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Goblin Squad Member. 2,998 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.


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Goblin Squad Member

Ok, there's little point in writing more as we're not really talking about the same things. In fact it's counter-product for my entire approach to continue this conversation so I'll write this and drop this thread from now on. The work is moving to the blueprint and those who it's intended for.

T7V Avari wrote:
My issue with it is pretty much just being sick and tired of Vampire and Werewolf fans trying to ram them in everywhere.

There's nothing I can do here, this is normal that others have their own preferences as well as aversions and of course believe some things have been "thrashed to death", of course.

I've never been a werewolf fan and would normally play a LG persona to reflect myself, for example. Werewolves however fulfil the market criteria and that very much is something the project is angling at intentionally and very seriously.

T7V Avari wrote:
Golarion really isn't one of them. As a matter of fact, the advanced races Pathfinder source book tells you specifically which are the marginal races we should be thinking about.

As I said above, our project picks any race, any alignment, any etc... . Secondly to me Golarion is a big sandbox: And again this is precisely what this project is attempting to work with. Werewolves just happen to fit a number of connected and necessary conditions.

T7V Avari wrote:
There is a furry race, they are the fox like Kitsune. There is a half vampire race, they are the dhampir. Both races are balanced against the other races and do not behave in these "impervious during the moonlight" or "absurd stat increase during monnlight" ways.

Both of those sound interesting but I know little of them. But again this project is not dealing in any of the assumptions above such as the mechanical one you offer nor is it working with specific races once again.

T7V Avari wrote:
Looking for these types of "special treatment" game play systems instead of going with the Pathfinder appropriate balanced races reeks of well, special treatment syndrome, I guess.

I think there's nothing wrong with "special treatment" especially when we'll be treating ourselves: That's the whole point of these secondary worlds to paint a vision into life. Neither are will we be assuming GW would deliver such "favors" too.

T7V Avari wrote:
The entire thread is full of really "special and cool" stuff that would cause 90% of the population to go werewolf.

It sounds like that on the outside I suppose. In actuality it's a hardship. The population question is also carefully worked out but I'm not revealing that before it's time - which is probably activity in the game world and seeing how things pan out before moving here.

T7V Avari wrote:
The only werewolf rules I'd like to see would be where being a werewolf SUCKS. It's a curse the PC would want to get rid of as soon as possible. Like heinous flag + crappy alpha dog stats.

All in good time and all part of a piece. The player-base itself can provide these sorts of "negatives" ideas is actually my own preference. Again we're still talking about different things hence this is my polite response to you for providing some useful (and good fun) inputs. :)

Goblin Squad Member

@Sadurian: Part of the idea is fun gameplay as well as broadcasting specific appeal (furries) and most important of all demonstrating what is possible when players collaborate to solve problems - something that could separate PFO entirely. +1.

I hope to invite interested people who are sincere and use this as a basis to serve the player community. This is the idea behind the Cooperative.

Goblin Squad Member

@T7V Avari

>"I'm just in the boat that this is not something I want to see for PFO, ever."

Without an explanation for to form a basis for reasoning, I can only assume this sentiment is a product of the aberration of discussing something such as this when the actual game has not even left alpha? I'm well aware of that impact and probably need to let this thread fall back down, but in fact discussing here has been useful, inputting some of the ideas raised and objections to feed into the blueprint and stimulating looking things up. :)

The alternative is that you have a conception of PFO where werewolves don't fit or work in the lore? Yet I can't puzzle how this would be concluded, as I've provided plenty of reference material above that PFO is a big sandbox involving galactic travelling, alternative genres et al eg Ustalav not so far from The River Kingdoms. Again one of the ideas of PFO is crowdforging, and that means different players will want to emphasize different things. And again the plan here is to factor that in; such as your response. The only bit I find puzzling is the use of the word "ever". Never say never.

When you say, other races take precedence, I don't disagree, because WW concept is not a race and won't be implemented at all like one. This provides a different path and hence different approach.

But also, I find the position odd, because we're talking about a game with the potential to raise 20-80k players in the next few years and of that large number a fraction want to develop a WW feature to the game. I would hope of those numbers if PFO is successful that other fractions of the player base want to specify their support for other things and hence I think your objection is based around the unusual visibility of this thread more than anything else?

Perhaps you wish to express a challenge to the concept or indirectly suggest it's not going to work or that it would take such a long time to make it work and factor in popularity and dev consent to work that it's never going to work? I realize these are challenges, and think there's a way to slip around around them - that's why I've put the energy into this. I want to take the principles discussed in the PFO design blogs and make it happen via the player-base. The WW keystone around which this is built is just the vehicle: Again something people seem not to realize a symbol is insubstantial or mistake an attempt to bring other ideas from other IP's into PFO as their pet favorite? Again that's just secondary: I have no particular favoritism of werewolves: They have the virtue of imo working in a way that introduces "meaningful human interactions," that appears to be more do-able via player collaboration and motivation that relies much less on dev-driven considerations ie demand-supply in providing content. To cut down the verbiage (!) I think players can have a real go here.

Anyway I will drop it at this point. My focus is on those who see this idea as another option that one of the players of this game has taken the time to try to provide some sort of starting basis to and see where "the adventure" takes us; not on those who have other "adventures" in mind.

@Andius the Afflicted

>"For me, PFO has dropped from my list of serious into titles like Wurm, Darkfall, Mortal, Xsyon etc. that contain many ideas both good and bad to learn from but will never be going anywhere significant"

That would appear true atm. But PFO I think is unique in the design intention to scale up. It's probably why it does look so crude and work so crude atm, given that ambition on how the design has to spread so thin in these early days, whereas for example LiF has the luxury of producing quality with 64 (?) peeps per instance and then work on quality systems for that ie polished graphics, cool formation stuff, nice detailed crafting stations and a feeling of high interaction with the world and freedom to develop towns that look really evocative.

If PFO manages to get through Year 1, then I think it's scale could start looking awesome. That's my belief in where it's going.

