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Flag for PvP

Bringslite
Hmmm, I'd go with bonus Influence and (of course) only when logged in. Considering that the ultimate goal is for non-flaggers to be able to enjoy as much of the game as possible, you may not want to penalize them too much for that type of play. You already have "easy mule steal" and territory loss by default.

Bonus Influence would then be a carrot rather than "Influence ONLY when flagged" seems like a stick, IMO.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Gross
Fascinating question with many important points brought up already - risk / reward equations, fairness to different playing styles, how to have an open sandbox with player generated content if players don't clash….

My original thoughts when I saw the topic of a flag for PVP were, as someone who runs a PVE T3 escalation hunter (Gross) and a PVE T3 gatherer / T1-2 crafter refiner (Net), that I would of course set Net to no PVP all the time if there are no effective restrictions on which hexes he can run about gathering in and not impact on his refining and crafting. This of course is a poke in the eye for people trying to control access to particular resources but good for a gatherer bunny like Net - who does not need to take part in the full game as I have another toon for that.

However even with that other toon I would need an incentive or reason (such as influence gathering / time lags on company shifting and PVP flag setting) for Gross to be left PVP vulnerable outside feuds / company level conflict as I am not a good PVPer (in PFO) and I have not designed him with individual PVP as a focus (run little dwarf being his normal 1 on 1 response to seeing folk out in the wilderness).

Mercenary monster hunter from Forgeholm
War priest of Angradd… patiently waiting on Goblinworks to deliver him (and greataxes, Dwarves need 2 handed axes).
Stilachio Thrax
Gross
…I have not designed him with individual PVP as a focus (run little dwarf being his normal 1 on 1 response to seeing folk out in the wilderness).

This touches on another aspect of open PVP. In most other games I've played with PVP, I have different builds and equipment for PVP than I use for other content (landscape PVE or raids). In theory, you can do that in this game, but due to the loss of items on death, you would have to be insane to carry another set of gear to switch to in the event PVP seems likely, and you won't have a chance to switch builds and gear if you are surprised anyway. Flagging would allow you to decide your build and gear before heading out (if you flag for PVP, you equip yourself for it, and if you don't flag and just want to gather, you gear differently.) Not sure if that matters in the greater scheme of things, but it is worth keeping in mind that most players don't gear or build for PVP, but based on their primary activities in game, even if they are aware of the PVP chance. Newer players with significantly less ability to afford top end gear might feel that pinch moreso than any of us here.
Virtus et Honor

Steward of Ozem's Vigil, Lord Commander of the Argyraspides Iomedais
Bringslite
@Bob

While I feel that some major changes are needed and that non-flagged players being open to losing mules is a decent compensation for The Flagged, I do wonder a bit at the logic. It seems like those you are trying to attract to the game with this are the very least tolerant of any Player VS. Player confrontation while they play a game. Having a packed mule taken away, usually when they are not expecting it is likely NOT going to be an "OK" experience for them.

It has every element that is intolerable for them: Surprise Confrontation and Loss(due to PVP)

Not that I am against trade offs for the ability to avoid combat PVP. Very much for that in fact. Are you sure that your hard work/changes (as laid out) are not going to leave the game right where it is at now in the minds of the most hardcore antiPVP audience?

All that upset and hard work of the original Theme and no reward of a larger pop?

You still want Territorial PVP. You still do not want "Gank Festival" (or want very little of it). Have you considered just making PVP a feud based thing ONLY and making Feuding less costly and more user friendly and more common/longer lasting?

Too bad for the "completely intolerant" of PVP crowd, a little better for the best (attitude wise) of the PVP fan crowd. A bit of both that maybe closes the population growth goal?

