovers of art and elaborate parties and dances. Music and ceremonies full of pomp. Most of the Elves have little care for adventuring, it being a young person’s game. While the eldest race, they also have little interest in politics and leave the administration of the faction to the Humans, who like that kind of thing. Architecture is normally coloured white and silver with bright splashes of pastels, with settlements usually situated in the most picturesque locales. Similarly, cultural dress and haristyles favour elaboracy for its own sake – seeing such as another expression of art.
The younger Elves that turn their hand to adventuring are permitted to with little resistance. It is considered a phase or right of passage that the young all go through and will eventually grow out of, provided they survive long enough. Character construction variations: Skin should be light shades from porceilin white, pale pink, yellow and grey. Hair: Silver, black, white, gold, orange, purple, pink. Eyes: light green, bright blue, pink, orange. Elvenkind commonly prefer ranged scout classes and magic usage roles in combat.
This lot are everywhere, and they offer more variations in their character creation than any other race, attempting to include every skin tone, hair and eye colour naturally occurring in man. As well as a broad range of facial hair and hairstyles. Heights ranging between 5ft and 7ft and even allowing build variations from incredibly buff to chubby.
The race and cuture is templated on early Victorian England, though its political system is more closely modelled on a Roman Senate (without the Ceasar overseeing) or perhaps a modern Parliament. Humankind are busybodies and like sticking their nose in to everything, which often gets them in to trouble with other races. They are frequently explorers, seeking to further Humankind’s interests around the globe. Their capital is contained withing great castle walls. Smaller outposts may look like rural villages or forts.
Humankind are the combat role baseline. They are adaptable to every role without naturally excelling at any. All other races are inclined toward or against combat roles in comparison to the baseline established by humankind.
These cat people are proud hunters and fighters. They are strong compared to the other races of their faction, but less so than the more powerful races of other factions (eg: Ogres, Trolls, Minotaur). They are, however, more agile than those powerful races. They live in raised huts located in the branches of trees (yes kind of Ewoky). They possess feline tails that naturally twitch. Most have long hair, and the males wear it proudly like a mane. The females tend to wear theirs tied back or even cut short. Braids tied in the hair with coloured ribbons intertwined represent ranks or station, which is in turn representative of a Felion’s skill as a hunter. Yet the Felion do not hunt animals for sport. Only for food or when necessary – such as a cursed or rabid beast. Felion fur has variations both for large wild cats, but also for many common domesticated cats. Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Panther, white tiger, Ocelot, Cougar, Lynx, Ocelot, Tabby, Siamese, Abyssinia, Persian, Black cat, etc. Eyes have vertical pupil slits.
Preferred combat roles are melee DPS including monks, sometimes ranged.
Fay. – Tier 1 Unlockable race.
Fay are rare, which is why players must earn the chance to create one by completing a Story Arc that rewards a single use token to unlock one character from the Tier 1 race for that faction. Fay are the smallest race. Other small races are, in ascending average height order, Gnomes, Vermicite, Goblins, Dwarves, Fiends.
The Fay race make their homes exclusively in forests. Their ‘capital’ is inside a great tree (concept the Magic Faraway tree as a base) though their society has little structure so Capital is a misnomer. More of a racial home. Fay are naturally androgynous. They racially gain the ability to sprout wings. Initially these simply provide the ability to glide to prevent falling damage. Racial options will allow this to grow to short bursts of flight at the cost of draining mana/energy.
Fay are magical. Their first preference is for healing or magical support combat roles.
When not adventuring, Fay love dancing about the forest and playing. When the season is right, their great home tree sprouts multi coloured berries and a racial cultural event will involve using these berries to essentially play Berry Paintball.
Fay racial clothing is frequently made from woven grass and leaves. Wreathes of flowers or daisy chain necklaces are common.
Union of Order – favoured children of Lugus
The transformation of these people has turned their skin shades of blue and grey. Their eyes are wide and dark. Webbing has formed between their fingers and toes. While naturally water breathers, Atlanteans have mastered many magicks to enable them to breathe while in the surface world.
Atlantis raises an important mechanic that is rarely performed well. Underwater mechanics. Most games treat underwater content largely the same as on land, but with passing fish. Real underwater mechanics requires 3 dimensions, including the vertical. And if mastered underwater, this can be applied to the surface as well to create some cool physics capability. Further, I intend a natural mechanic for underwater ability, that modifies not only natural swimming travel speed, but modifies combat rolls while underwater as well. Thus, gear with modifiers to underwater ability may be important to parties intending an underwater adventure or exploration. Atlanteans gain advantage here naturally, but are not the best natural underwater fighters (see Level 2 unlockable races). The underwater world should be vast. Oceans typically cover more ground than land, and once you add an explorable depth dimension, that becomes even larger. The L2 unlockable race will be a common antagonist. Gremlins (primative cousins to Golbins) often live in coastal areas. Swift currents link areas of the ocean for swift swimming transit (seen Finding Nemo?). Mounts will be included in game but you need an aquatic (riding a shark or manta ray anyone?) or amphibious (turtle, frog?) mount is needed underwater.
Atlanteans are physically tough as a result of all that swimming, but are retain their intelligence. As such they prefer combat roles that combine the physical and magical. Atlantis archtecture is based on ancient Greece in the era of the great philosophers. I am dubious about togas, but minimalist clothing is necessary underwater to remove drag unless you are talking combat armour. Heavy metallic armour will provide penalties underwater. Instead, common underwater armour is made from coral and shells. This armour is not as tough as the metallic armour, so is not preferable on land. However the weight penalites underwater for armour make coral and shell armour the peak of heavy underwater combat clothing.
While Atlanteans are the patron race of their faction, the faction capital is a coastal surface city in deference to the non-water breathing nature of the other races. This coastal city has a submersable connection to Atlantis itself departing from its docks. The surface capital is also located above the underground Dwarven racial capital. Atlanteans are often arrogant, considering them automatically superior in intellect to other races.
While short in stature, these industrious creatures are hardy as all get out and strong to boot. They love digging and mining and generally being underground. Extensive caverns and tunnel networks can be found throughout Lorea. The Dwarven capital has cavern walls covered with extensive carvings and patterns. Dwarven underground engineering is unrivaled. The Dwarves have a natural emnity toward the Goblins who historically take every opportunity they can to steal Dwarven handywork (though the goblins will deny it on threat of torture and death as scandal and lies). Dwarven males all have beards. Females can choose to have beards in character creation. Hair colour is commonly brown, though red, orange, white, grey and the much valued gold colours can also occur. Eyes are all brown though with a variety of shades from copper through bronze to chocolate. Dwarves are rowdy. They love a drink and a good fight. They are templated on Scots stereotypes.
These large powerful man-bull creatures are formidable, yet not as strong as Ogres or resilient as Trolls. The racial home city is a labyrith of caverns that strangers can often get lost in if they do not know how to read the guiding markers. The Minotaur race is very clan based and character creation includes an option to choose a clan, which will drive some different quest lines and content. Minotaur skins include different bovine skins – eg: Angus, Guernsey, Holstein, Hereford, Dexter, as well as wild Bovinae like Water Buffalo, Yak, and Bison. Template the race on native North American tribes. Unique racial ability to wear a an additional earring as a nose-ring.
Gnomes. – Tier 1 unlockable race.
Gnomes are incredibly inquisitive creatures. They have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, yet are frequently lacking in the wisdom to learn from that knowledge. They have a real poke it with a stick mentality. And have brilliant flashes such as, I wonder what happens if I apply fire to this oily black liquid that came out of the ground. As a result, Gnomes are few in number (many of these experiments did not go well). At the same time, if you have enough crazy ideas, some of them are bound to work. So gnomish inventions are simultaneously some of the most valuable machines and magical/technology hybrids as well as being the most notoriously unreliable. Gnomish settlements are often found in the kind of places that make you think they moved there on a dare, like the mouth of an active volcano, or hanging off the edge of a cliff. Their racial capital is build on a gigantic transparent floor spanning a river at just before a giant waterfall. The city is decorated like everybody got half way through building stuff with their equivalent of legos, and just left the pieces laying around when they got distracted. Buildings often have wind or water mills for generating power, or lightning rods or other bizarre unidentifiable doohickeys. Gnomes are generally tiny and cute and talk like they have been sucking helium baloons (a national passtime). Their hair is the epitome of unkempt with possible additional looks of I just had a massive electric shock or looking in to the explosion. Hair colours are the colours of rainbow and may include stripes and highlights. Glasses or monacles are common though some Gnomes cannot remember whether they are near or farsighted or indeed if they actually need the glasses at all. Absentmindedness is another national trait. Generations of concussions can do that. Gnomes are also very excitable and easily distracted by anything mechanical. Society is based around the “scientific” successes of its members – whether the result of genius or pure luck. Feature are cartoony.
Peoples of Chaos – favoured children of Kharnli
These reptile men have a foundation that is an amalgam of Japanese shogunate and Ceaser’s Rome. The architecture is Japanese with simple housing and paper walls built on broad slate foundations and flat roofs. The roofs open easily in mild weather so that the reptilians can enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays. A solar charge is a racial bonus to movement speed and combat rolls that can be built up during daylight hours spent outdoors and gradually dissipates. Sslikk also can racially use their tails in combat for leg sweeps. Their skins are varied based on different reptile templates such as crocodiles, lizards like bearded dragons or frilled neck lizards, and snakes including cobras. Sslikk have no hair, but instead can have a varied arrangement of horns and spikes that characterise their faces. Also varied tongues including forked and blue. In contrast to the Japanese architecture, and a racial preference for melee combat including the Samauri specialisaiton, their culture is chaotic. They have many rituals and demi-gods for most every aspect of life. Coliseum style combats for entertainment is a national passtime.
These brutish creatures were once nature elementals that forsook the lands of their origins and eventually came to live in barren places. Their skins are textured like wood, containing various knots, and frequently with moss and fungi growing from them. They are tall, but not as broad or bulky as ogres. Trolls make good tanks and dont mind nature or elemental healing classes.
The quickest and easiest way to describe Goblin culture and nature is Ferengi, though not as flouting about their natures to other races (tends to be bad for business). Goblins are all about turning a profit. They seem to possess no conscience. They especially enjoy cheating Dwarves, who believe in working hard for a living (goblin blasphemy). Shortish creatures with generally green/grey skins and small tufts of hair poking from the top of their pointed skulls. Exaggerated sized eyes and large ears (think Mogwai/Gizmo). Portly bellies and thin limbs. Goblins prefer subterfuge so like Rogue classes or magic casting.
Gizmo the Mogwai
Vermicite – tier 1 unlockable race for Chaos
Smallest of the Chaotic races, these rat or mouse people are short and hunched. They keep to the shadows and prefer scavenging to confrontation (rogue class natures). They racially are resistant to all diseases and have good night vision. Their fur is varied like mice. White, grey, brown, spotted, etc.
