I REALLY hope they don't model LOTRO's cash shop model too closely. It started out ok but got increasingly crass in terms of selling power.....to the point where it was selling cash shop only items or effectively cash shop only items (your chances of getting them in game were so miniscule as to be non-existant) that were more effective in a number of ways then what you could get in game. Not to mention the loud and intrusive cash-shop advertisements that appeared all over the UI. It wasn't the only reason I walked away from the game...but it certainly was a big part of it.
Though not a fan of cash shops, period....LOTRO's origional cash shop wasn't bad at all....but as time wore on, they got to the point where they seriously crossed the line.
Things I'm generaly ok with...
- Training Time (according to GW's currently proposed use) since you can't "speed up" training on an individual character, this ends up being the equivalent of paying a sub.
- Access to Modules, Themepark Content and Special Events (e.g. a GM orchestrated "Wedding).
- Cosmetic adjustments to existing items (e.g. applying a "Skin" to your sword).
- Cosmetic Options for Characters (e.g. different hair styles, non-standard features)
- Access to Different Character Starting Race Options (as long as those Races are balanced game-play wise with regular starting races and not clearly superior choices from a game-play standpoint).
- Access to Different Character Archtypes (as long as those Archtypes are balanced game-play wise and not clearly superior to regular archtypes and progress through them must be achieved through the regular mechanics that other archtypes use)
- Non-Gameplay effecting abilities (e.g. learning special "emotes")
- Account related things such as More Character Slots or advanced access to Beta Builds/Testing Servers, etc.
- Real World Swag - T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, Artwork, etc
Things I'm NOT generaly ok with....
- Consumables that have a mechanical effect on gameplay (e.g. Healing Potions, Cure Potions, Poisons, Scrolls, Wands, etc)
- Raw Materials
- Character abilities that grant temporary or permanant combat, political or economic advantages.
I'm honestly not even crazy about cosmetic things but I understand that MMO consumers tend to be resistant to increases in the basic access price for an MMO and the Developers legitimately deserve to make money for thier products.
With the Race and Archtype things the Dev's need to be REALLY carefull that they aren't superior or usurp the functions of existing races/archtypes but simply flavorfull variations on them.
You do realize that there is a point beyond which putting certain items in the cash shop will actualy LOSE GW money because it's intended audience will become so disillusioned with the company and how it's selling practices effect the game that they will simply walk away from the game (thereby preventing any chance of GW earning future revenue).
I don't pretend to know what that is since I'm only a single person and can only speak to my own individual tolerances. However that line is out there.
Furthermore, speaking only for myself, I DON'T want them to make money IF it comes at the cost of what attracted me to them as a company and PFO as a game in the first place. YMMV.
The New Player Experience and the Cash Shop are seperate issues. Cash Shop purchases don't only extend to (or affect) new players. Nor does the cash shop neccesarly do much to address many important aspects of the NPE. You don't need to turn to one to address issues in the other.
The more troubling dynamic isn't so much the "buy the Titan" in EvE, as that's a huge one time purchase that can easly be lost.
It's actualy something more akin to buying "Gold Ammo" in World of Tanks. It's an expendible that provides some advantage (although not vast) but makes enough of a difference that it becomes a "Must Have" for Guilds engaged in competitive play.
It's usualy not the single big obvious thing but rather death by a thousand little cuts that all add together that start turning a game into something where competition is all about the players willingness to spend money.
My Philosophy: Games are supposed to be about PLAYING games not some fantasy medieval version of the Home Shopping Network. When there is competition involved it's supposed to be a measure of the individuals ability to PLAY the game...not their willingness to spend money. If that's all we really want to measure, you and I don't need a game to do that. We can stand around burning dollar bills until one of us decides to stop. When I'm in a FPRPG, I want to divorce myself from real world considerations as much as possible.
The secret is I actualy have pretty deep pockets. I'd gladly pay $100 per month for a quality game that DIDN'T resort to cash shops. When you think about it, $1000 per year is pretty cheap as far as hobbies go. I often spend that much or more on my other hobbies.
That's not the issue, never been. For the "GAMER" games are supposed to be about playing the game. Just as for the sportsman it's about playing the sport. It's not even "Winning" that's important. That's where Ryan gets it wrong about alot of us old-schoolers. How one comports oneself on the playing field is alot more important then whether a W or an L goes into the results column. Unfortunately we seem to be raising a whole generation of Lance Armstrongs who don't seem to understand that concept.
It's what make Sports or Games different then going to see a movie or going to the amusement park or going out to dinner. They aren't just any old "entertainment activity".....they are in very specific categories.
Hobs the Short wrote:
I'm with Hobs on this one. However, PFO really doesn't strike me as much of a "gear" game in the same sense that most other MMO's are....so while buyng gear with RMT is still kinda offensive from an ideological standpoint....in the end, I don't think it really gets one all that much in terms of real power in PFO. Hopefully I'm not wrong about that assumption.
Traps that destroy the contents of a chest (or even render a wagon unusable) make sense. It increases the potential cost of the bandit to simply take something rather then work out some sort of deal. As with anything, if the merchant worked out a deal and THEN played the bandit false they'd probably open themselves up for special retribution (no one likes "Oathbreakers" of any flavor).
However for the guy going out to just kill and loot a traveling merchant...it increases the risk that they'll lose thier ill-gotten gains. One of course assumes that the bandit can aquire ranks in disarm trap to avoid such a thing...but that is a good thing (tm)....anything that increases the importance of greater diversity in skill and more interesting gameplay options ends up being good for the game (IMO).
