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Goblinworks Blog: Put It in Writing


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Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
However, moving right along, can you clarify a bit about your vision for the relative scope of Companies, Settlements, and Kingdoms? Specifically, does it make sense in your mind to have a single Chartered Company creating multiple Settlements, and perhaps even spawning an entire Kingdom within its membership?

I think that Chartered Companies will be used primarily by small groups who don't want the hassle of trying to operate within a large group - large enough to manage a Settlement. And I think that by and large, they'll be very common, but a lot of them will be 2-3 person entities.

They are going to be purposefully limited in size as well (although I don't think the limits will be needed once PC Settlements are in the game)

I think the Settlement will be the primary focus of most social activity, and the Settlement one belongs to will be much more important than the Chartered Company. I expect that after PC Settlements are in the game that a lot of players will join them and never bother with a Chartered Company.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Can we get a clarification, please?
One of those two statements is an error. I'm just not sure which one I think should be wrong. :)

I think the issue of Neutral being 1-step away from all alignments is the error.

Otherwise, all the big successful Settlements will be Neutral, and anyone who proposes starting a Settlement that isn't Neutral will face a huge uphill battle.

RyanD

Well won't true neutral settlements still end up with the most people anyways? Neutral good, Lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral, and neutral evil will all be allowed by the one step rule.

And I don't mean to seem all over the idea its just something that I actually have feed back about so figured I'd share it.

Goblin Squad Member

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Chronx6 wrote:


Well won't true neutral settlements still end up with the most people anyways?

For that reason I think we'll have to exclude true neutral from the alignment options for the organizations.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Chronx6 wrote:
Which seems counter productive to the way that the game seems to want to come together.

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sand box games, and catering to this misunderstanding has been the doom of many of them.

You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

We have chosen to use the Pathfinder world as our game world, and its internal logic is that people have alignments and those alignments are intrinsic aspects of the people who live in that world (rather than abstract philosophies like they are in our world).

Not only will your character have to have an alignment similar to your friends' characters in order to create a society with them, but if your character's actions cause your character's alignment to shift too much, you'll be kicked out of that community too!

Playing within these constraints is part of how we generate a world that "makes sense" and is fun to play in. It is also a way that we provide challenges to the players - figuring out how to do what they want while remaining within the rules is fun too.

RyanD

Right on the money!

Goblin Squad Member

Chronx6 wrote:
Well won't true neutral settlements still end up with the most people anyways? Neutral good, Lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral, and neutral evil will all be allowed by the one step rule.

I think that might depend on how alignment affects the common folk that we rely upon for help in resource collecting and all of the processing and crafting.

For example, maybe Lawful communities provide stability, so they have an easier time maintaining their commoner populations, where Chaotic communities are more likely to lose commoners due to the randomness/instability.

And maybe Good communities have a high rate for commoners to join (safety! happiness! health coverage!) while Evil communities have a low rate for commoners to join (gloom! nastiness! occasional human sacrifice!).

So a Lawful Good community might be able to quickly attract NPC commoners, and not so many will wander away as long as security is maintained. So they have better NPC numbers than a Neutral community, but still might be at a small disadvantage in that they can't accept all PCs.

That's just one possible way that community alignment might be used.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:


I think the Settlement will be the primary focus of most social activity, and the Settlement one belongs to will be much more important than the Chartered Company. I expect that after PC Settlements are in the game that a lot of players will join them and never bother with a Chartered Company.

How far after release would you like to add in player settlements? Or does it come down to a feel of the population at large?

Goblin Squad Member

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Gregg Reece wrote:


How far after release would you like to add in player settlements? Or does it come down to a feel of the population at large?

Arbitrarily I hope to do it the same month we up the cap from 4,500 players to 12,000 players added. So sometime between month 7 and 8. But that's a very, very wobbly figure. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sand box games, and catering to this misunderstanding has been the doom of many of them.

You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

We have chosen to use the Pathfinder world as our game world, and its internal logic is that people have alignments and those alignments are intrinsic aspects of the people who live in that world (rather than abstract philosophies like they are in our world).

Not only will your character have to have an alignment similar to your friends' characters in order to create a society with them, but if your character's actions cause your character's alignment to shift too much, you'll be kicked out of that community too!

Playing within these constraints is part of how we generate a world that "makes sense" and is fun to play in. It is also a way that we provide challenges to the players - figuring out how to do what they want while remaining within the rules is fun too.

RyanD

I’m glad this sort of decision is coming out before the game is finished. I’d much rather have my expectations managed before I play, rather than after I sign up.

I haven’t played in a sand-box MMO’s before so that’s why this is new territory for me. Coming from a purely table top RPG perspective, this is a very new concept for me, as I’m used to RPing in an open world. However, I can accept that this decision has been made.

One last thought on the alignment restriction for settlements. What game mechanic is going to support this?

