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Settlements by: Forged Chaos
 

Introduction

by Forged Chaos

Create your own settlement and control tax rates and where your citizens can build their own private homes or shops. Oversee the construction of settlement structures such as a treasury, town hall, walls and even keeps. Ensure your citizens are protected by hiring NPC guards and assign them to guard whatever areas you wish.

Expand your settlement by conquering neighboring lands. If another settlement happens to be in your way, let loose the dogs of war!

Settlements: Staking your claim

by Forged Chaos

Conquering an existing settlement is certainly a way to gain a settlement but that is beyond the scope of this article. Today were going to cover the process of gaining unclaimed land to begin building your settlement.

Claiming land is straight forward but far from easy. You simply plant a conquest flag on an unclaimed region of the world and do your best to make it survive one hour. Sounds easy, right? You can already see yourself taking over the entire world, huh? Heh, keep reading.

A conquest flag will be costly to build and relatively easy to destroy. Unlike structures and a settlement banner, conquest flags can be destroyed by normal melee and missile attacks.

Chances are also very likely that you won't be the only one vying for ownership of the region. Upon entering a region, you will know if it is being contested and by how many flags. It is up to you to find the other flags and destroy them before its too late, all the while trying to defend your own flag. Still feeling froggy about starting a settlement? Keep reading cowboy.
Should your flag last the hour, you will gain control over the region and your flag will change into a settlement banner with your selected colors and designs.

Congratulations! You're now a lord of a region ... with no buildings, walls or NPC guards.

Next time we'll get into how to build and manage a settlement on your newly claimed lands.

The typical design disclaimer: the survival time of a conquest flag might be tweaked if testing reveals the need.

Settlements: Getting started

by Forged Chaos

In the first settlement article we explained how you go about getting your little piece of TerVarus. Now we'll explain some of the finer points you can expect when it comes to getting your settlement off the ground.

You've claimed your land and you couldn't be more proud of yourself because, hey, you get to be called lord now. As you strain to pat yourself on the back, it hits you. You have no walls. Some hooligans could waltz right in and that is surely unacceptable for a lord of your stature. Then you remember you now have guards that will protect their lord! You do have guards don't you? You look around around and see not a one. Oh yeah, you need a barracks first. A setback but nothing you can't handle. You'll build a barracks and ... oh wait. You're a fighter, not a builder. Hmmm, what to do? You decide to hire some local craft ... yeah, it's just you out here. This might be a little more involved than you thought.

In ToA you will build your settlement from the ground up, literally. You'll be able to designate where you would like settlement structures go. Settlement structures are walls, gatehouses, barracks, treasury and more. You'll also be able to designate where you would like your citizens to live by placing private plots of land, each of which can be sold to your citizenry. The rule of thumb of placing private and settlement structures is simple: a settlement structure can be placed anywhere there is NOT a private plot of land and a private structure must be placed on a private plot of land. All structures will be subject to terrain allowance, meaning the slope can only be so steep, no placing in water, etc.

Ok, so now you've got your settlement all figured out. Your gatehouse will go there, some citizens will go here, you'll reserve a few private plots for inside your inner reinforced walls -- obviously charging those well-to-do folk much more for such protection -- and your keep will go back against that mountain over there for maximum defense. Only one problem. Who's going to pay for and build all this? You need citizens.

By the way, citizens are other player characters. They are not autonomous NPCs that will gladly accept your every order and smile at any tongue lashings you may decide to administrate. No sir. You will have to show potential citizens that you are fit to rule. You'll need to convince them that you can protect them, feed them and only tax them for the betterment of everyone. The simplest way of gaining citizens is to allow your settlement to be a starting settlement for any new characters. Beyond that, you will probably need to offer them something in return for taking a risk on your little start-up. A free plot of land maybe? How about a position within your administration?

After much work and negotiating you manage to gather a handful of citizens. They blankly stare at you wondering if you will ever decide what they should build first. Should it be a barracks so you can recruit NPC guards to defend your new citizenry and lands. What about a treasury? Without that you can't collect taxes to fund your future structures. You decide they both can wait and opt with some basic wooden walls and a simple gatehouse. That should at least keep the beasties out. Shouldn't it?

Stay tuned because just when you start getting comfortable in your settlement we bring in the catapults and describe settlement warfare!

