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Settlement Warfare is on the March

Flari-Merchant
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
Alternative to multiple building destruction for siege victory.
Not sure if you can do this easily or not.

Stage One of Siege: Hexes are cleared of holdings and Siege Camps are placed. Bulk begins being reduced(daily or whatever) by the number and quality of Camps.
Stage Two of Siege: Once the Bulk Resources are exhausted, the value added by settlement structures is reduced(daily or whatever) by the number and quality of Camps. Instead of being destroyed, they are "turned off" as their pt value is overcome, by the Dev, if that is possible. Turned off in either a particular order set by the attacker or by the Dev but The Keep is exempt.
Stage Three of Siege: Next PVP window, after all other buildings are "off", there is a grand assault on the Keep just like capturing a holding. A new Keep must be constructed and placed by the successful besiegers, once they have finalized the takeover. This reactivates the buildings.

As I said, not sure if this is possible. Would be nice to have a finale "Last Stand" battle at the Keep. This could also open up possibilities for "plussing" up settlement buildings for more defensive value, including Keeps… and including resultant damage to buildings that have been through a siege.

For stage two, I believe I can turn off buildings, but I suspect they might turn back on at the next downtime, or alternatively might get instantly destroyed if the weekly support payment gets missed. I can look into it, but if we go down this "rebuilding" route, I was mostly just planning to post a quick daily status saying "the following buildings are considered damaged and will need to be rebuilt after the siege ends to prevent them from falling over."

For stage three, a battle at the keep is pretty much exactly what we were hoping to implement, but it's too much work right now. Certainly a possible addition for later.
Well the coin sink could be a good crutch for building reactivation, I suppose. Need to get some of that moved to "nowhere" just as bad as we need Bulk stockpiles trimmed. smile
Bob
Vakiri
Bob
Unfortunately, we don't currently have a feasible way to duplicate the state of the live server on the test server. However, I will be simulating a siege as best I can on the test server, and will invite anyone interested to participate in various parts of it. I can use GM commands to approximate some of the live server influence numbers and such to see what kinds of problems crop up.

This confuses me. If you can restore the state of the live server from a backup of that data, why can't you restore such a backup on the test server ?

If you can't restore the state of the live server from a backup, you need to work on that before working on much of anything else, I'd say.

So I guess I'm missing something.

The test servers are running on a smaller number of physical servers, and therefore can't run as many hexes and are set up differently. To transfer just the amount of a live backup that could run on the smaller test server setup would require some adjustments. I'm sure it could be done, but it's not something we've had a chance to set up a process for or build tools for yet.
Mistwalker
Vakiri
Bob
Unfortunately, we don't currently have a feasible way to duplicate the state of the live server on the test server. However, I will be simulating a siege as best I can on the test server, and will invite anyone interested to participate in various parts of it. I can use GM commands to approximate some of the live server influence numbers and such to see what kinds of problems crop up.

This confuses me. If you can restore the state of the live server from a backup of that data, why can't you restore such a backup on the test server ?

If you can't restore the state of the live server from a backup, you need to work on that before working on much of anything else, I'd say.

So I guess I'm missing something.

The test server is much smaller than the live server, only part of the map is present, and the towns that are there are not reflective of the live server, nor are the holding, etc..

Never mind, ninja'd by Bob
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
Fiery
If you consider the ability of multiple settlements/organizations joining to siege a single city to be a blatant game imbalance that can horribly backfire, then yea, I'm OK with that. Bob is absolutely correct that even in our current state, that can be achieved, it's just a little more annoying - not nearly to the level that any groups interested in such teaming up would reconsider doing so because of it. I agree with Duffy that the ability to infinitely feud pretty easily is an issue, and it seems to me that we could think of a relatively easy-to-implement solution. That solution could be as simple as a bob-policy to not feud longer than, say, a week, with a week off, or something.
That is nicely constructive. I like it. Not sure that it would work that way in a large pop game, but we are all pretty cool here in this one.

@ Bob
What do you say to considering some hot fixes along those lines, Sir Bob? On the gang-up siege thing, have you considered the possibility(as mentioned above) of 6 different PVP windows that defenders would need to juggle during a siege? Or about the fact that defenders would only have the option of attacking one siege camp during each? Pretty easy for a partnership/alliance to defend(with 6 groups to draw from) their siege camps. Sorry if you addressed this. I am working on little sleep this week. smile
P.S. And I know that with how things are currently, that we could do something similar with workarounds anyhoo, but it still seems a terrible advantage.

I'm open to a policy solution. Before stating a policy, I'd like to better understand the ways that infinite feuding can be done. If it's just that it's trivially easy to feud for a while, end it, and then restart it again almost immediately, then I'm down with saying that companies shouldn't just feud basically the same people repetitively without giving them a week-long break. If people are gaming the system in other ways to effectively feud someone endlessly, then we might have to say something a bit more complicated.

On the other hand, I honestly suspect at this point that I could handwave a general "don't permafeud, it's annoying" and everyone would do their best to avoid that tactic, or even leave someone alone who'd clearly been feuded by others too many times in recent weeks.
Edam
Bob
On the other hand, I honestly suspect at this point that I could handwave a general "don't permafeud, it's annoying" and everyone would do their best to avoid that tactic, or even leave someone alone who'd clearly been feuded by others too many times in recent weeks.

Permanent feuding is stupidly easy under the current mechanics. I tried an experiment last year and you can pretty much get the daily influence to maintain a feud in a few hours with a character or two if you are clever about it. Just specifically choose characters and activities designed to pump influence. Basically area spelling goblins with one character while a second one hold a weapon they have no kills on will do it in almost no time.

