|Gary Teter PostMonster General|
I am in fact suggesting that. However over the years I have been pleasantly surprised repeatedly by discovering just how neat our community is. There have been instances where we built special anti-jerk code because I was sure someone was going to game something and it has turned out to not be a problem at all. So I'm starting to revise my expectations a bit about what people might or might not do.
However, a reputation system is still probably off the table, at least for messageboard posting.* Make your reputation by regularly posting great commentary, listening thoughtfully and treating others here with respect, kindness, and the benefit of the doubt.
*The Pathfinder Society GM star display is a kind of ranking, I guess, but it's not specifically intended to give any indication of the relative worth of what the poster is saying. Same goes for the subscriber tags. Eventually we will probably make display of all that stuff optional so you can't count on it being displayed, so you can't just rely on your messageboards bling to lend authority to whatever point you're making.
John Kretzer wrote:
I have seen a Rep system on other messageboards...I am wondering if that could be added to these boards.
Anything is possible. In general I think discussions should be measured based on the quality of the discussion rather than the reputation of the participants. Those systems always get gamed. And this is a community of gamers. I'm not sure that combination ends up in creating the best place for discussion; I'm concerned the reputation system would become an end in itself rather than facilitating friendly, fun conversations.
There's no "this is awesome" flag because I don't know exactly what we'd do with it. If we had more staff I guess we could review posts flagged as awesome and then feature them somehow on a curated front page like a magazine or newspaper or something. (Or I guess we could make it completely automated but that seems a poor choice of machinery to hand over to a community of gamers.)
The pledge management system has been rolled out. We're not sending announcements out just yet because we want to see if there are any problems before inviting thousands of people to come bang on it all at once.
If you pledged to Kickstarter with the same email address as your paizo.com account, we've already connected up your pledge and you should be good to go. If you do not have a paizo.com account, or used a different email address to pledge, we'll be sending out an email with instructions on how to connect your pledge to your paizo.com account.
You can adjust add-ons, change your pledge level, check on the status of your rewards here: My pledge drives page
Just as an FYI about the moderation here. We have a strict, 100% no-exceptions policy on our messageboards that you can use the word rape only to refer to sexual assault. I don't care about any other historical meanings of the word ("raped the countryside"), they are not acceptable here.
How to design downtown Redmond:
Get a Pollack-sized (at least 10x15 feet) canvas and carefully stretch it to the frame and lay it on the floor. This will be the map.
Get several buckets of paint and some chimpanzees. Some dice are also handy.
Find a keg or a case of tequila. If using tequila, ensure it is in plastic containers so the chimps don't hurt themselves. Reserve some tequila.
Give booze to chimps. Give paint buckets to chimps.
Wait. Apply reserved tequila to supervisor.
Remove paint buckets and chimps.
Roll dice to determine which paint colors are one-way streets.
You've got a city! Try not to get lost.
Handy hints for when your todo list becomes overwhelming:
Create a spreadsheet with all your different main tasks. Mine has 36 items on it, mostly because I've elided a few dozen.
Assign each task a 1–10 ranking.
Haha! There's not just a single ranking scale. Use several. I'm using six. ("how does this item affect customer service", "will this item directly impact sales", "was this item promised to anyone?", "does this item have a looming deadline?" etc.)
Give each item a 1–10 ranking for each of the six different scales. Be accurate!
For bonus points, create an application that presents two items and a ranking scale at random, allowing you to vote for which item should be ranked higher on that particular scale. This will only involve 36 factorial times six times mumble votes. Trust me: building this tool will be more fun than anything on your list. You should go do that now.
Assign each scale a scaling factor for the scale so the scores ranked on that scale can be properly compared to all the other scales for the rankings of the items for which you are attempting to scale the cliffs of and now I've lost the beginning of this sentence. Pretty sure it involved scales.
Sort the list by cumulative score.
Tada! You now know the precise relative importance of each and every item you are currently ignoring in favor of posting here.
You want the Pathfinder RPG Advice forum. There are two main kinds of character optimization threads you can post there: "Please make this character moar awesome" and "Here's a guide to making characters moar awesome."
If your thread is arguing about the minutia of rules and how to get around them if only Rule 0 and you sir are in fact playing this game wrong and you're stupid if you don't see how blah blah blah etc.," then yeah, there is in fact no place for that on our website.