Is there going to be the equivalent of a force field that stops unwanted visitors from entering the settlement? Or some sort of warning symbol that appears over unwanted guests?

If there is some sort of barrier that actually bars entry then this would make attacking settlements and siege warfare difficult. If there is no actual game mechanic, then there isn’t really a need for the restriction.

Perhaps I’m expecting too much detail at this early stage. It’s the curse of an inquisitive mind. :D

Goblin Squad Member

Actually, I think the dynamics Ryan is outlining is an attempt to create societies that would be rational in most table top games. Societies are normally created by like-minded individuals, we can assume that even in game this will be the case...except players really have no way to police themselves. They cannot knock someone out and remove them from the town or even jail them. As such, I see the dynamics Ryan is describing as being a way to allow the players to create their societies without interference from those "other people" that in-game they really cannot remove...but would logically prefer to. I realize this might create some absurd arbitrary rules, but societies and cultures often do.

I know some might argue that this ruling will prevent them from doing things they would do in the PnP Pathfinder, but I think most DMs are way more "tolerant" than a society really would be. Town gets attacked by goblins and you summon your hordes of evil looking outsiders to "do good"? Guess what, those farmers are probably going to put string you up once they are done with the goblins. Want to play a friendly Drow? Sure...have fun...most people in "good" areas will try to kill you on sight. Most DMs would gloss over how superstitious and fearful the average denizens of Golarion should be...how superstitious and fearful people are period.

I do understand that people might object to being able to play "their way", but I for one welcome what I see as a logical dynamic (although I agree the implementation might not be logical, the effect is imo).

This said, I too object to some parts such as the decision to disallow TN as a selected alignment for a settlement, but I understand the reasons this will probably be required. Otherwise every settlement would just be Neutral...unless, and I would actually prefer this...there are cultural benefits offered for choosing one of the more extreme positions...and neutral gets none of these.

Goblin Squad Member

Thank you for the direct answer, Ryan.

It's a shock, but I actually think it's going to create some very "interesting dynamics" - especially if you remove True Neutral and require Settlements to stake out a real position.

Very interesting indeed...

*Nihimon wanders off, seemingly deep in thought*

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan, would you mind offering a few examples of the kinds of things that Player Nations will actually be voting on?


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Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
For the record, I would prefer a system where individual Alignments could be explicitly Required, Allowed, or Forbidden.
This will create the same problem of allowing Neutral alignment to be 1-step from all alignments. All the big Settlements will have all 9 alignments Allowed.

To your point about the prevalence of N Settlements, I can understand how you come to that, if Neutral Settlements could allow anybody to join. I don't know if it'd really be as big of a problem as you believe though: plenty of players wouldn't WANT their character to be forced to work with those who are far from their preferences... So much so that they may seek out/create Settlements with MORE selectivity than just '1 step'...

Which I believe is equally what Nihimon wanted to see, NOT just a way to be less selective than '1 step' but a way to be MORE selective if you so wished, for example CG and NG only, or even LG only. Sure, those Settlements are going to have smaller pools of players to recruit from, but it's also reasonable to think that they could be more succesfull than average at recruiting those players (vs. more varied, middle-of-the-road Neutral Settlements).


Ryan Dancey wrote:
Chronx6 wrote:


Well won't true neutral settlements still end up with the most people anyways?
For that reason I think we'll have to exclude true neutral from the alignment options for the organizations.

I still don't understand the desire for avoiding) certain outcomes.

What would be bad if there were proportionally more True Neutral Settlements than other Alignments?
(I still don't see why True Neutral potentially being open to the most players automatically translates to most players joining True Neutral Settlements)
If a given Alignment, say Lawful Evil, ends up under-represented, is that something bad that you will try to 'fix'?

The other side of the coin here would seem to be what special effects accrue from a Settlement/Nation having a given Alignment? I could see special Class Ability trees that grant enhanced Settlement/Nation-wide buffs/etc, but only work if the group is a certain Aligment (and thus all members are within 1-step, etc). Or certain 'buildings' could be offered for Settlements/Nations to build, with Alignment specific selections - Actual Deity-specific ones seem even cooler, but that could be a subsequent development after Aligment-specific ones are done. Is something along these lines what you are aiming for with Group Alignment? Certainly if something like that IS in the cards, then it seems like there's plenty of other motivations for Settlement/Nation Alignment besides the potential size of new citizens who could join your group.


Ravening wrote:
IMHO it doesn’t make sense for a True Neutral settlement to refuse access to a CG ranger that wants to buy some equipment from the settlement. Nor does it make sense to say that said ranger can’t stay overnight at the local Inn.

I'm not aware that any of those things would be restricted by Alignment in any way.

