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Poll

Rogues and brigands congregate in the depths of the Echo Wood. What should their holdout be called?


This poll closed Jan 10, 2012.

Dates and times displayed above are in the US/Pacific time zone.

Goblinworks Blog: Introducing the Crusader Road


Pathfinder Online

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Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Start Making Your Mark on the World Today!

In Pathfinder Online, what happens in the River Kingdoms will be up to you—starting right now! In the most recent Goblinworks blog, we mentioned that there's "a wretched hive of scum and villainy" in the depths of the Echo Wood... and it needs a name. Vote for the name you like the most; the winning name will be announced January 18 on the Goblinworks Blog!

Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

Okay having read the blog and seen the mention of Hellknights I am wondering if it would be possible either to join the faction or play one in game?

Goblin Squad Member

1km hex feels a bit small for basic unit. what exactly will we be able to build there? now, i understand that's area for startup, but having a castle every 1000m doesn't feel right.

on another thing, is world built to scale? is 1km in-game intended to be 1000 of meters?

edit: btw, i LOVE hexes. you better keep them!

Goblin Squad Member

I look forward to further Goblinworks blogs.

Goblin Squad Member

Jagga Spikes wrote:

1km hex feels a bit small for basic unit. what exactly will we be able to build there? now, i understand that's area for startup, but having a castle every 1000m doesn't feel right.

on another thing, is world built to scale? is 1km in-game intended to be 1000 of meters?

edit: btw, i LOVE hexes. you better keep them!

The hexes are a little larger than 1 square km - according to my math, each hex will occupy a space of roughly 1.34 square kilometers.

But what's important here is that space in video games seems much larger than space in real life. It's amazing how distant you can make things seem in a video game by being creative with terrain and ambient effects.

Goblinworks is planning on starting with 133 square miles of real estate (some open for development, some already occupied). For the sake of comparison, Azeroth (by which I mean the two continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from World of Warcraft's launch) was only 80 square miles in size.

It is interesting that the Goblinworks crew is planning on mapping the game world to the campaign setting world at scale. I like the idea of focusing on a very small map region.


It's all going to be a matter of perspective, and much of that perspective is going to be shaped more by travel speeds and art direction than by anything else. Even an area of 10 square miles would seem like a huge space if you were limited to the typical walking speed of ~3mph.

Goblin Squad Member

@Kevin Mack - You'll be able to live & work within Fort Inevitable. Joining the Hellknights is something that we'll talk about in future blogs!

@Jagga Spikes - Not every Hex can be developed with a Settlement.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

...

Jagga Spikes - Not every Hex can be developed with a Settlement.

does that mean that specific hexes can't be settled at all or that settling some hexes prevents others to be settled (for example, limits on total population/resources in area)? will settlements be predetermined ("castle goes here, barn goes there, inn in the middle") or will there be choice in organization and/or location?

does no settlement mean no buildings at all? not even a shack? a cache? a guard post? still, i would assume some limits should be there, or ... land of walls.

Goblin Squad Member

As a good comparison: Morrowind was roughly 10 square miles, and Oblivion was 16 square miles.

I think there will be plenty of room to start. In fact, some regions are going to be very empty at first. And they can always add another row or two of hexes as the population grows.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The size of the world has me excited!

Goblin Squad Member

Got to say I love the look of this. The detail in your blogs is also really good. It ensures a good loyalty base to start with, not to mention basing the game off the best paper based RPG at the moment has to help.

I too am a fan of the hex, although I think that may be a throwback to many old board games and battle tech as well :) It makes for a good system when handling land expansion type games, like the old play by mail and play by email type games had.

Really good locale to pick for this style of game too, the River Kingdoms. From what I have read of the world guide it is perfect for the type of game where little nations bloom and get beaten back, disappear, reappear etc. And of course with that style of pedigree there is heaps of adventure to be had.

Great work Paizo and Goblinworks, keep it coming :)

Goblin Squad Member

Very nice blog. if this is a starting area... i'll be glad to see just how big the world will be by launch.

