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Urman's page

Goblin Squad Member. 1,674 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
I wonder if there's an appropriate place for some kind of flag applied by a Settlement's leaders to an ex-member of the settlement...

While there maybe could be such a thing, it's somewhat reversed from the Betrayer trait. The Betrayer character left one faction and joined an enemy faction; the player made a decision that directly resulted in the trait, knowing that that was a consequence.

If a settlement has an equivalent flag/trait, maybe it would be best if it were applied automatically, as the result of some decision the player made. Like perhaps leaving/abandoning a settlement during a declared war might earn a character the 'Coward' flag or trait. That might be a bit harsh of a name, but maybe those that stayed and fought bear reasonable enmity to those that fled.

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Lifedragn wrote:
Should we change it to 'Attempted Griefing'? Feels like we are arguing more about success than intent.

It's sort of academic to argue about it, in any case. Behaviors will happen, GW will decide some of those behaviors rise to the level of griefing and take action they deem appropriate. We're not in the decision loop.

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:

The accuracy of a spear is one aspect of the weapon that most (all?) RP games overlook. That and the fact that a deep penetrating wound is more likely to be fatal than a wide but shallow cut.

Spears (and polearms in general) get a bad deal in most RPGs.

The penetrating wound was also one of the strengths of the Roman (and later Spanish) short swords. Training their soldiers to use the point, rather than the edge, was a challenge.

Goblin Squad Member

That would be fine, too. The key is that the party should be able to take revenge on the character if they think the death wasn't reasonable, and they should be able to do it without a Rep loss. It shouldn't be an automatic kick from the party, because there will be times where someone gets killed in the melee, and simply paying for his repair costs might be acceptable to all concerned.

I don't think the Criminal flag is appropriate - since anyone can kill a criminal. I think it should be a flag that lets the party (or party+ over-group) take revenge, but not others.

Goblin Squad Member

I would offer that killing a member of one's own party might not rise to the level of "Betrayer". The minimum penalty for killing a party member could be the normal Reputation loss one would get from killing an unflagged/non-hostile. You might have good reasons for killing the party member: faction or company hostility for starters, but those aren't excusable once you're both in a party. You should also be flagged, in case the rest of the party wants to kill you in return.

I'd think that this Rep loss and flagging should apply even in cases of an accidental or tactical-necessary killing (since the server can't see all nuances). The party can decide if it is justified and if they'll seek revenge. But the Rep loss for a comrade dying under your hand, accidentally or otherwise, might always apply.

Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:
Unthreaded gear will be an important source of loot in PfO.

That makes me think of one of the cool things about Wurm Online.

In Wurm, some creatures were pretty strong - and a character wandering in the wilderness could be killed by 1 or 3 monsters. (It was also possible to die of lingering wounds that had a DoT effect, or from falls, or to get into terrain where you needed good stats to climb out). When a character died everything stayed on his corpse, and when the corpse vanished (after 24 hours, I believe) the items would drop to the ground, as a generic 'pile' of items. We called these 'death piles'. Areas with rough terrain and lots of foliage could sometimes hide these death piles for weeks if not months.

Carried coin dropped as well; and sometimes people would lose enchanted weapons or tools in places they couldn't recover their body. Death piles could be full of newbie junk, or worth small fortunes. It was a pretty cool mechanic.

Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:

It brings up a question. I am guessing that at least for awhile, coin will be interjected through NPC drops and maybe quests? Will that be profitable enough (and "safe" loot) when you get ganked for your unthreaded "small clothes" and incidentals?

What I mean is: Will PVE be profitable for the possible coin, even if you lose the material drops?

It might be - it won't be a complete loss in any case. It might cover repair costs, anyway, unless people are dying a lot.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:

If it becomes standard practice for players to return to their corpses, it will become standard practice for their corpses to be camped. If I were to do such a thing, I would sit by the corpse and wait for the owner to show up. If he or she should show up, I immediately loot from the corpse and get the thief / criminal flag. Then hope the player is foolish enough or underpowered / outnumbered enough to attack.

What I certainly might do is set up a blind right on top of your corpse, and attack the second you enter or SAD you.

I guess setting up a blind on top of a corpse isn't "corpse camping"?
Bluddwolf wrote:
"If I were to...." Some how you two keep missing that. Is it by choice or just poor reading comprehension?