The only thing mentioned by the Blog is JOINING AN ORGANIZATION, not any and every type of interaction you might make. I'm pretty sure that Ryan is envisioning the more succesful Settlements/etc will be interacting with non-citizens to prosper all the more.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
However, moving right along, can you clarify a bit about your vision for the relative scope of Companies, Settlements, and Kingdoms? Specifically, does it make sense in your mind to have a single Chartered Company creating multiple Settlements, and perhaps even spawning an entire Kingdom within its membership?
I think that Chartered Companies will be used primarily by small groups who don't want the hassle of trying to operate within a large group - large enough to manage a Settlement. And I think that by and large, they'll be very common, but a lot of them will be 2-3 person entities.

I understood Nihimon's question in light of the more 'exclusive' models for governing a Nation seem extremely appropriate for a group which started running a single Company or Settlement, to eventually expand... while still keeping the original governing group in power... instead of the case where multiple Settlements join together.

To that end, is there a required number of Settlements to qualify for a Nation?
If there is, would there be an intermediary step whereby one group could easily manage multiple Settlements (as one entity)?

Actually... Is there any requirement for geographic continuity for Nations? (at creation/addition of the Settlement, or on an ongoing basis... i.e. disruptable by war)


I'm curious what means there will be for handling SEPARATIONS from groups...
That could be removing somebody from a special post (federation council, etc),
or could be removing a person or settlement from a nation completely...
How would resources, etc, be divided in that case?
What happens to resources of the Nation when all the Settlements of a Nation go their own way?
Some of that could happen due to Alignment changes, for example...


Ryan said that EVE was self-consciously all about simulating Laissez-Faire Capitalism.
What is the vison for Pathfinder Online? Rennaisance level Feudal Economy? Capitalism?

Goblin Squad Member

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I don't know how Settlements will treat their property. I assume that some will be NBSI (not blue shoot it) which means that if you're not affiliated with a Settlement, everyone who is will try to kill you if you're in their hex. Some will likely be NRDS (not red don't shoot), which means that as long as your reputation with the local Settlement isn't hostile, you'll be allowed safe passage.

I don't know if we'll let the Settlements bar the gates to people, groups or alignments. I suspect we will, but that's just a guess.

Goblin Squad Member

@Quandry -we are going to try and simulate the kind of world you read about in great D&D and Pathfinder novels.

Goblin Squad Member

For the record, I'm not trying to raise objections about the decisions to restrict Settlement and Player Nation alignments. I'm just trying to understand the impact of those decisions. I actually think it's a very interesting, and frankly courageous, thing to do. It's a bit of a shock, and I'm just as accustomed as everyone else to games bending over backwards to make everything easy. But I also realize the value in working in constrained systems.

At any rate, you've given us a lot to talk about in our own forums! :)

Goblin Squad Member

I like very much what I've read so far from Mr. Dancey about settlement alignments. It reinforces that in Pathfinder it is simply a fact of how the world works. Back a few blog posts in "Signed...In Blood," he wrote that

Ryan Dancey wrote:


Alignments have meaningful consequences that affect the way characters interact with the world and the way the world interacts with them...Someone who has become chaotic evil is going to have a hard time hiring others to perform various tasks.

The latest post didn't address this specifically (unless I missed it) but it sounds to me like settlement alignment ought to have ramifications beyond merely which player characters can join it. For instance, the commoners in a LG settlement should probably be happier than in settlements of any other alignment. Perhaps tasks in LE settlements should be completed faster than in other settlements. Since alignment is a fact of the game world, I think each alignment ought to have different advantages and disadvantages for a settlement, IMO with the advantage side of the ledger being stronger with lawful and good alignments compared to chaotic and evil alignments.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:


I think that Chartered Companies will be used primarily by small groups who don't want the hassle of trying to operate within a large group - large enough to manage a Settlement. And I think that by and large, they'll be very common, but a lot of them will be 2-3 person entities.

They are going to be purposefully limited in size as well (although I don't think the limits will be needed once PC Settlements are in the game)

I think the Settlement will be the primary focus of most social activity, and the Settlement one belongs to will be much more important than the Chartered Company. I expect that after PC Settlements are in the game that a lot of players will join them and never bother with a Chartered Company.

I'm going to have to say I'm a bit confused on your post.

The description you give in regards to chartered companies in your "LFG!" blog is a lot different than you describe them in this post.

I envision chartered companies very much like how guilds are in other MMOs, and it is how you described them as such in the "LFG!" blog. Growing in the order of possibly several dozen characters (and I would imagine even more).

But with this post, you now say you think most will be very small, 2-3 people in size. Of course it is the players that determine in the end, as it is 'our' sandbox, but I am a bit surprised you have switched on what it sounds like the importance of a chartered company.

I actually see them being quite powerful. You say the settlements will be the primary focus of social activity, and that is true, but it is most likely going to be a chartered company who starts up that settlement. And as for kingdoms, I think it is going to be alliances of multiple chartered companies.

However, it doesn't sound like that is what you anticipate. What is it you are thinking who would start up these settlements and kingdoms, Ryan?

