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Forged Chaos team member Elyssia walks us through Trials of Ascension's take on Kingdoms and Settlements in this community update:
Hello everyone! Elyssia here again to talk to you about Kingdoms and their settlements! Thanks to all your fantastic questions, I think we were able to pull together another great article for you to enjoy.
I would like to start out by correcting a semantic mistake I see repeated on the forums often, likely due to the old design. Every settlement is part of a kingdom, and kingdoms can have multiple settlements. So if you and your friends go out into the wilderness and establish your very own settlement, you are also establishing your own kingdom.
To rehash some of the information in the Guide, a kingdom is a ruling body over one or more settlements. A settlement is an area of land owned by a monarch through the use of a charter and banner. A monarch (aka a King or Queen) is the highest authority in a kingdom, and they can choose Lords/Ladies to govern settlements in their stead.
So say you want to go out into the world and create your own kingdom; how would you start? The first step would be to train one of your skills to artisan. This might sound a little arbitrary, but the idea behind this requirement is to prevent brand-new players from rushing willy-nilly into the wilds and staking claims all over the place. The next step will be to gather together the goods to create a settlement charter or purchase one from someone who makes them.
After that, you will need to find nine or more players to help you found your kingdom and settlement. Each of them must be an artisan in a skill, and 10 specific skills must be represented in the founders group at artisan rank or higher; 3 different combat skills, 5 different crafting skills, 1 healing skill, and 1 general skill.
If all these requirements are met, you are ready to go forth and select your settlement location and establish your kingdom! Settlements all come with a default territory size that never changes. Ever. Your potential territory cannot overlap with another kingdom or settlement; in fact a buffer zone of wilderness is required between them. This is enforced by a required minimum distance between settlements, even if both settlements are a part of the same kingdom. If you are uncertain if your desired location is far enough from all other settlements, you can attempt to use your charter to test your spot. If the territory meets all the requirements, the charter will prompt you to place your banner. You dont have to proceed until you are happy with the location, as it will become the epicenter of your territory. The exact values of the settlements radius and distance between settlements arent yet determined, but well let you know when weve figured them out.
Once you place your banner, it must be guarded from any attacks for the hour it takes for your flag to raise. At that point you become the new kingdoms monarch, congratulations! Now what are you going to do with your new kingdom?
As a monarch, it is your duty to see to the prosperity and protection of your kingdom. Using the Ruler Menu, you will need to set taxes, hire guards, divide your territory into plots to sell to your citizens, and order the construction of various civic buildings for the benefit of your people. It will also fall to you to establish order by setting laws for your guards to enforce. You can choose if you wish to permit new civilized characters to begin their adventures in your kingdom or not. However, this does not automatically make them your citizens.
You have two options to expand your kingdom. The first way is peaceful expansion through establishing new settlements or recruiting existing ones to your cause. The second is to conquer other settlements by going to war with them. Choosing to wage war on another settlement does have drawbacks, as it will negatively affect the morale of your kingdoms NPCs and sow distrust for your kingdom among the rest of the world.
Which ever you choose, managing a large kingdom takes a great deal of work. The work is made more challenging since any and all decisions for a settlement must be made within the territory of said settlement. As a monarch you can elect other players to govern your settlements for you, known as Lords or Ladies. Once elected, these governors will gain access to the settlements Ruler Menu and can effect changes based on the permissions you grant them, including approving citizenship.
Setting up laws will be handled through the Ruler Menu. You will be able to choose what is or isnt considered a crime within the settlements territory, and then choose the punishment from a drop-down list. These punishments can range from a fine or increased tax all the way up to revocation of citizenship or death. It must be kept in mind however, that the laws of a settlement or kingdom can only be enforced within their own territory. For example, if someone kills your citizen outside of your settlements territory, they will not be automatically flagged as a criminal when they enter your settlement. However, you will have the option to manually flag someone if you dont want such a player to enter your settlement. Abuse this power and the morale of your NPCs could be affected.
Attracting new citizens is another important role for a monarch and their governing Lords and Ladies. Youll be able to choose if you want to allow just anyone to join or if you want to be more selective with your citizens. You may have to find some unique focus or draw for your settlement, as players may only join one settlement per character. Potential citizens will join your settlements by interacting with the settlements banner.
As your settlement grows and prospers, you will naturally want to make improvements. For some civic structures, such as walls, you will be able to tear them down and replace them with better materials. Other buildings will not have better options and will simply be as they are first constructed, such as the Treasury.
Thats all I have to share with you this week! I hope I was able to answer everyones questions in regards to settlements. I look forward to shedding more light on ToAs designs next week!