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Guides/Egyptian Building Codes

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Egyptian Building Codes

One of the more confusing and frustrating aspects of Egypt are the building codes. Actually there are none, but then again there are. How can this be so?

You might very well ask...


Building Codes in General

  1. There is no real estate property ownership in Egypt. None.
    All the land, sand, ponds, lakes and rivers have no player owners other than Pharaoh. He allows us to build and construct anywhere we want to.
  2. No one owns the resources of Egypt. Well sort of...
    Trees, sand, dirt and other basics are not owned by players.
    Mines and Quarries are owned by the player/guild that made them but there is no restriction on locating the underlying resources.
  3. There are requirements that have to be met to build some items. A requirement might be that the building or structure to be on sand or dirt or clay. Once the requirement is met, there is no other restriction on the building.

    ex: If you want to build a dromedary pen, it must be located on a patch of sand. Any patch of sand will do.
    No one owns the sand anywhere and you are free to put your dromedary pen on any patch you fancy.

Building Code Restrictions

Given that there are no building codes there are some restrictions. Some are obvious and some are not. Some are very subtle.

You can build anywhere you like, even in your neighbor's yard. Your neighbor doesn't own the yard and if you want to put something in it, you are free to do so. However, do not expect your neighbor to be happy about this. DRAMA will happen. Even though there is no combat in Egypt there is conflict and a lot of it. This is a common source of conflict.

Now we are moving into the confusing and complicated area about what you can build and how it gets interpreted within the game.

Every image in the game has a "graphic footprint". This is very important. When you build a distaff inside a compound you see the footprint as you move and postition it. You cannot put one distaff on top of another. The system will not allow it. This is very important and can lead to some unexpected results later on.

In turf wars, the graphic footprint and date of construction become important. The GMs and DPs are bound by certain restrictions in regards to turf wars and constructed objects. These can be overriden by Pharaoh or by player laws but for the main part, if the item "follows the rules" then the GMs and DPs cannot interfere, even though they and the rest of Egypt may disapprove.

Rules? I thought there were no rules

Well, there are rules but most are not written or not obvious. This leads to a lot of confusion and great unhappiness when discovered.

So here we go into the abyss of rules.

First we need to remember the graphic footprint of an item.

  • Ex: Bonfires have varying sized footprints. A 1 wood bonfire has one size footprint and a 1,000 wood bonfire another.
  • Ex: Compounds have varying sized footprints. As you change your compound the footprint gets bigger or smaller,
  • Ex: A dromedary pen has a fixed size footprint.
  • Ex: Cicada Cages have a fixed size footprint.

Rule 1: No overlapping footprints

This is one unintuitive rule because it gets "broken" all the time. If no one objects, then mostly no one will bother about it, but if anyone does object then DRAMA will happen.

  • Ex: Cicada Cages may not be stacked one on top of another. When they are stacked directly on top of each other they look like one cage, not two. This is "not OK".
    We have a way of resolving a stacked cicada cage by separating them with: "Tests->Test of the Cicada" menu select "Move nearby cage". This will separate the stacked cage and now that their footprints are no longer overlapping there is no more problem.
  • Ex: Bunching up buildings. Some buildings can be overlapped after contruction with the Reposition Menu Option available for a short period after contruction. Dromedary Pens can be pushed closer together with overlapping footprints. This might be done for ease of access, to optimize a limited area or to utilize a limited "requirement" to make the building.
    • Ex: There is only a small patch of sand to build the pen on and you want multiple pens
    • Ex: The area you selected to build in has physical restrictions like high cliffs or mountains or hills that block the normal spaced out contstruction of the pen, so you push it on top of each other.
Technically, the footprints overlap and this is "not OK" but if no one complains then you may be able to keep the layout.

Rule 2: Date of Construction

Should someone complain about an overlapping item the date of construction becomes important to determine "which one gets to stay" and "which one goes".

If you own both structures you may be able to select which one you want to keep and remove/tear down the other offending object.

BUT... (there's always a but..)

What if you don't own the "offending object?" What if you stuck your dromedary pen on top a neighbor's because it was the only patch of sand for 500 coords? Or the other way, what if another player stuck their pen on top of yours?

If the footprints overlap then one of them has to go.

The date of construction marks the winner. If you built first, you get to keep the pen and the other player has to move. If you built later, then you must move.

Rule 3: No Overlap No Foul

Now we get into the murky parts. If the footprints don't overlap then there is no foul and nothing can be done.

If the dromedary pens are side by side and the footprints do not overlap anywhere then you both get to keep your pens. Nothing gets removed, nothing has to be relocated and the GMs, DPs are powerless to adjust things unless Pharaoh intervienes or a player law is passed to address the issue.