Settlements: Warfare

by Forged Chaos

In this next to last article in our settlement series, we're going to sharpen our swords, load the catapults and cover warfare!

First thing you should know is war will be taxing on both a settlement's treasury and its citizen's willpower and morale, possibly to the point of complete collapse. Furthermore, NPCs do not like the idea of war and any settlement that continues to war-monger will find it near impossible to attract any NPCs. The take-away is simple - any lord looking to declare war on another should do so only after very careful consideration.

Declaring war is simple and straight forward. You simply select who you'd like to war via a ruler's menu. Just like ToA's non-consensual PvP, you won't need permission to declare war.

During times of war all citizens are able to attack the opposing citizenry (PC and NPC) without damaging their reputation with either settlement. They will also be attacked on site by NPC guards. When peace is re-established, all citizens will revert to the reputations they had prior to the war.

War can only be ended by one of two ways:

1) Peace is declared. Peace is declared when one side extends a peace treaty and the other side accepts. Extending a peace treaty is done via the ruler's menu. The opposing ruler has 24 hours to accept the treaty. If he doesn't, the offer of peace is revoked. Once a peace treaty has been accepted, a certain amount of honor is expected by the NPC populations in that war should not be re-declared by either side for a set period of time. If war is declared by either settlement while under a peace treaty, the declaring settlement's NPCs will be drastically impacted. A wise lord will never underestimate the impact of going back on his word.

2) One settlement is conquered. Conquering a settlement is done by occupying its flag. When in a state of war, an enemy within X meters of the settlement flag will cause an occupation bar to appear. The bar will gain occupation points so long as an enemy is within the flag's radius. It will lose occupation points when no enemies are present. Anytime the occupation bar is equal to or greater than a set percentage, say 80% (subject to loads of testing), the settlement's flag will graphically drop to half-mast and a timer will begin. If the timer reaches zero, the occupied settlement is lost and rule is transferred to the occupying lord. Anytime the occupation bar falls below the set percentage, the flag raises to full-mast, the timer is removed and any subsequent activated timers will start anew.

In closing, warfare in ToA, while simple in design, will have a huge impact on the game's global stage. Settlements will rise and fall and the political landscape will be ever-changing. It's yet another tool we hope to implement that will allow the players to decide their own fates.

Be on the lookout for the last article in our settlement series where we will detail some miscellaneous tidbits such as citizenship, taxes, heirs and even what happens when a settlement lord perma-dies or he wishes to dissolve his settlement.

Settlements: The finer points

by Forged Chaos

In this installment of our settlement series, we're going to cover a few of the finer points of settlements.

Citizenship

Many will want to settle into the relative safety and comfort of a settlement. To do so you will need to become a citizen. You can be a citizen of only one settlement at a time. With citizenship will come a number of benefits. You'll become a part of something larger - a community that will more than likely be looking out for one another. You'll enjoy the protection of the guards which is quite a boon given all the challenges you will face in TerVarus. You will also be able to buy plots of land from the settlement to do things like build your home and plant a garden.

As a lord of a settlement, you can elect to put your settlement on the list of starting places for newly created characters, giving you the opportunity to sway them into citizenship.

To answer the question that has cropped up on the forums a few times - swearing citizenship will not give away your character's real name.

Taxes

A settlement can set two types of taxes: sales and property. Sales tax is straight forward in that whatever you buy from a merchant, they will automatically add the proper tax amount. Direct trade between players will not be imposed any taxes. Property tax is based on the size of plot you own and is global across the whole settlement. In other words, a lord cannot tax two plots of the same size differently.

The lord can change his or her tax rates at any time. We will put a maximum on what they can tax their citizenry.

Not paying your taxes will result in warnings, followed by reputation penalties and eventually seizure of your property and/or bank strongboxes.

Loss of the Lord

In the event that a lord is perma-killed, cancels his account, or doesn't log in within a set amount of time, his settlement will be transferred to his heir - a character he can select to take over if any of the above should happen. A lord can change his heir at any time. The targeted character must accept the lord's heir proposal.

With a lack of an heir, a process will be initiated where citizens can nominate themselves for the throne after-which a vote is taken and the citizen with the most votes will receive the settlement. In the even no citizens are nominated, anyone will be allowed to nominate themselves for the throne and the voting process will ensue. Lacking any nominees, the settlement will lose its recognition as a settlement and certain decay factors will be initiated.

