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Calling All Active Settlements/Companies/Players

Brighthaven Leader
I think in general the gaming isn't dying, but the population is declining.

If you want to look at people's number just cut their settlement down to 30% of what it lists, that is probably how many people are subbing to the game, and less than that actually active.

Brighthaven on a good night can field 20 people by itself, The most we have ever fielded is something like 30-35 people.

You have to take several things into consideration, usually only 10% of your active player base is playing, this can spike to 15-20% for huge pre-planned events. The difference between large settlements and small, isn't always about how many people can be fielded at their prime times, but how many people they can field around the clock 24/7.

Lets take Golgotha for example 271 people, lets cut that in 1/3s > 90 people.

Now, I can say that at any given time there might be 5-10 people online for Golgotha, and they spike to 13-18 people when they have a big preplanned event.

At any given time there are probably 60-100 people playing this game. Those are the numbers.

When EBA can muster 40-50 people and the Empire can muster 20-30, thats about 13% of the total active player base in Settlements having a battle.
Brighthaven is a Neutral Good settlement focused on defending its citizens and its allies from negative fringe based PvP (Player Killing and Griefing) while striving to become a large and shining beacon for Good. Whether you wish to benefit from this protection or you love PvP and wish to assist in providing this protection, Brighthaven aims to be the home and support center for you!
Saiph the Fallen
I do agree with some of your points, but entirely disagree with your viewpoints on PFU; Pathfinder Online NEEDS PFU to survive.

The escalation system is probably my least favorite thing about Pathfinder Online…can't win them all though. I've taken a long break from the game (keeping my subscription active) hoping that it will develop a tad bit more. For a PvP player that likes to partake in PvE during downtime there just isn't many exhilarating things to do at the moment. I, like you, have high hopes for this game and will continue to support it as it develops.

I do wish the "veterans" of this game would be a tad bit more critical in regards to PFO's gameplay and overall design; offering critiques doesn't make you a bad person.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Saiph the Fallen
I do wish the "veterans" of this game would be a tad bit more critical in regards to PFO's gameplay and overall design; offering critiques doesn't make you a bad person.

I dunno about that, I would say we're critical as all hell, we're just not 'dicks' about it. There's a difference between explaining scenarios or potential problems with a system (which I and many others around here have done regularly) and claiming 'this is the worst thing that has ever happened and you will fail if you keep doing this gnashing of teeth, insult, etc…'. The former is helpful while the latter, which may sometimes have nuggets of truth, is often toxic and hyperbolic in nature.

In particular I've railed against escalations a few times, I think they need some serious re-tuning. That's how I found out some of the problem is related to a bug with the fallow times. That's also why they recently changed mob kills to count for more strength. They do listen, they just can't make everything happen at once, and I'm sure that sometimes we're just wrong (like the initial influence arguments).
MidknightDiamond
Quijenoth Starkiller
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.
I believe Hoffman covered all the bases very well so I won't bother to rehash what he's aid. This isn't the first time someone has disagreed with our existence and it won't be the last. Such is life in the sandbox.

What I do want to address, as a professor (though my IRL work has not allowed me to participate as much as I'd like to recently), and someone who recruits actively for PFU, is the above statement.

When we take in players, we don't start by figuring out where we want them to go. We take them in, help gear them up, help them figure out what keywords are, what skills they need to focus on and how the interlocking web of mechanics works to the best of our ability. The people that run the classes (who are amazing by the way), help us in that respect and the more visible those people are, the more people (and the Faculty) get to know them and their settlements.

Simply put, I (nor any other Faculty member) cannot recommend a student go to a settlement that I know nothing about it or its players or leadership. I've worked with those in Golgotha, with TEO (mostly through Auriga), with Duffy and Hope's End, traded with Thannon in Cannis, make sure to tell the dwarven PC's about Forgeholm (who I still think would be awesome if they could eventually get an underground settlement), the crafters at Kreuz Bernstein of Dreamless who used to be PFU (and have moved on to revitalize a nearly dead city), hunted Bonedancers with Thod and Emerald Lodge…

All of the above has colored my experiences online and helps me help the students find their best home and where THEY want to go because it's where they think they'd be happiest.

I don't know much about Callembea or the people that run it, I can't say much when asked about it. I'm not sure anyone in Faculty does. I've had a couple of good trade experiences with Regalo, I always point people to his Trade & Commerce threads when they ask how to make money with materials because he stocks it up. I don't know much about the NW of the map - though Paizocon and getting to meet Takasi is helping that and we're slowly bridging that gap with coordinating events (so very sad I had to work during the Razmirians).

