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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Midnight
Deposits are close to instantaneous, right?

Bring in the mule when no one's around… unload to a player… player logs out… player logs in during the PvP window when she gets the all clear from her mates exposing her to about 10 seconds of login lag and 2 seconds to make a bank deposit.

Seems too easy to exploit around.

I like where this discussion is going, but we need to keep shooting down any exploitability.

Absolutely. We'll want to talk through all those possibilities when we get closer to actually working on that area to make sure we consider all possible exploits.
Bob
Nihimon
My apologies if this is already a well-known issue.

I think I understand that buffs generally don't stack if they're in the same "Channel". Travel Domain says its Channel is "Inherent". Pioneer says its Channel is "Passive". However, based on some tests I just ran with Decius on the Test Server, I'm pretty sure that the Speed bonuses from Pioneer and Travel Domain don't stack with each other.

Is that observation correct? If so, is it working as intended?

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.
Bob
Duffy Swiftshadow
The more we talk about this the more I'm wondering: what exactly is support supposed to do that's beneficial to the game loop?

Among it's purposes are:

It's a major benefit that settlements can offer to attract and retain members.

It's an added incentive to keep your settlement running at a high settlement level, rather than just raising it occasionally to let everyone get some training and then dropping back down for a while.

It keeps companies/players generally operating within community standards, since they don't want to risk losing support and finding that nobody's willing to take them in.


Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
@ Bob
Since you do not intend to have ally's settlement level be a real factor in any way beyond the specific settlement itself and there are some seriously wonky imbalances concerning the way that feat ranks are laid out, what about allowing some sort of coin sink cost to keep settlement citizen's ranks up when the Sett level has to be lower for whatever reason…. including homelessness?

There would be no way to keep it up forever if it were to be costly, but it might mitigate some concerns about… how can I take my settlement back if I lose it and live at "Hotel Thorn Keep" and have only support to 8.

We've talked about some other possible ways to get both support and training and we'll hopefully get a chance to work on that in the future. One of the most likely things for us to look into is the long-standing plan to make support drain away slowly, over days or weeks, so that you'd have some time to find a new settlement (or retake yours) before you completely lost support. There are also multiple complications with that, and for now we have to keep things relatively simple.

In general, our expectation was that players who lost too much support would relatively quickly find safe harbor in another settlement, possibly an allied one. Any company that couldn't find another settlement to take them in at least temporarily would likely be a company with such a bad reputation that any settlement taking them in was subject to repurcussions, and part of the point of support is that companies with that bad a reputation are supposed to have a harder time of things.
Bob
You are a Troll
Bob
Plus, with the new version of support, note that the rounding up aspect means that characters can effectively always operate at least one rank up for every feat than the current settlement level would support. For feats that don't have a lot of ranks, that can mean that even a small boost in settlement level still lets those feats operate at full strength. As an example, even a settlement level of 12 (which isn't very expensive) will let most attack feats continue to run at rank 6.

Think that is a very bad idea. The feat that is supported should be determined by the level of the trainer necessary to train the feat, not the arbitrary *number* that denotes how many ranks you bought in that feat. That is WAY to generous as the only thing you are really nerfing then is crafting feats which have a full 20 ranks to purchase.

The supported rank for each feat is determined by the necessary trainer level. We then take your supported rank and your trained rank, average them, and round up. In the example I gave above for attack feats, settlement level 12 allows trainers to train attacks at rank 5, so if your trained rank is 6 and your supported rank is 5, that averages to 5.5 and rounds up to an active rank of 6. Fortunately, there are plenty of other feats (feature, armor, bonuses, power, hit points) feats that are a lot more granular and don't get as much of a benefit from rounding. And even the crafters get a small benefit from rounding about half the time, though admittedly not as much overall. Plus, the crafters don't forget any of their learned recipes, so it's not all bad for them.
Bob
You are a Troll
Maybe only allow bulk deposits during the PVP window so the attackers know when to expect to go looking for them? It just isn't realistic to expect people to man the siege 24/7 like they would in *real life*

