A few months ago there was a suggestion for the player to be able to buy/rebuild Burgh de Rott. Around that same time Jagex's survey asked about the idea of the 'Regency' skill. So, I came up with this suggestion for a player-owned town, which requires the use of all skills to grow and shape. Warning: THIS IS A VERY LONG POST.
I give you...
Flotsam, the Player-Owned Town! Welcome, adventurer... to Flotsam! Build a town, recruit residents, and lead your citizens to glory and riches... or to doom and despair! What it is:
An island wherein the player would construct a town for citizens of Gielinor who are seeking a new life. What it isn't:
A new best-in-class training method for any skill.
The goal of Flotsam would be to create a thriving community from scratch using your already existing skills (and any new ones which might arise). Build the buildings with construction and crafting, gather raw materials with mining and woodcutting, provide goods for passive income and other resources, defend your settlement with your combat skills and create armor and weapons with smithing, crafting and fletching to give your villagers the upper hand!
Unlike construction, this would not seek to be a gold-sink, but rather an all-around sink (equipment, weapons, raw goods, etc) to keep/make skilling and PVM/PVP valuable again.
The main goal is that EVERYTHING is available right off of Tutorial Island, although players would greatly benefit from higher skill levels. IMPORTANT NOTE: This is NOT a way to train skills. While actions provide experience, it would be a nominal amount only and would not be a feasible way to train skills. ANY substantial experience gains on the island would be one-off and far from efficient in terms of experience rates.
The island of Flotsam would be connected to the mainland by either a bridge or a boat, and would provide all the resources needed for a mid-level community to be created (if managed properly).
To begin working with the town, players would need to speak to a new NPC in Rimmington, Joe.
Joe is homeless but wants to make a difference in the world, but people either ignore him or just offer him money. What he wants is a JOB, but everyone turns him away because he’s so filthy. Joe tells the player that he knows of a place where he can make a fresh start, where all of the flotsam and jetsam of the world eventually wash up: a medium-sized island off the southern coast of Karamja.
Natural resource areas including trees (up to Maple), ores (up to mithril) and fish (up to lobster) would be dotted around the island. Lower-level hunter creatures (including some new ones for new resources for Flotsam) can also be found here.
However, the gathering sites on Flotsam are a little spotty when the town is first founded, and as such will only yield around 50% of the yield found elsewhere.
The only buildings on the island when you arrive are a longhall that is in disrepair and a Small Shack (also damaged). The central area of the island has the bones of a decent town, and investigating around the island can yield clues about the Island’s history.
The town square (such as it is) consists of the longhall; a dried, broken fountain; and the Small Shack. The rest of the buildings are ruined but fairly uniform in size in terms of their footprints. In addition, trees and rocks and weeds have overgrown the roads and paths.
The player’s first order of business would be to begin to clear out the road and the square, using their Woodcutting, Mining and Farming skills.
Clearing out the main square would grant enough ‘favor’ (more on that below) to elevate the town to Level 1, as well as providing a minimal amount of experience in each skill.
After this, the player can look to improve the town by repairing the longhall or upgrading the Small Shack for Joe, who has taken up residence there.
The longhall provides access to the town overview, where players can view storerooms, coffers and individual statuses of residents and buildings and initiate upgrades (but not new construction) from the menu. Upgrades and new construction can also be started at the site of the building itself.
Growing the Town...
The town itself has a “level,” just like skills. Unlike skills, however, this number does not
affect the player’s total skill level in any way and is rather a method with which to track progress. A new tab would be added to the Quest Point jewel, similar to the Diary Tab, etc.
The tab would not be accessible until the player accessed the island for the first time.
The town would level in the same way a normal skill does, except that it starts at 0 favor (similar to XP).
The tab would contain information related to the current level of the town, its progress to the next level, the overall happiness of the citizens, and, for fun, the GE value of the resources contributed to the town (approx).
New buildings, features, and etc are unlocked as favor increases and accessible with enough happiness. Happiness should not be an issue in the beginning as Joe is always at 100% happiness. At higher levels, it will be necessary to manage happiness more closely in order to get the max value from the town for the player.
In addition to favor (the ways favor can be gained will be detailed below), there would also be a 5-part “diary” of tasks which would benefit the town. Think of this as your checklist to a successful town.
