Proxima Sin wrote:
@Mbando I imagine sitting at a computer what I would do to roleplay the road thing. Train some skills at the building in town. Walk out the gates. Click the spot where the road is going to go, select Build.
Classic example of a solution from a single-player game that doesn't work well in an MMO.
Let's say we built all the game systems to enable you to do this. Now we have two problems.
One: Pave the Earth. People use this system to run roads everywhere. Who cares what the upkeep costs are? For some people they can crap the upkeep costs. For others they are happy to see the road decay (it has to take some time) and then they'll just built it again. The world looks stupid. Roads don't "mean anything" (they just go wherever). People make giant road dicks. People use roads to write insulting messages. etc. etc. etc.
Two: A handful of people get all the fun. The person who builds the first "road" that is situated in the right place for a road is the only person who ever gets to build that road. As soon as all the roads are built, nobody gets to build roads anymore. A handful of people will specialize in road building and they'll build all the roads they can. Everyone else thinks "roads are dumb, I'll never build one, what's the point?"
This is why we need to think about systems you can do MANY TIMES and that can be done in PARALLEL by MANY PEOPLE.
We're way, way off topic here, but I will say that I've always thought that /emotes should require context. You kill a really tough monster, you should unlock an emote you can use to show the character's feelings. You find yourself in a place where dancing is appropriate, that unlocks dancing emotes, etc.
Do you believe that if basic /emotes were included, they would not be widely used by the general player base?
I think most of the time they'd be used they would not be used for "roleplaying" in the sense that I believe you mean. They'd be used more like decoration for OOC discussions like /facepalm or /smdh. I think the number of players who would use them IC other than extremely occasionally would be very small.
Wouldn't it be reasonable to believe that such emotes would be used to advance the pillars of the game you have already mentioned?
No, I don't really think so. I don't see how "/bow" or "/huzzah" or "/weeps" materially improves the roleplaying experience compared to the actual "playing of a role" experience the game will offer.
That said, I am virtually certain that we'll have some generic text-only emote system in the game because that's easy and harmless (mostly) and some people will like it and use it so it's a good tradeoff of resources.
I'm virtually certain we'll have some basic animated emotes because they're fun, mostly harmless, and lots of players use them in lots of entertaining ways.
If Emote Packs were included in the cash shop, would this not add sufficient incentive for their development cost?
I think we will absolutely sell emotes with animation and other effects in the cash shop. The response to the "secret salute" offer in the Kickstarter was plenty of evidence that people like that idea.
I am a big fan of player made roads. I think we even had them in the design document. We would need to come up with a system so that players didn't "pave the earth". I don't know to what extent player made roads would qualify as increasing roleplaying support though.
[I think the idea we had bandied about, although I don't think I ever actually wrote it into the design doc (because I can't find it) is that we would be continuously generating heatmaps of where people walked, and that led to system so that if enough "walking" was done in a given vector it could evolve into a dirt track, and dirt tracks could be upgraded by players to improve transit speeds. This was associated with ideas about where/how bridges could be built using similar mechanics. No idea if this will ever gestate.]
Crowdforging is all about the votes in the end , isn't it?
No. It would very dangerous to assume Crowdforging will just be a series of votes. That won't work. We can't have a game designed by majority rule.
Crowdforging needs to be a matrix of ways that people can influence the design. Some of those things will be simple polls. But some of it has to incorporate more nuanced approaches.
Some guidelines to help with ideas likely to attract a lot of support from your peers:
1: Should result in a system, not a one-time action. Remember that we need things characters can do thousands of times, and by tens of thousands of characters in parallel.
2: Should create meaningful human interaction. Something you do that nobody else ever knows about isn't helpful.
3: Should involve group action. An easy way to ensure #2, and leads to interesting potential connections to large game systems like economy, warfare or hex development.
4: Should be classifiable as exploration, development, domination or adventure content.
5: The wider the set of characters that can use the idea the broader support for that idea will be. You're asking people to make either/or tradeoffs, so you need to consider who would vote for a feature for you that meant some feature for them would not happen.
I'm saying that features will be Crowdforged. How are you going to sway the community to support something as marginal as "sitting in chairs" or "writing in books" vs people asking for necromantic armies, user extensible UI, adventures in the darklands, hatching dragon eggs, kenku characters, battle standards with customizable icons, or eidolons?
You need to advocate for something that is going to capture the imagination of your peers, while at the same time remaining within the bounds of what can be realistically implemented.
