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Thank You Lisa, for Hope and the Road Map.

Flari-Merchant
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
A question(with a lil bit of a parameter set :p) for GW:
When you look at the last year or so of participating player base(hangers-on) and how they play and what they say they want, do you see PVP enthusiasts or PVE/Crafting/Gathering/Merchant type PVP enthusiasts?

It's hard to really gauge percentages, but certainly it's clear that a fair amount of our current players (as well as our potential players) have a limited appetite for PvP combat. That's why a lot of the tasks on our roadmap which at first appear to be primarily about PvP or settlement-level issues are really about making it easier for players to manage their own PvP risk. For example, letting settlements choose a 3-day window for PvP means knowing that there's no need to defend your holdings/outposts for 4 days each week. Letting companies set the level of PvP allowed in their hexes lets players control the amount of PvP allowed throughout their territory, while protecting hexes that are neighbored by allies on at least 4 sides makes reducing that territory a much slower process.

That's also why we're moving toward a more opt-in feel to PvP. Our goal is to let players know when the actions they're taking open them up to PvP, and to what degree, then let them decide whether or not to take that risk.

Thanks Bob. I am looking forward to reading how exactly these ideas are put into mechanical operation. Pretty sure I grasp how some are meant to work, while others are unclear. At least in the devilish details. smile

As far as the specifics of the features and the order of implementation, that is very much a matter of WHAT you feel you can do and What Order you think is most likely to be feasible for GW to undertake. I get that. I am a bit puzzled at why it seems so difficult (or unnecessary?) to examine and fiddle with the Influence/Feud system, but I am on the outside looking in. Not the best vantage point.

Edit to add: It seems to me that a mix of playstyles will be needed to get a sufficient slice of the niche market share to make the game a success. Both PVP and PVE ers of some degree. What you have now as a system to foster meaningful PVP is generally disliked by BOTH ends of that spectrum. That seems like a bad apple that needs removal from the barrel. It is going to wreck the other apples no matter what until removed.
Harad Navar
Bringslite of Staalgard
Something is being planned that is pro active and forward thinking beyond waiting for the "White Knight" investor. For that alone I support this and wish them the best.

I agree. It is one thing to know the difference between what one can do and what one can't. It is rare that one has the courage to actually do what one can.
Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.
Mistwalker
Any chance that having the F# show up after character names when you party up, and perhaps have your own health bar also show up in the top left corner when you are in a party?
Stilachio Thrax
I'm very pleased to see the roadmap. I have concerns about the team's ability to keep up with it given their size, and I'm not sure it is targeting the right things. For instance, you are trying to bring in the TT crowd. This is great, but one of the biggest draws of TT is the options it gives you for your characters- class, equipment, feats, skills- and I'm not seeing anything that improves the options available in PFO. From a TT perspective, PFO is very limited and it doesn't even cover the options in the Core Rulebook yet.

But a potentially flawed roadmap is better than no roadmap at all.
Virtus et Honor

Steward of Ozem's Vigil, Lord Commander of the Argyraspides Iomedais
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bob
Duffy Swiftshadow
I'm pretty pumped about 99% of it, unfortunately it doesn't seem like there is anything in there that would solve the existing problems we have with PvP mechanics, and bringing back support is only going to make that worse.

True, there's not much planned on specific PvP mechanics, though we do hope that some of the changes directed at letting players better control their PvP risk, and at reducing the amount of time companies/settlements need to protect their territory, will reduce the impact of any problematic mechanics on those who are least interested in PvP.

I'll post more details on the support system as a crowforging thread this week, but the basic idea is to still let players have 50% (or more) of the advantages from any learned ranks that they later lost support for. Losing support will still make you less powerful, but won't instantly make you identical to someone who never learned those ranks in the first place.

I think most of the PvP related aspects on the road map are heading in the right direction. I'll wait for the Support conversation before getting too much into that, but it needs to avoid a snowball scenario otherwise it's more detraction than help. I'm still a big fan of the idea to tie reputation to support as a way to make support matter and make reputation matter, but that still needs feuding and other incidental PvP systems to really work.

As for the major PvP problem, the whole controlling a spot for X mins to win the fight severely limits how much actual strategy or skill can ever matter in a conflict over territory. It generally boils down to whoever has the most people wins, there's no way to win such a fight by playing 'better' as their is no way to make incremental progress. It's numbers or bust (gear and training being equalish). While respawn changes can impact this, it's not a silver bullet under most circumstances.
Decius
I'm not sure that there can or should be a tactical counter to being strategically outnumbered. There are of course strategic counters, but those tend to sound like "don't be attacked", because that's what they tend to boil down to.

