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I seriously doubt we'll see player character enslavement mechanics. Taking away a player's control over their character really doesn't go over very well generally, especially on the whim of another player. Being killed is often favorable to being subjected to some jerk's crap for more than five minutes.

That being said, I would expect it to happen in RP scenarios, and I could see "labor at gunpoint (swordpoint)" as something that would happen to skilled crafters from time to time.

Temporary enslaving of humanoid NPCs for labor could be amazing. How crazy would it be for some evil settlements to completely forego keeping commoners happy in favor of enslaving local goblins?!

Ryan Dancey wrote:

A >>>> LOT <<<< of people who play MMOs with PvP would prefer that there be no PvP. They THINK that the game would be great of they just didn't have to worry about the PvP anymore.

When those requests are catered to, there is a virtual certainty that the result is catastrophe. The resulting PvP-less game loses the vital driving forces that made everything NOT PvP interesting.

One example I can think of where there are both established PvP and PvE servers is Wurm Online. The PvE servers are basically a rat race to carve out your section of land, pay to have it protected, and then work and do labor for people to gain the money ingame to purchase the subscription fee/land fees. If you save up enough money you can buy essentially a cash faucet. Its a grief filled incredibly hostile place, requiring constant mod supervision to keep the toddlers from screaming.

The PvP servers on the other hand have economic flow, land availability, and the ability to resolve disputes. If you want to keep yourself relatively safe from unwanted PvP, make decisions to do so - choose safer areas, have good relationships with other players, take safeguarding precautions. As such, you'll likely see an unwanted PvP scenario less than once a month... but the threat of if is exciting (if terrifying) and enriches the entire experience. It also gives a means of absolute conflict resolution. However, groups are stronger than individuals, so those who play nice with others will win over those who don't, and things work out great.

Edit For Importance: PvP eliminates non-combat griefing by providing conflict resolution. It also creates the opportunity for combat related griefing, but PFO is actively working to make PvP meaningful and does not tolerate griefing.

I would expect that in PFO unwanted PvP will happen more often than once every month for most players uninterested in PvP. For those willing to work hard to avoid it, however, that may become the case.

How many people want a super safe place to play, where they're not at risk of unwanted PvP? A lot of them. And they'll work hard to make places like that with the systems in place. There will be some drawbacks for that - imagine a huge settlement where nearly every peripheral structure improves security, instead of resources or other things - but those places will still appear. In a place made safe from PvP by expenditure of great effort, PvP still enhances the experience of those avoiding it: "This is my home! We all work hard to keep it safe!" I would also expect that many players would go "Hey, if I take small risk A, I can get small benefit B." Occasionally they'll encounter PvP, and it may suck, but going on to avoid/be successful against it will add depth to their experience.

I would like to see things like region specific very rare mats (very rare in terms of 'finding substantial nodes for mass production') appearing in small quantities and fairly high qualities appearing in dungeons.

As far as materials go, "you found some iron ore" is terribly, terribly boring, but something like an Ancient Dwarven Whetstone Shard (or something like that) is significantly more exciting, even though players won't be acquiring gear from them.

Harad, awesome work! That's really sweet!

I think you're a little unclear about whats going on with each hex though, and the following may be able to help you refine your map to give a clearer understanding to others:

Whether something is an NPC, Settlement(ready), wilderness, or monster hex is a determined, permanent (unless patched) state, much like being a mountain or a desert. Monster hexes are always monster hexes, even without an escalation cycle, and can never be directly adjacent to settlement-ready hexes.

About 1 in 10 hexes will be settleable, instead of the not quite 1 in 7 that you've got there - allowing for monster and wilderness hexes outside of settlement/adjacent 'greater hexes'. I doubt that the world will be entirely divided up into these 'greater hexes' as you illustrate with the purple lines, but I could be wrong.

Tons of interesting stuff in the blog post and in the thread so far!

I had assumed that settlements could only control hexes adjacent to them, whereas nobody else so far in this thread had thought that. So: Adjacent, Contiguous, or Non-contiguous? If non-adjacent, then how far away can a settlement control?

I'm also surprised by the number of hexes that can have settlements in them: Around 150-200? That's quite a lot! If ten percent of the hexes are settle-able then if they can control non-adjacent hexes it seems like the area could get very tamed.

It would be fantastic if escalation cycles led to monsters controlling additional hexes, potentially even settlement hexes. I would love to see a monster kingdom form in the more distant, dangerous areas.

How dangerous settled, unsettled, controlled, uncontrolled, monster, and escalated hexes will be is a little tough to describe at this point but i'm very curious about it. My hope is that controlled wilderness will still feel fairly wild, and anything beyond that as fairly dangerous.

Who else is looking forward to the release of Blizzard Allstars at PAX East in a few days, specifically for the 'awww nobody actually wants to play it' factor?

@Kakafika: Wikipedia says the beta for LoL started 2 weeks before the beta for HoN. This sounds right to me. So... essentially simultaneously?

A big reason behind the success of LoL is the greater accessibility when compared with HoN. The graphics are easier to see and distinguish what's going on, basic gameplay mechanics are easier, the shop is easier, you get to use your abilities all the time. The NPE for HoN was abyssmal for quite some time, and it's community was the worst place on the internet - people using the in-game voice chat to scream profanity at their allies, lack of automated matchmaking, the hero-picking system... So many things. Probably it comes down to better marketing though. Definitely better monetization.

