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All posts created by Bob

Bob
These are the Preliminary Release Notes for Open Enrollment v2.5. We plan to deploy a Final Candidate for OE 2.5 to the Test Server on Tuesday, March 9 and to Live during Daily Maintenance on Wednesday, March 17, assuming it performs well during final testing.

What Is In This Release

This release focuses on making ten hexes around Fort Inevitable claimable by adding locations to place holdings in them and on returning water to the river starting near Canis Castrum and running past Succinct Prime. Blessings of Pharasma are becoming loot boxes that deliver a choice of any Boon from Pharasma (Lady’s Health, Lady’s Favor, Lady’s Foresight or Lady’s Protection) and those boons are being fixed to last their proper durations. Other improvements were also made in order to keep steadily improving the overall player experience.

Full Release Notes

Hexes:
  • Ten hexes around Fort Inevitable can have holdings placed in them, allowing them to be claimed. First-week building rights for these hexes are being auctioned off in the Blessed Territory Auction.
  • Hex -1,2 near Thornkeep is once again an NPC hex, in keeping with the player tavern located there. That also means the gathering nodes there are back to dropping only Tier 1 mats.

Water:
  • The river that starts near Canis Castrum and runs past Succinct Prime now has water in it. If the technique used for adding it doesn’t cause a lot of performance issues, we’ll continue adding more water to the world in future updates.

Items:
  • Blessings of Pharasma are now loot boxes and right-clicking on them provides a choice of one Boon from Pharasma (Lady’s Health, Lady’s Favor, Lady’s Foresight or Lady’s Protection).
  • Boons correctly last for the exact durations listed in their descriptions, though they do wear off instantly on death.
  • Unexplored Second Chances {Worthless} can’t be sold at auction houses..

Trainers:
  • The Visiting Combat Alchemist Trainers at the Keeps in player settlements have once again had their training levels dropped, and these levels will continue to drop in future updates until they’re eventually removed altogether.
Bob
Naia
Surely it must be possible to find some middle ground here, where you both can have a mostly player driven economy, but still leave room for a limited amount of special items to drop. And where people can be diverse in pve but equal in pvp.

So to (loosely) quote one of your presidents : "Tear down this pillar Mr.Bob"

You made a lot of good points Naia, and I really don't want to imply that our design pillars are sacrosanct principles that can never be challenged. We don't challenge them lightly though, for multiple reasons, one of the biggest being that so much of the existing game was built around them as core assumptions. As a result, changes to one system that seem relatively small can quickly bump up against multiple other systems that were built to assume the things such a change allows would never happen. That's true to some degree with almost any change we make to such a large system, but the closer something is to our core design pillars, the more likely that is to happen, and thus the more work will probably be involved to keep that change from breaking more than it fixes.

Nonetheless, if we decide a change is important enough, we're open to bending (or even breaking) those pillars and doing all the cleanup work needed. We've explored the idea of more meaningful loot drops, and you're right that done well they can do a lot to drive player interest and activity. Adding them in a way that doesn't completely undermine the crafters is tricky, but perhaps making those items useful only in PvE as you suggest, possibly only in very specific types of PvE, offers a path for introducing such a thing without completely displacing crafted items. I'll have to think about it a bit more, but I think there may be a way to do this using existing systems, so no code work involved. A little code would be nice though, since without it, there still wouldn't be any fanfare when you got a particularly lucky drop, it would just be mixed in with everything else that got auto-looted.
Bob
Azure_Zero
I've been thinking of how to do some restructuring of parts of PFO with as little work as possible.
With one part of it introducing a Merchant NPC in every tavern, whom everyone can buy from and sell to, but this merchant has rules that effect his prices and offers, with the Crafting buildings also being the shop you can buy from.

We've talked about something like this off and on. There are some design challenges to integrating this kind of thing with a player-driven economy, but it's not impossible. Even the simplest implementation of it definitely involves some code, though there are some minimalist implementations that might not take very much.
Bob
Had a chance to watch the Reasons 2 Login video. Many of the ideas here wouldn't be overly difficult to implement in some fashion, and could leverage existing code and content. We already talked about repeatable quests, and it would be possible to mark them as only being available on certain days of the week, or every 12th day, or some similar pattern.