Goblin Squad Member

@Hobbun, Ryan didn't say anything remotely like "most will be very small, 2-3 people in size". And if you go back and read the LFG! blog again, I'm sure you'll see how most of what has been said in this latest blog is actually in line with it.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

I continue to be extremely pleased and impressed by the development blog and supplemented information from Mr. Dancey's posts. Cheers!

Goblin Squad Member

Ok, he says "many" of them, but even still, I don't think a large amount will only be 2-3. But either way, that isn't what my concern really was.

And my confusion doesn't lie within the recent blog, I agree that it coincides what Ryan had said in the "LFG!" blog, but it is his recent post that I had quoted.

It at least sounds like to me that, in his recent post, that Ryan feels chartered companies will eventually not have that large of a role or factor.

I understand settlements will have it's own political system independent of a chartered company, but it is going to be the chartered companies who start these settlements and will therefore control all aspects of that settlement. The alignment(s) allowed, who can vote, taxes and the political structure.

I don't feel this is just going to be a starting thing, but unless the chartered company disbands or is taken over, they are going to remain in control of the settlement.

And a group that takes it over is most likely going to be another chartered company.

Goblin Squad Member

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I think most Settlements will be run by well organized guild/corporations from other games who will "colonize" Pathfinder Online once they decide it looks like something thier members will be interested in doing. They'll skip the Chartered Company size and go right to the Settlement size.


I agree that organised guilds from other games are likely to have the jump on companies that don't exist anywhere except here due to then having practice at logistics and teamwork.

For an NPC settlement sponsorship, are we likely looking at some kind of rep/faction threshold or more a complicated quest chain?


I personally like the alignment thing. If you are good and do evil you slide to evil. If you are evil and do good things slide to good. I think you should add this to the game. As for the alignment communities, did anyone ever read the books this is based off of? The cities, towns, and kingdoms all have base alignments in Golarion. Try and be CE in Lastwall a LG kingdom with laws pretaining to that society and see how far the evil character gets..lol. Not very far i would imagine.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
I think most Settlements will be run by well organized guild/corporations from other games who will "colonize" Pathfinder Online once they decide it looks like something thier members will be interested in doing. They'll skip the Chartered Company size and go right to the Settlement size.

.

Ok, so are you saying that settlements are going to replace what guilds are from other games?

I had figured that settlements, where they have a political structure in itself, have the organization of a guild (chartered company) behind it. So it would be dual layered in that effect. Not all of the members of the settlement would need to be in the guild, but they would need to abide by the rules and political structure set up by the guild for the settlement. And in return, would be allowed to live in the settlement and receive the protection of the guild.

But if settlements effectively are going to replace guilds, what happens if a settlement is invaded and taken over? What happens to that settlement (guild)?

This is why I feel there will still be chartered companies who run these settlements. Because if they lose their settlement, the company will still exist and can either 1) try to take it back over or 2) start up a new settlement.

And what about the option of running more than one settlement? If 'settlements' are effectively going to replace guilds, how can you be more than one settlement (guild)? With another entity behind the organization of a settlement you could run more than one of them.

But then of course I am just trying to piece this out in my head from what we have been told, Ryan. As you truly know what is and isn't going to be designed.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Thank you for the direct answer, Ryan.

It's a shock, but I actually think it's going to create some very "interesting dynamics" - especially if you remove True Neutral and require Settlements to stake out a real position.

Very interesting indeed...

*Nihimon wanders off, seemingly deep in thought*

I concur that Requiring settlements to stake out a real position is an interesting dynamic. I also believe it will contribute to a stronger and more interesting overall community. If you don't take this route, every settlement turns into the same thing - a bland and watered down mixture.

I do not think this requirement will be everything that is needed to encourage settlements to be interesting and individual, but it will certainly help.

Goblin Squad Member

@Hobbun, I'm thinking companies and settlements are both similar to guilds in that both have a group of people with shared goals.

The chartered settlement groups represent players who have joined together to make various towns. They have chosen to get into the build, hold, and defend part of the sandbox, and there is a strong implication that they will be involved in PvP at that level. Think of a guild + terrain.

The chartered company groups are people who have decided to play together, for adventure or crafting or whatever. This is very close to a normal MMO guild structure. They might be very involved in PvP, or they might be crafters working in relative safety, or might be a group running an inn on the edge of the settled areas.

Some settlements will have multiple companies as well as people who don't belong to a company. A few companies might be large enough to control several settlements. There will be all sorts of combinations - it feels like each character can belong to one settlement and one company, but don't need to belong to either. (Though being a joiner will help)

Goblin Squad Member

The way I see it:

Chartered Companies are more like the small, casual guilds you're used to seeing.

Larger guilds will organize themselves in Settlements, or even Kingdoms.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, would you mind offering a few examples of the kinds of things that Player Nations will actually be voting on?

