Player Spotlight: White Willow

250em01aIn this Player Spotlight we are looking at White Willow. He seems to grab attention in GC when he is there, so we sent some questions to help us learn more about him.

GM Rikoo: Who are you and how long have you played Illy?

WW: I am a guy who has, up until Illy, played pure war strategy games. I started playing Illy in September, 2015. My real life name is Jim.

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

I think if I could add one thing to the game it would be speed, but, surprisingly not a lot. I have learned that the many layers of Illy need time to develop and those without the patience are missing the most rewarding part of the game.

If you could delete any one thing from the game, what would it be?

Deleting something is easy because Illy is a game where you don’t have to complete all parts of the game. So the player can do what they are interested in.

Who is your bestest friend of all time in Illy?

I have a lot of friends in the game and I care about all of them. To answer your question I will go with Rill for her devotion to the game.

Who is your arch nemesis?

No nemesis at this time, but that can change… you never know. I am in DSA, a peaceful training alliance and work with Pink Camo another good friend.

If you could give a tip not to newbies, but to vets, what would it be?

My tip to vets? It’s not advice on how to play the game for sure. There are many here that could play circles around me. I would say if you are bored for any reason look around you and find a friend to support.

Awesome, thanks for answering our questions, White Willow! If you would like to nominate someone for Player Spotlight, please do so by sending an email to community@illyriad.co.uk and be sure to include the name of the player and reasons why they should be highlighted!

GM Rikoo

Player Spotlight: Martilicious

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!

Illyriad’s 5th birthday introduces sweeping changes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ILLYRIAD!

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?


POP-QUIZ FACTOIDS:

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 ūüėČ
  • 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:

1425321038townmenu
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 crafting: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-7-day-warning-infantry-crafting_topic6166.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Player Spotlight: King Korr!

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‚Äôs 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‚Äôd like to think it‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôt have a big an impact on the game.

How important do you think PvP is to Illyriad?

I‚Äôd say quite important, as it‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôs 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

 

Player Spotlight: Jane DarkMagic!

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!

 

14OCT14 – Prestige Scrolls

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:

https://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:

https://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:
    https://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:

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

… and a subsequent one might look like this:

https://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 Рand 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

Choosing a winner for our Name That Ocean contest

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

Player Spotlight: Mohit

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Another nomination from the community, this month we get to know Mohit! We received SO many nominations for him, probably breaking all previous records. Learn more about the Player Spotlight program at our website and nominate players by sending an email to community@illyriad.co.uk. The player who gets the nomination can choose between a t-shirt from our shop or from 1200 Prestige! So, to the interview!

So, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, My name is Mohit and I am glad to be given an opportunity to be in the Spotlight. I really appreciate the efforts of all those who voted for me, thank you all!

What brought you to Illyriad and how long have you been playing?

One day I was looking for an online strategy game, and then I found this. It has been a nice experience to play the game since then. I have been playing Illy for more than 2 years now and hope to play it till I finish the game (like Urp! did!)

Have you played many other online games or been active in other online communities?

Well to be honest I have played many, many other games where I play maximum for a week and then leave the game. So I have not been as active in any other online community, nothing else gives that Illy-like feel! ūüėČ

Any hidden talents or interesting hobbies outside of gaming?

Oh yes ! Well, I don’t know if that is to be discussed here! But I like to go out with friends, enjoy the moment of laughter with them but most of my time is taken by gaming, work or sleep.

What keeps you playing Illyriad?

As many have said, I also feel the same: it’s the Community. It keeps you glued to the game. General chat can do wonders for you if you are having an off day. Then I have the amazing members in my alliance who make me feel like being in their shoes and doing things like they do ( not talking about you Hoover ūüėõ lol! ) That is an amazing factor if you realize they have become a family in another world, even if you don’t want to achieve something in the game you want to come online to meet them or chat with them. I love that aspect of the game. I believe through this game that I have made friends all over the world, with whom I may or may not meet in my real life but will be sharing a beer or coffee with them online here in Illy.

What’s your favorite aspect of the game?

The community is of course one of my favorite aspect of the game. I also love the fact that this game continues to bring something new to the table every now and then. True, this process has slowed down, but heh, this is the favorite and most awaited aspect of the game: something new and awesome from the developer team !

What’s your proudest achievement in game so far?

Being in the spotlight is the proudest of them all, for the very simple reason is that many people voted for it. It was truly an amazing surprise and I want to send thanks to you guys again! ūüôā The second-best moment was when I was given an opportunity to share in leading Bane. It was an honor and really made me feel proud.

What are you most looking forward to for the future of Illyriad?

