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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

Help get Illyriad onto Steam!

Posted by illyriad Tuesday October 18 2016 at 7:32PM
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Hi everyone,


We come to you on this day with an announcement - and a request. 

We are excited and delighted to say that we are ready to push Illyriad on Steam Greenlight, the service that provides indie games like Illyriad a chance to appear on the Steam network alongside thousands of other titles.   If you don't know what Steam is - it's a service that delivers digital games to millions of people, and is one of the largest services of its kind.  If you want to find out more about Steam Greenlight, please click here.

We're announcing this for a couple of reasons:

First, we need your help if you have a Steam account! 

If you have a steam account, sign into it and go to our Greenlight page.  To vote for us, you'll need to have spent at least $5 on Steam purchasing on that account.  

Once you have signed in, you can then vote on the Illyriad Greenlight page to say "I would like to see this game on Steam." 



Secondly - like everyone else here! - we'd love to have an increased influx of new players to Elgea and the Broken Lands.

Illyriad has been running for over half of a decade now and we know that experienced vets are looking for newbies to teach! With Steam as a distribution platform, we could get many new people to share the same gameworld and servers that our players are already playing on.

We'd also very much welcome comments posted by you guys on the Steam Greenlight comments area; especially if they're likely to get Steam users to give the game a go.

If you do not wish to vote for Illyriad, that's fine as well! Either way, enjoy the game, and thanks for reading.


Q. Does this mean Illyriad will no longer be available in the browser/Windows app/Chrome app?

A. No, not at all!  Putting Illyriad on Steam is a purely additive method of accessing the game by yet another method.  Illy will always be available via the browser!


Q. Does this mean there'll be a new server?

A. No.  Players who access the game via Steam will be playing in the same gameworld, in the same game, as everyone else.  It'll be just like when we added a Windows Store app version of the game.


Q. Do I have to set up a Steam account?

No, absolutely not.  The way you currently access the game is fine!  It's just that if you already have a Steam account and if you have already spent $5 on Steam games in the past then you're eligible to vote for Illyriad's Greenlight, and we'd welcome your vote with our thanks.


Q. I don't have Steam.  Do I need to install it?

A. No!  Just carry on as you are!  If you don't have Steam and don't want to install it, then nothing will change for you.  Putting Illy on Steam is just another way of accessing the same game.  Your current way of playing Illy (browser, windows app, Chrome app etc) will continue to work as before.

Thanks again!


The Illyriad Team


Posted by illyriad Wednesday August 31 2016 at 5:40PM
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The Tinkers have come up with some magnificent new clockwork creations that they wish to distribute to the finest commanders of these fair lands, and have chosen to run a tournament in order to find these individuals - people capable of leading troops both individually and as a group.

This is an alliance-based, king-of-the-hill tournament that will run throughout the month of September.

A secondary goal of this tournament is to test the Tournament API key in the background, and make sure that what it reports matches the data held in the backend system, as well as matches the expectations of those who wish for limited-data keys to run in parallel to full data keys for future player-run tournaments.

You DO NOT need to issue or share a Tournament API key (or any other API key) in order to participate in this tournament.  However, if you would like to participate in helping us test the Tournament API key, please go to your API keys page and issue a tournament api key, and then participate in the tournament as usual.  We'll pick it up from there.  

To issue an API key, go to this page: and scroll down until you see the word "Tournament" and a 'Generate' button.  Please, again, note that you do not have to do this to participate in this tournament - it's entirely optional, and will simply help us out.

I'd also be grateful if the XML-minded amongst the playerbase would take some time to issue a key and check that it's returning data in the expected format, and to let me know if not.

If you don't know what an API key is, then don't worry about it at all - and read on!

We wish you all the best of luck!





[-786|-2393] in Aindara ( Plains )
[-148|-2632] in Almenly ( Small Forest )
[138|-479] in Arran ( Large Forest )
[-396|-572] in Azura ( Small Hill [Jungle] )
[537|-2910] in Calumnex ( Obsidian Mountains )
[-859|-3002] in Chulbran ( Plains )
[145|-1658] in Clarien ( Large Hill )
[-521|-2162] in Coanhara ( Large Mountain [Desert] )
[872|-632] in Djebeli ( Small Hill [Jungle] )
[904|-488] in Elijal ( Large Hill [Jungle] )
[-519|-905] in Farra Isle ( Large Forest )
[831|-2848] in Farshards ( Large Mountain )
[815|-2466] in Fellandire ( Large Mountain )
[-830|334] in Fremorn ( Large Mountain )
[-123|-1785] in Glanhad ( Small Forest )
[755|-2116] in Gremont ( Large Hill )
[463|-1906] in High Hills ( Small Hill )
[-667|-1632] in Huronire ( Large Forest [Jungle] )
[589|-3201] in Jurgor ( Plains )
[-380|696] in Kal Tirikan ( Large Hill )
[576|-829] in Kem ( Plains [Jungle] )
[-516|-4] in Keppen ( Small Mountain )
[772|-163] in Keshalia ( Small Hill )
[-659|-2765] in Kingslands ( Small Mountain )
[-529|-2576] in Kormandly ( Large Mountain )
[886|-349] in Kul Tar ( Small Forest [Desert] )
[-924|-488] in Kumala ( Small Forest [Jungle] )
[-544|-412] in Lan Larosh ( Large Hill )
[907|280] in Laoshin ( Plains )
[910|-1984] in Lapo'a Lua ( Large Forest )
[748|-853] in Larn ( Small Mountain [Jungle] )
[372|12] in Lucerna ( Large Forest )
[638|59] in Mal Motsha ( Large Hill )
[-436|250] in Meilla ( Large Forest )
[85|-22] in Middle Kingdom ( Plains )
[140|-2085] in Newlands ( Plains )
[-543|-1785] in Northmarch ( Large Forest )
[-36|328] in Norweld ( Small Forest )
[-232|-2003] in Oarnamly ( Small Mountain )
[-344|-1420] in Pamanyallpa ( Large Hill [Jungle] )
[696|-1660] in Pawanallpa ( Plains [Desert] )
[308|-260] in Perrigor ( Small Forest )
[440|-1524] in Puchuallpa ( Small Forest [Jungle] )
[761|781] in Qarosslan ( Small Hill [Artic] )
[448|325] in Ragallon ( Small Mountain )
[-683|-879] in Rill Archipelago ( Large Mountain [Jungle] )
[311|-2894] in Shardlands ( Large Forest )
[-253|-2372] in Silbeaur ( Plains )
[-51|-987] in Stormstone Island ( Plains [Jungle] )
[-417|-2938] in Strendur ( Small Hill )
[-24|-756] in Tallimar ( Plains [Jungle] )
[812|573] in Tamarin ( Large Hill )
[699|292] in Taomist ( Large Forest )
[-256|-3216] in The Long White ( Large Hill [Artic] )
[191|-2756] in The Orken Coast ( Small Forest )
[342|-2330] in The Pirate Isles ( Small Hill )
[-938|-1574] in The Poisoned Isle ( Small Hill [Jungle] )
[-823|826] in The Wastes ( Small Mountain [Artic] )
[-825|-127] in The Western Realms ( Large Mountain )
[-166|-199] in Tor Carrock ( Large Mountain )
[441|-925] in Trome ( Small Mountain [Jungle] )
[400|-504] in Turalia ( Plains )
[494|840] in Ursor ( Small Forest )
[506|-2551] in Vindorel ( Small Mountain )
[-773|-1963] in Westmarch ( Plains )
[355|564] in Windlost ( Small Hill )
[109|743] in Wolgast ( Plains )
[614|-521] in Zanpur ( Large Mountain )