A stage of the diary is unlocked every ~20 levels, with Beginner being unlocked at 1 and Elite being unlocked at 80. The tasks within each level of the diary should all be completable before the next stage is unlocked, but they are not REQUIRED to progress the town. Rather, they can be helpful in progressing the town and determine the appearance of the Mayor’s Cape.
The Mayor's Cape
Old School RuneScape could easily be “CapeScape.” We have capes for EVERYthing, and some of them are even used to display progress in various minigames and events across the game. With that in mind, I would like to see the introduction yet another cape. However, this would be a quasi-functional cape, in addition to showing off your progress with the Flotsam “Diary,” the Mayor’s Cape.
While performing gathering skills with the cape equipped, there would be a ½ chance of the item collected instead being added to the storerooms in Flotsam, assuming that the last item collected was not sent and the player has room for another item. Any items sent here would be irretrievable and be used instead for the improvement of the island. Each item donated would provide favor. However, in order to prevent this from being a way to extend trips and make an efficient AFK-able skill even more efficiently AFK, any resources sent to Flotsam would only provide 10% of the experience they were going to provide before. This provides a very SLIGHT xp gain over a full inventory of goods. Favor would be granted at 35% of the XP gained if the gathering is occurring off the island.
The cape would be upgraded in appearance at each completion of the diary stage to show the progress the player has made. The first stage would not be unlocked until the beginner tasks are completed, similar to achievement diary rewards). The final stage (Elite) would resemble other Capes of Accomplishment, though untrimmed. Maybe there is a way on the island to trim it...
Additionally, with the completion of each tier of the diary, there would be a favor increase of 1000, 5000, 10000, 50000 and 100000 in the form of one-time boosts. Antique lamps would also be given similar to those granted by Achievement Diaries.
Each stage would act like a checklist of sorts and would seek to guide the player by giving them something to work towards. For instance, a beginner task might be to build a dwelling on half the possible slots. Completing each task (10-15 per stage) would grant 5% of the favor reward for competing the entire tier (ie, a beginner tier with 10 tasks would grant in total 2000 favor).
The Game Loop
Initially, players can clear rubble and build shacks, as well as manage the longhall. The longhall serves as mayor’s office, city hall and -most importantly- city storehouse
There are two components to the coffers: the vault and the store room. The vault is where the city’s wealth is stored, in the form of coins. Any coins donated to the city CAN NOT be retrieved directly; instead they are used for goods and services within the city as well as being used to purchase raw materials should there not be enough.
The storerooms are the most important aspect of Flotsam management. They represent every resource gathered/generated for the city’s use. They are separated into broad buckets such as: food, ore, timber, seeds, armor, runes, etc. these “buckets” are filled by donating resources. All resources of the same type are converted to a value rather than stored as is. For example, copper and tin ore may provide 1 Ore each, but Iron Ore might count for 10 ore. This is what enables lower-leveled players to participate in city management as collecting 10 copper is the same as collection one Iron ore, just much slower.
Improvements to the city cost resources from the storeroom. For instance, a basic shack may cost 20 timber and 5 ore. If the player has this in the storeroom, it is built. If not, the player can purchase the remaining ore using the gold in the city’s coffers to make up the difference.
Gold can also be generated by the city. Gold CANNOT be withdrawn from the coffers. Taxes provide a steady, if slow, source of income. Each day, the coffers receive 10 coins for every average happiness point above 70% times the total number of citizens, for a minimum of 1 coin per citizen. For instance, a town with 5 residents and a happiness of 80% overall would yield 10*10*5 coins (500) every day. GP can also be generated by visiting shops in the city and buying items. Selling items to these stores is also the only way to REMOVE gp from the coffers. Shops will be detailed further on. Joe’s happiness would be floored at 70% and that number would increase as Favor is increased.
Resources can be donated in the main world through use of the Mayor’s Cape, but they can also be donated by working in various resource areas on the outskirts of the city. Similar to Miscellania, no resources go to the player, however they ARE sent to the storehouse. In addition, favor is gained at a rate of 50% of the XP that would have been granted by the item, as opposed to the 30% which occurs in the world using the mayor’s cape. Due to the nature of resource gathering, this is where higher levels become more advantageous.
Buildings cannot be torn down and rebuilt by the player (as items can be in Construction). Once you've built something, it stays built, so no building the same thing over and over to boost your favor quickly.
The Info Panel https://preview.redd.it/o3h0lh2d6b251.png?width=356&format=png&auto=webp&s=0cd194d9c507a1aed3cc7ebf0820a2d895c726cc
The Info Panel gives important information at a glance. From the top, we have the Mayor’s Tasks “Diary,” the Quick Info Section and the Favor Progress Section along with additional room below for more info/tools.
