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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Roleplaying in Ilyrias

There have been many questions about what type of Roleplaying will be in Ilyrias, thus we have decided to give you a little information about it.

In Ilyrias there will be quite a few forms of conflict to help induce a more roleplaying friendly atmosphere. A few of them are listed below:

Science vs. Religion

One of the key conflict points of Ilyrias is science and religion. In Ilyrias the administration will not play god roles as you are familiar with. Instead they will be more hidden, as a large group of players may choose to roleplay as someone that does not believe in the gods. Science is mainly a new thing brought with the coming of the civilized people. To the savages this just looks more like magic, and not a magic they like.

The savages are more spiritual, following more natural methods of survival and communing with spirits. Many of the civilized view such things, and all forms of religion, as false beliefs. The only true "god" is that of science, which they have learned to use to change the physical realm around them. There are still highly religious people within the cities, whom still worship the gods of old. Many of these people wield great powers, that the scientific community just plays off as mere tricks, not real power.

It is our hope that this conflict will prove a new and interesting roleplay aspect for our players. Perhaps even some savages decide this "science" is a good thing, breeding a whole new type of roleplayer.

Savages vs. Civilized

This is not your normal cities vs forestals, but something deeper and more dynamic. The savages, as the civilized like to call them, are the original inhabitants of Ilyrias. They lived a good life, with occasional fights between groups, while worshiping the spirits. They only used what they needed to survive, and tried to keep the balance that always was.

Then the civilized came over in their ships, and they build the cities. These cities go against what the savages believe, wasting the resources that the spirits have given to them. This new science that the civilized used was dangerous and wasteful, not what the spirits have told them is good. The civilized even went so far as to say the spirits are not real, what blasphemy! Some savages may have changed their views, and started to follow one of the cities many religions or scientific orders, but most of them hated these new comers.

This is the other key aspect that we have, which should breed a nice atmosphere of conflict, and betrayal, by both sides.

Building of cities and other organizations

As the game progresses, more cities or savage villages, will be added. We will not be adding this, it will all be handled by the players! All other organizations, such as guilds and political parties, will also be formed in the same manner.

While not an easy task to accomplish, the ability to build a city also creates and interesting roleplaying opportunity. In order to accomplish this ultimate goal, you must get many organizations to leave the city they have pledged to support. Of course, the losing city is probably not going to like this very much... exactly the kind of thing that creates interesting stories. Think of the political intrigue and backstabbing that this type of thing could create. Not to mention the large amount of social effort and network building it will take for one group to actually accomplish the building of a new city.


These are just a few of the roleplaying aspects we have planned, perhaps later we will give you some more teasers.

Disclaimer: Any references to histories or relationships between organizations are subject to change as we develop the world more

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Monday, May 22, 2006

New addition, the luck system

As was mentioned in the IRC, we have completed work on our luck system. In short, this will mainly be a system used for punishment for those that can't stay IC, but also for a reward to those really good role-players.

Here is how it works, without administrative adjustment:

Everyone starts at 0 luck, which basically means nothing changes.

Every time the system would need a random roll, such as for to hit, it instead makes a luck roll. First the system makes a normal random roll, in the case of to hit that is a 1-100. Then it checks your luck, be it good luck or bad luck. If you pass the luck check then it will make a second random roll.

If you are in good luck, it will take the better of the two numbers. For to hit you want a low number so it will use the lower one. If you are in bad luck then it will take the worse of the two numbers, in this case the higher one.

How does luck go up you ask? Well that one is simple... by luck. If you roll the best possible, your luck will adjust for the better. In the case of to hit that would be a 1. If you roll the worst possible, again in this case that would be 100, then your luck goes down. Later we may also add in some quests and perhaps skills that can help adjust your luck.

Over time your luck will slowly decay back to the base of nothing.

Luck will show up in your status, as a general message. For example "You are extremely lucky." is the best thing you could have. You will also know when your luck increases or decreases.

We feel this is a little different from what most games use, and hope it will be an addition you all enjoy.

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Skill Effectiveness System Revamp

After some initial testing we decided to change the rate of decay, and do away with the SKILL FREEZE command.

Here is how we have changed it:

If you are over 100% effectiveness you will have a heavy drain to deal with. The equivalent of about 40-50 uses. For a balance time of 4 seconds, this would mean around 3 minutes of your time to combat the drain, per hour. While we know this is pretty bad, this should make it extremely hard to keep more than 2 abilities over 100%. That is the goal.

If you are above 75% but below 100% the hourly drain is around 7 uses per hour. This is about 28 seconds of time per hour, for abilities that have a 4 second balance time. It's fairly small, and should serve it's purpose of making sure you use your abilities to keep the 100%(which is what most people should want their skills to be at).

