Our Thoughts on Territory Protection Mechanics



Today’s blog is meant to address some of your concerns as well as give you more information about the game mechanics that will enable those who want to relax a little (or aren’t just interested in PvP at all) to have some room. Here are a few recurring questions we saw on the forum and our social media:

 

  • “Will someone be able to destroy my base / spaceship while I am offline?”
  • "What if I don’t want to involve myself with PvP?”
  • “How will I be protected against griefing?“

These are all legitimate questions, and while we have already given shorts answers several times on the Community Forum, today we are taking the occasion to give a more detailed answer.
First and foremost, we want to share with you our vision on this topic:

We don’t want to make Dual Universe “extreme” in one direction or another. While we won’t try to make Dual Universe appealing to all players (because it’s not possible), we are aiming to make it interesting for varying types of players.

In real life, space is something naturally dangerous. Without preparation, without caution, it may readily become a deadly environment. In many regards, exploring and colonizing space is very similar to the Far West conquest a few centuries ago. To some extent, we want to reproduce this challenging environment. Of course, for those who would take up the challenge, there would be rewards such as the discovery of valuable and rare resources, the achievement of making the first step on a new planet and maybe, after much colonization effort, being able to call that planet home. That’s why there will be some players taking the role of space outlaws and others taking the role of law enforcement agents and so on. We do believe this is vital to make exciting and challenging some activities that are commonly known as “boring” in a totally safe environment. We want to bring meaning and merit to all activities, even those basic ones that don’t require particular skills like mining.

On the other hand, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Dual Universe must remain a game where different types of players can have fun in their own way, and doing so shouldn’t add stress/frustration to the game experience. We also know that without a few safe places, economy, and industry can’t thrive properly.

For those who play just to build highly detailed constructs for the sake of art-like statues, monuments, residential houses, or buildings, we want for them to have safe places in-game where they can do such a thing and attract visitors without fearing that some pirate will suddenly show up and destroy what took hundreds (or even thousands) of hours to build (Please note that even under such dramatic circumstances, a snapshot is automatically taken from your constructs from which you can rebuild once you have gathered the necessary resources. No information is ever lost.) We have the same approach for those who like to roleplay, trade, or produce constructs without being interested at all in PvP.

Those who are solely interested in PvP may be worried that this will diminish PvP opportunities, but in our opinion, it shouldn’t. Those who are willing to take risks for valuable resources and conquer territories in a non-safe zone will continue to do so (and will have to, because the most valuable resources will only be available in non-safe zones). Players who are not interested in PvP (who could indirectly contribute to the game economy) wouldn't participate in PvP even if they were forced to by the game mechanics. Instead, those people would simply leave the game and everyone would be on the losing side, directly or indirectly.

We are also aware that even very dedicated fans can’t be connected at all times, and we expect many players to have a busy family and/or working life. With this in mind, we think it’s necessary that whether outside of safe zones or if players like risks and challenges, they need to have adequate time to react should their assets be attacked while offline.

Now that we have explained our vision, here are the features we are planning to implement.
As always, keep in mind that everything described below is still under development and can be subject to heavy changesbefore the official release).

Getting a safe "Home" in Dual universe

It’s a no-brainer that many players yearn for “home sweet home” in a safe zone where they can relax. As no Creative Mode (like in games such as Minecraft) is currently planned, we see this feature as an acceptable tradeoff. A player will be able to get this kind of home by deploying a Territory Unit in a safe zone.

There will be three types of areas:

  1. Arkship Secure Areas (ASA):
  • Territories located in an Arkship Secure Area are called “Guarded Territories”.
  • A player can claim a Guarded Territory with a Normal Territory Unit.
  • On unclaimed Guarded Territories there are no offensive actions. Everything else is allowed.
  • On claimed Guarded Territories there are no offensive actions. Everything else is subject to RDMS.
  • Low value resources are available in the ground.

(Reminder: RDMS is the Rights & Duties Management System. You can have a glimpse of how it will globally work on this blog post)

  1. Moon Secure Areas (MSA):
  • Territories located in a Moon Secure Area are called “Sanctuary Territories”.
  • A player can claim a Sanctuary Territory with a Normal or Sanctuary Territory Unit. (Note: Sanctuary Territory Units are bound to account). The precise role and application of Sanctuary Territory Units will be explained in more detail at a later date.
  • On unclaimed Sanctuary Territories there are no offensive actions and nothing else is allowed.
  • On claimed Sanctuary Territories there are no offensive actions and everything else is subject to RDMS.
  • No valuable resources are available in the ground (only dirt and soil).
  1. Unsecure Areas (UA) Meaning and Everywhere Else:
  • Territories located in Unsecure Areas are called “Normal Territories”.
  • A player can claim a Normal Territory with a Normal Territory Unit.
  • On unclaimed Normal Territories everything is allowed.
  • On claimed Normal Territories offensive actions are possible and everything else is subject to RDMS.
  • Low value to high value resources are available in the ground.

Ability to Respond to In-Game Aggresion in a Decent Timeframe

For those who want a more adventurous life in areas where PvP can occur, there will still be game mechanics to ensure the balance between a decent social life and having time to react to in-game aggression. The owner of a territory located outside of a Secure Area will be able to set up a Force Field Unit to protect their Normal Territories. (Force Field Unit is a temporary name. What do you think it should be?).

For the time being we are considering the following option, but we would like to hear your opinons: If the Force Field drops below a certain level, it will activate a temporary Protection Bubble making the Force Field Unit itself (and the construct on which it has been placed) indestructible for 24-48 hours. In this way, even if you’re offline , you will have proper time to react, call your friends, and prepare yourself for the moment when the Protection Bubble will shut down. Once the Protection Bubble is down, there will be a cooldown timer before it can be reactivated. In addition, we plan to have an optional notification system that could inform you via email address when your territory is under attack.

That’s all for now! Remember that everything presented here is a work in progress and can evolve with playtests, community feedback and in-game testing. So as always, don’t hesitate to give us your feedback on this DevBlog. We are eager to read it!

The Novaquark team.