Come join Brighthaven in fighting Mordent Spire! Starting Saturday, May 2nd, @3PM Eastern / 12PM Pacific
Just to clarify, as CotP is mentioned several times: TEO has joined the meta-guild Covenant of the Phoenix (CotP) a while ago and now forms CotP's PFO chapter. CotP shares many of the same values we do and has turned out to a very friendly and welcoming community. It's well worth checking them out if you're ever interested in playing other games as well.
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
The word "zerg" tends to get used a lot lately, and some of the uses feel like they are straying into derogatory territory. There is a war going on in the game, and in war, bringing the most people to the battle that you can manage is not cheating.
I'm also surprised by this use, but I tend to blame it on me being an MMO-newbie. From my experience with StarCraft I always thought "zerging" involved sacrificing sound economic development to quickly push out as many cheap, uniform troops as possible to overwhelm the enemy by sheer numbers. When a group builds up a very strong economic base at the very front edge of technological development and is able to field a large group of diverse and very well equipped players not because they sacrificed something but because they are attracted to the group's play style, I don't see anything zerg-like here. There's no hive mind, no uniform low-level masses, just large-scale success :).
I lost some reputation when fighting for Gol's towers last night as well, not much though, about 700 points. Probably one kill or attack. All fighting happened in supposedly rep-loss-free PvP hexes, however, combat for both towers was still on-going when the PvP-windows closed; in one case EBA took the tower, in the other the defenders prevailed when the clock ran out mere seconds before capture.
I haven't tested it, but I'd consider it likely that this rep loss occurs at these PvP-window edges, when queued attacks fire after the window has closed or I have hit a character during the window and he dies after the window has closed, something like that. I'm pretty sure that's what happened in my case, I was busy turning one of the Gols into a pin cushion when the window closed on us. Maybe we need a little softer transition to the non-PvP-window, say, have the screen flash a little for ten seconds before the window actually closes to warn people. Then again, he amount seemed not so significant to worry much about it. As someone firing multiple AoEs into the fray, you may have been hit harder than my single-target archer, though.
Any settlements of the good alignment looking for a Cleric of Iomadae 9/Fighter 6? I am in need of one apparently.
I haven't entirely decided between Iomedae or Sarenrae as a deity, but one of my Characters is playing this very combination quite happily in TEO. You'd be most welcome here.
Yesterday it had been reverted back too EE3. Are you talking about the day before that when EE4 was active?
If that question was directed at me, yes, while EE4.1 was active, before the rollback. I'm in Europe so my yesterday may be different from your's by a few hours. Or possibly I may have been mistaken by a day :).
The unpredictable aggro is an improvement over the previous version, but still needs tampering. In particular, mobs should only aggro on party members they can actually see.
I cleared a mini-goblin-escalation by myself yesterday. Mob density appeared normal, as long as the escalation was still above 0%. It took me a while to find the boss camp and in the process I had lowered the escalation to 0%. I was standing around with the boss in my sights waiting to get company members to party with me for an extra chance at an expendable. Suddenly, exactly on the hour, all hell broke lose. The escalation was still showing as active (if at 0%, as it had been for about 15 mins) and the boss was still there, but the spawn rate suddenly seemed to increase to the max as in the other hexes, with groups spawning all around and on top of me. Again, previously it had been normal, as in pre-4.1 . Fortunately, it was mostly low-level mobs, so I (barely) survived the sudden onslaught in my T2 armor. But my guess is, this has to do with mini escalations self-terminating, even though the boss encounter (and quest) was still there. I went to kill the boss afterwards and got a measly Lvl 1 rogue implement (string bolos) for it - didn't expect more from a mini, though :).
Black Silver of The Veiled, T7V wrote:
Those two seem to be gone now, along with the not quite as bad but still annoying trench nearby.
The most important tip is that the Mordant Spire escalation will not spread far (1 hex in each direction? Maybe a little bit further...) and is one of the few escalations to actually terminate itself after some time. So it's not actually necessary at this point to fight it if it's too powerful for you.