To the best of my knowledge, Dota 2 is killing HoN because HoN is a low-medium quality Dota standalone copy, depending who you ask, whereas Dota 2 is a high quality dota standalone copy.

LoL has a substantially different feel (and significantly less brutal gameplay) than Dota/2/HoN. Dota 2 is a relatively stable game, whereas LoL is constantly disrupted by the addition of new units and items.

How big is the playerbase for Dota 1, if you know?

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I also think that trying to piggyback off the popularity of MOBAs is a poor choice.

If you look at MOBAs, their history is not entirely unlike the history of MMORPGs. For reference, I was there for the whole thing: 80% of my gaming from 1999 to 2006 was Starcraft and Warcraft 3 custom maps, I preordered demigod, played the HoN closed beta, played LoL upon release. The original Aeon of Strife could be compared to the original MUD. WC3 AoS style games could be compared to pre-EQ MMOs. The original DotA is much like Everquest: It had a much higher profile than anything seen before it. HoN/Demigod aren't unlike the MMOs between EQ and WoW. League of Legends is the WoW of MOBAs, and the name's parallel is hilariously similar. It's hard to pinpoint exactly which game Dota 2 parallels, but it's landed like a post-WoW mmo for sure.

Trying to snag League's playerbase is going to be about as hard as it was to snag WoW's. There is room in the industry for other games, and even successful ones, but I think a LoL-killer is as unlikely as a WoW-killer was.

Now imagine it's 2006 and some modestly sized game company decided to shoehorn a WoW clone into an existing game idea.

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Aunt Tony wrote:
What if the spot on the scale PFO occupies is too far toward WoW and actually very little you do leaves a mark on the world? I can't carve my face into the cliff/moon, surely. I can't dig a hole just any ole place. I can't build a house/dungeon/stronghold/metalworking facility just any old place either. I suppose in this respect, it's a matter of freedom. If you're gonna have such open 24/7 PvP, it seems a little arbitrary to worry about how to best implement a nannybot to restrict players' options.

First, the 'nannybot' systems are being put in place to keep open pvp from becoming OPEN 24/7 FFA KILL EVERYONE PVP. It's possible to attack players at any given point but often it's a bad idea. Open PVP in this case is more about the danger and the possibility (and preparing for that) than 'we're all going to kill each other now'. For example, the KvK servers in Wurm were kind of like this - the danger of raiders from outside always exists, and players from your own kingdom can attack you whenever, but they generally don't because you've got common enemies. The option being there enormously improves the game.

Second... I see what you mean about the lack of mark. However, I think I know why things are being done as they are: Limitations due to limited development resources, and scale. By scale, I mean that it's a game for tens or hundreds of thousands of players that is supposed to last for years. Imagine a minecraft server that is five years old with tens of thousands of players... you'd end up with areas completely cluttered with crap. To adjust for the scale of an MMO, in order to make a mark more significant than a bandit camp, an inn, or a watchtower, it will take the concentrated efforts of a substantial number of people over a significant time period (I'm guessing listed structures will either take moderate effort from several people or great effort from one).

I share the yearning for a more open and lofty experience, though in the interests of "this sure is a step in the right direction" it doesn't bug me too much. Widening systems and adding more and more meaningful sand is something that most of us are confident that GW will do over time.

Kakafika wrote:
It would be REALLY clever if you switched to a limerick form... for the holiday, you know?

Tusks nearly as long as his nose,

Leaves "k"s wherever he goes,
all covered in grey
then mentioned the day
And soon he will smush all his foes

But seriously, it's been shown that when you pay people to do things, their enjoyment and desire to do them when not paid goes away. When tasks can only be enjoyed by the reward at the end then they really aren't enjoyed at all. If I'm doing a task only for virtual dollars it soon makes me think 'why not do something I else that gives me real dollars instead? or something that I actually like doing?'.

Jiminy wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
The problem I'm having with GW2 is that everything seems to be a grind. [...]
Maybe your definition of grindy is different from mine, but I find GW2 the opposite. [...] Even playing casually and trying to experience the dungeons and most quests I came across, I was level 80 under twenty days. [...]

I found the speed of things added to the feel of grind. The game never changed to me between level 2 and level ~45, when i uninstalled it. The game struck me as snowflake unique. When you magnify them and examine them slowly one at a time, it's great. To me, GW2 just looked like a block full of driveways to be shoveled.

Keign wrote:
Heart of the Swarm for Starcraft II

Heck yeah! I'm not very good (silver-ish, probably gold by next week) but if anybody wants to spar or play 2's or hit up some customs I'm [waffles.730].

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Hobs, well said. I feel the same way, even if that niche market ends up to not include me (I'm hoping it will =D).

Aunt Tony wrote:
-snip- My point being that a single number doesn't tell you much about the health of the game, the happiness of the playerbase, or the demographics of that playerbase -snip-

That's a really great point, and thank you for isolating it, I genuinely hadn't grasped that from your prior statements. I agree. I think the health of an MMO for the players and for the investors are different but intertwined, and using one to gauge the other is hazardous though correlation exists.

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Soldack Keldonson wrote:
-this thread-

The things you have suggested lately have been ridiculous, though they have not been ridiculed.

All-in-all, I think you're confusing 'make this the game I'm looking for' with 'make this a great game'. There have been multiple times where I've seen things that I don't know that I like or things missing that I want, and thought about trying to sway the game in that direction, thought about it a little more (or read counterarguments for when other suggested similar things) and realized it just wouldn't be the right fit.

Shoehorning a MOBA into PFO just isn't the right fit.