Hobs the Short wrote:
What I find odd is that, as CEO, you are directly or indirectly telling posters that things they've said they would find desirable in a game are "unimaginative". Likewise, to allude that any of these posters were claiming that writing in a book or sitting in a chair would be the best part of their gaming session is stretching what they have said in an attempt to make your point.
I'm challenging your most fundamental assumption - that the things you are asking for are features of incredibly marginal utility, that you think you want because they're the only kinds of things possible in the impoverished worlds you've been forced to play in for a decade.
That nearly makes it sound as if our desire for these things is somehow rooted in a less than satisfying role-play experience, and that if we are but provided more meaningful roles, we will toss aside these unimaginative practices.
I'm challenging you to think bigger, more creatively. You're facing the same challenge the PvE people face when challenged to think beyond "kill 10 rats". I'm saying you have access to a way better toolkit so don't settle for the kind of stuff you have been forced to settle for in the past.
Different things appeal to different people. Some people want to see their sword swinging and hitting an opponent. Some people want to see their characters mining copper, and some want to sit in an inn on a chair.
I think there's a serious issue of people's imagination being beggared by a long period of theme park gaming, where player agency was minimized and character development was railroaded. If you can't really change the world, if you're not really any different than ten thousand other near-clones, I can see why you might pursue Roleplaying on the margins.
But if we give you back what you should have had in the first place, the ability to play a role that would seem to be a far more meaningful and fulfilling experience.
All some people are asking for are basic emotes (or the ability to textualize emotes) and some basic props. Is this a coding issue, a time issue or just something that is seen as not needed?
It is a coding issue in that everything is a tradeoff and we're in a zero sum environment for features. Doing A implies we cannot do B. That is one of the goals of Crowdfunding, to make those either/or choices reflect the desires of the largest segments of the community.
To put it in context, the ability to sit in a chair implies the following:
An animation to sit and rise. For every character model.
Some collision detection to ensure that the chair you want to sit in is accessible.
Some logic to handle getting your character from whatever orientation and location it begins in to the proper orientation and location to begin the sitting animation.
Dealing with people who try to use an occupied chair.
Dealing with multiple people who try to sit in the same chair at the same time.
Can I sit in every chair, or are some chairs restricted to certain characters or kinds of characters, or times of the day etc.
Dealing with gear: where does the bow go? The quiver? The sheath? How does a cloak look for a seated character?
What happens when a gnome tries to sit in a chair designed for a half-orc, or vice-versa?
What can you do whilst seated? Where does the camera go? How do you move it while seated? Can you zoom the camera in and out? What if you're attacked? What if you want to make an attack? Can you wave, bow, blow kisses, etc. while seated? Order drinks? Drink? Write in a book or on a map? All that requires animation for all character models.
What happens when you log out when you're seated?
Can you look at other characters? Does your head track them as they move? How do you choose who to look at? Within what arc?
How many people want to sit in a given space at max capacity? Can the logic of the architecture support that many chairs?
It just isn't "sit in a chair" and a line of text that says "you're seated".
Sitting in a chair and writing notes in a book or scroll seem so .... unimaginative.
I can't say that in close to 30 years of playing roleplaying games I've ever thought "the best part of that session was when I sat in a chair".
If you came to me in 1990 and said "imagine you're playing a shared world game with thousands of other people in a detailed 3D virtual fantasy world - tell me what you would want to be able to do in that world that would be meaningful to you as a way of developing your character" I can guarantee you "sit in a chair" was not going to be on the list.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that at the top end of rep, there's a thing you have to do every day at a certain time to gain a point or two of rep unattainable any other way. The is just hypothetical so don't read anything more into it.
Now imagine that there is something really important that the Settlement needs done that conflicts with fulfilling that rep gaining activity.
Doing the necessary thing implies you don't maximize your rep. Maximizing your rep implies you put that number ahead of your collective obligation to your Settlement.
That is the kind of meaningful choice that I'd be interested in when vetting a potential recruit: do they play "for a number" or for the team?
I think playing a lone wolf will be very hard and you'll die a lot.
That is by design.
I accept that there is a population of players who want a solo game with occasional ad hoc grouping. This is not that game. This is a game about making substantial investments of time in forming strong and cohesive social structures and putting group needs ahead of individual needs - a lot like a tabletop RPG experience.
