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All posts created by Bob

For EE9, the expansion and reinforcement mechanics have been temporarily turned off (technically, they've been reduced to nearly zero). That means source hexes won't be getting reinforcements from their infected neighbors, so they'll be much easier to take down. It also means that if a particular hex is already at a fairly high strength value, there's far less pressure to take it down quickly, since it can't get much stronger and isn't infecting anything around it.

This is your opportunity to clear out the areas surrounding your settlement before expansion and reinforcement starts ramping up again in EE10. Make it count!
If you're getting an "Operation Timed Out" error, then here's a guote from Ryan in another thread (I believe this also covers a lot of cases where the patcher stops, but he was specifically addressing that error in his post):

That happens most often when you are using an internet connection that drops a lot of packets, often wifi. Terminate the Patcher and restart it. Keep doing that until it completes the update. If you can, directly connect to your router with an ethernet cable.
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Just to be clear on this.

IS IT … (1) At EE9 server uptime the home hexes will still have the current variant of the escalation but when that gets taken down by players all adjoining hexes are orphaned and can be killed before the next escalation cycle by killing one mob ?

OR … (2) at server uptime after EE9 patch all of home escalations will become a variant and all the escalations around home hexes will be orphaned. Because of the bug we can then kill off any of those now orphaned escalations, before the next escalation cycle after server up, by killing just one mob in that hex ????

If (1) we need to know when the escalation cycles start.
If (2) we need to know well in advance when the patch will be applied.

(1) is the correct answer. I had been thinking of going around and manually switching the escalations to the new home variants, but that turns out to have some unfortunate side effects. However, the main reason I was going to manually convert them was because the fact that they've spread so far meant they would get tons of reinforcements, but now reinforcements are off anyway.

So, when EE9 goes live, any empty home hexes will spawn the new home hex variants. Any infected neighbors will already be orphans with the 10x multiplier, and the new variants won't reacquire those hexes (because they're technically running different escalations). Plus, the new variants won't spread past the home hexes at all until I turn reinforcement back on.

Any home hexes that are still infected with the standard escalations will remain infected. However, they won't be getting reinforcements anymore, so they should be significantly easier to take down. When the boss is killed, you'll have until the next hourly tick to take advantage of the single-kill bug. That means that if you kill the boss at 2:30, you'll have until 3:00 to take the orphans down with single kills, assuming that bug is still happening. Then at the next downtime, the new variant will be spawned in that hex.
I just noticed another thing: mini escalations are spreading like CRAZY! I assume it's a combination of them starting at 100%, no longer automatically decaying and ignoring their max hex count. If this keeps going, in a short while the entire map will be covered by them. Fortunately, that actually tends to make travel easier for T2-clad characters who can just ignore the mobs (unlike the occasional T2 mob that was previously standing around). But I'm pretty sure, it was not intended that way smile

They're only supposed to spread to 4 hexes max, so the biggest issue is probably with ignoring that maximum. They had originally been designed to spread more quickly than other escalations in large part because they were shutting themselves down automatically due to their hourly decay of 100 strength. With the decay removed, that increased spread was no longer necessary, so another change scheduled for EE9 was to lower their spread rates to more closely resemble those of a typical escalation. Of course, now we've lowered the spread rate to effectively zero for EE9, so they'll be even easier to clean up.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
It might or might not offer any benefits, but what if, until the fallow bug is fixed, Home hexes were told to behave like any other monster hex?

We're actually considering something like that, or at least increasing the number of escalations that can spawn in those hexes. It makes them less of a predictable source of specific monsters for those "kill X hellhounds" quests, but now that most monsters have at least some chance of appearing throughout the world, that would probably be okay.

Absolutely do not do this.

The game is extremely lacking in environmental lore. Please don't remove one of the only sources for familiarity in the game.

I'm pretty protective of the game's lore, so the goal here is to give the home hexes more variety while still respecting their nature as the home for a specific group. For example, that could mean creating a variant Ripping Chains escalation where they try to take out the Bonedancers in their home hex. Or perhaps they join forces and you take both of them on there.
That's something that will help…what about dialing back the T2 upticks to 1/4 - 1/5 speed like you are doing with OGG? This will allow us to take out the usties that are both 100% without too many days of work….

In general, you should find that removing reinforcements very effectively cuts back the growth you're seeing each hour. An Ustalav source hex gains about 2500 strength daily (from failed events and natural growth) while being ignored. Each 100% neighbor also reinforces it with about 2400 strength daily, so the total growth with 6 100% neighbors would be almost 17k of strength, or 7 hours of party effort. With reinforcement removed from that equation, the daily growth should only be 2500, or 1 hour of effort.
In addition, I've made the upper-T1 escalations slightly more common and the T2 escalations slightly less common. Should make for a better balance across the map.

I've also revisited the starting strengths for all the escalations and set them to roughly 4 hours effort for the standard escalations and 6 hours for the home escalations. The home hexes increase in strength at 1/5 the speed, which was a lot of work to pull out, so the 2 added hours should balance that out. The end result is that some escalations had their starting strengths lowered and others had them increased. As always, those estimates are for appropriately-leveled parties. A party that could take out Mordant Spire in 4 or so hours could clear T1 escalations much more quickly. Elemental Rift also still takes more time than most others escalation, though I reduced that time down by about a third, as well.
Because so many of the escalations have grown beyond their intended borders, we've decided to provide all of you with a limited-time opportunity to clear away the overgrowth. For EE9, all of the infection/reinforcement rates will be set to effectively zero. All of the existing escalations and their infected hexes will remain in place, and most will continue to grow in strength from events and from the natural growth in source hexes, but they won't spread any further or reinforce each other. Defeated escalations will still be replaced by new ones, and those new ones will still reacquire any nearby orphans, so take advantage of the 10x orphan multiplier while you can. There's also currently a bug that usually lets you take out any orphans with just one kill if you get to them before the next hourly escalation cycle. Just consider that a brilliantly unplanned feature.

In EE10, we'll start steadily bringing the infection/reinforcement rates back up, so this will be your big chance to clear your territory. Gear up! Call in your allies! Hire those sketchy mercenaries playing dice in the taverns! Act now, before it's too late!
My suspicion is that the system is usually obeying the max hexes for each escalation, except under certain specific circumstances. The longer an escalation exists, the more times some of these circumstances will arise, the further past the max an escalation will grow.