Encompassing each server are carefully placed points of development called Nodes. Every node is given purview over a predefined zone of influence (ZOI). Player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within this ZOI counts toward that particular Node’s advancement.
There are six stages of node advancement:
- Expedition (Few hours)
- Encampment (Many hours)
- Village (Few days)
- Town (Many days)
- City (Few weeks)
- Metropolis (Many weeks)
After every advancement, an increasing ring of neighboring nodes are locked out from progressing to the next stage. The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out unique content available in neighboring nodes.
Node sieges allow players to delevel a node (reverse its advancement) and to ultimately destroy that node entirely. This paves the way for new development and access to the locked content in surrounding nodes. Due to this dynamic, political strife and intrigue play an important role in the structure of the world.
Declaring a node siege
Sieges are declared directly by any player who completes the prerequisites for the siege initiation. During the declaration period, individuals or guilds can also register to attack.
Siege declaration is very tough and will scale with the type of node being sieged:
- Sieging will require a similar amount of resources and time to what it took to develop the node being sieged.
- Siege equipment will need to be crafted based on the stage of the defending node.
- Governments will be able to allocate resources, taxes, and quests to help develop the defenses of the node.
Once a siege is declared there is a period of time before the siege will commence, determined by the size of the node:
- Village (2 days)
- Town (3 days)
- City (4 days)
- Metropolis (5 days)
Node siege mechanics
- When a siege begins, temporary alliances will be formed among attackers and defenders.
- Sieges don’t use the PvP flagging system.
- Certain siege mechanics may be gated for specific size groups during sieges.
- NPC’s will serve as defense points for a node. Killing them will allow the attackers to gain advantages during the siege.
- NPC’s are only killable during a siege and will respawn if the siege is unsuccessful.
- A siege will occur over several phases. More will be revealed in an upcoming blog entry.
- There will be quadrants that can be captured that give advantages to attackers, such as allowing them to spawn at those locations and reduce casting time.
- Defenders can assault the outposts of the attackers to hinder them.
Completing a siege
A node siege will last for up to two hours. Defenders will be required to hold a central point in the node for a certain timeframe. If the node survives, there will be a cooldown before the node can be sieged again:
- Village (20 days)
- Town (30 days)
- City (40 days)
- Metropolis (50 days)
Node housing and freeholds will only become vulnerable if the parent node falls in a siege. A successful siege will delevel or destroy the node.