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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
Fiery
If you consider the ability of multiple settlements/organizations joining to siege a single city to be a blatant game imbalance that can horribly backfire, then yea, I'm OK with that. Bob is absolutely correct that even in our current state, that can be achieved, it's just a little more annoying - not nearly to the level that any groups interested in such teaming up would reconsider doing so because of it. I agree with Duffy that the ability to infinitely feud pretty easily is an issue, and it seems to me that we could think of a relatively easy-to-implement solution. That solution could be as simple as a bob-policy to not feud longer than, say, a week, with a week off, or something.
That is nicely constructive. I like it. Not sure that it would work that way in a large pop game, but we are all pretty cool here in this one.

@ Bob
What do you say to considering some hot fixes along those lines, Sir Bob? On the gang-up siege thing, have you considered the possibility(as mentioned above) of 6 different PVP windows that defenders would need to juggle during a siege? Or about the fact that defenders would only have the option of attacking one siege camp during each? Pretty easy for a partnership/alliance to defend(with 6 groups to draw from) their siege camps. Sorry if you addressed this. I am working on little sleep this week. smile
P.S. And I know that with how things are currently, that we could do something similar with workarounds anyhoo, but it still seems a terrible advantage.

I'm open to a policy solution. Before stating a policy, I'd like to better understand the ways that infinite feuding can be done. If it's just that it's trivially easy to feud for a while, end it, and then restart it again almost immediately, then I'm down with saying that companies shouldn't just feud basically the same people repetitively without giving them a week-long break. If people are gaming the system in other ways to effectively feud someone endlessly, then we might have to say something a bit more complicated.

On the other hand, I honestly suspect at this point that I could handwave a general "don't permafeud, it's annoying" and everyone would do their best to avoid that tactic, or even leave someone alone who'd clearly been feuded by others too many times in recent weeks.
Bob
Vakiri
Bob
Unfortunately, we don't currently have a feasible way to duplicate the state of the live server on the test server. However, I will be simulating a siege as best I can on the test server, and will invite anyone interested to participate in various parts of it. I can use GM commands to approximate some of the live server influence numbers and such to see what kinds of problems crop up.

This confuses me. If you can restore the state of the live server from a backup of that data, why can't you restore such a backup on the test server ?

If you can't restore the state of the live server from a backup, you need to work on that before working on much of anything else, I'd say.

So I guess I'm missing something.

The test servers are running on a smaller number of physical servers, and therefore can't run as many hexes and are set up differently. To transfer just the amount of a live backup that could run on the smaller test server setup would require some adjustments. I'm sure it could be done, but it's not something we've had a chance to set up a process for or build tools for yet.
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
Alternative to multiple building destruction for siege victory.
Not sure if you can do this easily or not.

Stage One of Siege: Hexes are cleared of holdings and Siege Camps are placed. Bulk begins being reduced(daily or whatever) by the number and quality of Camps.
Stage Two of Siege: Once the Bulk Resources are exhausted, the value added by settlement structures is reduced(daily or whatever) by the number and quality of Camps. Instead of being destroyed, they are "turned off" as their pt value is overcome, by the Dev, if that is possible. Turned off in either a particular order set by the attacker or by the Dev but The Keep is exempt.
Stage Three of Siege: Next PVP window, after all other buildings are "off", there is a grand assault on the Keep just like capturing a holding. A new Keep must be constructed and placed by the successful besiegers, once they have finalized the takeover. This reactivates the buildings.

As I said, not sure if this is possible. Would be nice to have a finale "Last Stand" battle at the Keep. This could also open up possibilities for "plussing" up settlement buildings for more defensive value, including Keeps… and including resultant damage to buildings that have been through a siege.

For stage two, I believe I can turn off buildings, but I suspect they might turn back on at the next downtime, or alternatively might get instantly destroyed if the weekly support payment gets missed. I can look into it, but if we go down this "rebuilding" route, I was mostly just planning to post a quick daily status saying "the following buildings are considered damaged and will need to be rebuilt after the siege ends to prevent them from falling over."

For stage three, a battle at the keep is pretty much exactly what we were hoping to implement, but it's too much work right now. Certainly a possible addition for later.
Bob
Bringslite of Staalgard
@ Bob
Can you share with us yet your thoughts on how simply moving Bulk Resources into the settlement will affect sieges? Will it be possible? Will there be times when it is not? Maybe if the "ring" of encirclement is broken? How will YOU be able to prevent that without coding problems?

I'll take inventory of the settlement's bulk goods at the time the siege is declared, and that will be the maximum amount of bulk goods that need to get destroyed before moving on to the structures. There won't be anything preventing the settlement from bringing in more, I just won't count them.

Providing some kind of opportunity to bring in a limited amount of bulk goods when the settlement isn't fully surrounded is an interesting possibility and I'm open to it. Would need to be careful to keep it from turning into an easy way to just break the siege briefly every week or so and stock back up completely, but it does add a nice incentive for the attackers to keep all 6 hexes sieging and for the defenders to clear at least one of them. And if nothing else, at least a lot of bulk goods are getting destroyed.
Bob
Vakiri
Bob
Vakiri
It sounds to me like this is going to get implemented, no matter what is said here about the possible down sides.