FAQ

Can I build and own a house or a shop?

Yes. You can own multiple houses and or shops so long as a you're a citizen of the settlement.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

What types of structures can we expect in ToA?

We have a core number of structures planned for initial launch with many more planned (via innovations of course!) post-launch. For launch you can expect to see a few types of houses and shops, various settlement walls, towers, gatehouses, a few large keep options, and various civic buildings such as a town hall, a treasury and barracks.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Is a building instantly built or will we have to build them?

You will build them. Each building will have a set number of 3D models built to represent each stage of its construction. Some will have more than others.
Within each stage of construction, crafters will have to go to various points on the structure and complete multiple crafting tasks (carpentry, stone laying, etc.). Once enough of these tasks are complete, the structure will change models to the next more complete version. This process continues until the structure is complete.

Building structures will take a considerable amount of time and resources. It's not an endeavor to be taken lightly.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can I start my own settlement?

Yes. Anyone who wishes to may try to claim an area of land to start their settlement.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can one settlement war against another?

Absolutely and they can do it for whatever reason they wish. Be cautious when declaring war against other settlements. Over use of this option will make your NPC population very uneasy, especially in cases where you declare war and end up losing.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will there be settlements when the game is launched?

Yes. There will be four starting cities. In fact, they are up for grabs to anyone who registers on the forums.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can I become a citizen of any settlement?

You can opt to become a citizen of any settlement that is currently accepting new citizens.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can I be a citizen of more than one settlement at a time?

No, you may be a citizen of only one settlement at a time.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

As a settlement ruler will I have a say in who can join my settlement?

Yes and no. You can toggle the new citizen acceptance option at any time, shutting off/turning on citizenship to everyone, but you can't decide on a per person basis.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

What is stopping a settlement ruler from griefing his/her citizens?

We have many designs in place to stop a ruler from such acts. For example, a ruler can only elect to remove a citizen if that citizen's reputation with the settlement falls to a certain level. A ruler can't arbitrarily take a citizen's home away from him/her. He also can't target a specific citizen with different tax rates.

We know some of this doesn't align with the "do what you want but it'll cost ya" mantra we touted before, but there are certain lines that must be drawn for the sake of fun for everyone.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will settlements have NPC guards?

Settlements will be able to hire NPC guards. The higher reputation the settlement has with its guards, the larger the pool of possible guards they can draw from when hiring new ones.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Do guards have life counters?

Yes, guards have life counters.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will the settlement be expected to equip NPC guards?

A settlement will need to house guards by providing either guard posts, barracks or garrisons, each one being able to hold more guards than the one before.
Guards will also need equipment that must be supplied by the settlement. A guard that doesn't have proper equipment will not leave his housing. Settlements may set up contracts with its citizens to equip the armories.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

With open PvP, how do you intend to keep it from getting out of hand?

First, we're removing 'conning', the ability to see someone's prowess. That unassuming shopkeeper might also be a powerful warrior or mage that is far beyond your combat abilities.

Second, you have reputation with every settlement and doing a citizen harm, be it PC or NPC, will lead to severe consequences within that settlement, including losing your citizenship with the settlement (if you were one to begin with), being placed on their Kill On Sight list and even having bounties placed on your perma-dead head.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will there be siege combat?

Yes. The game will launch with the catapult as the only siege weapon. Innovations are sure to follow that will allow other siege weaponry available.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will my character have reputation standings with others?

Yes and we will stress that you ignore your reputation with others at your own peril.

If you commit enough crimes against a settlement, your reputation will proceed you and you'll be met by angry citizens, both PC and NPC, that are free to exact justice on you. If this happens to be in the settlement that you're a citizen of, expect to get escorted to the edge of town in a not so friendly fashion to begin your time in exile.

Your shopkeeper will certainly remember when you forget to pay him his wages by not bartering so hard for the best prices or conveniently forgetting some inventory a customer might be looking for. Mistreat him enough and he'll quit working for you, possibly taking a few things with him for compensation.

