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TL;DR summation of rant
Rewrite Ultimate Equipment Scorpion Whip as follows.
Whip, Scorpion .... 15 gp .... 1d3 .... 1d4 .... x2 .... — .... 3 lb. .... S .... Performance
This whip has a series of razor-sharp blades and fangs inset along its tip. If you are proficient with whips you are proficient with the scorpion whip, you can use it as a whip.
I've been getting back into Pathfinder after a decent hiatus and am only now digging into Ultimate Equipment... and much to my horror I find the butchered Ultimate Combat version of the Scorpion Whip still clinging to life.
What was wrong the Adventurer's Armory Scorpion Whip? I want a designer to answer. Paizo, you've managed to dodge and basically ignore all feedback you got when you rolled out the UC version. You haven't addressed any of the problems or confusion pointed out. Such as why does it suddenly change from a Light weapon to a One-Handed weapon if you're proficient with and use it like a normal Whip.
From a mechanical standpoint the now Ultimate Equipment Scorpion Whip is a bogus use of the Exotic Weapon proficiency. The gladius makes a better choice. The knuckle axe, madu, Pata, Quadrens, and Sica as well.
.... *insert rage face meme here*
Okay I get it, a 15 foot reach lethal damage melee weapon isn't coming back as single feat equipment. For whatever strange reason you've decided this isn't balanced and you had to find a way to force Whip using characters into taking the Whip Mastery feat chain.
However could you at the minimum errata your neutered Scorpion Whip so that it's covered by Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip). If you have to bump the gold price to 15 gp instead of 5. As it stands there is zero logical reason to take EWP (Scorpion Whip). It's dead end for the "performance" tag and takes you out of the way of the Whip Mastery set
In short rewrite the entry as "Whip, Scorpion". The same way the game already treats a "Bow" and its Composite entires. "For purposes of Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus a scorpion whip is treated as if it were a whip." See even dropping the "and similar feats" to avoid any oddities that could come up from Whip Mastery.
OR to really KISS and save some word space
This whip has a series of razor-sharp blades and fangs inset along its tip. It deals lethal damage, even to creatures with armor bonuses. If you are proficient with whips you are proficient with the scorpion whip, you can use it as a whip.
5 extra words to turn a failure into something usable. plus 1 extra character to bump the gold price from 5g to 15g
You really want to get skimpy and rely on the implied elements of the weapon table
This whip has a series of razor-sharp blades and fangs inset along its tip. If you are proficient with whips you are proficient with the scorpion whip, you can use it as a whip.
Note completely dropping the "lethal damage part". It already has its entry doing 1d4 lethal damage, the lack of a "nonlethal" tag is a giveaway there. The only confusion will remain the "you can use it as a whip." part, which is currently a point of confusion as it is currently written so no change there.
Its things like this that make me glad I don't participate in Pathfinder Society play, as I can house rule poor design choices like this out of my games.
Just getting back into Pathfinder after a hiatus...
And the Scorpion Whip for Ultimate Combat returns for more failure. Paizo, did you not get the rather heavy hint that is was a bad design choice to take. It's nonsensical and contradicts itself.
You didn't do anything to solve the issue of what the "if you are proficient with whips, you can use a scorpion whip as a whip," part where Scorpion Whip is a light weapon and a Whip is One-handed.
You had a viable, working weapon in the Adventures Armory version of the Scorpion Whip. It wasn't over powered. It was doing basically the same job as throwing Daggers at the cost an exotic weapon proficiency for most classes. Plus it didn't have odd wording. If you were concerned about "balance" it would have been better just to bump the cost up.
Fail, fail, fail. You don't even let Exotic Weapon Proficiency ( Whip ) cover both your totally neutered "performance" weapon and the normal whip.
An Exotic 1d4 light melee weapon with only performance as it's specially ability is not acceptable. The Gladius does a better job then hack job you pulled on the poor scorpion whip.
That's basically what happens in EVE. PvE 'adventure' is resource gathering. Occasionally there will be 'rarer' items that drop among the crud. At which point it's more akin how Pen and Paper party treasure can get divvied up. Do you buy it with your "share", does it goes to the person of greatest need? And so on.
The typical end result is all 'junk' is carted out, sold or scrapped, and a payment is made by the 'leader' to split the proceeds usually evenly (but any distribution will do). In the case of scrapped (broke down for raw materials) the 'leader' is typically obligated to pay at least minimum market value.
The only way this process could be speed up would be to auto-sell items at as some set market value, but that brings a wealth of headaches. As long as the tedium doesn't outweigh return it's part of the situation. If you take every last Dog-Slicer out of massive goblin warren ya gotta find a way to sell it, or at least sell the scrap when you break it down.
When I left EVE they had just added Fleet loot logging. Basically just a list of what was picked up and by whom, and when, while the Fleet was active. Both as a way to quickly assign payment (often mission running leaders would pay out of pocket to Fleet members, and then sell the loot later) and to keep track of who tried to quietly grabbed the "super widget 9000".
