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I've been thinking a bit about player controlled buildings and construction and how it could work in CU. The basic idea revolves around there being initially no structures outside the starting areas and players are entirely responsible for how and what they construct outside those areas. This idea relies on the fact that there is a real resource based economy and the most valuable resources are found out in the RvR areas. Resources could be from specific creatures (hides, bones, teeth etc.) which inhabit a certain area, mines (ore and coal), forests (wood, herbs) etc.
Players can construct either forts or individual houses, but there has to be some real added value to these constructions that make them worth the effort to build and defend. I am thinking of something way more natural then protecting a relic etc. If we look back as to why a fort was ever constructed in our own history, it was to protect a valuable area by providing a place where a defence could be mounted as well as having a view of the lay of the land in order to see any invading force from a distance.
In CU we could imagine that various areas would be of value due to the specific resources found there. If there is no fort, the resources are up for grabs by anyone who passes by. If players construct a fort however, a certain region around the fort will come under control of the realm who built that fort, after which only people from that realm can exploit the resources around it.
In addition, a fort would act as an early warning system and we could have it warn the realm if a large enough invading force (zerg) approaches. However, smaller forces might be able to approach without being detected and harass. How far the fort might detect an invading force approaching, and how much of the zone would be under its control in terms of resources, would be highly dependent on where the fort is built (ie it will see much further and control more of the zone if built on a hill rather then in the middle of a forest) and how big the fort was (over time a fort can be upgraded and control more of the zone).
The other positive to having a fort is that it would provide very limited instant travel. Exact numbers and over what time would need to be tested. As an example we could imagine that over a 2 hour period 50 people could instant travel to a small fort. The idea behind limited instant travel is to simulate that the fort is always guarded.
Who can start building a fort and who owns the fort has to be limited. I would suggest only guild leaders with guilds that have a certain minimum membership can start to set up an area for a fort. Smaller guilds can band together in alliances to meet the membership requirements. Ownership can also change, or new guilds can be added to the ownership deed for instance if a guild realises it bit off more than it can chew. Ownership would mean being able to make decisions on upkeep as well as having first dibs on instant travel before it is opened to the entire server. Other than that, the entire realm benefits from the zone control the fort provides and the entire realm might want to participate in its construction due to the resources that would come under the realm's control.
Player housing could work in a very similar fashion where a player house provides a much smaller zone of control for the realm and the owner could have personal limited instant travel to his home for himself and 2-8 friends depending on the size of the home to simulate it being inhabited 24/7. They would obviously be much more difficult to defend though. Many players may choose to build near each other or a fort rather than in the middle of nowhere.
What you guys think? Possible, or improbable?