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!

Rikoo


 

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

 

30 Dec 2014

Illyriad wins IndieDb and SlideDB awards!

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

Thanks to the fact that our game and community is so awesome, Illyriad has won a few awards! If you are not familiar with IndieDB, it’s a great site that features all sorts of news, updates and communications about the world of indie gaming. It’s been a good site for us and has given us a lot of attention. SlideDB is its sister site that concentrates on mobile gaming.Illyriad is proud to be a member of the DB community, and we’re very happy to say that we won a few awards in their latest yearly round-up!

Awards we won from SlideDB
2014 Winner – Players’ Choice – Grand Strategy App of the Year
2014 2nd Place – Players’ Choice – Overall App of the Year
2014 Winner – Editors’ Choice – Best Community

Awards we won from IndieDB
2014 Winner – Players’ Choice – Grand Strategy Game of the Year

We owe everything to our players and their passion for the game. We can’t wait to show you another year of fun…. and epic battles! Thanks so much for voting and for a year of great gaming!

20 Nov 2014

The Player Council’s first result

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Game Design

Hello everyone!

As many of you know, the Player Council was drawn together in order to work on different issues concerning the game’s lore. This is an experimental council, and you can read about the details on this forum thread.
Well, we have finished our first “assignment!” The council was tasked with tweaking and changing the lore and descriptions you see when you first make a new character and when you investigate the races on the website. If you log out and look into making a new character, you will see some of the changed text. You will also see these updated descriptions on the Windows 8.1 app.
If you investigate the lore and racial descriptions on the website (there is some great reading there!) you will see the updated text as well.
Note: We did not change the deeper lore sections, yet. As the council continues to work on their next assignments, we will likely change that area.
It might seem like a small task right now, but this was only the council’s first task. Next up they have been assigned some deeper questions like “What year is it?” “What is King Sigurd’s ancestry” and “What was the land mass like many, many years ago?” The plan is to gather all of this next wave of information and write it into an easy-to-read “story” that will explain much of the basic lore and settings to new players — and to curious current players as well!
So, check out the new tweaks to the race information. If you see something that is off, please let us know!
Now, on to our next assignments!
GM Rikoo
27 Oct 2014

Player Spotlight: Jane DarkMagic!

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

janedarkmagicHello everyone and welcome to another Player Spotlight! This time we’re talking with Jane DarkMagic, a long-time Illy player.

How long have you played Illy for? What first attracted you to the game?

I’ve played for just over 3 years since August 2011. I started playing Illy after I rage quit Evony for the second time. I had duo’ed a level 16 historic city with my husband and our own alliance stole it out from under us. Illy has some similarities, in that it’s a city-building strategy game, but is more of a sandbox and the impact of your diplomatic decisions last a much longer time since the server never resets. The devs are also much more responsive to serious problems and cheating.

Your name is evil. Why is your character SO EVIL?

I borrowed my surname from a Penny Arcade podcast. They play Dungeons and Dragons and my favorite player character is named Jim Darkmagic. My character is definitely evil though. A little in-game conflict makes it much more interesting. I am never without an in-game nemesis, and I think I would be bored if I had to play nice.

If you could control one of your friend’s armies to attack anyone you’d like, which friend would you control and who would you attack?

I would use Scottfitz’s army to attack Tanyafairy. She hates magic bears, and I think war would be a blast.

NPCs are fun. Which NPC would you want in your army?

I want snufflehumpsters(spelling?). Kill them with cuteness. No one can be mad after being attacked by adorable little cuddly rodents.

Tell us something you did in Illy.. that no one knows about. Bearing in mind we have impressionable children listening.

I once created a secret alt and had it run for leader of ecrow on it’s first day in the game. Kenyl was very passionately opposed to his candidacy. I’ve also got myself banhammered on purpose on several occasions in solidarity with other mcrow members. Of course, people know about both of those, but I’m terrible with secrets so there’s nothing I haven’t shared with my friends.

Have you ever thieved someone and then felt guilty about it later?

I’ve never been caught thieving, and I will admit nothing.

