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GrumpyMel's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,478 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Goblin Squad Member

I tried to build nothing once but found I had nothing to work with. Since I already had nothing, I decided to abandon the effort. I'm not quite sure whether that means I succeded or failed.

Goblin Squad Member

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So here is the thing...

You can have a Pledge or Statement of Principles and these can be as specific or non-specific as the author of the statement writes. With no mechanism of authority and no mechanism for enforcing specific obligations or requirements on members and including/excluding signatories based upon thier actions, then that's all it is. Now individuals can look at the actions of a specific signatory and say "I really don't feel X is living upto what they pledged" and there may be social/reputational consequences to that, especialy if that's a widely held view among the members, but that's as far as it goes.

You can also have Alliances or Treaty Organizations (e.g. NATO). Those Alliances or Treaty Organizations. Those Organizations can also include a Statement of Principles for why they exist or how they intend to act. However, these must have some mechanism of authority...it doesn't have to be central, it can just be some sort of group voting mechanism among members. As well as specific (the more detailed the better) obligations that are expected of thier signatories and a mechanism for failing to live upto those organizations. As well as a method for including/excluding who the membership is.

Initialy RA seemed to be shooting for the latter (from what I read of the "mutual support" portion of the statement) now it seems to be functioning more as the former. The reason the latter couldn't work in the form put forward is that there MUST be some mechanism of authority and means of including/excluding membership in order for a Treaty Organization to be practical.

Otherwise (if you'll forgive an 80's analogy) the Soviet Union simply joins NATO by simply declaring it's intent to do so....and defeats (or at least undermines) the political rationale for NATO's existance (in the 80's) without ever firing a shot.

Not saying that anyones acting as the "Soviet Union" here... and while I'm pretty sure all the signatories of the RA are likely to support each others OOC goals of making PFO a fun and welcoming gaming community. I'm also fairly confident that with such a broad and inclusive membership some signatories are likely to try to wipe the floor with others in the game at some point.

Goblin Squad Member

Notmyrealname wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
Notmyrealname wrote:
So you die ,your gear is destroyed , your team wins the fight though and you lost it all for nothing. Or do the traps know that your team is losing as well as knowing that you died, how do items know you died anyway?
The traps are applied to items you carried. So when gear gets looted from your corpse, it doesn't matter by who, freind or foe, they have to be disarmed. I would assume that the player owning the trapped gear can remove the traps from the gear without a skill roll... but anyone else should need to make a roll. That's the way I would work it anyway.
I can see it if you are able to cast a magical trap on your items ,however that would be to injure looters. The OP seems to be about not wanting anyone to get any of your loot and trying to invent a game mechanic to do that, it's a bad way to build a game world in my opinion. The whole idea seems to be divorced from lore and about how people feel about being looted and trying to feel better about your characters death, it's supposed to be painful to die and benefit the one who wins.

My idea was not to make it an auto-destroy thing but to introduce the concept of traps (magical or mundane) which would be entirely inline with TableTop play and the lore. In fact, most of the time that you find a teasure chest or something very valuable in TT, there is a very good chance that you are going to have to go through a trap to get it.

Just because someone defeated another character in combat doesn't neccesarly mean that they would get the maximum amount of loot and do so without any risk to themselves. It's an extension of the contest between the 2 characters. You've directly defeated your opponents combat abilities...but can you defeat the security measures they've put on thier valuables? Some stuff it wouldn't make sense to have trapped, like the weapon they were using...but that mostly isn't going to be the stuff likely to get looted...more commonly it will be resources that the character was carrying like a bag of herbs or potions or a coffer full of valuable cloth, etc. One can very easly see things such as trade goods transported in chests or coffers or even pouches being protected with acid vial or black powder traps, let alone things like magic, etc.

You are simply adding another dimension of gameplay/conflict... that the contest hasn't entirely ended with the last sword stroke. Again, it should never be an auto destroy or anything like that, but a contest of skills between the trap maker and the disarmer.

Goblin Squad Member

Notmyrealname wrote:
So you die ,your gear is destroyed , your team wins the fight though and you lost it all for nothing. Or do the traps know that your team is losing as well as knowing that you died, how do items know you died anyway?

The traps are applied to items you carried. So when gear gets looted from your corpse, it doesn't matter by who, freind or foe, they have to be disarmed. I would assume that the player owning the trapped gear can remove the traps from the gear without a skill roll... but anyone else should need to make a roll. That's the way I would work it anyway.

Goblin Squad Member

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Here is the way I see this playing out...

1) The RA is a voluntary agreement with no real enforcment mechanism and no enforcing authority nor any strict bylaws. In that it is more like a Pledge or a Statement of Principles.

2) The signatories have agreed to "promote positive gameplay". There is no strict definition of this. It will mean whatever it means to each individual signatory. However, I think generaly the signatories see that minimaly as not behaving like a "jerk" toward the general player base and purposefully setting out to ruin the enjoyment of the rest of the player base at large and thus damage the community and PFO's ability to succeed.

3) There is no set procedure for handling complaints about negative gameplay which is established or required by the Accord. Individual signatories will handle such issues in the way each deems appropriate. However, I expect most will simply take it as an informational item which may raise increased awareness among the signatories leadership toward that players in game behavior and whether they are just having individual beefs or they are acting like a jerk to the rest of the player base as a whole. The latter would likely cause the signatories leadership to evaluate whether the member was appropriate to represent the signatories (OOC) values and take whatever corrective action might be appropriate.

4) There is no enforcement mechanism in the RA nor strict definition of "positive gameplay" but any signatories who's consistantly behave in a manner that the majority of the other signatories consider falls outside thier view of "positive gameplay" will be considered to have failed to live up to thier end of the bargain and will have to bare whatever social cost that carries. It's kinda like the "honor" system in that regard.

Attempts to strictly define or adjucate other signatories policies to see how well they fall in line with the RA are, respectfully, a waste of time. Unless there is some enforcement authority or mechanism vested with the power to say Yea or Nay, there is just no point to that. What can be judged is the results of those policies based on how the signatories members behave in game....and I suspect if there is a consistant problem with such behavior which goes unaddressed by the signatories leadership, people will raise that issue right here in this thread.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:

Stephen Cheney corrected me in a recent post, but he saud they have not yet begun to work on the alignment system. This tells me that there is room for crowd forging.

I'm personally hoping that alignment has no impact other than for gating certain abilities. I hope that settlement services and therefor citizenry is based on the organic supply vs demand controls, and not an artificial "funnel" for forcing alignment.

What I mean by this is, if a settlement does not support your training needs with its structures, you will search for one that does. A settlement manager will hopefully listen to the demands of his / her population and provided the needed services. What this would mean is:

If I'm CG, I could still be a citizen of a LG settlement because I have made the meaningful choice that the good alignment based training is more important to me than the chaotic. The settlement manager has decided that, although he will not build chaotic based structures, his settlement may still need characters with chaotic based skills to function. At the same time, a chaotic evil character will find no training support in that settlement and the manager will have no demand to require it.

Bludd, I would have the same preference in that regard but I'm not hopefull that GW will backtrack on thier proposed plans for alignment. It seems too central to thier game design.

Goblin Squad Member

I like the idea of trapping items (even wagons and so forth), the traps could do damage if they are set off, as well as possibly destroy the item.

The idea here is that the person wanting to loot the item/object/container has some recourse to counter it by training in a skill that might allow them to successfully disarm the trap. Failure would indicate that the trap goes off, damaging and possibly even killing the attacker. Trapping the item/object/container obviously requires some skil, as well as resources to achieve. This would do several things...

- It increases the number of skills that can be relevant in the game, including non-combat skills.

- It creates a new venue of competition between the trap-maker and the disarmer.

- It provides meaningfull choices to both the looter and the person being looted. As the person being looted, do you invest extra reasources, skill training and man hours to have a chance of denying your attackers valuable loot, and thus possibly helping to dissuade people from attacking you or do you forgo the extra investment in the hopes of achieving greater proffits even though it will mean your attackers will have more incentive to attack you over others? Exactly what loot is worth protecting in this manner? As a looter, do you risk your own life and belongings in order to get trapped loot or do you leave it and simply go for easier pickings at less risk. Does this factor into your decison to make SAD's? Even if you know you can easly kill the target, if his loot is well trapped you risk gaining nothing valuable from the counter and possibly even your own life in forcing a fight. Does it behoove you therefore to make a more palatable SAD demand to forego such risk?

