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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Hobson Fiffledown
So, say Character 1 drops some honeypot chats in general about the location of a gusher. Character 2 stomps out to go harvest said honeypot and gets quickly attacked, killed, and looted by Character 1. Is that fair play or a violation of the ToS?

In general, that would be fair play. However, if the victim had just posted "What are gushers?" or had recently done anything else to make clear they hadn't been made aware of the risks, then not so much.

Hobson Fiffledown
Who decides what "haven't had a chance to learn the game" means?

Paizo does, which basically means I do. It's admittedly a flexible concept, but anyone still hanging around Thornkeep and asking a lot of questions would qualify. Anyone gathering in a distant monster hex or fighting off tough monsters on their own generally wouldn't.

Hobson Fiffledown
What is tricking?

Your example above is a pretty classic variation. In general, it would be deceiving someone into doing (or not doing) something. That said, don't get too bogged down in semantics, as there are certainly things we'd consider clear cases of trickery that might not technically meet that specific definition. For the most part, you should recognize trickery when you see it (or consider doing it).

Hobson Fiffledown
How would an ambush-style attacker tell the difference between a beginning player's character and an experienced player's 1k alt?

Err on the side of caution. In particular, don't set up an ambush for people near Thornkeep, as that would increase the odds of catching less experienced players.

Hobson Fiffledown
Would the planned release in November of the core rulebook mark the end of this policy?

Not all on its own. In particular, that will be outside the game, and it will still be quite possible for someone to just download the game and start playing. The important thing will be for us to feel comfortable that any player under those circumstances gets adequate messaging to be careful of other players before other players can take advantage of them. Things like the warning messages when first entering a lower-security hex are a first step in that direction, but we'll need more in-game messaging before that's really adequate.
Bob
Decius
Related to the new vault logging: I've noticed that a lot of "Item Category" or "Variety" of refined things are weird. Is there some logic or reason behind them, like why "X Codex" is "Resource" but "X Codex Collection" is Wood?

Oh, and is there a place where I can find a table of all of the types of raw resource item names including the descriptors, and what stocks they have, including recipes and expendables? I bet I could extract all that from the available data, but I'd probably end up making too many wrong assumptions.

Looks like the basic difference between Codices and Codex Collections is that Codices are crafted, so they get a category, and Resource was probably the best match on the category list. Codex Collections are Refined, so they get a Variety (similar to Raw Materials), and Wood was the best choice on that list.

I'm not finding anything about the raw materials in the Public Spreadsheet, so I'm not sure when or where we ever officially released that information.
Bob
Tyncale
Biome, I was looking for that word, thank you. smile About the effort involved, I have seen youtubes where I see a guy "prettying up" a Unity landscape in real time, before my very eyes, in minutes. We may have to take that with a grain of salt though.

I agree that the sheer amount of Hexes is a problem. smile Still, buy 7 types of Crops from the Unity shelf, let us say Lettuce, Corn, Wheat, Strawberries, Melons, Zuccini, Sunflowers, then plop these down on 80 Cropland hexes in a somewhat believable fashion.

Do you have to place these one at a time? Can you "paint" a surface with these, like I have seen people paint entire Mountain ranges in youtubes? Would this bog down framerate? Can the engine handle this? I am curious about all these things.

I am pretty sure the roads in PFO are also painted on, looking at the rather silly way they sometimes follow the landscape. So this stuff is possible in Unity. I agree that "tidying up" all the odd bits is a huge amount of work, but that can be done later.

It is in fact closer to "painting" large areas than to placing individual plants, and a lot of that painting is actually done using various algorithms so we don't have to do it by hand. Even then, the world is huge, and we tend to have to load it up in small chunks that each take a long time to process, and we often have to manipulate the algorithms or special-case certain areas to fix various problems. It's also done at a pretty early stage of a very complex terrain import process, which is why I've stuck to fixes that I can do on the already-imported terrain. Then I have to file bug reports to duplicate each of those fixes the next time we do a pass on the actual terrain assets, because otherwise all those fixes will get overridden by the next import. As a result, we're pretty limited on what we can do for now.

And yes, there are probably some performance considerations in regard to increasing the number of textures we're using. We can use various tricks to manage that, such as making sure that you can only see so many different plants from any one location, but that requires more care and time to get right.
Bob
Tyncale
Looks like there are more drawbacks to having interns currently then advantages. But definately a good thing to bring up. My son is in his first year of Informatics at the University, and though he is learning stuff in a fast pace, I can see how much guidance he would require in a professional team. smile

Bob, I wanted to ask something about using more assets in the game, like Plants, Flowers and Trees. Are you committed to only create and use true-to-Pathfinder assets for structures, Flora and Fauna? Or would it be possible to use more off-the-shelf Unity assets for Flora, for instance?

