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Fun With Content

Bob
Flari-Merchant
The easy answers to this are more NPC doled out Quests that are available either at only NPC settlements or allowed at both player(by player permission) and NPC settlements.
More quests are certainly a possibility. It's possible to make them available at player and/or NPC settlements, but adding any kind of permission setting would involve a fair amount of code work.

Flari-Merchant
Make some of them varied such as message delivery (contact this NPC in this place).
I can provide at least some variety, such as message delivery, with the existing code, though in some sense it's all just a matter of what the text says. There's technically no difference between "Please take this message to my friend over yonder" and "Go talk to my friend over yonder," since we don't put a message in your inventory or anything like that. I believe it's possible for us to do a version where the first NPC gives you an item and the second NPC checks for the item's existence, but such items wouldn't be protected in any way as Quest items. However, we can do things like say "bring my friend this Lesser Token of Striking," and then check to see if you have one of those tokens (not necessarily the same one you were just given)

Flari-Merchant
Keep and add some Kill #X number of these mobs, add "bear this message/package" but also make many of them repeatable after server reset.
The repeatable part is more of an issue. Right now, the closest we have to repeatable quests are the escalation events. The quests themselves, and all their UI, are coded up with the assumption that they can only be done once, so I suspect it would be a fair amount of work to get around that, but could be worth looking into. It's also possible I can leverage some of the event code that lets them cycle internally, but that may interact too much with the event-specific code, and would probably mean the quest was just something you accepted and could keep doing over and over again because it was impossible to complete.

Flari-Merchant
Make them related to the NPCs that are located at related structures, i.e. Temple NPC wants X skeletons killed, reward is a Divine scroll. Blacksmith wants message or package delivered to X blacksmith a ways away, reward is some appropriate refined materials.
That's all possible, as long as it's limited enough.

Flari-Merchant
Get creative.

Make a lot of them. This will add function and a little "life" to various NPCs.
The "a lot" part is a bit of an issue. Even relatively simple quests take at least some time to make and test, and they take more time if they require new NPCs and those NPCs need to get placed in the world. The easiest quests for me would probably be new quests assigned to existing questgivers, with a prerequisite of finishing up that givers previous quest first, or maybe even bouncing between quests from different givers. Even then, each fairly simple kill quest still takes several hours to implement and test, and multiplying that by the number of quests adds up quickly. It is however something that could be done, either as a top priority adding a fair number at once, or on more of an "add 1-3 quests each update" basis.

Flari-Merchant
I know that "Dailies" are usually looked at with scorn but that is usually because they are required to maximize accumulation of faction points or credits. This could be just about reward and busy work for now. Not required but something to do for tangible gain.
I don't personally have a problem with Dailies when done right. They do tend to require an added layer of UI to call them out, plus their own logic to restrict them by day, so there's definitely some code work involved and, as I'll get sick of saying and you'll all get sick of hearing, it's probably more code work than we can set aside at the moment.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
I know it is a lil off topic but it is related to "game enjoyment.

Was thinking that if "containers" could be inside bank vaults with items in them(little more that lists of items in a sub window) that it might help with the horrible task it can be to open a packed vault and get to particular items. A cpl birds with one stone thing. Easier organization of possessions, trading, cut down on the ram drain on the system, etc…
Agreed, they'd be helpful in a number of ways, and sometimes quality of life improvements are pretty central to letting players get at the fun parts of the game instead of the frustrating parts. This is definitely something we want to get to eventually.

Flari-Merchant
Containers in MMORPGs isn't something that is cutting edge technology. Hehe
Sadly, even well understood systems like this still take time to implement. This one wouldn't take a lot of time, and is certainly the kind of feature we could consider as just one small part of an ordinary update, but right now our bar is more like "will take just enough time to serve as a welcome break for Cole so he can return to the other upgrades with renewed energy." Alternatively, they could be added in if they're important enough that it's worth delaying the upgrades a bit, but that's a high bar to get over right now.
Bob
Azure_Zero
We could use some New events types that I posted up earlier
And they could ALL easily use code or code fragments that already exist in game.
Leveraging existing code definitely speeds things up, and it's definitely good to start by looking at ideas that do so, but there can still be a lot of work involved integrating that code into areas of the game it wasn't originally written for.

I'll necro the other thread with a reply shortly.