What advice would you give to a newbie? How about a vet?

To a newbie: Illy is all about the people. Makes friends wherever you can and never be afraid to speak your mind. To a vet: I would advise them to not siege players out of the game, even during war. People tend to quit and then the community is that much weaker for it.

Thanks again to Jane for answering our questions! She won a free trip to The Long White and a wad of mammoth fur!

 

20 Oct 2014

14OCT14 – Prestige Scrolls

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Development, Game Design

PRESTIGE SCROLLS

For a long time, transfers of Prestige between accounts have either had to go via the Alliance prestige pool or using sitting rights. With sitting rights, one player would give rights to an account, and the sitter would then buy the Prestige and step out of the account. This has led to some players reportedly being scammed (“I didn’t receive the gold they promised!”) or – illegal according to the TOS – players swapping sign-in and password information.
Now prestige scan be transferred directly to anyone or sold on the open market at a trade hub, by using prestige scrolls. Let’s say that player A wants to give the new player B some prestige to help them along.
All player A needs to do is go into their Library’s new Resource Production area, make sure to have the correct amount of Prestige, books, mana, research and reagents and click Make – player A now instantly has a Prestige scroll that can be given or sold to player B. Player B then redeems the scroll in their Reading Room.
Be aware that items in transit, including prestige scrolls, are vulnerable to blockade, so be careful when shipping these valuable new items.
The Prestige Scroll recipes are as follows:
  • Prestige Scrap: 75 Prestige, 75 Mana, 75 Research, 1 Giant Rat Heart, 1 Pyrestone, 1 Sharproot
  • Prestige Parchment: 200 Prestige, 200 Mana, 200 Research, 1 Wild Dog Heart, 1 Claristrine, 1 Silverthorn
  • Prestige Page: 500 Prestige, 500 Mana, 500 Research, 1 Wolf Heart, 1 Deepsilver, 1 Furzion Seedpod
  • Prestige Scroll: 850 Prestige, 850 Mana, 850 Research, 1 Brown Bear Heart, 1 Rainbowstone, 1 Brownback Moss
  • Prestige Codex: 1200 Prestige, 1200 Mana, 1200 Research, 1 Giant Scuttler Heart, 1 Trove, 1 Suntree Haft
  • Prestige Book: 1850 Prestige, 1850 Mana, 1850 Research, 1 Scritcher Heart, 1 Svelaugh Sand, 1 Vistrok Flower
  • Prestige Tome: 3250 Prestige, 3250 Mana, 3250 Research, 1 Scaled Charger Heart, 1 Earthblood, 1 Ironstem Root
Prestige scrolls are regular items and will show in your towns’ and hub inventories. They can be placed in hub buy and sell orders as regular craftable items, and appear in the “Exotic” category.
Prestige scrolls can only be created from personal prestige, not from alliance prestige.
The creation and use of prestige scrolls is recorded and is shown on your prestige history page.
 
SERVER-SIDE MONITORING & DIAGNOSTICS
We have improved our server-side monitoring and diagnostics so we can be aware of a problem and try to fix it before you are aware. It also provides rich information and extra detail around issues to allow us to more quickly diagnose potential issues. We have already resolved a number of long term issues this way.
 
Sharing some insights, below is a graph around the time the Heart of Corruption began beating. The early response time peak is a deployment for improved Windows 8.1 support (do feel free to vote for us in the store!) which required a full server code refresh and so a brief response time hit as the dlls were jit compiled:
 

 

You can also see the server’s daily heart beat or ebb and flow of player demands (this is over a week). The later half of the graph increases in requests per second as you (the players) activate the Heart of Corruption and then in response start sending thousands upon thousands of missions to it and the corrupted temples.
 

CHANGES TO IMAGE, CSS & SCRIPT HOSTING

We have moved where and how we host our images, css and javascript files. Hopefully, this has been transparent to you, the players, as mostly the files are cached in your browser and they aren’t requested that much, per player. However, players occasional requests as a group and new players’ requests do add up as can be seen on the graphs below:
The graph on the left shows when we swapped over the DNS to point at the new resource, and you can actually see the dns update propagating over the internet as the new resource slowly ramped up in requests thoughout the day. The second graph shows the now current day to day activity; do bear in mind these files should be cached for a long time for returning players so those requests shouldn’t show up here, however this does include images on our out of game site (like www).
 
