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All posts created by Bob

I might be completely wrong, but seems like opting out of anything in a true sandbox games sort of ruins the idea of a sandbox doesn't it?
Can I "Opt-out" of being attacked by ninjas until I am in T3 gear? smile

There's definitely some truth to that, and at a certain point letting players opt-out from being affected at all by the actions of other players would be in opposition to the idea of an MMO, much less a sandbox.

On the other hand, you actually can, to a surprising degree, opt-out of being attacked by ninjas at all, simply by avoiding them. Even if they were patrolling, which we still hope to get working, the idea there is to just mean that you'd have to pay a little extra attention to run through a hex they'd invaded, and that maybe you wouldn't be able to gather safely in that hex while they're running around. But once you've seen the ninjas on your map, it's almost always up to you whether or not you fight them. There are consequences to not fighting them, like not being able to gather from a nearby node, or having to go several hexes a way to find an escalation you can handle, but you still have loads of other options to pursue at that moment, and you can go back to that hex when the ninjas are gone. I can practically guarantee you that you can play just about every aspect of Pathfinder Online, with the exception of the few things directly attached to fighting ninjas, without ever being killed by a ninja. Honestly, you could probably play the game super-conservatively and avoid ever being killed by a mob, while still eventually working your way through the vast majority of the game's content.

The difference with PvP is that once another player sees you, there's a good chance they, or their friends that you haven't seen yet, can catch you and kill you. To truly avoid PvP, a player has to stick to only High Security hexes or above and never join a company, much less a settlement, at which point we're really admitting they can't play much of the game without risking some PvP. We want to give those players access to more of the game without risking PvP, but don't intend to make that a consequence-free choice. Crowdforging is how we figure out which consequences will strike the right balance.
As things are right now most equipment churn is from PVE and especially New Player PVE, not from PVP. This will only increase as more players join so there may be little to gain towards equipment churn even if PVP does increase as pop increases.

True, though that's largely because there's so little PvP happening. On the rare occasions when PvP does occur, equipment certainly gets damaged more quickly than it typically does during PvE.

In general, there's not nearly as much churn as was originally intended. In large part that's because there's not as high a percentage of time spent in PvP as we'd planned, but it's also partially because we'd intended for there to be more time-pressure on PvE, and thus more risk-taking. You saw a bit of that during the race to be first to complete the Nhur Athemon Sequences, and it sure seemed like gear churn picked up as part of that.

On the other hand, that level of gear churn was supposed to result in characters mostly running around in T2 gear, and we might be better off target a churn/replacement balance that feels a bit more like the game's economy does today, where it takes some effort and care to stay equipped with T3 gear, but it's feasible to get your equipment replaced as it wears out.

Here is a radical idea, make what you will of it. What if death by other players does not wear on gear?

Could be done, though right now gear damage is a pretty central factor in determining winners and losers in extended PvP battles. Die too many times and you've got to go re-equip before returning to the fight. Without that, we'd really need to look at some of the other features we've long intended to add, like increasing respawn delays and limiting shrine access, to make each death mean more than just another 60-second run back into battle.
If opening the flood gates to buy xp - don’t forget about the army of folks that will scream Pay to Win -

That's a risk, but our goal is always to balance any premium purchases such that skill, strategy, persistence, and other unpaid traits are essential to success. At the very least, XP doesn't do all that much good without earning the right achievements, and those generally take a fair amount of time in-game to earn.
So is this the way that 2nd and 3rd characters can get xp, just via Azoth? Or is it just cause on DT accounts?
Since you mentioned xp purchased with Azoth would be less efficient or more expensive than with monthly subscription, I was hoping it would be an addition to subscriptions for other characters.

The "Purchase XP with Azoth" feature is really for any character. You'd use it when you're willing to pay a bit extra to get the XP right now, instead of waiting for it to build up over time. In particular, it would be a good way to catch your 2nd and 3rd characters up to your 1st character.

The "Subscribe Individual Characters" feature lets you start building up XP on your 2nd and 3rd characters over time, so that would be the the cheapest way to eventually get XP on those characters. If you've got a Destiny's Twin, you'd only need to pay for the 3rd character to have them all earning XP. You could also purchase them some instant XP on top of that to speed things up. Mix and match as you will.

Since this is XP based thread –

Why not just provide ways to earn xp while playing the game?

Have asked before about kill quest- This seems like something players would expect from this type of game. Go out kill monsters get xp. It flows with what would normally encounter in table top.

Provides new players something to do if they spent the 1k they started with- the NPCs already do coin quest - should be able to tweak those easy enough to make them able to be requested by characters with certain ability scores.

We could do something along those lines, and being open to XP purchases does somewhat open the door to this possibility as well. There are some tricky balance issues involved, but then there always are.

In terms of quest prerequisites, we currently gate them on either completing another specific quest (you can't do the role tutorial quests until you do the movement tutorial quest), getting a specific achievement (you can't do the Rolling Bones quest until you've gotten Skeleton Slayer 1), or on learning a specific feat (you can't do the escalation tutorial quest until you learn Base Attack Bonus 1). We could certainly add more kinds of prerequisites, but those are pretty good methods for now.
My bad, I assumed you were talking partial respecs.