Thanks for the info. The DI thing could work as well though it struck me as playing alot of different roles. I figured that using a value that was seperate (although able to be affected by) from DI would allow for more flexability...as you could change the value of how something effected "capturing" the city without neccesarly effecting the other things that DI does in the game. I know you guys tend to like to reuse data fields for multiple things...but given the small number of settlements that will be in the game, I don't think there would be much resource cost in adding more data fields to them. Anyway it's a thought.
Following up to my previous post, another interesting mechanism you could use is rather then a simple timer determining capture...you could switch to a point accumulation system.
This allows you to use multiple areas or actions and WEIGHT them rather then a simple hold this spot for X seconds.
So imagine that a settlement capture attempt kicks off a "Capture Timer"... it starts ticking down until a certain time limit is reached or until a certain threshold of Victory Points (which can vary depending on Settlement Index's) is reached. Each tick of the timer BOTH defending and attacking forces earn points. These can be control of certain important buildings in the settlement (Hall, Temples, Gatehouse, etc) each weighted for the importance of the building...deaths of attacking and defending troops, presence or absence of Leaders in control points, presence or absence of relics, castings of magic rituals, etc. If either side reaches the Threshold, they "win" and gain control of the settlement....if neither side achieves the threshold, their point totals are compared to determine the "winner" (you can weight or modify these by Settlement Indexes if desired).
The advantage of this system is that it allows you alot more finite control over what it takes to capture a settlement....you can add things that feel "right" about capturing a place and tweak as needed. It makes the actual capture a potentialy more complex and interesting endevour then a simple hold X spot for Y time (although that is still potentialy 1 route to victory)....it means both sides aren't so single-mindedly focused on a single spot and a single thing. The other nice thing, IMO, is that it can spread the battle out a bit more within the settlement and mean that even less powerfull characters can contribute.... it also gives the defender more of a chance to recover from a single moment of vulnerability or a single push of the tide.
The whole Chartered Company thing has always been a little confusing to me as well Nihimon.
Clearly they are a different object then "Adventuring Party" because I would think you would have to allow for the formation of ad hoc groups to deal with ad hoc situations...which I would take to mean that PFO would still have to have some mechanism to form an "Adventuring Party" on the spot.
What's not clear, since Chartered Companies are a different object with a degree of persistance and need to be settlement sponsorship what rules apply to them.
I've actualy taken it to mean that the same sort of alignment restrictions that applied to Settlements also Apply to CC's.....since both, I think, would fall under "official groups" according to Stephens statement....in contrast to parties which are ad-hoc and transient groups.
Given that a CC would seem to be even a tighter and more closely knit organization then a settlement....I'm not sure why you'd have a looser requirement for membership in one.
Note, I'd probably be happier to see no system enforced alignment restrictions for either CC's or settlements....but allow said organizations the OPTION of setting one if desired....but I don't think that's what the Dev's have been aiming for based upon past conversations. YMMV.
Edit: The whole thing starts to seem a little wonky to me given that CC's require settlement SponsorShip but can have members from different Settlements and War is Settlement based. Therefore you could have CC members that are at War with each other and who are not allowed entry (and Kill on Sight) by the very settlements who Sponsor them. It all just kinda makes my head hurt a little bit.
Banditry is probably a null op in terms of the overall game economy since it neither creates nor destroys any real wealth (just effects the distribution of it).
However it plays a VERY important role in terms of gameplay by adding a whole new dimension to how players approach the economic game in order to measure thier success in it.
Without Banditry it's....
1) Aquire Raw Materials
2) Turn Raw Materials into usefull goods
3) Sell Goods for Proffit.
4) Keep Materials and Goods from being taken away.
It spawns at least 2 new industries....
And probably several more...
All in all it adds alot to the game. Not the least of which is simply making things quite a bit more exciting for the player.
Clarification Please: Is there an automatic shift towards Good in addition to the one towards Lawful?
Stephen Cheney wrote:
I'd just caution that you guys take care that gaining Good through PvE questing doesn't become overly grindy/repetitive for the player.
Afterall it's a game and you still want to make things fun for players, else nobody will do it. Given the current description of the Alignment system, it doesn't seem too difficult for players who self-identify as "Good" to slip from that alignment with the occasional mistake. Thus, I would think that it shouldn't be overly grindy/uninteresting to be able to recover from that on an occasional basis. Clearly a completely different story if the player were needing to do so with frequency....but the PvE recovery stuff should be fun/interesting to do, if you have to do it every once in awhile. YMMV.
The Attacker flag, along with the other flags exist because the Dev's want PvP to be frequent in certain contexts and not be frequent in other contexts. The Flag system along with the Reputation and Alignment systems are mechanisms they will use to incentivize/decentivize player PvP behavior rather then put a hard and fast "You may never do X" mechanic in place which prevents ALL player behavior of a certain type.
The Attacker flag is essentialy an indicator that the player has INIATED PvP in certain contexts and other players are free to DEFEND themselves against said players without Reputation and Alignment consequences.
Essentialy the Dev's want SOME possibility of PvP occuring outside of "acceptable" CONTEXT's so they put in Shifts that will push the player toward Chaotic Evil with low Reputation....which is a combination which will impose significant mechanical penalties on the player...in hopes of DETERING such activity. This allows a player to OCCASIONALY engage is such activity without suffering huge penalties....but if they are doing it all the time, they will have to live with the consequences of those choices. The other flags are mostly a way for players to engage in PvP under "acceptable" contexts outside of War which is another acceptable context.
I think Hobs has the right of it here. Alignment is a measure of the (IC) view of one character toward another character in the world. Reputation is more a measure of the view of one player toward another player.
For example: If you were playing a RTS game...and one player was playing the AXIS powers or the Aliens bent on destroying humanity. Clearly, the other side wouldn't have a very positive view of the forces of that side....but as a player that other player might be your best freind, and therefore have a sterling reputation with you. Even if that opposing player pulled a brilliant manuver which was causing you to lose the game, you certainly wouldn't be happy about losing the game, but you wouldn't hold that against your opponent. On the other hand, if you caught your opponent cheating or using an exploit or violating a house rule you guys had setup...THAT would effect the players reputation.