I think it adds an interesting dimension to the economics of PvP.

Goblin Squad Member

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Well these are hex's where meteors have fallen....how about the occasional (infrequent) meteor strike. No reason for every hazzard to be player based...

Goblin Squad Member

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Bloomingburg NY....

Bludd is disturbingly close, must buy better locks and more firearms!

Goblin Squad Member

@Doggan,

I respect your right to disagree. However, I would offer the following for your consideration. Killing a character in game litteraly has zero effect on the player behind the character... at least if they have a healthy level of detatchment between the game and real life. If they are an arse on the forums, they will still be an arse on the forums. If they were obnoxious to you in chat, they will still continue to be obnoxious to you in chat. If you had a beef with them over something they did outside of the game, the beef will still be there.

It may give you a fleeting moment of satisfaction the first time or two you do it but then you will realize that it is all just pixels and essentialy meaningless. Further trying to astro-turf someone elses enjoyment of the game because you have an OOC beef with them is not healthy for the game community and can very easly spiral into 2 (or more) players trying to ruin each others enjoyment of the game....and you will come to quickly realize that there are hundreds of ways that the player of a character you can kill in the blink of an eye can still astro-turf your enjoyment of the game. This can also negatively impact other players not directly involved in the situation and can even spiral to the point where GW staff have to get involved.

About the only luck I've ever had with killing a character in game to have a positive effect on the player out of game was to get the attention of a player brand new to the game and unfamiliar to me long enough to understand that running around RPKing everyone in sight wasn't a particularly effective way to advance in the game or the community because there will always be someone stronger around that won't tolerate such behavior. That worked because the player wasn't really a jerk or setting out to be a jerk but was new to the game and didn't really understand how it was intended to be played and what the expectations of the player base were. If they were really intending to be a jerk, it wouldn't have worked...nor was it the killing that actualy made the difference... it just got them to hold still long enough to listen and talk.

Goblin Squad Member

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I like Kitsunes response the best.

In PFO, I have no problem with anyone waging war on any company for any reason, including that they butter thier sandwiches on the left side of the bread and/or (especialy) if they don't like bacon (who doesn't like bacon?)

However, keep it about the game not the players. If you are attacking someone because you don't like the player then it is generaly unhealthy for both you and the game... and ultimately unsatisfying because slashing a bunch of pixels doesn't really resolve anything or change anything about the situation and after the 10th time or so you've done that you'll come to that epiphany. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

Personaly I would favor "Yeoman" or "Freeman" over "Commoner". "Commoner" in a Medieval society is a pretty broad category of people that also includes serfs as well as tradesmen and artisans that would be included in what Pathfinder defines as "experts". It's not all that descriptive of what the role actualy is and does carry some negative associations. I know Patfhinder Table Top uses the term, but it is for an NPC class that was never intended for players and isn't the best descriptive for the type of people most of our characters will be.

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:

> you always get to dictate the terms of the engagement to your advantage.

You (the interdictor) don't get to dictate anything because you can't force people to enter the hex. I (non-interdictor) am dictating the terms of the engagement by deciding when, where, and in what force I will cross the zone line. All you can do is decide whether you want to engage on the terms I dictated, or decline and allow me to harvest "your" hex unhindered.

No but you can decide when you will fight and when you won't fight and always assure that you will do so under terms favorable to you. That is a VERY powerfull advantage that needs to be addressed.

In the Company vs Company scenario, even though you can control who you declare a Feud against, you do NOT control when and where and under what circumstances and force they might attack your members. You are free to attack them when and where you want but they are also free to attack you when and where they want (such as when you are at a disadvantage).

In the "Feud a Hex" scenario you are always free to intitiate an attack at a time and place and circumstances of your choosing. You are never open to attack at a time and place and circumstances not of your choosing.

You can look at each force entering the hex and determine whether it is an engagement you are likely to win or lose before opening yourself to PvP. That is far too great a tactical advantage to not have some counter-balancing mechanism.

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:

If the interdict creates hostility between "anyone in this hex" and "any members of the company", then there's no asymmetry problem. If Average Guy is outside the hex, he and Fred the Feuder are not hostile to each other. If Guy is inside the hex, then Guy and Fred are hostile to each other regardless of where Fred is.

Fred and Guy are both safe from each other if Guy is outside. Fred and Guy are both hostile to each other if Guy is inside. Where Fred is doesn't matter in the least.

No I think he has a point. With a Feud system, the agressor can't control the circumstances to insure that he always engages at his own advantage.

You can Feud a company that you percieve as weaker then you but can't insure by doing so that you'll always have local advantage in each engagement with them. They can always engage you at a place and time of thier chosing, if they can arrange it. In the interdict a hex scenario, you can simply decline to enter a hex when a company that you percieve is too strong enters the hex and enter it when a company (or unaffiliated target)that is weaker enters the hex... baring Q ships, you always get to dictate the terms of the engagement to your advantage. Not a good mechanic. That needs to be accounted for.

Probably something like, you become tagged as hostile for some distance outside the radius of your interdiction....or you must be inside the zone of interdiction for X amount of time before others in the zone become eligable for you to attack. This means that you can't always dictate that hostilities can occur on favorable terms for you.

Another option might include a significant discount for others to declare Feuds upon you while you have a hex under interdiction.

Edit: I actualy like this last option the best. Declaring a blockade against a specific hex is a pretty agressive manuver, politicaly it could easly qualify as a Casus Belli.

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:

In the existing feud mechanic, companies can spend influence to declare another company as a feud target. Once active, a feud makes all members of the feuding company appear hostile to all members of the feuded party, and vice versa. Pvp with feud enemies carries no reputation or alignment consequences, but this is not considered meaningless pvp because of the influence cost of establishing the feud. Feud targets do not have to consent to the feud.

What if, instead of declaring themselves hostile to all members of a specific feuded company, a company wished to declare themselves hostile to anyone at a specific geographic location, and was willing to spend influence to do so? How is the scenario meaningfully different?

Obviously, the best way to do this is simply claim the hex and build a holding there, then set no-trespassing policies as desired. However, some hexes such as badlands and monster homes cannot be claimed in this manner. For hexes which cannot be fully claimed, there should still be some mechanism for a company to assert a certain level of exclusionary interest- IF they are willing to pay the feud price to do so. (Perhaps multiple companies might plant flags in the same hex- wouldn't that be interesting!)

It's possible that GW's rationale for not wanting certain hex's to be claimable includes not wanting anyone to be able to fully exclude everyone else in the game from them through use of force. I think we'd have to understand GW's rationale for making certain hex's unclaimable before we could have an intelligent consideration of this proposal.

Obviously there are influnce cost implications to being able to Feud EVERY company in the game in one hex vs being able to Feud 1 specific company in the game in every hex. These need to be explored as well.

Goblin Squad Member

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Andius,

I say this only as a private player, not as a member of TEO... I'm just a grunt there anyway.

One of the lessons I've learned over the years, in life...not just gaming, is that once you give up control (authority) over something you have to be perpared to accept the fact that you'll vehemently disagree with some of the decisions concerning it. That's just the way it works.

Real life, is WAY more important then gaming... so you made the right decision there. I've had to walk away from things I had invested alot of effort into before, so I know how tough that is... but sometimes time and life just don't allow for it. Frankly, that's why I don't WANT to be anything more then a grunt in most of the games I look at playing... too many other things that I want and enjoy doing in my life to get sucked into a vortex of commitments in a game.

I'm saddened that you feel so bitter but take it as a lesson learned (for more important things then just a game - which is what PFO is). Don't give up control over anything that you feel so invested in that you can't accept going a way you don't want. If you can't do that then you need to find a way to make sure that you can delegate responsability for most of the decisions but retain veto power when you really need to excersize it.... and you've got to make sure those relationships are clearly spelled out and understood. "Power Sharing" arrangements VERY often fall apart even with the best intentions of everyone involved.

In the end, I hope you have fun and enjoy PFO (and life). Don't get stuck in the past and let any residual bitterness get in the way of that.

