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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Azure_Zero
Bob, we have 5 settlement Leaders who have voiced their there vote publicly and ALL against the tax.
True, and if we can't find ways to tweak the plan in ways that mitigate the quite-reasonable concerns those leaders raised, or maybe just better ways to explain aspects of it, then we'll likely drop it. And of course we'll also drop it if these discussions lead to a different but better solution. For the moment, we still think there's a possible version of this plan that could work, even if we haven't quite gotten to that version yet, so we're still discussing it.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
I get the impression that there isn't actually a problem yet. Without asking you to divulge info for "Fog of War" and security reasons, are there certain multiple groups that are having a hard time being able to lay down enough Holdings to get where they need to?

In short, can you better explain what the current significant issues of unlimited Influence are without "outing" those who have contacted you?
I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that it has been very difficult, if not impossible, to find an unclaimed hex for quite some time now. If all those hexes are being put to good use, whether for bulk resource production or strategic reasons or whatever, that's great. Players can always PvP to take those hexes for themselves. That said, it sets a pretty high bar for claiming territory, so it would be nice to have just enough of a disincentive to ensure that all claimed hexes are serving a reasonably important purpose, if only to keep it from feeling like the only reason PvP was necessary was to claim something the owners aren't using but just didn't bother to tear down.

The larger problem is related, in that any group that is reasonably successful at PvP is currently incentivized to spread as far as it can. The upfront investment in holdings and outposts is minimal, the PvP may or may not churn some gear, the outposts can generally produce enough bulk resources to keep the holding from falling down, they can probably deal with any feuds fairly easily, there are few if any ongoing costs to holding the territory, and any tiny benefit (even just the added security of some buffer DI) of holding the territory is multiplied by the amount of time spent holding it, which is likely indefinite. The unlimited influence has to go somewhere and the calculation virtually always favors expansion. With few (or no) unclaimed hexes, that expansion inevitably eats into the territory of other settlements, reducing their ability to support themselves.

Again, all of that is fine if there are mechanics ensuring that expansion is more than just a "why not" calculation. It's not our goal to protect everyone from meaningful PvP, but we do want to protect people from PvP if it's only happening because we didn't provide balanced advantages and disadvantages. The best we've currently got is that expansion increases the number of unprotected hexes, but not 1-for-1, and the degree of coordination necessary to take advantage of that is fairly high, and favors the group that already proved itself by taking the territory in the first place.

I won't speak to how much this is actually happening, in part because it would be difficult to know whether any given expansion would be considered meaningful or not by most players. I'll just say that some territory has changed hands in recent times, and the current game mechanics incentivize more of the same without the checks and balances that make such PvP feel meaningful. There are certainly other options for providing those checks and balances (Spreading Escalations would have been a start), but this is the quickest option we've come up with so far.
Bob
Azure_Zero
As Crowdforging is like voting, you don't vote (in this case in public), you can't b**** about the result.
Crowdforging is an opportunity for us hear from the largest possible variety of voices to make the game better. We do put a certain premium on the opinions of active players, and we offer more opportunities to participate (e.g. forum posting privileges, access to test builds) to players than we do to just people interested in the game, but we don't treat feedback more or less seriously based on how it's sent in.
Bob
harneloot
Why would *players* NOT choose to post their ideas, concerns, suggestions, musings here?
Introverts vs. extroverts, groups that don't want to give away tactical information, all kinds of reasons. It might seem odd that someone would play an MMO and not be super social, after all why not play a single-player game. However, MMOs do offer a way to get some of the feeling of interacting with others purely through the game mechanics, just because your actions and the actions of others change the game world. Many players desire just that level of interaction, and no more. We welcome all preferences, at least those that can find a place within the core game design principles.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Well I think that we all added(back in the day) to the pressure to encourage characters to polarize to established settlements.
The game design certainly intended to encourage characters to join established settlements first, but then have balancing factors that encouraged them to break away, seeking to be a big fish in a small pond instead of a small fish in a big pond. The latter factors had a lower implementation priority while everyone was building the initial settlements up, but become more important now that several groups are fully built up. Limiting influence was supposed to be one of those factors, since it meant characters were better off joining a smaller company where they could still contribute to influence gain rather than a larger company that was constantly at Max Influence. On its own, it only really encouraged settlements to be made of multiple companies rather than one big company, but it was ready to be built on by reducing the marginal benefits (or increasing the marginal costs) of each additional company in a settlement.
Bob
Azure_Zero
Simple put, have all settlements have a base support of 14, each hex of there core 6 gives one support level,
Any additional hexes mean jack all.
Are you looking to completely replace the upkeep system with this, or just to separate out Settlement (Support) Level as its own thing determined purely by hex quantity (up to 6)?
Bob
Azure_Zero
You right, Bob is not reading or accepting the warning I gave.
and seems even to of missed some of the hints of How bad the idea is even in this thread.
I'm reading all these posts carefully, and also balancing all this feedback against similar warnings I've received in the opposite direction from other players who aren't necessarily posting on the forums. Different groups face different issues at any given time, and some groups are facing problems now that other groups will face soon enough. Right now, we have some significant issues stemming from unlimited influence, and we're trying to find the most feasible solution to fix that. Maybe this is the right one, maybe it isn't. Some good points have been raised against the idea, but we still think it's worth exploring for the moment to see if we can adjust it enough to take those points into account. If it turns out we can't, we'll move on to other ideas.
Bob
NightmareSr
Any news on the Alchemist buildings?
I've started working on them, but no updates to report yet.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Totally off topic but the entire Settlement Support for character level maintenance needs a real hard looking at. The concept, if I remember correctly, was originally an ideal to place a check on "Bad Actors" in game play.
The Settlement Support system serves multiple purposes in the design, and limiting the ability of "Bad Actors" is certainly one of them. It's also an important part of the value proposition settlements offer to get players to join them. As with many aspects of the design, it's part of a web of interdependent features, and tugging on any part of that web requires careful thought. That said, we have already started making changes here with the switch to half-support, so that learned ranks aren't just lost all at once, and we do plan on making further changes over time. We've talked about other ways of providing support, as well as other mechanics that could work together to fill all the roles the Settlement Support system currently does. It's a complicated issue, and will likely require significant amounts of code work once we sort it all through, but we agree that the current system doesn't quite feel right.
Bob
Nails
Instead of changing how influence works, is there any opportunity to create additional new player quests? Something that can expand on their knowledge and enjoyment of the game? how about a newbie gusher, that produces 100 max and only gets to 4 or 5 incoming monsters? More quests that are geared towards cleric, wizard, rogue, & fighter, helping them learn about different attacks, etc, that gives them a decent reward but is still something the day 1 players aren't interested in.
New quests is something I can largely do without new code, though things like a newbie harvesting kit might take a little code help. They do take a fair amount of time to create and test, but not an unreasonable amount. The one I want to focus on first is the Combat Alchemist tutorial, but I could look at some others after that. As always, it's a question of what to prioritize first.