Rushing the Land

During the 2nd Kickstarter we had a promotion for Guilds to compete for spots on the map for the initial Settlements. Through that promotion we were able to engage with more than 100 Guilds and get several hundred people to participate in the Land Rush Poll.

Three Guilds outperformed all the others—The Emyprean Order (117 votes), Pax Aeternum (78 votes), and The Seventh Veil (56 votes). We are going to declare these three Guilds winners of the first round of the Guild Land Rush! Each will be able to select one of the existing Settlement locations on the initial map for Early Enrollment and will be the first three PC Settlements in Pathfinder Online!

But we are not done yet!

Phase II of the Guild Land Rush is about to begin. Phase II starts with a clean slate. All the previous votes from Phase I are retired and the board is cleared for an epic contest of strength in the River Kingdoms.

You’ll also be noticing a lot of changes on the Goblinworks.com website next week. A few weeks ago, we switched the old site from static pages to a dynamic publishing system. Soon, we’re going to upgrade the new site with a revised format and layout and we’re going to add a lot of functionality—including user accounts.

Goblinworks is going to have a single user account system for its website, games, and community tools. Everyone will need to create a Goblinworks account to play Pathfinder Online, access the Store, and participate in the Guild Land Rush. We’ll explain more about that below. We also need everyone to take a few moments and connect their Paizo account to their new Goblinworks account, which will also be a step added to the Pledge Management Tool—a system that Paizo is also revising for us, so we can wrap up Kickstarter activity on Paizo.com and focus our attention exclusively on Goblinworks.com.

I’ll hand it over to Lee who is going to explain how the Guild Land Rush is going to be restarted.

The Land Rush is just about all ready to go, so we figured a blog about how it all works would be in order. The Land Rush pages will be live on the Goblinworks page early next week.  This will talk you through the process of getting yourself logged in (as a guild leader or a guild member so you can be properly counted in the Land Rush) and explain the mechanics behind it all.

Once everything is live you can see the Land Rush feature on Goblinworks.com by clicking the “Land Rush” link on the navigation bar at the top of any page on the site.

Getting Set Up

The first step is making an account for the new Goblinworks website. There are links to Sign Up on most pages of the site on the right hand side of the screen. Clicking this will run you through the account creation process. If you have not purchased an Early Enrollment option previously, you can do so now through the Goblinworks store.

If you have already purchased an Early Enrollment package, you can click on the image link with the Paizo and Kickstarter logos. This will take you to the Paizo store, where you can go through a process to get recognition of your previous purchases from the database we have. If you have not already created a Goblinworks account, you will be prompted at the end of this process to do so.

Forming a Guild

Players who bought a Crowdforger package during the Kickstarter (or who buy any Early Enrollment option now through the Goblinworks store) can apply to form a guild. Once you are ready, you can form a guild by clicking on the link to Found Your Own Guild on the Land Rush page.

The next step requires you submit a name, motto, website link (if any), and description for your guild to Goblinworks. When you submit this text it gets emailed to us so we can make sure it’s all setting appropriate. We will email you when we’ve approved it, we’ll add it to your guild page, and then your guild is officially ready to accept members. If you want to make a change to any of this information you will have to resubmit your changes and we will have to approve them again. As part of the guild creation process, Goblinworks will assign your guild an icon that will be used to mark your guild’s territory on the map. These are temporary icons just for the Guild Land Rush and won’t be a permanent part of your Settlement’s in-game identity. Because we have to manage so many of them the icons are going to be assigned automatically, can’t be changed, and we won’t have the ability for Guilds to submit their own icons.

The user who sets up a Guild will be its Administrator during the Land Rush promotion. If you need to change Administrators, you will need to email us directly and ask for help.

Approving Your Members

Once you have your guild set up, and when the Administrator logs into the site, he or she can go to the Guild Roster option under Your Guild (linked on the right side of the Land Rush page) to see who has applied to join the guild. This page will list both current members and those who have applied but have yet to be accepted for membership. The Administrator can approve or reject each applicant, but only those approved are counted as part of your guild. Applicants can only apply to one guild at a time, so if they have applied to yours you should deal with the applications quickly before they get sick of waiting and apply elsewhere.

Your Guild Info page can also generate a link for posting elsewhere (on social media sites and the like) to assist you in recruitment efforts. This page also displays your motto, description, and current member and applicant counts.  

Joining A Guild

To find a guild to join, first you must create an account and log in to the new Goblinworks website. You must also either register previous purchases through Kickstarter or Paizo, or buy an Early Enrollment package through the Goblinworks store.

Once this is done, to join a guild, click the link for Finding a Guild on the Land Rush page: this will bring up a list of all the guilds that have completed the guild creation process in alphabetical order by name. For each guild, the name, motto, icon, link to their guild webpage, and number of members is listed, and the player can click the name to see the guild description. If you like the guild, you can click the Apply button, which will put add your name to the list of applicants the Administrator sees from the guild management page. Once the Administrator accepts the application, you are in the guild and counted in that week’s round of the land rush. Players can only apply to one guild at a time; if you apply to a second guild, the application to the first is canceled.

