We the players of every character -heroic, villanous, goofy, and profane- pledge each time we log in to follow Wheaton's Law with all fellow gamers around the MMO table, and to never forget to be awesome.
By making our marks below we signify our dedication to the principle of creating ongoing stories of excitement, adventure, intrigue, and the unexpected that will be retold through the ages to new players and non-players alike in a manner that inspires those entertained by our tales to pull up their own keyboard and become a part of the next story. Game on.
The post where I first outlined this idea got 9 likes so I assume there's still some desire for this a few day later.
The community discussion part has died down so I went ahead and finished everything up.
As for a name, "The Green Hat Pledge" seemed to have the most supporters and is named after a community-created concept about the same basic issue (and was my idea so I like it the most). Bluddwolf who was the first to type the words "green hat" in these forums has expressed why he thinks that's a terrible name for it.
As the first demonstration of this concept in action, if I was sitting at a table with Bluddwolf on game night and he really didn't want me using a name he made for the thing I did I would find another name, so I will do that over the internet too. (yes people it really is that simple)
Unless a whole flurry of new ideas comes in from the forum-at-large expect to see The River Kingdoms Pledge posted soon.
And that argument was part of a larger community discussion on what constitutes consensus meaningful interaction vs. what a few tried to label "meaningful" but the community thought is pretty d&!#ish and doesn't belong. Green hats became the community's icon for the whole issue, which is exactly what the player meta agreement is addressing.
Your vehement objection to using that name is noted.
There are no game mechanics or GW rules that make anyone adhere to agreements from the forums. It's purely a social contract. Anyone that cares about how people treat them and their friends in real life pays attention to that, and if we care how players are treating each other in the game we'll pay attention to it.
Putting your or your company/settlement name on a meta agreement like this is talking the talk. When EE goes live we'll pay attention to the walk.
I'll save you with a WoW story (shudder!)
In WoW my beloved cow druid could be built to tank, heal, melee dps or spell dps. From the start everyone said druids can only heal and were scared they'd all die if I tanked a 10-man vanilla dungeon because I didn't have a shield (never died or lost boss agro once). When druid tanking became popular I went melee dps and they said I'd never beat the rogues until I beat the rogues. Next expansion I went spell dps and everyone said no druids suck at that; until I was consistently top 3 damage in the most advanced available raid at the time. This was repeated for years, the entire lifetime of my druid.
Then IT happened.
Will of the Lich King 20-man raid up in the ice castle thing, the most advanced raids at the time. I was specced and geared for spell dps, working on a boss my guild just recently beat for the first time that's not on farm yet, boss at 50% health my raid starts going down one by one.
25% health it's now a 10-man raid.
10% health there's just a few of us left and I'm spotting support heals on the tank in between damage cycles.
3% health it's just me and the tank.
Bosses health bar is the tiniest red sliver and the tank goes down.
No, we are not wiping. I AM A M*%^#%@!$^G DRUID!!!
Then ensues sixty seconds that feels like about ten minutes of healy druid casting HoTs on myself, tank form DoTs and longevity tricks, spell damage on the boss, tank form again, more heals, more damag- shoot! bear form whew made it, heal again, more damage.... And 19 raid members face down snacking on dirt watching my druid do ALL their jobs- at once.
When the boss went down, druids can even resurrect other characters so there was no releasing or running back. It was -just barely- not a wipe. Every druid has a daydream, and that day I lived it.
A rough draft of actual words is in the works for my pre-EE project.
It's going to be a short, simple, clear statement that as players when we log in we're basically sitting around a honking gigantic table to play Pathfinder Online together to have fun. Like sitting with our friends around a physical table our characters will clash like storms and lightning in pursuit of fun and great stories but we the gamers will never forget to be awesome to each other.
In spirit of the setting and River Freedoms, it's going to function as a meta oath among us as players, and you know how the RK feel about oaths.
What do you think is the coolest name for such a thing?
THE GREEN HAT PLEDGE - based on ancient forum discussions about the difference between meaningful interaction and arbitrary aggravation.
