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All posts created by Bob

Stilachio Thrax
The system shouldn't go live until this is resolved. I can't attack an enemy in my settlement with getting attacked by my own guards, and with this system they can build the tools to try to destroy my settlement WITHIN my settlement and mule them in a minuscule period of time to set up a siege. smile


Actually, that could be somewhat appropriate, in the case of a coup.

But yes, this will be an important point of discussion this week, and I think there are some relatively simple solutions.
Another issue: if siege equipment can be taken from a mule, it can be destroyed instantly by that character. That seems wrong to me - a single character should not be able to instantly destroy such a large item.

This also might be resolved by making siege equipment a mobile like a mule rather than an item like a sword. Then, it could take effort and time to destroy, akin to a tower from the Nhur Athemon escalations.

We hope to make some of these aspects more realistic in the long-run, but for now placing the Siege Engines and Camps will work the same way that placing Holdings and Outposts does. The one big difference will be that the Siege Engine and Camp kits will be significantly heavier than typical kits, requiring a mule to carry them (and probably a higher tier mule, at that). That said, these kits should be so valuable that you'd rather hold onto the mule yourself if at all possible.
Father Bronin
If we can siege PC cities, what about the NPC cities? Assuming the "Great Cataclysm" will not be happening, can we start this system by taking those out as well?
It has already happened. All the EE buildings are gone and we had to rebuild the player settlements from scratch. I am not sure what else was expected.

Yes, between Nhur Athemon taking over all the towers, and all the existing player settlements disappearing and needing to be rebuilt from scratch, this part of the River Kingdoms has already suffered quite the cataclysm.

As for the NPC cities, we still haven't fully decided what we're going to do with those. For now, we're leaving them on the map with the standard NPC settlement template, which prevents them from being targets for settlement warfare.
Hobson Fiffledown
TL;DR – Siege stuff? Sure. Let's do it! Can you get on some other things too then? Cool.

Combat improvements in general are something we'd love to look at, and are clearly related to settlement warfare, but we're very limited on what we can get in on a reasonable timeline. This update will have to be very focused, with almost every change tightly related to settlement warfare and the balance issues it's targeting. I do hope to slip in a few other tweaks that are extremely easy to make and don't introduce any risks, but we'll see how much of that is possible.
Bringslite of Staalgard
In any case, something so radically altering the status quo as this might do, has been the final blow to many an MMO. There are plenty of examples of drastic changes like this going bad. Very much appreciate that you are open to feedback on this idea.

While this does alter the status quo quite a bit, on the positive side, it does so in order to more closely align with the features and gameplay that have been planned and expected from the outset. Obviously there are still risks with any change, but mitigating those risks is what this conversation is all about.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-This is another mechanic for settlement level play rather than a mechanic for everyday player experience improvement.

This is very true, and always a big concern. However, looking back over the release notes from the last year, the vast majority of improvements made during that time have been about the everyday player experience. I'm good with giving settlement level play some love after all that.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-If it were to become reality and utilized very much(which I have my doubts about), it will be pushing more PVP combat level play on a current player base that really does not like such PVP, in general. That would probably be a bad choice right now.

We want to make settlement warfare expensive enough that players still don't have to worry about constant PvP if they prefer to avoid it. That said, we do expect this to increase PvP a bit, meaning PvP-averse players may have to find sections of the map that are more peaceful, or avoid membership in companies/settlements that seem to get feuded all the time. We believe there will be multiple areas of the map that remain reasonably PvP-free.

Also, if it does turn out this generates way too much PvP, we'll find ways to dial things back.

Bringslite of Staalgard
-I may be very wrong, but I do not think that you can get this done in a way that offers immediate rewards to those that use it. Unless that can be done at the same time or VERY SOON after implementation, it probably will not be much used at all.

There have been several posts about the concern that there won't be enough rewards for those who do attack settlements, and that will definitely be something that gets discussed this week. The trick is to make it rewarding enough that it's a viable strategy, but not so rewarding that settlements are constantly under siege. I'm sure we can find that balance.

On a related note, even if there aren't all that many sieges, a lot of the benefits from adding this feature stem simply from introducing the risk of being attacked.