If Thorin's 'company' in the Hobbit had loot logging enable Gandalf would have been able to see:
The One Ring; Bilbo Baggins; Third Age - 2941 - A few days after Midsummers day - ~5:00 pm
And then we'd get How the Hobbit Should Have Ended.
Yes, I'd immagine you'd have to be in a group structure to join someone else's dungeon and not get flagged as a thief. EVE uses impromptu Fleets for this. City of Heroes used to do Teams.
Let me turn this on its head just because its too easy to pain the defender as a Good (with a capital G) guy. A group of Robin Hood style bandits are harassing and looting the trader backing a Lawful Evil power base (steal for the rich and Evil). Assume this scenario.
There are two different scenarios to consider actually, depending on how the flagging system is implemented
1) the "Attacker'" is the first aggressor, they started it, they got the "chaotic" ding.
2) the "Defender" started it by attacking the 'Attacker' after they got flagged as criminal of say picking the "Defender's" pocket.
3rdly) Where this is happening, in full open PvP or a heavily NPC protected area.
Assuming a NPC protected area, where the 'Attacker' is going to get curbed stomp for starting the fight... when the NPCs show up.
In EVE the flagging system is not inherited, not exactly. If I roll up and shoot the 'aggressor' in a fight I'm not in yet I am now a new 'aggressor' by the system rules. The system doesn't take the criminal flagging into account.
In order for a 'aid' the defender system to word, it has to take the status of flagging into account. A bit of auto-grouping essentially.
Lets take (2), as this is the more common "wish I could help but can't" situation that occurs in EVE.
1: "Attacker" steals from "Defender's" kill; Flagged Criminal ("Defender" can attack without NPC reaction)
2: "Defender" attacks "Attacker"; Flagged Aggressor toward "Attacker" ("Attacker" can attack without NPC reaction)
3: "3rd Party" attacks "Attacker: Flagged Aggressor (NPCs come running and curb-stomp "3rd Party".)
That's how EVE does it. To let a 3rd party actually get in you have a bit of inheritance.
1: "Attacker" steals from "Defender's" kill; Flagged Criminal ("Defender" can attack without NPC reaction)
2: "Defender" attacks "Attacker"; Flagged Aggressor toward "Attacker" ("Attacker" can attack without NPC reaction)
3: "3rd Party" attacks "Attacker": Flagged Aggressor toward "Attacker" (because the "Attacker" is already Flagged Criminal, no NPC reaction. "Attacker" can counter attack "3rd party")
What about someone coming to the Attacker's aid in the above? Personally, if this is happening in a NPC protected zone, pox on the Attacker. He chose to bait and play games that way. Even if he's the noble thief Robinhood, let the NPCs curb-stomp his buddies if they try to jump in. In a 'protected' space, the disadvantage should be on the "Attacker" and anyone else should have the option of giving them a swift kick for it without an NPC.
The only Criminal flag is the one given to the "Attacker". If the "Attacker" is both Criminal and Aggressor, open session game.
There is another mess that can be created, where the "Attacker" steals the loot and then drops it. The "Defender" then picks it back up and gets flagged for stealing the "Attacker's" now item. In EVE ownership is appending to the "container" holding the items. Not sure how ownership will be handled in PFO, but I'd guess it will be similar just to avoid database issues. 20 lumps of Gold Ore wont' get a variable of their original miner's name. It's the act of taking from a pack/sack/loot-bag/body that flags, not the actual possession of item.
In the case of both being flagged, things would get mess as both would be Aggressor and Criminal, meaning a kind of bloody free for all on the two. The only way I can think to mitigate that is to allow the "Defender" to steal from the "Attacker" (who is already flagged criminal) without getting flagged himself.
This would actually be best written in programing logic and I'll have to come back later with that.
Now lets take the NPC reaction force out of the loop. Now the states of "Criminal", Aggressor, Attacker, Defender, aren't really an issue outside of how it impacts Reputation and Alignment. And that is a slightly different tangent.
A Flagging system is all about who is allowed to do what to whom under the eyes of the NPC guardian system. When you take the AI guardians out of the equation Flagging doesn't really matter, which is what unrestricted totally open PvP is.
Without NPC guards. I can jump in whenever I feel like it... and so can anyone else. The only issue then becomes how Alignment and Reputation get affected. Which one of the major issues this thread has brought up. Exactly what acts do what and how much to whom. Bigger can of worms, but related to "Can-Flipping" and "High-Sec" griefing tricks.
Jousting tournaments, the Melee, wrestling, martial arts competitions.
The Chaotic way of combat is to just walk up to the fellow and slug him.
The Lawful way is to throw your glove in his face.
The Evil way is leave a corpse at the end (maybe two).
The Good (or at least Neutral) way is to leave an unconscious body. I guess Good would stopping at first blood or some other rather lenient 'scoring' system, like in boxing, wresting, or various martial arts.
