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RPG Superstar 2015

Goblinworks Blog: Player-Created Buildings and Structures


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

I agree that 'zoning' is a step backwards. I recall the pain that was zoning in the original EQ, where griefers would 'train' monsters into the people who were still loading up. Even if you did load up you still had to contend with a mass of angry monsters.

Goblin Squad Member

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I am curious what a watch tower is? Is it a pele tower. A pele tower was usually a small three story tower ofen one would have to climb a ladder to the front door on the second level. Once inside you would pull the ladder up into the tower. They were made of stone and would be difficult to destroy by a few individuals.

There seems to be a big gap between watch tower and fortress. How bout a structure imbetween such as a smaller fort such as a Tower house which was a stone structure often in a L or Z shape. Many had angled turrets at the corners well above the ground. They had a compact footprint size and often in rugged terrain with difficult access. Often 4 to 5 stories high.

In a world where an Inn on a lonely road between to major settlements why wouldn't it fortify itself. Think of an Inn made of stone with a walled couryard with stable. While determined Bandits might break down the gate and the front door it would be difficult to destroy that Inn.

It seems to me even building a home out of stone would prevent it from being totaly destroyed by fire and axe. The thatched roof might burn and the furniture but the shell would still be there.

One final note. The first structure of a castle would be the keep, tower house then it would be added on to by walls, towers, gatehouse etc etc.

Goblin Squad Member

I feel player created Buildings and structures in general can be similar in layout but a player would then have to decorate/equip it in their own style to personalize it. Tract housing has been around for a very long time it is because of efficiency and its economically sound, the way to make something yours is what you do with it when you have it.

I think there should be at least 1 npc to guard your structure while you are in game that sends you a pm then runs away when you get there telling you this is your problem deal with it. Then if your building is attacked while offline you should have 2-3 npcs each one about half your strength that will fight for you. You could even have the game send a text saying your building is under attack. These suggestions are privately owned buildings such as a house or watchtower, maybe even an inn (if a single person can own an inn, which I hope they can).


DeciusBrutus wrote:
Advanced geometry: What is the area of a regular hexagon if the smallest possible circumscribed square has a side length of 1.2 km?

Your question gives me flashbacks of trying to figure out Wankel engine compression ratios. ::Shudder::

Watchtowers: Should vary with level, starting out they might just be the tripod with a basket on top, but maxed out it could be as much as a full wizards tower or small (wooden) keep.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Compression ratio is simple volume when the intake valves close divided by volume when the spark fires.

Calculating the volume is one the tricky part; trickier still if you assume the spark occurs at the maximum compression and need to determine when that is, or when the intake valves should close.


Sounds interesting and potentially wonderful.

Some things I'd really like to see possible: Tree Houses, ala Swiss Family Robinson, Ewoks, Wookies, etc. Not so much a special type of building as a style for existing structure ideas.

I'd love to be able to have combination/hybrid buildings, such as an an apparent Inn that is also a Hideout (You get to case the travelers when they stop at the Inn, and then ambush them as they leave), or a Bridge that also has a Watchtower, providing good military control of a logistics choke point. Also, I'd like to have simple Houses/Cabins and such be available as well, for the solo players who aren't wanting to ambush people or put them up for the night.

(PS on the subject of Bridges: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2448754&postcount=428 )


Also, I'm actually pretty ok with preset building sites (which is admittedly odd considering I'm usually the one clamoring for maximum control and options) as long as new hexes to build in are made available before game population starts to make virtual real estate overly scarce. The reason I'm ok with it is that I've seen what careless placement of housing structures can do to a game environment, and if pre-approved build sites are coded into the terrain, it helps to alleviate unwarranted congestion and avoids silly things like strange clipping issues.

Also, though slightly unrelated and just for better understanding my views on things, I would have liked to see a somewhat different restriction system used for housing placement in SWG. I would have liked to see a plot placement radius that was increased in size based on not only the size of the structure itself, but also based on the population density of the area. This would have made it made it more difficult to pack lots and lots of houses into that "ring" around planetary cities and other highly desirable locations. The plot restriction would not have applied when a house inside a player city was placed or moved of course, allowing the city to be laid out as needed, with whatever structural placement density was desired. This system could have applied well to UO too I believe. One housing placement system I greatly dislike is the "bases" in CoH, where you access your base through generic teleport hubs, and whether your base is a local building, underground tunnel, spaceship, or interdimensional pocket was limited in relevance to RP fluff. RP is great if done well, but fluff is just fluff.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't think the building site idea is much of an issue either, I don't think it would be that restricting, and really in place to prevent auto-leveling of land, as seen in SWG. I would be supprised to see obvious build locations not available to build on.

Goblin Squad Member

I think the building site idea also allows site appropriate art. For example, want to build a mill with a possible water wheel upgrade? You'll need a mid-sized plot on the river, and the building will be oriented so the water wheel isn't stuck in a earthen bank.

We don't know how it will work, but maybe that mid-sized plot on the water might also be useful for a dock, or a bridge abutment, and settlement planners get to decide on mills or docks or bridges.

Goblin Squad Member

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Thornkeep Corps of Engineers(name pending) is now hiring. Secure, confidential construction services for those who don't have the time to learn the skills themselves. Our services are affordable and confidential. Need a hideout? As long as your gold is real, none shall hear from US where we built it for you.

