Ymir is a multiplayer game of strategy and city building with a stand-alone client (not a browser game!). In this game, each player controls a State of Pigmen called alled Porc living in a fully persistent online world.
The current games have a maximum of 100 players per game on persistent mode (so not really a ‘massively’ multiplayer game). Also, with different game settings presets, the game can also be played in “real-time” sessions for players who just want to play with friends in a more traditional way.
The world is composed of territories and to each one matches a unique terrain players can colonize and build on. Each zone is procedurally generated to match the World map. There are 8 types of climates, 4 types of relief, rivers, lakes, swamps, coasts… You’ll find some climate specific resources like olives in Mediterranean, apples in the north, cacao in tropical… ore deposits, wild animals or cultivable plants.
Starting usually with a tribe in late Neolithic, players develop their civilization discovering new knowledges, building cities, gathering resources and interacting with the other players through diplomacy, war and trading. Like online browser games, in Ymir your people is persistent: your citizens produce, consume and breed even when you’re offline.
Population is a key aspect of the game.
- Population cannot be directly constrained : you can’t directly ‘delete’ or block population. They breed naturally and will even spawn slums if you do not provide enough housing.
- Population is divided in social classes : farmers, artisans, merchants… Each class has its own stats such as Health, Life quality, happiness, intelligence…
- Population has ‘needs’ organized by priority. Vital needs ( food and water ) come first, followed by level 2 needs such as furniture and clothing, and so on.
- Each need has a percent of satisfaction and a quality level. You can satisfy your Porcos need for food just feeding them with wheat, but satisfying a need with different types of resources will increase this need’s quality providing a big Life quality and Health bonus. There is for examples many different foods : meat, beans, wheat, vegetables, fish… The more you’ll provide the better.
Ymir is a complex economic simulation. This is probably one of the key aspects making Ymir different from all the other city builders.
- Your city produces a material wealth and this wealth is divided between each social class depending on their income. A class with the highest income will monopolize the largest share of this wealth. The wealth then determines what resources this class can afford to buy.
- A social class income is based on how many resources they sold: farmers selling their food at the market to the rest of the population, or miners selling stone to the State (player) for a new building .
- The price of each resource is dynamic, and based on offer/supply and wealth balance within your society. There is no predetermined “expensive” resource : if you have a small elite of rich Porcos in your city and only produce a small amount of pottery, that product will likely adjust its price to maximize benefits and become expensive, only available to those rich. Start producing a lot of it, and as it will become more beneficial to sell more at a smaller price : the price will drop.
- With new knowledges you’ll gain tools to influence and control your economy such as providing social help to some social class or adjusting rates of forced labor, agricultural levies or income taxes.
- Building more is not always the better : sometimes you’ll be in a situation where distributing more of this specific resource will unbalance your society, and understanding how things work is a part of the game and will differentiate the good manager from the bad.
There are many resources to produce and gather on those Casear-like warehouses, giving players a visual satisfaction of their wealth and many buildings to build and upgrade. Each building often evolve over multiple levels, improving efficiency and resource production. Some buildings can create “annexes”: a sub building belonging to the main one and giving an additional production. The most common, for example, being the “Field” annex belonging to a Farm building. But it can be mining shafts for a foundry, or a quarry for a stone mason etc…
Ymir is also a game of politics and diplomacy. Whether you’re just interested in creating a peaceful city state or a huge multi-player empire, diplomacy is a core component of the game. Players are given a wide range of diplomatic tools such as making treaties, trading, or waging wars legitimized by casus-bellis.
Players can unite under the same Nation, contributing together towards victory and including mechanics to better coordinate themselves as a team such as automatic diplomatic effects, internal taxation or delegated control of armies with nation Marshalls.
There is no moderation to players behavior: everyone can blackmail, threaten, pillage or attack others. Even a strong player against a newly spawned one. Dealing with the particular situation where you’ll find yourself in is the point of the game, including facing much stronger opponents. Convince him to stop, teaming up with rival Nations, migrating or submitting is up to the player.
Armies and war can get really expensive to maintain by requiring a lot of active population, equipment, salary and constant replenishment, crippling a State's economy.
Players can create groups called formations, containing a customizable combination of unit types, military or civilian. You can create trade caravans by creating a unit with mules, chariots, carriers and a few soldiers as an escort. You can create a settler’s expedition by recruiting families and loading resources in the unit to colonize a new tile. Or you can just create a regular army composed of archers, footpigs, cavalry and even mounted Mammoths. Players can also build and organize their defenses with a wide range of tools: modifying the terrain, building elevated platforms and walls, towers, bridges, crenellations, gates, stairs, but most of all simply by choosing a terrain with good natural defenses like a hilltop or an island in the middle of a river. They can also customize the deployment position of their defensive troops as well as their behavior in battle.
When two enemy armies meet on a same tile, they trigger a battle that can be witnessed in real time in the region view. Unlike many other online games, those battles are not instantaneous and allies can reinforce the armies during the battle. Fighting troops take into consideration terrain elevation, water , buildings and existing fortifications like walls. They can cross rivers with rafts and climb cliffs or walls with ladders, though it takes them a lot of time making them vulnerable to enemy fire. They can also breach gates with rams. All troops are AI controlled during the battle itself, making its resolution automatic.
Ymir takes inspiration in games such as Civilization, Pharaoh, Anno, Age of Empires, Travian, Ogame orStronghold Kingdoms. If you have any interest in one of those games, this game might interest you.