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All posts created by Bob

Bringslite of Staalgard
First, using the term "hexes" and "allies" makes me think that 4 different Allies will need to have at least one of a hex's surrounding hexes as a border. I can't see that working very well even if you mean "allies" as in different companies from the same settlement. Like that it would seem difficult and a bit maddening when it is time to "bring home the bacon" or the bulk. Each company would have holdings all over the map/territory.

Yeah, guess that wasn't the clearest wording. Perhaps this is better phrasing:

Two hexes are "allied" if they are owned by the same company or by companies that are allied to each other (members of the same settlement or of allied settlements). If on any given day a hex has at least 4 allied neighbors, then that hex can't be captured that day. There's an exception for hexes that neighbor an unallied settlement, so that you can always try to reclaim your core six hexes.

There's no requirement that the 4 neighbors are controlled by different allies, just that 4 neighbors are controlled by allied forces, possibly including your own.

I question whether there even exists today "established alliances" deserving of such protection. What I see are hollow shells of previous organizations that would crumble the minute you kick unsubscribed characters out of companies.

Under today's rules I can feud folks and see if they actually have the numbers to keep their holdings when their PvP window occurs.

Under the EE12 rules there are going to be holdings completely immune from attack. The company owning that holding might not even have any subscribed players. And all the holdings around it may also be owned by companies without subscribed players.

If you want to reward "established alliances" with stability, at least make sure the established alliances you are coddling are subscribed to the game. I would strongly urge you to expunge all unsubscribed players from companies before instituting any rules granting holdings immunity from attack. Under the current rules, the hollow shells can, at least, be fairly challenged.

We do hope at some point to fiddle with the influence rules to help with those issues, but we don't have a plan for it yet and there are a lot of complications for us to work through.

Hex protection shouldn't really protect a less populated alliance from being taken down for all that long, even if they've spread pretty far. There are lots of unclaimable hexes that make it difficult to maintain a long border, so strategic targeting choices will often let you break through the lines a little more quickly. There's also only so far a border can spread before it starts to run up against non-allied settlements, so there's a limit on deep an alliance's protected territory can be.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Here is a thought,

If the over reaching goal for support is to curb bad players with bad reputations, then once you got all your other PvP changes in, why not make support tied to the reputation mechanic in game?

Would have to make some other changes to prevent folks from gaming the system and it comes with its own downsides, but if you have enough other outlets for PvP and this whole thing is about social control, then I don't see why losing support should be at the settlement level. Wouldn't it be better to do it at the individual or company level if that is the rationale behind the design, or are there other balancing aspects that require it to be at the settlement level?

Curbing bad behavior is one thing the design uses support for, but it's not the only thing it's used for. Support is worked into the balance for multiple systems, particularly as an incentive for settlements to grow and upgrade, and it isn't easy to rebalance all those systems if the nature of support changes too much.

When it is being used to curb bad behavior, the reason it's done at the settlement level is to give the community itself some leverage in defining bad behavior, as well as some flexibility to redefine bad behavior on the fly and to apply it to behaviors that aren't easily tracked by the game's mechanics. In that respect, handling support at the company level could also work, but it's easier to be more granular about support at the settlement level.
Bringslite of Staalgard
I have a hard time imagining a month's sub being worth bumping up a "plus" on an item. Except maybe for Settlement Buildings!

Azoth will be very granular. You'd use a lot of it for a month of game time, and usually smaller amounts to boost your crafting upgrades (varying by the value of your crafting project and how much boosting it needed). Boosting a settlement building would tend to require quite a bit of Azoth.
I believe the Inherent and Passive channels are basically the same right now. That's one of the systems I plan to review as part of the polish phase, since it's clearly misleading.

Do you need to do that review before you can answer unambiguously whether it's working as intended?

Well, in a certain sense, it's very clear that some aspects aren't working as intended, but I can't answer exactly which parts aren't working as intended until I do the review. I believe the ultimate solution will involve both combining some channels with similar names together and adding some additional channels to allow more stacking, but I'll have to do the review to figure out the details.
Bringslite of Staalgard
@ Bob
Sorry but I have exhausted my questions/concerns (as far as the info I have anyway) about the first update. Are you ready for talking about Phase Two? Can you tell us anything about Azoth? Will it be tradable ingame?

I can give some quick answers for things from the later phases, but we'll usually want to hold off on too detailed of conversations until we're closer to implementing things so that we can focus more on the things we're either implementing now or getting ready to implement.

We're still working out the details on Azoth, but the basic idea is that it's a material available for purchase in relatively large quantities in the store. The most straight-forward use of it is to convert it into game time at a preset exchange rate, but it's also intended to have various in-game uses. The first one we plan to implement is to allow you to use it in crafting projects to boost the plus value of your crafting project. It will never boost the end result by more than a single plus (or to above +5), and you'll have to get at least part-way up to that next plus without it, but it will let you close the gap if you're just a little short on upgraded refined materials.

It will be trade-able in-game, and you could also buy or sell it at an auction house. It will not be lootable.
Those are all fair points about the downsides of support. We'll continue to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of support as we move forward, just as we do for other systems. For the moment, support is heavily weaved into a lot of the game's balance, and we've already seen a lot of the problems that came from switching to universal support. Adding support back in, but in a much less punitive way than it was originally implemented, should at least improve on the current overall game balance, and we can re-evaluate as more systems come in over the next year.
Bringslite of Staalgard
One thing I have been mulling over for a very long time: Back when the game was still just a "whiteboard" concept and we were always discussing the terrible way that griefers play and what they do to games, we were all pretty gung-ho about severe punishment.

What if we were/are OVER Zealous and that is helping cripple and further "niche-ify" the game which really limits the potential player base?

Many of the points made in this post will get touched on in the Opt-In PvP thread I'll create soon to spell out the changes we're planning on making. We do very much want to free up PvP-favoring players while also protecting PvP-averse players to a much greater degree than before. We still want some mechanisms in to reduce truly toxic behavior, but we want to make sure we're not disincentivizing reasonable PvP behavior that both sides have at least implicitly agreed to and have been appropriately informed about.

In terms of support, while I listed "punishment" as one reason for the system, I think the more important one is that it gives an ongoing advantage that more successful settlements can offer to all of their members at increasing levels. I think this new version of support offers a reasonable compromise between crushing players because they lack support and still making support meaningful, while also being incredibly simple to implement. Eventually I'd like to explore some more complicated solutions that would make the separation between "what you get because you've trained to a high rank" and "what you get because your settlement supports you in your efforts" feel more intuitive and satisfying, but those are going to take a lot of thought and implementation time.
Is the intention to leave it possible to train feats (at an allied settlement) that you don't have support for, getting ~half of the ranks as benefit?

Currently, support level also limits your ability to train as well. The only reason people can currently train ranks that aren't available in their own settlements due to having a low settlement level is that they're universally getting support level 20.

That said, we could certainly consider changing that aspect of the system. With some of the changes coming in, it may not make as much sense as it used to. I've filed a bug report to look into it further.
Can we anticipate a way to voluntarily transfer holding/outpost ownership betweeen companies without causing structural damage? Lots of decisions were made before any intention of holding level limiting outpost level was mentioned.

We'd like to allow transfers eventually, but it would be a fair amount of work to implement and isn't on our already fairly packed schedule. Best I can say at this point is hopefully everyone stockpiled enough bulk goods during these times of plenty to balance out the costs of any necessary teardowns and replacements.