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It's Only The Beginning

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It turns out: I like writing blogs. And here you thought you got rid of me!

For the past six months, I have been very focused on Pathfinder Online now that it has been released into the wild. Since January, we have had nine large releases of content, and we've progressed to the point where I am really happy with the game and the community that has built up around it. So I'm going to be writing this weekly blog each Saturday to keep you up to date about the cool things going on in Pathfinder Online and to let you in on what is coming down the turnpike. Think of it as an Auntie Lisa's Story Blog with a focus on Pathfinder Online!

Starting Has Never Been Easier

With the latest release this past week, Pathfinder Online has entered a new realm of convenience and ease. The new patch focused on the new player experience, providing a new improved tutorial, an improvement to the maps in the game, and most importantly, newly improved tool tips which provide enhanced information to the player on what something does and how to most effectively use it. Pathfinder Online, like the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, is a fairly complex and detailed game, so providing lots of information for players is paramount.


A new player gets advice outside of Thornkeep

It is also way easier to get into the game and start playing. Every new account comes with a free 15-day trial period. At the end of that period, you just start paying your $15 per month subscription fee to keep playing. No box price. No levels of membership. Just one small price per month for countless hours of entertainment!

Monsters, Monsters Everywhere!

While Pathfinder Online has had a wide variety of your typical bestiary monsters such as goblins, skeletons, ogres, bandits, wolves, and more, we keep adding new monsters to the game, and I'd like to acquaint you with the two most recent additions.

The Emerald Spire Superdungeon is at the heart of many of the bad things that plague the Echo Wood region of the River Kingdoms. The Emerald Spire itself delves deep into the earth, opening up rifts into the Darklands. One group that used the Spire to enter the region is the duergar slavers. The dark dwarves have found fertile ground for their slave raids amongst the folks of the Echo Wood and the heroes need to push them back to their dark home.


Fighting back the duergar slavers!

Like any good invasion force, the Duergar are well rounded in their roles. The fighting force is made up of Warriors, Soldiers and Defenders. They also have Scouts and Silencers to sneak around and do rogue-type stuff. Their ranged groups are made up of the Junior and Senior Artillery squads as well as the Bombers. Every army needs its divine support and the Priests of the Duergar do Drokar's work well. Finally, the wizardly sages provide spells in support of their compatriots. Because of their diversity, the Duergar are one of the harder groups to fight in the game, able to provide stout fighters along with destructive ranged combat and spells. They have been testing the mettle of all since their arrival on the scene.

The other group of creatures that has recently made the Echo Wood more deadly are the elementals that have been unleashed. Once again, the Emerald Spire is the culprit for this invasion of aggressive elementals. Ranging in size from rather cute small elementals all the way up to towering huge elementals, the diversity in challenges is unparalleled. These elemental harness many types of elemental energies, from the fiery Magma Elementals, to the dusty Sand Elementals, to the rocky Earth Elementals, and the freezing Ice Elementals, the sheer scope of the various energies at play can be daunting, not to mention the sheer size of the largest ones.


Battling ice, magma, and earth elementals

The first appearance of these creatures in the game happened near my in-game home, Pathfinder University, and it took the combined might of many different settlements sending their best adventurers to turn back the tide and defeat the elementals. Part of the fight was done live from PaizoCon, as experienced veterans and new players alike allied to fight the elementals off.

The Face of Evil

One of the things we unveiled at PaizoCon was the fact that each month, there would be a server-wide event that would drop unique loot and advance the storyline of the Echo Woods, challenging the players to defend their homes. For the month of July, the server event is called The Wrath of Nhur Athemon. Check out the video we made for the PaizoCon banquet!

If you played the Emerald Spire Superdungeon, you are well aware of Nhur Athemon, the renegade Azlanti who was imprisoned below the Emerald Spire many hundreds of years ago by his Azlanti brethren. Nhur Athemon is now a lich using his vast powers to spy upon the Echo Woods above his dungeon prison. His anger at what is happening above is coming to a boil, and it's going to take the combined might of the server to fend off Nhur Athemon and his minions.

If you want to be part of this epic event, be sure to get into the game and gear up right away! The Wrath of Nhur Athemon is a one time event that will not be repeated!

Player Character Profile: Laurethoron

I think one of the most interesting things about Pathfinder Online is that it allows players to make their own stories, just as they do in the RPG. So each week, I intend to showcase a different Pathfinder Online player and that player's main character. And to start it all off, I'm going to do something that everybody always does to me: I want to tell you about my character.