With the protection element added, I think it would be interesting to have some outposts that sacrificed bulk resource production for additional defense. A PvP specialist company that holds the vulnerable hexes could serve as both a defense and outlet for territory control.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Decius
I'm not sure that there can or should be a tactical counter to being strategically outnumbered. There are of course strategic counters, but those tend to sound like "don't be attacked", because that's what they tend to boil down to.

With the protection element added, I think it would be interesting to have some outposts that sacrificed bulk resource production for additional defense. A PvP specialist company that holds the vulnerable hexes could serve as both a defense and outlet for territory control.

The problem is that the current territory system boils down to PvP where you shouldn't actually fight. Once you know you're outnumbered the optimal behavior is to just yield, anything else is a waste of time and resources in the vain hope that your opponent completely fumbles or loses their minds. If the sides are pretty even or the defenders have the advantage you have to run the clock out, which is also pretty boring. That's not a good foundation to build PvP mechanics around. It's unfun as the 'winner' (unless you really enjoy curb stomp wins I guess) and it's frustrating as the 'loser' because it doesn't matter if you're outnumbered 2:1 and have even deaths, the bigger side will still win due to how the point capture mechanics work. Which creates PvP scenarios that aren't interesting, rewarding, or even fun to engage in for any length of time.

Mind as well remove it then if it's just a numbers game and the game-play is mostly irrelevant, make territory an abstraction of influence or something. Spend more to capture a hex than someone else you get it or something, do away with all the actual running around and fighting, it only ever matters in contrived or corner cases.
Decius
Duffy Swiftshadow
Decius
I'm not sure that there can or should be a tactical counter to being strategically outnumbered. There are of course strategic counters, but those tend to sound like "don't be attacked", because that's what they tend to boil down to.

With the protection element added, I think it would be interesting to have some outposts that sacrificed bulk resource production for additional defense. A PvP specialist company that holds the vulnerable hexes could serve as both a defense and outlet for territory control.

The problem is that the current territory system boils down to PvP where you shouldn't actually fight. Once you know you're outnumbered the optimal behavior is to just yield, anything else is a waste of time and resources in the vain hope that your opponent completely fumbles or loses their minds. That's not a good foundation to build PvP mechanics around. It's unfun as the 'winner' (unless you really enjoy curb stomp wins I guess) and it's frustrating as the 'loser' because it doesn't matter if you're outnumbered 2:1 and have even deaths, the bigger side will still win due to how the point capture mechanics work. Which creates PvP scenarios that aren't interesting, rewarding, or even fun to engage in for any length of time.

Mind as well remove it then if it's just a numbers game and the game-play is mostly irrelevant, make territory an abstraction of influence or something. Spend more to capture a hex than someone else you get it or something, do away with all the actual running around and fighting, it only ever matters in contrived or corner cases.

Being outnumbered 2:1 is a strategic loss. Albion Online resolves the unfunness of suffering a strategic loss by limiting some control battles to 5v5 and making others FFA and instant reward (so that groups smaller than the largest can team up either until the objective is seized or only until they defeat the other groups).

EvE online resolves the same problem by making sure that there's always a bigger fish, except that the biggest fish have to deal with being surrounded by smaller but significant groups that could attack on many fronts at once if the larger group tries to project too much.

With vulnerability measured by perimeter, a good solution could be to allow a successful raid to be executed (within the PvP window) more quickly than a ponderous response can arrive from a central staging. Right now that's not really feasible because of the minimum time required to eliminate structure guards, and that is an intentional feature- but that just creates the opportunity for asymmetrical strategic warfare.

If we take the reference worst-guy scenario, of a group that regularly fields 2/3 of the online players and wants to control every hex but has only taken over two thirds of it so far, then they will prevail every time they attack. They will also lose almost every time a smart coordinated attack against them is launched, using the current roadmap rules. A smart coordinated attack will begin by attacking 4-6 different hexes around the perimeter of the controlled territory, revealing just enough force at each location to rapidly overcome the unaided guards. If the defense splits to equally engage all of the distant battles, then after they commit the attackers reveal their strong point and prevail there because they are concentrated and the defender is diffuse.

If the defender divided among less than all of the attacked positions, then the ones they resource will probably be defended and the others will probably not.

If the defenders correctly divide their forces so that at each site they are stronger than the attackers at that site, they have strategically won.

Variations include the nonattack and really the rest of Sun Tzu on attacker and defender.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Decius
Duffy Swiftshadow
Decius
I'm not sure that there can or should be a tactical counter to being strategically outnumbered. There are of course strategic counters, but those tend to sound like "don't be attacked", because that's what they tend to boil down to.

With the protection element added, I think it would be interesting to have some outposts that sacrificed bulk resource production for additional defense. A PvP specialist company that holds the vulnerable hexes could serve as both a defense and outlet for territory control.

