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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Bringslite
I hope that you can figure some type of workable benefit to "wanting" to flag up so that you get some benefits, like a 5-10% skill boost or something like that. Encumbrance, speed, skills, etc… Maybe even xp?

Possibly, though it's amazing how easy it is to start thinking of those boosts as essential, and then to feel "nerfed" when you're not flagged for PvP. Still, there may be some boosts that don't feel like too big of a sacrifice compared to risking PvP, but are enticing enough to get someone to flag for PvP on occasion.
Bob
Edam
1. What if you unlearn feats that were specifically learnt as prerequisites for other feats you also know? Do those other feats stop functioning.

So, the first thing to mention, because it would largely answer this and all your other questions, is that the easiest version of this for us to implement is to do a full respec, where everything gets forgotten all at once. That requires the least UI work, lets us ignore dependencies between the things that can potentially be forgotten, and lets us deal with other potential dependencies in bulk (we can take off all your equipment on the off-chance any of it had feat dependencies, that kind of thing).

The trickier version is to let you forget individual feats, in which case we'd need to do extra work to take into account any prerequisite conflicts. The simplest solution there is probably to say "you can't forget this feat until you forget this other feat (or feats) that depends on it." That's not at all trivial, because but could be done.

Edam
2. Also - does forgetting a feat reduce the relevant ability by the amount learning that feat added in the first place? If so what happens if the relevant ability drops below the gateway needed to qualify for some other feat you also know. Does that feat stop working? More importantly if the feat with a now too-low score stops functioning does it also stop functioning as a gateway for other feats you know that needed that now non-functioning feat as a gateway? Do those other feats also stop working? TL&DR version does the game track prerequisites or do feats just work forever once learnt.

The relevant abilities would drop, and the current code doesn't check prerequisites after a feat is learned. Here again we'd probably need to add code to say "You can't forget this feat unless you first forget this other feat." Needing that code to check multiple kinds of prerequisites is a large part of why that code isn't trivial.

Edam
3. Related to the above, does the game track ability scores above 30. If not will unlearning a feat related to that ability reduce the ability below 30 even if the character should really have been at say 35 or 40.

Ability scores are calculated on the fly and then reduced to a maximum of 30. As a result, this case is already handled just fine when I have my GM characters learn and unlearn feats.

Edam
4. Further … if instead, learnt feats DO continue to work even after any prerequisite gateways are unlearnt or prerequisite ability scores are lost, what is to stop people exploiting this by learning a heap of feats just to get the ability scores and prerequisite feats required to achieve a particular gateway, then learning the desired feat and immediately unlearning all the feats they just learnt to get the gateway/abilities up.

Agreed, we couldn't release this feature without first blocking that possibility.

The other big question has to do with achievements, where there's some question whether or not learning and unlearning feats in order to maximize your achievements is an exploit. In particular, crafting achievements can't be earned without knowing certain feats, so there's an argument to be made that you should forget those achievements when you forget those feats. On the other hand, it's also possible that earning and forgetting achievements could be its own exploit, since it can sometimes change the amount of influence earned for identical actions. Definitely a tricky topic.
Bob
harneloot
Does the *individual characters can be subscribed to earn xp over time* mean you can add more training characters to the same account for less than the full $15/month each it now costs? So, maybe $15 for one toon then $5 for each additional one on the account that is training xp?

We haven't figured out all the pricing details yet, but yes, you'd pay some amount extra to have more characters on your account training.
Bob
Bringslite
Will players be able to both sub to earn over time AND buy more xp with Azoth?

That's the plan, though the idea is for earning XP over time to always be the most efficient/cheapest method, with the least limitations.
Bob
Bringslite
However, I have not seen anything about this that would either encourage new PVP fan players or incentivize it. Just frustrating interactions in the future. Why not trust your Security Settings mechanic, educate possible new players better about it, encourage more fun PVP(loot-n-stuff))<which reread shows you are somewhat, my bad> to get some of those people as well? No one wants Kill Fest but no one wants Care Bear Sanctuary either. You can't really have all from both sides of this old dilemma. Just a better measure from both.

The short answer is that too many prospective players, particularly the ones we get to sit down for demos at cons, ask almost immediately about PvP and make clear that they won't play if there's any risk they'll get killed by another player, or if they have to restrict their gameplay severely in order to avoid even the slightest such risk. When it comes right down to it, you can't fight someone who's not playing the game at all, but you might eventually get to fight someone who gets comfortable with the idea after playing for a while, or maybe you can fight their friend who joined later.

And yes, we do want to add more features over time that will incentivize PvP-averse players to give it a try under controlled circumstances, and to attract more PvP-oriented players in the first place. But initially, it's just really sad to see players walk away purely because there's a technical/theoretical risk of getting killed in PvP, when the reality is that it probably won't happen to them at all, at least at the moment. With a few exceptions, much of the gameworld currently operates as though players can decide whether or not to flag for PvP, at least if they get to know the safer parts of the world, the safer times to play, and/or find the right people to play with. Flag for PvP layers a technical guarantee on top of that, though we recognize the need for some balancing features to make sure the good aspects of the PvP that is happening continue to add flavor to the world.
Bob
Kenton Stone
There are areas of the map that are set to low security for a reason, there are rare resources found only there and the escalations spawn there, If you are unwilling to risk anything you should gain nothing.

