|Sintaqx Goblin Squad Member|
After reading Goblinworks Blog: An Echo and a Stranger's Hand I got to thinking about how this could play out. Learning a new skill or attack, or getting a new piece of equipment is one thing, being able to use it effectively is something else completely. Just because you can now swing that sword with magnificent ferocity it doesn't mean that you are going to emerge victorious any more frequently.
The metagame of combat, player skill, knowledge, and tactics, are going to prove to be as, or probably more important than the actual maneuvers, and these are things that the game either can't, or won't, teach. Apprenticeships and mentoring programs have been around for thousands of years, a testament to their effectiveness, and these player support structures should be utilized to help players hone and develop their capabilities. Learning from someone invariably means that you will perform an activity in more or less the same manner as the one who taught you, though it doesn't preclude you from improving on it yourself. It also means that there could very well be a constant point/counterpoint between various groups, or even between various masters.
To facilitate this and other aspects of the game, the primary tool we need would be an in-game messageboard/bulletin board. Word of mouth is great, and we have a message board for the game, but we all know that a small percentage of the population reads it. A mentoring system is one of the absolute best new player experiences the game could have.
As for players teaching other players mechanically, actually granting them 'levels' or 'ranks' in a skill, or new 'abilities' or 'powers', I think it would be a fantastic mechanic, so long as the teacher has some kind of teaching credentials to be able to teach, and they can't train to a level greater than they possess, or train an ability they themselves lack.
I'll have to ponder this more and expand on this later.
I view my role as more of an "example" for my fellow brethren, I see banditry on almost a spiritual level.... lol
Zen and the Art of Highway Robbery.
The interesting thing about the Brethren of the Wild Lands is that those who are part of the Unsettled Alliance may not be above skirmishing with their fellow Wildlings in the absence of more interesting things to do. Who better to practice your skills against than other folks interested in PVP? What better way to get to know the folks who you may be helping to raid some settlement next week than by beating on them this week?
If such a scene could be played out in PFO my happiness would know no bounds!
Some nice clarifications and details about the PVP window, I'm looking forward to figuring out what kind of force it will take to knock down the off-hour defenders. One question in regard to this: would assassination or sabotage decrease the effectiveness of the NPC defenders outside of the PVP window?
The only times I used the Eve Voice was when I was doing Incursions. Other than that you were usually with other folks on your company/alliance Teamspeak or Ventrillo. For PUGs that demand an organized response or you all die, then in-game solutions are nice. Otherwise, they are rarely used since the third party solutions are a) usually better and b) available out of the game client.
I just spent the weekend watching dogs and cats interact with each other and this topic strikes a chord with what I observed. Creatures, including people, have different reaction radii:
Perception (I see you)
Reception (Oh, hai there)
Interaction (That's close enough)
Aggression (Back off before I bite your ankles)
Think of these a concentric rings around a creature or group of creatures.
Creatures also have a presence radius, or aura, that can be modified by various skills, equipment, or effects (racial bonus, stealth, gear, formations, spells). If the presence of two creatures intersect their individual radius increases by a specific amount (by 25% for example).
Interaction happens when a creature's presence intersects another creature's reaction, the appropriate events and options can be triggered. That most games consider the 'aggro radius' is the reception range. Up until then they may see you, but they just don't care enough to act on your presence. In the case of stealthy creatures, they may pass through the rings without triggering an event until they are detected, so a skilled ranger could get much closer to to mobs than a plate-wearing dwarven steamroller, as long as the ranger stays far enough ahead of the dwarf to keep the dwarf from drawing attention to him.
Setting a PVP window is a nice way to work around the sticky situation that always arises with an international presence. This PVP window doesn't necessarily mean that all PVP against the settlement is going to be done during that time. Disrupting or destroying outlying hexes, general siege, waylaying and exploitation of local wildlife should all be available, basically the only thing someone can't do is directly assault the settlement to eradicate or capture it.