First I would like to thank the devs for creating a vision of what we can expect, without it I couldn’t answer this question.¬†I am looking forward to the new schools of magic and hope that it gives a new dimension to the game.¬†Then I am waiting for the use of all the extra t3 resources (advanced herbs, anatomies and rare gems) that do not have any use at the moment, and I wonder how their use will affect the game. ¬†The Live Factions are always a thing that intrigues me. They could give alliances and their diplomatic work a new dimension and hopefully will make quests more interesting.

What area of the game do you think needs the most improvement?

In my view, the defense mechanism needs some improvement. The game supports the attackers too much. Then I would love to see a draft option in the mailing system. Next, an option to make our own chat room would be great! Many times two group of people tend to love or fight each other so much that other people tend not to interfere. Having an option to create a chat room for them would spare GC from the assault and those who want to be part of the chat could be invited in it.

What advice would you give a new player in Illyriad?

Play as you wish! This is a sandbox game. You can be anything you like! Just make sure you make friends on the way to the top — and not enemies. And, of course, in case you guys need anything there are awesome people in GC waiting to help you guys! (Rillbot is 24×7 available ūüėõ )¬†At the end of this I just want to thank you all, and I feel lucky to be part of such a great community.

Thanks to Mohit for accepting the nomination and for taking the time to answer our questions!

GM Cerberus: Behind Illyriad’s Art

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We’ve always loved the artwork inside of Illyriad and now, Age of Ascent, the upcoming MMO shooter we’ve been working on. So, who makes all of those pretty pictures, graphics and icons that you see while playing? It’s GM Cerberus, that’s who. We wanted to let him talk about himself so that you, the player, can get to know this superbly creative individual who pops into chat once in a while.

What got you started in art?

I’ve loved creating art from a very young age, I was fortunate enough to be raised by a family of artists; my mother being a singer/writer and my grandmother being a painter. They helped and encouraged me to cultivate my talents. What really got me into art, though, was video games. I loved drawing Samus from Metroid and Mega Man bosses as a kid, and I would occasionally get in trouble in grade school for doodling when I should have been working on school work.

What is it like making art for the specifics of a video game? How is it different than other projects?

It has been a learning experience from the get-go. There are a lot of technical aspects when creating digital art that you don’t have to account for in physical media. Not everyone who views the work I create is viewing it at the same settings I am, for example, there are different resolutions and browsers to take into account. Heck, some people’s monitors aren’t even correctly color calibrated. One of the biggest things, however, is that i’m creating artwork not just for form but for function. Everything I create has a purpose in some game mechanic, and seeing it all in place and functional in-game brings on a sense of self-satisfaction unrivaled by any other project I’ve ever undertaken.

Do you have an estimate of how many pieces of art you’ve made for Illyriad? How about for Age of Ascent so far?

I’ve done upwards of 250-300 “large” pieces that players can view in the tech tree in Illyriad and hundreds of other miscellaneous graphics and doodads that I can’t even begin to put a number on. It would be difficult to put a number on Age of Ascent as well, but I’d be safe in saying it’s over 100 pieces. These numbers can be misleading however, as I’m including something as small as a scout unit or afterburner icon.

Do you have a preference of working on fantasy or sci-fi stuff?

I’m really torn on this, so much that I feel like two different artists when I’m working on the styles. With my fantasy work I feel more at liberty to have them look hand illustrated where with science fiction I feel the need for precision and almost have the work be Trompe l’oeil. With Illyriad most of my work is done using a form of vector illustration and some freehand with a tablet, and on Age of Ascent it’s a lot of photo-manipulation illustration and a bit of drafting. I can’t claim favorites honestly, I’m fortunate enough to have the freedom to explore so many different styles that I love them all.

What is your process like? Do you sketch? Work on paper or all digital?

My process is very traditional in the sense that I start with a very basic sketch to act as a skeleton for the piece, and work up from there. My vector illustrations, for example: I begin by getting a very basic sketch, sometimes I refer to photos I take and chop up to insure I get my angles and proportions correctly, and then I create the dark contour lines. After the contour is complete I move to coloration and then shading to give the piece depth and light. For work with Illyriad and Age of Ascent I don’t really touch paper, everything can be done digitally and it’s very convenient to not have to scan in sketches or attempt to translate what I created on paper to digital media.

How do you create so many pieces of art while still maintaining your sanity?

Who said anything about me being sane? I very much doubt my sanity and it spirals downward daily. Seriously though, as I said before I am fortunate enough to have the privilege of being able to work on a myriad different styles. If I get burnt out on making logos for corporations in Age of Ascent I can switch over to creating freehand military units, isometric machines, blueprints, or vector illustrations. Variety is what keeps me sane, and I have lots of it.

Thanks to Cerberus for taking the time to talk with the blog. Now, get back to work! Those drawings won’t draw themselves!