Aunt Tony wrote:

Citation needed.

An "active account" is not necessarily a paid subscriber, and Chinese farmers use paid accounts very often -- is a gold farmer really a player?

Citation: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/press/pressreleases.html?id=2847816

An active account is someone who is either a paid subscriber or someone who accessed the game through a cybercafe (the cyber cafes pay them on a model which i don't know). It does include gold farmers, which is a nontrivial number of accounts - but they're paying. That means revenue approximately equal to [a little less than] to subscription fee times 'active accounts'.

My point was that it doesn't include trial accounts and expired subscriptions. The numbers may be slightly inflated versus actual players but its by a relatively small margin.

@Minigames: The world has enough minigames. I can play flash games. I can play steam games. There are thousands of minigames waiting for me all over the place. I don't want people who should be developing some game that I care about putzing around with some other game. If I want to play some other game while I play PFO I'll sit in a tavern and pull out my smartphone. Seriously.

Waffleyone wrote:
I care about putzing around

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Soldack Keldonson wrote:
[Opening Post]

This is a list of things of what you would like the game to be, some of which are already in the works (1-3), and some of which are incompatible with or work against the stated design of the game.

Soldack Keldonson wrote:
With all due respect, Dungeons and Raid content should be instanced so it doesn't affect the server. If too many players want to play then keep adding hexes which are instanced anyways I think.

Just adding extra land and growing a one-world game isn't as simple as 'land proportionate to players and life is good'. Infrastructure is largely player built, and so the game can largely support a quantity of players proportionate to how many were playing a few months prior. This is much of the reason for the very gradual release.

The vast majority of the content will be player interaction. I want to see great PvE as well, though that won't come from instanced, separate from the world, repeatable-ad-nauseum dungeon and raid content as seen in theme parks. I don't think anybody is actually happy with the occasional trickling down of new end-game content, and that really doesn't look like GW's plan.

Soldack Keldonson wrote:
I know some people don't want to be a billionaire....

While you said this sarcastically, it's true: The goal isn't to make as much money as possible as fast as possible. The goal is to make an enjoyable, profitable (doesn't need to be wildly profitable) game to a market that isn't already being served.

Aunt Tony wrote:
[...] when Blizzard brags about millions (they're counting every expired trial account and Chinese farmer ever) [...]

Those millions are concurrent subscribers, meaning 'how many people payed us to play last month' (could be averaged over a few months). WoW bashing has gotten really boring, even when it's accurate...

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WillCooper wrote:
***Fantastic points wonderfully stated***

For players who are able to accurately gauge the strength of their opponents, their own strength, and are prepared, the results of battles will be largely known ahead of time. This is not a bad thing.

I have a feeling that in my first year of PFO i'm going to read a dozen analyses of the art of war, but to start early: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”.

It's worth noting that the partial miss stuff in some ways adds a huge unpredictability that isn't being taken into account by 'its too predictable' advocates: Duration of secondary effects due to partial misses. Anyone who has played MOBAs can immediately identify how massively different ~25% duration reduction of stuns and other CC are in application. When you KNOW something has hit but don't know how effectively, that adds a huge element of instability to a battle. Imagine if you have some plan of attack, and that 15 second root only lasts 8 seconds. That could turn into a catastrophe.

I do also trust that GW is willing to tweak formulas to make more sense should they turn out to be unsatisfactory once applied. The only really difficult thing about adjusting formulas is how mad the playerbase tends to get when you do it.

@Arbalester: I can confirm that decius data (and mine) is formulaic rather than experimentative.

More reduced forms for:
Low = (201-n)^3 - (200-n)^3
High = N^3 - (N-1)^3

Bluddwolf wrote:
Bandits are giving up surprise and what loot they might have gained from attacking and killing the merchant caravan, gatherer operation, etc. -snip-

I see your point regarding attacking operations that exceed 'players carrying things on their person'. The operation would probably try to give you 'less than everything they have including unthreaded gear', which is what they lose if you kill them.

Bandits are better with a SAD if they can get more than the unthreaded item that drops + noninventory items, but can't expect to get more than all unthreaded items + noninventory items, which is what the victims will lose if killed.

Still seems like the bandits will just always rob players blind with extreme SAD demands, and kill the victims if they don't give up as much/nearly as much as if they were killed and looted.

Banditry as an item sink is lessened substantially with the advent of both SAD and threading.

It doesn't seem to me like bandits are giving up anything besides the element of surprise by using SAD.

Regarding the problem with offline characters playing online you can look back to diablo 2. There's single player, LAN, open online, and closed online. Locally stored characters are hackable, which isn't a problem for when you're just playing with yourself and friends, although open online would get absolutely ridiculous and was chock full of dupes and hacks. Closed online is like how D3 did it. You had to be online, but cheating is nearly a non-issue, with the worst people can do being exploits and abuse rather than full on modification.

The only way to make offline characters able to participate online is if the things they do while offline don't have a meaningful impact on the online world. I don't know how to realistically pull this off.

In a video game, if every crit is game-changing (silencing a caster), they must happen very rarely or else they break the game. Crits don't have to do that reliably to be meaningful.

I'm very curious what GW's plan is with regards to the length of crit debuffs. I could see them lasting between about a minute and half an hour - any real permanence to the effects of crits and too many of them become too abnoxious.

Being, you make two really good points, though I'm going to just address the first one about investor risk aversion. It tends to tie into the point I was making, such that: The bigger the investment, the less risk you're willing to take with it. With smaller, riskier investments, you can divide capital up into multiple of them. Some of them will succeed, some will fail, and some won't do anything interesting at all.