Own a settlement? Watch how you tax your citizenry. Not only will the PC citizens be upset, your guards may start responding to problems a little slower or outright leave to go to work for your adversaries. Keep running your settlement's guards to their deaths? Don't expect many replacements when they abandon their post.
Yes, your reputation with other PC, NPCs and settlements will be crucial, sometimes to your very survival.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can we block people from entering our homes/shops?

You'll be able to set people as 'unwelcome' to your properties. While we haven't finalized the details, it will basically mean they will get a warning when they step onto your property to get off said property or they'll be flagged as trespassing.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-09-2012

What if I just wanted to build a house in the middle of nowhere and not be part of a settlement. Can I do that?

At launch, no, you won't be able to do that. Post-launch, that may change but in all honesty, it will be *very* hard to survive without the protection of a settlement.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-09-2012

Yes it changed. You can build a private building anywhere you own a piece of land within settlement borders and/or anywhere out in the wilderness. This is all subject to terrain allowances of course (somewhat level, no trees or boulders, etc.).

Source: Forums (Brax), 12-01-2013

About defending settlements and griefing

You're talking mob mentality? That the so-called griefers would be griefed by the defending settlement throwing everything (and everyone) they can at the attackers, including starting characters with little to no combat skill? I don't see that as a problem. They're defending their settlement. If a rogue or unknown element decides to step in and help defend a settlement, that's entirely their choice.

Also, there's a lot more variables to consider. The size of the attacking forces vs. the size of the defending forces, the respawn/reroll rates for both, the combat skills of each force, tactics employed by both forces, unforeseen contingencies employed by both forces, the possible use of magic, the possible use of siege weaponry, life counter totals on both sides, the availability of healing for both sides, the possibility of 'third party involvement' showing up (players or our GMs) and probably dozens of other variables I can't think of at this moment.

It's our desire to have the defenders of any settlement have the distinct advantage over any attackers, PC or NPC. It should and will be hard to take over rule of a settlement.

Source: Forums (Varl), 29-09-2012

Can I find a patch of unclaimed land, start a little settlement there, and build whatever I want?

Yes but you've put yourself on the global stage by doing so and can be warred against by others. So if your thought was finding a wee chunk of land so you can be a settlement of one, you can do it but it's .... you know the rest.

Source: Forums (Brax), 06-10-2012

Exactly how large of an area does a settlement maintain? Does it fluctuate with population size?

No it doesn't fluctuate with population. The area a settlement will maintain can in large part be up to them. I know, that's pretty cryptic. Hang in there and we'll eventually tell you all about it.

Source: Forums (Brax), 08-10-2012

Is the world pre-divided into conquerable chunks, or do you plant a flag wherever and claim everything within a given radius?

Pre-divided chunks. An open-ended system was plan A but the nuts and bolts of putting it together turns out to be more than what our projected budget will account for. That said, the regions you can rule will each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to attacking and defending.

By the way, we're building these regions right now and plan on showcasing some of them in the future.

Source: Forums (Brax), 17-10-2012

Will it be possible to sell or transfer claims of land other than through conquest?

Once you've claimed a region, it is yours to do with what you want. You can hand over control to someone else at any time.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-10-2012

Can just one guy declare himself a settlement in order to mark a claim in some far off uncontested corner of the world?

Anyone can lay claim to unclaimed land, not just settlements. The drawback to a single player going out and trying to lay claim is .... he's just one person. It takes a village to build a village.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-10-2012

Will all extant land be available for settling or are there certain areas that are set aside for settling and others that will always be "pristine"?

All lands can be settled. If you're worried about TerVarus becoming one giant metropolis, we have designs in place to counter such a thing from happening.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-10-2012

About race perks and crafting for different races

Should we introduce human-like races such as elves and dwarves, we'll give them a perk or two based on their race but we won't go crazy with it by any stretch. Instead it will be handled organically. How? For one, races won't be able to swap clothing and armor. A human won't be able to hand his chain leggings to a dwarf and have it fit him. This alone will require settlements that want to house multiple races to support their armor and clothing requirements. Add different dietary needs that must be met and this only further discourages (organically) settlements from becoming melting pots of races. We won't stop them, but it'll cost ya if you do it.

Your blacksmith will have to build both sets of armor, meaning he'll have to make and stock more inventory. In a human only settlement, he could make sure he has one set of male chain and one set of female chain for sale at any time and be good to go. If dwarves start to be commonplace in the settlement, now he has to stock those armor sets as well. Later on, elves show up and .... you get the idea.