P.S. I didn't really like the location we picked but that matters FAR less then the people you play with. There are alot of good people in TEO...and I know Lifedragn spends a ton of time trying to accomodate everyones input.

P.P.S. Player run organizations are more like herding cats then anything else. Even when they are "dictatorships", they really aren't because people are just there voluntarly to have fun. Most players have a pretty limited tolerance for being told what to do, especialy if they are going to make significant investments of effort themselves.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
<Magistry> Toombstone wrote:
I don't like the idea of having this reputation system and then, when it matters most (at the most valuable hexes), saying "Oh, except not here."

I think there's a good argument that "where it matters most" is away from the most valuable hexes. The way I see it, the Reputation system does the most good when it constrains PvP against those who are actively minimizing their exposure to it. Ryan has said all along that you'll have to expose yourself to the risk of PvP in order to get the most reward out of the game. Increasing the PvP risk in meteor hexes seems quite in-line with that.

It's important to understand that traveling to any Trading Hub during that Settlement's PvP Window means you will be a consequence-free kill for those who live there. It's also important to keep in mind that any Company can unilaterally declare a Feud against you and get consequence-free kills on you pretty much anywhere in the game.

Personally, I kind of like Guurzak's suggestion, but I keep coming back to the fact that I'm quite content to let the devs sort it out. I'm sure they've been giving this kind of stuff a lot of thought for a very long time.

Just wanted to make the point that Feuds aren't "consequence free" since they cost the declaring company a resource, Influence, to engage (unless that's changed).

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
So what's the downside of playing "Evil"?
Very good points and a reasonable question. The answer is: Evil has a mechanical disadvantage in the "unrest" system, we have to pay much more attention to keeping our reputations high (except possibly on 9 hexes scattered widely on the map), we're operating at a social handicap when trying to establish relationships with our neighbors, and we have a great big target on our backs whenever Good gets bored and wants a feud or war.

The "social handicap" aspect of play doesn't really apply much in these sorts of games. You can set your alignment to "Evil" without having to behave in an Evil fashion towards any of your fellow players or organizations, etc. So the social handicap is pretty limited. Especialy true if "Evil" is an otherwise mechanicaly advantage and therefore popular choice for players.

In the real world or in a narrative style game such as tabletop campaign because being "Evil" means acting Evil, means the clear perception about how people view interaction with you is likely to occur.

In PFO, you can set your alignment as "Evil" and PvP in Starfall hex's but be the nicest, most trustworthy, most cooperative player to other affiliated organizations. Peoples perception of how interactions with you are likely to happen is entirely divorced from your mechanical alignment. Furthermore, the more people who actual choose "Evil" the less risk of social impact there is.

In a narrative, the vast majority of civilized society aren't Evil and they don't trust or want to cooperate with Evil and even Evil doesn't trust or like to cooperate with other Evil. That's where social impact works. That just doesn't apply to MMO's, where Sally wears black and raises undead but goes around sending unicorn emblazoned virtual hugs to everyone she meets.

Edit: Not real familiar with the "unrest" mechanic but if you are paying a significant penalty for that, then certainly that is a point in favor of your proposition. One would have to look at the full set of mechanical penalties and advantages to get a good feel to see if they are appropriate

Goblin Squad Member

While it's certainly a cool aspect, I think the 3rd point can be a little problematic for 2 reasons...

- It can start to get pretty resource intensive. GW is a pretty small outfit, already tackling alot of hefty mechanical challenges. Having to create 2 sets of art assets/animations for every action starts to become pretty resource intensive.

- It kinda kills the "wolf in sheeps" clothing variety of Evil that is more intent on seducing good or really only showing it's fangs when it has the victem alone sort of play that can be very popular with some players.

- There is also the horror movie dynamic where if you show the monster too often, the monster looses it's impact and ceases being scary.

In other words, I think it's fine to do a little bit of it, but I'd really want to reserve it for a limited set of actions that are tied directly to some strong cosmological Evil event.

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
So, does anyone have any opinion that hadn't already been voiced by them?

Actually yes: having thought about this at great length, I think that while there's a strong case to be made for reducing or eliminating reputation penalties in the grey hexes, your actions should still impinge on your alignment. Paladins who take good seriously should not be attacking innocents even when the stakes are high and the consequences are low.

I argued earlier in the thread that I thought this option would be a bad idea because it unfairly favors evil. Having thought about it further I still believe it favors evil but not unfairly so. The temptation for good players to do evil should be meaningful, and the purity of good should require dedication and sacrifice to maintain.

So, my new proposal is that PVP in grey hexes should have little or no reputation impact- since anyone can understand the temptation to slip when the stakes are so high- but that attacking non-hostiles should still be considered evil.

So what's the downside of playing "Evil"? From a purely flavor standpoint, I get your arguement. "Good" clearly entails a certain amount of selflessness and resistance of temptation that "Evil" does not. If there isn't some advantage that you are denying yourself, then there really isn't any temptation.

However, looking at it from a purely game Development standpoint. Any meaningfull choice that the player makes in the game should have upsides and downsides. If it's all upside and no downside then it's not meaningfull, not really a "choice" and probably a poor design implimentation. So if "Evil" has better access to resources that "Good" does not (we could label these "A" and "B" rather then "Good" and "Evil" from a mechanical standpoint it's irrelevent) what does "Good" get that "Evil" does not?

If this were a novel or single-player game then I think the flavor consideration has alot of weight. However in a multi-player game where competition and conflict is a central tennent of the game then I think the mechanical aspect starts holding alot of weight. If "A" is clearly the better choice then "B" in all aspects, then what is the point of supporting a choice "B"?

P.S. I'm not really convinced that Starfall hex's need be an exception to the games PvP dynamics but I don't think it's the end of the world if they are either. My understanding of the "Tower" system is that it exists as a temporary placeholder to spur PvP in Early Enrollment because other systems that otherwise would simply haven't been implimented yet.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
Urman wrote:
That would be my guess as well. Commoner is a role, just like Fighter or Rogue. There will be long series of feats to be learned. Dealing with the PvE hazards of a crater hex might also be well beyond the capabilities of Tier 1 feats.
The first part may be true, the 2nd certainly is not. Strength increase from newb to vet is linear while training time (and likely gear value) are exponential. If you're a bit under par to deal with the PVE threats throwing more bodies at it is always a solution.

Thats kind of irrelevent. Player labor is a resource just like any other resource in the game. If you spend 100 man/hours worth of labor to net something that you can sell for 100 gold and I spend 1 man/hour to net something I can sell for 20 gold, who is better off?

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm not really sure that Starfall hex's need to be an exception to the games PvP mechanics.

- We are not even sure that Skymetal CAN be extracted by an unaffiliated noob ALT. It may be that the abilities to extract Skymetal or really any other high value resource require affiliation with a PC settlement and company, thus opening up the possability of War/Feud type conflicts.

- It is not safe to assume that engagement by NRDS players are the only dangers a harvester in such hex's face. I would assume that most high value resource areas also involve high level NPC threats that are beyond the capacity of any non-affiliated non-combat character to deal with. Likely that would require guards with significant combat abilities slotted in order to protect the harvester. That means significant resource investment in order to successfully harvest such resources. No one really need risk reputation loss to kill off the annoying level 1 harvester when one can simply watch the 12th level Owl-Bear do it instead.

- Any high value resource hex is going to draw the attention of bandits and brigands. I would not assume that any organization, at the very least in OE, is going to have a monopoly on all bandits and brigands in the game. I believe SAD is still a tool available to bandits and brigands in the game without reputation loss. I would also expect that a low level, non-affiliated, non-combat player is likely in some danger from even a minimal reputation combat oriented player.

Ultimately even if the harvester of such resources is not vulnerable to War/Feud PvP himself...SOMEONE who is will likely have to be present to insure the harvester can operate safe from other hazards within the hex. YMMV.

P.S. I'm not antagonistic to the idea of a few FFA hex's being on the map, as long as they are generaly avoidable by those not interested in such and don't break other game systems/dynamics. They may even help funnel the more agressive players away from those not interested in such activity. However, I also don't see a particularly pressing need for Starfall hex's to be made an exception to the games PvP mechanics either.