Any and all classes accepted. It's your skills we need you for! gatherers, builders, engineers, and even some "security" personnel...

(More info to come once I settle on a final name, and possibly even a website)

So far this game sounds like the dream game I've been waiting for since SWG died. I was a master builder there, and loved it. So, I am going for it again!


So what is known situation about number of building spaces per hex? As I imagine this it will be some kind of 1 place(area) for fort or no place for it at all, little bit more places for towers and lots of places for hideouts. If so, then to imagine how hard it would be to really hide your hideout we absolutely need approx. number of such places. (do want some voice of developers here).

Also I still can not figure out, hideouts are promised to be invisible to those people who failed their check on spot(also will it be increasing with level of skill CHANCE to find a hideout or just required level to see hideout of certain progression?), are they not shown on the map or you really can not see them(may be even if you see how some one walk in or out of them) and so can not target?

About world loading, I have no experience in programing, so it is very possible that I'm going to say something stupid, but what if in case hexes themselves are not so big(1.2 km 1 hex, it is approx. 10 min to walk(!) from one side to other in real world and so - 2.5 min of real time while playing) make smooth loading of hex you are currently in and 6 neighbor hexes and unload information about previously loaded hexes. For example I enter the game, system loads hex I'm currently in as loading screen and then, while I'm playing it loads on background other 6. When I leave hex I started in and go to one of the preloaded hexes system unloads those hexes that do not touch new one and then loads all new adjacent hexes. I do believe that it should be done as background process, may be such % of productivity, that it will not be felt. Also it is possible to assign priorities to loading adjacent hexes depending on current movement direction/position of character. This way the feeling of undivided world should be created.

And about interiors of the buildings - if somebody ever have played "The Guild" - medieval economic simulator - they had interiors interruptible, but not walkable. You could see some "NPC" moving around and doing stuff, could click on some active objects and I really liked it. Actually, I believe that using of The Guild's system of buildings, their usage and realization in aspect of "walkability" would be great! This also may be applicable to crafting processes.

To those who talking about possibility to combine hideouts with other buildings - how do you imagine finding out about them and destroying them? Do not think, that I'm against it, actually it would be absolutely awesome! And again here The Guild's system could be implemented - with enough resources you can just build a new "room" to your buildings, which will allow you to use it's benefits. But still... All I could think in terms of detecting and destroying such hidden hideout is that they will require harder check of spot, may be even some additional skills can affect - for example knowledge of stoneworks, and if you spot it - it will be shown to you in list of rooms(updates) of this specific building, that it has hideout. Then you just have to destroy whole building.

And one more thing - what about the law and destruction of buildings? For example I've built inn in low security sector(not with absolutely no security, but the one with opportunity to attack but with marshals), by usual logic, if some one comes and start to attack my inn, he will be marked as outlaw with all consequences(I imagine it as attack of the building counts in the same way as killing some one), but for example if I will build a hideout inside of this inn, then from it will ambush some one and kill him, this someone will have an option to place a bounty on my head OR on my buildings! But really, how others see what should happen in such situations?


Also I didn't know where to post it, but I would be super happy, if after destroying a structure there was some ruins left. Depending on type of structure it then will be possible to reconstruct some types of buildings from this ruin for less price. For example if watchtower(basically stone structure) is destroyed it lives a ruins, from which it is chipper to create some similar buildings - watchtowers, may be something else. BUT! if for example ruins are from wooden house, then to create a stone house on the same place I will have to clear a construction site first, and that will require additional money and time(ruins should be cleared by special NPC workers, and it is process similar to constructions, but require only money) and only after clearing I will be able to start building a stone house for full price.

From this idea also arises some new ways to introduce players to hazards. Ruins, that if unattended will start to spawn some monsters is, IMHO, super cool way to add some atmosphere to game. For example during conflict of two fractions one of castles was razed and for some reasons (not enough resources,because, again for example, it was advanced castle, and there is opportunity to rebuild only for increased price, but with half of all updates that was built) it was not rebuilt. After one week of real-world time ruins of this castle become a home to some vicious and wild creatures and start to spawn them on the map. Depending on security level of hex it will be different time between monster spawning and depending on structure size strength of monsters will vary. In this case, ruins of big castle could spawn lots of lesser undead - zombies and skeletons of commoners, weak ghosts and shades, some number of dungeon dwellers - oozes, vermin. In case of exceptional sizes(or wealthiness of owner) some dragons could decide that old treasury is good enough for them to live in. Ruins of smaller structures not only will spawn weaker monsters but also will have less chance to become inhabited at all. Now let us imagine super epic war between player factions(kingdoms) that could take place on the edge of known lands. Brutal war wages for several month and after it one of kingdoms end up wiped out from the land, its subjects are forced to leave this place and search for other place under the sun. While victorious kingdom acquire great amount of recourses, it also has lost a lot and need some time to return its infrastructure to normal. Because of traveling time and clearing time and construction time people could not clear all the ruins that are left after this conflict and we receive awesome environment, where we could still smell blood and fire in air, see leftovers of someones lifework(I mean NPS's) buried into the ground AND in addition to this atmosphere we have now hordes of undead, and other beasts crawling around, guarding some treasure, that was forgotten in madness of war. + ruins could become usable as dungeons, depending on developer's wish. I see it as my character walk close to the ruin and I am able to click(?) on it, opening an interaction window. There could be shown some recourses(loot), that is found in it, price and possibilities of reconstructing, price to clean up a construction site and, may be, randomly assigned generated dungeon - ruiny terrain, some monsters, some loot, nothing special. With such thing as dungeons in ruins player have first to clean up the dungeon in order to construct something there.