THE RIVER KINGDOMS PLEDGE - simple and all-inclusive
THE FIRST LIGHT PLEDGE - when a telescope first opens to receive starlight, when a forge or kiln is fired for the first time, these are examples of First Light. This accord is trying to shine a light upon our humanity as gamers. "Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light."
Write-in suggestions are accepted*, please include a short explanation of its coolness.
*- This poll is not a cheerocracy, it's a cheertatorship, so numeric counts in this thread are not the final deciding factor for the agreement's name.
1.) I sometimes worry consistent forum goers are getting treaty fatigue. Can any of you show this or at least this thread to account holder friends that haven't been active in the forums yet, or friends that are potential players to see what they think?
2.) To give it longevity and lack of exploitation I'm keeping it a very simple and clear concept: we're basically all players sitting around a honking gigantic table on game night to play Pathfinder together, so don't forget to be awesome to one another.
3.) Seriously, this thing is going to be a few sentences long and the only way to make it complicated is if you try reeeaaally hard to blur the meaning and intent. Rough draft is in the works.
Bludd you literally just went from "Transparent Honesty = Spy Proof" to "If recent events should tell you anything, never assume when it comes to the UNC. We like to keep you all guessing." with nothing in between.
UNC at K is a gripping hypothetical.
Go for V and become the Emerald Spire Tour company. Whoever has V when the Spire goes live is going to be riiiiiiiiiiiiiiicccchhh and you won't even have to try hard to get their coin.
Not specifically. But if it's going to be an agreement to treat the MMO community members at their keyboards the same as your friends around the table on game night then it can logically be extended to what you say as well as what you do.
Most of us seem to agree there shouldn't be a list enumerating do and don'ts of behaviors; so it can't be exploited and it can apply to every new incarnation of the game over its changing forms. That leaves the question of what the guide should be that separates being competitive or a d-baj (don't be a jerk).
Since we're playing with other real people, I favor thinking if you would do that action to your friends sitting around the table on game night. If you wouldn't do it to them while playing a game, maybe it shouldn't be done to anybody in the community.
For those wondering why so many exclamation points, 8,000 pages ago on the forums a question was posed on the debate between meaningful gameplay and random ganking that had to do with killing anyone who wore a green hat on Tuesdays. Green Hats became, in the forum discussions, the symbol of the line that distinguishes healthy, competitive, meaningful actions in the River Kingdoms that create rich ongoing stories and what a few might try to justify as meaningful but most gamers identify as some level of toxic or destructive to the community.
The main group of players who wouldn't like this kind of agreement are the ones who want to stroll in and be the kid killing anyone wearing a green hat on Tuesdays. It strikes me as the perfect name for a meta agreement between players to actively promote good gamesmanship and discourage the former playstyle.
It's also fitting that this new twist on the social community element of MMOs is named after an icon that same community invented while talking about how to improve the social aspects of their MMO.
Possible name: The Leaf Compact
First, making it a compact so people don't confuse it with all the in-game accords which are bound to spring up; we've only seen the first so far.
Inspired by Walt Whitman's long boring poem The Leaves of Grass which is about how at first glance grass appears to be a lot of separate things but really when you look at the entire picture, every leaf of grass is connected and heavily intertwined with every other leaf by an underlying root system making every blade of grass part of a single bigger entity; the health and well being of each leaf rising or falling with the circumstances of the whole greater organism.
Characters may appear wildly separated in interests and goals, but really when you look at the whole picture, we're all just people sitting at keyboards during our leisure time and having fun in the game comes from a healthy foundation of player choices that chooses growth over poison.
Silly side benefit - A concrete reason to go around wearing green hats.
A discussion appetizer: What to do about a company that joins the accord but the settlement that charters them has not joined. Feuding, warring the settlement as a whole?
A meaty bone discussion: Is it within the boundaries of good gamesmanship in a territorial based game to send a sleeper character into a target group with the explicit intention of gaining the ability to rob or cause harm to the target at a time deemed opportune by the initiating group?
My personal take on the other points.
3am attacks - We have to be allowed to attack enemies when we deem them most vulnerable. Each settlement is subject to reciprocal action so it's fair. The presence of vulnerability windows and ability to manage them in relation to growth removes all gray from the issue for me personally.