You've collapsed the entire Pathfinder forum, which normally tells the messageboards that you're uninterested in seeing any threads in that forum and all its subforums. So when navigating directly to the Pathfinder RPG forum, which is a subforum of the Pathfinder forum, it decides you don't really want to see any of the threads in there and hides them.
Focus means "show me only threads with 'x new' or dots", ignoring the forum-collapsing logic described above.
It's not exactly a bug but it's not working the way you'd expect so I'm going to file it as a bug. I'm not sure when we'll get around to fixing it. For now you could expand the Pathfinder forum and collapse any of its subforums you'd like to skip.
Unless I'm misunderstanding what people want from projector support, I don't see any reason why using Paizo Game Space with a projector wouldn't work. That's how we demonstrated it at PaizoCon. The GM would be signed in and control the mouse and keyboard. If you don't want GM-specific information to be displayed on the main projected screen, you'd need dual monitor support and put one window on the projected screen and one on the GM-specific screen.
Currently it's one player per browser window. You can open two separate windows into the same scene and sign in as different players, we do that for testing. I don't know how well that would work in an actual game, sharing keyboard etc.
Each player can control multiple tokens, and there can be multiple GMs active simultaneously, though that gets a bit weird during combat.
You know when you turn over a rock and at first you think it's just kind of wet and muddy under there but you look closer and it's actual writhing and then things are just scrambling all over the place and one of them's going right for your hand and get it off get it off get it off....
We'll get this fixed ASAP.
I might have time for a bigger update later but I just wanted to answer some questions before I get back into head-down coding mode:
Yes, this project is still under development. We are currently polishing the user experience.
Maps from Paizo products will be gridded at whatever the map is in the print version—if it was printed for 10-foot squares, then it'll be 10-foot squares. Most of the maps I've seen so far are 5-foot squares.
Rules support: We will not be implementing the entire Pathfinder RPG rules set in Paizo Game Space. Mainly because every time I mention the possibility Jason, Sean and Stephen all just start laughing, and then they shake their heads. (It's really funny if you can get them all in the same room when you do this. I think we may need an animated GIF.)
That doesn't mean Paizo Game Space won't have support for things like initiative, combat, dice macros, etc. It just means that we're prioritizing usability and discoverability over implementing an entire rules engine.
I've talked to a LOT of people who are building VTTs or other Pathfinder RPG/tabletop RPG tools, and I've learned I can reliably discover how far along they are in their project: If they still think they can implement the entire Pathfinder RPG rules set, they have been working on it less than about six months. If they realize just how monstrous that task really is, then they have achieved enlightenment and are working with a more realistic set of goals to achieve.
That's not to say that it's impossible: have you seen how we rocket-landed that last rover onto Mars? It's clearly within the realm of human endeavor. It's also clearly really, really expensive and probably not doable within reasonable financial/profitability constraints, at least for Paizo, and not really a place where we are going to try to differentiate our VTT.
However, I think there are some really interesting possibilities for third-party and end-user customization, and whenever possible we've kept that as a underlying design goal for Paizo Game Space's architecture. I don't know when or if we'll ever open up an API for adding capabilities, but it's definitely something we've been thinking about.
Personally, I'm not against thread necromancy, unless it's to resurrect a contentious thread either deliberately or accidentally. There's a reason we don't automatically lock threads once they drop off a forum's front page.
Regarding warnings, I think someone who resurrects it without realizing that it's old probably wouldn't read the extra text but maybe that's just me.
Status update time!
Last time I posted, we were just beginning the external alpha test. That test went very well—we learned what we needed to know in just a couple days, so we closed it back up again.
What did we learn? We learned that we have a few bugs to fix, most of them trivial, not really showstoppers. But that's not the main thing we learned.
Testers gave pretty similar feedback: They like playing via Paizo Game Space. Not having to install any software to get it running is nice, and the maps and tokens look pretty good. Plus other good things to say about it. But they consistently identified four or five things that annoyed or confused them, especially when first getting started.
