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All posts created by Bob

Bob
harneloot
Thanks for the detailed analysis Bob (and I tend to agree with everything you said). I may be wrong here, but I think you are missing the fact that you need a 20 ability score to train level 3 of an armor proficiency? So to move from Dragoon 14 to wearing a medium armor I would need to reach level 20 in constitution, which would represent quite a bit more xp than what you have detailed. Please let me know if I am looking at this wrong. Thanks.

Good point, I remembered to mention the potential other ability scores needed to get another armor feat to rank 9, but forgot to mention the same for the proficiency, which is an even higher bar. Dragoon does get hit pretty hard on that, but others get to use the same ability score for both weights (characters with the Archer feat would likely use Dexterity for Medium Armor Proficiency, then again for Light Armor Proficiency).

I still feel like the feats used to get those ability scores up, in the cases where they're not already high enough, aren't quite as tightly bound to this issue of what you're "paying" for the added flexibility. You're probably only really getting the armor and proficiency feats to make use of the new armor weight, so the only other benefit you're getting from those feats beyond that is their own additions to ability scores. However, you have a lot of options for which feats you purchase to get ability scores up, and hopefully you can find ones that you can put to at least some use. With Constitution, for example, it's probably a good idea to get more Encumbrance, Fortitude and Recovery anyway. And with all the need for ammo, a little Sawyer wouldn't hurt either. Getting there will admittedly slow you down from taking advantage of Dragoon 14, but for the most part it's probably best for almost everyone to start branching out before getting rank 14 of any armor feat.
Bob
Okay, I've looked into this a little further and here's what the situation is as far as I've been able to tell.

If your armor feat gives you a new T3 keyword at rank 14, like giving you the option of wearing Shadowskin armor instead of just Truesilver armor, then you don't need to learn anything else before using the alternate armor. On the other hand, I'm not seeing any planned differences between those two types of armor, so the end result is that you aren't technically any different wearing any of your new armor options than you were wearing your previous armor options, because none of your new options give you more total keyword matches than you could get before.

If your armor feat gives you a new armor-weight keyword at rank 14, like giving you the option of wearing medium armor instead of heavy, then you pretty much need to train up the proficiency in that weight of armor to rank 3 to take advantage of that. That alone is about 2 days worth of XP. In addition, you probably need to get to rank 9 in an armor feat associated with that armor weight, which requires about 12 more days worth of XP. In addition, there's a good chance you'll need to learn some other feats if you don't have an appropriate ability score at 16, and maybe even some other achievements if you haven't met that feat's specific requirements. However, switching to a different weight of armor does make you technically different in terms of resistances, spell penalties, encumbrance and reflex penalties. Those all trade off against each other to some degree, but it does give you the option to decide which strengths and weaknesses you want to have on any particular outing. For example, knowing you're going up against enemies who do a lot of energy damage, you could choose to wear lighter armor on that outing. In addition, it also increases your number of armor options that will match all your keywords, though all those new options do come with the inherent changes from different weights.

So, overall it does look like getting an additional armor-weight keyword is a bit more useful than getting one of the other keywords. That means at least some additional XP cost is justified, and 2 days worth wouldn't really be all that significant for a character who's that far along. There's a certain logical/fictional sense that in order to use the different armor weight well, you need to have trained specifically to use that armor, and 12 days worth of XP (bringing the total to about 2 weeks worth) doesn't seem outrageous at that point, though it is quite a bit. Of course, it could be more work to get additional ability scores or achievements, but branching out is in many ways more valuable than getting rank 14 in the armor feat, so some of that should be happening already.

Overall, I think this requirement was intentional, the thinking being that the added flexibility would likely be worth the extra 2+ weeks of XP for enough players that some would choose to go down that route. There will also be additional weight-related advantages when the Enchanting system kicks in, so we'd probably be jumping the gun a bit to rebalance this before we see the results of that system. We may ultimately even want to consider other weight-related advantages, effectively choosing to make this option more valuable instead of reducing its cost. Still, I'm open to further debate, now and in the future, particularly if I've missed something here or if the planned flexibility doesn't turn out to be as valuable as intended.
Bob
Stilachio Thrax
Bob, what about cosmetic slots? Something that isn't using new art, just different existing art. For instance, when my Unbreakable fighter was using General's Banded +2, the art used was the Ornate Steel Plate and it looked great and appropriate. When he upgrade to General's Banded +3, the art was something else entirely and looked nothing like the very appropriate Ornate Steel Plate look. I even joked with my settlement brethren about how embarrassed my character would be in that armor. A cosmetic slot that could set the armor to look like the Ornate Steel Plate would be a godsend. You could set those slots for armor, helmet and and back.

