In this game there are no levels. Players always start as a single character with no weapons or armor. There are basic items you can find in the game to improve your odds of winning battles. You have 4 spots on your body where you can equip items. Head, Body, LH & RH. Basic weapons are: Bow & Arrow, Sword, Shield, Armor and Helmet. Bow & Arrow takes up LH, RH, and body spots but Archers may equip their head. Shield, Helmet, and Armor all do the same thing. They increase your defense by 50% and the effects are cumulative. You may equip 2 shields. Ex: If you equipped 2 shields, armor and helmet your defense would be increased by 200%. A sword increases your attack by 50%. You may equip 2 swords and the effects of this would cumulative as well giving you a 100% attack increase. Bow and arrows give you an attack range of 5 spaces and have the same attack as if you had no weapon equipped.
The map will consist of islands that will be of various shapes, sizes and features. I'm thinking the map will be a hexagonal grid. Players move at a speed of 1 hexagon per second on land. Players can see in a radius of 20 hexagons. Islands or water can have rock hexagons that are impassable. I was thinking graphics would be something like warcraft 2. (using squares instead of hexagons may be better) Every hexagon will have any x/y number associated with it.
Islands will have permanent structure areas on them. permanent structures are housing and docks. Housing will take up a space of 4 Hexagons. A dock will take up a space of 6 hexagons along a coast. Islands may have multiple docks and multiple housing. An average island will have 6 housing and 1 dock but any combination could be on an island as island will be many shapes and sizes.
Housing spaces will start their life uncontrolled by anyone and are doing nothing. If a player walks up and touches a house they now control it. Houses generate and support 1 NPC character. When first taken control of, if controlled by nobody else, it will produce 1 NPC immediately as long as it has not produced an NPC within the last 5 minutes. In this situation when the 5 min expires it will produce the NPC. If a house is not supporting an NPC it will generate an NPC in 5 minutes. An NPC is a character that is controlled by a player. An NPC must be supported by a house to stay alive. You can change the house that it is supported by if you put it next to a house that is not supporting anything. If control of the house that is supporting the NPC is lost by the player or clan controlling the NPC it will die in 5 mins after the event. That house will then produce another NPC in 5 mins.
Dock will generate a ship in the same way that a house produces and NPC. Same support rules apply. A ship can only travel on water. A ship can hold 8 characters on it. The ship is controlled by a player character that is at the wheel of the ship. (I may make it a game option whether or not players can control a ship using a controlled NPC.) A ship moves 1 hex every 2 seconds making it half the speed of a character. If ships are next to each other characters can move between ships or even fight each other. Same rules regarding support for houses and NPCs apply to docks and ships. If a ship is scuttled (dies) with characters on it, those characters die. There will be a countdown warning when NPCs and ships are dying.
Houses or Docks can be destroyed by and character by using a pillage ability. Houses or docks automatically rebuild themselves in 30 mins. You may re-pillage buildings before they are completed. this will make the 30 min counter start over. Obviously a pillaged building cannot support anything. If you control a building you can choose to stop supporting its unit. In this case the building will produce a new unit in 10 mins.
A player character can walk on water and a graphic will show them on a small sail boat when they are doing this. They will travel at normal speed when doing this. (1 hex per second) An NPC character does not have this ability. (They are too stupid to control such a small craft. Note: This is a major component in game balancing)
A player may control an unlimited amount of NPCs. A player can see everything the NPCs they control see. (20 Hex radius) There is a catch. If an NPC moves beyond a 20 hex radius of its controlling player a couple of things can now happen. It is possible that a new player starting up will take control if the NPC. In this situation the NPC becomes a player and is now a player character controlled by the upstart player. If the NPC is a member of a clan (clans will be explained later) then the new player starts as a member of that clan. The second possibility is the NPC will be taken control of by another clan member that is closest to the NPC and that player is within the 20 hex radius of the NPC. Players can voluntarily transfer control of their NPCs to other players if the player being transferred to is within a 20 hex radius of the transferring player and the NPC being transferred. If a player in a clan dies, NPCs and buildings he/she controls will now be controlled by the closest clan member to respective building/NPC. If a player dies who is not in a clan or the player is the last member of a clan all controlled NPCs die and ships sink. Buildings become uncontrolled in this case.
A clan can be created by any player at anytime as long as he/she is not already a leader of a clan. Clans can be as small as one person up to an unlimited amount of members. The person who starts the clan by default becomes the clan leader. There are 5 different classes of members players could possibly be within a clan. These are: Leader, Vice Leader, Commander, Officer and Member. There is always just one leader per clan but there can be an unlimited amount of the other classes.