HTTPS SECURE ACCESS
As part of the reason for the change above, we are now more consistent on when we can serve secure image files, so you can now use Illyriad over https if you so desire:
 

 
 

MAIL NEXT & PREVIOUS ITEMS
Mail items now have next and previous buttons inside individual mails to move you through the mail without having to return to the full mail list:
 

 

The next and previous buttons are category aware, so if you are in a subcategory e.g. sent or trade they will just navigate you through available mails in that subcategory.
 
COMBAT XML API
We’ve reinstated the Combat XML API system, so that you can can individually, as players, choose to share your combat reports with third parties.  You’ve always been able to do this on an individual report basis, by using the “XML” button at the bottom of each combat report in-game mail.
 
However, you can now generate an API key in the Account & Preferences area of the User Interface.  If you generate and give this API key to other players, they can then access a listing of all your combat reports since you issued your first key, and then drill down into each individual combat report just as if you’d sent them each report via in-game mail.
 
We can see this being useful for any builder of third party tools, an alliance that wants to track their collective members’ military actions and/or any player who wants to make a killboard for (eg) the purposes of player-run tournaments.
 
The API key is something that an individual player can generate, and revoke (or rather, generate a new key) from their Account & Preferences page in the “API Keys” submenu.It differs from the individual combat report XML in that it is a generic key which essentially says “I hereby grant the holder of this key the right to access all my non-covert combat event logs in XML format until such time as I revoke the key by changing it“.A player who issues a Combat API Key can then use this unique, individual key to query a page that will produce a list of combat events that can then be queried via the individual report identifier, and they can share this key with anyone they choose.

Players can pass their Combat API key to third parties (such as alliance techies, or killboard website operators) and these third parties can then query this page on behalf of the player, and retrieve the individual combat reports for every combat this player has been involved in.

ISSUING & REVOKING YOUR COMBAT API KEY

Go to your Account & Preferences page and click on the API submenu:

You will have a list of keys here – or, on your first visit, the option to issue a Combat Reports API Key for the first time.To create a Combat Reports API Key, press the “Generate” button.If you already have a key, pressing “Generate” will instantly disable your current key and generate a new one for you; thereby preventing access to your combat reports by anyone who knows your old key.

Account sitters can generate and/or revoke API keys.

SUPPRESSING INDIVIDUAL COMBATS FROM DISPLAYING TO KEY HOLDERS
For whatever reason (doubtless nefarious!) you might not want a specific, particular combat to appear in the Combat Report list you’ve made available to anyone with your API Key.
You can suppress individual combat reports from appearing on the list if you check the Is Covertoption checkbox on the “Send Army” page before you dispatch the army outbound.  You will need to have researched Covert Operations in the Military research tree to see this option.

USING THE API KEY TO GET AN XML LIST OF AVAILABLE COMBAT REPORTS – A PROGRAMMERS’ GUIDE
If you’re not a programmer, then the following is probably not relevant, and you can skip over the next couple of sections!
The API Key is in the format:

[Server Name]-[KeyType]-[Key]

This helps you identify which server to query (we currently only have elgea) and what page to query with the key.

A sample full combat API key for elgea might look like this:

elgea-COMRP-AQAAABoolkA8l0qQ7kL5Vpxmk-LwCjrv0qh5f9uB6M10saMBnAi01_0IiV4a-pnxWDUF5UcAhtw1SNQ2n0XGbgvb6gw=

This identifies this key as being good for pulling data from Server [elgea] for Combat Reports [COMRP], and the remainder of the key is an encrypted piece of data that identifies the player to us (twinned with the rights he has given to this key).

