6. Compilation of Dev Q&A / AMA
Q. So a king collects a tax from all within his kingdom or, only the duchy -> county -> town that he has primary dominion over?
A. Typically a King would tax the Dukes, the Dukes tax their Counts, the Counts tax their Barons, etc. So for the fact that the King owns the Kingdom, his Duchy, his County, and a town or stronghold, he'd get to tax at each of those levels.
Q. Will it be possible to have his Town / Stronghold outside of a Kingdom? I mean will there be "wild" places, where no one is king (no player, no npc) and you can place your stronghold / town?
A. I think we plan to have all land within a Kingdom, but there will certainly be areas that are much less populated and governed rarely. This is a very large world (think multiple US states large).
Q. Hi, so im curious about the starting infrastructure of the towns and cities and how much opportunity there will be to build those cities more, remodel existing buildings, and building entirely new settlements. Personally im a big fan of designing and building in games and i plan on selling my services for this in game. How much opportunity will there be for this?
Im also curious about materials as well and how detailed the designs can be. Also im curious how being hired works. Will it be based in part of of a historical system, such as that or the Renaissance with wealthy benefactors, or more like today where the architects have firms. Would i simply create some designs to show say a barron to see if he wants to hire me?
A. Guilds with a focus on architecture would act like the firms. But also individuals could act like single architects and the Contract would be between them and the payer.
Q. Will it be possible to pave roads between towns/cities and thereby increasing travelling speed?
A. Yes, travel speed will be affected by environment. Paving roads won't create fast travel, though if that's what you meant.
Q. Soo I kicked at the baron level, thinking it would be just a mayoral position and non military focused. Will it be an option like stronghold or town? Or am I forced to play a military character when I really just want to run a central town catering to adventurers?
A. You can totally be a mayor with a non-military focused town. The military features were just an option for you with defense.
Q. Various questions/concerns regarding the Land Management design journal
A. As others have mentioned, the majority of the design journal was focused on the "normal game play" experience of working your way up to Mayor/Baron, Count, Duke, etc... The article linked at the bottom of the DJ talks about how Nobles and Aristocrats will pick their settlements before Exposition. Furthermore, Nobles and Aristocrats, upon entering the Exposition, can make their way to their settlement and use a special currency to "buy" the land under their settlement. It's completely separate from their IP which they can use for other things. This special currency is to help them identify which land under the settlement belongs to them, and which belongs to other NPCs that live in the settlement. The better the builds on the land, the fewer lots you'll be able to afford. So if you become a mayor/baron, count, duke, or king, you're entitled to some of the land under the settlement. If you're a baron/mayor you can then use your IP to buy other land, or if you're a noble you can use your IP to build additional structures, etc.
Sorry, that should have read: The better the buildings on the land, the fewer lots you'll be able to afford.
Q. How much land fits on a parcel, how much IP will buildings cost, how long will funding count toward stretch goals?
A. A few clarifications - Each parcel of land is 64x64 meters and can house multiple buildings. So a parcel in the center of town might include a house, a shop, a road, etc. As you can see by the initial commercial building sizes, they only take up part of a parcel. Yes, each building can be customized with additional rooms, floors, etc. either at the start or added/changed at a later date with the help of an architect. We don't yet have a 1:1 association of each skill to commercial building types - but you don't have to make the choice now, so it should be enough to know that each crafting type will have a related building and profession kit with a crafting/processing station which makes the building into it's function. We will have more IP charts coming - namely on residential structures (houses, castles, and everything in between) and military structures (fort, outpost, etc.). Those, too, can be customized. The building that comes with the tier 3 profession kit is a 1 story wood building. A small 2 story commercial building would cost 300 IP for wood or 400 IP for stone. Yes, you can most definitely still buy IP on the site until Exposition begins. We've stated we'll continue funding toward our existing stretch goals for up to 6 months.
Q. If you are a kickstarter baron and start a town during exposition, do you start with blank plots of land or generated buildings. If they start with buildings, after going into exposition can you customize their placement?
A. All nobility and aristocracy will start with some buildings pre-made in their town/stronghold/county/etc. You can modify any of these in Exposition with IP, or in-game with the use of an architect to create plans for modifications.
Q. Studios How much control will barons/counts have over the existing structures in their region, if we tell npc X to tear down a wood house and build a stone one instead will they do that? Do we 'own' the existing town or just sort of set zoning rules and see what happens?
A. As a Baron or Count you don't own all of the land in your town/stronghold/county. You are the manager for the land, but can't make changes on parcels that are not your own. When you start you'll get to choose which parcels you want to own outright, and those are the ones you can modify.
