Influence System Summary
The key idea behind the Influence System is that a variety of NPC buildings in each town, including in Britain, will now be "controllable" by players by investing money into them and/or spending a unique resource called Prestige. Buildings that are able to be influenced will have a blue Influence Marker sign out in front of them and players can single click the sign to see who, if anyone, currently controls the building and they can double click the sign to access the Influence System gump for that building.
An Influence Marker Sign
An Influence Marker Sign
Players will influence these buildings by either "Investing" gold into the building, or by spending "Prestige" points in the building. Any number of players can simultaneously invest/spend prestige in a building and control of the building is determined by whomever has the highest combined level of Investment and Prestige there, which is referred to as their "Influence Level" in the building.
Players can invest any amount of gold into a building, however each level of Investment has a set cost and the cost per level increases each time that specific player invests further into the building. For instance, Investment Level 1 costs 500 gold, Level 2 costs 750, Investment Level 3 costs 1000, and so forth. This rising cost is only specific to that player, so if one player invests 5000 total gold into a building, another subsequent player making investments into that same building will still only need to pay gold amounts of 500, 750, 1000 gold and so forth for their investment levels.
Alternatively, players will come across Prestige Scrolls that will be specific to a particular town and have an associated amount of Prestige granted from the scroll. Double clicking the scroll will increase the amount of Prestige you have available in that town to spend to increase your Influence in buildings. We'll likely give Prestige Scrolls as rewards for participating in your militia (with the town on the scroll being for your specific militia town), as well as granting Prestige Scrolls for the town of Buccaneer's Den for doing fishing and pirate stuff, and randomized town Prestige Scrolls as loot from events, monsters, bosses, and whatnot.
A Prestige Scroll For The Town of Vesper Worth 1 Prestige Point
Using a Prestige Scroll to Increase Your Prestige Available to Spend in Vesper
The Influence Marker Gump for a Building
As mentioned before, each building will track the individual Investment Level and Prestige Level for a player, and the combination these two values creates an Influence score for the player at the building, listed in the gump as "Your Daily Influence From This Building". In order to be considered the Controller of a building, you must have an Influence score of at least 5 at the building (i.e. a combined Investment Level + Prestige Level of 5 or higher) and you must have more Influence than any other player at the building. If two or more players are tied for the same amount of Influence at the building, the building is listed as "Contested" until one player raises their Influence above the other. If no player has an Influence score of 5 yet at the building, it will be listed as "Uncontrolled" in the gump (as show in the example image)
Navigating to the "Influence This Building" Gump Page
The "Influence This Building" gump page
Buildings will be one of three types: Basic, Vendor, or City.
Will usually be residential buildings, miner/gypsy tent, and misc NPC buildings. The controller of this type of building receives a bonus of a 1 Influence to their total output from the building (this bonus isn't factored into how much Influence this player has for the purpose of contesting control of the building from other players, however).
Any time a player increases their Investment Level or Prestige Level level at a Basic Building, they have a 10% chance to receive a bonus point of Investment/Prestige respectively.
These are shops and service buildings, such as Alchemists, Blacksmiths, Animal Stables. The controller of these types of buildings receives a bonus of 3 Influence to their total from the building (again, this is a bonus that doesn't factor into your "controlling" influence amount for the building).
Any time a player increases their Investment Level at a Vendor Building, they have a 25% chance to receive a bonus Investment Level.
City Buildings These are guardshouses, docks, and other various landmarks / city facilities. The controller of these types of buildings receives a bonus of 5 Influence to their total from the building (again, this is a bonus that doesn't factor into your "controlling" influence amount for the building).
Any time a player increases their Prestige Level at a City Building, they have a 25% chance to receive a bonus Prestige Level.
As such, there is some strategy involved with players to how they both spend their money and assign Prestige points to maximum their potential gains and vie for control of buildings.
It should be noted that players don't have to be the controller of a building to benefit from their Investments/Prestige spent in a building. Being the controller of a building will simply grant that player that additional bonus mentioned. Even new players can make a few small investments in various buildings and will gain daily Influence from their small batch of buildings.
As players are able to be the controller of a building by having the highest Influence score there, players can also compete for having the highest Total Influence in the town at large, and even the entire Realm itself (all cities combined). For instance, in the gump above you can see "Your Daily Influence in Britain" shows how much Total Influence this player is earning daily from all buildings they have influenced in Britain.
