9 Nov 2015

Interviewing Ubluntu about player-run tournaments

Author: Luna | Filed under: Interviews

speculation200With the recent enhancements to the combat API, players in Illyriad have been able to code their own tools to use in game. Some players, like the one I am interviewing below, have used the API to make their own tournaments. These tournies can be based upon anyone who wishes to share their API key with the tournament organiser, so the Illy crew thought it would be a good idea to ask someone how they do it in case others would like to try it as well.

Fundamentally, anyone who shares a specific API key with anyone else is sharing their specific API key-related data with that person for whatever purpose has been collectively envisaged (and can be revoked at any time). It’s a kind of “contract” between players to use the specific data provided (and there are many API keys for different purposes) for any purpose the data owner and the data recipient have pre-agreed.

This is a critical point to understand. The API key system is about freeing players (as individuals) to share their specifically-permitted dataset with other individuals for whatever purpose they collectively choose.

In other words:

If someone chose to only run a tournament with a single alliance, then this is their choice.

If they chose tomorrow to run a military tournament that was:


  • open to all players ingame, who
  • wished to share their combat API key, but
  • only if they were Elves, with
  • cities in Ragallon, whose
  • characters are at least 1 yr old and have more than 10 cities, but
  • started playing on a tuesday, and only
  • counting tournament military activity, if it
    • happens on a mountain square
    • in a jungle biome
    • only during night-time hours
    • during the full moon
    • where they kill NPC dogs rather than players

… then that’s their prerogative. That’d be the tournament they chose to set up. Pretty cool, huh?

The above is only a small example of the full set that could be tournamented; all the background data we provide works in harmony with the API key system.

And now, here’s a chat with one of our players, Ubluntu, who’s been test-driving the API system from the perspective of a player-run tournament:

Illyriad: OK, first up: introduce yourself. Who are you and how long have you played Illy?

Ubluntu: I am Ubluntu! I am a code monkey by trade and an Illyriad fanatic by choice. I have been playing Illyriad for a little under 3 years and in my time here many have come to know me as extra nerdy.

So what have you been doing lately? The word is that you host your own tournaments in game.

I sure do! I love to tinker with code and wrote some for Hunting Tournaments that run themselves. As far as I know, all other player-ran tournaments have required every player to send each relevant in-game-message to the organizer in some way. The organizer then had to copy and aggregate that information.

You have been using Illyriad’s free combat API, but what does that mean? What is an API and how does someone use it?

API stands for Application Program Interface. It is a way for different software to interact. In the case of Hunting Tournaments, your Combat Report API Key grants me direct access to your combat data in a machine-readable way that does not require any additional interaction from you (after you have generated and submitted your API Key).
So, rather than having to care about every in-game-message regarding anything that counts, “points” are automatically assigned while the host does nothing but have fun playing the game.

What do you enjoy the most about running your own tournies?

Initially it was the increased activity among alliance members, but now it may be the gold! ;)

What else could be done to make self-hosted (player-hosted) tourneys better or easier?

I feel like being able to send in game mail to more than one player at a time and improvements to the Alliance Forums(HTML and edit/delete posts/threads/forums) would make it easier to organize and inform players.

If an Illy player wanted to get started with running their own tourneys, what should they do to get started? What sort of advice would you give them?

To get started, just pick your favorite programming and language (all APIs are XML over HTTPS) and database then have a look at the API announcement posts:

Combat Report API :

Notification API :

In Game Mail API :


My advice would be to pick tournament rules that are already enforced by the game itself and assign points according.

Thanks again to Ubluntu. He has been a great player for quite a long time, so we were eager to get him to explain how he has been hosting his own tournaments. If you have any specific questions, put them in the comments section. You can also email community@illyriad.co.uk with any questions and we’ll see if we can get an answer for you.

GM Rikoo

5 Jul 2015

Player Spotlight: Kumomoto

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

KumoCongrats to Kumomoto for being this month’s Player Spotlight! Let’s get to the questions!

So, you were a very early-stage Illyriad player. What’s been the biggest change over the years?

I am the oldest playing member of Illy. Biggest change? My lord! Illy has had generations of change! What is a better question is what hasn’t changed in Illy over that time? And the answer is the newbie-friendly nature of the game…

H?’s first war was against an alliance named White which stood for ganking newbies… We espoused an opposite attitude and went to war over it. We won. And then Starry started Toothless?, which was the first training alliance (training alliances are alliances where newbies can join and noone will attack them and they learn. And, most importantly, all the other alliances respect these players and stay away from them). This model took off and now there are lots of great training alliances in game. And all the major alliances have espoused the newbie protection ethos we started and, imo, the game is very different from others because of it.

Surely you have a good war story. Tell us one. Or two.

Stay tuned to GC… I tell them periodically!

Has it been challenging to keep foes guessing, or do you always rely on similar battle tactics each time you get in a scrap?