The Mayor’s Tasks are a special Achievement Diary separate from the main diaries which act as a checklist for progress in your town. Each tier is unlocked at a certain favor level rather than being unlocked from the beginning like traditional diaries. The beginner tier is unlocked at Favor 1, then again at 20, 40, 60 and 80.
The Quick info section displays, at-a-glance, current average happiness, satisfaction with current defenses and with current food stores. The color of the text is an indicator of whether or not these levels are acceptable to your citizens. The bag icon will open the City Storeroom Tab on the City Manager Interface.
The Current Favor is displayed similarly to the skills, with the favor level out of 99 being displayed as well as progress to the next favor level in the blue bar.
Citizens have basic needs which must be met in order to be happy. In general, all citizens need a place to live; food, and security. They can be made happier with both a job and entertainment. Happier citizens can be persuaded to pay more in taxes and happiness is a requirement for making some city improvements.
Around Gielinor, new NPCs may be found who can be persuaded to move to Flotsam, assuming their conditions are met: some NPCs have a favor requirement, a city happiness requirement, or a city improvement requirement. If these reqs are met, they will move to Flotsam.
Guards and Walls
Guards may be hired to patrol the city and are paid for out of the city’s coffers. These guards can be upgraded to increase their combat level, as well as their potential droptable (higher level guards might drop more clue scrolls, for example, or better seeds). Guards also contribute to the city’s defense score.
Guards require armor, and armor points are taken into account when hiring guards. Every time a guard is killed, they are replaced automatically (respawn) at a cost from the coffers. If all guards are killed and the coffers or equipment are empty, no guards will respawn and guards must be re-hired once conditions are met again.
An example table below shows how walls and guards might work. Note that each tier requires the previous tier, so Fancy Stone Walls, for example, would require a total of 130 lumber and 140 stone.
There would be 6 guard locations throughout the city which could have recruited guards (4 gates, 1 market area, wall-top-guards. Wall-top guards must be ranged or mage, while market guards must be melee).
The total defensive value for the city would then be 730 if everything was completely upgraded, at a minimum total cost of 7 million coins from the city’s coffers.
The table is merely an example and is probably badly in need of balancing. https://preview.redd.it/5ejvdq1l6b251.png?width=627&format=png&auto=webp&s=a64509992a57364cc906dc761ec138b9db2515cb
At 60 favor and 50 slayer, a special NPC can be recruited. This NPC functions as a slayer master. This NPC can only be recruited if the player has excavated the Monster Infested Cave on the island and cleared it out (Medium Tier Favor Task).
The MIC has ten chambers (expandable to 15 at higher favor levels). With this comes an expansion to Hunter, allowing the player to “hunt” certain slayer monsters while on task for that monster. Once the player has captured 5 of those slayer creatures, they can be added to the dungeon on the island.
Some creatures, such as dragons, will have a new untradeable drop added to their drop table in the form of a Dragon Egg. These eggs may be incubated with Probita in Ardougne and once the player has three Dragon Hatchlings of the same type, those dragons can be added to the dungeon.
The slayer master would have a favor requirement of 60, a combat level requirement of 100 and have a list of 25-30 slayer monsters. This master would NOT assign boss tasks. The 25-30 slayer monsters on this table would be the monsters which it is possible to add to the dungeon. This gives players who have invested in their city a private slayer area that is not completely overpowered as it is not guaranteed that the monsters in the dungeon would be the ones assigned. Furthermore, a task assigned by this master would not be skippable except by changing the task in Burthorpe.
This slayer master would Provide 12 points per task on unlock, increasing by three for each successive diary tier completed (up to 18). Each kill would also contribute a small amount of favor for tasks assigned by this master, with double favor being granted for tasks within the cave.
Housing The base level house is a Small Shack, which is shoddily built but provides adequate shelter.
The houses may be successively upgraded to the following tiers: Small, Plank, Timber, Stone, Fancy Stone, Ornate Stone.
The various stages of house would require resources, like all city improvements, similar to those found in construction. A selection of nails, wood/stone products and cloth would be required, including granite, sandstone, ores, silk, fancy cloth, xerician fabric, higher-level logs, etc. The player is allowed to purchase these supplies but they still must be donated into the pool of resources to be used in construction.