The Tournament runs throughout the entire month of September.  From one second into Thursday the 1st of September through to Midnight on Friday the 30th of September, any member of any alliance in occupation of these squares receives credit for holding the square.

Credit is based on the length of occupation of each square.  Time occupied by an alliance on each square counts towards the Alliance total. 

This credit is on an alliance basis - individual players cannot participate in this tournament.

You are not allowed to leave your alliance, or be kicked from your alliance while you have any armies present on one of the Tournament Squares.

All NAPs, Confeds etc are suspended for the duration of this tournament for any military interaction on the Tournament Squares.  The Peace of the Camp rule *will not work* on these Tournament Squares.



1) The alliance that holds each individual square for the longest period of time, from 00:00:01 server time on Thursday 1st September to 23:59:59 on Friday 30th of September) is the Regional Winning Alliance.

Each member of a regional winning alliance who participated in combat on the winning square will receive unique units from the Tinkers, as well as a unique medal.  Units will be distributed to the winning players' capital city.

REGIONAL PRIZE: 1x Clockwork Ravager, 1x Clockwork Knight, 1x Clockwork Dervish, Regional Winner Medal


1) All activity on these tournament squares in each region will also be aggregated, so the top 3 alliances that overall have the most amount of possession across all squares will be the Global Winning Alliances, ranked First, Second and Third.

2) This runs for the same period of timefrom 00:00:01 server time on Thursday 1st September to 23:59:59 on Friday 30th of September).

3) All players that belong to the Global Winning Alliances who were involved in holding - and defending - that square (they must be involved in combat on the square at least once during the month) receive a Global Prize.

Global Prize, First Place: 5x Clockwork Dervish, 1st Place Winner Unique Medal

Global Prize, Second Place: 5x Clockwork Knight, 2nd Place Winner Unique Medal

Global Prize, Third Place: 5x Clockwork Ravager, 3rd Place Winner Unique Medal

Alliances can win multiple regional squares, and one of the global prizes simultaneously.   Units will be distributed to the winning players' capital city.



The master craftsmen of the Tinkers laboured for years to produce this.  Built with an axe and mace in place of hands, it is a masterpiece of destructive power.

ATTACK: 2000




Having assessed their original designs for the Ravager, the Tinkers chose to concentrate of improving the defensive power of their clockwork creation.  Carrying a large sword and outsize shield, the Clockwork Knight is a truly terrifying opponent.

ATTACK: 2600





A contingent from the Tinkers' capital of Tilverdale spent years investigating the ancient Pyramids and Temples that litter the parched sands of Kul Tar.  On their return, they set to work on this marvel - a most magnificent tour-de-force of their undeniable engineering prowess.

ATTACK: 3820







We wish everyone the very best of luck!




Illyriad's 5th birthday introduces sweeping changes

Posted by illyriad Tuesday March 3 2015 at 9:43AM
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It's a bit of a shocker, but it's Illyriad's five year anniversary. While the server booted up for the first time on the 21st of February 2010, players didn't get access until the 22nd; so that's the official start date for this grand journey. In that time we've seen many, many changes to the game. For those who weren't around at the beginning, here's a sample of what you missed from the early days!

We started off with a "world tree" theme around the borders, with all the content placed inside large scrolls. The town map was a very different beast:



The world map was randomly generated (rather than hand-drawn) in those days, so there were no rivers, no seas or lakes, no sprawling forests or mountain ranges and no regions; just a mish-mash of different squares. The world map, with Chat version 1 visible is seen below. Note the awesome way the arctic area blends with the rest of the map. Subtle, huh?



