Population Density


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

Ok, I have been reading in developers blog and the play area of the Crusader Road is an area of 133 square miles an area 11 miles by 12 miles (an area that can be walked in a days time.) This area is broken down into 256 hexes each roughly about .75 miles across (3960 feet or 1320 yards) with 18 hexes being river we have 238 habitable hexes.

Now in the developers blog they mention that 10 people can sign a charter to establish a settlement in a hex.

Now the kickstarter at the time of this post has 6,749 backers and could easily go over 7,000 backers. Only 10 people are needed to create a settlement and the size of the hexes are way too small to handle much more then one settlement per hex. It is highly probable settlements will be stacked right next to each other and all the available space will be taken up by settlement very early in the beta.

It does make me wonder once in the second month of the beta all of the land space is taken up with farms, mines, settlements, and roads where they are going to squeeze the dungeons.

Goblin Squad Member

Well, they can't be taken up in the first month of beta because as I recall they don't currently plan to have settlements possible at the start of EE. By launch though, I believe. Probably mid-way through EE.

While you only NEED 10 people to start a settlement, I think that'd be the very low end of settlements. Real cities will take many more to keep running and operational, not to mention defend.

Goblin Squad Member

Additinally in an interview it was said that by the time we get to release they will have begun to add more and more land as more and more people arrive.

I don't believe it will be too crowded.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Your ten person settlement will quickly be overrun by the larger kingdoms. You won't be able to build in every hex, plenty of room for dungeons. I wouldn't worry!

Goblin Squad Member

I agree with the OP's overall curiosity regarding population density.

Will there really be any 'wilderness' area where you are unlikely to run into other people? Or will there be a 'bandit' around every corner and people running everywhere? If I am 'exploring' and see someone every three minutes it will really ruin the immersion for me.

I'm really hoping for the former. I'd like to think I could explore a hex and perhaps not even see another person for a while. I don't think that is likely, however, given the number of hexes and the number of people. I'm sure GW would say that a certain restriction is needed to ensure meaningful interaction, but I'd counter that a feeling of true wilderness is needed too.

My big fear is that there are a lot of people who want to 'explore', but that there just isn't enough explorable area to scratch that itch for all of them.

In addition, I wonder if there is a mechanism that can restrict the settlement of hexes so that people don't go out and just plop down settlements in the middle of nowhere without roads or other infrastructure to actually support them. Will hexes need to be 'developed' including linking to other settled hexes? Or can sprawl just go crazy with random 'pop-up' kingdoms?

Goblin Squad Member

@Micco - Settlements are 1/hex and will appear in the geographical center of each hex. There will be 3-5 sites scattered elsewhere in each hex, presumably spawning when a different site despawns, though that part's conjecture. I imagine that once a settlement is placed a road will appear, or roads might pass through the center of every hex by default anyway, placed when the hex is created. That would probably be the best in terms of continuity. The size of each hex was stated somewhere, iirc they're a fairly good size and big enough to include a moderate amount of wilderness that may or may not be developed. I imagine that they'll want a healthy amount of unsettled hexes. I'm like you in that I feel the itch to explore sometimes and really want to just do that solo without encountering too many other people.

I envision the hex system to be something like the constantly expanding Tribal Wars system, where more hexes are added as more characters are created. The settlements near the center of the world map would end up being the oldest and most well established and you'd have younger settlements on the fringes. I wonder if kingdoms can control a hex that doesn't have a settlement on it, essentially creating a national park of sorts with some resources and dungeons and stuff on it.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jameow wrote:
Your ten person settlement will quickly be overrun by the larger kingdoms. You won't be able to build in every hex, plenty of room for dungeons. I wouldn't worry!

Settlements are not kingdom and not just populated by the PC's I expect there to be anywhere from 100 to 1000 common folk NPC's generated by PC actions. Everytime a harvesting camp is setup workers come to work it. I can deduce that when a settlement is created a like number of NPC guardsmen will be generated. Shops, processing shops, crafting shops, caravan corral. Everything the PC's build will be generating common folk

According to the dev blog kingdoms will be made from groups of settlements. Also according to the dev blog the only limit is 10 people setting up the charter and plopping down a fortress and holding it for a specified time.