Coming back to WW, FP perspective as a slavering beast would be immersive, but I think even with the over-the-shoulder camera and a pack of were-wolves can still achieve a lot of immersion as a hunting pack at night. :)

Goblin Squad Member

I can see implementing dungeons opening a huge new type of gameplay; and attracting a dungeoneering sort of player. So does not surprise me that it would be at least Year 1 out what with everything else. I like the idea going into a dungeon is as much a Survival Trip (navigate, rations, skill in unlocking traps and making 50-50 decisions in the blink of an eye for the party, as well as Combat of course.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
I have doubts this game will last to see the release of druids so probably. I still think it's an interesting exersize to discuss how werewolves could be implemented in this or any other MMO.

I didn't spot this. Yeah it's not merely "idle chat"; I considered that this project risks the possibility of not reaching fruition before PFO were to fail to survive in the harsh mmorpg market. But as said, this idea comes "from nothing". It's source is the players of the game and the collective contribution to enhancing the game: It's fun and it's external appeal.

The thing that attracts me to the game is the game design and it's inclusion of player-driven gameplay. I believe if we can harness players into a suitable structure we can actually achieve some really rewarding game play systems into the game. This expands into discussing how to implement werewolves into mmorpgs. Of related interest another example:-

The Beorning is coming in with a similar level of anticipation and controversy that swirled around the Rune-keeper. There are folks excited about the possibilities of playing a skin-changer, and there are those hotly debating its lore qualifications. And if I have to hear "Beornings are a race, not a class" one more time,

As you probably expected, the Beorning will cost 1000 Turbine Points to unlock, at least on the test server. It's not a surprise, since Turbine still charges for the Warden and Rune-keeper, but I wanted to make sure that it's clear that Update 15 won't be handing bear-men out for free.

The skin-changing skill is first up; it'll transform me into a bear (which is, by the way, the only other form this class takes, so don't be thinking that you will have a wide variety like World of Warcraft's Druid).

So it looks as if the bear form is for a temporary battle boost and not something that's sustained over the long haul. At least we won't be seeing a million bears stampeding all through Hobbiton come this patch.

Instead, the tutorial sends me to do a variety of learn-your-class tasks, such as talking to cows in animal languages, sparring with a cousin, and smacking down those oversized Middle-earth mosquitoes. So how does the Beorning feel in combat? At least initially, it's a fairly standard melee attacker who has the special option to shift into bear mode for stronger attacks. The transition between forms is done with a fade-in, fade-out instead of any really cool transformation animation, but I wasn't expecting anything great in that regard. It is kind of fun to smack things down as a bear, although the always-ticking-down wrath bar keeps that fun on a time limit.

Very initial impressions of the combat style leave me wanting a lot more. The lack of a ranged pull means that every fight involves running up to the mob, after which I spam attack skills until I can go into Smokey mode and then spam the one skill I have there. Probably the biggest issue is Big Bear Butt Syndrome, in which your huge hiney obscures a lot of what's going on in the fight. The bear model isn't terrible, but it's not much better than bears already in the game. I would like to see customization options with bear mode to differentiate my hide and pattern from those of other players.

As I mentioned previously, the Beorning is extraordinarily flexible in how you want to play it, either as pure DPS, healing, tanking, support, or some mix of the above. The Hide trait line is the Beorning's tanking build.


1. Anticipation of a new option/choice
2. Monetization
3. Bear-form is merely a combat skill boost (temporary)
4. Gameplay of the new class is: Quest/lore pve flavor + combat option
5. Seems to be a cost-effective new class first release
6. Some problems of making the combat controls more friendly in animal form with limited attack options (see 5.).

I think you can learn a great deal about implementing werewolves and the approach taken here by Turbine for LOTR. Some lessons for example: Do it on the lean side; other lessons to expand more on the Role and not worry so much on the combat balance or skill-progression systems... for werewolves that is.

But yeah, coming back to the original intention: It's all about developing a player-centric model of a role in PFO that gets me excited about this initiative of which werewolves are expression of; hence our keystone.

Goblin Squad Member

In some of the literature this concept indeed comes up and it's very nice twist to countenance:-

(1) A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Märchen der Dæmonwulf by Alex Riggs, Joshua Zaback, Justin Holloway

(2) Complete Guide to Werewolves (OGL) PDF by Goodman Games
There are some others but from cursory inspection they don't appear necessary or focused for our initiatives' objectives.

(3) Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes (OGL 3.75) by Robert H Hudson Jr. with Jeff Erwin and Rich Howard

(4) Curse of the Moon (d20) by Sean K. Reynolds

And adds diversity. One of the reasons I've gone with the other way around as standard apart from "the norm" is that we'll operate 3 nights per month as per the full moon. This has a number of advantages but also practical in using the shape-change as imperative (ie not elective) in keeping with werewolf core concept; but also out of practicality: Our players will have their primary identity as functional group members who "take a holiday" for a few nights each month. That said if the concept of working the other way around is investigated we'd definitely work with it "somehow". It depends on the player if they wish (and can) spend most of their time in "wolf-form" for example then we'd develop cooperative rules for that outside the definitive 3 nights/month window.

Really this sort of diversity if we can add and realize is what such RPG games gain their magic from imo. :)

Besides, we need various functions to be funneled through people who have the ability and experience. For example, RP experienced players can help here (I have RP'd but am not very experienced) and develop the systems we plan on using (more in the Blueprint); those with a solid understanding of the skill-training system of PFO can also help there and so on.

I must admit I really like the concepts mentioned so far (Andius, Sadurian). I have a concept that I hope brings out a smile of appreciation when heard, too. :)

Goblin Squad Member

@T7V Avari: I like your forthrightness and fresh way of discussing so there's no problem in suggesting the time put in here is wasted and likewise others should be careful that they are not being roped into false hopes. The concept here is not a race however, which I think neatly side-steps your priority list (which seems a fair list to point out: "Oi, join the que along with the rest of us, buddy!").

What it is, is an idea that attempts to connect other concepts that are floating about and see if "from nothing" something can be created gradually over time and steadily increase. The point of "inception" will hopefully be fuzzy. :)

I've finally just finished the last section of the "Blueprint" document which I'll send to the peeps who expressed interest, soon enough. It needs tidying up in Grammar, verbosity, clarity of thinking; as well as shorter presentation on a website in sections would make it more readable with hyperlinks etc (clash between being research "building a case" vs "practical: How do we do this?". But what is already written is more a structure and if people decide there's something in it, then they can hopefully add their input to help develop it... for example:-

@Andius the Afflicted:

Andius the Afflicted wrote:

In Pathfinder a werewolf in hybrid form looks extremely bestial but it is interesting to note some do wield weapons like a human.