I take issue with point #4. Without a 'dual/tournament/contest' system you can't have Lawful combat (outside the War system). If you don't have a non-lethal option you can't have Neutral combat. This means the only "meaningful" combat is to the death, and that cheapens all other kinds or makes them absolutely meaningless (which means no one is going to really do them).
I will argue point #3, PvP is It is a resource-drain with no reward (to the game economy as a whole). PvP invariably means the loss of resources in the whole system. Items are destroyed or damage, consumables expended, and so on. One side or the other may come out head in the resource loss (by taking whats left of the other side stuff), they may even 'personally' profit, but at the end the totality is a loss.
That is a money-sink. You can't put Coin into PFO by PvP. You can only shift it and remove it. It is also high risk (lose most of your stuff) high reward (get most of theirs, less damage/expendables). It is entirely possible to scale this back just like there are gradients to the 'openness' of PvP. The less risk, the less reward.
Resource loss is a side issue, much like gambling. If you sit down to play cards you can play for different stakes, high (like world tournament of poker), low (hundreds of dollars instead of thousands), virtually none ( a few bucks between friends). Unless you're the winner, you lose all. How much you win and how much you lose depends on the initial stakes.
Now to the cards analogy throw in that every game played X% of the total pot is taken by... lets call it the house, and removed forever from play. It's a bit better in a game like PFO because resource loss in low/no stakes combat can be lessened as well, for example not expending healing potions, buff items, or expensive spell components.
Risk/Reward & Cost/Profit
It doesn't have to a one size fits all number when it comes to PvP. It sure isn't one size when it comes to PvE (mining, dungeons, etc.) risk/reward. Why are the best resources out in free for all PvP lands and not in the 'safer' starting areas? Because the risk is higher there, both from better Players and from more powerful AI-monsters.
Agreed, proactive self defense is not possible in EVE.
Likewise the complexity of the flagging system deters people from assisting people being attacked. Classic case in EVE is Can-Flipping (or 'stealing' to get flagged as 'criminal' to goad another player into attacking). In this situation the aggrieved party cannot be directly assisted by a 3rd party. A 3rd party could jump in with non-attack support (such as healing/repairs). This in turn opens the healer up as a legit target to be attacked, and if it is, can then shoot back.
What this prevents is any meaningful combat on the Good end of the spectrum where people can come to the aid of say, an unaligned merchant being attacked by bandits (a common thematic element in fantasy worlds). This could be left to PvE but that doesn't build a player driven response system to acts of banditry.
A small point however, in EVE the penalty for death can be minimized quite heavily which makes suicided ganking worth the trouble. It is suicided because they get killed by the NPC response force while a buddy darts in scoops up the loot. One way to deal with that would be to 'lock' the corps if the 'marshals' show up and kill the ganker. In game this would be the equivalent of the marshals taking the body (and stuff) back to HQ for retrieval by family/friends/the-person-killed. They're not going to let some pick-pockets run up to the crops after the fact.
This is mostly directed at the 'safer' High-Sec end of EVE space. In Low-Sec, where NPC guards don't respond things get more open. Risk/Reward. Although the flagging system and Standing hits for getting into combat still happen. Used to be a part of a Low/Null-Sec patrol alliance that would regularly sweep NPC controlled territory along a particular corridor to keep try an keep trade flowing up and down. In PFO this could very well be a 'Good' group but will slowly get Evil hits for engaging and driving off the 'Evil' bandits.
It all goes back to IMO the Kill vs Subdue issue. Initiating combat being Chaotic I can get behind, especially without a set of formalized system (see dueling). However PFO currently doesn't have a system of combat without death in the plotting.
Milo Goodfellow wrote:
I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the article. A very underplayed aspect of the pen and paper game is the use of non-lethal damage to knock out instead of outright kill foes.
Currently in most open PvP games there is no real distinction between 'good' PvP and 'bad' PvP. A bystander who jumps into a furball on behalf of the defender gets slapped almost as hard as the original atttacker. The down side is I see Chaotic 'good' griefers who just about assaulting and knocking people out (looting or no looting). Provided there is still some kind of alignment shift based on who you attack it could work out.
Chaotic Netural then becomes the home of the aggravatingly unpredictable, but said player isn't as likely to kill you dead and take every last bit of loot off your body, maybe just your pocket change and any lose items. This makes it distinct from Chatoic Evil and not just a way station along the path.
I would not call these 'personalized' figures. That makes it sound like another one of many 3-D printing endeavors, which it isn't. Instead this is a 1-inch wide dual-sided LCD screen for displaying images. I'd put it more kin to a digital cardboard stand miniatures.
Cool idea, but kinda this almost feels like it'd have a better run using E Ink's color e-ink technology. Static, low-power image display is exactly what e-ink was built for.
I still can't help but feel this is still a few years to early. Then again someone's got to push the market. Based on the kick starter is seems like he's looking to sell them at about $15 dollars each and 4 hours of active play time. It's got promise, and as NFC/Bluetooth controller chip prices drop it defiantly has room to grown in interactivity with the play surfaces (already you could make a base that interacts with capacitive touch screens).
brock, no the other one... wrote:
Especially for the non-distructive cropping. But so many other things.