Laurethoron is a female elven fighter who has a smattering of cleric and rogue skills to augment her fighting prowess. She wields a longbow and a greatsword. In January, I started the game in the southeastern corner of the map in the Southern Cragthorn mountains, centering my adventures around the Neutral Good settlement of Brighthaven. For the first month or so, I battled goblins, ogres, bandits, wolves and undead with the members of the Argent Crusade company, with occasional forays against the much tougher Ustalav invaders and Mordant Spire elves.

While my time with the folks of Brighthaven was awesome, I felt that I needed to do something in game to encourage my fellow workers at both Goblinworks and Paizo to play together, so I started a company called the Bloodstone Swords, based on the mercenary group detailed on page 12 of the Pathfinder Chronicles: Faction Guide. We moved our base of operations to the NPC town of Thornkeep and started building a crafting empire to outfit all the new players being added to our company. Gathering resources and leveling up my crafter characters took much of my time for the next few weeks as plans were laid and implemented. At the end of that time, the Swords had swelled to 26 characters and we were ready to start adventuring. To date, we have mostly tackled lower-level adventures as everyone got used to working together, though recently an enclave of Mordant Spire elves was spotted in the hills to the north of our home; we have been battling them, though the cost has been high in deaths. Fortunately, Pharasma, Golarion's goddess of death, has taken a special interest in this region, and death is just a temporary setback.

About a month ago, it was time to move again. NPC settlements are great for getting started, but the only way to gain advanced training for your characters is to become part of a player-run settlement. After looking around the game, we settled on Pathfinder University, a settlement run by a group of players who are dedicating their gameplay to helping new players learn the game and get situated with equipment and training. I liked their mission, so we dedicated the Swords to helping them out, and moved from Thornkeep to University Commons. We are now safely ensconced in our new home and have made a bunch of new friends including Pathfinder U's Faculty and many of the recruits that the University helps out.


Laurethoron stands outside the Bloodstone Swords' Library Holding

As community members, we have taken on the responsibility to build and maintain a few holdings and outposts in the hexes surrounding University Commons. To the south, we built a Library, supported by a lumber camp and a hunting camp. To the southwest, we built a Sanctum, again with the support of lumber and hunting outposts. To build these structures, we had to gather raw resources; refine them into items such as iron nuggets and hemp rope; beat down a few of the escalations that plague the land, giving us victory markers that allow us to claim the territory we want to build on; then bring everything together to make the buildings. It was a tall task that took the skills of numerous Swords to pull off, but now we are the proud owners of two hexes that will support University Commons.

The Bloodstone Swords have also started a little business making nicer gear for beginning characters and providing them with spells and recipes that allow them to craft their own items. Our crafting queues have been pretty full making goods to put into the Auction House and our gatherers keep us stocked with raw materials.

In the next months, we will continue to support Pathfinder University, but we also have a new goal. A few weeks ago, I invited all of the Pathfinder Society Venture Officers to join the game, and they've been flooding in from all parts of the world. Right now they are getting their feet under them in the game, but I don't doubt that there will be quests and goals aplenty for this group as they spread their wings in the game, and the Bloodstone Swords will be there to lend a hand.

Lisa Stevens
CEO

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Online
Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Hey Lisa,

I was one of the Kickstarter backers, and I didn't hear anything about access to the game back in January. I don't remember the level of donation, but I did receive the T-shirt and autographed module. Perhaps my level of donation didn't qualify me. In any event, I thought I would mention this in the forum since there may be others who donated and did not realize it was already underway.

Thanks much,
Keith Parker

Goblin Squad Member

Lisa,

Thanks for writing this blog, I look forward to future installments ! :)

Goblin Squad Member

Keith,

Information on this game has been ongoing for over two years via Kickstarter updates, Paizo and Goblinworks forums and emails, exposure on gaming sites and reddit, and Paizo store\blog updates. They have been getting the word out for a while. :)

contact customer support if you have any account questions or concerns :

customer.support@goblinworks.com

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Giorgo wrote:

Keith,

Information on this game has been ongoing for over two years via Kickstarter updates, Paizo and Goblinworks forums and emails, exposure on gaming sites and reddit, and Paizo store\blog updates. They have been getting the word out for a while. :)

contact customer support if you have any account questions or concerns :

customer.support@goblinworks.com

It wasn't a complaint as much as an observation. I really don't remember seeing an email about this, and I have tried to stay current, but completely missed this one.