One thing that I am curious about, though: you pay materials to construct a building, and that takes up X development points. How long would it take to dismantle that building (compared to erecting it)? Would any resources be recoverable in that event? If some insidious force insinuated a sleeper agent into the settlement, would it be possible for them to put the torch to a key building in the middle of the assault? Could they let an enemy in the back door during, or even outside of the PVP window?
Would settlement maintenance be tied to DI? The larger the settlement, the more food and materials are required to maintain it?
If someone kicks down an outlying structure, reducing the DI required to maintain the structures, could the settlement use coin/materials to maintain the settlement integrity during the interim, while the POI is being restored?
The market price ebbs and flows with the supply and demand of the materials. A veteran crafter doesn't have any more control over that market than the new crafter. Gatherers and refiners compete with each other on the market as much as any other merchant, so the price of materials is fairly self-dictating according to supply and demand. Someone selling their 10m units of tritanium for 5isk each will invariably be undercut by someone selling their 100k units at 4.99isk, spawning a new round of .01isk wars. There's a whole commodities market there where people buy and sell high volume, low price goods like minerals according to the natural market fluctuations.
Social connections can be made and suppliers secured to ensure a steady flow of material, often at a small discount against the market. Usually a veteran has an advantage here, but an enterprising newbie can wheel and deal as well.
With EVE there's an additional aspect to crafting, the Material and Production Efficiency ratings of the blueprints. For Tech 1 (entry level) items, these aspects can be improved on through research. Material Efficiency reduces the amount of waste during the manufacturing process, Production Efficiency reduces the run time. Veteran crafters will have near-perfect blueprints and skills, allowing them to either eek out a higher return, or undercut new competitors. With the vast size of EVE, though, it's nearly impossible to completely squeeze someone out. A new crafter can also purchase high-efficiency blueprints off of contracts (auction house), effectively trading ISK for time.
The biggest advantage a veteran has, though is skill level. A new crafter can specialize in their training and catch up there very quickly though. Tech2 and Tech3 items all use the base materials, in addition to more specialized materials, so there is always a high demand for low-level, basic material.
Merchants and Travelers would be better off using inns, ideally with caravansary available for additional protection. However, if things like smuggling and slave running are available, hideouts carefully created within an opposing kingdom would be valuable tools for avoiding patrols.
A hideout itself could range from a bolt hole for <5 people to store gear and sleep in, up to a small network of hidden rooms and advanced watchposts connected by tunnels and able to support a couple dozen individuals. More people than that in a single area makes it much easier to locate, thus negating the 'hide' portion of the 'hideout' A hideout should be limited in size for that reason and to possibly act as a balance against hidden force projection.
It would be interesting to use a hideout as a cache. Go out into the wilderness, establish a hideout, and store the results of your gathering in there until you have enough to make a decent haul back to market under protection.
Seems pretty likely local AH will be the deal. As far as instant knowledge of prices in other AHs, not likely but would be convenient. The divination idea might work and could be explained way easier than global "magic" goods transfer. Global market knowledge could be charged for. Would make a good gold sink.
I can guarantee that there will be instant, global knowledge of at least all the major local markets without the need to muck around with divinations, and no way to stop it. Simply plop/weasel an alt into each market location and use them to maintain a localized price list. The more people you have contributing to this, the more accurate and up to date it will be. To top it off, it will likely be free.
One thing I see is formations granting a bonus to effectiveness for or against another type of action (bonus to spellcasting, healing, arrow volleys, charging, defense vs charges, defense vs melee, defense vs AOE, etc). A field commander serves as the anchor for the formation, and everyone else moves into their appropriate positions (glowing spots on the ground?), the accuracy of their positioning determining the effectiveness of the formation. Some maneuvers, like a pincer attack or hammer and anvil, could be complicated affairs, with everyone moving and attacking in formation. Counter-tactics would involve things like bull-rushing someone out of position, or focus fire on people (especially field commanders) to disrupt or rout the formation. Each individual in the formation is responsible for their own attacks, defenses, and positioning. In order to maintain position they may be opening themselves up to individual attack to give the group as a whole a larger bonus.
