I personally am not opposed to mounts or speed buffing classes but feel that a road system with speed advantages would fit far better in the game in an organic and very complementary fashion.
- Think pre-existing road systems in the game that would need to be maintained periodically and that can be damaged by sabotage or environmental effects.
- Maintenance requires masonry skills and roads will very gradually degrade on their own assuming sections/bridges aren't destroyed outright by war or storms.
- Enemy realms would get the benefit from the roads as well and would most likely purposefully destroy key sections or perhaps a vital bridge over a deep chasm to avoid having to rebuild them in a newly conquered territory.
- This would necessitate regular crews to traverse the "empire" repairing road systems to ensure the efficient movement of troops and goods throughout out the realm.
- Speed bonus would be a 20-35% non-combat speed increase and the road systems would link major nodes of interest but not connect to every point or outpost. Road quality would impact bonuses.
- For programming purposes only existing road systems built in the game could be used, meaning players couldn't just pave the game world over. ("They paved paradise to put up a parking lot" )
- Roads not repaired would degrade to foot paths with little to no benefit.
- Speed class abilities would be desirable in off road areas and perhaps favorably stack with road speed bonuses.The use of mounts could also be enhanced by road travel
In this way, we could have a multi layered system which allowed room for growth and constant play value in a strategic setting.
Here is what Mark Jacobs of CSE had to say about it:
My thoughts around these issues are generally this:
- Insta-travel - Absolutely! When you die you can be insta-ported to the insta-cemetary and take a nice slow time-consuming walk back to the action. :)
- Faster travel - Possible with a road system as you describe but it will be a small increase depending on a number of factors.
- Fast travel - Should be reserved for the limited safe areas to minimize PITA elements of moving around a city, housing areas, etc.
In truth, I would love to have a cool road system (it's already on my list) but until I'm sure we can pull it off, it remains a maybe. As always, I will not put in a system that makes getting back into the action quickly too easy for the participants.
So, consider me excited about the possibilities!