Every item has quality. Quality is not de facto related to utility. Keywords will reflect utility. You'll want PC Settlements to get the ability to make items with beyond-basic keywords.
Even if you had to exclusively craft items in PC Settlements I can guarantee you they'd be available as commodities on easily and widely accessible markets. Even if every market was in a PC Settlement the same truth would obtain.
I think that the thing that surprises PvE players the most is when they're told what to do, not when they're told they have to fight.
If the group needs X, you better be making X, or the group will kick you out. This loss of agency turns these characters into "jobs" with "bosses". If the player is OK with the job and having a boss, they tend to stick around and be a contributing member of the team. But if they take the attitude that they should be free to do whatever the hell they want and that nobody can tell them what to do ... they're often shocked to be shown the door.
Nobody needs an untrained inexperienced character in a tough fight. But they may need a specific kind of gear, or specific repair materials, or specific consumables at specific times and places, and if the PvE contingent isn't delivering, the war will be lost.
2) What about LE, will they have any drawbacks comparable to LG, or will LE be a pretty large/easy to maintain alignment?
My thinking on this is that LE will likely be mercenaries. They will have a lot of pressure towards the Evil axis and there will be a lot of value to them in worshipping Evil gods. But they will want to have access to advanced Settlement structures so they'll want to maintain a fairly high reputation, and will therefore likely avoid the kinds of things that would drive them from law to chaos. Plus they'll want to be known as groups who are scrupulously honorable - nobody wants to pay a mercenary and then have them turn on the client.
I think the LE mercenaries will be who you call when you need to go to war against the LG knights and their vassals.
3) Would POIs be a likely spot for LG or other specialty alignments? It sounds like maintaining a LG alignment would be easier for smaller social structures, so maybe a CC of LG characters might run a security POI (Watchtower or Manor) for a CG settlement
I think Settlements are going to be very involved in micro-managing the points of interest in the territories they can control or influence. I think at least for a long time they're going to be production or trade focused systems so the objective will be to run them at maximum efficiency. I don't know if that will intersect with the alignment systems much.
In general I think that it is likely that there won't be highly concentrated groups of single alignments. I think most social groups will be a melange of alignments, and that they'll have a bias but won't be homogenous.
When you think about PvE content like Escalations, you have to think about something that could be running a hundred times in parallel, and tens of thousands of times (or more) over the lifetime of the game. It's easy to author a "story", but it's hard to author content that survives that kind of repetition without becoming dull.
It's also virtually impossible to make an event that responds to unique player interaction in surprising ways without simply being just random outcomes. For example, once the process to get a mob to alter its behavior via social factors like negotiation is known, that knowledge will spread and everyone else will treat it like a recipe. You won't actually "engage" with that content, you'll just click the buttons to get the response you know the content will generate. Interesting once, then dull for everyone else forever.
You have to assume that either there's pure randomness, or that the maximum outcome will be exploited by scripted approaches to the content.
In an MMO nothing the players experience is "unique" or truly "interactive" except for the content they provide each other.
'm curious how you see those segregated camps varying in Early Enrollment, and whether you think that segregation will serve to protect Lawful Good characters from the worst ravages of the Chaotic Evil & Low Reputation crowd.
I think that Early Enrollment is going to be very unstable. I think that people are going to find that what they thought would be fun isn't fun and what they thought would not be fun is fun.
Especially in the beginning the space we will have is very limited. People are going to feel crowded. There will be a natural tendency for people to fight rather than negotiate. The initial PvE content will be extraordinarily limited. You'll find camps of monsters, you'll fight them, you'll get some economic value from winning the fight, and you'll use that to get better gear to fight more monsters. Most people will do that for a few hours (maybe) then realize that the other players are way more interesting to fight than the monsters.
I expect there will be wandering bands of players focused on attacking and killing other characters. The penalties for being a ganker will be hard to make meaningful in a game without player Settlements. I hope that instead of a swirling chaos of everyone for themselves we end up with groups who fight with some cohesion.
I think that it will be very common for the first thing people to try is fighting one another. We may find that we need to create some kind of "Red vs Blue" structure very quickly to accommodate this kind of thing even if other game systems are not mature enough to let it emerge naturally. Otherwise I think we'll end up with meaningless reputation and meaningless alignment systems (everyone will be low rep chaotic evil).
I don't know and can't predict the kinds of things we'll try to mold the community towards something more productive than just endless meaningless PvP. Partly it will rely on a consensus by the players that there needs to be more to the game than meaningless PvP or it won't grow and become interesting to a wider and more diverse audience.
