Medieval Realms ReRebooted

On consideration the last post may have sounded a little worrying regarding the server’s future. So, whilst the irons still hot we will go for a second press.

Rest assures, the aim is to ultimately restore all the current features of Medieval Realms. League tables, XP system, custom user interface, custom avatars, player-controlled shops, server-controlled shops, physical coins, NPC bounties, online stats, potions, and (I am happy to confirm) gemstones.

However, the API and more importantly the game is changing. The developers of Rising World have made a statement that existing plugins to RW will still work but may require “tweaking” from their authors.

Identifying Problems

Now a “normal” plugin, say for example one that allows admins to create teleportation areas and then designate an exit point for said area will not be affected. Nothing much will change here. The player will still enter a specified area and the player will then be translated (teleported) to another area. MR is a bit different. The current version relies heavily on Item and Object identifier numbers to work. Ever wondered why you cannot place an apple or a slice of bacon in the bank? Well, it is because of Item identifiers.

The current RW item identifiers, we will just refer to these as IDs from now on, are all going to change. Currently they work on a series of integers and floats (you do not need to understand what these mean). But what you do need to understand is that these are all changing to Longs. Change being the operative word.

The plugin has grown organically since 2017 and as a none-programmer the code is not… elegant. In fact, it is around 42,000 lines of code. The equivalent to a small cookbook! The code is peppered with IDs. Yes, I know how to organise these much better now (with static classes and packages) but when I started MR, I did not know this or at least did not abide by this. The upshot is, with the current code it may very well be possible to sell a slice of bacon for 400 crowns at the bank. No pun on fat bankers intended.

An Empty Text Page

Therefore, MR is being redone from a blank page. I am happy to announce today that the new plugin is looking a lot more refined! However, all I have managed to work on to date (and very much still working on) is the new land claim system. This is the backbone of MR and it needs to be “right” from the get-go. It is what made the server different back in early 2018 – ultimately because of my laziness. Which then translated into your ability to claim and manage your own land.

The land claim system is not a straight copy of the existing one. The fundamentals are still there. You are still in control. But there are also a lot of new functionality, both technically and operationally. For example, one of these new features is that land claims will decay in parallel with player inactivity. If a player logs in, claims a few areas, then does not log in again for a period of (yet undefined) time, the land claims will enter a state of “undefended” meaning other (active) players can then “invade” and take over these claims for their own. I do not wish to give too much away at this stage, but this is one of the new features of AXES 2.0.

The Canterbury Tales

One of the current issues I have identified on the existing version is what I like to call “The Canterbury Tales” effect. Or, in probably clearer language, unfinished masterpieces. There are a lot of castles and buildings that just have never been finished. It is my believe that it is in part due to their scale. A little bit of the ‘biting off more than you can chew’. Players becoming overwhelmed, and ultimately becoming uninspired.

With this in mind, land will become more of a premium in MR. The server will try to encourage smaller, more detailed, and ultimately, complete builds from players. Larger projects will still be possible. But, to protect such larger builds will require collaboration or individual persistence. It is my intention that this will make MR a much more beautiful space for everyone to enjoy.

That player that logged in months ago and built that horrible blocky house next to your lovingly detailed castle and lodgings and who has never logged back in again? Well fine, get your friends together, grab a sledgehammer, invade their land, and tear it down!

My Gem… stones? 🥺

A little change of subject now. Gemstones. I mentioned in The Future of Medieval Realms that gemstones will not be coming back. Let me clarify, I meant this in the first new version. Indeed, the developers of RW have said they are going to bring in gemstones into the core game. Currently only Red51 and KingGenius know what this will entail. If for example, they decide to bring in all the gemstone types that MR currently offers, there is little point in MR having the same – but different – ones. On the other hand, if the developers only introduce some “core” gemstones, say for example they only introduce diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, then of course MR will introduce a whole load more. Because you can never have too many gemstones! But until the new game comes out, I can’t even begin working on this.

Table of Heroes

OK you got me. Some league tables will still be there from the get-go, but at the start they will not be visible. On the count that the old Realms menu will probably not work. The server will still track player data. In fact, even more so. For example, there will no longer be a survival league table, there will be two! A PvP survival league table and a PvE survival league table.

As for XP leader boards, this will have to wait. Again, this comes down to the IDs changing. You gain 2 XP by killing a bandit holding a bow and arrow, because that bandit is ID 172 variant ID 5. As opposed to that other bandit holding a sword – bandit ID 172 variant ID 2. Tomorrow, it will be bandit ID 17239752 and bandit ID 17239755.

Where did the Gooey Go?

So yes, the current Realms menu is going to have to go… for now! Think of the current GUI as a website built in the late 90’s early 00’s. It is static. It does not respond well to scaling. The new GUI system will work on Flexbox, think of this like as responsive website design. A website that looks good no matter how you choose to view it. The elements that make up the GUI work on percentages and aspect ratios as opposed to static numbers. The new Realms menu will look much more advanced that the current incarnation, however, Flexbox as a tool hasn’t even officially been released yet, that’s how cutting edge it is!

In Conclusioni

So finally, I know I meant to keep this short, and we are already getting on a bit… so thanks for staying with me! Here is what I expect will be in the new version of MR when it is launched. As opposed to what will not be in it.

You will be able to claim land. There will be some king of basic XP system. I mean basic in the terms that there will not be any XP for killing NPCs (who knows what their IDs will be?). To begin with you will only gain XP for survival time, and when you level up you will be awarded crowns as a patronage from the crown. This means no more crowns per-hour (or dole money as I have heard players refer to it). There will be PvP and PvE modes. PvP players will gain more XP for their survival time, level up quicker, and therefore will get more crowns.

I know some may not be happy with land becoming more of a valuable commodity. But to counter this, each land claim will be twice as big. So fewer, bigger claims. Hopefully with more finished builds on them.

One last thing

There will be at least one other avenue for gaining crowns. Although unprogrammed as of now, this will most likely come in the form of a centralised bank. This bank will, at first, only accept one type of deposit. Most likely gold. So, when the launch comes, there will only be (hopefully) one ID number to change in the plugin, meaning the server can come “online” as soon as possible. Why only gold? Well, we have no idea if Mithril is going to make a return, or at that matter what other ores will remain, or in fact, be removed – do you remember when Cobalt was a thing in RW?

To be frank, I am a little torn between gold and silver. Historically, silver was more valuable. Which is why silver is more valuable that gold is in the current version of MR. It is also harder to find (in the sense that it looks a lot more like normal stone), but at the same time, it is also discoverable on surface rocks. Meaning those who are not fans of mining can still gain one of the most valuable ores just by exploring. Counter argument to this, is that everyone today knows that gold is more valuable than silver, and no further explanation is needed. I guess it is a question of artistic license. Gold silver, silver gold, it is all up in the air now.

The next big announcement will probably come around the time of the new games launch. Thanks for reading.