City Building Guide

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WIP.png "City Building Guide" is a work in progress.
The information below may be incomplete and/or inaccurate!

One of the biggest features of Shadowbane is the ability to create your own city in the game world. Since there are only 120 city slots available on Vorringia, the first few days after a server wipe are crucial. Guilds race to farm up the necessary gold to afford a tree of life, then set out on a quest to plant it in their ideal spot.

Creating and maintaining a city is no easy task. It will require a lot of time spent planning, managing, and farming.

Location, location, location!

Since cities work as bind points, they have the secondary function of being "fast travel" points. Who needs a Traveler when you have a far-reaching network of cities in your nation? While other players are running halfway across the map to reach an adventuring zone, those with cleverly-placed cities can wade into them on their heart's whim. Therefore, choosing the location of your city is one of the most important things you must do.

Consider the goals of your guild, and place your tree down where they will be best served. Will your guild have a lot of mages and healers in need of intelligence runes? Settle down next to Aeran Belendor and farm them to your heart's content. Does your guild plan on crafting lots light armor? Look at what the mines produce and plop your tree down close to a zone with one of those mines. Not only will the mine be easier to get to, but you will also receive more products from it due to close proximity.

Purchasing a City

If you are joining a server well into its life cycle, chances are that there are no city spots left. Not to fear, there is still hope to obtain one. Try visiting an NPC city (such as Aeldreth or Sea Dog's Rest) and send out a yell explaining that you are in the market for a city. It will help your chances to make a similar post on the forums or in the game's discord trade channel.

Taking a City

Players can attempt to take someone else's city with a bane. Join an existing guild and explain to the leadership that you will finance such an endeavour. In exchange for their help, they may ask you to become a subordinate guild under their nation.

Keeping a finger on the pulse of the server is a habit that can yield dividends down the road. Every so often, pull up the world map and keep and eye on other cities. If you notice one has suddenly dropped from Rank 7 to Rank 6, the guild leader may have gone inactive, making an easy target for conquest. Scout the city when you have time, and look for signs of decay.

Managing Assets

A fairly simple city layout
Once you have ownership of a city, you may begin placing buildings and NPCs within them. To manage an asset, simply double click on it. If you own or are friended to it, then you will see the asset management window.


To place buildings, purchase the necessary building deed from a builder, walk close to where you want to place the building, then double-click the deed in your inventory. A window will pop up with a building placement UI. Zoom in to place a building more precisely. Choose the location wisely, because it cannot be changed later without demolishing and starting over.

A newly-placed building will look like a construction site and is considered "rank zero" (R0). Open its asset management window to see how long until it finishes construction.

You will not be able to place NPCs inside buildings until they are at least rank one (R1). When that time comes, simply click on an empty hiring slot in the asset management window. A small list will appear showing you all eligible contracts from your inventory to choose from (if any).

The city has a grid that will be shown when you place buildings. Walls and the tree of life are grid-aligned: when you place in them, they "snap" to place inside the grid. You can get up to three full layers of walls with careful planning, at the expense of room for more productive buildings. Be aware that the tree of life is grid aligned instead of in the exact center of the city zone.

A three-layer wall design

Friend and Foe Lists

Managing who has access to your assets is key. Clicking on the corresponding option will display a list. You may add an individual, their entire guild, or their inner council to a list by having them selected an dragging their crest from the selection bar to that list

Locking Doors

To lock doors, you need to Ctrl+Left Click them and choose to lock (or unlock). This will need to be done for the right and left doors separately. It is possible to lock yourself or a player inside a building, but beware, players who can teleport can bypass these mundane barriers.

City Commands

There are many City Commands available to City Managers that should be used to ease the burdens of City Management.

Maintenance Costs

Every building and NPC in your city has a maintenance cost that is taken every seven days.

By default, every building in the city will attempt to take this cost from your warehouse. If there is no warehouse or the gold inside is locked or insufficient, the asset will attempt to find the maintenance cost in the building's strongbox. If your city's coffers run dry, any asset that does not receive its full maintenance due will go down by one rank. If the asset is a rank one building, it will collapse. If its a rank 1 NPC, it will disappear.