Just to be clear, I did see the section on the kinds of things that Settlements will be voting on. I am specifically asking for examples of the kinds of things Player Nations would vote on.

Goblin Squad Member , Star Voter 2014

JakBlitz wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:


I think the issue of Neutral being 1-step away from all alignments is the error.

Otherwise, all the big successful Settlements will be Neutral, and anyone who proposes starting a Settlement that isn't Neutral will face a huge uphill battle.

RyanD

I expected as much. Makes sense this way. Although this leads me to believe that most of the Settlements will be on some Neutral Axis. N will still probably make the largest since it can have 5 relevant Alignments. While I bet most others will be NG,LN,CN or NE. Seeing very few CG,LG,LE, or CE settlements.

This could be counterbalanced by having certain options are only available to an aligned settlement. For instance, only a Lawful settlement could have the same type of NPC marshals as the NPC-controlled towns (although I wouldn't let them be as powerful) and in an Evil settlement you could make it so that killing someone doesn't flag you as a murderer. A LE settlement could have both, so the marshals might hunt you down for other things, but not for murder.

It's not that these will be the case in every settlement of that alignment, but that they're options which a neutral settlement doesn't have.

Goblin Squad Member

Bobson wrote:


This could be counterbalanced by having certain options are only available to an aligned settlement. For instance, only a Lawful settlement could have the same type of NPC marshals as the NPC-controlled towns (although I wouldn't let them be as powerful) and in an Evil settlement you could make it so that killing someone doesn't flag you as a murderer. A LE settlement could have both, so the marshals might hunt you down for other things, but not for murder.

It's not that these will be the case in every settlement of that alignment, but that they're options which a neutral settlement doesn't have.

Having diffrent bonuses for diffrent settlement alignments could be cool.

Goblin Squad Member

Urman wrote:

@Hobbun, I'm thinking companies and settlements are both similar to guilds in that both have a group of people with shared goals.

The chartered settlement groups represent players who have joined together to make various towns. They have chosen to get into the build, hold, and defend part of the sandbox, and there is a strong implication that they will be involved in PvP at that level. Think of a guild + terrain.

The chartered company groups are people who have decided to play together, for adventure or crafting or whatever. This is very close to a normal MMO guild structure. They might be very involved in PvP, or they might be crafters working in relative safety, or might be a group running an inn on the edge of the settled areas.

I guess I just don't see a separation between chartered companies and chartered settlements. To me, they will be one in the same. It is going to be a chartered company that gets the people together to start a settlement. To first clear out the hex (or area of the hex)of monsters (or a negative element) to build the settlement. Then supply the crafters to build the walls and buildings and then finally establish the rules, alignment and political structure that would be involved.

Urman wrote:

Some settlements will have multiple companies as well as people who don't belong to a company. A few companies might be large enough to control several settlements. There will be all sorts of combinations - it feels like each character can belong to one settlement and one company, but don't need to belong to either. (Though being a joiner will help)

Yes, it may be possible we could see multiple chartered companies for a settlement, but again, I see it more that one large chartered company is the one in control of the settlement, than multiple of them reporting to others (who established the settlement).

Because really, as Ryan even said, the people who are going to be starting these settlements are large, pre-established guilds. 'That' is what I view as establishing settlements.

Sure, it's possible that just a bunch or random players could get together and build a settlement, but I have a feeling it's going to take a lot of work and organization, as well as agreement in goals and alignment. And when you get to that organization and focus, you may as well already call yourselves a guild (chartered company).

Goblin Squad Member

@Hobbun, I think the big misconception that everyone has is that "Chartered Company = Guild". That's just not the case. As I said above, it's more like "Chartered Company = Small, Casual Guild".

We were actually informed of this back in the blog LFG! (Looking for Group!):

Quote:
Chartered companies[b] are the first persistent social organization most players will join in the game. [b]They can grow to be quite large, on the order of several dozen characters (exact sizes have yet to be determined).

However, many of us just continued operating as if Chartered Companies would be capable of containing even the large communities we've been trying to build. That's our fault, not Goblinworks'.

I think what you'll actually see is a reversion to referring to ourselves as Guilds again, rather than as Chartered Companies. Some Guilds will be contained entirely in a single Chartered Company. Other Guilds will be contained entirely in a single Settlement. Other Guilds might form their own Player Nations. Still other Guilds might very well encompass multiple Player Nations.

The key difference will be that the Guild is not really a supported organization within the game, unless it coincided with a Chartered Company, Settlement, or Player Nation.

Goblin Squad Member

Hobbun wrote:

I guess I just don't see a separation between chartered companies and chartered settlements. To me, they will be one in the same. It is going to be a chartered company that gets the people together to start a settlement. To first clear out the hex (or area of the hex)of monsters (or a negative element) to build the settlement. Then supply the crafters to build the walls and buildings and then finally establish the rules, alignment and political structure that would be involved.

...
Because really, as Ryan even said, the people who are going to be starting these settlements are large, pre-established guilds. 'That' is...

