Hey all, I’ve been a big fan of the game for a long time, but my current playtimes have been less frequent. Love the game, love coming back, but often I lose a lot of my progress due to the ruin system. I’ll build a great fort, leave the game for a month, and need to start again with only the clothes on my back when next play. This isn’t such a problem, but I’m a bit haunted by the thought that all of my items simply disappeared, rather than find their way into the hands of intrepid adventurers. I see the current ruin system as holding back “server lineage” or evolution. I simply think the ruin system is too quick, and too “total”.
I feel that the ruin system isn’t fully improving the game as designed. It does perform an essential role as a ‘cleanup’ mechanism, for getting rid of vacated structures and restoring server and client performance. But it could certainly feed into the gameplay more. Changes to the ruin system could allow for more interesting play, between a ruin’s original creators and those new players who uncover it.
I feel that the ruin system was intended to incrementally decay structures. However, in practice it seems to essentially ‘zip’ the whole building away as soon as the timer finally hits zero. I’m suggesting a more incremental, ‘dissolving’ ruin system that creates more interesting and truly ‘decayed’ structures. Missing walls, floors, etc. while the whole of the structure gradually decays to nothing over a duration of multiple months.
If this hasn’t been your experience, or you have experiences relating to the Ruin System, then please post them here. It would be great to make this a topic of discussion.
I’m suggesting this change for Official servers, both PvP and PvE.
Here are my specific suggestions:
More randomness to the decay timers of individual pieces. This would cause certain walls, etc. to decay faster than others, allowing players to enter into ruins and potentially uncover some of the treasure within. Walls, ceilings, doors, etc. should start to crumble first. Eventually, the building’s foundations should also dissolve. While the building is in the process of decay, it should start to look like a ruin.
Longer overall ruin times. I would love to be able to come back in a month, or even two months, and still see my structures preserved to some degree. For example, after a month, I would love to see a hollow shell, with doors rotted from their hinges, and the roof and floors beginning to collapse. Currently, a month means that your whole structure will have absolutely vanished without a trace. I believe after a month, the structure should still largely remain (though the same should not be true of torches, decoratives, etc.).
Unclaiming ruined structures over time. If you haven’t played for a month, then your ruined structures should be ‘unclaimed’. This would mean that new players could come along and claim the structure, by simply placing an item that extends claim radius over the building piece. This would enable other players to build over ruins, and claim them for their own. Build a campfire over ruins, or restore them.
More time spent in the ‘Decayed’ state, rather than fully ‘Ruined’. The decayed state is very interesting to gameplay — it enables players to easily remove the structure should it be in the way. I would suggest making this state more robust, enabling players to easily destroy (but not dismantle) the structure. Decayed state should not extend claims, so that when a ruin is fully ‘decayed’, it can be claimed by a new player.
Here’s a narrative that depicts this vision:
The wind howled. A torrent of whirling sand scoured the air, scraping at flesh and stone alike. Three exiles crept forward, blinded and weary. Before their tired steps arose a shelter; a ruin half-collapsed by age. The party ducked inside, where the wind’s gale died down, and set up a primitive campfire on which to cook their hunt. The light of flame licked the walls, as the party explored the ruin that shielded them.
Inside, old tools and workbenches lay covered in dust. Time must have eroded the barrier to this forgotten place. The exiles pilfered the hall of its ancient and valuable tools, as they looked among what once must have been a proud center of industry. Spotting a weakened wall, one exile drew forth a sledge and crumbled a path through. Inside, great wealth lay unclaimed and forgotten by time.
Forward, two months time. Much of the ruin has been restored by its new inhabitants, with the use of the ancient wealth found within. Though the corridors and rooms differ from the original layout, the new owners have adopted much of the original fortress’s design. Finally again, do proud banners flap in the breeze, and lit torches cast light upon what was, not long ago, a crumbling ruin.