Repeatedly killing the same character - Arbitrarily chosen, of course not okay. In war or feud in general still not okay with me; you made the point you can consistently kill them there's no need to keep doing it just because the alignment/reputation consequences are removed. If there is a specific action of game design going on (ex. a siege or skymetal mining op) and you need to keep characters away from the target and they keep trying to get to the target, that's about controlling territory and who can be there.
Member company in a non-member settlement - In a meta sense on the company level they are sympatico. But they are choosing to remain sponsored by a non-member settlement so on settlement level meta issues that company loses consideration by association to the larger group.
Spies and sabotage - Need specific info on player structures for a final answer but I'm leaning towards "yes, if you really think it's necessary". It's sneaky to be sure, but if groups are given the mechanics to limit the damage any one character can do it's up to them to organize well and mitigate that risk. Like banditry, spying is something you don't want to happen to you personally but it's understandable in the context of the game as long as players don't go overboard damaging other players' ability to have fun in the aftermath; and that's subjective but 90% of us will agree we know it when we see it.
The way I think of is is how I would play against my friends sitting around a table on game night, certain things would make them not want to be friends anymore and those things should be out of bounds playing with real people online too. Something like that might make it into the final language of the accord, actually.
That is an interesting metagame consideration and why I threw in something about a consensus being able to exclude a group for not walking the walk.
Yes, I am saying this accord could be called 'The Unnamed Accord'.
Yeah? Well I'm saying this should be called the Proxima Sin Is the Most Beautiful, Intelligent, Gracious, Insightful, and Humble Person To Ever Walk the Earth In All History Accord. The good ol' PSITMBIGIAHPTEWTEIAHA.
One thing we can't name it: Honda.
P.S. I have 20 coins for the best recording of someone pronouncing PSITMBIGIAHPTEWTEIAHA.
I am failing to see the point, honestly. There's already one "don't be a dick" agreement. Why is there really a need for another one?
The Roseblood Accord carries a term of working together for mutual benefit. Obviously not every player in the game can be a member or nothing interesting would ever happen. It's effect is more as an in-game alliance. Groups like UNC who want to express their support for good gamesmanship can't join Roseblood because their desired in-character gameplay may frequently be the opposite of benefit to Roseblood members.
This is a purely meta agreement between players that no matter how much our characters and gameplay cooperate or get bored or embroiled in intrigue and conflict, we commit to adhering to the intended game design and expectations that come with a resource and territory based open world pvp sandbox WITHOUT engaging in the kinds of actions that most people credit with making game environments toxic or inhibiting players' ability to have fun by playing as intended.
And to work against those actions in our social groups. Because granting invisibility to others being destructive has about the same final affect on a community as doing those things yourself.
I'm making this my pre-EE project. The goal is for a final product before EE is playable.
This is completely separate from The Roseblood Accord.
There is no proposed text of it yet, but this post is a summary of the idea and place to collaborate on it.
This is going to be an agreement, based on good will between fellow gamers rather than parsing semantics, that acknowledges there are certain actions that players can make their characters do outside the intended game design and expectations of a territory and resource based RPG that unduly inhibit the ability of other players to have fun, and those actions don't have a place in our gaming time.
Our characters can be Good or Evil, paladin or assassin, raid, plot, rob, vanquish, rescue, and war as characters in fantasy games do.
We, as actual people behind keyboards playing a game with our recreational time, recognize that there are boundaries to a sandbox and some actions as players are going too far which inhibit the recreational enjoyment of other real people.
Signatories of the accord would agree that 98% of the time we collectively know throwing the sand in other people's eyes when we see it, and agree that shouldn't be a part of our gaming time. Leadership players who act as agents of their companys and settlements to bring those groups of players into the accord agree to promote that mindset of good gamesmanship and staying within the intended bounds of the sandbox in their groups, have some sort of official code of game conduct along those lines for their members, and enact disciplinary measures on their member players if they make their characters act outside the spirit of the accord too often.
If it is the consensus among members that a particular signatory is not doing enough to uphold the spirit of the accord from the in-game actions of the group's members, it may be removed as an active participant of the accord until there is a consensus those issues are resolved. This may become important in the meta game aspect of playing.
