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Goblinworks Blog: RESPECT: Find Out What It Means to Me!


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Woah there, bub. He doesn't speak for me and I'm very much part of the community here.

Nihimon wrote:
Quote:
On the other hand, where would we be without espionage, betrayal and sabotage? A way to obfuscate or mislead others about one's alignment is a necessity.
A very welcome acknowledgement. I hope there are strong incentives to encourage players to use their mains to accomplish that espionage, betrayal and sabotage, rather than rolling up throwaway alts.

I agree. But, given...

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, would you care to offer an opinion on whether you'd expect the game to have strong enough incentives to make it worthwhile for most sabotage/espionage to be done by mains who are actively hiding their alignment, or by alts?
I can't even begin to speculate on the mechanics but I can be pretty certain that most experts in this field will use disposable characters and alts. It would just be too risky to have a really experienced and deeply developed character get outed and rendered worthless because it was unmasked while under cover when other options will be far less painful.

I hope this gets discouraged as much as possible. Some really great disguise, stealth, etc mechanics that unlock only after some time of training would help with this.

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:


I hope this gets discouraged as much as possible. Some really great disguise, stealth, etc mechanics that unlock only after some time of training would help with this.

Short of infallible uncounterable perfect stealth/disguise. None of that will compare to the effectiveness of a 1 day old alt with a clean slate joining the organization and being told everything. Stealth is entirely useless for spying in an MMO overall, nobody in the right mind would speak confidential details in a public chat, even if they thought nobody was in earshot. If some reason charter/settlement chat were taken away from them, they'd move the conversation to vent/teamspeak.

Now disguise... well that depends how you are intending it to work for how good it will be. If say as a spy I could make myself look like Nihimon and hear what is going on in 7th veil chat... (as again, no sane person will speak confidential details in public chat) well that's pretty broken, and again will result in important details only being discussed in a CC's out of game communication, especially voice chat since even if I imitate Nihimon, and hear you anounce the TS login details to a newbie, as soon as my voice is heard in TeamSpeak someone will realize my voice is different.

Now if disguise lets you appear to be an unknown new person with no past reputation... Umm... what advantage would a player find with it over an alt? If it is undetectable, well then it is as broken and contains every issue that alts have, though it is still worse than in alt, in that the player can't log off it and get back on his main when he wants to do something, so alts would still be prevalent, and the solution is no better than an alt. If it is detectable... well now it is a huge disadvantage vs an alt, ties up his main durring the facade, and it adds a high risk of being caught and it being traced back to his character and consequently the organization he is working for. While the alt spy, even if they discover he is a spy, they do not inherently find out who the spy is working for. While a disguise being blown, pretty much implies they see the persons true identity, and can trace the source from there.

I'm not saying that if skills could do it it wouldn't be a better system. I'm asking, what rational system can you imagine that would make someone chose an in game mechanics spy over an alt spy?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, do you anticipate there to be a cap on the number of players in a Settlement?
Yes but that's very blue sky thinking. No hard number and not likely to be for a long time.

Thank you, Ryan.

A couple more questions, if you're inclined to answer:

1. Can you tell us in which direction the map is likely to expand?

2. Do you expect there to be significant benefits to a Player Nation if the Settlements are all relatively close to each other? Will it be reasonable to have far-flung Settlements?

Goblin Squad Member

Elorebaen wrote:


Diskord, the passive-aggressive thing is not helpful. Even if Nihimon didn't offer a reasoned and articulate voice for the community, which he/she does, it still wouldn't be necessary to take that approach with someone who happens to post a few times. But as you say, "not a big deal."

My post was not intended to be passive-aggressive, if you felt it was, i'm sorry if my approach offended you.

Also i'm quit aware what Nihimon does and i'm grateful for it, in the end all we want is the best sandbox MMO ever.
As he stated himself he was excited and stuff happens when you are excited!

it's all good

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, do you anticipate there to be a cap on the number of players in a Settlement?
Yes but that's very blue sky thinking. No hard number and not likely to be for a long time.

Thank you, Ryan.

A couple more questions, if you're inclined to answer:

1. Can you tell us in which direction the map is likely to expand?

2. Do you expect there to be significant benefits to a Player Nation if the Settlements are all relatively close to each other? Will it be reasonable to have far-flung Settlements?

Personally I kind of hope not to have much in the way of player nations scattered about the 4 winds, namely in that if a big evil organization evenly spreads it's forces across the map you could wind up in a situation where no-one is safe.

Of course even without mechanics to specifically prevent that, I suppose siege weaponry and travel time alone should put checks and balances on that. IE if each settlement could only produce X seige engines, if settlement Y is in attack range of Evil settlements A, but nowhere near evil settlement B or C, than Evil settlement essentially has 1/2 of it's resources available for that fight. Vs if evil settlement A, B and C were together, and could send all of it's forces out together at a nearby foe.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Ryan, do you anticipate there to be a cap on the number of players in a Settlement?

Yes but that's very blue sky thinking. No hard number and not likely to be for a long time.

One issue with unlimited Settlement membership is that it would eventually create a situation where a small number of extremely big Settlements dominated the world - any time anyone tried to build another, the Big Guys would be incented to squash it before it was built, or only allow it if the new Settlement agreed to some kind of feudal serfdom role.

What I'd rather see is a heterogeneous mixture of small and mid-size Settlements.

That could happen anyway, simply through out of game mechanisms. Even if there were strict limits on in game organization membership, it wouldn't really prevent something like EvE's Goonswarm from developing, would it? Thier real organizational structure would exist outside the context of the game...and they'd just figure out how to divide that structure into whatever organizational buckets the game mechanics provided them with...but the in game structure would almost be irrelevant to thier real operations.