In their defense, the bit about setting up the blind is in a separate paragraph, so is an independent idea. If you had included it in the paragraph with "If I were to do such a thing..." there would be a clear continuity of thought. The use of "what I might certainly do..." in a separate paragraph gives the impression that you won't 'corpse-camp', but might certainly put a 'blind' on a corpse, as if the two are different in your mind.

Goblin Squad Member

Nevy, the Criminal flag for using S&D doesn't come with a Rep loss. The Attacker flag for attacking unflagged comes with a Rep loss, but not a Criminal flag (this may depend on the hex). Even people preying on the weak have decisions to make.

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@Tyncale - with threaded items staying with your respawned character, there is no burden/requirement/reason to run back to a corpse. Players should accept that anything worthwhile has been lost; either destroyed in death, taken by the killer, or taken by someone 5 minutes after the killer. If something needs to be recovered from the body, the player can do a /tell to the killer and arrange a trade. (Or descend on the killer with buddies to arrange a trade of a different sort.)

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Jiminy wrote:
Urman wrote:

Sorry, but :eyeroll:. The levels of conflict and competition found in economic and social gaming in PFO will be different, but still similar to that found in theme park PvE games like Wow and even games like A Tale in the Desert that have no combat what so ever. Is the economic warfare in WoW PvP? Nope.

It isn't PvP combat. No one is really worried about social and economic conflict and competition; it doesn't effect games the same way PvP combat does. I'd offer that it's a distraction, nothing more...

Thank you for the condescending eyeroll. We obviously have a differing opinion of what PvP is. Thus, my thoughts are wasted if you consider the other aspects of the game a distraction.

Social and economic conflict and competition aren't the distraction. It's the suggestion that they are on the same level as PvP combat - as far as driving people away from games - that's the distraction.

There undoubtedly some economic/social behaviors that GW should reasonably curb. That's the entire point behind any contract scheme, for example. Elsewhere others have raised reasonable issue with the trade UI to help prevent scams. As Decius asks - are there any social/economic behaviors that you think might result in players getting frustrated and quitting?

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For clarification, I'm pretty sure we've already been told that that looting someone else's kill earns a Criminal flag (for being a thief) globally. I'm just not sure how long, and if half looted corpses still belong to the killer.

Goblin Squad Member

Sorry, but :eyeroll:. The levels of conflict and competition found in economic and social gaming in PFO will be different, but still similar to that found in theme park PvE games like Wow and even games like A Tale in the Desert that have no combat what so ever. Is the economic warfare in WoW PvP? Nope.

It isn't PvP combat. No one is really worried about social and economic conflict and competition; it doesn't effect games the same way PvP combat does. I'd offer that it's a distraction, nothing more.

My heart goes out for that hedge knight though. All torn up inside because someone wants to harvest and craft stuff and might sell him a sword. Seriously?

Goblin Squad Member

That's a good point/question: after the initial looting is done, do any subsequent looters get the thief (Criminal) flag, or is the corpse open game? Do we know how long before it can be freely looted, if it's not initially looted?

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I have a differing viewpoint; I'm not particularly concerned about anyone camping corpses.

A lot of PvP in PFO will be about terrain. It might be about harvesting something in an area, and we know harvesting depletes the hex. So 'camping' near where you killed some harvester keeps that person and other from harvesting/depleting the hex. It might be about keeping a road open (or closed); killing someone in your quest to keep the road open then camping nearby sounds like a reasonable way to keep your section of road open.

I expect to be a low status player, and I expect that when I get killed I'll be told by my company or settlement leadership whether I return to what I was doing or if I go someplace else. For all I know, my leadership is organizing a bandit sweep and they want me to return 2 or 3 times so some greedy corpse-camper remains in a given place. I don't expect they'll tell me anything except to return and keep harvesting.

Goblin Squad Member

@DB, since a monster hex escalation isn't instanced, I'd expect that a lot of the content/randomness of an escalation would be in the various PCs vying for the drops. A PvE escalation might have a lot of PvP along the way.

edit to add: a single monster hex might border 2-4 settlements' POI hexes. Even if one's neighbors aren't involved in the monster hex itself, the action in the infected hexes sounds like it will affect the state of the escalation as a whole. We won't necessarily be able to predict where the escalation state will go and how fast just from our own actions.

