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Goblin Squad Member. 174 posts (239 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Goblin Squad Member

Balance is more important, Thod.

My original subject was expressing the impression/opinion that progressing in refinement skills (in general) may be too difficult, that is correct.

You brought up the fact that it is apparently easier to gain achievement points as a Sawyer, and so I have now been addressing that - as I see it as a different, worse sort of problem. (I appreciate that you were attempting to help solve the 'difficulty' problem.)

I am fully in support of things being difficult. My main impression that led to the creation of this thread was that Crafting was significantly harder to advance in as a role in comparison to Combat, essentially a balance issue.

Without balance, your meaningful choices become less meaningful as you simply -must- play a certain way to be effective.

For the record I loved (and still love) Civilization - but I could always see the symmetry in the system. It was just as valid to be warlike as it was to be peaceful, depending on your available resources - one was not inherently more difficult than the other to advance.

Goblin Squad Member

I agree. That's my point. There is no reason things must be fair, but there is every reason to make them cookie-cutter. It makes the system predictable and transparent - which it should be, because in case you haven't noticed, the vast majority of the complaints people have in the game are that they have no idea how to do things.

I am all for variety, but predictability counts for a great deal when you are learning to play a game, and the easiest way to prevent growth of a game is to make the learning curve wildly steep. Every exception to a rule makes it a steeper hill to climb.

If it were significantly harder to find Essences than Iron Ore, I would be fine with that. Decrease drop rates all you want - Golarion doesn't have a population of 1/4 casters anyway. But when it comes down to the mechanical system, a level 1 Smelter should gain access to the same sorts of recipes as a level 1 Sawyer. Steel Blanks and Steel Ingots are both Common,+0 recipes. There is no reason that any refining skill should gain access to an Uncommon +0 recipe immediately, any more than they should automatically be given a Common +1 recipe immediately. Recipes are drops for a reason, and having one tree of skills inherently require more recipes - and thus play time - in order to advance is both unfair and counter-intuitive.

I am a fan of Goblinworks, and I do not believe the developers are just getting this all wrong - frankly it seems to me this is most likely an oversight, and both of the Sawyer recipes learned at rank 1 are intended to be Common.

If I am wrong, and this is intended to achieve balance somehow - fine. But it is a touch irritating to have people automatically leaping to defend the situation when - if you look at the released spreadsheets - symmetry and consistency are present throughout the game, and there is no reason to assume that their intent was otherwise in this case.

Goblin Squad Member

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I am not attempting to make the case that crafting should be easy - I love the depth added by the crafting system. However, if one refining skill grants you one uncommon recipe and one common recipe, all should - otherwise it has an unseemly advantage in the ease of advancement. This is in the interest of balance - I'm not suggesting that things must be 'fair' but the system becomes obtuse and unpredictable without consistent progression throughout.

Goblin Squad Member

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If sawyer grants you 1 common and 1 uncommon recipe at the first rank, I would argue that each of the refining skills should do so. Certainly that would make things easier.

Goblin Squad Member

Oh I agree that this may function fairly well after the economy functions well, I'm just worried about the insane scrambling to get the armors or weapons you want in the first few months of early enrollment.

Goblin Squad Member

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So while looking into crafting, it seems to me that it is rather difficult to reach the second rank of the refining skills. The bottleneck in this case is because of the Crafting achievements required and their relative difficulty to acquire in comparison to Adventuring or Combat achievement points.

Crafting a Common, +0 item will get you 1 Crafting point - but only one . In order to gain more Crafting points, you must craft either a Common +1 item, or an Uncommon +0 recipe. (More difficult recipes would grant you more achievement points, but it is unlikely you can learn them at rank 1 of your skill.) This means you must either conveniently find the correct recipe as a drop, or have a friend find it and get it to you.

You must have 3 Crafting points in order to move up to the second rank of that Refining Skill. So you must obtain at least 2 recipes within your discipline before you may advance to the second rank. (For reference, you cannot Smelt Steel Plates as a level 1 Smelter, and that is the material required for the most basic armors.)

