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All posts created by Bob

If veteran players can make unlimited use of Thornkeep facilities, there is a LOT that unassociated characters can accomplish there.

There's already at least one disadvantage to crafting out of Thornkeep (lower facility ratings, so lower crafting speeds), and more could go in over time. Of course, some players may find that trade off worth their while, depending on their personal goals. We're not trying to design things such that no player would ever choose to stay in Thornkeep, just such that most players would choose to operate out of player settlements.
Can a player or group publicly claim the Thornkeep refineries and crafting stations and announce they'll put anyone seen using one on a KOS list?

Can a player or group publicly claim the Marchmont bank as their personal bank and threaten to repeatedly kill any character observed using it?

Trying to prevent players from using Thornkeep facilities would ruin the experience for new players, so we'd definitely push back on that.

Marchmont's a more complicated question, since it's no longer a starter settlement. We'd have to think a bit more about exactly what we're going to do with those settlements for the long-term before deciding if there are any limits on such public declarations.
In general, we just provide game mechanics that make it harder or easier to enforce certain kinds of claims, and you're free to make whatever claims you're capable of enforcing. Heck, feel free to make claims you have no hope of enforcing, sounds like good times.

That said, we have asked everyone to avoid PvP in NPC settlements and other starter areas until we're able to beef up the Thornguards there. I can also imagine that if certain kinds of claims in and around Thornkeep in particular were likely to ruin the experience for new players, we'd look at discouraging such claims. Hasn't been a problem so far, and hopefully we'll be able to improve the mechanical enforcement systems around Thornkeep before it does.
I did notice killing individual mobs seemed to drop the percentage a fair bit quicker. Is that because the same strength reduction accounts for a higher percentage or was the strength allocated to a mob kill changed as well ?

I changed the strength reduction per kill/event for several escalations, with a goal of making escalations pretty consistent about requiring 4 hours of play from an appropriately leveled/sized party to complete from start to finish. In a few cases, it turned out that my changes to the max strength resulted in the original numbers turning out to be exactly what was required to hit that 4 hour target, which was an amusing coincidence. In those cases, the actual numbers didn't change, but the percentage per kill what change just as you suggested.
We actually had that escalation down to around 52% but the patch seemed to jump it all the way back up to 70%. I assume the patch reset the escalations to the maximum of the current "band" they were in.

If an escalation was at 10k strength with a max strength of 20k (so 50%) at downtime, and then 11.2 changed the max strength to 15k, it would still be at 10k when the servers came back up, but it would now be 66% of the max. It would also start operating according to all the new escalation rules, so it might switch to a different phase, or kills might translate into larger or smaller drops in strength.
FYI, there's one little oddity to the escalation changes that I forgot to mention. I've been using a bit of a hack to prevent fail bosses from appearing any more, but because I lowered the max strengths on some of the escalations to make their max strengths match up with their overall difficulties, some existing escalations launched their fail bosses this morning. Unfortunately, those bosses have no special loot, though they usually have pretty good loot just due to being so high level. You probably do need to kill them off to allow other events to occur. If it turns out any of them are causing more serious problems, let me know and I'll make any needed adjustments to those hexes manually.

Escalations launched after 11.2 deployed won't have this problem, just some of the existing ones.
These are the Release Notes for Early Enrollment v11.2. This update was deployed to the Test Server on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, and to the Live Server on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

What Is In This Release

This release includes one new escalation (Gathering of Legends) and one upgraded escalation variant (The Revenge of Nhur Athemon), both featuring a mix of hero-/legend-level enemies dropping lots of T3 goodies. Some of these higher-level enemies have also been added to new events that run in several of the higher-end escalations. Several improvements have been made to the Auction House (your last week of sales/purchases can be viewed in the History tab, purchase prices are set to those of the specific offer you requested to purchase, and a few UI issues were fixed), and many other highly-requested improvements have been made (the click-through problem when clicking on UI elements was fixed, stacks can now be split when transferring between various windows, Auspicious Critical will only return power on critical hits, and Thornguards stop attacking after their target is killed). Many other smaller fixes were made as well.