MMOs are tough because its difficult for them to succeed with small playerbases, as people want to play with their friends. Also, the successes are unlikely to be as startling as with single player games because infrastructure needs to be there/built to support them.

I guess what I'm saying is: A 50 million dollar sandbox shooting for a million subscribers in the first three months isn't going to be any less broken than a 50 million dollar theme park.

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@AvenaOats: I agree completely. While I really like Tera's action combat, it isn't necessarily the right fit for PFO. The real importance is that the combat be strong, as opposed to run of the mill. They can do it however they want as long as it's good =D.

Now to answer Arbalester's concerns, most of which the information is already in the blog.

The attack resolution sequence goes in order.

Steps 1-6: Determines partial hits
Step 7: Base Damage versus Resistance
Step 8: (Modified damage * damage factor) * incomplete hit multiplier
Step 9: Final creature damage multiplier

So the damage goes:
dmg1 = (Base Damage - Resistance)
dmg2 = dmg1 * damage factor
dmg3 = dmg2 * incomplete hit multiplier
final damage = dmg3 * creature specific multiplier

I think you're overthinking things. The question didn't come up because to us there wasn't a question =D. The three modifiers are multiplicative, so the only thing in the order that actually matters is that base damage isn't multiplied by anything before comparing it to resistance.

Regarding creatures with additional damage multipliers: There are three basic formulas that GW could be using in the event this happens, and a only a very outside chance of them using something else:

// csm means creature specific multiplier
1) final damage = dmg3 * csm1 * csm2 * csm3
2) final damage = dmg3 * [ 1 - ( csm1 + csm2 + csm3 )
3) final damage = dmg3 / ( 1 + csm1 + csm2 + csm3 )

Now to analyze these.

1) Each csm makes the monster take X% less damage, multiplicative. if the csms are all equal to .8 for example, then one through three strengths make the monster more durable by a factor of 1.25x / 1.56x / 1.95x. There is some possibility GW will use this method if monsters with multiple strengths are to be extra tough.

2) Each csm makes the monster take X% less damage, additive. if the csms are all equal to .2 [equivalent to above], then one through three strengths make the monster more durable by a factor of 1.25x / 1.66x / 2.5x. GW will almost certainly not be using this method, because it is bad practice and things can get really out of hand really easily - if the CSMs were .5, then players would do half/zero/negative half damage.

3) Each csm makes the monster X% more durable, additive. if the csms are all equal to .25 [equivalent to above, again], then one through three strengths will make the monster more durable by a factor of 1.25x / 1.5x / 1.75x. GW will most likely use this method, because it is the most conservative and reasonable one. It is possible they will opt for 1) in favor of making multi-strength monsters really tough.

@ Arbalester. If you want that to be useful, you need to round those numbers: 17 digits of precision is way too much, it turns the whole thing into an eye-bleeding experience. I would recommend no more than four digits of precision, and get rid of the x.xxxxxxxxE-5 stuff, present it as decimals.

I asked whether GW would provide EE to those who contributed at the $250 level or higher on the first kickstarter but were unable to contribute to the second. I asked about this because I didn't think it had been addressed directly. It is of my opinion that to not do so shows a lack of appreciation for those who supported the project in its early stages when it needed it most. Valkenr clearly disagrees with my perspective. So far the answer was "it has not been decided" with no indication given that it will be provided.

I did not contribute at that level and the determination of this does not directly affect me or anyone I know.

The problem with Archeage is that it is taking a theme park approach and then tacking on a few sandbox elements. Never for a moment in all the hype did I think that the game was really a sandbox. Why? Because the sandbox elements aren't core to the way the game works.

I think that looking at PFO on the individual player level, it may not seem much more sandboxy than AA (in some ways less: player housing is somewhere over the horizon still), key game systems that define how the entire game takes shape are all pure sandbox.

I really do hope combat will be good. I've been playing Tera lately and there's something gloriously magical about PvE content that feels like a real battle and not just preshin byoutans.

Theme Park gameplay isn't necessarily broken. It's the Theme Park model that is broken, in the same way that the AAA gaming model is in general: Spending huge amounts of money trying to appeal to the largest audience possible.

In essence, they're all trying to sell Apple Pies, because apple pie is the pie that most people are the most likely to want. However, they're all competing with each other, and end up making bigger and fancier apple pies, that require a larger chunk of market share for a longer time to be profitable. Those new people don't really like pie that tastes too much like apples, or cinnamon, or are too crispy, so they get blander and less interesting too. And they need more market share still, so they make them even bigger and fancier and more expensive, but everybody else is doing that so AHHHHHHHHHH

I just want some pie, okay? I want spicy, flavorful, interesting pie. I'll try all kinds of pies. I might only buy a slice, or I might buy a dozen. For the love of god they don't need to be fancy or huge they just have to be interesting and good at what they're trying to accomplish...

Huge games trying to be the best to the most people are ultimately turning into pasteurized process cheese food product. I don't want that s&#*. FF13 is to MMOS as Dark Souls is to the MMO I want to play.

Will PFO be the shiniest MMO out there? No. Will it have the biggest following? No. Are either of those things a problem? No. It'll be shiny enough, it'll be popular enough, and some reasonably sized group of people will love it. Thats enough.

P.S.: Sadly, completely indie companies just don't quite have the resources to make MMOs that work well enough to be really good. Wurm/Salem/H&H/Xsyon have their moments but are too tiny to be stable and have solid polish. I think we all want more games made by 'a dozen or two' people instead of 'a person or two' or 'a hundred or two'.