A few points to work out:
1. The Name In my first hashing out of the concept in another thread I called it the Pathfinder Accord as a placeholder name. I don't know if Paizo would want me using THAT name willy nilly. If there is another name in Golarion lore that applies well or something that just sounds cool I'm all for hearing it.
2. Version 2.0 The game itself will go through an evolution of patching, features, player fads, and things to do. I want the accord to be broad and open enough to apply to all the game's incarnations without having to change itself.
3. The Controversial Cases Standing outside of Noobtown ganking day-old characters as they try to walk somewhere for the first time is obviously outside the boundaries of good gamesmanship.
What about 3am calls to siege an in-character-enemies' settlement while most of the players are asleep or otherwise logged out and not present to defend?
Are there times when it's acceptable to kill the same character over and over again? During official feud/war in general? During a specific operation when you need that enemy removed from the target?
The accord is going to avoid specific enumeration of allowable things vs. disallowed for reason 2 above (I actually plan on having it shorter than this post). But I thought it will be constructive to have a few examples of how the spirit of the agreement is applied in grey areas for players considering its merits or potential players worried about a toxic, anything-goes game environment.
That was my take on Roseblood on first reading, before the four pages of what groups of characters it's meant to benefit ensued. Actually our characters in the world don't need any awareness of it at all since what I mean is purely an understanding between the players who control the actions of the characters.
I'm not up on my Golarion lore so I will use the term Pathfinder Accord. The basic idea is to put a name to the concept of open world pvp gaming without being a total dunkheads to each other, as players, that Goblinworks has been promoting as a goal for their game all along.
Our characters can be Good and Evil and Psychotic. They can raid, plot demises, sneak resources off enemies' lands, flat out go to war, etc. as characters in fantasy settings are wont to do.
The Pathfinder Accord would say that we, as actual people behind keyboards playing a game with our recreational time, recognize that there are boundaries to a sandbox and some actions as players are going too far which inhibit the recreational time of other real people.
Signatories of the Pathfinder Accord would agree that 98% of the time we collectively know throwing the sand in other people's eyes when we see it, and agree that shouldn't be a part of our gaming time. Leadership players who act as agents of their companys and settlements to bring those groups of players into the Pathfinder Accord agree to promote that mindset of good gamesmanship and staying within the intended bounds of the sandbox within their groups, have some sort of official code of game conduct along those lines for their members, and enact disciplinary measures on their member players if they make their characters act outside the spirit of the Pathfinder Accord too often.
So when people say they've heard how bad EVE is we can say well that's EVE. Pathfinder Online has whole blocks of players from paladins to druids to assassins and necromancers that all agree that kind of stank doesn't belong in their gaming.
It might affect trade. Two towns, the characters in both are far different in alignment and goals than your own, but you decide to trade with the one that's in the Pathfinder Accord because you have some confidence their members won't use the materials in toxic ways while making the choice to not trade with the other town because they're known for tolerating shifty, troublesome corpse campers and epeen-proving random gankers.
Everyone that plays the game should endorse and model good gamesmanship while they play whether it's heroic pablum like I do or the heel wrestler that goes out of his way to say the thing that makes the audience jeer at him.
That's a separate thing than an in-game alliance of good guys acting to their mutual benefit and welcoming newbs.
I kind of wish there were two different accords, one for each of those ideas. Then UNC (and Golgotha, and others?) could join the good gamesmanship accord as was their first reaction, while lifting a select finger to the other accord for goody two-shoes heroes wandering around to save the day from their mean bandit types.
Lord Zodd wrote:
The functional efficient maximum number of characters in a company is said to be 30-50 and a settlement is said to have hundreds of members. So I would guess six robust companys to 12 or 20 companys of various sizes to make a hearty settlement.
I will leave this thread echoing Lhan's sentiments where I'd rather see two large geographic groups of Good settlements with similar game perspectives working together to secure multiple regions while potential enemies are very weak; starter spots and interesting future expansion areas of the map that compliment each other's interests rather than
3. I have no interest in helping those groups until they've been forced to learn the lessons I tried to spare them the hard way. I've already learned those lessons so I will be joining a group with an experienced/intelligent leadership, or one who will listen to sound advice when it's given. That's where I will enjoy myself best and where my labors will yield the most fruits.
which to me looks like someone turning their back on all their stated principles to win an internet ego argument.
