Here is my case for a RPG Realms 2.0 & some of my thoughts on how I would go about implementing it using as many of the assets that exist as possible. I’ll do one for a Strategy Realms 2.0 in the next couple days though obviously as I’ve stated ad nauseam I’d prefer RGP over Strategy.
One of the issues I have developed with Realms is that now we have this wonderful lore that creates a universe but Realms just don’t feel like part of that universe – they have to me become increasingly like a separate game purely bolted on. I’m not saying that Realms have to be Lore compliant, quite the opposite, in the Shattered Worlds anything could be possible (Quiz Realms, the works). It just feels that the current implementation has nothing to do with the concept of the Realms being true ‘worlds,’ separate, unique, but still part of a greater whole. In Sci-fi shows one week they’re visiting future earth, the next a world they touch down on is a great big TV show; so why not in fantasy, why not in Realms? I have no problem with that.
The game I would aim for...
Firstly, fixed mechanics such as the Banish Spell, Reinforcement Points and Time are gone, as is the Realm entrance fee so players can revisit a Realm as often as they like (this should all make sense below).
Realms now exist in three ‘layers.’ Map, Random Quests, and Major Quests. Once all Major Quests are complete the Realm’s Major Quests can be reset by the player for a large gold fee. However, players can come and go from a Realm as many times as they like as long as they are not on a either a Random or Major Quest (if they are they are locked to that Realm until they complete it or fail at it).
The Designer places the terrain and infrastructure pretty much as they do now but now we have a more componentised approach.
These are now a selection of fort graphics that are used for Quests.
Fog of war
Although the explored map is shown, dimmed, Marauders and Wizard Lords aren’t unless in the players LOS which is not unlimited.
Herbs & Magical Commodities
A selection of Snapshot defined Herbs and Magical Commodities (such as those from Lords of Chaos (sorry, couldn’t resist) ). The player can carry a small number of these for sale and be allowed to transport them to Limbo and from Realm to Realm which would create a market for those interested in it. A small storage facility could exist in a player’s tower on Limbo so that ‘trade runs’ could be discovered and performed.
Mana Fluxes/Forge Crystal Mines
Where you spend gold to buy Mana, can buy Forge Crystals etc
A graphical selection of ‘capital’ buildings that can provide military type Random Quests (such as capture this Citadel, defend this Town against X Marauders) and/or has the Wizard King/Ruler NPC which the player can choose to Duel if the Designer allows.
Entry, same as now, and Exit – where the player can leave anytime (if on a Realm Quest this causes the Quest to fail).
Breach Palace would go, but instead there should be more Realm Spells, some off the top of my head examples:-
Activate Artefact – activates a collectable artefact with a custom power for the next battle. This would also allow custom, Realm only artefacts that the players can collect without unbalancing the rest of the game.
Foresight: Reveals the location Wizard Lords on the map.
Freeze Marauder: as it says.
Towns are now componentised with graphics to reflect this. Designers place nameable NPC merchants/shops of different types & set their barter skill (ie some merchants will sell goods for cheaper than others). Some examples:
Blacksmiths: Sells Bodyarmour.
Apothecary: A place where herbs & magical commodities are bought and sold.
Innkeeper: Provides civilian type Random Quests (like rescue maiden in distress etc). Gambling etc. Where you hire sentient Mercs from for a combination of gold & kudos
Magician: Sells Staffs & Talismans.
Map Maker: Similar to Reveal Fog Realm Spell but is Realm wide.
Portal Shop: For a fee the player can access their equipment on Limbo and swap it out.
This is now where you hire specific Mercenaries and/or none sentient mercs from for a combination of gold and kudos.
A player leaving a Realm with loot risks being attacked by another wizard upon return to Limbo. If they have invaders switched on this will be a human player if available. If the player loses then they must select one item from their ‘on person’ inventory to secede to the winning player.
Only one Quest can be undertaken at a time and all others become unavailable whilst a player is playing one. Wizard Lords and Marauders are controlled by the Quest Layers, so each layer could have its own set and a Realm could be made ‘hostile’ to the player from the get go by having an Encounter placed on the Entrance Portal that activates a Major Quest. Any piece of infrastructure, Mana Flux, Village, Town can be subject to a quest so the Battle Maps would still be used.
Random Quest Layer:
A selection of reoccurring Missions and Quests predefined by Snapshop (such as defeat Wizards x, y, z then return here or escort x to y safely then return here) that the player receives from the relevant NPC merchant. The designer can denote quest parameters so you don’t end up rescuing a Paladin in a Goblin Realm etc.
Major Quest Layers:
Branching Encounters similar to the current system created and grouped together in numbered Major Quest ‘layers’. Encounter outcomes can active or deactivate Major Quest Layer number X or Y – the number is just a way to identify the Quest and does not denote any type of order or compulsion. A Major Quest Layer can be triggered by an Encounter placed anywhere (thus ‘simulating’ an NPC). These Quests can also award the player an Artefact - a Designer created magical item that the player can keep, listed on their profile’s inventory, but that only affects the Realm it is from. You activate it by spending Flux Mana to cast the Spell (see above). An example could be Creatures +10% attack.
Anyway, those are my thoughts atm and even if 90% is it is not what others want maybe there is a salvageable gem that can be taken from it somewhere