My all-time favorite character that I've played in a TT game was Grimm, Goblin Archmage. At least, that's what he called himself because he could conjure up a ball of fire and everyone knows that only an archmage could do that. His alignment was a firm Chaotic/Stupid (GM made me change C/N to C/S on the character sheet after the first game) and although he was brilliant he didn't have a lick of common sense. Oh, and he absolutely adored fire; more than one PC was burned on more than one occasion. He also had a penchant for stopping to eat his victims, sometimes at inappropriate times (like the middle of combat).
I don't have any particular issue with people playing a 'redeemed monster', PCs make up a fractional percentage of the overall population in any given area, so there are bound to be weirdos in every race.
More antagonistic and more COMPLEMENTARY to player characters: IE they're like a more interactive mob that can organise and do intelligent things to CHALLENGE players. Eg a Goblin Escalation involving players coordinating AI Goblin mobs more effectively eg as "chieftains".
I read this instead of the actual quote... strangely fitting too....
More antagonistic and more COMPLEMENTARY to player characters: IE they're like a more interactive mob that can organise and do intelligent things to CHALLENGE players. Eg a Goon Escalation involving players coordinating Goon mobs more effectively eg as "chieftains".
If goblins were a playable race (oh please make it so!!!) I would be all over that. PC goblin tribes and settlements would be a beautifully chaotic thing. What would be more fun than having a mob of goblins rolling their siege weapons up to your doorstep? Or goblins accosting folks along the highway? Or the hilarity of watching a goblin ranger try to dual-wield scimitars while calling out to his mangy, three-legged black cat (See! This is why goblins shouldn't read!)?
You simply can't program an AI that could even begin to approximate some of the antics and mayhem that would follow PC goblins.
As long as everyone realizes that you are somebody else's content and plan accordingly, well, it's a sandbox. If you feel the desire to go at it alone, more power to ya. I've done the solo mmo thing, and frankly it's more fun with other folks to play with.
As far as how much can be looted after successfully ambushing and subduing a caravan, I would hope that it's a largish fraction. I wouldn't be concerned so much with the looting of the husk, rather my goal would be the claiming of the wagons. I can see pack and dray beasts being spooked by combat and running off, scattering and possibly destroying some of the loot (how they manage to destroy large stacks of ore is beyond me but I'll bite) and wagons, so not all the loot is recoverable. And it should probably take a non-trivial amount of labor and time to shift goods from one broken wagon to another, or to gather the fallen goods from the trail (who says bandits aren't in the gathering profession?). Like dungeons that may take multiple trips to fully loot, so to should large caravans.
Banditry does remove wealth from the economy since not everything can be looted, and what is not looted is destroyed. How much is a question that the designers and devs will have to answer. It also introduces combat, which has the potential to destroy goods and consumables (either consumed or destroyed during looting), so in terms of the overall economy it could be considered a negative operation. It adds churn to the market, increasing demand and reducing supply in a variety of areas. It also increases market uncertainty, and may well be a significant source of price fluctuation.
The biggest thing it adds to the game is variety. The professions and industries centered around it, the uncertainty of the transport, the disappointment of loss and the elation of victory.
Dark of Night
Ryan Dancey wrote:
As cool as it would be to stand on a watchtower and look out over the burning torches of the army marching toward you, doesn't look like it will happen.
I propose none. If bands of hooligans from Settlement "B" are harassing my citizens and "B" won't stop it or is behind it, why should I have to have a War Widget Factory to declare war on "B"?
Which is why I said whatever it takes to make a settlement. War should be dependent on the organization, not a structure. As long as what you have is enough to be termed a settlement by the system, you can use the war system.
That's the way we roll. 8)
That kinda depends on what the minimum structures required to be called a settlement by the system are.
The various tiers of warfare will come about as emergent gameplay, provided the system doesn't get in the way. Regardless, the system defines what a minimum settlement is, and that is the same for everyone, everywhere. That is also the bare minimum to be able to initiate a war.