If you are below 75% effectiveness, there is no drain at all.

Once you reach the maximum effectiveness, there is a buffer zone you can train into, which is about 30k uses. It has NO effect on how strong your ability is, it merely serves as a sort of reserve uses that have to decay before you lose effects.

To add it all up, if you were at the max buffer it would take you about 25 days to use up that buffer. Then another 8-9 days to decay down to 100%, from there another 30 days to decay to 75% which is where it will stop. We feel this is more fair, and as balanced as we can make it until we are ready for true play testing.

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Skill Effectiveness System

So, we should finish coding this system by tonight, so we decided to give you a little more information about it.

All abilities, at least the active ones, will have an effectiveness level based on how much(and often) that you use it. It will range from 50%, the starting level, to a number we won't tell you. What your effectiveness is, will never be really known to a player.

How do I gain effectiveness?

Simple answer, use your skills.

How do I lose effectiveness?

There are two ways this can happen:

1. Time, effectiveness will SLOWLY decay over time. Before you scream bloody murder, hear us out. If you were at the maximum effectiveness then it would take you about 42 RL DAYS of inactivity(not logging in, or logging in and not using ANY skills) before it decays back to the base of 50%. To also help combat this, as we know some people need to be gone for a few weeks at a time, there will be a SKILL FREEZE command. This will stop all decay for you, but once you use a skill(and therefore no longer need the freeze) you will lose 50% of the "points" you had in all skills. In other words, if you were at say... 150% effectiveness and froze your decay for 200 days (which would normally put you at 50% effectiveness) you would end up at 75% effectiveness.

2. Use, the more you use one skill the worse the others get. This is a slow rate, of about 5:1, and only effects skills of the same "type." So if you use your KICK attack enough to gain 5% effectiveness, you will lose 1% in your PUNCH and BACKFIST attacks. This makes it hard to get max effectiveness in everything, but possible. There is also a "buffer" zone that you can get into by extreme use. There is a max cap on how much difference effectiveness can give you, but you can continue to gain "points" towards that ability, which will make it harder for you to decay below the max.

Ok, so what does it do for me?

It can effect your chance to hit, costs (such as mental power, endurance, willpower) and damage.

As you can see, this system will help each player be different from another player with the same skills. Just because you chose the same race and the exact same skills, doesn't mean your skills will be equally powerful. It also means that someone whom spends a lot of real life money to increase their skills, doesn't become god. Sure, he's got a lot of abilities, but all of them are weak. Where someone that has been playing for a while and building up his skills, will have far more effective abilities.

Coupled with minor balance, major balance, follow up attacks, and what we're discussing for affliction curing this should make for a far more dynamic combat system, and more enjoyable. We've gone to great lengths to make sure these system add more to a players enjoyment, without forcing them to learn more than in most other games. By this we mean, someone could play (and even be a fighter) without really understanding minor/major balance, follow-up attacks, or effectiveness. These systems will just serve to separate the good fighters from the best!

On a side note, this can effect things other than combat. For example mining will also use this system, in which it will effect the chances of getting and finding those valuable ores!

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Updates on Ilyrias development

Right now we are doing things in a seemingly disorganized manner, though there are reasons for why each part is being done like this.

The basics of Organizations are just about done, and now just things like creating ranks and politics are being worked on.

Doors/locks/keys are close to being done, due to special/elevational style exits they are more complex than one would think.

Balance has been created, as previously mentioned, which led to the need to make a special type of messaging routines. These routines are basically an easy way for us to send the right attack message to the right people(caster, target, witnesses). Those were finished yesterday, and once we write a few good ones for Kick/Punch/Backfist we will show you how they look now.

Due to having started a little of the basic combat stuff, we have decided to work on a sort of "can do ability" check. This is basically one large routine that we can quickly decide if someone meets all of the requirements(such as mental strength, endurance, balance, etc) without having to reproduce basically the same code everywhere. This just means that when we get to coding skills, they will be a lot faster and easier.

We have also started to design more of how we are going to handle the special attacks that NPC's will do. Unlike some other worlds, our NPC's will be prone to many afflictions which can effect their ability to use certain attacks.

Closely related to those special attacks, we have also started work on a scripting language that builders will use to make NPC's more dynamic, and for quests.

As you can see, many things are being done at basically the same time, but most of them are so closely related that they really have to be worked on simultaneously. Over all things are still moving at a good pace, in fact we appear to really be a week or two a head of schedule!

Thank you again to everyone that has given us comments and idea's, they have been a great help for us to make the game YOU want to see. Also thank you for your support on TMS, we are currently two votes away from 28th place, and our game isn't even in testing yet!

