Zone of influence

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Nodes are pre-set locations, wrapped in a zone of influence (ZOI).[1]

Every node is given purview over a predefined geographic area called a Zone of influence (ZOI). Player activity within the ZOI is weighted and counted toward a particular node’s advancement.[1]

Each Node can form into towns, but are limited by their neighbors. The Nodes have different levels of advancement. There can only be so many of each level. Think of this as advanced settlements needing more elbow room. Nodes encompass more land as they grow and will require more effort to be sustained. This system is a main driver for change in the world because it creates scarcity. As Nodes advance in stages of growth they will lock out neighboring Nodes from progressing, and will absorb their zones of influence.[1]

By undertaking familiar activities, such as questing, gathering and raiding, players have agency in determining which nodes in the world will develop.[2]

The main thing that differentiates us from other MMOs is that we have a living, breathing, reactive world... Our world is separated into zones, which are then separated into what we call nodes. Nodes are sort of invisible zones of influence that listen to everything that a player does; so as players gain experience from killing things, gain experience from doing quests, gain experience through crafting things, the node is also gaining that experience. Once a node gains enough experience it levels up and then starts to attract NPCs to it .[3]Jeffrey Bard

Up to one fifth of the world will be encompassed within the ZOI of a Metropolis. The many vassal nodes within a ZOI's "border" could end up looking like a country or nation.[4]

Zones of influence connect fully across the world without any gaps.[5]

There is not a space where you will move in to do something and no node will get that experience.[5]Steven Sharif

Node advancement

Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node’s advancement (progression).[6] There are six stages of node advancement.[6]

  1. Expedition (Few hours)
  2. Encampment (Many hours)
  3. Village (Few days)
  4. Town (Many days)
  5. City (Few weeks)
  6. Metropolis (Many weeks)
Conceptual illustration. Nodes that are in the ZOI of more advanced nodes have their progression capped by the more advanced node.[7]

The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out an increasing ring of neighboring nodes from progressing to the next stage.[8]

  • Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[9]
  • The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.[10]
  • Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.[7]
  • A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.[7]
  • Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.[11]
  • Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.[12]
  • The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.[13]

Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating.[13]Steven Sharif

Underrealm nodes

Underrealm nodes and nodes directly above them are related but do not exist in the same ZOI.[14]

World size

480 km2 (square kilometers) is the approximate world size at launch.[19]

480 square kilometers; which is which is pretty large comparatively to other MMORPGs out there. Now that does not include the lapped spaces: So that is the Underrealm and the portion of the world that it encompasses, which could probably easily take up an additional hundredish square kilometers I would imagine.[20]Steven Sharif

See also

References