On Android a quick search brings up ezPDF Reader which seems to have similar cropping feature. If its good for fitting legal documents to size it should be good for RPG products.
So I wasn't just being uncaring of what Wizards was up to and this was really recent. Oh happy day... and I think my entreatment budget just cried out in terror. To bad they selection is still so small. Lots stuff I'd like see get put up if they could.
Like the old Aleternity books. I was actually talking myself into getting them all digitally back in '09 when they shuttered the PDF sales.
The Complete Book of Villains (2e) is also on my "wish" list for a digital copy. One of those books that remains viable, especially for new GMs across editions.
Did WotC ever get its VTT up and running? I remember watching a demo for it in the early days of 4E and thought it looked really cool. I don't recall hearing much since though.
No, they got into a 'beta' for their D&D Insiders which was more like a rough alpha. Wizards has had a bad track record of backing the wrong technology and picking Silverlight(virtually no mobile support) was no different this time. They finally canned it back in July last year due to "lack of interest".
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I would be careful about Dundjinni though. No one is minding the store, the original programmer has been in and out of contact over the last few years so It's a bit of a dodgy thing. I wish this wasn't the case because it really was a good program and much promise going forward.
Like Adamantine Dragon I've had to move on to other options. Currently I'm using a mix of vector drawing programs. TouchDraw and iDraw (both iPad), Artboard (Mac), even dabbled in using Sketchup. The big advantage of Sketchup is that it can be used render full 3D environments to scale and it's learning curve is actually fairly gentle for basic drafting. Make sure you grab the download under the Pro, there is a free version.
Then ban them, that's a moderation mechanic of the game's meta. Simple as that. Account, credit card, and IP if need be. Outright remove such players from the pool entirely. Rarely is such meta play anything other then another tool for griefing.
I would challenge the Devs to look at actual ways to support in-game spying as part of their 'next gen' efforts.
Sounds like he prefers scripted, AI guided evil. Real intelligence behind your opponents is too much for some people.
No, I got tired of EVEs general b~!#@*~! making it impossible to form impromptu groups. Which is why I don't play EVE anymore. Forgetting that EVE does't have "Good and Evil" outside the Concord rating (which doesn't mean much) just about anyone can be an Alt ready to betray everyone at the drop of a hat.
I seriously hope the Devs and Mods of PFO crack down hard on those kinds of Meta-games.
Yep, or at least have those giant alignment flags as detectible as they are in P&P (by spells) because otherwise you get meta like EVEs where convoluted Out-of-Game spying using shell characters is a common and accepted practice. Doing what has no equivalent in-game mechanic that can be "fought" against.
I am 100% against the use of this kind of Meta-Knowledge for intentional tactical gain. If someone wants to be a shadowy spy infiltrating the opposite organization, make that a skill and make a counter for it. Or are you afraid to play a spy in such a system where your toons true nature could be discovered with appropriate resources.
Use in-game methods to hide what the character is so in-game methods can be used to discover it. Don't bull s!$+ the system by creating a 100% Good aligned character as the spy plant for your Evil one. That is hard core cheating and abuse of the system. Ditto goes for the other way around, Evil flagged alts spying for "Good" mains.
There will be more then enough action without Meta game b!*#%#$* creating an atmosphere of inherent mistrust.
Actually I suspect the Tarrasque, and invading hordes of savage humanoids, are the kind of "Monster" events the Devs were looking at running every so often.
Constant PvP can help drive a story, but so can slightly randomized PvE. The Environment shouldn't just go away because people are fighting. Wandering Monsters are a classic P&P staple. Corrupted Blood may be going over the top into Griefable territory but thats an example of non-monster PvE making things different from what's expected.
The point is to add a bit of chaos where it otherwise may not exists. EVE gate camping fleets are basically scripted, down the minium number and types of ships needed to setup and maintaining a lockdown on a low sec gate (including dealing with NPC gate guns). They only have to worry about an opposing Player fleet of greater size/ability coming to attack them. If they also had to worry about getting jumped by a totally random Concord (space police) or NPC pirate group passing through (with randomized ship types/strengths) it would very much change the meta. Same thing goes with mining in EVE, the NPC "spawns" that show up are very predictable and can be planed for.
Predicable systems are boring systems, which is why the concept of Open PvP worlds exist and not just PvE theme parks, players/humans are innately forces of chaos on an ordered system, which makes the game world more unpredictable, which makes it an going challenge.
I guess I'm saying at minimum don't forget the Wandering Monsters. This is a living fantasy world full of fantasy creatures. They aren't all going to stand around in little clumps next to resources scratching their butts waiting to get jumped.
Simple d20 game mechanic on perception. A battle (and by battle that would be assuming about 8 participants) has a -10 to the Perception DC. Every 10 feet adds +1. A full on fight can be heard 100 feet away without even trying (DC 0). A typical unskilled 1st level goblin warrior will likely have a 50% change at 200 feet. Animals (which are often default trained in perception and base 12 wisdom) will have at minimum +5, which means a total 100% chance at 150 feet, 50% at 250 feet. As you get tougher and tougher animals and monsters that radius only increases. Many monsters are known for not carrying about danger and will virtually always move toward noises.