POP-QUIZ FACTOIDS: During these five years, you have:
  • Undertaken some 62 million trade missions and traded 4 trillion Gold (4 thousand billion)!
  • Performed 21 million harvesting missions and nearly 12 million quests
  • Gone on 125 million military missions and nearly 40 thousand sieges for a total of 1.6 billion casualties
  • Sent 104 million ingame mails and spoken 334 million words in chat. That's the equivalent of the entire works of Shakespeare 377 times over, or the equivalent of 425 Bibles - in chat alone. I won't speak to the relative quality of the text ;)
  • 287,000 players have been through the gates, settling 350,000 towns across 1,300 alliances
  • You have collectively played 22,364,898.12 hours of Illyriad
  • That's 931,870.75 days or 2,553 years!

During this 5-year period we have had just under 6 hours of unscheduled downtime, and 15 hours of downtime in total (including patches and server moves). We've often stated that we are applying lessons learned from our work on Age of Ascent to Illyriad. Some things you've seen, some you've not - a lot of have been slightly abstract and based around infrastructure and capabilities. They have all made the game better and helped it to run smoother.

However, today we'd like to share something even more concrete; and hopefully a little more exciting than the existing benefits that AoA development has provided to Illyriad, such as progression graphs and private chat (even if TC thinks graphs are exciting). Please bear in mind this is early days and there is a lot more to come and improvements to be made. We are not yet at an beta stage and taking bug reports, but... Illyriad needs a lick of paint:

More interactivity:


Different perspectives, showing where units are travelling to:


A grand strategic view of the whole world:


[See larger version]


Where the tactical map, strategic map and regional map are the same thing, and all full screen:


[See larger version]


Where coastline and rivers look more realistic, and where the map can be viewed from different rotational angles to better see the lay of the land:


[See larger version]


And where moving around the map is fast, and touch enabled, pinch to zoom ready, and where the data is pulled from across the entire world - all visible at once. Exciting times ahead, for sure, but let's look at all of the massive changes we put in for this anniversary:


Infantry and crafting

Smoothing out research times:

Building changes 1:

Build changes 2:

Council meeting lore story:

UIv4 Preview:

More than 10 cities!:

API and XML:

New medal options:

Google Wallet dies:

Referral and tutorial changes:

In-game mail XML feed:

Account sitter limit changes:

Faction units!:

Notifications tweaks:


Stay tuned, and thanks for joining us on this journey!

GM Rikoo


The short, SHORT story contest winners!

Posted by illyriad Wednesday February 18 2015 at 12:17PM
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Recently we hosted a quick (so we thought) contest for the best short -- as in very short, under 500 words -- story that took the theme "Illyriad Battle." As we expected, we received a ton of great writing. A TON.

So, instead of picking a single winner, we went with three. Heck, we could have picked out 12 and would still need to give out more prizes.

Each winner gets 100 Prestige and a custom in-game medal.

Enjoy reading these. We know we did!



Hold the Line by Belegar Ironhammer


Steel rang upon steel beneath a blackened, storm-wrought sky. White forks of lightning flashed brilliantly, heralding deafening claps of thunder that roared across the muddy, blood-soaked battlefield. Guttural orc war-cries echoed in the night, a savage prayer to the gods of war, answered only by the roaring bellows of the dwarves, beseeching their comrades to greater efforts.

“Hold the line!” shouted Belegar, yelling with all his might. Clad in silversteel plate and surrounded by his elite bodyguards, the dwarf king stood like a rock against the orc tide, his warhammer gripped firmly in his gauntleted hands. The war axes of his chosen rose and fell in a steady rhythm, every stroke claiming the life of an orc, snapping bones like straw and pulping innards in crimson sprays of arterial blood. Crossbow bolts cut the air, hissing like vipers.

A snarling, yellow-toothed orc charged Belegar, brandishing gore-streaked scimitars in each of its meaty hands. Red, bloodthirsty eyes glowed like embers in the orc’s ugly, lopsided skull. A cloak of flayed skin wrapped about his brawny shoulders.

One of Belegar’s bodyguards leapt in front of the onrushing orc, an oath of hatred gushing from his lips. Quick as the lightning that rent the sky, the orc slashed his scimitar at the dwarf, piercing his armour and dealing a grievous wound to the dwarf’s shoulder. The dwarf sank to his knees, blood seeping from the sundered armour.

Before the orc could complete the kill, Belegar attacked, screaming a foul cry of his own in the harsh language of the dwarves. Blunt-nosed hammer and scythe-like scimitar met in a guttering sizzle of orange sparks. Pressing his assault, Belegar slammed his hammer downwards in a series of brutal, overhead strikes.

The orc parried the dwarf’s heavy-handed strokes, his every action accompanied by a savage grunt, his green face split by a feral, lipless sneer.

The mud sucked at Belegar’s boots, seeking to drag him down as he advanced. The silver-armoured dwarf pulled his hammer over his shoulder and swung it forwards just as the orc launched an attack of his own. Belegar ducked beneath the twin murder-weapons and completed his swing, his hammer crunching solidly into the orc’s left ankle, which shattered like a pane of glass in a hailstorm.

Swept off his feet, the orc landed heavily on his back, air whooshing from his lungs. The impact ripped the breath from his throat and a scimitar slipped from his hand.

Seizing the advantage, Belegar swung hard and smashed his hammer into the orc’s sternum. The force of the impact stung his hands and vibrated up his arms and into his shoulders. A column of thick black blood geysered into the air, drenching Belegar in a shower of warm, sticky rain. The dwarf’s next attack hit the orc’s skull, which exploded like rotten fruit. Bone chips ricocheted off his armour.

Belegar stood to his feet just as another wave of orcs attacked, a solid mass of muscle, sweat, and rage.

“Hold the line!”




