I was running around all of Sapience trying to map new areas and update old ones, and before I knew it, I was up in the explorer rankings like I'd never been before. It's actually something I became pretty proud of, despite that there's no mechanical benefit or really any recognition of rising in explorer ranks. Anyway, I started thinking about what the Fellowship of Explorers actually could be if they were represented as a proper organization in Aetolia. Here's my suggestion to implementing them as a faction:In character:One of the oldest organizations in Sapience, the Fellowship of Explorers has sent intrepid adventurers into the furthest reaches of the continent, and even beyond it. Over the centuries, new, remote parts of the world were discovered and subsequently investigated, while old cities and familiar regions were destroyed, made inhospital, or even blocked off. Dutifully, the Fellowship sketched new maps and replaced obsolete recordings, all the while keeping a strict records of the discoveries of the citizens of Sapience. From the lowly sightseers to the distinguished worldwalkers, those who ventured willingly and eagerly into the wilderness gained recognition within the organization.
Not too long after the War of Night, a great fire ravaged the Fellowship's halls and much of their gathered knowledge was lost, along with their records.Mechanics:
These are just suggestions based on vague ideas, but with some refinement, this could probably be a really exciting thing.
Everyone's explorer ranking would reset back to zero. From now on, only active characters are visible in the rankings (same as with XP rankings). SURVEYing a room you have not surveyed before adds 1 point to your explorer rating, allowing you to level up your explorer rank much as you do with your regular levels. The following places would be exempt from explorer ratings: cities, city sewers, and arenas (the Fellowship of Explorers have these covered already), newbie areas, class-based areas (chaos plane, Nirvana, Dendara, etc), and rooms owned either by players (personal houses) or owned by organizations (Ve'kahi's castle comes to mind). With each new rank, a player earns some bound credits, much as they do when levelling up, for a total of 291 bound credits at the Worldwalker rank (the equivalent of reaching level 100).
Initially, a player will rise through ranks quickly, but in order to progress further, they need to improve their standing with the Fellowship of Explorer's FACTION. SURVEYing a room while already being at the highest explorer rank that your faction rank allows will give a message that your faction rank is not high enough to advance your explorer rank and the room will not be marked as explored.
Before we go on to that, let us discuss the Fellowship organizational structure:
This is a NPC-ran organization (much like the Drakkenmont resistance was and the Sect of Blades currently is) with player members. I think the following features could be unlocked at various faction ranks:
- Access to Explorer's channel.
- Access to Explorer's trinkets and artifacts, focused around making it easier to traverse the world as well as not being affected as much by adverse conditions of different sorts (lava, poisonous fumes, and other hazardous area conditions)
- Access to Explorer's guildhall.
- Access to tutors of foreign and exotic languages (Albedos languages, maybe, or rare dialects of Sapience languages)
- Purchasable minipets, mounts, consumables, and other in-demand rewards that makes people spend their gold
- Potentially a small bashing or PK boon so there's an incentive for those people to really want to do this
- An Explorer honour line (or more than one, if that's your thing)
- Something cool and custom and awesome that is hard to get but everyone will want (every faction needs to have something of this sort)
Some of these rewards could require a specific currency, meaning you would need to continue to involve yourself in the Explorer's faction. Let's say they sell a +20% xp consumable that lasts for a day and stacks with chalices, but you need to spend 150 Green-yellowish Exploration Marks to get it. Suddenly, @Zsadist
will be doing Explorer quests every
day. Or if there's a pair of boots of the spiders that decays in 30 days but costs 150 Green-yellowish Exploration marks to get. We could introduce new sorts of amulets or anything else really that people will want to get without stacking benefits on top of artifacts (which would in turn make Aetolia combat all that much harder to balance).
I actually had a few interesting ideas on how to get faction points:
SURVEYing a room to get an explorer rating awards 1 faction point.
Members of the Fellowship of Explorers sends people out to measure the altitudes of specific mountain ranges (use the equipment at ten different locations in Three Widows), the temperatures in various zones depending on the time of the day (measure the temperature in Western Ithmia at dusk, midnight, and dawn), or to take notes of local flora and fauna and different areas (creating landscape sketches of desert, beach, forest, jungle areas and such), or making arrangements on the behalf of the Fellowship with the locals of various remote civilizations (Djeir, Helba etc). The list goes on, and it could be tons of different things that bring people to areas that are not visited frequently.
Each player character would get one yearly quest (Aetolian year, that is) to complete for the Fellowship for a much bigger reward of faction points, and perhaps some neat special currency or token or something. These should be designed to take time so you do not receive the quest and hand it in later that day. Rather, observe seasonal changes over the course of the year in a specific area, measure precipitation throughout the year, take notes of movement of animals, fish, or birds over the year, et cetera, et cetera.
These would be ran somewhat like major foci, where there is both an announcement on the Explorers channel thirty minutes before the competition start and a 'cooldown' after it has been completed (so it'd be ran maybe 3-5 times a RL month or something such). Players are sent off to a random area where they have to either complete a set of tasks or maybe just 'map' the area in a sort of 'go into a room, use the mapping sketchbook item in your inventory, move into the next one, rinse and repeat' or whatever else you can think of. The idea is to pitch players against each other in zone knowledge rather than combat knowledge or creative writing talent.Summary:
Aetolia is a beautiful world. There are so many interesting areas that are visited so rarely because they lack quests, hunting mobs, honour mobs, or gold drops. Let's give people a reason to go forth into ever last corner of the game. The credit incentive would not only mean that people explore to their hearts' contents, but new people visiting the game will have that very important illusion of 'it is actually possible to learn all my skills without paying too much money'
. Naturally, reaching the final explorer rank - the Worldwalker rank - should prove to be a feat in and of itself. But by that point, perhaps these newbies have grown fond of the amazing world that the rest of us already love and cherish.
Reset explorer rankings and give credits and stuff for exploration.