Full Release Notes

  • Added Gathering of Legends escalation, filled with a variety of T3 enemies dropping a variety of T3 loot.
  • Added The Revenge of Nhur Athemon, a variant of the existing Nhur Athemon escalations featuring tougher crystals and skeletons, as well as a tougher Win Boss, with correspondingly better drops.
  • Added Hero/Legend Events to Crystal Ogres, Dark Elves, Duergar Slavers, Elemental Rift and Mordant Spire escalations.
  • High-end Win Bosses are now extremely likely, and in some cases guaranteed, to drop T3/Structure Recipes and T3 Expendables.
  • Adjusted Max Instances for several escalations to make T2-T3 escalations more likely, and to make it more likely that rarer escalations will launch when it comes time to choose a new escalation.
  • Switched bosses in Ustalav Invaders to a Hero Boss for the Home Hex version and a Legend Boss for the Monster Hex version. Also increased the number of Generals and higher-level knights at the boss encounter.
  • Ustalav Invaders now includes a final Phase where the toughest random enemies are Generals, and the only efficient way to get T3 drops is to kill the Boss.
  • Set most escalations to start at 100% and to decay in strength over 10 days (15 for Home hexes), and set remaining phased-escalations to increase in difficulty as their strength drops.
  • Rebalanced escalations to take roughly 4 hours for an appropriately-leveled party to clear from 100% strength (6 hours for Home hexes), and so that tougher escalations generally have a higher max strength than less difficult ones.
  • Reduced target numbers for several events to make them more feasible for small parties to complete during a single play session.
  • Changed Elemental Rift event Element Amok to launch a variety of Berserkers, not just Ice Elementals.
  • Changed text of Goblin Pickles events to make it clear that players need to talk to an apprentice, not Londor Sefurd.
  • Fixed difficulty ratings for Elemental Rift phases to reflect that the escalation gets more difficult as the strength drops.
  • Removed Heroes from random encounters in Ustalav Home Hex when the home escalation isn’t running.
  • Removed extra structure recipe chance from Dark Elf Win Boss drop.
  • Removed level 1-2 knights from Ustalav escalations.

Auction House:
  • Added History tab to see past week of sales and purchases.
  • When clicking Buy next to a specific offer, the purchase price is now set to the sale price of that specific offer.
  • Coin can't be sold.
  • Items which can't be sold (such as coins) are no longer shown as available to be sold or bid on.
  • The Buy button is no longer shown when there are no active offers to purchase.
  • Switching to a different item now resets the scroll bar on the list of offers.
  • Performing a new search now resets the scroll bar on the search results.

  • Mouse clicks are now caught by the UI, not passed on to items behind them.
  • Ctrl-click or Ctrl-drop will open quantity dialog for transferring partial stacks of items between windows.
  • Added paste (Ctrl-V on or Cmd-V) to all text input fields.
  • Fixed icons for Greater Cure, Greater Inflict, Mass Greater Cure and Mass Greater Inflict.
  • Unrecognized/misspelled slash commands will now display an error message in the chat window.
  • For Vaults and Auction House, switching filters will now clear the sub-filters.
  • Inventory Trashing and Stack Splitting UI now supports up to 6 digits.
  • Ability scores on Character Sheet now show to 3 decimal places when moused over.

  • Tavern in Aragon again returns Power to characters.
  • Settlements with large numbers of structures no longer suffer sever lag issues.
  • Added Expert and Freeholder trainers to Thornkeep (near Auction House).

  • Added shrines to monster hexes -12,18 and -2,14.
  • Smoothed out multiple player traps, including several in player settlements where the retaining walls met the ground at the top of the walls. Also fixed a trap by the stairs near the Taverns that affected all player settlements.
  • Reduced steepness of road in -5,14 so that it can be climbed.
  • Removed obsolete Attacker Shrine from hex -5,3.
  • Removed bumpy 15m encounter from hex 2,13 that could result in unusable smallholdings.

  • The list of crafting queues stays properly updated at downtime. The “lost” crafting queues were still being completed properly in the background, but not being visible on the crafting window was causing understandable confusion.
  • Scroll bars for list of available ingredients are reset when switching to a new stock or recipe.

  • The Rogue Tutorial Kill Quest is now called Whispers of Unrest.
  • Changed Insidious Hero Gods text to mention Staalgard instead of Live Oak.

