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All posts created by Bob

These are the Preliminary Release Notes for Open Enrollment v2.7. We deployed a Final Candidate for OE 2.7 to the Test Server on Friday, August 20 and plan to deploy it to Live during Daily Maintenance on Monday, August 23, assuming it performs well during final testing.

What Is In This Release

This release focuses on speeding up the production of Pharasma statues by making their ingredients easier to obtain and reducing all crafting times to 1/10 their previous settings. The amount of DI generated by Pharasma statues was also increased significantly so that settlements with them will require noticeably less territory to maintain their structures.

Full Release Notes

Statue of Pharasma:
  • Gatherable Pharasma raw materials are three times as likely to drop at nodes than before.
  • Remembrances and Pharasma recipes are three times as likely to drop as loot than before.
  • Bosses from escalations that have Remembrances are guaranteed to drop at least one Remembrance to each party member in their loot.
  • Pharasma statues generate 40 more DI per Index per upgrade than before.

  • All refining/crafting/enchanting times reduced to one-tenth of previous values.
  • NPC settlement crafting taxes increased to 1c per 180 seconds, ten times their previous value.
  • Default company crafting taxes (used at holdings owned by companies not attached to settlements) increased to 1c per 320 seconds, ten times their previous value.
  • Player settlement crafting taxes remain unchanged, but settlement leaders may wish to increase them to balance out the lower crafting times.

  • Escalations no longer lose strength naturally every hour.

  • Floating chair fixed on Guild House +3-4.
Apparently my most pessimistic prediction (at least the one I stated publicly) of "maybe the next day" was correct. After several rounds of email/chat/phone tag with our third-party, we finally worked out all the issues and I just now kicked off a new build of the installers. Assuming everything builds properly overnight and looks good tomorrow morning, I'll copy OE 2.7 to Zog and deploy it sometime in the afternoon.
The technical issue I've been dealing with requires working with a third-party, and that's involved more back-and-forth, hurry-up-and-wait communications than I'd hoped. I think everything is just about sorted out on that end, so with a little luck I'll be able to try building the installers again today or tomorrow, or maybe the next day.
With the current PvP windows and the siege engine requirements, and all the other things that protect existing settlements, it's hard to say whether or not any takeovers are feasible in the remaining time. My take on that would be that if a settlement, no matter how undeveloped, has gotten itself to the point where it can't be taken over, or forced into shutdown, over 2-3 months, then that settlement has earned its place in the final writeup. On the other hand, if they can be taken down a peg during the remaining time, then it's fair that they'd get a lesser writeup as a result. That still gives territorial PvP an important role to play, even if it can't lead to a full takeover.

In terms of points for the final event, there aren't any points attached to holdings, so I don't think there's anything to hand over to the victors there. I thought about including the number of holdings in the final calculations, but decided it felt like double-dipping, since holdings translate into DI which translates into structures which translates into Structure Points. As such, taking someone's territory away from them already takes their points away. It doesn't directly give them to the victors admittedly, though it does help them move up in rank for more Pharasma Influence, and potentially gives them enough DI for more structures as well (perhaps in their secondary settlements, if not their main one).

Plus, taking over a settlement does in essence give you that settlement's points, in that it gives you that settlement and thus the writeup for it. You'd get to rename it, get awarded points based on its structures, and the writeup would likely include something about the final takeover. So no points awarded directly to the original settlements of the victors, but more settlements to get writeups about.
I'm open to some simple changes to PvP where they feel like they'd make the last months more fun for everyone who has stuck with us all this time, but my ability to make such changes is very limited. Most of the PvP stuff is pretty hard-coded, and there just isn't enough time for me to get up-to-speed on the programming side to change any of that safely. From the ideas above, here's what I could or couldn't do, and some thoughts on whether I should or shouldn't do them.