The difference between just walking and a battle comes out to 200 feet worth of sound in the P&P game. So a group of basic goblins that wouldn't have even noticed you suddenly get a 50% change (per goblin) to now notice the fight and decide if they want to come over and find out what's up.
I'm just going to say it. I hope you (or I hope the hypnotical you, assuming your just playing devils advocate here) and people like you get caught in the Devs multi-layer Griefing defenses and perma-banned. We don't need EVE Fantasy, not with it's f***** meta of backstabbing, two-facing, and general constant treachery.
Either play Evil like this all points toward or go play another game.
The LOOTZ MAN! Gotta go fast to beat everyone else to those choice resources on the perimeter of 'civilization'. Gotta beat the daily respawn rush! Also can't keep my bros waiting cause the found a sweet dungeon with more fat loots on the opposite side of the map.
Coming from EVE where the only true "fast" travel was:
1) Get a faster warping ship (i.e. carry less stuff and learn to run faster)
Jump Drives being like Teleport of EVE, only you had land in LowSec (PvP open) space so ya had to have some friends on the other end spotting of trouble. Even then sometimes it took several "teleports" to go from one end of EVE to the other.
I never really saw people comparing that it took too long. The system they did have was an auto-pilot. Set it let it auto move you through High-Sec (safer) space, go take a bio (food, water, exercise, bathroom) break, come back and be where you needed to be.
That explained, "Faster" travel or automated travel would both be useful in the longer term. I'm less keen on the Devs stance on being attachable while in effectively Auto-Travel... it can and does happen in EVE but it often takes a specialized suicide ship(s plural when it came to dragging down larger freighter and battle ships classes) willing to get blown up by the Space Police to do it. Most of the time is was a fairly safe thing to set the auto-pilot when going form one side of EVE to the other and then just go AFK for a bit.
Oh it will. If it can avoid some of the backstabbery BS and innate (almost encouraged) griefing that plagues EVE, it will. Since the Devs are going to take a hard stand on griefing from the start they're already one=upping EVE in my book.
How to do Probing in EVE, or how to find people in Deadspaces and warp/travel to them. Useful in Low Sec (full PvP space) for actually hunting mission runners. Or in High Sec for finding a "dungeon" that is being run and "looting/stealing" all the stuff they've left on the bodies.
How EVE NPC missions/quests work for people who've never played EVE.
More reasons for pets:
• Any class in the P&P game can buy Guard Dogs, Hunting Dogs, Hawks, etc and train them. There is even a skill for it (for those who don't P&P), Handle Animal. No reason it can't be true in PFO. A Fighter with a pack of Hunting Dogs.
• It is definitely part of 4 out the 12 classes (Wizard, Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer), plus any class that Summons (which is just about every caster class)
• Depending on how the searching for Instance dungeons and other 'hidden' sites works, "Pets" can work as the equivalent to EVE probes to augment the search.
• It lays the ground for commanding humanoid NPC AI when it comes to War Time, and Monster Event time. The Monster Actors (players picked by GW) need some way of influencing their AI minions.
• It adds to the economy. The buying, selling, raising, and training for "pets", plus equipment and "pet" focused consumables almost double the number of craft-able things in the market.
The "pet" or in other words subordinate AI, is so critical it shouldn't have even been on the poll to begin with. This is the kind of sub-system that makes a game stand out from others. Especially little theme-park junk like WoW's mobile stuffed animals.
Tyncale, seriously go look at how EVE handles this. EVE is hardly empty because of their PvE "space dungeon" raiding. My only major gripe about EVE PvE is that it was really hard to from impromptu groups due to Trust issues, which was due to EVEs setting and meta. Everything else can work in context of PFO. It was just the Trust issue of not knowing if a player/character was a plant that was out to backstab and assist in griefing that made it inferior.
EVE also used semi-instansed temporary dungeons for player PvE missions. The reason for the semi is that they could still be found by other people who had the right skills and equipment to "scan" for other ships and ship wreckage. Which were the same skills needed to find randomly occurring non-Player generated areas of interest, which includes things like gas clouds and other high value resource.
In PFO I could see this being some offshoot of the Surveil Skills, and another big reason why I want PETS! Hawks and other birds or even land based animals could easily substitute for EVE Probes when it comes to 'searching' an area for hidden things.
And if you were randomly attacked by an AI wandering monster above your level instead of a player, would that be any better. Keeping in mind that areas your more likely to get attacked are also a higher reward (for your risk). Because in the end thats what open PvP is, a smarter wandering monster guarding the most valuable goodies.