At H?, we have constantly modified our tactics based upon current game usage, game mechanics, and our strategies and tactics. We’ve won 7 and lost one (albeit the largest one! ugh!)…

In the last war (and largest war in the history of Illy), there were 42 attempted sieges on my two accounts’ cities. Not one was captured or razed. (A lot were exodused though!). Shows that when you are outnumbered 10:1 you can still “swamp fox” in Illy! Many millions of enemy troops lost their lives in those attempts…

Do you sometimes wish you could start over in Illy? If you did, would you want to know what you know now or would you want to know nothing… you know?

If I started over, I’d wish I wasn’t such an arrogant ass to a lot of people I actually respect… I regret some of the things I said and would take them back.

Who is your favorite player? Why?

Tough one! I probably have to say two people: Starry and ScottFitz. Starry for having the vision (and the huge effort she put in) to create the template for training alliances in Illy. And ScottFitz for being one of the leaders of a major alliance with the most integrity I have seen in online gaming ever…

Who is your nemesis? Why?

I don’t really have a nemesis today! Diablito was a good one at one time… Because he was all for ganking newbies and totally did not stand for what we did!

What is your greatest achievement in Illy?

I don’t have one. H?, on the other hand, under KillerPoodle and other Directors’ tutelage, greatest achievement, is fostering this culture of being receptive to new players. I think it is utterly unique in online games. Haven’t seen it elsewhere and we are really proud of starting it…

How would you like to top that achievement?

Not sure we can!

Thanks again to Kumo! 


GM Rikoo

15 Jun 2015

Player Spotlight: Martilicious

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

Screenshot (1054)This month’s Player Spotlight focuses on Martilicious. She’s been a real headache wonderful player for a while now, despite her obsession with crushing sugar-based snacks.

How long have you been playing?

I founded my first city on Friday 2nd May 2014. So I’ve been here for over a year and STILL haven’t completed all research or built my first city the way I want it, because the things I need to build keep changing.

I know you came with the LoU crew… so how has Illy compared to that game now that you have played for a while?

I have played LOU, Evony and some space type game (I lasted about a week). Compared to all other games, Illy is the most complex, with so many layers. Just when I think I understand it, something else crops up…

Surely you hit players in PvP in LoU, so why don’t you kill everyone in Illy?

*Gasp* I never killed anyone. Ever. I am a peaceful crafter. Fact. Anyone who says differently will get a visit from my siege army. If I had one, obviously.

If you could add anything — and I mean ANYTHING — to Illy, what would you add?

I will take that as a promise that anything I mention here WILL be added, thanks! I’d love to see the ability to cancel trade unit movement, larger groups of simien wolves and a surprised smiley :O . Giving me control of the hammer would be AWESOME, I would not abuse that at all, definitely not.

Give me a good Illy memory.

The welcome I received on first joining always stands out. Despite not receiving a welcome message and mail from Kodabear (hard to believe, I know) I muddled through with a lot of help, and still am. One day soon (TM) I may not need to ask questions…. I also remember joining my alliance and enjoy every day in Alliance Chat – the work that goes into an alliance is amazing. The yoga classes are pretty cool too.

Give me a bad Illy memory.

I almost cried the day I killed 69 skinners. And the day I hit the 12 day research thinking it was 12 hours. And all those times I sent the cotters on a 16 day journey to harvest minerals.

If you can honestly predict how long you will play, in freakily-accurate numbers, tell me the date and time.
I will throw this one back at the Dev team and the Illy community…. I will play for as long as I am engaged and having fun. So keep on adding new stuff, play nice, keep me interested and I’ll be here.

Who is your in-game nemesis?

I looked up nemesis, and one definition is ‘a downfall caused by an inescapable agent.’ I have 2 candidates (details on my profile folks!) hrandjt and System.

Who is your RL nemesis?

Another definition: ‘something that a person cannot conquer, achieve, etc’. At the moment, that makes my nemesis Candy Crush Level 956.

Thanks to Marti for all of her horrible jokes and smells wonderful sense of humor and unique way of looking at things!

See you next time!

3 May 2015

Player Spotlight: Fiona!

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

filterI have heard that there is a player named Fiona Withadot. Are you flattered that someone is impersonating you? Why would they do that?

There is?? Where?!?! I have heard of this upstart. She is barely a dot on my radar. I have also heard that a few dwarves like her. Shameful. She thinks she is all cute with her pointy ears… I will catch her one day and show her what orcs do to elves. :) As to why she would impersonate me, obviously she has no life.

If you had one thing to say to your enemies, what would it be? (You can curse. Don’t worry, I’ll change all of the curse words to the words BUNNY BUTT.)

I have enemies? Where?? Is it that impersonater? Did she say something? Don’t listen to her, she’s nuts. I mean how can you listen to someone who claims to be a Saint? See, I didnt curse and you dont have to use Bunny Butt to cover it up. Which, by the way, totally replaces any curse word. :)

Be honest: You come to socialize, conquer, trade or all of the above?

haha Depends on who you ask. I want to say conquer but if you ask my alliance mates they will probably say socialize. Secretly, I want all the gold. :)

If you had a beeeelion dollars, what would you program into Illy?

I think a Navy would be pretty cool. Ships, subs, gun ships, battle stations. (Wait, battle stations? Is that a Star Wars reference? hehe) Could you imagine a fleet of ships 100k strong coming at you? That would look pretty awesome on the water. Green and red getting ready to clash. And ahem… Audrey’s quest more…ummm solvable…..