Edit: yeah I am a yo yo of contradictions on this. Just wondering a little if there is a more simple solution. At the same time, I am behind changes and a larger pop through whatever you guys feel is best.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Maxen
The comments above about builds and flagging for PvP remind me that in this game, the players are the content. There is no GM or DM. There is no story line. This is a fantasy setting with risks for going out into the River Kingdoms. When I signed on to this game, it wasn’t in hopes of playing Pathfinder “The Game System” Online. I wanted to play in the world of Golarion where I could meet adventuring companions or meet enemies within the element of the unknown, because these companions and enemies have real people driving them. Not some predictable AI on the other end.

So, to be fair to players that are PvP adverse, yes, there should be a way to enjoy the game and feel like your getting your money’s worth, but not at the expense of the true nature of this game, which is an open sandbox with risk around every corner. If you have a non-combat build and you want to adventure and gather in an area that has premium items, you should buddy up with someone for protection. Fighters gotta eat too. Would your non-front line combat PC do anything different if it was a tabletop session?

I cite again my very first PvP experience ever. I was moving down to Hammerfall and as I entered the settlement, Doc attacked and killed me almost instantly. I said, “Wait, I’m a member of this settlement!”, naively thinking he was too. He whispered me and said “Nothing personal. I’ll just take a few of your items”. Sure I was shocked and a little upset, but I’m still here today.
Stilachio Thrax
Part of the difficulty, is that you are creating an open-world sandbox with PVP as a core part of the game experience, yet the most likely source of players are tabletop Pathfinder players. I don't want to say there is no overlap in those two things, but I can't imagine there is much. The PVPer who is attracted to this type of sandbox generally couldn't care less about lore and worldbuilding, and have any number of better developed choices out there to choose from. Players from the tabletop crowd generally do care about lore and worldbuilding, and given the nature of TT, probably don't PVP with other players in their games. I just don't see there ever being a satisfactory solution for both sides- if its too easy to opt out or there is no down side to opting out, PVPers will never get the amount of PVP they want. But if you punish players for opting out, you are essentially forcing people to be PVP exposed just to play, and you are right back to where you are now- the PVP averse aren't going to play.

The more I think about it, I'd leave the territorial PVP where it is right now, in the realm of feuds and raids. Then I'd use Factions as the way to optionally opt-in to more PVP. You can create deity-based factions that may be flagged for PVP vs other deity-based factions, ie Iomedaen vs any evil-aligned deity-based factions. You can create opposed organizational factions ie Bandits vs Wardens. Give each faction appropriate perks, but they can never opt-out of PVP against opposed factions.
Virtus et Honor

Steward of Ozem's Vigil, Lord Commander of the Argyraspides Iomedais
Maxen
Something I thought about later…perhaps the devs would consider offering “protections” that non-combat characters could purchase (read coin sink). I mentioned buddying up with a fighter (which I still consider a preferred method) but consider purchasing guards in the same way you purchase a mule. 10 silver for a T1 fighter, 20S for a T2, and 50S for a T3. Cap the guard purchase to a total of three and they have a timer similar to a mule.

In a world with a population that may never reach the “tens of thousands”, these guards could be used for multiple purposes to supplement play styles that can’t be supported with the current population. Gushers, harvesting, mule runs. Naturally, limitations would need to be applied to prevent several PCs from amassing a small army. Just a thought for consideration.
NightmareSr
Maxen
Something I thought about later…perhaps the devs would consider offering “protections” that non-combat characters could purchase (read coin sink). I mentioned buddying up with a fighter (which I still consider a preferred method) but consider purchasing guards in the same way you purchase a mule. 10 silver for a T1 fighter, 20S for a T2, and 50S for a T3. Cap the guard purchase to a total of three and they have a timer similar to a mule.

In a world with a population that may never reach the “tens of thousands”, these guards could be used for multiple purposes to supplement play styles that can’t be supported with the current population. Gushers, harvesting, mule runs. Naturally, limitations would need to be applied to prevent several PCs from amassing a small army. Just a thought for consideration.
I really like this idea, and as someone who enjoys gathering it would really help new players while the population is as low as it is now.
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
Bob
Bringslite
While I feel that some major changes are needed and that non-flagged players being open to losing mules is a decent compensation for The Flagged, I do wonder a bit at the logic. It seems like those you are trying to attract to the game with this are the very least tolerant of any Player VS. Player confrontation while they play a game. Having a packed mule taken away, usually when they are not expecting it is likely NOT going to be an "OK" experience for them.