Goblin Squad Member

Kemedo wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
FMS Quietus wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:


This is why the SAD mechanic is so important.
I agree with this. I think SAD is one of the best concepts about PFO, even though I will never use it myself. Encounter it? Yeah I have a feeling that will happen. ;)

You personally may not use it, but your settlement better be prepared to. If your settlement does not, your borders will be flooded by unaffiliated noobs ninja harvesting your resources.

The only other defense is to set your settlement's Trespasser flag to all but "Blue" targets, otherwise known as NBSI.

Unless we're able to set so that harvesting of resources by non-citizens is a crime, in which case all such harvesters would gain the criminal flag.
Tag the resources before collect them? Sounds a bit strange to me...

Not really that strange, you are tagging the node (or land) from which the resources came. It's very common in real world situations. I own land, I can grant you the mining or lumber rights to such property, that doesn't give you any other rights. Conversely I can rent the property to you to live on or simply grant you free access to it but retain or mining and lumber rights for myself.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
otherwise known as NBSI.

To add to Bluddwolf's point:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
NBSI seems Lawful Evil.
Actually, I think NBSI is True Neutral. It is founded on the neutral concept of self interest / self preservation.

I'm not sure one could reliably map NBSI or NRDS to alignments.

You could have a NBSI because you are trying to preserve your resources (Neutral) or you could have it because you just like killing and want to kill anyone that comes into your territory for the sport of it (CE).

You could have a NRDS because it fosters trade and establishment of markets better and that's how you think you are going to get rich (Neutral) or because declaring open hostility towards newcomers eliminates the possability of corrupting and seducing them to the path of Evil (NE).

It's part of my nit, which I'm sure you are aware of, why representation of alignments in any sort of mechanical way is so problematic is such games.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
I believe he was referring to Andius's post in a another thread, saying he could harvest with impunity--using a newbie alt affiliated to an NPC starter Company--in territory considered the "property" of another, as he'd be immune to wars and feuds by virtue of being aligned to an NPC Company.

That is likely true, unless an NPC settlement can be feuded or made a war target. In the absense of thar scenario you only have three choices:

1. Ignore
2. SAD
3. Kill for Rep Loss

This is why the SAD mechanic is so important. Several months ago I raided the issue of "What if a merchant opts out?" This harvester scenario is identical.

If harvesting or caravaning requires few and low tier level skills, a merchant based company would be smart to use unaffiliated noobs to do their hauling or harvesting for them. These noobs would have the exceptional "armor class" provided by a harsh reputation system.

There are several ways to avoid this through the skill / feat / crafting and or faction systems.

By gatibg access to certain resources through skill or gear tiers and or faction rank, you partially remove the specter of the unaffiliated, naked noob. The SAD is a meaningful player interaction that elevates the situation as well.

If it's actual "property", meaning something falling within territory that you had jurrisdiction (and therefore could set laws upon)...I'd assume there would be some way to set a "tresspass" flag or make harvesting of resources by a group that didn't have permission to do so an "illegal" act. I think acting against someone with a "criminal" flag in your own territory doesn't incurr a reputation hit.

If that's not the case, then the game mechanics have some serious holes in them.

There are ways that such things could be handled within the context of a reputation system if GW wanted to impliment them. A system granular enough to set permissions for individuals or that simulated such effect would do it.

Conversely, a settlement could set a NRDS for entry into it's territory but set a Blue only policy for taking certain actions (such as harvesting resources) within that territory. That could also concievably handle such a situation.

SAD would also seem to handle it, although doesn't SAD have an immunity period that would allow the harvester free reign to continue harvesting with impunity after the initial SAD was issued?

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
P.S. I'll stipulate that our understanding of daily life 12,000 years ago is pretty sketchy. However our understanding of major battles, millitary tactics and technologies of the 11th-16th centuries isn't all that bad.

And that was definitely the age of formation combat, where - as you mention - individual accuracy was not particularly valued, and firing volleys all at the same time was more precious than any individual firing as quickly as he could.

What little we know about ancient archery is largely based on Mounted Archery and Formation Combat. There were some 5,000 years of history where we (humans) were using bows before the domestication of the horse. Another couple of thousand years before Classical Civilizations (Assyrians, etc) began using large armies to conquer huge swaths of the ancient world.

I submit that there might be something about that ancient way of using bows as an individual for hunting or in small combat engagements that would look more like what Lars Anderson does. Maybe...

I'm certainly not qualified to speak about use of a bow in combat in prehistoric times... that's a whole different kettle. However I feel reasonably comfortable speaking about use of a bow in hunting as I actualy do it. Some important facts...

- Animals have very keen senses. Rapid movement is the surest way to get spotted in the wild. That will invoke a flight or fight response where the animal either tries to move rapidly away from the hunter or if it's large and dangerous it may charge and attempt to maul the hunter.

- Human beings are VERY slow compared to almost all the game animals we hunt. We have good endurance but we are complete snails in a sprint compared to most of our furred or feathered freinds.

- With the speed of even the best modern bows, unless you are standing right next to the animal, the distance in which the animal can move in the time it takes the arrow to reach it far exceeds far exceeds the size of the lethal zones on the animal. This isn't a mystery, it's basic physics. So unless the animal is moving in an entirely consistant and predictable manner, shooting has a very high probability of resulting in a miss or non-lethal hit. It's why ethical hunters don't do it with large game and why "string silencers" were developed for modern hunting bows because animals can sometimes "jump the string" or startle sufficiently in the time between when they hear the bowstring and when the arrow reaches them to cause a miss or non-lethal hit.

- With large game, arrows kill through blood loss rather then shock. Unless you get lucky enough to sever the spine (I had this happen on the last deer I harvested with a bow), even a lethal hit means the animal is going to live for some time after it's been shot. Exactly how long depends on a lot of different factors. However dealing with a pissed off 1500 lb Kodiak Bear for the 5 minutes it takes to expire after it's been shot in the heart with an arrow isn't most peoples idea of fun.

- With small game like rabbits and birds, they sometimes react to threats by going to ground and freezing in hopes the predator won't see them and will pass them by. They are really, really, really hard to spot in cover by the way. This is the only instance in which it's ok to move up on game. However, moving rapidly rather then slowly is counter-productive since it is more likely to flush the animal. If you are hunting for meat rather then sport it's vastly preferable to shoot the animal on the ground while it is still, since you have a much better chance of hitting and you may be able to recover the arrow. People can and do shoot game birds on the wing or rabbits on the run with arrows. However the it's a very, very low percentage shot...not because the archer lacks skill... but because the animals don't always fly or flush in a consistant pattern and at a consistant speed.. and by the time the arrow reaches it the animal will no longer be where it's path was taking it when the hunter shot. This results in a missed meal and a lost arrow. That's why Flu Flu arrows were invented. Most people who don't hunt don't realize the dynamics of this. I've actualy had game birds swerve on me to avoid shotgun blasts when I was hunting with shotgun.

I'm not trying to be overly contrary here, even though it is my nature. However, in order to understand how bows were used in hunting, it helps to have actualy hunted with bows.

Edit - To whatever limited degree the game draws on history for inspiration of mechanics.... and I agree it should be quite limited... I would argue that the Late Medieval or perhaps even very early Rennisance periods probably are most applicable. They seem to have the closest match in technologies and culture, to the degree such things can be matched to the Pathfinder setting. If a game were to be set in something analogous to late neolithic earth then alot of the physical and cultural constructs (not just the fantastical stuff) that exist in Pathfinder would be absent.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
I'd look for references in US military history regarding the lethal range of the bow, in addition to European history.

The English Longbow could be lethal out to it's maximum range, which could be more then 300 yards, provided it could penetrate whatever armor the target was wearing (or hit a joint or opening in that armor). That's pretty well established and not in question (from me, anyway). However, at that range archers weren't firing directly at individual targets. They were firing high arcing shots at an area, as quickly as they could, and blanketing it with arrows in the hopes that some would find marks in a vital area by sheer dint of volume of fire.

Coinicidently Colonial and Napoleonic era European armies also trained thier musketmen not to aim at individual targets. It slowed the soldier down and volume of fire was considered more important than accuracy with such weapons.