I think, it's about time that the AI got some dev attention! My point was that those with experience in alpha have probably long grown accustomed to the current AI and do not find the prelate's behaviour any more "broken" than what has been known and reported often. Thus we don't see an exploit of a broken mechanic but regular, while stupid, AI behaviour.
I don't think anyone with experience in alpha actually realized they were "broken". And I still don't think they are "broken" anymore than all the other mobs - it's just the sh*tty AI that is the same for all the mobs: some intial attack depletes their stamina really fast and then it spams the lowest stamina consuming attack they have as soon as stamina regenerates enough. But that is true for all the mobs in all escalations (and non-escalation mobs, too, as well as even Thornguards) and has been true for as long as I've been around in early Alpha. For bandit recruit archers it's their low-damage interrupt, for Ustalavian Prelates it happens to be their debuff spell. None of the mobs use their much more effective higher stamina-cost attacks (such as stun attacks) after their initial stamina depletion.
(Edit: I should probably add: ...unless you force their stamina to regenerate enough by staying out of their reach. That is possible against melee attackers but rarely against spell casters or other ranged)
This issue has been reported numerous times in Alpha and has always received the dev reply that improving the AI is not high on their list of priorities. Why this should suddenly be considered an exploit is beyond me. The only way to not "exploit" this is to avoid PvE altogether.
Most people farming them probably DID realize they are the easiest of the T2 escalations within the current constellation of mostly farming with longbows, hence they are the most popular T2 escalation to farm. But the fact that some chose to farm other T2 escalations instead (out of ignorance or because those were closer to home) and now realize that that may have been less than optimal does not make that an exploit.
For the basic recycled paper+0 recipe, you need 80 scrap paper and 23 weak acidic to get the same result as you would from 5 oak logs; both these recipes get you 50 paper sheets. Considering that one T2 spellbook takes only 5 or 6 paper sheets, you can go a loooong way with just a few oak logs. I'm not so sure recycling in pfo is worth it atm.
Just to clarify, if I have received back-dated XP to the start of EE, my second month starts one month after the start of EE, not one month after I logged in for the first time, right? And if I just want to continue my subscription(s), I don't have to do anything, right? That's assuming I have enough time left on the account(s) for at least another month.
The same is true the other way around: a newbie was afk at another settlement's core six tower, gathering unwanted points for our company. He was kicked from the company, but could still collect points for it. He was eventually killed and respawned outside the tower, still afk.
Server downtime seems to be the time when these issues are updated...
Something strange happened in this fight: unlike your three companions, who could be targeted as usual, your character "Bows" was only very rarely targetable, even from up close, or when running in a straight line. Also, even when running or spellcasting you rarely offered opportunity, unlike others doing the exact same thing.
I'm curious how you did that? What's your trick?
Your point b)force is not only relevant for the direct fight for a tower. More generally, this also encompasses settlement/alliance size. Generally, settlements with smallish populations have a much smaller claim to a tower outside their immediate vicinity than larger settlements and alliances who can both project more force directly, but who also indirectly, via specialized crafters, gatherers, etc. become more powerful faster. This increased power of course leads naturally to a much greater sphere of influence and thus claimed territory.
Towers at the half-way point between a small and a much larger group naturally fall into the sphere of influence of the bigger power, barring other contenders.
By far the best source of green in the game atm is the millions of goblins waiting for their deaths near the starter settlements. Their "bags of itchy(?) stuff" count as green, and while somewhat heavier than greenweed, they are also waaay more common. Since green is only used in Tier 1 spellbooks, the supply of goblin bags should actually be sufficient to fulfill the server's need for quite some time. By the time it runs out, most of the current population will be well into Tier 2, and the resource tables will be well mapped out.
I'm running Kero as a dedicated Apothecary (currently Lvl 5, and is going to keep specializing in Apothecary as much as possible). I am part of TEO and am currently based out of Keeper's Pass. While TEO orders will take precedence, I'm perfectly willing to do any other needed Apothecary refining on the side. My recipes never take longer than a few minutes to craft per batch, and I have pretty much any recipe for my level available. I'm usually on for a few hours or more immediately after server downtime, and often also for some time around midnight EST.