Similarly, we already have the ability to give characters items on login, which is how we transfer premium items to your inventory. We could adapt that to give characters a pack of items on their first login of the day, possibly different ones on different days, or better ones the more consecutive days that character logs in.

What we don't currently have is a good way to present those things to players as being special "just for logging in today" items or activities. We have pieces of such a system in the way we do notifications and in various UIs like the gathering window and the quest log, but we'd have to pull quite a few things together to present things well. That's all doable, but turns this into a bigger feature to both design and implement.

We've talked about adding similar daily activities/bonuses, but in the past we usually leaned towards systems that were more player-driven. For example, adding bids to the auction houses was partially meant to let players say "Hey, I want these items and I'll pay this amount for them," instead of having NPCs present similar requests. We've also talked a few times about adding some kind of bounty system, so settlements could offer rewards for helping clear areas out (of course, first we'd need more incentives for getting areas cleared out, where now settlements often want escalations on their doorstep and don't want others to tackle them). We've become more open to NPC-driven tasks over time, at least where they don't require massive amounts of new content to implement, but it would also be nice to be able to polish up some of the more player-driven concepts and get in some UI that better presents them to players when they log in. As a simple example, we could let players pay a small amount of coin to have their bids presented to players on login, which would feel similar to being presented with today's mission in other games. That type of polish to an existing player-driven system could be pretty helpful without requiring any rethinking of our original design.

NPC-/game-driven activities/bonuses are worth considering though, even if they do challenge some of our original design assumptions, and the UI for presenting them could also be used for player-driven activities. Lots of potential synergies here. None of them make the work involved here trivial, but they do make the cost/benefit analysis more favorable.
Bob
I'm not sure we've ever made this explicit anywhere but one of the things that happens when a character dies and respawns is that all of the effects on them, both buffs and debuffs, are removed. Particularly for debuffs, this makes complete sense, since you wouldn't want to respawn only to bleed out again moments later. Most effects are also pretty short-lived, and feel like part of the battle you were in that resulted in your death, so again it makes sense for them to disappear when you die and are removed from the battlefield to respawn elsewhere.

The housing buffs (Divinely Inspired, …) and the new boons make use of the existing system for buffs and as a result also disappear on death, despite their extended durations. We're considering changing the code to let us say that certain buffs such as these do persist through death, which probably wouldn't be a trivial change but also not prohibitively difficult, but for now having the buffs expire before their time is up should just be seen as yet another reason to avoid death's icy (but temporary through the mercy of Pharasma) grip.
Bob
Congratulations on clearing Sunholm 5-5-6 and thus completing all 46 of the Pharasmin Sequences! Thank you all for making this latest holiday event another big success, and for helping to clean up afterward! We now return you to your regular escalation rotation, already in progress!
Bob
I fixed a typo on both the blog post and the original post in this thread where the deadline was listed as March 1 in one place and March 15 in another. It now reads correctly as March 15 in both places, meaning everyone has just a couple days shy of three weeks to get their bids in or to revise them.
Bob
Welcome to the Blessed Territory Auction!

There are currently ten hexes around Fort Inevitable (map and coordinates below) that can’t be claimed because there’s no spot to put a holding in them. With the next update, holdings can be placed in each of those hexes. To avoid a mad rush to do so right after the update is deployed, and to avoid disadvantaging anyone who can’t be online at that time, we’re running an auction to bid on first-week building rights in exchange for Blessings of Pharasma (or for coins, though even a single Blessing will outbid any amount of coins). In addition, each winning bid will receive an optional free teardown of the buildings in another hex (kits and influence normally lost in teardowns will be returned, teardown hex must be owned by the same company that places a holding in the auctioned hex) to make hex exchanges easier.

We’re also extending the timeline for turning Blessings in for Boons at a five-for-one-ish exchange rate until the auction is completed so everyone can hold onto their Blessings and still take full advantage of that offer with any left over after the auction.

