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Illyriad Developer Blog

Illyriad is a free-to-play, real-time, HTML5 Massively-Multiplayer strategy game, set in a vast fantasy world of mountain ranges, lakes, forests, oceans, islands, rivers, deserts, jungles, marshes and the northern wastes with countries and factions.

Author: illyriad

The Undead Horde - Tournament IV

Posted by illyriad Wednesday December 21 2011 at 4:39PM
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Circle Of Five Rift Theories - Tournament Announced

Dead Rise Out Broken Ground

Archmage Stendas of the Circle Of Five has issued a statement of the greatest importance to all the Lords and Ladies of Elgea; and we reproduce it faithfully here for all to read

"We have spent many days and nights trying to divine what has happened regarding The Rift that has opened up in Ursor. All of our efforts have been bent to this task, and we have some findings that we would like all to know.

Early last week, one of our mages in Ursor attempted an entirely theoretical work of magic, with the unauthorised assistance of some Shamans from the Blood Reavers. We do not know what went wrong with the spell, except that its devastating effects have been felt throughout the land.

The Rift that has opened up at this location appears to have formed from pre-existing stresses in the rock formations of this area, and we are grateful to the Clan Moedagh for their assistance in coming to this conclusion. The structures that have appeared around The Rift are, however, constructed rather than natural. Constructed by whom we do not know, but they appear to be ancient in their design and we do not yet understand their purpose.

What we can tell is that The Rift has opened a long-closed gateway to a forbidden place that we had believed long lost in time and space. Vast energies are spewing out of this tear in the veil of the darkness and have been seeping into the land. Earthquakes and tremors have rippled through the kingdom, and the graves of the departed, both ancient and recent... friends, family and loved-ones... have been disturbed in every corner of this once-fair land.

Out of these graves, the dead themselves are rising... called and impelled by the energies of The Rift to gather together and travel to the forbidden world beyond. For what purpose, and who is calling them we cannot say, but have theories and suspicions that require further research. The Order of Allembine is assisting us in this endeavour, and we gratefully acknowledge their contribution.

We do know that certain loci of power - Standing Stones - are acting as beacons or conduits to this netherworld of darkness, and it is to these that these soulless horrors are drawn. We also know that the dead can only rise and travel at night, for the daylight entirely extinguishes their powers.

Standing Stones - A Locus Of Power

We are extremely concerned that for the forthcoming entire lunar cycle the dead will continue to rise in ever-increasing numbers and powers, gather in groups, and attempt to transit to this forbidden realm. We have also received reports that groups of the undead have been attacking some of the cities near the rift, as well as some of those cities that are amongst the most powerful Alliance capital cities. This last matter concerns us greatly as it strongly implies the existence of an unknown intelligence behind their actions.

We have asked King Sigurd and The Council of Illyria to issue an edict requiring all the Lords and Ladies of Elgea to slay these abominations before they travel beyond our reach, but the Council have refused to take such action as we recommend, and we have been perplexed by their reticence to act in the face of such appalling circumstance.

So, taking matters into our own hands, we hereby entreat all the Lords and Ladies of Elgea to gather at these beacons and to kill, without mercy, as many of these undead beings as they can - before they travel to the forbidden realm. The most successful commanders will be richly rewarded for their endeavours.Go forth, occupy the standing stones before nightfall, and wreak destruction on these abominations! Our hopes for success go with you."


Gist of the Christmas Grist
The Undead have risen across the continent of Elgea, and are being drawn to Active Standing Stones.

When they reach these Active Standing Stones, they depart this realm and go to the Netherworld.

The Circle Of Five faction doesn't like this at all: Who is gathering the souls of the dead and why? What's on the other side of the Rift?

The Circle Of Five believes that the best way to combat whatever is going on is to stop the undead from getting to their destination.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
They also believe that - as time progresses - the strength and numbers of the undead will grow each night.

Anyone can participate in this tournament - all you need is an army with a Commander, although you would also be wise to have some troops as well :)

... and a horde led by rotting zombies
a) Send your armies to occupy Standing Stones (either Active or Inactive) anywhere on Elgea, or
b) Occupy a square at The Rift in Ursor.

Your army should arrive before nightfall (1845 Server Time) in order to be guaranteed that the Standing Stone will become Active for that night.

I see dead people
The Undead will rise throughout the night (1900 to 0700 Server Time) and attempt to reach the Active Standing Stones.

You want to kill them as they arrive.

Ranking the ranks
This is a Tournament for COMMANDERS to win. Not towns, not armies, not alliances, not players. This is important, as it will influence strategies quite substantially.

The Top 3 COMMANDERS who gain the most amount of experience points (XP) from slaying the undead during the Tournament will be the winners in each League.

7 Leagues-a-Slaying
We have assigned every player in the game to one of seven league, according to the total city population of each player as sampled a couple of days ago.

We have done this to help ensure that different players of different sizes all have a chance of winning a prize.

But I wanted a pony! It's not fair!
Changing your town's population will *not* change your League. These Leagues are pre-assigned, and no amount of wishing, begging or cajoling will get these leagues re-distributed, so please don't ask.

You can see which League you have been assigned to on the Tournament Page (linked from the World Map button on the top navigation bar ingame).

To the victor goes the T-shirt-based-spoils
For each league:

  • 1st Place
    450 Prestige and a custom-made Illyriad T-Shirt with your playername displayed underneath your choice of existing T-Shirt design, colour and size.
  • 2nd Place
    250 Prestige and a non-custom Illyriad T-shirt of your choice (Design, Colour and Size)
  • 3rd Place
    150 Prestige and a black-on-White Illyriad T-shirt of your choice of Size.