Oh, well. It is what it is. I'll get in touch with customer service and make sure my contact info is up to date.

Thanks for replying. :)

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Good stuff. That Emerald Spire Dungeon *must* materialize some day in PFO, it could be one of the main draws to the game at some point, both from a PvE and PvP perspective.

I realize it's a massive amount of work, but it looks to cool to pass on.

Goblin Squad Member

Tyncale wrote:

Good stuff. That Emerald Spire Dungeon *must* materialize some day in PFO, it could be one of the main draws to the game at some point, both from a PvE and PvP perspective.

I realize it's a massive amount of work, but it looks to cool to pass on.

I'd strongly advise:-

* Roguelike elements: Procedural modules per level to mix it up
* Torchbearer survival elements: Half the dungeon should be survival gear as well as monster-hunting
* Career specialization: Dungeoneering as a career

Remember content-heavy = costly and dev-time heavy => proportional returns by the player base on usage/satisfaction which means the above "replayability" and challenge/cost.

Goblin Squad Member

Could you "math it up" a little more, Avena, that was not nearly enough. Every time you post, I somehow get a picture of Russel Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind" in my head. :)


Why only the usual D&D monsters? This is pathfinder online right? I wanna fight Jorogumo, Proteans, Buggane, Solar and Lunar Dragons and other such Pathfinder jewels, all the D&D monsters from bestiary 1 are fine, but already done in D&D games such as neverwinter & CO.

Goblin Squad Member

Keith the Thief wrote:

Hey Lisa,

I was one of the Kickstarter backers, and I didn't hear anything about access to the game back in January. I don't remember the level of donation, but I did receive the T-shirt and autographed module. Perhaps my level of donation didn't qualify me. In any event, I thought I would mention this in the forum since there may be others who donated and did not realize it was already underway.

Thanks much,
Keith Parker

Were you one of the backers for the tech demo Kickstarter, or the second one? Because if it was the first (the tech demo one), that didn't really come with access unless you paid through the nose for the alpha access.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

MythicFox wrote:
Keith the Thief wrote:

Hey Lisa,

I was one of the Kickstarter backers, and I didn't hear anything about access to the game back in January. I don't remember the level of donation, but I did receive the T-shirt and autographed module. Perhaps my level of donation didn't qualify me. In any event, I thought I would mention this in the forum since there may be others who donated and did not realize it was already underway.

Thanks much,
Keith Parker

Were you one of the backers for the tech demo Kickstarter, or the second one? Because if it was the first (the tech demo one), that didn't really come with access unless you paid through the nose for the alpha access.

It was the tech demo. That would explain it.

Thanks!


Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.

Goblin Squad Member

w w 379 wrote:
Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.

You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Definitively not a turn off for those of us who are early backers, understand the potential and pitfalls of this early access game in development, and who agree that a small team (without the size and budget of AAA publishers) with a steady source of income is a good thing. :)

Keeping the lights on and the staff paid does wonders for morale and keeping the game development ongoing....

I have been playing since Alpha 7 (last summer) and I have seen the dramatic improvements in the game ever month since EE1; well worth my $15/month contribution to the games ongoing development.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder online is the best fantasy sandbox game on the market right now (okay, okay it isn't all that amazing to beat out Darkfall and Mortal but there you go) and it is getting better with each patch. There isn't a lot out there right now that is released and anywhere near this much fun.

Best way I can find to spend $15 a month.


I cannot name any grounds on which PFO could possibly be considered better than DFU/DFO or MO.

Both games offer maps with a wide variety of visual appearance to areas, some of them very impressive like the floating elven city in DFO or the massive/ornate tunnel though the mountain in the middle of nowhere in Mortal.

PFO, not so much, and none of it looks very impressive.

People may sometimes feel abused during PvP in Mortal and DFO but at least there IS PvP... and people. Not only that but with real loot drop (the kind where you couldn't just bank your inventory before PvP to negate all real losses) and actual territorial control there was meaningful PvP too.

Mortal had the best animal taming and breeding system I've ever seen. Darkfall Unholy War's naval combat is the best out there period. PFO has.... a crafting system prettymuch ripped of directly from EVE?