I filed a bug to find a solution to that armor suddenly switching appearance at +3. I just need to make sure that any temporary fix I put in won't cause too much data confusion down the road.

The biggest issue with letting characters look like they're wearing one type of armor when they're really wearing another is that one of the ultimate purposes of visually upgrading armor is to give attackers some clue about how high-level a target is. If a character is wearing T3+3 armor, then you have some guess as to how tough that character is likely to be. Of course, we're currently undermining this because we have to reuse T2 armor visuals for most of the T3 armor, but the eventual goal was to have unique visuals for every upgrade of every armor. If we allow players to have the visual look of lesser armor while still having the technical advantages of better armor, then we'd need to rethink that and plan for other ways to give hints about how tough a player opponent might be. Those methods would likely be less intuitive or immersive than seeing what someone's wearing, but could be a worthwhile tradeoff.
Bob
These are the Release Notes for Early Enrollment v14.3. EE 14.3 has been running on the Test Server since Friday, January 5, and was deployed to Live on Wednesday, January 10.

What Is In This Release

EE 14.3 fixes a number of small but important issues. In preparation for the upgradable structures coming soon in EE 15, the amount of pine and other resources needed for those structure kits has been updated to better reflect demand. Resources have also been redistributed to make sure that every resource has a fair number of hexes where it can be more easily gathered.

Other improvements were made to guard AI, Line of Sight, Daily Maintenance time, and preservation of additional states when crossing hex borders, along with several other improvements based on feedback received since EE 14 and its successors were released.

Full Release Notes

Resources:
  • Adjusted gathering resources to take into account the needs for structures, and ensured that every gathering resource has a reasonable number of hexes where it is relatively abundant for its tier. In particular, pine was made more abundant and there are now multiple hexes where it can be gathered fairly easily. However, since these changes only alter the maximum amount of a resource a hex can hold, it may take a day or two for the world to generate resources up to these new numbers.

Combat/AI:
  • Fixed some issues that would result in guards treating mobs as teammates, which would result in the guards attacking allied players.
  • Stun and Immobilize no longer prevent characters from provoking Opportunity if movement keys are held down throughout.

Line of Sight:
  • The servers now take harvesting nodes into account for LoS somewhat like clients do. They don’t use the exact same collision models as the clients do yet, so there will still be some disagreements between the client and server, but this should significantly reduce the likelihood of mobs attacking through gathering nodes while players are unable to attack through them.
  • Ensured that the heights and centers used for mob collision models are identical between client and server. This should reduce the likelihood of mobs being able to fire over a hill or other object when the UI says you can’t fire back.

Daily Maintenance:
  • Reduced some lower-priority logging so there’d be less data to back-up each day during Daily Maintenance. This should bring our average Daily Maintenance period back toward the hour or so it was originally taking.
  • Adding some logging to Daily Maintenance to help us see where it would benefit most from further optimization.

Hex Borders:
  • Feuds aren’t momentarily forgotten when crossing hex borders, which could result in unintended reputation losses.
  • Stealth status is correctly maintained when crossing borders, and will then visibly discontinue if a character starts running after having crossed a hex border while stealthed.
  • Movement/Jump states are correctly maintained when crossing borders, so that characters will properly provoke Opportunity even if they don’t stop moving.

UI:
  • Action Bar ammo container tooltip properly updates when switching ammo containers.
  • “Used all ammo” message shows up properly for last type of ammo in container.

Quests:
  • Various quests no longer include Base Attack Bonus 1. This probably didn’t affect many players, since Base Attack Bonus 1 is usually learned pretty quickly.

Commands:
  • SetRankPermissions command was made GM-only until we can provide a user-friendly process for setting those permissions.
Bob
Giorgio
Bob
We'll post discussion threads on various topics as we're feeling the need for discussion on them, but feel free to start any discussion threads of your own at this point.