Unless they make the cost of the fortess prohibitively expensive we will see settlement pop up everywhere. Given the limited starting area (and no mention in the blog about expansion mechanics yet) even if we only factor in the Land rush board of almost 100 organizationa that is a good 1/2 of the hexes on the map. And some of the organizations want to be nations with more then one settlement.

I am not worried about the size, though the feel of it would be wrong with that kind of pop density for the River Kingdom setting. I just expect the competition to be more intense then most people realize or will be prepared for.

Goblin Squad Member

I doubt anyone 'plops' down a settlement. There was one reference that talked about first building a camp, then a tower, and building out from there until you upgraded the tower, then upgrade the settlement. Sounded like a very long resource intensive operation the way I read it.

Goblin Squad Member

Thanks Uthreth! Nice summary of the mechanics. I'm sure I read all of that someplace, but the old grey matter ain't what it used to be! I do remember some reference to 12 mile diameter hexes (but see previous grey matter caveat...)

I'm concerned along with BlackPhx about how many empty hexes will survive. I hope it hard enough to build things that every hex doesn't have several PC structures, even if it isn't a settlement.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
I doubt anyone 'plops' down a settlement. There was one reference that talked about first building a camp, then a tower, and building out from there until you upgraded the tower, then upgrade the settlement. Sounded like a very long resource intensive operation the way I read it.

Actually yup they can just plop down a settlement.

GW DEV BLOG wrote:
Once the settlement charter has been created, a minimum of 10 characters must sign it. The settlement must begin with a fortress in a wilderness area; if any other parties have a fortress in the chosen hex, it will need to be destroyed. Once the party has successfully defended their own fortress for a specified amount of time (variable depending on factors affecting the hex), a fortress in the hex must be upgraded to a settlement building; this act formally establishes the settlement.

The only constraints are the cost of the fortress, how long you have to defended it and how much it cost to upgrade to a settlement building.

Once established it will be a devil to get rid of. If the Fortess provides an advantage in combat that historical fortress had then the defender have a 3 to 1 advantage. I am not certain if settlements come with NPC guards after re reading the griefing mechanism but it can not be easy to destroy the settlement without siege engines. I do not think the mass combat mechanisms will be ready by the end of Beta. Sapping and attacking walls with pick axes could takes game weeks to bring it down unless you have a fairly substantial group of attackers. Lets hope they do not go in for any realism in this sandbox.

Goblin Squad Member

A superior force will not need to destroy your settlement, simply stop you from getting resources while they develop their own. Their superior resources means they will draw more people to use their upgraded facilities, while your little settlement remains a poor little backwater. Your resources committed to building it are wasted by your inability to do anything with it.

So just going out and building a settlement because you can wouldn't be a very good idea.

Goblin Squad Member

At this point it is mostly conjecture. The good part is the settlement has to be a wilderness hex so that alone will limit the number of hexes that can support settlements.

Goblin Squad Member

We do know that building can be added to settlements and that they require resources and time- therefore resource control is important.
We also know that alignment matters. We know there will be npc guards of some description (we don't know much about them) and we know there will be a vulnerability period for settlements.

We know resource and monster/dungeon spawns are random and not all fixed locations, so we know there will be ongoing conflicts.

We know there will be siege weaponry, but we don't know when. We don't even really know how combat works lol. So yes, a great deal of conjecture and lots of broad points lacking detail. But over the next year we'll find out. And beta will probably tell us a lot about functionality of those systems and what needs to be changed.

Goblin Squad Member

Here is my question. If there are two settlements in neighboring hexes can they choose to expand to become separate districts of one big city?

Goblin Squad Member

They can't be merged apparently, so I guess they'd just have to work together and specialize?

I think the system needs to consider these sorts of things really

Goblin Squad Member

I think thats what Kingdoms are for.

Goblin Squad Member

Hark wrote:
Here is my question. If there are two settlements in neighboring hexes can they choose to expand to become separate districts of one big city?

I read somewhere about player nations. I think that's what you're referencing.

