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EE v4.0 TEST SERVER Release Notes

TheGoodfellow
One question some of my people were asking:
0-3 towers = lvl 8 training
4-7 towers = lvl 9 training

If I am a lvl 8 fighter, and my settlement holds 4 towers, I can train there to lvl 9 right? That makes sense. But what if I go to a settlement that holds 0 towers? Can I still train lvl 9 there cause my settlement has access to it, or is it limited to my settlement only?

Related but different question:
I'm lvl 8 fighter and my settlement has 0-3 towers so they can't offer me training any higher, but what if I go to a different settlement that has 4 towers? Can I train there?

Basically, am I limited in training by the # of towers my settlement holds? When seeking training elsewhere, What limits my access: My home settlement tower count, or the settlement I am trying to train from?
Duffy Swiftshadow
I wanted to wait until my initial shock wore off and I could confer with my allies before I posted on the topic of the possible WoT changes. I see many folks have echoed some of my thoughts, but I'm gonna go ahead and make a very personal post about what I think these changes would do if they persist to live.

Hope's End is one of those barely alive settlements, despite our early pledge numbers we've only managed to have half of them show up (not that our number was impressive to start). On top of that we picked a comparably unpopular alignment and declared we are not going to be aggressively hostile to anyone that crosses our paths. This has, to date, lost me around 10-15 recruits I've personally talked to. I'm sure some other random number never bothered to talk to me after taking a look at us just due to size and mission statement. We all know that the more people you have the more enticing you are to join, most folks gravitate to numbers. That all said I don't particularly think there is anything wrong with this, I expected it to some degree, hence why I was interested in joining a power bloc. I have no hard feelings at this moment, I always knew there would be a struggle for us to climb out of our current position.

That's the situation as it currently stands, now to what I think these changes could mean for us.

If this change goes to live the League tower count will immediately drop to 24 towers, enough to give each of us 8 and cap our training at level 10 (kinda neat how perfectly the math worked out). A level (I believe unless I'm misunderstanding something) that we will start to bump up against in about a month at the latest, sooner for the folks that optimized their XP expenditures. Luckily for us we are in a region with 2.5 dead settlements, allowing us to more or less claim all the free towers in the plains, and yet we are still going to very easily be hitting the cap. Trying to spread east (the majority of towers close enough for us to capture, but most likely not reasonably defend even if we had larger numbers) will result in us fighting against much larger groups. At best we will play a strange game of whack-a-mole on our borders every night, at worst we will simply lose to the larger numbers thus effectively preventing us from increasing our training cap.

In that possible state there is no reason for new players to join me. If they did anyways, they will need to move on after being in-game for a month or so. Even getting those new players will be difficult or impossible because I have no time to hang out in the starter towns recruiting and what people I do have are playing whack-a-mole every night. Much less do anything about the escalations running rampant by us or try gathering resources and help with crafting.

So my best option is to fold. If this is the best plan for us, it's also the best plan for several others which could result in condensing the existing groups into around a handful of 'populated' settlements that may rival the existing bigger groups for size. But by doing so we could be throwing away at least 15-20+ settlements. This would result in another shrinkage of the game world and create the same tower problem we currently have, and if a similar reduction in towers or their effectiveness occurred then we would have to range even farther away from home just to compete.

I think we can all agree that WoT is not quite working, but from what I can tell this proposed change is not going to fix anything. It will most likely reduce the number of 'active' settlements, only make the current situation worse and returning the political state to more or less the same as it currently is, but also possibly causing an exodus. Trying to force all of us into constant 'large' scale conflict when the current settlement populations and mechanics cannot support said conflict is potentially damaging to the game.

It is much more likely that the WoT concept is inherently flawed at this point and trying to keep it as the focus of conflict will only make things worse.

In my personal opinion focusing on large scale conflict this early is problematic. Focusing on the smaller group content and conflicts while increasing the breadth of specific activities available to the players would do much more to keep the player-base engaged. Leave the settlements to work on growing and stabilizing the economy, make their training growth based on group economic efforts, not arbitrary PvP points spread around the map. Force PvP to be centered around smaller conflicts (implementing banditry, caravans, PoI, and raiding earlier) until the population has grown enough to support the larger direct conflicts. Additionally better recruitment tools (besides wasting playing time far from your settlement spamming chat) would go a long way towards helping with settlement population growth.

If you still really want to change the WoT conflict, I think you can follow through with one of the two changes outlined in this test patch, but not both. That would give even the smaller settlements some breathing room, but not put them on par with the larger settlements. Focusing the majority of the conflict towards the end of WoT instead of throughout the entire duration, which is somewhat appropriate to the eventual settlement cataclysm.

Either way I'll still be here, and I'll keep as many folks playing and working together as I can, however I can. I just hope that changes of this radical nature do not fracture the game too much.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Duffy Swiftshadow
Well thought out stuff
The problem is, there is simply no way to make the towers worth fighting over, without having a consequences for not fighting over them. I think a lot of us are pretty sure that the 4/level is too severe a consequence, but regardless of what it is, it's becoming apparent that if small settlements aren't disadvantaged, then the War of Towers isn't going to work. There were hints of this right from the beginning, obtuse though they may have been, which is why Elkhaven, with 21 members in the landrush decided it was not practical to to hold a settlement by ourselves.