Wurm is hands down the best fantasy sandbox until LiF and CF are more ready, and it's F2P w/ 15 Euros per TWO months for premium. Unlike PFO LiF and CF have enough people still behind them to actually become something someday.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

How do you explain The Repopulation ? They have less money (They got less than 500k by KS), they are in a way more advanced stage, in less time, but for the same type of game, and the alpha is a real alpha, without subscription.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lisa Stevens wrote:
I think one of the most interesting things about Pathfinder Online is that it allows players to make their own stories, just as they do in the RPG

But not through any game mechanic specifically designed to support, encourage or enhance role playing. It is left entirely up to the player's imagination and ability to meta game those supports not found in the game.

It would be helpful to have view able character bios (if the player chooses to make them public).

Settlements could have a sign, click and read, to discover what the settlement stands for or an update on its recent news or planned events.

Social clothing, company uniforms,greater color palette for item customization, and social emotes (animated).

I realize that many of these may be in the works, but in general more RP tools are needed.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Most fun gaming I've ever had. Awesome community that lives up to the Paizo tradition (even those on the other end of the pointy things coming at me).

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
things

Andius, just so you don't think I missed this. I'm no longer interested in whatever turned you bitter. While I may or may not read your posts, I don't intend to ever address any more points you bring up, regardless of validity. Good luck with your life.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
things
Andius, just so you don't think I missed this. I'm no longer interested in whatever turned you bitter. While I may or may not read your posts, I don't intend to ever address any more points you bring up, regardless of validity. Good luck with your life.

Audoucet=/=Andius, there are more letters.


Tharak Venethorn wrote:

I cannot name any grounds on which PFO could possibly be considered better than DFU/DFO or MO.

Both games offer maps with a wide variety of visual appearance to areas, some of them very impressive like the floating elven city in DFO or the massive/ornate tunnel though the mountain in the middle of nowhere in Mortal.

PFO, not so much, and none of it looks very impressive.

People may sometimes feel abused during PvP in Mortal and DFO but at least there IS PvP... and people. Not only that but with real loot drop (the kind where you couldn't just bank your inventory before PvP to negate all real losses) and actual territorial control there was meaningful PvP too.

Mortal had the best animal taming and breeding system I've ever seen. Darkfall Unholy War's naval combat is the best out there period. PFO has.... a crafting system prettymuch ripped of directly from EVE?

Wurm is hands down the best fantasy sandbox until LiF and CF are more ready, and it's F2P w/ 15 Euros per TWO months for premium. Unlike PFO LiF and CF have enough people still behind them to actually become something someday.

To each their own and my post can be read as 'for me'. But it really isn't a competition at all.

Wurm isn't designed around inter-player conflict. Darkfall has no economy. MO is even buggier then PFO, the skill system is awful, and its f2p model sucks.

For single shard, economically driven, one-character can do anything games you have this one and EVE Online and my spaceship flying days are over.

PFO is a wonderful start to a game with an empty market niche and all the potential in the world.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
things
Andius, just so you don't think I missed this. I'm no longer interested in whatever turned you bitter. While I may or may not read your posts, I don't intend to ever address any more points you bring up, regardless of validity. Good luck with your life.
Audoucet=/=Andius, there are more letters.

You're right. My apologies. Your disappointment is much different, and I apologize for confusing the two of you.


Rynnik wrote:

To each their own and my post can be read as 'for me'. But it really isn't a competition at all.

Wurm isn't designed around inter-player conflict. Darkfall has no economy. MO is even buggier then PFO, the skill system is awful, and its f2p model sucks.

For single shard, economically driven, one-character can do anything games you have this one and EVE Online and my spaceship flying days are over.

PFO is a wonderful start to a game with an empty market niche and all the potential in the world.

I am comparing those games to PFO as it is now. Why?

Rynnik wrote:
Pathfinder online is the best fantasy sandbox game on the market right now...

So. What inter-player conflict is central to PFO at this point, or more meaningful than the PvP found on Wurm's epic or chaos servers where there are now player made kingdoms?

What's so great about a game being single shard if that single shard contains less players on it than each of the multiple shards of other games? If this game is economically driven it needs faucets and drains. Where are the drains in PFO's economy?

This game is a start of something but I've been slamming this game on the MMORPG boards for not having a single event with more than 43 players that I've heard of and nobody seems to be countering. Why aren't they combating that info like Ryan asked them to unless it's not false? Why would PFO be hiding their population stats if they are actually anything halfway decent?

