Big Brown Giga-Dragon.
So big you can't actually reach it, only its four legs.
The Suggestion Description:
My proposal is that a new unique creature be added, but one that involves a rather entertaining event-siege. This creature is above and beyond any unique before it, quite literally, and the event itself should provide a much better sense of progress compared to the standing-around nature of Rifts.
A major goal with the design of this proposal was that a large portion of the content be able to be recycled from existing assets, such as code or models. A lot of this would likely use Rift-code, for example.
I envision The Wurm as a multi-part and multi-phase boss. And when I say multi-part, I really mean multiple parts of the creature.
Lore-wise I see it as a cataclysmic creature that can never be truly banished, that bestows life force upon world when slain, but strips the very ground it stands on of energy when alive. Destined to regularly walk upon the world without the Ageless to keep it sealed, it is up to us to strike it down until it can conjure itself into existence again. This is simply the natural cycle.
Bit of backstory on this:
I first heard rumor of The Wurm on Wurmpedia back in late-2012 or so. A man named Draulius slipped in a little something interesting on the Path of Insanity page;
The moment I read that, I knew I wanted to pursue the Path of Insanity, just to get a chance to see something that might never have been seen otherwise. Alas, I never did get to see it in-game, and if this ever existed for even a moment in time, it was gone by the time models for dragons were remade. I had dug through the graphical assets to see if it maybe had a texture page, but couldn't find it anywhere.
Now for whatever reason, even though the above image has been on the main web page since before even that Wurmpedia edit, I never made the connection that that was it. For many years, actually. It's silly, I know.
These days, I can't help but feel that at some point in time this was an actual 3D model. The wings are uncanny like that.
But, backstory aside, let me sum this post up for you!
Huge emphasis on elemental threats and countering those same threats with an opposing elemental weakness, giving good reason to use flame aura, frostbrand, venom, and rotting touch over the more common bloodthirst and life transfer, plus other damage resistance enchantments.
Singular stationary boss entity with multiple body parts that can attack individually and be killed separately.
The initial fight; a PVE siege vs a crudely fortified pile of crater and ruin, with new yet somewhat familiar creatures holding the line.
War machines now playing an important part in PVE, there's no way to win without them.
Victory alters the world for everyone collectively, present or not.
New application of a couple skills; stone cutting and forestry! Oooo~
To quote Starship Troopers; Would you like to know more?
The Spawn Arena and New Creatures:
Similar to a Rift, forwards notice is given to everyone ahead of time that it's about to happen.
The world occasionally trembles, growing more and more violent with each passing day(New screen-shake option!).
After a couple real days, a crater bursts out of the world at an unoccupied location; again similar to Rifts. The Wurm stands tall within the middle of this, visible no matter where you are in the world like a beacon, towering above all.
I'd actually like this crater to be able to most commonly appear in/over water, either temporarily raising an island from the sea as a non-destructive stage, or creating a giant pseudo-bridge-like-structure to walk upon, but this might be very difficult to implement.
The crater isn't actually a modification of the land(like a rod of eruption or whatever it was) but a series of structural objects like building walls that only appear to be part of the terrain.
The Wurm stays stationary in the middle of the crater, meanwhile the rest of the crater is structured as a sprawling labyrinth inhabited by all manner of new dragon-esque creatures.
(Edit: I completely forgot to cite this, but Jackal had structure generation. So, even if it seems like placing down buildings on-the-fly might require new code, it actually already exists, and can be recycled here just like Rift stuff!
The new critters include things like:
Dracogoblins; similar to normal goblins but with an altered appearance and imbued with a random type of elemental damage and resistance, matched with an opposing elemental weakness, capable of casting offensive elemental spells and support spells.
Dragon Knights; similar treatment to Dracogoblins, these are trolls adorned with draconic weaponry(usually halberds and spears, sometimes axes, mauls, swords and shields) and armor enchanted with a random elemental damage type and matching resistance plus opposing weakness. Essentially the grunts of this event, they're tough and hit hard.
Beargon; half bear, half dragon, completely awesome. It's pretty big, like the size of a normal dragon, and mostly element-immune. Meant to be a very tanky and threatening presence. Occasionally a Dragon Knight will ride these, making them a mounted threat!
Cockatrice; the classic tiny terror, essentially just a micro-dragon-chicken-hybrid that can be surprisingly hard to hit, and very annoying if they swarm together. Despite their appearance they don't actually do any kind of elemental damage or attacks, they just bite and peck at you. Dracogoblins summon these!
Hell Pig; a mutant-pig brimming with power. Engulfed in flame, crackling with ice, slick with acid, or spined and drooling with venom, this beast is essentially meant to be a very dangerous glass-cannon that causes pain if not dealt with quickly.
Anything else fun you could think of?
All of these essentially being some common monster or wildlife that's been warped. In actuality, this is so that new assets don't need to be made from scratch, but instead existing models can be morphed to reduce the time needed to create them. Economical!
The entire fight plays out as an offensive siege, building war machines like trebuchets and catapults and knocking holes through the labyrinth while moving forwards into it, fighting off the threats that retaliate within.
Some of these threats, such as Dracogoblins, sit atop the crater-like structures out of reach from melee. This makes them vulnerable only to spells, bows, and ballista-fire(Or you can just catapult the whole wall down).
When pushed through to the center, The Wurm now attacks.
It is massive. The body is too high up to be damaged, but the legs standing upon the ground are vulnerable.
Each leg is individually targetable, and has its own health pool, but cannot be damaged by normal attacks.
Instead they can only be damaged by war machines, ballista and battering rams in particular, giving incentive to use them on Freedom.