Add to that, armor, like most items, won't be "click click create" making it taxing to keep up with a broader demand.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-10-2012

No race will be allowed to wear any piece of armor of any other race, no matter how close in build they may be.

Source: Forums (Brax), 16-05-2013

Will NPC's exist at all in player run settlements?

They will exist. The settlement has to attract them first as they are very aware of how a lord will treat his citizens.

Source: Forums (Brax), 24-10-2012

What NPC's will there be?

There will not be random NPCs just roaming about. The only NPCs slated for launch are guards (to help keep you alive) and shopkeepers (to help run your shop).

Source: Forums (Brax), 24-10-2012

Is there some sort of notification for intent to capture a city? Like a timer for sieging? I would hate to lose a settlement to a bunch of players that live in a different time zone when all my player

The notification for intent to capture the settlement is when character of the attacking force gets within range of the settlement's flag. A war may happen for reasons other than conquest and the attacking force may never even bother trying to take the flag. They may only destroy a few buildings they perceive as invasive or whatever.

The time an attacking force must dominate a flag is considerable and almost eliminates the 3am ninja raid take-over of settlements. I don't think I've mentioned it before but when it comes to warfare, we are giving all advantages to the defender. We want settlements to be taken over, but only after exhaustive and sometime extreme measures have been taken.

Source: Forums (Brax), 19-11-2012

Some definitions

We've thrown a lot out there in the way of settlements. To help keep things straight, here are some definitions regarding settlements...

Region:
A region is an area of land that can be claimed by a player to build their settlement. Examples would be Kithacore and Glacier Peaks. Regions range in size from one-half to one kilometer squared. The name of a region is hard-coded as are its non-resizeable borders.

Lord:
The character who rules over one or more regions.

Citizen:
A character that has sworn citizenship to a kingdom.

Kingdom:
The name a lord has created for his rule. Examples might be 'Alagore' or 'Seven Sins'. We will strictly enforce game-immersive kingdom names. Naming your kingdom 'F1ufFy BuNn13s' or something equally non-immersive could result in anything ranging from us renaming your kingdom to something we determine to flagging your account for staff approval of any submitted names.

Wilderness:
Land that can not be claimed by players. There is currently a 2:1 ratio of wilderness to regions. You should expect anywhere from one-half to several kilometers of wilderness to exist between each region.

Private Plot:
One of three pre-defined sizes of land that a lord can place anywhere within his kingdom to be bought and used by his citizens. A lord cannot place a private plot in the wilderness.

Private Structure:
A structure, residence or commercial, that can be placed on a private plot within a kingdom or anywhere in the wilderness.

Civic Structure:
A kingdom-owned structure that can be placed anywhere within a kingdom except on a private plot. Civic structures cannot be placed in the wilderness. Example civic structures would be walls, gate houses, a treasury, and barracks.

Source: Forums (Brax), 20-11-2012

Since private structures can be built anywhere that should mean I could build my Inn somewhere on the crossroads between settlements in the wilderness and a few other players could build a home or sma

Yep, you got it right. You won't have settlement level protections but you can certainly give it a shot.

Source: Forums (Brax), 20-11-2012

What's the current ratio of wilderness to settleable regions?

DOH! It's a 2:1 ratio, not 3:1. Our land size tripled when we added the wilderness areas and my flu-infested simple mind was thinking in those terms, not in ratios. There is roughly 12 km2 of named regions and 22 km2 of wilderness, give or take as we adjust things.

Source: Forums (Brax), 21-11-2012

So out of those 22 regions, there are going to be 3 or 4 initial towns/settlements, correct?

Correct.

Source: Forums (Brax), 21-11-2012

On farming and feeding the population of large settlements/cities

Well, regardless if the players ever were to succeed in setting up a utopian war-rare server or not, the players would eventually find out how hungry their characters are and start farming (in the actual sense, not the hording sense) on a much larger scale to help feed themselves as well as everyone else. That could happen on a standard warfaring server as well, though. Get likeminded individuals all interested in farming and making money off the hunger of others, and you might end up with quite the successful little culinary oligarchy going on.

