Personal (Self-directed/player driven) caravans are initiated by the player, who essentially "becomes the caravan". These are land-based and water-based (naval caravans) that the player drives and directs.
- These are currently designed for a single driver.
- Personal caravans are initiated from a caravanserai building at a Village (stage 3) node or higher.
- Personal caravans are capable of transitioning to/from naval caravans.
- Personal caravans will come in varying sizes and capacities.
- By default player caravans will have a racial appearance that influences the types of animals that are moving the caravan.
Personal caravan initiation
- Previously it was stated that personal caravans can be launched from any point of storage.
- Personal caravans are capable of transitioning to/from naval caravans.
- The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.
- As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.
- Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.
- Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.
- Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.
- Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.
- Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.
- Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.
- The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.
- Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.
- Players will not be able to see the exact contents of a caravan before they decide to attack or defend, however there will be some visual hints to the cargo of the caravan, such as gold, silver, or iron visible on top of the caravan.
- Players will be able to state their intentions to attack, defend or ignore via a user interface window.
- The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player's performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.
- A group will be required to successfully attack a caravan.
- A caravan will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.
- Each caravan is its own bespoke event. Players can't participate in more than one caravan event at a time, but running decoy caravans is a valid tactic.
- It's still intended from a design standpoint to be a window that is presented to the player based on proximity; and that proximity it can be greater depending on your performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids. – Steven Sharif
- Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).
- There is a level of risk that comes with the attacker. We have progression paths that exist for bandits and that exists for defenders; and if you choose to opt into a caravan attack- you sign up for that attack and you fail that attack- it is detrimental to your path of progression down the bandit area. That's one thing: Two is of course you have gear decay. You have degradation that can be suffered if you die. That is a cost. And then you also have a reputation; and if your reputation precedes you when you want to transit goods across the world; and you see somebody who's doing it and you want to participate as a defender or a participant, they might say hey screw you, you were just murdering my people last week and I saw that you're like on the top of the bandit list for killing caravans. So it has repercussions in the sense that it locks you out of certain player groups. It provides decay to your armor. It has deleterious effects on your progression, and the attacking- and the bandit progression of caravan attacks or defense. – Steven Sharif
- A quest system will track a player's successful or failed defenses and attacks. This will provide rewards that scale up over time based on the player's history.
- The caravan defender role is going to have its own progression questing and rewards associated with it that are going to attract a certain subset of players and then you know vice-versa wise we're going to have incentives that appeal to the more highway brigand type players; and you know you might not always be on one side or the other: that might change depending on what your interests are in the at the time. But obviously you know those types of systems need to have robust you know consequential type rewards and benefits associated with them in order to compel the player; and that's something obviously we're going to test in alphas and betas and see how performant it is in actually attracting players to participate and make sure it's not just one-sided so-to-speak. – Steven Sharif
- Varying tiers of mercenary NPCs may be unlocked based on the investment made in their progression. Highest tier NPC mercenaries are referred to as heros.
- Mayors are able to allocate treasury funding to hire mercenary NPCs to defend their node during sieges.
- Nodes can invest in upgrade paths that give a greater selection of roles and quality (gear level) of NPC mercenaries used for caravan defense.
- NPC mercenaries can be hired to participate in castle sieges based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
- These mechanics are subject to change based on testing and priorities.
- Players can assign mercenary NPCs, but won't micromanage them, in a similar manner to pets.
- There are mercenary NPCs that can be assigned to players. We've discussed about that before and those will follow generically... a kind of pet system even you know adopted majority of the pet system with the added bonus of kind of objective based points of interest that you can assign them to. But we don't want to inundate the field with these mercenaries they'll be kind of few and far between. They'll be assigned specifically like let's say for example you know as the mayor of a node during a siege you'll be able to assign these two specific players that are citizens within your node and then they'll have those they'll spawn during the during the node siege; or vice versa and the castle siege you know guild leaders can assign mercenaries that are available based on the progress of those subsidiary nodes around the castle siege whether or not you have those available to your defense or your attack. – Steven Sharif
If a caravan is destroyed (becomes a wreckage) it will drop a portion of the goods it was transporting. The remainder of the caravan's goods are sunk (lost) when the caravan is destroyed.
- The caravan becomes a wreckage upon destruction and that wreckage is an interfaceable item that players can come up to and they can receive certificates for a portion of the goods inside the caravan. Now the idea with that certificate is that it must be taken back to the point of origin, or at least a region within that point of origin. We'll see about that last part because there's a few things I want to test in the Alpha from a gameability standpoint. The reason why for this is because what might happen is you may have some type of collaboration within a guild to kind of game that system. Hey I'm gonna reach this caravan just to the border of the region and then we're all destroy it, collect the goods and take it to you know that region's warehouse; and have to skip out on the last half of the way. So it must successfully reach its destination before the goods can be considered a part of that region. – Steven Sharif
- Anyone may loot the caravan's wreckage.
- Caravan components may also drop when a caravan is destroyed. These components may be salvageable by the caravan owner or by other players, in the case of high grade components.
- Caravans drop certificates for heavy goods that are redeemable at the origin node for a portion of the goods.
- Q: What is the reason for requiring the destruction of a caravan by the attackers as opposed to the attackers gaining possession of the caravan?
- A: With caravans we really want to emphasize this idea of not necessarily stealing the vehicle, but being forced to achieve victory through destruction; and when you do you then have the logistical issue of how you're going to transport those goods on your own rather than servicing the transport of that by just hijacking. – Steven Sharif
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