When the DFU community is screaming the sky is falling because only 20-30 people showed up to one of their recent sieges why should we expect that the PFO community can advance any faster when they haven't posted any numbers larger since the stress test in alpha when the game was still full F2P?

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?
How do you explain The Repopulation ? They have less money (They got less than 500k by KS), they are in a way more advanced stage, in less time, but for the same type of game, and the alpha is a real alpha, without subscription.

No two groups of people have the same goals, dynamics, motivations, and a host of other things that have direct implications for their willingness to take on risk and their expectations of compensation. I applaud the developers of Repopulation, but Repopulation isn't PFO, and the developers are different people. I don't know why there's a difference, and I don't need to know. Whether Repopulation is a better value per consumer dollar doesn't affect (for me) whether PFO is an acceptable value. I shop at a grocery store that is, on average, a little more expensive than one of the other options in my area. I like the layout, and the people, and the products. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like those things at the other store, and it doesn't mean that they are a better store. It's where I choose to spend my money. I don't want to shop at Repopulation, so I don't assess whether they offer a better value for my dollar.


Personally, unless I've researched a product and it's competition, I don't tend to assert that it's the only thing like it on the market or the greatest thing like it on the market as the PFO community continually does.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Well The Rep is Sci-fi, so it won't please everyone. PFO's fantasy setting tends to be more popular.

But its existence proves that it's not necessarily impossible to make a PFO type of game, without a subscription so early in development. Which is why I don't consider "You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?" as a valid answer to someone concerned about the current business model.

Paizo Employee CEO

Keith the Thief wrote:

Hey Lisa,

I was one of the Kickstarter backers, and I didn't hear anything about access to the game back in January. I don't remember the level of donation, but I did receive the T-shirt and autographed module. Perhaps my level of donation didn't qualify me. In any event, I thought I would mention this in the forum since there may be others who donated and did not realize it was already underway.

Thanks much,
Keith Parker

Hey Keith. We send emails out to Kickstarter backers pretty much every week. You would be surprised, but almost half of them are never opened and read. Could be a spam filter or we have the wrong email address on file, or whatnot. Please send an email to customer.support@paizo.com and tell Ryan that you aren't getting notifications. He will get to the bottom of what the problem is. In the meantime, feel free to get started!

-Lisa

Paizo Employee CEO

Myth Lord wrote:
Why only the usual D&D monsters? This is pathfinder online right? I wanna fight Jorogumo, Proteans, Buggane, Solar and Lunar Dragons and other such Pathfinder jewels, all the D&D monsters from bestiary 1 are fine, but already done in D&D games such as neverwinter & CO.

It takes time to build those creatures. They have to be built by 3D modelers, animated, and tested. It takes around a month to make a monster in a game like PFO. It takes perhaps a day to make one in a Bestiary for the PFRPG. So they are going to outstrip the online game not to mention they had 4 Bestiaries head start. We need to get the baseline monsters into the game before we start to get more esoteric monsters.

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
w w 379 wrote:
Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

I understand it. You understand it. But the real question is, did the devs understand it when they came up with the business plan? I have never seen a company sell boxes to their game and then cancel the need for it before the game even fully launches. I would imagine there is some potential for really bad PR based on the number of people who pledged during the Kickstarter and may have decided to just wait for Open Enrollment. Are those folks being compensated in some way?

I think this is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with the dev's perception of the market.

Don't get me wrong, it's better not to have it. The box charge was crazy to even attempt, but folks running an MMO should have realized that from the beginning and not need folks on a bunch of forums to point it out to them.

Goblin Squad Member

Calidor Cruciatus wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
w w 379 wrote:
Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

I understand it. You understand it. But the real question is, did the devs understand it when they came up with the business plan? I have never seen a company sell boxes to their game and then cancel the need for it before the game even fully launches. I would imagine there is some potential for really bad PR based on the number of people who pledged during the Kickstarter and may have decided to just wait for Open Enrollment. Are those folks being compensated in some way?

I think this is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with the dev's perception of the market.

Like battle plans, no business plan survives first salvo. They got it wrong. Life goes on. Now they are working to make it work within the market they actually have. The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming. The people who have gotten to play for the a while. They all get the free extras. They still get their Destiny's Twin, which is currently going for between $100 and $400. Big loss for that $35 or $100 pledge, eh?

Maybe they'll offer the rest of us some extras as compensation, maybe they won't. What do you get from assuming the worst? Perhaps you think those people that are waiting would be better off if they just said "Well, that didn't work. Shut it down."?