P.S. I'll stipulate that our understanding of daily life 12,000 years ago is pretty sketchy. However our understanding of major battles, millitary tactics and technologies of the 11th-16th centuries isn't all that bad. There is some reasonable documentation as well as arceological evidence. It may be rather embellished and you have to read between the lines but we have a decent idea of what happaned at Hastings, Agincourt, Crecy, Townsend, Bannockburn, etc. We also have a pretty decent understanding of hunting with bow and arrow since plenty of people still do it today....both modern hunters with modern equipment and indiginous peoples.

P.P.S A bit of trivia. The last recorded combat use of the English Longbow didn't happen as long ago as many would think. A member of British patrol in France in 1940 used it to take out a member of an opposing German patrol...search for Jack Churchill

Goblin Squad Member

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:

Again realism is not the focus here, it's a game and that means various different styles of combat have to be fun and competitive.

I'm also not anywhere nearly as cool as Lee. His background with archery really has ratcheted up the coolness factor for PFO significantly.

I am, however, a life long hunter and I've shot bows since I was a kid and have experience bow hunting large game, as well as having a decent background in history.

Here is the point that I would like to get across for whatever it is worth...

The average historical longbow with arrows designed for war was estimated to shoot at a speed of around 160 fps

Ah, the days when reality was low-definition.

Nice one! FPS = feet per second, a standard measure of velocity.

It's a pretty important metric for hunting game with bows and/or rifles.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:

And compare all of the difficulty of firing a bow while running with the difficulty in using a double-axe.

Not a double-bitted axe, but a shaft with a double-bitted axe on each end.

Decius, again this is not an arguement for how game mechanics should or should not work. Heck I'm sure we'll have things like feather-fall and cone of cold and trolls and stuff. GW is making a high fantasy game based off a high fantasy IP, realism doesn't really weigh very heavly there.

However, we got into a bit of a digression into what was realistic. I was trying to illustrate to Nihimon (and others) that they type of things you see in fantasy game or in demonstration shooting (such as the videos posted) or in Hollywood movies or frankly in LARP which I've also seen and experienced a bit myself has little to no relationship to actual hunting with a bow or to archery in historical combat.

Goblin Squad Member

Again realism is not the focus here, it's a game and that means various different styles of combat have to be fun and competitive.

I'm also not anywhere nearly as cool as Lee. His background with archery really has ratcheted up the coolness factor for PFO significantly.

I am, however, a life long hunter and I've shot bows since I was a kid and have experience bow hunting large game, as well as having a decent background in history.

Here is the point that I would like to get across for whatever it is worth...

The average historical longbow with arrows designed for war was estimated to shoot at a speed of around 160 fps (that's what Bane used for an estimate for his test) at release. Modern compounds designed for hunting top out at around 350 fps.

The average (unencumbered) human can sprint at a speed of 22fps and we are an extremely slow animal. So even assuming best case scenario for a modern hunting bow, the target will travel 1ft for every 15ft. At an average hunting range of 20 yards the target (assuming it's a human not a much faster deer) will have moved upto 4ft from where it was when you released the arrow. On a deer sized animal, the target for an ethical lethal shot is no more then 3 to 4 inches from your point of aim. Now understand that a deer (or human or any other sentient creature) is not a foam plate, it can decide to stop, speed up, slow down or change direction whenever it wants. Now think about moving yourself while dealing with that.

The above should illustrate why an ethical bowhunter never fires at a target that is even aware of his presence nor at one that is moving at anything faster then a very slow walk and would never do it while moving himself.

You likely can't find a 100lb draw longbow that would be an example of an historical English weapon of war, but see if you can find a 60-70lb one and just try and bring it to full draw without moving. Then try to knock an arrow, bring it to full draw and release while sprinting at top speed.

Goblin Squad Member

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the limited support thing either. I think there is enough opportunity to create conflict over an item/consumable based economy without having to artificialy restrict who can associate with whom in the same settlement.

Frankly, I also agree that with zero mechanincs to foster conflict within the game there will still be so much conflict within the game that no one will lack for it. Just give people the capability to attack one another and they will. It's just the nature of things.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
Remember this is a video game, the whole point is that it isn't reality.

We know, it's a bit of a digression. It has no real bearing on the game. As far as the game goes, the goal of the combat system should be to make sure that everyone has fun playing and that no one gets an "I win" button.

Goblin Squad Member

Traianus Decius Aureus wrote:
Nihimon wrote:

@GrumpyMel,

At 2:17 in the video, from 69 meters, he fires three arrows in less than 1 and 1/2 seconds. All three hit a block that looked to me to be smaller than a 6' cube, with fairly small spread.

At 3:29 in the video, from what looks to me like about 20 feet, he quickly fires three arrows that all pierce riveted chain mail.

But I really don't want to get into a back-and-forth about it. You're welcome to your skepticism and I learned long ago it's not my place to try to change that about you :)

I know you don't want a back-and-forth about this, but a quick note about the armor shots- chain mail is absolutely terrible at resisting arrows. You would be far better off wearing a lino-thorax (linen armor utilized by the Ancient Greeks and other Mediterranean cultures).

The guy in the video is amazingly talented with a bow, but trick archery is not anything like combat archery (as noted, different bow requirements, and likely, very different arrows.)

It is also interesting to note that the two greatest triumphs of the English longbow were aided by the fact that the French had to attack uphill (Poitiers) or through mud (Agincourt). In both cases, the hampered movement allowed the archers to predominately kill the French horses, while the arrows had little affect on the French knights themselves.

Yup, mail is predominantly intended as a defence against slashing weapons and was almost always worn over a cloth or leather layer of protection. However, mail is not mail is not mail. There were huge differences in quality of construction bith in materials and methods used, tightness of the weave, size and thickness of the links, double vs single link, quality of the metalurgy, etc. High quality tight-knit mail, even by itself actualty was pretty effective against piercing weapons including arrows. However such armor was far less common then lesser quality types.

Edit: The other important thing to remember about arrows is that they typicaly kill by blood loss rather then shock. That's why you usualy wait 20-30 minutes after shooting a dear in a vital spot before moving from your stand and need to know how to track a blood trail. It's not uncommon for a deer that's shot in a vital area to run for several hundred yards before bedding down to expire. In combat terms that means even after delivering a mortal wound, you still might have had to deal with your foe for 5-10 minutes before they actualy expired.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon,

No offense, but I'll take years of 1st hand experience along with published and peer reviewed results from scientificaly based tests conducted by proffesional historians, along with actual historical evidence over a performance artist posting a self-published video.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hey, I hope you don't count me among those "baiting" you. I participate in your threads because I think a game like this needs "antagonists" as well as "protagonists" ( obviously these terms are relative to the speaker) and UNC seems like it's positioning itself to fill that role in an interesting manner.

I can never really seem to bring myself to play the antagonist role in RP games and MMO's but I enjoy seeing others play them well and am always interested in the approach they take.

For the record, I don't see anything about UNC or the way it intends to operate that contradicts the concept of positive gameplay. For me that's making whatever conflict occurs all about the game and the characters not the other player. As long as that's being communicated to the other guy so they can understand it and it's not being made personal I don't really see a problem...not even with naked agression, it's a game about conflict afterall. I guess that's an easy concept for me, coming from both a heavy RP and wargaming background.

Personaly, while I can get very immersed and can appreciate and enjoy the competition and will do my best to try to win, I just can't seem to take these sort of games all that seriously. At the end of the day, who really cares if ones settlement burns to the ground and everything falls to ashes around you...as long you had fun while playing and enjoyed the company of those you were fighting with (and against), it's all just pixels and bytes. It's not like you were competeing for anything truely important. The only caveat would be if losing somehow meant you couldn't continue to participate in the game in an entertaining manner which would be a complete fail of design on GW's side.

I guess the only tricky part is that they are trying to accomodate a game that appeals with very different and divergent interests and PvP is one of those aspects that can negate peoples ability to pursue other interests/aspects. That's fine, though if the PvP becomes overly dominating of the play experience then I'll only come to PFO when I'm in a mood to only PvP and nothing else....and the PvP will need to be superior to other PvP oriented games that are availble. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
Wurner wrote:
I'm quite sure the guy you're looking for is Lars Andersen.
Diella wrote:
I think the person you are talking about is Lars Anderson...