Actually, I left it intentionally vauge, since we haven't 100% decided which way to go. Partial respecs are theoretically possibly, but they are trickier and harder to implement. It's possible they'd even be really frustrating for players, since trying to forget a particular feat could involve a long chain of "okay, I want to forget X, but first I have to forget Y, and Z before that, or I could learn W to get that ability score up enough instead of forgetting Z, now what feat was X again?" Still, it could be worth doing partial respecs properly if full respecs would never get used, or if we can figure out a sneaky way to do them.

A full respec where "where everything gets forgotten all at once" including all feats all achievements etc so the player gets a vanilla character identical to one that had been subbed at the same date of the current one but never played avoids most if not all the issues.

Though even then, I would consider EITHER looking at some sort of XP limit above which a respec is not possible - as after a certain amount of time playing that character the owner should know better OR make the cost in Azoth per 100,000 XP substantial enough to discourage random wanton character respeccing on a casual whim (or just as a way to ramp up influence).

We're definitely planning on attaching some kind of cost/consequence to respecs. We could certainly do increasing Azoth costs based on total XP returned, and requiring that achievements be re-earned would scale automatically based on how far you'd advanced. In general, we want players to usually choose branching out from where they already are over respecing, but we know some people strongly prefer making sure every point is spent with perfect efficiency.
Harad Navar
  • XP can be purchased using Azoth, though with some limitations, and always less efficiently than it can be earned over time.
  • Bob, in the current thinking would purchased XP be applicable to the 3rd character in a DT account?

    We're thinking you can purchase it for any character. Just log in to that character, put some Azoth in your Inventory, then spend Azoth to add XP to that character.
    Will The Flag system mean any major changes to the Hex Security system? As in will Sec become irrelevant, as is, or will those that are accepting of PVP lose those territory control settings?

    As we're currently thinking of it, flagging for PvP isn't saying "I'm up for PvP with anyone, come at me!" It's more like "I'm willing to risk PvP according to all the other PvP rules and restrictions in effect." If we simply layer that over the game as is, the Hex Security system would largely continue working, it just would only apply to characters who'd opted in to PvP.

    Whether or not that's satisfactory by itself depends a lot on why people are choosing their particular security settings. If you choose Low primarily because you want people to be able to fight there without rep hits if they want to, then this is fine. Those who want to fight just also have to flag for PvP, which clearly they want to do. If you're setting to Low because you want to prevent non-allies from gathering there, then maybe you'd like an additional setting to say that non-allies can't gather there unless they flag for PvP. Or maybe you want to set an automatic tithe paid by gatherers, that they can avoid paying by flagging for PvP. There's also the question of whether you don't want people to gather there because you want to keep them from getting the resource at all, or because you just don't want them degrading the raw mats in your favorite gathering area. There are a lot of variants for why people choose certain settings, and we're open to additional features that help balance those reasons against the desire to let non-PvP players enjoy the game to a reasonably complete degree.
    People running all around My Swamp doing whatever and I have no recourse but to gnash my teeth and watch? No thanks!

    I'm very much hoping to find a way for you to make a meaningful claim to the swamp, to defend that claim, and to incentivize others to flag up and challenge your claim. I just want to do so in a way that meets 2 very important goals:

    1. No player can be killed without explicitly and knowingly agreeing to the risk of PvP at that particular time.
    2. Players who don't agree to PvP don't reasonably feel like they're missing out on so much gameplay that they're not really playing the game.

    Fortunately, the more we talk through this, the more convinced I am that we can find a way to do that. Maybe you have to hold the majority of hexes around the swamp to get the right to set some kind of security setting for it. Maybe you can put down a flag claiming the swamp, and that flag is active as long as you're around to defend it. I think it would be okay for you to be able to temporarily block non-PvP players from specific activities in specific places, provided that doing so involves a good mix of difficulty (so it's hard to block too much of the world off at once) and meaningful choice (so lots of other groups are incentivized to keep most of the world open to non-PvP players). That's why I threw the word "reasonably" into the second goal. It may not be reasonable to tell non-PvP players that they can't gather any T3 mats without flagging for PvP, but it's pretty reasonable to say there's a couple hexes they can't gather them in right now. As always, we just need to find the right balance.
    Stilachio Thrax
    Bob, have you considered revisiting the consequences of PVP? Why I ask is that I recently tried getting a former squadron mate from Star Wars Galaxies to give the game a spin. This was someone who PVPed extensively in SWG (space, not ground). His reaction to how PVP here works was "if I lose, my gear takes damage and everything I was carrying is likely gone. If there is a drawn out, somewhat even battle, I'd likely have no gear left." When I confirmed that, he said "No, thanks." This isn't someone who dislikes PVP, just someone who doesn't want to be taxed and punished for providing content to other players.

    To an extent, I agree with him. Star Wars Galaxies originally had significant decay to gear when you were killed in PVP. As a result, no one used their best gear. And once people realized how crappy PVP could be when using subpar gear, no one really PVPed. SOE eventually changed things so there was no more decay from PVP deaths, and PVP did pick up as a result. I know people want to avoid zerging but when you are PVPing, you are asking other players to be your content. I think it is worthwhile to entice them to be that content, rather than penalize them for essentially doing you a favor.

    That's an interesting point. The tough part for us is how much of our design is dependent on equipment churn. Changing that up would take a lot of thought, and probably require rebalancing multiple systems.

    That said, we have occasionally talked about some kind of dueling system, where players could participate in PvP combat primarily for the fun of it, or possibly for rewards that only really mattered to those participating in dueling. Since it would be intended to be relatively consequence free in terms of the other game systems, we wouldn't necessarily need to care about equipment damage or inventory loss.