I feel like there should be more than one path to take as a werewolf, and reasons for characters of every class to consider it.

One of those paths should be people who lose themselves entirely to the beast within, give up their armor, weapons etc. and go fully feral werewolf trading their last shreds of humanity while in hybrid form to pure bestial power. Doing that should have effects even on their human form both negative and positive.

See this is one of the essential dualities:-

Enforcing roleplaying

A roleplay-mandated world is essentially going to have to be a fascist state. Whether or not this accords with your goals in making such a world is a decision you yourself will have to make.

Storytelling versus simulation

If you write a static story (or indeed include any static element) in your game, everyone in the world will know how it ends in a matter of days. Mathematically, it is not possible for a design team to create stories fast enough to supply everyone playing. This is the traditional approach to this sort of game nonetheless. You can try a sim-style game which doesn't supply stories but instead supplies freedom to make them. This is a lot harder and arguably has never been done successfully.

So effectively this is a Werewolf Story. It also requires a degree of "fascist control" because we're necessarily starting from RP roots.

However the duality is here from the Paizo/D20/OGL/Pathfinder Literature Review, that the best method in character concept creation is:-

Märchen der Dæmonwulf wrote:
"Make Your Own Character via an assortment of tools for players to choose from".

So we need to basic plan that ensures consistency but atst diversity of choice as above: I'd not be averse to any of those developments along that path for a particular pack's story and history. In fact it would be excellent. What will likely dictate it however is Time and Techniques (explained more in the Blueprint). So I really like Andius' suggestion: It has a strong vision; some of it will be possible sooner (bestial submission) and other parts much later (hybrid + weapon wielding) if at all.


1. The pack structure is already envisioned and hence what you said resonates both IC and OOC group make-ups (lol these double-meanings, eg I read werewolf trainers as werewolf "sneakers" and monthly troubles..).

2. Yeah it's any race, alignment, player-group. It's a meta-group of some sort albeit if the need arises a CC if we are allowed 3 CC's as an "AND" option.

3. Yes again, when we have our "event nights" (RP to begin with then more..) one of the code rules is "apolitical" motivation and interaction. :)


Anyway, it feels strange to be talking about a topic in this thread without sharing the ideas; so I hope that this will happen fairly soon.

It's an attempt to solve a problem. It may fail as with any attempt, but to see it through and see how far we can get; to find the right path for our paws to pad forwards along!

Goblin Squad Member

Gloreindl wrote:
Encourage players to use the Pathfinder lore to enhance RP. And for the sake of the Gods, please promote RP!! PvE, PvP, a real player economy and the rest means little if the game fails to be immersive regarding RP.

Thanks for talking about this. I'm just working on this subject in my Blueprint Document for the player group I intend to formulate and "release" into PFO.

The main motivation in-game will be around the beating heart of PFO, the economic engine. It will do this via motivation concerning inputs of player time and player acquisition of wealth to then spend on progress (power) atst as the 3rd dimension that is where PFO's design could shine brightest, social progression.

With RP the motivation of experience and immersion is promoted. Often in mmorpgs this will be side-lined or limited. I think the solution is to create a "path of integration" via creative stages. I take a lot of heart from how popular Star Citizen's spaceships are and how in time PFO may be able to rustle up something similar for "ROLES" as equivalent to spaceships being sold, once a big enough population is achieved. Integrating RP with Roles I believe is the solution.

I'll send you the Blueprint too if you wish to join the Player Cooperative: The Shadow of the Beast (a lycanthrope initiative)

Right off the internet and back to work(s)!

Goblin Squad Member

Thick sturdy legs and arms of coiled muscle are a must for dwarves.

Goblin Squad Member

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If you can create a formal attire such as a Harlequin costume and cape (& hat?) for example and work on diplomacy OOC to support you IC then who knows?!

Goblin Squad Member

It's alive!


Today we deployed Alpha 10. The critical feature of this deployment is the first iteration of War of Towers:-

[link] "This is a key feature of the early part of Early Enrollment. It provides a variety of important features that closes a number of critical game loops."

Sounds awesome.

Goblin Squad Member

Is Goblinworks willing to get to a better stage in another month, then not charge for the next month when into EE? Then start charging 1 month or 2 in?

That way: 1 month to get the game into playable state. Another month to get players playing and advancing but not paying. Then with those 2 months, should be about right to start charging if things go well?

Theoretical suggestion because I can't make a judgement without seeing the game or playing it.

I did think the email invite timeline looked promising however for providing some interesting gameplay when settlements start claiming and clashing over land.

Goblin Squad Member

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What makes a game last a generation?

Raph Koster wrote:

Problems that aren’t actually solvable. Instead, players can only approach optimality. This means there’s always another hill to climb in terms of increasing skill, so people keep devoting the time.

These tend to be problems that fall into high complexity classes. In general, NP-HARD problems that we solve using heuristics make for long-lasting games. Mind you, these problems need to be intrinsic to the core game loop.

No end in sight for problem variations. New problems using the same ruleset is also a way to give hills to climb. (Yeah, this means that “authored” games with fixed levels are almost certainly not going to endure in quite the same way. A narrative game is very unlikely to last a generation.)

The typical ways of providing apparently endless content are:

  • a decently large permutation space. We have an enormous ability to prune possibility space in our mental models. Tic-Tac-Toe is small enough we solve it pretty readily. In contrast, there are a lot of possible games of go.
  • a human opponent. Humans add in a whole new set of problems that are also inherently hard, problems of psychology and status.
  • procedurality in problem set generation. Every game of Tetris is different. The weather adds random elements to every sporting event. And so on.
Independence from representation. Games that endure a generation or more are ones that are susceptible to the folk process, that embrace the idea of being co-opted by their players.

