I am attempting to develop a very player/cooperation intensive fantasy game RPG game.
The point of this thread is to hash out details, ask if anyone has ideas to contribute and discuss ways to create a persistent world that doesn't crumble after a few months. The game will probably start as a browser game project, but its certainly possible to code a more complex version ala 3d world mmorpgs, although, time and graphics and what not make that difficult.
Essentially the game has a complex economy based on resource production of various kinds:
These items are used to create higher level items:
Items can be raised to progressively higher levels or made high quality originally.
Players produce building materials to construct towns.
Towns are military/economic/scientific/political/social entities.
Cooperation entities exist vertically and laterally entities, such as magical colleges, trade guilds, factories, towns, inns, corporations, stores, chains of stores, states, town alliances, nations, empires. The nature of a cooperative entity is technically entirely player constructed, although in game support of basic level features will exist. So, you can create tax structures, defense pacts and so forth and players will organize them in a way to replicate real world structures, or maybe develop new ones.
Unlike games such as travian and evony, every area cannot produce resources. This is where the economy comes in. Pretty much everything is player developed. There will be a portal area I guess, where players come from, and which will play a part in npc recruitment, because npcs will always be needed as menial labor. In skilled positions npcs will be useful but inferior to a player and players can buy and sell to and from npcs to some degree. I will go into detail on that if anyone asks.
The portal will be a safety zone, with minimal level services, so players can sleep there safely, but sleep won't be as effective, aka sleeping bags or beds of grass or straw. There may be a value limit on how powerful of a character can stay there, or there may not.
As an example of npc interaction:
A new area is discovered and it is far from established towns. A player with the perquisite economic power decides to found a town. He hires a work crew, buys construction supplies, gets transport for them, and possibly protection. His caravan heads out to the area. They build temporary housing, a stake wall or something for protection, get a community building of wood and canvas, or just a big tent, which is used for dining and meetings. The player may hire a foreman to run the crew. The crew gets to work on the buildings, maybe it takes a week and they build an inn or something. They may then choose to start construction on other buildings, hire more work crews, and so forth. The player can put himself in charge for a time, which limits the actions he can take during that time, and precludes movement, for extra value. He may also pay other player characters with useful skills, and depending on the value of those skills speed up production, build stronger buildings and so forth. Individual buildings are built on separate time scales and the costs are done separately. After the player makes his town, which he will probably continue to improve over time, he may not have player characters willing to come out and fill all the roles. So maybe he hires npcs, who are cheap, and always available, but do poor work in comparison. Innkeepers might have poorer food or service, or sleeping arrangements, or what have you. Armorers may be worse at repairs, cost more to repair with, be able to make only inferior gear, and so forth. General stores may have less of a selection. Ideally our town owner wants to entice players of certain trades to work in his town.
Travel takes an amount of time, so building a town close to a useful area allows the owner to possibly generate quite a bit of revenue based on services offered, and also pick up better goods with less travel time for attacks to happen. He may also install a private portal in his town, allowing him to move goods safely to his main manufacturies. Also, he may allow PCs to use his portal to move to other portal enabled areas, for a price. Obviously money needs to be charged so that players don't just use the portal and ignore other aspects of his town. He may also want to use a portal to link into a banking network, thus allowing PCs to have access to their main stores of cash and items. Towns can take a long time to build so that if someone invests a lot of money in a town, someone else can't just instantly spawn a better one. It also gives more merchant type jobs since places with rare resources that don't have towns might need to use caravans or wagon trains and whatnot.
I have some work to do, but I will expand the post later.