Honestly, the larger concern for me is how to wage a guerrilla war or insurgency. There's not necessarily a formal declaration of war because hey, you just lost your settlement. Do you need to build another from scratch to do anything, or can you starve the invaders that took yours out or otherwise drive them away? Can you raze, abandon, claim, or reclaim a settlement?
I'm basing my vision and ideas off of the westward expansion in the united states during the 1800s. In 1857 - 1858 there was an incident called the 'Mormon War' or 'Utah War' where a contingent of the US Army was sent to subdue a perceived rebellion in the territory. The Nauvoo Legion/Mormon Militia, harassed the approaching army, stampeding cattle, burning Fort Bridger to prevent it from being used as a way station, burning supply wagons and 'liberating' horses and cattle. This caused the initial campaign to stall during the winter while the army waited for resupply. Peace was negotiated, but Salt Lake City was prepared for the US Army arrival. The citizens were evacuated south to Provo, the buildings and streets were lined with straw, tinder, and jars and barrels of oil, ready to torch the whole town in case the Army decided that the 'rebellion' needed to be 'subdued'. Indeed, the leader of the first group to enter Salt Lake, Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, remarked that he would have given "his plantation for a chance to bombard the city for fifteen minutes." Fortunately it didn't come to that.
Similar options in PFO would be interesting, the necessity of maintaining a supply line and the ability to disrupt it, the option to raze your settlement rather than allow someone else to claim it, the option to claim an abandoned settlement and all its intact structures, the option to abandon a settlement, and the option to use disguise or spies to disrupt a settlement, similar to an assassination but against buildings rather than leaders.
Alternatively, instead of using a black or grey fog-of-war, the game could simply show the map area as a large expanse of forest, where clearings with towns are revealed as those towns are discovered. Imagine a map of an "ocean" that shows nothing but water until you discover an island, at which point that island is shown on the map where there used to be only water.
I've used something like this in maps I've created. Instead of the fog of war, you assume that everything you can't see is like what you most recently saw in that direction. Plains, forest, hills, mountains, water, it doesn't matter. Everything beyond that point is the same until proven otherwise.
Historically, the majority of conflicts in most wars involved battles or skirmishes that take place away from the settlement proper. One reason for this is the attackers didn't want to meet the defenders where they were strongest, in their fort. Instead they would harry the outlying settlements, drawing out patrols and even armies to terrain where they had an even or even superior advantage.
A siege was a long, drawn-out affair that usually ended with one side or the other capitulating due to starvation rather than actual combat. Sieges were also a very expensive option, the attacker had to secure long, vulnerable supply lines to maintain their lock, and the defender had to have prepared a food store and defenses well in advance. Battles during a siege generally involved the attacker testing the defenses for weaknesses, or the defender venturing out to disrupt the supply lines of their foe. A siege could last months, or even years against properly prepared opponents.
Th pinnacle of warfare in PFO would be, I think, a siege involving trebuchets and catapluts against a fortified settlement. This should be an epic affair, with skirmishes happening as the defenders try to disable the war machines while the attackers defend them, all the while the machines wear down the defenses of the settlement day after day. It should be expensive in both time and coin to wage such a siege, and require a fair number of players to do so effectively.
Most of the battles in a war would probably be fought not at the settlement, but in the surrounding areas. The attacker will want to reduce the effectiveness of the settlement as much as possible before the final battle, to they will work on destroying the outlying supporting structures of the settlement. This will provide many opportunities for skirmish warfare, hit and run tactics, and massive open-field battles. War machines may be involved, not necessarily the massive building-crushing trebuchets, but smaller catapults, ongers, and ballistae that are more effective against small buildings and ground troops. These would be less costly to field, and much more maneuverable, meaning that a smaller, less well-funded force could effectively siege a larger, richer, but less martially adept settlement by being able to choke off their supplies rather than razing their settlement proper.