So let's suppose a group of players comes from somewhere - for the sake of argument, Goons from Something Awful. Say their goal is to establish a fortified settlement and convince their neighbors to join in a kingdom, by force if necessary. (This is all within the spirit of PFO, as far as I can see.)

But this is an established group. They already use voice chat, they may or may not have designated leaders, but they have a plan and a dedicated following. They don't need to slow down to make a chartered company and get some existing settlement to sponsor them. A large group from outside can skip that step, build a fort, hold off challengers, and create a settlement. Maybe then they create a chartered company, but they don't need it - they already have organization and communications.

I think of Chartered Settlements being more like large, territory holding EVE corporations than the guilds in most MMOs.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, would you mind offering a few examples of the kinds of things that Player Nations will actually be voting on?

They'll vote on basically the same things. A certain building might be a Player Nation building, not controlled by any one Settlement. Or an Player Nation account might require a disbursement vote, etc.

Goblin Squad Member

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Urman wrote:
I think of Chartered Settlements being more like large, territory holding EVE corporations than the guilds in most MMOs.

Me too.

Goblin Squad Member

I haven't read through the entire thread, but I do have a couple quick comments about the design proposed in the blog post:

1) On Alignments. I think it makes alot more sense rather then to hard code in a within 1 step requirement to give the chartered companies the ability to set allowed/disallowed for each alignment. That gives player organizations alot better granular control.

For example, under the proposed system you couldn't even recreate Paizo's own Pathfinder Society as a player organization, since it's requirement is simply "non-evil". That's a problem if you are trying to reflect the spirit of the campaign setting. At the same time, I could see particulary stringent religious organizations that would want thier membership to meet the EXACT alignment of the patron diety.

Hard-coding in the "1 step" rule seems like an uneccesarly arbitrary restriction....I don't really understand what purpose it's supposed to fulfill.

2) On the sponsorship requirement for organized companies. Here again, I don't really understand what function this requirement is trying to get at. It seems uneccesarly restrictive and I believe may hinder the establishment of player run organizations, particularly in the early game. Why require companies to have a direct tie/relationship to a territorial based entity? Is there no room for companies that do not owe thier allegiance to a particular nation, community? No mercenaries, freebooters, troubadors, merchant guilds, explorers societies etc? That strikes me as strange and arbitrary as well.

I can certainly why ALLOWING a company to pick a patron settlement and even providing some sort of bonus based upon that could be valuable...but I don't understand at all the rationale for making it a REQUIREMENT of the companies existance in the first place.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hobbun wrote:
But if settlements effectively are going to replace guilds, what happens if a settlement is invaded and taken over? What happens to that settlement (guild)?

You won't be able to take over a Settlement (well, you could take it over through politics and diplomacy, but not through warfare; if you convince the Settlement's current owners to admit you as members and give you voting control of the Settlement Charter, you'll be able to facilitate a non-violent transfer of the Settlement).

Typically a Settlement will be sieged and destroyed, then a hostile force will attempt to build a new Settlement in that Hex.

I suspect that a dying Settlement might calve off a number of Chartered Companies but they'll be in a race to find new sponsorship before their home Settlement is destroyed.

This is what is written in the design document about the end of a Settlement:

Pathfinder Online Design Document wrote:

Abandonment & Restoration

If the Fortress is destroyed, the Settlement is abandoned. Characters will remain members of the Settlement, but will cease Skill Training. If the Settlement still has 10 or more members, it can build a new Fortress in the Hex and if it meets the requirements for creating a Settlement, the Settlement can be restored.

If the Settlement has less than 10 members, it is dissolved. Characters will remain members of the Settlement, but will cease Skill Training. Buildings will be closed. If the Settlement recruits new members sufficient to reach 10 or more, and if it meets the requirements for creating a Settlement, the Settlement can be restored.

Settlement Accounts will still be accessible if the Settlement is abandoned or dissolved.

An abandoned or dissolved Settlement also loses Control of its Hex, and is removed from the Player Nation it is a member of (if any). The World Map will update to reflect these changes.

Characters from a destroyed or dissolved Settlement can seek to join an NPC Settlement to begin Skill Training again.

A Settlement with no members is removed from play and any amounts left in it's Accounts are forfeit.

Quote:
And what about the option of running more than one settlement?

You can't. That's what Player Nations are for.

Quote:
As you truly know what is and isn't going to be designed.

Hah! So much of this is very high level thinking, and very subject to change - don't assume that once it's written in a blog it therefore becomes law. :)

Goblin Squad Member

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GrumpyMel wrote:


For example, under the proposed system you couldn't even recreate Paizo's own Pathfinder Society as a player organization, since it's requirement is simply "non-evil".

I like the idea of being able to set a Settlement's alignment to either "all of one" or "none of one" of the 4 alignment options. That still forces people to chose something other than true neutral. An option to pick "just one" specific alignment is probably ok too, I just don't think it will be used much.

