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All posts created by Bob

Bob
To clarify, my overall desire to add things like roaming mobs or a chance of being heard/seen by mobs while gathering isn't about slowing down gatherers, it's about making gathering more interactive. Currently, once you've safely reached your node, you can gather in complete safety. Adding a noise mechanic would mean being prepared to run, and watching for signs that you've been spotted. Roaming mobs would require keeping an eye out for mobs that come into view or change direction unexpectedly, adding some challenge both to reaching nodes in the first place and to gathering once the node is reached. Done in a balanced way, it would make gathering a little more challenging in areas where there's a higher density of monsters, only slightly more challenging where monsters are few and far between, and wouldn't prevent solo gathering.

Likewise, while I think the idea of putting nodes inside encounter areas is kind of cool, it's not something I'd want to do with every node. However, having a small percentage of nodes spawn surrounded by monster can add a dynamic element to the availability of nodes similar to what happens to the balance of encounters in a hex. Currently, if you kill every group of goblins you run across in a hex that isn't all goblins, over the course of the day the balance between goblins and other mobs at encounters will shift away from goblins and toward other mobs. Killing every singleton encounter will similarly shift the balance away from singletons and toward larger groups. This has a nice side effect of nudging players who need to focus on goblins or singletons to shift to a different hex after a while, and also provides a symbiotic interaction between groups targeting different enemies (a large party killing off larger encounters provides singletons for solo players, and vice versa). In the case of gathering, this already happens to some degree with nodes that spawn near encounters. Over time, the percentage of nodes near encounters increases if more distant nodes are cleared without someone sweeping through and killing off encounters. Having some nodes appear inside encounters would increase that effect, and could make a little more explicit the advantages of having a party killing mobs in the hex while a gatherer was there. As with roaming monsters or noise detection, it would have to be done in a balanced way to avoid overly limiting solo gathering.
Bob
Decius
How hard would it be to make nodes spawn towards the center of encounter sites, and make gathering break stealth?

Making gathering break stealth would probably be pretty easy, though it is kind of nice to give gatherers an excuse to learn stealth. With a little extra work, we could probably make something a bit more complicated, more like a percentage chance of breaking stealth for each second spent gathering. Long-term, I've always wanted to make gatherers generate a random amount of noise every so often while gathering, with louder noises alerting mobs further away. Would certainly add some tension.

Making them spawn in the center of encounter sites would be a bit harder, but certainly possible.
Bob
Many great points here. I'd love to allow escalations to start spreading again, but there are a few tricky bugs that need to be fixed first. Otherwise, they have a tendency to spiral out of control. I'd also love to finally implement some of the planned meaningful consequences for not quickly dealing with infections on your doorstep, and many of the ideas Q mentioned are very much along the line of what's been designed, or would at least be reasonable placeholders while waiting on more final functionality.

Until we can safely turn infection back on, consequences can only really be meaningful in the monster hexes. As Caldeathe mentioned, we could play a bit with the gathering system in those hexes after escalations are defeated, or we could reduce gathering abilities while escalations are running (perhaps escalations do some of their own gathering, reducing what's available). Long-term, we've always intended that infected hexes are harder to gather in, though some of that is supposed to come naturally from the increased danger presented by the enemy NPCs. Really making that work will require some AI work to make the encounters interact a bit more with gathering players.

Hopefully we'll be able to do some work in these areas soon, but we obviously have to make a lot of tough decisions when prioritizing our work right now. Additional funding will make it possible for us to work on more things at once, but even then we'll still have to prioritize our work and make sure that we're efficiently progressing toward our final goals. Ah, the joys of game development!
Bob
Drogon
{Quoting Lee} Our plan currently is to put these taverns in what we call NPC hexes, which
are hexes that cannot be claimed by settlements and are patrolled on some
level by NPC guards so PvP will be less common in these regions.

