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Marketstead

Flari-Merchant
P.S. Bob- "What we do plan on doing soon is switching to the new Settlement Warfare rules that were proposed a few months ago, which will basically require that settlements at least remain active in order to avoid being abandoned. It's not a very high bar, but it does mean at least holding a little territory and paying some upkeep, so some settlements may become abandoned after those rules become active. Abandoned settlements are fairly easy to acquire, but the new rules will make it much less worthwhile to do so unless you're able to develop and run it."

This is a definitely positive step.
Bob
You are a Troll
Because a *new group* would have ZERO chance of putting together the Siege equipment needed to *claim* an under-defended or underdeveloped settlement. Saying they could get help from another group just makes them beholden to that group, which is no fun.

True, a group composed entirely of new players couldn't immediately start taking over a settlement. I should have been clearer that "reasonable effort" included "after reasonable time developing skills and building up resources."

That said, it's always possible someone would sell them all the equipment needed, so they don't necessarily need all the crafting skills or to get unreimbursed help to put things together. It might take a while to pull together enough resources to trade/sell for everything, and to build up all the needed influence, but it could be done without becoming beholden to anyone. Of course, that assumes that someone would be willing to sell siege engines and the like, or at least holdings/outposts for taking over abandoned settlements.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Can't both things be done?

Well, we can't really convert abandoned settlements to NPC settlements without doing a lot of work, but we could theoretically declare some of them unclaimable for now (either just say that can't be taken over or, with a tiny bit more work, turn them into unclaimable hexes like the other unfinished settlements). That would remove them from contention and cut the total number of player settlements. However, that wouldn't really be all that different from just leaving them abandoned, except that you wouldn't have to worry about someone else claiming the settlement for a while.

What we're hoping is that the new rules will result in a small number of settlements being abandoned, and remaining abandoned, without the need to explicitly say they can't be taken over. If not, we can make further adjustments, possibly including ways for abandoned settlements to get declared off-limits. We'd generally prefer that any changes make player choices more interesting, rather than removing choices, but sometimes the latter is the best option.
NightmareSr
More choices = More fun IMO smile
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
– Cauchemar is a Greater Nightmare –
Edam
Bob
Well, we can't really convert abandoned settlements to NPC settlements without doing a lot of work, but we could theoretically declare some of them unclaimable for now (either just say that can't be taken over or, with a tiny bit more work, turn them into unclaimable hexes like the other unfinished settlements). That would remove them from contention and cut the total number of player settlements. However, that wouldn't really be all that different from just leaving them abandoned, except that you wouldn't have to worry about someone else claiming the settlement for a while.

This would at least stop them being added to the collection of undeveloped settlements attached to larger groups who often tend to grab low hanging fruit and not develop it for several reasons - including possible use later as a bargaining tool or simply just to prevent someone else getting hold of it if it adjoins there existing territory and could become a threat later.

I realise the new rules about maintaining settlements will make adding additional settlements willy nilly a meaningful choice and also the group that was the biggest culprit for this sort of unbridled acquisition of anything nearby is no longer playing the game, but it still remains an issue.
Azure_Zero
Flari-Merchant
@ Bob
Can't both things be done? You would be giving existing players the ability to cut down on useless (at this time) chore/resource drain obligations. You would still be providing opportunity for new groups to have a chance at a settlement not entangled in political/military confrontation against 3+ year veteran players. You might have some left at OE for a nice promotion to hype PfO II.

One of the problems that I see with building from scratch, say starting today (i.e. using idle city tiles) is the massive work it entails and the tempting targets that young characters are for massively powerful older character groups. It will be a big letdown to join and find your options to get "situated" are either/only to join a group or work for two years (possible exaggeration, or not).

Or/Additionally you could explore improving Holdings a bit so that Independent Holdings could provide more level support for groups that want "Mini Castles".

Since we are really still deep into a game development stage, what about encouraging an experiment by challenging a group to form and TRY to build a settlement from scratch. See how it goes for brand new characters from the VERY START? Then we could REALLY SEE if it is balanceable on the intended fun/work scale.