Larger houses can support more citizens each and can improve the happiness overall of the city in general in addition to the specific happiness of the citizens who live there.
Roads Roads can be improved similarly to houses, and improve both the appearance and the happiness of the city.
Citizen professions Citizens need jobs to keep your city functioning. At a high level, jobs are a way to convert gp in the coffers to raw materials at a suboptimal, though automatic, way. Job proficiency depends on the total happiness of the city and the individual happiness of the worker. Happy workers provide a better exchange than unhappy workers as they work harder.
The professions could include: Fishers (must supply them with tackle and base supply of bait, feathers, etc), Foresters (must supply them with woodcutting axes), Miners (must supply pickaxes), Guards (must supply armoweapons), Shop Owners (must invest in their stall/store in GP separate from the coffers), Hunters (must supply traps and hunter clothing), etc.
Shops There are slots for both stalls and shops. Shops include a clothing store, magic shop, hunter store, herblore store, etc. Stall slots can include gems, fish, bakery, seed, etc. There are more options than available slots and a limit of one type per slot in each store/stall.
Shops are a way to exchange goods for gold from the city offers, as well as a way to add to them.
The shops stock items based on the industries you have set up in the town. For example, if you have taught your fisherman how to catch lobsters, fish stalls will stock lobster. Teaching skills requires one level higher than the unlock for that action (non-boostable). Any items sold to the shops will give you gp from the coffers in exchange for adding the item to the storerooms in the city. Any items purchased from the shop will remove items from the storeroom but add GP to the coffers. Using the shops does not provide favor and will not allow you to create or receive any items which you do not have the level to produce on your own or that cannot already be purchased from another shop (except for any Flotsam-specific goods.
Stand-alone shops stocks can be enhanced by speaking to various merchants around RuneScape. For instance, a clothing shop may stock exotic desert clothing after completing Rogue Trader and cutting a deal with Ali.
With a suitable investment and by speaking to various bankers around RuneScape, a branch of the bank may be opened on your island.
All shops, stalls and banks can be upgraded similarly to houses.
Entertainment Some areas are specifically designed to be entertainment areas. Ideas include a gnomeball court, a small zoo area (3-4 exhibits filled with new or existing hunter creatures supplied by the player), art displays (purchased from NPCs around the game), etc. These boost the general mood of the city by a few percent.
Some NPCs can be recruited specifically to entertain. New fire-eater, sword-swallower and juggler NPCs would be found in various cities and locations throughout the game world and would be able to be recruited.
Farms Herb and Alotment patches would be found on the island, and would operate on the city’s stock of donated seeds. These patches in turn would provide the goods sold in shops and stalls. Again, anything grown would be limited by the player’s own levels (the items grown determine the value added to the storerooms)
Resource dungeons The recruitment of specific dwarves will allow the discovery of resource dungeons. These resource dungeons would let the player design their own dungeons, similarly to the slayer dungeon in that each room must be “seeded” with goods, by “discovering” them with the dwarves by using a special divining machine the dwarves devised that seeks out what you put into it. There would be two dungeons with 3-4 rooms a piece, and 12-15 options for what the rooms contain. Duplicate rooms would not be allowed. These dungeons would be on the opposite side of the island from the bank and take some time to get to. Additionally, resources in the dungeon have a 10% chance of being donated to the city rather than being kept by the player.
Miniquests Certain miniquests could be gated behind recruiting specific NPCs to the city and lead to lore, features or rewards that are tied to favor and investment in the city.
POH portal At 50 Favor a house portal could be built on the Island.
Teleportation At 35 favor (and 40 magic) a spell could be discovered to teleport you to the island.
Monster Raids At various times (and determinable by the player), there may be raids of hostile NPCs against your settlement. These test your defenses and have the ability to degrade your buildings, etc to a “Damaged” state. Damaged buildings would provide the same bonuses as the next tier down but could be repaired for cheaper than it initially took to upgrade.
Successfully defending the city could yield a small reward of goods and items, as well as increased favor. All NPC drops would be donated to the city.
Low level raids might consist of Goblins (like the Goblin Invasion event), while higher raids might include stronger NPCs.
Connections to other content There are an infinite number of possibilities to tie to existing and future content. For instance, quest NPCs that no longer serve a purpose could possibly be recruited, or future quests and content may require a city with a certain Favor level, similar to the Zeah quests which require Favour in the specific houses.
And that's it! I hope you got through it all and enjoy my ideas!