I don't know how feasible it is mechanicaly...but one of the things you might want to consider to deal with such issues in game that might be more effective then caps on organizational membership would be the ability to project power over distance. If you can build a significantly spread out game map...and build in some mechanisms that make it difficult for organizations to project power at a significant distance from thier base of operations, then you can effectively put a damper on the Big Guy's crushing everybody scenerio. The Big Guy's could dominate thier local neighborhoods, but the Little Guys wouldn't need to worry about that much if they could find a part of the map to establish themselves in far away from the Big Guys neighborhood. If the Big Guys, tried to spread themselves out across wide areas of the map...they'd weaken thier own ability to concentrate power in any given area, making them vulnerable to other local Big Guys....and effectively making them NOT Big Guys anymore, just a loose conglomeration of Little Guys that could only project a portion of thier power in any given area.

It's the same issue that the European Powers faced historicaly during the Age of Sail. They might have a ton of power in Europe...but when you're dependant upon month's worth of travel time with fickle winds and uncertain waters to transport that power out to your colonies...you can only project a small portion of that power to some outpost half way accross the globe....and trying to maintain significant power over a wide area becomes incredibly problematic and leaves you vulnerable at home. The ones that were most successfull early on, were the ones who were able to work out some relationship with existing local powers in thier outposts. It's only when transport started to become more reliable that those relationships started to change for the most part.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nihimon wrote:
1. Can you tell us in which direction the map is likely to expand?

It will not grow into the surrounding nations, at least not on any timeframe we're thinking about.

The question becomes: Do we want a contiguous map, or do we want to have a patchwork map connected by some kind of gates? There are merits to both, and frankly I'm not going to worry about it much until I get 256 Crusader Road hexes figured out first. :)

Quote:
2. Do you expect there to be significant benefits to a Player Nation if the Settlements are all relatively close to each other? Will it be reasonable to have far-flung Settlements?

I want the mechanic to REQUIRE that the Settlements be contiguous. Otherwise we'll have people who control massive areas of territory by taking and holding a handful of Hexes.

I also intend there to be a mechanic which scales the costs of running a Player Nation such that the first couple of Settlements don't impose much in the way of costs, but after that the cost to add another Settlement gets rapidly more expensive to the point where there's effectively a hard cap due to the inability to fund more expansion.

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:
I hope this gets discouraged as much as possible. Some really great disguise, stealth, etc mechanics that unlock only after some time of training would help with this.

The realistic outcome is that hardcore spies and infiltrators will do exactly as much training necessary to achieve their objectives and no more.

That may require a fairly high-skilled character but it may not. The experts in this field will gauge the need based on circumstance and likely craft a character that is designed to slide through whatever checks and analysis the target does without raising suspicion. In fact, they'll create a whole bunch of characters very early on and keep them advancing in generic directions so they can be customized as needed and not show up as "day old characters".

These players are EXPERTS at this. They've been doing it for a decade in some cases. They have learned how people respond to the idea of a spy and they know how to react and how to play the game to their advantage.

Just fair warning: They're likely better at being spies than you are at being spy catchers.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GrumpyMel wrote:


That could happen anyway, simply through out of game mechanisms. Even if there were strict limits on in game organization membership, it wouldn't really prevent something like EvE's Goonswarm from developing, would it?

The Goon Empire was a factor of their ability to take and hold chokepoints. They also did a great analysis of the best economic area to take and hold. The very best area was held by Band of Brothers, but the Goons got the second best area.

The problem with Alliance space in EVE is that if you break the choke point, you almost certainly can smash the Alliance that holds it. So the Goons used their zerg rush against those points and their opponents were just unable to keep up the pace of operations needed to defeat them. Massive numbers beat better skilled players and internal lines of communication.

They found the limit to their expansion was the choke points that could be defended. There were Alliances that could go toe to toe with the Goons and fight them to a draw - and in a draw the defenders win. The need to defend against the zerg rush also caused a lot of consolidation and inter-alliance treaties as well - the big got a lot bigger and the small got squeezed out.

Once this period ended there wasn't much meaningful change in the territorial map for about a year. Until the stupid betrayal of Band of Brothers and the equally stupid meltdown of the Goons - neither of which was due to massive meaningful human interaction but rather crappy game mechanics - Alliance warfare in EVE had actually ceased to be very interesting.

Keeping Player Nations limited in size and ensuring that there is no "best" territory to control either in terms of resource or choke points should keep the map much more fluid and allow players to profitably engage in more territorial back & forth than EVE.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
I also intend there to be a mechanic which scales the costs of running a Player Nation such that the first couple of Settlements don't impose much in the way of costs, but after that the cost to add another Settlement gets rapidly more expensive to the point where there's effectively a hard cap due to the inability to fund more expansion.

Can you give us an idea of the scale you're talking about? Would a Player Nation consisting of a central hex plus the six surrounding hexes be in the ball park?

Goblin Squad Member

How many settlements would there need to be in the 256 hex map before it would be expanded? And what kind of a player population would that need?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Keeping Player Nations limited in size and ensuring that there is no "best" territory to control either in terms of resource or choke points should keep the map much more fluid and allow players to profitably engage in more territorial back & forth than EVE.

It sounds like really large organizations like the Goons will just establish multiple Player Nations.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
Buri wrote:


I hope this gets discouraged as much as possible. Some really great disguise, stealth, etc mechanics that unlock only after some time of training would help with this.

Short of infallible uncounterable perfect stealth/disguise. None of that will compare to the effectiveness of a 1 day old alt with a clean slate joining the organization and being told everything. Stealth is entirely useless for spying in an MMO overall, nobody in the right mind would speak confidential details in a public chat, even if they thought nobody was in earshot. If some reason charter/settlement chat were taken away from them, they'd move the conversation to vent/teamspeak.

