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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Another issue I have had is standing behind a table on its side, bowing(the shooting kind) at a huge crystal. The table was only to my waist but it denied a LoS lock on the crystal way above me. Can't wait until you guys can spare some time to trim down the collision boxes on some of the scenery.

The "center" for crystals is also a bit lower than you'd expect, since we're generally measuring from the ground to the top of the entity and they're the only entities that float. That's another issue we're looking into fixes for.
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Or you can step into the better spot for your aoe like we have always done previously

You'll definitely still want to do that to maximize the number of mobs caught in your attack, but with them spreading out a bit further, the maximum number that will tend to wind up in a given area will be smaller. However, you should still be able to catch more than enough to make each type of AoE worthwhile.
Bob
Edam
The only concern with changing the bunching up is splash AoE attacks are very close range. If the mobs were to stop outside splash range it would render feats like carve, wilting surge and whirlwind fairly pointless.

That's definitely something we'll need to keep an eye on. You'll probably catch less mobs on average per AoE attack, but I think you'll still be able to average above the "expected" numbers that the AoE's are balanced for, assuming you're generally using them when you have a good chance of catching reasonable numbers of mobs. If that doesn't seem to be the case, we can either look into letting them bunch up a little more, or into rebalancing AoE's based on lower expected numbers of mobs, depending on which would feel better overall.
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
How long do you think until you can factor in "partial cover" for things like low walls and fences and catwalks or do you think that you ever can with the way the system is built?

There are ways we could implement partial cover, but it wasn't in our initial LOS plans. If we wanted to add it at some point, doing so wouldn't be particularly dependent on any other work, though it would be best to polish the basic LOS system first to provide a better foundation for layering on partial cover. The real trick would be coming up with a reasonably efficient version of partial cover that makes combat more fun (as opposed to just more complicated), then prioritizing that against other possible work.
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Not sure this is the right place for this: Any clues yet on why the dropping of combat mode is happening so quickly even in the middle of brawls?

Also, particularly ogres(red or tougher), seem to have a never noticed "healing spike" at around 1/2 or less hit points. I personally do not mind it as I think mobs should in some cases, but is that built in and is it safe for newer characters? Never noticed it before.

We're pretty sure this is all due to the broken hexes issue that will get fixed in 14.2. In essence, every time you attack something or get damaged, you're supposed to get a combat effect put on you that says "stay in combat mode for a while longer," which is very similar to having effects like "go faster for a while" or "be an Opportunity for a while" put on you. When the hex gets broken, those effects can either not get applied at all, or other effects can get applied instead. With "stay in combat" not getting regularly reapplied, you basically go into combat mode on your first attack, fall out 12 seconds later, then re-enter combat mode just enough to pull out your weapon again. Sometimes this seems to result in being sort-of-in-combat, but regenerating as though you're out-of-combat, and can happen to mobs as well. This isn't really noticeable on weaker mobs that tend to get killed within 6 seconds, but can be pretty noticeable on tougher mobs when it happens.
Bob
Maxen
Thanks Bob. I was able to test bullets 1, 2, and 3. Those seem to be working as described in your notes. Wasn't able to test 4 or 5 as I didn't experience those and wasn't sure what to look for.

Thanks for checking things out.

For anyone else interested, here are some helpful hints for trying those fixes out.

  • Broken hexes: Try buffing yourself (e.g. casting Energetic Field) right before officially crossing from hex A to hex B. Then buff yourself again just before crossing back from hex B to hex A. Repeat multiple times. If the buff keeps working, that's a good sign. You can also try getting into lots of fights that cross back and forth between hex A and hex B and see if combat gets weird in either hex after a while.
  • Line of Sight: Get a large group of mobs to surround you. Keep running around until one of the mobs messes up and starts to occupy roughly the same space as you. You should be able to attack that mob.
  • Less Bunched Up: Let a large group of bandits, goblins, or other similarly sized mobs attack you. See how bunched up they get.
  • Ammo containers and UI: Equip an ammo-using weapon without an ammo container, and select that as your current weapon. Log out and back in again. Open up your Personal Window, all your feats should still be there even though you don't have an ammo container. You should also see 0 ammo listed in your Action Bar, and training skills should immediately update the training window (instead of letting you click on Train again only to be told you've already learned that rank).
  • Ammo Container Memory: Stock an ammo container with 1 crafted arrow/charge, and leave a large number of that exact type of ammo in your inventory. Kill something, using up your stocked ammo(and likely running through some makeshift ammo). Wait until you exit combat mode, then check your ammo container. It should be auto-stocked with the crafted ammo from inventory, then with any salvaged ammo there's still room for.
Bob
Iram Thelbane
Bob, now with the ammo addition the sneak attack bonus to the base damage weapon seem to be downgraded in comparaison on what a basic Tier 2 arrows can provide to your base attack bonus.
Now it's too late, but why haven't you up the damage multiplier of attacks instead of the base damage? Was it easiest to increase the base damage instead of the multiplier?

