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All posts created by Bob

Stilachio Thrax
Part of the difficulty, is that you are creating an open-world sandbox with PVP as a core part of the game experience, yet the most likely source of players are tabletop Pathfinder players.

Nailed it.

Stilachio Thrax
I don't want to say there is no overlap in those two things, but I can't imagine there is much. The PVPer who is attracted to this type of sandbox generally couldn't care less about lore and worldbuilding, and have any number of better developed choices out there to choose from. Players from the tabletop crowd generally do care about lore and worldbuilding, and given the nature of TT, probably don't PVP with other players in their games.

We admittedly can't offer, at least for some time, the depth of lore and worldbuilding that many in the tabletop audience would require to be interested in Pathfinder Online. However, we do find that many are attracted to the complexity of our PvE combat system, or of the crafting system, or of the player-driven economy. Any of those can keep a player busy for quite some time, and many of those players are even intrigued by the way that player interactions are driving the larger social structures of the world. They just don't want to get into fights with other players, at least not directly.

Stilachio Thrax
I just don't see there ever being a satisfactory solution for both sides- if its too easy to opt out or there is no down side to opting out, PVPers will never get the amount of PVP they want. But if you punish players for opting out, you are essentially forcing people to be PVP exposed just to play, and you are right back to where you are now- the PVP averse aren't going to play.

The best way to make that balance work is for us to find incentives to risk PvP that have plenty of meaning for those who are at least minimally open to PvP, but little or no meaning for those with no interest in PvP. Things like influence, or loot related to territorial control, are good candidates.
While I feel that some major changes are needed and that non-flagged players being open to losing mules is a decent compensation for The Flagged, I do wonder a bit at the logic. It seems like those you are trying to attract to the game with this are the very least tolerant of any Player VS. Player confrontation while they play a game. Having a packed mule taken away, usually when they are not expecting it is likely NOT going to be an "OK" experience for them.

It has every element that is intolerable for them: Surprise Confrontation and Loss(due to PVP)

True, there's a very good chance an anti-PvP player would find the experience of losing a mule about as unacceptable as having their character killed. We do plan on making it very clear when hiring a mule that other players can attack mules and steal them away with everything they're carrying, possibly even with an extra confirmation stage for players who aren't flagged for PvP. In a sense, by hiring a mule, you'd be explicitly opting that mule in to PvP.

An alternative would be to say that you can't hire a mule without flagging for PvP, which isn't completely unreasonable as long as hiring mules isn't considered an essential part of gameplay. That would certainly be simpler and clearer, and would be the way to go if we're convinced that any non-PvP players who "accepted" the risk of mule-only PvP would be just as upset at a mule death as they would be if they'd been killed themselves.

Not that I am against trade offs for the ability to avoid combat PVP. Very much for that in fact. Are you sure that your hard work/changes (as laid out) are not going to leave the game right where it is at now in the minds of the most hardcore antiPVP audience?

All that upset and hard work of the original Theme and no reward of a larger pop?

Hopefully all the crowdforging upfront will uncover any spots where Flag for PvP doesn't quite go far enough to actually solve the problem it's targeting, just as we'll hopefully uncover any spots where it's going too far and damaging the experience for those who came here looking for some PvP. The more things we catch upfront, the better we can design the initial implementation. Of course, we'll also continue to iterate on it once it ships, as we always do.

You still want Territorial PVP. You still do not want "Gank Festival" (or want very little of it). Have you considered just making PVP a feud based thing ONLY and making Feuding less costly and more user friendly and more common/longer lasting?

Too bad for the "completely intolerant" of PVP crowd, a little better for the best (attitude wise) of the PVP fan crowd. A bit of both that maybe closes the population growth goal?

Something along those lines could probably be made to work, and a lot of the work involved to make it feel good would be things we eventually need to clean up around companies/settlements/feuds/alliances anyway. It might also raise some issues similar to those Flag for PvP raises that could be best dealt with using similar techniques, like tithes and better territorial control settings.