What do HATE about Illy? Be honest or we will know and then we will attack you with mammoths.

Rikoo…. I’m an orc, mammoths don’t scare me, now your guards… that’s another story. What do I hate about Illy? Can’t say theres anything I hate, but things that can get annoying… not being able to recall harvesters in a 90 second window. Spider NPC’s are pretty scary, I never hit them. I avoid them. I dont want spider parts in my inventory…. Spider fangs?? Ugh. I do, however, have mammoth parts…. :D

How many times have you made a mistake in Illy? Tell us about one of those times.

Ha! If I had 1 gold for every mistake I made, I would have a few million collected by now. Recently though, (rolls eyes and a few curse words) I had a scout army that just got back home. 1 troop, 5k scouts (not the cheap ones either) I then sent an army out to a horde of rats. I realized about 10 min before they hit that it was my scouts. Sigh.. Plus side, gold was in the black for a bit. :) I did a moment of silence for them, it was tragic.

Which other MMOs do you play? If you do play others, what do you like to do in those other MMOs?

Honestly, I have never really played other MMOs. Illy is my first one. I have looked for other ones since starting Illy and frankly none compare to this game. Illy has spoiled me for all other games. I also notice playing this game im a bit more fearless than I used to be. So when I look at other games, I look for ones that have good fighting. Because, it’s fun!

How many dragolichs would a dragolich drag if a dragolich could drag wood?

I pondered this question awhile. Then I got a headache, had to lie down. Got up took some asprin and still didnt know what you asked. So I googled it. I was clueless as to what a dragolich was, turns out if it weren’t for google I still wouldn’t know. So my guess is….42 :)

Thanks to Fiona for being a great player! Congrats!

7 Apr 2015

Player Spotlight: Nikon!

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

154271_465973513510_5416275_nWhy do you play Illyriad? Be honest!

Why do I play? Apart from griefing people in GC or to sing stupid songs and get blamed for nearly everything? lol. Nah, I started playing almost 3 years ago as a refugee from Kingdoms of Camelot.

I liked the idea of being able to siege and not being ‘ported on’ as its called in KoC. (Being ported on means someone can teleport a city right on your doorstep to unload every single attacker, and you don’t have much of a hope being able to defend.)

So, a few of us came over… I’m one of only a couple who have stayed and have enjoyed it ever since. It’s mostly the people from around the world who I’ve come into contact with, who ACTUALLY like me and chat to me, that’s the main reason I’m still here. Also, getting 10 cities.

You’re a member of one of the 1238 branches of the Crow players. What does it all mean?

It means we’re all after your soul, devil GM man!!! Honestly nowadays I don’t know what it all means. I just know mCrow is a fantastic alliance to be involved with, with THE best AC going around. Never have I been involved with such a great group of people that I consider my friends. Also, the Crows hang around just to prove Epidemic wrong about the Crow Civil War.

Why do people say they blame you? For what? Tell me so you can be in trouble.

WELL. That all started one Monday morning Australia time. I tried to log in as I normally do but could not. Something wrong on the server end, I guess. I sent a message to Jane DarkMagic about it. Immediately after she went into GC, I’m told, and told everyone that I had broken Illy and that they should #BlameNikon. It’s stuck ever since. And yes, I know, it’s a sucky story.

Why do you often say “GM Rikoo is probably the coolest person, ever!”

Oh really? I must have a chat with my sitter then, or Rill was blabber-mouthing again thinking, I’ve said something I didn’t! Honestly, you’re an OK kind of guy, and doing alright with your mammoths and stuff.

If you had all the time and MONEY in the world but for some strange reason decided to continue to hang out playing Illy instead of travelling the world, what would you want to accomplish?

Getting at least 10 cities would be first. I’m a slow player and only have 8 cities after almost 3 years. I would also try to start a war over me… I mean, who doesn’t want to try that? lol

I asked this of the last spotlight, but who is your nemesis?

Soldier of the Cross. He is such a suck-up. Always wants to be cool like me. He tries so hard to get me angry, but in the end he is simply a clown. We were both T? graduates about the same time, and the both of us gave poor LadyLuvs alot of grey hairs!

How often do you attack something in game? Do you wish there were more attacks in game?

Three or 4 times a week or so. There often isn’t much around that I would want to attack. As for having something else to attack, I do wish that the factions were live, but not only to attack.

I do hope that it will be used for an Illy world-wide event, maybe where factions go and try to either undermine Sigurd or become the new leader of Illyriad. Something like that. On my profile is a link for what I think factions should be or do, check it out. i can actually do smart things :)

Thanks to Nikon for taking the time to answer my questions! Next time you see him, blame him for something.


21 Mar 2015

Player Spotlight: Ravana!

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Interviews, Player Spotlight

filter (1)What is Coin? It’s your alliance ticker, so what does the alliance stand for?

* disclaimer* my answer is in no way to point fingers at other alliances and is not in any way stating other alliances aren’t doing similar things, but instead my answer is what I am proud to point out Coin does or plans to do.