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Aye. Playing Skyrim I always wished for a substantial looking helmet that didn't have horns or other junk sticking out. Armor that has bits that would catch a near miss and channel it into my character's body just gives me the willies.

Goblin Squad Member

@DeciusBrutus: #1: You assumed top-tier resources would be in difficult PvE contrent, because only a few people (equal to top-tier raid groups or large-fleet leadership) would succeed at completing the hardest escalation bosses (like dragons and liches). Significantly more people would be able to attempt to harvest in fixed 'rich' zones, even if they were 'free-for-all'.

#2, #3. I've got nothing.

As an aside - tying top-tier resources to (some) escalation bosses might also make certain resources gathered sporadically, making them harder to get, and raising the value in player markets. This in turn would make it more likely that 'sanctioned' PvP is brought to bear during escalations. It might make some resources worth going to war over.

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@Lam; my understanding is the twins can be as independent from each other as you want.

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@Tigari, except as Ryan pointed out, the time for the character to turn to continue facing you is vanishingly small, compared to the "lag" the player may be experiencing due to comms or graphics rendering.

There may be in-game methods your character might have for gaining an advantage - but as outlined so far, PFO "Sneak Attacks" don't require you to be outside of the target's view.

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DeciusBrutus wrote:
I'm trying to keep things down to a WP-level understand of both economics and philosophy. Am I failing to keep things that simple, or is that level of simplicity still unclear?

Your explanation has been understandable; it's simple enough. Your mistake might be that you're expecting a rational argument from a disinterested party. As someone once said, "You can't expect a hog to butcher itself."

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Nihimon wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
I see the SAD and Factionalization as steering the banditry away from the solo harvester and small time merchant, and towards more valuable targets.
I see it the same way.

I think factionalization steers banditry towards more valuable targets (merchants that are confident enough to travel flagged for PvP, either rank 4+ or flagged 'for the cause'). S&D steers banditry towards weaker targets.

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Nihimon wrote:
Bringslite wrote:
Lone or small groups will be the real prey (harvesters and travelers and just explorers). My view is that I don't want them to suffer too much. Partly because I will play those roles occasionally, but mostly because I have a feeling that they will quit if they can't adapt and the game will lose.
Yeah, I think that's the key. In order for PFO to be really successful long-term, it can't be all-hardcore-PvP all-the-time. It has to have room for more casual players who aren't really interested in PvP - even if we all hope they eventually embrace PvP. To me, this is one of the greatest potential results of PFO's design choices - that PvP will become mainstream.

Bolding modified to highlight my focus.

A game can provide that "room" either by having a huge amount of space, like EVE, where the ruleset provides significant protection from PvP combat. Or, like PFO seems to be attempting, it might provide the same "room" by having a ruleset across the entire gamespace that provide some amount of protections everywhere.

Goblin Squad Member

@Being I think that 1:10 isn't too far from the ratio of monster hexes to non-monster hexes. I think a small number of FFA hexes, whether the monster hexes or a new FFA hex (1:10 is about 1 per settlement) would end up being a large bonus for the settlements.

While monster (or FFA) hexes will be outside of settlements' legitimate control, strong settlements can exert control of the hexes just the same. If there are consequences for 'unsanctioned' PvP everywhere, then companies and settlements can still wage wars and feuds over those resources in hexes they don't legally control. They *might* choose instead to share the resources - horror upon horrors, cooperation in a sandbox.

But once some hexes are FFA, settlements aren't limited by war and feud requirements. If they want the resources, they kill their competitors. The big winners in making some small number of hexes FFA would be the stronger settlements closest to such hexes. Success breeds success, and those big settlements would have the free reign to eliminate all small operators in "their" FFA hex without any Influence or DI costs. With only 1:10 hexes FFA, each settlement can focus its harvesters and guards on one or two hexes. The winner likely won't be the small gatherers and the bandits who prey on them.

Goblin Squad Member

FFA PvP areas with high yields of rare materials do seem to be common in MMOs. I think devs put such areas to encourage conflict - which raises the question of why players don't seek out conflict on their own without such areas. (And I'd question how much conflict such areas actually encourage). Maybe players, including self-described PvP players, are less risk tolerant than one might suppose.

Unlike the other games Bluddwolf cites, PFO has the concept of morality - and objective morality at that. Our alignments are changed by our actions. If GW implements some space where for some special reason, our actions have no effect on our alignments, then they weaken one of their main premises.