How can I prevent this problem?

Another tricky part is how to properly claim an area to prevent another player from "imposing on your space".

In broad terms, its counter productive to do too much because there are unlimited options and resources in Egypt. If someone builds something you don't like: Move to another spot. Yes, YOU have to move but it does avoid some DRAMA. Sometimes a kind DP or GM will assist other times not. It's up to them and how they see what's happening in your area. Sometimes all they can do it find a player with high salvage skills and have them tear down your camp.

But, if there is something you wish to protect and it is not too onerous a task, you can place 1 wood bonfires or drying racks around the area. If you do so, you have to be sure that you prevent the "heinous object" from being able to get a footprint in your shangri-la.

If they get in first, you have no recourse because the date of construction wins out. So, you have to plaster 1 wood bonfires or drying racks anywhere you don't want someone else to build.

Now the turf wars can get ugly fast and the Raeli Oven Wars are the worst. Any patch of clay anywhere in Egypt is subject to having an RO built on it.

If you are sitting on or near a clay patch you have several options:

  1. Move to another area
  2. Completely cover the patch with bonfires or drying racks to block it.
    If you leave a gap between them then another player can put theirs in between to block you back.
  3. Build your oven first and utilize the "requirements" to protect the rest of the location
    Raeli Ovens cannot be built within 50 coordinates of another oven.
  4. Build a Compound or other structure over the entire area

More Examples

So what happens if the footprints change?

What if you put down a 1 wood bonfire and another player puts down 1 wood bonfire next to yours. At the build time nothing is overlapping, so both bonfires are OK.

Now you add 1,000 more wood to yours and your bonfire gets way bigger. Your bonfire footprint overlaps the other one. After all, you should be able to use your bonfire.. right? Ahmmm, no...

Rule 1 trumps: you are not allowed to overlap another player's items. In this case you will be required to remove the amount of wood that generates the overlap.

If you had made a building like a compound that overlapped the other player's bonfire, you would have to reduce the size or tear it down.

What about multiple sculpture bases?

Well this is one of those exceptions to the rules.

Many sculptures are complex and use a lot of sculpture bases to make. Stacking them might technically be overlapping footprints but the nature of making a complex and detailed sculpture sometimes means overlapping lots of bases.

Now items in the base are no longer part of the world, they belong to the sculputure but multiple bases are normally stacked without any problems.

Of course, don't stack yours on someone else's or rules 1 and 2 will come into play.

What about someone using a sculpture to interfer with another one?

In this example we have two warring players A and B. Each has built a separate sculpture base and loaded in their own items. So far nothing is out of the ordinary.

If however, player B uses his sculpture's items to "intrude" into the sculpture space/area of player A and player A complains, then it is "likely" that player B will be required to remove the offending parts.

If player B is savy enough to keep the offending parts from intruding into the area, then it is likely no adjustments will be required.

Ex: Player A makes a sculpture sign saying "Good Eats Here".
Player B puts up a separate sculpture sign "<= Get Gas" with the arrow (<=) pointing at Player A's sculpture.
If the "<=" arrow does not intrude into the space of Player A's sculpture then it's OK.

What about someone using a sculpture to span roadways?

Sometimes sculptures are built to span roadways or used as big billboards pointing to areas of interest to the general game population (e.g. Tar =>) or general geographic designation (e.g. Now entering Our Valley). As long as these do not break any of the main rules there are no restrictions.

Ex: A guild builds a sculpture spanning a local roadway: (Our guild This Away =>)

Screen Shot Examples

Here are some screenies of overlapping footprints. Each with increasing degree of overlap. Where do they cross the line?

In chats with GMs there seem to be some variation in application of the rules, but the final word would be from a Dev.

  1. If it's a noob player, then the GM may help them fix the overlap. Reason: They don't know this is an exploit.
  2. If it's a veteran player, they will be required to tear down the building with not much help from the GM because "they know it's an exploit and built it that way on purpose." However, if the player has high salvage level then not much will be lost in materials and the player will be able to rebuild quickly.
  3. If there is no "material advantage" then the GM will likely give it a pass. However, if there is "significant advantage" then the item must be removed.


An Exploit or Not an Exploit?
Woodplanes with a small overlap.
This is not an exploit.
Woodplanes more overlap.
You might get by on this one.
Woodplanes extreme overlap.
This is an exploit.
2 vineyards overlapping.
This is an exploit.

Corrections and Discussions

Please add, correct and illuminate more about this complex topic. 
Zhukuram 14:37, 27 January 2012 (EST)