Player Spotlight: Rill

302f295fAnother nomination from the community, this month we get to know Rill as our Player Spotlight. A big thank you to those who sent in nominations. Learn more about the Player Spotlight program at our website and nominate players by sending an email to community@illyriad.co.uk. The player who gets the nomination can choose between a t-shirt from our shop or from 1200 Prestige! This time we received a ton of nominations, but the most came in for Rill, a player who is one of the most well-known and helpful players in Illy! /cheer

What brought you to Illyriad and how long have you been playing?

I searched for a long time for Illy before I found it. ¬†I perused many lists of MMOs and MMORTs, trying many that I don’t even remember any more. ¬†Finally in June 2011 I came across the announcement of Illy’s official launch. ¬†I made a new e-mail address, expecting to encounter yet another Evony clone and was pleasantly surprised to discover Illyriad in all its friendly, deep, complex, carefully crafted glory. ¬†And so I’ve stuck for almost three years now.

Ryelle, by the way, would like me to mention that she is rather offended that this article is not being written about her. ¬†I explained that she hasn’t had an active account in Illyriad for some time and therefore would not qualify for the player spotlight, but she replied that she is merely waiting to restart in the Broken Lands and wishes everyone to know that she thinks of them fondly.

Have you played many other online games or been active in other online communities?

I have been active on specialty bulletin boards and forums since the days of listservs. My first online game was an Evony clone, which I reached in around 2009 by way of an advertisement on the Los Angeles Times website. I had no idea such things existed. How I wish I’d found Illyriad then! But perhaps I appreciate Illy all the more for first having played something a bit different.

I still experiment with other MMOs from time to time — I’m particularly attracted to city-building MMORTs that have resource allocation as a substantial component. Perhaps my background in finance and investment is an influence here, as I mentally estimate the payback period and ROI (return on investment) of upgrading a clay pit vs. a lumberyard or calculating the most beneficial tax rate. (But I am not obsessive at all!)

Any hidden talents or interesting hobbies outside of gaming?

I love pretty much every creative activity involving fiber, from knitting to crocheting to embroidery, quilting and so on. I get very excited about the combination of fiber and color and have been known to hyperventilate in yarn or fabric stores. I am also interested in the history of textile production, both home production and industrial production, and the role that textile production has in broader history.

What keeps you playing Illyriad?

My alliance. The people of Crows Nest (nCrow) have a special place in my heart. They put up with me on days when I’m at my worst and more incredibly are mostly still willing to speak to me the next day. Behind the members of my immediate alliance, I would say there are many, many people in Illyriad who are special to me and whom I love to see every day — or as often as they drop by. And more than people in general, the new players who are discovering Illy for the first time. Probably one of my favorite things in the whole world is to watch new players dig in to the world of Illyriad, experience for the first time the wonder that I experienced.

I would say secondarily to the people of Illy, what keeps me in Illy is the promise of the game. I believe in the vision the developers have laid out for Illyriad and enjoy watching it come to fruition.

What’s your favorite aspect of the game?

Other than the people, and especially new players (by far the best part of Illy), my favorite part of the game is that it’s a sandbox. The game is not defined for us — we define the game within basic game mechanics. And we don’t even all have to be playing the same game! Illy is a big, broad, deep, complex game, and it has room for everyone.

What’s your proudest achievement in game so far?

What I’m proudest of is the everyday stuff. Hopefully encouraging someone when they are down, listening when someone needs to talk. Being a part of the community.

What are you most looking forward to for the future of Illyriad?

I am looking forward to the release of the Broken Lands. I never got the opportunity to be a newb among other newbs in Illy — by the time I got here, many people were fairly well established. I would love to experience an Illy where every morsel of wood, every pebble of stone, every ingot of iron, is weighed carefully. I am also looking forward to the release of the story arc. I love the faction lore and look forward to it coming to life and being shaped by players. (Including of course the inevitable downfall of the puppet of the Council of Illyria, the self-styled King of Illyria, Sigurd. Hail the Undying Flame!)

What area of the game do you think needs the most improvement?

I think what’s most important right now is consistent progress. The developers have identified quite a number of priorities, all important, many of them delightful to some or all players, and I think what is important is that they continue to make incremental improvements. Players have been very patient, and consistent progress, even if slow, is really necessary to restore confidence and enthusiasm.

What advice would you give a new player in Illyriad?

I would say that Illyriad is your game as much as it is anyone’s. You will get a lot of advice, some of it conflicting, from established players (me included). We will tell you how Illyriad “should” be played. And some of that is from our own experience of having tried other ways and failed abysmally! So it’s worth listening to established players. But don’t let that prevent you from playing your game in your way. Write your own story. Remake the world in your image. That’s what a sandbox is for.

Oh, and for the sake of all that’s holy: Upgrade your storehouse!