Open Enrollment backers (people who backed the Kickstarter at the Adventurer level or who purchase an Open Enrollment package on the Store) will not be able to participate in the Land Rush promotion, as the primary intent of the promotion is to fill out settlements during Early Enrollment.

Land Rush Mechanics

Each week, we will get a list of settlement priorities from each guild in the Land Rush. This means for each settlement slot—A through AD—the guild leader must assign a priority from 1 to 30. The settlement assigned Priority 1 is the settlement the guild wants the most, while the settlement slot with Priority 30 is the one the guild wants the least. The leader then submits these to Goblinworks.

At midnight PST each Sunday (for the ten weeks of the Land Rush), we will count up how many people are in each guild and match those numbers with the priorities for each guild. The guild with the highest population total gets their first pick. The second largest guild gets their first pick, assuming the largest guild did not take it, in which case they get their second pick. The third largest guild gets their first pick, assuming neither of the two larger guilds claimed that spot, and so on for the thirty largest guilds.

We then will create a map with icons representing those guilds that have claimed a settlement and post that new map to the Land Rush site. This process repeats each week and guilds may change position based on changes in other settlements, their guild roster, etc.

Each week a guild remains in the same location, they get a bonus to their population when determining if another guild can displace them. The bonus is larger the smaller your guild is to provide some added protection for smaller guilds. This means it is better to get in and hunker down than try and go around displacing other guilds for the hell of it. If you see someone staying put in a spot you want it’s time to get some recruits or to try and pull some of their people away.

Prioritizing the Settlement Slots

Once you’ve got your guild set up and some people have joined, you are going to have to choose what hexes you want to put at what priority, and this requires knowing something about the hexes and about your guild.

Go to the Settlement Draft page to set which settlement slots you want the most. This page has a list of all the settlement slots—A through AD—each in a dragable button you can move around to put the list in the order you want, highest priority on top. While it may be tempting to only get your first few priorities set instead of the whole list, there are going to be a bunch of guilds involved in this that may be going for the same location. So don’t get complacent. Each week, you’ll be asked to send us a revised priority list; if we don’t get one from you we will assume the priorities are the same as last week.

Hexes

There are seven types of hexes in Pathfinder Online. Each produces a different combination of resources. While not all hexes of a given type are exactly the same, they all follow the same general themes. So, while all Woodlands hexes produce a lot of wood, some produce more of one type of wood than another, and one Woodlands hex may produce more coal than another.

Hexes are balanced overall in terms of the amount and the value of resources they produce. For example, Croplands hexes produce a lot of herbs, while Mountains produce a lot of metal. Metal is more valuable than herbs on a per unit basis, so you’ll get more herbs out of a Croplands hex than you will metal out of a Mountain hex, but the total value of what you get out of each is roughly the same. This is set both by terrain and hex type, so all Wilderness hexes produce similar amounts/values of resources, but Monster hexes and NPC-controlled hexes produce different amounts/values of resources.

Settlements cannot claim NPC-protected hexes, which are anything marked by a white triangle. Having a settlement near such hexes can either be seen as a blocker to your expansion, or a safe border you have to worry less about invasion from. These hexes will be patrolled to one extent or another by NPCs that will attack people with the Criminal flag, Heinous flag, etc. The closer you get to the three main towns, the more powerful and numerous these NPCs will be. In the hexes directly around Thornkeep, Fort Inevitable, and Fort Riverwatch, agents of Pharasma will nigh-instantly strike dead those she had marked who would start fights among themselves and who have not somehow invited the attack (i.e., if you are at war with a settlement you can’t hide behind the NPC enforcers).

Hexes are placed on different terrain levels. You can only go from one terrain level to another at hexes marked with a red X, which usually means some manner of pass or road. Croplands and Swamplands are lowland hexes so you can switch between them freely, but getting to any other terrain type requires an X hex. Woodlands and Highlands are midlands hexes, while Mountains are topland hexes. If you see a hex of a terrain level surrounded by hexes of a different terrain level, such as a woodlands hex surrounded by cropland hexes or mountain hexes, you don’t need a pass to go between those hexes. These borders between terrain levels are called out in gray lines on the map, lighter gray for the lowlands/midlands border and darker gray for the midlands/toplands border. This is good to keep in mind when choosing your settlement, because some of your closest hexes may be on the other side of such a divide and without a pass hex near at hand, controlling those hexes may be difficult.

Hexes produce two categories of resources: crafting resources and bulk resources. Crafting resources come in a wide variety of forms: brimstone, willow bark, maple logs, adamantine, pearls, etc. We have around one hundred and thirty different types of crafting resources, with most hexes having twenty to thirty of these. Crafting resources are found by interacting with nodes that spawn in the hex, and can be collected by anyone with the right skills. If a hex is overtaxed, these resources become scarcer, and it is possible to temporarily exhaust a hex of its resources. Bulk resources will be produced by Points of Interest and Outposts, and represent the large-scale components needed to construct buildings, upgrade Points of Interest, etc.

