The dust our last newspost has barely settled but I wanted to put out a big dev' diary for you guys so at least some things will be cleared up. The topic of this post is Gang Wars as this will be the featured activity of the closed alpha and open beta. Note that some of these mechanics will change once we convert the open beta/Katla/Anarchy version of the gamemode to an RPG, so I’ll give a very short summary of how things will look like in a true RPG setting at the end. What you read about gangs in the first section this post will also mostly be applicable to companies and squads :)
So what will be the mechanics of gang wars? First of all note that some of these mechanics will change once we convert the open beta/Katla/Anarchy version of the gamemode to an RPG, so I’ll give a very short summary of how things will look like in a true RPG setting at the end.
Gangs & Roles
Gang members will have certain roles in their gang. These roles are customizable by anyone in the gang who is allowed to do so. A role can be created, named, leveled and permissions can be attached. These permissions define what action a particular player can perform within the gang. The ‘Roles’ permission allows the player to manage the roles, although only roles below his own level, while the ‘Members’ permission allows the player to invite, kick and change the roles of members. With a maximum of 20 roles per gang and levels of roles between 1 to 10 the creators of a gang have an immense freedom to customize the way they run their gang to their liking.
Gangs can buy property, just like players. Gangs can buy vehicles that are stored at property, just like players. But gangs have some advantages over players as they are able to buy a larger variety of properties: warehouses and bars for example where players can only buy residences. Gang property can be used to store items of gang members and they also provide bonuses towards turfing (see Territories & Influence)
Gangs can take certain diplomatic actions towards other gangs: they can make alliances and declare rivals. When two gangs are in an alliance, their actions during turfwars don’t affect each other. E.g: A gang can fight alongside an ally and don’t interfere in the influence. When a rival is declared, the gang gets extra influence bonuses when fighting against their rival. A has a maximum of 3 diplomatic ties. This means any combination of alliances and rivalries as long as there are only 3: 2 allies and 1 rival for example.
The screenshots you see here are taken from a website. This is because the majority of the core of KATLA is build on a webserver. This grants us a lot of technical benefits as a webserver is more than capable to handle the time consuming tasks the gameserver used to perform (Database actions & heavy calculations). The gameserver will therefore run very smooth! Another benefit is that you can access this website from anywhere, so you can always manage everything (gang matters, buying and selling of properties etc.) from wherever you are. Ingame you will be able to open this page as well :).
If a gang member has permission to manage the financial matters of a gang, he has access to a panel where he can change the financial settings. It offers a nice overview of the income, expenses and you can change the amount of money a specific role makes in 24 hours.
The features of this panel are obviously still very limited as the only way to earn money currently in alpha/beta is by owning territories. I’m sure you can imagine the possibilities when this gamemode becomes a full RPG :D!
Territories & Influence
Now, how are territories conquered? Certain actions performed by gang members have a certain effect on the territory, namely ‘influence’. When a player kills another player, the influence of the killer’s gang goes up while the influence of the victim’s gang goes down by a certain amount. Also, in the instance of a kill, the influence of any other gang than the killer’s gang goes down, just a lot less than the victim’s. Killing is not the only way to gain influence, but it’s certainly the strongest. Other ways of gaining influence that still have to be implemented are: gang member presence per hour (merely hanging out in a territory) and tagging using the spray can (for which gangs will be able to upload their own image). There is a maximum amount of influence a gang can have in a territory. When a gang is very inactive, the actions of other gangs will automatically drain the influence of the inactive gang so a gang can’t take advantage of that. Furthermore, a gang can only spread it’s influence to territories that are adjacent to territories already owned by the gang.
As mentioned above, property owned by the gang and it’s members affect the influence. Property owned by gang members provide a ‘defensive bonus’. This means, when the influence is drained, it’s simply drained less (percentage wise). This enables gang to strategically defend their home turf and also makes it more realistic. Property owned by the gang itself provides offensive bonuses, when a gang gains influence it just gets more influence (percentage wise).
I’ve probably not covered every designed mechanic that has to do with gang wars, and I haven’t provided exact numbers for you. You can trust that they are there, thought out and well documented though! :)
The future: RPG
What will be different when it becomes an RPG? For gangs, the main difference will be that there are going to be different types of gangs, with different kinds of specializations: Street Gangs, Drug Cartels, Biker Gangs, Mafia Families etc. The specializations come along with perks and they will all make their money in different ways, they will all benefit from having territory though. A drug cartel gains revenue from selling drugs in their territory. A crime family gains money from extorting business owners etc.
Because the RPG will have police involved, they must get their own mechanics relating to gang wars too! The police will be able to intervene in the influence gangs have in territories. By arresting gang members they will crank down the gang influence and up the influence of law enforcement. When the law is victorious in a territory, the businesses make more profit.
Territories have a certain degree of ‘development’ which already affects the house prices in that territory. More developed territories will be harder to turf by gangs than less developed territories. This way we keep the areas where turfwars are mainly raging realistically at poor areas.
Stay tuned. If you have specific questions (as I expect you do) you can always hit me up on Teamspeak & #project-katla irc! :) I will probably not answer these questions in this topic.