Many thanks to both of you!

Diella, Lars Andersen - The World's Fastest Archer is exactly the link I was looking for.

Doing a little digging on google (I can't watch the video while at work), for his speed and trick shooting, he's shooting a 30lb bow at half draw. That would barely annoy a deer and wouldn't penetrate any sort of field armor whatsoever. In the stills I've seen, he's shooting at targets which are about 15 feet away....which is point blank range for a bow.

Admitedly he's an incredibly talented archer and it's an amazing performance but it's just that, a performance. It's entirely impractical for use in hunting and or in war.

Note, I discovered that there is also a Hungarian by the name of Lajos Kassai who practices archery techniques similar to those practiced by the Mongols. If you look at him shooting, he is also firing at targets from a range of 15ft.

As a point of reference, for modern hunting, you want a minimum 40lb draw...at full draw and 40lb-60lb (adjustable) is common for modern compounds. English longbows historicaly were thought to average between 80-120 lbs, Mongol recurve bows averaged between 100-160 lbs. You can read about the penetration tests done against historical armor for bows of various draw weights. Google Matheus Bane and/or Mike Loades for those.

Note, I'm not trying to bash archery. As I said, I bowhunt myself and really enjoy it but, as with so many things, once you actualy start doing it you start to realize the difference between fact and fiction. Archery was a very, very important component of the medieval battlefield but it was just that one component. There were reasons why it was only one component of the armies of the day and there was a reason why it wasn't till the advent of firearms that armor and melee combat stopped being such important components of warfare.

Edit: Not that this has any bearing on game mechanics, but I'm kinda a nit for such stuff.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
- I know realism is not a factor here but as someone who does bowhunt in real life, I can tell you that shooting a bow while attempting to move means a missed shot.

I don't know if it was here, or on T7V's forums, but I remember someone posted a video of an extremely mobile archer using a short bow and rapid firing multiple arrows with great accuracy while jumping and spinning around in the air. He basically "punched" with the bow instead of taking careful aim, while holding additional arrows between the fingers of his right hand.

Not trying to argue the point, just thought it was interesting, and would love it if whoever originally posted it saw this and re-posted.

I'd be interested to see it, but I'd have to wonder about the setup and the range. Most "trick" demonstrations like that only work because the archer has practiced extensively in that exact space with fixed targets who's precise locations are known and remain constant. That's how such performers are able to shoot without aiming, they know by rote where there arm, body and bow is supposed to be. Even then it's usualy only done at very close range.

Field conditions are completely different from that. If you are a bowhunter...

- You don't even take a shot at a target that is aware of your presence. Try shooting at a target that is capable of unpredictable movement sometime.

- You are likely hunting from a stand or blind along a game trail or feeding/bedding area. You can try to plan exactly where you want the animal to be but unless you have a means of reliably funneling or fixing the animal in that exact spot, alot of your shot opportunities will be in places other then that.

- It varies with the accuracy and experience of the archer, but the maximum effective range of a good archer is about 40 yds for direct fire.

Now extrapolate that situation to what an adventurer fighting a live intelligent opponent would face in the field.

Historicaly, the Mongols were excellent horse archers most trained from birth to do just that. Firing from a horse is actualy easier then firing from the run because your body isn't moving (e.g. you don't need to worry about controlling your legs) only the horse is and in certain gaits horses have very smooth predictable movements. Even then, they really could only hit point blank targets while they were moving.

Foot archers pretty much always fired while stationary and they commonly set out stakes in front of them (while in the field) to try to keep enemy cavalry (and infantry) at bay. The vast majority of the time they fired in an indirect fire role....meaning they blanketed an area with arrows, whether they hit an individual target in that area was completely random...but given the number of arrows being put into that area and the number of targets occupying that area (remember we are talking mostly formation fighting here) they were bound to score a certain number of hits.

Again, not that reality should dictate, but the Legolas stuff you see in Peter Jacksons movies is as far from reality as Superman is.

Goblin Squad Member

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Caveat, I'm not playing Alpha but here are my thoughts......

My general feeling is that ranged attacks should force the attacker to be stationary or move at a very slow rate while in a firing sequence....

- I know realism is not a factor here but as someone who does bowhunt in real life, I can tell you that shooting a bow while attempting to move means a missed shot.

- Resource wise it's probably far cheaper then calculation of angle of attack and LOS to target.

- Gameplay wise it means that the archer has to have sufficient range when engaging and be able to properly judge the targets speed of approach in order to effectively carry out a harrassment tactic. Misjudging and cutting it too close means the archer gets caught in melee while in an opportunity state. Allowing the archer to move at full speed while firing nullifies that gameplay aspect.

......

Ranged weapons should balance Rate Of Fire (time it takes for the firing/loading sequence) versus damage. Slow firing weapons (e.g. Hvy Crossbows) should do more damage then fast (e.g. short bows) ones. Range is a very powerfull advantage, it should definately be factored into any balancing equation. I don't think an average bow should do any more damage then an average 1 handed melee weapon.

.....

Heavly armored, shield equiped infantry should have a means of minimizing incoming missle attacks by entering into a stance that sacrifices mobility and penalizes thier offensive and defensive capabilities versus other melee combatants.

- This creates a situation that stresses the advantage of combined arms tactics. Archers can effectively pin heavy infantry but are not particulary effective at destroying them on thier own if the infantry is willing to remain pinned (e.g. simulating taking cover). Heavy infantry can't be effective in melee while defending well against ranged attacks. Nor are they capable of forcing an engagement with lightly armored archers but they CAN hold terrain (e.g. a capture circle) if engaged by archers alone. Lightly armored Archers CAN'T hold terrain (e.g. capture circles)if engaged by Heavy Infantry but they can avoid contact at will. Light Infantry and Archers are vulnerable to each other depending upon what range an engagement is initiated at.

If you've got a situation where lightly armored ranged forces can maintain distance at will and do damage significant enough to kill heavy armored melee REGARDLESS of what actions heavy melee is capable of taking then you've setup a pretty unbalanced scenario.

Just my thoughts. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:

I realize this a UNC policy discussion thread but given Decius's pointed questions obviously aimed to make us look bad I have a follow up question for him:

Can we assume that if we send unaffilated alts posing as newbs to spy on TEO/TSV troop movements in active warzones that you will leave them be?

Edit: This question is assuming that you will not suffer reputation penalties. I'm more interested to hear if TSV/TEO will honestly let their enemies use such tactics against them or if they are willing to sacrifice the enemy knowing all their troop movements as they happen to maintain the pretense of honor.

Just beware I'm going to bookmark your response and plaster it all over the forums if you go back on your word.

Not speaking for anyone but myself, as I'm just a grunt. However, in a game like this I'd pretty much have to assume that most "troop movements" are known at very nearly the time they occur. Even if you kill someone it doesn't stop them from reporting what they already saw. It's also likely the case that it is nearly impossible to sufficiently vet every single grunt in your fighting force, let alone citizen of your settlement, let alone allied trader/merchant that you need to visit your lands to support your economy to know that they are not feeding information to an enemy. If you are moving a group of 4-5 tightly knit guys, then yeah maybe you can keep it secret but if your moving a mass of dozens of people, I'd pretty much have to assume it's going to be known in real time.

Surprise, I think is achieved in these games, not by having large scale movements undetected when they occur but by insuring that the enemy doesn't know your plans in advance of thier occuring and moving swiftly enough when you do move that it is difficult for them to organize a timely response.

Personaly I don't see much gain from killing individual spectators... although if there are 30 well armed "spectators" massed in a group hanging around just outside a POI, that scenario may be different. I wouldn't condemn someone for doing it, but it doesn't seem to me to be particularly productive. My own response, if called upon to deal with such a thing, would be to tell the person that they are somewhere they aren't supposed to be and warn them to move before resorting to hostility. That's my personal position...not my guilds. YMMV.

P.S. Not trying to intrude into your thread. It's a slow day at work ;) and I find the subject of how such things work in these sort of games kinda interesting.

Goblin Squad Member

BrotherZael wrote:
Something along those lines. Except move dismount fight fight move dismount fight.