Goblin Squad Member

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The Battle Of Wits

Goblin Squad Member

Out of interest:

Yet, the overall implementation hasn’t been entirely satisfying for some players. This might be about to change with the new update just released to the test server, so let’s take a look at the impact of werewolves and what’s ahead for them.

Werewolves are a way to shake things up, open new opportunities for roleplaying, and even affect such game attributes as the economy.

For all the cool points, werewolves have basically been underpowered, which makes for unhappy PvPers, since coolness points, sadly, don't absorb damage. The powers werewolves could use were also limited to two and then three. This new patch brings in three more powers

Even werewolf animations got some cleaning up and setting right. When breaking out of combat, they'll now run off on all fours.

The concept is good as you can tell. But the implementation is obviously combat only. Again the animation is good concerning running on all fours more as a wolf-hybrid BEAST. I prefer this visual representation and slant towards more "inner beast" and less humanoid-form that is seen in the picture at The behavior needs to then match it.

The Keystone of the Cooperative is the Werewolf concept which is built around THE ROLE being the focus and source to derive everything else from, not the combat machine, though as a perfect fit for PvP gameplay that will also be important for gameplay.

The way ESO has developed their Werewolf shows there's a market for them but it also highlights the limitations of their design practice and philosophy.

I want to see PFO hold the best Werewolves in all fantasy mmorpgs. Second I want this model to be a template for future player initiatives.

Goblin Squad Member

Wow, think the friendly/hostile tagging system is a very fun/useful idea Andius The Afflicted.

Goblin Squad Member

I played an mmo where it was released with the core gameloop and a small world in tact and it was fun. It only had a few levels and enough items but it worked. Over time it gradually expanded which was really nice.

I think that's the litmus test: That the core game loop actually works as a game and then stuff is built around it over time.

I watched Andius' video on youtube with melee and that was taken a few weeks ago, and the animations were still out of phase with the combat resolution per "round". The grass also had that sea-floor syncronized sway which again just did not feel like it was finished either.

If PFO achieves that status I'll be happy to play, but not before to be honest. I also think it's important for players to be able to coordinate around their settlements as a major gameplay driver: IE talking and coordinating with their community as "gameplay" with "goals" for the group emerging.

Hauling by beasts of burden too would be a major game system to get in as valuable/vulnerable targets but the major way for bulk materials to be transported "long-distance".

Goblin Squad Member

@Kelpie, oh aye, I agree with you about stepping up communication, definitely. I'm a bit disappointed with the Goblin Squad status and receiving all the new info first and so on over the last 12 months for example. I don't really feel there's been any major use of that with inside the dev's engine room type off-the-wall stuff.

But saying that, I don't expect much communication at this point in time before launch where the devs are in the trenches (probably with trenchfoot by now!). I bet the tech issues of a single shard world and pulling all the pieces together is likely 90% of any reason for lite communication?

That said the devs still Q&A on these forums so it's not nothing either and their head count is deliberately kept as low as possible. Nice things to have etc. Didn't Ryan say he's like wearing a black hat, a green base-ball cap, a jesters crown and a moose's antlers, already?! :D

Goblin Squad Member

@Kelpie: If I thought SotA had a chance of progressing the genre I'd be over there irrespective of the self-selection assortment of different games communities.

Goblin Squad Member

I couldn't resist posting a very mild update and proffer excuses for delays (working on 4 low-paid jobs atm, doing 2 online study courses and not making much progress on any of them (!) atst as hopping about in accommodation, so I hope despite my wittering writing style my excuses are at least solid).

This project is still slinking around in the shadows... I've managed to finally get back to work on the Cooperative's Blueprint document which when finished I'll be sharing with other members of the Cooperative who I've also selected as Board of Directors members given their founding interest (which I'm hoping will prevail during these early, incipient days when PFO is still more promise than successful premise). I hope their input can then take the vision into blueprint and thence final form as the process of devolving into the community, the cooperative, takes it's first steps.

Given a rise in debate on the merits of PFO compared to other games as the implementation of the tech is still reportedly fairly raw, it's worth noting there really is a market for this game as evidenced by the periodic repetition of such threads of discussion on mmorpgs variously around the internet such as this one:-

Has the MMORPG Community forgotted the RPG portion of it?

Are there any games/communities around that actually cater to RPG style gameplay these days or should I just give up on MMO's?

The way I've conceptualized the merit of PFO's design (tech's another question) as previously in these threads:-

  • Hexes (world-level game-view)
  • Settlements & Buildings (communities-level game-view)
  • Characters & Skill-Training & Roles (player-level game-view)

I think the idea here as per the above Fractal exposition is post-hoc emergence will be the full reward of the game spread over a longer timescale of gratification than for example visceral combat. Yet the moment to moment phases of fun are important to addressing the simple question of any game: "Is it any fun?"

Here, this is my personal attempt to address this question via as per the FAQ the concept of "Playing A Role" that Ryan's mentioned before along the lines of a more player-driven gameplay source:-

Pathfinder Online's innovative archetype system includes specific paths of development that reflect the classes in the tabletop game, so if you want to play a character that mirrors a classic tabletop class, you'll be able to do it. However, Pathfinder Online is driven by more diverse player activity than the classic adventurer-focused tabletop experience; Pathfinder Online players will be able to act as merchants, farmers, miners, teamsters, caravan guards, spies, and explorers, and in any other role the players choose to create. Characters will have a wide variety of skills to develop, allowing them to be highly customized to the player's preference.

For Early Enrollment we'll have support for characters playing the role of fighters, wizards, rogues and clerics.

I think this can be where PFO shines compared to other games. Again positive indications come from for ESO who not only use the Vampire/Werewolf Templates but have recently added the "Enforcer/Outlaw" Roles for players.

The Enforcer

This is one of the two roles a player can take on. This role is the Paladin, the do-gooder. As an Enforcer it is your duty to patrol the cities of Tamriel looking out for Outlaws who are only out for themselves. Stealing from the wealthy, from the poor, there is no regard for either.
In order to become an Enforcer you have to go to the Enforcer Towers, typically located just outside the city walls. Once there you’ll need to obtain your Enforcer tabard. This tabard is what will flag you as an “on duty” Enforcer.

You'll notice PFO is taking this idea forwards a great deal more and again this provides some confidence in the direction GW wishes to take PFO.