I feel your pain, but Ryan said from the beginning, and repeatedly, that groups needed to have more than a handful of people. In fact, he implied that if we don't have around 500 by open enrollment, we'll be unable to carry out the basic functions of building a settlement. This is going to be a hard thing for settlements that have 50+ right now. In my opinion, anyone with less than 20 active player members (not including multiple accounts) is fooling themselves if they think they can remain relevant. Even once mighty Talonguard, with a great spot on the map, and one of the most energetic leaders in the game, is struggling to exist.

With all earnestness. Any small settlements should be looking at moving and combining. As long as you keep a settlement company attached to Hope's End, they can't take that away from you. Find two or three or five other settlements in the same boat, and occupy one piece of land as a group of companies. Bring people into your companies, and pray that you can pick up at least a hundred new players in the next few months, then move back to your home base when you can function there.

If all the groups in the western plains and nearby cliffs settled on two or three settlements that best cover them, they'd have a real hope of keeping the area viable. Six to ten tiny groups are going to remain a ghost town through Early Enrollment. Individuals can even "reside" wherever you like, as long as all the towers are being held by two or three groups, and people are prepared to travel there for training.

The remaining problem is that some people are going to have to put their settlements on hold for a few months. I truly think you'd be better off for it.

To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
KarlBob
Kradlum
KarlBob
"All crafting settlements will collapse," is probably a slight exaggeration.

If that is supposed to be quoting me, it's a total misquote.
No, it wasn't intended to be a direct quote of yours. It was based on a combination of your quote "It's going to destroy the less active settlements," your quote "All of us will need to move our gear, when, as we expect, Alderwag is reduced to a dead town," your quote "Crafting settlements are going to die en masse," Calidor's quote "How do you solve the problem of a guild/settlement that doesn't want to participate (in warfare) AT ALL?", and some worst-case exaggeration for effect. I shouldn't have put that sentence in quotation marks, and I apologize.

The other idea I referred to in the same post ("all of the gatherers will stop venturing more than one hex away from their settlements" ) wasn't a direct quote either, but it was definitely inspired by something Bluddwolf said ("Harvesters will be able to stay completely within those hexes" )
Nihimon
I think there are several fundamental problems with the War of Towers:

  • Large-scale PvP is heavily imbalanced due to targeting issues. Right now, every group with discipline has the primary goal of not flagging first. In fact, I believe that which side flags first is the single most important factor in the outcome of a large-scale PvP battle.
  • Losing Towers is not painful. At most, it might mean that you can't train something that day, but will most likely be able to the following day. There's nothing to stop groups from swapping all their Towers every other day.
  • Capturing undefended Towers is not fun. Spending a couple of hours doing it every other night is very not fun.

I think the solution is counter-intuitive - to get more PvP, have the PvP Windows occur less frequently.

My recommendations:
  • Change the PvP Windows to only open one day a week.
  • Change the PvP Window to be open for one hour per Tower held.
  • Require a Tower to have been in a Settlement's possession before their PvP Window opened in order for it to count for increased Training.
  • Possibly change the Maximum Capture Points per Tick to 10 (for Attackers and Defenders both).

I think this would have several positive results:
  • Players could more easily schedule time to be available for Tower Defense.
  • Defending Towers becomes much more important because losing a Tower might mean losing Training for an entire Week.
  • Capturing Towers will almost always require actually fighting for them because they're much more likely to be defended.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
KarlBob
Caldeathe, I suspect another basic problem is the current level of active enrollment in the game. Based on the reported number of people who have DTs and multiple accounts, I'd estimate that most settlements, even those with more than a hundred character citizens, don't have enough human players to maintain a watch over their towers for the duration of their PVP windows. Capturing a tower takes time, so each settlement isn't required to post one character at every tower for the entire duration of the window, but every settlement would need to have at least one roaming party of scouts checking in on each tower at least once during each PVP window, in order to successfully defend their towers. As long as 90% of settlements don't have the manpower, or the zeal, to do that every day, the "grab another handful of sand" problem will persist.

Only two things can solve the "grab another handful of sand" problem - Multiple settlements willing and able to keep scouting parties in the field for the duration of their PVP windows, with defensive combat teams ready to be deployed to defend the towers, or an automated system alarm telling the citizenry "Your tower in Hex X,Y is under attack."

I'm betting that almost none of the settlements have the manpower and motivation to monitor and defend all of their towers every day, which means virtually all of the settlements can still count on being able to find at least one unguarded tower to capture for every tower they lose.
KarlBob
Cheatle for TEO
I just want to point out, that the suggestion I made was in fact NOT USED. A few of you were looking at my post and suggesting that they used it as the only point of reference for crowd forging.
I saw that your post contained exactly one of the ideas that were actually included in the Test Server release notes: "Remove all towers from the inner six of every settlement." I didn't mean to imply that the entire system change was based on your post, only to show that at least one member of the "crowd" in "crowdforging" had proposed the core six towers as the right ones to remove, rather than some particular selection of the non-core towers.