To query a key for the first time, call the following page:

http://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/external/combatreportsapi/[insert player’s full Combat API Key including the server and keytype here]

and so, using the example above, your query would be:

http://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/external/combatreportsapi/elgea-COMRP-AQAAABoolkA8l0qQ7kL5Vpxmk-LwCjrv0qh5f9uB6M10saMBnAi01_0IiV4a-pnxWDUF5UcAhtw1SNQ2n0XGbgvb6gw=


WHAT DOES THE PAGE RETURN?

Sample (will not work in reality)
<combateventsapi>
<server>

<name>UK1</name>
<servercountrycode>gb</servercountrycode>
<serverlanguagecode>en</serverlanguagecode>
<serverlivedate>2010-02-21T21:53:01.190</serverlivedate>
<datagenerationdatetime>2014-10-13T16:30:43.040</datagenerationdatetime>

</server>

<player id="1"/><playerapikey id="elgea-COMRP-AQAAABoolkA8l0qQ7kL5Vpxmk-LwCjrv0qh5f9uB6M10saMBnAi01_
0IiV4a-pnxWDUF5UcAhtw1SNQ2n0XGbgvb6gw="/>

<combatevents>

<uniquecombatidentifier>

<server id=”UK1″/>
<combatguid id=”F94B7AC1-CFB8-4DE8-A211-044D1A4DAC18″/>
<troopmovementevent id=”507040″/>
<datacomplete id=”1″/>
<personalcombatkey id=”AQAAACTYblel0LzEsSb7kiZcZg0hQJZCDmbi_sgo82Ej6iKr”/>
<combatoccurrencedate>2014-10-06T03:09:10.523</combatoccurrencedate>

</uniquecombatidentifier>

<uniquecombatidentifier>

<server id=”UK1″/>
<combatguid id=”4D389937-545A-4CC0-A7E8-4EA27487DAAE”/>
<troopmovementevent id=”509341″/>
<datacomplete id=”1″/>
<personalcombatkey id=”AQAAAFICvEs1DXLWCN2fesfs61oCyonjDBukVnB0TxJJg2t3″/>
<combatoccurrencedate>2010-08-06T16:39:30.907</combatoccurrencedate>

</uniquecombatidentifier>

</combatevents>

Breaking it down, you have:

  • The standard Server Identification snippet, followed by
  • The PlayerID who this Key belongs to, and the exact key you just used
  • A list of combat events that this player has been involved in, along with the <personalcombatkey> identifier so you can then go off and query the specific event for the full details, using:
    http://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/external/combatreport/[insert <personalcombatkey> here]
You do not need to be logged in to access the Combat API listing or any individual Combat API report, so long as you have the key!


HOW TO CHOOSE WHAT EVENTS YOU NEED TO QUERY

1. You may already have the report from another player
Within:

<uniquecombatidentifier>

<server id=”UK1″/>
<combatguid id=”4D389937-545A-4CC0-A7E8-4EA27487DAAE”/>
<troopmovementevent id=”509341″/>
<datacomplete id=”1″/>
<personalcombatkey id=”AQAAAFICvEs1DXLWCN2fesfs61oCyonjDBukVnB0TxJJg2t3″/
<combatoccurrencedate>2010-08-06T16:39:30.907</combatoccurrencedate>

</uniquecombatidentifier>

IF

  • You already have a combat report with this <server id> and
  • You already have a combat report with this <combatguid id> and
  • You already have a combat report with this <troopmovementevent id>

THEN

IF

  • This new report has a less than or equal to ( <= ) <datacomplete id> than the one you currently have:

WHEN TRUE (YES, YOU HAVE THIS “NEW” REPORT ALREADY AND THE VERSION YOU HAVE IS AS GOOD AS, OR BETTER THAN, THE NEW REPORT) THEN

  • Don’t query this report – you already have everything you need

WHEN FALSE (NO, THIS “NEW” REPORT HAS MORE ACCURATE DATA THAN THE REPORT YOU CURRENTLY HAVE) THEN

  • Query this report using the <personalcombatkey id> and replace your existing report with this one

ELSE

  • This is a new report and you should import it

The reason we have the datacomplete flag is because different players can get slightly different versions of the same combat report (eg “Your army was completely destroyed and you heard nothing of its’ fate” vs “You completely whupped that guy, here’s the report”).