Another way to handle this problem is to branch out into 2 other Refinement trees - craft 1 Common +0 item with each, and you will then be able to access rank 2 in each of the skills. This is a very XP-expensive way to handle the issue, but it seems like it may be what those without huge support structures will end up needing to do.

Perhaps I am overreacting, but these strike me as rather large hurdles to get over when you are at a level that you cannot even craft simple armor. (I have not yet examined the other crafting areas for similar problems, as the demand for armor is the most particularly high, but I suspect the issue of reaching 'basic' equipment is not limited to the skill.)

So you need either a huge support system to advance with any kind of efficiency, or you need to stretch yourself incredibly thin with XP and generalize in your crafting choices.

I'm not sure if this is the game working as intended or not - it does SEEM like meaningful choice, but to some degree it strikes me as arbitrarily difficult.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm actually encouraged by the silence, to me it means that they are likely all scrambling to get things done, not looking at the time or checking on the forums to check in on us. We'll survive, and we will all be the happier when the first thing they pop up to say is "Done!"

Goblin Squad Member

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I would be surprised if they weren't in and working on it right now, but it's not incredibly important. It will be ready when it's ready, and then we'll have our chance to break it. Until then, let the forums buzz with activity as we pace back and forth between threads.

Goblin Squad Member

But then it won't be early morning at all! The lies! They deceive us so!

Maybe they'll put it up earlier just to prove Bluddwolf wrong.

Goblin Squad Member

Looks like I'll have to force myself to work on one project or another tomorrow morning. (After checking to make sure the client didn't come up at 3 am, of course.)

Goblin Squad Member

I need to get away from the computer. My soul is dying a little every time I click it.

Goblin Squad Member

Maybe like 10 refreshes today... most in the past hour. I should probably develop more patience.

Goblin Squad Member

I have two invitations to send out - PM me with an email address and I will send it there.

- Both sent out.

Goblin Squad Member

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Okay, so for the idea of using as few skills as possible in pursuit of maxing out a single feat, this is what I got: (I apologize for the length, let me hide it in a spoiler tag.)


Leveling Dowser
Dowser Level 1 Req 10 Personality
Boosts to 10.092 Personality
Level 2 req 10, adventure 6
boosts to 10.194
level 3 req 10, crafting 9
boosts to 10.301

! level 4 req 11 personality - diverge for personality boosts

Sage is logical - 3 levels of sage will raise Personality to 10.602. 0.398 Personality still needed.

Cantrips are divided between int and personality and are therefore ineffective for increasing personality directly.
Seneschal and Officer increase Personality at the highest rate, but Bluff, Handle Animal, Perform and Persuasion are lower in xp cost.
One level in each of the four Social skills increases Personality by .332 for 10.934
A second level in either bluff, HA, perform, or persuasion adds .093 and gets Personality to 11.027

Level 4 Dowser increases personality by .112
personality at 11.139

level 5 dowser req 11, adventure 18
increases personality by .115 for 11.154 Personality

