Empyrean Rule combines RTS gameplay with a persistent world

    
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All right, but there are certain questions asked vis-a-vis budgets here.

You can’t accuse the makers of Empyrean Rule of thinking small. Instead of trying to just create a persistent fantasy sandbox for $40,000, the team is trying to create a persistent fantasy RTS sandbox, with players taking the role of a general commanding vast armies and fighting for dominance. It would be ambitious at any budget, really.

The game is currently up on Kickstarter with the aforementioned target funding, promising players the ability to customize armies, freely mix and match units from different races, and a completely player-driven economy. If that sounds like the sort of project you’d like to back if it succeeds, toss some money at it; you have 24 days remaining as of this writing.

[Source: Kickstarter; thanks to Dylan for the tip!]
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EmpyreanRule
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EmpyreanRule

Hi, I am the game designer and project leader of Empyrean Rule. First of all, thank you all for your interest in our game. I read all your posts and I would like to say a few things in an effort to ease your concerns. : )
The RTS part of the game is only initiated when two or more armies engage on the massive persistent open world map. When this happens, then the battle begins and each player controls his army consisted of units, heroes, engines etc.

The world map is divided into two “virtual” sections..the Ancient Lands and the Forbidden Lands. Inside the Ancient Lands, PvP is not permitted and although there are several AI controlled Kingdoms/Empires there, they cannot be conquered by Guilds (players). This of course does not mean that there are no conflicts between them…conflicts in which players could also participate joining one Kingdom or the other, gaining status with a particular Kingdom granting them special rewards.

In the Forbidden Lands, PvP is permitted and all Regions can be conquered and owned. It is important to mention here that ONLY Guilds can conquer and own Regions and this can only happen when specific circumstances occur and with the right “equipment”. Each Region has 5 Watchtowers, and in order for a Guild to lay claim to a Region, it needs to lay siege to each one of them. Once a Guild has conquered 3 or more of those Watchtowers, then it owns the Region and it can fully manage it. This of course takes time and it is not a matter of winning one battle. 

As Calren well said, we will be using a system which involves “vulnerability” time windows, in the sense that there exist specific time windows during the day (real day) when the “defenses” are not too tight and a Watchtower can be attacked. Those time windows can be set by a Guild and they will not be known to anyone else outside of the Guild..Then again…that is why there is espionage.. ; )  

Having said that, there exist maintenance costs when a Guild owns a Region or more. That means that with more Regions, the maintenance cost is even higher and therefore a Guild cannot simply conquer and own Regions that easily. Also, the more a Guild expands, the more vulnerable it is to attacks by other rival Guilds AND AI ravaging armies. Each Region has a security level which is decreased every time a player or an AI army raids it. The security level and the population’s Morale/happiness in a Region are very important as they affect the growth of that Region. Although Guilds will be able to assign their own AI patrol armies, to protect their lands, human intervention with organized patrols will be far more efficient. With great power…comes great responsibility…

Finally, I would like to say that there is no such thing as a “powerful” army. It is all about “experienced” and “skilled” players who know how to create an effective army and how to act and react on the battlefield. NO player ALONE can simply conquer a region or own it, and although a player can directly affect the world, such grand changes on the world map (grand wars, conquering Regions, etc.) can only be triggered with the help of the many.

XViper
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XViper

For all the players concerned about how the game will function in a persistent world, just take a look at Eve Online.
The world will be separated into “PvE” and “PvP” areas, just like EVE.
The forums for this game are full of endless discussions, and every concern I’ve seen raised has been answered in a very well thought out and logical manner. These guys certainly aren’t just trying to ring this in, they’ve given it a LOT of thought, and will be working heavily with the community the entire way.
It’s definitely got my support.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

A traditional RTS game that is set on a persistent world?

How do you prevent folks from snowballing and conquering the world? I’d imagine it’d be quite difficult if not impossible task to dislodge a superpower state.

The game is gonna need a balancing mechanic of sorts to make sure that powerful players/armies have to exert great effort on their part in order to continue being a superpower, and that weaker players/armies have a a compensated power boost in order to have a chance of fighting back.

Calren
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Calren

Damonvile Yeah, I was thinking the same thing while reading the article. Truthfully, we see the same problem in any game with some form of organized pvp, be it dueling tournaments, guild vs guild, faction vs faction, etc. So far I think the most “fair” compromise has been having scheduled times. Off the top of my head, isn’t Albion Online allowing those defending a point to set their at-risk times?

Damonvile
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Damonvile

I wonder how they’ll deal with the pitfalls of this type of system that no one else has really ever managed to get past. Most of the browser based rtsmmos just seem to revolve around becoming a little cog in a machine ( aka join a megaguild ) that then just rolls over anyone small and weak.
Or..wait till they go off line and then zerg their defenses till you get in and take all they have.

I know most people envision something where all the cool stuff only happens when you’re online and it’s just one army vrs another and the best player wins.

melissamcdon
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melissamcdon

It’s a good idea.   I would like to see this game.
It would translate especially well into historical concepts (“Age of Empires”, etc.) but also into fantasy settings (imagine a game called “Powers of Middle Earth” where you play as Sauron, Denethor, Theoden, Elrond, Dain Ironfoot, and command your armies in grand battles as you seek to change the course of the books…)