Quote:
2) On the sponsorship requirement for organized companies. Here again, I don't really understand what function this requirement is trying to get at.

It makes someone else accountable for your actions. Someone who can inflict penalties on you for misbehavior.

Being a Chartered Company sponsored by an NPC will become the equivalent of being a Nigerian email scammer - nobody will trust you. (This will not be true in the beginning because until Settlements are added to the game, all Chartered Companies will be NPC sponsored, but once Settlements come in, I expect them to re-sponsor most Chartered Companies very quickly).

If you screw someone, that someone may go to your sponsor to seek a redress of their grievance. Next thing you know, you get notified that your sponsorship has been revoked. Now you're on a short timer to find a new sponsor or have your Charter terminated - and thus you'll loose the reputation equity you may have established during the life of your Company. And who wants to sponsor a Company that got kicked out of its last Settlement for misbehavior?

Quote:
Is there no room for companies that do not owe thier allegiance to a particular nation, community? No mercenaries, freebooters, troubadors, merchant guilds, explorers societies etc? That strikes me as strange and arbitrary as well.

Sure, those folks can get sponsored by an NPC. If they establish a reputation for honesty and fair dealing, that may not prove to be a handicap. But I think that in the market for services most people will choose to spend their Coin with an entity that can be held responsible by a human, not a CPU.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, would you mind offering a few examples of the kinds of things that Player Nations will actually be voting on?
They'll vote on basically the same things. A certain building might be a Player Nation building, not controlled by any one Settlement. Or an Player Nation account might require a disbursement vote, etc.

Thanks again!

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
For the record, I would prefer a system where individual Alignments could be explicitly Required, Allowed, or Forbidden.
This will create the same problem of allowing Neutral alignment to be 1-step from all alignments. All the big Settlements will have all 9 alignments Allowed.

Ryan,

I don't really see the problem with this. It essentialy puts the power in the players hands to control the nature and effectiveness of thier own organizations.

It's also the case that there are advantages as well as disadvantages to an organization allowing a wider spread of alignments. Yes, an organization that allows all alignments has the opportunity to sign up more members but it also is going to create more opportunity for internal dissention and conflict....as members are likely to have very conflicting views of how they percieve the organization should behave. Seems like a decent trade off for me.

It also strikes me that by not allowing for this, you are simply encouraging people to meta-game. i.e. Someone really wants to play a character that has a specific world view (say LN) but they also want to join a specific settlement/company that mechanicaly doesn't allow for that Alignment....and because nothing about the settlements/companies "mission statement" would logicaly prohibit a LN character from joining (because not all mission statements would logicaly be that constrictive of alignment)....they simply create a character who's alignment field matches what the chosen settlement/companies requirements....and pretty much IGNORE what alignment is listed on thier character sheets and play thier character according to how they actualy envisioned them (LN) in the first place....and "game" the games automated systems in order to mechanicaly make thier alignment stay within the bounds of what is required.

Any automated system is inhereintly going to be VERY limited and imperfect in the way it judges how a characters actions actualy reflect thier worldview....and I assume smart players are going to figure out ways to game such a system to get the results that they want from it.

Now, I understand that game systems are neccessarly limited in the ways in which they can prevent meta-gaming....but it seems to me that the way you guys have setup this particular system actualy ENCOURAGES/INCENTIVIZES it.

I would think it would be better to remove hard-coded, arbitrary alignment requirements from the system and allow individual settlements/companies the power to choose alignment requirements that they believe make sense for them...GIVEN what role such settlement/company actualy INTENDS to play in the world....and then allow individual players the opportunity to choose to become members of organizations/settlements that match what role they actualy intend thier character to play in the game world. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel, did you see this?

Ryan Dancey wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
For example, under the proposed system you couldn't even recreate Paizo's own Pathfinder Society as a player organization, since it's requirement is simply "non-evil".
I like the idea of being able to set a Settlement's alignment to either "all of one" or "none of one" of the 4 alignment options. That still forces people to chose something other than true neutral. An option to pick "just one" specific alignment is probably ok too, I just don't think it will be used much.

It sounds like Ryan is open to the possibility of explicitly requiring or forbidding any one of the four cardinal alignments, and even requiring a specific alignment. I think those concessions should answer any objections any of us might have had.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:

2) On the sponsorship requirement for organized companies. Here again, I don't really understand what function this requirement is trying to get at.

Quote:

It makes someone else accountable for your actions. Someone who can inflict penalties on you for misbehavior.

Being a Chartered Company sponsored by an NPC will become the equivalent of being a Nigerian email scammer - nobody will trust you. (This will not be true in the beginning because until Settlements are added to the game, all Chartered Companies will be NPC sponsored, but once Settlements come in, I expect them to re-sponsor most Chartered Companies very quickly).