Goblin Squad Member

I would so love it if the base structures had archetype-based flavors. I.e. you have a base structure, Fort, but they come in four flavors:
-An Arcane Tower
-An Abbey
-A Druidic Grove
-A Fortified Keep

So no difference in the total utility of the Fort, but each one reflects the character and inclinations of the owner.

Goblin Squad Member

@Mbando, that's a great idea. It's more work for GW to build the art assets, but it would go a long way towards making the environment not feel cookie-cutter.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon: this idea goes back to my earliest days playing D&D. For me it was always a cleric, and I had these grandiose ideas about how my character would become an Abbot, found an order dedicated to justice and serving the common weal, etc.

I would hope that this could be something reasonably easy to implement a mostly cosmetic, but having a big impact on immersion and feel. Would make a big difference to me in terms of motivation to found a fort. Imagine the arguments you might have in your adventuring company about what kind to build!

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Imagine the arguments you might have in your adventuring company about what kind to build!

Hah! It's obvious that an Arcane Tower is the only logical choice :)

Goblin Squad Member

Black Arcane Tower. Of course.

Goblin Squad Member

I still hold out hope that we are at minimum allowed to plan and place our construction primitives. Even if these primitives are full blown buildings and wall sections, it still offers us the ability to plan our own defences and strategies...not to mention makes the final product really "feel" like we own it.

Just allow us options from short palisades to full decorative granite walls...and many many options between. The constructions that offer the most benefits (including aesthetics) should take much more materials and time to construct. This will make charters take a realistic approach of quickly building wooden defences which they continually upgrade as possible.

Goblin Squad Member

Any one from Goblinworks or anyone with experience in the technical side of the gaming industry able to talk about how difficult it would be to make forts come in flavors, as per above?

Goblin Squad Member

As with every system in the game, expect buildings to start very simply, and become more complex over time.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
As with every system in the game, expect buildings to start very simply, and become more complex over time.

Are we talking looks, function, or both?

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, both.

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:

I still hold out hope that we are at minimum allowed to plan and place our construction primitives. Even if these primitives are full blown buildings and wall sections, it still offers us the ability to plan our own defences and strategies...not to mention makes the final product really "feel" like we own it.

Just allow us options from short palisades to full decorative granite walls...and many many options between. The constructions that offer the most benefits (including aesthetics) should take much more materials and time to construct. This will make charters take a realistic approach of quickly building wooden defences which they continually upgrade as possible.

Yeah. One of my biggest concerns about everything said in the blog is this line:

GW Blog wrote:
...we want to ensure that the density of the structures added to the world and the places where they are built makes sense and isn't used as a way to artificially segment the game world or to create terrain advantages—a big problem in many other MMOs that allow player-created buildings.

I really hope they are not saying that players who build their structures in such a way that it gives them terrain advantage when defending them is a problem. Personally some of the more fun I have had in games like Wurm, and Xsyon that allow you complete control of where and what you build, is sitting there trying to figure out how to make the most defensible location possible.

I don't see that as a problem. I see that as a fun aspect of the game. Choosing a good defensible location, and planning out the defenses in such a way that it is insanely hard to take. That's fun. It's more important to me that we be able to do stuff like that, then that I easily be able to take my opponent's forts. The defender should always have a huge advantage IMO. I don't mind the advantage being so heavy they have to be outnumbered 50 to 1, as long as it takes a lot of work to get such an advantage.

For instance:

The two best designs I came up with in terms of defencibility in Wurm were a sea-fortress far enough away from the shore that you couldn't easily raise an area to build a catapult from which to hurl stones at it, and raised far enough up that the only area that wouldn't be prettymuch too hard to climb up was the area directly in-front of the front gate. And a fortress on-top of a mountain entirely surrounded by lava tiles except for a path leading to the front gate.

Both of them would have taken FOREVER to build. I would need priests of Magranon to generate the lava tiles, and terraforming stone is a VERY length process. Plus all materials would have to be hauled to the top of this mountain.

Or the sea fortress would require a good ship for every person working on it, and weeks or months of time to haul enough dirt to raise that much land so far above sea level.

I really don't mind seeing people manipulate the terrain to their advantage. I would like to see in a hex the places you can build a fort would perhaps be out in the middle of an open plain, on-top of a rocky hill, and on an island in the middle of a river. The most defensible location is probably the island or the rocky hill depending on your naval assets, but building on the rocky hill requires all the construction materials to be hauled up the hill, and building on the island requires supplies to be ferried out to the island. So the one on the plains is by far the easiest to build leaving you the decision, do you want the cheaper fort up more quickly and easily or the more expensive fort in the defend-able location?

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

Yeah. One of my biggest concerns about everything said in the blog is this line:

GW Blog wrote:
...we want to ensure that the density of the structures added to the world and the places where they are built makes sense and isn't used as a way to artificially segment the game world or to create terrain advantages—a big problem in many other MMOs that allow player-created buildings.
I really hope they are not saying that players who build their structures in such a way that it gives them terrain advantage when defending them is a problem. Personally some of the more fun I have had in games like Wurm, and Xsyon that allow you complete control of where and what you build, is sitting there trying to figure out how to make the most defensible location possible.