The other major keystone to what kind of players we are is that an actor is not his character. People who play Hitler or Jesus or Peter Pan don't necessarily share the qualities of the personas they project. Though the separate actual person resides underneath the character guiding its actions so someone playing a doctor in surgery doesn't actually use a scalpel on another actor and hurt the person underneath the character.
That's why I'm not mad at UNC for saying they might try to take my character's stuff or Golgotha for harboring necromancers, assassins and other wretched scum and villainy. The game simply wouldn't be fun if we pet kittens, pooped rainbows, and held universal committee meetings to decide who can harvest where and whose turn it is to inhabit various settlement plots. That's what I think as a player, in character it will be more along the lines of "Die criminal! Die scum! Die abomination! This Land is safe and pure once again. Gold please."
Actors that are really good people play really bad guys in their performances so that the stories they are a part of telling are interesting and engaging and memorable. This is a sandbox GW isn't going to create that side of the stories for us. WE NEED GOOD BAD GUYS. And good bad guys can adhere to good sportsmanship too.
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
The mutual benefit portion is only implied because of the fact that an environment free of such things will clearly benefit all thereby.
Like Goodfellow, Darcnes, and Bluddwulf, I can completely see where two or more parties adhere to in-game, "fair" intended mechanics as they relentlessly hammer away at each other for a week long war resulting in somebody losing a settlement. That's not materially beneficial for those that lost their settlement, but hopefully it was fun or at least engaging and rewarding in the long run because that's the crux of the game.
I claim credit for being the first in the thread to make the sports analogy so I'll keep going... when the quarterback makes a 15 yard pass to a tight end that slips his linebacker and other far off defenders for a touchdown, the defending team didn't benefit but the intent is both sides had a good time in the challenge of it.
It might have been an interception returned for a touchdown if a guy ran a slightly different route, or someone fell down, or a defensive lineman managed to knock into the quarterback. All the players stayed within what's expected of "fair competition" and the outcome results from tactics, planned counter defense, and what offense actually happened.
Football has to define explicitly what's allowed or fair and in good spirit, we don't. We know what Goblinworks intends this game to be with very little deviation in perception. Many to most players (I hope) choose to accept the challenge of competing within those boundaries and see how good their team can be. A few will try to get an advantage with dirty tricks the refs can't see. Whatever you call it, Roseblood Accord or good sportsmanship or juggling geese, that is a key foundation to me for what kind of players we are.
It looks like, due to gameplay reasons, day/night cycles are going to be divorced and unimportant to the in-game date to record when events happen.
The game date will march on in time with Earth date and be pretty easy to track as it progresses. (Then Paizo will know what dates to put into their lore about the events and status of River Kingdoms).
Is vending going to be done in multiple shops by each seller or aggregated into one big town Bazaar where everyone goes to shop?
What type of limitations will be on selling in towns that you're not a in a chartered company of?
What can you tell us about selling personally or on behalf of our companies or settlements? (i.e. if we're familiar with trading in EVE do we pretty much have a handle on what trading will be in Pathfinder Online?).
I'm halfway to proposing a new way to filter players. The Covenant of the Leaf. People will either: ask "Leaf? What's the Leaf?" or say "I am a leaf in the wind, watch how I soar" then you know they're cool and belong in the covenant.
Settlement Name - This Land
Motto - "By my pretty floral bonnet I will end you."
Warning: There will be sudden but inevitable betrayals.
Aside from Andius cheering for our quick and total eradication in the southeast, my strategic mind likes the idea of having good-aligned, positive gameplay oriented settlements bookending the starter map on its main expansion corners to the NW and SE.
Current Map We have the Evils and Psychos surrounded. By the time alliances are formed big enough to go to war against good-aligned alliances agression on one side may open up a second front where the good group from the other side attacks at least resources and supply lines if not allied or subsidiary settlements directly. Two fronts is not a good situation to be in.