A Beautiful Morning by Mauhaut


Jocelyn peered across the field towards the castle. Morning mist was hazing the ground, a small stream was gurgling nearby and the dawn light was flushing the castle towers with red and gold.

It was a beautiful morning.

‘Why isn't anything happening over there?’ he thought. ‘They can see us, and their scouts must have been reporting our movements for days.’

He looked back over his shoulder, the camp fires surrounded by archers and infantry, spearmen on the perimeter being handed plates of food. He noted approvingly that squads of cavalrymen and squires were passing out feed and water buckets to the horses picketed behind the tents. There was an appetising smell of bacon cooking in pans over camp fires.

A light breeze began to brush over the tops of the grasses and sighing he moved off to report to the commander.

Knight Commander Argenteous was not in the best of moods....

'Some nameless idiot has recalled most of the divisions from the other attack,' he stormed. ‘He wants them for a gala, or something equally asinine.’

'Before some other wet behind the ears royal brat gets ideas about birthday parades we'd best get this siege over and done with.'

'Sound the attack Jocelyn, plans are laid, let’s get on with it.'

The plans had indeed been laid. Jocelyn and his fellow commanders had honed and refined the battle plans over many weeks. Weeks in which their progress north had been apparently ignored.

The stream was larger here, flowing slower. Jocelyn could see fish in the water and swans were gliding majestically, outlined against the willows and reeds. So entrancing was the scene that it took a moment - a quiet, half asleep moment - before Jocelyn realised that this was no low lying dawn mist but smoke, the siege engines had done their work; this morning there were no red gold towers, just blackened beams and smoking debris. No smell of bacon this morning, another, far less appetising smell permeated everything.

It was very quiet, the quartermasters had moved everything necessary into the marginal safety of a partially still standing curtain wall and the camp was, apart from the sentries and scouts, mostly sleeping. The horses were picketed on the water meadows, the grass so long and lush that it hid the picket lines.

It was an idyllic spot. Idly Jocelyn wondered if Commander Argenteous was minded to be generous in rewarding his subordinate commanders.

‘Good land this,’ he thought. ‘Horse country, and I could grow good crops, soil looks fertile, river is wide enough and deep enough that I doubt it runs dry in summer.’

‘Miriam and the kids would love it here.’ Daydreaming, in the still of the dawn, he wandered slowly along the river bank.

Something glinted away in the distance.

Baffled, Jocelyn peered across the fields and forests, towards another castle, rising out of the mist in the distance; the dawn light flushing the castle towers with red and gold.

It was a beautiful morning.


Inspired by

And a real circumstance in the GA war.




A Militiaman Returns Home by Artefore


He had long dreamt of this moment. The sun brushed the distant hilltops, painting the clouds a deep crimson as the day made way for night. The last of the birds sung from the trees that lined the earthen path, and as he strode up it, the smell of roasted chicken rode on the light summer breeze. The top of the path led to a simple cottage, earth and thatch, but to him, the sight of a mighty keep could not be more comforting. At last, after all the years, of toil and battle, he had returned.

The woman who answered the door was older, greyer than he remembered, but the dimples in her cheeks shone just as they always had when she grinned at the sight of his face, and her arms around his neck and the kiss she pressed into his mouth felt just as good as he remembered. He looked deep into her almond eyes, and whispered,
“Maria, I love you more than anything.”
“Adam! Oh, Adam, you’re home!” she cried, and at that moment, she was as young as the day they were wed, and he found himself grinning ear to ear as he embraced her. As he stepped over the doorway, he nodded. “Yes,” he said, “I’m home.”

Adam found his sons whacking each other with wooden sticks in the back yard. They rushed up to him when they saw him, excitedly shouting “Dad! Dad!” and wrapping their arms around his midriff in a tight bearhug. He noticed the eldest, Rory, was wearing a pail over his head like a helmet, and took it off his head, laughing.

“Look at how you two have grown! What’s this for, Rory? Fighting off the Orcs?”
“Yeah Dad!” his son exclaimed, “I’m gonna be just like you!”

The pounding of boots shook the earth, filling his skull with noise and sound as the army marched, a living machine of leather and steel. Suddenly, further ahead in the column, someone screamed, “AMBUSH!!” and the sky seemed to fill with black feathered javelins. Adam barely had time to raise his shield before they fell upon him, the thud of spear tip against oak intermingling with the screams of those less fortunate. As the orcish hordes fell upon them, he felt something graze his right thigh, and when he looked down, he saw blood on his leather.

“Dad? Dad? Are you okay?” Adam felt tugging on his shirt as Harst, his youngest son, awoke him from his daydream.
“Yes, I’m alright. Come here,” he said, grabbing a stick. “Let me show you how to really swing a sword.”

Later that evening, as they sat down to roast chicken and fine apple cider, his wife pressed him with questions about his years away.

“Was the food good? Did you meet the Lord? Did you see the Bitter Sea?” He told them all he could, about the jungles of Kul Tar and the seas of Azura, about the gnomes and the fey and all the wondrous things he had seen.
“Where’s Donald?” she asked. “Did he come home to his wife too?”
“Donald? Oh, he-”

The battle swirled and leapt around him, a cacophony of screams and the ring of steel on steel. Adam held his ground, kneeling on his good leg and keeping his shield high. A wolf leapt at him, slaver dripping from its jaws as its orcish rider urged it forward. Adam bashed its nose with his shield, sending it veering away, yowling. He gripped his spear, and as the wolf turned for another attack, he drove the point between its eyes. The beast thrashed in pain, ripping the weapon from his grip, and throwing the orc out of his saddle. He drew his sword and rushed the greenskin, screaming curses as he raced forward. The orc only laughed, and brought his scimitar around in a sweep that knocked the sword from his hands. Adam fell to his knees, and the orc raised his cruel blade for the final strike.