If you screw someone, that someone may go to your sponsor to seek a redress of their grievance. Next thing you know, you get notified that your sponsorship has been revoked. Now you're on a short timer to find a new sponsor or have your Charter terminated - and thus you'll loose the reputation equity you may have established during the life of your Company. And who wants to sponsor a Company that got kicked out of its last Settlement for misbehavior?

Quote:
Is there no room for companies that do not owe thier allegiance to a particular nation, community? No mercenaries, freebooters, troubadors, merchant guilds, explorers societies etc? That strikes me as strange and arbitrary as well.
Sure, those folks can get sponsored by an NPC. If they establish a reputation for honesty and fair dealing, that may not prove to be a handicap. But I think that in the...

Ryan,

Thanks for the response, I can now appreciate the thought behind the design. However, I'm somewhat dubious that it will have that significant of a practical effect. I'm not sure what the functional difference is between a companies reputation and a settlements reputation?

If I know that "Shifty McShiftersons Co." has a sullied reputation what difference does it make that it is sponsored by "Nigera" (which also has a sullied reputation)? Functionaly it seems equivalent to me, if I know the reputation of who I'm dealing with, I can have some confidence in how it will behave...if not, then not.

If a particular company is sponsored by the "Town of Nod" ....and I know nothing about Nod, that doesn't really help me in deciding whether the company is trustworthy.

It's also not a given that I'm going to have any greater ability to hold the "Town of Nod" more accountable for the actions of thier sponsored companies then I am "Shifty McShiftersons Co." itself. I may know the geographic location of Nods base of power, but that doesn't mean I have the firepower to hold Nod more accountable then I have the firepower to hold Shifty accountable. If anything, I would assume the reverse.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:


I don't really see the problem with this.

OK, we'll agree to disagree. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:


I don't really see the problem with this.

OK, we'll agree to disagree. :)

No problem. I hope, despite what my forum name might imply, my posts aren't coming across as overly contrary/negative? Just trying to point out elements that in my limited veiw would seem to be problematic, in hopes of contributing to a better game as an end result. I appreciate the opportunity you've afforded us to provide some feedback on the design even if sometimes it's critical. Frankly, the level of communication/interaction with the player community you guys have provided at this early stage is very refreshing. Not something on see's in most other Development Studios building MMO's.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
Chronx6 wrote:
Which seems counter productive to the way that the game seems to want to come together.

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sand box games, and catering to this misunderstanding has been the doom of many of them.

You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

We have chosen to use the Pathfinder world as our game world, and its internal logic is that people have alignments and those alignments are intrinsic aspects of the people who live in that world (rather than abstract philosophies like they are in our world).

Not only will your character have to have an alignment similar to your friends' characters in order to create a society with them, but if your character's actions cause your character's alignment to shift too much, you'll be kicked out of that community too!

Playing within these constraints is part of how we generate a world that "makes sense" and is fun to play in. It is also a way that we provide challenges to the players - figuring out how to do what they want while remaining within the rules is fun too.

RyanD

A friendly word of caution. Anything that forces adherence and risking ejection if you don't comply inherently creates division. A large portion of my concern here hinge on how easy it is to shift alignments. If I'm playing with some friends and I do something because I get a wild hair up my bum that shifts me out of the group due to alignment even though my friends may be accepting of my actions would be something I find completely unacceptable.

Also, forcing your concept of "fun" is inherently risky as well, especially when you're talking about sandbox-style play. Take a look at the Diablo 3 forums (a game I've played a lot recently so it's an example I can work with) and you'll see hundreds of people complaining because Blizzard has axed key portions of what Diablo has been classically known for (getting loot and gold through breaking objects, for example, as well as grinding particular spots over and over) stating "that's not fun" and the result is angry people decrying these actions since Blizzard is forcing a single way to play or else you encounter error messages that flat out stop you from playing or even going so far to risk banning from the game altogether.

This translates to Pathfinder easily as things like subterfuge and infiltration are core to very iconic moments in the game world where things like alignments are concerned. I'm having problems coming up with game sessions and scenarios where these weren't used. I appreciate the technical complexity it takes to implement these things but, to be blunt and honest, you decided to take on this IP. Please, do it justice.

Elements such as alignments are not present in Eve so I can understand why you don't want to do a nuanced system. Perhaps, you don't see the necessity or the point. Even the security rating allowed a lot of nuance into exactly what was allowed. However, alignments within Pathfinder are pretty regimented (LG cannot kill an innocent as this would be CE or LE if it violates the code of the creature in question, TN can not takes sides, ever, CG can not have a bend toward the law or else they're LG, etc). Forcing this regimentation upon others can be quite irritating. Pathfinder is a world full of nuance and gray which is simply ignored by GMs so long as someone stays generally within their stated alignment. Computers, however, MUST act if someone acts out of their little box. Taking nuance out of the MMO with respect to alignments will be a huge mistake.

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