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Concerns over Settlement Costs

Thod-Theodum
Yep - coal rules the River Kingdom

I caved in and bought the 1024 coal in EL when the price was lowered by 1 copper. I still paid more as I wanted …
Thod/Theodum are the OOC/IC leaders of the Emerald Lodge - a neutral settlement in the center of the mal that tries to the first to explore the Emerald Spire - should that part of the game ever become available. We have a strong in game and out of game relationship with the Pathfinder Society.
We welcome both hard core players as well as casual players with or without tabletop experience. We have a strong group in Europe and are slowly expanding into the US. We are predominately PvE as our neutral political stance means that we tend to use PvP only in self-defence. We are not anti-PVP - but expect limited PvP opportunity with us.
Edam
The T2+5 level 16 weapon/armor gates have most settlements hoarding iron/coal/lodestone etc which may be effecting pricing and availability.
Quijenoth Starkiller
Takasi
Quijenoth do you have a T3 implement trained, all T3 expendables learned, T3 armor slotted, two T3 weapons slotted and T3 utility items ready, and how many backups of gear do you have to activate all of these? Are they at T3+5?

I'm just trying to gauge how much of an advantage you feel anyone would have at this stage. Day 1 of EE we could set settlement level to 20 with enough towers, which were easy enough to pool together among multiple settlements to offer people. Why wasn't this an issue for you then? Is it because you felt people didn't have enough capability to use those training options? If so, then where people are at today is equally important. This is why I'm asking you what you feel you're getting access to that you feel you shouldn't have access to.

From a practical perspective, how do you feel the abilities you've purchased will impact the long term success of this game? Specifically, are you doing anything extraordinary with your build that you couldn't also do with everyone capped at 14?

Its not about the individual - its about the game as a whole…

Its less noticeable from the abilities and more noticeable on the settlement level (hence the focus on caping settlement level). Right now OV, BH EL and UC has 250 facility level, that's a huge reduction in crafting queues over what the rest sit at and a MASSIVE reduction over NPC towns. That's reason enough to move to those settlements to craft armor.

If the T3 gap grows when settlement levels come in (which, given the numbers, I think it will) new players are not going to like coming into a game where such a controlling few (even if they are a minority) have complete domination over the end game for more than a year.
Quijenoth Starkiller Viceroy of Callambea
Company Leader of Beyond the Grave - www.beyond-pfo.com
Crafting Planner
Decius
There is no end game. Anyone can enter the political game at any time, and an organizer of players who are disaffected with their current leadership could probably take a settlement pretty easily.
Edam
At what point in time are established groups allowed to actually have an advantage ? Also are we really saying that a year or two into the game Joe 15 year old and his 5 school mates need be allowed to setup a new settlement and compete on equal terms with long term groups with hundreds/thousands of members?

In EVE the real conflict has always come from a dominant group being challenged BoB/Goons/Russians etc etc people that did not want to challenge actually just join the dominant groups.

The game has been going for a year and is probably a year or more away from Open Release. Are we going to say 3 years in that "no one can have an advantage as it may scare new players" ?

My suggestion - get the kingdom/alliance mechanic functional ASAP so new/smaller groups have a way of catching up by joining established groups (or each other)and getting a boost up that way.
Takasi
The Facility Rating "gap" is not that huge.

Prior to EE 11 everyone had 200 for free. If you compare level 14 to level 16 you're spending an extra 500 bulk resources a week to maintain and you're only getting a 50 rating difference. As a crafter you can make up the difference if you pick the right race, have T2+3 armor and a high role feature slotted.

The game gets incrementally more difficult; that is reward for getting in early. Ammunition is going to make the game harder. Roaming mobs, ramped up AI, nerfs…it's a reality Quijenoth.

The question is just how much of an advantage is it. The xp costs are exponentially more difficult and the actual power differential is a marginal improvement at best. If you're seeing groups dominate because they're better geared and trained at T3 then take some videos or describe what you're seeing, but I'm not seeing that at all at the moment and I doubt we'll see it anytime in the future. What we will hopefully see is an influx of Tier 1 players deciding if they should resub for Tier 2. I think that change in the surroundings will eclipse any gains the current veterans are seeing.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Edam
The game has been going for a year and is probably a year or more away from Open Release. Are we going to say 3 years in that "no one can have an advantage as it may scare new players" ?

My suggestion - get the kingdom/alliance mechanic functional ASAP so new/smaller groups have a way of catching up by joining established groups (or each other)and getting a boost up that way.