Formal declaration of war would be required to place the massive war engines, and it would enable the more morally aligned folks an opportunity to strike at or defend themselves against foes who are less constrained. Outlying buildings should be destructible without the aid of engines of war, so organized groups could harry and goad others without declaration, but in order to use the more effective equipment one would have to commit to the battle through open declaration.
As such, the minimum settlement structure to declare war would probably be just that, a settlement. If a group doesn't have a settlement, they should have the option, long though it may be, of causing a settlement to be abandoned through intensive interdiction applied to their supply lines. A settlement that can't defend, feed, or supply itself should need to be abandoned.
Player characters will make up a small fraction of the populated world. There will be far more invisible NPCs that actually do stuff and need to be fed. As such, it stands to reason that food should be one of the primary requirements for establishing and maintaining a camp or settlement of any kind. This would also take up the majority of the production from a farmstead, proportional to the ratio of PC to NPC and also be one of the best points to strike to weaken a settlement.
The higher the development index, the more food would be required due to a greater number of people residing within the settlement. Some towns devoted to highly specialized trades may even elect to import food from more agrarian settlements.
A siege would prevent the food required for settlement maintenance from flowing in (and indeed the farmstead itself may be destroyed), and as the settlement's reserves deplete it's various indexes would begin to fall, especially Morale.
On the character level, yes eating is important, but most people beyond the hardcore roleplayers will balk at any negative or draconian approaches to this. They want to play the game they want to play, not the game the elitists want them to play. It is a sandbox after all. This means that basic maintenance tasks such as consumption to survive should be assumed to have been handled automagically. It doesn't mean remove the action entirely though, you give bonuses that would become essential to anyone who wishes to remain competitive.
Perception is reality, and if someone perceives that they are performing an action because they choose to, they will be more willing to execute it. Have food give a small increase to an essential stat and you will soon have people gorging themselves because they choose to. Most people also expect a buff to wear off, so when they need to eat again, that's perfectly normal and they will once again stuff themselves to maintain their buff, all because they choose to.
On the more 'refined' side (pun intended) cooking and brewing now become important skills, and a master chef or brewmaster become essential individuals due to the quality or duration bonuses, however minor, their product grants. Those positions in a settlement would also likely give a morale boost, and if the town's resident brewmaster happened to be assassinated, that would be a cause for a national day of mourning, not to mention a precipitous morale and productivity drop.
For characters, players recognize, and some even relish, the fact that alcohol grants a negative effect, so in this instance a debuff is the desired result. For some, even (or especially) the less hardcore players, getting falling down drunk may even be a session goal every time they log in. I say, "Let them eat cake!"
If a character is going to be flagged open PVP, they need to know why. They don't need the details of the conflict, but they need to know that they are no longer afforded the protections the game normally has in place.
This is the meta for the warning. Unless someone can put up a sign on the road, "Danger: Warzone ahead" the warning is needed. However, if such a sign is indeed possible to place (and remove, muahahahaha), then the meta-warning would not be necessary and unscrupulous merchants could travel ahead of their competition, removing or placing signs to cause their competition to wander, unwittingly, into a situation where they could be eliminated.
Burning oil flasks and smallish balls of burning pitch would also be lobbed into formations at lower trajectories. Plays hell with cavalry when suddenly your horse is on fire. It's a wide area attack, vaguely similar to an arrow barrage.
If the siege equipment available is not only anti-structure, but also anti-personnel (grapeshot catapults come to mind) then the group laying siege will have an advantage over those who try to attack them without specific anti-siege equipment (turtles and tortoises, rolling walls, rollers), which could easily cost as much as the siege equipment. The ground war during a siege shouldn't be just infantry. To simulate things like defensive earthworks and barricades, the defenders could also have a formation to give them a bonus to defense. Those laying siege have an advantage in combat, they got to chose the battlefield. The defensive options are fairly numerous, and most would be difficult to incorporate in a single-player game, so some of them should be abstracted into a buff.
Third-party/neutral invaders wouldn't get this buff, and really would be risking their expensive anti-siege equipment to attack a fortified opponent. If they don't bring the equipment, they are risking less, but the chances of actually accomplishing something more than just harassment drops precipitously.
