Speculation on differences between EVE and PFO warfare


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

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Some speculation on how PFO conquest game might differ from eve.

I believe that in PFO it will be more difficult for numerically small but well equipped and organised groups to dominate territory and resources in the same way as they do in eve. The following are the main points

Instantaneous travel and power projection
Choke points
Local chat
Resource distribution

In eve capital fleets can traverse the universe in minutes. Hot drops on a target several systems distant occur. This allows well-equipped fleets to project power over huge areas. Unless PFO introduces teleporting I don't see this happening in PFO. The corollary being if it takes time to move an army across the map in PFO it becomes difficult to control a large territory unless holding company also large and occupying all territory

In eve there are gates between systems. These are choke points where a PVP outfit can wait and pick off others passing through. Particularly industrialists and pve-ers attempting to operate in lowsec. In PFO if it is possible to cross a boundary between hexes at any point it presumably makes entering hostile territory more feasible and so activities such as ninja mining more feasible. Hideout and watchtower mechanics TPC. Presumably also means to detect and prevent incursions into your territory you must have people present, unlike EVE where many systems are largely empty.

In EVE local chat immediately alerts the occupier of a system that someone has entered. Chat system in PFO FBC. Presumably some form of chat to encourage interaction. If designed so as not to provide location intel it is no longer a tool to detect interlopers. In EVE nulsec alliance members happily mine and PVE in safety until a visitor is seen in local, when they dock up. Local chat also used by macro scripts for bottling. PFO might for instance limit local chat to settlement hexes.

In EVE there have historically been a number of very high value static resources which are generally held by a small number of very rich nulsec alliances. They can claim resources remote from their home systems due to ease of force projection. The extreme value of these few resources means a rich nulsec alliances can wage economic war on others, effectively treating as disposable assets another corp would be unable to replace, and therefore able to outlast other corps in a sustained war. In PFO some hexes will likely be more valuable than others, but hopefully not with the extreme variation that occurs in EVE.

In general I believe in PFO it will be more feasible for casual players to control some territory than in EVE.

Disclaimer - I played EVE for several years, but stopped a while ago.


I would certainly agree with most of this synopsis.

However the caveats I would add is to repeat the point about choke points. As yet it is unknown whether you will be able to cross easily from one region to another ( a region may equate to part of a hex, a single hex or multiple hexes. Many mmo's such as wow still have regions in which there are choke points and you cannot cross from one to the other just anywhere). If there are no choke points I would actually welcome it because frankly sitting in a gate camp is a very passive thing to do and more possibility of incursion into owned territory lends a certain frisson to the game.

While hopefully PfO will avoid the whole moon goo issue that Kelpie talks about I think controlling important resources will still be important and is why I have talked much lately about controlling hexes that are theoretically not within the boundaries of your settlements mechanically defined area of control.

I am not sure however that I agree with the conclusion Kelpie comes to completely. I think he would be more correct to say it will be more feasible for casual players to take control of some territory. However the same issues that make it easier for them to take that control such as boundary porosity and lack of local intelligence also conspire to make it harder for them to keep it.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Indeed: The difficulty of gaining control of a piece of territory is inversely related to the difficulty of maintaining control of it.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Indeed: The difficulty of gaining control of a piece of territory is inversely related to the difficulty of maintaining control of it.

Tautology 101 :)

Goblin Squad Member

Steelwing wrote:

I would certainly agree with most of this synopsis.

However the caveats I would add is to repeat the point about choke points. As yet it is unknown whether you will be able to cross easily from one region to another ( a region may equate to part of a hex, a single hex or multiple hexes. Many mmo's such as wow still have regions in which there are choke points and you cannot cross from one to the other just anywhere). If there are no choke points I would actually welcome it because frankly sitting in a gate camp is a very passive thing to do and more possibility of incursion into owned territory lends a certain frisson to the game.

While hopefully PfO will avoid the whole moon goo issue that Kelpie talks about I think controlling important resources will still be important and is why I have talked much lately about controlling hexes that are theoretically not within the boundaries of your settlements mechanically defined area of control.