Bringslite of Staalgard
[Lots of great ideas]

There are lots of great thoughts here, some off which are already toward the top of our to-do list. We just think, given our current constraints, that settlement warfare is our best "bang for the buck" choice (provided we work out all the kinks being raised here).
there are no defenses

There won't be any dedicated defenses specific to settlement warfare, but as I mentioned in a separate post, there are several layers of "defenses" (holdings/outposts, stockpiled bulk goods, higher settlement level, more buildings) you can put up to slow down and hopefully dissuade any attackers.

there are no avenues to retaliate

Retaliation will be difficult, but on the other hand, one of the biggest complaints we've had all along is that nobody could really retaliate against anyone because it's impossible to dislodge even the most minimally active settlement. The biggest issue here of course is retaliation by a settlement after it gets destroyed. One thing we're hoping will allow for some quick retaliation is the requirement to surround the settlement with holdings and outposts in order to claim it. That will give lots of opportunities to destroy outposts in order to block the claim. Make it hard enough on the attackers to claim the settlement and perhaps they'll stop trying, after which you can reclaim the settlement yourself just by surrounding it. Also, if your enemies stretch themselves too thin, they'll have trouble defending themselves when you're ready to retaliate.

Admittedly, you'd probably need to find another settlement to join temporarily in order to have some support, but that just reinforces the need for every settlement to have some allies to help them out in times of trouble. Speaking of which…

[can't] gather allies, or strike a deal with that trade-partner; no Diplomacy

True, we don't have a lot of in-game systems for these kinds of things and it can be difficult to coordinate feuds and such with your allies. Fortunately, there are many out-of-game ways to coordinate, as you've all had to do all along. I also believe that as we talk through the alliance problems specific to settlement warfare we can find some simple ways to alleviate them.
There are definitely some missing or incomplete features that would be needed to make this a perfectly balanced feature. On the other hand, we have several other balance problems in the game that can be largely attributed to the inability to meaningfully attack another settlement. Our goal here is to alleviate those existing balance problems by introducing settlement warfare, and also to mitigate the potential settlement warfare balance problems all of you are so helpfully raising as best we can using a mix of policies and mechanics. We're trying not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good here, but we're still trying to get as much good as we can within the limits of what can be done at this time. I can't thank you all enough for voicing your concerns here. As this lovely three-day weekend comes to a close, we'll have more constructive discussions about possible changes.

Also, if any of you are reticent to discuss any concerns publicly, just email and we can discuss things privately.
In theory, establishing/running/taking settlements is supposed to be valuable in its own right, due to the opportunities that settlements offer their rulers (taxation, force projection, support, … ). That said, a lot of those opportunities are dependent on features that aren't in yet or that need a lot of tweaking, so it's definitely interesting to hear everyone talking about whether or not sieging a settlement, or for that matter trying to take it back, would be worthwhile, particularly in the game as it stands now. Keep the comments coming, and we'll be taking them into account as we detail out the implementation and define the final rules.

Hobson Fiffledown
You going to at least add some black/white lists or permissions for settlements first, or can an invader just make all the siege stuff right inside the besieged settlement?

That's a good point. We almost definitely can't get in a full crafting permissions system as part of this initial implementation, but this is worth thinking about a bit more to see what could be done reasonably efficiently to discourage or prevent it.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
So some of us in the Coalition were talking and here's a question:

Will there be PvP windows for attacking the siege engines? If that mechanic is going to be used, our thinking is to have the window be determined by the defending settlement, not the attacking one.

That way, the defenders choose when they want to attempt to break the siege, rather than having the attackers decide when they feel like defending their siege equipment.

Otherwise, if I were an attacker I'd just put up my siege weapons, set it to a weekend only time or something, and just kick back and have a drink with all the free time I will have and free siege damage I will get.

We're hoping to find an easy way to implement having the PvP windows for Siege Engines match those of the neighboring settlement, but if we can't, we're looking at requiring the attackers to in some sense overlap the defender's PvP window as best they can. A lot of this system will have to be GM-adjudicated initially (much like our current system for taking over inactive settlements), so we'll solve these kinds of issues through policies and GM intervention rather than in-game mechanics when necessary.