Gradual formation of trade routes

@SpectoRz writes:

Just some ideas about how various POIs get connected over time.

In summary:
Paths are formed gradually between POIs after a certain number caravans/player traffic goes between them.

How I envision this:
- A player forms a small town with a group of friends and they want to start to do some trading
- After some scouting they found a big player city about 5km away
- The group of friends form a caravan and journey towards the city and successfully complete the trade
- They do this a couple of times a day using the same path constantly
- After weeks/months, that path gradually becomes more defined and becomes a dirt (or whatever the terrain is) path
- As the path between the POIs is more clearly seen in the world, more people (other than that group of friends) start to use the path as well
- As weeks/months pass again, this dirt path gets a bit wider (to a max width). The center of the path becomes more solid and a bit better looking than a dirt path

Why would you want to use this path:
- Travelling over the dirt path could increase the movement speed of the caravan by a small amount (2.5/5%?). The value should not be too high but also needs to feel that the path is worth taking

How else can the path be improved:
- Player settlements that happen to be within say a 200m radius of the path can choose to improve that section of it
- They could add some lighting for better visuals during night travelling
- They could make the path more solid like using stone or something along that line. This could increase the speed bonus for travelling over that section of the road even further (+2.5%)

How this could affect the surrounding areas:
- With an established trade routes formed, players will want to build up their houses near or within a short distance from the path to fully utilise it

Just some thoughts, feel free to improve/feedback!


  • I think they key takeaway that I really enjoyed was the "paths increase movement speed." This could be an interesting idea.
  • Unless it rains a whole bunch. Then the wheels bog down in the mud which would lead to more improvements... and so on. It would be neat. I also noticed how they were saying that finding caves that lead to the under realm can lead to finding faster paths to travel.  

    (Unless you are like me and can get lost in a paper bag)

  • I'm going to bet that the caravan routes between nodes will be preset, much like the node locations themselves.  And if that's the case, they probably already have plans for roads to develop along those routes.  I like the idea.
  • SpectoRz said:
    - With an established trade routes formed, players will want to build up their houses near or within a short distance from the path to fully utilise it
    Or further from it, to keep a low profile and reduce the risk of uninvited "guests" at their freehold.
  • I like the idea of routes being made by the players and not predetermined roads that show up after X amount of time. Since these roads would be used in the caravan NPC pathing, I would like to see something like this:

    -Player starts a caravan. 
    -The UI shows a map between point A ((Your location)) and point B ((Arrival destination)). Player traces a line between point A and point B. This line is what path the caravan will follow.
    -After several weeks of the caravan system being added to a Node, the UI/AI combines all the data from the route plans created by players, and a road is created.

    Why should players be allowed to create their own route plan?
    -- This keeps caravan raiders on their toes. They will never know the exact route of a caravan, unless they have inside information and/or have scouts deployed.
    --Roads become smarter. Rather than predetermined paths, the roads adapt to the traffic in and out of a Node
    -- Caravan groups/guilds will be able to plan ahead of time what areas to avoid and what roads should they take. Example: A large guild is based only a half mile away from point B city. If the caravan is in good standing with this guild, they can make a route that comes close to the guild hall. Should raiders be in the area, the sight of the guild hall will deter any attacks. Likewise, if the guild is notorious for planning ambushes for caravans, the groups can avoid that area altogether.

    To me, this adds an element of risk v.s. reward. Players can make crazy routes in order to throw off raiders, but the longer they are out in the world, the more dangerous it becomes and the more exposed they are. So players must decide if they want a direct route and get into a city as fast as possible, or to take detours in hopes of throwing off caravan raiders. 

    As for the road benefits, I agree with you. Since we will have Faster Travel and not Fast Travel, it makes perfect sense that roads would give an increase speed to mounts, or even on foot and players being able to use that road to factor in where to put their free holds is a bonus. I still can't help but think that there are "those players" who will find some way to take advantage of this when involving caravans. Still, I love the idea.
  • Since raiding caravans is a part of the game, do you really want the main caravan paths advertised?
  • Sarill said:
    Since raiding caravans is a part of the game, do you really want the main caravan paths advertised?
    Good point.

    Although this could also open up different gameplay aspects. Like protecting caravans by hiring NPC/PC guards. Or like what @Kesarakk mentioned, players could draw raiders' attention to this path and take a detoured, curved route around it.
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