[Feedback] Expansion of the City System (a lot of text, no tl;dr)

  • [Feedback] Expansion of the City System (a lot of text, no tl;dr)

    Hey everyone.

    I wanted to share some thoughts regarding player cities and how to possibly improve them. I know that a lot of the stuff that I come up with possibly can't be realized at the moment, but I hope that I can at least communicate in which direction I'd like to see the playercities go.

    Incentive
    There is currently no incentive to get hold of a city in the first place, despite being a prestige toy for rich guilds. The tax payout is still not working (or is it? Hard to check if there is no logfile) and even if it was, it currently doesn't feel like owning a city. It is more some kind of abstract contract that should net you a lot of silver if the city is populated enough.
    But when it comes to actually taking/owning a city, I have a lot more customization in my mind – or ways to actually administrate „my“ city instead of just waiting for the next payday. Owning a city currently is a passive process whereas it should be an active process in my opinion.

    Suggestions:
    • Add a public ressource depot where the city owner can request ressources for a specific project (details on that below). Those can't be taken out once put in and they can't be redirected into any private inventory after being donated, just like putting ressources into a building under construction.
    • Then add projects like public building plots on top of the private plots. For example a bank building that holds not only the local bank, but also another bank vault that is exclusively available only to people who own a plot in that city. The building however must be constructed and is one of several projects that the city owner can link to the ressource depot. The citizens are then able to donate ressources to this project and once the ressource quota is met, the bank building is completed making the city specific stashes usable.
    This would link city owners and citizens into a relationship and make it probably feel more like an active task to manage a city.

    Other examples would be:

    • public bath where people could buffs that would otherwise require a house (like the one from the table for example)
    • chamber of crafts which would reduce the amount of crafting materials needed to craft items across all crafting buildings in the city, which would make it more enticing, even to territory based guilds, to use player built crafting stations in cities thereby linking the powerful guilds with the smaller groups based in cities. High end crafting would still be left untouched because no city allows for more than T6 buildings to be built.
    • port authority, which reduces the travel cost via ship significantly

    And to top it off, the plots for public buildings should be limited, so that – in the best case – no city has the same benefits and people want to potentially make decisions where they want to live, not only based on location but also based on what the city itself has to offer.
    There should also be an option to undo certain projects like the chamber of crafts so that a change of ownership may also change the perks of a city through the public buildings, while others should be permanent and available to everyone by just building them up(city specific stash for example).
    Its certainly not the alpha and omega of giving people incentives to use cities but it would make the administration of a city while also interweaving citizens with city owners activities. It also would add depth to the whole city system.

    Ownership and cost
    I dislike that the current situation allows one guild to potentially hold every city. This wouldn't be the case if other guilds would attack at the same time more often, granted. But I still feel that the limited amount of cities compared with any situation in which one guild holds all cities just awkward. It also excludes other players from a big feature of the game.

    To combat that from happening again, I'd propose that the upkeep cost for a city doubles for every city taken. This makes one city profitable. Even the second city can remain profitable if has a healthy population, the third city will still generate revenue if is fully populated, while the fourth city will never generate any income. Instead it would cost money to hold it.

    If this would be enough to make room for other guilds to take their share on cities has to be seen, but I like to think that it is a starting point.

    Make alliances matter
    Alliance affiliation should show besides the guild that holds a city. Guild members and alliance members alike should get a discount on city services. Combined with the former point, it would make more sense to hold several cities as an alliance as opposed to one guild holding them all.

    City plot owners should be able to activate a discount option for their crafting/refinement buildings that is directly linked to guild/alliance members holding a city.

    City Wars should also show up on every GvG panel in the guild menu. Every alliance could then possibly apply for that Cityfight and the guild that holds it is in charge of approving them, better allowing alliance partners to merc each other out (probably a good idea for normal GvG as well).

    Make citizens visible
    The current system gives no visual indication of people who are actually inhabiting a city that your own guild/alliance controls or not. While I think they should remain killable, a small symbol beneath their name indicating that they are members of a friendly city would make it easier to advertise certain zones adjacent to a city as safe for citizens.

    City Dungeons
    Another citizen- and/or guild/ally exclusive thing should be the presence of a dungeon directly under the city. It should offer mobs that follow a city specific theme like pirates living in the underground of Freeport, a Morgana cult under Newhearth, a large gang of thugs and thieves under Irongate, something like that.

    The dungeon itself should at least be limited pvp, with skulled players being killable on the city surface as well. That would give players inside the city a certain level of security inside that dungeon, but still allow for conflicts being laid out down there while still coming with severe consequences.

    From there, a lot of possibilites would open up: From just being a minor benefit to the citizens/owning guild/alliance to certain benefits/perks being given to the city if specific requirements are met (i.e. minor movement speed increase while traveling the city by clearing out a boss under the city once a day).

    Closing Words
    I love the fact that you guys brought player cities to Albion, but I also think that they are just a foundation right now. They allow for a lot of expansion to make them not only matter but to change them also into a solid feature instead of what they are in their current state. I also know that most of my suggestions would probably require a lot of time and effort, which would probably interfere with your work schedule – if they are good ideas to begin with.

    I still hope I could come up with a few things that show you guys how I would like to see cities in the future and maybe some others share my opinion on that, too.

    - Storm