War is easy to start but peace is hard to maintain. Coin is a peaceful alliance with the intent to help others as well as give players a place to call home in this game. At the most basic level, Coin is a trading alliance which supports T-O and eventually the Dsd as well. It is also essentially a home for tinkerers, thinkers, leaders, and players who want to be their unique selves as well as be a team player.

Hiei and I have been planning this alliance for quite some time now, we wish to give players an interactive personalized way to learn the game mechanics and keep it interesting as we go through team-building simulated situations in which players both new and old can partake in. This alliance is all about helping one another, helping out the game’s community but while keeping a creative edge to how we go about doing so, so it will remain fun.

What would you like to add to the game if you have magical dev powers and unlimited funding?

An alliance bank for items, not just gold. Factions hubs are alright for this to a degree but if we had the option to give ____ player(s) power to view what the alliance had, put items in, take them out, etc it was would be safer for the alliance as a whole instead of designating one player to act as an alliance hub or have it all scattered between a lot of players and crafters. Maybe even going a step further and let the alliance have their own faction hub where they can buy and sell to one another without other alliances seeing their inner-alliance prices would be great and fun to see which alliance could build a stronger inner-alliance economy.

Name a time in Illy when you did something you regretted.

I try to play the game in a way where I never really regret my actions, but instead accept the outcome be it good or bad since this is first and foremost a game that is meant to be fun. If I really had to choose a time I felt regret, it would be the times when I recently decided I wanted to change up all 10 cities, exodus each, rebuild them into better balanced cities… it’s sad to see my population go down as much as it has. I only have a few in their new locations as of yet, but at the same time it’s a game so what the heck… I can rebuild it back up to where I was or even surpass that and get an 11th on that day so will be fun.

Do you have an in-game nemesis? (I don’t mean someone who you actually dislike in RL. Maybe a competitor for trade or something? )

Hiei 100%! It’s a love-hate kinda thing in game and out of game. We choose to be partners in this game; meaning we stick together through thick and thin, work together no matter how much of polar opposites we really are and try to out do one another with the best/craziest/most creative ideas we can think of to try out in game. We keep it fun and help out our new alliance and alliance members with growth.

That doesn’t mean we work in harmony all the time, we bicker like an old couple, are rivals in being the best leaders we can be and will nitpick each other’s playstyle and choices when we have slow days or want to play around. I believe — as messed up as all this may sound — that type of relationship in game actually makes us stronger and more balanced as a team since my weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are my strengths. It sounds cliche but it’s fun and it also allows me to nag him and be my mother-hen self and anyone who knows me knows that’s my specialty and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What advice would you give to a new player that is not normally something that newbies hear?

This in my opinion: it’s a sandbox game. That means you can go down any path you can think of in-game — that the game mechanics allow and isn’t “wrong” — even though some people will try to force you to believe it is. So the only way you can really know how to build your city is to make mistakes yourself and learn what you like, learn what you don’t, and customize it to match your unique amazing self!

Long story short, please don’t always blindly follow the social norms of the game thinking that’s the best way to be a part of the community, any good sandbox needs tinkers, thinkers and leaders so be creative, random, thinking outside the box to see if it will work. Just have fun with it!

How long do you think it took to become “skilled” at Illyriad?

Who said I was “skilled” in it now? Heck, I would love to think I am skilled at the game but I’m not sure there is a way to truly know if you are or aren’t since this, in my opinion, is a sandbox meaning there is no wrong way, just different styles. It took me a good few months to get down the game mechanics at a basic level then a year or so to get a way in which I felt was best for my personality.

As the game becomes more developed there are more things to take into account or learn about so I think I am always learning and growing as a player. I have “skills” in some categories of the game but not all of them… maybe one day though! Until then I will always happily accept other people giving me their opinion on good tips or strategies for the game.

Thanks to Ravana for being such a creative player! Congrats!



It’s a bit of a shocker, but it’s Illyriad‘s five year anniversary.

While the server booted up for the first time on the 21st of February 2010, players didn’t get access until the 22nd; so that’s the official start date for this grand journey.

In that time we’ve seen many, many changes to the game.

For those who weren’t around at the beginning, here’s a sample of what you missed from the early days! We started off with a “world tree” theme around the borders, with all the content placed inside large scrolls.

The town map was a very different beast:

The world map was randomly generated (rather than hand-drawn) in those days, so there were no rivers, no seas or lakes, no sprawling forests or mountain ranges and no regions; just a mish-mash of different squares. The world map, with Chat version 1 visible is seen below. Note the awesome way the arctic area blends with the rest of the map. Subtle, huh?


During these five years, you have:

  • Undertaken some 62 million trade missions and traded 4 trillion Gold (4 thousand billion)!
  • Performed 21 million harvesting missions and nearly 12 million quests
  • Gone on 125 million military missions and nearly 40 thousand sieges for a total of 1.6 billion casualties
  • Sent 104 million ingame mails and spoken 334 million words in chat. That’s the equivalent of the entire works of Shakespeare 377 times over, or the equivalent of 425 Bibles – in chat alone. I won’t speak to the relative quality of the text ;)
  • 287,000 players have been through the gates, settling 350,000 towns across 1,300 alliances
  • You have collectively played 22,364,898.12 hours of Illyriad
  • That’s 931,870.75 days or 2,553 years!

