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Settlement Warfare is on the March

Hobson Fiffledown
In addition to looking into the non-yet-implemented items listed above, there are a number of bandaid fixes that have been made along the way which should be ripped off if GW is going to introduce end-game PvP…which I am for…in theory.

Permanent Sprinting.
Turn on a stamina drain for sprinting. The world is not too big.

Friendly Fire.
Turn it back on. Reputation is broken anyway, why should combat be dumbed down because of it? Turn the individual hit penalty down and the kill penalty up. Make hexes owned by any party to the feud "reputation free" hexes. You'll still have a broken Rep system, but combat wouldn't have to suffer as much.

Power Replenishment.
The idea that Power represented daily powers, powerful stuff, that you would use sparingly, remember that? That was great, but now power is basically an unlimited feat-spamming resource. If I remember correctly, this is because people need to spam everything all day long or they won't want to play (paraphrasing). Give us a power bar fill up every in-game day (is that 4x per real day?). Let inns, taverns, and fires allow us to fill that bar up quickly and strategically.

The combination of those three bandaids affect the combat experience in a very, very negative way. I would also go as far as to say those bandaids are why small groups of players quickly, and easily dissect the “most challenging” PvE events in game all day long, every day. I think the negative effects on PvP are pretty self-evident.

There are probably dozens of ways to improve current systems which would result in a better player experience (old and new) while presenting PFO as a more stable product. I'm not saying I don't want some end-gameish, burn-their-stuff-down fun. Heck, I say go for it. Why the heck not? But, if you're saying you have extra resources to look into new stuff, then I think you should have some resources dedicated to fixing half-done work that's been around for years now and that is going to affect any new features added to the game.

TL;DR – Siege stuff? Sure. Let's do it! Can you get on some other things too then? Cool.
This space for rent.
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
In any case, something so radically altering the status quo as this might do, has been the final blow to many an MMO. There are plenty of examples of drastic changes like this going bad. Very much appreciate that you are open to feedback on this idea.

While this does alter the status quo quite a bit, on the positive side, it does so in order to more closely align with the features and gameplay that have been planned and expected from the outset. Obviously there are still risks with any change, but mitigating those risks is what this conversation is all about.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-This is another mechanic for settlement level play rather than a mechanic for everyday player experience improvement.

This is very true, and always a big concern. However, looking back over the release notes from the last year, the vast majority of improvements made during that time have been about the everyday player experience. I'm good with giving settlement level play some love after all that.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-If it were to become reality and utilized very much(which I have my doubts about), it will be pushing more PVP combat level play on a current player base that really does not like such PVP, in general. That would probably be a bad choice right now.

We want to make settlement warfare expensive enough that players still don't have to worry about constant PvP if they prefer to avoid it. That said, we do expect this to increase PvP a bit, meaning PvP-averse players may have to find sections of the map that are more peaceful, or avoid membership in companies/settlements that seem to get feuded all the time. We believe there will be multiple areas of the map that remain reasonably PvP-free.

Also, if it does turn out this generates way too much PvP, we'll find ways to dial things back.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-I may be very wrong, but I do not think that you can get this done in a way that offers immediate rewards to those that use it. Unless that can be done at the same time or VERY SOON after implementation, it probably will not be much used at all.

There have been several posts about the concern that there won't be enough rewards for those who do attack settlements, and that will definitely be something that gets discussed this week. The trick is to make it rewarding enough that it's a viable strategy, but not so rewarding that settlements are constantly under siege. I'm sure we can find that balance.

On a related note, even if there aren't all that many sieges, a lot of the benefits from adding this feature stem simply from introducing the risk of being attacked.

Bringslite of Staalgard
[Lots of great ideas]

There are lots of great thoughts here, some off which are already toward the top of our to-do list. We just think, given our current constraints, that settlement warfare is our best "bang for the buck" choice (provided we work out all the kinks being raised here).
Bob
Hobson Fiffledown
TL;DR – Siege stuff? Sure. Let's do it! Can you get on some other things too then? Cool.

Combat improvements in general are something we'd love to look at, and are clearly related to settlement warfare, but we're very limited on what we can get in on a reasonable timeline. This update will have to be very focused, with almost every change tightly related to settlement warfare and the balance issues it's targeting. I do hope to slip in a few other tweaks that are extremely easy to make and don't introduce any risks, but we'll see how much of that is possible.
Bob
Edam
Father Bronin
If we can siege PC cities, what about the NPC cities? Assuming the "Great Cataclysm" will not be happening, can we start this system by taking those out as well?
It has already happened. All the EE buildings are gone and we had to rebuild the player settlements from scratch. I am not sure what else was expected.