We have five types of bulk resources: Bulk Wood, Bulk Stone, Bulk Iron, Bulk Food, and Trade Goods. All of these are required for settlements in different amounts depending on what sort of settlement you are building. If you are building a more martial settlement, Bulk Iron and Bulk Stone will be important. If you are looking at more scholarly pursuits, Bulk Wood and Trade Goods are more important. All settlements need Bulk Food at a rate dependent on how large they are.

For determining what a hex produces in terms of bulk resources, it has ratings in seven bulk resource stats: Stone, Fish, Crops, Wood, Game, Herds, and Ore. For example, mountains have a very high rating in Ore, a moderate rating in Stone, and a low rating in Game. Different POIs and resource outposts harvest different resources from these ratings. For example a Farm Outpost turns your Crops rating in to Bulk Food, while a Hunting Lodge turns your Game rating into a mix of Trade Goods and Food. Thus, Hunting Lodges produce Bulk Food less efficiently than farms, but can do so in places where Farms would get you nothing, like Mountains or Woodlands hexes.

Currently, you can build any Outpost in any hex, but some just don’t make sense. For example, building a Ranch (which relies on Herds) in a swamplands hex (which has no Herd rating) is not a good plan. These ratings do mean that a mountain settlement could try to feed itself by just building hunting lodges in its territory, but doing so is terribly inefficient as it could be producing several times more Bulk Iron than Bulk Food and Trade Goods if it built more mines. It’s the tradeoff of being self-sufficient but really inefficient, or relying on interactions with other settlements to get what you need but being really efficient at what you produce.

All hexes produce at least some herbs and magical essences for crafting, but different types of these resources are found in different terrains. For example, while mountains don’t produce a lot of herbs, they’re the only places to find vervain. Most hexes also produce some manner of gemstone keyed to the terrain, such as Water hexes producing pearls.

Wilderness hexes produce Tier I and II resources, monster hexes produce all Tiers of resources (but generally have low ratings in the Tier I and II resources), and NPC-protected hexes produce only Tier I resources, but produce lots of them.

Croplands hexes have a high Crops rating, a moderate Herds rating, and a low Wood rating. This means they can produce lots of Bulk Food, some Trade Goods, and a little Bulk Wood depending on how they are set up. They also produce a lot of herbs and cloth for crafting. If a settlement has a croplands hex in its territory it can get a lot of its needed food from that one hex if it just builds farms, while a settlement surrounded by croplands hexes can produce enough to feed a handful of other settlements after its own needs are met.

Woodlands hexes have a high Wood rating, a moderate Game rating, and a low Ore rating. Woodlands hexes can produce a lot of Bulk Wood, some Bulk Food and Trade Goods, and a little bit of Bulk Ore depending on how they are set up. Woodlands hexes also produce a lot of wood for crafting, along with some herbs.

Highland hexes have a high Stone rating, a moderate Ore rating, and a low Herds rating. Highland hexes can produce a lot of Bulk Stone, a moderate amount of Bulk Ore, and some Bulk Food and Trade Goods. These settlements will likely have to supplement their food supply elsewhere if they want to be efficient. Highland hexes minerals and metals (of the coal, copper, and gold variety) for crafting.

Mountains hexes have a high Ore rating, a moderate Stone rating, and a low Game rating. Mountain hexes can produce a lot of Bulk Iron, a moderate amount of Bulk Stone, and some Bulk Food and Trade Goods. Like Highlands settlements, Mountain settlements will likely have to rely on getting food from other sources.  Mountains produce minerals and metals (of the iron and silver variety) for crafting

Swampland hexes have moderate Fish, Wood, Game, and Ore ratings, making them the catchall terrain hex. Swampland settlements won’t excel at much, but they are the easiest settlements to try and make self-sufficient. Swamps produce a little bit of all crafting resources, but specialize in leather.

Water hexes have high Fish. That’s it. They’re great for producing Bulk Food and Trade Goods (actually they’re the best at producing Trade Goods), but not a lot else. Luckily, no settlement is completely surrounded by water. Water hexes don’t produce a lot of variety in terms of crafting components, but the limited things they do produce (pearls, some herbs, essences), they produce a lot of.

Brokenlands are hexes where meteors have reshaped the terrain and deposited Skymetal in the area. They are all Monster (or Monster Homeland) hexes, so they cannot be claimed as territory, cannot have Points of Interest or Outposts built in them, and never produce bulk resources. What they do produce are rare metals like adamantine and meteoric iron that are not found anywhere else.

Choosing for Your Guild

As Administrator you are going to have to make some choices about what sort of settlement you want to run. Do you want one that is as close to self-sufficient as possible at the cost of producing far below your potential (Swamplands), or do you want to be the place to go for a specific type of bulk resource (everything else)? Are you content increasing your resource output through advancing your members skills, or will you instead concentrate on taking more territory and recruiting the companies to work them? Are you going to be a settlement of plate-armor-wearing, sword-swinging melee machines (Mountains), or a settlement of silk-wearing, potion-chugging mages (Croplands)? All of these choices will lead you in different directions for choosing your settlement. No one settlement can do everything, so you’ll need to make some choices as to what is most important to you and your guild.