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|HowardWdW 05.31.2015 07:16|
I’m a dedicated player with 6 accounts. 3 DT’s and 3 regular. I’ve probably spent $1500 to $2000 on the game so far, including kickstarter. I play almost every day, usually for 4 to 6 hours. I enjoy this game and I want it to succeed.
What I perceive is that the game is in trouble. PFO, perhaps with good reason, is not sharing the actual player data. Yesterday during what I assume would be a prime time (around 8pm east coast time 5pm west coast time) I happened to run through 3 of the supposedly largest settlements in the game. They were ghost towns. 0, 1 or 2 players were there.
During the recent war over the towers, on the largest night of play by reports, the “Good” alliance mustered maximum 50 players and the Xeilias guys maybe 20(?) During subsequent nights when Xeilias fought to take back their towers they mustered up to 15 players while the Alliance could barely field 20 I think.
First I would like to know if the settlements are willing to share their “usual” count of players on line or their “active” player counts? If so I (or someone else) can create a google spreadsheet linked in this thread with open editing and we can figure out how many people are really active in this game. My guess is less than 200. And to be clear, I mean players, not characters or accounts.
I believe at this point every settlement is struggling with the workload necessary from the game mechanics and it is causing massive burnout.
Escalations are out of control all over the map. Some of them are in areas with no active settlements, but the Calambia mountains as an example (should be an active area) are being overrun by Mordant Spire. We (Ozem’s) have stopped clearing our escalations for a couple of reasons. We already have a Duregar escalation we can’t muster enough people nightly to contain, and we don’t want another T2 escalation to appear in a hex we have cleared. So we decided just to contain the T1’s.
Having to clear escalations (even for markers) is grinding. It’s boring. I’m sorry but after you’ve done it almost every night for 5 months it just is. Suggested solution (maybe for now until server population grows). Make all the escalations have a Fail Boss once they reach their maximum value. Cut WAY down on the spawn rate of new escalations. Decrease the growth rates especially of the T2s. Decrease the amount of hexes any escalation can spread into. Yes this is the opposite of many previous requests, but I believe it is what’s required right now with the state of the game.
Gathering has now become a much bigger chore with resource nodes depleting so rapidly and regenerating so slowly. Gathering can be a relaxing thing. It would be nice if the animations had more to do with the actual work being done, but I understand programmer resources are limited. But just as with killing off escalations it’s also grinding.
Both the above are required for turning out Holdings and Outposts. Thank goodness GW decreased the Bulk resource weight so poor players can carry more of it in their packs to move it to their settlements. However, this is another time sink for players.
PvP. I did not come into this game as a fan of PvP. However, the game design CLEARLY stated this was an open PvP world, so I understood I would have to contend with it. I believe the Feud system in combination with the Influence system has broken the design concept. The fault I think lies mostly with the Influence system. OK there are bugs in the feuding right now which have been addressed in other threads, but they aren’t the real issue.
The problem is that most of the “active” players have mature characters whose ability to generate influence is very small. (New player discussion is coming in a minute). The Influence system needs a fix to its point generation design. Mature characters should generate MORE influence than new ones. In any RPG the “influential” characters are the higher level ones, not the low levels. This doesn’t mean their points per “kill” should go up, it means that killing higher level monsters should award more influence. Killing a red Ogre for the first time should NOT be the same as killing a goblin for the first time.
How does this impact PvP? Influence is required to PvP. Right now my guess is there will be very little to no feuding as the companies need their influence garnered over the 5 months we have been playing to build Holdings and Outposts, because Influence generation is nonexistent for the mature companies. So no spare influence to start feuds. If PvP (settlement warfare) is the real content of this game then this is a VERY serious design flaw.
Which brings us to the last and most controversial subject. Pathfinder University. This institution is a travesty. It has been encouraged by GW because there are insufficient in game tutorials and this game is complex and needs active players to teach new people. But it is doing the actual active player companies and settlements a HUGE dis-service. It needs to be disbanded. It is a black hole into which every new player is being sucked and from which few emerge. With the Influence system set up the way it is, new players generate the most influence and ALL of that is going into University Commons. It is extremely unfair to every other settlement on the map that GW is using a player run settlement in this way. If the players running University Commons want to spend their time teaching, then move into Thornkeep and do it there. There should be no holdings or outposts or companies associated with the learning process.
Solutions to this from the other settlements standpoints: Let new players accumulate influence on their character until the first time they join a company of a legitimate settlement (not PFU). Or, even better in my opinion, force a choice of settlement during player character creation. Give a page of descriptions of the active settlements and then the player automatically joins the founding company of the settlement they choose. (With it being so easy to leave companies if a new player finds he made a bad choice he can very easily leave and make another). Then it will be up to each settlement to show the new players the ropes, or if Thornkeep takes over the duty of teaching new players, they can learn there also.
|Rynnik 05.31.2015 07:29|
That is certainly one way of looking at things. Here is my perspective:
GW financials is their business.
PFO is growing. We get new recruits all the time but more recently. Anecdotal evidence which is as worthless as the data you are presenting but still directly in counter to it.
PFU is a massive player service doing great things for the game. Get more ACTIVES and your influence concerns will go away. Educating people through the steep starting learning curve is a great way to build and groom people to turn into those active players we all need. If PFU is cutting into YOUR success then step up your game and stop being lazy - asking for a paragraph description in the player creation page isn't a reasonable solution. If you brief that much better then the realities of playing in your organization you DESERVE to die as an in-game entity.