P.P.S: While I don't like promotional kickstarters, I think that SotA is a cool project and I'm glad for it as a mid-size developer to exist.

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I think a crew of bandits where everyone but the leader would synchronize the macarena while he went through Stand and Deliver procedures would be the most hilarious kind of stupid. Especially if the traders with well armed guards waiting in ambush did the Run Devil Run dance while their negotiator told him to suck an egg.

It's not good design, but one time in ten thousand its use would be the most hilarious thing in the history of time.

...Setting appropriate dancing would be a really nice feature. Otherwise it straddles the line between gratuitous and gratuitously stupid.

Thank you very much for the response, I appreciate it. IMO how this is handled will be a strong indicator of the company's overall attitude toward its supporters/players. I do hope that we'll be updated once a decision is made.

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Of those who supported the tech demo at the founder+ level, there was at least 1 person who complained that they were unable to afford EE on the second kickstarter. Are those people getting comped Early Enrollment? It seems really unappreciative not to, especially considering it is a subset of the mere 171 people who contributed $250 or more (I'd argue that every one of those should get an extra EE pass).

I asked something like this in a less noticable way (thread response rather than new thread) right around the time it happened, didn't get a satisfactory response, and a couple days later I did what most people do on the internet when they don't like something: Get mad and storm off muttering obscenities under their breath and look for something better. Well, I didn't find anything better, and I still really want to know what the deal is here.

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The element of chance works better as a function of gameplay that is slow-paced and deliberate than it does of gameplay that is quick and frenzied. In slower medium you can have individual game changing elements of chance because they happen rarely enough that they can't be relied upon and slowly enough that you can react to them in a meaningful way. With faster medium they tend to end up being fairly reliable, and as such cannot be game changing without breaking everything.

Tabletop Crits: "Hell yeah took that bastard down!" or "OH SWEET JESUS I GOT CRIT GOTTA RUN OH S*#~" - Meaningful difference based on something actually unpredictable.

Video Game Crits: "Oh well I could do 400 damage a hit or I could do 350 damage a hit with a 20% chance for a +110% damage crit... with the crits I have 7% higher DPS! I'll do that!" - Pointless difference based on RNG that works itself out easily over time.

Edit: It's worth noting that I think PFO is handling crits in a much more meaningful way. Giving them a randomized side-effect that lasts for some period of time is a great way to deal with frequency and to make them both unreliable and game-changing without breaking everything. (15% Crit chance? Oh great I just wounded the shield arm of the caster with nothing in his offhand. Woo."

You know what, I'm gonna just say it: Bravo GW!

It's worth noting that the housing thing in Garriot's new project isn't quite that splintering (only 40 houses in kickstarter are 'city' level, the others are the other levels). Though "Spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for in-game exclusives" never fails to make me nauseous.

Lord British Presents: The Elder Scrolls Multiplayer. I mean The Ultima Scrolls Multiplayer. I mean LB's SotA:FV ... 11 character acronym? really? That's longer than "And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of Dead".

Why does he need kickstarter when he sued NCSoft for $28,000,000? for Promotion of course! October 2013 Alpha doesn't sound so crazy when you realize that he's been leading the team doing this project since 2009, although they were probably working on some other stuff before this.

Albion looks like its worth checking out when it launches though.

Papaver wrote:

Bluddwolf, based on that metric WoW is still the best game EVAR!

Still, you have a point. Especially seeing how his design mentality changed to in TR.

Market longevity as a metric of quality? Not necessarily. Metric of success? Definitely.

I honestly agree in disliking blocking be a direct across the board damage reduction. I understand that the goal is to prevent all-or-nothing occurrences, and this would be in line with that: Give shields a 'block rating' which would then go into a 'block' calculation.

This would take the defender's total block rating, total defense rating, attackers total attack rating and the attack's already calculated roll value, along with a block roll, and then calculate whether the attack is either not or partially blocked, in like fashion as to how the attack roll works. Balance this so it will on average block 10% of the damage from an equally matched opponent, and viola, you have a block formula that is exactly in accord with present damage-mitigation methods.

Wow thats really awesome!!! I hope you don't mind if at some point in the near future I re-engineer it?

I added a few more charts: Most noteworthy is Chart 0, which directly notes the power differences between tiers from damage reduction alone, taking into account expected attack/defense bonus modifiers.

@Mbando: Its worth noting that the crit chance values listed are actually how many hits are eligible for crits, which then go through an additional randomized calculation (the formula which we don't know).

@Nihimon: Quick Analysis between T2 and T3:
T2 Char has 70 Atk/Def bonuses while T3 Char with 100 Atk/Def bonuses, and T3 has 50% more health and damage than T2.
T2 hits averages 58% damage due to reduction (3.3% crit), while T3 averages 99% (96% crit). T3 is 71% more powerful just from attack/defense, prior to health and damage differences. Taking those into account is another 2.25x the power.

Result: T3 Char is ~3.8x as powerful as T2 Char. Against one T2, the T3 will almost always win. Against two, the T3 is likely to win. Against three, the T3 is likely to lose but may take one down depending on teamwork. Against four he may take one out but should lose.

@Mel: The issue with adding extra dice is that you tend to end up closer to the center which serves to make things more predictable, even though rolling a few extra dice isn't that much more work. Taking ratios between the three different dice rolls serves a similar purpose without adding predictability.