Q. Sooo what are the odds of a baron being able to claim a town that already has a stone manor pre built. -looks at the large amount of royalty/nobles-
We'll, a Count starts with 1050 if he spends his $50 credit on IP. That would get himself a stone Townhouse. My level of Brew Master gets ~2050 if I spend my $100 credit on IP. I'd have to spend another $100 to get a stone Manor. (Which I'll totally do!) I doubt a Baron starts with much.
maybe not, from the answer I got the other day it sounds like barons will be able to choose a certain number of the prebuilt plots in their town to own (just from their title, before spending more IP to add new buildings) so if there is already a manor in the town they chose they could pick that as one of their plots...
A. It is true that each noble title will be able to choose certain parcels of land as their own after they've chosen their domain.
Q. If we spend IP during Exposition building up a town, will there be NPCs to fill them and make them earn revenue/taxes or will we have to wait and sit on empty buildings for either PCs or NPCs to wander into town, want to settle there and buy or lease these spaces?
A. NPCs will join your town dependent on many things - available crafting buildings, road access, your reputation, current population. There will be some NPCs available during Exposition, but we haven't yet discussed whether they'll be assigned to towns from the start.
Q. What happens when you are a baron/mayor an your stronghold/villlage gets captured by an enemy country? Do you get replaced?
A. Not automagically. In most cases, invaders will want to sue for peace at some point or risk spreading themselves too thin. If your town/village is fairly far inside the border and not on the path between the invading kingdom and your capital, you should be safe.
Q. I'm in the process of deciding if I should up my pledge from Bloodline to Baron. As such, I have a number of questions to help me better understand the Baron rewards tier.
1) Upon release, will the game world have hamlets, villages, outposts and forts? Or will the smallest NPC settlements start at towns and keeps?
2) Does a Baron/Mayor automatically own all the land within their keep/town? Or any of it? If not, can they purchase the NPC land/buildings within their keep/town?
3) Is there any way to depose a Baron/Mayor and take their place? In the DJ, CB's against nobility were talked about extensively. But is there any way to obtain a CB against a Baron/Mayor? Or are the only two options: a) appointment by a count, or b) building up a settlement and registering it yourself?
4) You've mentioned that whoever is first to register a new town/keep with the count/duke becomes the Mayor/Baron. However, what if I am endeavoring to build my little village into a town, when some other player comes along, expands a little bit to my village to make it large enough to be a town, and then goes and registers it and becomes the Mayor? Is there anything to stop this?
Yes, you could start as a land owner and build your own village up into a town - I'm sure many will and that's great. The reason for starting as a baron is that you'll get to select your town earlier and play it during Exposition when you can build/modify using IP.
Yes, as a Baron you get to choose the parcels of land in your town which you own. I don't know 100% if you can buy land from an NPC, but I don't see why not. And during Exposition you can use IP to purchase other parcels of land in your town.
Barons can be disposed and regular folks can use CB based on fame or noble support.
We don't have the final details here, but it is likely a town registration would include information about the village elders, perhaps a sign off.
Q. Is there going to be a banker starting kit? I read somewhere that banks will be owned by NPCs at launch and you kind of have to take over
A. There will be some banks in different towns ran by NPCs, but nothing prevents you from starting a competing bank or a bank in a different town. Banks in CoE aren't linked.
>>> The following is from the AMA <<<
Q: When you claim the land outside of settlements does it then follow the standard rules for land ownership/management?
Will you still have to pay taxes or some form of land rental if its close enough to someones settlement?
Does owning this land elevate your social status at all or are you still a good old peasant if land is acquired this way?
A: All land is within a Kingdom, Duchy, and County even if it is outside of a town or stronghold. So when you acquire land it must be from the Count who presides over that land. Note that the Count does not initially OWN all of the land, but is still the manager for creating purchase contracts. So, yes, you'd need to pay taxes to the Count upon acquiring land.
Q: As a count, who also would have a baroney, would I need to use my IP initially to purchase buildings? Or can I use property that already exists in the Town/Village etc. that I've chosen? By property that exists I mean buildings specifically that exist in the pre-formed "town".
A: For both your County (via Count title) and Town/Stronghold (via Baron/Mayor title), you'll get to choose some of the pre-developed parcels of land within your domain as your own. Those parcels of land could be ones within towns which already contained buildings such as houses or crafting stations. From there you could use your IP to purchase other buildings, more land, resources, animals, etc. You could also use it to modify the buildings that are on your chosen land, to add rooms or floors, change the materials, etc.