The core game loop needs to make PvP a negative feedback loop. In other words if all you do is engage in PvP you should find that you become noncompetitive due to a lack of gear. The only way to get new gear is to have some economic value, which means you need to kill some monsters or do some crafting to sell gear to people who do kill monsters. We will have to learn as we go how to twist the knobs in the system to inject coin and harvestable resources, and how quickly to degrade and break gear.
Early Enrollment is really an experiment in community building as much as it is in game building. We will clearly make mistakes and have to roll back features and restart systems even fundamental systems like the economy. Everyone who plays in Early Enrollment will know what they're signing on for before they start, and I'm comfortable that some people will want to wait a long while for things to become more settled rather than "waste their time" playing in ways that might be rolled back.
In a centralized region controlled by a well organized, cohesive, effective Settlement, I think the Escalation system may rapidly break down and cease being perceived as a danger.
There are (at least) two degenerate conditions:
The first is that Escalations never Escalate because the Settlement simply is too good at detecting and eliminating the Escalation cycle as it begins. Escalations cease being a game system and just turn into a harvestable resource node suitable for even rookie characters (and probably ONLY accessed by rookie characters because it won't be worth the time of more advanced characters to bother).
The second is that Escalations are "farmed" by the Settlement, allowed to Escalate, but in a controlled manner. Value is extracted from the Escalation at each phase in its evolution by teams who are dedicated to getting maximum value from the Escalation while continuing to allow it to get "worse". You don't let the rookie characters anywhere near these Escalations because they might accidentally ruin the value progression by killing the wrong mobs or killing too many mobs or whatever. I'm sure people will find a "sweet spot" where they're getting more value out of killing the mobs than they're expending to farm them, and then they're just managing another resource faucet.
How we deal with either of those conditions is anyone's guess at this point. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
These degenerate conditions both happen because there is little risk of outsiders coming in an upsetting the local economic ecosystem. If the area is generally at peace and if outsiders are generally absent, the Settlements will become masters of extracting tiny slivers of advantage from every resource faucet within their domains.
Just curious, but what would your advice be for players who were interested in minimizing their exposure to PvP without really gimping themselves by being stuck in NPC Settlements?
I think that it will be very hard to do this for a very long time. By design, we are going to try and avoid the concept of a large blob of contiguous highly secure territory that EVE has. That means that you will likely find yourself in the position of having to exit secure territory to harvest resources or move goods to profitable markets. Since it's unlikely there will be much social cohesion in the NPC settlements, that means you'll either have to take a risk in hiring mercenaries to help guard you, run those routes alone and hope you can avoid danger, or have a large enough circle of friends that you can ad hoc a group large enough to be a credible deterrent on an occasional basis.
At some point there will be PC settlements that are strong enough to have reasonably secure nearby territory, and within that territory people who want to avoid PvP will probably be able to work in relative peace. If things develop as I expect, the PvE people will be 2nd class citizens (much as they are in EVE, for the same reasons they are in EVE) who will be told what to make and where to work and expected to forgo most profits to keep feeding the military forces of the host Settlement.
It is possible that some group may decide to try and create secure territory without too many strings attached to PvE players. This happened in EVE in an area controlled by an Alliance called Curatores Veritatis who operated their territory in NRDS mode. They have suffered from a lot of internal chaos over the past year or so and I'm not sure what the current state of their territory is.
Over the very long term I expect that the initial territory in the game will become peaceful and quiet. It may be peaceful and quiet because the Settlements have reached some kind of accord, or it may be a frigid cold war. Hard to say. The edge of the map will be where most territorial conflict occurs and where the most dangerous places to PvE will be located. It remains to be seen wether it makes sense to create several "islands" of territory and link them with some kind of gate, or if we just keep growing the contiguous map to the south and east into the River Kingdoms. The former option would likely mean that instead of a stable core surrounded by a warring perimeter we might end up with stable islands and chaotic islands. There are pros and cons to both approaches and 5 years or more from launch we'll have to figure out which are the best options.
3. Whenever I talk about EVE's lack of constraints on toxic PvP, I feel compelled to remind everyone that PFO will have significant constraints on toxic PvP.
I think it would be wrong to say there is "toxic PvP" in EVE. The toxicity of EVE's community is not due to the PvP. It is due to the fact that the company encourages really bad behavior between the members of its community.