Now disguise... well that depends how you are intending it to work for how good it will be. If say as a spy I could make myself look like Nihimon and hear what is going on in 7th veil chat... (as again, no sane person will speak confidential details in public chat) well that's pretty broken, and again will result in important details only being discussed in a CC's out of game communication, especially voice chat since even if I imitate Nihimon, and hear you anounce the TS login details to a newbie, as soon as my voice is heard in TeamSpeak someone will realize my voice is different.

Now if disguise lets you appear to be an unknown new person with no past reputation... Umm... what advantage would a player find with it over an alt? If it is undetectable, well then it is as broken and contains every issue that alts have, though it is still worse than in alt, in that the player can't log off it and get back on his main when he wants to do something, so alts would still be prevalent, and the solution is no better than an alt. If it is detectable... well now it is a huge disadvantage vs an alt, ties up his main durring the facade, and it adds a high risk of being caught and it being traced back to his character and consequently the organization he is working for. While the alt spy, even if they discover he is a spy, they do not inherently...

IMO, you can't really do much mechanicaly to make ALTS disadvantageous when compared to a MAIN in terms of pure information disclosure. What you CAN do, I think, is mechanicaly simulate some of the practical effects that result from information disclusure and require in game mechanics for that which encourage the use of MAINS.

For example, I mentioned this in another thread, spying/scouting an enemies defences is a form of information disclosure that typicaly results in a combat advantage. If you know what the enemy has, and how it's laid out, you can figure out how best to attack it. You can't neccesarly due much to make it disadvantageous to use an ALT to gather that information (whether out of game or in game). However you COULD incentivize a character conducting such activity IN GAME by not just revealing the information but also simulating the EFFECTS of what having the information would logicaly be. For instance, you could give a character who scouted/spied out those defences in game, a MECHANICAL COMBAT ADVANTAGE against those defences (i.e. a "buff".) If you make getting that combat advantage require significant skill use/action in game and BIND it to the actual character who performed the action...then players are going to need to use a character who is sufficiently trained to get it, and also one who can actualy take advantage of it during the attack. That incentivizes using a main, or at least a character which has a significant amount invested in developing them to get those levels of skill.

Goblin Squad Member

DiSkOrD wrote:

in the end all we want is the best sandbox MMO ever.

it's all good

Agreed, on both accounts.


Onishi wrote:
I'm asking, what rational system can you imagine that would make someone chose an in game mechanics spy over an alt spy?

I would ditch global chat channels, for one. Pathfinder has such a robust spell inventory that almost anything you'd want to do with fast travel or communications can be almost perfectly reflected in game using spell mechanics this ranges from simple message conversations, telepathy, divination, teleportation, fly, levitation, all their (mass) counterparts, etc. I think that Pathfinder itself is robust enough to not need things like chat channels in order to facilitate in-game interaction miles across.

Turning these things into in-game mechanics and reinforcing the encouragement of their use by showing them being the way to do things could greatly increase the feeling of depth to the game, make things like wondrous items... wondrous (ring of teleportation, anyone?) as well as moving one step closer to bringing a faithful representation of Pathfinder to a video game. Apart from mechanically reflecting the game, the spirit of the game heavily relies on slow information transfer and would thematically work as well.

Also, craft the mechanics of the game to discourage out of game cheating as much as possible. If you provide non-magical, non-in-game mechanic ways to do things like fast travel and share information en masse instantly (chat channels) then it no longer matters which character you're on because everyone is "too equal."

It's a bit of an honor system, sure. But, all games require gamers to provide a modicum of "I won't try to cheat." Concerning out of game programs, things like voice communications and message boards will be present, but introducing things like chat channels just feels like game developers have given up from trying to introduce that fantasy feeling. Also, make it almost mechanically impossible for an under developed alt able to do anything with information that may be have been shared on a message board. So what if person x is at location y if you don't have the muster to take them down then you can pass that information along all you want. The same can be said for quality gear, resources, movements, etc. You can know everything and still be perfectly inept if the game mechanics don't let you do anything about it unless you have the requisite in-game training and resources.

From a more pragmatic perspective, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't let some "noob alt" in on all my secrets anyway nor would I let have access to my vault-o-plats. I likely don't know that player and I definitely don't know that character. Why would I tell them anything?

However, if a character in game had the skill and prowess to work a spell that made me look, sound, etc (and in-game reflect perfectly including armor, stat, etc) as a glamer effect so that I actually looked like your trusted ally then that'd likely be very effective at either getting information out of you or gaining access to your resources. This, in turn, would prompt you to stay on top of your game so you could have effects to counter mine, vice versa, all the which would require a well developed characters to execute and would remove day 1 alts from the equation.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:


That could happen anyway, simply through out of game mechanisms. Even if there were strict limits on in game organization membership, it wouldn't really prevent something like EvE's Goonswarm from developing, would it?

The Goon Empire was a factor of their ability to take and hold chokepoints. They also did a great analysis of the best economic area to take and hold. The very best area was held by Band of Brothers, but the Goons got the second best area.

The problem with Alliance space in EVE is that if you break the choke point, you almost certainly can smash the Alliance that holds it. So the Goons used their zerg rush against those points and their opponents were just unable to keep up the pace of operations needed to defeat them. Massive numbers beat better skilled players and internal lines of communication.

They found the limit to their expansion was the choke points that could be defended. There were Alliances that could go toe to toe with the Goons and fight them to a draw - and in a draw the defenders win. The need to defend against the zerg rush also caused a lot of consolidation and inter-alliance treaties as well - the big got a lot bigger and the small got squeezed out.