@Golnor: Thats a good point. In a post talking about the importance of granularity, a game system with only 3 states is silly - it's about as granular as a mountain.

My bad Brutus! That all makes a lot of sense and I didn't realize you meant 'same max damage' by your stated assumption - I figured you were simplifying the complicated weapon-damage-versus-resistance interaction, rather than removing all weapon power scaling. Anyway, it's all somewhere in there.

Random, thanks for specifying that - I realized it and was just using it for landmarks. The 50 base defense/different dice choices make such an enormous difference that it would likely require other stats to go down to keep the jump sane.

I want to be a badass owl so I can overhoot things. Also: Yay Analytics! I need to stop posting so much in this thread...


Valandur wrote:
I wonder how much having the exact formulas they are working with would change the results you guys are coming up with?


PFO Attack Vs Defense 3d200 Approximation - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av0GlNuNRydodDFhZ2hyWjlYdnN0N2 JfU0ZmRkk1cEE&usp=sharing

This is where I get all my numbers from. I've since streamlined it and made a bunch of graphs summarizing the data I culled from playing with it for a while. There's certainly things I'm missing (Like weapon tier's damage output by percentage chance as opposed to by roll corrected for probability.)

Decius, you're forgetting that characters will (as to how scaling works) do damage approximately proportionate to their health to each other. So the veteran with 3x HP will do 3x the damage, regardless of base defense. So each will do 21.8%/3 damage of the vet.

Lets continue with your math adjusted for this difference, but otherwise carrying all the same assumptions you had:

Veteran will have X hp and do Y damage. New char will have X/3 HP and do Y * 7.3% damage to Vet.

Four new characters will output 29.2% of the veteran's damage until one dies, then 21.9%, 14.6%, 7.3% ... They'll do 73% of the veteran's damage in all... enough to get him down by 24.6% health. Five would do little better, at 36.9%.

It will take nine new characters to take him down with maybe two remaining, sans AOE and other aspects.

It would take forty-two new characters to take him down without any fatalities... maybe.

Edit: Hey GW! Give us more math! For a chance to chew on this stuff some more I'd hit my head against your formulas and make spreadsheets with pretty graphs! =D

Hi Tater! I've got some ideas regarding your concerns:

1) So far the numbers are set to go up about 5:1 between a brand new character and min-maxed craziness with 5+ years of training. It'll be more like Shmucko the Mage's fireballs will hit for 59 and Gundolf's will hit for 295. There may be some amount of inflation of the maximum over time (there will be inflation of the median toward the maximum as average wealth and character ages rise) but increases will be more like percentage increases rather than exponential ones.

2) I really hate the slow pacing you're suggesting, requiring consumables and spending large quantities of time sitting around. Having some sort of mechanic for sociable downtime could be good but I'm having nightmarish flashbacks to sitting and waiting 4 minutes between fights in EQ.

From my previous figurings, there's about a 2 players to 1 difference between each of those steps... which in terms of 'if the stronger one stands there and gets beat on X of the weaker ones, taking them out 1 by 1'. This was assuming a 5 standard MMO level difference between each of those - equating to more like 20 over the course of the entire game's progression.

To figure out approximate total power scaling i'll rehash blog info: Characters health will scale around 3:1 in a practical time frame, and 5:1 is the upper limit (Lets call this 'max' or like 10 years of training). Damage output will scale about proportionately to health versus similarly armored targets. Bonus attack/defense modifiers can go up to 150 before buffs.

Back to my speculation (source):
5:1 for Health scaling (blog). 5:1 for Damage scaling (blog). 1.5:1 for uneven damage scaling (it scales 5:1 for strong versus strong, this is to make up for strong versus weak). 1.5:1 for abilities getting better (also more of them - guess). 5:1 for attack/defense interaction (newbie averages 20% damage/secondary effects according to formulas from blog). 2:1 for crits/secondary effects (conservative guess). Total that all up and we get:

Maxed Characters may be about 550x more powerful than FRESH characters. Granted, they only get 5x powerful in any one direction, but that is over 4 dimensions of growth. It was stated that a more normal scaling difference range is 3:1 which is more like 80:1 when all is said and done. Keeping in mind that early progression will be very swift, a very early battle-ready character and a very strong (but not 10-year) character will be even less. I'd guess closer to 20x.

The fresh to max scaling is approximately on par with WRPGs (extended over a longer period of play time), and it would be really difficult to make the game much flatter than this.

Edit: Its worth noting that my guesses of 1:10:60:200:550 total power correspond to approximately 0:7:60:365:3650 days.

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As soon as I read the 3d200 choose low/mid/high I started calculating... spent two hours on a spreadsheet before I spent 6 more reading the whole thread.

This is really interesting stuff. Also a note: The weapon/armor 3-tier system actually is very coarse instead of granular - and this could be easily made granular by having, for example, tier 1.02, which would be 98% of the low plus 2% of the mid, 1.04 etc etc (not really tiers at all =P how sandboxy).

The power curve between tiers of equipment is also not quite as flat as brutus suggested. Assuming defense and attack modifiers end up equal, with identical everything except T1 vs T3 gear, the better geared player will on average hit 95% harder, have +95% the effectiveness of secondary attacks, and have the 98% crit potential instead of 2%. This difference becomes more drastic when defense modifiers are higher than attack modifers.

