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LOS, holiday hangover, and documentation

Rhethwyn
Finally got actively involved right before Christmas last year, tinkering with the Free Trial mode (great idea, gang!) and got hooked. There is a ton of fantastic potential here, and (as my company keeps reminding me) this game is unlike any other "MMORPG" I've encountered.

During the holidays, there was a special escalation. I got to tag along behind some experienced players and soak up some loot, a bit of silver, and the not-infrequent visit to our lovely local shrine. Fun times - I was hooked and subscribed.

So, here's the first suggestion: the holiday is over. Get rid of the holiday escalation. I'm a new player, I have the luxury of playing far more than the rest of my group, and Them Ogres Ain't Right is a prevalent quest throughout the southern section of the map. My more seasoned teammates tell me this is because the escalation hasn't been cleared from the holiday yet. But each of those monster hexes used for the holiday escalations are also designated for rare mat drops - and as a brand new player it's frustrating that the bulk of what I should be trying to gather is buried under ogre droppings.

The second suggestion is less trifling. LOS needs fixed - desperately. If I can't see or attack a monster, it should not be able to see and attack me - especially if there is (for example) an unclimbable hill between us, or some drastic elevation change that players cannot scale (even though the monsters can).

But the most crucial suggestion I have - there must be some reliable reference resource for new players. Pathfinder is known for having rules to cover almost anything the players can conceive. There is no guessing what skills one needs to focus on to develop their character; if a player knows what they want to build, it is not difficult to plan out a build strategy. PFO needs that deep documentation. The depth of this game justifies a full-sized hardback reference guide. Perhaps marketing would permit a 6-month subscription key included as part of the purchase price.
Garric Orcsbane
Those hexes have been hanging out since the 2018 holiday event not the most recent one. I have noticed that they are disappearing at a faster pace than they had been. I expect they will be gone soon enough. As for a resource guide, I would love to see it. I keep seeing questions that I knew the answer to at one time but I I have forgotten far more than I know now.
Edam
WRT the left over challenges.

The 2018 challenge hexes could have been cleared easily enough about 6 months ago with a concerted server wide effort however there was no real incentive to do so.

It would not have been hard to progress every hex once it hit a boss and then let it decay to the next boss, rinse and repeat, and have it all done by June last year at the very latest.

  1. there was no "reward" for clearing the full set, the only change achieved by clearing them all is we will start getting a chance of random Emerald Aristocrat spawns in our nearby hexes. This will benefit the rare few of us that enjoy running around killing off very high level escalations for premium loot, but will not advantage anyone else. Among other things the Aristocrats, once the mini-Nuhrs spawn, are lethal to solo for all but a few very optimised high level T3 characters. To take them down efficiently you need a reasonable sized high level party with certain specific abilities.
  2. many smaller settlements struggle to cope with even a ninjas attacking their holdings without outside help, getting aristocrats popping up is going to be even worse (with the rumoured re-enabling of escalations spreading, it will not even be feasible to let the aristocrats decay and hope someone comes in to clear boss when its low enough)
  3. the groups on the map that do want to run high level stuff seemed to have been happy to basically farm the left over challenges, taking down one hex at a time at a pace that suited them. By keeping the challenge hexes in T2 and bringing them one at a time through T3 they were basically avoiding natural decay in the "good" escalations and optimising the high level loot and stone chances. The other advantage to this "one at a time" strategy, is only one set of adjoining holdings at a time was under attack by Ninjas and Aristocrats.

TL&DNR version - Last years escalation was not taken out earlier because smaller groups were happy to let the challenges sit on a manageable low level escalation like Shadow of Nuhr which did not kill off their adjoining holdings, whereas the one or two groups keen to take on the high level stuff preferred to do that one hex at a time to a schedule that suited them, as it was more convenient and more efficient,
Maxen
Well, the incentive would be the valuable mats and recipes that drop from the higher level escalations, and for that reason I wouldn’t want to see them removed. We’re down to what, 10 or 11 left? They’ll likely all be gone by April. And keep in mind that these monster hexes are great for gathering rare mats, but once cleared they will always spawn a new escalation that may be tougher than the last.