> Empire of Shadow > favoured children of Kerebos
Cruel dictators of the Empire of Shadow. These canine men are very different from the werewolves that can be found in Lorea, even aside from the fact that Were-creatures transform from their original shape. The Morridites are much thinner and thin framed than the bulky were-beasts. They tend to prefer magicks, especially the dark arts. They often wear hooded cloaks so that their head is hidden in the shadows of their hood. Only their long snout with its cruel fangs protrudes and the glow of their eyes becomes visible. Morridites perform coming-of-age rituals that create a magical sympathy between them and a magickal element. The colour that their eyes glow is a tell tale of which. Red for fire. Blue for Ice. Yellow for Thunder. Purple for shadow. Green for Nature. White for Divine. Orange for Arcane. Pink for Psychic. The sympathy affords them natural resistances to the given element.
Their architecture is bleak and dark, templated on classical Transylvanian castles and keeps. Their structures are often elaborate and other races of the Shadow are frequently employed as servants or guards. Their fur varies in the form of assorted wolves including black white and grey, as well as some domestic dog skins like Alsatian Doberman and Rottweiler. Their legs and feet are canine with the ankle raised. Hands have long thin fingers with long sharp claws though these are largely decorative.
Roto’a (dark elves)
Having fully embraced their roles as shadowy reflections of the Elvish race, Roto’a go to great lengths to be as different to the Elvish race as they can. Instead of grace and delicacy, Roto’a are rough and rebellious. They seek violence and their preferred adventure profession are Rogue roles.
Roto’a archtecture is simple, again in contrast to Elvish. Focused on the functional over aesthetics. Roto’a skins are shades of grey to black with occasional shades of deep red, blue or purple. Their eyes are deep black pools without visible pupil or iris. Hair colours are generally dark, grey, blue, purple and red with rare silver.
Ogres are large and dumb. Their often bulky belly is a sign of prestige and station as only the most successful can afford enough food to get that big. Culturally they are templated on Maori and Islander cultures. They are usually passive, but do not take kindly to strangers and are ferocious when roused. They have a sport their culture invented called Thugby. In recent times all races are permitted to play the game, but Ogres are often preferred as they have an optimal blend of bulk and speed that is greater than the other large races. Ogres are particularly well suited to tanking roles, though some nature based healers are found in their number.
Fiends – Tier 1 unlockable race for Empire of Shadow
These twisted cruel creatures tend to run in packs and are both savage and sadistic. Their skin is naturally thick giving them natural resistance to physical and magical damage. The thorny spikes that extend from their skin in patterns replace hair and are often their main identifying features. Fiends prefer simple tents or natural caves or at their most elaborate, caravans. Minions are many in number and are form numerous foot soldiers in most any Shadow Army. They prefer melee combat.
Their forms are shades of black and grey. Their eyes are sparks of brightness whose burning intensifies with hatred.
Tier 2 unlockable races
Each player on completing the Story Arc that will graduate them to their ultimate level (100 or Omega) will receive one unlock token that can be used to chose one of these four races. These are some of the first races, existing before favoured races came in to being. While they conform to the same class structure as favoured races, each of these Tier 2 races has a unique ability that sets them apart. (potential for in game store to buy additional unlock tokens). These races are independent or neutral races – having neither particular favour nor animosity to any favoured faction. During the sub-class levels, these races dwell in their respective racial capitals. On completing their class specialisation at level 20, they must each chose a faction to align themselves with, and from that point onward are considered part of that faction.
The centaur are the classic horse men design. Their unique ability is the fact that they can move at mount speeds and through racial progression quests are themselves the fasted land mount. This does mean that they cannot ride a mount as well. Their racial tradespersons can modify any pants slot item to become a saddle. Centaur can also offer players a ride on their backs. Centaurs enjoy slinger and ranged roles where they can attack while travelling at speed. Their hair is long and becomes their mane where the man and horse merge. Their hides are those of different horses and perhaps including zebra. Centaurs prefer open plans with level ground where they can run freely. Their villages have buildings made of timber with necessarily tall and broad doors for shelter.
These creatures are primarily angelic in appearance with large wings. Their wings are their unique ability allowing them natural flight without a mount or magic. They cannot move as quickly as Centaur, but can travel as the crow flies. Their home is built on the top of an island of clouds in the sky held high by unknown forces. The Cloudfeather normally hold themselves above the dealings of other races, the fall of Kerebos being the most famous exception. Cloudfeather are physically powerful and have a natural preference for divine magicks.
This race of fish people were the original dwellers of beneath the oceans. They did not take kindly to the intrusion of the Atlanteans. Their natural form is with a fish tail , though they have racial spells that can transform those in to legs on land and allow the Merfolk to breathe air. Merfolk have the greatest underwater combat bonuses and movement speed, and find those abilities reduced in the surface world. Merfolk also have the best underwater eyesight. Their skins are naturally scaled and their faces are fishlike. Their scales have varied colours after the varieties of fish in the sea. This underwater skill is their unique ability. Their homes are constructs of coral and shells.
The Geocite are living stone. Their natural density makes them without peer in terms of absorbing damage. It also makes them the slowest race. Geocite rarely bother with constructing homes, but the places in which they gather do contain buildings for industry. Their racially unique ability enables them to grow two additional arms. Without hands, these arms are often equipped with shield-bracers and Geocite tradesmen can make these items from shields. These shield bracers increase block chances above other races equipping shields.
Tier 3 or Legendary unlockable races
The Legendary race unlock keys drop randomly for 1 person in each party completing the final Story Arc in end game progression. This key can be obtained multiple times. It is the only key that can unlock Legendary races but it can also be used to unlock any of the other unlockable races. This item may also be used as the reward for special events such as best-of-the-best tournaments. This key would not be purchasable via game stores until a player had received one via in game drop first.
The Legendary races do not conform to the race/class paradigms of all the other races. They are all unique in their playstyles and often have their own unique version of classes.
The four Legendary races are; The Unliving, Xiticix, Avatar, and Draconis.
There are a range of undead creatures in Lorea (such as Necromancer skeletons). The Unliving have a different origin.
The Origin of the Unliving
The eldest of the races, before any favoured race, are a race of immortal beings called Primitus. These beings are shapeshifters and immensely powerful and intelligent. Yet what they fear most is death, that can only occur as a result of the power of another Primitus. Also, the Primitus are unable to reproduce. As a result, over the aeons, their numbers have decreased to the brink of extinction. Alas, their endangered status has only caused the few survivors to become increasingly paranoid about each other.
More than a century ago, there existed two of the Primitus. One called Ag and the other Za. In this age, humanity were dominant in the land and thus the Primitus chose human forms and human names. Able to instinctively see through shapeshifted forms, Za identified Ag and grew fearful.
Za plotted to murder Ag before the reverse could occur. Yet Za feared striking directly. Instead, Za experimented in merging necromantic magicks he had learned and sciences lost to the ages. With these tools Za animated zombies and instilled in to them a fragment of his own power. With infernal machines, he created varieties of these creatures including Lichs Werewolves and Vampires. An army of undead creatures were formed, but unlike generic undead creatures, the infusion of Primitus power in each made these beings much more intelligent than their wild counterparts.
Za sent his army of undead creatures against Ag. But before they could strike, Ag spoke to them. He showed them kindness and spoke to them of a concept that Za had kept hidden from them – self respect. The creatures saw the truth in Ag’s words and together made a choice to no longer be Za’s slaves.
They turned on Za and possessing the power of Primitus, were able to destroy him. Ag vanished and no record has been found of him since. The creatures claimed Za’s workshops and lands as their own and chose a name and identity for their race. Thus the Unliving came to be.
The Unliving are a neutral or independent race. Like the Tier 2 unlockable races, they choose which faction to align themselves to at level 20.
All Unliving take damage from Divine spells including healing spells. They are also healed by all Shadow spells, including damaging ones. This makes then problematic to group with unless within a group of other Unliving. While some undead are damaged by sunlight, the Primitus energy protects the Unliving. However, they do receive penalties to natural health and mana regeneration in sunlight.
Each unliving was once a living creature, so Unliving can be templated on any race (Elvish vampire? Gnomish werewolf? Zombie Ogre? OK!)
Every Unliving begins its existence as a basic Zombie. At levels 10, they go through the equivalent of Class Story Arcs where they can enter the infernal machines created by Za and transform themselves in to one of four sub classes.
Skeletal Mage arcane skeletal magick casters.
Werewolf melee combatants that use tooth and claw. All werewolves have the ability to curse an opponent, and unless that curse is removed by the next full moon, the opponent transforms in to a lesser werewolf during each full moon and loses access to all of their normal abilities – they being replaced with werewolf attacks instead.
Vampire these classic creatures have above average strength, speed, excellent night vision, and perform bite and drain blood attacks that fill a blood bar which functions like a Warrior’s rage bar.
Zombie Warriors are tough and resilient. It is hard to meaningfully damage dead flesh. What matters pain to the dead?
At level 20, each of these sub classes again choses a specialisation transformation.
Skeletal Mage specialisations
Elemental Lich – the Unliving version of a Sorcerer
Shadow Lich – the Unliving version of a Warlock (though also a healer to their own kind)
Holy Lich – a DD/nuke class focused on Divine energy (brutally effective against their own kind)
Savage Werewolf are melee DPS with many bleeding attacks. They are also quick and agile.
Brutal Werewolf are more resilient falling in to the realms of a melee tank/DPS and their strength can often cause knockback or knockdown
Alpha Werewolf have weaker direct attacks. However, the enemies they curse and defeat can be immediately raised with an Alpha’s Summoning Howl as lesser werewolf combat pets. The power of the Alpha determines how many lesser werewolves it can control at at time.
Shapeshifter Vampire gain the bulk of their power from their shapeshifted forms. Each form provides the vampire a different set of abilities. These forms include many classic vampire lore shapes – wolf, bat, mist, and demon.
Duelist Vampire this vampire loves fighting hand to hand and has developed its strength and speed to suit. A DPS but a hardy one. Able to perform inhumanly high leaping attacks and cleaving blows to multiple foes. They tend to prefer classical duelling weapons such as one handed swords, but are not limited to such.
Master Vampire Preferring to avoid direct combat, the Master Vampire can raise those it has bitten as lesser Vampire minions (combat pets).
Frankensteiner these incredibly powerful juggernauts are the finest tanks the Unliving have to offer.
Zombie Assassin stealthy and cunning Unliving Assassins.
Zombie Captain this is a specialisation that while not particularly powerful himself offensively, provides combat auras that empower all friendly members of its party.