Azure_Zero
Now I will say one could also be used in siege warfare to make the final stage more interactive and a race for both sides.
We do want to make the final stage of siege warfare more interactive eventually, but most of our ideas so far involve a fair amount of work. If a newer idea comes up that could be implemented more feasibly, we'd definitely take a serious look at it.
Flari-Merchant
Been away too long to remember specifics but I know there are "buy orders" that can be listed in AHs. That right there is a sort of "quest" that can be completely run by players. Part of the issue there is no easy way to get that info to brand new players without them having to figure out the AH a little bit and being enlightened to the fact that it is a kind of "quest" in a way. Also there is the issue of buyers often offering less than the new player could make selling on her own.

Still do not have Public message boards in player settlement taverns?
Bob
Azure_Zero
Now one thing that could make the game more Fun is to go backwards some or take some steps back, but modify them.
Now what I'll be talking about will be removing a Number of the chores that come in this game, the only few that'll be left are;
watching you PVP window, tracking DI, and keeping your monster hexes clean and or properly surpressed.

We go back to the Old War of Towers System, but modified somewhat.
* No Influence, or Bulk resources.
Those requirements do a lot of the work for balancing the game between groups that prefer to focus on PvE and those that prefer to focus on PvP, but arguably the need for high-end equipment does that job well enough. I'd certainly have some concerns about removing such central mechanics, but from a technical standpoint, I could effectively do this without code by upping the influence generation rate significantly (enough that investing in Holdings and Outposts is practically free, but at least the correct amount gets banked for future use) and setting all the bulk resource upkeep numbers to 0.

Azure_Zero
* All Feuds are FREE, and only require ONE day's notice (mainly due to needing the daily server down)
Probably safest to make Feuds effectively free, like at a cost of 1 influence, but that's just a spreadsheet number. They end eventually anyway, so no big deal if their values change, unlike those for Holdings and Outposts. The delays are also just spreadsheet numbers.

Azure_Zero
* PVP window system stays as is, no dealing with the PVP window every darn day.
Easier than easy.

Azure_Zero
* Siege engines DO NOT require a supply line, if the company is NOT in a settlement.
That's just some text on a web page, so easily changed, and independent companies lacking support could be enough of a balancing factor to allow this.

Azure_Zero
* base settlement support level will be level 12, and every 2 hexes is 1 support level, so with a complete core 6 you'll have level 15 support, then you'll only need 10 more hexes for level 20.
Not a ton of work involved in calculating things this way, but a little bit more work involved to get all the windows that talk about Settlement Level to reflect the new method of calculation.

Azure_Zero
* All settlement buildings and upkeep will not need bulk resources and their training level is still based on their +X/+X values.
Just spreadsheet numbers, though a lot of them. Mostly I'd just need to store the numbers away somewhere to be copied back in later.

* All hexes still have holdings and outposts, but they Can not be torn down, and can only be changed by a leader/officer that has either;
level 12 engineer and or 6 seneshal through a building interface (all are available sans the T3 siege stuff)
if that leader/officer is both a level 12 engineer and level 6 seneshal, they can change a holdings and outposts to the T3 siege stuff.
This would be a fair amount of work.

Azure_Zero
* All holdings and outposts in a hex will run at the same +X/+X values
* A hexes holdings and outposts +X/+X values will be determined by a number of factors and they are cumulative with a starting base of +2/+2,
–> Hexes in the core 6 are +1 higher
–> Hexes adjacent to a Monster or Home is +1 higher
–> Hexes adjacent to a Shield hex (sans pass hexes) or NPC town are +1 Higher (happens only once).
–> Hexes Running High Security take a -1 hit and are lowered
–> Hexes Running Medium Security gain nothing.
–> Hexes Running Low Security are +1 higher.
–> Hexes that have their best resource at 400 or lower also get a +1 bonus.
I'm pretty sure this would be quite a bit of work, and the current system of basing the plus values on the kit values is already fairly simple. Some kind of bonuses based on security level seems reasonable, though there are both advantages and disadvantages to each security level, so I'm not sure just making High cost more than Low is appropriate. I'd be more interested in a balanced set of positives and negatives that felt fictionally right for each security level. On the flip side, I'm not sure resource production bonuses would be all that interesting as part of the larger idea anyway, since we'd be back to just stockpiling the output for future use.

Azure_Zero
An optional added point could be;
* All hexes are UN-protected except for the Core 6 of a settlement and to take a core 6 hex requires the use of a siege engine in a adjacent hex.
A reasonable amount of work involved here, so best dropped if it really feels optional.