Lets now look at the numerically reasonable example of AverageGuy versus ToughDude: AverageGuy is a pretty beefy adventurer (~3month char? /guess) and Toughdude is a really strong and well geared fighter (1yr char /guess). AverageGuy has T2 gear, +20 attack/defense/secondary resists, 1000 HP and 100 DamageOutput. Toughdude has T3 gear, +30 attack/defense/secondary resists, 1400 HP and 140 DamageOutput.

AverageGuy has a 11% chance to do full damage and roll to crit. On average he hits for 65% of full damage, and secondary effects have 55% duration (Two-thirds are under 70%). He can kill ToughDude in ~22 Time.
ToughDude has a 91% chance to do full damage and roll to crit. On average he hits for 98% of full damage, and secondary effects have 96% duration (Over 90% are undiminished). He can kill AverageGuy in ~7 Time.

ToughDude is 3:1 stronger than AverageGuy. Chances are AverageGuy will get spanked, but if he and AverageGirl work together, the battle is a toss-up and entirely dependent on player skill. Schmucko the 3 week old Bandit is there hiding in the bushes, but he is 10:1 weaker than Toughdude - Still, he knows if the battle is close enough he can "help" the losing side, kill them, loot all three, and disappear into the shadows a newly rich man. If Schmucko brought along his 3 friends he'd be an even match for either side.

Looks to me like the difference between a fresh character, a T1, a T2, a T3, and a max character is that 2 against 1 makes a fair fight. Which is approximately the difference in most MMOs of characters about 5 levels apart. Think the difference between level 3/6/10/14/18 characters in LoL. I don't think the system as illustrated is quite as flat as GW has been communicating, however it's still pretty darn flat (except for crit rates!).

Note: My numbers are slightly inaccurate because I simulated the system with 3d100, so please forgive the stray 1 or 2 percentage points (These assume that generally attack modifiers = defense modifiers and that resists are 0):

T1 Wep vs Armors:
T1 Armor: 42% Chance for Max Damage/Crit Roll, 86% of max damage/secondary effect average.
T2 Armor: 12% Chance for Max Damage/Crit Roll, 68% of dmg/2nd average.
T3 Armor: 2% Chance for Max Damage/Crit Roll, 52% of dmg/2nd average.
T3 Armor and target defense 30 higher: 1/800 chance for max damage/crit roll, 44% of dmg/2nd average.

T2 Wep vs Armors:
T1: 84% Max/Crit, 97% Dmg/2nd
T2: 50% Max/Crit, 86% Dmg/2nd
T3: 16% Max/Crit, 69% Dmg/2nd

T3 Wep vs Armors:
T1: 98% Max/Crit, 99.8% Dmg/2nd
T2: 88% Max/Crit, 97% Dmg/2nd
T3: 58% Max/Crit, 88% Dmg/2nd

There's a lot going on in this thread presently. Bear with me, please. I'm going to divide things up into 2 systems: the 'threat' system and the 'exile' system. First: Alignment operates upon multiple axes, not a LG-CE sliding scale.

Using laws and rules to reach certain goals is inherently Lawful, and as such using those as a means for control is inherently lawful, including the enforcement, down to PKing. It is not inherently either good or evil (after all, lawful evil is primarily ruthless/intolerant/immoral lawful), and as such these sort of things should only protect lawfulness.

Players with claim to an area should have means to protect it, including to threaten and carry out violence upon trespassers (laws permitting or absent) without becoming more chaotic. Valid claims to land are not difficult to measure and reduce griefing massively. Watchtowers, Forts, and Settlements, and to a lesser extent Camps, are a clear in-game metric of valid claims to an area. These 'threats' should give alignment protection only to those issuing, and only upon the passing of sufficient time. This could vary between different valid claims.

The Reputation system is a beautiful thing because it allows a great variety of metrics to be included within it. Hospitability for example, which could gradually increase with various interactions with players whom you have no/loose formal ties to, and decrease upon threatening/exiling (and potentially other things). As such, a lawful good organization that rules with an iron fist would have an in-game metric measuring it as such. Respect could be another - affected by honoring threat requests and waiting for threat timers before attacking.

A final note regarding territory control/exile: Settlements will have guards/protection directly around it, and should players want greater security on a given hex, adding watch towers is a possibility. Exactly how player laws treat exiles is up to the settlement (privately/publicly labeled, unlawful to do business with, not allowed into the settlement, lawful for [group/s] to kill, lawful for any to kill, KOS, etc... yikes, potentially let players define multiple 'exile' profiles). Should settlements choose to add harsh measures to many players it will be measured and apparent.

If a settlement decides to murder anyone who passes through their hex just for trespassing, it will quickly become Evil, gain a reputation as a hell-hole, and drag the alignment of everyone who interacts with them towards Evil as well. Edit: They'll probably also have everyone and their brother trying to smash them into dust.

Should the exile system be abused, the affected player could petition GW, which could leave a little note somewhere, and should enough of these start piling up towards any offender/organization, GW could review the cases using the player's reputation logs as well as the settlement's exile policy history.

First of all, I think I'm going to jump in to this, I thought I had missed my chance.

Mbando wrote:
Elth wrote:
I would love to donate more money to the cause but I've already put in $250 for the tech demo and really cannot justify more for a game that I may not even like.
I think this is a legit beef. I'm sure there were plenty of people who went all in for the tech demo, not knowing there would be a second round. The rewards for the second round are more significant for most of us, because they are directly about what we are here on this board about.

I agree! I also feel pretty strange about the people who supported the tech demo kickstarter needing to contribute extra for early enrollment. I had assumed that all of those people had priority when the gates first opened. It's a lack of appreciation, especially toward the founders+.