Yes, between Nhur Athemon taking over all the towers, and all the existing player settlements disappearing and needing to be rebuilt from scratch, this part of the River Kingdoms has already suffered quite the cataclysm.

As for the NPC cities, we still haven't fully decided what we're going to do with those. For now, we're leaving them on the map with the standard NPC settlement template, which prevents them from being targets for settlement warfare.
Hobson Fiffledown
Damn. That TL;DR was for pretty much everyone except Bob… Good times. smile
This space for rent.
Bob
Vakiri
Another issue: if siege equipment can be taken from a mule, it can be destroyed instantly by that character. That seems wrong to me - a single character should not be able to instantly destroy such a large item.

This also might be resolved by making siege equipment a mobile like a mule rather than an item like a sword. Then, it could take effort and time to destroy, akin to a tower from the Nhur Athemon escalations.

We hope to make some of these aspects more realistic in the long-run, but for now placing the Siege Engines and Camps will work the same way that placing Holdings and Outposts does. The one big difference will be that the Siege Engine and Camp kits will be significantly heavier than typical kits, requiring a mule to carry them (and probably a higher tier mule, at that). That said, these kits should be so valuable that you'd rather hold onto the mule yourself if at all possible.
Bob
Stilachio Thrax
The system shouldn't go live until this is resolved. I can't attack an enemy in my settlement with getting attacked by my own guards, and with this system they can build the tools to try to destroy my settlement WITHIN my settlement and mule them in a minuscule period of time to set up a siege. smile

[Cue horror movie music] THE ATTACK IS COMING FROM INSIDE YOUR SETTLEMENT!!!!!

Actually, that could be somewhat appropriate, in the case of a coup.

But yes, this will be an important point of discussion this week, and I think there are some relatively simple solutions.
Bob
Hobson Fiffledown
Damn. That TL;DR was for pretty much everyone except Bob… Good times. smile

Don't worry, I read the whole thing quite carefully. The TL;DR just seemed the most efficient part to quote in my followup.
Flari-Merchant
Thanks for the feedback on feedback, Bob. smile
Looking forward to see what you come up with that mitigates some of our concerns.
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
-First though, we need controls over who can and can't use facilities(banking training, resting, etc…smile in our settlements. Fighting off aggressors and wining, losing, getting owned is all part of PVP and can be stomached. I am not sure whether GW appreciates how infuriating and demoralizing and all around annoying(NOT IN A CUTE WAY) it is to watch enemies banking and training and recouping power right there in the city you have built. If GW does realize this, I have to believe it would have been "fixed" long ago.

We definitely know how aggravating this is, but sadly it's going to be very complicated to fix this. That said, I think if we focus specifically on the building of Siege Engines and Camps, we can come up with something.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-Second, you need a way to control when/if we can deposit bulk resources in our Settlement Upkeep Vaults(for siege purposes. As expensive as full sieges look like they will be, it will not be dangerous to move bulk into the besieged vault. Meaning that it isn't as if most attackers could throw up multiple sieges, making lowering any other stockpile not really dangerous.

I'm not 100% convinced that defenders shouldn't be able to bring in additional bulk resources to try to break the siege, but obviously it would be more interesting if they can only do so under specific circumstances, like breaking the enemy lines. At the end of the day, I'm going to be going all god-like-GM on the settlement vaults, so if we conclude something needs to be done about this, I'm sure we can do so with a GM-enforced solution.

Bringslite of Staalgard
Will evicted players(from their settlement) have ways, other than joining a new settlement or taking a new one away, to get new "digs"?

Unfortunately, we can't get all the other settlement locations fixed up in time, so we'll be restricted to the current locations for now. I'm kind of hopeful this actually will result in a few settlements winding up unclaimed, since stretching out too much opens alliances up to more attacks. Assuming that works out, evicted companies could then claim those empty settlements by surrounding them with holdings and outposts.

Bringslite of Staalgard
Will these evicted characters be able to compete to do any of this when they have NO settlement and they fall to lvl 8?

That is going to be the toughest part, but my hope is that for every flavor of refugee, there's always at least one settlement on the map willing to take them in. And as I stated elsewhere, this also reinforces the need to have allies you can fall back on.
 
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