I fail to see the problem. You cannot mechanically tell if the neutral is really neutral. Even if there's a way for the system to indicate it, the metagame can circumvent that. Is C really neutral? if they are, why are they in there? That doesn't seem to be a neutral course of action to me. If you are really neutral the solution to a war hex is simple. Don't go there. If you want to go there to stir up trouble, expect trouble in return. In a warzone everyone should be treated equally.
C would be limited in their targets, they won't have any siege equipment themselves, and so the settlement is safe from them. A has the most to fear from a third party invader, since they are footing the bill for the siege, and their personnel and equipment is out in the open. C could possibly claim the equipment without fully routing A and use it to attack B, I suppose, but they are in the same position as A at that point, and A could declare a retreat, removing the warzone and rendering the equipment useless to C.
The threat of C to B is that B's defenders and counter-siege skirmishers are vulnerable to them when outside the settlement. C, on the other hand, by entering the warzone without any prior agreements, will find themselves on a two-front battle. If they attack B's counter-siege unit, A will sit back and wait for one side to weaken, then swoop in and seize victory. If they attack A's army, B will do the same. Without serious numerical or tactical superiority, C is in a pretty bad position, and the most they could hope for would be to drive A off the field, ending the warzone.
Basically, there is no such thing as a neutral faction in a warzone. Any supposedly neutral army is simply another foe to take consider, and more likely than not they already have a history with one or the other (or both) of the combatants.
Making a warzone a free-for-all simply makes its application more of a tactical choice.
Settlements should have a food/drink upkeep requirement. That alone should keep the farmers, ranchers, and even cooks for the settlement in business (having a master chef taking raw foodstuffs and turning them into gourmet meals could be a huge morale boost). This should also take the bulk of the product produced. The PC consumables are just gravy. Important gravy to players, but gravy to the producers.
I don't see any problem with B contacting C to assemble an army to come save their bacon. A is the belligerent and should be paying for the costs of their actions. If C is not a friend of B and are instead just using this as an opportunity to attack A.... nope, no problems there either.
If A doesn't want to fight a 2 front war, they have two options: have someone else attack C to pull their forces away or withdraw from the warzone. Just because A and B are at war, that doesn't mean C can attack them outside a designated warzone. Inside a warzone, however, that's part of the gamble. C couldn't attack A or B's settlements without declaring war, all they could do is move forces in to harass one or the other of them. I'd figure that planting siege equipment would be a requirement for declaring a warzone, so once that equipment is removed or destroyed, the warzone is gone and flagging can return to normal.
Consider this as well. If A and B have a mutual forever war with each other, and A is laying siege to one of B's settlements, and C comes in to mess around with them, there could easily be a temporary truce called between A & B while they mop the floor with C together. With RvB in EVE, I've watched, and been in, 'purple' fleets. They are war targets to each other, but at times they work together against a common enemy (usually Eve University)
You don't need a mechanical bonus/penalty system in place to roleplay.
I don't mind having hunger/thirst/tiredness in a system, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the system. Case in point, I play Fallout 3: New Vegas in hardcore mode. Hunger, thirst, and tiredness are all a part of this, but they are not overdone and removing the hungry/thirsty indicators is simple.
As I stated before, and has been stated before that, the system is more about carrots than sticks. Instead of saying 'Eat now or I will beat you with this 25% stamina debuff' you could say 'Eat now and I will give you this 25% stamina buff'. You don't 'need' to eat, but why wouldn't you? That guy you are chasing ate, and you didn't, so he's going to outrun you. That mountain is going to take 15 minutes longer to cross because you didn't eat. The consequences don't change, but the perception does. People, players, respond better to 'buffs' than 'debuffs'. Just like they respond better to blue and green backgrounds than to red and yellow. Just like they respond better to sliders moving left to right than right to left. People are funny animals.