It has every element that is intolerable for them: Surprise Confrontation and Loss(due to PVP)

True, there's a very good chance an anti-PvP player would find the experience of losing a mule about as unacceptable as having their character killed. We do plan on making it very clear when hiring a mule that other players can attack mules and steal them away with everything they're carrying, possibly even with an extra confirmation stage for players who aren't flagged for PvP. In a sense, by hiring a mule, you'd be explicitly opting that mule in to PvP.

An alternative would be to say that you can't hire a mule without flagging for PvP, which isn't completely unreasonable as long as hiring mules isn't considered an essential part of gameplay. That would certainly be simpler and clearer, and would be the way to go if we're convinced that any non-PvP players who "accepted" the risk of mule-only PvP would be just as upset at a mule death as they would be if they'd been killed themselves.

Bringslite
Not that I am against trade offs for the ability to avoid combat PVP. Very much for that in fact. Are you sure that your hard work/changes (as laid out) are not going to leave the game right where it is at now in the minds of the most hardcore antiPVP audience?

All that upset and hard work of the original Theme and no reward of a larger pop?

Hopefully all the crowdforging upfront will uncover any spots where Flag for PvP doesn't quite go far enough to actually solve the problem it's targeting, just as we'll hopefully uncover any spots where it's going too far and damaging the experience for those who came here looking for some PvP. The more things we catch upfront, the better we can design the initial implementation. Of course, we'll also continue to iterate on it once it ships, as we always do.

Bringslite
You still want Territorial PVP. You still do not want "Gank Festival" (or want very little of it). Have you considered just making PVP a feud based thing ONLY and making Feuding less costly and more user friendly and more common/longer lasting?

Too bad for the "completely intolerant" of PVP crowd, a little better for the best (attitude wise) of the PVP fan crowd. A bit of both that maybe closes the population growth goal?

Something along those lines could probably be made to work, and a lot of the work involved to make it feel good would be things we eventually need to clean up around companies/settlements/feuds/alliances anyway. It might also raise some issues similar to those Flag for PvP raises that could be best dealt with using similar techniques, like tithes and better territorial control settings.

It would still be nice to find a way to bring in the PvP-averse crowd if we can though.
Bob
Stilachio Thrax
Part of the difficulty, is that you are creating an open-world sandbox with PVP as a core part of the game experience, yet the most likely source of players are tabletop Pathfinder players.

Nailed it.

Stilachio Thrax
I don't want to say there is no overlap in those two things, but I can't imagine there is much. The PVPer who is attracted to this type of sandbox generally couldn't care less about lore and worldbuilding, and have any number of better developed choices out there to choose from. Players from the tabletop crowd generally do care about lore and worldbuilding, and given the nature of TT, probably don't PVP with other players in their games.

We admittedly can't offer, at least for some time, the depth of lore and worldbuilding that many in the tabletop audience would require to be interested in Pathfinder Online. However, we do find that many are attracted to the complexity of our PvE combat system, or of the crafting system, or of the player-driven economy. Any of those can keep a player busy for quite some time, and many of those players are even intrigued by the way that player interactions are driving the larger social structures of the world. They just don't want to get into fights with other players, at least not directly.

Stilachio Thrax
I just don't see there ever being a satisfactory solution for both sides- if its too easy to opt out or there is no down side to opting out, PVPers will never get the amount of PVP they want. But if you punish players for opting out, you are essentially forcing people to be PVP exposed just to play, and you are right back to where you are now- the PVP averse aren't going to play.

The best way to make that balance work is for us to find incentives to risk PvP that have plenty of meaning for those who are at least minimally open to PvP, but little or no meaning for those with no interest in PvP. Things like influence, or loot related to territorial control, are good candidates.
 
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