There is some griefing in EVE that is driven by PvP, specifically pointless ganking of underpowered or rookie pilots where the loss of the attackers are not offset by any meaningful in-game effect except pissing off the targets. There's also a griefing mode where a much larger and more powerful organization keeps a numerically, economically and/or cohesively inferior target organization in a constant state of war "just because it's fun" to pick on people weaker than oneself.
The toxicity comes from tolerating harassment, sexism, racism, rampant homophobia, and communications in open channels of the worst sort of content. It flowers in an environment where scamming is rampant and unpunished. It is amplified when CCP appears to not only condone, but promote acts like breaking huge Alliances out of fits of pique, or betraying organizations from within by stealing incredibly valuable shared assets after winning the trust of the target organization (both enabled by the crappy design of the security and shared-value systems in the game). It spiraled out of control very early in the game's history, the company shrugged its shoulders and said "we think it's interesting to see what people do when there's no restrictions", and that set the pattern for all the abusive behavior that followed.
It's a community with a value system based on adolescent male power fantasies and the worst aspects of young male posturing and testosterone-fueled displays of aggression and lack of empathy.
The PvP is not the problem. The original sin of tolerating horrifically bad behavior between community members is the problem.
"The Goodfellow" wrote:
In this "new" context of "spending" reputation, I am not taking it as if it were a coin or good, but rather spend it via actions that lower rep doing an action that will benefit the company/settlement/kingdom. That is how I understood the "spending rep" concept.
Do you think you're "spending weight" when you exercise?
"The Goodfellow" wrote:
Another question, is there a way to gage how well a character is being played within the guidelines the GW has set, for example, bandits who ambush rather then SAD, vs bandits that SAD vs ambush? I originally thought rep would be that metric. Will there be a metric for that at all?
Yeah, this keeps arising as a fundamental assumption. And it's wrong.
Here's the "guidelines GW has set":
Don't be a jerk.
Everything else is the emergent experience of hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands of people seeking their own destiny in our virtual world. Those actions, save for the jerky ones, have neither the quality of being "good" or "approved".
Formation combat should be a totally different kind of experience than what anyone has attempted in an MMO before. A well coordinated, cohesive unit acting in formation should be superior to almost any random force of zergs. The tradeoffs have to be significant though else everyone will try to do everything in formations. I suspect that the biggest tradeoff will be that we'll limit where formations can form and where they can move.
Having a high reputation means that you can unlock the most advanced structures which give you access to the most advanced training and enable your characters to use the most advanced character abilities. (And probably a lot of other stuff too).
But the most advanced dagger is not the best weapon to take to a fight where your opponents have crappy shotguns. Being a kung-fu master doesn't help the wheat grow faster. A horde of mooks that are willing to die for their cause, and then be bored for a while over and over and over will be a credible threat to a small group of knights who won't take the war to their enemy for fear of sullying their honor.
I think that rep will be a fractal system like many others and while it may initially have some clear association with PvP, it will over time mutate and become associated with many other aspects of the game. Reputation should reflect the consensus of everyone you have interacted with not just the characters you interacted with in PvP.
Therefore it does not indicate anything about your character's combat skill, the character's past behavior in combat, it's tactics in combat, or anything else that specific.
Reputation will also likely be relative. In certain areas of the map "high rep" and "low rep" will be defined differently by the local inhabitants than in others. In an area trying to be very high rep lawful good, you might find that even small lapses place you at a social disadvantage. In an area filled with murderous jerks, you might find that even a small amount of rep places you above the seething mass of random gankers.
Mechanically there will almost certainly be clearly defined ranges within which your reputation has meaningful consequences to your Settlement in terms of access to various structures and the implications that has on the Settlement's character's abilities. Those won't be dependent on the local social environment they will be server-wide absolutes.
The jerk funnel is not simply reputation. It is the combination of low reputation, evil, and chaotic behavior. My opinion is that it will be virtually impossible to be chaotic, evil and have a high reputation, and I'm OK with that. I fully expect there will be high reputation lawful evil Settlements, and low reputation chaotic good settlements, and every other combination in the matrix you can imagine. Mechanically the closer your Settlement gets to low rep, chaotic and evil, the less powerful your characters will be.
You will have to choose between a wide variety of variables to find the place that best meets the desires and needs of the community - how stringently will you attempt to enforce border security, how dangerous do you want the surrounding territory to be for harvesting and exploring, how often do you want to go to war, to what extent will you venerate gods of law, chaos, good and/or evil, do you honor or abrogate contracts, will you have an expansionist or a defensive posture vs. your neighbors, etc. etc. etc.