Perma-feuding has also definitely been used in the past as a form of griefing. Optimally you just need to make sure your attacking characters are logging for a few minutes at the start of the feud window and post in general or get seen just to get the defenders active and then log the characters out again and go do something else for the rest of the evening.

This forces the defenders settlement to move characters to other companies, all log in daily and stand guard for no purpose and potentially even drop their entire settlement level to try and reduce the feud window. Meanwhile randomly, every 3 or 4 days, the attacker can actually show up and attack when they are in the mood to bother.

The biggest issue with perma feuds is they are easy for teh attacker to maintain even if the attacking company are actually off playing EVE or WoW 24/7 however the DEFENDER has to log on and defend daily just in case they randomly decide to pop in and take something.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Edam
Bob
On the other hand, I honestly suspect at this point that I could handwave a general "don't permafeud, it's annoying" and everyone would do their best to avoid that tactic, or even leave someone alone who'd clearly been feuded by others too many times in recent weeks.

Permanent feuding is stupidly easy under the current mechanics. I tried an experiment last year and you can pretty much get the daily influence to maintain a feud in a few hours with a character or two if you are clever about it. Just specifically choose characters and activities designed to pump influence. Basically area spelling goblins with one character while a second one hold a weapon they have no kills on will do it in almost no time.

Perma-feuding has also definitely been used in the past as a form of griefing. Optimally you just need to make sure your attacking characters are logging for a few minutes at the start of the feud window and post in general or get seen just to get the defenders active and then log the characters out again and go do something else for the rest of the evening.

This forces the defenders settlement to move characters to other companies, all log in daily and stand guard for no purpose and potentially even drop their entire settlement level to try and reduce the feud window. Meanwhile randomly, every 3 or 4 days, the attacker can actually show up and attack when they are in the mood to bother.

The biggest issue with perma feuds is they are easy for teh attacker to maintain even if the attacking company are actually off playing EVE or WoW 24/7 however the DEFENDER has to log on and defend daily just in case they randomly decide to pop in and take something.

What he said. The lopsided nature of the mechanics have far more effect on winning and losing any sort of organized PvP attempts in PFO than any actual fighting in-game. It's frustrating and unrewarding no matter which side of the equation you are on.
Edam
I would add that the perma-feud issues could be temporarily mitigated (conceptually at least, no idea how hard to program) by allowing the attacker to extend feuds past the 3rd day or so ONLY if the attacker has actually made some sort of progress (captured at least X holdings/outposts etc).

This mitigates feuding for the sake of being a nuisance while allowing genuine attackers to maintain momentum providing they can keep making progress.
Bob
I don't think we're going to be able to get any technical changes in that will help significantly with the feuding issues brought up here, but it sounds like a general "Good Sportsmanship and Feuds" policy could be helpful. I'll put some thought into that, probably start another forum thread to discuss it.
Midnight
Requiring "progress" to continue a feud is another way to reward the blob. The blob is always more likely to make progress, and the blob is always more likely to defend successfully. Persistence (in the face of losses) is sometimes the only thing an underdog can bring to this game.

I also have no problems with permanently feuding an enemy, anything less is artificial and ridiculous if settlements are permanently hostile to each other anyway. There goes my mortal enemy but I can't kill him until Friday? Ridiculous.

I still don't understand what's so hard about defending a hex you claim as your own. Settlements want to make 24/7 rules about who can and can't do what in a hex but they can't show up daily to defend it at a time of their own choosing? That's ridiculous.

The solution is one I've suggested repeatedly, make holdings and outposts able to be dismantled without destroying them. If you don't feel like defending a hex, pack up your stuff for the night. If you want Father's Day off, pack up your holdings. You can either lay them back down on Monday or fight whoever waltzed into that hex. It is utterly and completely ridiculous that people want permanent control over (and permanent benefits from) a hex that they refuse to come out and defend.

If your complaint is that defending isn't fun if the enemy doesn't show, then maybe hexes should spawn fun stuff during PvP windows. Make the spawns so fun that people will want LONGER PvP windows and look forward to being feuded.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Midnight
The solution is one I've suggested repeatedly, make holdings and outposts able to be dismantled without destroying them. If you don't feel like defending a hex, pack up your stuff for the night. If you want Father's Day off, pack up your holdings. You can either lay them back down on Monday or fight whoever waltzed into that hex. It is utterly and completely ridiculous that people want permanent control over (and permanent benefits from) a hex that they refuse to come out and defend.

Wouldn't that just encourage turtling though? I imagine folks would just pack up their holdings and outposts so they don't have to defend any of them and there is nothing an attacker can do about it.

It ain't like you really need those bulk resources anyway unless your settlement does come under siege. In which case you leave up your core six and ignore all the rest anyway unless you need a specific resource. Due to blob problems you gotta think, people ain't gonna fight if they see not only no way to win but nothing at stake that needs to be fought for anyway. In an effort to fix one problem that will make this problem even worse.

It isn't feuding in itself that is the main problem it is issues with lack of other force multipliers that make blobs the only way to win in the first place. You can't have quality vs. quantity matchups cause there ain't nothing else to counter quantity as there are in most other PvP oriented MMOs.

Gotta fix THAT problem and then see how feuding mechanncs can be tweaked. If we want to stop making mechanics that favor the blob, make it so elite armies can do more things to beat the blob in the first place.
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.
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