The relic upgrade system in AIKA
requires the Lord Marshal and citizens of a nation to combine their efforts to increase the power of their relics, particularly because of the amount of money and precious resources involved. Once upgraded, a relic's effect on citizens' stats, XP gain, and rate of item drops from monsters is permanently increased by a significant percentage. Citizens who contribute needed resources to the upgrade effort may receive rewards in the form of XP or do-it-yourself "recipes" for creating items (DIYs).
To upgrade a relic, the relic must first be secured in one of the nation's Temples. The Lord Marshal activates the relic to initiate the upgrade process. Normal citizens may then approach the Relic Upgrade Theletar in central Regenshein to donate items and check on the progress of gathering all needed materials.
Three types of resources are necessary to successfully upgrade a relic: ores, XP, and gold. The ores are special caelium ores of various types which materialize at random on the ground in Verband, Amarkand, and Tabazra desert. The ores have HP bars like monsters do, and must in fact be attacked by Aitan in order to be broken open and harvested. Once an ore has been broken, there are three possible outcomes. The citizen might recover an entire ore, which is immediately spirited away to the nation's Altar of Aika for safekeeping. The citizen might recover fragments of caelium, which can be given to the Relic Upgrade Theletar in exchange for DIYs of varying rarity. In the third case, the citizen might not recover any caelium at all.
While these ores are not difficult to break, there is a catch: Aitan may only break and harvest ores outside of their home nation. It's a dangerous endeavor to collect these ores, as Aitan who venture to other nations are vulnerable to attack while they're attempting to aid their own nation's cause. Relics need thousands of ores to be upgraded, and so many brave Aitan may be called to assist their nation in amassing them.
Upgrading relics also requires a certain amount of XP. They gain XP via donations of items and equipment from citizens. The rarer or more valuable the item, the larger the amount of XP gained by donation. When citizens donate items to a relic upgrade effort, they gain XP equal to the amount accrued to the relic. Nearly all items may be donated for relic upgrade purposes, with the XP value per item ranging from 1 to over 1,000 points.
Finally, when sufficient ores and XP have been amassed, the Lord Marshal is given the option of upgrading the relic which was originally activated. Selecting the "Upgrade" option withdraws a large sum of gold from the nation's treasury and completes the upgrade process.
Upgrading a relic is no small feat. It takes a motivated population and a Lord Marshal who is willing to invest time, money, and energy into the nation's relics and their protection, particularly since other nations will double their efforts to steal an upgraded relic. If a nation has multiple relics which can be upgraded, the Lord Marshal must decide which relics' powers should be strengthened to best support the nation's prosperity, prowess in battle, etc. Multiple relics may be activated at one time, but this may prove inefficient unless the nation is sufficiently prepared to donate items, quest for caelium ores, and give up large amounts of money from the treasury. However, greater relic boosts may give one nation's citizens significant advantages over others and attract more Aitan to declare citizenship in that nation. Since allied nations' citizens receive relic buffs when traveling to the nation of alliance, upgrading relics may also influence international relations. The relic upgrade system has subtle but significant ramifications for nations with regards to both PvP and PvE.