I’ve been thinking about whether Grid land should operate under the same rules as Citaadel land. What if, for example, rather than discrete individually owned parcels, each named section of the Grid would instead have all of its parcels combined into one large subsection with its own combined mass of harvestable alchemica. Each subsection would be free-build for any Aavegotchi, but there would be some limitations.
Altaars and Lodges would not be buildable outside of the Citaadel. Instead, Gotchis will need to build Portal Batteries to support their structures. Citaadel parcels are powered by the Great Portal. In the Grid, there is no such luxury. Portal Batteries provide power within a certain radius (analogous to the Starcraft pylon). Leveling up the battery will increase the size of its radius and the number of structures supported, as well as the maximum tier level of those structures.
In a given subsection of the Grid, each individual Aavegotchi would only be able to maintain one or two batteries, limiting the number of productive structures they can build. It could be that no limit is placed on defensive structures. Some defensive structures may need to be destructible for this to work.
Having a free-build area would also allow Lickquidators to build destructible structures as part of their attacks.
One major problem with this idea would be the irremovable clutter of non-destructible structures taking up space permanently. It could be that Aavegotchis would be able to build vertically on top of each other, although this could create some imbalance as guilds build superstacks that they defend with walls and turrets that are completely impenetrable.
This led me to consider the idea of prebuilt Giga-Harvesters that exist on the map, each with its own individual draw of alchemica, into which players can “invest” to get a piece of those emissions. GHs also constantly produce spillover. This would create hardpoints on the map for players to collectively guard with their defensive structures. Each GH has an individual draw that gets diluted and split between everyone building on it, so players are encouraged to spread out and go to pillars that aren’t as actively developed or defended if they want higher yield. But there would be a freeloading problem of players investing into a GH without actively contributing to its defense.
These ideas could be combined with the original idea of the individual parcels, which would be much fewer in number. Or we could just have individual parcels, but they would have the same restrictions on Altaars and Lodges and require Batteries instead.
I was thinking about Grid land in tandem with ways to give new players a path to Gotchi ownership involving gameplay, and had the idea for “Gotchi Pioneers” that would stake their claim in the wilderness, made possible if we went the free-build route.
Gotchi pioneers are soulbound to an address.
They can level up.
They can only build in the Grid.
They can collect alchemica from their reservoirs (or from Giga-Harvesters) and off the ground.
They can equip wearables.
They can be petted to increase Kinship.*
They can be fed.
They can do quests.
They can fight Lickquidators.
They have no collateral and no collateral mark; their spirit force is kindled by alchemica.
They have no BRS and all begin with the same starting stats (perhaps 50 in all stats, with a further % debuff that just makes them weaker).
*They cannot channel.
They cannot build in the Citaadel.
They cannot be rented.
They cannot participate in rarity farming.
They cannot fight in the arena.
They cannot be sold or transferred.
They will always be inherently weaker, stat-wise, than full (Haunt) gotchis.
They need to be fed alchemica from time to time or they will go dormant.
Rather than new Haunts, periodically there would be special ascension events, whereby pioneer gotchis could become full gotchis based on certain gameplay achievements. Parameters could be based on XP, or “quest fame” / mission progress, or special quests that require things like rare soulbound items, traveling to remote and dangerous locations, or defeating powerful monsters that are impossible to solo (pioneers would need friends, a guild, or mercenaries to help them). However this process is designed, it would need to be realistically achievable only if a player is focusing on one or two Aavegotchis at a time; farming pioneers should be discouraged. Botters will be banished (blacklisted) and forfeit their progress.
When the ascension is successfully completed, the pioneer gotchi will be burnt, and all of its XP, Kinship, and quest progress will be transferred to a new portal minted to the player’s wallet.
A sponsor system could be created in which players will be able to see a list of pioneers and their stats, and can donate things to them to “sponsor” them. If they assist pioneers in their ascension quests, this could also count as “sponsoring.” Citaadel gotchis that sponsor pioneers would receive an XP bonus whenever one of their sponsored pioneers manages to ascend.