  • PvP Windows: I can pretty easily change the window lengths, and even the number of days per week that the windows are open, in the spreadsheets. That would probably work, though it's possible there are some hard-coded bits that would get broken if I changed those numbers. The point of those is really to make it more likely that attackers will run into defenders, and I suspect increasing the windows now would make it extremely difficult for almost any current settlements to have defenders available for their windows.
  • DI Degradation: I don't see any spreadsheet numbers for that, pretty sure the math is all hard-coded.
  • Stealing a Hex Steals Defender's Points: There's not much in the spreadsheets to control what happens when a hex is taken, beyond setting the amount of influence returned when a building is torn down or taken over.
  • Taking Settlement Steals Defender's Points: Settlement takeovers are handled manually, so I do have a bit more control over that. I'm not 100% sure which points are being referred to here, but DI already gets initialized at a number higher than what's required for all the buildings that come with the settlement, then it's up to the victors to attach enough territory to keep the DI numbers up moving forward. If that's what's meant, I'm not sure there's any need to transfer more points than that, since there's probably not a lot more than that available and they'd degrade after a few weeks anyway.
  • Surrounded by Single Company Without Siege Equipment: The Settlement Warfare rules are all just out-of-game text, so they're easy to change. The siege damage system kind of depends on the T3 siege equipment for attacking anything beyond a low-level settlement though, and I'd think that almost any group capable of surrounding a settlement could put together 1-2 sets of T3 siege equipment capable of doing as much damage as surrounding it with a full set of T2 holdings. One small change that might help would be to say that the amount of bulk resources defenders are allowed to bring in is based on the number of neighboring hexes that don't have an "active holding or siege engine" in them, instead of just "active siege engine", meaning you could surround them with mostly holdings and just a few siege engines. Not sure how much difference that would make in the likeliness of a siege, but it sounds like a reasonable change.
  • Contesting Settlement from Outside the Game: I don't think there are currently any ways to contest a settlement's ownership aside from declaring a war at this point. We used to let players challenge whether or not a settlement had active leadership or was really active in-game, but I just check that myself semi-regularly now. The other Leadership Challenges are only for non-founding companies, so they don't affect settlement ownership.
My main point with that post was that there doesn't really even need to be any PvP in order for those settlements to get claimed, just an agreement between the people already surrounding it to let someone take it over. Of course, it's easier to get that agreement if you take the hexes over yourself, but diplomacy is always an option as well.

That said, I'm not averse to seeing a bit more PvP here at the end, and to some degree basing Pharasma Influence on Settlement Rank was meant to incentivize a bit of that. Sure, you can raise your rank by placing and upgrading more structures, but you can also do it by taking territory away from more developed settlements until they lack the DI to keep all their structures upgraded. Or you can play nice and try to get more cooperation in upgrading your structures. It's up to each alliance to figure out which strategy will earn them the most Pharasma Influence and the most interesting writeup they can get.

It's also tough for me to change much about PvP with content-only changes. I'll post a separate reply in that other thread to go over what is or isn't possible.
There are currently two claimable settlements on the map, Canis Castrum and Sunholm. As they are, they'll just get quick mentions in the Ghost Settlements section of the final writeup. However, there's still time to claim them and get a more substantial description, under a name of your choice. Those settlements don't have Keeps, so they're a little tricky to work with until enough DI can be built up to place them, but there should still be enough time to reactivate them in some form with a minimal amount of territory.

The full rules for claiming the settlements are at the end of the Settlement Warfare page. The main rule is that any group of cooperating companies that surrounds a claimable settlement by having a holding and 2 outposts in each neighboring hex can name a new owner. The general idea was that a group intending to claim a settlement would surround it themselves, or with the help of their allies, but there's no actual requirement that the new owner is a member (or even ally) of any of the surrounding companies. There also isn't a requirement that the cooperating companies are allies in any real sense. All that matters is that the leaders of the surrounding companies all agree on who gets named the new owner, and that the new owner is eligible for ownership (active and has access to a company to name as the founding company).
With some helpful advice from Cole, I've got a plan for getting the installers built, but it may take a day or two (or three) to get through all the steps. If all goes reasonably smoothly, I should still be able to deploy to Zog sometime this week or early next week, then deploy to Live sometime next week.
I've got a new build ready with all of these changes and it passed all my tests on our internal servers. I'd hoped to be able to put the build on Zog today, but I'm running into some technical issues building the installers/patchers. With a fair amount of luck I may get things sorted and deployed to Zog by tomorrow, in which case just a little more luck will mean deploying to Live during Daily Maintenance on Friday. That's a lot of luck to ask for though, pretty likely things will be delayed until sometime next week.
Garric Orcsbane
Will this affect things that are already in queue/production?
Unfortunately no, the timer for each project gets set when it's queued up. If you've got any really long crafting projects ready to go, you might want to hold off on them until the update is deployed. That could potentially be as early as Thursday or Friday, but only if we get really lucky on the first build.