Once this period ended there wasn't much meaningful change in the territorial map for about a year. Until the stupid betrayal of Band of Brothers and the equally stupid meltdown of the Goons - neither of which was due to massive meaningful human interaction but rather crappy game mechanics - Alliance warfare in EVE had actually ceased to be very interesting.

Keeping Player Nations limited in size and ensuring that there is no "best" territory to control either in terms of resource or choke points should keep the map much more fluid and allow players to profitably engage in more territorial back & forth than EVE.

Not all that familiar with the mechanics of EVE. Is there anything mechanicaly that reduces the ability to project power over distance?

Defended choke points are obviously one way to stop a power from spreading. However, in a space game at least, I would think you could use fuel, fuel range and limited story capacity to also place a limit on expansion.

If fuel is a non-trivial resource that requires significant infrastructure to produce and store and if a ships ability to carry it limits it's effective range to a significant degree then that can also have an effect on a Powers ability to spread out over a wide area.

Did EVE attempt to impliment any mechanics reflecting that?

If we look at modern history, fuel, fuel ranges, production, storage and refueling rights played a huge role in historical conflict, millitary strategy and the geopolitics that drove them.

For example one of the big advantages that the UK had during the Battle of Britain was that thier fighters were flying over thier own territory, close to thier bases, thus had plenty of fuel to burn in a dogfight. The Axis escort fighters, on the other hand had to watch thier fuel capacities closely as they only had so much fuel availble to burn in a dogfight before they had to break off in order to make it back to thier bases. The situation got reveresed later on in the Allied daylight bombing campaign over Germany. In fact, one of the things that made the P-51 Mustang such an important development for the Allies was not just it's excellent dog-fighting capabilities but also that it had a vastly improved fuel capacity over previous escort fighters, allowing it to escort the bombers all the way to thier targets and dogfight with enemy interceptors if neccesary.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Buri wrote:
Onishi wrote:
I'm asking, what rational system can you imagine that would make someone chose an in game mechanics spy over an alt spy?

I would ditch global chat channels, for one. Pathfinder has such a robust spell inventory that almost anything you'd want to do with fast travel or communications can be almost perfectly reflected in game using spell mechanics this ranges from simple message conversations, telepathy, divination, teleportation, fly, levitation, all their (mass) counterparts, etc. I think that Pathfinder itself is robust enough to not need things like chat channels in order to facilitate in-game interaction miles across.

Turning these things into in-game mechanics and reinforcing the encouragement of their use by showing them being the way to do things could greatly increase the feeling of depth to the game, make things like wondrous items... wondrous (ring of teleportation, anyone?) as well as moving one step closer to bringing a faithful representation of Pathfinder to a video game. Apart from mechanically reflecting the game, the spirit of the game heavily relies on slow information transfer and would thematically work as well.

Also, craft the mechanics of the game to discourage out of game cheating as much as possible. If you provide non-magical, non-in-game mechanic ways to do things like fast travel and share information en masse instantly (chat channels) then it no longer matters which character you're on because everyone is "too equal."

It's a bit of an honor system, sure. But, all games require gamers to provide a modicum of "I won't try to cheat." Concerning out of game programs, things like voice communications and message boards will be present, but introducing things like chat channels just feels like game developers have given up from trying to introduce that fantasy feeling. Also, make it almost mechanically impossible for an under developed alt able to do anything with information that may be have been shared on a message board. So what if...

Dropping accessible chat functionality from the game simply requires that either players make up for it out of game (which everyone who is involved enough to make an alt to do) or take the speed bump of getting trained in the magic which duplicates the functionality. You haven't made global chat impossible, you've made it mildly inconvenient for the hardcore gamers, and inaccessible to casual players.


Fuel is free in EVE except for super-capital ships and jump-ships but you can totally jump into a day 1 character, fly anywhere and be able to damage ships such that unless a ship as a passive repair mod on it and the owner doesn't do anything then you will likely destroy that ship.

I think that's awesome for space combat and it fits a lot of different ways outside of the space genre. Also, EVE has the concept of tracking speed so larger weapons can't shoot smaller, moving targets as easily as smaller weapons can that have a quicker tracking speed.

Goblin Squad Member

Note: GrumpyMel, if you quote an entire post before responding, everyone has to cut & paste your original text to respond to you. Just trim to the stuff you really want to quote - or don't quote at all, just respond....

GrumpyMel wrote:


Not all that familiar with the mechanics of EVE. Is there anything mechanicaly that reduces the ability to project power over distance?...

No.

EVE is built around the idea that you "jump" between star systems using gates. The gates are not under player control - they always work when you use them.

Star systems are grouped into clusters and the clusters are grouped into constellations. Often there is only one or two ways into a constellation. If you control those systems, you can attempt to destroy anyone who enters them. If you have a robust enough fleet, you will succeed.

Your efforts are aided by the ability to deploy bubbles that drop ships out of warp drive so you can try to stop anyone from getting away from the entrance gate even if they avoid the initial attack from your gate guards.

There are ships which can jump without gates and they do have a fuel consumption, but it isn't meaningful - you usually have more than enough logistics to get whatever fuel you need to your jump-capable ships when you need to use them.

There are also gates which you can build which are under player control, but it is extremely hard to establish a gate in a hostile system, so they are used inside controlled space to make "highways" for rapid transport of supplies and reinforcements rather than as a tactic for attacking hostile territory.

And there are ships that can jump not only themselves, but whole fleets of other ships with them. These tactics called "hot drops" are the most common way a fleet engagement develops - because the attacker can dictate to some degree the timing and location of the arrival of the inbound forces. (Flying a ship that can create the locator beacon for the end point of these jumps is something a very raw recruit can do - it's a suicide mission but you will get to see the awesome sight of your fleet jumping in near your wreckage. :) )

There are no meaningful consumables for ships in EVE except for ammo and to a lesser degree power management consumables. With the exception of jump-capable ships there's no fuel consumed in flying from point to point. You can fly across the whole 7,500 system galaxy of EVE without ever refueling a regular ship.

