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Structures by: Forged Chaos
 

Introduction

by Forged Chaos

Players will be able to build structures ranging from a small wooden house to the largest of stone keeps. Building a structure is an involved process that will take significant resources and is sure to keep many talented craftsmen busy around the clock.

Raising the roof

by Forged Chaos

Cities and structures in MMORPGs play an important role. They provide ambiance, shops, meeting places for characters, banks, and simply a place to call home. They also provide land marks and represent places of safe haven, including a place to log off or exit the game safely without risk to the character. Let’s take a closer look at the individual structures of Trials of Ascension and how they will be built.

All structures in ToA will be player owned and maintained. Other than the pre-existing structures within the starting cities at the launch of the game, all structures will be made by the players themselves. The cost of building structures in terms of time, resources and skilled labor will be prohibitive, requiring players to work together to build their homes and cities.

First the plan of a structure is drawn on a parchment by someone with the necessary skill. Using this parchment, the footprint of the structure must then be placed in a proper location. A proper location is defined as being within a settlement, on a plot of private land the placer has purchased from the settlement, and within terrain tolerances (suitable terrain type, slope, etc).

Once the footprint is placed properly then a 3D model representing the first stage of a structure's construction is placed on that spot. A number of flags are then visible around the structure indicating the locations where building materials may be applied to the structures. The location of these flags will be random, requiring the builders to move around the structure. Furthermore, some flags may be inaccessible without the use of scaffolding. Anyone close enough to one of these flags can attempt to do the task as required. Each flag will represent one of various crafting skills needed such as carpentry and stone-masonry. The building owner can place a "contract", stating how much he will pay per task completed to any craftsman willing to put in the time, materials and skill. As the contract is filled, the structure begins to take shape, actually changing its 3D model as completion progresses until the structure is complete.

We will purposely throttle the number of flags available at any given time so as to organically limit the maximum speed at which a structure can be built. This is to prevent unrealistic growth of a settlement. We don't yet have the numbers finalized but you can expect a small house to take many hours of effort while a keep could take you weeks or even months.

It is our hope that this design will further encourage community cohesion, give crafters even more to do, and give a real sense of progress as a settlement grows structure by structure.

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

Will structures require any maintenance?

Only when it has taken damage.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will structures decay over time?

Building owners must occasionally visit their structures or they will be considered abandoned. Once flagged as abandoned, a structure will begin to fall into disarray, eventually collapsing from neglect.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can structures be damaged or destroyed?

Yes, but only by siege weapons.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

How will you prevent griefing from players blocking other players in for example shop entrances?

I'm sure Brax will be along to answer this question fully, but what I can tell you is our shops and structures are going to have atypical entrances, so the idea of someone blocking a doorway will be moot if there are no doorways to block. At best, I imagine a griefer could guesstimate where to stand at the exit location of the structure and cause a potential collision between two entities upon exiting a structure, but I'd be all for moving one party or the other slightly to one side upon exiting so that collision doesn't occur or setting up an algorithm that randomly deposits an exiting character to several locations just outside the structure. The griefer would have to be extremely talented to try and anticipate which drop location for each exiting character. Heh.

And if a group of griefers tries something like this just because they can, let us know. Our Interactive Team will be right along shortly to deal with the people that obviously have far too much time on their hands.

Source: Forums (Varl), 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

Is it safe to assume the builders' way to skill up is also by working on construction?

Yes, using a skill is the only way to gain it.

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

I would further assume, more complicated (higher tier) structures will requires builders of higher skills (at least in some portion of the contrcution).

Correct.

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

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

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

Will it be possible to somehow secure a stash completely without ever worrying about someone breaking into it?

Your best bet for a secure container would be a treasury within a settlement. A treasury will be run by the settlement and it can charge you a rental fee for your vault. That's up to the settlement ruler, to set that pricing and how much they want to offer in terms of space. But treasuries are actually going to be very hard to take down.

Buildings can only be destroyed by siege weapons, they can't be chewed away by melee combat or a bunch of arrows or anything crazy like that. That breaks the realism bubble a bit, but for sake of gameplay, we're okay with that.

So the best bet is to get yourself a treasury built at the settlement you're in. And you don't need to be a citizen to rent a space in the treasury either. So store your stuff there. It can't be looted either, thieves can't steal from your personal space there. The only way to get to the items within is to destroy the treasury.

It probably goes without saying, but treasuries are going to be one of the strongest buildings. They're like real world banks, built like vaults.

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

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

Will there be an option to build a tree house? Will climbing a tree and hiding up there be possible?

No, not at this time.

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

Will houses and other structures be instanced?

