Continuum from Battle to Battle, MMO and RPG-like Features
The world doesn't stop when a battle ends. Each battle is fought for a reason. Maybe your tribe desires to expand its control to new areas, or maybe somewhere nearby lucrative loot is waiting to be claimed.
Your tribe is persistent. Success in battles makes your tribe more renown among other wasteland cultures, your heroes gain experience, and bring back valuable raw materials. This loot can be used for forging new gear to be used in subsequent battles.
In this article, we describe our plans for the future features of the persistent world, other RPG-like features, and how we're making the game continue from one battle to another.
From one battle to another
One of the things we in the LoR team have enjoyed the most in other miniature games are long running campaigns. Whether they were about conquering distant star systems for your race or getting your warband, or sports team, through multiple sequential scenarios, these campaigns were always more exciting than individual battles. The campaign added reason for the fight, and everything wasn't suddenly reset after each game. The survival, or death, of a character had more meaning than just a number of victory points.
One of the key design goals from the early development of Lands of Ruin was to enable persistence of the characters and tribes. We wanted to make the battles matter in the long run, win or lose.
When we set to design the Lands of Ruin RPG / MMO side we wanted to keep it easy for users, but detailed enough that it remained interesting in the long run.
Here are some key design principles we kept in mind when working on the system:
- Hero survival matters.
- Battles have an effect to the world.
- Death of a hero is not the end of the world (end of the tribe).
- Heroes progress based on their experience in battles.
- Tribes evolve based on the battle results.
- Longer surviving tribe won't become over powered compared to new tribes. More renown tribes bring more interesting gameplay to both players.
- Players from different game groups interact with each others indirectly. This means that you won't have to seek out a stranger to play the game with to be part of the overarcing story.
- Tribe and character evolution create long term goals for players.
- A successful tribe gives the owner visible bragging rights.
- The system must be mostly automatic. Users won't have to type in results manually .
Persistent world of Lands of Ruin
We're still hard at work implementing many of the features of the persistent world, and plans are always subject to change. However, we will soon be making the persistent world available to game testers in incremental stages.
In the first versions tribes are fighting to control parts of the runed megacity Arcadia. Players will fight to capture sections of the ruined city to their tribe and their tribal alliance. This simple mechanism will pave the way for more detailed interactions tribes can have with the world in the following releases.
The one world
Every battle in Lands of Ruin is about controlling the world, gaining resources and creating the biggest, most badass heroes that ever lived. When a player joins Lands of Ruin they start shaping the history and the story of their tribe and the rest of the world. Every battle affects the world and has an impact to the future.
While players might not be playing against each other on the same tabletop, they still interact and compete with each other indirectly.
There's only ever one instance, or version, of the world. All battles in the Lands of Ruin affect this world. The resources and world events are shared by all the tribes.
Tribes and fame
Characters live and die but the tribe remains. The main entity in your long-term gameplay is your tribe. You control the assets and people to make you tribe flourish.
In Lands of Ruin tribes gain experience. This is called Renown. With Renown, tribes gain new skills and progress over time. While exact details of this system are still in early development the big picture is pretty clear.
Tribes gain Renown from battles and other objectives. Completion of these objectives are represented as badges that not only unlock Renown but can be used as bragging rights in the worldwide tribe rankings.
Hero characters experience and levels
The Lands of Ruin Command Console companion app tracks hero characters throughout battles. Every action, success, and failure contributes to the hero's experience gain. All of that is done automatically without users having to track events manually or trying to remember things that happened before.
Once enough experience is obtained, the heroes level up to gain new skills and improve their existing skills. A hero surviving many battles can become a force to reckon with.
Power creates enemies
Rising to great power doesn't come for free. On the way up you are bound to make enemies.
The LoR game system has safeguards in place to prevent one hero becoming too powerful. On the other hand we don't want to punish players for being successful either. This is something we're still working on. Stay tuned for more information about the subject.
Death of a hero
Characters die in battles. No matter how powerful a hero has become they still bleed when shot. Losing a hero is a tragedy for a tribe but it is not the end.
Powerful heroes have followers, or cohorts. When the hero falls, one of them will rise to take the hero's place. In game terms, this means that when your hero dies in battle, a new one is respawned to your tribe. Naturally the new hero won't have the experience of the fallen one. However, in some cases some of the skills might have been learned by the hero's cohorts and the new hero might not have to start from the very bottom of the skill tree.
Scrap - Finding and looking for new gear
Tribes of the wasteland - including your tribe - have limited manufacturing capabilities and access to raw materials.
However, many tribes have skilled craftsmen capable of taking the little their tribesmen manage to get their hands on and convert them into usable gear.
Characters can scavenge for scrap during a battle. Scrap is a generic category of "loot" that can be used to create something useful. During a battle a character can use the "Scavenge" action to look for scrap in the map section they're in.
The scrap that is found will be classified by rarity. More rare scrap can be used to create better and more reliable equipment.
Practice mode - or - "Do I have to be part of all of this every time?""
While we believe that playing for a long term goal makes every battle more interesting, we understand that not everyone feels the same. It is possible to play Lands of Ruin in practice mode against your opponent without the battle being a part of the world. It might be that a new player wants to play the game a few times without having to feel that misplays will cause permanent damage to their tribe, or perhaps you just want to have a more casual game night. Whatever the reason, you can always choose not to play a battle as part of the persistent world