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Too Late for 11.2 but...

Bringslite
Here is just one blog from the Old Days about Companies. The current version really isn't anything like the exciting thing this blog sells. Sure there are some groups with companies that seem to follow themes, at least WANT to follow themes, or say they WILL follow themes someday. Right now they are just bags of characters for balancing influence, fluffing Feud numbers, and coordinating storage, etc… They do not resemble the Social Units that they were envisioned to be.

Very much of this is because of a low population in game, but definitely not all of it. IMO, the reason that Companies will not reach their game/social/group original potential boils down to The Influence System. Look at the aspects of the original reason for companies and compare them to how Influence works. Companies are limited by diminishing returns as they grow past a pretty small number of members, yet they were designed to be mini guilds. This is were you find players that want to play at a certain aspect offered by PfO(bandit band, mercs, gathering group, merchants guild, teamsters, militia, PVE Esc specialists, on and on), who play around the same time daily(social connection), and yet the numbers are limited because Influence wielded by a Settlement is so vital that they are pressured to have as much influence as possible.

My take away from this is that Companies are (much more than) subtly encouraged to be fairly small(talking REAL actively subbed characters), when the original design calls for them to be fairly large. How else can you get enough players into a "specialized aspect focus" mini guild that have enough members who play at the same times to be the meat of the social system for this game? Not very well, is how.

What can be done about this and/or should anything be done about it? Obviously, someday, settlements as the main social group will not work well with several hundred active members. The need for maxed Influence will only be greater at that point.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Duffy Swiftshadow
It definitely needs some work.

Disassociating hard capped influence from company size would do a ton of things to balance out some of the negative behaviors involving company membership. Exchanging bodies for effort (since in the end that's the goal of getting the members anyways) as the hard mechanic and then allowing the numbers game to passively play a role versus mechanically play a role in what folks can do with said influence.

If they start adding influence expenditures such as our favorite examples of assassinations, raids, bounties, and banditry suddenly the company has options and reasons to save up or spend influence. The biggest problem we have now is that we just accumulate and sit on it. It's one of the reasons I personally think they should move holdings and warfare to the settlement level and let the settlement size and collective actions dictate the limitations and growth of the settlement components while companies use their influence for those couple of things I just mentioned or some PvE boons or new systems. Create a tiered progression with 'group currency' instead of trying to use one 'low level' currency for everything.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
If this was the idea then first off make it so companies can exist and progress to T3 somehow without having to be part of a settlement. Give some kind of alt progression with some different pros and cons. Cause dude if companies are supposed to be guilds then I ain't seeing it. All my play experience here says companies don't mean nothing since the settlement is what matters. The settlement is all, the settlement is the only thing that matters.

How about that whole claiming territory for an independent company to build up? That would be nice for a company base or hideout for say bandits, not to mention someone who wants to build up a new powerbase or a new player on the world stage. Gives players who want to stop us bandits a real target to hit and let's us be nomadic without bothering with city state politics that frankly a band of marsuders would never care about unless they wanted to (like we do).

Also, the means of getting influence sucks on a basic level, and that's the number one problem. Ya gotta crank out really boring grinds with really generic mobs that look and feel dull and hollow, the achievement metrics feel arbitrary, and ya gotta do it a crap ton of times before it even matters. There are some sprinkles of gathering and crafting achievements but clearly the way to do it is kill more boring mobs in boring escalations. I find it dreadful enough that the best way to get currency and high level loot is a soul deadening farming process of trying to make a special mob grow in an escalation like a farmer grows crops. Having to go into most other escalations where I have found only a few of them enjoyable at all with a lot less of a reward feels worse.

If this was the sort of thing they wanted, then dude, PFO could take a number of queues from Black Desert Online regarding how to make these means of getting infrastructure currency FUN! You do interesting stuff, kill cool challenging mobs, and also do mini games and quests for gathering and crafting to get contribution points you can spend to get houses and build your own infrastructure (for automated gathering, trade routes, manufacturing, etc) Ya also get guild infrastructure and guild quests. Since your guild membership is account bound not toon bound and they give ya decent reasons to have an alt on the same account, you don't get this one or two man company with a hundred toons craziness.

PFO has gotta find its own way to do it and not be a BDO clone, but the concept BDO uses is pretty solid. You give reasons to use toons on the same account, make membership account based rather than toon based, and make an infrastructure currency system that is fun and makes sense, then you ain't gonna see people padding guilds with toons cause it would be a dumb thing to do.
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
The Eternal Balance
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Cause dude if companies are supposed to be guilds then I ain't seeing it. All my play experience here says companies don't mean nothing since the settlement is what matters. The settlement is all, the settlement is the only thing that matters.

Too much power concentrated into too few hands - The Balance is displeased.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Azure_Zero
Paddy Fitzpatrick
If this was the idea then first off make it so companies can exist and progress to T3 somehow without having to be part of a settlement. Give some kind of alt progression with some different pros and cons. Cause dude if companies are supposed to be guilds then I ain't seeing it. All my play experience here says companies don't mean nothing since the settlement is what matters. The settlement is all, the settlement is the only thing that matters.