The Xiticix are an insectoid race. Unwelcome in all but neutral cities, they are disliked or hated by most races (though a Goblin will never turn away a chance at profit). Players control a central figure called a Swarmlord. As the Swarmlord levels, it gains minions. In terms of scale, a full Swarmlord Swarm should be equal to a player formed party. Conceptually, the one player is controlling an entire party at once. However, all of the minions in the party act based on a preprogrammed AI. The Swarmlord has some direct control, but these minions are not combat pets. AI is constructed using elements the Swarmlord learns as it levels (instead of spells or attacks – though he gets a couple of attacks too). These function a lot like the the AI options in Final Fantasy 13. There are priorities, triggers and actions. To assist these the Swarmlord places marks on enemy targets – so that his minions may have an AI command line of: Attack Primary Marked Target. The Swarmlord minions are varied templated on different bug types. A mantis minion may be a powerful melee DPS. A lightning bug minion may actually produce lightning. Web spinners may CC. Another bug type can heal. Each minion levels independently to the Swarmlord. The Swarmlord has naturally high health, but little direct offensive capability. As minions level, they gain access to more AI command lines that can be constructed, so that ultimate configurations can be quite sophisticated. Also, the Swarmlord can eventually hire reserve minions and rotate minions in and out of his active party.
Xiticix do not wear armor or wield weapons. However, certain minion types secrete special resins that can be molded in to enhancements to fit in to minion item slots (different for each minion). Minion types can include giant bugs that become entire-swarm mounts or flying mounts as needed.
Again, the distinctive play type will not suit everyone. But by the time players get to the end game to unlock these races, more of the same play style isn’t adding much to the overall experience.
Avatars are an old race. Yet to outsiders they look in size and bulk to be about the same build as a 12 year old human. Only Avatars have no hair. Instead, bone spikes grow from their scalp in assorted patterns. Avatars have pale blue, green, white, and silver skin and wide anime eyes, with tiny noses. They are an independent race and choose which faction to align themselves with at level 20.
Avatars have two basic abilities. The first allows them to synch abilities from opponents in combat. This works much like the basic mechanic from Final Fantasy 8.
Each ability has a rune in its symbol that only Avatars can see. Avatar talent trees provide bonuses to different rune types. Runes will typically represent ability or spell categories. Such as Direct Damage, DoT, Healing, Buff, Melee attack, Ranged Shot, etc. The talent tree also opens up specific armour and weapon categories. Avatars gain more talent points than basic classes, yet still become most powerful by focusing on one or two combat roles – tank, healer, melee DPS, ranged DPS, magick DPS, or support. The talent points also enhance stats suited to certain combat roles.
Avatars can add rune types to their hotbar. Then in a unique screen, they can prioritise abilities for that rune in order. Thus, in combat, when an Avatar uses up all charges of one ability, the next ability in that rune’s stack takes its place.
Avatars can also crystalise charges of abilities they gain that they cannot use (Shield block is pretty useless to someone that never learned to use a shield in combat). These can be traded to other Avatars that can use them, or to certain tradespersons to use in crafting recipes.
The Avatars’ second ability is conceptually a Limit Break. The Avatars, at level 20, chose from one of many Primal demi-gods to be inhabited by. These primals are spirit creatures with various forms. As an Avatar battles and uses synced abilities or the sync ability itself, a special spectral power bar charges. As it does so, the Avatar begins to manifest spirit flames with colour associated with a magick type and in turn associated with their demi-god Primal spirit.
This manifestation provides bonuses to the Avatar, the type depending on the Primal they are inhabited by. The bar quickly fades out of combat.
At full charge, the Avatar can spend the entire bar to summon the Primal who launches in to combat (the Avatar has no control). The Primal does massive damage for a very brief time before fading away. Primals may be monsterous dragons, eagles, bears, tigers, wolves (would look a lot like Unknown from Tekken Tag) or other creatures.
These are intended as player controlled boss monsters. Their mechanics are unique. They can only be unlocked by a Universal Unlock key.
All Draconis start at maximum level (100) as Drakes (smaller flying dragons). Draconis do not earn XP from quests or monsters like other characters. Their progression is purely through open world PVP.
Draconis are always flagged on for PVP. They can gain their equivalent of XP by defeating targetable Non-Player-Characters. Or, more efficiently, by defeating player characters in open world PVP.
The advantage is that a Draconis is a match for most level 100 characters 1 on 1 even when first created. They only get stronger from there. However, in open world PVP, there are no limits on how many players can pile on to the Draconis. Any player engaging a Draconis while not in a party is automatically added to an Event Group. Leadership of the Event Group is first come first served unless handed over. A player in a group prior to reaching the event will only be offered to join the event group if they are the original group leader.
Most Draconis (except Flightless Dragons) can fly and are most effective with sweeping fiery attacks while staying out of melee combat range. When Dragonsign is activated, Flying Mount riders from the nearest major city are dispatched. These are NPCs who, on locating the Draconis, will use net guns to bring the beast down to earth. These guys aren’t the quickest, and their proximity will likely influence the Draconis player’s preferred hunting grounds. Player Characters can also purchase these Dragonfall Kits. Once grounded, a timer begins until the Draconis can take flight again. In an evenly matched fight, players should be able to defeat a Draconis without him re-taking to the air. If he does success if flying up, players may want to consider recruiting more dragon hunters in the time it takes for new Flyers to bring the Draconis back down with Dragonfall Kits.
As Draconis level, their stats (primarily their total health) increases. They have two specialisation selections like a class model, but each selection is just another sub-species of Draconis.
When a Draconis is defeated, the character becomes unplayable until the Draconis recovers. The higher level the Draconis, the longer they may need to heal (perhaps as long as 10 days after a defeat).
When a Draconis attacks NPC or PC, the zone receives a Dragonsign warning. Towns will often have an alarm horn that players can blow to flag the region on the world map as having Dragonsign.
Every player that helps defeat a dragon earns a single dragon scale. These scales help to create the highest level crafted armour and weapons. Most valuable contributors, plus a couple of other random participants will receive a bonus loot roll when the dragon is defeated.
The Drake specialises in to one of three sub-classes:
– Arcane Dragon
Having powerful magicks at their disposal.
– Flightless Dragon
While they lose the power of flight, they gain other abilities instead.
– Greater Dragon
These are the largest of the Draconis.
Arcane Dragon Specialisations:
– Elemental Dragon: Magic caster with ability trees in each of the three primal elements (fire, ice, thunder). As the Draconis levels, points are put in to these abilities to unlock more potent elemental attacks.
– Dracolich: The necromancer Draconis. It can raise skeleton minions, and a fair few of them. Especially when players keep dying close by and leaving the raw materials. Combines a few shadow magic abilities.
– River Dragon: Modelled more off a Chinese Dragon, this one can stealth (BIG surprise with this guy popping up behind you!). It has nature magic abilities.
Flightless Dragon specialisations.
– Thunder Lizard. Basically think about your own giant playable T-Rex. Highly physical attacks. A Roar that can knock enemies flying. He can also run fastest of the Draconis, so the land attack specialist.
– Leviathan. The great underwater monster. Having all the underwater ability bonuses including incredible eyesight. This monster will spy its prey long before the target sees him as anything other than a vague shadow in the watery gloom. Also highly physical in attack preference, but the Leviathan can also compress water in to concussive blasts and other effects.
– Hydra. The hydra starts out pretty average, but all players will be able to target either its body or its one head on a long serpentine neck. 50% of all damage to the body is shared with its head. When the head dies, two heads spawn in its place. This can happen up to 11 times, meaning the creature has a maximum of 12 head spawns with up to 6 active at once. Each individual head has a range of different abilities. The controller can switch between heads but can only control one head at a time. The rest acting on AI. The controller can also choose from a range what its mix of heads and their spawn order will be. When only one head remains, the Hydra becomes a single target and its total health, not just the next head, must be defeated.
Greater Dragon Specialisations
These Draconis are generally larger than the other specialisations.
– Lunatic Dragon. Possessing many psychic abilities, this guy messes with your head. Including the ability to make enemies see their allies as opponents and attack them. Fear effects. Blindness. Illusions.
– Mastermind Dragon. This guy can perform mass mind control. Psychic projections or cleansing abilities are needed to be anything other than a puppet against him. His gaze can also paralyze. Some Divine magicks.
– Elder Dragon. The biggest and beefiest tankiest boss monster out there. He takes more damage to drop, hits harder, cleaves armor, leaves wounds on enemies. He is brutal.
Conceptually, the intention with the Draconis is to have players in a raid style format play against a living breathing thinking opponent in their Raid Boss. Having a well known and feared Draconis is likely to be a major claim to fame.
A class is a combat trade. There are no restrictions on what races can become each class. All you need is someone willing to teach you. Some races will find accessing trainers more difficult as they are less popular for members of that race, but no banned race/class combos.
Assuming the 100 level paradigm, the first 10 races are essentially a tutorial. I have played around with the ‘Newbie Island’ concept, with players on completion being teleported to the ‘starting’ city of their choice. The 10 levels being to introduce game mechanics, with a range of NPCs throughout the island that are optional to engage, but doing so opens up a wide range of game wiki level information.
In this initial 10 level bracket, there are effectively only 4 classes based on the 4 primary combat roles. Fighter (tank), Scout (physical dps), Healer (heals – duh!), and Mage (magical dps). At level 10, each player completes a Class linked Story Arc (short) where the player is joined by 3 NPCs, one of each sub-class, and has opportunity to see them in action before chosing their path. At level 20 each sub-class completes a similar Story Arc and again is presented with 3 specialisation class options. Yup – that is 4 x 3 x 3 = 36 classes to chose from. While aligning to the primary combat roles, specialised classes will dip into other archetypes to varying degress, prefer different weapon combinations,wield different magical elements, or have different support abilities such as crowd control, buffs and debuffs to differentiate them.
Briefly on this, There are 8 magical types in game. Each type has an effect linked to it. eg: Fire burns so burn effects can be triggered with fire magic. Ice freezes causing decreased movement and combat reaction speed. Thunder (lightning) stuns. Nature poisons. Shadow drains or weakens. Divine (holy) blinds. Arcane is the neutral element. Psychic is a very crowd control oriented element that can cause psychic pain or confusion.
In groups, the Ice Fire and Thunder are the elemental types. Ice is generally vulnerable to Fire which is vulnerable to Thunder which is Vulnerable to Ice.
Nature Shadow and Divine are spirit types. Nature is vulnerable to Shadow. Shadow to Divine. Divine to Nature.
Fighters are tanks. They all gain a Taunt ability and passively generate greater threat than other archetypes.
At level 10 Fighters chose from the subtypes of Warrior Spellblade and Monk.
Warriors are the truest tanks or meat shields and gain access to AoE Taunt abilities.
Spellblades are tank/magical hybrid classes that merge magic with melee combat. In this subtype phase, their spells are Arcane in nature.