They won't be instanced. You will portal into them, meaning you'll click the door and a load screen will appear for a second or two and you'll be in the house. Instancing in the thought of having multiple people in the house yet not able to see each other is NOT what we're talking about.

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

When I start out as an engineer, will I be able to try to make all available blueprints or only the simple ones?

It's like the rest of our crafting system - you can try to draft up the most complex blueprint available but you're going to fail 999 times out of 1000.

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

Can you build your own house/structure?

Yes you can build the whole thing yourself if you have the skill and resources.

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

Can a group of people build a structure without getting paid for it?

This is absolutely possible. The how will be explained at a later time.

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

Can all items found in the world be used as house decoration or only specific ones?

We don't have any intention to mark only certain items as decorations. We plan on taking precautions so people don't get ... unimmersive with it though.

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

Will everything in a house or shop be destroyed if a house is completely demolished?

No. Some things will and some things won't. Right now the design is to randomly determined what survives and what doesn't.

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

What's up with the edible houses?

What do you think?

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

Are building skills limited to building structures?

Nah. Most of the builder type skills can also build non-structure items like furniture, tools, etc.

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

What is to stop me, BobTheBuilder, from finding your house, accepting all 3 flags at the same time - thus locking out all other players?

Once you reticule over and click on a build/repair/demolish marker, you start working on it right away and and clicking another marker would nullify the work you are doing on the original marker and all resources would be lost. Plus, I don't think two markers will ever be close enough for one person to click on them both.

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

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

Due to portaling, would there be a way to know if anything big is going on outside your house?

Yes, you'll know if something is going on outside your house. The details are still sketchy but I consider this a must. On a similar note, people on the outside of the house will probably be able to tell if the owner of friends of the owner is home by showing lit windows or some other visual cue.

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

When you said that anyone at any level of skill can work on any level of construction, just with varied levels of difficulty, I pictured something akin to lockpicking in Skyrim. At a skill of 15/100, I can attempt to pick that Master or Expert lock to my hearts content. It might take me 50 lockpicks to get it, but I can do it.

Exactly. You can attempt that build marker as many times as you want but you need to hit a certain minimum skill check before it's considered a success and you'll just burn through your resources until you finally get a successful check. It's a return on investment issue. If the owner is going to pay my 3 silver for this task but each failed attempt costs me 1 silver in resources, I only get three attempts before I start losing money.

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

I'm curious to know if certain "open" structures will not require instancing, i.e. keep walls with staircases and battlements.

Good catch. Yes, some structures such as towers and gatehouses won't require portaling (again, not the same as instancing).

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

Abandoned structures decay over time, however how does one repair a dilapidated structure?

If you don't visit for long enough period of time, it will turn into ruins and ruins cannot be repaired.

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

What specifically does one do to prevent a structure from being abandoned? Just log in, do maintenance, add materials to fix things?

You simply need to visit the structure. No maintenance or repairs required.

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

Will there be temporary structures, like small shelters you might need to build to avoid freezing to death?

There are no temporary shelters like tents and lean-tos currently planned. The best thing to do to stay warm is to build a camp fire and stay close to it.

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

Will walls of a building collapse due to poor craftsmanship?

No, the walls won't collapse from poor craftsmanship.

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

How will skill level affect the quality of structures?

Each building task will give the structure a set amount of minimum hit points. If the skill check at the building task fails, the structure receives nothing and the build marker remains for the task to be attempted again. If the skill succeeds, an amount of hit points will be applied to the structure based on the amount of success.

In other words Andy the apprentice fails his skill check at a carpentry build marker. Nothing is added to the structures hit points and the build marker remains for another attempt. If he tries again and barely succeeds, he will have added 100 hp to the structure. Marvin the master comes along and succeeds wildly at his carpentry build marker adding 150 hp to the structure.

All numbers are for the sake of example only.

Source: Forums (Brax), 27-02-2013

Can we somehow control the quality of structures that we let others work on?

You'll be able to dictate the accepted level of quality for your structure with the default being of decent quality. We won't let people build structures that have almost no hp.

Source: Forums (Brax), 27-02-2013

Where can mines be placed?

A mine can be placed anywhere with the following restrictions:

Within settlement borders:
- A citizen can place a mine but only on a plot of land he owns.
- A lord can place a mine anywhere except on privately owned land.

Outside settlement borders:
- Anyone can place a mine anywhere but it under no protection of a settlement, even if a lord placed it. NPC guards will not leave a settlement's borders so no guards can be placed near it to guard it.

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

Will there be keys in ToA for houses, chests?

Actually there will be no keys in ToA. We'll get into this a bit later though.

Thieving is still very much in the game [though], including looting houses.

Source: Forums (Brax), 22-03-2013

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