2. You don’t need to query the complete player history every time, to decide what’s new

Obviously we don’t want you to be querying a complete player history every time you pull the API key.

So there is an additional parameter we’d like you to use when you subsequently query view_combat_reports_api.asp – this parameter is called [since].  [since] is based on the actual combat occurrence date, not the date that the army was originally sent, so it should be a historic record.

This should be set to the most recent <combatoccurrencedate> for the <player ID> whose key you are using.

If you don’t have any data for this player so far, then please do not provide the [since] parameter.

Because there is a chance that you might have two combat events from the same player occurring at the same second, we will return the event(s) you already have at that datetime stamp, so please be prepared to ignore the first couple of events returned – as you may already have them (see above for how to decide).

The [since] parameter is in the same format it was provided in originally in the <combatoccurrencedate>field of the last report you have from this player, such as: 2014-08-06T03:09:10

The Date Time format is YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS

So, a first API Key query might look like this:

http://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/external/combatreportsapi/elgea-COMRP-AQAAAI0WUkqicWZIAoiQOP2bObRf5c2Vxr0CoiEQ3PPQNfCAXtq_ftlyXzYsNQ_dGhCAkRf_b2_C6VVn

… and a subsequent one might look like this:

http://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/external/combatreportsapi/elgea-COMRP-AQAAAI0WUkqicWZIAoiQOP2bObRf5c2Vxr0CoiEQ3PPQNfCAXtq_ftlyXzYsNQ_dGhCAkRf_b2_C6VVn?since=2014-10-14T13:36:38

… which will only return those combat events related to the player since (and including) the event that occurred on the [since] timestamp.


HOW OFTEN CAN I QUERY A PLAYER’S API KEY?

For the purposes of development, we haven’t yet set a limit.

However, we will probably impose a limit for a particular key query (from the same querying source) at some point in the future, simply to preserve server resources and bandwidth.  It all rather depends on how you player-programmers choose to use the API key system!

WHAT DATA IS AVAILABLE
Combat report data is only available from the moment that any API key is generated by a player.  You cannot access historic records from before the first API key was generated, except via the direct link provided at the bottom of your ingame mail combat report.
 
MOVING TROOPS
 
Things got a little wild around the Heart of Corruption as huge numbers of missions piled into it. Unfortunately this caused some noticable slow-downs in the browser pages getting updates to their movements when the map was focused on the HoC. 
 
To resolve this we throttled what was sent to the map to display a maximum of 1 mission icon (per type) per quarter square – and a maximum of 75 missions on the visible map (per type) at any time, focused around the map center. 
 
 
 
We hope you enjoy these enhancements to the game environment.
 
GM Rikoo
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7 Sep 2014

Player Spotlight: StJude

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

StJude poopsHow did you find Illyriad, and what made you give it a try?

I had just come off a 23,360 hour long stint of World of Warcraft and decided I should probably start paying my mortgage and eating something other than thai basil fried rice from the local takeaway. After some time, once I had begun to recognize that sunlight was my friend, and that blinking occurs naturally, I wandered instinctively back over to my Dell Optiplex 745 and searched for some old browser based games of Risk.

While splendidly losing Brazil (because some other clever bugger had taken Australia first), I gazed distractedly at the sidebar banner ad. I lamented the lack of barely clad, large chested maidens beckoning me to “Come Play Discreetly, my Lord”. I did see the words “deep strategy” though… that got my blood pumping and made me swoony. By this stage, South America was lost and with it my 2 army bonus.

Deep strategy, eh?

So, I signed up. I immediately liked the slower pace of the game and after playing for a while loved the idea of real loss and therefore real risk. I figured this slower pace would force me to step away occasionally and encourage my re-integration with society. The map was huge and I was quite taken with the regional aspects and persistent state of the game. I headed over to the forums, saw some excellent posts in the long forgotten “Bitter Sea” and the rest is history.

Do you ever dream of doing particular things in game that you cannot do now?