During this 5-year period we have had just under 6 hours of unscheduled downtime, and 15 hours of downtime in total (including patches and server moves).

We’ve often stated that we are applying lessons learned from our work on Age of Ascent to Illyriad. Some things you’ve seen, some you’ve not – a lot of have been slightly abstract and based around infrastructure and capabilities. They have all made the game better and helped it to run smoother.

However, today we’d like to share something even more concrete; and hopefully a little more exciting than the existing benefits that AoA development has provided to Illyriad, such as progression graphs and private chat (even if TC thinks graphs are exciting).

Please bear in mind this is early days and there is a lot more to come and improvements to be made. We are not yet at an beta stage and taking bug reports, but…

Illyriad needs a lick of paint:

More interactivity:

Different perspectives, showing where units are travelling to:

A grand strategic view of the whole world:

[See larger version]

Where the tactical map, strategic map and regional map are the same thing, and all full screen:

[See larger version]

Where coastline and rivers look more realistic, and where the map can be viewed from different rotational angles to better see the lay of the land:

[See larger version]

And where moving around the map is fast, and touch enabled, pinch to zoom ready, and where the data is pulled from across the entire world – all visible at once.

Exciting times ahead, for sure, but let’s look at all of the massive changes we put in for this anniversary:

Infantry and craftinghttp://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-7-day-warning-infantry-crafting_topic6166.html

Smoothing out research times: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-trade-hides-research-exodus_topic6167.html

Building changes 1: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-changes-to-building-effects_topic6169.html

Build changes 2: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-build-time-changes_topic6170.html

Council meeting lore story: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/the-meeting_topic6173.html

UIv4 Preview: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-uiv4-preview_topic6174.html

More than 10 cities!: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/23feb15-beyond-10-cities_topic6175.html

API and XML: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/23feb15-api-xml-notifications_topic6176.html

New medal options: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/23feb15-new-medals-options_topic6178_post85155.html

Google Wallet dies: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-google-wallet-retirement_topic6181.html

Referral and tutorial changes: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-tutorial-referral-programme-changes_topic6183.html

In-game mail XML feed: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-xml-feed-for-ingame-mail_topic6182.html

Account sitter limit changes: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-account-sitting-90day-limit_topic6184.html

Faction units!: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/25feb15-faction-unit-release_topic6186.html

Notifications tweaks: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/25feb15-more-detail-in-notifications_topic6188.html

Removing SOV: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/03mar15-removing-sovereignty_topic6207.html


Stay tuned, and thanks for joining us on this journey!

18 Feb 2015

The short, SHORT story contest winners!

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Community

Recently we hosted a quick (so we thought) contest for the best short — as in very short, under 500 words — story that took the theme “Illyriad Battle.” As we expected, we received a ton of great writing. A TON.

So, instead of picking a single winner, we went with three. Heck, we could have picked out 12 and would still need to give out more prizes.

Each winner gets 100 Prestige and a custom in-game medal.

Enjoy reading these. We know we did!



Hold the Line by Belegar Ironhammer


Steel rang upon steel beneath a blackened, storm-wrought sky. White forks of lightning flashed brilliantly, heralding deafening claps of thunder that roared across the muddy, blood-soaked battlefield. Guttural orc war-cries echoed in the night, a savage prayer to the gods of war, answered only by the roaring bellows of the dwarves, beseeching their comrades to greater efforts.

“Hold the line!” shouted Belegar, yelling with all his might. Clad in silversteel plate and surrounded by his elite bodyguards, the dwarf king stood like a rock against the orc tide, his warhammer gripped firmly in his gauntleted hands. The war axes of his chosen rose and fell in a steady rhythm, every stroke claiming the life of an orc, snapping bones like straw and pulping innards in crimson sprays of arterial blood. Crossbow bolts cut the air, hissing like vipers.

A snarling, yellow-toothed orc charged Belegar, brandishing gore-streaked scimitars in each of its meaty hands. Red, bloodthirsty eyes glowed like embers in the orc’s ugly, lopsided skull. A cloak of flayed skin wrapped about his brawny shoulders.

One of Belegar’s bodyguards leapt in front of the onrushing orc, an oath of hatred gushing from his lips. Quick as the lightning that rent the sky, the orc slashed his scimitar at the dwarf, piercing his armour and dealing a grievous wound to the dwarf’s shoulder. The dwarf sank to his knees, blood seeping from the sundered armour.

Before the orc could complete the kill, Belegar attacked, screaming a foul cry of his own in the harsh language of the dwarves. Blunt-nosed hammer and scythe-like scimitar met in a guttering sizzle of orange sparks. Pressing his assault, Belegar slammed his hammer downwards in a series of brutal, overhead strikes.

The orc parried the dwarf’s heavy-handed strokes, his every action accompanied by a savage grunt, his green face split by a feral, lipless sneer.