If you'd like my services, contact me via the TEO mumble server, in game (other alts are Shroom (a dedicated Forester), Bubbles (a dedicated Alchemist), Darkleaf and Ironfeather), or even via pm or post on this forum.
People always forget about the "lawful" part of "lawful evil".
Just make sure that your trade contract specifically stipulates that you will be allowed to leave the territory unmolested and with all your possessions AFTER the trade as well. Otherwise, after the lawful deal is completed, the evil part will gladly rob the shiny coins you just received off your husk...
Better late than never... After the ridiculous amount of goblin harvesting that has been going on, this is a long overdue decision.
@sspitfire1: I recommend you do not rise to baiting and give snap back responses like that. Nothing good ever comes from that. Take a deep breath, relax and if you feel the urgent need to respond to someone who's displaying a particularly disturbing lack of understanding, just sit back, shake your head, smile, think "what a douche" and calmly move on.
@Kero, I don't think it's possible to create a technological solution to this problem.
Maybe not. But removing the desired loot from easily bot-farmable targets removes any and all incentive to bot-farm those. If you still want the loot present in vast quantities, at least put it somewhere where getting it requires actual gameplay. If bot-farming is made the best and most effective way to get these resources, you disadvantage everyone who doesn't do it. Talk about wrong incentives...
Okay, just to clarify, my "bot" really only simulates me pressing the keys 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,4,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,4,Esc in a five second intervall and infinitely repeats that loop, regardless of what happens. Then, when I stand within aggro range of a few goblins, the attack me, get automatically targeted and hit multiple times until killed, which should cause them to no longer be targeted. Rinse, repeat. In fact, this was still active when I tried to relog and I had to manually deactivate it to be able to type in my password again.
The reason for the Esc was explained above, the reason for the 4 is that sometimes, the virtual 1 button on the UI would get "stuck" somehow and become unresponsive until I pressed another button.
It took me less than half an hour to set up from scratch (never having been involved with an mmo before, nor with any botting/macro writing and without knowing what I was doing). It's simplistic, it's completely dumb, but it works. And it shouldn't, imho :).
Having bought hit points 1+2, heavy armor prof 1, and having equiped pot steel plate and a shortbow, this allowed me to handle 4 goblins one after the other and still regenerate back to full health after each round.
Anyway, I'm off to work again, I'm looking forward to seeing you all in game soon, regardless of whether or not anything is done about this!
If T1 recipes were meant to be easily universally available, why make them drops at all? They are one of the early reasons to engage in PvE, not to start bot-farming.
I'm not entirely sure how your getting targeted is meant to kill me, but my bot dropped its active target once every 5 seconds, because of a bug where sometimes it would not correctly lose targeting of a dead goblin until its body despawned about 30 sec later. This may cause me to sometimes have to take damage one extra time from a goblin, but was still survivable. The fact that this also makes it more difficult for other players to distract me for an extended period of time was an unintended side effect.
I was very much over-encumbered. I dropped all armor, weapons, implements, as well as some armor scraps, broken weapons and coins before I could move again.
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Coins won't ever be useless. Someone will always want them, and there's no reason that a trade between characters can't involve coins in one direction.
Well, a massive influx of coins into the economy for doing nothing is paramount to hyperinflation. And while that may not make coins entirely useless, you'll have to bring vast amounts to buy even little things. Bartering may well be more efficient. Real world examples are not really a good model of economic processes in an MMO, I guess, but have shown this many times over.
Anyway, most points have been made and while I still think that my original proposal solves this elegantly with very little problematic side effects, for now I'm hoping for someone from GW to chime in and let us know, if they think this is a problem and if they intend to do something about it.