I am not sure however that I agree with the conclusion Kelpie comes to completely. I think he would be more correct to say it will be more feasible for casual players to take control of some territory. However the same issues that make it easier for them to take that control such as boundary porosity and lack of local intelligence also conspire to make it harder for them to keep it.

A casual company set up next to a well organised and expansionist company will certainly struggle and likely loose, which is entirely appropriate. But there may well be a limit on how much territory an aggressive company can claim (unless it recruits new members). While it may have a very competent warband on call it takes time to move around the map. So it may be difficult to both invade new hexes while also fighting off raiders on its mines at the other side of its lands.

Goblin Squad Member

For me I think there will be several things that are different than EVE. I agree that one of the biggest is that the amount of chock points will be much smaller than in EVE and hopefully they dont really exist where there is only one way in and out of a hex. That alone means that controlling a hex will be difficult. Then you add in the fact that if you set up a roadblock its very easy just to go around it. Sure it might take a couple minutes more but ehhh.

I also agree about the chat system. its easy to control a territory when you are immediately informed who enters your area. hopefully in PfO there will be no way to know who is in your territory unless you actually see them.

As to the resources Ryan let it be known that not all resources will be available everywhere. Given the above and the fact that in order to be safe you have to have either a PoI or settlement to run back to, i think that controlling resources where you are not next to will be very difficult. You cannot have a small group of people sit at a chock point and auto kill who ever shows up and you dont know automatically who enters the space. The result is that it should be much harder to extend your reach without also investing in settlements and such.

However i dont know if PfO will be more casual friendly. Basically outside of player/npc settlements there is no safe spot for people to do what they want to do. If you leave a settlement you are at risk of getting attacked. Then you add on the fact that in order to train higher skills you need to be part of a settlement with increasingly higher DI, which puts you at risk of pvp. someone declares war on your settlement you can be killed without consequences. If you are the opposite faction as someone else they can kill you without issue.

I do think that where PfO will be very different than EVE is the stance of GW. One reason that a lot of people who otherwise might like EVE but dont is CCPs hands off view of player actions. Basically this boils down to, if the game doesnt prevent it its ok to do it, if you can find a way around it thats being clever. GW's outlook isnt the same, they are looking to eliminate specific behaviors they dont like. So things like the jet can trick isnt looked at like someone is being clever its looked like someone abusing a loophole. I think that fact will attract many players who want a fun, high risk, high reward game, but isnt as hands off as eve.


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Kelpie wrote:


A casual company set up next to a well organised and expansionist company will certainly struggle and likely loose, which is entirely appropriate. But there may well be a limit on how much territory an aggressive company can claim (unless it recruits new members). While it may have a very competent warband on call it takes time to move around the map. So it may be difficult to both invade new hexes while also fighting off raiders on its mines at the other side of its lands.

I don't necessarily take setting up next to a well organised group. I am working on the assumption that PfO will be set up with settlements spaces kept below the threshold of people who want to start settlements as one of the methods of driving conflict. This means that there will always be groups hungry for their first step on the settlement ladder. Their natural target will be another casual group that has a new settlement.

Goblin Squad Member

I would say that, from what I've heard of EVE, it is mechanically friendly to casual players, but not culturally. Additionally, in terms of keeping interest EVE doesn't seem to offer much to a casual player (unless they enjoy the whole logistics/spreadsheets deal).

I'm hoping that PFO is less mechanically friendly for casual individuals, or at least mechanically friendly in different ways (i.e. no massive highsec, etc) but more culturally friendly. I want to see casual players who are able to band together and coordinate in order to claim and hold onto land; they won't be able to fight the stronger groups for their more valuable hexes or really play the territory conquering game, but they can stay up and running if they can keep their neighbors from moving in.

One possibility: Steelwing mentions that he expects PfO to have more groups that want settlements than spaces to make settlements. I completely agree with that, but the ratio could be tinkered with a bit to achieve whatever level of competitiveness GW wants. It stands to reason that the lower the ratio of settling groups to settleable land, the less competitive a group has to be to keep their land.


