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- Roads for the transit goods via the caravan system.
- You might have a mountain pass and during winter that mountain pass is always closed and so the trade routes on land change with caravans and that's something that can not only exist on a cyclical level but also dynamically based on player activity.
- Economic relationships between nodes established by Mayors or node citizens.
- From a diplomatic standpoint the ability for the mayor or citizens to set up NPC routed trade routes between nodes as a trade agreement or as a diplomatic process. – Steven Sharif
- 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.
- There are a limited number of trade agreements that a node can have.
- Mercenary guilds will be a viable way forward for different organizations. I think there will be a lot of business to be had with that; and one of the systems in our trade agreements is creating an escrow for those particular type of arrangements that we're looking into. – Steven Sharif
- Nodes answering these resource requests must have a trade agreement or alliance with the requesting node.
- Once the requesting mayor accepts a fill order from another node, a system driven caravan is spawned to transit the goods.
- Players can participate in helping to defend the caravan if they wish.
- Mayors who need certain resources that either they don't have enough of, or that they're prospectively investing in: they will initiate a mayor request, and any node that sees that request on the mayoral caravan drop-down menu will have an opportunity to attempt to fulfill the trade request. In order to fulfill a trade request, a node must have a certain level of relationship with that requesting node. At a minimum it has to be a trade agreement relationship; and then there's a limited number of those trade relationships that you can have; and that scales up to eventually alliance perspective. And then, once the node requesting mayor accepts a potential fill order, then a system spawned caravan is generated and the transit is completed. Players can participate in helping to defend that or not. – Steven Sharif
System driven caravans
- These are initiated by players with a diverse choice of routes and launch windows, making them difficult to zerg.
- Initiating a caravan from one node to another will create a PvP objective that players will need to defend while it moves along its chosen route to the selected destination.
- Roads will upgrade as nodes advance. Different roads will dictate the speed and type of caravan required (off road vs on road).
- The caravan system is designed to be initiated by the player. Which means, information of the caravans launch time and route, should be a closely guarded secret. Routes will also be diverse, and the world is large, so it might behoove you to scout the route ahead before a launch. Fast travel in our game is also limited, which means unless the guild had knowledge of your plans before hand, it is likely that they will be unable to organize and travel to a location. As far as mass guilds securing trade routes, there is always a bigger fish in the pond. Also caravans will have limitations on carrying capacity and launch windows that will segment mulitiple caravans by several minutes, which would space out the caravans, making it difficult to "zerg" a defense. – Steven Sharif
- A merchant ship interacts with a harbor in a very similar fashion to the way that Caravans interact with the caravanserai, but they have much larger capacity and they stop at other harbors in a very similar functionality to the way the caravans stop at caravanserais. Harbors have a disembarkation zone that lives near the harbor. So if you make your merchant ship to that zone as well, it will get guided into the harbor and will be safe. But when you launch that caravan from a harbor it is much like a land caravan. The only difference is that Merchant ships cannot become land caravans. They must stay as merchant ships. – Steven Sharif
- Merchant ships can only be launched and received at harbors in a similar way that land caravans can only be launched and received at a caravanserai.
- Harbors have a disembarkation zone that merchant ships can cross to be guided into the harbor.
- Unlike naval caravans, merchant ships cannot transition into land caravans.
- Merchant ships have a much larger capacity than land caravans.
- Naval caravans can not be hijacked. The cargo on a trade ship will be similar to caravans in that the ship must be destroyed in order to capture the loot from its wreckage.
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