A virtual tabletop is more than just a list of features you can check off in a comparison chart. By that standard Paizo Game Space is actually not that great right now since it lacks a lot of the features sported by basically every other VTT out there. That's OK, that's part of the "we're not going to wait forever to release it because it needs to be perfect" approach we're taking with this project. We can add those features later.
What you really can't add later is first impressions. Any given software application is like 95% features and 5% polish, except that other 5% is actually a whole other 95%. And it turns out, that last little bit is super incredibly important.
We don't want people to look at it and go, "Oh look it's another VTT, and I can't figure out how to use this one, either." We want people to say, "Oh, I get it! Let's play." So that's what we're working on now.
We're getting closer to the external alpha test, probably going to open that up in the next few days once Paizo staff has had a chance to bang on it and make sure any obvious showstopper bugs have been fixed.
This version doesn't have all the features we plan to include, and it's got a bunch of debugging code in it so it's not as snappy as it will be later, but I'm pretty excited about the progress we're making.
FYI, favoriting a post doesn't equate praising it.
I am still toying with the idea of the "educational / interesting / funny / agree / disagree / love" buttons but that's far enough down on the todo list that it looks like ants from here.
We didn't change anything recently. This problem is the result of multiple simultaneous hardware failures. This outage should not affect order fulfillment—any orders that would create PDF assets on your account will be handled normally. This problem only affects your ability to download those assets.
The rebuilt downloads server is undergoing final testing so the situation is looking up.
We don't use DRM, the personalizer just watermarks PDFs and we're not going to change that.
The personalizer server threw a rod last night and sprayed bit fluid all over the colocation facility. We spent several hours last night trying to make it happy but no dice—we're going to try swapping out some pieces today that we couldn't last night.
We have a preliminary transition plan to get a replacement server back up but it'll probably take a few hours to get everything into place if we're unable to get the main server back online.
Adding redundancy to this system has been on the todo list for some time but it's easy to get complacent when a server has hundreds of days of uptime with no problems.
Quick update: We are a week or so away from beginning the Paizo Game Space external alpha test.
Expected sequence of events:
External alpha test. A very limited test for Paizo employees and a handful of outside testers. This test shouldn't last more than a week or two. Its major purpose is to find and fix obvious flaws before the beta test so we don't get hundreds of duplicate bug reports. Please don't contact us asking for access to this test, all the slots are full.
Public beta test. Open to anybody with a badge for PaizoCon 2012. This test will last for at least several weeks. During this period we will be focused on fixing bugs and smoothing the rough edges on the user interface. We may add some features during this test if they're ready.
During the first part of this public beta, PaizoCon 2012 attendees will only be able to invite other PaizoCon 2012 attendees to join games. Later in the beta, we'll allow PaizoCon 2012 attendees to invite anyone with a paizo.com account to join their games.
Public launch. At this point anybody with a paizo.com account will be able to try out Paizo Game Space.
If you want to discuss a topic then do so. Do not frame it as "I'm totally showing the moderators they're wrong about where threads should go." Do not add meta-commentary about how people who don't like the thread should keep out.
Just post the topic and discuss it.
We will continue to close and/or move threads that break these guidelines. If you cannot abide by these guidelines then do not click "add new thread." Thank you.
It turns out, we don't make moderation decisions based on demands. We make them based on judgment calls about what we think is going to foster the best conversation.
In this case Sean specifically stated, "We are not going to change the crafting rules from how they work in the Core Rulebook, so please don't ask us to." So it's one thing to have a thread that seriously asks the question, "Why is the current system remaining when it can be fixed?" Because that's a legitimate question, even if the answer is "We are not about to make people go out and buy a new Core Rulebook because that's bad for customers."
So if the thread had stayed on that discussion, I wouldn't have moved it. Even if it had remained The Most Recent Thread Where We All Discuss Rule Zero One More Time, we would have left it. But instead it turned into a long discussion about possible changes to the rules.
And that's where the judgment call comes into play. How much of a thread needs to be rules suggestions before it gets moved? I have no idea. I do know that having an extensive rules suggestion discussion in the General Discussion forum is less than optimal for anybody else who might want to search for specific discussions of suggested rules—because we have a specific place for that kind of discussion, labeled "Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew."
As to insinuations above that we deliberately exile threads to remote archipelagos where they will wither and die, that is so completely not the way we do things I am not sure how to respond.