By stepping outside the comfort zone I mean that you should be prepared to die. It is going to happen, be it from the AI or more likely at the hands of a player. If you can't get your head around occasional death then this game will never be for you, nor any open world game. Even in Minecraft on a non-PvP server you will die. Once you get over the fear of death and a bit of loss (as the trade-off for higher profit) then you are 90% of the way the way to being a Carebear in a PvP world. The other 10% is learning where the safer spots are.
You likely wont take me at my word but I was and am a carebear player. I generally don't like PvP when possible. Save for specific chosen instances. I was more then happy to do simple mission running until had built up a sufficient cushion of cash and gear. I then went out into the higher risk/higher reward spaces where PvP was less controlled.
I also used to be a mining boss in EVE, running crews of 12+ ships in belt mining, both safe and un-safe space. The important thing to be clear on is that you should not be alone. Most of the time I was doing missions or mining i was in a group of at least 3 or more. In low-sec (full PvP) mining we would also run with a small squad of PvPers for defense. We would also check local intel for troublemakers, keep an eye the region, and be ready to ditch if things started looking bad.
And that was EVE, which is way more PvP happy then I read the PFO devs want to go. More people doing PvP just to mess with people. If PFO is EVEs level of "meaningless" PvP it'll be fine, and if the devs can pull off their magic to make it less it will be glorious.
The last note and the important one, you should not be playing alone. Be it mining, exploring, dungeon delving, you should be in a group. EVEs failing for carebears was that it was very hard to find pickup groups. EVEs meta was so dark and the rater lax attitude toward griefing made it almost impossible to TRUST another player. This is where I hope very much GW can best EVE. If i want to carebear Good then I'm going to trust the Devs to have a system to insure other people with a Good tag are people I can trust.
Kingmaker's Player's Guide. This is the guide book Game Masters were to give to any player joining a game running the Kingmaker Adventure Path. Set in the northern part of the River Kingdoms on the board between it and another nation, Kingmaker follows the efforts of group PCs to claim, hold, and eventually beat back all comers to their kingdom.
This kingdom building is very much at the heart of what PFO is going to do, and is also a hallmark of the River Kingdoms itself.
I was just about to back the Kickstarter, then I saw the open-world PvP...lost all interest at that moment.
Open PvP in PFO hopefully won't be the serious cluster grope it is in EVE. Then again the difference there is GoblinWorks stance out the gate to counter griefing instead of tastily encouraging it. I'm a PvE carebare in my heart of hearts, however after spending time in EVE I'm quite open to a more managed Open PvP situation.
Most of the time in EVE, PvP was actually quite limited if you:
With an anti-greifing stance going in PFO seem like it will be much enjoyable for the Open PvP then not. As a carebare I really do (and put money down on) GW getting that part of "meaningful" PvP working. The chaos of conflict in EVE was almost always entertaining, if sometimes aggravating provided you were willing to step outside the save "non-conflict" shell of a typical carebare play style.
Or combinations there of...
Meritocracy combined with Democracy gets you various kinds of Oligarchy, depending on criteria. You can even cover Magocracy and to a degree Theocracy (if divine favor becomes a trackable stat :P)
Other conditionals could include:
Task based requirements (pulling swords from stones).
Prophecy (a player generated set of complex conditions, based on time/day, events, actions, and skills/talents)
Seen this happen in EVE more often then not. People drifting off because of either absentee or ineffective leadership.
However I guess it depends on how the settlement was created. In EVE a corp could give out shares and give share holders voting rights, which included removing and replacing CEOs and other officers if needed.
While I don't think a Vote is appropriate for all settlements, I think for ones that feel they want to be major players or have some way to pass down leaderships if a leader disappears (Real Life happens) it would be appropriate to have some optional mechanic for challenge and replacing current leadership.
Voting can be very Lawful, while a direct Challenge or Dual can be very Chaotic. Votes that are stacked toward certain elite cabals can be very Evil, while free and even voting can be very Good. Duals involving skills other then combat can be very Good, while duals to the death&explosion are a hallmark of CE groups.
As a far reaching Meta fix, players in a group with a leader who's just *poofed* into nothing could have recourse through GoblinWords admins. That could be for people who've just out right vanish and not be on for months, or even have stopped paying for their account all together.
I can't see forced formation positioning. I can see optional "keep at distance from" settings a player could chose to enable. What I can really see is a visable "box" emanating from the group commander in roughly the shape the formation should take. People in the formation "box" get bonuses based on the goal of the formation.
Characters with he correct skill level can see other formations that they aren't a part of. By default commanders would have that as part of their command skill.
Commanders can designate 'enemy' formations as targets and players get whatever attack bonus is appropriate vs that formation compared to theirs. And to 'enemy' actually in that opposing formations box.
A possible offshoot is that formation bonus could scale with:
This gives some incentive to try and break up enemy formations using various tactics.
Commanders at higher levels could place 'order' flags (with appropriate UI elements) to different formations. Think Total War games and the 'yellow' UI that makes where units are ordered to go vs where they currently are.
By using a 'box' system player's are encouraged to stick roughly to their formation but have some latitude to move independently within that zone. The tighter the boxes, the more people in the group, and the more people actually inside that formation box the higher the bonuses. Thus formation commanders will need to blance tightness with the abilty of their troops to actually engage.
