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All posts created by Flari-Merchant

Being a part of this from nearly the beginning has been the most rewarding MMO experience I have ever had, hands down. The potential of the core ideals and ideas for this game are the best combination I have ever seen and that is why I am still here. It would be a very large and ridiculously wasteful loss for all that has been accomplished to go into the dead "Could Have Been Great" MMO Graveyard.

What are those steps that might save the game? Well they are 3 MAJOR things that will cost a little bit more upfront but will make this enterprise viable for GW or for whomever might pick it up. They are 3 things that most of us have never wanted to see in this game. At least not back when we thought it would be a smashing success and revenue would never be a problem. Some will argue or feel that they are things that our crowd here would not tolerate and maybe they wouldn't. If the core of the game's finished product intent were to stay the same as the original, well then I have to say that I would tolerate them.

Some real problems:
1. The game is unfinished and, honestly, getting a little bit boring largely because of that. The game is frustrating in many ways because of incomplete mechanics, and so, unresolvable irritating play issues.
2. The revenue model AND the game engine are outdated.
Just these two things are probably significant enough to turn off many potential investors, if not almost all.

We(the players) are getting bored and losing interest. It has never been as evident to me as it is this month. Players deciding to shelve their accounts UNSUBSCRIBED has become something that is hitting home for me this month. I have decided to shelve 4 of my 5 remaining accounts and, again some honesty: I feel GOOD about it. In addition to this shocking self revelation, a very major player in the large alliance that I belong to is doing the same with 13 accounts though some are prepaid for a goodly while to come. This is just direct, in my face knowledge and evidence that the ship is not sailing well. I have to wonder how many accounts the game is bleeding monthly which I have no knowledge of?

Unresolvable Cycle:
You can't retain customers with the current unfinished and not yet coded feature set. –> You can't finish features and code new ones without a staff. –> You can't have a staff without revenue or investment capital to pay them, nor can you attract real investors if they do not see something about the game that will make it a popular MMO –> Go back to the start because the planned features would make this a popular MMO. ^^Up Arrow^^

Finally, The Steps!

STEP ONE: Rebrand this game to something like GOLARION ONLINE-A Pathfinder Universe Game.

STEP TWO: Go to a "Freemium + Cash Shop" model.
A.–Purchase the game(or make it free, whatever works best) and allow free xp gain and progress to level 6 only.
B.–Players may not be members of settlements or progress further unless earning xp. Higher level accounts revert to level 6 and become "Without Company" if they are not earning xp.

STEP THREE: Get the Cash Shop Iterated to include the following things.
A. Goblin Balls that are tradable in game on the AH and manually.
B. Something that We REALLY want that we can't craft or that is very difficult to craft at profit. I suggest(here we go with the part some will really not like) Ammunition. This should also be tradable in-game.

I have not listed much argument as to WHY these would be the steps toward success for this game, mostly because what I am laying out here is self evident.
Harad Navar
I have been doing some mapping for the new version of the Unofficial PFO Atlas. In particular I have been mapping resource nodes in a particular hex over 3 days, gathering all nodes I found. In 3 days I loged 143 nodes, 11 of which were repeats.
Here is an image from QGIS.
That is a pretty good bit of evidence that there are MANY possible node spots.
Territory declarations are partly ways to explain exactly how to start a war with the polity making the declaration. Such a war has a clear end condition- either the intruder stops intruding or the claimant vacates a portion of their claim.
That is the ultimate end case scenario in strongly enforced cases, I suppose.
I fail to see anyone expecting 100% compliance for their declarations in that thread. At least not from the point that the link led me to. What I see are some words and warnings, subtle and not so subtle, suggesting that there may be consequences for not heeding Territory Declarations. If only words have held back players from nabbing escalations up until a certain point, then of course words would be used. If words alone could have held back "The Barbarians" perhaps The Roman Empire would have lasted longer! smile

Maybe I am not looking at this in the right way. To me, these are declarations that we would like respected and they come with the certain promise that those spotted or caught will be pursued, killed, perhaps black listed, perhaps warned to stay out for a certain period. Whatever each group feels is enough to get the message across and cause the behavior to be curbed. I know that I certainly have never expected to catch everyone that chooses not to respect the declaration. That would be unrealistic. Nor have I ever expected that ALL would heed it.

