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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Drogon
I'm specifically dealing with Ustilavian and Mordant Spire escalations that I believe are similar in uptick currently increasing every hour .1% with no reinforcements. This is 2.4% uptick daily. Myself an a small crew can take it down in a few hours the 2.4% but then when we stop and come back the next day all the work from the previous day is replenished…..I feel like we are getting nowhere and it is not very fulfilling. These used to only uptick at .025% an hour , .6% daily which was much more manageable…. They both start at about 32% and once we finally get them killed they could very well pop again the next day in the same hex due to the fallow bug….if your telling me that they are meant to be 4x faster than current , I'd say you won't have too many players grinding them out anymore and the world will become overrun by usties since they for whatever reason don't have a fail Scenario…..I implore you to dial the uptick back on MS and Ustilavians at least until you get the fallow bug fixed….

Those two escalations are indeed set to go up about .1% each hour, plus they go up a bit when events aren't completed. The confusing part for me is that they've been set to go up at that speed since late Alpha, and before that they went up faster. If they were ever going up by .025% per hour, something else was going on. I can say that source hexes are the only ones that get the natural .1% each hour. Infected hexes only get reinforcements each hour, so their numbers could very well be that low.

Between failed events and natural growth, those escalations should increase in strength by roughly 2500 points a day. My working estimate is that an appropriately-leveled party can drop the strength by about 2500 points per hour. Of course, that estimate can be thrown off by a lot of things, including whether the layout of a particular hex forces you to spend more time walking than other hexes would. And of course my estimate could just be flawed in some way.

Is your crew usually able to finish the events in time for those escalations? A lot of the strength drop is locked up in those, particularly in the Strike Forces and Stormcallers. If you spend a lot of time killing those, but then they time out before you get the retroactive kill credits, that could be hurting your efforts substantially.
Bob
Edam
Bob
Decius
And to confirm, hexes which have not reached their infection threshold cannot reinforce?

Correct. But once they've reached their threshold, dropping back below it doesn't make them stop reinforcing.

Is that by design choice or just a side-effect of the way it is implemented mechanically.

That's a design choice. Until the hex reaches its threshold, it's not really considered infected, more like under attack. Once it hits the threshold, it's fully infected and starts doing all the escalation behaviors (infecting, events, reinforcing, spawning mobs). Once infected, the threshold is no longer relevant to that hex. Only dropping that hex to zero will remove the infection and stop all the escalation behaviors.
Bob
Mistwalker
I listened to the Paizocon presentations and have a question, as my interpretation is a bit different from a settlement mate.

Assuming that the surrounding hexes are at 100% and a group is trying to clear a source hex, which, if any (smile), of the two options below is correct?

A) The source hex infects and is reinforced only the 6 hexes surrounding it. A 100 hex sized infection does not have 100 hexes adding strength to the source hex, only 6.

b) All infected hexes reinforce the source hex.

Option A is correct. Reinforcement and infection only occurs between directly neighboring hexes.
Bob
Decius
And to confirm, hexes which have not reached their infection threshold cannot reinforce?

Correct. But once they've reached their threshold, dropping back below it doesn't make them stop reinforcing.
Bob
Tuoweit
I don't know if a new escalation will have to "fight" left-over infections from previous escalations that never gained enough strength to be visible.

They do. You won't see the battle but it does slow the spread of the new escalation.
Bob
Nihimon
Bob, can you verify when a source hex will start infecting adjacent hexes? Is there a specific Strength it has to reach first?

Any hex that's considered infected will infect its neighbors once per hour. Since that infection is a percentage of its own strength, keeping a hex's strength low will slow that process down, but won't stop it.

For source hexes (monster/home), they're considered infected from the moment the escalation spawns to the moment the win boss is killed. So they're always infecting their neighbors.

For other hexes (wilderness/badlands), they're not considered infected until they hit their threshold. Until then, they don't run events, spawn escalation monsters, or try to infect neighbors. Once they hit their threshold, they run all the escalation behaviors, including infecting neighbors, until their infection is cleared by dropping their strength to zero or killing off their source (orphans don't run events or infect neighbors).
Bob
Drogon
So can the current uptick be dialed back to 1/4 until you get the fallow bug fixed?

The current hourly uptick numbers are still at 1/4 of the intended level. For basic monster hexes, unless you get an immediate repeat escalation, that rate lets you wait a few days before tackling the escalation without it spreading or growing all that much. The mini-escalations spread faster but don't grow in strength beyond their initial 5000, so they're always pretty easy to take out no matter how long you wait. And for EE9, I've lowered the rate they spread so they shouldn't take over any neighbors for 3-4 days.