It would still be nice to find a way to bring in the PvP-averse crowd if we can though.
Sorry if this has been asked and answered somewhere earlier in this thread, but I did not catch it:
What will be the minimum time to switch a character back and forth from PvP-Flagged and Not PvP-Flagged?
For holding takeover raids we give two days notice. I would hate to see a world full of people opting out all time, only to opt in when the see a raid coming up. What about a one week (or one month?) window before any switch will take place? That will force those that want to hold territory to commit to being open to PvP for significant chunks of time.

The details are definitely up for debate. Personally, I'd been thinking in terms of minutes for flagging and unflagging, because my main concerns are that flagging too quickly could lead to surprise attacks, and unflagging too quickly could lead to harassment attacks that get abandoned without penalty when attackers realize they'll lose.

One thing to keep in mind with really long delays is that they can lead to gaming the system. That's why we don't have reputation go up when you're not logged in, because we knew some people would bottom out their rep, then just play on a different character until their rep built back up. We're not 100% happy with that solution, since players can still get their rep back by parking somewhere safe and staying logged in, but it's better than nothing.

We're pretty sure a fair percentage of players are fine with the more organized PvP during PvP windows in contested territory, but aren't cool with random PvP. If the system just drives those players to have one PvP character and one non-PvP character, the end result is pretty similar to just letting players flag on and off at will.

This seems like a good opportunity to mention another idea we've been tossing around: Characters earn bonus influence (or only earn influence) when flagged for PvP. We're basically saying that the territorial control game involves PvP, and influence is basically just used for territorial control and feuds (which themselves are basically PvP), so this doesn't seem like much of a stretch. Could be a good way to incentivize flagging up as often as possible if you're willing to PvP, while not punishing players too much if they're just not willing to flag up for occasional play sessions, and completely PvP-averse players wouldn't feel like they're blocked from a part of the game they're deeply interested in. Would also be relatively easy to implement, since we're similarly blocking influence generation for Free Trial accounts.
Perhaps let us sell Bulk right from Holdings as incentive to keep stuff in them?

That's an interesting thought. Between the player shops and the auction house tier/upgrade restrictions, we've got the basic groundwork in for allowing limited sales at specific buildings. I don't think it would be a trivial addition, but probably not too hard to make it work. Could be worth looking into if both buyers and sellers think they'd make use of it fairly often.

Is it planned that we'll be able to tell a "PVP flagged" character from a non flagged one, still be able to differentiate allies, etc… ? Like a new color on the mini map or such?

Yeah, we're assuming we'll need to beef up our use of colors and tooltips on the maps. At the simplest level, unflagged wouldn't show up as red because they couldn't attack or be attacked. However, it probably needs to be obvious that someone coming toward you is flagging up, so we probably need to use a specific color (or other visual cue) for that.
So, unless I am mistaken, there is a positive thing for PVPers (which has been asked for) inside all of this.

Holding Vault contents are going to be more vulnerable. Perhaps that means that Raiding will be more interesting and rewarding. Though I suspect that active players will just leave those vaults much more empty.
Could we get some info on this? What does "More Vulnerable" mean? Will this vulnerability include Holding Vaults of inactive players? Lots of goodies are likely out there abandoned.

Yes, we've always planned that vaults outside of NPC settlements would be vulnerable. I believe the original plan was that all vaults in a player settlement would be turned over to the new owners whenever a player settlement was destroyed/conquered, and part of the reason for making it take so long to defeat a settlement was to provide time to grab your belongings and flee.

We haven't worked out the exact details for what we'd do in the short-term, but we do think that implementing some aspects of this would be a good counter-balance to adding Flag for PvP. One possibility we were considering was indeed saying that raiders would get a percentage of all the vaults at a holding, including personal and company vaults, rather than just a percentage of the bulk goods in the holding upkeep vault.