I understand that you only want true Pathfinder creatures in the game, like the great looking Goblins. I also believe that the structures we see have been created according to Pathfinder standards, though I have to say I see a lot of similarities in overall look when comparing to the structures in Shroud of the Avatar, another Unity game. Must be the coloring or texturing mostly.

Are you guys restricted for Flora in this regard too? I ask this because I think the world could greatly benefit by adding much more diversity and color! to the different regions in the world. Or would using standard Unity Flora Assets be too expensive anyway at the moment? Would they need a lot of expensive adaptation before they could be used in the world? I read something on the Shroud of the Avatar forums, how much work there still was involved in preparing an off-the-shelf Statue of a Horse (created by someone else) for use in that game.

Is this the same for a simple Cherry tree? Or for instance rows of Lettuce in one of the Cropland hexes?

We actually do already have some licensed assets in the game, but we usually have to tweak it a bit to get it to look right next to our existing assets. We do that whenever we think we can get to our desired final result more efficiently than starting from scratch, but the exact amount of tweaking required varies widely. We have no problem adding additional licensed assets, but even if we found stuff that fit in well without any tweaking (and you probably don't want me doing any of that kind of tweaking), it's still a fair amount of work just to get things imported and then distribute them appropriately throughout the world. That means it's the usual prioritization exercise for us to decide what we're best off spending our time on, and that usually means we're best off focusing on things more closely related to other things Cole and I have been tackling over the past couple years. Things like this are probably best tackled when we're either running low on promising things to do, or when we're able to add someone who can really focus on more art-related tasks.
Bob
I agree that infinite inventories on logged-out alts has some problems, but it's going to require a lot of thought to get that system right. Those kinds of issues were intended to be explored once we get to the Death tech (particularly the part where you'd always log back in at a shrine), but we may have to consider shorter-term answers if problematic behaviors become common.
Bob
There actually is a logout timer of sorts in the game, though it's not necessarily obvious to the player logging out. After you quit your game client, your character actually sticks around on the server defenseless until they're out of combat for about 10 seconds. So you could log out if there aren't any enemies nearby, but doing so while anyone's there to attack you is extremely risky.

We could increase that timer a bit, but we don't currently want to make it so long that someone's likely to arrive from out-of-sight and start attacking you. In the long-run, we'd like to make it clearer when you log out, probably with the option to either stick around until your character is free to log out (so you can jump in and defend yourself if necessary) or to just cross your fingers and quit the client because you're in a hurry. At that point, we could more easily consider a longer timer.
Bob
Decius
I was expecting that the raiders noticed the counterattack and got what they had looted onto the mule(s) and gotten the mule(s) away, but had left some loot on the husk in front of the holding.

In that case, the counterattackers can definitely take everything left on the husk and put it back in the vault, they just have to do so a little bit at a time. That leaves them vulnerable to a counter-counterattack until they get everything back to safety.
Bob
Also, to simplify my previous statement about "scamming":

Tricking new/newer players who likely haven't had a chance to learn the game's risks would be considered taking advantage of a "bug" (in this case the "bug" of the game not yet adequately educating new players of those risks) and therefore violates the TOS.

Tricking anyone by taking advantage of "bugs" (including, but not limited to, incomplete systems or limitations of the current UI) pretty obviously counts as taking advantage of a bug and therefore violates the TOS.

Tricking experienced players (without taking advantage of bugs and such) is part of the competitive nature of the game, though doing so should open you to various in-game consequences, ranging from revenge killings to limited facility access to lacking support to being stuck staying near Thornkeep. If we find that certain game mechanics are providing too much protection from those consequences, we'll look at limiting those protections further.
Bob
For the moment, we'll continue with a general policy that players shouldn't PvP in Thornkeep, but we'll revisit the issue as we polish up the Opt-In PvP features and if problems start cropping up with the policy (particularly if people start behaving aggressively then running to Thornkeep to avoid the consequences). Long-run, the goal isn't to have Thornkeep be a perfect area of safety that one can always run to, at least not without accepting some limitations for receiving that protection (lack of support, limited gathering, etc…smile, but I don't think we're quite ready to open that up yet given how hard it is to play the game without at least being in a company. I'll also look into just plain blocking PvP in certain hexes so that it's more of a mechanic than a policy.
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
Bob
Decius
Any raiders worth their salt are going to bring a mule or three with them. Meanwhile any counterattack by the holding owners can loot the husk and deposit it directly to the bank.

Good point on the counter-attack, we'll at least make sure that the original owners can't steal everything out in one fell swoop and deposit it back into safety.
Actually the mule being the property of the raiders puts the kaibosh on that, doesn't it? I mean they will have to "loot" the mule just like any.

Once things are on the raider's mule, things balance back out. I just want to make sure that the defenders (or some subset of them) don't technically own the husk, which would let them take everything off the husk with one click, and then do a quick Deposit All to put everything back in a vault.