Yes, waiting to tackle an escalation does mean that it will take longer to defeat its increased strength. However, it should still be overall more efficient to let them go a bit, at least for the tougher ones. Most of them come in at roughly 20k strength, so defeating them every day for a week means battling for 140k strength over a week. However, they currently only grow at roughly 2.5k per day (without infected neighbors), so beating them down once a week means battling for 37.5k over that same week. Even stretching that to two weeks, they shouldn't spread too far in that time and the numbers probably still work in your favor.

Of course, the home hexes are a different problem because they almost always start with infected or near-infected neighbors. For those, I have further lowered the growth rate for EE9 down to 1/5 of their regular versions. That should balance out their tendency to repeat.
Bob
Nihimon
I'm not sure how others feel, but I think Mordant Spire is much slower to deal with than the Elementals. We were able to roll the Elementals with one full group of Tier 2 Characters - including handling the Elemental Purists fairly handily. Mordant Spire took nearly two full groups to see the same kind of effect, and even then it was dicey to take the large Stormcaller groups.

Hmm, looking at the numbers, I could see them being roughly equal to deal with (in terms of total player-hours required to clear them) if you tackled both of them within a day of spawning. I'd forgotten the Mordant Spire came in with so many points. I need to revisit some of those starting numbers.

If they're actually significantly tougher under those circumstances, then something else is going on.


Bob
Drogon
Bob, I believe you raised the amount of hexes that each T2 can spawn and the hourly uptick back in ee4, ee5 or ee6…is this true? Prior to this, escalations were easier to deal with and we were actually trying to get a ustilavian hex to pop in our area because they were so rare (maybe 2 spots server wide?) I believe the uptick was .025% per hour (.6 % daily) compared to .1% an hour (2.4% daily) … Could we go back to this rate of uptick at least on T2's ?

In EE6, I slightly decreased the number of each mini-escalations that could spawn (dropped by about 30% each) and raised the number of times the Ustalavs, Mordants and Molochs could spawn from 1 to 3. That was a fairly big jump, but seemed to work out well. Since then, the Duergar and Elemental escalations have been added, so that's been a gradual rise in the percentage of tough escalations as the player base leveled up to handle them.

The only big change to the hourly uptick I can think of was removing the hourly strength loss for mini-escalations in EE8. The hourly uptick is set per escalation and is composed of the natural growth for the source hex and any reinforcement from neighboring hexes. Those numbers haven't changed significantly, but the results are very different based on whether or not you are receiving reinforcements (and from how many hexes).

Drogon
Regarding the OGG home temporary fix…..when you say it orphans surrounding hexes do you mean they will despawn or will they still be there yet stay orphaned even when OGG repops the next day? How long will they stay orphaned? What happens when OGG hits his threshold again, would they reattach?

Technically, the home hexes and all their infected hexes will continue to operate as before until the current escalation (e.g. Ogg Classic) is cleared out. At that point, all of the home hex's infected hexes will become orphans. The next time the home hex picks an escalation, it will pick one of the new home-only escalations (e.g. New Ogg). Because New Ogg is technically a different escalation than Ogg Classic, New Ogg won't even try to reacquire those hexes. In fact, it will try to fight them off, but its infection rate is so low that it will do so very slowly. However, they'll still have their 10x multipliers.


Bob
Takasi
Bob
In addition, I've lowered the number of Elemental Rift escalations to take into account how much longer they take to deal with than most other escalations.

Bob please do not do this.

The problems described above stem from proper motivation. Veteran, dedicated players do not want to spend their time doing escalations that are not level and reward appropriate. Ogg and Skullbasher hexes are viewed as too 'strong', monotonous, tedius and unrewarding for anyone in Tier 2 gear.

The elemental and duergar escalations are awesome. Please don't reduce the numbers yet.

My main concern at this point is that the Elemental Rift escalation requires a much more concerted effort than any other escalation, except when those escalations have been able to rise to full strength. With too many of them running at once, the player base as a whole will have trouble continually mustering enough forces to take them on.

Reducing the numbers will mean you tend to have to go further to find an Elemental Rift escalation to fight, but there should still almost always be 1-2 of them running somewhere.

Takasi
If anything, please make Ogg and Skulllbasher more difficult. The Skullbasher home hex quest still points people there to look for Ogre Shamans. The base monster for that escalation should be ogre shamans and harder. Could they be the first escalation that uses the new Elemental Rift strength increase mechanic, please?

My bad on the ogre shamans. I'd fixed the lack of shamans for the home hexes when we weren't running escalations there, but forgot to make a similar fix to the escalation itself once we started running that in the home hex. I'll add a few more shamans to each phase so it won't take unreasonably long to find some to kill (provided players keep killing other ogres as well to make room for the shamans).