The tricky part there is figuring out exactly what content/interactions we can block PvP-averse players from without them very reasonably concluding that they can't really play the game without eventually flagging for PvP. Gatherers certainly have lots of valuable things to gather without ever gathering T3 resources, so maybe that's an acceptable line. Or maybe it's important that they can usually gather in monster hexes, but can accept being blocked from doing so while other players are actively defending some kind of temporary explicit claim to the T3 resources there. For escalations, it's hard to imagine PvE adventurers accepting that they can't go after escalations at all, but again they might accept that they can be temporarily blocked from doing so in particular places, as long as they're pretty sure there'll always be somewhere they can go to tackle an escalation safely.

Kenton Stone
We just "recently" got the ability to set security on hexes we control. Now that is being tossed out as now there will be a new "class" of scavenger able to move indiscriminately around the map with no ability to stop them from doing as they please in territory you "control".

Yes, figuring out a way for Security Settings to interact meaningfully with PvP flags is an interesting challenge, but we'd like to keep them in some form. We also don't necessarily want to say that you can't somewhat control gathering/adventuring in your territory, though we're hoping there's a middle ground that provides meaningful and consequential control without completely blocking PvP-averse players from your lands.

Kenton Stone
If you are unwilling to risk PVP at any level you should not have access to any T3 Mats, Enchanting Mats, or Victory markers. If you want them you will have to trade for them or buy them.

As mentioned/implied above, I'm not 100% convinced that you should have to risk PvP to ever gather/loot T3/Enchanting mats, though you're absolutely correct that those resources could always be traded for, and I suspect there's a middle ground to be found on those items. Victory Markers, on the other hand, are something I could more easily see not being granted at all unless you're flagged for PvP. After all, their only use is for crafting items used in territorial control.
Bob
plopmania
How about instead of a direct pvp switch, the pvp flag would be tied to the characters settlement. If the character is tied to a npc settlement, pvp is off. If the player belongs to a player settlement, pvp is on.

Add some stricter restrictions to prevent flip-flopping between settlements. Belonging to an npc settlement already places fairly severe restrictions the player.

That's in many ways what we intended to do when we first started moving toward a more Opt-In PvP feel. In particular, we were heading towards what you can think of as Implicit Opt-In, where Flag for PvP would instead be Explicit Opt-In. Our original thought was that we'd largely protect players from PvP when they were first created near Thornkeep, but then taking certain actions (going to more dangerous hexes, joining companies, eventually joining factions) would steadily open the player up to more and more PvP, because those actions implied a willingness to PvP.

What we found was that a lot of prospective players are so PvP-averse that they really don't like the risk of accidentally opening themselves up to PvP when they didn't fully realize that was a consequence of their action. No matter how many warnings we throw in, those warnings can be missed for any number of reasons, so those players really want to have to explicitly say they're open to PvP before it can happen to them.

That said, we could certainly mix the two and say that you can't join a company unless you're flagged for PvP, or perhaps you can't join a player settlement company unless flagged and companies can't join player settlements unless all their members are flagged. That way every player would have explicitly accepted PvP before joining a player settlement.

The big question there is whether or not that's saying you really can't play this game unless you eventually flag for PvP. We've generally been saying that you can't really play Pathfinder Online unless you eventually join a player settlement, but we've also always assumed there'll be at least one major player settlement that will take in any non-toxic player, so we haven't considered that to be a roadblock for anyone (except for toxic players, where that's a feature, not a bug).

We've also found that most players enjoy the game a whole lot more when they join a player settlement, possibly to the point that saying you can't join a player settlement unless you flag for PvP means you won't have fun unless you flag for PvP. Not a great marketing message for PvP-averse players unless we add ways for them to band together in similarly-fun groups.
Bob
And I see that plopmania very correctly ninja-posted me as I slowly and distractedly typed my response. Excellent work!
Bob
Bringslite
Bob
  • Anyone can log in and play, but Inactive characters are in Free Trial Mode and don’t get all the benefits of an Active character, such as earning XP over time, generating influence, participating in territorial warfare, or receiving full support for their feats.

Having slept on this and doing some thinking, I don't understand the need for the part that I bolded. Unless the starting xp is going to be a very large amount? You do not want trial players to feel that they are overly limited within the low "trial" window from which they get to check out the game, do you?

I still like the rest, but if the goal is to get bodies running around in-game, I don't see the real need for over gimping trial players. I do like and understand the other restrictions. Though I was hoping for a more Fremium approach It is your game and I can see caution about that is important.

The support restriction would have little or no effect on an account that never gets beyond the initial amount of XP, and could be adjusted to guarantee that it has no effect on them. It's really just about characters that fall back into Free Trial Mode after having subscribed for a while.

Bringslite
I assume that it [Free Trial Mode] would tie in with being able to buy xp with Azoth?

Yes, Free Trial Mode players could purchase XP with Azoth, but they'd likely start to run up against the support restriction unless they just used the XP to branch out.
Bob
Azure_Zero
Bob, If PVP gets a switch it should come with a MAJOR cavat for those that OP out of the PVP like;
NO support for training above level 10 as ALL feats they own capped as if they were level 10 and No higher levels at all, they are Stuck at most with T2 gear, can only craft T1 and T2 gear, all crafting time is 1 and a half times longer, holdings of NON-PVP companies are also capped at +2, Everything is thrice as expensive if one opts out of PVP, etc.

The trick is to find consequences that don't make non-PvP players feel like we're pretty much forcing them to eventually choose PvP, since knowing that day's coming keeps them from even starting to play. Blocking them off from gameplay that doesn't necessarily feel connected to PvP will probably make them feel that PvP isn't really a choice. However, blocking them off from gameplay with clear PvP connections, or making that gameplay more difficult for them, should be acceptable since that isn't the aspect they're most interested in anyway.

Ideally, some of the players who initially intend to avoid PvP will eventually choose to participate in it on at least some occasions, and the end result will be a greater total number of PvP players than we get without that option available.