Farming & Alchemy
Farming: We will add farming to the game, which includes planting and harvesting plots and raising animals (including mounts). Seeds for farming will be obtained from the open world.
Food: Farming will be used to produce food. Food can be consumed to buff a character for a certain period of time but will also be used as a source of supply for buildings and territories (which will, largely, replace the current silver upkeep). Special foods require special ingredients obtained from the open world that might be very rare.
Lower Durability Loss: As buildings now run on food, they will lose no (or far less) durability from being used than currently, so they do not need to repair any more or at least not as often.
Alchemy: Alongside farming, we will add alchemy which will enable you to brew potions.
Repair and Salvage
Repair: Reparing items will no longer cost resources, but just silver(gold). We will introduce alternative resource sinks to keep the balance in check.
Salvage: Salvaging an item will no longer cost silver, but actually return a small amount of silver to you. This makes looting unneeded items more useful, acts as an additional resource sink and also allows people to do something more meaningful with surplus items if the demand in the market place is not high enough.
Islands: We identified a fundamental problem with building space, namely there is either not enough of it or that if there is, it is often too expensive for most players. In the case of guilds, there is also the issue that all space might be taken or that the guild is simply not strong enough to conquer a space from somebody else. As a solution to this, players and guild will be able to buy an island, which will contain a lot of building space and will be safe from GvG. Islands can be reached via a harbour and can of course also be visited by other players.
Islands Balancing: Once you have bought the island, there will be no regular upkeep, however, there will be higher taxes on anything that is being produced there (to make sure that usually, you would still rather have a space in the open world). On the island, you will not have any real resource or mob spawns, which means that you will still have to get your resources from the main world. (maybe with the exception of tier 1 and some tier 2).
Farming on islands: These islands will play a key role in farming, as this will take up a lot of space that is simply not available in the current game world.
Auto-Tool Use: For gathering, it will be enough if the right tool is in your inventory. You will no longer have to equip it. This also means that you weapon will not go on cooldown when you gather something. You can still equip a tool, but you will only really need to if you want to fight with it.
Rare Resources: There will be rarer versions of existing ressources that will spawn randomly (i.e. an existing resource node has a certain change to transform into a rare node for a certain amount of time). Those rare resources are used to craft rare items.
Other Notable Features
Mounts: We will add abilities to certain mounts, and possibly also auto-attacks to certain mounts. However, while doing this, we will be extra careful as we do not want mounts to be too powerful in chasing down fleeing players to keep open world PvP balance in check.
Arena/Solo PvP Options: This is still at concept stage, but definitely on our to do list.
A lot of additional small changes and improvements, that are too minor to list seperately.
PvP and GvG Experience
Overall, we were quite satisfied with the GvG and PvP during the last test.
Abilities: We believe that the current weapon and armor abilities are largely placeholders and can be made much more exciting. We want to add things such as channeled spells, interruptible spells, shape-based AoE spells that you can avoid through movement, spells of which the strength depends on how many opponents are nearby or being hit, spells that charge up based on how much damage you take, shields that trigger a special effect when they break, etc.
Zerging: We believe that zerging is an issue, and will make multiple small adjustments to address this, in particular introducing more AoE spells and AoE spells that deal the more damage the more people they hit. This will be combined with more aggressive caps on AoE heals and a nerf to focus fire / focus healing in order to encourage zergs to break up into multiple smaller groups.
Territory Types: We believe that we should have different types of territories in GvG, with the current "build you base here" territory just being one of those types. In particular, we want to have conquerable territories with no / almost no building space that provide the owner with another advantage such as exclusive access to a dungeon or to certain special resources or special farmland (see "Farming" below). Those territories will be much easier to conquer and re-conquer which is fine as losing them is not such a big deal either as you won't lose your entire base.
Neutral Siege Camp: We believe that the castle current does not work as an "entry point" to GvG for a guild that does not own any territories yet. Instead, we will have neutral Siege camps in PvP zones, where any guild can declare attacks to adjacent territories from. We will set the cost of attacks etc in such a way that the exploit of "attacking yourself with a fake guild so nobody else can attack you" will not be worth it. The territories that are attached to the neutral siege camp will be of the "easy to conquer" type as mentioned above.
Neutral Siege Camp 2: While we are at it, we might make the neutral siege camp a bit more meaningful by placing a bank and a neutral repair shop next to it, and add some NPC guards, so it acts like a neutral outpost (where PvP however is possible!) that can also be used by solo players who want to stay in PvP zones without having to settle for a player city.