I think they meant they will not allow players to encircle a region with houses and not allow people in.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Andius wrote:

Yeah. One of my biggest concerns about everything said in the blog is this line:

GW Blog wrote:
...we want to ensure that the density of the structures added to the world and the places where they are built makes sense and isn't used as a way to artificially segment the game world or to create terrain advantages—a big problem in many other MMOs that allow player-created buildings.
I really hope they are not saying that players who build their structures in such a way that it gives them terrain advantage when defending them is a problem. Personally some of the more fun I have had in games like Wurm, and Xsyon that allow you complete control of where and what you build, is sitting there trying to figure out how to make the most defensible location possible.
I think they meant they will not allow players to encircle a region with houses and not allow people in.

Yeah, that.

Goblin Squad Member

It is my hope that the game design eventually moves away from outright restricting things and moves instead toward making undesirable behaviours more difficult. In this case, just make any construction extremely non-trivial. This allows players to construct in places they want, but is a lot of work. Also, make constructions require material/monetary upkeep...even if someone makes a line of illogical houses, it will be expensive to upkeep and in time become ruins...and in more time, disappear all together.

This line of houses, when abandoned by the players, and before disappearing all together, could spawn a mob nest and hence become content for other players.

And finally, constructions are also attackable by PCs (and mobs?). An illogical line of houses will not long last in populated areas unguarded and undefended.

Goblin Squad Member

@Forencith - Other than making the structure cost so high that only a few people could ever build one, there's no way to use price as a mechanism to stop folks from building walls out of them. So we'll use Zoning Laws, just like most civilizations do. :)

Goblin Squad Member

I think it's pretty easily solved by having a minimum distance between houses, and implementing the ability to build some nice fortifications.

If there is a minimum 2-3 foot gap between houses, and you could instead build a stone wall around your hex with no gaps... nobody is going to wall off a hex/region with houses. Especially if we are given proper walls you can stand on top of and shoot down from. Your enemies will just walk right through the alleys.

Personally I would never wall off a region as large as a hex even with a regular wall unless that wall was dirt cheap and didn't restrict trade into my region. As China learned, you only have to punch a hole in a wall in one spot to get an entire army through. I would far rather wall off a town-center kind of area and let the people living on the outskirts know that they will have to deal with the dangers of living outside the walls.

But if someone wants to wall off their entire region I say more power to them. Let them waste their company/kingdoms defense budget on a giant wall while I spend mine on a military.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
@Forencith - Other than making the structure cost so high that only a few people could ever build one, there's no way to use price as a mechanism to stop folks from building walls out of them. So we'll use Zoning Laws, just like most civilizations do. :)

Exactly, in the wilds there is no civilization and hence no zoning laws. What towns/kingdoms do once they are able to carve out a chunk of civilization from that wild should be up to them...if they are willing to pay the costs. I also agree, most people should not be able to solo build things. Building in all but the most persistent individual cases should be the providence of collectives working together. Just like in real life. =)

EDIT: But, acknowledging the fact that those who do not want to work with others or put in the amount of work to carve a private place out of the wilds will just complain about it being too hard or taking too much time, I agree making it simple and limiting it with artificial rules is the logical implementation.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Forencith wrote:
Just like in real life. =)

Sadly, if we were to create an environment where everything was allowed to happen completely without restriction, a small number of people would quickly find ways to diminish the amount of fun everyone else can have. Wherever you see us adding restrictions, the intent will usually be to ensure more fun for more people.

Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:
Sadly, if we were to create an environment where everything was allowed to happen completely without restriction, a small number of people would quickly find ways to diminish the amount of fun everyone else can have.

Unfortunately most of us know this too is "Just like in real life. =)". I trust you will find an appropriate balance.

Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:
Forencith wrote:
Just like in real life. =)
Sadly, if we were to create an environment where everything was allowed to happen completely without restriction, a small number of people would quickly find ways to diminish the amount of fun everyone else can have. Wherever you see us adding restrictions, the intent will usually be to ensure more fun for more people.

And I am OK with this. As you all will have the metrics to back up whatever you decide to do.

*looks around* Is the game ready yet? How about now?


There was a line:

Forencith wrote:
Also, make constructions require material/monetary upkeep...

I do believe, that it would be cool, if all structures will slowly loose durability(hp) just with time, so buildings that are not attended properly and are not provided with some materials and NPC workers will eventually be reduced to rubble. And again, no one said even a word about idea of ruins that could be left after destroying of building...

I agree that strictly specified locations for building are not so fun and I see why GW want to do it, but what if make minimal distances between structures AND make a system that will limit number and type of buildings in any area.
For example I want to build a guard tower in some region, but there is already one built. First I can not build mine closer than X feet away from first one. This is easy and can be great system for big structures that have big X. But what about small things like houses? I would say, that it would look stupid if there will be no things like clusters of closely built hovels, so why not let players build limited number of structures that are logical for such placement in specified region. For example: we can not build more than 10 houses in any 250 feet radius region. That would mean every time I want to place a house computer checks any restrictions for minimum distances to other buildings and then checks if there is less then 9 other houses(it may be other system for limiting numbers and types of structures per area) in 250ft radius. Also it may be needed to disable possibility of construction of new building in such place that older building's territory will exceed "loading" limit. So if there is a cluster of 10 houses built within minimum distance for construction(10 feet?) no one could start building a new house within 250ft of any house of this cluster. Again, numbers could be different of course.