This is not idle academic "on paper" discussion either, to make the case for this concept that it fits within the above idea of player roles, here is an idea which is about "playing a role" about the player community crowdforging this role, providing the role designed and eventually implemented in far superior form and fidelity than can be managed in any other mmorpg. Perhaps it's been overlooked that one of the main reasons this has not happened before is due to the pre-eminence of the demand-supply relationship in dictating a game's design and development.

This Cooperative Player Group will not be functioning on that basis but using a different paradigm to pursue growth and achievement of our goals and ultimately satisfaction in the total PFO Community over the feature we're attempting to create here.

Let's just cast our minds into the distant future; a future where the Cooperative player initiative group (The Shadow of the Beast) has been successful and the results:-

For 3 Nights per month, during the full moon, additional content in faithful flavor and lore and imagination of Pathfinder is added to the game for the entire playerbase to enjoy. This content consists of the most sophisticated AI in any mmorpg ever implemented, supported by a system that is player-created, player-funded and makes Goblinworks more money as well as an advertisement of the virtues of their crowdforging development process and player-driven gameplay

Hehe, that's sure crossing the divide (in more dimensions than one)!


Enough of the old dry dusty discussion, here's some (purdy pictures) visualizations I was looking at.

The Bones/Reaper Miniature that seems associated with Paizo games and it's a very decent artistic representation of Werewolf I'm happy to see:-

Bones/Reaper Werewolf Miniature

And wondering what our Werewolf will look like as per "seeing is believing" I dug around in the Unity Asset store and found what is rudimentary possible with pricing (albeit this is not discussion implementation from this source merely what could be done as an MVP Werewolf visual form post Druidic Wildshape):-

Unity Werewolf Hybrid Showcase (unity webplayer player manipulation demo)

Unity Wolf Showcase (unity webplayer player manipulation demo)

To finally finish with a flourish, I've put a bit of thought into this and how all the components add together. I think they all combine and fall into place like some sort of deductive formulae funnily enough. Or might have just gone barking mad...

Goblin Squad Member

T7V Avari wrote:
Anybody else find it odd Golarion only has one moon. What kind of fantasy planet only has one moon? Who made that choice?

Maybe... but it's an interesting moon nonetheless. Also plenty of other moons nearby:- Golarion's Solar System

It's phases coincide with our own Earth's out of interest:-

Yup; the moon above Golarion has the same phases and timing and all that as Earth's. Which is partially why Golarion's calendar matches the standard on Earth.

You'all can have The River Kingdoms... I've set my sights much higher. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

Spot on Doc. I'm really hoping the political complexities of PFO are compelling of the features (actually systems) to be gripped by.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
They're supposed to be gone. We'll see if they really are when we get the Server up. :)

I'll buy them off you. How much?! ;)

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Hardin Steele wrote:

I had mentioned this game long ago, along with "Trials of Ascension" as two games to watch for. Life is Feudal also has a pretty neat wounds" system, and a pretty novel skill set, even medics that can patch up broken bones and repair/perform surgery on internal organs. My post at the time was widely panned, but you can see what is out there, and the competition will be stiff.

What draws me to PFO though is the ability to build a settlement and be part of the community that lives there. So far I like the players that have chosen Forgeholm and Ozem's Vigil (I have spend more time as a Dwarf, but will get my human worked up as well). Community is key. If I want to play a solo game I can do that anywhere. PFO seems to have a pretty solid base so far.

Gloria Victus too. These fast combat, nice graphics and/or survival/combat sandbox indie games will probably look better than PFO initially but not scale as well if PFO manages to grow is how I see it as per your mention of community.

I hope PFO EE can provide some opportunities for player created initiatives to differentiate what is possible in this game from such other (additionally interesting) indie titles.

I'm working on one such idea though with several new jobs and applications and moving sticks it's been slower going lately.

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Need to listen to this again. Very very good interview. Thank you.

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That's true. More the features within the hex than changing the hex type or borders if it's a gradient boundary. Still that would have a minor effect too, but on everyone and different conditions overall I think would keep the "outback/bush" feeling wild. Call it such an approximation of the challenge of travel in pre-civilization days / off-road.

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Well they're using Grome to create the terrain.

Seems pretty cool. Not sure it'll be used to redo hexes on the fly "procedurally" to mix things up though. I do like the idea of randomizing hexes every so often...

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I like the idea trees and outcrops of rocks etc and even hills shift and change in hexes... cool idea.

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Make 'em tough; hang 'em (bots) high!

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A vision of the world, behold!

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I thought Escalations were supposed to be mass group activities to deal with effectively?

The old, going out into the wilds in a small party adventuring = butchering massed ranks of mobs seems like an outmoded game system to me.

I was hoping Escalations are major disruption events to players groups logistical operations?

Specializing in killing unique critters seems more like adventure content to me? Ie finding, beating them. More of a pokemon skill-training activity: Gotta kill 'em all.

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Pyronous Rath wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
Pyronous Rath wrote:
My biggest disappointment so far is that GW went for a tab targeting system rather then something closer to pnp like DDO's combat system. I guess I was really picturing a cross between pathfinders world DDO's combat and eve online's skill system and pvp sandbox. Sounds simple enough but there it is.
More and more people are asking for what you are asking. But on the other hand, every game for the last years using what to ask for failed miserably, and tab-targeting games are still the most successful ones.
Tab targeting are 90% so of course the probability is that the successful games would be what? yeah tab targeting. The popularity has nothing to do with tab targeting. WoW made it big because blizzard and Warcraft were big and hyped like crazy not because of tab garbage.

It's probably an issue considering Themeparks have traditionally out-sold Sandboxes due to deep and narrow combat design focus even WOW's tab-target +75 Skill Abstraction. But I think with PFO, it is necessary due to technical reasons predominantly; it is a closer fit to provide higher Skill Abstraction to allow players more time to make decisions; it fits a long-term character-rpg growth model and hence market of players also.

That's not to say I would not prefer a sort of Mount And Blade combat system of slicing and dicing enemies but given the wider context of PFO where combat characters and groups of characters is a part of the game systems mainly concerned with changing the world's status between different groups, you probably appreciate why tab-target combat is chosen.