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Pax Shane Gifford wrote:

I would say that, from what I've heard of EVE, it is mechanically friendly to casual players, but not culturally. Additionally, in terms of keeping interest EVE doesn't seem to offer much to a casual player (unless they enjoy the whole logistics/spreadsheets deal).

I'm hoping that PFO is less mechanically friendly for casual individuals, or at least mechanically friendly in different ways (i.e. no massive highsec, etc) but more culturally friendly. I want to see casual players who are able to band together and coordinate in order to claim and hold onto land; they won't be able to fight the stronger groups for their more valuable hexes or really play the territory conquering game, but they can stay up and running if they can keep their neighbors from moving in.

One possibility: Steelwing mentions that he expects PfO to have more groups that want settlements than spaces to make settlements. I completely agree with that, but the ratio could be tinkered with a bit to achieve whatever level of competitiveness GW wants. It stands to reason that the lower the ratio of settling groups to settleable land, the less competitive a group has to be to keep their land.

The reason Eve is culturally unfriendly to casual players (Warning the following is opinion) is because by and large the hi sec casual base will not band together for mutual defense, they have the power to make themselves safer by being willing to group up a little and take on the hi sec gankers and they choose by and large not to do it. The key to the Eve sandbox (and the key to the PfO one as well) is simple....at times it is to your advantage to get together for mutual advantage and protection.

If casual players are willing to do that and to take their own fate in their hands. To protect themselves rather than expect the company to do it for them then they will find that they will get on a lot better in game in terms of what they can achieve and how they are perceived.

Goblin Squad Member

Old business: Moon goo = the static, high value resource from the OP, in case the two ways of referring to it weren't connecting to context.

New business: Either Ryan or Steven said PO will have a lot more frontier land for the given population than EVE does. That equates to more opportunities for explorers and smaller alliances of players to stake their claims. The BigTowns may very well do a 3am raid in places with extremely good resources for them, but as has been pointed out they can't firmly claim most of the map without most of the players. There should always be somewhere on the frontier to go. Or even more fun, backtracking into more settled land to oust a group that spread too thin into the frontier.

Local chat: I'd like to see a local chat in all hexes, just don't have the nameplates that show everyone in local to everyone. Make it standard chat where you're invisible until you say something, and without nameplates no one can tell if you're still in the hex or when you left.

High Sec and CONCORD are awesome for new players to get their bearings in a complicated game and the NPC towns can be excellent at performing that function in PO; I think the only problems come when 60-70% of players choose to never leave the nest (see my hypothesis about the malaise caused by themepark-gear-is-the-sum-of-your-potential carried over to sandboxes). Low Sec is a travesty in itself and for fencing players into the High Sec areas. PO will be effectively 95% null sec where I had the most interesting times. If only I could transfer my Hound over...

Goblin Squad Member

What I'm hoping to see is when the game is well on it's way is that there will be a number of powerful player nations struggling for dominance, making and perhaps breaking alliances, a 'Little Entente' of smaller settlements trying to stay afloat amidst the conflict, all of this generating content for everyone. Coupled with an expanding map, more lairs and escalations and POIs we could have a player-created game that almost anyone can find a niche to explore. And I still don't see even a large, well-organized organization coming in and completely dominating the game, though I have stated I'm completely willing to join our Battle of Marathon with each commander debating whether to charge the Persians or not.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Choke Points are likely desirable, such as mountains or rivers. They shouldn't stop the dedicated but should slow down armies and allow defenders to mobilize.

Scarcity is what drives conflict and it will help encourage war if there are simply some better places to establish outposts and settlements, with natural defenses (and not just access to resources).

That's likely one of the reasons EVE went with jump gates rather than just warping. PO should encourage you to stick to roads and paths (or build your own) and find defensible locations.

Goblin Squad Member

@jester

its funny because I feel almost exactly the opposite. in general I dont think there should be many chock points and people should be free to roam where they are. this would force organizations to not be able to control areas just by having a few spots that are highly defensible.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

@leperkhaun I'm thinking more for speed. If you want to cross a mountain range or river delta it should be possible, but it should be faster to take a road or cleared path.
If you can run overland as easily as walk on a road, why even have roads?
And it makes certain locations more attractive as settlements, valleys, hilltops, islands, and the like.