So even if you are getting curb stomped by a bandit....that bandit is playing the game the way it was intended according to the spirit of the rules. Now if that bandit turned around and started logging off anytime a bandit hunter who could fight them came around...that would be a completely different case, even though the bandit might not be technicaly exploiting a bug, they are violating the spirit of how the game was intended to be played.
Edit: So Reputation functions as an incentive system to mechanicaly control undesirable play. Part of that undesired play is EXCESSIVE PvP in contexts which the Dev's want PvP to be rare. Example they want SOME risk of PvP in NPC Starter Towns, but they don't want a ton of it...so hitting folks that engage in PvP there with a Rep hit acts as a disincentive which hopefully keeps that behavior at a minimum. A player might do something like that once for an exceptional circumstance...and take the Rep hit....but if they repeated it on a frequent basis, thay'd be living with the consequence of low Rep.
Some things to understand:
Reputation is ONE mechanical measure by which settlements and NPC's can adjucate how they feel about PC's. The MOST important aspect there, functionaly, is the type of NPC's and therefore facilities they can attract to thier own settlements. Thus is the "bandits" setup a "bandit settlement" and have a high reputation... Joe (NPC) Blacksmith isn't going to be too freaked out about working there, because he reckognizes the bandits aren't rabid killers but follow some sort of set rules of engagement and thus he's probably ok working for them in thier settlement. Which allows thier settlement to function on a basic level. Note he doesn't feel as ok about it as if they were a LG settlement with a high reputation...which is probably reflected in the cost of maintaining those settlements...but he's still willing to work there.
Now player settlements (and players themselves), I expect are going to have much more granualar controls of who they are willing to let into a settlement...and how they react to certain groups. So even if the "bandits" have a "high reputation" it doesn't mean they are going to get access to a "LG" player controled settlement...because the players who control that settlement can say...in addition to X reputation, don't let in any players who are of X alignment....or they can explicitly tell the settlement guards, regardless of any other factors don't let in any members of "Mike's Bandit Company" because WE think they are scumbags and we are hostile to them, so they are not welcome here.
Finaly, understand that the function of the PvP Flags (Outlaw, Assassin, Champion, Enforcer) is to allow the player greater opportunity to engage non-flagged targets in PvP under appropriate conditions at the price of being vulnerable to being ENGAGED in PvP themselves. So don't think that the guys flagging themselves as OUTLAW don't have a downside involved with that. It means that they are self-flagging themselves as open to PvP....which allows pretty much anyone to initiate PvP with them without suffering the normal Alignment/Reputation hits of such.....so in your example if the bandits are actualy flagged as Outlaw...they can be attacked by the Paladins without the Paladins worrying about alignment/rep hits (since you don't gain an attacker flag for engaging someone who is PvP flagged...you gain an "involved with flag"....furthermore of the Pali's PvP Flagged themselves as Enforcers...they'd actualy get bonuses for engaging the Outlaws.
Um...not sure where you are getting your rules from, but they don't match any from any course I've ever seen or participated in...
Hunters who carry firearms wear Hunter Orange as a safety precaution. (Red's actualy a bad idea as it can get you mixed up with a male turkey and also causes more problems for folks with color blindness.)
However Firearms hunters are NOT the only ones out in the woods in Fall. You can easly encounter hikers, fishermen and mountain-bikers to name just a few....and most of those won't be in safe colors. Additionaly bow-hunters will be in full camo...including thier faces painted normaly. So you can't rely on just making sure you don't see orange.
Nope the ultimate responsibilty ALWAYS lies with the person behind the trigger....no excuses.
Simple solution to AOE flagging. When the caster goes to place his AOE on the ground/target or however he targets it...the system WARNS him that there are non-hostiles in range of effect by changing color. If he goes ahead and casts anyway, no one can say it was UNINTENTIONAL.
Note, doing that doesn't break Stealth or Invisability....it just tells him at that point in time there is a freindly there.
Make the caster pay some small portion of MANNA (or power or whatever is used to control the amount of spells you can cast)....so it doesn't come as a FREE minesweeper to them.
You can rationalize it as all AOE spells come with some minimal ability to detect the presence of living beings in thier area of effect.
Again, this doesn't reveal the stealther or tell the caster who they are, or even exactly where...just that there is something freindly within area of effect.
The mechanic sounds really good and workable. In terms of alignment and reputation hits for unintentional freindly targets (hidden or just bad timing)..... I'd suggest a mechanism whereby the damaged target is given the option to "forgive" the attackers attack, if they wish. I'd suggest this mechanism exist IN GENERAL for alignment/reputation hits caused by "hostile" actions. I think it would help address many other corner cases in conflict such as "duels" or "combat training" where the individuals are using thier weapons against the target with the targets permission. That would mean that would also reduce alot of the immediate pressure for designing special mechanics to handle such things, as the players would simply "forgive" each other.
Note that it still doesn't take away the sting/negatives from careless casters....as "forgive" is entirely at the discretion of the target, they don't have to do it if they felt the attacker was being uneccesarly reckless....and, of course, it still means that your own sides combat power is reduced in conflict situations...as "forgive" simply removes the alignment/rep consequences for hitting a freindly NOT the damage itself. YMMV.
I am talking about penalties that justify greater expense, difficulty and cost of the attacker to perform the operation. Those penalties are and should be still extremely light in the absolute...and far lighter that not playing at all.
I anticipate that in PFO, a "regular death" will cost you maybe a maximum of 30 minutes worth of play-time in economic loss and getting back to where you need to be.