Bob, all the above is well and good (EE15 is going to be a big updated), but the topics I am referring to are some that are HIGHLY debated and controversial, are distributed over multiple threads over the last few years (including a VERY lively one just before the holiday break) and I have yet to find a clear or almost-clear GW answers on (Damn the lack of search features).

Yeah, sometimes I just let various crowdforging threads ride without chiming in, so that I can see whether or not the discussion ever reaches a point where a more official response will be helpful. The forums are after all a place for the community to chat, so I don't always want to stomp around with my official staff posts. However, I'm usually pretty good about responding when summoned to a thread, so you can always feel free to do so. I won't always have a clear answer to give, but I'll give as clear an answer as I can at the time. The tricky part is when I can't answer right away, usually because the answer requires some research. With new threads coming up all the time, sometimes older ones that still needed research slip through the cracks. You can always nudge me on those if you're waiting on an answer.

Giorgio
Specifically:
1- Multiple subscription models (# of PCs per account at different price points)

2- Backdating XP (to make up lost XP from lapsed subscriptions due to financial constraints and/or lack of uncertainty on the games future pre-road map)

3- Cosmetic customization options (for settlements, companies and individuals)

All of these subject's have to do with finding additional revenue for PFO so that more staff can be hired and the game can improve faster and add content that you want to add but cant (say, for lack of an art team). Id like to hear you thoughts on all three of this topics in a separate thread so we can have another conversation about this, all in once place (and so as to not derail this thread).

Posted to new thread (Finding Additional Revenue).
Bob
From another thread, slightly re-ordered:

Giorgio
All of these subject's have to do with finding additional revenue for PFO so that more staff can be hired and the game can improve faster and add content that you want to add but cant (say, for lack of an art team). Id like to hear you thoughts on all three of this topics in a separate thread so we can have another conversation about this, all in once place (and so as to not derail this thread).

1- Multiple subscription models (# of PCs per account at different price points)

This is something we've always wanted to look into, but there are a fair amount of technical complications involved. We even considered including stuff like this in the Road Map, but it's always hard to decide whether this is the kind of thing that would move the needle now, or that is better delayed until the other features that made it into the Road Map are completed. In this case, we felt it was important to make the game feel more complete before looking into changes to the account model.

Giorgio
2- Backdating XP (to make up lost XP from lapsed subscriptions due to financial constraints and/or lack of uncertainty on the games future pre-road map)

This is another thing we've talked about, though it has larger balance implications and would require lots of discussion. I think there would be plenty of argument on both sides, but I suspect there'd probably be a balanced way to do something along these lines.

Giorgio
3- Cosmetic customization options (for settlements, companies and individuals)

There's probably some simple stuff we could do here, along the lines of offering more color combinations for armor and banners. However, even that would require some art help to fix issues where colorization isn't working right, and other customization options would require even more art help. These also were considered for the Road Map, but didn't quite make the cut.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Do you guys reckon that you will put what you are still planning out as EE 15 and hold off on any social tools until EE 16+, or are you thinking of swapping out the other (rulesPDF, Tickets) and doing some social tools for EE 15?

The structure upgrades (and directly related systems) still have a fair amount of work remaining on them, and will then require quite a bit of testing and tweaking. We don't want to push EE 15 even further out at this point, so what small amounts of time we have to look into other issues without delaying things will probably be used for simpler, more easily tested bug fixes instead of new social tools.

That said, we may be able to look at some of the social tools in more of a 15.1 or 15.2 timeframe, instead of waiting on a larger EE 16 before deploying them. We'll have to take a closer look and see if there are some simpler aspects that we can get done early, and if there are other reasons to ship 15.x builds anyway.
Bob
We're rolling out 14.3 today, so Daily Maintenance may take a little longer than usual.
Bob
Iram Thelbane
I am sorry, it's seems that i have speak about something that have been discuss many time!
I never want to launch a controversy smile

No real controversy here. I mostly meant that we discussed things like loadouts internally many times as something we wanted to do, and didn't mean to imply that it's a topic we've gone round and round on the forums about.

Now tokens, they've got a more complicated history. Finding ways to make them feel more useful without undermining the value of crafted consumables is something I do want to revisit soon, but it's going to require some careful thought and will likely have to wait until some much higher priority features get worked on.
Bob
I've added a new Settlement Warfare page to use as a central reference point for these rules, and put up a blog post more formally announcing that Settlement Warfare will be starting up right after Daily Maintenance on Monday, January 22.