And also I vote for making difference between traveling on the road and through any other type of terrain in speed +give players opportunity to build roads. Lets say that fast travel will be possible only on roads, usual running will be faster/require less stamina and all roads longer/bigger than X will be marked on the map/minimap. This will create a reason for rulers and for usual players to expand and maintain infrastructure of hex. If combined with structures losing hp over time(yes roads also will have to have HP) it will give great feel of realism and new economic part of gameplay.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Ryan Dancey wrote:
@Forencith - Other than making the structure cost so high that only a few people could ever build one, there's no way to use price as a mechanism to stop folks from building walls out of them. So we'll use Zoning Laws, just like most civilizations do. :)

I think that enforcing a minimum setback rule should be enough to keep houses (or any other structure) from being used as walls. Is that what you were referring to?

Goblin Squad Member

Telenor wrote:
I do believe, that it would be cool, if all structures will slowly loose durability(hp) just with time, so buildings that are not attended properly and are not provided with some materials and NPC workers will eventually be reduced to rubble. And again, no one said even a word about idea of ruins that could be left after destroying of building..

It really depends on how it is implemented. In Wurm Online all buildings decayed a set amount over time, and you had to come in to repair them or else they fell apart.

While it did efficiently deal with the problem that un-used buildings didn't sit their taking up space forever it brought on problems of its own. Basically if you built anything really big and cool, you would end up spending more time repairing your existing structures than you would building new things or just sitting back and enjoying the use of what you have.

People don't like to spend all their game time redoing things they have already done, be it repairing existing structures, or re-levling skills they have already leveled. For that reason "decay" is one of the biggest turn off words for me in any game. It's probably a bigger turn off to me than "theme-park" and "grinding" and that is saying a lot.

However I think building decay CAN be properly implemented, it just shouldn't be straight decay over time. If there is some way to ensure that if a building is being used by active players and otherwise it decays over time, I think that is a great idea.

So basically if you have a home where the owner is coming and going all the time, or a company has a fort where there members are coming and going all the time, no decay will happen. If they take a 1-week vacation to Hawaii or go exploring on another part of the map for awhile... still no decay.

If they pack up and move to another part of the map or leave the game, letting their home sit there unused for well over a month... then you will see decay.

Just don't make PFO stand for Patching Fences Online.

Goblin Squad Member

I believe if you use a building, upkeep should be minimal and passive. Real time of a week or so that you'll have to pay for upkeep in a certralized area. If a building isn't used for 3 days (RT) it starts minimal degradation. After a week (RT), upkeep is no longer passive and you have to actually visit the location and invest a moderate amount of resources to repair it. After two weeks(RT), degradation should be moderate and increase exponentially with significant resource consumption and increased upkeep for the next two weeks. After three weeks(RT), the building collapses and vacates the assigned location.

Utilized buildings don't monopolize resources or time.
Upkeep progresses with degradation of structure.
Effective deterant for the problem while not handicapping those that do build a lot.

I may want to build a long corridor of buildings to serve as a venue for a bazaar. The logic behind it is that those who walk through don't just browse, they have to pass every vendor to get to the other side. Just because I want this configuartion doesn't mean I should be handicapped or prevented from doing so. As long as the buildings are utilized and the formation has a valid purpose, you ought to be able to build and maintain the structures with minimal penalty.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

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Andius wrote:


People don't like to spend all their game time redoing things they have already done, be it repairing existing structures, or re-levling skills they have already leveled. For that reason "decay" is one of the biggest turn off words for me in any game. It's probably a bigger turn off to me than "theme-park" and "grinding" and that is saying a lot.

Personally, I see decay as a healthy thing for an economy. This game works on the principle of supply and demand, which assumes goods are consumed over time. If I make a +5 vorpal longsword today, that is going to sell for a lot. How about after 2 years, when every +5 vorpal longsword ever made is still in existance? That skews the supply side of the market, which thus reduces the price I can sell my wares for. But, the cost of making said item will have remained the same, so at some point I would be driven out of business.

Item decay needs to exist for a sandbox MMO to be able to last for a long period of time.

(Unless we can find a system that solves the economic problem. That's cool too!)

Goblin Squad Member

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Obakararuir wrote:
I believe if you use a building, upkeep should be minimal and passive. Real time of a week or so that you'll have to pay for upkeep in a certralized area. If a building isn't used for 3 days (RT) it starts minimal degradation. After a week (RT), upkeep is no longer passive and you have to actually visit the location and invest a moderate amount of resources to repair it. After two weeks(RT), degradation should be moderate and increase exponentially with significant resource consumption and increased upkeep for the next two weeks. After three weeks(RT), the building collapses and vacates the assigned location.

Your time table is WAY too fast. Three weeks before a building collapses? That is just overly harsh. There are a lot of valid reasons someone won't be able to play a game for three weeks, to have all the work crumble to dust in that time even if the space isn't desired by someone else is excessive.

I would say two weeks absolute minimum before decay even starts. After which it should slowly lose health over a longer period of time making it easier and easier for someone to destroy it until it collapses on it's own around say three months later. If anyone really wants that location they'll come knock it down long before the full time has passed. But I shouldn't have to worry about my house in an online game like its a pet that will die if I don't give it food and water every day.