True, ammo, husks and what not will eventually make this particular exploit useless (but I'm not sure if eventually is before the T1 economy mostly doesn't matter anymore). If switching that on at the start of EE were an option, I'd very much agree with that. But I expect that it isn't. Unlike Cheatle and others, I expect this particular type bot-farming to be a problem *especially* during the first few days, because recipes will be very much in demand. After this has been extensively done for a few weeks, recipes will no longer be an issue, as the market is saturated. Coins will have become useless by then, noone will be using them, and a trade economy will have a much more difficult time getting up and running, as we'll be reduced to bartering instead. The salvagable resources worry me the least, the quantities are not all that huge compared to the amounts needed for higher level refining.
It occured to me as well that loot tables mught be the same for any goblins, but even so, I think cutting them down might still be the lesser of two evil. Better would be to create an independent class of starter goblins with their own, more limited loot table.
Doc || Allegiant Gemstone Co. wrote:
Your only recourse then is to trim the loot table for starter goblins of anything useful past a certain level of advancement, or remove them entirely. But consider this, you can remove recipes from goblins and I will still farm them for Goblinoid Armor and Weapon scraps to use in crafting.
Which is why I recommended to drop those from the loot table as well. Basically limit them to dropping starter armor, weapons, implements and lesser tokens. Beginners can fight them until they have obtained enough starter gear to feel safe enough to go out into the nearby wilderness and start attacking the local bandit (or goblin, or whatever) population and that's where they can get actual valuable loot.That way, the starter town goblins would serve a purpose of providing some initial PvE-training and su supply basic gear. But not as piñatas.
Come to think of it, probably the best way to effectively get rid of someone autofarming like this is to make them respawn while over-encumbered and then (if possible) to somehow get them to attack you at the shrine until their reputation is low enough to be attacked by Thornguards. Those will never forget (unless that has changed?) even if rep eventually recovers, being over-encumbered he can't run away and being continuously in combat with the Thornguards prevents trashing stuff to ease encumberance. Perpetual imprisonment at the shrine.
Maybe if it comes across as alarmist, it's because I was unaware of this possibility until very recently, and I was quite alarmed to find out just how effective it is. Tier 1 recipes may not be the rarest things in Alpha now, but think back to the first few weeks of Alpha 8(?), after the last complete wipe. The start of EE will be similar to that, and what's the entire point in having uncommon recipes that need to be obtained first, when you then provide an endless source of these to be auto-farmed?!
The rare T1 resources in alpha have been green, beast pelts, weak adhesive, amongst a few others. Substitutes for these three come from goblin loot. They'll not be the decisive thing in a few months, but at the very start, they (and their uneven distribution and relative scarcity) are of vital importance to developing an economy. If everyone just has access to everything easily, there will be no trade.
That leads us to the next critical issue, coins. These are in the game in order to enable trade other than bartering. That is a good thing. However, if it's easier to get coin-rich by auto-farming goblins than by doing anything that someone is willing to pay for, coins will never be used for trade and the auction houses will remain in their current sorry state. That's 2000 copper coins for about 9 hours of not actually being in the game or even at home! Earning money in your sleep may be a dream for some, but this is pure inflation. It will destroy the use of copper coins as money for the foreseeable future.
The question of Thornguards (not) attacking me has been addressed above.
So if my post sounds alarmist, that may be because there's reason to be alarmed. Doc has already said that he intends to exploit this as much as possible in early EE and there are very likely others, too, who are less open about it. I think this is cause for concern. And since starter town goblins, due to their very special circumstances, are the only mobs that can easily be farmed in that way, they are the ones that need to be modified.
Knockback is a nice thought, that should work well, disabling this particular farmer until manually repositioned. Someone with far better knowledge of programming macros might be able to counter that, I certainly wouldn't.
But that brings up something else that occured to me. Will the macro carry on once you get killed? Because you will spawn inside the next settlement and then start attacking Thornguards - and we know how that will turn out.
It will carry on. All it does is repeatedly send a few key strokes, with no feedback from the game, whatsoever, going into it. Since it doesn't actively target anyone, it would only attack Thornguards if attacked by them first, however, and if that were to ever happen, it won't matter much, anyway..