This all assumes some degree of physical blockage or collision prevention by characters that prevents 100 players from standing "in" each other.
That is the way they are doing it :P . There are repair kits.
At least for field repairs while adventuring. It is possible they'll add more costly repairs for more powerful items beyond simple swords and armor.
I also don't see why this wouldn't act like any other fantasy setting where stuff just poofs away over time. After all monsters just somehow magically have all kinds of Coin and lootz they get out of no where. :P
The "fueling" guards with basic items comes from days for being a fuel runner for Player owned Stations in EVE. If you had gun emplacements you had to put ammo in them along with other "consumables" the station needed. Why not make simple items being a requirement to have Settlements spawn AI guards. If EVE let you spawn AI ships as guards out of a PoS or even full 0.0 Station or system police then I'm sure it would either have taken the same amount of credits to buy the ship on open market, or require those actually ships be in stock for station to "consume."
Worse then in EVE, in PFO I could see AI guards getting into trouble with AI monsters and being killed. See Majesty: Fantasy Kingdom Simulator. My guards were always getting killed by Ratmen invasions for the sewer outlets. It was often left to my guard towers to Arrow them to death. Which in PFO could require bowmen (armed with bows you provide) with a sufficient supply of arrows.
See, no end of opportunities to create need and drain the market of basic resources that lower end/stater crafters could help fill.
Repairs will be done with various repair kits. Swords will likely use whetstones, Armor get armor repair kits. These are needed to keep gear at 100% effectiveness which degrades over time with use. Making and selling repair kits will obviously be a big bulk of basic crafting.
If you haven't played a PvP territory conquest games like EVE its hard to appreciate the amount of materials that get expended during an all out or even week long War.
Then there is the possible costs to actually running and arming settlement guards. Imagine if every time a Guard was killed and re-spawned you had to provide it with basic gear. Or rather have the basic gear available in a stash to even make the guard spawn in the first place. Lots of basic weapons and armor consumed there.
Its too little investment for too big a bonus.
It's why I like the idea of having the Templet fill Equipment slots. The problem with Templets really is that they stack on the bonuses you can get from equipment. Take a look at the Big 6 and then look at many templets. Most are going giving out Stat boost on par of what the Big 6 might give. By making the Template and Gear mutually exclusive you can control how much power a Template has compared to a "normal" player.
I also would much prefer them to be faction awards. Top end questing rewards can actually represent quite a lot of time and effort to get. Faction Ships in EVE are quite expensive to get direct from their faction of origin, they also take all kinds of other items in addition to faction credit.
Now GW does only want Monsters played by select people to keep abuse down. However I susspect that has more do with how the "Monsters" will be allowed to break normal PvP rules and they don't want legit players getting fooled by players who look like Monster PvE targets and getting "griefed" by misidentification. There is also the issue of character models and animations. Take a Werewolf in Hybrid form, if a Player's hands it could end up with all kinds of armor and weapons (yet another good reason to make a template take up gear slots) which an AI would not.
Again, running with this idea not for even in early stages of the game but maybe 2 or 3 major updates down the line... if Player acquired templets did not significantly impact a player model, nor more then various gear or armor, and they were made quite aware that normal PvP rules applied, then it really wouldn't be much different then getting special armor and weapons.
After all playing True Monsters is going to be limited to specific events.
I direct your attention to Burn Jita. Nothing stops a late comer highly PvP focused now turned craftsman from initiating a player driven event that pillages and decimates the status quo. Or at least significantly disrupts it. While Jita wasn't truly burned, the destruction of so many goods often results in in-game market disruption that can be beneficial to people in the know and who have prepared to capitalize off it.
For example, a new craftsman who's been quietly massing "wagon wheels" can now make a good chunk of coin selling "wagon wheels" to wagon makers. Who are selling new "wagons" to replace all the "wagons" put to the torch. And that's just one subset.
Evil yes, Chaotic yes. But a prime example of how a Player driven partly open Sandbox PvP system can regulate itself where Theme-parks can't. Even if something on the scale of Burn Jita can't be done in PFO, mass and prolonged bandit activity between basic crafting goods and crafting zones could also result in shortages of a similar nature.
I think Skyrim has the better answer there, well not over all but in kinda execution.
I do like your 'template as equipment' idea. Partly because much of what a templet does is replace equipment to one degree or another. Effective stat boosts, resistances, extra powers, even natural weapons, all of which to one degree or another get cover by equipment.
Instead of just getting infected, I'd suggest making them rewards for particular NPC factions. I know PFO is targeted to be mostly Player driven, however a certain degree of NPC faction questing is going to be needed. Making an 'evil undead' 'monster' faction who's top end rewards are various monsterish templates (monster gear) would be the solution I think.
This way there is 0 direct griefing as a result, players can't infect each r cure each other. Possibly powerful ability sets aren't gain just because you got 'thumped' by NPC mobs. And it gives some types of players a draw to Evil factions and locations, and actually a reason to be there and not just Evil by way of being Griefer &%$@&%$@.