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Andius wrote:


People don't like to spend all their game time redoing things they have already done, be it repairing existing structures, or re-levling skills they have already leveled. For that reason "decay" is one of the biggest turn off words for me in any game. It's probably a bigger turn off to me than "theme-park" and "grinding" and that is saying a lot.

Personally, I see decay as a healthy thing for an economy. This game works on the principle of supply and demand, which assumes goods are consumed over time. If I make a +5 vorpal longsword today, that is going to sell for a lot. How about after 2 years, when every +5 vorpal longsword ever made is still in existance? That skews the supply side of the market, which thus reduces the price I can sell my wares for. But, the cost of making said item will have remained the same, so at some point I would be driven out of business.

Item decay needs to exist for a sandbox MMO to be able to last for a long period of time.

(Unless we can find a system that solves the economic problem. That's cool too!)

Good point. I don't oppose regular item decay but that is mainly because there are is a large enough portion of the population that finds it fun enough to keep building new weapons/armor that having to either go to them for replacements or take old items to them for repair is not a big deal.

This is not the case with architecture though. People don't get into the craft because they love just sitting there repairing the same town over, and over, and over. They get into it because they like to build new things. Even weapon/armorsmiths don't make the same weapons and armor over and over and over. They hone their craft and work on to bigger and better things.

If that is not providing them with enough to do, then simply tie the building of structures and things like ships and carts together. Carts will get destroyed by bandits, ships will get sunk.

I would rather not see dedicated architects patching old buildings they already built forever but rather expanding, improving, and moving on to new projects. If something gets brought down by enemy catapults that is one thing, but they shouldn't be fighting against the game itself.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


This is not the case with architecture though. People don't get into the craft because they love just sitting there repairing the same town over, and over, and over. They get into it because they like to build new things. Even weapon/armorsmiths don't make the same weapons and armor over and over and over. They hone their craft and work on to bigger and better things.

I would rather not see dedicated architects patching old buildings they already built forever but rather expanding, improving, and moving on to new projects. If something gets brought down by enemy catapults that is one thing, but they...

I think regular maintenance is not a bad thing, if it can be done SWG style. Namely, you put a stock of credits (gold) in the house fund. Maintenance costs were deducted from that. If we set the cost as a set percentage of the building cost of the building per month, and allow perhaps a six week payment cap, that should solve the problem.

For example, lets say it costs 1000 gp to build a tower. Every month, it would need 10% of that cost in maintenance. So, it would be 100 gp a month, or 25 gp a week. You could keep a maximum "maintenance fund" of 150 gp in the building.

This keeps players from having to constantly go by and fix the building, but also prevents players from abandoning a building and have it take up a location slot for quite some time.

Goblin Squad Member

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Alexander_Damocles wrote:

I think regular maintenance is not a bad thing, if it can be done SWG style. Namely, you put a stock of credits (gold) in the house fund. Maintenance costs were deducted from that. If we set the cost as a set percentage of the building cost of the building per month, and allow perhaps a six week payment cap, that should solve the problem.

For example, lets say it costs 1000 gp to build a tower. Every month, it would need 10% of that cost in maintenance. So, it would be 100 gp a month, or 25 gp a week. You could keep a maximum "maintenance fund" of 150 gp in the building.

This keeps players from having to constantly go by and fix the building, but also prevents players from abandoning a building and have it take up a location slot for quite some time.

I just want them to make sure they find the right balance between a world filled with unused buildings owned by long inactive players, and people feeling like they can't hold property in this game while having a life outside it.

It would be a crying shame to have a game that allows you to build your own towns, inns, and farms, but has a system which limits the use of those things to people who treat this game as a responsibility rather than a hobby.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

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Andius wrote:


I just want them to make sure they find the right balance between a world filled with unused buildings, and people feeling like they can't hold property in this game while having a life outside it.

It would be a crying shame to have a game that allows you to build your own towns, inns, and farms, but has a system which limits the use of those things to people who treat this game as a responsibility rather than a hobby.

Oh, I definitely agree! My question is, aren't building supposed to be communal efforts? So, what is a reasonable time frame to expect someone involved in the building's construction to check its maintenance fund? I think two weeks is too short, but a month is too long (if you have a dozen people build a watch tower, at least one of them should be able to log in during the span of a month).

Namely, do we think we can come up with a time frame that we, as players, would be fine with? That way, GoblinWorks could take our ideas as a guideline to be built from (and improved upon)?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I think needing somebody to deposit coin to maintain a building for up to two weeks (before damage starts) and another week or so before the building decays and the site is usable by anyone is reasonable. It shouldn't have to be a specific person, just anybody allied with them.

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Andius wrote:


I just want them to make sure they find the right balance between a world filled with unused buildings, and people feeling like they can't hold property in this game while having a life outside it.

It would be a crying shame to have a game that allows you to build your own towns, inns, and farms, but has a system which limits the use of those things to people who treat this game as a responsibility rather than a hobby.

Oh, I definitely agree! My question is, aren't building supposed to be communal efforts? So, what is a reasonable time frame to expect someone involved in the building's construction to check its maintenance fund? I think two weeks is too short, but a month is too long (if you have a dozen people build a watch tower, at least one of them should be able to log in during the span of a month).