In the end PFO may have to add in FFA PvP areas. I think if they do so, it will be a concession that they couldn't build the game they have otherwise described with the current technology or budget available.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Also, once it's faction-based, wouldn't that remove the need for S&D entirely? Wouldn't Bandits be able to simply attack the Merchants directly without losing Reputation?

I'm not sure why it would remove the need for S&D at all.

Merchants rank 1-3 who have not flagged 'for the cause' would not be attackable as faction enemies. Small time haulers and gatherers could decide it wasn't worth the risk to join the Merchants and therefore are not attackable as faction enemies. Other random people could carry small cargos and not be attackable as faction enemies.

Now, maybe there will be large scale Merchants who go flagged with large numbers of guards, but I think the Bandits will see very few small, easy, faction targets with this "fix". I think GW will still need to figure out S&D and the many-on-many problem in S&D. (And the many-on-many problem when attacking Heinous, Attackers, etc.)

Goblin Squad Member

Yeah, it depends very much if hex law is predominant. My understanding was that war and feuds likely superseded hex law; I expected that faction conflict would as well.

Goblin Squad Member

Nevy wrote:
What I have a problem with is taking risk vs. reward out of the bandit equation by the game recognizing bandits and merchants as enemies.

I think this is sort of key to the concept.

If two factions are enemies, can the flagged member of one faction attack the flagged member of another faction in any hex in the game? As an example, assuming the Hellknights and the Denizens of the Echo Wood are enemies, can their rank 4+ members attack each other in a NPC hex controlled by the Knights of Imodae?

Likewise, does a party of rank 4+ Bandits have free reign to step forward in a hex controlled by the Hellknights and fall upon a rank 4+ Merchant with hearty cries of "Die, Merchant scum!", without fear of retribution?

If that is indeed the case... well, it sounds like the animosity between bandits and merchants might be a little bit over the top.

Goblin Squad Member

Just taking a step back and looking at the problems again: Is the primary reason for doing the bandit faction and the merchant faction to solve/allow the many-on-many fights between bandits and merchants? I'm assuming both bandits and merchants needs to be "flagged for the cause" or permanently flagged by being rank 4+ in the faction to make use faction-trained skills.

Goblin Squad Member

A couple of interesting things about formations compared to mobs:

- A group of people moving in unison is intimidating to individuals not in a formation themselves. It takes guts to stand in front of a formation with leveled spears or bayonets coming towards you - or even a line of riot police. In other games this might be represented by a fear aura that causes people to break, though I don't think GW wants us to lose control like that. But there might be some effect like fear, or just the risk of a large DoT if you were to get caught within a formation might be enough of a fear factor.

- I don't know how/if it applies to formations, but schools of fish and herds of animals like zebras or antelope actually confuse attackers by moving in unison. Watching videos of riot police - and trying to track one individual within a group of identically clad individuals, I suspect formations of humanoids work the same way. This might be replicated by making some/many/most attacks against a formation hit a random individual rather than a targeted individual. (That would substantially increase the survivability of individuals in a formation compared to those in a mob. I think it would apply more to range effects and less to melee effects, but any formation would have drills for moving injured from the edges into the center.)

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Nihimon wrote:
If it were up to me, Formations could only be established at friendly Settlements and would have to move across the map without using any sort of Fast Travel. They would also move at the normal (non-sprinting) pace of the slowest member.

I'd offer:

- There's no logical reason that a formation would need to be established in a friendly settlement. I'd think they should be able to be formed up anywhere - but assembling a formation takes time and cannot be done while under attack. (Or it might be able to be done under attack - but it's really, really hard, so only can be done by the best trained units).

- A formation should be able to move pretty fast - up to a charge speed. But the formation might not be able to maintain its cohesiveness over an extended period at max speed - and once it loses it's cohesiveness, it would be just a mob until it forms up again (which takes time, out of combat).

Goblin Squad Member

Adding to Decius' inference; I'd assume some abilities might not work at all without some set of keywords present.

Goblin Squad Member

Just as creatures have a percentile resistance to any damage without a particular keyword, different armor types might have more or less resistance to keywords like 'Bludgeoning'.

You might have keywords like 'Ornate' based on the inclusion of valuable materials and high craftsmanship, though I think many players might value other keywords more. Aristocrat characters, however, might have skills that require flashy gear.