People sometimes misunderstand what the Goons did to BoB when they first arrived in EVE.
At the time high-end alliances were used to fielding fleets comprised primarily of Battleships. The Battleship was much better than the smaller ships, and much cheaper than the bigger ships. Pilots spent lots of time training skills to maximize the power of their Battleships, where the last increment of training could take months for a tiny mechanical advantage. The richest pilots fitted their ships with rare, exotic modules that gave them tiny mechanical advantages. The result was that all the tiny edges added up cumulatively to a consistent winning advantage in fights.
To counter this tactic the Goons, who had neither the length of training time nor access to the supply of exotic modules determined that a mixed force of cheap, small ships and Battleships could win against the experienced vets if they could get a numerical advantage of about 2:1.
The cheap small ships used a tactic called "tackling" which slowed the opposing ships and blocked their ability to "warp out" of the fight. They were fragile and died often, but the Goons would have large stocks of these ships in nearby systems so that a pilot that lost a ship could race back to base, get a new hull, and race back to the fight quickly. They essentially became inhaustible.
With the enemy tackled a lot of the advantages of the high level skills and exotic modules were negated. The Goons would then gang up on target Battleships and destroy them one at a time. They would lose their own Battleships during this process, but again, they had positioned reinforcement hulls nearby so their Battleship pilots could get back in the fight.
It was essentially a war of attrition, where one side was losing a lot of money much faster than the other side. Essentially the Goons "bled" BoB catastrophically.
The problem with the Goon strategy is that actually taking territory required the use of one of the bigger than Battleship hulls to engage in siege warfare against player-built locations called Stations. Since the battles at stations were sieges, the Goons didn't have the advantage of being able to pick territory close to reinforcements. And they had to use big, expensive ships that required a lot of training (more than six months, minimum) to use, so they couldn't rely on rookie pilots. The Goons proved they could defend their own space, and that they could beat BoB in battles, but they couldn't take new territory against entrenched defenders. They essentially creatd a static WWI style front line.
The Goon innovation showed how a new Alliance could get started and have some initial success against disorganized incohesive opposition, but it didn't actually displace existing cohesive effective opponents. Long term the only thing that has done so has been internal breakdowns in leadership leading to sabotage.
Do we gain reputation over time, passively?
I don't know. I thnk that is a part of the plan.
Do we gain reputation from active, positive game play?
Do we gain reputation for sanctioned PVP, crafting, exploration, gathering, healing, managing a settlement, etc?
As far as I know there is nothing called "sanctioned PvP". As far as the rest I think almost certainly.
Do we gain reputation from PVE activities?
I may be out of synch with the designers, who may be planning a pure rep over time system, but I don't think the plan has been made that final yet.
Could you perhaps describe how you would view a character of high reputation in the eyes of a company or settlement leader?
I wonder how good this character will be in a fight. I wonder if this player will do what it takes to withstand hostile incursions from unknown forces? I wonder how this player will react when called on to take one for the team.
Many MMOs with PvP develop a degenerate culture where any character that can be killed is killed. This then drives people who don't like dying pointlessly out of the game, leaving only people who are ok with pointless killing.
I have said from day one that our goal is a game with lots of PvP and little meaningless PvP. Killing newbies "just because" is the ultimate definition of meaningless PvP. We'll just work and work and work, with in game mechanical systems, community management and supervisory authority to keep punishing people who kill meaninglessly, especially if they're meaninglessly killing newbies.
I just don't know how much more plainly I can state this. I'd rather shut down the game and quit than run a simplistic murder simulator for the enjoyment of a tiny fraction of sociopaths.
It would be a huge mistake to make recruiting newbies hurt a Settlement. In fact we want the opposite to be true - you should get an advantage for adding newbies.
Reputation isn't a protection mechanism. It's a mechanism for allowing Settlements to make informed meaningful tradeoffs between various types of actions and developing character abilities.
Cyneric Torrin wrote:
Couldn't I just train pick locks, find/remove traps, and use magic device as a wizard or sorc? Then also take invisibility, for recon and other such things? All this said, given that Arcane Trickster is one of my fav classes to play as.
Certainly you can. And you'll be advancing down each of those paths at a fraction of the speed of people who choose to specialize, but that's totally up to you. You're not following a pre-defined role, you're forging out on your own to find interesting ways to use the game system, and we applaud that.
