As I am fast closing in on the time that I would like to start an alpha testing period, I have been trying to put the finishing basic touches on the different game systems on the backend. I just recently finished the grouping system and polished up the in game friends list, so now I set my sights back on the Lair and Henchmen setup. I very briefly set up the scaffolding for this behind the scenes about a month ago, but it was most certainly not in a useable state. While lair's supported Henchmen, there was no way for the game to interact with them. So, I set out to fix that.
First thing I needed to decide was how a lair would attract followers. What would it be based on? I decided to base it around what structures a player has built in their lair, along with a percentage attribute on the lair. The more you build up the lair, the more the chance to attract followers will be. So, basically while you may have the proper structure built, it does not mean that anyone will come. That is based on the percentage chance inherent to each lair.
Each particular type of structure will have a type of henchman that it attracts. For example, if you build a Gold Mine in your lair, you will attract imps. Training Grounds attract goblins, etc. The higher the level of their particular structure, the higher chance there is to attract them. The structure level also controls how many particular henchmen will be attracted at one time. These creatures are weak willed and easily controlled by anyone of measurable power, hence why they come to you. This works within the lore of Avaloria nicely, since the player is technically a demi-god. The idea will be to amass quite large armies of minions and then set them out to attack your opponents. The first portion is there now, being the generation and attraction of henchmen to the particular lairs.
The next portion to code in, and the most fun I imagine will be the lair combat code, which will be all the logic to control henchmen battles with other Lair's. This certainly will not be quick and easy, but it is the last "large" portion of code I have to work on before I am ready to open the gates to a testing group. While an Alpha test is by far no where near the end of the road, it is the start of a new chapter for Avaloria. It has grown from a small hobby code-base into a fairly feature rich mud code base. Since I have never done any thing at this scale, I can't help but be incredibly proud of my creation. Seeing it all work as it should while play testing makes for a very happy creator/developer!