The ships are not the only choke point issues in EVE though. Until the release of the Dominion expansion in 2010, the way you took control of a star system was to have the only Starbase in that system. Starbases can only be constructed in specific locations. Typically a defender would have several Starbases in a system, and would be prepared to defend them in sequence. If all the Starbases were destroyed, the defender would "spam" all the locations available with new construction and try to get a new base on-line before the attacker.

Starbases can be fueled with a special resource. When a Starbase's shields are reduced to 0, a special invulnerable shield automatically goes up, called "reinforced mode". This shield's lifetime is based on how much of the special resource the Starbase has on hand, up to 24 hours. In this way the defenders can precisely time when the invulnerable shield will go down, and thus when the Starbase will be vulnerable to attack. They can prepare to have their best defensive forces standing by when this happens while they repair the Starbase and restore its normal shields (after the shields are restored to 100% the whole cycle begins again).

Thus there were usually three phases to an attack:

1: You have to break the defense at the inbound gate to allow easy access to the target system. You usually do this by a multi-pronged attack involving ships coming through the gate as well as hot drops.

2: You have to destroy all the other Starbases in the system.

For each Starbase there is a 3 step process:

A: Get sufficient combat power focused on the Starbase to overwhelm its defenses and defenders and drop its shields to 0%

B: Continue to maintain space superiority near the Starbase for up to 24 hours so that when the Starbase comes out of Reinforced Mode you'll be ready to immediately resume combat operations.

C: Destroy the Starbase

3: Put up your own Starbase. This requires a 3-step process

A: Move the Starbase buildable item into the proper location and initiate its construction. You must protect it from hostile attack while it builds itself - a process that takes about a half an hour.

B: Add defensive weapons and other systems to the Starbase, each of which require time to deploy, about 10-15 minutes each.

C: Move the special consumable resource into the Starbase so that if it loses its shields it will go into "Reinforced Mode".

You have to have control of all of the Starbases in a system for 24 hours before you will gain control of the system, so while you're doing all this, the defenders are "spamming" as many Starbases as they can into other locations trying to deny you control.

After the Dominion expansion was released the mechanic shifted to a slightly more complicated system, but it still involves seige warfare and control of systems for 24 hour periods.

"Starbase Warfare" is considered by many players to be the most boring part of the whole game due to the extremely long time periods involved and the very large advantages enjoyed by the defenders.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan,

Thanks for the explanation. It's very informative. So I'm guessing that CCP designed in the 0% invulnerable starbase shields thing as an answer to the "We all agree to login at 3:00 AM when 99% of the enemy is sleeping and take out thier systems while nobody else is around." problem.

Definately sounds like a difficult design problem to tackle without somehow pausing or breaking the action of an attack for an extended period of time.

Goblin Squad Member

Quote:
Alignment in the Pathfinder world is also a descriptor. Things don't just act in good or evil ways; they are good or evil. And when a person uses something which is strongly aligned, that person is engaging in an act which is definitively aligned as well. The whole "ends justify the means" thing doesn't apply in Pathfinder.

@Ryan- This statement is probably the most confusing to me. I see this playing out in a few different ways and was hoping you could enlighten me as to which, if any, are correct?

1) Player A kills (NE) Player B. Killing is evil and thus results in a push towards evil. This being the scenario with the action's alignment being a constant.

2) Player A (NG) kills Player B (NE). Player A receives push towards Good since Good vs Evil is a Good action. The scenario displays the actions outcome as a combined variable of the two targets.

3) Player A (TN) assassinates (CE)Player B (NE). This results in Player A receiving (CE) marks because he took a significant action holding alignment adjusting traits against Player B, whose alignment plays no part of the equation.

4) Player A (NG) assassinates(LN)Player B. This results in a (LN) shift for Player A (NG) because the settlement has a law that allows the open murder of (LE,NE,CE) Players.

Are any of those remotely close to something that we would see?

If not, could you give us a hypothetical situation in a similar format so we can see what variables GW is looking at in regards to the modifying of alignment?

Goblin Squad Member

@Obakararuir - It might also depend on whether Player A and B belong to settlements (or companies) that at war or not, or if either is defending in her settlement hex, or if they are in wilderness/no-man's-land. Also, in the past GW hinted that assassination, murder, and killing are three different things: assassination being an evil act; murder being a criminal act; and killing being something that happens a lot.

Goblin Squad Member

I would say killing...except when at war or self defence (at war, both sides can claim self-defence), is always an evil act. I think PC races and monstrous (non-PC) races will always be in a state of war...making it so PCs killing most NPCs will not be an alignment flag. Assassinations is just killing, but will have an extended or additional effect on the target than just resulting in a characters death.

Goblin Squad Member

@Obakararuir:

You're not making the critical conceptual jump here--you're still trying to use "alignment" as a linguistic abstraction that points to/shorthands very complex cultural knowledge, i.e. So-and-so does such-and-such to blankity-blankity. That's wrong. Alignment here is descriptive of intrinsic properties.

Drop the So-and-so and blankity-blankity parts, and keep the such-and-such parts.

Assassination is evil. Asmodeus is evil. Create undead is evil.*

Anytime you try and come up with a scenario, stop yourself, and instead identify the intrinsic quality of a god/spell/item/game mechanic.

* I don't know exactly what is or isn't evil/good/chaotic/lawful in the this game, my point is that entities/mechanisms/objects etc have intrinsic properties, not contextual meaning.