Until the legs are defeated, The Wurm attacks at range from high up with various constantly-changing elemental AoE effects(breath attacks, tail swipes, and throwing a bunch of people at once with wind gusts), encouraging spreading out and regularly switching legs, lest ye be nuked under its concentrated might!
Once its legs are sufficiently damaged or crippled, it falls, clearing away most of the labyrinth it was standing above. The proper fight can now begin; Its head, each wing, and its tail are now targetable and damageable by normal attacks, and each attacks players separately.
The wings will occasionally move to protect the head, the tail will occasionally stun en-mass, and the head will occasionally drench the area around itself in a chaotic mist of constantly-shifting elemental damage.
Otherwise, the parts attack like normal; the tail bruising, wings cutting, and the head piercing and biting.
The Wurm is of course stationary all this time, it's far too big and would probably take too much effort to program it and all its parts to actually move in tandem anywhere. It's meant to stand there and fall there, relying on its different body parts to attack at different angles from itself.
Throughout the battles, priests are rewarded with small increases in faith similarly to how fighting skill is gained; doing damage and supporting allies. The gods watch from above with glee!
Once concluded, with The Wurm slain(it evaporates on the spot leaving no corpse behind), the crater-structures now begin to decay within days and the world is blessed by its incarnated blood spilling forth, causing various effects to happen:
The entire battlefield temporarily blooms into a beautiful flowery meadow(if this happened on-land).
For a short time water collected from wells/fountains from the battlefield, or waterbodies within the battlefield(or the local area of sea if over the sea is possible) is temporarily transmuted into a new special type of water that can be collected; it restores thirst like normal but also restores stamina like alcohol! Decays and eventually turns into normal water after some time.
All over the world random trees advance in growth and spread, crops immediately advance to ready-to-harvest or increase in yield otherwise, random non-reinforced cavetiles collapse and turn into an ore vein of some kind, tamed and branded creatures older than mature age are bumped down a stage(venerable horses become old for example), and other such world-wide benefits!
Anything else you could think of?
As for actual loot, The Wurm itself grants a golden-colored dragon scale to everyone in local(its earthen-brown now tarnished... in a weird way), and leaves behind large dragon eggs that can be harvested for their moonmetal shells and primordial fluids, similarly to how Rift materials are harvested; using forestry skill and a bucket(since harvesting fluid would be most similar to harvesting maple sap) and stonecutting skill with a chisel(for cracking away at the shell).
The moonmetal explains itself(I dunno if it should be all of them at random, seryll, or an entirely new material?), the primordial fluids can be used for a couple things though:
It decays quickly like food does, so it needs to be used within a short time.
The first possible use is applying it to a creature(all of these effects combined unless stated otherwise):
It reduces creature age down one stage but no lower than mature.
The creature is instantly fed and fattened, and does not get hungry for some period of time.
If it is a dominated monster, zombified creature, or tamed/charmed animal that naturally hunts; It is given an effect that makes it quickly regenerate health for a period of time.
If it is a horse(or anything else with variations in the future), the user is prompted on whether they would like to spread it over the creature's coat/skin/whatever, if so they may choose a non-special color/variation or select an option that randomly changes the color/variation but has a chance to be any sort of faster/special color/variation too.
If it is a female creature; It will be given a temporary effect that prevents miscarriage for a large period of time. If it is pregnant, the baby's development is accelerated and the mother gives birth with no chance of miscarriage within 1 real-life hour, in addition to the miscarriage-prevention effect.
If it is a male creature; It is given a temporary fertility effect that causes breeding with it to be more likely to pass on its traits/characteristics(champion for example), as well as making it extremely likely for there to be more than one offspring to develop(twins or even triplets being born).
These effects wear off after some period of time or from a certain amount of breeding.
The second possible use is as a cooking ingredient:
Used in anything like salt, it gives the resulting recipe an effect identical to Oppulence while still being able to stack with the actual spell, causing it to be more filling and also have higher CCFP fill, and also increasing the resulting dish's weight by some predictable amount. Something that should only make a 2kg meal actually results in 4kg, for example. Magic! And it of course provides the same effect as salt.
The third application is when mixed with source salt:
It creates a potion of course! This stops the fluid's accelerated decay, but it can no longer be used for the above purposes.
The potion can be applied to anything that Mend can be cast on.
If it's a tool/weapon/armor; It is imbued to have negated or massively reduced enchantment drain(so the imbue fades over use, but the enchantment doesn't).
If it's a material(like a log or lump), it doubles the weight but halves the quality. Of course everyone and their grandmother will use this to double their seryll, or whatever new material if any from the egg shells.
Otherwise most of the loot would come from the draconic defenders:
Beargons can be butchered for hides which create a unique type of leather or studded leather armor which provides very effective elemental resistances for future Wurm fights(essentially introducing different hide properties similar to different metal properties).
Cockatrices can be butchered for draconic-feathers which can be used to create elemental arrows for bows.
Draconic weapons dropped by Dragon Knights which are impressively powerful but decay quickly like shod clubs and take a lot of damage with use(can't be repaired or mended of course), and very robust yet brittle Draconic armor pieces(finally, dragonscale helms! ...if only for a short time...) that protect very well against very specific types of damage but leave you vulnerable to other kinds.
Very small amounts of random-colored dragon scales from Dracogoblins.
Elemental meat from the Hell Pigs which when eaten imbue you with a natural breath attack for a short time!
And other such thematic things!
Also, fun fact; there exists a texture in the files for golden-dragonscale armor. If you were curious what the golden-scales drop might look like when used to make armor:
All in all, I hope this or something like it could be implemented in the future when the development roadmap starts touching on things like the unique rework and PVE-focused content.