Leader: Can selects color of clan. Can select name of the clan. Can control clan to clan diplomacy. Can make any clan class assignments. Can expel any members from the clan. Can adjust the clan profile. Can relinquish leadership of the clan or disband the clan. (Clan can only be disbanded if the leader is the only member) Can recruit new clan members.
Vice Leader: Can select color of clan. Can select name of the clan. Can control clan to clan diplomacy. Can assign classes to lower members. Can expel any lower class members from the clan. Can adjust the clan profile. Can recruit new clan members.
Commander: Can assign classes to lower members. Can expel any lower class members from the clan. Can recruit new clan members.
Officer: Can recruit new clan members. Officers cannot expel members.
Member: This person is simply just a member of the clan with no recruiting powers.
Clan to clan diplomacy can be controlled between leaders and/or vice leaders of clans. All clans start with a neutral status to each other. Clans can declare war on each other at any time. Warring clans can end wars if a leader/vice leader of each clan agree to this. This can only be done if leaders/vice leaders are within 20 hex of each other. Leaders/vice leaders can agree to an alliance. Again they must be within 20 hex to do this. Any Leader/vice leader can end and alliance they are in at any time. When member of a clan, a graphic will show weather a characters are Allied, Neutral or if you are at war with that character. A different graphic will be shown if a character is not a member of a clan. If you are not a member of a clan none of these graphics will apply to you.
In this game any character can attack any character at anytime. Allies or wars don't really matter when it comes to battle. Players may try to take control of clans by attempting to kill their own leaders.
Any clan member except the leader can leave the clan at anytime. Clan members can change clans at anytime. To do this they can either be asked to join by a recruiting officer or they can ask to join and then must be accepted by an officer or higher class. These overtures can only be performed if parties are within 20 hex of each other. All clan members will be informed when a clan member dies or leaves the clan. All clan members will be informed of officer changes. All members will be informed of any expulsions. There is a hierarchy within the clan classes if there are multiple members that are of the same class. For example if there are 3 commanders one of them will be 1st commander, one will be 2nd commander and one will be 3rd commander. The only reason for this is if the clan leader dies or relinquishes leadership there will always be a line of who leadership passes too unless the leader is the last member. If there were no Vice hosts and the leader died the 1st commander would become the leader. This applied to all of the classes including members. There may be only the leader and just other members in a clan and in this case if the leader died the 1st member would be the new leader. If the leader dies and there are no other clan members then the clan simply ceases to exist.
The battle system in this game is quite simple. All characters only have 1 hit point and if an attack is successful they die. Unless a character has a ranged weapon they will have to be right next to the other character to attack them. A character may do 1 attack every 5 seconds. Characters with ranged weapons can't move 2 seconds before an attack and 2 seconds after an attack. Ranged weapons have a 5 hex range. If 2 players are attacking each other at the same time then both attacks are made simultaneously. The odds of an attack being successful are even 1-1 odds if both players are unarmed. A ranged attack has the same odds as an unarmed attack. Whatever the attack and defense modifiers for the attack are change the odds of the attack being successful. Here are some examples. If a person with a sword attacks a person without any defense items the odds of success are 3 to 2 because the odds of successful attack increased by 50% because of the sword. If a ranged attacker attacks a person wearing Armor and holding a shield then the odds of successful attack would be 1 to 2 because defense odds increased by 100%. If a person with a sword attacked a person with 2 shields and a helmet then the odds would be 3 to 5. We make include some very rare weapons and armor in the game that have higher modifiers.
If a character dies, the items he/she has will be left for anyone to pick up. A character cannot carry any items that are not equipped.
In game communication will be limited. You may instant message any character within you visual range. (20 hex radius) Any communication beyond that with have to be made by writing and delivering letters. Players may write letters and give them to other players or characters to deliver to a distant player. Players/characters may carry, store, or copy an unlimited amount of letters. The letter writer seals the letter before giving it to the delivery character. An unread letter has a status of sealed. When someone reads it, it will then have a status of unsealed. Letters may be intercepted by enemies or a not so loyal delivery person. Game messages like clan expulsions will be common knowledge within the clan. There may be some world messages as well. Islands within the clan that change hands by either conquering or by losing it to other characters will be displayed by a clan instant message. You cannot take control of Allied islands. You take control of an island by eliminating all enemy characters on that island and having one of you characters stand on the island.
While in the game the only communication that is allowed between players is in game communication. Any other networking between players of any kind while in the game (this includes the lobby) is strictly prohibited. Moderators will infiltrate these networks and issue penalties to all players involved. (Banned for a certain period of time or indefinitely if abuses are repeated.) This will be hard to police and minor offenders may be tolerated (I know friends love to chat) but its large teams of players who obviously plan strategy in this way will be under the largest microscope. There will be an option in the lobby players can click if they wish to communicate outside of the game. When they click this they are now free to do as they please but game start option 4 (join previous clan) will no longer be available.