Additionally, this is an RPG, and an MMORPG at that, not a life simulation. Abstraction is essential to cut down system load. If you can reduce the amount transferred by 10 bytes every second, that's not an insignificant improvement. 10 bytes * 1000 players avg * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 23 hours = 828MB per day in traffic savings. Increase that number of players to 10000 and you are saving 8.28GB per day.
Unless, of course, it's possible to disguise yourself as a member of the settlement (Honest, sir, I just joined yesterday!), thereby gaining the necessary flags.
Setting a hex as a war zone should give any neutral entering it a message: "Warning, you are about to enter a designated war zone. You should be aware that you may be attacked, maimed, killed, and/or eaten by carnivorous marmosets. Continue at your own risk."
If neutrality is eliminated in warzones, then it's up to any third parties entering that hex to have an arrangement with one or the other of the sides (or both, muahahahaha). Caravan C enters a warzone between Settlement A and Belligerent B. C has an understanding with B and won't be attacked by them. If a patrol for A encounters them, though, they are fair game. Likewise for a relationship between A and C. If they are trying to smuggle some lumber in to pay the city upkeep and are caught by B they are fair game. If there's no agreement, each side is free, and probably correct, in assuming that the third party is there to aid their foe, and in a declared warzone all bets are off. If they are peaceful merchants just passing through they should either make arrangements or avoid the area.
This whole bit brings to mind the Glazier's Fallacy:
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"
The whole argument about banditry and the economy is not one about production, but rather about the stock of wealth and unseen costs. The predation of the the bandits causes the cost of some things to rise, benefiting the direct competitors of the merchant. It also indirectly affects others on the market. The gatherers need to gather more to be refined, the crafters need to create replacement goods. Both of these groups benefit from the loss. The merchant cannot purchase upgrades for his wagons, better animals, a greater amount of supplies, or better guards because he needs to replace what was lost. Those that provide these goods and services are injured by the theft. Those that would consume the goods that were lost or destroyed are likewise injured by the theft. They may still be able to purchase what they need, but at a greater cost as the merchant recoups his loss.
So the moral of the story is, if you are a gatherer, figure out who is using your material and hire the bandits to accost the transport carrying the product. That way you'll be able to sell more of yours to them!
Warning: Rambling, disjointed text below. Viewer discretion is advised.
I like the idea of Vendettas between groups while wars are between settlements. However, if you are in a new alliance of CCs, based out of Fort Inevitable, and you want to go out and claim some real estate but (late game scenario) all of the settlement sites are taken, what can you do? You can't establish your own settlement, and, for the sake of argument, all of the settlements are friendly to each other (horror of horrors) so you can't make a deal with one to declare war for you to join. Could a large group based out of an NPC town buy a bunch of siege engines and go knock down a settlement, raze it to the ground, and claim the spot? Should this require a declaration of war?
I would think that if a settlement is at war, either as the aggressor or the defender, then entering their hex would flag you as a valid war target (for either side). Just because you are a peaceful merchant that doesn't mean supplying the besieged settlement is a peaceful act. Otherwise, the city can get supplied, or a spy could get in (posing as a peaceful merchant) and do serious damage to your infrastructure.
Having the attackers fully lootable, it's a possibility, I don't think it really fits though. I was kicking around the idea that the aggressors might be flagged as attackable to everyone, not just the defenders. Still not sure how I feel about that.
I would like to see the possibilities for mutual 'forever wars', similar to Red vs Blue in Eve.
I do jumping jacks in the office while waiting for meetings to get over, especially when those talking are repeating themselves for the umpteenth time... As long as jumping takes stamina, it should remain. If someone wants to hop around like a meth'd up kangaroo on a pogo stick at the expense of actually travelling anywhere, or doing anything useful in combat, I say go for it.
GW has more 'carrot' than 'stick' in their overall design goals, and as such a debuff like starvation is unlikely to be used. In games, especially MMOs, such things bring to mind a big flashing sign saying 'Have you pooped today?'. Standard maintenance actions like eating and pooping are assumed to be taken care of as a matter of course. Instead of a balanced ternary system (-1,0,1), it's far more likely to see an unbalanced, or standard ternary (0,1,2). Normal is normal. Fed, minor buff, Well Fed additional buff.