If I want to play a high DPS character, why would I choose Rogue over Mage?
Arcane spellcasting implies tradeoffs regarding the abilities you have access to based on your spellbook - depending on the situation you may not be correctly configured for DPS.
Arcane damage is likely to be typed meaning that you may face resists.
You may have a limited amount of high-DPS options per realtime unit.
You are likely to be a glass cannon and some people don't like being alpha-strike targets.
can explain a bit more as to why someone would choose a Rogue (outside RP'ing reasons).
Find / remove Traps
Sneak Attack increased melee damage vs. flanked targets
Sneak Attack increased ranged damage vs. sniper targets
Stealth for observation / recon
Mixture of lightweight armor and good melee damage
Use Magic Device
You miss my point.
In a world where you could be Flat-Footed inside your Settlement if you voluntarily sheath a weapon ... nobody will sheathe their weapons. Because there's no cost to being ready to fight, you'll always be ready to fight, which means you'll never be Flat-Footed which means there will never be a surprise round which means there is no benefit to sneaking around alone inside a Settlement trying to catch an opponent unaware, etc. etc. etc.
It's a classic example of "wouldn't it be cool if x means nobody will ever do x".
That's why I said we could artificially impose a rule saying you were involuntarily put into a situation where you could be engaged with surprise, and also why I said I was uncomfortable with that, because all we're doing is removing choices from players by fiat.
Pax Areks wrote:
If combat has yet to commence, and I am in concealment, and I strike via melee weapon, would my opponent not be flat footed by default, unless otherwise specified as not being able to be denied a DEX bonus?
Yes, that's the intent of the Surprise Round rule. If, in a meeting engagement, one side is not aware of the other side, the side that acts first catches the other side flat-footed.
Maybe I'm using a term of art that is unfamiliar. "Meeting engagement" is one of several ways a combat action can begin. It just means that two opposing forces encounter one another while one or both are moving in an environment suitable for combat conditions to result where one side was incompletely prepared for battle.
Now here's the problem.
Let's imagine we're using tabletop rules, just for the sake of argument. I will want to be in initiative order (that is, in "combat mode") any time I feel I'm in a dangerous situation. If I'm in a situation where I think I'm at risk, I'm going to have my weapon drawn and I'm going to be wary of being attacked. Under those conditions there will not be a surprise round.
We could mechanically create a surprise round by doing something like allowing a group that is engaged in a fast-travel mode which is ambushed to begin the fight in surprise, but that implies that the fight begins immediately; the attackers and defenders are intermixed at melee ranges as soon as the fight starts. We had not planned on doing that; instead my ideas were that you'd be precipitated out of fast travel and the ambushers would have to move to your location and engage. Clearly, if you got dropped out of fast travel, you'd immediately go on guard, and there would not be a surprise round.
We could imagine a situation where within the walls of a Settlement you might not want people walking around with weapons drawn all the time ready to fight, and have a rule that by fiat put you in a vulnerable situation, and in that situation if someone somehow got inside the walls and got close enough to you without being detected, they might be able to initiate a surprise combat. But that's a lot of ifs, and it takes a lot of agency away from players and that makes me very uncomfortable.
As I said upthread, surprise rounds should be very infrequent events. In my games, they usually occur only within tightly constrained spaces (like dungeons or caverns) when the party prepares an ambush and monsters walk into it. Generally speaking, the PCs are rarely the target of a surprise round, or they're subjected to one at the start of a set-piece battle where I engineered the surprise condition by fiat for dramatic purposes.
I'll submit before and I'll say again choosing a roleplay where you kill people based on a random condition such as "anyone wearing a green hat on Tuesday" is simply killing for the sake of killing AKA RPKing with a thin disguise.
This was the argument used by Goonswarm when they began their suicide ganking campaigns against Hulks ("Hulkaggeddon") They claimed that while to the outside world it looked like they were engaging in RPK, really they were "Role playing" an in-game event. Later, this morphed into their claiming that a lot of 'bots used Hulks and that they were really trying to degrade RMT and 'bot activity. (The latter may even be true; RMT and 'bots are a problem for a group that is based on throwing masses of low-level characters at problems...)
To the players who found their Hulks blown up by suicide gankers, it didn't feel like much of a worthwhile excuse.