! level 6 dowser req 12 personality

Diverge for personality increase

Bringing Sage up to level 5 increases personality by .227 for 11.366 Personality

Bringing the remaining social skills to level 2 adds .093 * 3, for .279

11.645 Personality

Increase four social skills to level 3 for .099 each, adding .396

12.041 Personality

Dowser level 6
12.159 Personality

!Dowser level 7 req 13

Sage level 6 adds .118 for 12.277 Personality

Increase 4 social skills to level 4 gaining .105 each, .420 total

12.697 Personality

Increase 3 Social skills to level 5, gaining .109 each, .327 Total

13.024 Personality

Dowser level 7

13.145 Personality

! Dowser Level 8 req 14 Personality - Diverge

Increase sage to 7, gain .121

13.266 personality

increase remaining social to level 5, gaining .109

13.375 personality

increase 4 social skills to level 6, gaining .113 each, .452 total

13.827 personality

increase 2 social skills to level 7, gaining .116 each, .232 total

14.059 personality

dowser level 8 adds .123

14.182 personality

dowser level 9 req 14
adds .125

14.307 Personality

!dowser 10 req 15 - diverge

sage levels 8 and 9 add .248 together

14.555 personality

lower 2 social skills up to level 7 grants .232

14.787 Personality

increase 2 social skills to level 8 for .119 each, .238 together

15.025 Personality

Dowser 10 adds .127

15.152 Personality

Dowser 11 req 15
adds .128

15.28 Personality

!dowser 12 req 16 - diverge

Bringing Sage up to level 11 adds .235

15.315 Personality

bring lower 2 social skills up to level 8 for .238

15.553 Personality

bring 4 social skills up to level 9 for .121 each, .484 total

16.037 Personality

Dowser 12 adds .128

16.165 Personality

Dowser 13 req 16
adds .131

16.296 Personality

!Dowser 14 req 17 - diverge

sage up to level 13 adds .259

16.555 Personality

4 social skills up to level 10 for .124 each, .496 total

17.051 Personality

Dowser 14 adds .133

17.184 Personality

Dowser 15 req 17
adds .134

17.318 Personality

!Dowser 16 req 18 - diverge

bring sage up to level 15 adds .267

17.585 Personality

bringing 4 social skills up to level 11 adds .126 each, .504 total

18.089 Personality

dowser 16 adds .135

18.224 personality

dowser 17 req 18,
adds .136

18.36 Personality

! dowser 18 req 19 - diverge

raise sage to level 17, gain .271

18.331 Personality

raise 4 social skills to level 12 adds .128 each, .512 total

18.843 Personality

raise 2 social skills to level 13, adding .13 each, .26 total

19.103 Personality

Dowser 18 adds .137

19.24 Personality

Dowser 19 req 19
adds .138

19.378 Personality

!Dowser 20 req 20 - diverge

raise sage to 19 to gain .275

19.653 Personality

raise lower 2 social skills to level 13, adding .26

19.913 Personality

raise 1 social skill to level 14 for .132

20.045 Personality

Raise Dowser to 20, you win!

Total XP Cost: 1,136,743 (11,367.5 hours, meaning about 473 days.) So, if you take this route exactly, it'll take more than a year to get this done.

Dowser: 437972
Sage: 358530
Bluff: 108066
Handle Animal: 77385
Perform: 77385
Persuasion: 77385

XP spent on 'extra' feats: 698,771

Basically if you chose to only increase 6 skills, you'd spend about 61.5% of your XP on your five attribute boosting skills. Obviously there are more efficient ways to do this, XP-cost wise.

Oh and if any of the math is off, I apologize - I did pretty much all of it in my head as I went.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm really fine with the idea of character needing to cover a certain breadth by necessity - if it were possible to simply only advance a single feat I imagine there would be endless ways to exploit that system. The smithy needing to know how it feels to use weapons and armor makes sense, as reasons go.

My main curiosity is just how much ground one MUST cover, to keep your attributes up to snuff. I guess I should just bust out the spreadsheets and do some math.

Goblin Squad Member

This game contains a large number of interdependent skills, but I'm curious as to just how much 'side work' an ultra-focused character would need to put in simply to continue qualifying for the one or two skills they really want to have.

For example, if I want to be a savant Dowser - making the Dowser still my highest priority, and all advancement decisions are made in light of this desire - how much time will I spend just trying to increase my Personality by learning other feats?

In the current balance of things, does an ultra-focused character like this seem possible, or have we discovered that the way skills are linked will mean that ultra-focus is effectively impossible and everyone will have at least 4 or 5 skills improving in order to advance others?

I think a pure crafter or gatherer should be able to truly be pure, without having to train combat skills to increase their attributes, (especially since recipes seem rare enough that they will be the biggest factor holding back the pure crafters) but I don't know if anyone has determined if such builds will be possible at all.