I'd expect they'd probably add an interruptable timer and maybe make you vulnerable during the mount action, so impractical to mount up in the middle of a battle, at least when you can be attacked, to move.

With the formation fighting thing though, they could probably pretty easly add "cavalry" formations on the sly even without true mounted individual combat.... do a check to see if everyone has a mount to create/join the formation then apply a series of modifiers to simulate the properties that cavalry would have. Though I suspect formation fighting may and up being after mounted combat on the implimentation list anyway.

Goblin Squad Member

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My feelings on this are as follows and it realtes more to individuals then companies or settlements....

1) Can individuals, even those associated with companies allied to a settlement, gain at least some low level training in the NPC towns? I feel this is important as to not push individuals into the PvP aspect of the game before they are ready for it and comfortable with basic gameplay. It also allows companies that are not successfull to continue to play the game at some level. If the answer to this question is "Yes" then it allows the WoT to be an important but not all encompassing aspect of gameplay during EE. If the answer to this is "No" then it will likely drive alot of players who are not interested in having the WoT aspect be thier primary focus. I'm not up on the currently proposed mechanics from GW and they do seem to shift around a bit.

2) Will there be a sufficient number of hex's on the map that are free of towers so that a player can move around a bit and have some interesting things to do without needing to enter a potential conflict hex?

3) Will players have some easly discernable way of indicating to other players that they are not currently interested in conflict?

4) Will players generaly respect the fact that players outside of tower hexes and not clearly engaged in some conflict related activity are not valid PvP targets?

Of course alot of this goes away or changes once other game systems are in place. My feeling is that WoT is a cool and interesting aspect of gameplay but should not be an all encompassing aspect of gameplay where players feel "forced" to engage in it in order to play the game at all. I think that would backfire badly on GW, if it became reality.

I don't neccesarly think the community should regard taking "Alpha" towers as a violation of community standards but I do think it should be considered as an act of aggression and essentialy a "Casus Belli" from one entity to the next. I do think it would be helpfull for the community to come up with some ettiquite to define what would be considered a "non-combatant" in the WoT conflict and what might be considred acceptable behavior toward "non-combatants". For example, killing an active combatant on sight as many times as possible is probably a legitimate excersize of conflict based play. Killing a "non-combatant" once outside of the conflict zone to rob them might be considered a legitimate act of play in the context of banditry. Killing a "non-combatant" repeatedly in a short period of time probably crosses the line of acceptable play to harrassment.

As a community, trying to come to some general consensus about these sort of mores would be helpfull, I think.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
If EVE hisec is FFA because anyone can fire their weapon, then FFA is meaningless. If it isn't FFA because there are harsh prompt meaningful consequences, then what level of consequences is required to make the ability to attack anyone in most areas not "FFA" in those areas?

I haven't played EvE and have no desire to play it, so take that in the context of my reply.

EvE as a game most definately IS "FFA".... it may have "safe" areas where it's counter-productive (if you care about your character) but not impossible to attack people but as a game, it most definately is FFA.

In order to not be FFA, the game must allow you to select a pre-defined faction in the character manager and the design intent must be to allow only incidental/accidental not purposefull attacks against members of your faction.

If you look at a game like PS2...as someone brought up. A few hits on freindlies results in a weapon lock...purposefully fighting against your own faction is a reportable and account bannable offense.

Goblin Squad Member

Shane Gifford of Fidelis wrote:
Uh... I think you can team kill in Planetside 2. Just saying.

It results in a weapons lock very quickly. So you can get a few accidental hits in....but you really can't go around fighting against your own faction.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan, I'm not neccesarly talking about WHERE you can attack (that falls into the "Open World" side) but WHO you can attack. Basicaly with something like Planetside2 style PvP you litteraly can't attack 1/3rd of the player base because they are part of your faction. You know with absolute certainty who is an enemy and who is not. With something like Ultima Online, any other player can attack you... so you have to regard 95+ percent of the player base as potential enemies... even your own Guild or an Ally can potentialy attack you.

I think that's what alot of people see as the definition of "FFA".

I realize that you guys really are trying to keep the focus more on settlement vs settlement conflict... and like I said, I'm keeping an open mind toward things and hoping that you can achieve the goals you set forth. However to alot of people, myself included, if they aren't picking a faction in the character manager and being mechanicaly prevented from attacking members of that faction, then a game would fall into the "FFA" category....so hopefully you understand why people are looking at PFO and thinking "Yes, that's a FFA game"

Goblin Squad Member

I think there may be some disconnect in the definition of "FFA" because I happen to believe PFO mechanicaly is a "FFA" game....even though it's attempting to limit some of the negative aspects of "FFA".

"FFA" means to me, quite literaly, anyone can mechanicaly attack anyone else. Unless I am mistaken, from a mechanical standpoint PFO will be a "FFA" even though it attempts to overlay a series of consequences for attacking people outside of certain approved parameters.

Unless the game beeps at me and tells me "function not supported - this is a member of a freindly faction, you can't attack them", then technicaly it IS a "FFA" game....I don't believe my understanding of the term is at odds with that of the average gamer.

PvP tends to fall within 2 categories Pre-determined factions (i.e. Horde vs Alliance, Empire vs Rebel Alliance, Vanau vs NC vs Terran Republic, etc) or "FFA"... if it doesn't fall within the former then it's the latter. So I'm going to take issue with Ryan when he says PFO is not a "FFA" game.... because I think according to the understanding of the term that a heck of alot of gamers have, it is. Frankly that was (and still is) one of my largest reservations with the game...but like I've said, I'm willing to take the chance and see how it will play out.

Goblin Squad Member

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I think people under-estimate the value of culture in these sort of situations. Yes mechanics have to be in place to reinforce the kind of culture you want in the game BUT all the mechanics in the world are worthless if the culture that develops is different then what is desired. I've seen that happen in games. The two have to work in concert to get the result you desire.

I've also seen first-hand what sort of inertia an initial culture established by a relatively small group can have in setting the tone going forward... even through vast expansions. Vast expansions CAN have a highly disruptive result that permanently erases whatever initial culture was established but that's not a hard and fast rule and it is definately the case that the culture CAN be maintained through that. I've seen that first hand in a commercial MUD that had a player base that went from an average of 50 or so players online at a time to an average of 2K-3K players online at a time within the course of a couple months, where the initial culture was determinative of what was transfered to the expanded player base. It was disruptive and it did take a heckuva alot of effort from the Developers, GM's customer service people AND existing players to make that happen but it DID happen, so it definately can be done.

One shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that culture will mold the thinking of every single player...it won't. However, it doesn't need to do so....it just needs to have an effect on enough players that it becomes representative of the average experience of new players to the game. One also shouldn't expect culture to have any effect on the true griefers...it won't.... they specificaly are playing a different game from everyone else and are setting out to purposefully ruin everyones play experience. Those are for the GM's/Developers to handle.

However there will be alot of players coming in NOT with some purposefull predetermined intention to be griefers. They'll come in NOT being sure exactly how one plays the game, nor what to expect of the play experience...and MANY of these players will adapt thier play to what they see around them and how they PERCIVE others playing the game and being "successfull" in it...and it is these players that culture can have a very large effect on. If these players learn that the way to "play the game" involves negative behavior then it'll swamp the ability of the GM's and the mechanics to overcome that. THAT is what, I think, Proxima was getting at.

I, for one, am interested in hearing from Proxima and others more details on what cultural norms we should try to be promoting and which ones we should be discouraging. I know this may get a little heated....and obviously we can't define a hard and fast rule on what is considered "acceptable" for all situations... however, I think it's helpfull to at least try to get a better idea on some of the specifics about what the community at large would consider desirable and undesirable play.

Goblin Squad Member

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I want to add something, mainly that FPS style games have a very large audience and personaly they are quite a bit of fun. I would strongly disagree with any caracterization they they are "murder simulators".

FPS games are all about team based combat (PvP combat). There is a specific goal to that combat... winning the match... and it is understood that all players playing the game are willing combatants. Further there is no confusion about who is hostile and who is freindly. Death has no long term consequence to the players ability to play and enjoy the game, though it has a short term consequence to who wins a match. Finally to one degree or another, a players results are based upon thier individual skill.