Goblin Squad Member

With the starting area of 133 square miles and 4,500 people, sounds like there will be plenty of space for it to be single server that I'm hoping it will be, but do you have any plans on how many people per square mile you intend to keep the server at as it grows with regular long term population?


Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The initial announcements and both blogs have me very excited. Having an MMO approach the world in a much more zoomed in scale is so appealing to me. It has long been a dislike that few places in MMOs felt like they were more than a front for vendors. I look forward to the next blog!

Goblin Squad Member

deinol wrote:
As a good comparison: Morrowind was roughly 10 square miles, and Oblivion was 16 square miles.

Holy crap. That makes 133 square miles a hell of a lot of space to go exploring.

Goblin Squad Member

I've lived on a farm that was a little over a square mile in size... that plenty of land to adventure on.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Can't wait to play this. Though the exact scale means that the terrain is gonna have a lot of sameness to it; all forests and plains seems kinda boring.

Goblin Squad Member

Excited. Nice update.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope i can be a beta tester for the mmo as I enjoy the PnP version of Pathfinder tho i hope soon for the game we get and Artificer archtype of the Alchemist.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just a few minor things about the blog. In the first line in the Crusader Road section, it mentions that adventurers are traveling to confront the diabolic menace. Devils aren't invading in the Worldwound, demons are, so it should be a demonic menace (unless you mean they're going after the Hellknights, which are a diabolic menace).

In the next paragraph, it mentions the righteous and lawful Knights of Iomedae. This should be the Knights of Ozem. While they are knights and do worship Iomedae, their organization is called the Knights of Ozem.

I'm hoping that both of these are minor inaccuracies in the blog, and the actual game will follow existing Golarion lore more closely.

Also, it mentions that both the Knights of Iomedae and the Hellknights are in the northern section of this area, but I'm assuming one of the groups is in the south, and the other is in the north.

Nitpicking aside, this sounds like a good base for the game, though with only 256 hexes, some of which can't be developed, it sounds like early players could snatch up all of the availible ones fairly quickly, so an expanded geographic area will be needed. Luckily, it sounds like that's already planned.

I'm hoping that the inclusion of Mosswater means that those ruins will be inhabited by merrow and contain the luminous dye known from that town as a rare resource that players can recover.

Goblin Squad Member

Sounds wonderful!

Will customization be available? Building structures, styles, colors, etc?

I am intrigued. As an immense fan of Kingmaker, I am extraordinarily excited about the possibilities. I am also ready with all my money... lol. If it truly is as wondrous as I am thinking it will completely destroy my codependency on World of Warcraft or Rift. Hopefully my gaming groups will see me... ha!

Good on you, Paizo and Goblinworks! Can't wait!

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is a nice 2nd post on the blog. When you scale out the size based on the maps, this world seems ginormous. Tons of room for later content.

I would love to eventually see some hints about crafting in PO. Crafting has always been interesting to me. I kinda dug the crafting in Vanguard for the little I played that game.

If there is a robust and feature-full crafting system you can bet I will be extremely interested.

Let all the sword wielding adventurers bring back my 10 wolf pelts. :-)

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
JoelF847 wrote:

Just a few minor things about the blog. In the first line in the Crusader Road section, it mentions that adventurers are traveling to confront the diabolic menace. Devils aren't invading in the Worldwound, demons are, so it should be a demonic menace (unless you mean they're going after the Hellknights, which are a diabolic menace).

In the next paragraph, it mentions the righteous and lawful Knights of Iomedae. This should be the Knights of Ozem. While they are knights and do worship Iomedae, their organization is called the Knights of Ozem.

I'm hoping that both of these are minor inaccuracies in the blog, and the actual game will follow existing Golarion lore more closely.

Also, it mentions that both the Knights of Iomedae and the Hellknights are in the northern section of this area, but I'm assuming one of the groups is in the south, and the other is in the north.