This game will have fog of war. Players will have no information on areas they have not seen. Areas in fog of war however will show who is in control of islands, island names and last known information on houses, docks and terrain. Islands may be named or renamed by the player/clan in control of the island if they are on the island. Highest ranking clan member on an island only, has naming authority. Players will have a 200 hex radius mini map.
When joining the server players will have options on how they want to enter the game. They can join by themselves or join at the same time together with other players. There will be a chat lobby where players can communicate. Players and Groups of players will have options when joining the game.
Option 1: Join the game in a random location not as a member of a clan. This option is always available.
Option 2: Join the game in a random remote location not as a member of a clan. (At least 40 hex away from any other player) This option may not be available on a crowded server.
Option 3: Join a random existing clan. This option should be available most of the time. May not be available if there are not enough available NPCs in any one clan . Notes: Clans have the option to immediately expel you or kill you. Supporting houses for NPCs taken control of in this way will not produce another NPC for 30 minutes. This gives clans a little more incentive to include these members. The biggest clans will be the most likely of this happening too. If a non clan player has a high number of NPCs this can happen to them also.
Option 4: Rejoin your previous clan. This option is not available if there are no available NPCs, if the clan no longer exists or if you have never been a clan member. 30 min house NPC production rule applies. This option is not available for group join. If no clan controlled NPCs are 20 hex away from your clan members then the clan leader can be given the option to let you rejoin. If the leader accepts, joining player will assume control of an NPC that is controlled by the player in the clan with the most NPCs. This is not possible if the clan controls no NPCs.
Option 5: Randomly choose an available option.
Note: For options 1 and 2 you are not taking control of an existing NPC. The character simply appears out of thin air.
There will be several goals of the game and stats to be kept. These include:
The oldest clan.
The clan who controls the most houses and docks. (combined total #)
The clan who controls the most rare weapons/armor.
The clan who has killed the most neutral or enemy characters.
The player who has killed the most characters.
The player who controls the most rare weapons/armor.
The player who controls the most NPCs.
The player who has lived the longest.
These stats will be kept in a few ways. The current stats, best of the weak, best of the month, and the best of all time. Stats will be displayed in game and in Lobby. These stats will be displayed in order of best to worst. All stats for a player includes the NPCs he/she controls. Your rankings will be easily accessible.
Another cool thing could be to have one special type of item in the game for each weapon and armor type. You could have a special sword, helmet and, bow and arrow and so on. I could put who controls these and who has controlled the longest in the game stats. Maybe they provide an increase in attack/defense of 200%.
There are several different reasons that I think this game would be appealing. It will be well balanced. It will be very simple to learn. This game is fast paced and no leveling up is required to be competitive. Real life player to player diplomacy will be very important for players to succeed in most goals making team work essential to building a large clan. This should be a large game. My goal is to have hundreds or even thousands playing on the same map. Anything can happen. Any character has a chance to kill any other character they might come across. Weapons and Armor just help the odds a bit. You could die a minute after joining (which will be common. You can rejoin right away so it's no big deal) or you could survive a long time. Player characters moving on water will make it harder for players with a lot of NPCs to hunt weaker players. Ships only going half speed helps with this. They would have to risk player characters to catch other player characters which would put them at risk of death. This will help with the balance and help startup players to either find other players to team up with or to build their own army. The fact that you can talk to players before they can attack you will help with this. Joining as a group will help startup players also. Having stats and different goals to accomplish will mean there is always something more to accomplish in this game. Weather you dominating the world, trying to collect the special items, helping defend your clan or just trying to survive there is always a new role to be played. You may want to try to take control of your clan by assassinating leaders or split off from a clan and form your own clan using some of its members. Treachery will be rampant :) The fact that clan leaders of large clans will have to rely on other clan members for long range communication should make things very interesting. Even though you cannot see beyond your fog of war you will still receive messages informing you of clan activities. Anywhere that you have seen before that is in your fog of war you will at least be able to see who owns buildings so you will be able to see what is going on in the general area around you but to get good intelligence on enemy (or 'friendly') movements you will need to scout for yourself or rely on your friends.
Another thing I was considering is the game map could expand and contract depending on how many players are in the game.
Also considering an in game world chat that can be used by anyone. In a large game I may localize this to different world chats depending on what area of the world you are in. Some may use this strategically but messages will not be secret so enemies may hear. Not strongly considering this.