Goblin Squad Member

Pretty exciting stuff. I am looking forward to advancing my character with a clearer idea of what things will do.

Goblin Squad Member

If I were to accept a war prisoner system I would want it to require the expenditure of influence and increased corruption for the settlement using it. I'd also say there should be a guarded facility that can be raided to free the prisoners which has a 24 hour pvp window.

Oh and I would want some kind of alternate game-play that I could use while captured to cause trouble for my captors. Bribing guards to attempt escape, adding corruption to the settlement, negotiating my release through back-alley methods. It would be good for role play, certainly.

Goblin Squad Member


Goblin Squad Member

I am sad, I really thought this would be fixed now. I wanted to get a decent amount of play done today. :(

Goblin Squad Member

There is hope in solidarity.

Goblin Squad Member

Well, now I feel like an ass. Oh well.

Goblin Squad Member

I have gotten hung up on the connection page stating that it is waiting for the character list.

Is anyone else running into this problem while connecting to the server?

Goblin Squad Member

I believe that descriptions are not really in yet - or at least not all in. Mostly they seem to be working on pinning down the problems with feats functioning as they should.

Goblin Squad Member

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Thank you very much, sir. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

Goblin Squad Member

Leithlen wrote:

So, I was so sporadic about forum checking yesterday that everyone that asked for my invite had already gotten one by the time I got back to them. Anyone else still looking for an Alpha invite?

I'd still prefer to give it to a group that doesn't have any representation in Alpha, but if that doesn't exist, it can go to whoever will use it!

I'm certainly still looking for one - I'm essentially free of any significant group affiliations.

Goblin Squad Member

I love Grimmel's logic on this, but then I would totally feel like I was cheating if I didn't actually show up at magically the right time.

Goblin Squad Member

I apparently didn't have PMs activated and wasted a few minutes getting it working. Very sad.

Goblin Squad Member

Same here, Aet Khorvak McTiernan.

Goblin Squad Member

Money is still an expendable resource, they can only maintain their ability to hire guards as long as their harvesting runs are successful. A bandit reverses the equation - converting fighting into money. Certainly he must invest in gear, but it's far more difficult to truly harm a skilled bandit compared to a skilled harvester.

The harvester chooses his risk vs. reward equation all the time. Every time he invests further in harvesting skills he is losing the ability to learn to fight in exchange. Being a harvester is the embodiment of risk.

The bandit chooses his risk vs. reward on a case-by-case basis. Every time he robs someone, he loses some reputation, risking backlash and a growing list of enemies.

Yes, a known bandit will be unlikely to get around well in many areas, particularly after a stint of 'bad' behavior, but a harvester always has to worry about bandits turning up. Sure, they can attempt to manage their risk by collecting less valuable resources, but there will always be bandits who are balancing the same risk and targeting harvesters after mid-to-low grade supplies.

Basically my point is I think bandits already have a more flexible sense of choice in the game and making things to mitigate the consequences of the otherwise riskier actions just screws up the balance of what is or isn't a wise decision.

Goblin Squad Member

Is this where the volleyball tournament is taking place?

Goblin Squad Member

I'm actually close to liking this idea. It strikes me first off as reaching to try to control something you cannot legally control - but it would be a useful tool for going into a temporary Kill On Sight policy. Perhaps in the no-man's-land between warring companies - though in that case a more normal feud would make sense. (Unless one of the companies keeps hiring outsiders to raid the enemy's outposts in the hex. Then you get paranoid and need to kill every stranger that comes by.)

I am also inclined to say that there could be a net reputation hit for the company/settlement - I suppose that's reflected by the DI cost, but it should be a last resort for defending an incredibly important location without trashing the Rep of your companies.

If settlements have alignments, can they take alignment 'penalties'? Increased corruption/unrest while their focus is on the foreign territory?