Monks are martial artists. These use agility and skill to avoid and mitigate damage rather than relying on heavy armour and shields. They all gain a chi ability that charges naturally over time or when meditative/focus abilities are triggered.
The Warrior Specialisation options are Guardian Rampager and Berzerker. All these specialisations have a passive Rage ability that charges through combat increasing damage and can be used upon to enhance certain combat techniques.
Guardians are the truest classic tank. Their training specialises in 1 handed weapons with large shields and heavy armour.
Rampagers specialise in 2 handed weapons and mitigate damage through knock down and knock back attacks that can send several opponents flying with sufficient rage behind the blow.
Berzerkers specialise in dual wielding weapons and mitigate damage through skilled parry and disarm techniques.
The Spellblade Specialisation options are Paladin, Black Knight and Greenblade.
Paladins are divine magic tank hybrids. Their training specialises in 1 handed sword and shield configurations or 2 handed swords. Their holy magics allow for weak healing abilities primarily aimed at increasing their resilience, blinding, and light shields.
Black Knights are shadow magic tank hybrids. Their training specialises in 1 handed mage and shield configurations or 2 handed mage or flails. Their shadow magics are primarily focused on increasing the Knight’s survivability through draining the enemy, weakening them, or certain DoT abilties.
Greenblades are nature magic tank hybrids. Their training specialises in 1 handed axe and shield configurations or 2 handed halberds. Their nature magics are primarily focused on increasing survivability though poison effects are frequent. Their nature affinity can increase their natural health regeneration.
Grandmasters wear the lightest armour of the fighter classes. Pressure point attacks help to weaken or paralyse enemies. Drawing on chi can result in incredibly potent maneuvers including Street Fighter type elemental magic moves (sho-ryu-ken ha-do-ken). Grandmasters prefer unarmed combat or Fist class weapons only.
Weapon Masters are unique in that they are capable of wielding any weapon class or configuration. They can innately draw out the natural abilities of weapons (swords-bleed, maces-stun,axes-rend armour, etc). They wear up to chain armour, preferring flexibility to heavy armour.
Samauri Wear plate armour with styles you can probably guess. They train for traditional weapons – dai katana, katana, wakazashi, shields, dagger and bow. They can draw on their chi for some divine or psychic magical abilities.
Scouts are DPS classes. They can perform both melee and ranged attacks, though some specialisations focus on one of the other.
At level 10 Scouts chose from the subtypes of Archer Rogue or Slinger (not a fan of this name – yet to find a better one)
Archers like shooting things at range with bows or guns.
Thief all gain stealth and like melee combat, but lack the resilience of Fighter archetypes so often attack from enemys’ rears. They all gain backstab abilities. Also lock picking, pick pocket and sneaking.
Slingers are able to seamlessly shift from ranged to melee combat with their preferred weapon types.
> Archer specialisations
Ranger this specialisation is a longbow specialist. It has some lesser trap abilities and can switch to daggers if drawn in to melee combat, though its strategy in that case is to find a way to return to its more effective ranged weapon. Abilities to perform trick shots (disarm, pin, hamstring) as well as trick arrow abilities (poison arrow, blinding, flaming) are common. Rangers typically prefer
Marksman prefers crossbows. Crossbows fire slower than longbows and have slightly shorter range, but do more damage per shot and are better at penetrating armour. Trick shots and trick arrows still exist. They do not have traps. More gimmicks like flash bombs. Melee preference is for clubs and maces.
Gunslingers Think cowboys. Full leather, hat. Dual wielding pistols. Then imaging Elven Gunslinger for the sheer awesomeness. Gunslingers can use a marking ability to fire upon two enemies simultaneously. They use a rolling reload ability to make gunfire continous (a la Roland of the Dark Tower – much influence here). In close, they can use daggers or fists or a whip and may even have a lasso to CC a single target. Dual wield pistols have a faster firing rate than bows.
Assassin has immense burst damage in melee range. They dual wield usually daggers and shortswords though axes are not out of the question. They regularly poison their blades. Stealth and backstab abilities get frequent use. Assassins do not like going toe to toe with enemies. They prefer sneak attacks and have abilties to wound, bleed, hamstring and injure.
Rogues are more robust brawlers than Assassins, capable of taking damage than assassins, but their burst damage is not as potent. They also get traps and gimmicks. Rogues can also dual wield maces or clubs.
Ninja have outfits befitting the classical look. In addition to swords and daggers, Ninja can wield chain weapons. Also thrown weapons like shuriken and longbows.
Amazon wield spear and shield. They are the tankiest class that is not under the fighter archetype. They can wear light plate armour. The spear as a ranged weapon is the slowest to fire but also does the greatest damage when hitting. At close range, the spear is wielded as a melee weapon like in the movie 300. Amazons gan a passive ability that increases their defensive skills as their health reduces.
Deadshot are dagger specialists, shifting from thrown daggers to melee seamlessly. Thrown daggers do not do alot of damage, but Deadshot blades frequently carry poisons that DoT or weaken or blind.
Bladespinner think of the movie Blade (Vampire Hunter) where Wesley Snipes throws the wierd razor boomerang thing which spins around the room and kills all the vampires before returning. Bladespinner weapons are customised to travel in a spun arc. When thrown, the thrower holds a charge button to determine the distance of the arc. The weapon will damage every enemy that is in its spinning arc. Bladespinners can wield up to 4 such bladed weapons of which two are wielded as melee weapons while the other two are in flight.
Healers specialise in healing. Their variations provide different levels of support abilities such as buffs and debuffs, crowd control, and capacity for DPS.
At level 10 Healers choose a sub class from Cleric, Druid and Shaman.
Cleric abilities stem from Divine magicks.
Druid abilities stem from Nature magicks. These classes have the most potent Heal over Time abilities.
Shaman abilities stem from elemental magicks.
Priest is the classic healing class with the most potent direct single target heals.
Protector has more potency in area of effect or multi target healing, with the occasional shield/force field ability.
Seeker is a melee class preferring a sword and dagger combination. The dagger is largely defensive for parrying purposes. The Seeker infuses their attacking weapon with Divine energies. Each time damage is inflicted, party members of the seeker benefit from passive healing effects. The Seeker can also build up charges to spend as more potent heals. However the Seeker is more suited as a supporting character as it lacks the raw healing power of other classes – but can do greater DPS as a result. The Seeker also wears the strongest armour of the Healer archetype.
Oracle Having the most potent single target HoTs The Oracle has a number of very short duration buffs (lasting a couple of seconds each) but with longer cooldowns. These buffs are capable of mitigating major damage from a single target but only if applied in anticipation of the specific event they are designed to counter. eg: A specific magickal element sheild or protection from knockdown.
Gaian The Gaian has weaker HoTs and some multi target HoTs. Unlike other Healers, Gaians gain a single Guardian pet (Guardian pets are not commandable but will auto attack any enemy that atacks or threathens their master). This pet is a tamed wild beast whose power is defined by the strength of their connection to their master – which grows as the Gaian levels. If not defending the Gaian, the pet will draw on its Master’s energies to add minor heals to party members. However, once drawn in to combat, the pet will not return to healing until its target is dead. If the pet is defeated in combat, the summoning spell is time consuming and must be performed out of combat. Gaian pets have different skins but the type of familiar does not affect its power. They are cosmetic. And once a familiar is chosen, it is most difficult to undo and replace.
Bard prefer clubs daggers. Their songs have magick in them. All allies in range of their songs gain benefits, or enemies suffer their penalties. The songs have an AoE effect with the Bard at its epicentre with limited ranges. Once a song is sung, its effect lingers, allowing bards to maintain two contant effects, or three for the most skilled bards. Effects include ticks of healing, mana regen, buffs, debuffs, damage, speed + or -, resistances etc.
Witch Doctor creates magical talismans from items that are often referred to in these games as vendor trash. These talismans can be called upon to release powerful magics but have limited charges. The Witch Doctor is capable of direct magicks, channeled healing and offensive curses. But their potency lies in the use of their talismans that must be prepared out of combat. Witch Doctor magicks are elemental such as healing flames.
Soothsayer perform rituals that like Witch Doctor talismans require preparation out of combat using vendor trash ingredients farmed from the bodies of fallen enemies (often icky bits). The Soothsayer can then activate these rituals for passive effects in combat. Up to 3 can be active at a time. One must have have the Soothsayer as the target – giving an AoE effect similar to Bardsong. The second can target a party member (often the main tank) but effects only the target. The third must target a location on the ground, and the AoE effect will only impact those in its radius. Remembering that combat should involve much moving about, the uses of this ritual could be interesting. Particularly if you are talking about a Gravity Well ritual that holds enemies within its radius. Soothsayers love. Again channelled heals are available and elemental spells.
Medicine Man magicks stem from chants and dance. Chanelled heals and elemental abilities are frequent and most are instant cast. However, the Medicine Man has many combinations in which to use these abilities that can increase their potency, crit effect, reduce mana cost, cause them to become multi target or AoE spells, or add a number of other secondary effects. Medicine Men prefer daggers and staffs.
Mages are the magickal DPS classes. They are heavily reliant on magicks and are squishy in terms of taking damage.
At level 10 Mages chose between the sub classes of Wizard Summoner or Enchanter.
Wizards are the purest magical DPS classes whose specialisations are primarily relating to magick types.
Summoners are pet casters. In this sub class phase, they can summon an arcane creature (basic and blobby). Specialisations can access to combat pets (commanded pets).
Enchanters have the most potent of all the crowd control abilities and have psychic spells in this sub class phase.
Sorcerers are elemental wizards. Their talent trees allow them to develop in to a one of the three elements for endgame specialisation – Fire Ice or Thunder.
Warlocks are shadow wizards whose spells are very DoT based, curses vulnerabilities and some shadow DD and drains.
Viridians are nature nukes. They can outlay massive damage with nature based spells.
Geomancers summon elemental creatures as combat pets. These aren’t just blobs of fire or ice. The fire pet may be a Phoenix. The Thunder pet a Thunderbird. Perhaps having different options within each element, some of which may depend on your trainer thus creating regional variations.
Geomancers have a single combat pet active at at time, and can even merge themselves with the pet for limited periods to become extra powerful but are drained afterwards.
These mages raise the dead as skeletal creatures. They often harvest bone fragments from fallen enemies, graveyards or vendors. These fragments are thrown to the ground with a spell to become planted like seeds, causing creatures to raise themselves out from the earth. Necromancers can control multiple combat pets at once, though commands apply to all of them at once. Skeletons are generally weaker pets but make up for that in numbers. With practice, necros can improve their summons to raise skeletons armed with bone weapons, or skeletal mages. Skeletons do not take party healing and only by channelling his own health in to them can the Necro heal them. They are more disposable and replacable. The Skeletons should also vary in race. There are many races in Lorea, so skeletons should be of random races. The Necro has some shadow spell abiltites to support his pets.