Q: We have a heard your ideas about the "punishment system" ingame, like warrants, prison time and higher death-lifeloss penalties for PKer etc. Things that will work if the player cares about his char, the reputation, if he is kicked out of cities or the money he has to spent. But what about Griefers who don't care if they waste a character. How are you going to handle them and the damage they might do, especially if the damage is done to the economy (Exploiter using early bugs)?
A: It is certainly a factor we'll have to balance out. We have a pretty good min/maxer with some griefing tendencies on staff to help us with that during Alpha/Beta. We know that this is really key to a fun game, so expect us to put a lot of work into this.
As you mention, we have the real world financial penalties. Secondarily you can be blacklisted from cities/Counties/Duchies/Kingdoms based on your reputation. So you could basically get shut out of interaction and places where you can cause the most damage. We also know there are several guilds and organizations already forming which have the intention of hunting down those types of people, so there's that part too.
Q: Questions –
1.) When can we expect to see a finalized layout of world/kingdom layouts?
2.) Can kingdoms EXPAND into other kingdoms or are borders permanently set?
3.) What are your thoughts on player controlled banking?
4.) How hard will it be to grow a city/county with just NPC's until more players join a county?
A: Answers –
While this might change based on feedback, we were planning to have a finalized version of the world map available near Beta 2 and Exposition. The amount of alliances forming so quickly now, may require that earlier.
Yes, borders at any level can expand.
We think player controlled banking is a fantastic idea. That's the kind of meta that the contract system was developed for. Imagine a group of people deciding to rob that bank, and the conflict that would ensue. That being said, we also think many people will choose to store their wealth themselves, thus creating intricate player run dungeons.
It depends what your ultimate goal is. If you want to run a city with NPCs, that would be possible. If you're talking about growing it, that might prove more difficult. You'd have to buy all the land and build out houses and commercial buildings, plus the roads to the town, to draw in more NPCs.
Q: Will groups of friends that pledge to be Barons together be able to combine their towns and forts into one location so they are able to play together?
A: Friends who pledge at the baron level to govern settlements together won't be able to combine their towns/forts into one location. During settlement selection the mayors and barons will get to select the pre-established settlements to take control of, and then take over management of that settlement from there, including adding new buildings, etc.
We aren't planning to have settlements close enough together that you could easily build them into a single settlement during Exposition. Though, doing so isn't impossible, and as long as the contracts are in place, you could combine your towns and create a city if that were to occur.
Q: The $250 tier comes in two aristocratic versions -- mayor/town and baron/stronghold. Is there any scope for a gentry-level version of comparable value where the bundle is based around residential/commercial property rather than either a stronghold or a whole town? Or are the only options to either take a lower tier & buy IP, or get a barony and sell the title (for IP) and the stronghold (for gold)?
A: The 2 options you mentioned would be good ideas. If your goal is to be a landowner with property, then you should focus on just that via the IP purchasing. Or, given that a Mayor title comes with the choice of certain parcels of land and the buildings on them, that would be an option.
Q: Question How is the Mayorship handled from the KS title, is it elective per life, per x years, or can your heir inherit the position as a heritable position? We've got both styles in the old medieval from mayorship being inherited (appointed) to it being a elective.
A: Mayors and Barons are inherited positions in Elyria.
Q. Hi! In an earlier comment you wrote: "So if you become a mayor/baron, count, duke, or king, you're entitled to some of the land under the settlement. If you're a baron/mayor you can then use your IP to buy other land, or if you're a noble you can use your IP to build additional structures, etc." Does this mean that Mayors/Barons can only buy land and not buy/place buildings? Or does it mean we'll just have a smaller number of building choices compared to Counts? Thanks!
A. A mayor can certainly create new buildings or modify existing buildings. We were more saying that a Count or above wouldn't really need to buy land since they already have so much of it, and would instead concentrate on buildings, etc.
Q. When a Baron and above enter during exposition, is there a limitation or cost associated with which settlement size may be claimed as their seat of power? Assuming said individual opts to not use his IP towards additional buildings/land purchases, how much of the settlement will be under his direct control/ownership? Does claiming a settlement include ownership of a residential building of some size? I apologize if these questions have been answered elsewhere. I poked around and didn't see anything.
A. There is not a limit on the settlement size that can be claimed by a Baron/Mayor. We think the larger settlements will be chosen by the Kings/Dukes/Counts as their own. I don't have an exact number for the plots that you'll get to choose as your own. Claiming a settlement does not automatically include ownership of buildings. That is dependent on which parcels of land you choose, which would include the buildings.