Goblin Squad Member

In general I support the diversification of required skills, so absolutely. Hah.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm not sure it makes sense for you to mystically sense that someone is carrying skymetal - seems like the sort of thing you'd want scouts and/or divining experts to determine.

A high value target is a high value target - determining just how good of a target they are is up to the hunter.

Goblin Squad Member

I think I should be more inflammatory in my posts. People rarely respond to me directly.

Goblin Squad Member

Honestly my only problem with this idea is we have no way of knowing how difficult it will already be to acquire the rarest of rare resources. It strikes me as rather premature to think that we need to add more pressure to make the rare things difficult to acquire when we have no idea how difficult the PvE portion of the experience will be.

Suppose that your Master Harvester needs a small army (8 to 10 experienced combatants, perhaps) just to have a reasonably safe chance of reaching Starmetal nodes. Is that really too easy? Just the logistics of getting enough people together would be more work to ensure the rare things are truly rare. And unlike PvP, if things are too easy and there is just too much of something, GW can simply scale up the difficulty of navigating PvE in that hex. I certainly believe that this could keep things difficult enough even for those settlements who field veritable armies and will certainly increase meaningful interaction - a lot of the cooperative kind, at the least. (And the battles get bigger naturally because you know if you find rivals they will certainly be prepared for you.)

Since you mentioned other ideas, let me try. These are things that I believe would increase the difficulty of acquiring the rarest of materials and would either increase meaningful human reaction or (at worst) would not lessen the amount/quality of it.

- Fewer 'rare' nodes spawn. (Obviously already true, but it can be tweaked if necessary.)
- Harvesting tools/outposts don't go as far when harvesting rare materials as they do collecting less rare materials. (They degrade faster, perhaps.)
- Rare nodes simply don't have very much in them.
- Rare nodes increase the strength of mobs and cause escalations to grow faster.
- Rare nodes are entirely finite, and only appear when the GW team actively triggers an event. (For example, a new meteorite strikes the earth, giving us a new hex with Starmetal months after the last node went dry.)

In general, I support the idea of rare things being rare because they will literally BE rare - if there isn't much of it, it's rare. Rarity is not artificially created by difficulty of acquisition.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm pretty sure the combined PvE and PvP found in a Brokenlands hex is going to guarantee that any Harvester who's been doing the job for more than a day will know that he needs to hire or befriend some big scary buddies before heading out that way. Even if PvP isn't heavy there for some reason, the PvE content will still require it - unless you're the Harvester with the Biggest, Manliest Beard. (Which we all know keeps the mobs at bay.)

Goblin Squad Member

If necromancy were to exist, I believe the best way to implement it would be as a relatively long-term summoning spell (10, 30 minutes?) - essentially you can create X undead, where X is the number of units/unit power levels. Make the power level based on a skill you have to develop and the dead unit you 'raised'. This would obviously require you to invest in multiple skills in order to control multiple undead, or even a single 'powerful' undead. Which sounds about right.

Because undead are mindless - and I don't think it's at all a good idea to allow the creation of intelligent undead unless we want some evil characters wandering around making new escalation cycles - you could gain specific feat/skills to slot in your Implement bar (so you need a Focus that supports the appropriate spells) and they would be as simple as - attack target, flee, hold position, etc. Perhaps a Control Undead ability could exist along the same lines, allowing a character to gain much more temporary control over the undead (several rounds, perhaps).

I do think that having the dead following you around should generally grant you the aggressor tag at all times, or cause the guards to attack you as if you had a low reputation.

I don't see this becoming too much of a problem (other than server load issues) as long as the controllable undead are balanced with other forms of attack. (A fireball rightly should just shatter your dozen skeletons - sorry.)

Also I think that the action linked to Create Undead would best be required to cost Power, as it is a generally costly spell in the TT.

Goblin Squad Member

That would make me sad, but it wouldn't surprise me. Obviously in alpha logging in with multiple characters works right now, but that's easily something that could change.

Goblin Squad Member

Wait, if I can log two characters in at the same time, I may actually be able to get my wife to play this game with me at times, if I let her use my Destiny's Twin.