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Calidor Cruciatus wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
w w 379 wrote:
Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

I understand it. You understand it. But the real question is, did the devs understand it when they came up with the business plan? I have never seen a company sell boxes to their game and then cancel the need for it before the game even fully launches. I would imagine there is some potential for really bad PR based on the number of people who pledged during the Kickstarter and may have decided to just wait for Open Enrollment. Are those folks being compensated in some way?

I think this is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with the dev's perception of the market.

Like battle plans, no business plan survives first salvo. They got it wrong. Life goes on. Now they are working to make it work within the market they actually have. The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming. The people who have gotten to play for the a while. They all get the free extras. They still get their Destiny's Twin, which is currently going for between $100 and $400. Big loss for that $35 or $100 pledge, eh?

Maybe they'll offer the rest of us some extras as compensation, maybe they won't. What do you get from assuming the worst? Perhaps you think those people that are waiting would be better off if they just said "Well, that didn't work. Shut it down."?

And responses like this one are why I don't post here anymore. But to answer your ridiculous question, I think they probably should have announced some compensation or at least addressed the matter when they announced the change. Again, Business/Marketing 101.

Goblin Squad Member

Calidor Cruciatus wrote:
And responses like this one are why I don't post here anymore. But to answer your ridiculous question, I think they probably should have announced some compensation or at least addressed the matter when they announced the change. Again, Business/Marketing 101.

while leaving open the possibility of compensation, I don't presume it's a done deal. They could also be hoping to avoid it, or be testing systems for delivering something based on current participation and not yet know if they can deliver. You clearly didn't take Marketing where I did.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming.

Er, are you sure ? Didn't Kobold Cleaver lose his, without activating it ?

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming.
Er, are you sure ? Didn't Kobold Cleaver lose his, without activating it ?

No. He made a really bad assumption that Goblinworks would automatically suspend his account if he didn't login during the next billing period.

Can you imagine the uproar if Goblinworks had automatically suspended all accounts that were using free time at the end of every billing period, causing those accounts to stop gaining XP?

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming.
Er, are you sure ? Didn't Kobold Cleaver lose his, without activating it ?

absolutely. See Nihimon's response for details. (though I would probably have used something like careless, or unfortunate, rather than "really bad")

And in the end, he got more for his account because it had been running and accumulating XP than he ever would have if it had been suspended, though he might have continued to play if it had.


Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Calidor Cruciatus wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
w w 379 wrote:
Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

I understand it. You understand it. But the real question is, did the devs understand it when they came up with the business plan? I have never seen a company sell boxes to their game and then cancel the need for it before the game even fully launches. I would imagine there is some potential for really bad PR based on the number of people who pledged during the Kickstarter and may have decided to just wait for Open Enrollment. Are those folks being compensated in some way?

I think this is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with the dev's perception of the market.

Like battle plans, no business plan survives first salvo. They got it wrong. Life goes on. Now they are working to make it work within the market they actually have. The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming. The people who have gotten to play for the a while. They all get the free extras. They still get their Destiny's Twin, which is currently going for between $100 and $400. Big loss for that $35 or $100 pledge, eh?

Maybe they'll offer the rest of us some extras as compensation, maybe they won't. What do you get from assuming the worst? Perhaps you think those people that are waiting would be better off if they just said "Well, that didn't work. Shut it down."?

But people still make business and battle plans for a reason. Investors still want to see your business plan before they will back you.

The difference between a good business plan and a bad business plan isn't if everything will happen 100% how the plan says but how close the plan is to reality, and how adaptable it is when things don't go according to plan.

Lets be generous and say the current store sales are equal to the costs of all non-employee wage business expenses including marketing, server maintenance, any equipment and programs that must be purchased etc. even though there are no box sales for the game anymore.

Then going by your figure of 50k a month to pay all wages they would need 3,333 and 1/3 subscribers to simply break even.

Anyone figure this game actually has that many paid subs atm. not counting destiny's twins, trial accounts, or people on pre-paid time?

Because if not this game is bleeding money faster than it's bringing it in. Layoffs, a shutdown, or a sell out will occur as soon as the KSer/personal investor's money runs outs. Unless the game can be brought above the point where it is bleeding money before they reach that point.

There clearly aren't the thousands of players waiting in line to be let in with each new month of EE for Ryan Dancey's EVE so major adaptation of the business model is needed. Like a few months ago soon. I'll give a hint. 15$ a month doesn't even work for a lot of much more successful titles.