The mud sucked at Belegar’s boots, seeking to drag him down as he advanced. The silver-armoured dwarf pulled his hammer over his shoulder and swung it forwards just as the orc launched an attack of his own. Belegar ducked beneath the twin murder-weapons and completed his swing, his hammer crunching solidly into the orc’s left ankle, which shattered like a pane of glass in a hailstorm.

Swept off his feet, the orc landed heavily on his back, air whooshing from his lungs. The impact ripped the breath from his throat and a scimitar slipped from his hand.

Seizing the advantage, Belegar swung hard and smashed his hammer into the orc’s sternum. The force of the impact stung his hands and vibrated up his arms and into his shoulders. A column of thick black blood geysered into the air, drenching Belegar in a shower of warm, sticky rain. The dwarf’s next attack hit the orc’s skull, which exploded like rotten fruit. Bone chips ricocheted off his armour.

Belegar stood to his feet just as another wave of orcs attacked, a solid mass of muscle, sweat, and rage.

“Hold the line!”




A Beautiful Morning by Mauhaut


Jocelyn peered across the field towards the castle. Morning mist was hazing the ground, a small stream was gurgling nearby and the dawn light was flushing the castle towers with red and gold.

It was a beautiful morning.

‘Why isn’t anything happening over there?’ he thought. ‘They can see us, and their scouts must have been reporting our movements for days.’

He looked back over his shoulder, the camp fires surrounded by archers and infantry, spearmen on the perimeter being handed plates of food. He noted approvingly that squads of cavalrymen and squires were passing out feed and water buckets to the horses picketed behind the tents. There was an appetising smell of bacon cooking in pans over camp fires.

A light breeze began to brush over the tops of the grasses and sighing he moved off to report to the commander.

Knight Commander Argenteous was not in the best of moods….

‘Some nameless idiot has recalled most of the divisions from the other attack,’ he stormed. ‘He wants them for a gala, or something equally asinine.’

‘Before some other wet behind the ears royal brat gets ideas about birthday parades we’d best get this siege over and done with.’

‘Sound the attack Jocelyn, plans are laid, let’s get on with it.’

The plans had indeed been laid. Jocelyn and his fellow commanders had honed and refined the battle plans over many weeks. Weeks in which their progress north had been apparently ignored.

The stream was larger here, flowing slower. Jocelyn could see fish in the water and swans were gliding majestically, outlined against the willows and reeds. So entrancing was the scene that it took a moment – a quiet, half asleep moment – before Jocelyn realised that this was no low lying dawn mist but smoke, the siege engines had done their work; this morning there were no red gold towers, just blackened beams and smoking debris. No smell of bacon this morning, another, far less appetising smell permeated everything.

It was very quiet, the quartermasters had moved everything necessary into the marginal safety of a partially still standing curtain wall and the camp was, apart from the sentries and scouts, mostly sleeping. The horses were picketed on the water meadows, the grass so long and lush that it hid the picket lines.

It was an idyllic spot. Idly Jocelyn wondered if Commander Argenteous was minded to be generous in rewarding his subordinate commanders.

‘Good land this,’ he thought. ‘Horse country, and I could grow good crops, soil looks fertile, river is wide enough and deep enough that I doubt it runs dry in summer.’

‘Miriam and the kids would love it here.’ Daydreaming, in the still of the dawn, he wandered slowly along the river bank.

Something glinted away in the distance.

Baffled, Jocelyn peered across the fields and forests, towards another castle, rising out of the mist in the distance; the dawn light flushing the castle towers with red and gold.

It was a beautiful morning.


Inspired by http://hoocher.com/Jasper_Francis_Cropsey/Chepstow_Castle_on_the_Wye_1854.jpg

And a real circumstance in the GA war.




A Militiaman Returns Home by Artefore


He had long dreamt of this moment. The sun brushed the distant hilltops, painting the clouds a deep crimson as the day made way for night. The last of the birds sung from the trees that lined the earthen path, and as he strode up it, the smell of roasted chicken rode on the light summer breeze. The top of the path led to a simple cottage, earth and thatch, but to him, the sight of a mighty keep could not be more comforting. At last, after all the years, of toil and battle, he had returned.

The woman who answered the door was older, greyer than he remembered, but the dimples in her cheeks shone just as they always had when she grinned at the sight of his face, and her arms around his neck and the kiss she pressed into his mouth felt just as good as he remembered. He looked deep into her almond eyes, and whispered,
“Maria, I love you more than anything.”
“Adam! Oh, Adam, you’re home!” she cried, and at that moment, she was as young as the day they were wed, and he found himself grinning ear to ear as he embraced her. As he stepped over the doorway, he nodded. “Yes,” he said, “I’m home.”

Adam found his sons whacking each other with wooden sticks in the back yard. They rushed up to him when they saw him, excitedly shouting “Dad! Dad!” and wrapping their arms around his midriff in a tight bearhug. He noticed the eldest, Rory, was wearing a pail over his head like a helmet, and took it off his head, laughing.
“Look at how you two have grown! What’s this for, Rory? Fighting off the Orcs?”
“Yeah Dad!” his son exclaimed, “I’m gonna be just like you!”