Namely, do we think we can come up with a time frame that we, as players, would be fine with? That way, GoblinWorks could take our ideas as a guideline to be built from (and improved upon)?

Within the context of things like watchtowers, forts, settlements etc. I agree. The activity required to maintain them should be increased because a single person doesn't need to be able to maintain structures like those.

However in the context of a house, a farm, an inn, or a shop, I think they should be able to be maintained by one person fairly easily. You might work with others and form communities to see to the defense of your lands, but you shouldn't need other people in terms of preventing it from rotting away.

I think it's great to make running your town a community effort but don't deny the hermit his little cabin in the woods. Rural communities and even singular homesteads should be a valid alternative for people who don't want to be forced to follow some company's or town's rules just to own property.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Telenor wrote:
I do believe, that it would be cool, if all structures will slowly loose durability(hp) just with time, so buildings that are not attended properly and are not provided with some materials and NPC workers will eventually be reduced to rubble. And again, no one said even a word about idea of ruins that could be left after destroying of building..

It really depends on how it is implemented. In Wurm Online all buildings decayed a set amount over time, and you had to come in to repair them or else they fell apart.

While it did efficiently deal with the problem that un-used buildings didn't sit their taking up space forever it brought on problems of its own. Basically if you built anything really big and cool, you would end up spending more time repairing your existing structures than you would building new things or just sitting back and enjoying the use of what you have.

People don't like to spend all their game time redoing things they have already done, be it repairing existing structures, or re-levling skills they have already leveled. For that reason "decay" is one of the biggest turn off words for me in any game. It's probably a bigger turn off to me than "theme-park" and "grinding" and that is saying a lot.

However I think building decay CAN be properly implemented, it just shouldn't be straight decay over time. If there is some way to ensure that if a building is being used by active players and otherwise it decays over time, I think that is a great idea.

So basically if you have a home where the owner is coming and going all the time, or a company has a fort where there members are coming and going all the time, no decay will happen. If they take a 1-week vacation to Hawaii or go exploring on another part of the map for awhile... still no decay.

If they pack up and move to another part of the map or leave the game, letting their home sit there unused for well over a month... then you will see decay.

Just don't make PFO stand for Patching Fences Online.

Hmmm, so you are saying the system works to make continued construction increasingly more difficult...without arbitrary rules making it so. Do you agree this system would prevent the construction of an absurd line of houses? Especially if that line of houses would simply become ruins (and possible spawn mobs) and eventually disappear altogether in a mater of a month or two if left unattended?

I also agree decay rate should be linked to construction materials, stone buildings might last 6 months or a year unattended. But, I don't agree players don't enjoy upkeeping their stuff...if done correctly it literally becomes player built content, giving your guild a reason to continue seeking out and mining resources.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

Your time table is WAY too fast. Three weeks before a building collapses? That is just overly harsh. There are a lot of valid reasons someone won't be able to play a game for three weeks, to have all the work crumble to dust in that time even if the space isn't desired by someone else is excessive.

I would say two weeks absolute minimum before decay even starts. After which it should slowly lose health over a longer period of time making it easier and easier for someone to destroy it until it collapses on it's own around say three months later. If anyone really wants that location they'll come knock it down long before the full time has passed. But I shouldn't have to worry about my house in an online game like its a pet that will die if I don't give it food and water every day.

Please note I did say if it was not utilized. Just because you aren't online doesn't mean other people won't be. Your allies could utilize your buildings as well. Three months is way too long in my opinion. How many years would that be in game time? I could see a month to a month and a half, but honestly unless it was being defended, it may even be gone when you get back on anyway.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hm, don't know what happened to my post from earlier today, so I'll try to repeat the gist of it.

In the blog post titled "Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers", the idea was introduced by GW that there are common folk out there in the world to help us heroes with our varied tasks. When we attract them to our settlements or camps, our buildings operate. If they are driven away by PvE or PvP action, then buildings don't operate or operate poorly.

Instead of some sort of coin-op timer for building life, the commoners should be maintaining our buildings. Depending on the building type and upgrades, maybe there's also a cost in coin or materials. But buildings decay when the commoners are driven away, and when the commoners come back, they repair what problems or damage have accumulated on the buildings.

How long buildings last would be a function of how much PvE and PvP content is bumping against the settlement; it doesn't have to be a set time.

Goblin Squad Member

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Forencith wrote:

Hmmm, so you are saying the system works to make continued construction increasingly more difficult...without arbitrary rules making it so. Do you agree this system would prevent the construction of an absurd line of houses? Especially if that line of houses would simply become ruins (and possible spawn mobs) and eventually disappear altogether in a mater of a month or two if left unattended?

I also agree decay rate should be linked to construction materials, stone buildings might last 6 months or a year unattended. But, I don't agree players don't enjoy upkeeping their stuff...if done correctly it literally becomes player built content, giving your guild a reason to continue seeking out and mining resources.

I have to ask. Have you actually played a game that utilizes this? It's really not that fun. You get on wanting to go work in your forge, or go out hunting, or work on a boat or something, but instead you HAVE to patch fences or else they will fall down exposing your crops and goods to drifters and animals, or allowing your livestock to run free. The content literally forces itself on you in contrast to something like gear/tool decay that only requires repairs/replacement if you use it. Building decay is constant. I don't know about you, but having content forced on me is not fun. It's a chore. I don't like gaming to be a chore.