And it's another design feature that is standardized/expected which reduces risk for GW atst as they attempt a lot of risky things. IE FPS games have a simple interface dedicated to combat and player skill and do a superior job of designing it. Again to reinforce the RPG style of combat, you have the party with specializations working together to overcome different problems: Mismatch, Synergy, Positional based off time and distance and inflicting damage to zero first.

This excellent blog post makes this very clear:-

The Archetypal Origins of MMORPG Group-Combat Roles

The archetypes interacting in combat is just ONE EXPRESSION of these characters. If combat is boiled down extremely you lose some of these attributes and end up with the rock-paper-scissors (DPS, Tank, Healer). Combat is one type of problem to solve, afterall and teamwork/smarts being rewarded is very fun.

For example I want to find in the game to express a particular playstyle I'm attempting to conceptualize. This has a basis in all sorts of things, and the actual combat of this role is only one aspect of the full archetype albeit still important. But I think the actual context of the role to the combat in this example to illustrate the above, is MORE important to enjoyment than the content of the combat mechanics. Without the right approach to character creation, the role loses a lot of meaning and it's "place in the world" of PFO.

But yeah I can appreciate tab-target may in EE with less game be harder to bear.

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Doc || GenAknosc wrote:

I agree with that sentiment.

Speaking personally, I never heard of the Pathfinder RPG before I found out about Pathfinder Online. Most of the people I would recommend the game too have never played it either, much less T.T. role playing.

I was mainly on the lookout for a sandbox MMORPG, and was deeply disappointed with the faux sandiboxiness of ArcheAge.

Either way, even though a lot of people who spent a lot of time here don't seem interested in Reddit - which is totally fine - I'm probably going try to split my reading time on both. Too each their own. :D

Generally the system I use to mention PFO:-

1. Look for suitable/specific tags:-

  • Sandbox mmorpg
  • EVE-like systems eg: Single shard, territory control, open world pvp, emphasis on economy, player run/formed groups
  • Strong/good/mature community-focus
  • RPG/RP deep lore pedigree
  • Insightful remarks and comments on mmorpg design

2. Avoid specific tags:-

  • Actiony-combat (non tab-target)
  • PvE focus (quests)
  • awesome graphics
  • LF biggest mmorpg atm
  • F2P
  • Have played x,y,z themeparks, LF...
  • LF End-game raids
  • specific features such as uber gear, housing
  • In general when the impression is that someone does not know what they want.

3. Provide a range of suggestions including PFO amongst others eg Repopulation, Camelot Unchained (RvR), SC, Shards, Darkfall, EVE ie a cluster of Sandbox options

4. Highlight specific features as per the poster that align with PFO and link to the relevant blog.

5. Never ever hype PFO, merely suggest, offer as a possible match out of a range.

6. Balance as well as match by referring to: reduced feature set, sub price, graphics being poorer than other mmorpgs


Generally find most people have a low awareness about the mmorpg genre or at least a low tolerance threshold to sub-par graphics and high content. Those that by-pass this often talk about SWG, UO, EVE, Darkfall, Mortal Online and then the conversation can often be productive.

I think a lot of comments will hit a brick-wall concerning "poor graphics" and "rip-off alpha packages/marketing of false promises" in contrast to the holy grail of the next big release. Focused/targeted communication of PFO is best or else not mention it as hype is hype.

Imo word of mouth from player groups who control settlements and have their heraldry banners and flags, motifs/mottos and numerous roles for recruiting in contention with other such groups would be highly effective at attracting attention if not further interest which would it seems to me depend on story generation of emergent gameplay to get player word of mouth raving.


Random thought:-

I'd find it quite funny if the New Player Experience was a journey to get to the River Kingdoms in the first place with an opportunity for some other players to help them at different intervals?

Some new players might fail a few times and seek "help" in their journey. Perhaps some players lend a steed and some guards etc? Or a map or some other useful thing. Or leave messages about where to find their settlement. Maybe an Inn or two along the way to provide food and rest and repairs etc?

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This reddit response summarized their reasons for quiting after 4 months and deciding they should have quit after 2 months. Which seems the more usual Themepark playing time these days:-

What happened to Wildstar?

I'm sure Wildstar has many interesting things and well-developed features. But the overall game design model aka Themepark model seems to have less legs than it used to, more competition and a more transient playing population (Content Locusts Swarming, Stripping then following the wind to the new rains and fresh growth phenomenon).

I'm guessing Archeage had something of a similar problem with bumping from the original 5 Western servers due to queues etc then eventually having to work on consolidating populations? Certainly Wildstar is/was aiming for Megaserver solution to those problems which again causes player community issues, even if it resolves the busy vs empty conundrum of different shard versions it leads to a nebulous sense of community which itself is imperfect for a community.

Some people say a mmorpg is an online chat forum first and combat/gameplay second. Something to be said for designing around this?

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Birds have wings, Humans have language... I would like BOTH.

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Certainly if I've mentioned PFO to other people elsewhere it's been within the context of:-

1. Good community
2. Has EVE-esque design principles ie territory, economy, single shard etc.

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That's true, I think the sub model in this case should work FOR PFO ie the small number of early players willing to pay are choosing to invest in the game's fortunes (those Destiny's Twins going up in value for one example), whereas possibly it works against Wildstar? Another comparison.

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Being wrote:
...which is where I was trying to go, however ineptly or offensively, with what I was saying. We have our part to do, and so much of the 'worth' of PFO will be dependent more on us than on the developer.

Imo one of the USP's of EE PFO will be the great community we find here. Guess I've invested a few years into the community already. :)

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GW need that backbone up and running to get the wheel of growth turning.

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celestialiar wrote:

@ "Tbh I find your communication above not very conducive to discussion it's garbled without pausing to structure a coherent line of thinking,"

Haha, that sucks. I did not mean to confuse you. I guess it was more of the style of writing that "rotates around a common theme." The theme was simply that it's not dynamic and there isn't enough nuance. It's on the 'limited' side of the sandbox spectrum. It seems like the larger parts (the ones you listed) can change, but it breaks down at the parts of parts (and beyond) level. Of course, this is just how I feel.