Expanding NW to Riverwatch A Northern Coalition of Good and positive gameplay is the closest and most easily projects influence and support from established settlements and trade networks to the new settlements heading to Riverwatch.
Main game expansion to the SE Since the starter map is in the NW corner of the overall River Kingdoms most of the areas we get after Fort Riverwatch will be southerly and easterly, and the first expansion that direction will have the strongest roots and support from Brighthaven and TSV.
What does that make us?
Big Damn Heroes sir.
So is this an in-game alliance or an out of game group working on fostering a good community of players?
The ideal is that 100% of active players believe in the basic principle of the Accord -positive gameplay- however that turns out in the game even when conflict and loss (an integral foundation stone of the game) are involved.
Sports teams aren't allied with each other on the field but ideally they all have the same concept of good sportsmanship during contests and wins and losses; at least you know it when you see it.
That's how I see the Roseblood Accord and why it gets my support.
It seems like we will be well-served to consciously stay aware of the difference between pvp and player harassment so we can be enthusiastically supportive of the former and condemn the latter; and raise that awareness among the curious onlookers investigating our game.
My thinking is if we were able to create two characters and tie them together on EE Day 1 they'd have roughly identical amounts of accrued xp their entire lives (maybe just that few minutes of xp ticking to create the second character of difference). So that's what I would like to end up with when the Destiny's Twin feature is fully in place.
The simplest plan to me -for both coding and understanding by the player base- is when you tie a twin character to the anchor character the twin gets jiggered so it has xp equal to if they could have been created together and made twins on EED1. That xp still has to be combined with all the other achievements, badges, attributes etc. before it turns into feats and skills of course.
I bring it up now because I think the official plan will make some difference in when the broad player base gets active and engaged in EE.
If there's no official statement of what GW plans to do or the dev team thinks about it and replies, "No don't count on retroactive xp for your twin" some people might delay activation of their accounts until settlements, the class they want is implemented, or something. That's less feedback and data for the dev team and an emptier world for players.
If someone from GW comes back with a verbal, "yeah that's what we want to do when the time comes to implement Destiny's Twin" everyone is motivated to activate their character right away (because that time being activated will eventually benefit the twin too as stated during the Kickstarter). And if the account is activated, you might as well go and play the game with it too. That's more data and potential feedback for devs and a fuller world for all of the players.
If there's already an official Destiny's Twin policy that I missed I'd be happy to see it to know what to expect for sure. This idea is my opinion of what's fair to KS backers.
During Kickstarter 2: Twins were offered to Explorer level and above as a bonus for backing; that's what sealed the deal for me and I'm sure many others. It came with the context of both characters paralleling their lifetimes.
More Recently: Ryan has said the Destiny's Twin link won't be available on the first day of EE even if we want to start our twins right away. That's not ideal but understandable with the complexity and time pressures of MVP launch.
What I think is fair and ask the devs to consider is a policy that when the feature is ready and a character gets twin-linked its available xp is set to an amount equal to that accrued by the older anchor character; to simulate if they had been linked since creation as was implied during KS2.
That's not an automatic win condition for the new twins because xp is only one of several prerequisites needed to gather feats and grow in power. The new twin will have a little easier time for a while but still has to go out into the world to make achievements, earn badges, build attribute points, find trainer time etc. before they can use that pool of xp for anything.
Why robust Twins are good for GW and us as players: Being able to build two characters for the cost of one more strongly motivates account holders to be involved earlier on rather than sitting out some of EE waiting for more developed features. With vital twins we'll be doing twice as many things so devs can get a lot more feedback on a broader array of features and we'll find a lot more ways to break the game. The more people are actively engaged at an earlier time, the more they show their friends what they're doing to get enthusiastic about Pathfinder Online and want their own accounts.
Yes this is something I benefit from and so do the the other KS backers and developers at no resource cost and I don't see any functional negatives to it so I'm putting the idea out there to take the temperature on it.
This map has made everything so much easier for me. It has the original land rush settlement names, borders between low and high elevations, with crop, plains, forest, meteor, and only-mountain hexes (there are no swamps in the starting map according to Lee in the video)