<kabal> Bunibuni wrote:
And what was your encumbrance like after you did your auto-farming, Kero? All that armor you picked up must have really added to your encumbrance.
Yes, waaaaaay over-encumbered. But the entire farming was done at range while standing still. In the end (after being either killed by the goblins after losing connection or after reconnecting and being killed by the goblins in the process) I was teleported to the shrine, where an alt e.g. could have just aproached to trade whatever I wanted to keep and trash the rest. Or even just trash all the relatively worthless armor, etc. and just keep as many of the recipes, coins and resources as possible to slowly slide to the bank.
<kabal> Bunibuni wrote:
If it floats your boat to do something like that and you somehow find enjoyment in not actually playing the game but automatically farm, that's fine for you. You get bored with all those low level recipes, sell them, I might buy them if you go to a town where I would look for them but you have to go to someplace to sell them. And just because you have gotten all that copper, what do you do with it if no one has bothered to go out into the world to gather stuff and then actually make stuff?
Where you got the impression that this somehow "floats my boat", I don't know. It doesn't, in fact I rather worry that it'll sink the game economy and my boat with it. Some of these resources and coins are meant to be rare, the economy somewhat depends on that scarcity to encourage lively trade. That won't work at all, if they are readily available because they can be easily farmed. Because if they can be, people will do it. It won't be me, but I'm probably not the only one who can figure something like this out. And like you, until yesterday I also had no clue how to program a macro - apparently, it's not that hard...
Just as an aside, this auto-farming could be done in addition to playing, not instead of playing.
Agreed - dialing down the respawn numbers is another option
Another one would be ammo consumption for ranged attacks. Relying on melee weapons would make this a bit more difficult and a lot less effective.
Still, all other solutions seem to be more difficult to program in the one day remaining before EE launch than merely changing a few numbers to 0 in the loot tables of starter goblins.
If it were up to me, in about two weeks or so, I'd probably completely remove the starter goblins and allow the player economy to provide the neccessary starter gear for any newcomers.
Let me start by saying that I'm posting this here because I think this exploit harms the game and I have no intention of using it. I more or less stumbled on it playing around with my new toy in alpha, and was shocked by its effectiveness. If I had planned on using this in game, I'd probably have kept it to myself. Just to clarify :).
While I basically agree, technically, this isn't exploiting a bug. How much automatisation constitutes cheating is probably up for debate, but if I were to just stand there and manually spam basic attacks, is that cheating, too? It's exploiting a deliberate design choice in the starter town goblins, not something "due to a bug" as the ToS stipulate.
As I said, it's a very basic macro, think of it as more of a proof-of-concept. It could certainly be much improved by people with more than a few minutes of experience in these things, but even the basic form is bad enough to warrant an intervention imho. Basically, it would originally just spam '1' (i.e. basic attack) several times per second. Goblins take about 3-4 hits from this to die. Two problems appeared after a while (both of those due to minor bugs in the game, I think), which led to the inclusion of the occasional '4' (i.e. basic exploit) and an 'Esc' (i.e. drop target) every 5 seconds or so. It doesn't actually actively target anything, it depends entirely on being attacked by the goblins first and on the game auto-targeting your attacker if you don't have a current target. Players just passing by should not seriously interupt the process (other than luring the occasional goblin away), only players attacking me, and even then, they'd have to do this repeatedly due to the included "drop target". I'm not sure if I'd take a rep hit for killing someone who attacked me first, but if that were so, it wouldn't feel right, irrespective of this particular situation.
Again, I'm not sure about the rep loss for killing someone (basically, in self-defense) who attacked me first, but if that's the case, it's a bad design choice imho and should be changed. Other than someone attacking me first, while I have no target, this macro could not cause an attack on another player, and even then would drop that player as a target after no more than 5 seconds.
My own group TEO would (I think) disapprove of players using such an exploit as well, but I doubt everyone does. And would you refuse a recipe for those much-needed Basic Strips +2 or Steel Plates +2 if the market is flooded with cheap recipes? Sure, the community could keep killing everyone killing loads of goblins while standing still (again, there's room for about a dozen people exploiting this simultaneously per settlement...). But it only takes a newly-made character without noticable expenditure of XP to do this. You might not even know that it's my alt who's secretly feeding the recipes to me when noone's around.