Beastmaster is the nature pet caster. However, the Beastmaster can maintain an extended stable of multiple tamed creatures from throughout Lorea. Each of which levels independently to the Beastmaster (though they can be left with trainers to catch them up to the Beastmaster’s level). The Beastmaster can have 3 active pets at a time. The Combat pet (obeys commands) – usually powerful like a Bear, Tiger or Wolf. The Guardian pet (only battles when its master is threatened) usually smaller animals. And a scouting pet – often birds like Eagles and Falcons, that can provide some support during combat. Also all players can have an active familiar which is purely passive but may give a minor buff to its master just by being active. Beastmasters can wield whips, but they dont use them on their pets. Just their enemies.
Illusionist spells use – yup – illusions. Invisibility, blindness, effects on the visual field that reduced ranged abilities. Phantom clones. Add to this some damaging psychic abilities (often DoTs) and a psychic creature as a combat pet (could give direction here but would rather see artists’ concepts.
Mindbender spells are also psychic in nature. They have mind controlling abilities, but can also create fear and paralysing terror, or cause an opponent to see friend as foe. Their damaging abilities are DD or channelled spells. Buffs for allies include courage and resistance to enemy psychic attacks.
ChaosBringers have a range of magickal abilities including DD, DoTs, AoE, buffs, and debuffs. But there is a twist, the magick type is random. The spells are Chromatic spells and only when casting is executed does the Chaos Bringer know which type (Fire, Shadow, Psychic, Arcane, etc) the spell possesses. While these spells are usually less potent than the equivalents of more focused specialisations, every time a ChaosBringer spell crits, it triggers a random effect that can do many varied things including summoning a lesser dragon combat pet for 20 seconds, throw healing at all allies, give allies a speed buff to movement and combat, randomly teleport an enemy target to a different location (not all effects are necessarily beneficial). Chaos Bringers (often favoured of Chaos Peoples) are unpredictable. This will make them disliked by some, but exciting for those prepared to accept the unpredictable nature of the class specialisation.
Lorea has the concept of Trade Skills (learned skills where you create a product that can be sold), and Gathering Skills (learned skills to gather raw materials often used in Tradeskills).
Every player can learn the basics of every Tradeskill. Many final products, require components crafted by multiple trades. Each trade has a basic knowledge section, that everyone can learn quickly. Then an intermediate section. Intermediate skills can still be learned by anyone, but require a greater investment in time and effort to advance. Intermediate skills may fork in-to sub-classes. Finally, there are the Artisan skills. These trade secrets are only taught by the most skilled tradesmen. Each player can earn Artisan levels in two unrelated tradeskills, with in game purchase options to unlock additional trades.
Basic Trades: Intermediate Artisan
Woodworking Fletcher, Carpenter Cabinet Maker, Woodcrafter
Smithing Blacksmith, Armorer, Tinkerer Armorcrafter, Weaponcrafter, Gizmologist
Alchemy Intermediate Chemist Master Chemist
Stonemasonry Mason, Jeweller Stonecrafter, Jewelcrafter
Baker Cook, Brewer Chef, Alemaster
Tanner Leatherworker Leathercrafter
Clothworker Tailor Master Tailor, Dressmaker
Scribe Calligrapher Inscriber
Enchanter Infuser Spellcrafter
Woodwork makes all wooden items. This includes raw timber pieces used in construction. Handles for weapons.Bows.Paper.Sawdust. If often needs alchemy resins and glues in its work. At intermediate levels, Woodworking splits in to two paths. One is focused on weapon work, and Carpentry In less aggressive recipes. These two specialise in to Woodcrafter (weapon specialist and small items) and Cabinet Maker (intricate furniture).
Smithing makes metal. Its main paths head down either a focus on weapons or armour. There is a third fork in this skill set focused on tiny and detailed metalwork. The Tinkerer/Gizmologist. Weapons often require Wood items to complete. Armour often needs leather or cloth padding and all metalwork often needs acids for etching.
Alchemy makes acids, glues , and potions. Potions are consumable and include both instant use (eg: healing) and buff potions. Alchemy often uses scraps from other professions (sawdust, metal shavings, charcoal) but its only real dependence is on glass, which is a Stoneworker’s province.
Stonemasonry. At basic levels, this includes making glass, sand, and any polished stones. This goes on to specialise between jewelcraft (which has a high dependence on tinkerer fine metals), and Stonemasonry which works more on carved stone, construction pieces, and artworks.
Cooks create food and drink items that are consumable. Players will get hungry and thirsty and will take stat penalties if this is not addressed. However, all food and drink provides the consumer with a relatively minor buff, but one that stacks against everything else. Players need to eat less often, but food buffs affect primary stats (STR, WIS, INT, etc). Drink is needed more regularly, and tends to affect secondary stats (resists, Crit, spellCrit, Mana regen rate). Drink can be alcoholic, and consuming multiple alcoholic beverages can result in stat penalties.
Tanners work with leather. They make leather armour and many components used in weapons and other trades. Leatherwork can include animal skin rugs or other leather furniture items. It also includes costume style clothing.
Clothworkers work with fabrics. They can make clothing, cloth armour, and components used in many other trades. Division only occurs in Artisan stage and allows players to make a choice between a focus on crafted armour, and cosmetic costumes.
Scribes focus on the written word. They often inscribe runes on items to imbue them with magical properties. With paper from a woodworker, they can produce tomes, which are a popular off-hand item for certain caster classes. Scribes can also create Spell Scrolls. Written and rolled like a scroll, opening one of these items allows the opener to cast the spell inscribed on it. These are often offensive or healing spells that would be used in combat, perhaps when out of mana. Scribes also make inks. Inks made by scribes can be used to dye or tint clothing and some other items.
Enchanters are able to imbue items with magical properties. While these magical properties can come from Spell Scrolls, most enchanters are able to cast their own spells being a Mage or Healer combat class. The skill of the Enchanter combined with the particular spell used, and the item it is used on, determine the bonuses. A view of what the enchantment will give is provided to the Enchanter. Individuals hiring an enchanter also see this. Not all items can be enchanted, and only one enchantment per item can be made.
Some trades are going to be more popular than others. They simply have a more direct impact to core gameplay. As previously discussed, the balancing factor will be Supply vs Demand. The less impacting trades will have less players take them up. Making the items they produce rarer, and more valuable, therefore having higher profit margins. However, while 10,000 people may want a steel sword early on, a cosmetic item or furniture piece may only sell 10 completed items over the same period.
All tradeskills will have an offlinetradeskill option. Players must either have an appropriate trade workstation in their home, or log out at a designated craft hall (usually where the trainers and supporting vendors are found). Players can set up prices against the recipes they know and other players can ‘hire’ them for up to 6 hours after going offline (even digital people need some sleep).
The offline store ability works as follows:
Martine needs a new dagger. He visits a NPC that connects him to the tradeskill network. Martine filters against item types to find daggers, those he can use, and ranks them by price range.
The price range includes courier costs. So tradespersons within the same town or city will have a much smaller delivery costs compared to a player in another city, or even another continent.
Martine finds a good dagger and the best price to construct. Arun is in offline trade mode and makes a Bone Handled Swiftblade. However, Arun does not have the components needed. Martine must first provide the components before he can complete the order. Martine can do this by searching each component with different tradespersons, buying off the in game auction house, or by gathering the raw materials himself. The tradeskill window allows components to be expanded into their predecessors or raw materials. From this Martine can create a shopping list. The recipe requires a swiftblade from a metalworker, a bone dagger handle from a woodworker, and some alchemist glue. Arun has the blade component recipe and is prepared to supply the raw materials needed to make it for an additional cost. Martine find’s Arun’s materials cost reasonable and places an order. The payment for the order is subtracted immediately. Based on the volume and complexity of the recipe, and the distance the courier must travel, the game will have advised how long it will take for the order to complete. Even if Arun logs in now, as far as he is concerned, the transaction is completed and he will receive payment along with a summary of offline transactions. Even though Martine may wait another 20 minutes before his component is delivered.
If Martine had bought the other components previously, he could have stacked his orders to create the blade, and then use that to create the dagger as a finished product.
Recipes are taught by trainers throughout the world. All will have core basic designs including any materials that are commonly needed by other crafters. However, particularly in weapons, armour and furniture, recipes can be applied to multiple raw materials.
Eg: A Longbow may require a wooden shaft, a string, and a leather strap to create.
The wooden shaft can be created out of any type of wood harvested. But different qualities of wood will create different results. Generally, higher tiered materials will generate a superior result. However, some materials may simply give a different focus. Some woods may increase the damage of the bow. Others, the range. Others the attack speed. Others the accuracy. The same applies to metals, leather, and cloth. Most jewellery has generic recipes that any kind of precious stone can be added to.
Note: A player with adequate raw materials can set their character up in an offline crafting mode where the character will mass produce 50 of a given item while the player is offline. The player will be advised how long creation will take. If they log in before that time has elapsed, the order is paused and recommenced the next time the player logs out in offline crafting mode.
These are how raw materials are gathered. Players can learn every gathering skill. As these skills level, players will be able to access higher tier raw materials, or see a higher rate or rarer materials be harvested.
Players with gathering skills will be able to identify harvesting nodes throughout the world. I would love this to be every actual tree. That part of the world generation would add metal ores in to the earth. Many MOBs encountered will also possess often possess some crafting materials.
Players can also enter Offline Gathering mode, where the player can activate or prioritise the types of resources they require. On logging out, the game will send them off as a NPC in search of those resources. Effectiveness will be combinations of where the player entered Offline Gathering mode (looking for lumber in the middle of a desert? Not a good idea) and their Gathering skill. Players set how long they want their character to gather for. After this time, the character will return to their starting location. If this is an inn room or home, the player effectively sleeps and earns rested and bonus xp. If the player logs back in during an Offline Gathering period, they log in exactly wherever the character happened to be at that time. MOBs can also attack players in Offline Mode, though the player character takes no damage from this. Effectively, the MOB just knocks them down and they remain stunned for 1 minute. The AI will generally avoid hostile MOBs while seeking resources.
Offline Gathering is not the best way to amass raw materials. It is, however, the lowest impact and least time consuming. There may also be an option to hire an NPC to gather for you while you are off adventuring.
A player will have a trade tool slot that they can equip a single item in. This serves no purpose other than making a single Gathering or Trade skill set active. A player actively harvesting resources will need to stop and switch to the correct tool for each resource.
The Gathering Skills ar:
Lumberjack (harvests trees – earns wood and sometimes fruit) – equipment is a Lumberjack Axe.
Miner (harvests metal and precious stones) – equipment is a Miner’s Pick.