This is the kind of corner case that we'll have to have a lot of community input on. In EVE, it was not an issue as nothing they were doing was going to illicit a response from CCP (although things like naming the leader of the effort "the Prophet Khartoon" and declaring a "jihad" struck too close to too many nerves for my taste personally...)
We might have a different approach in our game.
Pax Areks wrote:
The flat-footed / sneak attack possibility is a result of the suprised state of the target. If the player isn't suprised, rogues should not have the mechanical advantage.
You are using terms from the D20 tabletop game. I wonder if you realize those mechanics don't work the way you're describing them.
"Flat-footed" is a condition that occurs only once in any combat. Here's it's definition:
"A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, unable to react normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity."
"Sneak Attack" is a character ability that does additional damage on a successful attack. Here's it's definition:
"The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet."
There is no game mechanic in Pathfinder tabletop where a Rogue can put the "Flat-footed" condition on a character engaged in combat. In other words, you can't use the Stealth skill to overcome the Perception skill of a target and render the target "Flat-footed". If a Rogue wins a Perception vs. Stealth skill test against a character after that character has acted in combat, the Rogue has no inherent mechanical advantage vs. the target. The Rogue may receive concealment bonuses against being hit, but the Rogue cannot Sneak Attack the target as a result of winning that test.
This is a common misperception.
So if we were to keep within the spirit of the Pathfinder tabletop rules, what you would be arguing for is essentially a first-strike capability that only applies when the target is not engaged in combat.
Rogues in Pathfinder tabletop primarily inflict Sneak Attack damage by flanking. They rarely engage in ambush Sneak Attacks against Flat-footed opponents. They are designed to work in tandem with another character. This is strongly in keeping with the mechanics we're building for the online game. Primarily you will inflict Sneak Attack damage by taking advantage of conditions inflicted on your targets by your teammates.
[edited to change skill names]
Ryan, what's the content for LG paladins and clerics?
This is a great question because it goes deep to the heart of the game design.
Note in my previous comment I didn't talk about roles. I talked about activities. The activity of caravaning, and the activity of banditry.
Characters will find a lot of activities to engage in and how they engage in them will be a function of the skills they're training and the role they are following. This is one of the reasons I'm trying to steer people away from the idea of "classes", because class implies a combination of an activity and a role.
Paladins don't have a set of activities they're expected to engage with. I think there are all sorts of activities that a Paladin would have an interesting time pursuing. A Paladin as a caravan guard should play differently than a Wizard as a caravan guard.
I will also say that outside the 4 base roles (Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Rogue), the kinds of things that you'll specialize in may be shaded away from generalities and toward specific kinds of activities. That's more a function of the fact that the non-core roles are already somewhat specialized vs. the core to begin with than some desire to put players in a box.
I have always envisioned Paladins, for example, as being characters who are likely to be focused more on adventuring where their abilities vs. undead and evil outsiders will have a lot of value. Similarly, Druids are good characters for people who like to do a lot of solo exploration since their wildshape abilities will have a lot of ramifications for speed of travel and sensing.
None of which should be taken to say that Paladins can't be merchants, or that Druids can't be soldiers. I'm sure clever players will find ways to combine roles and activities in all sorts of horribly game-breaking and degenerate ways. :)
I suspect what you are really asking is if there's a role for characters who want to seek out evildoers and thwart their activities. My answer is absolutely yes, and I think the evil/good inherent conflict will drive a tremendous amount of content. Our challenge is to create ways to be evil and not have a horrible reputation so that there are evil opponents who are equal to the challenge of their good adversaries.
Another challenge is to find ways to make the conflicts meaningful. Unlike the real world where the life of a criminal can be ended, or a defender of the weak can be sacrificed, in an mmo without permanent death there's no similar "ending" threat. The bad guy comes back in a few minutes every time. The good guy gets up from their deathbed and back into the battle. This is something that no MMO has really done a good job of addressing, in my opinion. And it may not be something that Pathfinder Online finds a solution to. But it's an interesting part of the design space.
If you like dice and you like Pathfinder you will LOVE Pathfinder Dice Arena!
"The Goodfellow" wrote:
@ryan Your part about assassination. Are you saying that you can't put a contract out on just anyone, it has to be "characters key to settlement operations?"
That is the current design, such as it is. We don't expect to have people in general living in fear of being assassinated. If it was something anyone could do to anyone else, we'll rapidly degenerate into any character of any note being a target and therefore acting in bizarre ways to reduce risk.