To be clear, Lee is using the word "claimed" here to mean that companies cannot place holdings in these hexes or otherwise gain mechanical control over them. These hexes will have some level of guards in them as well, making it more difficult (or practically impossible) to PvP in them, which would make it difficult to enforce any broader claims over those hexes. But if a company simply declares that any player seen gathering in a particular NPC hex will go on their KOS list, or that they'll feud that player's company, then that's a broader claim that's purely up to the claiming company to enforce. We'd frown on such claims in starter areas (and likely find both mechanical and policy ways to block them), but beyond that it's up to players to enforce their own claims as best they can.

Likewise, holdings allow companies to "claim" a hex in certain ways, but that ownership really just means that bulk resources flow to that company and they have some mechanical control over the hex (upgrading and tearing down structures, deciding which buildings can be placed). We'll add more mechanical controls in the future, but others will always be free to place any broader claims they wish. The straight-forward and game-mechanical way to do so is by feuding the company and taking the holding from them. However, a company/settlement could just threaten to put anyone seen gathering/hunting there on a KOS-list, but state that they don't care about the bulk resources. Or they could threaten to kill anyone in the hex, but not bother to attack the holdings.

All that really matters about such broader claims is whether others agree to them willingly or whether you're able to enforce them when there's no agreement. Providing justifications (we have a holding there, it's near our settlement, it's a de-militarized hex between us and our eternal enemy) may make such claims easier to understand or more persuasive to certain parties, but that's about the extent of things. We'll provide game mechanics for making such claims easier or harder to enforce, and potentially for making it easier to tell when such claims are being made (in some sense, the requirement to feud a company before attacking outposts/holdings is effectively saying that the attacking company must make a "claim" with 1 hour of warning before attacking), but there will always be political machinations that go beyond the game's mechanics.
Bob
We're looking into what happened with those invites. As always, if you notice anything strange with your account, send an email to customer.support@goblinworks.com.
Bob
Bringslite
Bob, could there be problems resolving what tax to charge for an oddly priced item, messing with the follow through code?

Based on what we're seeing from the logs so far, that seems unlikely, but I'll admit I can't rule anything out at this point.
Bob
Aglos
Is it possible it has to do with who is listing the auction - some issue with that particular account? I ask becasue I think in Canis one particular toon makes 90%+ of the listings.

There's a good chance that whatever's going wrong breaks some/all offers for a particular character at once.
Bob
Bringslite
Bob
We're seeing the same issue pop up in other settlements as well. We're still reviewing the current logs to see if any pattern shows up, and if necessary we'll add more logging to help us narrow in on the cause.

No relation with the number of units in the listing, the number of listings of the item? Are they ghost listings of items already sold? If they are, does the code process look different at Emerald Lodge then at Canis when a Captain's Chainmail is sold? If they are live items, does the code process look different when an item is placed for sale in other places?

What about just tearing down the Canis AH, let a "server down" cycle pass, and replacing it with a free kit?

No clear pattern to number of units, number of listings, prices, anything like that. They're definitely not ghost listings either. Near as we can tell, they're completely legitimate offers, but for some reason our safety-check that locates the original offer to make sure we can properly process the purchase fails to find it. Our best bet for tracking the code on the servers is to add additional logging to report back more details on what's happening throughout the process, which may be necessary in this case.

The fact that this problem seems to pop up for a while, then clear up, then come back again later, and that it's occurring in multiple settlements, makes me suspect that resetting the settlement would at best temporarily fix things. And since we haven't ever been able to replicate this problem on Zog or internally, I can't really test it out first to see if it would even work. We may reach a point where that's realy our only choice, but first we need to exhaust the tools we do have, annoying though the waiting can be.
Bob
Glad to hear folks are enjoying the new escalations. I see there are still a fair number of them out there, so clearly they're providing a reasonable challenge for their rewards, which is also good. It will be very interesting to see what happens once they're finally cleared out and go into regular rotation.
Bob
We're seeing the same issue pop up in other settlements as well. We're still reviewing the current logs to see if any pattern shows up, and if necessary we'll add more logging to help us narrow in on the cause.