Goblin Squad Member

I think it is pretty obvious that mistakes were made with nomenclature (alpha, beta, EE, etc); with Minimum Viable Product and ultimately who defines that; and with the business model.

It is time to move on from that and look forward to the next CRITICAL six months of development.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Why don't people on prepaid time count for profit/loss? Clearly they have already made their contribution to cash flow, and were given a liability in the form of game time. Doesn't the voiding of that liability count?

Community Manager

Removed a couple of posts. Please be civil to each other, and mindful of our Community Guidelines.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Keith the Thief wrote:

Hey Lisa,

I was one of the Kickstarter backers, and I didn't hear anything about access to the game back in January. I don't remember the level of donation, but I did receive the T-shirt and autographed module. Perhaps my level of donation didn't qualify me. In any event, I thought I would mention this in the forum since there may be others who donated and did not realize it was already underway.

Thanks much,
Keith Parker

Hey Keith. We send emails out to Kickstarter backers pretty much every week. You would be surprised, but almost half of them are never opened and read. Could be a spam filter or we have the wrong email address on file, or whatnot. Please send an email to customer.support@paizo.com and tell Ryan that you aren't getting notifications. He will get to the bottom of what the problem is. In the meantime, feel free to get started!

-Lisa

Yep, it may be something as simple as the spam filter. I know I got updates at first, then it seemed like updates stopped. So it goes. No worries. I'll get it straightened out with customer service and start playing as soon as I can. Thanks for replying!

Scarab Sages

Rather unfortunate to see this not getting off to a better start with the hype many of us had when we got the announcement it was in the works a while ago. I'm one of those that was feeling it and looking forward to it, then as my enjoyment of Pathfinder RPG and the terrible mythic system sucking the last bits of fun, I'm now a causal gamer that used to play/raid WoW 4 to 5 hours. Now that I'm not, games like PFO aren't my cup of tea. I'm curious how many others, initial fans looking forward to PFO, now aren't with the glitches, not so great system, even the new 1:27 promo is terrible with a 1985 graphic of the lich talking.

Dark Archive

Is there some sort of trick to getting started?

My 15 free days have activated, but I just keep getting the message 'Could not connect to: pfo.goblinworks.com' when I try to log in.

Goblin Squad Member

Set wrote:

Is there some sort of trick to getting started?

My 15 free days have activated, but I just keep getting the message 'Could not connect to: pfo.goblinworks.com' when I try to log in.

Server Downtime every day from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM Pacific.

This is prominently announced in the Patcher.

Scarab Sages

Looks like we can close this thread, much like the staff at Goblinwerks and eventually the game itself.

So paizo drops the ball on mythic, pathfinder online, and the VTT thats been dead or in the works but now stopped for the past 3 years.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kohl McClash wrote:

Looks like we can close this thread, much like the staff at Goblinwerks and eventually the game itself.

So paizo drops the ball on mythic, pathfinder online, and the VTT thats been dead or in the works but now stopped for the past 3 years.

You can choose to think of it that way.

I choose to acknowledge that an investor pulled out, and Goblinworks tried very hard to find more investment to make up for it, but unfortunately couldn't find it before funds dropped below a critical threshold. Meanwhile, instead of shutting down like other studios have done, they've tightened their bootstraps and made a commitment to the players to fight as hard and as long as they can to make this game succeed. Lisa Stevens herself poured her heart out to the community, and is now working actively with settlement leaders to make sure that everyone's ideas are heard and that the game has the highest chance to not only survive, but bounce back and actually become a success.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bluddwolf wrote:

I think it is pretty obvious that mistakes were made with nomenclature (alpha, beta, EE, etc); with Minimum Viable Product and ultimately who defines that; and with the business model.

It is time to move on from that and look forward to the next CRITICAL six months of development.

Wow, didn't I call that?

Here's the thing, in my opinion of course... Almost everything has to be on the table, as far as the game is concerned, in order to get a new backer.

The only thing Paizo needs to protect is the IP, that is PFO's only valuable asset.

Even if they have to remove all of the PVP, and just make it a PVE Sandbox, without all of the expensive bells and whistles that go with the typical Theme Park MMO. The only thing they must do is get a backer willing to invest in a whole new game engine. You can't start a new game with an engine that has been obsolete for 6 years.

There is a difference between building a cheaper MMO and building an MMO on the cheap.

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