Crime Flagging: We believe that the current "crime flagging" system does not work well. We will replace it with a system where players can self-flag as "friendly" or "hostile". People can still attack each other freely in PvP zones with the exception that friendly players cannot attack other friendly players. Instead of having the crime debuff in yellow zones, we will instead give friendly players a PvP buff in yellow zones. Of course, changing your flagging is subject to certain timers and restrictions.
Storage: We believe that storage did not really work well in the last test, which was shown by the fact that most of the guild halls that were constructed just contained chests. Considering that in the final game, people could just have an alt and abuse him as a chest, we decided that we would rather make storage far more readily available. This means that when claiming a territory, it will already contain a small bank chest that every guild member can use and that will also contain a shared guild folder. The chest can also be used as a battle vault.
Battle Vaults / Force projection: We believe that the current battle vault concept gives rise to the problem of force projection, which means that a guild that has 5 well-equipped fighters can defend an almost infinite amount of territories - no matter how far away they are. Our goal is that if a guild holds a lot of space, they will have to work hard to defend it all. Therefore, we will make the following changes: i) at the start of a GvG fight, you have to be in the region where the fight takes place ii) battle vaults will be unique to the respective region (and, as stated above, each region will automatically come with battle vaults!) A nice side effects of this is that maintaining and interrupting supply chains becomes very relevant in larger wars between guilds.
Territory Upkeep: Territory upkeep will be changed from silver to food (see "Farming" below), which means that in order to supply a territory, you actually need to be or go there regularly. Again, this is to prevent guilds from holding territories that they do not really use. (Plot upkeep will likely stay as is for now, i.e. currency only).
Mobs and Items
Factions: We expand on our mob factions by having special faction items and also introduce concepts such as faction based rewards.
More Items / Rare Items: In general, we will significantly increase and improve the number of type of items available. Different item types will be associated with different combat roles as before. In particular, there will be far more different items on the same tier, and we will also have item progression inside of one tier (such as (T4 short sword -> T4 long sword -> T4 claymore etc). A lot of these items will require special resources or special mob drops to make. "Rare" weapons on lower tiers can also be more powerful than "common" weapons on higher tiers.
More Specialisation: Based on the above, there will be far more options to specialise your character both in item choice but also in destiny board progression.
More Mobs: We will increase the number of mobs available in the game and also make them more challenging and interesting.
Better Dungeons & Bosses: We will significantly improve our dungeon design, and particular by adding more bosses and mini-bosses (which again ties in nicely with more items, as many of those will require special boss drops to make).
Mob Scaling: We will make far more use of our current "mob scaling" feature, where mobs become stronger if they are being attacked by too many players at once. This will make zerging dungeons more challenging.
New Player experience
"Soft" PvE Death: We noticed that new players - without a guild to back them up - give up very easily due to losing all of their gear inside of a safe zone. Therefore, we will introduce mobs that if they bring you to 0 HP will not kill you, but just knock you down. After a certain amount of time, you will be able to get up again without your gear dropping to the ground. Your gear will still take a durability hit, but it won't be as hard as if you are killed. Those "softcore" mobs will mostly be inside of safe zones, so we might also have softcore mobs in PvP zones or "hardcore" mobs in PvE zones. We want to keep a flexible mindset here.
Solo Player experience
More Progression: In the last test, solo player experience was capped at tier 4. Tier 4 was quite easy to reach, so it was very easy to cap out in the destiny board and also on gear. We will therefore let the safe zone go up to tier 5 and also, as stated above, have significantly more item and progression options available.
Missions: We will also be introducing a mission system that will tie in with the open world but will be designed in such a way that it has diminishing returns when too many players grind missions. (i.e. they are no infinite source of rewards). Missions will also be connected to the factions as mentioned above.
Player Housing: In the last test, the impact of a player house was quite small, as it really was not that useful. We will rework the standard housing buffs (from bed, table, etc) such that they are generally helpful when playing the game, i.e. by giving players a bonus to silver yield or fame while the buff is active. Those buffs will also last for a long time.
Grouping Feature: Players will be able to create groups in order to play together.
Fame and Loot Sharing: Within groups, there will be a system for fame and loot sharing.
Wilderness: There will be a lot of wilderness regions that will not contain any claimable territories.
Landmarks: We want to make specific regions more interesting by adding more unique and special landmarks, dungeons, faction fortresses, etc.
Tile sets/Biomes: We will add different graphic styles and tilesets (such as "Snow" or "Swamp").
Bigger world: The world will become significantly bigger than during the last test.