Seriously, sending emails with multiple recipients and a CC option would make me quiver at the knees. Barring that, I’m fairly partial to the military side of things. There have been some brilliant suggestions made already on the forums that I would love to see implemented regarding region control in the form of capturing nodes. I would also like to see defensive options added to a city under attack. Things like additional fortifications (other than walls) that are the *sole* target of siege engines. I’d love to have an option to sack a city once the siege is successful. Total destruction of a city should take a significant investment to achieve. It should take months to raze what takes months to build.

Give me a good war story.

A lot of players think or thought that the Baughb account and StJude account were played by the same person. I’m not sure I can do much to persuade those of that mindset otherwise. Early on, he and I were introduced to a player who would later be known as Gaia Nutella Tulips. It was due largely in part to his recruitment efforts that I joined the fledgeling alliance, “Havoc Unleashed” in Kumala. There was an “incident” and shortly (in Illy terms anyway) thereafter Baughb and I went our separate ways from Havoc. We were both interested in the “Deep Strategy” side of things that Illyriad had to offer and we took advantage of this separation to explore this “Deep Strategy” thing with our former alliancemates. Things were rather silly, all things considered. Our declaration of war was over the top, frivolous and laced with more sarcasm than the number of caravans sent by Global Chat to unwary newbs. There was some good banter and funny exchanges between us and several members of Havoc amidst all the drama. What I think speaks more about our intentions than anything, is the surprising and daring move made by Gaia Nutella Tulips in the middle of the war. GNT, as he will now be referred to for the remainder of the story, still maintained his relationship with Baughb and I,

He frequently exchanged friendly in game mails with us, but never betrayed his alliance by providing insight or intel on their plans. We developed a good rapport I think and we did a good job convincing GNT that there was no malice involved. We were in it for the fun of the competition and GNT recognized that. Someone else can fill in the rest of the details, but GNT informed his alliance leader (Jonny112) that he was going to be leaving “Havoc Unleashed” and joining the Baughb and StJude circus. Even while he was a member of our merry little band, he remained tight lipped regarding any information he might still hold regarding his former alliance. He was truly a class player and as extremely fun loving guy. It was folks like GNT and his antics that kept me logging in to the game and one of many reasons I wanted to come back. We never really took ourselves seriously and this alliance switch mid war, all in the name of fun was one of my favorite moments in the game.

Give me a good newbie tip.

Illyriad is like prison, I advise finding the biggest and baddest alliance and/or player and making a bold statement. Once you have established your dominance, the prison yard is yours. That, or find a player much smaller than you and take all their stuff. Most importantly, be sure to declare your sovereignty over an area. Research siege weapons ASAP and use them to clear the area of rabble rousers and anyone who rustles your jimmies. The Illyriad community respects and encourages this kind of aggressive and forward thinking behavior. Your mailbox will be flooded with invites to various well renowned alliances and you will wake up in the morning to an inbox filled with digital high fives and attaboys.

If that’s not your cup of tea, join a training alliance while you get the lay of the land. This is a unique phenomenon in MMOs as far as I can tell. I’m not aware of any other games doing this.

Give me 500 million gold.

Give me an Illy T-Shirt with Stormcrow and Thundercat dressed as a sexy fire marshall and a lusty B2B Integration Solution Architecture Analyst II, all while parading King Sigurds head on a stake and we have a deal. 1200 prestige is also on the table. Singles only please, I want to tuck them into the waistband of GC.

How has Illy changed the most over the years?

Wow, interesting question. Illyriad is more than the sum of its parts. I think the greatest change I have observed is how knowledgeable the overall player base has become. There is a pretty good understanding of the mechanics of the game with a lot of good tools available to help with decision making.

Name something that you think should be changed or tweaked immediately.

The siege mechanic and a limit to the number of troops that can occupy a tile. I’d also like to see a scaling cost for troop upkeep that increases the larger your city is. I cheated, sorry, that is more than one “something”.

I like War.

 

Thanks to StJude for participating in the Player Spotlight! If you would like to nominate someone, please send your reasons to community@illyriad.co.uk!