Glad you’ve gotten hooked on the game and keep the feedback coming. See you around Golarion.
Bob
Rhethwyn
So, here's the first suggestion: the holiday is over. Get rid of the holiday escalation. I'm a new player, I have the luxury of playing far more than the rest of my group, and Them Ogres Ain't Right is a prevalent quest throughout the southern section of the map. My more seasoned teammates tell me this is because the escalation hasn't been cleared from the holiday yet. But each of those monster hexes used for the holiday escalations are also designated for rare mat drops - and as a brand new player it's frustrating that the bulk of what I should be trying to gather is buried under ogre droppings.

The good news is that all those Them Ogres Ain't Right escalations aren't long for this world. Several have fallen in just the last couple weeks, and the remainder don't have much strength left. The bad news is that they'll be replaced by even more challenging escalations, but there are only 6 more escalations in the sequence after that one, at which point each of those hexes will return to normal.

Whenever an escalation or sequence proves bothersome for those wishing to gather in that hex, my suggestion is that they or their company/settlement leadership seek out mercenaries who might be willing to focus on that hex in return for some added rewards. As a data point, the hex near Brighthaven just went from Them Ogres Ain't Right all the way to completion in roughly 10 days. I can't guarantee there are mercenaries available at an affordable price who could make that happen for you, but at the very least there are forces out there capable of clearing any current escalation or sequence reasonably quickly. They just may need some extra incentive to turn their attention your way.
Bob
Rhethwyn
The second suggestion is less trifling. LOS needs fixed - desperately. If I can't see or attack a monster, it should not be able to see and attack me - especially if there is (for example) an unclimbable hill between us, or some drastic elevation change that players cannot scale (even though the monsters can).

LOS definitely needs a lot more polish. It's a very tricky system to get right, particularly in a game that doesn't use a first-person point-of-view. Depending on where the camera is at any given point in time, it may not accurately reflect what your character can or can't "see", or what your character can or can't hit given the location of their weapon. To simplify things, we check LOS from the center of the character to the center of the monster. There are also a lot of issues that arise from slight disagreements between the client and the server, which are somewhat inevitable in any MMO. There are some tricks we can use to try to smooth that over, but we're not sure when we'll be able to implement some of them.

In general though, monsters technically can't attack you unless you can attack them, at least not if you're both within range of each other's attacks. Whenever an attack is attempted, the server checks to see that both the monster and the character have LOS to each other, and only lets the attack through if they do. What does happen regularly though is that the client may not think the character has LOS to the monster, so it disables the attack UI to reflect that. However, at that exact moment in time, the server may think both the character and the monster have LOS to each other, so it allows the monster to attack. In fact, if you trigger an attack despite the UI saying you lack LOS, the server will let that attack go through. One trick I use regularly is to trigger attacks while I'm approaching an enemy, so that it will go off as soon as I'm both within range and have LOS.

There are some other bugs around this that add to the confusion, like the attack animation sometimes not playing on the initial attack. That can make it hard to tell that the attack finally went off, other than seeing the damage to the enemy. These are all issues we plan to work on when we figure out how/where to fit them into the schedule. It's great to hear feedback on these kinds of things so we can make better decisions about exactly what to focus on next.
Bob
Rhethwyn
But the most crucial suggestion I have - there must be some reliable reference resource for new players. Pathfinder is known for having rules to cover almost anything the players can conceive. There is no guessing what skills one needs to focus on to develop their character; if a player knows what they want to build, it is not difficult to plan out a build strategy. PFO needs that deep documentation. The depth of this game justifies a full-sized hardback reference guide. Perhaps marketing would permit a 6-month subscription key included as part of the purchase price.

Printed material can be a little tricky while a game is still in flux, but then I suppose Pathfinder players are used to Errata and regular releases of new material. The larger issue is just our limited resources to work on reference materials. We do have the PDF Guides that are linked to at the top of the Patcher, but have to admit they haven't been updated for several years. Still, they're pretty good resources for players just starting out.

For deeper documentation, we also have the Public Spreadsheets, and much of the data there has been scraped by other players and made available in a much more user-friendly way on the Goblinary. I try to keep the spreadsheet updated with all the latest changes, and will have a bunch of updates to add soon when the Alchemist is released.
 
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