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Organizations, Clans and News

The basic structure for Organizations is just about done now. We started with the simplest one, Clans. We now have the ability to create clans, talk on them, quit them, see a nice pretty list of who is online, etc.

Our news system was integrated into this, making news 100% complete now. No more hacks to make it appear to be working!

On a random note, we've been doing EXTREMELY well on TMS. At the time of this writing we are in 31st place and only 2 votes from getting 30th. Amazing for a game still in development! Thank you all for your support, it really does help.

Balance and Follow-up Attacks

We have finished coding the basics for damage, balance and follow-up attacks.

There's different types of Balance, for example
Minor balance starts when you have 1 second left to regain balance. This minor Balance allows you to move and try to flee away, risking triping and falling to the ground, or use other skills. Certain skills will work as follow-ups to other, causing more damage if they're using during this Minor Balance frame following the first skill, but causing less damage if used after other skills. Using skills on minor Balance will increase the time until you have full balance again by 25%.

Follow-up moves don't have to always do extra damage. Perhaps it increases bleeding or limb damage more, or one could give an extra affliction, etc. The possibilities are endless.

For more detailed information and examples on how this will work, check the Announcement on the Ilyrias Forums.

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Player suggested skill ideas

Another week is just about over, how time flies when you're having fun.

We spent some time the other day reading all of the player suggested skill idea's, in detail, and found eleven that we think will be good additions with some modification, and two more that will be good for reference.

The three that Baram liked the most were Mages, Arcanology and Street Fighting. He feels those need little modification to fit with what we have in mind.

Spirituality we think might work well if we split it into branches. Using the lower half of the skill set as a base skill for anyone, then splitting it off into one branch for each religious order. Then keep the original second half as a branch anyone can take. Obviously to take the religious branch you would need to be in an order following that god/religion. Later we need to design a similar skill for the Scientific orders.

Polearms and Mining were labeled as references. Mining we have already put a good deal of thought into, but haven't fully developed it yet. As for Polearms, we aren't yet sure how we want all the weapons things to work. When we do decide, we will keep that skill set in mind for more idea's.

Many others were chosen as good ones, that just need some more tweaking to fit into our vision for Ilyrias better.

The new builders seem to be learning quickly, and there are still a couple more we want to interview.

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Builder recruitment and new coding work

Finished up News last night, and it seems to work pretty well. Can post/read/etc, and once Organizations are completed we will tie them together.

We started another builder today, and hoping to get the other interviews done soon. Never easy to get times to match up, heh. Hopefully with this new addition of builders, we can get more of the world built and keep on schedule for Alpha testing!

Got a couple other minor things done recently, doors/locks/keys are finally getting done, they just haven't been a major priority. Also got some admin level things completed, such as IP banning for those really bad people. A couple other little things were done by our new coder, admin style things such as tracking online time and creation date, over all he's doing really well for having no experience with Rapture.

We've decided to do a time system next, should be a pretty quick project, that way we can add in things like time stamps at the bottom of news and other various little things that will need an In Game time.

Come check out the new Ilyrias IRC room, we've had some interesting discussions there since it opened a couple days ago. Castle.Deathwyrm.Net:6667 #Ilyrias

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Some good news, and some sad news

As some of you may know, Mhoram is leaving us. We have known about this for a couple weeks, and wish him well. His real life obligations are becoming such that he doesn't know if he can be around enough, so instead of becoming dead weight he felt it was best to take his leave now. Hopefully in the future he could return.

Now for the better news, Persistent Realms is pleased to welcome Daghda as a new coder. He comes with a lot of coding experience, and has been picking up Rapture quite quickly.

We have also started interviewing people for the builder positions, and have added one so far. Hopefully we will be able to interview the others quickly.

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mobile AI

One of the major new designs for Ilyrias is regarding the artificial intelligence of our non-player characters in the game world, otherwise known as mobiles. Most of you who are familiar with other MUDs, and MMOGs in general, will know that the killing of mobiles for experience, items, money or for the purpose of completing quests is an important part of almost any of them.

However, the actual attention given to how fun this activity (whether you call it bashing, hunting, grinding or whatever else) is, is generally pretty minimal considering how much time players spend doing it. We at Persistent Realms want to try to spend far more energy making this activity enjoyable, because after all if you're spending a lot of your time in Ilyrias fighting mobs, and if you're having fun doing it, you're having fun during a lot of your time in Ilyrias.

