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The Nhur Athemon Sequence

Azure_Zero
harneloot
Please carefully consider how you are going to roll out this years Holiday Event. As I said in another thread, and especially since both the developers of the game and most of the current player base are so PvP adverse, a cooperative type event will be much healthier and strengthening for the community than a competitive event. Just my 2cp.

I agree that it should be carefully considered in how this years Holiday Event will roll out,
But I disagree with it needing to be co-operative, and all this PvP adverse play is what is also killing this game with stagnation.
Heck even Gloria Victis did something to stop the game's stagnation of settlements, what they effectively did was free feuds every now and then but requiring a quest trigger to activate.
Also a competitive event is healthier for this game in that if you want to win you need to round as many players onto your side to beat the others to the punch, heck the North worked/cooperated with another group to win.
So you can't say competitive can't have any co-operative elements to it.
Bob
One more hex cleared since the last update, this one unassigned (Hope's End 2-2). Here's the current status for all hexes still running the sequence:

  • High Road 4-4-5-5-5: Currently on escalation 29 (Emerald Aristocrats) at 66276 strength.
  • Staalgard 4-4: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 0 strength.
  • Talonguard 4-5-5: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 39076 strength.
  • Veggr Tor 2-3: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 57375 strength.
  • Unassigned (Phaeros 4-4-5): Currently on escalation 23 (Them Ogres Ain't Right) at 6500 strength.
  • Fort Ouroboros 4-4-4: Currently on escalation 21 (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Sylva 2-3: Currently on escalation 21 (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Middenheim 4-5-5: Currently on escalation 21 (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon) at 50000 strength.
  • Corbenik 5-5: Currently on escalation 21 (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon) at 50000 strength.
  • Hope's End 4-5: Currently on escalation 20 (Ustalav Invaders) at 48900 strength.
  • Unassigned (Sylva 4-4): Currently on escalation 19 (Elemental Rift) at 9627 strength.
  • Greystone Keep 3-3: Currently on escalation 17 (Mordant Spire) at 0 strength.
  • Canis Castrum 4-4: Currently on escalation 17 (Mordant Spire) at 0 strength.
  • Unassigned (Marketstead 3-3-3): Currently on escalation 17 (Mordant Spire) at 0 strength.
  • Unassigned (Brighthaven 1-2): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 1000 strength.
  • Succinct Prime 3-3-4: Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 8000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 6-6): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 8000 strength.
  • Phaeros 3-4: Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Sunholm 5-5-6: Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 2-3): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 3-3-3-4): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Staalgard 5-5-6): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
Bob
We're still working out all the details for this year's holiday event, but we plan to make use of the assigned hexes again to at least some extent. Since the new sequence won't be allowed to run in hexes that already have a sequence running, settlements that haven't cleared their assigned Nhur Athemon Sequence before the new event starts will be at some disadvantage. We're looking into some different options for minimizing those disadvantages, but focusing on the remaining assigned hexes would certainly be helpful. In particular, getting any of the assigned hexes that are currently at zero strength or running Shadow/Wrath/Revenge escalations would be good, since they're not getting the natural strength reduction over time benefit until they move to the next escalation.
Azure_Zero
Bob Can you knock Highroad off the List as it is a Dead Settlement, Along with a few the other dead settlements, just take a snapshot of the current state of settlements, and any shutdown are dead and don't go on the list.
As it'll make it more manageable then what we are still clearing out.
The cleared, Unassigned ones could be fought over.

Also High Road 4-4-5-5-5, Better known as TalonGuard 1-6 is THE TalonGuard Hex, it has been since the Days of the HRC.
So I ask when launching the new Event, that TalonGuard is assigned it's correct hex.
Bob
One more down! With High Road's assigned hex cleared, we're up to 25 hexes completed and 21 hexes remaining. Here's the current status for all hexes still running the sequence:

  • Staalgard 4-4: Currently on escalation 25 (Elite Dark Elves) at 69110 strength.
  • Veggr Tor 2-3: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 14867 strength.
  • Talonguard 4-5-5: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 25076 strength.
  • Fort Ouroboros 4-4-4: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 58257 strength.
  • Unassigned (Phaeros 4-4-5): Currently on escalation 23 (Them Ogres Ain't Right) at 0 strength.
  • Corbenik 5-5: Currently on escalation 22 (Dark Elves) at 38932 strength.
  • Middenheim 4-5-5: Currently on escalation 22 (Dark Elves) at 47625 strength.
  • Sylva 2-3: Currently on escalation 21 (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Hope's End 4-5: Currently on escalation 20 (Ustalav Invaders) at 20339.75 strength.
  • Unassigned (Sylva 4-4): Currently on escalation 19 (Elemental Rift) at 0 strength.
  • Unassigned (Marketstead 3-3-3): Currently on escalation 18 (Undying Ogg) at 21055 strength.
  • Canis Castrum 4-4: Currently on escalation 18 (Undying Ogg) at 23940 strength.
  • Greystone Keep 3-3: Currently on escalation 17 (Mordant Spire) at 0 strength.
  • Sunholm 5-5-6: Currently on escalation 16 (Duergar Slavers) at 20950 strength.
  • Succinct Prime 3-3-4: Currently on escalation 16 (Duergar Slavers) at 21617.5 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 6-6): Currently on escalation 16 (Duergar Slavers) at 23300 strength.
  • Unassigned (Brighthaven 1-2): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 1000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 3-3-3-4): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 8000 strength.
  • Phaeros 3-4: Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 2-3): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Staalgard 5-5-6): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
Bob
Azure_Zero
Bob Can you knock Highroad off the List as it is a Dead Settlement, Along with a few the other dead settlements, just take a snapshot of the current state of settlements, and any shutdown are dead and don't go on the list.
As it'll make it more manageable then what we are still clearing out.
The cleared, Unassigned ones could be fought over.

We don't currently require that a settlement avoid being shut down, so some settlements might be choosing to remain shut down even though they're still actively clearing their sequence. I'd mostly suggest focusing on assigned hexes for settlements that you're allied with, or at least friendly with, before clearing unassigned hexes. Also, the overall reward, getting Emerald Aristocrats included in the regular rotation, requires all sequences being cleared, so it's still important to know the status for all hexes.

Azure_Zero
Also High Road 4-4-5-5-5, Better known as TalonGuard 1-6 is THE TalonGuard Hex, it has been since the Days of the HRC.
So I ask when launching the new Event, that TalonGuard is assigned it's correct hex.

In general, I tried to give each settlement their nearest standard monster hex. The problem is that High Road is close to two home hexes, but not particularly close to any standard monster hexes. All the remotely nearby standard monster hexes are also the nearest monster hexes for one or more settlements. Switching Talonguard from the closest choice of Talonguard 1-6 to Talonguard 4-5-5 only increased the distance by one hex, where every other choice forced me to move someone else much further away. I had to make similar compromises all over the map in order to assign a relatively-nearby standard monster hex to every settlement.

That said, I did offer to take re-assignment requests last year, to switch to unassigned hexes or to make voluntary trades. Beyond that, it'd be possible to free up some hexes by adding eligibility requirements for participation, but how appropriate that would be really depends on the exact nature of the contests/rewards, which we still need to do more work on.
Azure_Zero
Bob
Azure_Zero
….

…, it'd be possible to free up some hexes by adding eligibility requirements for participation, but how appropriate that would be really depends on the exact nature of the contests/rewards, which we still need to do more work on.

Thanks for at least thinking of adding some eligibility requirements for this year's event.
As I don't think dead and shutdown settlements should be given any hexes at all during any contest, as they aren't keeping the game a float with activity and instead making the game seem dying and near dead to new players.
harneloot
Bob
One more down! With High Road's assigned hex cleared, we're up to 25 hexes completed and 21 hexes remaining. Here's the current status for all hexes still running the sequence:

  • Staalgard 4-4: Currently on escalation 25 (Elite Dark Elves) at 69110 strength.
  • Veggr Tor 2-3: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 14867 strength.
  • Talonguard 4-5-5: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 25076 strength.
  • Fort Ouroboros 4-4-4: Currently on escalation 24 (Elite Duergar Slavers) at 58257 strength.
  • Unassigned (Phaeros 4-4-5): Currently on escalation 23 (Them Ogres Ain't Right) at 0 strength.
  • Corbenik 5-5: Currently on escalation 22 (Dark Elves) at 38932 strength.
  • Middenheim 4-5-5: Currently on escalation 22 (Dark Elves) at 47625 strength.
  • Sylva 2-3: Currently on escalation 21 (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Hope's End 4-5: Currently on escalation 20 (Ustalav Invaders) at 20339.75 strength.
  • Unassigned (Sylva 4-4): Currently on escalation 19 (Elemental Rift) at 0 strength.
  • Unassigned (Marketstead 3-3-3): Currently on escalation 18 (Undying Ogg) at 21055 strength.
  • Canis Castrum 4-4: Currently on escalation 18 (Undying Ogg) at 23940 strength.
  • Greystone Keep 3-3: Currently on escalation 17 (Mordant Spire) at 0 strength.
  • Sunholm 5-5-6: Currently on escalation 16 (Duergar Slavers) at 20950 strength.
  • Succinct Prime 3-3-4: Currently on escalation 16 (Duergar Slavers) at 21617.5 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 6-6): Currently on escalation 16 (Duergar Slavers) at 23300 strength.
  • Unassigned (Brighthaven 1-2): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 1000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 3-3-3-4): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 8000 strength.
  • Phaeros 3-4: Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Fort Ouroboros 2-3): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.
  • Unassigned (Staalgard 5-5-6): Currently on escalation 15 (The Shadow of Nhur Athemon) at 20000 strength.

Bob, 10 months after the fact I would like to submit this list as evidence that last years competitive Holiday event was not the best choice for our current PFO player base. The year before a certain number of hexes needed to be cleared before Gathering of Legends would spawn FOR ANYONE (I believe that is correct - please correct me if wrong) and it needed to happen before a certain date (New Years Eve maybe?). This created a frenzy of cooperate activity that was exciting and satisfying.

What did last year's format *create*?

Thanks.
Xyzzy - gatherer, yeoman archer, swamp monster.
Bob
harneloot
Bob, 10 months after the fact I would like to submit this list as evidence that last years competitive Holiday event was not the best choice for our current PFO player base. The year before a certain number of hexes needed to be cleared before Gathering of Legends would spawn FOR ANYONE (I believe that is correct - please correct me if wrong) and it needed to happen before a certain date (New Years Eve maybe?). This created a frenzy of cooperate activity that was exciting and satisfying.

What did last year's format *create*?

The Challenge of Gatherings three years ago was completely cooperative, with no rewards other than getting to fight more Gatherings. Basically, every three days from 12/23 to 1/7 I manually launched 5+ Gatherings, with the number increasing by 1 each time if all the previous Gatherings had been cleared.

The next year's Escalating Escalations had a mix of competitive and cooperative elements. Settlements that cleared 6 or 7 stages of escalations from their assigned hex before the event ended got rewards, so it was important to focus on the hexes assigned to you or your allies first. However, those rewards were increased as more and more total hexes were cleared during the event, so there was an incentive to help even non-allied settlements clear their assigned hexes as well.

Last year's Nhur Athemon Sequence added a race element to the competitive side, which really drove a lot of participation, especially while Carpe Noctem and Aragon raced neck-and-neck for First Place. There were also rewards for Second and Third Place, plus a number of recipes based on how far each settlement got before 1/7 (and a bonus for completing the sequence before then). All of that did a great job of driving participation from each settlement and their allies during the holidays, but there admittedly wasn't really a cooperative element beyond helping out your allies during that period of time.

Because the sequences are automated, we were able to let them keep running, so this was the first event to have much life past the holiday timeline. Because we figured any settlement that had cleared their own sequence would still have allies to help out right up until 1/7, we added the cooperative element for the time period after that, with the shared goal of completing all the sequences on the map for the reward of having Emerald Aristocrats enter the standard rotation. On that point, we did underestimate just how long it would take to clear all the sequences, and the lack of a personal incentive to speed things along probably contributed to that.

Overall though, the timing worked out pretty well. The first sequence was completed in about 4 days, so anything shorter would have meant that only a limited number of players got to participate. Four sequences were completed by 1/7, and lots of settlements made significant progress during that time. Since the main goal was to drive participation over the holidays, I'd call the competitive part pretty successful, and something we can build on. The cooperative aspects and the long tail end were less successful, and that's something we're definitely taking into account when setting up this year's rules.
harneloot
You are the game developer and will do what you want, despite you not actually having the perspective of having to slog through the escalations for hours and hours and hours. Year 1 and 2 were at least fun, year 3 not so much. Alight, I said my peace. By the lack of comments I'd say either no one is listening, no one cares, or no one agrees. I'll take bets on which one it is at this point.
Xyzzy - gatherer, yeoman archer, swamp monster.
 
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