I agree, if a company not attached to a player settlement puts up holdings, they should have a higher support level which would be based on the Average active upgrades of all the company's holdings.
Schedim
Azure_Zero
I agree, if a company not attached to a player settlement puts up holdings, they should have a higher support level which would be based on the Average active upgrades of all the company's holdings.

I was hoping that this was the ulterior goal for the Manor Holding, be a nucleus for those who aren't ready/"willing to bother" for the full "setllement experience". Of course the Manor should/could be exchanged for a Wizards tower/Bandit Hold/Rural Temple as a flavour choice.

And of course there should be a major difference in what a Manor could offer in services and support compared to the Settlement, but there is really nothing between soloing and the full frakking guild intrigue game.
Playing the exploring colonist game a plop down a holding in a remote hex is a (to me) attractive nice in the game. Taking, holding and diplointriguing all other settlements is really to exhausting to even think of.
Schedim: Peddler and dealer in stuff easily transported, restless wandering the land of the River. Trying to find out how to reawaken the cult of Hanspur. To realise this ambition I created the company named Rats of Hanspur.
You can reach me on: pfo.schedim@gmail.com
Schedim
Bob
What we're hoping is that the new rules will result in a small number of settlements being abandoned, and remaining abandoned, without the need to explicitly say they can't be taken over. If not, we can make further adjustments, possibly including ways for abandoned settlements to get declared off-limits. We'd generally prefer that any changes make player choices more interesting, rather than removing choices, but sometimes the latter is the best option.

As things should be player driven as far as possible in this game (by design choice) why not allow shut-down settlements to be raided (with a long wait between attempts). The raid would steal a building kit and perhaps some plunder from the settlement vault.
Schedim: Peddler and dealer in stuff easily transported, restless wandering the land of the River. Trying to find out how to reawaken the cult of Hanspur. To realise this ambition I created the company named Rats of Hanspur.
You can reach me on: pfo.schedim@gmail.com
harneloot
Schedim
Bob
What we're hoping is that the new rules will result in a small number of settlements being abandoned, and remaining abandoned, without the need to explicitly say they can't be taken over. If not, we can make further adjustments, possibly including ways for abandoned settlements to get declared off-limits. We'd generally prefer that any changes make player choices more interesting, rather than removing choices, but sometimes the latter is the best option.

As things should be player driven as far as possible in this game (by design choice) why not allow shut-down settlements to be raided (with a long wait between attempts). The raid would steal a building kit and perhaps some plunder from the settlement vault.

This idea gets my vote.

In addition, I think GW/Paizo needs to think seriously about the final place this game will occupy when it goes into OE. Surely it is going to have to grow, and substantially, to persist, but is it feasible for it to grow to the point of 50 players per settlements instead of 500 people settlements? If so, then do we need to make some design choices now that help facilitate the transition to a smaller final player base? What to do with abandoned settlements and how hard it is to siege them may need to be looked at in this case, as well as the *Lone Wizard Tower/Explorers Manor* type mini-settlement. Oh, and +1 for BLs OE landrush idea.
Xyzzy - gatherer, yeoman archer, swamp monster.
Flari-Merchant
Great ideas!

Settlements are the pinnacle of player achievement. At least they are supposed to be… Even though every single one around was placed "gratis" at game start. They are complex and expensive and highly customizable. They were conceived for very large groups. They were supposed to be for MULTIPLE COMPANIES.

The next step down is the "Holding". Getting better with time, admittedly, but the entire system feels kinda limited. With any sort of large influx of new players, something between those two (Settlements, Holdings) seems like a no brainer. The Multiple company, 300+ player, mandate was a great idea but you have a whole sector of players types that want to be KINGS on their own hills. Not all new players are driven this way but I can confidently say that many, many are and they WILL BE.

A more complicated and rewarding "Manor House Holding" would be an attractive and intriguing middle, player option.

Edit: Besides a dearth of good hexes for all of these "Inactive Settlement Tiles", how will cases where these tiles are butted against "shimmering walls" be pulled off? They don't even have 6 surrounding hexes…
 
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