I'm thinking of 'Ancient' for those time-encrusted artifacts that we often see in fantasy, but those might be very rare in the River Kingdom, where everything is character-crafted. Maybe some drops from escalations are required to craft such things.

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Nihimon wrote:
My greatest hope is that PFO does PvP so well that all the folks I know who "don't play PvP games" end up really enjoying PFO. I think one of the most difficult things to overcome is going to be the mindset of folks who think there's really nothing wrong with the PvP in most other PvP games. I want PFO to be to EVE what WoW was to EQ; that's not going to happen if PFO develops a reputation as "just another gankfest".

I read this as: EQ was a successful theme park game and WoW built upon its concepts to make a massively successful theme park game. Likewise, EVE is a very successful sandbox game (with PvP - which is an inherent requirement for successful, long term, sandbox games), and Nihimon hoped that likewise, PFO would build upon EVEs concepts to make an even more powerful game. (I think making a fantasy sandbox that was 10-20% as popular as EVE might be success.)

Then I read Bluddwolf's piece, suggesting that what PFO needs is even better PvP. I think he has it somewhat off. To encourage people who would otherwise avoid PvP to play PFO - and perhaps to subtly discourage those who might seek PVP for its own sake, PFO PVP might be pretty simple, vanilla and accessible. I imagine there is some optimum point, between pure vanilla and pure adrenalin, to maximize the game population.

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For armor: something like 'fitted' or 'comfortable' which eases armor use - allowing the character to recuperate faster when resting.

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Nevy wrote:
Now, we still don't know how factions will work, but I'm confident that the developers will implement game designs that will be fair and just to the innocent and a bit more harsh on the bandits/murderers. Time will tell.

One scenario of the eventual design might be that merchants (drover/guards) and bandits are both implemented as factions that have special skills to train, but those two factions aren't enemies. So if you want S&D capabilities, you have to join the bandit faction. If you want mule drover or advanced cart skills - or bandit detection capabilities as a guard - you have to join the merchant faction.

But the two factions might not (and should not) be at war. The bandits do not win if they eliminate every merchant. The merchants goal is trade, not war, and should not be focused on eliminating every bandit. Would the merchant resent the bandit predations? Sure. Would the bandits resent the merchants putting guards on their caravans? Sure. But outright warfare between them seems out of place for both sides.

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Aye, it's a classless system. Bandit isn't a class. Some bandits might have the ability to throw fireballs because they have wizard abilities, for example. But in the end they have the skills and abilities of other characters; it's how they use them.

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Bluddwolf wrote:

You are never safe

Don't carry what you can't afford to lose
It's nothing personal, it's all about the coin

It sounds like if you never really undertake risky things - if you are never willing to carry more than you can afford to lose - just about, but never quite more than you can afford - you'll never reach that true sense of accomplishment.

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30 or 40 bot harvesters and 30 or 40 grinding player harvesters might produce the same number of resources, so it seems innocuous enough. It just seems very unlikely that 30-40 players would selflessly just give everything they harvested to some other player - but that's the inherent absurdity of alts. They allow for the rapid accumulation of resources or wealth without all of that pesky building social networks things. In a game with 10-20k players though, a 30-40 character bot farm is a blip.

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@CBDunkerson, the idea of permanent monster hexes mirrors the idea of pre-identified settlement hexes. The idea of set settlement hexes allows the map to be somewhat balanced and prevents players from building a string of adjacent settlements to create unbreachable strongholds. The set monster hexes ensure that no monster hex and settlement are adjacent to each other. Monster escalations will therefore spread from monster hex to wilderness or POI hexes before settlements are threatened, giving settlements time to address the advancing problem. Even old established settlements will have to be prepared for monster outbreaks.

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In the Thunderstrike video (transcript here) they did say that hit points come back every fight. Characters now accumulate generic injury points from the critical hits they suffer, and get bad debuffs when hit points drop below current injury level. In that video, the devs said nothing about hit points regenerating during a fight.

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Bluddwolf wrote:

I hate to requote myself:

Bluddwolf wrote:
I would expect that most if not all factions will have merchants and guards, and a few will have bandits, etc. etc.
Merchants, Bandits (Outlaws) and Guards are roles and they should be found in just about any organized faction or settlement.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if they rolled up both merchants and caravan-type guards within the merchant faction. ;)

When the Hellknights or Knights of Iomedae need something hauled, they can pay a drover and his guards. They might even have some merchant faction people on retainer. Things need to be moved, sure. But most factions don't need to be spending their time honing skillsets and trades that they can hire out.