However, I was able to grasp your post, no need to rehash.

I will speak no more in this thread.

Well you take the suggestion with good humor and put me to rights where I could simply have said "I was confused by some of your commentary", :-). Maybe I'm the one making a meal of things here, hehe, but I notice in mmorpg forums a substantial lack of accurate articulation when players want to discuss what they find lacking in the genre and equally what they grope towards wanting more of. Of course there's sometimes the complete opposite and searing light of clarity of expression and vision breaks through.

Where does such random musings fit into the thread? Well, it could be argued the Carbine devs decided there was a substantial market of players who clearly expressed a desire to play a game such as Wildstar, so much so they were willing to put a business plan together for the above game's budget, which a quick google search indicates was in development for 7 years on a budget of 50-70m$ region. It's not an issue if that cursory spot-check is wrong, the ball-park is more than enough.

Of course the problem seems to be that perhaps the market was smaller than estimated and equally continued to decline over the course of the apparently long development.

So what can be done? Well we see with PFO that it starts small and can iterate development and hence vision over time. I think there is vision here and if one word were to summarize it which Ryan has used often:-


Maybe if you look at the fractal picture quickly you only see a weird and definite shape. Were you to look closer you'd see how crazy these shapes really are... and they're all over nature, funnily enough!

Here's the picture again:-

Fractal: "HEX -> Settlement -> Buildings -> Character Roles"

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celestialiar wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
celestialiar wrote:
I feel that the specialness comes less from raw game play than vision. I haven't heard any magic words from PFO staff about their vision. That may be an issue. I understand there is hype, but have we even heard a speech on "What will make PFO different?" Other than, you know, it has words you will recognize if you've played dnd.

Are you reading the blogs and some of the dev posts?

I would concede that Goblinworks website although improved is still very unappealing in selling the vision so maybe that is what you are referring to? But then that needs to be tempered with what is actually visible to show I'd also caution so they can't oversell the current state of the game either.

You'll find a lot of players wanting more freedom in mmorpgs albeit fearful of what you mention ganking and hacking and aversive to poor performance from bugginess. You can see this with requests for "EVE Fantasy" all over the place, in fact. Usually such requests fail to categorize what it is about EVE that makes it work. PFO does have those features albeit it has the fortune to come after EVE and see ways of developing the game and culture in different directions that are more socially inclusive perhaps?

Anyway if you want vision, I'd say PFO has it in particular:-

1. Hexes (World)
2. Buildings & Settlements (Home & Community)
3. Roles (Characters)

Those immediately kick-ass imo. At each level there's multiple possibilities of extension and integration of systems. Let's take some examples shall we?

1. We could have Mountain Hexes where it snows highly frequently which is lethal to characters without the right furs and outdoor gear as well as different requirements for survial.
2. We could obviously have Total War armies here.
3. We could have a plethora of roles Assassins (truely in role) and I'm working on a role concept too!

At each level there's so much that could be extended and developed.

That's not a vision to me as much as building blocks. Under them, there are more blocks. Anything could happen. We got hexes, settlements and roles... cool but how will they be used?But sandbox is probably the reply. I don't believe in the hands off sandbox model. That's not a vision. I don't see much freedom, either. It seems pretty standard. Maybe someday I will make a longer post about pfo... and what I feel, but I don't think people care so much.

I'm not mad really, but I'm not excited. I am not like I can't wait to see what happens! Cuz o already kinda see where it's going. My reaction is... oh.

1. Vision:-

the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.

I think it boils down very elgantly.

Let's look again: Hexes, they are dynamic and modular and help create a highly changeable world.
Let's look again: Buildings are extensions of characters and communities and help the players feel as if they have impact on the world of consequence.
Let's look again: Roles, bringing this back into mmorpgs instead of just a combat-machine or The Hero. As before I gave one or two "thrilling" examples.

Tbh I find your communication above not very conducive to discussion it's garbled without pausing to structure a coherent line of thinking, but you asked a very fair question so I felt compelled to answer it, not to attempt to sway you with hype nor tell you what PFO is or should be, but what it could be... and perhaps you failed to recognize that or use your imagination in response to it?

>" I was actually hoping for a game more similar to a table top, with more depth."

I'd say the Tabletop can provide that. They are really great gaming resources from what I've read.

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celestialiar wrote:
I feel that the specialness comes less from raw game play than vision. I haven't heard any magic words from PFO staff about their vision. That may be an issue. I understand there is hype, but have we even heard a speech on "What will make PFO different?" Other than, you know, it has words you will recognize if you've played dnd.

Are you reading the blogs and some of the dev posts?

I would concede that Goblinworks website although improved is still very unappealing in selling the vision so maybe that is what you are referring to? But then that needs to be tempered with what is actually visible to show I'd also caution so they can't oversell the current state of the game either.

You'll find a lot of players wanting more freedom in mmorpgs albeit fearful of what you mention ganking and hacking and aversive to poor performance from bugginess. You can see this with requests for "EVE Fantasy" all over the place, in fact. Usually such requests fail to categorize what it is about EVE that makes it work. PFO does have those features albeit it has the fortune to come after EVE and see ways of developing the game and culture in different directions that are more socially inclusive perhaps?

Anyway if you want vision, I'd say PFO has it in particular:-

1. Hexes (World)
2. Buildings & Settlements (Home & Community)
3. Roles (Characters)

Those immediately kick-ass imo. At each level there's multiple possibilities of extension and integration of systems. Let's take some examples shall we?

1. We could have Mountain Hexes where it snows highly frequently which is lethal to characters without the right furs and outdoor gear as well as different requirements for survial.
2. We could obviously have Total War armies here.
3. We could have a plethora of roles Assassins (truely in role) and I'm working on a role concept too!

At each level there's so much that could be extended and developed.

Goblin Squad Member

KarlBob wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
KarlBob wrote:
Jakaal wrote:

AvenaOats the only problem is I'm pretty sure the Great Wheel or w/e D&D called the cosmology in the Planar Handbook wasn't OGL. It's a trope so I think the general idea falls under fair use but I think they have to be careful.

That said yes please on planar travel!
Pathfinder has its own cosmology, complete with various planes of existence and other planets in Golarion's stellar system.