Source: Forums (Varl), 04-01-2013

WIll there be any (relatively) safe places to mine?

You can mine within the NPC guard protected areas of your settlement/kingdom.

Source: Forums (Brax), 10-01-2013

On the location of settlements and resources

Don't forget raw resources won't be located everywhere. So what will settlements do that aren't located near said resources? For example what will a settlement in the desert do for water? Or what will a settlement out in the plains do for wood?

Source: Forums (Brax), 11-01-2013

What terrain restrictions will there be for building structures?

Terrain has to be somewhat level, no trees or boulders, etc.

Source: Forums (Brax), 12-01-2013

Where do you draw the line with enforcing immersive kingdom names?

"The Evil City Of Evilness" would not be allowed and would get renamed to something like "Mind Plague" to keep with your theme or something more generic like "Darkmoor".

Source: Forums (Brax), 13-01-2013

Could say something about the reputation standing with settlements?

Your character will have a reputation standing with each settlement and the NPC's and PC's within. So the more bad things you do to citizens of a settlement the lower your reputation is going to fall to. At a certain threshold you become kill-on-sight to that settlement. Your reputation will always try to go back to neutral when you're in negative, but it's gonna take a very long time and in the mean time you'd best stay out of that settlement.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Where will people be able to spawn the first time the servers come up?

You'll be able to spawn in one of the four starting settlements or the Monolith. The Monolith will always be an option for people to spawn, but the rulers of the settlements can shut of the new player spawn option at any time if they don't want any new citizens or anyone spawning there as a new character. But again, the Monolith will always be an option.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

What if all four starting settlement owners shut off the ability to spawn in their settlements?

Then everybody spawns at the Monolith.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Can you build your own house without being part of a settlement?

Yes, you can. You're not going to be able to build it within a settlement border, because the only way to do that is to build it on a plot of land that you've purchased from the settlement. But you can certainly try to build a building out in the wilderness.

Personally, I would advise against it. It can only be destroyed by siege weapons, but you will have no protection of the settlement. You can't post guards around it or anything like that, and we all have to sleep, so…. But yes, you can.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Will players be able to create paths or roads between settlements over time?

No, not right now. We'll certainly look into allowing you guys to lay down special models that essentially resemble roads, but that's in the future.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Can you move into a house, and if that is so, can you choose to live with a friend or a partner?

Yes, you can move into a house that isn't yours, so long as you have the permission to do it. We're going to have a permission system on housing, pretty much anything that is large and ownable, like a house, buildings, wagons (when they come into the game), mine shafts that you place, ships. We have, what I'm seeing as a very robust permissions system. In other words "this person can live here", or "this person can have access to this door", without breaking the law.

But just because you don't have permission to enter a house, that doesn't mean that you can't break into a house. Same with ship, or anything like that. Steal a wagon, steal a horse, steal a ship. All those possibilities are definitely in the game.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

How do you plan to handle different time zones with respect to settlement warfare?

What we used to call the 3AM ninja raids. Pretty brave statement, but I think we've pretty much eliminated that, in the way of being able to go in one fell swoop and take over a settlement at 3AM. The way you conquer a settlement, it's going to take a minimum of days, if not weeks, of back and forths. So the idea of running in there and wreaking havoc, you could try, but we're giving defenders just about every advantage. Even something as simple as a wall, that you can't go over. And NPC guards, which will be pretty powerful. They'll be able to hold their own, and they don't sleep ;)

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Is it possible not to be part of a settlement in any way?

Yes, you don't have to be a part of any settlement. You can wander from settlement to settlement like a caravaner, or if you don't want to be associated with anyone, you certainly can. You probably won't be able to own a house or land or anything like that, because that's all bound to citizenship, but do what you want.

Varl: You can go rogue if that's what you're into, or wander, explore, whatever you can imagine.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Could there be laws denying access to inns, or to settlements altogether to non-citizens?

This actually hits on a much bigger topic of "lord-griefing", settlement rulers that grief other people based off their power of owning a settlement. We have taken a lot of precautions when it comes to protecting citizens and even non-citizens from the lords of the settlements. But, there are mechanics in place (the settlement reputation system) where if you do enough bad things to the citizens of a particular settlement, then you will automatically be put on kill on sight. But as far as a lord specifically denying access to a particular player that doesn't have a negative reputation with the settlement, he can't really do that. A lord cannot target specific citizens or non citizens to essentially grief. Be it through taxing, or kill on sight, those sort of things.