It was then that a spear tip poked through the green chest, and Donald’s familiar face grinned as it fell to the earth. “We’ve got to look after each other!” he cried, and held out his hand. Adam was about to take it, but another hand was faster. The fallen orc yanked Donald off his feet and crushed him in a deadly embrace with the last of its strength, cursing in a guttural language as he squeezed the life from the man’s body. Donald let out an unearthly howl, and the blood drained from his face. Adam grabbed a rock and drove it against the orc’s skull, but it was too late. Donald’s face was frozen into a deathly scream, pale white and unbreathing. His crushed body slumped against the orc’s, and Adam knelt in the dirt and wept.

“-he, uh, decided to stay in the army! He’s in some far off land right right now, I reckon.”
“Oh, that’s nice! I hope he enjoys the adventure!”

Adam said nothing. He knew that he was safe now, in the comfort of his home and family, but the horrors of war would find a way to stay with him until the day he died.



Thanks again to our excellent players!


GM Rikoo

Why Illyriad is one of the most unique MMOs out there

Posted by illyriad Thursday January 29 2015 at 12:09PM
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Hello gamers!

I wanted to take a moment of your time to let you know why Illyriad (pronounced Ill-EE-ree-add) is one of the most unique MMOs out there. It's a boast, sure, but it's true.

Why do I say that? Here are five reasons:


1) Illyriad is a living, breathing world: Unlike many other MMOs or MMORTS', Illyriad's map doesn't have static NPCs that sit there, waiting to be "farmed." Our NPCs move, migrate, mate, reproduce, die, attack each other and have predator and prey relationships. Our seasons change the gameplay. Cities come and go and players hold territory. The world map is over 8 million squares strong and takes days of real-life time to cross! All players are on one server that never resets. There are no "win" scenarios here.



2) Illyriad does not sell power: We don't sell troops or goods or resources, although players are free to trade 380+ resources and items in an entirely player-driven market. Our 400+ technology research tree cannot be sped up with real world money. It's a world where skill, strategy and inter-alliance politics can be more important than the size of your army.



3) Illyriad can be played on anything: Because the game is HTML5, you can play the game in any browser. If you prefer, we also have a Windows 8 app and a Chrome Webstore offering as well. We are always working on new ways to interact with the game.



4) Illyriad offers real choices and consequences: If you don't play your cards right you might end up with a razed city and need to start from scratch. If you do play your cards right, your alliance will make sure that doesn't happen.



5) Illyriad offers a mature community: While we like to brag about our sometimes hardcore, FFA PvP content, we do not tolerate hate speech, bullying, hacking, botting or otherwise crappy behavior. You can be very competitive and free to have as many enemies as you want, but you are not allowed to bring real life into it. This is a game, and we want to keep it that way. Our playerbase reflects this attitude. They are open, friendly and very generous... but do not cross them or you'll have war!


If you like gameplay that is often intense but is just as often friendly, strategic and immersive, check out Illyriad for free now!

Thanks for reading,

GM Rikoo

Community Manager

Illyriad Games

Prestige scrolls: The dangerous prospect of transporting real money

Posted by illyriad Wednesday December 3 2014 at 9:46AM
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Hello all! Today we have another post from our official forums, one that explains how our recent innovation -- prestige scrolls -- work in-game. We make money by selling prestige in-game. Prestige is used to speed up caravans (transportation of goods) and to instantly completely a build. It's a very important aspect of our game because it allows us to make some money without selling power. A prestige scroll now allows a player to create an in-game item (the scroll of whatever amount) to sell to other players for in-game gold. It's a good way for people who cannot normally afford prestige to buy it!

Here's an explanation of what we created:


For a long time, transfers of Prestige between accounts have either had to go via the Alliance prestige pool or using sitting rights. With sitting rights, one player would give rights to an account, and the sitter would then buy the Prestige and step out of the account. This has led to some players reportedly being scammed ("I didn't receive the gold they promised!") or - illegal according to the TOS - players swapping sign-in and password information.

Now prestige scan be transferred directly to anyone or sold on the open market at a trade hub, by using prestige scrolls. Let's say that player A wants to give the new player B some prestige to help them along. 



All player A needs to do is go into their Library's new Resource Production area, make sure to have the correct amount of Prestige, books, mana, research and reagents and click Make - player A now instantly has a Prestige scroll that can be given or sold to player B. Player B then redeems the scroll in their Reading Room.



Be aware that items in transit, including prestige scrolls, are vulnerable to blockade, so be careful when shipping these valuable new items.

The Prestige Scroll recipes are as follows:


  • Prestige Scrap: 75 Prestige, 75 Mana, 75 Research, 1 Giant Rat Heart, 1 Pyrestone, 1 Sharproot
  • Prestige Parchment: 200 Prestige, 200 Mana, 200 Research, 1 Wild Dog Heart, 1 Claristrine, 1 Silverthorn
  • Prestige Page: 500 Prestige, 500 Mana, 500 Research, 1 Wolf Heart, 1 Deepsilver, 1 Furzion Seedpod
  • Prestige Scroll: 850 Prestige, 850 Mana, 850 Research, 1 Brown Bear Heart, 1 Rainbowstone, 1 Brownback Moss
  • Prestige Codex: 1200 Prestige, 1200 Mana, 1200 Research, 1 Giant Scuttler Heart, 1 Trove, 1 Suntree Haft
  • Prestige Book: 1850 Prestige, 1850 Mana, 1850 Research, 1 Scritcher Heart, 1 Svelaugh Sand, 1 Vistrok Flower
  • Prestige Tome: 3250 Prestige, 3250 Mana, 3250 Research, 1 Scaled Charger Heart, 1 Earthblood, 1 Ironstem Root


Prestige scrolls are regular items and will show in your towns' and hub inventories. They can be placed in hub buy and sell orders as regular craftable items, and appear in the "Exotic" category. 