This also offers up the counter-coin of 'good' templets that replace gear. Of which there are very few in the PFRPG itself but could find mechanical balance points in PFO to fill in the top tier.
Saddly I see much grief in this. Especially with Player to Player transmission.
If template conditions were added I'd really only like to see it cause by Environment to Player. This keeps the level of "I iz vampeer! U iz m3 b1tch!" harassment low. I can see a case where a Vamprized PvPer jumps someone or a group and counties to harass them after 'turning' them. Or a werewolf using the flagging to get people to initiate PvP in otherwise PvP freeish zones (equivalent of can flipping in EVE)
What were you thinking would be need to end conditions like Vampireisum or Lycanthropy? Just being killed and respawing?
While not satisfying to people who want to play those monster types (not that GW has ever said they'd allow that save a select pool for select events), what I'd like to see instead perhaps is a monster spawn system that generates a monster of that temperate type based on the killed player's stats. This would add an element of serious danger to fighting 'disease' monsters like ghouls or shadows. I you die you leave you-powered mob (worth no additional loot) standing around waiting for you to come back through the hex/dungeon/zone.
As a caveat the monster's aggression would be limited to the player it was based off of or only those players who attack it directly. That way a player couldn't kite a vampire into the middle of bunch of other players, get killed, and spawn a super vampire that slaughters everyone.
Very good read.
Although I can say one of the big draws for me to EVE (aside from friends playing) was the "always growing" character. It wasn't like WoW and many others, even games like Diablo 2, where if you stopped playing but kept paying to maintine the account you got nothing for it. Everyone has lives, work, family, school, other hobbies. Sometimes stuff just happens and it's not practical to spend 2 to 3 to 6 hours on a weekend grinding like crazy.
It's why I jumped onboard with the first Kickstarter, likely a tad beyond what I'd consider safe finances on a purely entreatment expenditure me. And why I kinda did it again with this last Kickstarter. The option to
EVE had poor soloing, or rather it had poor non-organized group based play. If you were not in a player run guild/group/corporation then no on trusted you, ever. The backstabbing and general level of out-of-game nastiness CCP lets slide and partly encourages to foster the 'dark' feel of EVE is just not a healthy long term atmosphere for a generally casual player.
This is an area I'm really interested in seeing Goblinworks improve on. Player driven groups can be fun, but they can also be a big commitment to participate in. While they will obviously be the most effective way to get reach the highest levels of 'stuff', I'd also hope that there is a more reasonable pathway for the unaffiliated to participate without becoming immediately suspect as spies and possible OOC traitors acting for another group or faction. The beauty of WoW and other theme park games is you can hop on just about anytime and "LFG" (looking for group) near most of the major 'attractions'. In EVE this was very hard to nearly impossible to "LFG" for some of the kick back relax with a cool beverage of choice PvE content. If no one in your group was online you were most likely SooL (S*** out of Luck). And one of the reasons I eventually had to leave EVE a few months after all my real life friends did.
I really hope that GoblinWorks has something up their sleeve for this style of ah-hock play. Which would be one way to help foster a less cut through and quite frankly rather nasty playing environment that EVE actively seeks to cultivate. That is what would keep me paying month after month even if I only get online every other weekend for 2 or 3 hours. Steady off-line character growth, hassle light pick-up groups. Not the richest Coin gaining path, but way less stressful.
There would have to be an indicator IMO. Or at least it should.
EVE gives a generic pop-up warning if you're about to break Concord rules (if you have 'ignore buttoned' that box) and that's it. I got nailed by Concord once for trying to come to a friends aid after he attacked a loot stealer (who then came back in a bigger ship). I was in the same fleet, same joint mission, same player owned company, yet because the loot stealer didn't steal from one of my kills I didn't have the rights to shoot at him. So in popped the NPC Police. This was early in my EVE play, later I would have run and gotten a healing ship to go heal by friend, which would have flagged me as shootable to the loot stealer... go figure the logic there.
I really don't want to see PFO have such a complicated and hidden flagging systems. It just leads to griefing. Hiding stuff like that or burying in a maze of UI is just wrong.
If monsters are given passive skill growth over time, then all that would likely need to be done is to pre-assing them skills with a "play-list" that automatically switches them to the next skill when appropriate. Skill would likely be untrainable without a set prerequisite (In EVE you could "learn" as skill book before you could actually train it, it would just sit a 0).
A randomizer is a good idea early on. Down the road as there is time and options to add complexity, a "kill" tracker could be added that biases the random result. Such that an Ogre that has fought mostly mages ends up biased down an anti-mage path.
To save server CPU and overhead, I'd almost suggest that some mobs be given a random change of being *hero* mobs with skill growth, and likely add a cap on the number of *heroes* per hex (based on various criteria). That way the server doesn't have to get bogged down tracking a ever growing number of *heroes* in its database. Even off camera that could end up being an issue without some kind of cap.