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All posts created by Flari-Merchant

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. It has morphed to something much more invasive towards overall game enjoyment, or it would if there were enough players for it to even matter.

Taking(even temporarily reducing) player POWER was never going to work out favorably in gen public realization… Notice I call it "Realization" rather than knee jerk "Opinion".

This is one of (and as Azure is trying to point out, I think) part of the many "frustrations" that playing the game so sweetly delivers in a negative snowball accumulative way.

Messing with, what people see rightly as, earned power potential has probably grown into a badly implemented mechanic. It can still work but needs real revamping and original goal re implementation.
Flari-Merchant
Bob
Maxen
If Paizo believes one of the necessary steps to attracting players is to level the playing field by freeing up hexes and settlements, I’m all for it.

We're not so much looking to free up many hexes or settlements, or really even slow the growth of any active settlements. The goal is just to balance out the advantages and disadvantages of expanding to make it a more meaningful choice, where right now we almost entirely incentivize expansion. It does seem likely that just about any system we came up with to achieve that would result in at least some groups pulling back a little bit, but we can scale the effect to minimize that.

Because territorial expansion of the huge player base is a serious concern, right now, overshadowing "Fun Play Factors" or "Quality of Play Factors with things like banking or armor color palates" or "aggravating combat bugs"?

THIS is a great example of a frustration and a concern and a well meaning shot but aimed at the wrong target. You might do better to work on "The Fun Play Stuff" or at least get it into discussion to encourage those hanging on and those waiting. Reading that those things are more hard to do does not help much…

I think that those commenting here, mostly, would like to see news of work on improving fun factors and player retention strategies and actual bug addressing or Quality of Play improvements rather than abstract mechanical balance issues that are not even problems yet. Even if those things are more difficult, will take longer and even require your team to have to learn how to do them.

Instead, as well meaning and probably as long range important as it is, you are telling us about work on more Player Chore Mechanics. You probably need a game that is really fun to play FIRST and a well balanced Territorial play experience secondly.

As always, just an opinion at this point. I do recognize that you inherited a real mess and are trying to make the best of it.

Not trying to assume that I absolutely know why anyone hangs on and plays the game still (except possibly nostalgia and reluctance to release "strong footholds"smile, but I can take a fairly experienced stab at why new players do not stick around. The concepts of the game are GREAT but, sadly put, The Game Is Pretty Boring and often (this is an enjoyment killer) FRUSTRATING. Many of the boxes that players want can be checked, in concept, yet they are just not implemented well or they are lacking or incomplete.

You ask for Crowdforging and those still interested have given their opinions, as few as they are. Not likely to be a ton more until you have more players that care.

Make everyday play fun now for best immediate results or work on long range endgame mechanics which, frankly, do nothing for new curious players that might stumble by to give the game a chance.

In the end it is your show to direct.

JFK- “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things (accomplishments and aspirations), not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

Take us to the moon, Bob!
Flari-Merchant
Seems like as with any complex design, the more things that you can generate or "build" with the system (in an unchecked way) the more out of control it can get.

That goes from everything from generating "coin/treasure" and Influence to Charter Companies to Holdings. It just gets out of control if there are no built in checks.

I get that and it makes sense.
Flari-Merchant
Thank you for explaining your concerns about Influence accumulation, Bob. It is more clear when detailed like that. I can understand your concerns about future issues in that area. What I do not think we will agree on is where the effort to improve the general "fun" of the PFO play experience might be focused for better results. Even though other issues (bug fixes like banking i.e.,) would require a deeper dive and more time than this Influence fix, I feel it would have more immediate impact.

Simply advice at this point. I can see with the mountain of work piled in front of you, how it could be easy to get distracted.

Just seems the focus has long ago fallen away from "what can be done FIRST to make hour by hour play fun for our customers" to "what can I tweak that is more quick and easy than those pesky bugs or graphics?" Yes, some needed fun factors will take longer than quick fixes. The results will probably pay off better in the long run though.

Concerns about perfectly balanced mechanics and smooth higher echelon functions can be tweaked any time. You need fun having players now though. Unless I am wrong and "fun having players" is a low priority which I can see scenarios where that might be a tactical outlook, but sheesh!

As Azure points out, there are other, easier options that could be used to curb that future potential problem.

It is a shame that Influence has so few uses in game. Would be cool if it could be spent on in numberless interesting settlement/kingdom boons or decorations or special structures i.e.

Not that it is the specifics of my examples that are important. It is the overall tactical approach to the strategic goal of the general operation.

Finally, you do deserve some "Hurrah!"'s for the recent thingy events like choose your Own Escalation" and other events. So I do see that you are not totally ignoring these things. Bravo! smile

As I stated, I don't really deserve much say in a game that I no longer play. I just find it hard to give up on the dream that I will be able to look forward to "wanting to play" this game again within a reasonable span of time.

Ahh, nostalgia and it's cursed pull on the heart!
Flari-Merchant
Bob,

Not sure how much weight my thoughts amount to as a former player but I'll toss in 2cp worth for you to consider.

You are a team of basically two (I assume Cole is still with you), which limits your speed at getting things done. Obviously, you are going to be super focused on things that need doing and are relatively simple for practicality. Yet, remembering why I have lost interest in playing PFO in its current state, I can't help but be dismayed that your focus looks like it is still on the "dreadful CHORE like play required and mechanics for keeping settlements/holdings/companies operating". These things while fun for some, really are not fun for the average gamer.