My main concern here would be that even with several things being possible through only spreadsheet changes, the total code work adds up pretty quickly. It's possible that we can get much the same effect by focusing on the simpler changes and tweaking/dropping the more difficult changes to make the overall idea more feasible given our current constraints.

My second-biggest concern would be tugging at so many balancing mechanics and value propositions at once. The more things we try to do at once, the harder it is to work through all the potential balancing consequences.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Been away too long to remember specifics but I know there are "buy orders" that can be listed in AHs. That right there is a sort of "quest" that can be completely run by players.
Yup, there are Bids, and that does act as a kind of mini-quest offered up by other players. Technically, I could probably take advantage of that to make an Event where some unknown benefactor (me) is paying outlandish prices for certain rare items at the auction houses, which could basically be similar to the Home Sweet Home Event, but easier on me because I don't have to give everyone their rewards personally.

Flari-Merchant
Part of the issue there is no easy way to get that info to brand new players without them having to figure out the AH a little bit and being enlightened to the fact that it is a kind of "quest" in a way. Also there is the issue of buyers often offering less than the new player could make selling on her own.
We do show any history available for previous sales of each item at that Auction House, but there often isn't any history to refer to. Beyond that, yes, it's kind of "seller beware."

Flari-Merchant
Still do not have Public message boards in player settlement taverns?
Nope, we're still pretty much dependent on the forums for public posts.
Flari-Merchant
Bob,
How are NPC AIs for movement situated. I believe that you have the ability to spawn NPCs(mobs) and the ability to have them move to a certain point (how far?). At say a bridge, if spawned on the west side of the river and directed to cross to a point on the East side, would the NPCs use the bridge or just the shortest route across water? Or any normally PC limiting terrain for that matter. Do they always still just "hop" over trees?

Sorry for asking so much stuff. Just trying to cook up event ideas.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
How are NPC AIs for movement situated. I believe that you have the ability to spawn NPCs(mobs) and the ability to have them move to a certain point (how far?).
NPCs pretty much only move toward an enemy they want to attack, or to their designated location. For most NPCs, their designated location is their spawn point, so they start in one spot, move out to attack, and return to that location when they're done.

For Gusher and Holding Invasions, we spawn them in one location and immediately set their designated location elsewhere, so they start out by trying to "return" to that designated location if there aren't any enemies to attack right away, or if they finish up with those enemies.

We don't really have anything set up to tell an NPC that already has a designated location to switch to a different one, but it would be possible to code something like that up. Not sure how difficult that would be, would depend a lot on the exact details. As for how far they can make a path, it's pretty far (seen some ogres make some crazy paths), but there is a limit where they just give up. Don't know what that limit is though.

All that said, I do have the ability to ability as a GM to spawn a specific NPC about 15 meters from me in a random direction. They'll then treat their spawn point as their designated location and run their normal AI until killed (if they can be) or until the next Daily Maintenance. They just won't move from that point unless their AI tells them to attack something. And we can certainly code up other methods for spawning them under particular circumstances, but that would almost definitely require code.

Flari-Merchant
At say a bridge, if spawned on the west side of the river and directed to cross to a point on the East side, would the NPCs use the bridge or just the shortest route across water?
I suspect they'd try to go around the bridge, but it depends on the geography and the length of the bridge and a few other factors. I've also found the pathfinding AI is better at finding short routes over bridges than long routes, so for example I keep mules very close to me when crossing a bridge. I don't know why for certain, but they seem willing to at least try to move if it's just a short distance, which the bridge lets them do. If they try to make a longer path, they seem to convince themselves it's not possible, so they don't try. Or I'm just reading things into the behavior that are pure coincidence.

Anyway, if I had a method to tell NPCs to go from one side of a bridge to another, I could probably tell them to make the trip in a series of short increments, and that might work.

Flari-Merchant
Do they always still just "hop" over trees?
They still love hopping over things.
Flari-Merchant
Now that I understand Influence dynamics better and so what you are trying to do I know one way to increase both fun and player activity.

7 days after a Holding's outposts get destroyed, destroy the Holding. That is 14 days of opportunity to get the Influence sorted out and save the Holding. During that time there should be a count down timer accesseble at the door, to anyone that checks. When the Holding collapses have all of that Holdings held goods drop into a chest able to be looted.

That was a very fun feature in Ultima Online. I would spend days hunting houses on the verge of falling and then fighting over the goods that spilled.
harneloot
+1 to that idea!
Xyzzy - gatherer, yeoman archer, swamp monster.
 
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