Bidders for these building rights must be an active character and must be bidding on behalf of a company/settlement that the character is an owner/leader of. There is no restriction on the number of bidders an individual player can use to submit bids, nor to the number of banner companies a settlement can use. However, the active character, settlement/company and vault must be unique to each bid. To place your bids, send an email to customer.support@pathfinderonline.com before Daily Maintenance on Monday, March 15 listing the following (more detailed template below):

  • Your active character and the company/settlement you’re bidding on behalf of, both unique to this bid.
  • The hexes you’re bidding on listed in priority order.
  • The amount of Blessings or coins you’re bidding for each hex. These amounts can be the same across all the hexes, or drop as the hex priority drops, and can even shift from Blessings to coins. For bids in Blessings, also list the maximum amount of backup coins you'd be willing to pay if your bid is automatically reduced below 1 Blessing (i.e. if you'd rather pay 1 Blessing instead of paying more than 1 Silver, but would prefer to pay 1 Silver or less and keep the Blessing, say 1 Silver).
  • A shared vault (owned by a Company or Settlement, not a Personal or Party vault), including the vault’s location, containing enough resources to cover the highest bid in Blessings and the highest bid in coins. No two bidders can share the same vault, and be sure you have sufficient control of the vault to prevent your resources from being removed before the bids are processed.

We strongly suggest that initial bids be emailed a week or so in advance in case any issues need to be corrected. Edits will be accepted right up until the deadline, including changes to bid amounts.

Right after Daily Maintenance on Monday, March 15 we’ll process the bids. First, the highest bid (or, in the case of a tie, a bid chosen randomly from those tied for highest) will be identified and the activity status of the bidding character will be checked. If active, we’ll then verify that there are sufficient resources in the listed vault to cover the highest bid made in each resource. If the resources are there, they’ll be given the building rights to their highest-priority hex, all other bids from that character will be removed from contention, and so will all other bids for that hex. If they’re inactive or lack sufficient resources, all of that character’s bids will be removed from contention. We’ll repeat the process until building rights have been awarded for all ten hexes. We’ll then reduce each winner’s bid to the lowest amount leading to the exact same results even if everyone else’s bids remained the same, with bids in Blessings being reduced to coins if there are no competing bids in Blessings, and all bids reduced to one Copper Coin at minimum.

Finally, we’ll collect the winning bids and post the results. For each hex, the winning company/settlement will be posted, but not the amount paid.

Once the update is deployed, the winners will have one week to place their holding and two weeks to receive their optional free teardown (exact timing to be arranged with a GM). If anyone else places a holding and/or outposts without the winner’s permission before that week is up, we will remove those buildings with GM commands. Once each winner places their holding, their building rights end and their buildings are open to attack under the standard rules.

This map has the hexes we're auctioning off marked as A-J, and here are their coordinates:

  • A: -16,15
  • B: -15,14
  • C: -14,14
  • D: -12,15
  • E: -11,15
  • F: -11,16
  • G: -11,17
  • H: -14,19
  • I: -15,18
  • J: -16,18

Please submit all bids using the following sample as a template:
  • Character: Paizo Bob
  • Company/Settlement: A Band of Bidders
  • Vault: A Band of Bidders Company Secure
  • Vault Location: Thornkeep
  • Hexes in Priority Order:
    • E: 3 Blessings (1 Gold backup)
    • A: 3 Blessings (1 Gold backup)
    • F: 1 Blessing (1 Gold backup)
    • B: 1 Gold
    • J: 1 Gold
    • C: 1 Silver
    • D: 1 Copper
    • I: 1 Copper
    • H: None
    • G: None

Best of luck to all!

Edit 1: Fixed deadline to be March 15, it was incorrectly listed as March 1 in one place.
Bob
Getting ready to make this auction official, but realized I should mention one other fix coming in the next update first. As mentioned in the Open Enrollment v2.4 Release Notes, the Boons you can turn Blessings in for are meant to last 1-2 hours. However, I mentally blanked on Effect Power when setting them up, so they're currently lasting about 13 times as long as intended. The next update will fix this and will deploy right after the auction finishes up, so that will happen before the fiveish-for-one Blessing tradeins. For any of you who may have noticed that the Boons given out for the event are lasting particularly long, and thus may be thinking each Blessing is worth fiveish of those ultra-long-lasting Boons, please readjust your value propositions to match the durations listed in each Boon's description, which are generally 1-2 hours.
Bob
One final sequence to go! With Concordia 4-5 completed, here's the status of the last remaining sequence:

  • -20,10 (Sunholm 5-5-6): The Wrath of Nhur Athemon (4 of 5) at 50000 strength.