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The Return of Max Influence

The REAL TRUTH is that no one, myself or anyone else can for sure predict exactly what a bunch of hypothetical new players will really want. Probably does have much to do with the type of game. Some want a level playfield. Some want(or do not mind) starting with experienced players of all various power lvls.

Edam brings up a good point that once done, a precedent of "resetting" the field could be dangerous.

What players probably want is an "eye-candy" rich game.
They want mentally stimulating experiences that are well balanced and have a nice tangible effort to reward progression ratio.
They want good QoL functions like banking, UI, easy use manual instructions and inter-player communication.
They want exciting combat that feels impactful and has few bugs.
Many want unrestricted PVP.
Many want PVP that is somewhat manageable on their terms.
Many want top notch crafting, trading, economy.
Of course, I could go on and end with: Most also want a side of fries.
There is some or at least a shadow of some of that stuff. Much is lacking still.

Bob has made it clear repeatedly that what I would like to see are things that are not really in the realm of being considered as "seriously doable" at this point and will not be for some indefinate long time. I have to respect and accept that. No matter how sad it is, from my perspective. Bob and or a Paizo collaboration set the tone-subject-direction of game-work projects and (with some caveats) seems pretty firm in what direction that stuff is going to go in, how and when. That is their call.

With the MMORPG choices at hand now, this makes the gamer soul sad… smile

Much that we have clamored for has been addressed as the years have passed. Can't say that nothing has been done on/for the game. CAN say that what we have asked for COMBINED with what Paizo HAS DONE have not shown stellar results to date. Not if the goal has been to increase and keep a healthy numerous player base.

So what do I know that will "work"? Not as much as I think.
Paddy Fitzpatrick

I get what you mean. We can't speak for all players.

However as BlackMoria and others have pointed out in a different thread this isn't a listing of what hypothetical players want. This is the list of what the active players are currently seeing from new folks both in game and onnthe PFO Discord. There is a lot of stuff new players ask and comment on there which is the basis for the list of things we are trying to say new players want. Definitely should take a look cause it seems like we are having a disconnect between the two platforms.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Paddy Fitzpatrick
You mean to tell me that instead of the hexes that were arranged to be self sustaining with some room for extra bulk some guy only has to use one random hex for DI with some infinite bulk wealth lying around that would make Batman blush?

If that is the case then yeah make it like a minimum of six hexes for DI from holdings to count. Though not necessarily the core six cause there may be better nearby hexes for different resources.
A simple six holding minimum for DI generation could be done fairly easily, I think. Throwing in additional requirements about distance and the like would make things a lot harder, and there are probably other ways to more easily incentive settlements to prefer their core 6 while leaving them the flexibility to put them elsewhere. Maybe not ways we can get to right away, but eventually.

That said, if the holding minimum gets very high, settlement warfare could be reduced to just taking away a settlement's holdings. If only a single holding is required to earn some DI, then a settlement under siege has at least a decent chance of claiming a holding somewhere around the world just often enough to stay active and avoid abandoning the settlement. Whatever the minimum bar is for maintaining a settlement, that's also effectively setting the bar for destroying a settlement.
I am mostly referring to what the actual long term players have been saying needs fixing. Not the ones that pop in as "try-outs". Do listen closely to their comments.

My point is that, as players, we have asked for many things over the years and Paizo has given some of them to us as well as proceeding with what they think needs done in what order they can. None of these things have been able to pull the new player and "retained" player base up.

Again part of that is probably because the world doesn't know about all these neat things that have been added. I forget more than 1/2 of them myself. Flip-side: No one that tries the game stays around long enough to notice all the "nuances".

If Paizo's main goal(above all others) is to increase that pop level immediately, well, neither what they have been doing (whether player driven ideas or Paizo driven plan) has been working too great. So that kinda shows that some of our "Old Timer" advice ain't worth spit. I didn't say ALL, just what Paizo has been able to work into the game over the years.

If Paizo's main plan is to hover at idle pop lvls and SLOWLY improve the game until a critical "perfect game" is achieved then I can understand.

So in short, yeah listen to new try-ee feedback for what it is worth. Take what we "Old Timers" seriously advise as critical change with a grain of salt.
If you what holdings to go pop and WITH OUT the activity tax, we just make a timer that counts how long it has been since the HOLDING's HOLDING vault was accessed (it'll be checking bulk numbers and looking for a difference in values),
if that hexes holding vault has not been accessed in over say 3 months it sets all holdings and outposts to +0/+0 and degrades them like in a capture in a feud and only tehy have a week to access the vault and crank back up the holding and outposts, if they fail to do so, the next holding that goes in that spot takes ALL the stuff that was in the holding's vaults before it.
It probably wouldn't be very difficult to add a "last time the Holding Secure vault was checked" value to holdings, and then the easiest thing to do would be to shut down the holding any day that value was more than X days in the past. The holding would then follow the standard process of getting destroyed if it was shut down for 7-8 days in a row.