But it shouldn't overly impede normal travel. Getting across the map shouldn't be that dependent on territory.

Goblin Squad Member

Choke points are a reality of varied terrain. What needs be avoided are EVE style choke points where there is only one way in or out.

You can take the mountain pass, or hike through the mountains.
You can walk on the road, or trail blaze through the forest.
You can cross the bridge or swim across the river.
You can walk through the city gate, or climb the city walls.

Goblin Squad Member

Hark wrote:
Choke points are a reality of varied terrain. What needs be avoided are EVE style choke points where there is only one way in or out.

Agreed. One of the interesting parts about Freelancer for me is in order to exit or enter any of the systems in the civilized world there were both jumpgates and jump holes.

Traders were expected to move along the tradelanes and use the jump gates because that was the fastest way to move your cargo, and therefore the most profitable way. However I taught all our traders the jumpholes, and alternate places to unload their goods so that if they sensed trouble they could take a different and less expected route.

There were some places with a single way in/out but they were very rare, and that was part of the risk of going there/advantage of trying to control them.

That's exactly how I would like to see it in PFO. Speed on roads should be enhanced, and possibly even needed for certain forms of travel such as fast travel and the use of wagons.

However if you know the route through the swamp or over the mountain pass then you might avoid those expecting you to come by it such as bandits or soldiers looking for contraband. Maybe that settlement perched on the rocky hilltop has only one way in/out without a ridiculously good climb skill, but that means people are really going to want to take that settlement for themselves.


Speaking of the quick/obvious paths and the slower/hidden alternatives, what do we know about how maps are going to work in Pathfinder Online? Is it going to be an automatic thing that is just recorded and you can access at any time with a press of the "m" button or will it be more complicated than that? I'm hoping for something more interesting, where finding and mapping an alternative route through some hills or a jungle could be potentially very rewarding as it gives you a route not many others know about, or the possibility to produce and sell maps to guide others through the area.

Goblin Squad Member

@Davhand, first, greetings to you.

Now, we know basically nothing about maps and/or minimaps, save that a minimap is planned as part of the UI. There has been a whole lot of discussion in the past about exploration, mapping, "fog of war", and other related topics, but no news from the development's side. I assume they're waiting to see what they can accomplish in EE, and what they can feasibly plan for in the future.

Goblin Squad Member

Davhand wrote:
Speaking of the quick/obvious paths and the slower/hidden alternatives, what do we know about how maps are going to work in Pathfinder Online? Is it going to be an automatic thing that is just recorded and you can access at any time with a press of the "m" button or will it be more complicated than that? I'm hoping for something more interesting, where finding and mapping an alternative route through some hills or a jungle could be potentially very rewarding as it gives you a route not many others know about, or the possibility to produce and sell maps to guide others through the area.

1. Maps will probably work as they do in other mmorpgs, such as being able to access it (minimap and eg "press M to open wider map"). I think the reason is that players would create their add-ons anyway that provide this?

2. So if maps are static how does "exploration" work when everything is known? How can "adventure" be found when it's the same known places?

3. Pathfinder Online's design can be conceptually split into 4 pillars: Adventure, Exploration, Development and Domination. Recently quote:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
-snip- We will have more and more interesting things to do besides craft and make war - a very light layer at first but it will get richer over time as I'm virtually certain Crowdforging will push us that way. The "Exploration" and "Adventure" components of our matrix are going to get emphasis that EVE doesn't deliver.-snip-

So that's still the plan. We don't have many detailed specifics.