Fisherman (harvests fish, seafood and seaweed) – equipment is a Fishing Rod
Forager (harvests grasses, roots, flowers, seeds, honey, berries, grapes) – equipment is a Foraging Tool
Butcher (harvests leather, meat, bone from animals) – equipment is a Skinning Knife
Botanist (harvests cotton, plant pulp, maybe bamboo, berries, flowers, vines) – equipment is a Botany Fork
Keeper (animal bone, dung, wool, milk, eggs, feathers, etc) – equipment is a Keeper’s Multi Tool.
While these gathering skills have relationships with trade skills, they can each service multiple trades. Home will include options to grow certain plants that can be harvested daily for a small amount of some gathering supply. Or possibly items such as a bee hive to gain honey.
Players will be required to reach a minimum level before selling items on the Auction House (low, like lvl 10). Auction House prices also include courier costs, so prices from sellers far away may seem dearer than local producers.
Players will have a maximum number of active auctions at a time, with an in game purchase option to allow expansion. Every time an auction completes that a player bid on, their guild’s wiki will update against the sold item’s recent sale history, as will the sellor’s.
Items on Auction House(AH) have a minimum or default price. This will be relatively low and not take game economic growth in to consideration. A player will also be shown a Merchant Price. If the item in question is not sold within 7 days (would be nice but time probably driven by practical concerns), then the item is automatically sold to the Merchant for the Merchant Price. The Merchant price represents what you would get if you just vendored an item.
Sellers can set the minimum bid amount to anything equal to or higher than the Merchant Price. They can also set a ‘Buy It Now’ price. Other players can either bid or buy now. The Buy It Now option does not disappear once bidding starts. Any player at any time can come in and simply select the Buy It Now option. The AH has multiple filters, watch lists where players will receive mail notification if certain conditions are met (a Blade of Infinity is being sold for less than 3000 gold). Players can preview what an item looks like before purchasing.
All AH purchases, or items involving a courier arrive at mailboxes located in every town village or city in the world.Option for in game purchase of a summoned mailbox.
Bags & Storage
Players will have equipment slots, bag slots, and a couple of extra storage capabilities on their persons. This is separate to banks or vault storage.
Player equipment slots are (proposed):
Head (hat, crown, etc) option to make item invisible in settings
Chest (shirt, tunic, armour – a robe will count as both chest and legs)
Legs (Pants, dress)
Feet (Items all come in pairs – special rules for centaurs/merfolk)
Shoulders (pauldrons, capes) option to make item invisible in settings
Hands (Gloves, mitts)
Ears (paired item – Minotaur nose ring is separate)
Fingers (for rings – can have 2 separate magickal rings. Additional non-magickal rings can also be worn.
Primary Hand/Off Hand (weapons/ shields) – option in character creation to set left or right as primary hand.
Players will have up to 8 bag slots with an in game purchase option to unlock 2 more. They receive a starter backpack with 16 slots in it and quickly begin earning 4-6 slot bags in beginner content. Tradeskills can create other bag or container items with larger ranges. Bags with more than 20 slots are unique (1 per player).
Players also have options for alternate costumes. These can be purchased in game and allow the player to instantly switch between gear sets. This may allow for role changes (tank to DPS for example), or may just allow them to keep cosmetic clothing sets available.
A player’s default bank has 50 slots and 2 bag slots. Unlocks can expand this up to 10 bag slots and an additional 50 bank slots. Any of these slots can be set as account shared and any items in those slots (or bag slots) can be accessed by any of your alternate characters on the account.
A guild bank gets 100 slots in a bank tab as a default. Guildies can pay to unlock up to 9 additional guild bank slots. Leaders can set permissions per bank tab as well as place rules around the types of items that can be submitted (eg: Crafting materials only – Tier 2 minimum). Also rules on which players can withdraw items, if there are maximum withdrawal rules, if a player must first donate something before they can withdraw, etc.
Note: I did like the FFXIV – Reborn tradeskill mechanic where creating items was a mini game to balance quality against completion. Of all the tradeskill grinding methods, that was my favourite. However, this does not fit the offline tradeskill mechanic I had earmarked already. And while the FFXIV mini game was the most compelling skill grind, the intent of the offline tradeskilling is to remove the grind from advancement of tradeskills. And perhaps as importantly, the time players spent advertising and marketing their wares instead of just getting on with adventuring.
Recipes have a few kinds. General – the ones anyone can learn from a trainer as they level. Shared – a scribe that learns these recipes can write them down and others can read the scroll to learn that recipe. Regional – sold by vendors, trainers or NPCs belonging to the same race or living in the same physical location, but only sold in that location. Then there are dropped recipes. The items created by dropped recipes should be equal to dropped items of the same level assuming equal tiered raw materials are used. Dropped recipes can include cosmetic items as well as combat items.
The World of Lorea
(section under construction)
Player vs Player (PVP)
Player vs Player combat can happen voluntarily in the open world, through special events such as Guild Wars, or via Arena matches.
Open world PVP. Players must chose to activate their PVP flag. Once activated, it can be flagged off, but will remain active until at least 5 minutes without PVP combat takes place.
A player cannot attack a PVP flagged opponent without toggling their PVP flag to on first. Guards and Militia are NPCs located in cities and towns that will automatically aggro any enemy player with their PVP flag toggled to ‘on’. As there is a 4 tiered faction in Lorea, any faction that is not directly linked to the town in question should be considered an enemy for this purpose. However, opposed factions will be enemies and Guards will attack whether PVP flags are on or not. Neutral factions can become friendly through faction modifiers from certain quests and story arcs.
Players can raid towns and cities. Players viewing a global map will be able to see a combat symbol over any town or city under attack. Invading players will have to content with NPCs as well as any local players that help to defend. Special Major NPCs will appear in towns and cities and defeating them will earn achievements, and high quality loot.
PVP wins, wins in open world PVP, open world raids on towns and villages, and Special Major NPC defeats will all award achievements.
Arenas are instanced PVP events. Each different Arena has different objectives, map, and obstacles.
Players gain access to their first Arena instance at level 10, and another every 10 levels until the ultimate level. Each Arena has a 10 level bracket for level ranges.
Players can queue for PVP at any time unless they are in an active Story Arc group. Players may choose to enter the first available Arena, or select specific Arenas to queue for.
If a player leaves a PVP queue, then rejoins at later time, they are automatically advanced to the spot in the queue equal to the total time they have already waited. If the minimum number of players to form a match exists, and players have been queued for more than 10 minutes, players will be given the option to start the battleground immediately, or wait for more people. This reminder will pop up a maximum of 3 times. On the 4th time, the Arena will commence with the current number of available players, provided the minimum is still met.
The level 10-19 battleground is called Coliseum. This Roman Coliseum style map. The map will try and wait for 8 contestants of any faction who start the fight in cages equidistant around the circular map. The cages open as the Arena commences. The format is last man standing. There are no friends or alliances. Everyone attacks everyone else. This map is also likely to be the one most commonly used in PVP global tournaments, whether solo or team based. Last man standing wins. This Arena is physically located in the Sslikk capital, and players visiting the capital will be treated to shows of current Coliseum matches in progress.
The level 20 to 29 Arena is called Capture the Flag. A central ‘flag’ spawns in the middle of the map. 2-3 teams of 8-10 players spawn at their base toward the edge of the map. The flag requires 3 seconds of uninterrupted interaction to pick up. The player holding the flag is marked on all player’s maps. The first team to return 3 flags to their base wins the match. This Arena is located on the outskirts of the dark elf capital.
The Level 30 to 39 Arena is called the Summoning. Players completing the first bottleneck will have a level 39 mirror character, so expect this to be a popular level bracket. This match allows 2-4 teams of 8-12 players to compete. Located at various spawn points around the map are summoning points. There is one summoning point relatively close to each faction base, and one that is central, totalling 5 points. Each summoning point has 4 pads in close proximity to each other. A player standing motionless on a pad enters a summoning animation and begins to accrue summoning charge for their team. If the player moves, or is damaged or otherwise attacked, summoning is broken and cannot recommence for 5 seconds. Thus, enemies nearby will need to be dealt with. The more players a team has controlling pads at a single point, the quicker each of those players will provide summoning charge. The first team that completes a summoning wins. A giant monster appears and quickly eliminates all losing players from the map. This Arena is located near the Gnomish capital.
The Level 40 to 49 Arena is called Flag Stealing. This is for 2-3 teams of 8-12 players. Each team begins at their base with a flag in their central room. The objective is to steal 3 enemy flags and return them to your base before your enemy does the same. All 3 flags may not be from the same opponent in a 3 team match. This match is located in the Felion Forests near their capital.
The Level 50 to 59 Arena is called Hot Potato. For 2-3 teams of 5-10 players. A central item (probably not a potato) is picked up by the first character to reach it. A timer begins counting the total time held for that player’s team. The longer the player holds the potato, a damagedebuff accumulates causing them to take 1% increased damage per second the potato is held. When the holder is killed, the potato automatically transfers to the individual that dealt the killing blow. First team to accumulate 5 minutes wins. This match is held in a Thugby arena at the Ogre capital.
The Level 60 to 69 Arena is called Hold the Capture Point. 2nd bottleneck image.For 2-4 teams of 10-15 players. There are 9 capture points on the map. They do not all return resources at the same rate. While comparable, some capture points are just worth more. An uninterrupted 5 second interaction is required to begin capturing a point. If an opponent does not counter with a similar interaction to cancel the capture process within 30 seconds, the point falls under control of the capturing team. Contested sites award no points. The 9 capture points award between 4 and 7 points per second hel (4x 4ps, 2x 5ps, 2x 6ps, 1x 7ps). The first team to accumulate 10,000 points wins the match. This Arena is held near the Goblin capital.
Level 70 to 79 Arena is calledBraveheart. This is the third bottleneck level. This is a match for 2 teams with 12-24 players per side. Each army starts at the top of a hill facing each other across a valley. Players do not respawn on death. Last team with surviving players wins. This match is held in an area near the Troll capital.
Level 80 to 89 Arena is called Pearl Farming. This is an underwater PVP map located on the outskirts of Atlantis. Players begin in grottos. Underwater breathing items can be collected here. In the central field are oysters that players need to interact with to open and claim pearls. Pearls then need to be returned to the team grotto. This is for 2-4 teams of 10-14 players. Pearls can be stolen in transit from players carrying them.
Level 90 to 99 Arena is called Invasion. This is the final bottleneck level. It is for 2 teams of 12-20 players. The match is broken in to halves. In each half one team becomes the attacker and one the defender. The match sees the attacker attempt to invade a defended fixed position held by the defender. Each half has a time limit. If both halves have successful raids, the ultimate winner is decided by who won faster. The location is near the Dwarven Capital and has a sea bound assault on a Dwarven fortress.