It's not that having an advantage is the problem (even if it's huge), it is that there don't seem to be no way to lose…or win! You can't compare EVE conflicts to this because in EVE factions can actually defeat each other. There don't seem to be any way for new empires to rise or old empires to fall as far as I can tell.

Based on what I've seen so far, my worry is stagnation. When advantages snowball out of control and there's no way in game for any group to ever lose any of those advantages (or other groups to even get other advantages to balance this out), then we got a big problem.

At some point there ain't gonna be new settlements left to take, there ain't no settlement conquest mechanics that I can find. To any completely new group looking to start up their own settlement in this game, hell, all I gotta say is good luck! If any new group comes in and is able to build a new settlement up completely from scratch with only their own might, resource management, and manpower I'd sure love to know how.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Quijenoth Starkiller
Takasi
If you're seeing groups dominate because they're better geared and trained at T3 then take some videos or describe what you're seeing, but I'm not seeing that at all at the moment and I doubt we'll see it anytime in the future.

We are not seeing it now because we are all (mostly) equal. Your focusing on the immediate tangible benefits now when its clear I'm talking about advantages spread over a whole year! Paddy put it well with stagnation, if Decius is right that T3 is not end game and people find little enjoyment in being T3 over T2, new players are going to look at it and say, "whats the point? why join a level 20 settlement that doesn't really need me? why make my own settlement if my neighboring settlement does it all already? wheres the diversity and drive to carve my own part of the RK?"

You can say its all about the community and doing stuff with friends (that's what most of us are doing right now anyway) but without a need for more friends to work those cogs (cause we can do everything with 6 people and 40 accounts) the game will never get a large player base where everyone matters.
Quijenoth Starkiller Viceroy of Callambea
Company Leader of Beyond the Grave - www.beyond-pfo.com
Crafting Planner
Edam
I suspect the current population is a bit anomalous. Not everyone wants to become Mittani from EVE and quit there day job as a lawyer or whatever he was to run a guild and a website. Not everyone even wants to be invovled in running a settlement.

In fact long term many people will be happy to form their own company with a few friends, attach it to a large settlement or Kingdom and gather over a few beers while chatting in teamspeak.

The trick is getting to the point where that is possible.
Takasi
Quijenoth Starkiller
We are not seeing it now because we are all (mostly) equal.

That's not true at all. No two players, even if most started day 1, have the same stats. Some may have a few stats at 14, others may have two at 16 or even 18, others may have one stat at 20 and a few at 11 or 12 and others may have a stat at 24 or even 25. Some may have one character, others may have 40. Some may have spent all their xp, others may have 500K+ banked.

Most importantly, some may have put in 1000+ hours into the game and others may have only put in barely double digits. It's a game of persistence. Some may have started gathering T3 last June and others may not have T3 gathering yet. There are always going to be massive disparities in accumulation of wealth.

But is any of it making a difference in what one person can reasonably do in any given task available in the game?

The answer is no. No matter what you have the power differentials in this game are marginal in result while being exponential to accomplish.

Quijenoth Starkiller
Your focusing on the immediate tangible benefits now when its clear I'm talking about advantages spread over a whole year! Paddy put it well with stagnation, if Decius is right that T3 is not end game and people find little enjoyment in being T3 over T2, new players are going to look at it and say, "whats the point? why join a level 20 settlement that doesn't really need me? why make my own settlement if my neighboring settlement does it all already? wheres the diversity and drive to carve my own part of the RK?"

Quijenoth, few people are going to care about who is doing the "first to" or "best of" in the game. Most are going to care about what their own group is able to do. In fact I would wager that an up and coming group will balk at any settlement boasting to be the best. They will see it as a challenge for themselves to do well with what they have. And the reality of a sandbox like PFO is that having training higher is a monumental task when the bottom line is numbers. The land rush is absolutely meaningless at this stage of the game; the recruitment drives are going to be everything for long term settlement success.

And no matter how tall a sandcastle is built it's all about how many feet are available to try to stomp it.

Quijenoth Starkiller
You can say its all about the community and doing stuff with friends (that's what most of us are doing right now anyway) but without a need for more friends to work those cogs (cause we can do everything with 6 people and 40 accounts) the game will never get a large player base where everyone matters.

Need has absolutely nothing to do with large player base Quijenoth.

Long term development uncertainty, cosmetic appearance, UI, AI, tooltips and gameplay variety are holding this game back from mainstream acceptance. Whether Live Oak or Brighthaven or Callambea have level 10 or 14 or 18 now or a year from now will have zero impact on the game's success.
 
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