Nitpicking aside, this sounds like a good base for the game, though with only 256 hexes, some of which can't be developed, it sounds like early players could snatch up all of the availible ones fairly quickly, so an expanded geographic area will be needed. Luckily, it sounds like that's already planned.

I'm hoping that the inclusion of Mosswater means that those ruins will be inhabited by merrow and contain the luminous dye known from that town as a rare resource that players can recover.

Gentlemen.

This is why you put ranks in Knowledge (local).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm eagerly awaiting more news for sure. What really has me (cautiously) excited though is the prospect of a PnP rpg being translated into MMO form.

While early MMOs (and earlier MUDs) seemed to make a reasonable attempt to recreate these fantastic worlds online, modern MMOs just seem more interested in rehashing previous MMOs; all the while incorporating all of their inherent limitations without a second thought as to what these games were originally attempting to do: deposit players in a fantastic world with enough tools to freely navigate through it in many various ways.

Triple A MMOs no longer seem to go back to the drawing board to see if there's possibly a better way to facilitate that. Instead we see one successful model rehashed over and over with different graaphics. They include illogical design decisions that were originally made over a decade ago (some even in the last century) as a knee jerk reaction that comes from emulating a video game rather than from trying to capture the true open ended rpg experience.

I would love to see a development team not simply dive in and say 'Ok, how do we emulate other MMOs successfully?', but rather carefully consider which decisions were made due to the technoligical limitations of the past as well as limits of imagination. A sort of 'going back to the drawing board' scenario to determine how best to bring players into an online space with the express goal of facilitating a varied, interesting and engaging experience in their given lores universe.

While it may not lead to the reinvention of the wheel, it may lead to discoveries that will not come from simple emulation of existing models.

I also genuinly believe that any innovations will come from smaller development companies as they generally seem to have enough lattitude to explore possibilities, rather than from a larger game development house with strict expectations and a fear of risk.

While I don't expect the Pathfinder MMO will have the jaw dropping budget of other current releases, I'm certainly hoping passion, ingenuity and especially creativity will lead to a fresh and welcome gaming experience.

Lastly, (congratulations if you made it this far! I had no idea it would be *this* long.)it's been a long time since I've felt I was playing a game that was born of someones absolute passion for an original idea that they just *had* to see made, rather than the endless reverse engineering and spreadsheet analysis MMOs that have been flooding in. I'm hoping Pathfinder is in the former category.

Anyway, back to awaiting more news, thanks & best of luck :)


Valkaern,
very well said. I have to agree with almost everything you said.

Only we need to tone down the extent of the open ended game. In a game where everyone can't be the hero the game is inheritly not fully open ended....lets say open ended within boundaries...

About the Goblinworks blogpost....it doesn't really say much....

Goblin Squad Member

I have to say i am liking the idea of Death's echo for the hive of scum and villainy.

This game is in the early stages, and i have already started recruiting guildies.

*grins*

Goblin Squad Member

I am really enthused by every new bit of info I get on this game.

I like the way, already by the scale of the game, we get a sense how Pathfinder Online will stand out from the crowd, as well as have plenty of room for expansion, without having to 'invent' new continents (as WOW).

Currently playing the Kingmaker campaign, and exploring the world hex by hex. Having hexes as 'systems' akin to EVEs star-systems, seems like a great way to go. I hope it will work, and that it will also enable a one-server-cluster.

Can't wait to hear more. I have already marked in my diary when the next blog-post is coming out :)

Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

Sounds like a good-sized area, even if there was no expansions. I can easily see PFO becoming one of the largest MMOs in the industry!

Goblin Squad Member

Jagga Spikes wrote:
...having a castle every 1000m doesn't feel right...

You should visit the River Rhine (where I life). There is basically one castle every 1-2 km...

And if one hex is really 1km ingame then Pathfinder will be a extremely large MMO - a nice change from the very small areas of modern MMOs!


Wow... when I first saw the red rectangles, I was worried that the game area is going to be so small. But looking at the actual size of the area compared to other games, it's just that Golarion is massive!