The problem is that the current territory system boils down to PvP where you shouldn't actually fight. Once you know you're outnumbered the optimal behavior is to just yield, anything else is a waste of time and resources in the vain hope that your opponent completely fumbles or loses their minds. That's not a good foundation to build PvP mechanics around. It's unfun as the 'winner' (unless you really enjoy curb stomp wins I guess) and it's frustrating as the 'loser' because it doesn't matter if you're outnumbered 2:1 and have even deaths, the bigger side will still win due to how the point capture mechanics work. Which creates PvP scenarios that aren't interesting, rewarding, or even fun to engage in for any length of time.

Mind as well remove it then if it's just a numbers game and the game-play is mostly irrelevant, make territory an abstraction of influence or something. Spend more to capture a hex than someone else you get it or something, do away with all the actual running around and fighting, it only ever matters in contrived or corner cases.

Being outnumbered 2:1 is a strategic loss. Albion Online resolves the unfunness of suffering a strategic loss by limiting some control battles to 5v5 and making others FFA and instant reward (so that groups smaller than the largest can team up either until the objective is seized or only until they defeat the other groups).

EvE online resolves the same problem by making sure that there's always a bigger fish, except that the biggest fish have to deal with being surrounded by smaller but significant groups that could attack on many fronts at once if the larger group tries to project too much.

With vulnerability measured by perimeter, a good solution could be to allow a successful raid to be executed (within the PvP window) more quickly than a ponderous response can arrive from a central staging. Right now that's not really feasible because of the minimum time required to eliminate structure guards, and that is an intentional feature- but that just creates the opportunity for asymmetrical strategic warfare.

If we take the reference worst-guy scenario, of a group that regularly fields 2/3 of the online players and wants to control every hex but has only taken over two thirds of it so far, then they will prevail every time they attack. They will also lose almost every time a smart coordinated attack against them is launched, using the current roadmap rules. A smart coordinated attack will begin by attacking 4-6 different hexes around the perimeter of the controlled territory, revealing just enough force at each location to rapidly overcome the unaided guards. If the defense splits to equally engage all of the distant battles, then after they commit the attackers reveal their strong point and prevail there because they are concentrated and the defender is diffuse.

If the defender divided among less than all of the attacked positions, then the ones they resource will probably be defended and the others will probably not.

If the defenders correctly divide their forces so that at each site they are stronger than the attackers at that site, they have strategically won.

Variations include the nonattack and really the rest of Sun Tzu on attacker and defender.

The 2:1 was an outrageous example where despite actually breaking even in terms of ability to kill each other, there was no way to make progress mechanically against the larger group due to the virtue of how stand and capturing works.

EVE has incremental progress on top of the grander strategy/logistics aspect last I heard, along with more recent force projection changes.

Yes logistics is important, and yes it can make or break a conflict. The problem with PFO is logistics and numbers are all that really matter before anyone even fires off a feat, if you won that by setting up properly the conflict is over without firing a shot. Sure that's kinda neat, but on the flip-side you don't ever actually have to be any good at fighting other players over territory as the mechanics basically enforce this very limited decision making process. Plenty of other MMOs don't seem to be suffering from this problem so clearly there are ways to do it (to varying effects and quality).

The strategic processing decisions are way too simple in PFO and the mechanics are what make it that way. If that's all it's gonna be I would honestly rather they abstract it away cause it's a waste of time as it is today.

Makes it worse that it's really the only time anyone would really fight each other anyways as there is no other useful PvP in the game right now aside from getting super lucky catching a gatherer or merchant. Which is itself a super low percentage chance of successfully catching them anyways and doesn't exactly jive with a lot of different play styles.
Edam
Eve is interesting in that it caters for the 3 different types of PvP pretty much in three different zones.
  • the press worthy, potentially geopolitical game changing, large scale strategic battles with 1000s of players are pretty much nullsec only and are relatively rare events that take substantial resources and planning on both sides
  • the roaming small gang pvp with people logging in with a few mates looking for a "gud fight" against a challenging opposing gang tend to mainly occur in losec
  • PvP against poorly/unarmed or outnumbered opposition for profit or just lulz and a reaction (CODE killing mining ships for example) is more of a high sec thing. In highsec the attacking ship is destroyed by NPC enforcers so this sort of action is basically a suicide attack in powerful but cheap ships. The main exception to this is nullsec/lowsec gate camping.
As far as tower and holding wars go it is basically a variant of capture the flag so the advantage of greater number is definitely exaggerated. In the extremely artificial hypothetical scenario of a single T3 character killing over and over 20 or 30 poorly armed T1 opponents who keep swarming back the T1 opponents could still win the day without ever killing the T3 guy even once.
 
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