This world-building is very appealing, very artful!

I did find out one nugget of info on Pathfinder's world-building that had me salivating due to it's secrecy... !

Just one? They've buried a bunch of unexplained secrets in the lore.

I think the biggest is "What happened to Aroden?!?" On the brink of the fulfillment of a major prophecy, he suddenly goes incommunicado. No more prophecies, no more spells for his clerics. Nothing. As far as anyone can tell, the God of Humanity just died. Nobody claimed credit for killing him. A permanent hurricane erupted that drowned two or three countries, and it's still swirling in place a hundred years later.

Which mystery caught your attention?

*AvenaOats' eyes narrow sharply, and shift rapidly left and right and back-again*

I'm seriously going to have to dig into all these, thanks for sharing those 3 links in particular (they're all excellent and book-marked). It's really "luciferase?" to explore such world-building, I find. Difficult to find the right word. :)

I know the "unwritten rules" on story-telling just about enough to know that I'm now compelled to return the favor... and not to, some sort of curse will afflict me? However I can invoke the rule that allows the teller of a tale to avoid an anti-climax, which let's me off the hook (only just!). The small secret, a mere trifle compared to the grand designs of dieties, is in part Paizo lore/cannon and in part a tiny sprinkle of spice added... connecting the dots in the lore, while I was doing some research on a number of werewolf materials. To stick to story and not enter the territory of "sale" given this is a favored and focused subject, it concerns the mythology of these beings and their origins. I think something very interesting is buried within it that is somewhat "original" and remains veiled. When a story fits together so well and yet has not been uttered... is it begging to be told or is there a calamitous reason it has not been told? That worries me, but I have a hunch it's the former in this case. Afterall, a good story has to start with ONE set of footprints, doesn't it?

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KarlBob wrote:
Jakaal wrote:

AvenaOats the only problem is I'm pretty sure the Great Wheel or w/e D&D called the cosmology in the Planar Handbook wasn't OGL. It's a trope so I think the general idea falls under fair use but I think they have to be careful.

That said yes please on planar travel!
Pathfinder has its own cosmology, complete with various planes of existence and other planets in Golarion's stellar system.

This world-building is very appealing, very artful!

I did find out one nugget of info on Pathfinder's world-building that had me salivating due to it's secrecy... !

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Trikk wrote:
Being wrote:
That is what turned me off right from the git-go. I suppose in a way that is shallow of me, the game-play should have been a priority, and player interaction should have been at the top of the list, but visual style immediately suggested a juvenile theme that was about as attractive and interesting as Candy-Land and I never got close enough to find out first hand whether it was just the overwrapping of a good game. I figured I would hear good things about it if it were worth my time, especially since my guild had a sizeable contingent in its beta.
Presentation is actually important to the gameplay experience. I don't follow Epic Games assertion that "eyecandy = gameplay", but the artistic style of a game definitely affects the experience. It's not about texture resolution or fancy lighting effects, but the basic character design, environments, etc.

Well although what you write is very informative, eg "calcuated whackiness" resonates, I think Being was definitely on the right tracks, you can sometimes tell a lot about a game's aesthetics that inform "deeper" intentions of how the game is played and hence what the perhaps you can call it "design philosophy" is actually trying to say to the player and community?

Personally a grittier art style for PFO would be fine by me, but I see they're attempting to keep the current Paizo Pathfinder flavor for continuity. It's so important if they're trying to develop social systems in the game such as buildings, politics, taxes (and death!). That said given it's high fantasy the idea of "Planes of Existence" I have a peccadillo for this being more expressed! :)

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I always thought of Dolphins as looking very happy: "Happiest Dolphin Ever"?!

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On Wildstar the things that struck me which led to having no interest at all and possibly little insight to share, hence:-

  • The Loony-Tunes aesthetic made me believe it was a young kid's game which suggested I was not the target market nor would find the social community that I'm looking for there.
  • The Themepark/WOW game design

    And reasons I thought it might struggle:-

  • The MMO Market of Content Locust players pattern
  • The proliferation of Online Games vs an old mmorpg finite content model ie increased competition across games

As for PFO's current MVP core game loop. Not played but I think territory control and farming resources and mobs in your bit of territory and preventing others raiding it, well jealously guarding our land seems very appealing and farming those mobs and nodes ensuring their harvest is collected for the group and not into the hands of those other gangs of players. That sounds motivating given that context to it.

I guess there will be players who like fighting mobs, again I'm not much of a fan of fighting AI PvE mobs so maybe can't share many insights here either. Cracking other players skulls and taking their harvest though...

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Tbh most people stay clear of alpha for a good reason. Last game I tested burnt me out in no time and the "will to log in" deserted me for either a long time or permanently tbh, hence I'm not in PFO Alpha. Also getting my computer sorted (graphics card, RAM and Win7 OS and borrowing a decent screen and throwing away the bad screen I got off ebay).

Goblin Squad Member

@Thod: It's a very, very useful thread. Some summary and consolidation of "How To Improve Your" Network Connectivity (and buy a good graphics card!) posted as per GW's Custom Operations function will be very useful as you point out.

I was going to say I have one of those 20m cables for direct connection. Saves a lot of wifi fiddling. Also defragmentation and getting the computer to run efficiently is good practice in anycase. The specific software again as another option for them that want it, it provides a range of different options from simple to complex from quick and free to longer and cost etc.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:
I notice a lot has been discussed about tricks ISPs may or may not use, and methods that may or may not work to get around such tricks, but I also notice that the original question has been ignored, evaded and deflected.

Well from our resident cowled and cloaked shadow, that's aligned! ;)

I've provided some input on what an END-USER can do their end.

I've deliberately avoided any suggestion of inference what Goblinworks have to do SERVER-SIDE as that is beyond my understanding. I don't know much at all about Netcode. But what Ryan says about increase in data (more players in density) leading to increase in packet data loss rates rising (??) sounds plausible to my amateur ears as a major explanation and rising above a threshold you get kicked?

Minor explanations probably are the Client/User-side stuff to speed up the connection... probably helps somewhat and for other internet usage anyway so of use even if it is minor contribution. :)

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