I'm thinking an assassination, MAYBE, costs 1 hours worth of economic activity in building a business/settlement, MAX.
Are you really going to stay logged off for 24 hours over that?
You guys are conceptualizing character death (from a game-play standpoint) on a completely different scale then I am. I see it from a game-play standpoint more as loosing a unit in a RTS game...maybe a little bit more costly then getting killed in an FPS game.
You guys seem to see it as loosing 50 hours worth of grinding for an EPIC weapon in a Themepark. I think it would be really, really difficult for a player to suffer that kind of harm unless they purposefully wanted to do so... I just don't see PFO as that kind of game.
Respectfully, not excersizing some control over your surroundings and willingness to be aware of them is EXACTLY how you will get killed repeatedly in ANY activity in PFO outside of any settlement.
If you are a Merchant/Resource Gatherer or Trader and you don't excersize awareness and control over your surroundings, you are repeatedly going to get jumped by bands of bandits who WILL kill you...probably regardless of your skills..because 10 vs 1, chance of survival is pretty much a pipe dream.
Same for adventurer going out into the wilds to do PVE adventures.
Same for playing the territory control game...
In games like PFO, excersizing situational awareness, traveling in groups and being prepaired for an encounter is pretty much the recipie for NOT DYING.
Skills are great....and they certainly will assist you in ANY form of gameplay...whether it is regular combat, crafting or the sort of assassination game-play I've talked about....but skills are an entirely PASSIVE form of gameplay...the other half of almost any game, the real gameplay for the player is ACTIVE gameplay. Without that you get EXACTLY the type of forgone conclusion of LvL 80 vs LvL 10 that PFO is intended to avoid.
Note the reason I've been harping on this topic so much....and I'm NOT even planning on playing an Assassin, I'm going to be one of those goody-two-shoes LG straight up melee fighters....
Is that I want to try to promote other forms of game-play and meaningfull conflict beside the same old boring vanilla "my to hit, vs your AC, see who can drop who's hit points to 0 first" that MMO's and games have been stuck with for decades now. PFO has the perfect opportunity to break out of that box and advance meaningfull game-play and meaningfull conflict that fall outside of that axis.
Assassination is one of the things that is actualy a perfect fit for game-play along a different axis...because it really is intended (under it's real usage) to perform an entirely different function. I'd hate to see it, along with so many other things reduced to some sub-factor of who can knock who's hit points down to zero first.
There are so many other interesting axis of game-play and conflict availble to be explored. YMMV.
I think the big issue here is the conception of what sort of game-play "assassination" falls under.
I believe most of the people here that have a big problem with the "quick kill" scenario conceptualize it as part of the regular combat game-play, like a rogue's backstab ability. The concern there is that any sort of "quick kill" ability creates too much of a power imbalance in comparison to any other type of characters combat ability and would lead to unsatisfying game play for the target. I actualy agree with that.
However, I would argue that is an entirely INACCURATE way to conceptualize "ASSASSINATION". What you are thinking about might be termed a "surprise attack" but that's really NOT the equivalent of "ASSASSINATION". Slipping a poison into someones tea to have them die 3 days later at breakfast while a thousand miles away from the nearest tactical combat IS a form of assassination.
If you look at "ASSASSINATIONS" both historicaly and even fictionaly, it isn't really applied to actions intended to create an immediate tactical advantage in combat. That's something else. An "ASSASSINATION" almost always is a term applied to an action intended to have long term POLITICAL, ECONOMIC or STRATEGIC millitary effects. It is NOT combat in the traditional sense...at least not in the sense most people traditionaly think about combat in RPG's. It's combat in the STRATEGIC sense...in the same way that placing an embargo on importantion of someones goods or providing subsidies to devalue thier trade commodities might be.
If you can get away from thinking about in context of typical RPG combat and the traditional gameplay that involves, which really is a missapplication of the term....and start thinking of it as a different type of strategic gameplay, I think we can make some progress here. In fact, in a world where people come back from the dead, the actual "KILL" portion of the "assassination" is entirely irrelevent except themeaticaly....because in a traditional assassination there is no "fight" going on which you remove the target from. The real goal of an "assassination" is to create political/economic instability through fear, panic, loss of faith in an organization, political or economic entity and disruption of it's organizational structure, chain of authority and decision making capabilities. In traditional application of the term it pretty much has nothing to do with tactical combat save that OCCASIONALY that may be a methodology used to perform the assasination.
Edit: Functionaly it's really more closely linked to SABOTAGE then anything else. Perhaps it might help people to conceptualize it in that light instead.
I have alot of the same play preferences that you do. I'll tell you honestly that I'm NOT expecting PFO to provide them. I'm thinking/hoping that PFO will provide it's OWN unique/interesting and hopefully fun style of gameplay...as I like alot of different varieties of gaming.
However, when I'm really looking for something that harkens back to the kind of sitting around the gaming table with freinds (that are now geographicaly dispersed/have busy lives) PnP game experience...I pretty much look to Virtual Table Top gaming. I've done that a bit now...and I think it provides the closest experience to sitting around the gaming table RPing that one can find Online.
I just don't see PFO...or frankly any other MMO, even entirely PvE ones, matching up very closely with that experience. Though I do think a PvE one would be closer to what I'm expecting to get here. YMMV.
As I mentioned in the other thread "Scope Creep"......
There is nothing inherintly wrong with MOBA's, they are pretty popular these days. However they are targeted an entirely different sort of crowd (mostly the "e-sport" folks) with entirely different sorts of gameplay expectations and looking for entirely different types of features then what PFO is targeted at.
(IMO)It's kinda like saying... "Why don't we make our breakfast cereal also attractive as an oil filter for your car"
Nothing wrong if someday GW wanted to build a MOBA, but it should be a seperate product/project.