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
I would say killing...except when at war (at war, both sides can claim self-defence), is always an evil act.

Doubt that very much, given what they've described so far in the blog--PvP clearly intended to be integral to the game. So far the blog has described mechanical constraints to killing--if you kill someone in the interior, civilized zone the game will kill you, if you do it at the periphery you will likely get killed, if you do it int he wilderness, you won't.

But there's nothing to indicate killing has an alignment aspect, and if it did, it wouldn't make sense, given the alignment model Ryan has presented (intrinsic vs. contextual).

Goblin Squad Member

Sure, I am not sure why you think PvP being integral to the game makes it any less consequential. You are right the blog does mention real repercussions for killing in "civilized areas", but no constraints...I assume that is what you are referring to because that is what you illustrated.

As for the alignment bit, I was merely restating:

Ryan Dancey (GOBLINWORKS BLOG: SIGNED... IN BLOOD) wrote:

Murder isn't defined as "killing someone when in a Settlement". It's killing someone without a right to do so(*). Murder is considered an evil act even when it's not an unlawful act.

...

(*) Like "in self defense" or "as an act of war"

That to me says killing someone without the right to do so is murder, and murder is evil. You will just need to insure you have set up the proper conditions to kill someone (such as declaring war) if you want to without acting "evilly".

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
I would say killing...except when at war or self defence (at war, both sides can claim self-defence), is always an evil act. I think PC races and monstrous (non-PC) races will always be in a state of war...making it so PCs killing most NPCs will not be an alignment flag. Assassinations is just killing, but will have an extended or additional effect on the target than just resulting in a characters death.

I would say there are still situations where it isn't black and white. A group of harvesters sets up camp, they are running the harvest and have calculated the most efficient maximum size operation they can be running without drawing monsters above their capacity. A party of strangers approaches and begins setting up on that site, while adding nothing to the defenses, group one requests them to leave and they refuse.

Should it be considered evil to make them leave? Or should LG companies just wind up as doormats, and people play with paladins the way tourists play with the Queens Guard in Britain (the soldiers with the fuzzy hats that just stand there while tourists mess with them).

It is fine and good for a LG characters to kill as a last resort... but when their enemies know they "Can't kill" without dire consequences to themselves... things get bad

Goblin Squad Member

A lawful company would be all about declarations and documentation...I do not see why they cannot declare war.

But I am sure Ryan has considered grey situations like that. It will probably be something like: when you set up an operation you are essentially "claiming" the local region, even if only temporarily. Trespassers then become a threat and can be asked to leave or face being attacked in the name of self-defence. If you are setting up in someone else's already claimed territory, then your claim contradicts with their claim...sounds like a de facto war to me.

And I do not agree with:

Onishi wrote:
It is fine and good for a LG characters to kill as a last resort... but when their enemies know they "Can't kill" without dire consequences to themselves... things get bad.

That to me is when things get interesting. This is a moral conundrum that people in RL face, why would it not happen in game? In fact, the very existence of this real implications for ones decisions makes me very excited (imagine, an MMO where there is real reason not to act like an ass!..but, does not mechanically prevent it either).

Paladins for example get past this by pre-emptively declaring war on whole alignments...and non-evil people probably are not going to antagonize you such because they are also worried about their alignment hits.

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:

A lawful company would be all about declarations and documentation...I do not see why they cannot declare war.

Now in terms of being able to declare war at will with anyone, I believe a few games have fallen into that trap. IE huge powerful alliences that just blanket declare war against everyone they see. Thus creating the "good" order of sociopathic killers that murder everyone in sight.

Quote:


But I am sure Ryan has considered grey situations like that. It will probably be something like: when you set up an operation you are essentially "claiming" the local region, even if only temporarily. Trespassers then become a threat and can be asked to leave or face being attacked in the name of self-defence. If you are setting up in someone else's already claimed territory, then your claim contradicts with their claim...sounds like a de facto war to me.

Now this is more in line with a workable system. It still gets a bit sketchy though "Hey jim look a group of hero's delivering a huge wagonload of goods, start chopping that tree for me so we can call them "trespassers". I suppose there are ways to work around that however, Namely by making it take a certain amount of time to "claim" an area, and granting sufficient time and warning to others in the area.

Quote:

And I do not agree with:

Onishi wrote:
It is fine and good for a LG characters to kill as a last resort... but when their enemies know they "Can't kill" without dire consequences to themselves... things get bad.
That to me is when things get interesting. This is a moral conundrum that people in RL face, why would it not happen in game? In fact, the very existence of this real implications for ones decisions makes me very excited.

Well that is why in real life brutality laws more or less always fit with what was available to subdue and entirely fit with what is required to be able to 100% force someone out of an area, or take them into custody. When the best technology we had, was beating people with clubs until unconscious, that was permitted and assumed. Now it is tazers etc...

Now what alignment would you call someone who seeks out bandit hideouts and destroys them? I mean it is the bandits claim, if the bandits aren't the one to initiate the battle until after the LG paladins start destroying their home are the palis evil? should they only be able to attack if they had personally witnessed or been the victim of banditry? Or should they have a blanket declare war capacity that they can use on anyone whenever they want?

It gets far more complex and a "right to do so", becomes much harder to define, especially when your opponent knows the exact line you can't cross.


Killing is not evil. Murder is evil.

While I don't really like the black and white nature of alignment, I can appreciate it would be impossible or impractical to program the abstractions, or to have GMs constantly adjudicating alignment issues.

I also want to say I really like that you guys are putting in a personal reputation system. This is something I've been wanting in WoW for a long time.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
Now what alignment would you call someone who seeks out bandit hideouts and destroys them?