  • Auspicious Critical now returns the correct amount of power, and only does so on a critical hit.
  • Added Crafting option to Freeholder Armor gates.
  • Added Dexterity into Clothing Armor Proficiencies to support Tailors.
  • Added Dexterity to Holdout Weapon Maneuvers and Wisdom to Toolkit Maneuvers.
  • Added Dexterity to Passionate in the Workship and Holdout Weapon Implement Proficiency.
  • Added Wisdom to War Willing and Toolkit Implement Proficiency.
  • Fixed Outfitter 9 to require Int/DEX/Per instead of Int/INT/Per.
  • Fixed typo on Ability bonuses for Medium Armor Proficiency 2.
  • Fixed typo on Feat Requirements for Passionate in the Workshop 9.

  • Campfires now return the proper amount of power. Previously, they were restoring power up to at least the amount listed (if you had 50 power and used a campfire set to restore 200, you’d end up with 200 total power or your max, whichever was lower). Now they restore the amount of power listed (if you have 50 power and use a campfire set to restore 200, you’ll end up with 250 total power or your max, whichever is lower).
  • Reduced power cooldowns for camps from 4 hours to 1 hour and made them last 4 hours instead of 10 minutes.
  • Added clearer feedback on campfire power regeneration and cooldowns to chat messages when campfires are used.

Logging In:
  • Getting disconnected from the game will bring up a message stating that the application will close after ten seconds. Getting back into the game will require running the application again, but this will prevent multiple strange issues that occur when re-entering the game world without fully exiting the application.
  • Added tabbing and paste (Ctrl-V on or Cmd-V) to login screen fields.
  • Delete button on unused character slots was removed.

  • Players are rooted when Trade window is open.
  • Confirmation is shown in chat window when sending a trade request.

AI: Thornguards stop attacking after their target dies.

Deposit All: Invulnerable items (Premium items like Smallholding deeds) remain in Inventory and a chat message states which items were left behind.

Testing Achievements: Added GM command to grant achievements. This will make it much easier to test advanced characters on Zog. Achievements can only be granted to a character standing near the GM, so arrangements will still need to be made to meet in-game, but now any achievement can be quickly granted.

Company Names: Added GM command to change company names. This is primarily intended to be used to change names that violate the Terms of Service, or to fix typos.

Mules: Fixed typo in error message for expired mules.

Holdings and Outposts:
  • Outposts can no longer be placed while a holding is being torn down.
  • Company Leaders can change the colors on company buildings. Previously, only the character who placed the building could change the color.

Documents: All document fragments drop again.

Recipes: Cold Iron Broadhead Arrow Recipes drop as loot.
"Random"; So that we can adjust our plans correctly, does that mean "Selected with equal probability from all of the legal escalation hexes (roll 1d~40 and place one at the corresponding monster hex, 16 times)", or does that mean "Bob picks 16 hexes arbitrarily"?

In other words, when looking for hexes, should we account for the bias of a random distribution (none), or a human arbitrary distribution (which would be biased against clustering several nearby)? I have a feeling that distributing them essentially evenly would be more fun for everyone involved, and I also believe that it's overwhelmingly likely that a truly random distribution would create hot and cold zones.

I do actually roll some dice handily sitting on my desk to make sure the results feel pretty random, but I don't use a purely random distribution. Instead, I use various techniques to make the distribution feel a bit more even, and make adjustments at the end to avoid too much clustering.
When you choose hexes for the Gathering of Legends, will they have to be empty at that time?

The hexes for Gathering of Legends have already been chosen. I just run one command and all of them launch at once. The hexes will be taken regardless of what's running in them at the time.

I didn't set up The Revenge of Nhur Athemon to get launched by command, so I'll do a few of those manually. Same deal there, I'll just pick hexes at random and replace anything currently running there with the new escalation.
Everything's looking good so far with 11.2 on Zog, so we're planning to deploy the current build to Live during daily maintenance on Wednesday, May 18. Gathering of Legends and The Revenge of Nhur Athemon will be added to the standard escalation rotation at that time, but only 1 of each launches at any given time. On Friday, May 20 at 5 PM Pacific I'll launch 16 instances of Gathering of Legends in randomly chosen monster hexes, along with a few The Revenge of Nhur Athemons, and I'll launch more instances over the weekend if that feels appropriate.

We'll continue testing and taking bug reports on Zog right up until daily maintenance on Wednesday morning, but we'll only hold off on deploying 11.2 for real showstoppers.