Omega level Arena is called Battlefront. This is an entire island realm on the world map. The realm is a persisting PVP zone. It has four extremities, each with a faction base in it, and a central contested area. Each team earns points for every enemy player defeated, capturing strategic targets on the map,and completing objectives handed out by NPCs in your base. Capturable strategic targets include flight towers, forts, farms (that when held earn you resources and increase the NPCs available to help defend your locations). If you have a captured blacksmith, a farm, and a mine for metal, you can generate mounts and weapons that are the highest quality PVP specific items in game, and can only be equipped or used in combat within the Battlefront.
30 players per side set in 5 man teams. The longest serving player holds leadership but can pass it to somebody else. Matches take place over the course of a calendar month. At the end of the calendar month the side with the most points wins Battlefront, and anyone that participated in that victory receives special tokens for Battlefront specific items or other high end rewards. Enemy armies can be placed in precarious positions by invading their base and defeating the champion NPCs within. Army leaders can spend accumulated resources for the team on hiring NPC mercenaries and assigning them to locations throughout the map. Blood from fallen enemies can be collected and handed in at a central temple. The first team to reach their target first summons a NPC Hydra that randomly wanders the central map attacking any enemy player that comes in to range. The Hydra can be defeated by concerted effort, though if an enemy army is focused on killing a Hydra, who is defending their capture points? The four sided content should prevent any one side dominating, though in practical terms how these matches manage to continue through lower play volume hours is a point to watch.
On death, players may choose to leave the Battlefront, or may exit through a portal in their base. Players that exit by any other means face a time penalty against their position in the queue.
An open point on PVP mechanics relates to stats. If PVP uses the same stats as PVE, then PVP becomes an alternative for achieving end game gear, rather than completing PVE content. Some systems use different stats for PVE and PVP. Others introduce PVP specific mechanics.
I am inclined to have separate gear skewed toward PVP instead of PVE. I am inclined toward a modifier approach. For instance, stats that increase PVP physical damage, PVP magic damage, PVP physical damage mitigation, and PVP magic damage mitigation. These sit on top of base stats. So, in terms of pure base stats, a PVP item should be slightly weaker than its PVE equivalent. However, the PVP specific stats would make it superior to wear in PVP fights. This means that if somebody avoids PVP until level 80, they don’t start from scratch. Their PVE gear is an okay place to start and may even be competitive depending where on the spectrum of quality it sits. However, there will always be top end gear that is best for PVE and top end gear that is best for PVP.
Progression and Endgame
The progression of the game is broken up in to 5 distinct sections.
Levels 1 to 39 are the learning curve. Where players learn how to play their characters and interact with the world. This culminates in a 10 man bottleneck event that must be completed before a player can advance to level 40.
Levels 40-69 is the second tier. More difficulty factors are coming in to play. Resistances are starting to matter in equipment. Mana regen and threat management concepts are introduced in group play. This culminates in a 15 man bottle neck event that must be completed before a player can advance to level 70.
Levels 70-89 is the third tier. New strategic dynamics are coming to the fore. Tank and spank doesn’t disappear completely, but there are more alternate fights, timed fights, strange boss mechanics fights. This culminates in a 20 man bottle neck event that must be completed before a player can advance to level 90.
Levels 90-99 are the advanced tier. Resistance knowledge and preparation becomes critical. Boss fights have stages that can result in insta-wipe if not handled correctly. This culminates in a 25 man bottle neck event that must be completed before a player can advance to Omega (maximum) level.
Level 100 – Omega. This is the end game section. While it has its own tiers, and progression, it can be considered a single section.
Bottle Neck events are Story Arcs. They have a minimum troop requirement and are noticeably harder than their preceding content. In return, they drop- better items. Realistically, the majority of a Bottle Neck party will need upgrades dropped during the Bottle Neck to be strong enough to finish the bottle neck and defeat the final boss. They are also specific to the level the bottle neck is for. No level scaling for these ones.
This means that players will most likely need to spend several runs on each Bottle Neck event to obtain loot upgrades to make them strong enough to finish the run.
On completion of the Story Arc, in addition to the normal loot rolls during the epilogue, each player receives a token that removes the level cap to the next bottle neck event level. Each player immediately levels, even if they had not earned enough XP to level yet.
The player also receives a token of their own character. This is a mirror of the character including all equipment it had when completing the bottle neck. This player may revert at any time to this mirror image version of themselves, particularly if they are helping guild mates or friends complete the bottle neck. While in a mirror image, the player does not earn XP or level. However, loot upgrades are saved against the mirror profile so a player can still improve.
Bottle necks restrict players abilities to rush to the end game content. They are also logical closure points in the event the game is intended to be released in parts or updates.
The social aspects of MMO gaming can often be a deciding factor in how much effort they put in to the game. The objective with Guilds is to create the tools for players to manage themselves as groups, and reward the players that do so.
To form a guild. You will require a minimum of 5 people in a group. The Group Leader will by default lead the transaction to form the guild, but requires all other group members to complete. They must all be in the same location (region/city). A Guild Master NPC will be set up in most major cities. Paying him an in game coin cost establishes your Guild Charter. The forming players must then complete the Charter. This charter will appear as a scroll and contain details and links for players interested in the guild to be able to view when they are invited to join your guild.
The following aspects of the charter must be completed before the guild can be submitted to finalise the creation process.
– The Guild Leader must assign an eXecutive Officer (XO). (All other players will receive a default rank of ‘Founder’).
– Set the Guild’s Name
– Tag the nature of the guild (PVP, Role Playing, Levelling, End Game, Raiding)
– Set key rules (no swearing, no griefing, no begging in Guild Chat)
– Set membership limitations (eg: exclude Trolls, or exclude all Chaos people)
– Set leadership method (monthly/quarterly elections? Until current leader abdicates. Public elections, or minimum rank required to get a vote – etc)
– Write commentary or notes
Things that may be done but are not necessary to finish creating the guild:
– Set a tithe rate (% of coins earned by members that automatically go to the Guild Treasury – default 2%)
– Change your ranks, permissions, and descriptions (some ranks may not become available at early levels)
– Link a house to be your guild house (NB: forming the guild makes some larger housing available that is not otherwise able to be purchased)
– Establish a guild crest or logo (level dependent)
A guild starts at level 1. Each time any member of the guild earns XP, a percentage of that is awarded as bonus XP to the guild xp meter. Initially, the guild doesn’t mean much. Early levels will quickly unlock key abilities such as a Guild Chat Channel (and later an officer sub-channel). Making your guild label visible to other players.Establishing a guild bank. A strong guild with good support may look at getting a guild house where they can set up items including the Guild Bank, and hire NPCs for vendors and repairmen. Also setting up tradecraft tables for members to take advantage of. Larger guild houses can create rooms for key members to enjoy and modify to their taste (want your own oval office?). All this construction costs money, and is where the tithe concept comes from. The default tithe value is not much, and a Guild Leader may discuss increasing the rate when the Guild is trying to save up for something special.
Once formation is complete, the guild automatically has a website registered. The Guild Leader can set permissions to enable this site to be configured. The website will automatically include sections such as Roster (updated live from game) that lists players, their alternates, and any tradeskills they possess. Forums, though a moderator must be assigned before these can be used. Screenshot events.Also, a guild Wiki page.
Once formed, every player that creates, loots or discovers anything adds to the guild’s Wiki. Over time, your guild will build up its own database based on the experiences of its members.
There will also be a records section, with records for things like:
– Longest standing members
– Best PVP arena record
– Longest PVP winning streak in Arenas
– First on server to discover….
– First in guild to discover….
This will have section headings, recent entries, and assorted views.
A calendar section for upcoming events that players can sign up to, including the option for recording rewards systems like DKP.
Guild elections are a new concept. Effectively,2 weeks prior to the current leader’s term ends, the guild receives a general notice about the upcoming election and asks for nominations.
The standing Guild Leader is always assumed as running again. If he does not intend to, he can resign instead, but retains the job until the election day results are tallied.
There is no limit to how many guild members may be nominated, but they may not nominate themselves. Nominations remain open for the first six days.
Candidates now have 7 days to campaign (most will have already started). An election campaign section will open up in the Guild Website where each candidate can post discussions, arguments, etc.
With 24 hours to go with the incumbent leadership’s term. The polls open. Every guild member receives a mail item that they must open and complete their vote for. Options for first past the post or preferential voting systems available.
At the close of the 24 hour window, the new Guild Leader is decided. The previous leader is automatically assigned an Officer ranked position. In the event of a tie, the incumbent leader has final and absolute call.
If a Guild Leader ever quits, leadership automatically reverts to the XO. The newly promoted XO will not be able to quit the guild unless they have either nominated a new XO, or there are no other members left in the guild (Disbanding).
The intention is also to have guild events unlocked at different levels. Popular options include the ‘Friday Night Fights’ event allowing a guild to reserve their own instance of a PVP Arena and throw their own invitation only PVP event. Or an option for a special guild Story Arc instance event where all members are synched to an appropriate level for it (see bottle necks section).
Events also include Guild Wars. A Guild War requires two guilds with adequate levels to agree to declare war on each other. This can be through a series of different PVP events. Last Man Standing.Hot Potato.Etc.
Another section is the Castle Keep.
The Castle Keeps are a series of large castles located throughout the world. A guild takes control of a Castle Keep that is unoccupied until an enemy Guild declares an attack against them. Then it is up to the Guild to defend the Castle Keep for a 3 hour window to retain control. While controlled, the Castle Keep earns the guild bonus gold, resources, and acts as a Guild house.
During the 3 hour window, Every 15 seconds, a point is awarded for every player inside the boundaries of the castle. Whichever guild has the most points at the end of the Keep defence, gains control of the Keep. Keeps have varying lengths of time before they can be attacked again. Some are daily. Some weekly. Perhaps one monthly (highly contested). In the down time, players can help build up castle defences.
Death and the Underworld
When a player dies in combat, they become a spirit and respawn at a graveyard point that will exist in every zone. Though it may sometimes not be in the most convenient location or could be a fair distance from where you died. Returning to your body is the first penalty (resurrection options are still available). Every item you equip will have two statistics. One is Repair and the other Durability.
Repair represents the item’s current state of repair. This will be a number and at its maximum, would represent brand new, needle sharp, not a scratch on it equipment.
Each time a player dies, the Repair value reduces by 1. At zero repair, the item is unusable. At maximum repair, the item may gain a small bonus to its stats. At any repair value less than the maximum, a player can choose to have the item repaired to its ultimate state. However, doing so reduces the Durability value of the item. An item with no durability is destroyed.
As a result, items are generally re-sellable. The Durability value will have a large impact on their perceived worth. Most players should expect to out-grow items before their durability does down much, and then re-sell or hand down the item to somebody else. However, all items eventually die. Though players will have an option to display their favourite weapons and armour in display units in their homes. Alternatively, some players will be able to recover tradeskill components by recycling items.