Prestige scrolls can only be created from personal prestige, not from alliance prestige. 

The creation and use of prestige scrolls is recorded and is shown on your prestige history page.




We have improved our server-side monitoring and diagnostics so we can be aware of a problem and try to fix it before you are aware. It also provides rich information and extra detail around issues to allow us to more quickly diagnose potential issues. We have already resolved a number of long term issues this way.

Sharing some insights, below is a graph around the time the Heart of Corruption began beating. The early response time peak is a deployment for improved Windows 8.1 support (do feel free to vote for us in the store!) which required a full server code refresh and so a brief response time hit as the dlls were jit compiled:



You can also see the server's daily heart beat or ebb and flow of player demands (this is over a week). The later half of the graph increases in requests per second as you (the players) activate the Heart of Corruption and then in response start sending thousands upon thousands of missions to it and the corrupted temples.


We have moved where and how we host our images, css and javascript files. Hopefully, this has been transparent to you, the players, as mostly the files are cached in your browser and they aren't requested that much, per player. However, players occasional requests as a group and new players' requests do add up as can be seen on the graphs below:



The graph on the left shows when we swapped over the DNS to point at the new resource, and you can actually see the dns update propagating over the internet as the new resource slowly ramped up in requests thoughout the day. The second graph shows the now current day to day activity; do bear in mind these files should be cached for a long time for returning players so those requests shouldn't show up here, however this does include images on our out of game site (like www). 


As part of the reason for the change above, we are now more consistent on when we can serve secure image files, so you can now use Illyriad over https if you so desire:




Mail items now have next and previous buttons inside individual mails to move you through the mail without having to return to the full mail list:


The next and previous buttons are category aware, so if you are in a subcategory e.g. sent or trade they will just navigate you through available mails in that subcategory.


We've reinstated the Combat XML API system, so that you can can individually, as players, choose to share your combat reports with third parties.  You've always been able to do this on an individual report basis, by using the "XML" button at the bottom of each combat report in-game mail.

However, you can now generate an API key in the Account & Preferences area of the User Interface.  If you generate and give this API key to other players, they can then access a listing of all your combat reports since you issued your first key, and then drill down into each individual combat report just as if you'd sent them each report via in-game mail.

We can see this being useful for any builder of third party tools, an alliance that wants to track their collective members' military actions and/or any player who wants to make a killboard for (eg) the purposes of player-run tournaments.

The API key is something that an individual player can generate, and revoke (or rather, generate a new key) from their Account & Preferences page in the "API Keys" submenu.

It differs from the individual combat report XML in that it is a generic key which essentially says "I hereby grant the holder of this key the right to access all my non-covert combat event logs in XML format until such time as I revoke the key by changing it".

A player who issues a Combat API Key can then use this unique, individual key to query a page that will produce a list of combat events that can then be queried via the individual report identifier, and they can share this key with anyone they choose.

Players can pass their Combat API key to third parties (such as alliance techies, or killboard website operators) and these third parties can then query this page on behalf of the player, and retrieve the individual combat reports for every combat this player has been involved in.


Go to your Account & Preferences page and click on the API submenu:


You will have a list of keys here - or, on your first visit, the option to issue a Combat Reports API Key for the first time.

To create a Combat Reports API Key, press the "Generate" button.

If you already have a key, pressing "Generate" will instantly disable your current key and generate a new one for you; thereby preventing access to your combat reports by anyone who knows your old key.

Account sitters can generate and/or revoke API keys.



For whatever reason (doubtless nefarious!) you might not want a specific, particular combat to appear in the Combat Report list you've made available to anyone with your API Key.

You can suppress individual combat reports from appearing on the list if you check the Is Covertoption checkbox on the "Send Army" page before you dispatch the army outbound.  You will need to have researched Covert Operations in the Military research tree to see this option.


If you're not a programmer, then the following is probably not relevant, and you can skip over the next couple of sections!

The API Key is in the format:

[Server Name]-[KeyType]-[Key]
This helps you identify which server to query (we currently only have elgea) and what page to query with the key.

A sample full combat API key for elgea might look like this:
This identifies this key as being good for pulling data from Server [elgea] for Combat Reports [COMRP], and the remainder of the key is an encrypted piece of data that identifies the player to us (twinned with the rights he has given to this key).
To query a key for the first time, call the following page:[insert player's full Combat API Key including the server and keytype here]

and so, using the example above, your query would be:


Sample (will not work in reality)





Breaking it down, you have:
  • The standard Server Identification snippet, followed by
  • The PlayerID who this Key belongs to, and the exact key you just used
  • A list of combat events that this player has been involved in, along with the identifier so you can then go off and query the specific event for the full details, using:[insert here]

You do not need to be logged in to access the Combat API listing or any individual Combat API report, so long as you have the key!


1. You may already have the report from another player


  • You already have a combat report with this and
  • You already have a combat report with this and
  • You already have a combat report with this
  • This new report has a less than or equal to ( <= ) than the one you currently have:
  • Don't query this report - you already have everything you need
  • Query this report using the and replace your existing report with this one
  • This is a new report and you should import it
The reason we have the datacomplete flag is because different players can get slightly different versions of the same combat report (eg "Your army was completely destroyed and you heard nothing of its' fate" vs "You completely whupped that guy, here's the report").

2. You don't need to query the complete player history every time, to decide what's new

Obviously we don't want you to be querying a complete player history every time you pull the API key.