Note that DUST is an entirely seperate product, produced by an entirely seperate project team and long after CCP was financialy stable with EVE.
Heck, it's not even playable on the same platform (PC's) as I understand it.
Nothing wrong with a company trying to expand it's product offerings once it's well established....or to grow a mature product in ways that fit that product well.
ALOT wrong with setting out to cram too many vastly different things into the same product at the outset. That's usualy a recipie for disaster even with vast amounts of resources to throw at a product/project. With limited resources, it's a way to be dead in the water before you even get to the starting gate...i.e. "Scope Creep".
Let them build the game they want to build and are planning to build, for the target audience they have planned to attract. Once they've done so and are cash flow positive, they can see how it makes sense to expand thier product/product line from there.
One of the factors that I think many people never take into account when comparing WoW and many of the games that preceded it is the difference in POTENTIAL market size.
Specificaly think about the number of households with access to a computer and the number of households with access to reliable internet, both here in the US and abroad.
Taking nothing away from WoW itself, it does a good job at what it aims to be...and I certainly had fun for the year and a half or so I played it, BUT it did come along at EXACTLY the right time to be successfull. It was one of the few offerings of it's type just when computer ownership and reliable internet access was exploading.
It's hard to imagine today, but back in '97 when Ultima Online released, private computer ownership and reliable internet access just wasn't all that common. Kinda difficult to sell an MMO subscription to someone that can't access the internet or doesn't even own a computer.
People really need to consider that when thinking about WoW's numbers in comparison with previous products. Like many successfull products, WoW saw a benefit from being in exactly the right place in exactly the right time and they capitalized on it.
Later entrents had to battle both against WoW's established brand recognition and against all the other new competitors flocking into the market to gain thier portion of market share. That's a MUCH tougher position to be in.
So even if the Themepark model wasn't broken (and I think Ryan makes a good case that it is).... it's a really good idea to try to go after a market segment that isn't currently oversaturated with offerings the way the Themepark crowd is.
Given what Ryan has just pointed out, I'd wonder if the future of Themepark style gaming isn't more along the lines of smaller Co-OP style games. Say something like Skyrim with multi-player mode...where a player can host his own server and run it with maybe 5-6 freinds either peer to peer or through leased servers like FPS games do.
Where the expectation is that you and your "party" run through the 100 or so hours of play that can be produced for a reasonable cost and wait for the next "module" in the series to come out for you to plunk down your $30-50 to play again?
Well Bandits will have to be OUTLAW flagged in order to issue a SAD, which essentialy means they are open game for anyone that wants to engage in PvP.
Without being OUTLAW flagged, anyone initiating combat against them would suffer all the negatives of being flagged an ATTACKER themselves...so it seems a very reasonable system...as long as there is a reasonable cooldown for PvP flagging and unflagging so you can't deflag the instant in becomes inconvenient to you.
Remember on the PvP flag system...Outlaws are not going to be subject to combat with just potential victems but also people out there specificaly HUNTING OUTLAWS.
Remember, you can't assume that a hideout will offer the bandit perfect protection from the people hunting them....A bandit hunting team will likely have people skilled at detecting such things...from there it becomes a contest of skills. YMMV.
Instant Death in regular combat is probably a bad idea.... instant death tied to the stealth system where it's only availble if the victem is unaware of it happening and this unprepared to fight, I could see as doable.
The thing about the assassin, is they aren't really any more deadly (or at least shoudn't be) then you average fighter, and probably even should be a bit worse, in a stand up fight where the victem is actively defending themselves...where they get super deadly is when the victem doesn't know that they are there and they can get that one attack in from surprise before the victem is ready to defend. YMMV.
Though alot of how that could work in PFO is going to depend on how they are able to impliment stealth in PFO.
OOC: One of the things about RP-ing is that it gives us the opportunity to explore some of the more sinister or tragicaly flawed aspects of human nature. If cold-blooded murder for money is in, I would assume bigotry and xenophobia would be just fine as long as it's clearly being represented as in IC thing.
I really enjoy campaigns where some of the players take on thier opportunity to play deeply flawed characters, so I applaud you for taking on that challenge.
RE: Death Penalties
I think it depends upon the frequency upon which they want/expect death to occur in PFO. If it's something on the order of FPS games, then they can't really have overly significant penalties.
Personaly, I really wouldn't mind seeing something like Ressurection Sickness which acted as a strong/debilitating debuff for a few minutes after death in addition to the economic loss. That would help to cut down on the "lemming rush" factor. But that's just me.
Along with that, I'd also like to see something on the order of what is done with the PnP Rules... where a downed character isn't always automaticaly dead if someone can get to him within a few seconds to stabilize him (a manuver which would be dangerous for the person giving treatment to do if still in combat)
So something like...
Character A takes enough damage to go badly negative (or maybe fails a fort save, etc)...they get killed outright, leave husk, go back to bind point and get rez-sickness.
Character B takes enough damage to go just a little negative...they fall down and become immobilized/incapacitated....no one gets to them with in 10 seconds... they die. All normal stuff that occurs with death happens.
Character C takes enough damage to go just a little negative... they fall down and become immobilized/incapacitated.... ally gets to them and spends 3 seconds stabilizing them, during which time they are vulnerable to attack.... 20 seconds later (or however much time it takes to heal upto positive numbers) character is back on thier feet, but with very little health.
I think it would help make combat more tacticaly interesting... and may help address some other issues (duels, training, etc) where one doesn't always want a fight ending up with someone getting killed. YMMV.
Depends how heavly we're beaten about the head with the information. It's very different playing a character who believes the "world is flat" in 1050 then it is in 2013.
There is some real value in simply not answering the question whatsoever...as it leaves open myriad conflicting possibilities with none of them objectively wrong. However, even if they were to answer the question objectively....the matter of how...and how feasable it is to rationaly present a different belief becomes a big deal.