Increasing Prestige in a Building by 1
Increasing Investment in a Building by 1
Increasing Prestige and Influence Enough to Become Controller of a Building
The Main Influence Marker Gump page, reflecting your control and bonuses
Whenever you are the controller of a building, in the gump your name will be listed in green text color as the controller, the Control Bonus will listed in green text with the word (earned) next to it, and the "Your Daily Influence From This Building" number will also become green color, as it has been incremented to show the Control Bonus factored into it.
When players single click on an Influence Marker sign, if it is controlled, it will display the controller's name along with the building name.
An Influence Marker Sign Showing the Controller of the Building
Influence Cycles and City / World Influence
The Influence Cycle is a continuous, week long contest where players accumulate Influence from all of their buildings to determine who the most influential player is for each city, and the realm in general. The winner of each city and the realm (the realm being a combined score of all cities) will be the player who accumulates the most total influence over the period for each city. Half of your daily score for each city is added to your city Influence total every 12 hours until the cycle is complete and final scores are tabulated. The winner of each city at the end of the cycle will receive the title of Merchant Prince/Merchant Princess of the respective city and we also intend to create some "King"-like abilities they can activate / manage in the town they won.
Once the cycle has been completed, player's city scores are reset and a new week cycle begins. Note, each player's individual Investment and Prestige levels stay the same in each building as they were before: players do not "wipe" or lose any of their their Investments/Prestige in any buildings after the end of each cycle. It is simply their accumulated Influence Totals for each city and the realm that get reset.
From the Main Influence Marker gump page, you can click on World Influence to see your current standings
Clicking the World Influence Button From The Main Gump Page
The World Influence Gump
During the current cycle, in the World Influence gump you can see who the current "leader" is for each city based on their cumulative Influence earned so far this cycle in each city. Other players "Total Influence" are listed as "?" during an ongoing cycle (it is intentionally hidden), but once a cycle has been complete, you can look at the previous final Influence scores for each city of the last cycle by clicking on the "Show Last Cycle" button.
Your cumulative Influence Total in each city is listed on the right side in green (as well as how much you are earning per day alongside it), and if you are the current leader in terms of accumulated Influence in a city your name is shown in the list in green as well.
"Managing Your Holdings" and Being Online for Accumulating Influence As I mentioned before, part of the goal of this system is to get players to be online. Its a sad fact that players use the online population counts displayed from websites (rather than the pure appearance of actual in game activity) to determine the "health" of the shard. And while we don't want to do what other servers do by faking our player accounts or even what some other big servers do where they literally just hand players rewards for just logging in, we do want to create a system that rewards players both by being active (by giving out Prestige Scrolls as drops for in game activities) and by being online.
As such, in order to accumulate Influence from your buildings, your account has to be online, which we refer to as "Managing Your Holdings". You can be doing militia stuff, farming, fishing, macroing at the bank or in your home, or just plain bank sitting. Just as long as one character from your account is in the game world somewhere. Investments and Prestige you make with any character on that account will be shared across your account for all the buildings you invest in, and your displayed name in the Influence Marker gumps will simply be the last character you accessed the building with. We'll simply track the number of server saves your account has been online for during each day and adjust your scores during the twice-daily Influence tabulation accordingly. I.e. being online for 25% of the day's server saves will net you 25% of what your Daily Influence is in each city.
Influence Lottery Rewards
For accumulating Influence, players earn Influence Lottery tickets. As I mentioned before, you do not need to be the controller any buildings at all in order to benefit from this system. Players will earn Influence Lottery Tickets based on the total amount of Influence they accumulate during a cycle from all their buildings in all cities combined. Even a new player investing a very small amount of gold into a few buildings, and assigning a couple points of Prestige to a couple of buildings as well will still earn a small number of Lottery Tickets. Conversely, players that become extremely influential via having a large amount of Influence across any number of cities, and controlling a good deal of them as well, will earn quite a few Influence Lottery Tickets.
Collecting Rewards from the Influence Gump
The Collect Rewards Gump
An Influence Lottery Scroll
Influence Lottery Tickets will be similar to Donation Lottery tickets, with a bunch of new prizes. Rare cloth of new colors, unique statues / interactive rares / decorations, unique titles, power scrolls, etc. We'll also likely be adding some very unique stuff like ultra rare pet deeds (immediately becomes tamed upon use, provided the player has the control slots available / taming + lore skill prereqs) or even things like NPC Henchmen such as sailors, pirates, squires (which act liked tamed creatures, except would likely require Begging skill as their "control" skill).