If you felt thrown under the bus, or saddled with credit/blame for the entire set of WOT changes that GW decided to experiment with, I apologize. That wasn't my intent.
KarlBob
Nihimon
I think there are several fundamental problems with the War of Towers:

  • Large-scale PvP is heavily imbalanced due to targeting issues. Right now, every group with discipline has the primary goal of not flagging first. In fact, I believe that which side flags first is the single most important factor in the outcome of a large-scale PvP battle.
  • Losing Towers is not painful. At most, it might mean that you can't train something that day, but will most likely be able to the following day. There's nothing to stop groups from swapping all their Towers every other day.
  • Capturing undefended Towers is not fun. Spending a couple of hours doing it every other night is very not fun.

I think the solution is counter-intuitive - to get more PvP, have the PvP Windows occur less frequently.

My recommendations:
  • Change the PvP Windows to only open one day a week.
  • Change the PvP Window to be open for one hour per Tower held.
  • Require a Tower to have been in a Settlement's possession before their PvP Window opened in order for it to count for increased Training.
  • Possibly change the Maximum Capture Points per Tick to 10 (for Attackers and Defenders both).

I think this would have several positive results:
  • Players could more easily schedule time to be available for Tower Defense.
  • Defending Towers becomes much more important because losing a Tower might mean losing Training for an entire Week.
  • Capturing Towers will almost always require actually fighting for them because they're much more likely to be defended.
It might indeed help to create more active battles, and fewer empty tower swaps.
Kitsune
The largest problem small-settlement leaders are facing:

Swallowing pride - stifling that little guy inside of us that yearns for power. We all have it, some more than others. We want to have power, control, and ultimately for our voice to be heard and acknowledged.

This news we're seeing this week: this is why we (Deathwatch), dropped out of the Land Rush II. This is why we joined up with a settlement (Blackwood Glade) that had similar interests and belonged to the alliance we wanted to be a part of - in hopes that we could have an equal "say" in this settlement's internal affairs. This is why we later (shortly into the start of EE) abandoned ship, once we figured it out that there was little point for the smaller settlements to survive with such few active members. This is why we joined up with a larger settlement in our alliance, only as a small company to someday hold our own PoI and do our part for a greater cause. We no longer have power. We no longer have [much of] a say in settlement affairs.

This is why we had to swallow our pride many times, and realize that we are few. And it was painful, each step of the way down.



Point of all this is not to toot our own horns and say, "I told you so!" - but rather to hopefully serve as an example. An example that shows that the smaller organizations like ours (both in and out of game) cannot run a settlement on our own. We were given a chance to strengthen our numbers. We were given a chance to recruit and become strong. We had months - nearly a half a year - to get our act together and build a player-base that was strong. And we failed. We did not succeed in bringing in enough active members to hold our own, and we failed.

So again, all those settlement leaders that are short in warm bodies to take enough territory to survive: I also suggest that you band together, and become something greater. Swallow your prides and work together under one banner. Who knows? Perhaps you'll find each other's company welcoming enough to the point that you'll stick together for years to come. Or perhaps once you have enough numbers to hold a few different settlements, you'll find yourselves splitting back up into your own territories once again. But right now is not that time.

Perhaps in the future, Deathwatch will expand within the settlement we are now a part of… and perhaps we'll expand back out into one of the empty settlements nearby. If that happens, great! If not, I, for one, am now satisfied playing with my new group of friends.
QMan
KarlBob
Caldeathe, I suspect another basic problem is the current level of active enrollment in the game. Based on the reported number of people who have DTs and multiple accounts, I'd estimate that most settlements, even those with more than a hundred character citizens, don't have enough human players to maintain a watch over their towers for the duration of their PVP windows. Capturing a tower takes time, so each settlement isn't required to post one character at every tower for the entire duration of the window, but every settlement would need to have at least one roaming party of scouts checking in on each tower at least once during each PVP window, in order to successfully defend their towers. As long as 90% of settlements don't have the manpower, or the zeal, to do that every day, the "grab another handful of sand" problem will persist.

Only two things can solve the "grab another handful of sand" problem - Multiple settlements willing and able to keep scouting parties in the field for the duration of their PVP windows, with defensive combat teams ready to be deployed to defend the towers, or an automated system alarm telling the citizenry "Your tower in Hex X,Y is under attack."

I'm betting that almost none of the settlements have the manpower and motivation to monitor and defend all of their towers every day, which means virtually all of the settlements can still count on being able to find at least one unguarded tower to capture for every tower they lose.

I thought about this a lot the last couple of weeks and I would argue the major problem with defending towers is that it's not fun. You have a PVP window open for a few hours and you patrol those towers waiting for someone to take them. All of a sudden someone else is now dictating to you how you will play the game. The phantom attackers get to pick and choose when they want to strike on which day. The worst part is there's no guarantee that anyone will even come to take said tower(s.) This makes it far more easier then to ignore the towers and just go out and take them as needed. This change does not address that fundamental issue.
 
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