I do hope things work out that way.

Goblin Squad Member

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Suddenly Lee Hammock got way cooler to me, and he was already pretty cool.
Just saying.

Goblin Squad Member

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Keign wrote:
Well, based on the I watched of alpha, more than a few people already duck behind trees and bushes to avoid being seen readily. The lack of names popping up without being targeted helps with this immensely.
That suggests the tactic of sneaking from boulder to tree to bush, always staying under cover. Only a couple guys in the enemy group have a high enough Perception to see you anyways, and minimizing the opportunities makes it less likely they will.

And if I were playing a Stealth character this is exactly how I would want to play.

Goblin Squad Member

Well, based on the I watched of alpha, more than a few people already duck behind trees and bushes to avoid being seen readily. The lack of names popping up without being targeted helps with this immensely.

Goblin Squad Member

Wheaton's law, people: Don't be a dick.


Goblin Squad Member

Well, I think we all agree that in the Surprise Round, if the attacking character is not detected (and therefore, you know, gets a surprise round) then he can make a Sneak Attack (or a normal attack against flat-footed opponents.)

Was that really what this conversation was about?

Goblin Squad Member

I actually don't have a problem with an 'alpha-strike' being feasible for a group, particularly against low-level (or HP) players. I do think it should take a minimum of four people, each using a relatively powerful attack - perhaps something that requires the use of Power - but I like the realism of four arrows reliably putting someone down.

Part of the reason I'm okay with this is I doubt there will be very many Kill On Sight organizations in PFO - it benefits everyone to allow people to move in and out of their territory. (Well, this won't really be true during the War of the Towers, but when settlement economies have evolved it should be.) I also think the reputation and alignment systems will help weed out the popularity of such tactics, so the wandering parties who execute travelers at random should be few and far between.

Goblin Squad Member

I feel like you're skipping over the most common circumstance in which you get to use Sneak Attacks, Kobold Cleaver: flanking. For the vast majority of players, I'm pretty sure that Stealth exists in pathfinder largely as a way to get into a flanking position, and then Sneak Attacks abound as long as the Fighter is smart enough to stay on the other side of the enemy.

From what I've read, this use is the one PFO is intending to make work, anyhow.

As for whether or not you can Sneak Attack from stealth in Pathfinder(I know the discussion was 3.0 but this is PFO damnit!): "Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth. When you start your turn using Stealth, you can leave cover or concealment and remain unobserved as long as you succeed at a Stealth check and end your turn in cover or concealment. Your Stealth immediately ends after you make an attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful. "
This sounds like you could move behind something and attack it without it being aware of you before the attack roll is resolved.

This says nothing about the target losing their Dex bonus to AC, however, and Sneak Attack says:

"If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage." - This is flavor text, the intro to the Sneak Attack section, so we can't really use it.

Mechanically, Sneak Attack says:

"The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target."

The only Combat Modifiers that I know of that deny AC (not counting spells or alchemical items, etc) are the target being Unaware (which is specific to the Surprise Round), Blinded, Flat-Footed, Stunned, Pinned, Running, or Squeezing - or the attacker being Invisible, or having just succeeded at a Feint,. Technically even being Helpless only treats your Dexterity as being 0, rather than actually removing it. (Which sounds silly.)

Unfortunately, being Invisible is obviously not the same as merely succeeding at a Stealth check, so we cannot actually consider them the same thing.

I agree that generally being unaware of an opponent would allow them to take a Sneak Attack - but that's a personal ruling, and not actually indicated in the rules anywhere that I have found.

Goblin Squad Member

EVE tries very hard to be fancy and pretty, actually.

Goblin Squad Member

That's probably because in a fantasy MMO melee attacks are expected to be an equally viable tactic.

Goblin Squad Member

Games get their rankings with me through quality gameplay, but games make money and advertise well when they are pretty. (There is a joke about liking my games the way I like my women in here somewhere.)

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