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An alternative for expendables (at the expense of a bit of programming) would be to refund the XP but not the spell/manoeuvre itself. If at a later date the respecced character qualifies for the expendable again they then have the opportunity to relearn it by spending XP without needing to find a new copy. The simplest way to do this would be if they got issued invulnerable totally non transferable copies of the unlearnt expendables.

We probably could code up something like that, and it would be a more balanced way of returning things, but there'd definitely be more work involved than just giving back a standard expendable. And certainly more work than just not giving anything back, just as we're planning on not giving back the coin spent for training other feats. Could be worth the effort though if we really need to go down that route.
Two years ago the *Holiday Escalation Event* was cooperative, whereas last year it was competitive. I think the former is much healthier for the current PFO community given the limited number of players.

We actually tried for a mix of competitive and cooperative both years, though the balance between them was pretty different each time. Two years ago, rewards were still based on clearing your assigned hex, but there wasn't a race between settlements, and you could potentially improve your reward (and everyone else's) by helping clear other hexes before time ran out. Last year's race aspect ramped up the competiveness, but there's still the cooperative reward (the new escalation entering rotation) being worked on even now. That hasn't driven nearly as much cooperation, but has driven some.

I'd like to put more cooperativeness into the system this time around, but have to admit the race aspect drove a lot of gameplay last year and I'd like to keep some of that around. Not sure how compatible those goals are, but we'll see.
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