Of course they could definateively and openly answer the question.... but I would offer that doing so would serve no effect other then to needlessly alienate at least a portion of thier playerbase.... for no real purpose.
It isn't neccesary mechanicaly and it wouldn't seem to serve anything in terms of the type of game-play they want to foster. Hence, the inherent value in keeping some mysteries as mysteries.
I had more trouble with that logic in LotRO. If I'm deep in some hostile territory, getting torn up, now I've somehow managed to escape the entire enemy army?
Very easy to explain. Historical cases of such happening have actualy been noted...
- You've been dragged away by allies or run away under your own power. Hostile forces have either elected to NOT give chase, remaining in possesion of the battle-field ....or given chase and lost you in the confusion.
- You've been left for dead on the battlefield....only to awake some time later to discover you were only incapacitated/wounded/knocked unconscious.... you manage to escape either on your own or with the aid of others.
FAR more believable (IMO) then frequent/common resurrection is a LOW MAGIC setting like Tolkiens.
I actualy liked LOTRO approach alot better (although it was also more suitable to the low magic setting of the IP).
You character never actualy died but was simply "defeated"....conceptualy this could take the form of simply being forced to retreat, being incapacitated and dragged away from the battle-field by allies...or just "left for dead".
I think that tends to be alot less immersion breaking in general then how most MMO's handle it. With the high-magic setting of Pathfinder, ressurection is alot less jarring/problematic then it would be in Middle Earth for example.... but in general, I still tend to like the... "You didn't get killed just incapacitated to the point you can no longer fight"... mechanism that LOTRO used, for me it presents less problems then frequent and commonplace ressurection.
@Being & Nihimon,
That's kinda one of the things I dislike about the current design....that macro's may be neccesary or make sense. I'd prefer a less predictable system where you don't really know whether it's a good idea to follow up one move with another until you see the results of the first move.
So instead of something like:
Step 1 - Weapon Sweep.. draws opponents weapon out of the way.
Step 2 - Shield Bash... knock opponent silly now that his defences are down.
It'd be more like:
Step 1 - Weapon Sweep....
LOOK at results... Aw crap, I completely missed making contact with the other guys weapon. Now, my weapon is out of position and I'm vulnerable.
Step 2 - What do I do now? Do I jump back and fight defensively? Do I go for broke with a shoulder-slam or haymaker make swing? Do I try to tumble behind the guy or side-step him to setup an unprotected flank for next turn? What do I think this guy is going to do? How agressive is he?
I REALLY, REALLY HATE systems that are so predictable that you default to obvious rotations in combat 95 percent of the time.
I really, really would prefer a system that is not so fast paced that people feel they NEED to resort to macro's to play at a competent level...or frankly need to worry about jumping around and moving constantly.
That's another pet peeve of mine, the kind of circle straffing, jumping in and out or running through folks and turning that most MMO PvP seems to devolve down to is as cheesey and unrealistic as "bunny hopping" in FPS games.
You see any sort of hand-to-hand fight in real life...once two parties are engaged, most movement is of a very circumspect nature....large movements are extremely dangerous to the guy moving because, due to balance and momentem, they severely limit your ability to react to threats or take advantage of opportunities.... the only time you usualy see skilled combatants take them is when thier opponents have already over-commited to something they can't get out of. YMMV.
(9) - Given the caveat that if you do a bad job or make rulings in a manner that is frustrating or unentertaining to your players that your game will consist solely of yourself.
I also think it's VERY important to set player expectations up ahead of time with exactly what sort of campaign you are planning to run it and how you are planning to run it and what feel it is going to have. So the players are interested in playing the type of game/campaign that you are interested/comfortable with running.
If not, everyone is likely to have a bad time.
Agreed, and honestly I think there are about a dozen different ways to handle this, it's not a completely binary choice. Alot (IMO) depends upon the specifics of the combat engine. What I would be dissapointed in seeing would be if AoE's ALWAYS became the goto choice when you had multiple targets, regardless of the combat situation. That would dissapointingly dumb down combat. For my money, EVERY single attack type (including all AoE's) should have upsides and downsides depending upon the specific combat situation....assessing those and making effective choices for the situation should be a big part of the gameplay.
I personaly like and support the concept of Friendly Fire, but alot of the practicality of it is going to depend on the possible engagement ranges supported by the combat engine along with the movement speeds of characters.
If combat engagements are possible at long ranges, say a couple hundred yards (example WWII Online), and movement speeds are realisticaly slow.....then FF is entirely practical. If you aren't being an irresponsible idiot, then you are very selective in your use of AOE attacks...you only cast them while the enemy is at long range and closing in the opening phases of the engagement... you hold off and switch to direct fire attacks once there is a possibility that any of your allies are close enough to be subject to getting hit.
If that isn't the case, and the combat engine only supports maximum engagement ranges are absurdly close, along with unrealisticly fast movement rates (as is the case in most MMO's) then they may want to avoid implimentation of FF, as such attacks will almost never be practical to use.
What they DEFINATELY want to do is make sure that there is NEVER always 1 or 2 "best" attacks that the character almost always uses regardless of the combat situation, because they simply do the most damage all the time. That really kills tactical depth.
One thing they COULD look to as a compromise solution is a "pseudo" Freindly-Fire mechanic. That is FF that didn't actualy do damage to freindly characters but imposed certain conditions or debuffs that made it very difficult for freindly characters to operate while under.
The afforementioned WWII Online had such a system FF (HE shells) wouldn't do any direct damage to you but it would shake your screen very badly making it impossible to aim effectively (and in that game you really needed to aim) it was also loud as heck making it impossible to hear anything else around you and would often kick up dust or smoke that really cut down on your visability. In other words, it didn't actualy damage you but it supressed you to the point you really weren't very effective at all at fighting while under it.