GM Rikoo

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5 Aug 2014

Choosing a winner for our Name That Ocean contest

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Development

OceanNameRecently we asked players to submit a name for the newly discovered massive strip of water that lies between Elgea and The Broken Lands. While we knew that we’d get a lot of entries, we weren’t prepared for how good many of them would be! Some players submitted several at once, while other players preferred a single entry that was complete with definitions and origin. Just reading through the thread was a lot of fun.

Originally we were just going to pick the winner and announce it. Finally we decided to put up three different choices to see if the community backed up our original decision. We listed The Bitter Sea (submitted by Canesrule) or The Sea of Mercy (submitted by Arctic55) or Gateway to Wealth (LadyLifeGrows.) These are all great names because they are simple, easy to understand even for newbies, seem to have a story behind them and would read easily on the map. There were several names that were submitted but were other names for a developer or alliance and we didn’t want it to seem like we were pulling favorites.

In the end, the votes echoed what we thought: The Bitter Sea is a brilliant name! The name also has a history in Illyriad. It used to be the name of a forum where players were allowed to vent more freely than we normally allow. It was closed due to a leaking roof and rat infestation.

The name The Bitter Sea does not need to be explained to feel epic or dangerous; it just feels like something an old sea captain might call it. Congrats to Canesrule for suggesting it, and enjoy your journeys across the newly-named sea!

GM Rikoo

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25 Jun 2014

Player Spotlight: Kodabear

Author: Illyriad Press | Filed under: Player Spotlight

koda1This month’s player spotlight is none other than Kodabear, possibly the most popular Illy player EVAH. We received more nominations for him than any other candidate — even breaking Mohit’s record! What accounts for that? We’re not enitirely sure, but it’s possible that his magic bear stories (and general chat magic spells) are the key; they are free-flowing journeys that feel silly, deep, enchanting and — of course — magical all at once. He’s also generous and funny. We dare you to look at his profile and not laugh your butt off. So, to the interview!

Who are you and how long have you played Illy for?

I’m Kodabear, the LORD of the Magic Bears. I have been playing Illy for a little more than a year. I first found the game when I was on the Wii U looking for a game that was just HTML5 and I found a website that has a list of web HTML5 games. Illyriad was number 1 on the list. I started playing for a few hours and then quit, and then a few days later I came back and never stopped playing.

Tell us about the race of Magic Bears. When did they start and why are they here?

Magic Bears are the oldest thing in the universe and the most powerful. Magic Bears love to mess with life forms. Magic Bears can only be killed by an Evilbear or by one of the top ranked Magic Bears (high-kings Magic Bears or the LORD of the Magic Bears). Magic Bears started because I was bored one day and I was always giving people food so I thought of casting spells for food. Right now Magic Bears are just watching the people in Illy and seeing if they should invade or not. :D

Some players seem to think that Illy is a chat room with a game attached. Others believe it is a non-stop game of war. What do you think?

To me, Illy is more of a social game. I’m always talking and helping newbies in my alliance or newcomers to the game. As I’m in T?, a training alliance, we don’t do the war stuff. We are here to help the newbies and to teach them how to play.

When was the last major battle you were involved in?

The last major battle I was in was during the tournament. I lost 6,435 units and killed only 3,787 units.

If you could add one thing to the game, what would it be?

I would love to see some Magic Bear NPCs! But really I would like to add more quests. I loved doing the quests when I was a little bear. They could be faction quests or quests for higher pop. cities.

If you could take one thing away from the game, what would it be?

I can’t thing of anything that I would take away from this game. Yes, things could be better, and it’s nice to see the devs working on that.

What inspires you to log in as often as you do?

The people inspire me to get on as much as I do. I love talking in GC and I love how people play along with my Magic Bear stuff. The game is great, its fun and it takes time, not just something you can do in like an hour. I love my alliance. They are great people and I meet newbies almost every day and it is always hard when they graduate.

Thanks again to Koda for sending in his answers! If you have someone you’d like to see in the Player Spotlight, be sure to send the nominations (along with why they should be nominated) to community@illyriad.co.uk!

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