That would be one way to make it more interesting. Worth looking at when we get to automating sieges more, since it may just be a minor addition to implementing a restriction on bulk deposits in the first place.
Bob
Stilachio Thrax
Bob
If the attackers do get to the point of actually surrounding the settlement with siege equipment, we'll also restrict the settlement's ability to repair damage during their 4 non-PvP days. With the rules I'm currently writing up, I simply won't count any new structures or bulk resources as part of the defenses if they're added after the siege begins. When we eventually automate the sieges, we'll have mechanics that restrict new buildings, or upkeep deposits, or whatever is appropriate to restrict during that time.

This is one thing that really bothers me. If the defenders can mule in additional bulk goods under the noses of the attackers, they really should be credited to the defense. Given the way crafting and placing buildings works, I can understand why you might want to restrict that aspect, but bringing in bulk is a participation-heavy, risky activity if under siege and it should be encouraged (and the attackers should be encouraged to stop it). It gives the defender the option to try to hold out longer than the attacker is willing to besiege them, rather than directly fight over the siege camps/engines with a potentially numerically superior foe. And instead of PVP fights that are more or less exactly like the current holding fights, you'll maybe get mobile, dynamic fights for control of the supply mules.

I'm all for that if we reach a point where bringing in additional bulk goods really is risky during a siege. Currently, you'd just mule them in when things aren't that busy. There are certainly things we could do in the long run to make smuggling past sieging forces more interesting, but in the short run it's a lot easier to keep things balanced by restricting that behavior to some degree.
Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
I am a bit confused. First right now there aren't that many juicy targets and without some ability to establish those sorts of defenses in some way other than settlement level any new target could get squashed before it even gets a chance. In their if there was already mix of big, medium, and small size groups I think this would hold up but that just ain't the case right now.

Looking back at my original statement, I see now that it could be taken two ways. What I meant in saying that large alliances had lots of juicy targets to choose from was not that the large alliances had other choices of where to attack, but that large alliances have lots of territory (by definition) and therefore present lots of juicy opportunities for the defending settlement to counter-attack. Admittedly they're also more powerful and may be able to withstand those counter-attacks, but they're probably also more spread out and have more enemies to deal with. It's not a perfect strategy, but it can work sometimes.

Establishing a new settlement was always meant to be done by a larger group that had already proven its capability of holding a reasonable amount of territory. If the founders have so many enemies nearby that their settlement would be constantly under attack from the very beginning, then they probably also wouldn't be able to meet the territory requirements for establishing the settlement in the first place. For those looking to go it alone, the best bet would be to find a place further away from the established alliances, somewhere that's not being fought over (harder to do on the current map, I admit). For those with backing from other settlements, a better bet would be to establish the settlement somewhere that helps meet the needs of those other settlements so that they'll help participate in its defenses.

That said, while establishing a new settlement is meant to be difficult, we also don't want to incentivize others to constantly take down every new nearby settlement. We'll try to find ways to balance the costs and rewards of settlement warfare so that new settlements aren't everyone's favorite target.

Paddy Fitzpatrick
Would settlement buildings or this DI thing I keep hearing about be an alternative? Someone can get some help for that a lot faster to build up of they have the backing of some other existing group.

There's certainly some potential to use DI or specific buildings to give starting settlements a leg up.

Paddy Fitzpatrick
Speaking of which, how will support and stuff work with alliance mechanics? Will there be ways for allies to help some new guy out and still have their combat characters retain their full strength? Given that gear tiers and numbers are really the only things that make a real difference in group PvP (there is not nearly as much advanced tactics or other force multipliers as there could be in a game like this), if the attacking alliance can fight at full T3 support while the defending alliance has to fight with the substantially lower T2 support of the new settlement then what is the point of trying at all?