As for siege situations and starving the inhabitants into capitulation, it would make more sense to apply a siege-specific 'starvation' debuff if it got to that point.
I would think a CC would be the minimum requirement to declare war. Said war could be waged from a base in an NPC town or from a hideout in the wilderness. As long as the aggressor has enough resources to sustain the effort, it really shouldn't matter what his particular situation is structurally. The War lasts until the target capitulates or the aggressor is unable to sustain the effort. The aggressor has a high degree of control over the engagements, but they are also footing the bill for mobilizing against their target. Siege engines and the like could not only be expensive and cumbersome to move, they could also incur an upkeep while deployed, increasing the weekly cost to maintain the assault.
It's highly unlikely that food will provide more than a buff, albeit it may be a buff that you may not want to lapse much.
For farmsteading, I figure it may well be handled like a self-sustaining resource node, where the farmer determines what the resource itself will be. Like lumber camps and the like, the farmer would probably provide a leadership/manager bonus while he's around, hopefully with additional productivity-increasing tasks he can perform while there. The resource would likely be moved from field/pasture(node) to silo by invisible NPC farm/ranch hands, with the farmer responsible for getting that to the settlement. Rather than a seasonal influx like you see in life, it would probably be a measured flow.
I kinda see farming as being alot like Planetary Interaction in EVE. I can also see bandits and mercs hired to attack the farmsteads to disrupt the flow of essential, settlement-sustaining goods into the settlement.
The merchant has lost something, time to gather those additional resources, or the cash to purchase those extra items. But they have gained reputation and travel speed, and if they are stopped by a bandit who posts a SAD for 20%, they've paid for their bonuses with their time or money. If they aren't stopped, they arrive at their destination with a significant bonus to line their pockets.
@Nihimon: As long as there are multiple markets available there will be trade and travel. In EVE I make a fair chunk of change on a low-skilled alt buying cheap mission loot in Rens and transporting it to Jita to sell at substantial markup (1000% in the case of some items), playing the two markets off each other. I've only ever lost one transport to gankers, and the cost of their two ships and mods was more than my ship and cargo were worth... and most of the cargo was destroyed.
@Jazzlvraz: One of the ideas I've been kicking around is setting up my destiny's twin to be a city manager, to set up a 'Freeport' of sorts. Truly neutral, open markets, low rep barrier to entry. Taxes to support the militia and support the defenses. inns, gaming houses, pit fights, arena matches, brothels, etc. Plop it down near a crossroads and open for business. When it gets besieged groups like bludd's bandits and assassins will be hired to harass the offenders and mercs will be hired to defend, funded by the taxes set aside in a rainy day fund.
I don't imagine that transportation of high end goods will happen often unless they cannot be constructed in any of the NPC towns. It would be far easier to plonk your crafter down in a large market hub and buy the high end materials, craft your item, and put it up on market. Let someone else take the risks in gathering and transportation.
We see this kind of thing rather prominently in EVE. If you want to buy and sell, you put your trader in Jita 4-4 since it's the largest market hub. If you want to cater to the fringe markets, you can also consider Amarr, Dodixe, Hek, or Rens, but I don't think the volume of trade those four do together matches what goes through Jita.
To avoid some of the problems that EVE has with regard to manufacturing and trade in the economy, GW should enable player created settlements to manufacture their goods more efficiently than the NPC towns. Even better would be allowing a settlement to specialize in manufacturing at the expense of other things, like refining. If you can set up a settlement that can crank out consumables faster, more efficiently, and of a higher quality than anywhere else, the minor losses to predation on the road would be more than offset by the enhanced income.
The possibility of a player settlement becoming a major trade hub should be put in place. NPC towns would likely have a higher tax rate on trade to fund the protections they provide. If you want to be safe, the piper must be paid. A centrally located, low tax, player-secured free market could easily become THE place to buy and sell goods, as long as the tools are in place to permit this.