Build Order

When you are first starting out, the top thing on your mind is probably "where can I get the most bang for my buck?" Fortunately, there is a fairly standard path to follow.

1) Runemaster

The very first thing to do is to put a Runemaster in your tree of life. A Runemaster is what keeps people from knocking down your hard-earned buildings, and the higher his rank, the more things he can protect. Rank this up as soon as possible.

2) Warehouse and Seneschal

The warehouse is going to be where you store most of your city's gold, and all of your city's crafting resources. You and your guild will need a seneschal in order to make deposits. City maintenance costs are levied directly from the warehouse. Fortunately, these don't need to be ranked up.

3) Church & Banker

You and your guild members will need a place to store their extra stuff. The cost of a church and banker is small enough to save you from running back to safeholds to do this. It is not advisable to rank the church past rank 1 at this point.

4) Inn & Builder

Builders found in NPC cities will stay at rank four, and they have a bit of a profit margin. Owning your own builder will pay for itself since you will never pay more than the base price for the buildings it sells. Anything that is paid in excess will go into the Inn's strongbox. If you get a build up fast enough, others may even try to use it - be sure to set your profit margins accordingly.

5) Steward

Like the builder above, you will want to make sure you are only purchasing contracts from your own vendors to ensure you are only paying the base cost.

6) Forge & Helmsmith

One of the major sources of income for cities is junking unwanted items found while farming. You always want to junk them on your own NPC so that you can get the maximum value out of them. A helmsmith can junk and repair all types of armor, making it a good beginner NPC to have in a fledgling city.

7) Forges and smiths (as needed)

The largest advantage of your city is going to be providing superior gear to your guild. Now is the time to consider what kinds of characters you want to give priority to so that your fighters are well-geared. Start ranking smiths that correspond with these character types.

8) Barracks and guards captains

Maintaining a city is hard work, and you shouldn't tolerate intruders that might try to undermine that work somehow. Build a barracks and slot some guard captains to get some basic protection going.

9) Magic Shop & Sage

For rings, amulets, and scrolls. If you intend on waging war right out of the gate, you may want to move this up on the priority list so you can begin creating bane scrolls.

10) Mercantile & Tailor

For cloth armor.

11) Walls

Walls being placed
One of the more expensive items, but well worth it. Walls are absolutely necessary if you wish to keep your city very long since a city without walls is an easy target.

12) Siege Spires

Companions to walls. Be sure to build a Grounding Spire and a Disrupting Spire to prevent attackers from flying or teleporting inside when you don't want them to. Siege spires can be activated and deactivated with Ctrl+Left Click. Activated spires will draw gold from the strongbox to maintain their effects.

13) Trainers

If you don't know someone who already has trainers, you will want to put down at least a warrior trainer (since it can train all weapon and armor types), but you may consider others depending on the type of characters your guild has.

14) All missing smiths

Eventually, you will want to have at least one of every type of smith, and you want as many of those as possible to be racial (non-human) vendors.

15) Shrines

As you and your guild level and farm, you will come across offerings. Again consider the races and classes of your guild mates (or selfishly choose your own) and purchase the corresponding race and class shrines. The shrines will provide a powerful buff that can make a big difference in PvP.

Warehouse Resource Limits

20000 Stone
2000 Truesteel
1000 Adamant
20000 Lumber
3000 Oak
3000 Bronzewood
1000 Mandrake
3000 Coal
2000 Agate
2000 Diamond
1000 Onyx
2000 Azoth
3000 Orichalk
1000 Antimony
1000 Sulfur
1000 Quicksilver
500 Galvor
500 Wormwood
500 Obsidian
500 Bloodstone
500 Mithril

Creating Gear

How to Defend Your City

How to Open Your City

If your city was made to sell goods or services to the masses, you can open it and allow anyone to teleport there. Open the asset management window for the tree of life and tick the checkbox. Those you have placed on the tree's foe list will not be allowed to come.

Open City to Allies Only

Claiming the Realm

If you have sufficient resources, and no one has claimed your realm, you may claim it for your own. This brings the benefit of taxation and increases your city to rank 8. See Realm and Rulership.

Owning an entire realm will garner the guild leader a unique title depending on the type of capital charter that was chosen.