….

The settlement requirement decision was made as one of the countermeasures for griefers and as a side effect hurts the bandit play style.

Looks at what happened to Zycor's griefing in Thornkeep (and other areas) after he was kicked out of each settlement he was in, he had a much harder time griefing since his power was capped with no way to use the better T2 gear and stuck with T1 gear. He became content to be hunted by his own hand, and weakened by his own hand as well.
Azure_Zero
Paddy Fitzpatrick
……
Also, the means of getting influence sucks on a basic level, and that's the number one problem. Ya gotta crank out really boring grinds with really generic mobs that look and feel dull and hollow, the achievement metrics feel arbitrary, and ya gotta do it a crap ton of times before it even matters. There are some sprinkles of gathering and crafting achievements but clearly the way to do it is kill more boring mobs in boring escalations. I find it dreadful enough that the best way to get currency and high level loot is a soul deadening farming process of trying to make a special mob grow in an escalation like a farmer grows crops. Having to go into most other escalations where I have found only a few of them enjoyable at all with a lot less of a reward feels worse.
…..

Agreed, they need more interesting ways of giving influence, but given the current dev team it would not be possible to add in mini-games.

But I think the influence gain rate is more for stopping non-stop feuding, i.e. Forever war.
Azure_Zero
One thing that should be done is removal of the annoying and useless T1 tokens from all T2 Escalations (and it's mobs even if an entity is white).
Since T1 Tokens are useless once we hit T2 or T3, and have no way of reducing the giant stock piles we do have (without throwing them out). I'd be fine with either removal of T1 tokens from all T2 and higher mobs or allow a crafter to convert them to Better tokens.

The other thing that should be done is a slight modification to the on death item destruction, since the RNG seems to happily target the best stuff (leaving the junk behind). (For all intents let's assume a d100, and a roll of 25 and under destroys items)
If an item is T1 it gets it's normal roll, (25% chance of loss)
if the item is T2 it gets a minor resistance to destruction (say +5 on the roll), (20% chance chance of loss)
if the item is T3 it gets a major resistance to destruction (say +10 on the roll) (15% chance chance of loss).

This would go well with that fact that T2 is better and should be more durable than T1, as well as T3 being better then T2.
Maxen
I agree with Azure on this. T1 tokens are an annoyance once you hit T2. But I waste nothing and end up lugging them all back to my vault in the hopes that someday they will be a useful component for something. Regarding durability, I also agree that better crafted (higher tier) items should be more durable. I like the idea of increased resistance for inventory items. Taking that a step further, perhaps T1 crafted items could have a durability of 15/15, T2 20/20 and T3 25/25 to represent the higher quality of each tier. Or 10/15/20 if no one wants to see T3 go above the already established 20/20 benchmark.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
They were already trying to prep us for lower durability or greater damage, but a lot will depend on activity levels. What's going to matter is whether resources are leaving the economy fast enough to maintain a healthy economy.

Another option would be for all to have 24/24, but a T1 item takes four hits at death, while a T2 takes 3 and a T3 takes 2. Then "enchanting" could "strengthen" so an enchanted item takes 1 less. resulting in:

24 Deaths - T3 enchanted
12 deaths - T3 or T2 enchanted
8 deaths - T2 or T1 enchanted
6 deaths - T1

To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
arty155jln
BLUF: Just a few thoughts based on the OP topic of Companies.

The OP was about companies, and to that end I bring up a game that I feel has also done it right. Shadowbane had guilds (i.e. companies) with a founding guild that other guilds could sub to. Ownership was then at a guild level, and any guild could own a city (even if they were subbed to a parent guild). The idea in PFO is the same, except that companies sub to settlements. The difference is that in Shadowbane, guilds (groups of players) were subbing to other groups of players, while in PFO companies sub to these static places we call settlements.

Companies need to feel more alive than they do. I would rather open the door for a little griefing and allow companies to own "buildings" even if not part of a settlement. This might be the wrong place to put it, but I also don't believe that training we have already gotten should be taken away from us. In the above Zycor example, I believe he should have been able to keep all of his training, but the penalty for not being in a player run company is no access to training. Create actual safe havens like they do in EvE. We don't lose our abilities just because we are kicked from an organization. Instead of penalizing players how about bonuses for players that stay in companies. Tie the bonuses into the deity system, and the better settlement/temple the better bonuses.

NewCorp - if anyone from the new company is reading this, then a more fluid settlement system would also be helpful. Put quite a few hexes off limits for settlement building, but redesign the system so Companies get to choose where they want to build their city/settlement. Along with that, look to games like Shadowbane their city layout designer for players in game, or to TheRepopulation (which has shutdown) for a free flowing city layout designer. Don't re-create the wheel here; use the Lore of Pathfinder and use other sieging mechanics from other games to breathe some life into PFO.
 
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