Heck according to the Pathfinder Core Rules it's even possible for CLERICS to not be devoted to or worship a particular Diety...
Straight from the SRD....
"While the vast majority of clerics revere a specific deity, a small number dedicate themselves to a divine concept worthy of devotion—such as battle, death, justice, or knowledge—free of a deific abstraction."
Kinda weird but one has to consider the Core Rulebook as authoritative for whats possible in the Pathfinder Universe.
As someone that has spent alot of time in the woods when growing up, I can say that my first visit to Central Park was actualy very disconcerting. Everything felt freakishly off. See the thing is every single tree, bush, rock or major feature there was put/planted as part of a design plan. So the growth pattern is nothing like you would expect to see if you were used to the wilderness. Kinda like walking around a city where all the buildings, windows and doors were placed at odd angles.
However, that aside...you make a good point ;)
LG reckognizes SOME source(s) of Legitimate Authority. Some MAY be internal others MAY be external.
It certainly doesn't have to be a diety (although that is a common one in Pathfinder). It might be the King of one's Nation. It might be the Captain of ones company. It may be a Noble of a House on has sworn to protect. It may be the Code of Chivalry or Bushido, etc. It may be multiple ones of those.
The thing about a Lawful Character is that he feels an inherint obligation to follow said Code regardless of his personal feelings about any given issue or situation. That is because he feels there is an inherent value in Order that superceeds those feelings.
Good tempers this with WHAT specific Code/Authority he selected and WHY he selected it and will try to bring that Code/Authority in harmony with Good results.
Lawfull Good places INHERINT value on Order because he believes it leads to the greatest good for everyone.
I think you guys are getting a little too hung up on the litteral term "law"...laws can be evil, laws can even be chaotic if they are so esotericaly formulated that they lead to random or inconsistant results.
A Lawfull Good character will have a Hiearchy of Sources of LEGITIMATE authority that he recognizes as binding upon him and his behavior. Some of those sources are internal (personal codes of honor, etc), other are external (ones King, Diety, Captain, etc).
The important thing to note here is those sources of authority are not ALL inclusive. There are sources of authority that the LG character does NOT reckognize as LEGITIMATE and therefore feels no obligation whatsoever to pay any heed to.
A LG character will NOT reckognize the dictates of Rovagug as binding upon him nor feel any need to pay any heed to them. Nor will a LG character feel the need to reckognize the "laws" established by some Brigand Prince who managed to take over a piece of dirt by force and raise his flag over it.
What a LG character will do is TRY his hardest to follow the laws, orders, obligations placed upon him by each LEGITIMATE source reckognized in his HIERARCHY even in individual cases where he thinks they are wrong. He does so because he feels overall that maintaining ORDER outweighs individual judgement. When sources of authority come into conflict with one another, then he will go with whatever one has greatest precedence in his heirarchy.
Thus when a LG character is ordered by his King to arrest and banish a person who the character knows is innocent. The LG character may, at great personal risk, try to convince the King that the order is wrong, but he will ultimately follow it, regretfully and possibly try to find other ways to assist the person that don't contravene his orders.
A NG character doesn't inherently value Order as an end to itself. Faced with the same situation, he might simply let the innocent accused person escape. He doesn't care about the Kings orders unless each time they result in a Good end.
The LN character would unquestioningly follow the Kings orders because they are the Kings orders and Good or Ill doesn't matter. He would not try to help the person or try to convince the King to resend the order.
Again you are basing this on current MMO combat mechanics...and current PvE mechanics which emphasize that everything must be "soloable" by every class... so neither what the classes do...nor the creatures they face can have much differentiation at all. PFO does not need to be that type of game. The simple fact that they've taken the leap to making group/cooperative based play such an important feature allows for that.
So you walk into a Dungeon and the first creature you encounter is incorporeal with DR 10 to all physical attack forms. Suddenly the mages and the Clerics become pretty critical. You walk into the next room and the critters all have high magic resistance and high crit resistance and the heavy armor guy becomes important. You walk into the next room and the creature all have STUN attacks that require REFLEX saves, etc.
All this is done with just a little varience in monster types...it's not even diving into A.I. or non-combat based challenges or varying the encounter terrain or mixing in multiple-monster types, etc. Really the skies the limit....and it's not really dependant upon resources.... it's dependant upon two basic stances by the developers; 1) We are not affraid to force people into working with each other if they want to get ahead 2) We are not afraid to let people FAIL if they haven't brought the right skill set to the challenge or found some inventive way to overcome the deficiencies they have.
I think PFO's Developers are pretty comfortable with those stances....other MMO's are terrified of them. They are terrified of forcing thier players to have to work with others in order to overcome challenges.....and they are terrified of allowing thier players to fail at anything. Thus characters aren't just equivalent in those games...they are IDENTICAL...save for mostly the graphics...For those reasons, A Wizard casting Magic Missle and a Ranger shooting a bow and a fighter swinging an axe are pretty much the same things mechanicaly in thier combat systems...it's just different graphics applied. If you are having a system based on that...then yeah, letting one guy move faster then the other becomes a pretty huge advantage.
RE: Laws that are issued from Chaotic Dieties or Town
For Chaotic characters they are really more like a set of "Guidelines". They may follow them, the may not. It really depends on what they WANT to do in any given situation. They really look at it more as advice from a friend...perhaps even a VERY, VERY wise and knoweldgable friend. They don't feel a firm obligation to follow it...but they very well MAY do so, if they think it's a SMART choice.
As I see it...internal codes are more about CONSISTANCY in conduct, Being.
Example: You set yourself an internal code that you will "Always Hold Open the Door for Females". You encounter a female that is the worst kind of shrew imaginable. She has just robbed you, called you names and slapped you in the face.