Bottom line, the easiest way to get recruits from PFU is to make sure the Faculty know you and know what you do and can speak for you. Invite the students to hunts, invite the faculty to hunts. We're not evil monsters looking to take over the server. We just want to see the game flourish in all ways possible.

I will add, as a disclaimer, that the above is my experience with the server - obviously it will vary with each individual Faculty member.
Aurora Silverstar, Pathfinder University Quartermaster & Explorer
Kiernan Silverstar, Aurora's lazy & good-for-nothing younger brother who just likes to blow things up.

PM MidknightDiamond on Paizo Forum
Bringslite
Reply to HowardWdW's Post: Part I

Thanks HowardWdW. These are some things that we should get out and discuss. That can actually be healthy if we go about it in an open minded sort of way.

I play pretty much several hours "+" every day next to the OP. Whoever made him didn't go budget or "discount clearance" on the brain part. He is also generally a nice guy unless you screw with him. We used to have a fairly good forum community here. There were flare ups and long wars but VERY minor stuff compared to most other game forums. (Insert large exception for The Forever WAR) Now, posting any point that you would like to discuss often gets an immediate dismissive reply and includes a little jab, no extra charge. Honestly…. that sucks. I am definitely guilty myself, so I won't dwell on that.

Population: I am unsure if the total number of subscriptions have gone down, but I am sure that the number of players showing up "regular like" has gone down. My characters (or my network) travel all over, quite often. Despite how much our teamspeak has to hear me gripe how I won't go that far, ever again. There are simply less people about at any given hour and in most places there never where many. There could be some exceptions to this, like a company or settlement with only one, two or a few members to start with. Maybe one of the big kids aren't seeing this decline. The toons must be going to stealth when I come through the settlements (even you Golgotha). Ghost towns.

Why are we burning out?

Escalations: (But not only this. More in Part II) This is OUR fault more so than GW's. The escalations were too loaded toward whimpy T1 and we are mostly all well past that. They were tedious and boring. (queue a trickle of burnout) We wanted more T2. We moaned, we cried and we got more T2 escalations. Yay!!! It was fun! Then we got better drops! First a treat like a spell or maneuver. Still seems like we are doing this at least a few hours a day, EVERY DAY.(another trickle of burnout) Then Victory Markers…..Hmmmm, then we had more spells, maneuvers and Victory Markers than we need. Ok, Stockpile!!! (more burnout) <pause> <look around> "Hey have you seen Joe lately?"
"He said he needs a break"
"Well, we have Skull Bashers in the south spawn, Ustalaves in the West Spawn, and Bone Dancers every other hex but those. We need bodies to trim or clear those. We have let them grow for 3 days while Poe and Schmoe got busy at their work places"
"Your right. Did I tell you that I am gonna take a few days off from the game? It all seems too chore like"

Less people playing "regularly" means more work for those that are sticking it out. (turn burnout dial to 11 now) The areas around PFU or the Big 3 or 4 happen to have a good grip on the new blood. That is not wrong. It is a lack of outlier settlements to recruit or to get more involved with PFU. Some of may have tried hard very early (land rush…. ahh Halcyon days…smile and then not much at all since. Some did try (actually DO STILL try), but their concept is too general (vanilla NG)or too niche (LG). Or maybe there were just not bodies to recruit.

The cure for this is NEW BLOOD and a readjustment of the frequency of escalation repop. An area should not refill with monsters less than 24 hours after the old ones are driven out. T1 escalations are fun for new players. When new players are about, enthusiasm is about. Just about everyone can get a kick out of teaching new players, showing them the ropes, vicariously enjoying their victories and celebrating their milestones.

Whatever it takes, new players need to be brought into the game in greater numbers and faster than a trickle. A trickle can't keep up with veteran burnout. PLEASE extend the free trial to 30 days now. Three months ago would have been better, but it might not be too late now. Is there really much of a difference between a player that tries a 15 day trial and one that has 30 free days to make friends, see beyond the graphics, be shown how to get around/or used to the things like no stack splitting, no tab for text fields, charging feats that cause Blue Screen, I could go on? I am going to hazard a YES, in a positive way. Please, if it is possible, address the common denominators of the highly negative perception this game has outside of this community. They are (IMO) Pricing Model, the Pricing Model, and don't forget the Pricing Model (it seems to come up often also).

Part II… when I have time after my escalation, gathering/crafting, and Influence grind chores….