The pounding of boots shook the earth, filling his skull with noise and sound as the army marched, a living machine of leather and steel. Suddenly, further ahead in the column, someone screamed, “AMBUSH!!” and the sky seemed to fill with black feathered javelins. Adam barely had time to raise his shield before they fell upon him, the thud of spear tip against oak intermingling with the screams of those less fortunate. As the orcish hordes fell upon them, he felt something graze his right thigh, and when he looked down, he saw blood on his leather.

“Dad? Dad? Are you okay?” Adam felt tugging on his shirt as Harst, his youngest son, awoke him from his daydream.
“Yes, I’m alright. Come here,” he said, grabbing a stick. “Let me show you how to really swing a sword.”

Later that evening, as they sat down to roast chicken and fine apple cider, his wife pressed him with questions about his years away.
“Was the food good? Did you meet the Lord? Did you see the Bitter Sea?” He told them all he could, about the jungles of Kul Tar and the seas of Azura, about the gnomes and the fey and all the wondrous things he had seen.
“Where’s Donald?” she asked. “Did he come home to his wife too?”
“Donald? Oh, he-”

The battle swirled and leapt around him, a cacophony of screams and the ring of steel on steel. Adam held his ground, kneeling on his good leg and keeping his shield high. A wolf leapt at him, slaver dripping from its jaws as its orcish rider urged it forward. Adam bashed its nose with his shield, sending it veering away, yowling. He gripped his spear, and as the wolf turned for another attack, he drove the point between its eyes. The beast thrashed in pain, ripping the weapon from his grip, and throwing the orc out of his saddle. He drew his sword and rushed the greenskin, screaming curses as he raced forward. The orc only laughed, and brought his scimitar around in a sweep that knocked the sword from his hands. Adam fell to his knees, and the orc raised his cruel blade for the final strike.

It was then that a spear tip poked through the green chest, and Donald’s familiar face grinned as it fell to the earth. “We’ve got to look after each other!” he cried, and held out his hand. Adam was about to take it, but another hand was faster. The fallen orc yanked Donald off his feet and crushed him in a deadly embrace with the last of its strength, cursing in a guttural language as he squeezed the life from the man’s body. Donald let out an unearthly howl, and the blood drained from his face. Adam grabbed a rock and drove it against the orc’s skull, but it was too late. Donald’s face was frozen into a deathly scream, pale white and unbreathing. His crushed body slumped against the orc’s, and Adam knelt in the dirt and wept.

“-he, uh, decided to stay in the army! He’s in some far off land right right now, I reckon.”
“Oh, that’s nice! I hope he enjoys the adventure!”
Adam said nothing. He knew that he was safe now, in the comfort of his home and family, but the horrors of war would find a way to stay with him until the day he died.



Thanks again to our excellent players!


GM Rikoo

2 Feb 2015

Player Spotlight: King Korr!

Author: Luna | Filed under: Player Spotlight

King KorrThis time, the Player Spotlight goes out to King Korr. I received quite a few nominations for the player so hopefully his answers won’t be horrible. If they are, siege him and then bring me his gold! MUAHAHA!

I’m kidding. He seems like a great guy and wonderful player!

Answers below. Thanks KK!

How long have you been playing Illy?

I have be a royal in the land of Illyriad for two and a half year’s now. In that time I saw and faced many horrors including the naked Elf Forest and discovering what a trout slap is. (We don’t want to know – Rikoo)

When you first played, what do you remember thinking first?

My very first thought was ‘what have I stepped in to?’ — as compared to the other games I had played online before Illy, they were quite simple while Illy has a lot of depth to it. There are still mysteries that have yet to be solved, and I am still learning things about the game to this day.

Why do you think people have nominated you for Player Spotlight?

I’d like to think it’s for the help I give members in Wheel of Time or Heroes of the Horn, as they are the main two alliances I have been in. I would even help members with tasks that would require me to leave the alliances for a period of time. Plus, I sort of keep the Mule Master from getting up to any trouble …

It’s more than likely I let the maidens get me in to trouble and mischief in alliance chat. As my fellow alliance members will tell you, I am a quiet and shy person and I never lead anyone astray ( /me looks over shoulders to make sure TheDiva, LadyDianna and Kylinneira ain’t in ear-shot!)

If you had developer powers…. no, scratch that – if you had MORE than developer powers and could make the game do anything, what would you like to add to it?

One simple word: DRAGONS!

Okay let me expand on that. Illy is a land with magic and fantasy creatures in it yet there isn’t a dragon in sight! We have all type of units to use spear, sword, bow and mounted troops but as of yet no aerial troops. Just think if players could assign dragons to their armies… it would add a whole new level to the game! Each race could have their own type of dragon, and humans have firebreathing (which would be good on plains. Dwarves could have drakes which suit mountains and the same with elves and orcs.)

I would also make a quest of it so players have to got through certain steps to unlock the research such as finding hidden knowledge so their saddle makers and mages could learn how to safely control the dragons without having them eating your people. You could also have a handicap so for each dragon you have, you lose a certain amount of food or cow production.

