Active Nation Selection
If you’ve been around since beta, or if you’ve ever logged into Testbed, you’ll have seen that we have the ability to turn off the same-nation-only restriction on a server. We originally designed our servers without that restriction, but early in development we implemented the same-nation-only rule because the design team didn’t want people to hop from nation to nation easily, as it could lead to spying or cheating that would upset the PvP and economic balance.
Recently, during a late dinner break at one of our usual haunts down the street from the office, Lum posed a problem to the rest of us: how can we let people have characters of multiple nations on the same server, while avoiding the inherent design issues? We did a lot of brainstorming about the idea, got help and feedback from a lot of FLSers and have come up with a solution we think you’ll like.
Starting with 1.22, you’ll be able to have characters from multiple nations on one server. However, you’ve got to declare your allegiance to one particular nation at a time, so you can’t play all sides of a conflict. Once you’ve chosen a side, you can see all your characters on the login screen, but you can only log in to or create new characters of your current Active Nation. We also increased the character limit for each account, so instead of six characters of one nation, you can have six characters per nation on each server.
|Each nation has its own tab.|
At the end of each Conquest cycle, after the map has been won and the cease fire period has started, you have a chance to pick a new active nation. We have extended the length of the cease fire period from 24 hours to 96 hours.
We like this solution because it means you can experience the differences between the nations and more easily play with your friends, but you can’t jump from side to side in a nefarious way. Your characters of other nations act just like characters you haven’t logged into in a while – their econ structures will cap out at three days of labor and their auction listings will stay up until they expire.
Code-wise, the changes to the login process were fairly straightforward, but there were many less obvious changes. Since the days when we implemented the same-nation restriction, many of the systems we’ve built expected the live servers to only allow you to have characters of one nation. For instance, the economy code expects you to be able to play all of your characters at the same time and limits you to ten econ lots per account. Now, we limit you to ten lots per nation per account.
As I write this devlog, the code for all of this is finished and the new UI pieces that that Design and ArtCo created are hooked up. This is a particularly complex feature to test, so the QA team is currently shaking out any remaining bugs they can find and we’re discussing the system with the Boarding Party to get some early player feedback. Still, everything’s going according to plan and you should be able to check out active side selection when 1.22 lands on Testbed next week.