Goblin Squad Member

JDNYC wrote:
Hark wrote:
Here is my question. If there are two settlements in neighboring hexes can they choose to expand to become separate districts of one big city?
I read somewhere about player nations. I think that's what you're referencing.

I know about player nations, they are cool too and an ideal way to take advantage my suggestion, but that isn't what I'm asking about.

My question is if settlement in neighboring hexes will have the choice to have their settlements literally grow together such that one seamlessly blends into the other. I my opinion it would be a great way to build large cities. Any given hex by itself isn't all that big, but stick a few together and you start talking about a much more sizable area.

Goblin Squad Member

@Hark, I think that would first presuppose that a settlement could expand to encompass its entire hex, and I think that's a risky proposition. That could very quickly leave central settlements without any access to wilderness terrain, and could allow a "Great Wall of China" effect where several settlements merge into a passage-inhibiting line.

Goblin Squad Member

@Dario, This is a bad thing how?

Goblin Squad Member

I'll let Ryan explain it.

Quote:

Each hex can have a variety of potential locations suitable for construction. The developers will build these into the terrain as the hex is designed. Finding these locations will enable characters to erect a building on the site. Specific sites are likely to be restricted to specific types of structures. The external appearance of each building will be defined by the development team—functionally identical buildings may be graphically different to ensure they are appropriate for the terrain where they're located.

The restriction on building types and locations exists for two reasons. First, we want to make building sites a constrained resource, as that makes them worth fighting over, and that conflict helps drive player interaction. Second, we want to ensure that the density of the structures added to the world and the places where they are built makes sense and isn't used as a way to artificially segment the game world or to create terrain advantages—a big problem in many other MMOs that allow player-created buildings.

Additionally, I'd add that I would rather not see a huge segment of the River Kingdoms end up as a massive urban sprawl. This is Pathfinder, not Shadowrun.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

If nothing else it would encourage undesirable game-restricting powerblocks.

Goblin Squad Member

If settlements are large enough to naturally grow together it make far more sense for them to do so.

Honestly by reading Ryans description it sounds like cities naturally forming of of densely populated neighboring hexes are more likely to happen not less.

Goblin Squad Member

Settlements will only be large enough to naturally grow together if they can occupy the whole hex. It sounds like that's not going to be possible under Ryan's blog. You'll be limited in the areas where you can build. Otherwise you risk players rendering large areas of the map completely inaccessible. It's hard to see how this is anything but a bad thing.

Goblin Squad Member

I've kind of run under the impression that the system will allow you to determine that you want to build for your settlement and the settlement would place the building itself. As the settlement grows the area that buildings are automatically placed expands eventually growing to fill the hex. No players blocking off areas are all.

Goblin Squad Member

If a settlement completely occupies a hex, and you allow adjacent settlements to merge, you get a long, linear settlement. Encompass an area in this settlement (either in a circular formation, or by partitioning off a corner of the map) and you have now barred access to that area to any who cannot pass through the settlement.

Goblin Squad Member

Well there is the question of player housing. It isn't clear that PFO will sequester player housing in its own seperate, out of the way neighborhood like they did in LotRO or out in the open like UO. UO's system seemed pretty haphazard and eventually became something like urban blight, but LotRO's system of isolating them made them irrelevant ghosttowns once the new wore off. A nice try, but they weren't integral to a their owner's social life.

A hybrid should be possible where once the building site in a hex is upgraded sufficiently and the player population located there reaches a set threshhold the sub-areas adjascent to the actual settlement central building area and any roadways nearby might evolve into player housing plots. If the population reaches another threshold then more plots might pop. If two adjascent hexes do this enough they could in fact become contiguous, rather like two growing communities retain their seprate identities but in fact are parts of a sprawling city.

That said I'd like a perk for characters who reach the equivalent of level 20 allowing them to build a residence in an otherwise unpopulated hex on the settlement site of their own. That way the Wizard of appropriate power and wealth could build his arcane tower, or the druid his grove.

Goblin Squad Member

I think that the best way to do it is like EverQuest II did it, you have your buildings that already exists that several people can have their own private instance into, even a cottage in the woods could work as player housing for up to twenty, thirty or even forty different players.

Goblin Squad Member

I could live with the EQ2 system but I would rather have more than one hive to choose from.