So, if an item has a Repair value of 8 and a durability value of 7, the item could at best be repaired 49 times before it could no longer be used, assuming you wouldn’t go adventuring with a weapon that has a repair value of 1.
This option sits as an entirely optional experience. When a player dies as a spirit, they may have the option to travel to the Underworld. Only spirits and demons live here. The Spirit then becomes a level 1 spirit and can level independently of its living self. Spirits have malleable forms, so by templating different spirit creatures, they can configure themselves to different combat rolls. Loot is in ectoplasm (the dead have no more need of treasure), which has itself a kind of underworld tradeskill for turning it in to spirit item upgrades.
Ectoplasm is a combined health and mana pool used by spirits. When in a party, the entire party draws from the same pool (but gets bonuses to their total pool amount based on physical proximity of all members).
At any time, a Spirit may return to the waking world at the graveyard point closes to where they died.
On the Day of the Dead, Spirits can walk in the waking world.
There will probably be some Story Arcs that allow players to travel to the Underworld from the land of the living.
THE WORLD OF LOREA
Players begin earning achievements early in the game. Simple achievements may earn 5 points each. Incrementing up to 100 points for an achievement that is incredibly difficult to pull off (defeat the NPC boss of every enemy major city in the world). These points accumulate, and can be spent on Achievement trees.
Achievement trees require 100 points for level 1 purchases. Players gain entry levels to increase basic stats at level 1 or basic resistances. Based on race/class, additional items can be purchased through achievement points. At each tree level, new options open up, but with precedents in the preceding layer. These may include crit rates, mana regen, resistance to various status, movement speed, mounted movement speed, underwater abilities, chance of double shot with any ranged weapon attack, etc. Each layer also increases the number of points needed to purchase anything in that layer. Layer 2, 250 points.Layer 3, 500 points.Layer 4, 750 points.Layer 5, 1000 points.Layer 6, 2500 points.Layer 7, 5000 points.Layer 8, 7500 points.Layer 9, 10000 points.Etc
Higher layers do not give larger bonuses. Points spent on 9 layers of increased intelligence only results in +9 to INT. However, they can be a point of differentiation, and do link material rewards to the achievement system. However, the effort involved compared to the rewards make achievement farming a less effective way to progress than through item upgrades.
There will be thousands of potential achievements in game. It should be theoretically possible to max out your achievement points, but practically close to impossible as many of the most difficult achievements will be very difficult to complete.
Other achievements will give layers based on volumes. Eg: One achievement may be ‘Defeat a player in PVP’. This awards 5 points. But then the achievement opens its next tier, and will award another 5 points if you defeat 10 players in PVP. Then 50.Then 100.Then 500.Then 1000.Then 5000.Then 10000.Then 50000.Then 100000.
Achievements are announced to party members, individuals standing nearby, and in guild chat. Individuals can filter this out in chat settings. If an achievement is ranked – the rank will be included in the announcement, as well as the difficulty tier of the achievement.
Each race has a racial capital city. Usually, one of these is the faction capital as well. On top of this, the biggest city in Lorea is Central City that sits in the heart of flat savannahs in the centre of the largest continent. Both Golbins and Dwarves claim to have founded the city (yet another point of contention between the two races) with the idea that it would be a centre for trade and commerce. The city is round(ish) with high walls encircling. There are massive gates at North East South and West that lead on to highways running to the inner city. These highways slice the outer city into to quarters and each faction has claimed one quarter as its own. Other factions may enter each quarter, but the bulk of the residents will belong to one faction. These quarters have many trainers, stores, and housing within them. Also banks, AH, tradehalls, guild halls, etc.
In the inner city, the grand castle and home for delegates from every race sitting on a Grand Council is central with a moat and gardens surrounding it. Between that and the outer city is the grand marketplace. Every type of vendor can be found here including some that cannot be located anywhere else in the world. The city is protected by powerful magicks that prevent violence from within its walls (though the first story arc of end game may contradict this for a time). Even within quarters, there are pockets of clearly upper class and lower class dwellings. Or individual racial concentrations (Little Ogreland?). Mounts riding along the highways will also get a magical speed bonus.
Beyond the capitals, different races will have varying numbers of smaller towns and villages spread throughout the world. Sometimes, just military encampments or forts.
Travel and Mounts.
Mounted travel can commence relatively early. Land mounts vary in terms of top speed and acceleration. Many land mounts also have a sprint ability that modifies their top speed while reducing their endurance. A rider can trigger the sprint ability that remains active as long as the stamina bar is not drained. Players should be able to access some mounts relatively early on in the game (say from lvl 20), but the best mounts should be reserved for higher levels through cost to buy, riding skill level limits, and similar.
Mounts (along with all animal pets) are housed at a stable found in most towns. A player does not need to have their mount equipped to summon them. Players can keep multiple mounts.
There are also Aquatic Mounts and Flying Mounts. These would begin to become available at higher levels (Aquatic at 40, Flying at 70). Further, some mounts can be amphibious and have different speed values for land and water (Tortoise mount!).
Normal movement is driven by the base SPEED stat. However, the modifiers from equipment and buffs are plentiful, so a couple of points here or there should not change much.
All players gain a Sanctuary Gate ability that on cooldown allows the player to teleport to a location they have identified as ‘home’.
All Mages,Enchanters, Druids and Shaman gain teleport abilities that allow them to teleport to a major nexus point located in assorted major cities. The player must visit these locations first before they can teleport to them.
Summoners gain the ability to summon players in their group to the Summoners’ location from anywhere in the world. A request prompt is offered to the player in question.
Wizards gain a group teleport ability to teleport all members of a party close by to a nexus location.
Shaman gain a wormhole ability that can allow a group to rapidly transport to a nexus location through a wormhole effect.
Enchanters can open a dimensional tear that any party member can pass through to teleport to a nexus.
All healers and holy casters (including hybrids like paladins) gain Revive or Resurrection abilities. A combat rez is quicker and gets the player back on their feet and fighting with about half health and mana. A restoration takes much longer to cast, requires significantly more mana. The revived player respawns with 1% health and mana and must regenerate with their out of combat health and mana regen rates. Restoration can be cast en masse, affecting all friendly targets in range. Players that receive a Restoration rez gain a %(10-50%) chance to remove damage to item repair caused by death for each item.
Stables in towns will also hire out auto-mounts. These mounts will auto-path to a pre-selected destination. Players can dismount at any time throughout the journey. Players will not be aggrod or attacked during auto mounted travel. The player will know how long the travel will take and it is expected this will often be an AFK time.
Aeries are the same thing for Flying auto mounts. Aquatic mounts use stables.
You must unlock a connected stable or aerie by visiting it once before you can choose it as an auto mount travel destination.
Capitals within a faction will also allow players to travel from one nexus to the next from the nexus point in each capital.
Faction quests – changing sides
Want to be a nice friendly Ogre and join the faction of Order? You can do it, but it is hard work. During the first 39 levels, players will be introduced to subversives within their faction. These will offer betrayal chain quests and story arcs. This process is fairly long and painful, and includes a point where everybody hates you and you will not be able to show your face in any non-netural town without NPCs attacking. This chain leads a player to their point of betrayal, that involves handing over plans to the old faction’s racial capitals to the faction you wish to join.
You cannot join an opposed faction. The racial enmity runs so deep you will never be accepted. You can join either neutral faction.
Once a neutral faction has plans of another faction’s capitals, it opens quests for raids against those capitals to assassinate the ruler.
Eg: Ogre betrays Shadow League. Joins nice fishy men in Atlantis. Steals the plans and hands them over to the Atlantean leadership. This creates separate raid event to attach each of the Morridite capital city, the Dark Elf capital city, the Ogre capital city and the Fiend capital city.
When all four city raids are successfully completed, the attacking faction becomes enemies with the attacked, and allies with their opposite (in the example, Order becomes enemies with Shadow, and allies with Light).
Faction members treated as allied get better prices from local vendors and merchants, and this may open up racial and cultural story arcs.
Continuing the example, the alliance could be broken a few ways. A Human could betray Light to join Order. Once the city raids are successful, Order becomes allied with Shadow and enemies with Light. Or, a Morridite may choose to defect to Chaos. Since Chaos and Order cannot ever be aligned, the moment Chaos completed its city raids and became allied with Light, the alliance with Order would revert to neutral status as would their relationship with Shadow.
If multiple players complete betrayal chains, there could be multiple plans held by a faction, making the city raid repeatable.
A player that logs in or has a home in a city that they are no longer welcome in will receive an option to vacate (no rent refunded but all items placed returned). Rent can be paid remotely, and with Sanctuary Gate abilities, a player can always return home. However they may not be able to step outside without NPCs attacking.
Guilds will need to consider this when setting up a guild house. Beware buying property in a location that is not either truly neutral (neutral races – central city), or is directly controlled by your faction.
Neutral races (Tier 2 and 3 unlockables) will each have a racial capital also, and may have satellite towns and settlements. Generally, these cities are smaller than most racial faction locations. They do possess nexus points, but the nexus are not interconnected. These neutral locations are often also key connectors in networks of stables and aeries for auto-mounts.
Players will always gain XP bonus for time offline provided they log out in an inn or a home. Initially, they will gain access to a very basic instanced room as their home. However, all housing requires a weekly upkeep to be paid. If unpaid, the room is lost and any items stored within are bundled up and returned to the player.
Housing quickly becomes more expensive. Top housing is very expensive and really intended only for high level guilds to be able to afford regular upkeep.
Housing comes in 3 types.
1 – Instanced. Usually like a block of flats or townhouses, these have a shared entry point. These tend to be the cheapest housing, though the units do have a significant variation in their quality.
2 – Vacant Land. Within city/town/village limits will often be blocks of empty land. Players that purchase this land can create their own building (event their own apartments they could rent out). The upkeep of the land is significantly cheaper, but you do have to come up with all construction materials yourself.
3- Established homestead. These are stand alone houses, often with yards. They can vary from small houses and offices to grand halls. Players can still decorate or modify these residences to give them a personal touch.
To support these locations there will be many building materials added to tradeskills. Bricks.Lumber.Pipes.Glass. Many different items basic tradeskill professionals will be able to create for you with the right materials. Items could also be purchasable via in-game store, though expectation would be that this mostly for rare or unusual items.Tradeskills will also be able to specialise within a trade. One possible specialisation may be Construction and Housing items.
Housing in the major cities will sell out first. Players seeking available housing will be able to visit an NPC Realator or possibly the Mayor or Chieftain in small villages. This NPC will direct you to all available housing you can purchase. Smaller townships are more likely to have available locations.
Options exist for entirely player established townships and villages.