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I figure factions are just part of the theme-park side of PFO; they always told us it was a hybrid. The faction leadership will always be NPCs, and likely "off-board" (outside the Pharasma-affected parts of the River Kingdoms) so players can't go and kill them. It's likely a specialized trainer and excuse forsource of conflict; it will work out.

Edit to add: there's no reason the PFO space needs to operate in a vacuum. I would expect many high mucky-muck NPCs in charge of the various factions to exit the River Kingdoms until they figure out why people are being repeatedly brought back to life. They sit outside the affected area and pull strings inside; that's normal politics.

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Kios wrote:

But seriously, how do you see such groupings working? I like Forencith's initial idea, but I would like the flags that the initiating group sees to flow down so that the attacking party sees only the group that they attacked as hostile and the flags the victims see to flow up so that all parties that party is attached to through party leaders can see the attackers as hostile.

This way initial attackers are only aware of the small party's grouping unless their allies decide to aid them.

I don't think the size of each side needs to be a secret to anyone. There might be tactical reasons to try to keep it a secret, but there should be skills that penetrate/hide the connections. Our characters are hardened survivors; they see things that we as players don't necessarily see.

I think the nesting parties would be the basis of unit combat. Like others have said, it's somewhat like EVE's fleets.

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I was wondering whether a character could even abandon a faction after he had advanced to rank 4-6. Or if he could only do so by making a very long-term enemy. Losing access to faction-trained feats after abandoning a faction might be penalty enough.

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...You may be a member of multiple factions if you wish, but you must meet the requirements for each, including not already being a member of an opposing faction.

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@Jiminy - you made me think of the possibility of false-flag operations, if parties are drawn into faction fights.

"Hey, yeah I'm a Rank 4 Faction A member, it won't be a problem; I won't do anything stupid if you let me join your group."

Moments later: "We see you have a Rank Faction A guy in your party, prepare to die..."

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Factions were introduced, back in September 2013, as a way to allow players in small groups to engage in meaningful PvP without reputation loss. (I am curious as to how much factional conflict will affect the factions themselves - I'm skeptical of the word meaningful here.)

And as they said then: of course, some players will choose to avoid the faction system all together, allowing them to opt out of PvP in all but settlement level conflict. (And feuds, I assume.)

I interpret that as drover and guard players can join the merchant faction and work up to rank 3 for whatever mechanical benefits - but if they choose not to flag 'for the cause', then they're not a valid factional warfare target. They'd have to be attacked by a simple rep-loss attack? I actually expect that we'll still need the S&D mechanic, though it might be trained through the bandit faction.

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Forencith wrote:
Finally, some other notes on the interaction of these three factions, teamsters, bandits, and marshals. We can assume marshals will be given anti-bandit skills and bandits will be given anti-teamster skills, but unless teamsters are given skills which directly influence marshals it does not seem to be a complete system...and I have few ideas about what form such influence could take. Alternately, we could argue they should not be an intertwined system and instead separate systems. Bandits and marshals should be given skills that counter each other...and similarly (but separately) teamsters and bandits should be given skills that counter each other. Given the game setting, The River Kingdoms, I can understand an argument for bandits/outlaws being the crux, or axle, of the interaction mechanics...even if I think their influence overall will be negligible in the game of Kingdoms and Nations.

I'd offer that there doesn't necessarily need to be one monolithic marshal faction. Hellknights, Knights of Iomedae, and Denizens of the Echo Wood might all have marshals. They might all see bandits as enemies, and see each other as some mix of enemies or neutrals.

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One concern I would have with factions is that it requires GW to make a different faction for each role. If PFO is supposed to be skill-based, not class based, why build back in classes?

A second concern would be that people could work outside their roles. A guardsman could carry cargo. Maybe not as effectively as a merchant, but if immune to attacks by bandits, it might make sense.

My third and biggest concern about designing the game to focus on factions PvP, with merchants, bandits, and guards: It sounds a lot like pirates of the burning seas, with a focus on FFA PvP as the mainstay of the game. My understanding is that PoTBS lasted something like 3 years and had something like 10k subscribers max. That isn't a template for success.

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