Depends upon the rationale, not all bandits are evil (Robin Hood). And war between Lawful/Chaos is just as justified as Good/Evil.

Onishi wrote:
I mean it is the bandits claim, if the bandits aren't the one to initiate the battle until after the LG paladins start destroying their home are the palis evil?

I would actually argue that bandit camps are by definition an illegitimate claim...as such, the rightful owners are justified in forcefully removing them.

Onishi wrote:
should they only be able to attack if they had personally witnessed or been the victim of banditry? Or should they have a blanket declare war capacity that they can use on anyone whenever they want?

As I described above, bandit camp should never be legitimate...or they are not really a bandit camps...rather a fort or settlement...or just a "hideout". And yes, if someone attacks you on the road...or even threatens to attack you, you should legitimately be allowed to meet that by force.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The hard part is differentiating killing and murder in all cases. If the rules are not known, there is some doubt. If the rules are known but not perfect, they will be abused. If the rules are perfect, then the game is too simple.

That's a no-win situation that I cannot solve even using excessive labor to manually categorize each instance of killing.


Hudax wrote:
Killing is not evil. Murder is evil.

Pathfinder disagrees with you.

Additional Rules, CRB wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

It's all the same.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon -

Yeah, that's the sense I'm getting. That a hex and the surrounding hexes will be easier to maintain than a far flung collection of city states. It will probably also be easier to defend too.
Ryan continues to mention choke points in EVE Online, so that may be influencing his thinking (or I could be reading into it faaar too much ;) ) but i think we're looking at traditional expansion of territory. The idea that after a certain size it'll be harder and harder to increase your territory seems to "fix" an older idea that Ryan said.. somewhere.. where he pointed out that EVE could have humongous alliances because after a set size it was easier to replenish losses. (If I recall correctly. Apologies if I'm mis-remembering).

Now as to a "goon" organization - if you can get enough people who are disciplined and organized enough then they can break this system (just as any extreme set of circumstances can break any system.) Certainly, enough goons can start up enough settlements apart from one another and stay under the radar until they are ready to strike and cause havoc. I don't know the number of people you'd need to do that kind of zerg rush (I think of it more as a Mongol invasion, but then I'm old school lol). I also think it would ultimately fail, but it would certainly destabilize the game world. As to whether that's good or bad, i don't think it's either. It's part of the game world, and after it happens part of the game's history.

And Ryan, this is a very exciting project. I was dead set against contributing to any kickstarter project. Kudos to proving to be the exception to that rule

John, aka. Wszebor

Goblin Squad Member

@Forcenith: I missed that--so clearly there's murder vs. killing, and murder is an evil act.

Ryan, can you help us understand what "murder" means in the River Kingdoms?

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:

@Forcenith: I missed that--so clearly there's murder vs. killing, and murder is an evil act.

Ryan, can you help us understand what "murder" means in the River Kingdoms?

Seconded but not holding my breath on it, IMO all aspects related to alignment, law/chaos, good evil etc... are going to need their own HUGE blog post to even begin to explain, which is almost certainly going to need it's own very long detailed blog post, which is almost certainly going to be done after a huge week or so of team discussions, which will likely be imposible prior to the tech demo's completion.

Though I suppose we can hope for a very quick brief statement on certain things, unfortunately it will likely wind up as one snippit, of which will be interpreted 15 different ways and leave us more confused than when we were just guessing.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:


Anytime you try and come up with a scenario, stop yourself, and instead identify the intrinsic quality of a god/spell/item/game mechanic.

* I don't know exactly what is or isn't evil/good/chaotic/lawful in the this game, my point is that entities/mechanisms/objects etc have intrinsic properties, not contextual meaning.

That is what I am referring to, what exactly have those properties and how do they interact with each other and interface into the game mechanics... in case you didn't notice. That's the reason I quoted the "ends don't justify means" portion.

IE... if murder is allowed by law but assassination, in particular, isn't and I assassinate, it would be considered chaotic. I get this. Now does assassination carry with it the "inherently evil" trait?

Buri wrote:
Additional Rules, CRB wrote: Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

CRB? What book is the base reference quoted from?

Forencith wrote:
Ryan Dancey (GOBLINWORKS BLOG: SIGNED... IN BLOOD) wrote: Murder isn't defined as "killing someone when in a Settlement". It's killing someone without a right to do so(*). Murder is considered an evil act even when it's not an unlawful act...(*) Like "in self defense" or "as an act of war".

So could their be a (CG) rogue who assassinates through contracts within the bounds of the settlement laws, accepting only evil aligned targets and not take hits towards Neutral or Evil? Would he get hits towards lawful since he is technically abiding by the law?

If a settlement is chaotic, would adhering to their rules be hits towards lawful or chaotic?

I'm not trying to pigeon hole answers, I just want to fish for what ideas and thought processes the development has in mind and stimulate conversation.

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:


So could their be a (CG) rogue who assassinates through contracts within the bounds of the settlement laws, accepting only evil aligned targets and not take hits towards Neutral or Evil? Would he get hits towards lawful since he is technically abiding by the law?

If a settlement is chaotic, would adhering to their rules be hits towards lawful or chaotic?

I'm not trying to pigeon hole answers, I just want to fish for what ideas and thought processes the development has in mind and stimulate conversation.

At least per descriptions from GW, assassination is inherently evil. Assasination contracts aren't just killing someone, it is applying some extra worse than death penalty to them that haunts them long after the initial assassination. Assassination isn't just killing to get them out of the area, or killing to stop them from doing something, it is going above and beyond to punish and inflict vengeance on top of that.