I’d also like to  allow troops to move via way points! Like, being able to send troops from A to B to C without having to go back to A would be a massive time saver and wouldn’t have a big an impact on the game.

How important do you think PvP is to Illyriad?

I’d say quite important, as it’s another layer to explore and master in Illy. If you’re attacking a player or another alliance, each involves different things to make sure you have a chance of success. Even if you are attacking, you still have to think of defense for your troops that will be sieging cities, unless your goal is not to capture but to make sure your target can’t rebuild their stockpile of troops to hit you back.

If they do hit you back and you or your alliance loses all your troops, it’s making sure to have supplies set up to make sure you can rebuild quickly enough.

Why do you play Illyriad? You can be honest with me. Go ahead.

The people, the community in Illy is great. In the time I’ve been playing I’ve meet some great people who I talk to outside of the game. Even though I have been playing for two and a half years I’ve yet to find or hear of another game that has a community that is so friendly and helpful. Newbies are sometimes wary of the great greetings they get when they start as they think we only send the res if we get something in return, which is sort of true as each player that stays and grows adds to Illy, which mean’s we all gain!

Where can Illy improve the most?

Magic! Magic in Illy is so badly under-used and developed, like we have a magetower but yet can not recruit mages to accompany troops or to bewitch cities on the far part of the map (make them like traders with increasing upkeep the more you have). It would give those that want to explore the magical part off Illy more depth from the game.

You have a choice between the biggest and most powerful armies in the game or the largest and most profitable trade business; what do you choose?

Armies every time! I have answered the call of the Viking and it’s seeped into my blood!


Thanks again to King Korr for answering our questions. Now, go bug him in game!

GM Rikoo


8 Jan 2015

Illyriad’s Top Ten Stories of 2014

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Community, Development, Press Releases

Hello Illy players!

2014 was a stellar year for Illyriad. Sure, we struggled with the usual indie team issues like figuring out how particular systems should work or when to release a patch but I’m proud to say that for such a small team, we did really well.

I wanted to put together a list of fantastic events that happened over the year. For more details about all of the updates, expansions, tweaks and fixes that happened over the year, you need to go to the announcements forum, here. Also, keep an eye on the news feed on our website if you ever want to see just how much we have done in a year.

So, to the list. Keep in mind that this is not in order of importance, and there is a lot more to choose from. I decided to go with the items that impacted the game the most. Add in your memories or suggestions for big events in the comments section below!


Broken Lands launches: We finally opened the Broken Lands, a massive chunk of land due South of Elgea. Players are able to move there, explore, build and take over — if they dare. It’s a pretty dangerous area, marked with unusual land types and many different factions, so don’t take moving to the BL lightly!

Windows 8.1-optimized app is released: Although we had previously released a Windows 8 app, this newer, optimized version was needed. We’ve drawn in a lot of players because of this app, and it has even won awards for SlideDB’s app of the year!

New city graphics options: Players had been staring at the same 4 city types for quite a while, so we thought it’d be a good idea to let them change it up! We added in 34 different styles, each one with a different look for each stage of growth.

The Player Council forms: What better way to attack a project than with the player’s help? To start this experimental player-ran council, we decided to use lore as a topic. Five different players were picked to head five different specialities, from the timeline of the world of Illyriad to how the continents work together. We’ve already released some information and will continue to push out more at the beginning of the year.

SOV for lakes, lochs, tarns: Starving players could finally fish those lakes, lochs and tarns! What better way to give your towns a boost than to shoot them full of yummy essential oils?

Prestige scrolls: Want to sell your prestige for in-game gold? Need to give a buddy the gift of prestige? Can’t think of that perfect gift for your favorite enemy? Worry no more, prestige scrolls are here! They are a physical item that can be “cashed in” for prestige, made by using different materials and the amount of prestige you wish to give.

Player spotlight renewal: Our players are our greatest asset, which is why we decided to restart the player spotlight program. You can always nominate a player for the spotlight by sending an email to community@illyriad.co.uk and include their in-game name and why you think they should be spotlighted!

A big gold exploit closed: Ugh, no one likes exploits, and no one likes the mess they leave. We were hit by a pretty big one in 2014, but luckily we cleaned it up and moved on. Normally we wouldn’t want to remember stories like these but with such numbers, they teach a valuable lesson.

Illy wins some IndieDB awards: IndieDB and SlideDB both gave Illyriad several awards! We won for IndieDB’s Best Grand Strategy of 2014, the Editor’s Choice for Community and the Player’s Choice for Best Grand Strategy app. SlideDB gave us the Player’s Choice award for a Grand Strategy app and the Editor’s Choice for App of the Year!

Private chat: If there’s one thing players love, it’s privacy. They had been asking us for private chat for quite a long time so we finally delivered, and now we’re able to tell players “Take it to private!” if things get out of hand. It’s a wonderful feeling. Not to mention that, now, players can scheme and hatch nefarious plans without having to write an IGM.

It was an awesome year, but we have an even cooler year ahead of us! Thanks again to all of our passionate players who make this game as unique as it is.


GM Rikoo


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