That is true, the sneak attack base damage bonus becomes a smaller part of the equation on ammo-using attacks. Also, the fact that ammo-using feats were scaled back a bit to make room for the ammo bonuses means that base damage bonuses on those attacks are slightly less effective than they were before. However, that difference is very small, so you're still getting roughly 95% of the advantage from it as before, with ammo just getting stacked on top of that. Still very much worth it.

There's nothing stopping us from revisiting the way various bonuses are granted in the future, but I will say that we tend to use numeric increases instead of percentage increases so that we can grant even bonuses all the way up, while having the effectiveness of those bonuses get smaller and smaller in terms of percentage improvement. That gives us the kind of improvement curve we're looking for while still making the improvement at each rank/upgrade easy to describe (e.g. +5 per keyword, +2 per upgrade).
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Understanding that you are up to your gills in fix-its and various tasks just for EE14, could I ask(and maybe get an answer) on some kind of an outline or direction, at least, about how Support Mechanics are going to go?

We haven't had any time to talk this through yet, and still have a few different directions we could go in. Once we can at least explore those ideas enough to know which ones just plain won't work, and which seem most promising, I'll get something posted.
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
It isn't as if there are not many settlements that are essentially "dummy corporations" and many potential settlement spots, all over the map. There are places that could become settlements for new player groups.

There just aren't mechanics/requirements set out on how to take over these spots and develop them into "settlements".

Actually, I feel like there is a missing dynamic in potential play here (an unnecessary limit in thinking) by calling all places "settlements". What about the Manor House holding as a starter placement(Starter Keep) that allows some training and a PVP window. Maybe that could be a "village"? Maybe the next step could be a Keep with up to support 15 and be called a "town". Finally a settlement with support 20 and all spaces filled to a certain upgrade could be a "city".

Play with the numbers and the designations all you need to, but giving a clear pathway for new players to achieve (without grognards having to give handouts) by themselves feels like a very important set of features for a sandbox.

We've had occasional conversations about adding more levels of territorial ownership, and it's certainly technically possible to add something along those lines. A fair amount of work to implement, but possible. On the other hand, the intended mechanics for placing a basic settlement are meant to be fairly achievable by any reasonably active company, so it's not clear yet how needed something short of a basic settlement will be.

The bigger trick is reworking the mechanics to make it more likely that some possible settlement spaces will usually be left open. Currently, the mechanics strongly encourage any available spot be taken over as soon as it becomes available, and we do want to incentivize a certain level of territorial expansion over necessarily always focusing on maximizing a single settlement, but we definitely need to fiddle with the balance there.
Bob
We've deployed a potential 14.2 build up to Zog. I say potential because it hasn't had much testing yet, just enough to verify it's not breaking anything obvious. On the other hand, it's small enough and has important enough fixes in it that we wanted to get some wider testing started over our Thanksgiving break. If it holds up well through the weekend, and then survives my more rigorous testing next Monday, we may roll it out to Live early next week. If not, or if we decide to add a few more things before deploying to Live, then at least the current changes will have been running through multiple Daily Maintenance periods, which is always helpful.

Here's a list of the biggest changes in this build:

  • We finally tracked down and fixed what was causing individual hexes to break, resulting in things like feats not applying effects correctly (like the infamous time when casting Agile Feet would make you bleed, or the multiple reports of Energetic Field not applying all of its effects), or Opportunity not getting applied correctly, or exiting combat mode repeatedly in the middle of a fight. Thanks for filing all those reports, they really helped us establish a pattern and finally find a pattern to what was happening, which ultimately led us to the problematic code.
  • Line of Sight is considered unblocked when a character/entity is so close to another character/entity that they're partially sharing the same space.
  • Mobs generally try to stay a little further apart, which keeps them from bunching up so much when large groups try to surround a target. The ones further back will eventually be blocked by the front row and won't keep shoving forward to establish Line of Sight.
  • Fixed an issue where having an ammo-using weapon without an ammo container could break various parts of the UI (feats in the Personal Window, recently trained feats on Training Windows, ammo counter on the Action Bar).
  • Ammo containers now remember what was in each slot during the previous combat and auto-restock those slots in order before auto-stocking salvaged ammo.