4. How can we consider (ourselves) how to solve this problem (2.) in regular mmorpg maps?

i. EVE has an interesting feature called wormholes: Is there scope for an analogous fantasy equivalent? Could a mark find a temporary route to another part of the map that by-passes some dangerous ground inbetween that improves journey time, allows access to different areas for temporary opportunity to profit?
ii. If dungeons or other interesting "adventure" content act like harvesting/gathering nodes that need to be discovered, then truly means of "exploring the map" that is variable change in these nodes over time and other inputs, then that helps form some sort of "exploration" requirement to find out useful information about the world that then fits temporarily on your map, maybe? This could feedback into the skill-system.
iii. A radical idea could be for procedural generation randomization of map landmarks and features in hexes to make the world look different each time you explore it, but that's sound challenging for persistent world map, so perhaps if the above nodes spawn instances that are procedural generation that vary then you have your adventures in those, could work technically? Alternatively could some Monster Hexes where if no persistent player structures can be built these hexes could be changed randomly from time to time to generate entirely novel geographical formations and hence "virgin wilderness" each time, periodically?
iv. An idea I like is a planar overlay reality that our spirits could maybe enter ie another dimensional space with different quirks of reality to challenge players this could even fit more closely i. discussed above?
v. Coming back to your "dial M for map" idea, that information could be sold x1 only for temporary use perhaps that then marks the spot on another player's map - hence creating an explorer's niche in the market for the professional adventurers to make use of?

5. From the blogs Adventure in the River Kingdoms we know types of PvE for adventure will be:

- Wandering Monsters
- Harvesting Hazards
- Ruins, layers and caverns (all sound like "dungeon content" to me?)
- Encampments as part of Escalation Cycles
- The random factor of other player organizations and adventuring with or against them or as neutrals when your paths and interests cross/converge:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
-snip-his is why I think the game is going to have a lot of chaotic neutral and chaotic good characters. There are a lot of people who want to adventure and are going to see anyone who tries to stop them as content - but not the content that fulfills their game objectives. They're not going to go out of their way to find PvP but they'll be good at it because it will happen to them a lot.

Escalation cycles and Dungeons are aimed to be part their own system but integrated with other systems so interactions may include your group and other groups atst. I think that multiplies the potential for exciting and unexpected adventure in the "wilderness hexes" and other types of hex.

Fill your boots!

Goblin Squad Member

Exploration does suggest a need for some form of 'fog of war'.

Goblin Squad Member

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My understanding of exploration was that dungeons would be random and instanced to the person discovering it. You go out exploring, and if you find a dungeon, you and to group can go clear out the dungeon, but nobody else can because it doesn't exist for them. Limited resources would also be random in that they spawn in random locations and you need to go out and find them.

We can hope that these kind of mechanics come with the ability to sell the location of random things that you find making explorer a legitimate and profitable job one can have. Imagine going out a finding a dungeon, but you aren't an adventurer, so so you sell a map with the location of the dungeon to an adventurer whole takes his party and clears it out.

Beyond that escalations also help to provided for a dynamic world where even if you have the whole world mapped you still need to go out to find the latest stuff happening in the world.

Or I could be crazy and totally off base.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
EVE has an interesting feature called wormholes: Is there scope for an analogous fantasy equivalent? Could a mark find a temporary route to another part of the map that by-passes some dangerous ground inbetween that improves journey time, allows access to different areas for temporary opportunity to profit?

They're called Elf Gates. Well, less temporary, more requiring a key to access.

Goblin Squad Member

Davhand wrote:
Speaking of the quick/obvious paths and the slower/hidden alternatives, what do we know about how maps are going to work in Pathfinder Online? Is it going to be an automatic thing that is just recorded and you can access at any time with a press of the "m" button or will it be more complicated than that? I'm hoping for something more interesting, where finding and mapping an alternative route through some hills or a jungle could be potentially very rewarding as it gives you a route not many others know about, or the possibility to produce and sell maps to guide others through the area.

Also Davhand: Greetings and welcome to the PFO Forums. If you have any more questions fire away! Alternatively for more information on guilds, faqs etc check out the: "Nihimonicon".

Goblin Squad Member

Drakhan Valane wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
EVE has an interesting feature called wormholes: Is there scope for an analogous fantasy equivalent? Could a mark find a temporary route to another part of the map that by-passes some dangerous ground inbetween that improves journey time, allows access to different areas for temporary opportunity to profit?
They're called Elf Gates. Well, less temporary, more requiring a key to access.

Sweet, already in the lore. Thanks for showing me that.

However there's the question of to other parts of the map or to other parts of the world off the map, or to different planar realities?!

@Hark: So far that's my understanding of dungeons. Sounds good to me.

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