One of the hottest systems in multiplayer gaming right now is player building. A well done system will increase player engagement and governance like nothing else. A bad one can be a burden to players and every decision in the system has its pros and cons.
The days before the metaverse
If you ask me, it started with Minecraft and was refined by games like Rust, 7 Days to Die, and Fortnite. With Minecraft, it was pretty much as “Legos” as you can get with building. In PvE focused games like 7 Days to Die, building seemed to be more offensive and defensive focused at baseline. Fortnite focused on PvE from the start but pivoted to it’s now famous battle royale, flexing its building system in both. Rust PvP is a consistent and innovative arms race between guilds that can only be understood from enduring its loving torture.
Adapting for the metaverse
So with all the games and time we have had with them, we have found some weakness in the “walls” of the building system. Teams can dominate areas relentlessly, players working together beat out solo players rather quickly, and AI never knows what it wants to do with your building. Resource gathering can become a grind in some situations and upkeep can become a hassle to manage. So there is still plenty of room for improvements and innovation to be done with player building systems.
We think the principle of the Rust tool chest is nice and want to riff on it with our keystones. Eventually we will allow per server settings, but for now only the owner of the keystone can build around their property. Hopefully this will encourage players to spread out and not become an invincible fortress of doom. Additionally, the keystone acts as an “Ender Chest” between all your keystones and can not be lost to attackers. This is to lessen the punishment of offline raiding.
How Sage Towers is little different
While I love me some good resource gathering to build, I also wanted to buck that trend. Your player is an alchemist whose main ability is to raise buildings, but this costs energy. In Sage Towers, you regenerate energy over time and can gather wind element consumables to speed this up. This will allow you to start building right away, but be advised that gathering some essences from enemies is suggested. It’s a common drop from enemies that keystones need to run. It prevents base decay, repairs damaged pieces and provides power to the whole building.
It’s exciting to think about the next generation of multiplayer games after the innovations of the past ten years or so. Talk about the metaverse is kicking up more and global pandemics might take some time to wrangle. Existing games show little sign of slowing down while player bases keep on growing. Gaming just might be about to enter a new era and building systems are just the start.
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