It is the combination of these elements that make FPS games enjoyable to thier audiences and categoricaly NOT "murder simulators"

"Murder" is an act of killing someone who is not hostile to you and has no intent to cause you harm. The difference with many FFA Open-World PvP games that are percieved as "murder simulators" by the general gaming public while FPS games (such as the Battlefield series) are generaly not... and these mirror my own feelings... is that you are getting killed in them by people you are NOT hostile toward and who'm you have no expectation would be hostile toward you. If you are playing Battlefield 1942 for example and you are playing an Allied soldier, you fully expect to be attacked on site by every Axis soldier in the match. You may not know where or when the specific attacks will happen, but you know going into the match to expect them to happen. In an MMO, you are NOT expecting the guy who hired your character to chop down wood for them outside of town and who will trade you some cloth in return to be hostile toward you and to put a dagger in your back. That is the difference between "combat" and "murder". It is that constant level of paranoia, of not being able to trust anyone that most people find distatsefull for long term play.

The other element that causes most FPS players (myself included) not to want to play PvP in MMO's is that the quality of the PvP in most MMO's is very poor by comparison. It is very often determined by factors external to player skill. This can be the difference in power between one character and another or it can be related to lag and performance issues where the MMO is not optimized to handle that many characters fighting in one area. This is a big turnoff for enjoying PvP in MMO's. Further, it is greatly excaserbated by the fact that getting killed in MMO's can have a long term impact on your characters abilities. If I get killed in an FPS game it has near zero impact on my ability to play and compete and perform well in future matches. If I get killed in an MMO, it can have a strong impact on my ability to accumulate enough power/advancement to perform well in future combats and can easly create a situation where a new player gets sufficiently behind the eight ball that they can never accumulate enough of whatever they need to perform effectively in combat in the game in comparison to established players.

Really for many FFA Open World full-loot PvP games....I don't even classify most of what goes on as "PvP". It's more PvV.. Player versus Victem.... and no one really enjoys playing "Victem" over the long term.
I quite enjoy many different sorts of PvP (Chess, FPS games, Turn based strategy games on both computer and board games, minatures, etc) I have zero interest in PvV games as either the Player or the Victem. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
<Magistry> Toombstone wrote:
We're talking about how someone on the outside is going to perceive PFO, I believe. If you're trying to describe a game with murder-simulator potential, then "open world pvp with gear looting" is a fantastic phrase to start off your description. And if there's nothing in your design to curb that thought, people will continue thinking it. Preaching "Just don't see it that way" isn't going to change that perception.

First you should start by not buying into that definition of what is a murder sim, it is not the one that Ryan Dancey uses. Just as Andius (one if my members now, so I don't use his name to ridicule him) believed, your definition of what is a murder sim has far too low a threshold. Andius had tried to describe EvE Online as a murder sim, and Ryan quickly rebuked that idea, strongly.

Ryan seems to use the term "murder sim" almost exclusively for First Person Shooters. There you have no other objective but to kill the other side, nothing to gain by winning the round, no loot to acquire, it is just killing for the sake if killing. No persistence from one round to the next, also contributes to the lack of meaning.

All of the major Open World PvP MMOs could not be categorized as murder sims, at least not by Ryan's standards. In all of them there are objectives for killing, even if that was simple looting. In games like Rust (alpha test) there was literally nothing else to do but kill each other, and we al better be prepared for that in PFO early on.

So as to how someone on the outside perceives this game, well maybe the best way to avoid them viewing PFO as a murder sim is for us not to recognize. That it has the potential for it to become one. Certainly don't attach the term to "Open World PvP" ourselves. You will just feed into that wrong perception.

Bludd, sorry for the double reply....but I feel pretty strongly about this. No one gets to define "Murder Simulator" for anyone else. Each person is going to have thier own subjective definition of the term and none of those definitions are wrong. I strongly suspect your defintion is very different then that of the average gamer. I know most people who don't play EvE have very strong negative associations with that game. Now it's perfectly ok to say, well that game isn't for them... however from the Developers standpoint (e.g. the people trying to make money off the game), they have to set thier expectations to account for that limitation of thier audience going into it. If thier expectations are different, financialy then they are going to end up in trouble... they also have to set thier communications with the public to match that as well, because they don't want thier potential customers expecting one thing and getting another, that burns reputations as a business and ends up wasting alot of marketing resources.

Goblin Squad Member

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Bluddwolf wrote:
<Magistry> Toombstone wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
PvP with looting
This is kind of the big one for me. You hear "pvp with looting" and you think murder simulator. There have to be some really strong mechanics in place to balance that one out.

Or a change in attitude towards your gear. If you learn to value your gear less than your time spent in experiencing the challenge of PvP, you will mind less the loss of gear.

Why is the "go to solution" always have to be limiting mechanics? There is never any compromise or acknowledgement that perhaps your attitudes can change.

Bluddwolf, it's pretty simple because people enjoy different things and they want to do something they actualy enjoy with thier time. I'm ok with loss of gear...I'll probably treat PFO as a sort of BattleField series FPS game in terms of how I approach gear. However for some people, a fantasy MMO is all about collecting neat looking gear to outfit thier characters. PFO probably won't be the game for them... that's ok but telling them to adjust thier attitudes is kinda like telling someone that's allergic to shellfish that they'll really learn to love raw clams. It's their entertainment dime and time, they shouldn't spend it doing something they don't like.

However, that's not really the purpose of the thread...open-world, FFA full-loot PvP tends toward turning an MMO into what most mmo players would consider a "murder simulator" and draws the exact sort of people that most gamers don't want to associate with in ANY sort of game. It obviously doesn't have to be true and not everyone dislikes those sort of games nor is every player of them unpleasant to associate with. However, I think it's pretty well supported that is the association those game-play elements have among the general gaming public. That's what Mbando's study showed, I think.

Basicaly that's what most people are going to assume about PFO, or any games with those mechanics.... until it's actualy built and empiricaly prooves that it's not as bad or anti-social as they expect... and they can actualy play and enjoy it without being ganked within 30 seconds of stepping out of town EVERY time they do so, followed by being subjected to a minute of "P-owned U looser, we're 'leet U noob"

Goblin Squad Member

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The basic problem is this (IMO). PFO has all the key elements that murder simulators do.... Open World, FFA, PvP with looting... that is pretty much the murder simulator recipie. Tie in F2P (once OE happens) and you have an even stronger case. Now I know GW is putting a ton of controls and mechanisms in place to try to mitigate the more negative aspects of those gameplay elements so that PFO does not become a murder simulator and they are commited to do so. However virtualy every other game that has those elements has had thier Dev's come out and say "Our game isn't going to be a murder simulator and we're putting controls in place to make sure that doesn't happen" and they've all failed to make it work. "This time will be different" is not a very convincing arguement after so many failed attempts.

It doesn't work for GW to not mention those gameplay elements because then you are going to get alot of consumers upset that the product has features that they didn't expect and didn't want and PFO will get a bad name because of that disappointment plus GW and the people involved will burn thier reputations as reputable developers. Plus a little time investment here in reading about the game will reveal those features anyway.

Even with all the time I have invested here and learning about PFO and it's developers and it's mitigating controls I am not fully convinced it won't end up a murder simulator. It's a distinct chance and that's the (fully informed) risk I'm taking with my time and monetary investments. I'm certainly not convinced it will end up that way...it took alot of failed attempts at manned flight before Kitthawk and Ryan and his team certainly have the talent and commitment to pull it off... but it's very difficult and delicate thing they are trying to do... definately not a sure thing.

That's why I thiink GW strategy is exactly on target. The only way to really convince people that ANY game with the gameplay elements mentioned above, regardless of mitigating controls, won't be a murder simulator is by building it, having some people play it and demonstrating empiricaly that it's not. By building slowly in a controlled environment (EE) is exactly the roadmap to try to make that happen.

GW changing rhetoric isn't going to work because to most players ANY rhetoric by a developer is just hot air and marketing. Trying to de-emphasize core gameplay elements will just make it seem like GW is trying to hide something....because information about those elements always gets out viraly.

In one of the first posts about the game that I read, Ryan said he and his team were trying to accomplish something that many people think is impossible. I think that's essentialy it.... and the only way to really convince people that the impossible is possible is by doing it. YMMV.

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