Edit: Added a little bit to The cure for this…
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Saiph the Fallen
I do wish the "veterans" of this game would be a tad bit more critical in regards to PFO's gameplay and overall design; offering critiques doesn't make you a bad person.
Human beings are extraordinarily good at tuning out things that don't fit our world-view. There are plenty of people that support the game that are complaining about plenty of things. Even those of us that are careful to temper our frustration because we know that there are things intended that aren't ready yet. This game is not going to be a pretty thing for those that are impatient. Sadly, the number of people that are patient may not be enough to sustain it.
To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
Edam
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Saiph the Fallen
I do wish the "veterans" of this game would be a tad bit more critical in regards to PFO's gameplay and overall design; offering critiques doesn't make you a bad person.
Human beings are extraordinarily good at tuning out things that don't fit our world-view. There are plenty of people that support the game that are complaining about plenty of things. Even those of us that are careful to temper our frustration because we know that there are things intended that aren't ready yet. This game is not going to be a pretty thing for those that are impatient. Sadly, the number of people that are patient may not be enough to sustain it.

There are big issues but that said the Game now compared to 6 months ago (late Alpha) is leaps and bounds better.

It is partly a "glass half full / half empty" scenario with the position you take being strongly influenced by peer opinion.

On the active player numbers front Keeper's Pass is till growing our new applicants very slightly exceeding the people we have lost.

I would however agree with Cheatle that about 2/3 of our settlement numbers are alts/DTs and of the actual subbed players maybe half are active more than once or twice a week and those are spread across timezones.

Duffy Swiftshadow
Ya know, everyone at some point or another says something like 'I went through town and it was empty', well shouldn't it be? Most of the stuff you need to spend actual time doing is not in town. I only sit in town when I'm doing nothing or giving a PFU lecture. Just cause no one is in town doesn't mean their isn't half a dozen of us a hex away doing something (which is definitely the common case with our corner). Of course more population would mean more likely to have people hanging around, but it is a bit of a paradox when you think about it.
Edam
Duffy Swiftshadow
Ya know, everyone at some point or another says something like 'I went through town and it was empty', well shouldn't it be? Most of the stuff you need to spend actual time doing is not in town. I only sit in town when I'm doing nothing or giving a PFU lecture. Just cause no one is in town doesn't mean their isn't half a dozen of us a hex away doing something (which is definitely the common case with our corner). Of course more population would mean more likely to have people hanging around, but it is a bit of a paradox when you think about it.

This actually mirrors a lot of the EVE "WIS" (walk in station) debate a few years back. The devs decided to start working on the ability to walk around when docked and shop and trade and generally interact with other peoples avatars. The plus side of this was it would have attracted a new type of player to the game. The downside argued by many existing players was this was a waste of resources when you are only docked up between doing useful stuff (be it PvP or PvE). In the end the anti-WIS group one and the devs pulled the plans.

It is a lot like that in PFO. There is currently no reason to be in settlement except for the few minutes you are training or setting off craft queues. If your settlement mates are standing around the bank rather than defending towers, gathering lodestone or killing elemental escalations there is something wrong.

Now in the future there may be more meaningful stuff to do while in the settlement, maybe watch tournament style duels and gamble on them with other players? Who knows. But for now there is nothing much to do standing in town except spam general chat. The only reason you see people in town at all is the vault system and trading is so clunky it takes half an hour to sort stuff and trade it between companies.
Quijenoth Starkiller
@Midnight

PFU does do a good job at teaching the game mechanics to people but as a sandbox game mechanics is only half of the story.

The other half is the politics and people within. The "we dont want to be biased so don't recommend any company/ settlement/ alliance" approach is where PFU fails its students. A Modern University doesnt just teach you the skills then sends you on your merry way - they guide peoples future and advise on the best direction to take. You could really do with a political class once a week to keep members up to date with whats going on outside of PFU. Many smaller settlements don't have the manpower to dedicate a single recruiter so it would be nice if you where a little more proactive on this side too.

I would be more than happy to give you regular information about what Callambea is doing. Alas my play time is not compatible with your lessons or I would have made more effort to participate.

MidknightDiamond
I don't know much about Callembea or the people that run it, I can't say much when asked about it. I'm not sure anyone in Faculty does. I've had a couple of good trade experiences with Regalo, I always point people to his Trade & Commerce threads when they ask how to make money with materials because he stocks it up.

This is another issue that needs addressing and I will do that directly here by introducing Callambea to you.

I currently run Callambea, both Beyond the Grave and Pax Aeturnum are owned by me.
All of our members are EU/UK and east coast US time based. I myself am from the UK and play from server up to about 11pm server time every day.

In order to keep this post short, You can read more about Callambea HERE.

I hope this gives you an insight of what we are about so that you can better inform your students. In the meantime please feel free to contact me in-game or via my website if you would like to know anything.
Quijenoth Starkiller Viceroy of Callambea
Company Leader of Beyond the Grave - www.beyond-pfo.com
Crafting Planner
 
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