Give at the very least founders+ early enrollment! They already heavily supported the project in an earlier stage. There are something like 170 people who contributed to the first kickstarter at that level or higher - let them opt in to get early enrollment, first month, for no more cost than clicking a button or sending an email. And give them 2 enrollments if they want them. I'm completely fine with stepping aside and waiting 1/15th of a month to give early supporters the place they deserve.

Andius: You have three sets of abilities weapon-dependent abilities available to you. That doesn't equal your two symbols and a shield. I don't know the rules about wielding a holy symbol and a shield at the same time or I could be more clear. At any rate, weapon-slotted abilities 1-6 could be healing from one holy symbol, 7-12 could be fire from another holy symbol, and 13-18 could be weapon-and-shield related, or whatever you like. There isn't going to be a need to limit yourself to 6 abilities. And that isn't counting the refresh abilities or all of the passives.

Regarding alignment and generalist vs specialist: It seems like among LG and LE chars, that specialization would be fairly high, and that among CG and CE characters generalization would be more prevalent. I mean, after all, turning yourself into the perfect cog in a machine, being a specialist, is an inherently lawful life course, whereas being a rubber band that can fit many situations and tends to fluctuate and be effective in more situations is inherently chaotic. It's not the only deciding factor, but it's among them.

Andius, we all understand what you're saying, and yes your 100% divine casting Cleric is going to be better at divine casting than anyone else. We get your points, you've made them clearly, would you please stop hitting us over the head with them.

Another idea would be that you can have one capstone at any given time - and in order to switch capstones, you have to do the 20th merit badge again. So you dabble with fighter and ranger, and eventually capstone Fighter. Then, you capstone Ranger. You decide you liked the Fighter capstone better - you have to get rid of your Ranger capstone, and then earn the 20th fighter badge again.

*shrugs* just a thought of how to make a 'single capstone at a time that you can change' be significantly hard to change without being impossible.

*Boisterously applauds GrumpyMel*

Seriously dude, Keep up these amazing posts and by the time the game releases I may need to buy you a pie. I tried to write a post to go along with what Mel said but I've got nothing worth saying after that besides +3.

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Hi there Samping, welcome!

This is all great thinking, and a lot of it I'm fairly sure is already incorporated into the design principles.

Regarding dungeons, I agree completely: Modularly designed, procedurally generated dungeons are the way to go! After setting up a framework, they provide much more content for less work (albeit at the cost of design quality, less so with better framework/pieces).

However, it seems like you're thinking a little more in 'theme park' mentality as far as the quests go. How it looks like PFO intends to work is much like how you described, but you cut out the NPC and a lot of the scriptwriting. Here's the kind of thing that I expect to happen:

Lets say Chartered Company (player organization) Money-Grubbing Merchants has found a potential profit in the Wolf Fang Necklace market over in Westville. There aren't any wolves near Westville (which is why the price is so high there!). So they send Merchie to Eastville, which is right by the Wolfy Woods. Merchie sets up some quests for the locals: Bring wolf fangs, and make wolf fang necklaces. In the meantime, some unfavorable characters notice this, and set up to ambush Merchie when he leaves town. Knowing this likelihood, Merchie hires Somedude to move the goods, and Somedude hires some guards. One of Somedude's guards turns out to be a bandit, and arranges for the party to get jumped and the goods to be stolen. Then Merchie talks to his CC to hire a hit squad to get the goods back and take revenge. This potentially turns into a war between a bandit organization and the Money-Grubbing Merchants.

Thats a lot of player-generated content that didn't require a single line of developer script-writing. Now you could add the occasional big-picture quest, which would require (and generate!) interaction with a number of other players, and that way turn one developer-made-quest into dozens of quest-like missions!

Edit: And this is why sandboxes with simulated economies are really cool!

The microtransactions that I will always be happy with are vanity items. Changed looks on buildings, animals, abilities, items, etc. If someone wants to spend five or ten dollars a piece on a bunch of things to make their average necromancer into the most impressive looking winner on the planet, with wings of smoke and flame and footsteps of lava and all kinds of other shiny shenanigans, great.

Potentially some sort of 'retraining' would be feasible as well to fix mistakes - so if you decide you don't like a training decision, you could spend $2 to untrain a month's worth of skills (needs to be well put together to avoid abuse), and get triple speed training for the next 2 weeks.

I pretty much agree with Alexander Damocles, besides the retraining thing (If someone came up with a solid fault with that, which good design can't fix, I'd retract it).

@Andius - I think you could probably find a friendly who would cheerfully run your business for a share of the profits. You could potentially even set up quests to do it.

Thanks for the response, Ryan! I'll assume that feature could be classified with the "We'd love to do that somewhere down the road, and will if we can" bells and whistles. I like the vision for this field of features, really excited to see how things progress.

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I would love for there also to be a phone app integrated into this: Some way for other characters or organizations (approved ones!) to send your character a text message, essentially, when you're not online or looking at the game. Have some various settings so that you can decide who can send you messages, time frames that you can receive them (so you can say 'don't tell me about stuff while i'm sleeping or at work'), and what priority messages you want to receive.

Something like this would be FANTASTIC for 'our CC/settlement needs people, right now, there's an attack underway' or 'hey buddy, awesome dungeon, need some people to help with it'. Guilds in theme parks sometimes like to get RL contact information just so they can get to a person outside the game. It'd be nice to streamline and compartmentalize this so characters can be accessible if and when they want to be, without giving out real contact information.

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