For this reason, we are intending to include several new features in our mobile AI, including:

* Mobiles that heal themselves when injured, unless unable (see below).
* Afflictions for mobiles, ranging from mental maladies to physical wounds, affecting both how able the mob is to attack (no knights hitting you when you've just broken their arm) and how able it is to defend (if you've caused uncontrollable rage in your target, they may not even remember to heal or protect themselves).
* Combat styles - all mobiles will fall into a particular combat style, making them more aggressive, defensive, more willing to afflict you or simply trying to crush you with damage and others.
* Intelligent attack choices - no more random attacks that may not even be effective against your character. Our mobiles will choose what to attack you with based on their combat style, your current afflictions, health and mental strength, and their own afflictions - just because you've chopped off the black knight's arms and legs doesn't mean he can't still bite you to death!

That's all we're going to say for now, but look out in future for more on our mobiles and their AI!

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Baram gone due to wedding

Sorry for things being a little slow this last weekend, I(Joe) had my wedding Friday and then was gone for the weekend. All is good, I got some more work on the news system done while my wife and I were gone, and things are back into full swing now!

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

News and skill systems

After some ground work on a news system, coding officially started yesterday. It's turning out to be a lot easier than originally expected, which is always nice. Another day or two and it should be done!

We had an interesting discussion yesterday about weapon skills, wondering what you all think about our idea. Basically there is a base weapons skill for one handed weapons, that will branch into specific weapons about half way through. It would look like this:


Swords

Maces
Base skillSpears

Axe

Etc


All of this would be for using one weapon, not dual wield which would be a different skill set.

Then there would be a general(yes, general not professional) skill for shield usage. It would branch off about half way through into more specific weapon styles. Ie:


Advanced Shields

Sword and Shield
ShieldsMace and Shield

Spear and Shield

Axe and Shield

Etc


This way if you wanted to do sword and shield style, you can learn your basic weapon abilities and then learn how to effectively use shields with it. Perhaps you are a magic user and only want to use magic, not physical weapons. Then you learn Advanced Shields which continues along the path of just shield use. Doing it this way gives more flexibility(obviously to take Sword and Shield style, you must know how to use a sword) than being told if you don't dual wield swords you will lose.

Thoughts?

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sneak preview?

One thing that we have been discussing is the idea of a "sneak preview" day for Ilyrias. The way this would work is pretty simple.

1. We make a list of all active members of the forums. Active means you've been posting, participating in discussions, giving idea's, etc.

2. We then randomly pick 10 people off that list.

3. We create a character for each of those people, and email them user name and password.

4. For 24 hours they get to play, after completing the newbie intro(if it's done by then) they will automatically be advanced to say... level 50, and given a few hundred Angelstone to play with.

5. After 24 hours we delete all those characters.

Idea would be to give you all a reward for your dedication to us, and a REALLY BIG teaser before we start official testing. If we were to do this, it would be maybe a month before Alpha testing officially starts. So that means there will still be building going on around you, and many things wouldn't be finished.

What do you all think? Would this be something you'd like to have a chance at?

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Online Text Editor and Organizations

During the last week we have continued work on Organizations, which as I said is a huge project. Hopefully that will be finished some time this month.

The text editor is completely finished with a few nice features, such as:

1. Ability to move multiple lines of text without having to manually copy it, delete it, and insert it again.

2. Ability to insert up to 60 spaces instantly. This is a major improvement as Rapture will remove any spaces before the first letter/number, which makes ascii art hard to do. With this ability ascii art can be done with the in game editor.

3. Ascii art works, for those familiar with other in game editors you know that often the formatting gets lost. With our file to file style of editing(where other companies store it in a giant text field before putting it into a file) this formatting stays exactly as you made it.

4. Ability to add color to your news posts, books, etc. We haven't decided exactly how this will work, but most likely you will either need to have certain colors of ink in your inventory or a full writers set of ink to use the colors.

5. Everyone gets their own, persistent, clipboard for cut/copy/paste. As a built in feature you can cut/copy multiple lines of text and paste them back later. This clipboard only gets erased when you cut/copy something new. That means you could copy something, like a signature, and repeatedly paste it at the bottom of every post you make... forever.

6. Ability to insert/append text before/after any text on the current line. In many other systems you would have to copy the line you wanted to append to, delete it, then paste it back and add the text.

7. A search and replace function. This allows you to search your current line of text for any one word, and replace it with another. Makes fixing typo's quick and easy.

We've been looking over the applications we've received so far, and have found a few that may be contacted soon. There's still time to get yours in if you wish to apply, and we hope you do. The more builders we have, the faster we can count on things being opened to the public.

Our news system just began it's initial phase of development, and hopefully will be a fairly quick addition. Once Organizations are fully functional news will be integrated into it and be completely finished.

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Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.