Of course, adding that vulnerability would also be a big incentive to not keep anything in those vaults, so the end result could be that holdings wind up with nothing in them other than the bare minimum of bulk resources anyway. To actually make this interesting, we might need some added incentives to storing things in holding vaults. At least there's already some incentive to keep spare ammo out in the wilderness so you don't always have to run back to town, but we might need a bit more than that.
Ummm…don't mean to be rude but PFO is NOT a fabulous on-line co-op RPG by any stretch of the imagination. The meat of this game lies in the open sandbox nature of it. You start allowing people to opt out (even more than they already can with High Sec hexes) and all you will have left is tasteless & overly chewy grizzle.

Didn't mean to imply that Pathfinder Online is an all-around meaty co-op RPG, just that some of the PvE pieces have enough meat on them (gathering, crafting, feat training, keyword matching, PvE combat tactics…smile that a person interested in one of those areas could keep busy and challenged for a good long time. If we can let people in who otherwise wouldn't play the game at all, and do so in a way that enriches the experience for the players who are willing/excited to PvP, then it's a shame to turn those players away unnecessarily.

At the end of the day, as a PvP-enthusiast, is it better to run into 5 players, 2 of whom are voluntarily and with full knowledge of the consequences flagged for PvP, or 1 player, who's flagged for PvP because that's the only option and they may or may not really be open to it? If the 3 non-PvP players would actually damage the experience for PvPers, then let's figure out what exactly would cause that damage and try to find ways to make it work. Better yet, let's find ways that those players make the sandbox more interesting for PvPers, even if they're not doing so as grudging victims.
Not so for refiners and crafters. In fact all you need to level a refiner to 20 is access to a handful of +3 uncommon gateway recipes and a few mats.

True, that is one of the easier paths that doesn't involve as much time-consuming gameplay. Still, you do need to use up some mats along the way, and recipes, all of which someone had to obtain, so that counts as part of the overall effort to advance. We could also look into some additional prereqs if the current ones feel too light.
If I create a bunch of these with names like Minion 1, Minion 2 etc can I add them all to the new single account system, sign them up to a company and use them to stand around holdings as scouts/access alts ?

Yes, though we do plan to eventually limit where you can log in, so you won't always be able to litter the world with alts. One of the few remaining items on the original roadmap was requiring that you log in at a shrine, and hopefully we'll be able to get back to something along those lines pretty quickly once these features are added. We may also add other limitations over time, or other methods of achieving the same goals, since we don't really want to incentivize heavy use of unpaid alts for activities that aren't necessarily all that fun.
So this opt in PvP thread says you are wanting to turn off the only token/carrot you gave pro PvP players over the last few years- escalation hexes being low security and rep hits in medium…… and make things official by saying that this is an opt in PvP game..

Kind of, though we do still want to say that PvP is hugely important to the territorial control aspect of the game, if not the deciding factor. If nothing else, by not opting in to PvP, you make it difficult, or even impossible, to meaningfully participate in that part of the game. Because that aspect of the game is so tightly connected to PvP, and pretty much needs to be, we have no problem requiring players to opt in to PvP to participate in it. In that sense, you don't have any choice but to opt in if you want to fully play every single aspect of the game.

Of course, even the other aspects of the game have tendrils into the territorial control game. Fortunately, those connections are more indirect, and we think there are balanced ways players could participate in them without opting in. There should be reasonable consequences for opting out, and/or some reasonable limits that those willing to opt in can enforce without actually killing those who opt out, but players could quite reasonably choose to opt out of PvP and still participate meaningfully and relatively completely in those aspects.
Bottom line is that more players running around will put life into the game short term. Much PR work will be needed to turn what the Internetz thinks PfO is though.
So maybe a PR campaign should be attempted before putting a "Superman is my body guard" switch?
Sadly, I don't think PR will do the trick. We just run into a lot of potential customers who won't play the game at all if there's any risk of ever being killed by another player. That sentiment has only gotten stronger as we've transitioned to an official Paizo product, since our even-more-obvious-than-it-already-was natural audience is Pathfinder players.

We don't want to up-end the whole game to make room for PvP-averse players, but there's a really meaty game here that many of them would enjoy but for the risk of PvP. Ideally, every player is still content for every other player in an important sense, so these new players still make the game world richer for everybody, they just won't be content in the sense of being potential PvP targets.