What I hope and, I suppose expect, is that ALL are aware if caught there may be consequences. That's it! Laws and declarations are not made with the expectation of 100% compliance. They are made so that we know what is ok to do in general and what is considered illegal and will garner punishment if caught. It is up to those who make those laws and declarations to see that they are enforced avidly or weakly.

Speaking only for my group, we have been discussing lifting most such restrictions for the nonce simply because it is happening anyway. That due to a definite fading of enthusiasm as this funding thing drags on and on. Needless to say, we have not decided yet. There are good points on both sides of the issue.

This has little to do with the topic of whether regular banditry should have mechanical support that mitigates political pressure a little bit. Except in the very most broadest take on that subject.
You do not need to artificially create banditry for it to be a "thing".

The current server is a case in point. Several groups have claimed vast slabs of the map as their "territory" even though they only have a handful of active players. The justification varies. In one case one group claims that even though they are inactive they have a large playerbase subbed they can "batphone" to login if need be, another group has claimed multiple settlements apparently on the basis that they are very good at recruiting and will be filling those settlements once new corp brings new players. Scouting the map you will see escalations, even gatherings. going untouched for days at a time in these "claimed" areas.

The natural result of this? Multiple groups have started to ignore these artificial unsubstantiated claims and gather and take out escalations regardless.
I think it is wonderful. If there is enough angst generated by it, maybe some content will come. No one(that I have seen) who has declared territory has expected that it will not be violated just because they posted something on a forum and made a map. smile

What I HAVE seen is a lot of grumbling because some groups have DARED to post Territorial Borders and make maps.
As to what they have said about Factions(thx Edam) I kind of like and am happy with that. I am not sure what political messes we might be abe to engineer with them but the description looks like it will be a rich and rewarding system if done right and as described. It will simply be an added depth to your character with some perks for working at it that the whole server does not share exactly.

Sounds great.
So what really is needed here is a system wherein groups that want to do things like "respectable banditry" and merc operations don't always need to be under the threat of retaliation at their "home" digs. As much as we are all tired of hearing this, I think that part of that issue(right now) is simply a combination of A: Nothing else is going on so a couple bandit hits feels worthy of taking out a couple holdings and starting a war. B: Playing in to nothing much else happening is that it is so uncommon that it is remarkable enough to get upset about. The answer being that it will be much different when hiring Mercs and suffering bandit depredations is more common.

At the point when there are many more borders that need watching(more groups with potential for mischief) and protecting that will be more about measured response and acceptable annoyances. If a Merc company, in a prolonged war sides continually with one group or bandits focus excessively on one area then yeah, that will draw political heat even in a perfectly very busy server.

Yes I think it would be a good idea for bandits to have the ability to do their thing and not have to worry about getting the homestead burnt down. So what is needed is some type of holding that can be put down that is of value to the bandits(they don't want to lose it), is not part of their real home, is hard to find, and can be a setback of some kind to have found and burned.

The idea of bandits is cool and all that, but not without the ability to make them want to go do their work at someone else's homestead. We have to be able to get some satisfactory payback and deliver some negative feedback if there will be active banditry.
Thanks Edam!
I have to wonder if we are "too much time-no fulfillment" speculating The Faction System into something that it was never intended to be. If we are doing so in a realistically possible and favorable(to the planned design) way. If we are setting ourselves up for a mighty disappointing end product that is far less deep and powerful and complex a set of mechanics than we are "crowdforging" up here..

Pathfinder(especially Pathfinder Society) seems to thrive on factions and their interplay for story line and arcs, but realistically how many can there be in an MMO? Why do "divine" feats get described as "Faction" attacks in their descriptions, leading some to think that factions are intended to be religion based/parsed? That leaves lots of really great Factions like the above Aspis Consortium at loose ends or is it just unfortunate wordage that needs a pass over?
There are tons of possibly bad results from "safe zones" in such a sandbox including gathering risk free and generating coin risk free from whatever mobs might be available. Not arguing that or that safe zones is part of the answer. Not going to argue that free and wide open PVP is a good idea either.

Just in the example of having to possibly personally(with players) defend your settlement 23/7 if you don't want gankers running through it is an example of doomed(or at least player base limiting) design IMO. It just isn't realistic in any reasonable population level scenario with so many settlements to work from.