I don't think this is something the communitiy can effectively counter. I say, remove the valuable stuff from the starter goblins. That way, they're still useful for newbies to get starter gear from but not worthy as the target of an exploit.
I've manually slaughtered quite a few starter town goblins, too. And I wasn't really too concerned about the loot they dropped breaking the economy. If I had to grind for 12 hours to get the above loot, I'd probably find something better to do quickly. But due to the fact that they
There's all the rare stuff, i.e. green, weak adhesive, beast pelts and copper basically available for free in unlimited quantities here. That cannot be intentional or good for the game.
I'm definitely hoping for them to change the loot tables before starting EE. This is just way too easy to exploit.
I'm not an experienced MMO-gamer and maybe this is old news to most of you here, but I found something quite disconcerting, and frankly somewhat economy-breaking, yesterday.
Namely, auto-farming the starter-town goblins. I have no experience whatsoever in programming macros, but I got a gaming mouse for christmas that came with a simple way to program its buttons to send repetitive keyboard commands to the computer.
So I tried this out yesterday, made a brand-new character, equipped him with the free shortbow (and a little later a dropped pot-steel plate armor) marched him near a few starter town goblins and set the mouse to spam basic attacks. With the goblins aggroing on me (and thereby becoming auto-targeted by me), I could basically kill one after the other everytime they respawned. This was so effective that I decided to let this run while I was afk and went to work. About 12 hours later I've just returned and found my guy has managed to kill around 1800(!) goblins before being disconnected (by my internet provider, which does that once per day around 4am; I was working the night shift).
Amongst the loot is, besides a whole lot of starter gear, some stuff that could have actual economical value that imho should not be THAT easy to get (and that would harm the budding economy if they were to remain this easy to get):
- almost 2000 copper pieces
If this stuff is available more or less effortlessly, I can see the economy having real trouble getting off the ground. Where is the incentive to try to EARN copper, if you can get this much automatically? Hunt for recipes or stock:green - no thanks, there's enough for everyone here...
The game certainly didn't seem to have a way to detect and/or prevent this automated goblin-farming and I don't know if this behaviour is frowned upon (I would assume so). But as long as this is not prevented, I'm sure that people will do this. And I can only imagine what someone with actual knowledge how to write macros could do, this took a complete newbie about 5 mins to set up and less than half an hour to optimize. The only way to stop my guy from doing this atm would actually be to kill him and take the rep-hit while I was afk.
What could be done to prevent this?
All these would work, but are likely somewhat difficult to introduce on such a short notice.
The easiest and most efficient way imho would be to simply remove everything that could have actual value (i.e. copper, spells, salvageable resources) from the starter town goblin's loot tables. Leave them with only starter gear (and maybe recipes of below level 3, sort of "crafter's starting gear"); if people want better loot, they need to be active and go outside to kill stuff. And I'd strongly recommend to do this before the start of EE, once the loot (and the recipes in particular) are out there, it'll be difficult to repair, imho.
One thing you will find is that like most other things in the game, it's not easy to just take a load of XP and level it up. There are achievement gates that basically require you to finish crafting at least one item to level up further. And those may require you to have access to refined +X ingredients and/or have access to an appropriate recipe. So just going in tonight and leveling up to tier 2 is not going to be easy, even if you have 100k XP to spend. It's not intended to be done in a single night, but rather to organically grow along with your character.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Have you decided on a time frame? I.e. how long do I have to worry that some older kickstarter could come along and take one of my character names away?
I don't see that as a problem at all. In fact, as a german soccer fan I have fond memories of brazil... ;) scnr. Your time zone puts you smack in the middle of Europe and the US, so if you're somewhat flexible with your playing times, you can play with either of them (join the Europeans somewhat late, or be an early bird for the US). In fact, I expect quite a few Europeans to be online at least until the first US players come online. Midnight in Germany is 9pm in São Paulo and 6pm on the US East Coast. That should work out nicely.