All good things must come to an end
In this case, at 1200 (Server Time / UTC) on Wednesday the 18th of January, 2012.

1. Should you win, in order to claim your prize you will need to provide us with your name and shipping address.
2. As this is not a Council of Illyria tournament, there are no changes to the normal rules regarding the Peace of the Camp. The regular friend/neutral/hostile rules *are* in force.

We wish all commanders of Illyriad the very best of luck!

December: Live Player Event

Posted by illyriad Tuesday December 20 2011 at 2:25PM
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Word has reached us of a terrible, cataclysmic event that occurred earlier today in Ursor. 

A mage employed by the Circle of Five was conducting advanced research into magickal uses for the body parts of animals. 

Working alone in his tower in Ursor, he had recently reported that he was close to a research breakthrough and was preparing a Rite Of Summoning, with the assistance of some Shamans from the Blood Reavers.

 Something has obviously gone terribly wrong. A blast, felt by all for hundreds of miles in every direction has shattered the land, leaving bubbling pits of magma, sulphurous gases and - most disturbingly of all - unnatural structures in place of the pleasant forests and mountains that stood there before.

Something has obviously gone terribly wrong. A blast, felt by all for hundreds of miles in every direction has shattered the land, leaving bubbling pits of magma, sulphurous gases and - most disturbingly of all - unnatural structures in place of the pleasant forests and mountains that stood there before.

The Rift Of Usor

A spokesman for the Council of Illyria has summoned senior archmages from the Circle Of Five to not only explain what they were attempting to do, but - more importantly - what has actually happened to this Northern Part of the world.

Citizens living near The Rift have expressed their shock and dismay.

Terence Bromont of Ursor told us that: "The night sky is lit aglow with burning yellow clouds, and all the animals have gone crazy for miles around. 

My livestock are producing sour milk, the horses are long gone - breaking down the fence in their dash southwards. 

As for my dog, well he just howls and whines, slinking about beneath my feet. Whatever is going on up there, it ain't right. 

Something's been broken and I don't rightly think it can be put back together again."

We will, of course, bring you further news as this terrible tale unfolds.

Illyriad Guiding Principles

Posted by illyriad Tuesday December 6 2011 at 4:35PM
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We’re gamers, not game-industry insiders, and we’ve written a game that we’d like to play ourselves [but are unfortunately forbidden from doing so, as apparently summoning eleventy-thousand Enraged Mammoths to win a battle would be unfair... sheesh, some people...]

You can boil down our philosophy on game design at Illyriad into some general principles that we adhere to with everything we do (illustrated with the help of some of our research tree graphics)

2D MMORPG Strategy games should be truly persistent – the world should carry on changing when you log out. We also believe that servers shouldn't reset after an arbitrary endgame, destroying all the players’ emotional investment in the gameworld. Why can’t browser games grow, evolve and change with updates and expansion packs so that the ‘endgame’ doesn't arrive – except when *you* want it to? Just like, in fact, a “triple-A” box-set game.
There’s no reason why 2D browser games can’t have depth of gameplay, hand-crafted (rather than random) world maps, and lovingly-detailed NPC environments. Why can’t these worlds live, breathe and be truly immersive? Browser games can be sandbox games, and you really don’t have to insult players’ intelligence and dumb down everything to the lowest common denominator. Things should be as simple and intuitive to do as possible, but should have levels of depth as deep as players wish them to be.
In a strategy-focused empire-building game we can meddle with catalysts, but there’s no in-game content that’s as compelling to players as player-created content. Our job is to enable that to happen seamlessly.

Long-term games should work on as many browsers and platforms as possible; you should be able to play this on your home computer, your iPad, your Android or iPhone when you’re out-and-about.

Yes, the dev team has bills to pay and mouths to feed but so, actually, do the players. Games that allow “Pay-To-Win” are short-term and self-defeating for everyone.


It’s not how smart your technology is. It’s not how beautiful your graphics look. It’s not how many new spells you added. Sure, all these things are super-important and will help you get new and retain existing players... but the players themselves are far-and-away the greatest asset of an MMO game. Players also often know better than the design and dev team when something should be changed, and player suggestions should be listened to and acted upon if the idea is sound; don’t be precious about where a good idea came from! Players also set the entire tone for the game, and disruptive trolls (apart from the NPC kind!) should be sent on their way as fast a humanly possible. If you let them thrive they will end up driving your core playerbase away, and putting your potential new players off.


I hope someone can come up with a decent synonym for “Depth” that starts with the letter “P”, and then these can be the 6 P’s of our Philosophy My thesaurus is sadly, failing me, and my search fu is weak.

2011, a Year in Review

Posted by illyriad Thursday December 1 2011 at 7:20AM
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Vote for Illyriad in IndieDB's - Indie of the Year 2011
2011 has been a big year for Illyriad. Since the beginning of the year we've had a UI redesign, two tournaments, the introduction of daily bonuses, new research and avatar graphics, the addition to the Chrome store, new buildings and a new server upgrade just to mention a few things. All of this has been done with a small development team in the true spirit of an indie game. We appreciate the continued support of our players and have all of you to thank for our continued growth. As we close out this year we look to you, our community, for support again as we are up for IndieDB's Indie of the Year for 2011.
If you could, please take a moment to vote for Illyriad. Just click on the image below to go to the voting page and vote before the deadline of December 10, 2011.
Indie of the Year Awards
If you have a registered account at IndieDB you can vote once at any time. If you aren't registered or logged in you may have to wait for a time before being allowed to vote, as only a certain number of anonymous votes are allowed per minute.

Thank you so much for your continued support!

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