So there is an additional parameter we'd like you to use when you subsequently query view_combat_reports_api.asp - this parameter is called [since].  [since] is based on the actual combat occurrence date, not the date that the army was originally sent, so it should be a historic record.

This should be set to the most recent  for the whose key you are using.

If you don't have any data for this player so far, then please do not provide the [since] parameter.

Because there is a chance that you might have two combat events from the same player occurring at the same second, we will return the event(s) you already have at that datetime stamp, so please be prepared to ignore the first couple of events returned - as you may already have them (see above for how to decide).

The [since] parameter is in the same format it was provided in originally in the field of the last report you have from this player, such as: 2014-08-06T03:09:10

The Date Time format is YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS

So, a first API Key query might look like this:
... and a subsequent one might look like this:
... which will only return those combat events related to the player since (and including) the event that occurred on the [since] timestamp.


For the purposes of development, we haven't yet set a limit.

However, we will probably impose a limit for a particular key query (from the same querying source) at some point in the future, simply to preserve server resources and bandwidth.  It all rather depends on how you player-programmers choose to use the API key system!



Combat report data is only available from the moment that any API key is generated by a player.  You cannot access historic records from before the first API key was generated, except via the direct link provided at the bottom of your ingame mail combat report.



Things got a little wild around the Heart of Corruption as huge numbers of missions piled into it. Unfortunately this caused some noticable slow-downs in the browser pages getting updates to their movements when the map was focused on the HoC. 

To resolve this we throttled what was sent to the map to display a maximum of 1 mission icon (per type) per quarter square - and a maximum of 75 missions on the visible map (per type) at any time, focused around the map center. 


We hope you enjoy these enhancements to the game environment.



GM Rikoo


Gold Exploit Closed, billions and billions -- BOOM!

Posted by illyriad Tuesday December 2 2014 at 1:17PM
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This is posted from our forums, which can be found at:

Hi everyone,

We've just permabanned a number of players for a particularly egregious gold / market exploit.

We have never previously shared details about exploits, but we feel this one is exceptional in the relative size and scope, and will have had (and will probably continue to have until equilibrium is reached) an impact on market pricing, especially of prestige scrolls.  

Whilst we're not going to name names, we also feel the particular names involved will become quite conspicuous by their absence, especially amongst traders ingame.  

So, in this instance we feel it is appropriate to let everyone know roughly what happened and what we've done; if only in a (doubtless somewhat hopeful) attempt to stop the pitchforks being pointed in all directions, as well as to provide an explanation for what will possibly be an unexpected adjustment in the Illyriad market economy.  

We don't expect any adjustment to be major - but having said that, we have just removed a little over 11.5% of the current gold supply (closest to M0/MB in economist's terms) and as such we expect that such "quantitative tightening" will have an impact (even though that money was mostly "created via exploit" only very recently).


We'll attempt to explain.


How did you discover the exploit?

We were preparing a (hopefully) informative post about the scale and growth in the Illyriad economy over the last 4 years, and were also interested in how the daily economy had changed since the introduction of Prestige Scrolls (yes, we do record everything) - and we were looking at the net Gold flow balance in the active player economy.

The net Gold flow balance is the balance between:

  1. the gold being generated (predominantly via tax receipts from your towns, but also from other sources such as NPC drops), and
  2. the gold being consumed (predominantly via unit upkeep, but also trade taxation, sovereignty costs etc)

When we looked at the report, however, we were a bit stunned to see a huge jump in the net Gold flow balance starting on the 18th of October.

The jump was from +64 million gold per hour to +177 million gold per hour... overnight.  And it didn't go back down the next day, or the day after, or... etc.  

After looking for a few obvious culprits (eg "was there a massive destruction of troops in an alliance-wide military engagement?" etc), we ended up with a blank, and so began eliminating other possibilities one-by-one.  

At the very bottom of our pile was tax rate (how could that, even across the entire playerbase, nearly triple the gold flow overnight!)

Imagine our surprise when we discovered a single town, with:

  1. a population of a handful (<50) people, 
  2. a tax rate of more than 99,000,000% (yes, ninety-nine million percent), and
  3. a gold income rate of 100s of millions of Gold per hour for this town


How is this possible?


Not without a deliberate exploit, I'm afraid to say.

What the player did was:


  1. Build up a tiny town with some farmyards, a marketplace, and then create a caravan or two, then
  2. ... go into the code behind the Castle Taxation page and "forge" a post to the server asking to change the tax rate to 99 million%, but...
  3. ... the server doesn't question the amount of change in tax rate, because...
  4. ...the town then plunges into massive deficit on everything (eg in this case negative 448 million food per hour), which should cripple it... however...
  5. ... this doesn't matter.  It's still minting gold, and - whilst everything has been levelled down - we don't level down farmyards so that people who make a mistake on food have a chance to recover, but...
  6. ... farmyards do provide a small population, and whilst this was a small population... 99 million percent taxation provides a ton of gold per hour, and... 
  7. ... caravans don't cost food upkeep, so we don't destroy them, so...
  8. ... every couple of days the player would go to this city and have a lot of free gold that they could cram into a single caravan and send out.


It simply didn't matter that the town was empty except for a couple of dozen people working on farmyards.

How was the exploit closed?

Taxes can now only be set to between 0 and 100%, and we're going to look at other safeguards (eg, we're examining the destruction of towns after a period of time if they have nothing but farmyards and zero storage and negative production, as well as further summaries and internal alerts when some previously un-monitored things go out of expected parameters).


How much money was generated and what happened to it?

Well, luckily we can tell exactly.

The town that was performing the exploit was a member of two fairly prominent alliances (the exploiter had switched recently), and so had not been thieved from.  So the only transfer for that town was via direct dispatch.

