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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Feuds aren't intended to be just about holdings, but we wanted to encourage their use more toward fighting over holdings than toward simply allowing rep-free kills pretty much anywhere, particularly while settlement guards don't help out members of the settlements during feuds. That doesn't mean we don't want feuds to sometimes be about killing your enemies wherever you find them, we just want them to more often be about clearer objectives, ideally ones that draw players together into larger battles. This particular change was a trivial way to try to do that (change one number in a spreadsheet from 90 to 75). We also want to encourage fighting over T3 resources and escalation rewards, but there wasn't nearly as easy a fix for doing that, so that will have to wait a bit. We may do that partially through additional changes to feuds, or through completely different mechanics.

We also do want companies to lose influence regularly, so they can't just build up to their max and keep using the same influence over and over. Influence is intended to keep companies active in various parts of the game, so we want companies to always want to earn more influence. Can't really do that unless influence gets used up to some degree.
Bob
The 25% influence loss from a feud if you don't take a holding isn't actually a new mechanic, it's just a rebalance of an existing mechanic. You previously got back 90% of your banked feud influence when the feud ended, thus losing 10%. However, if you took a holding during that feud, then some or all of your influence got banked in the new holding instead. As a result, that influence was safe from the 10% loss when the feud ended. Now that feuds cost a flat 100 influence, and holdings require 100 influence, you effectively bank all of your feud influence into the holding as soon as you take one, protecting all of it from that loss. All we did in 10.2 was change the percentage of loss from 10% to 25%.

These are numbers we'll continue to fiddle with. Certainly, the higher we make that influence loss, the more feud costs favor those groups that are better able to take holdings, and the less desirable companies without holdings are as feud targets. Once we've fully seen the consequences of this change, we can decide whether it's best to scale the loss back down a bit, or whether it's better to fix those consequences with other mechanics.
Bob
My understanding of the loot drops when you kill a mob is this:

First, each type of mob has a spreadsheet defining the various kinds of loot they can drop, and the percentage chances for each kind to drop. Most mobs can drop multiple kinds of loot, with a relatively small chance for each kind to drop. You can improve those odds if you have the appropriate knowledge skills. If you're lucky, you'll get every possible kind of drop. A lot of the time, you'll get nothing. Usually you'll get 1-2 kinds. Over time, things average out.

If you're in a party, those chances are divided evenly between all party members in range of the kill, with a slight bonus based on the size of the party. To simplify, that could mean that a mob with a 50% chance to drop a T1 Expendable would give each member from a party of 2 a roughly 25-28% chance of dropping the same thing. Each party member then adjusts those percentages based on their appropriate knowledge skill, and finally each party member rolls for their own loot. With this method, it's completely possible for one party member to get nothing and for another party member to get lots of awesome stuff.

If the mob that was killed was the target of an active event, then there may be an additional loot drop list. Right now, those are only set up for the bulk of events in Nhur Athemon and Them Ogres Ain't Right, and for the bosses in all the escalations. The loot drop chances here are not divided between the party. Each party member gets a full share, so you want to have as many party members as you can for these drops. For the new ogre escalation, each of those drop lists includes a 100% chance of getting an Azlanti Stone (if you're eligible). Most of them also include a 100% chance of getting some money, either a Silver Coin or multiple Copper Coins. For the boss mobs, there are additional chances for various Expendables and Recipes, and most have some guaranteed Victory Markers. I could certainly make the drops for the regular events more interesting than just coins, but coins were the easiest to balance for the moment.

So, every party member nearby should see some guaranteed extra loot when killing bosses, or one of these select event mobs. Other than being close enough to qualify as actively participating, being really close shouldn't affect your drops.
Bob
The resources required by each holding type are often best thought of as the resources that building is least likely to be able to get on their own. Quarries have plenty of stone, so they require trade goods, then food, then wood. Mines have plenty of ore, so they require stone, then food, then wood. In some cases, you can think of that as them needing those resources in order to produce the thing most closely associated with them (mines need wood to shore up the tunnels, Inns need food to feed their guests). In others, it's best to just think of it as the owners/workers having plenty of the resources most commonly associated with that holding, and therefore valuing the other other kinds of resources more highly (Farms have plenty of food, so the farmers and farmhands are more interested in getting some trade goods).

I'll also admit that many of the choices were made to spread out the need for each resource, and to make hex owners more likely to make interesting choices in terms of holding and outpost combinations.
Bob
And another tiny addendum:

Feats:
  • Added a few new Spells: Improved Force Missile, Improved Hydraulic Push, Improved Speed, Shout, Improved Acid Arrow, Improved Blind, Improved Boil Blood, Improved Endurance, Improved Strength, Improved Web, Lightning Ray, Improved Ray of Exhaustion, Greater Enfeeble, Greater Force Missile, Greater Glacial Blast, Greater Haste, Greater Hydraulic Push, Greater Rainbow Spray, Greater Sleep, Greater Speed, Greater Acid Arrow, Greater Boil Blood, Greater Endurance, Greater Strength, Greater Web, Greater Fatiguing Flood, Greater Lightning, Greater Scourge, Greater Sleet Storm, Greater Toxic Cloud, Improved Blessing, Improved Cause Fear, Improved Endure Elements, Improved Aid, Improved Darkness, Improved Divine Endurance, Improved Divine Strength, Improved Hold Person, Improved Resist Energy, Improved Sonic Burst, Improved Curse, Improved Deafness-Blindness, Improved Holy Light, Improved Invisibility Purge, Improved Prayer, Greater Blessing, Greater Cause Fear, Greater Endure Elements, Greater Aid, Greater Darkness, Greater Divine Endurance, Greater Divine Strength, Greater Hold Person, Greater Resist Energy, Greater Slay Living, Greater Sonic Burst, Greater Symbol of Pain, Greater Deafness-Blindness, Greater Holy Light, Greater Invisibility Purge, Greater Mass Divine Endurance, Greater Mass Divine Strength, Greater Prayer, Greater Symbol of Fear, Superior Dispel Sorcery
Bob
There actually are extra rewards for this escalation, beyond just the Azlanti stones, in the same way that Nhur Athemon had extra rewards (basically, extra loot for the entire party each time they move an event counter forward, with the possible exception of the Prisoners event due to a bug). The extra rewards aren't as big as they were for Nhur Athemon, but they should be noticeable. On top of that, these aren't exactly just ogres, and as a result the special ogres should be dropping slightly more loot than their standard counterparts.

However, if ogres in general feel less rewarding than other mobs, then adding more loot on top may just bring the rewards closer to average, where the goal is to make them noticeably better.
Bob
Density of mobs is also very much a potential issue, especially combined with a high range. Density is hard for us to fix without some new tech that would raise the amount of loot somehow based on the density of the encounter, though I can balance it out a bit with the extra event loot drops.
Bob
There are a lot of moving parts that determine how much loot you get for each kill. Since knowledge skills like Geography and Arcana affect your loot drops, it's difficult to do a comparison unless those are equal. For example, ogres generally look at Geography skill and undead at History skill. If one of those is better than the other, then you'll generally get better drops from one than the other.

Also, there are added loot drops in the escalations that were released as our big events (both Wrath and Shadow of Nhur Athemon, and now Them Ogres Ain't Right). Each time you kill a monster that's targeted as part of an event, you get extra loot. When Nhur Athemon first shipped, that often meant a guaranteed 1-2 silver per kill per party member, though that's now been lowered quite a bit.

Taking a quick look at the loot spreadsheets, the overall drop rates for the ogres look to be in line with those for other mobs, like undead. It's definitely possible that some of the salvage they drop is heavier on average than other mobs, which could certainly lead to trashing more of their loot than you do for others.

And, of course, each individual loot drop is totally random, making it very easy to just have a really long bad streak of drops.

All that said, I'm pretty sure the ogres are dropping about the same amount/quality of loot as other mobs of similar levels, so the next question to explore is whether ogres are more difficult to fight than other mobs of similar levels. That is again a complicated question, since different character builds do better or worse against different mobs (e.g. fighters tend to do really well against bandit types who do physical damage but have low physical resistance, but very poorly against cleric types, who do energy damage but have high physical resistance). The closest comparison to ogres would probably be knights, so you should find fighting a standard ogre to be a little harder than fighting a Moloch Knight or an Ustalav Knight Errant, but a little easier than fighting a Moloch Captain or an Ustalav Sergeant. Standard ogres are also the same level as medium elementals or Duergar scouts/soldiers/junior artillery, and slightly lower level than cultist heirophants, Mordant Spire soldiers/junior archeologists, or skeletal champions, though most of those are quite different from ogres and would feel very different to different builds. However, well-rounded parties should find them about the same overall. If other similarly-leveled mobs actually are less difficult to fight than ogres, we may be undervaluing some of the stats that ogres are focused on.
Bob
Do ogres in general seem stingier with loot than other mobs? They theoretically drop the same basic value of loot as other mobs of their level, but it's possible that their official level doesn't accurately reflect the difficulty of fighting them, or that something about the specific things they drop feels less valuable than it was intended to.
Bob
Added another new feature to the Release Notes:

Auction House:
  • When buying items, the Auction house now spreads the purchase over multiple offerings, always purchasing the cheapest items until the quantity specified is reached. There is a bug where clicking Buy always sets the price you're willing to pay to the maximum price the item is being offered at, but the quantity is still set by the specific offering you clicked Buy next to. Assuming that offering is still available, your purchase will still be made at that offering's price, or a lower price if one is available. There is a small risk that someone will have bought the cheaper offering already and that your purchase will now be made at a higher than intended price. Until this bug is fixed, you can eliminate that concern by placing a Bid instead, specifying the quantity you want and the maximum price you'll pay per item. The system will then buy as many items as it can at the cheapest price from what's available. If it couldn't buy as many items as you wanted, you can leave your Bid open to see if anyone fills it later, or you can just cancel the remainder of the Bid.