I'm totally inclined to the good side of the force. Chaotic good, eventually. And I intend to up some sort of tank (I always do that) or, who knows, maybe an archer... But I'm inclined to raise a dwarf... so, board and sword for me (or an axe, for the matter).
The good side is currently much over-represented in the game. Specific alignments are not implemented yet, but a CG character will have no problem finding a home. I don't think the game will have tanks in their traditional MMO-form; the closest thing will probably be a self-healing, self-buffing cleric (or cleric/fighter) in heavy armor. Archer, sword-and-board or axe ahould also all be available for either fighter or cleric.
So, imho you're definitely looking for a good-aligned fighter/cleric settlement. Fortunately, that is one of the most frequent combinations in the game. Your choices are (starting from the north-west corner and working my way south-east):
- Tavernhold (CG)
Note that technically, if and when alignments are implemented in their currently planned form, your character will need to stay within 1 step of your settlement's alignment. So, no LG settlement for CG characters, while both NG or CG (or even CN) would be just fine. But so far that has not been implemented and it's probably still some time until it will. I have not listed any non-good settlements, but a few of those are available as well.
I have yet to meet someone from Blackwood Glade, but all the others have been or are to some extent active in Alpha. I'm sure all of the above (and others, too) would like to have you around and a few representatives have made themselves heard already. Caldeathe is one of the leaders of Ozem's Vigil, and Gedichtewicht and Cheatle co-lead TEO. I'm sure the other settlements will chime in eventually. They'll be happy to answer any and all questions you may have to ease your decision.
That said, of course TEO is easily the biggest, bestest and coolest :).
As an aside: if sword-and-board is what you're looking for, be advised that shields are not as useful, currently, as you'd exect them to be. They don't give bonuses to defense at all and they replace your more powerful secondary sword attacks with (less powerful) shield attacks. For a pure tank, they might still work, as the shield attacks provide the ability to consistently interrupt attacks. Still, be warned to check out what you're getting before you end up disappointed.
Hey, I'm german and while the majority of our players are based in the US, there are quite a few Europeans and the occasional player from Ozeania in my company, The Empyrean Order (TEO). I'm looking to organize regular events during european evenings, myself. You'll likely find us in Kindleburn initially, and later-on in our hometown of Brighthaven in the south-east mountain range.
But TEO is certainly not your only choice. It very much depends on your desired play style and your actual time zone. If you give us some more details as to what exactly you are looking for, I'm quite sure this community can provide you with helpful pointers in the right direction :).
I've also spent some time harvesting plant nodes in a hill(?) hex. I believe there were a whopping total of three(!) plant nodes in the entire hex. But everytime I harvested one, another appeared somewhere. It was always exactly those three nodes.
Also, you sometimes have a node respawn right on your minimap. Never ever did I have a node respawn of a different type than what I was currently harvesting.
I believe the total number of the different kinds of node per hex (or hex type?) is currently fixed and does not change. However, I've never come close to strip-mining a hex by myself, maybe the composition of node types will change only when one type of resource is close to exhaustion. But even that seems unlikey, remember when we had all those "empty" scavenger nodes?
OK I can confirm the change. I had two temporary outreach accounts that did not have Early Enrollment. I added Early Enrollment to one; I couldn't let my level 10 wizard die in Alpha prematurely. I logged in this morning and the account I upgraded was fine and I can no longer log into the one I did not upgrade.
Sigh. My invite-account from waaay back in Alpha 7 can also now no longer connect. Alas, Darkleaf, you will be re-born soon! :)
Saturday December 20th, at 5PM EST / 2PM PST / 10PM GMT - Brighthaven population test! [Make it if you can!]
Did you try headstacking to put snipers on the rooftops before the pvp?
I actually tried rooftop-sniping once when I accidently relogged on top of the building in front of which I had logged out. Not very effective, as the downward distance is apparently counted as range, too, so you can basically only snipe people standing very close to your building.