We don't plan on providing support at an alliance level, but those characters helping out from other settlements in the alliance would still be fighting at full power. And of course the alliance can always provide the necessary bulk goods to let the new settlement operate at a higher settlement level for a while. Plus, with the new version of support, note that the rounding up aspect means that characters can effectively always operate at least one rank up for every feat than the current settlement level would support. For feats that don't have a lot of ranks, that can mean that even a small boost in settlement level still lets those feats operate at full strength. As an example, even a settlement level of 12 (which isn't very expensive) will let most attack feats continue to run at rank 6.

Paddy Fitzpatrick
Sorry to be this blunt about it, but if all else is equal and one side with otherwise equal numbers gets to fight at full strength while the other is forced into fighting at half strength it just seems like an arbitrary limitation. How will this do anything besides make the big groups bigger, benefit big blobs who just want to throw weight around without regard to what may be best for the game or the community, and basically make nothing worth fighting for if not enough big groups give the new settlement or faction their blessing.

How could these kinds of problems be mitigated? Everyone will have to join an existing bloc and I just see no way that this could be beneficial for the game in the long run.

A lot of this can be mitigated by adding some costs to maintaining large alliances and by continuing to add features that make it harder to project force at long distances. It's tricky to balance all these out, but our goal is definitely not to wind up with a world where the only option is to join one of a small number of large blocs.
Bob
We definitely intend for it to be possible to take down even the most established settlement, and it shouldn't generally require anything on the order of 27 weeks to do so. It might take that long to do so very methodically, or if there's a lot of back-and-forth taking of territory along the way, or if the settlement is buried deep inside an established alliance, but it should be possible to do so more quickly with a powerful enough force of attackers. We don't expect it to happen often, but we expect it to be possible, and we do expect lone settlements and settlements on the outer borders of alliances to change hands more often.

In terms of being able to build for 4 days and be attacked for 3, that does give the defenders some opportunity to rebuild, but inside of smaller territory. If they lose territory each week, they'll still eventually fall, though they may eventually be able to concentrate their forces enough to prevent further losses, while the attackers are now more spread out and vulnerable during their own PvP windows. If the attackers do get to the point of actually surrounding the settlement with siege equipment, we'll also restrict the settlement's ability to repair damage during their 4 non-PvP days. With the rules I'm currently writing up, I simply won't count any new structures or bulk resources as part of the defenses if they're added after the siege begins. When we eventually automate the sieges, we'll have mechanics that restrict new buildings, or upkeep deposits, or whatever is appropriate to restrict during that time.

All that said, I'll agree that we do want a certain amount of stability, particularly deep within established alliances. We expect more PvP-averse players to feel relatively safe in those areas. We want the borders and less populated areas to be more dynamic, with holdings changing hands reasonably often, and settlements changing hands occasionally. More PvP-interested players would spend their time in those areas. Pushing back the borders of a successful, established alliance and taking it completely down will be a big deal, and very difficult to pull off, but at the very least technically possible.
Bob
Smitty
Thanks for clarification- was getting bit confused- with how all that was going to play out-
and really didn't like the idea of taking damage for 7 days when you can only try to break a siege for 3 days.

That being said-
Still one question with 3 day windows..
Day 1 you take 2 outpost.
Day 2 you fight over the holding.. you win..
Day 3?? you don't fight because on day 4 you cant actually take a holding making anything you do on day 3 a waste of time-
(unless you manage to take 2 outpost on day 2- day 3 is a meaningless conflict day.)
So Will the vulnerable state of a holding carry over to the next 3 day window?-

Meaning that if you take 2 holdings on day 3 then on day 1 of a following week- the holding is vulnerable?

We weren't planning on making any changes to how long holdings remain vulnerable after the outposts are overrun. Attackers just need to take into account the 3-day window and finish off the outposts on either day 1 or 2, and the holding the day after.

Once we add in raids and PvE invaders, there will be the possibility of needing to fend off attacks every day, just not necessarily complete takeover attempts.