Are there MANY highly active settlements right now, such that there is a shortage of land? Are there LOTS of feuds breaking out across the map, making organized conflict too easy to start and onerous on the general pop?

If the answers are no, or even "not really", then why use your valuable time on them now?
Maybe that stuff should be frozen or disconnected.

Is banking with crowded vaults user friendly now or still a frakk show of frustration?
Are there any new monsters out or any new better NPC interactions?
Better monster/NPC AI?
Anything new and intriguing in the cash/Azoth shop?
How is the tutorial coming along?
New armor models? Better or more armor/clothing color options?
Some annoying combat/spell bugs cleaned up?
Some new spell effect animation/sounds implemented?
Etc…

My 2 cp would be to humbly suggest that you try and make the game more fun, with your time, as far as regular play goes. Enhance "Quality of Life". Add depth to everyday play. Freeze bothersome "chore play" and then maybe you won't have to worry about too much accumulation.
Flari-Merchant
This is on the right track for creating In Game "events". Nicely done.
Flari-Merchant
Always really nice to see enthusiasm for this game because I still have it too (now mostly nostalgic) even if I no longer play it. In my heart there is still a belief that it is a game brimming with potential and more than a few concepts to it that were designed well and differently than other MMOs do things.

As for TT players, this game is way too far away from PFRPG to even have the name it does. That needs fixing. The game, not necc. the title…

Of all other MMO players that I know (situation specific to my own self and not including some that I met playing this and are still here, ymmv) this game still lacks some important things. These players seem to be more hung up on games with better EYE CANDY, better STORY, better ADVENTURING or a mix of those three. It is difficult for them to see playing this game for free (hindered as they still would be) but especially paying to play such an unfinished "frame work" even in an unhindered way.
-Eye Candy is severely lacking and there is no point going into that as it is obvious.
-There is no real dynamic STORY because it was designed as a player driven sandbox. Someone (including early fans like myself) forgot that a "sandbox" can still have a great and dynamic under-laying story even if the local politics, economy and player culture is left up to the players. When there ain't barely any players, leaving that stuff up to us really falls short in keeping up interest. Increasing "STORY" by turning escalations "back on" feels like about the easiest, cheapest way to do that and (right now) has too many negative consequences attached. Not a good idea. Find better ways to bring the world around your players to life. Please understand that I do feel like the concept behind the escalation system was/is brilliant (one of the ideas I like most about this game) but it needs a larger pop… to work.
-Problem is, escalations and related spin offs are just about the only way to ADVENTURE outside of PVP. This lacking needs some attention.

I have to disagree a lil about PVP. That aspect is an important part of what this game is about. Biggest problem is that it was never fully developed/polished one way or the other so players from all "camps" became disgruntled or fear becoming disgruntled. It is a delicate subject. It needs to be improved and developed in a responsible way, but it needs to exist. I guess that you did not really dismiss all PVP aspects so maybe we do not really disagree. smile


As I have alluded to, I was around since some of the earliest days of this game's development. I have really given it more of a try than any other MMO I have ever played. The way that the mechanics work became just too boring eventually. This is my point of view and not meant to define the experience of other people. The mehanics of operating settlements, holdings, etc. while still trying to find enjoyment in "being a merchant" just became too… draining. They are like chores…. The chores just became too much as the pop continued to decline.

The way that this game was designed, has been modified on since and plays now requires a larger and active population to work right. It is just a "busywork" festival now with too few quality of life features to ease that problem.

TDLR; The game has much potential. The game has a few really neat twists on things that could make it better (in concept) than other offerings. At this point though, this game just has no "spice" to it to help it come together as a whole. Like a culinary masterpiece prepared without any seasonings, advanced cooking techniques, or even a little flavored oil. It's a pile of vaguely hooked together mechanical operations without any real "flavor".

Paizo needs to do something that causes the population to explode AND to get some $$$ rolling in. Until they do, there can't really ever be a "Great Birth" and success.
Flari-Merchant
Market what?

Please don't get my meaning wrong here as look what HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED by a tiny team with a droplet budget and compare it to absolute failures such as Chronicles of Elyria with it's (supposedly larger team by magnitudes) and at least double (but likely triple) the money spent on it.

There is a great foundation here but this, so far, lacks… a compelling atmosphere. smile

Until a way can be figured to both attract players in large numbers as well as monetize attractive aspects of advanced, enhanced or even incentivise certain "buyable aspects" of game play- the game will develop very slowly. That may be good enough for some, including the producers, but I've gotten burned out.

Need to generate income to be a viable, visibly improving project. At least within this gamer's lifetime.

But, sometimes in order to get something great you have to give something great to get attractive, baited hooks out there and yes, always work on ways to grow your income stream…

Perfect Game = attractively playable in a FTP model (so that 10,000's play) yet addictive enough that many (1000's) will spend money on it.
Flari-Merchant
Thanks for the feedback, Wibblyone. I don't think that the game will work very well until they can get the population up. They are considering things that they can do to make that happen and I am eagerly waiting to read what ways those are.

Considering the state the game is in right now, do you have any ideas?
Flari-Merchant
Good work, Azure! Keep growing.