While this would pretty effectively clear out completely unused holdings, I'm not sure it sets a high enough bar per additional holding to make the expansion decision much more interesting. I do like that it's a task that should already be happening for any truly useful holding, so it only "adds" a task for those cases where someone expands beyond what they're putting to use.
One huge problem to making holdings and outpost cost more when they are further away, is the 'Little guy' and the 'new guy'… The only hexes I could grab to get Cauchemar built are very far from home.
With so much of the map already claimed there isn't are very limited opportunities for someone to build new with lower than maxed out characters.

Yes that is the case, but it also causes another problem, think of the bulk resources.
Most terrain types only have 3-4 types of bulk that can be collected and we need 5 types in large amounts, this means if your in the middle of one terrain type that settlement can be royally screwed over in bulk and taxes, while those at the edges of multiple types would have a very easy time on the taxes and bulk resources.
These issues are part of the reason we like to give players a lot of flexibility in deciding which hexes to control, balanced with certain incentives. Currently, the main incentives for controlling nearby hexes have to do with more easily setting up a barrier of protected hexes and shorter distances to haul bulk resources. However, we also assumed there'd be some trading between settlements to deal with excesses and shortages, and that it would be pretty common for allied settlements to have a shared strategy on hex control.

And, of course, any time you feel the grass is greener in another settlement, you can try to take it from them.
Is there maybe a way to increase the influence gain for certain activity levels or something?
Influence gain can certainly be tweaked, and some tweaks are easier than others. Right now, the numbers that are easiest to tweak are the amount earned each time a once-on-achievement trigger occurs (like earning a location achievement) is earned, as well as the base amount and the reduction-per-level amount earned each time an always-on-achievement trigger occurs (like crafting an item or killing a mob, with killings counting twice because they trigger off both the "with a particular weapon" and "a particular type of monster" kill achievements). Other adjustments could be made, like having crafting influence better reflect the time spent crafting that particular item, or granting influence for activities that aren't connected to achievements, but those definitely require some code work. It would also be possible to add some additional achievements to offer more opportunities to earn influence, but again the difficulty there depends on whether those achievements require new code or not.

I have a handful of T3 crafters that have just been crafting for about 3 months and breaking gates and leveling up in my company 'Disgruntled Nightmares', but have only generated 150 influence.
Compare that to my Cauchemar T2 Combat Alchemist that was hunting Bondancers and broke her Alchemist Expert 9 achievement just last night. She generated a handful of influence all by herself in a handful of hours.
The activities that generate influence are just not balanced enough at all.
The current system is definitely biased toward crafting lots of items rather than crafting big gate items, and toward killing over crafting. We'd definitely like to improve on that balance when we get a chance.
I'm all for new activities generating Influence, like crafting etc… However, keep an eye on how easy it is to do that generating or a "New Influence Tax" will not do any good for Holding Hog Control.
If everyone else thinks that just making people (me) log in more often to kill some mobs, gather or craft enough to maintain my influence banked in my current holdings is going to save the game, then I'll jump on board and support with my sub, but I don't think its the real long term answer we need for a truly Living River Kingdoms.
We don't have quite such lofty goals for this particular proposal, this is just a quick fix we can fit into our schedule that we feel would better balance the ongoing benefits of expansion against its ongoing costs. And if we didn't think that lack of balance was causing immediate problems, and that those problems are likely to get worse soon, we'd hold off on doing anything.

Also, we think we can do this so that it's not really asking most territory holders to do much more influence earning activity than they already are. Ideally, the right set of numbers would mean that most groups would merely want to think more seriously about upgrading their existing holdings than about taking another holding, or even about cutting back on some holdings in favor of upgrading others.
If you were to implement something along the lines that you are proposing, would abandoned and/or unaffordable Holdings REALLY be removed from the map, freeing up these hexes?
Yup after they were shut down for 7-8 days, they'd be completely removed, though again currently everything in the vaults would still be protected and anything someone lost access to could be regained by taking over the hex. Since hexes have long been vulnerable to easy takeovers if the owners aren't active enough to notice and put up a minimal defense, we've got no problem tearing them down as long as the bar for preventing it is similarly easy to get over.
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