The Lawful character will hold open the door for her, even though he REALLY, REALLY wants to slam it in her face.
The Chaotic character will slam the door in her face without a second though, because it's what he WANTS to do in the given situation.
Sounds Lawful Chaotic.
Let me try to put it in more practical terms that might make sense to you. If, as US millitary, you get sent into North Korea on a clandestine mission (say recon an enemy facility) during peace time....
- Do you feel any compulsion to follow Kim Jong-un's laws even though your orders directly contradict them ?
- Have you suddenly lost your respect for authority, order and discipline because you ignored North Korea's laws?
- Is the fact that you broke North Korea's laws mean that you are unlikely to follow US Law, maintain discipline or follow the orders of your commander?
Actualy (IMO) Lawful...regardless of class...follows a hierarchy of rules that origionate from sources they reckognize as LEGITIMATE...and giving precedence to rules higher in that hierarchy over ones lower when they conflict.
Some of those rules may origionate from internal sources such as Codes of Honor, Oaths, etc
Others may origionate from external sources such as ones Diety, ones Nation, the Captain of ones Company, etc.
What's included in that Heiarchy and what the order of precedence is set within it is going to vary between EACH INDIVIDUAL Lawful character.
Therefore just because some Brigand has gotten strong enough to plant his flag over a piece of dirt and pronounce himself King over it, does NOT mean that I would have ANY obligation or inclination to follow his "laws"...because I don't recognize his LEGITIMACY as an authority. However, one of said Brigands men who pledged to serve him certainly would if they were Lawful.
The point with Lawful characters is that they DO each have a Hierarchy and a strong inclination to follow it in a CONSISTANT manner even in cases when they don't neccessarly agree with it.
Chaotic characters are more "shoot from the hip" kinda guys. They approach each situation individualy and do what they feel is right or best or what suits them in each one. They don't feel the need to be consistant or constrained by any set of rules either internal or external....and they certainly are not inclined to subjugate thier own judgement to some external source.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...speaking from a philisophical standpoint, of course.... not a "how the heck could we impliment this mechanicaly in a game" standpoint.
Edit: So a LG Fighter probably has the laws of HIS OWN land within his Hiearchy....open question whether the laws of any other is there, or whether or not a Diety is there. A LG Paladin (or Cleric) would almost assuredly place the Laws of thier Diety at the top of thier Hierarchy.
I kinda agree with you. In fact, I've strongly argued elsewhere (to no avail) that GW should just do away with the Alignment mechanics entirely and let people choose and RP thier alignments as they wish.
However, the other thing you have to remember is that PFO is supposed to be a very heavely PvP FOCUSED game where stepping out of your own settlement into the Wild is SUPPOSED to entail a very serious risk of attack from other players.
So I think what you are seeing is GW kinda chasing it's tail a bit trying to get some things that don't fit very well together...They want a FFA game that is heavly focused on PvP...but they don't want a "gankfest" so not TOO MUCH PvP.... they want to be true to the IP of Pathfinder (which is pretty much a "gankfest" of Good vs Evil)... they want to introduce a very "meaningfull" morale consequence for players actions that is adjucated by the system.....AND they want to do it all with a VERY modest budget and limited resources.
Given all those conflicting goals, I think they've actualy done a pretty good job with coming up with a model that tries to address them. Whether it's practical or wise to try to combine all those goals into one game is rather an open question as far as I'm concerned
Currently exists without the PvP Flags. CE characters can attack anyone at any time in any place. They don't care about the Alignment hit since they WANT to be CE.
Currently exists if you are Allied with CE characters. Again, they can attack anyone they want at any time.
Chaotic Evil settlement
CE Settlements can make any laws they want. Including ones that it is a criminal act to attack someone flagged as <Heinous>
Under the current mechanics, a Settlement or Kingdom can put a <Tresspaser> flag on anyone of a particular Alignment or Class that enters it's territory. Neither <Tresspasser> or <Villian> are permanent. They last a maximum of 24 hours
Yes, I do believe the Gods provide a way for people to know what you've been upto in the Pathfinder Universe. It's called Detect Evil...
Modern Rules of Evidence don't generaly apply in a Classical High Fantasy Setting. There are no Gloves of Johnny Cochrane + 3.
However, what happaned to said Paladin would depend upon the Laws of the Land in which the act took place. In his own Lands the Paladin, MAY actualy be the Law and is therefore invested with the authority to do whatever he deems right. In someone elses Land, it MAY indeed be a crime. In unclaimed land there ARE NO LAWS, nor any government to enforce them. Hence the only authority the Paladin need answer to is his own God...who being a GOD, indeed might know exactly what you have been upto.
From a game-play standpoint I do understand some of your angst...particularly given the activities that would flag you as Heinous are PvE not PvP.
I also do think that PFO mechanics as well as Pathfinder PnP mechanics do tend to eliminate one of Evil's classic defences...the ability to hide in plain side. I actualy don't use said mechanics without modification in campaigns I GM.
Ultimately though this is a heavly PvP based game so there must be SOME opportunity for PvP to occur...and leaving it SOLEY within Evil's purview to initiate AT WILL is too strong an advantage.
Although I'm not sure I entirely agree with the way Heinous is currently being implimented by GW.
Just a quick follow up. The low death rate in gladitorial matches really had very little to do with some sort of universal respect for human life in the Roman Empire and more to do with the financial investment a skilled and trained gladiator represented. If you want proof of that simply look at what happaned in the unequal gladitorial contests that became popular later on where skilled gladiators were matched up against non-combatants...where they were common prisoners, non-combatant captives in war or early christains (or other unfavored religions)...or even where such untrained combatants were pitted (usualy unarmed) against dangerous animals.