I suggest that any changes along these lines be available on the test server first so that the effects can be investigated there before any of the changes are made to the live server. I suggest that include using a back
up copy of the data from the live server on the test server so that any player currently active would have the
same resources, stats, levels, etc.

If that can't be done, then restoring the game from a back up after a severe data or disk loss isn't feasible, so it
would be a good test of that as well.

The update will definitely be put up on the test server first, and we're always prepared to use our standard backup and restoration capabilities.

The update itself will actually be less risky than most previous updates. In essence, most of the big changes come from the GM-adjudicated rule changes, with the update focused on adding just enough content and functionality to support the siege rules. The actual changes to the build are also all very low risk, touching systems that are both well understood and easily tested.

Hm, it sounds like my suggestion wasn't clear.

I wasn't talking about the stability or ease of the changes, I was asking that the in-game effects of these changes be tested on the test server - run a seige there, with current characters, settlements, etc.

That is, how hard is it to actually seige a settlement, try to take it back, move seige equipment, etc.

Unfortunately, we don't currently have a feasible way to duplicate the state of the live server on the test server. However, I will be simulating a siege as best I can on the test server, and will invite anyone interested to participate in various parts of it. I can use GM commands to approximate some of the live server influence numbers and such to see what kinds of problems crop up.
Bob
For PvP windows, we'd like to make those match that of the defending settlement. It's possible that we can get in a code fix that will simply set the PvP windows for Siege Engine hexes equal to that of the neighboring settlement instead of the owning company. If it turns out we can't do that easily, then we'd been considering requiring that the attackers set their PvP windows to match the defender as best they can.
Bob
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bob
Mostly, this change means that multiple companies/settlements can participate openly, as themselves, instead of gaming the system. I'm sure there are some cases where groups that couldn't quite have gamed the system will be able to coordinate an attack this way, but I don't think this will be a huge swing toward giving power to larger groups.

That's a huge deal. With that I can use as many companies as possible to get the needed X total influence without having to transfer companies between settlements and experiencing screwy and annoying things like losing bank access and messing with PvP windows. I would have thought in the future such repercussions would be even more severe or it would be mostly impossible for most due to things like Alignment and Factions. Since everyone is wielding far more influence than they have players this makes it way easier to use those dead or AFK accounts boosting influence caps to impact other players. Increasing the number of feuds in a multi company attack is not really a cost, it's trivial to feud forever.

It is true that we've been planning to discourage companies from hopping between settlements, though another way to think of it is that we largely just wanted to reduce the incentives to hop between settlements in the first place. Overall, we wanted to improve the abilities of allies to work together.


Bob
Gamerson
Where will the siege recipes come from? Must we get them from mob drops? Will they be Engineer or Seneschal recipes and what kind of raw materials and/or refined materials will be required to build them? Will they be available as +1 through +3 with the possibility of getting +4 or +5s on lucky rolls? How much influence will it take to deploy them? Thank you.

The recipes are set up as standard T2/T3 recipe drops from mobs, and are for Engineers. I'll try to post the actual recipes tomorrow, but the general answer is that they use existing T2/T3 refined materials that are somewhat similar to the T1 refined materials used for holdings and outposts. Since they're crafting recipes, the + value is dependent on the refined materials included plus your Engineer bonus.

I'll also try to post the influence requirements tomorrow, but again, they're similar to the requirements for holdings and outposts, with the T3 versions having higher requirements.
Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Not to mention a bunch of groups splitting the cost six ways makes it six times harder for the defenders to win by attrition than the attackers assuming even odds otherwise.

For everything I can think of offhand except influence, it would always be possible for multiple groups to share the cost by simply "donating to the cause."

For influence, company/settlement-hopping would get around a lot of the influence issues in a not-so-desirable way, but admittedly makes it a bit harder to pull together the needed influence. On the other hand, multiple companies doing the attacks means multiple companies need to feud the targeted settlement, so there are added influence costs for doing things that way.

Mostly, this change means that multiple companies/settlements can participate openly, as themselves, instead of gaming the system. I'm sure there are some cases where groups that couldn't quite have gamed the system will be able to coordinate an attack this way, but I don't think this will be a huge swing toward giving power to larger groups.
Bob
Duffy Swiftshadow
This can create a chicken and egg problem, someone starts setting up for a siege and the defender slaps down more buildings to block it, negating the attacker's prep work. This can also move sieging entirely out of the realm of possibility for some groups depending on how upgrade costs for siege engines work. Assuming influence is a big factor it once again feeds back into the ridiculously lopsided influence problems built into the current company/influence system.

Settlement defense numbers will be established when the attacker declares the siege is beginning (presumably before the first holding attack), after which increases to the number of structures or to the settlement level won't get calculated in. Likewise, there will be a policy against changing PvP windows once a siege is declared. A big goal of this system is to get settlements to operate at more consistent sizes/levels/windows.

And yes, sieging certain enemies will likely be out of reach for some groups, but we do want most companies that are currently able to attempt an inactive settlement takeover to also be capable of participating in a siege. One thing that will help with this is that we're removing the restriction that everything needs to be placed by a single company, or even by companies from a single settlement. As long as a company can place the appropriately upgraded engines and camps for a single hex, that company can participate. Even at the claiming stage, that company can place the required holdings/outposts in one of the hexes while others claim the remaining hexes, as long as they all agree on what company they're going to turn the settlement over to after victory.