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The tyranny of the blob.

Midnight
Decius
You have what you hold. If you can hold it, it's yours regardless of what anyone says. If you can't hold it, it isn't really yours even if you say it is and nobody objects.

Are you agreeing with me? Because I agree with you.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Bringslite
Midnight
If the average MMO player measures their success by fat loot and access to it, why wouldn't they join the blob?

If the most logical thing to do is to join the blob, what does that say about the rest of us?

And Bringslite, how would completing the incomplete aspects you refer to make this a smaller concern? I'm not disagreeing with the possibility that incompleteness magnifies the blob issue. I just don't see exactly which completions will change the answer to those first 2 questions.

I'll also add that completing the game is going to introduce settlement knockdowns, which might further magnify the benefits of joining the blob.

If the blob is so large and so completely loyal to itself and within itself that it does not naturally splinter, not slowly weakened by diminishing returns as it expands, and still so strong that it can't be dealt with by the entire rest of the server: that seems to me to be at least 2/3 a game design flaw and outside of player hands.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Midnight
Bringslite
Midnight
If the average MMO player measures their success by fat loot and access to it, why wouldn't they join the blob?

If the most logical thing to do is to join the blob, what does that say about the rest of us?

And Bringslite, how would completing the incomplete aspects you refer to make this a smaller concern? I'm not disagreeing with the possibility that incompleteness magnifies the blob issue. I just don't see exactly which completions will change the answer to those first 2 questions.

I'll also add that completing the game is going to introduce settlement knockdowns, which might further magnify the benefits of joining the blob.

If the blob is so large and so completely loyal to itself and within itself that it does not naturally splinter, not slowly weakened by diminishing returns as it expands, and still so strong that it can't be dealt with by the entire rest of the server: that seems to me to be at least 2/3 a game design flaw and outside of player hands.

Agreed, but as crowdforgers, how much of that 2/3 fault is our own, if it happens?
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Bringslite
None. The responsibility for the game is on the Developers. This isn't their first rodeo and even if it were, we know that they are not stupid and that they have much common sense. I doubt that you and I differ in believing that. Either one of us may or may not feel that all choices made by the Devs are always the best from our prospective, but we do not see the immediate or long range reality that they have to work with. All this within the confines of short term, medium term, and long term plans and goals that they understand far more than we do.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Midnight
I will grant you that Paizo made a lot of money in other aspects of gaming, but I have to call the current game a dismal failure so far. I really WANT it not to be, but I fell off the hype train months ago.

While individual devs make very eloquent and intelligent posts, all that intelligence didn't stop GW from allowing people to stockpile bulk goods while holdings were immune from attack.

Can smart people do stupid things as an organization that can ruin their game? I think the bulk goods fiasco is proof positive that they can.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Decius
Suppose that there was a blob that was just barely not too large to be a problem.

How big would that blob be, in whatever unit of measure that you feel is most appropriate?
Duffy Swiftshadow
Midnight
I will grant you that Paizo made a lot of money in other aspects of gaming, but I have to call the current game a dismal failure so far.

While individual devs make very eloquent and intelligent posts, all that intelligence didn't stop GW from allowing people to stockpile bulk goods while holdings were immune from attack.

Can smart people do stupid things as an organization that can ruin their game? I think the bulk goods fiasco is proof positive that they can.

For that to be true (assuming current bulk good system is good enough as is aside from lack of conflict), you need to prove that stockpiling could not have happened anyways or that it would not happen over any significantly long period of time.

It's possible bulk resources are straight up poorly thought out, I'll give you that. If so there is a fairly easy and cyclical settlement/holding buildup scheme they could use that would throw out the problems of bulk resources, mitigate the problems of influence, but still achieve some of the desired effects of progressive growth via applied effort. Numbers would still matter if it came to blows and would make the effort way easier, but aren't the lynch pin end all be all. The tricky part is figuring out the trading component of it all.
Midnight
Decius
Suppose that there was a blob that was just barely not too large to be a problem.

How big would that blob be, in whatever unit of measure that you feel is most appropriate?

At the point where an entity can exert global omnipotence, that is the point where it makes little sense to be outside of the blob, and that's where the sandbox will collapse from lack of content.

I doubt there is a hard number or even ratio that guarantees global omnipotence, since leadership and organization and tenacity are all factors.

I'm just suggesting that once the blob can dictate terms to everyone everywhere, not being in the blob is going to seem far less powerful/fun than being in the blob, and that isn't a sustainable path to sandbox success. One key might be limiting force projection so that unilateral global declarations by the blob are no longer practical.

Suppose for a minute that ONE person can exert global omnipotence. Who the hell wants to play in a sandbox where Midnight is telling everyone everywhere on the map what they can and can't do if he has the power to enforce his will?

I offer that example to show that it is the singularity of rule that would drive players away from a sandbox. You can replace "Midnight" with another player name, a bloc name, etc. and the game remains just as lacking in fun.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Paddy Fitzpatrick
I am thinking more tactical battle mechanics. There should be some other ways a skilled fighting group or resourceful gang can add other tactics to be force multipliers.

Sure you aint never gonna beat the odds if you are numbered by 2.5 times or more in a game like this but even then you can make the much bigger group earn their victory.

Stuff like group benefits and synergies depending, more utility stuff, traps, being able to use stealth to camoflauge, taking cover and having the cover matter. Really not sure how a ray or arrow goes through a boulder or tree, maybe some special ones can but there aint no such thing as line effect anyway so it dont matter.

All these things can add up, and a crafty group who lays out an elaborate ambush/killzone doing more than a blind zerg rush.

Course, if the zerg rush is big enough it will overrun you anyway and that should be expected too, but even then ya may do more damage and leave a mark. For goodness sake there needs to be some ability for some skilled squads to use cunning, craft, and good planning. Basically we need some way to be Protoss so to speak too if you want ways to counter blobs besides making your own blob smile
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Bringslite
These stockpile issues and stuff are pretty trivial now as there are no settlements that can be captured whether they have bulk, don't have bulk, have holdings or don't. That and other numerical issues could be mitigated in any number of acceptable and cool ways with a little thought.

For example:
Trade routes and the maintenance AND taxation of them is an ancient concept. Most of us(maybe all) are not fond of the run from here to there. There are roads already down, but what if massive player projects could improve roads that allow "set and forget" movement along these roads? Not that you can't be stopped, accosted and killed and/or robbed. Just that this network of roads allows me to set my destination and not have to watch the travel if I do not want to. This network of roads was built by players with bulk resources. Those groups get a little bit of coin when they are used, which I certainly do not mind paying. I mean an hour long donkey pull is fascinating to watch, but…
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
 
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