Tracing the gold outbound from this town, as well as prestige scrolls inbound and outbound from related exploiter account cities, most of the flow was to a different trading town closer to Centrum for market access.

The majority of gold transferred was since the 18th of October, however we can see, by trawling through the logs, a number of earlier transactions of many billions, distributed to players in the alliance, dating back to August and September of this year.    

We believe that the player ran the exploit back in August but stopped and reset his tax rate (possibly for fear of discovery); restarted once in September, and then permanently ran the exploit from the 18th of October onwards - once there was a clear reason for large-scale gold fraud (ie Prestige Scrolls).

The total amount drawn and distributed from this exploit was:


91,157,150,000 (91.1 Billion) Gold


What's going to happen to these players?

Well, we've permabanned 9 directly involved accounts and their alts.  

Three of these are accounts we can prove were run directly by the exploiter. 

Of the other six accounts, each received between 2 and 6.4 Billion in payments from the exploiter, most directly delivered in tranches of at least 1.5B and as much as 2.1B Gold, and delivered *whilst* the exploiter was still under rainbow of new player protection.  All the other six accounts received the bulk of their free cash in the month of August.

These 9 account closures have removed a total of:

123,507,773,792 (123.5 Billion) gold from the game, representing not only the gold in their inventories, but also the current market value of more than 340 Prestige Scrolls found in their inventories and with their traders, bought with the proceeds.

This figure removed is higher than the amount drawn and distributed because:


  1. there was substantial gold waiting to be distributed when we shut the exploit down, and
  2. the 9 accounts were also involved in legitimate money-making activities within their alliances.


What about the other players and the alliance(s) these players were in?

Many of you may have worked out who the players involved probably are, perhaps by their willingness to pay over the odds (for eg prestige scrolls), and some of you may have done business with this player. You'll be glad to know that we hold you blameless; and we believe that you acted in good faith.  As we investigated the exploiting account, we noted (very happily) that many of you expressed substantial surprise that a player less than 3 months old could actually drop half a Billion on prestige scrolls.

We would repeat that we do not wish this thread to become a blame game where people make suppositions or accusations about who knew what and when, or cast aspersions on other players or alliances. 

We believe we have performed an in-depth investigation into this exploit and those involved in it, and that we have lanced the immediate boil.  

We have not yet, however, finished our investigation, and so would urge anyone who received unexpectedly large (hundreds of millions, if not Billions of gold) payments from a less-than-three-month-old player to get in touch with GM Rikoo via igm - or to open a petition with as much of an explanation as possible.  We'll be much more charitable if we hear from you first, rather than you hearing from us.


How did you devs not notice this earlier?! 91 billion is a lot of gold!

Well, whilst we record everything, we really don't monitor everything.  

The figure that tipped us off to the exploit was the delta on the hourly gold production value - everything else was pretty much within expected market parameters.

It may shock some of you to know that whilst 91 Billion seems like a lot of money, there's actually more than 800 Billion Gold in Gold pieces alone (ie what economists would define as M0 or MB)  sloshing around inside the active player Illyriad economy.  The total size of the Illyriad economy is many, many Trillions, and when we get this report written up we'll happily share the details with you all.


How is ending this exploit going to effect the market?

We wouldn't want to speculate too far - we'd expect a demand reduction (particularly on prestige scrolls) due to the cartel's willingness to pay over the odds and to warehouse them; although it should be said that most of their transactions were direct player-to-player sales rather than trade hub orders.


Thank you for your time.

GM Rikoo

EDIT: A further 4 accounts were banned overnight, bringing the total so far to 13.


Check out or first Strategy Monday livestream!

Posted by illyriad Tuesday April 15 2014 at 2:09PM
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You can check out our latest livestream here!

We will be hosting these livestream at least once per month. It should be a great source for game information, and a place for players to show off how much they know about the game!

We're planning on expanding the stream to include tips, tricks, Q&As and other topics! 


GM Rikoo

Another Age of Ascent public playtest tomorrow!

Posted by illyriad Friday April 4 2014 at 2:53PM
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Another open alpha playtest tomorrow! Check it out!

Join Illyriad Games for another open-alpha playtest of Age of Ascent, the upcoming twitch-based sci-fi MMO, this Saturday, the 5th of April. All you need to do to join in is go to at the appropriate time -- 3:00 p.m. CDT/ 8:00 p.m. GMT -- and the game will load automatically. There's no download, installation or sign-up required! We've added a few new features to the game and are excited to show them off.

The team will also be livestreaming the session on their Twitch channel, and the video will be available for viewing or embedding after it's over. 


See you in battle!


GM Rikoo

Post your screenshot: My Bad Neighborhood!

Posted by illyriad Monday March 31 2014 at 2:30PM
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Hello all,

Illryaid is an MMORTS that offers wide-open play, a friendly community, massive war and tons of strategy! You can find the game links in our description or you can go here to sign up!

We're going to host a screenshot contest this week, for a prize of 250 Prestige! What's needed? Simple. Take a screenshot of one of your cities and its dangerous surroundings, post it here with a cool caption and possibly win the prize! We will be judging the entries next weekend, and you have until 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, April 4th.


As an example, here's my dangerous neighborhood:



I might caption it "A bit too bright to sleep at night." or something.


Not sure how to capture a screenshot? Easy!


1) With the game window open (with your town centered on the world map) hit the PrtScn or Print Screen button. This saves an image of whatever is on your screen at the time.


2) Open Paint (in Windows) or other image program and hit ctrl-V or edit-->paste. Then crop the image so that it's not MASSIVE.


3) Upload here in this thread, and caption.


The winner will be posted here and will be contacted in game, and then awarded the Prestige ASAP. 


Good luck, and happy screenshottin'!



GM Rikoo