Obakararuir wrote:
Please note I did say if it was not utilized. Just because you aren't online doesn't mean other people won't be. Your allies could utilize your buildings as well. Three months is way too long in my opinion. How many years would that be in game time? I could see a month to a month and a half, but honestly unless it was being defended, it may even be gone when you get back on anyway.

There are certain things that other people likely won't be utilizing. People are going to have their own homes, businesses, maybe a small 1-boat dock with a fishing boat. Things the will likely want to manage by themselves. Do you really expect someone else to come into your home while you are gone? Do you want to be forced to allow that just to not see it decay?

If they have these built in prime locations that are desirable to a lot of people, then yes, if they leave them for any time at all other people will take that location over.

However this is a big map. There are likely to be a lot of places you can build. If you have an inn, or a hunting lodge, or a fish camp off a little ways from the major towns, people are hardly going to be lining up outside to destroy your building and take that location over themselves. Especially if there is a heavy cost involved in taking down a building such as requiring expensive ammo to do damage to it... And really it would be absolute insanity to not have something like that.

Take Mortal Online for example. Any building can be destroyed by anyone at any time, but it requires boulders which contrary to reality are expensive and sold at vendors. Their map is absolutely filled with inactive buildings, but if anyone really wants a location, or the owners of the building make anyone angry enough, they will still get destroyed. People just don't run about randomly destroying buildings which is a VERY good thing.

A REASONABLE decay system meant only to clear the map of highly inactive buildings paired with a similar siege system is in my opinion, the absolute best way to handle things.

We need a system that does less punishing people for not logging on every 10 minutes, and more just making sure that someone who hasn't played the game for two years isn't cluttering the scenery with their structures. I think 1 month until the start of decay and 3 months until complete decay on non-community structures is a good middle ground between the two extremes.


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Okay, there are lots of talking about how it is complicated for some players to go and repair their building, how fun killing will be if we will be forced to go on-line to repair/visit a building so it do not collapse, but people, why do you forget about NPC? We definitely will use NPC builders for creating new structures, why not to use them to repair?
Personally I do not like the idea of canceling decay by any method, and especially by using structure non-stop. Losing 1% of maximum HP per real-time day will give 3 month of time without ANY attention. This should be enough to come beck and pay for repairs and even more if there will be some automatic repairs when you are off-line. Say, I have built an inn. With system of continuous decay it will fall apart in 3 month(I would also suggest changes in decaying speed due to weather or other environmental stuff). As player of MMORPG I'm playing not for sitting in tavern and crafting food to sell it(?) but to go and kill some monsters, explore and do some other cool things. Thus I think there definitely should be some way to automatize management of any building. For "business" structure like any crafting- of inn-like there should be an opportunity to hire NPC master, which will enable some settings for your building, like percentage of production of different products per cycle, some automated resource resupplying, budget for day/week/month settings. I really suggest every one to check economic system of "The Guild" (gold edition). It incorporates almost everything I would like to see in macro type of economic part of PFO. And for defensive type of structures like towers, hideouts etc. there should be possibility to make scheduled repairs that will cost money of less money and resources should you choose to provide them in your building's storage.

Goblin Squad Member

Telenor wrote:

Okay, there are lots of talking about how it is complicated for some players to go and repair their building, how fun killing will be if we will be forced to go on-line to repair/visit a building so it do not collapse, but people, why do you forget about NPC? We definitely will use NPC builders for creating new structures, why not to use them to repair?

Personally I do not like the idea of canceling decay by any method, and especially by using structure non-stop. Losing 1% of maximum HP per real-time day will give 3 month of time without ANY attention. This should be enough to come beck and pay for repairs and even more if there will be some automatic repairs when you are off-line. Say, I have built an inn. With system of continuous decay it will fall apart in 3 month(I would also suggest changes in decaying speed due to weather or other environmental stuff). As player of MMORPG I'm playing not for sitting in tavern and crafting food to sell it(?) but to go and kill some monsters, explore and do some other cool things. Thus I think there definitely should be some way to automatize management of any building. For "business" structure like any crafting- of inn-like there should be an opportunity to hire NPC master, which will enable some settings for your building, like percentage of production of different products per cycle, some automated resource resupplying, budget for day/week/month settings. I really suggest every one to check economic system of "The Guild" (gold edition). It incorporates almost everything I would like to see in macro type of economic part of PFO. And for defensive type of structures like towers, hideouts etc. there should be possibility to make scheduled repairs that will cost money of less money and resources should you choose to provide them in your building's storage.

I suppose it depends on how involved the process is. The way things were described in the crafting blog it seemed that crafting would either be a very low efficiency un-involved process or a very high efficiency and involved process. I'm really hoping the same is true for architecture. That when we are putting up structures there are mini-games we are taking part in to make us feel more invested in the process.

I don't mind stockpiling up a bit of wood and stone to see to the upkeep of my house as long as the amount required is not overwhelming, but what I really don't want is the feeling I had in Wurm that every time I log on the first thing I need to do is take planks and nails and go repair my fences, or else take a significant chunk of time to do it each week. Nor do I think most crafters are going to want all their commoners tied up in house repairs all the time.

So hopefully with such a system we would be stockpiling building materials and a bit of coin somewhere and have commoners from outside our regular commoner pool come to do repairs.

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