IE. the problem isn't GW, PFO, or PFU. You should look a little closer to home.
Not a member, representative, or supporter of Brighthaven Alliance.
|Caldeathe Baequiannia 05.31.2015 08:20|
Pathfinder University is doing an excellent job. The one issue, in my opinion, is having everything a player needs in less than a quarter of the map (Thornkeep, PFO, and the largest groups.). That is a difficult hurdle to overcome, but I think it is making the recruits who do travel to the fringes a little more invested. While it's an inconvenience, I think it is strengthening our team in the HRC.
I expect it will shift slightly, again, when mules are activated, but even those are not huge limits, and will present not-insignificant risk. I would like to see characters on newly activated accounts given a one-time bank move during their first 90 days, to reduce the factor of moving weeks of accumulation in their decision of homes.
To reach me, email email@example.com
|Caldeathe Baequiannia 05.31.2015 08:23|
I should also say that I share Howard's concern with the accumulation of Influence. While it may or may not be as big an issue as it appears, it is significant.
To reach me, email firstname.lastname@example.org
|HowardWdW 05.31.2015 08:30|
So you would like to kill off another player settlement and shrink the game even more? Perhaps the reason you are getting more recruits is due to the messages you (or other Xeilias members) post in general chat warning new players to stay away from joining settlements on your KoS list?
My post is NOT about my individual settlement. It's about my perception of the way things are going in the game. If you actually had the health of the game at heart you would respond in that vein.
|Tink says Stab 05.31.2015 08:33|
Golgotha gets plenty of recruits out of PFU. The majority of our PFU recruits have joined us in the first week of their play time. Then again, we very actively encourage PFU citizens to take part in out activities. Perhaps you should up your recruitment game if you are having that much of an issue tapping the PFU user base?
It's about my perception of the way things are going in the game. If you actually had the health of the game at heart you would respond in that vein.
Or, wait for it, he thinks that you are wrong! Oh my god people can have opinions that differ from yours! Alert the presses!
Tink quivers in sheer euphoria as the dank memes course through his fedora
|HowardWdW 05.31.2015 09:00|
Rynnik stated that PFOs numbers aren't our business. I disagree (and yes everyone is entitled to their opinion, that's what these forums are, peoples' opinions).
How many accounts are inactive, not whether they are being paid for, but are they being played? Cal published a thread with a list of the number of characters per settlement. This in no way reflects the actual active players. Why are you afraid to discuss this and the reasons behind it?
The actual facts are the game is boring, for a huge number of reasons. The best post on the "feel" of the game is on the "Why PFO matters" thread by Saiph the Fallen.
He also addresses the futility of PvP. That's part of it. The rest, it's all about grinding. Escalations, achievements, gathering. Boring when done endlessly, which, the way things are now, is what must be done. The burnout rate is very high.
Xeilias can win the game. It will be the shortest and least interesting MMO of all time. If that's what you want keep going the way you are. If you actually want an interesting long term game start thinking about the bigger picture.
|Quijenoth Starkiller 05.31.2015 09:18|
On the escalation front of things they are getting out of control, but not in the way you perceive them.
The Mordant Spire on Callambea mountains was being farmed; We where not killing them off by doing quests, just killing mobs for drops, we didn't want them to go away.
The problem came in 3 forms, Home hex escalations, Duergar and Elementals.
Firstly Duergar popped up, doing server firsts on them and then hunting them all over gave us time out to let MS grow.
Secondly he need to maintain and control the spreading of Home Hexes. HRC have had to deal with 2 high level home escalations on a daily basis to stop them from spreading - they are never going away any time soon unless the devs reconsider the changes to home hexes.
Third came Elemental's, 3-4 days of clearing from multiple alliances was needed to kill that hex.
During this time MS has expanded and spread. but it will fail and go away on its own so its not a concern.
The overall picture I'm seeing is that before EE7 there was only really Ustilav, MS, and Ogg that required 4+ man groups to clear with any efficiency. They would also require 2-3 groups to actually clear and beat entirely. All the rest could be defeated with 1-2 man groups in a day or two (some could be cleared in a couple hours solo).
Now we have far too many places and far too many Top Tear escalations. The most recent updates has more than tripled the work load on a population that has generally left it up to a small few.
|Daeglin 05.31.2015 09:19|
@OP Your above post may be why you're having trouble recruiting/retaining. recruiters who are enthusiastic and find the game compelling are more successful. I agree with Cal that your comments about initial influence for new recruits in PFU may be worth discussing, but over the long term I doubt it will matter much. In regards to the rest, you will not be successful in getting settlements to post tactically relevant information. If you would like to put up your settlements active players, where your holdings are located, usual play times, or even how much loot you usually carry around, feel free…
Good… Bad… I'm the guy with the bow.
|Quijenoth Starkiller 05.31.2015 09:34|
Blaming Xeilias for their play style is not the answer HowardWdW.
Its that simple.
Now I have no idea how PFU guides its members, but this is how i perceive it…
So, those that like PVP go to Xeilias, Those that want to "win the game" go to TEO.
what PFU should be doing is guiding new players to ALL settlements.
I have recruited on my own, I do not approach PFU recruits, I hope they come to me.
This is probably where I fail, but PFU does not help and that IMHO is where PFU fails.