Goblin Squad Member

First, killing a PC in Pathfinder Online isn't like killing your real life neighbor. The PC resssurects automatically. Death isn't the catastrophe it is in real life, so the alignment impact for killing a PC isn't going to be that big regardless of the circumstances. Otherwise we'd have a game full of evil PCs and evil would cease to be meaningful.

As I stated elsewhere, an ASSASSINATION is a different kettle of fish, because we want it to have a more impactful effect than a mere death, and we expect the act of assassination to involve a definitively evil component. The consequences will be more severe. But even getting the abilities to do assassination will drive a PC to evil in the first place.

Murder is the act of killing someone without justification. Justification doesn't include "he's being mean to me" or "she's a disciple of a god I hate". Justifiable reasons include a declared war, a bounty, killing a criminal, etc. Murder is evil, killing is not.

I think there should be a mechanism to indicate that you are hostile towards another PC, and if that PC doesn't leave the immediate area in a reasonably short period of time you will be able to strike at them without penalty (and vice versa). You don't want to let bandits walk right up to you before you try to drive them off. This effect probably has to be tied to another action like caravaning or harvesting so people don't just use it as a free gank enabler. And it probably should only apply in Wilderness hexes.

The UI should make it easy to know if you are murdering someone before you do it so there's no confusion about your action.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan: So no hope for those who wish to be "good" assassins? Well, I guess I can dream. Will there be a similar good aligned "rogue-esque" feature?

Goblin Squad Member

I haven't had time to go over all the posts on alignment yet but I do want to say one thing.

These character pictures.

They're great. I love them. Stylized realism based off the art style of Wayne Reynolds (Exactly what I wanted) and it looks even better than it did when I tried to picture it in my head.

I'm guessing well need a high end computer to run them at that quality but still. Those pictures are really making me look forward to playing this game. I can't wait to see what you do with the scenery.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
I think there should be a mechanism to indicate that you are hostile towards another PC, and if that PC doesn't leave the immediate area in a reasonably short period of time you will be able to strike at them without penalty (and vice versa).

YES! Thank you! However, I would think it should also be usable in settled hexes if you're a member of the owner of the hex. But I may be misunderstanding some fundamental aspect of settled hexes that makes it unnecessary.

Mbando made an excellent observation that "entities/mechanisms/objects etc have intrinsic properties, not contextual meaning". This mechanic that Ryan is describing completely removes any concerns I had about the game punishing me for protecting my territory.

Goblin Squad Member

We haven't done any design work on what happens to a Hex when it becomes settled. The NPC marshal system is not something I want to see replicated into the player-controlled territory. It's a band-aid so that we don't have to hire a bunch of people to run around and be law enforcement. In player controlled territory, YOU are supposed to run around and be law enforcement.

We'll need to think about how to let players know when they've entered a Hex that is settled, and what the Settlement considers acceptable and unacceptable behavior in that Hex.

It probably starts with something simple such as an indicator that the Settlement has chosen either NBSI or NRDS. Over time I could see this becoming a very complex system, which could be good or bad - there is a rabbit hole of metagaming here that I want to carefully avoid.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


I'm guessing well need a high end computer to run them at that quality but still. Those pictures are really making me look forward to playing this game. I can't wait to see what you do with the scenery.

From my limited expertise, these images are far to high rez for actual gameplay. The type of renders shown could possibly be used in a cinematic or somesuch, but would likely be downscaled in order to make for a playable model. The bright side is once the hard work of a model like the ones shown, the downscaled versions can still maintain the illusion of high detail pretty effectively.

Goblin Squad Member

Regarding assassin work, and slowly becomming evil due ot the training of those skills...
If this is the case, and these two things are unavoidable...
Are there going to be avenues into server-controlled cities so you do not get auto-ganked by NPCs/Marshalls upon entry becasue of alignment?
Or do you actually have to murder someone do draw the wrath of the constabulary (disregard!) down on you?

Goblin Squad Member

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Kryzbyn I have ideas on how an Assassin could infiltrate to reach a target. They're so rough that they aren't ready to discuss and they'll probably be changed so much by the time they are that they won't even resemble the original idea. But there needs to be a way for an evil character to assassinate a good target in a good location.

Goblin Squad Member

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It warms my heart to know you've already thought about it, actually.

It doesn't need to be easy, but it does need to be possible. Even having to go an 'assassin's creed' route and rooftop climb/jump to get there is ok, as long as it's possible.

Thanks!


Obakararuir wrote:
CRB? What book is the base reference quoted from?

Core Rulebook

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan I can see where Alignment would be character based, but will the Reputation system be account wide or character specific?

If Character specific I would like to see that if any interaction / contact is conducted between the two characters, then reputation should be affected accordingly. Affected in such a way as it would be as described in the blog as far as being affiliated with a person of low Reputation.

While it is cool that some folks may want to play characters on opposite ends of the spectrum, it is very likely that thy will abuse, intentionally or not, meta-game knowledge.

Goblin Squad Member

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V'rel Vusoryn wrote:
If Character specific I would like to see that if any interaction / contact is conducted between the two characters, then reputation should be affected accordingly. Affected in such a way as it would be as described in the blog as far as being affiliated with a person of low Reputation.

I'll add on to this. A player running two characters should play them separately; as my DM used to say, what's your first character's motivation for giving that +1 sword to your second character? Are you going to give Tim's character a +1 sword, too?

That's not really manageable in an MMO, but I'd like at a minimum that when characters interact with trade they have some alignment/reputation rub off. If my Paladin character gives a lot of gear to my Assassin character maybe his alignment and reputation should suffer.

To do anything of this nature, I think the game can't allow dropping items into piles anywhere. All items are in inventory, on corpses, or in building storage. Gear could be transferred through company or settlement storage, of course, but alignments of the characters would meet the group norm, and the group could boot a character with a really poor global reputation.

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