And I do want a wizard's tower and druids grove.

Hey....

Idea:
What if the facilities/settlement upgrades were something like the various 'city' parts you could build in the Heroes of Might & Magic series? You know, the Wizard's Tower adds wizard NPCs to your NPC settlement defenses, and similar?

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

I could live with the EQ2 system but I would rather have more than one hive to choose from.

And I do want a wizard's tower and druids grove.

Hey....** spoiler omitted **

I like your cleverly spoiler tagged hidden idea.

Goblin Squad Member

Anything to keep the fantasy wilderness from becoming American suburbia...

Goblin Squad Member

Dario wrote:

If a settlement completely occupies a hex, and you allow adjacent settlements to merge, you get a long, linear settlement. Encompass an area in this settlement (either in a circular formation, or by partitioning off a corner of the map) and you have now barred access to that area to any who cannot pass through the settlement.

The only people that suffer for this are those with terrible reputations such that theyatheyare auto attacked by guards. Even they could probably get through with a disguise. So nobody is missing out on anything. Even if somebody could make an area inaccessable it is an excellent eccuse for war. Stil no problems.

CTO, Goblinworks

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We want to keep the River Kingdoms feeling like the semi-wilderness that they are. Settlements will definitely not be allowed to grow all the way to the sides of the hexes and start merging. There is a lot of wilderness between each of the settlements.

Goblin Squad Member

Hexes are not very big, these settlements are going to be tiny.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

Well there is the question of player housing. It isn't clear that PFO will sequester player housing in its own seperate, out of the way neighborhood like they did in LotRO or out in the open like UO. UO's system seemed pretty haphazard and eventually became something like urban blight, but LotRO's system of isolating them made them irrelevant ghosttowns once the new wore off. A nice try, but they weren't integral to a their owner's social life.

A hybrid should be possible where once the building site in a hex is upgraded sufficiently and the player population located there reaches a set threshhold the sub-areas adjascent to the actual settlement central building area and any roadways nearby might evolve into player housing plots. If the population reaches another threshold then more plots might pop. If two adjascent hexes do this enough they could in fact become contiguous, rather like two growing communities retain their seprate identities but in fact are parts of a sprawling city.

That said I'd like a perk for characters who reach the equivalent of level 20 allowing them to build a residence in an otherwise unpopulated hex on the settlement site of their own. That way the Wizard of appropriate power and wealth could build his arcane tower, or the druid his grove.

Doesn't seem viable to me, as you need to destroy a settlement to build a new one. So populations will be fluctuating rapidly and in drastic numbers.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hark wrote:
Hexes are not very big, these settlements are going to be tiny.

Only relative to the mega-cities you're used to in the modern world.

Here is the post where Ryan describes his vision for an "advanced settlement".

Here's the picture: Carcassonne

Here's that fortified area on Google Maps: Carcassonnne. It's the peanut-shaped thing in the middle surrounded by green.

Using my thumb and the 200 ft scale, I made a very rough estimate that this area is roughly 800' x 1,600'. That's roughly 1/6th of a Hex x 1/3rd of a Hex. And that's a rather large area to walk around in.


Mark Kalmes wrote:

We want to keep the River Kingdoms feeling like the semi-wilderness that they are. Settlements will definitely not be allowed to grow all the way to the sides of the hexes and start merging. There is a lot of wilderness between each of the settlements.

Realizing that everything is just conjecture and subject to, likely will, change before release. Just taking an example of a 600 population settlement. And the statement that settlements won't have buildings that are jammed together. Add in player housing whether within a settlements enclosure, as Nihimon's image shows, or arranged outside of the settlement. That seems like a pretty large potential area for a settlement to cover. Not that this is a bad thing mind you. I would hope that someone of opposing alignment would have a way to travel through the settlement without having NPC guards automatically sense their alignment and KOS the traveller.

Edit: Looking at this image from another thread showing an 11 X 12 mile area with the center being the fortified castle/village of Carcassonne (the image I reference above) then perhaps it won't be as crowded as I imagined. Link

Community / Forums / Paizo / Licensed Products / Digital Games / Pathfinder Online / Population Density All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Online