We walk a fine line there and we realise that, but if you haven't done any harm to the settlement, they can't really do any harm to you without them answering to their own guards and their own laws.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Will guards stand idly by if a non-citizen runs into town followed and attacked by wolves? What about if he's attacked by other (non-citizen) players?

No. Wolves aren't generally thought of as friendlies anywhere.

Source: Forums (Varl), 20-01-2013

Guards will act on violations of the laws and an innocent person being attacked, regardless of where he comes from, is certainly such a violation. Now if the victim had a bad rep with the settlement, the guards might just watch without intervening or, in the case of very bad rep, they'd hop in and brain the victim until he stops twitching.

Source: Brax, 20-01-2013

Will the level of tax that a settlement ruler can impose be limited?

We're limiting the max end of the allowable tax ranges.

Source: Forums (Brax), 29-01-2013

Will anyone be able to use large tools like forges?

Large stationary tools like forges will have the permission system applied to them meaning the owner can determine who can use their tools.

Source: Forums (Brax), 12-02-2013

Will there be other ways to take over settlement leadership besides warfare?

We'll have a way to attempt a coup and whatnot. We just haven't nailed down the details.

Source: Forums (Brax), 14-02-2013

How exactly does one win one of the four starting settlements?

You are entered for a chance to win one of the four starting cities by just registering on the forums. Simple as that. :) We did have a referral system in place where you would earn an extra chance with each person you referred to the forums, but the codebase broke our forums so we backed away from that idea. We're still coming up with an alternative that is fair for everyone yet still rewards those that help us attract more people.

The cities will all be pre-designed by us. They will come with 40-50 private homes of various sizes that the lord will rule over but NOT own. The houses will probably be in the pledge reward lineup on a first come first serve basis. That last sentence is not finalized yet so please don't count it as such. The cities will also come with various civic buildings such as a treasury, guard posts (stocked with guards), and lots of walls.

We plan on announcing the winners after the Kickstarter campaign ends (successfully). At that time, we will announce one winner and confirm with that person if they want the city. We will continue the process until we've chosen all four winners. Once we have the cities built (no we don't have them built right now), we will display them with various screenshots (maybe video?) to either the public or just the winners (not sure yet). The first winner will get first pick of the city he or she wants, the second winner will get second pick and so on.

Clear as mud?

Source: Forums (Brax), 17-02-2013

We're planning on one server for launch but will be ready to deploy more if needed. We'll give away four settlements on each server. Winners will get to pick their settlement and server based on the order they won.

Source: Forums (Brax), 17-02-2013

Are settlements themselves instanced from the world?

Nope. Someone already said it but this is why house portaling (not instancing) is in.

Source: Forums (Brax), 26-02-2013

Can we plant trees in settlements?

Certain types, yes.

Source: Forums (Brax), 11-03-2013

Design changes for ruler options

The lord of a settlement may grant amnesty to any of his citizens. Abuse of this power will come at the cost of morale of his NPCs.

The lord of a settlement may set an option to make all non-citizens KoS. This will allow for settlements that don't want to be bothered by any outsiders.

Source: Forums (Brax), 19-03-2013

Is a lord limited to whom and when he can transfer a settlement?

A lord can transfer his settlement to anyone he wants at any time. It is his settlement after all.

Source: Forums (Brax), 21-03-2013

The difference between settlements and guilds

Something else to consider about ToA is the idea that a settlement is not a guild. Guilds are usually very exclusive where settlements are designed (but don't have to be!) inclusive. What I mean by that is a settlement can be made up of a few large guilds, some smaller guilds and lots of solo players, all from different backgrounds and different ideas about the settlement. You are all now under the same banner (so to speak) and have a vested interest in a common goal.

Source: Forums (Brax), 23-03-2013

Where will taxes for my house go?

Taxes aren't a sink in that the money just goes away. It is given to the settlement so they can afford the guards, walls, arenas, etc. The tax amount is something the lord of the settlement sets. If you're not happy with their taxes, ask them to change it, move, or rebel?

Source: Forums (Evangela), 08-02-2014

The End