I have a feeling I'm going to get more and more excited about this game every two weeks. :D

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:


You should visit the River Rhine (where I life). There is basically one castle every 1-2 km...

That's funny. I was actually considering using the Rhine as a reference but didn't because I wanted to avoid the problem of folks expecting something as intensively developed as the Rhine is. :) But yes, it's an example of how you can have a lot of castles in a fairly small area.

:)

RyanD


I only have two questions:
Why only three factions?
What does “triple A MMO” mean? Is there an actual organization certifying MMO’s?

Okay that was three questions.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

osuracnaes wrote:

Wow... when I first saw the red rectangles, I was worried that the game area is going to be so small. But looking at the actual size of the area compared to other games, it's just that Golarion is massive!

I have a feeling I'm going to get more and more excited about this game every two weeks. :D

Actually, Golarion is about the same size as Earth - so it seems that other games are just small, and Golarion is normal sized.

Goblin Squad Member

Lord Toast wrote:


Why only three factions?
What does “triple A MMO” mean? Is there an actual organization certifying MMO’s?

There will be many NPC factions in the game world. In the Crusader Road area, we plan only 3 NPC Settlements but that doesn't mean there will only be 3 NPC factions active in that area.

The idea is to give every type of character a "home" to start from, and to have the basis for a good economic system that will require goods to be moved to more than one place to maximize their value.

We also get a nice "rock/paper/scissors" effect from these three particular factions. Its unlikely that players attracted to them will be able to form a 2 vs. 1 situation to make life miserable for the odd man out.

"AAA" is a generic term used in the videogame industry to denote a project that is being funded at the top of the cost curve for similar projects. Call of Duty is a AAA FPS. RIFT is a AAA fantasy theme park MMO. I usually try to refer to Pathfinder Online as a "next generation" fantasy sandbox rather than as a AAA MMO to avoid people putting it into a box that requires $50-$100 million in funding and 3-5 years (minimum) of development. I think the "next generation" is defined by much smaller budgets and must faster development cycles.

The "AAA" designator is applied without any 3rd party certification. It's just a marketing term.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
Lord Toast wrote:


Why only three factions?
What does “triple A MMO” mean? Is there an actual organization certifying MMO’s?

There will be many NPC factions in the game world. In the Crusader Road area, we plan only 3 NPC Settlements but that doesn't mean there will only be 3 NPC factions active in that area.

The idea is to give every type of character a "home" to start from, and to have the basis for a good economic system that will require goods to be moved to more than one place to maximize their value.

We also get a nice "rock/paper/scissors" effect from these three particular factions. Its unlikely that players attracted to them will be able to form a 2 vs. 1 situation to make life miserable for the odd man out.

"AAA" is a generic term used in the videogame industry to denote a project that is being funded at the top of the cost curve for similar projects. Call of Duty is a AAA FPS. RIFT is a AAA fantasy theme park MMO. I usually try to refer to Pathfinder Online as a "next generation" fantasy sandbox rather than as a AAA MMO to avoid people putting it into a box that requires $50-$100 million in funding and 3-5 years (minimum) of development. I think the "next generation" is defined by much smaller budgets and must faster development cycles.

The "AAA" designator is applied without any 3rd party certification. It's just a marketing term.

Thanks Ryan.

I was worried about the possibility of 2 vs 1. I recall the old days of UO where the idea was the players would police themselves when it came to PKer's....that didn't work out to well.


Pathfinder MMO...

Love the idea.

I am excited and intruiged to see how Paizo/Goblinworks applies its learned leassons and core values to the MMO project.

I for one, prefer the dynamic sandbox as opposed to the cotton candy theme park.

I have enjoyed the first two blogs and look forward to catching up every two weeks to accomodate my budding addiction!

Well done.

V

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
The "AAA" designator is applied without any 3rd party certification. It's just a marketing term.

Oh, I thought it was a program Alain started so if his mount broke down he could just use a sending to get roadside assistance and a tow truck.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Wouldn't that be GTA (Golarion Travel Association) or GHA (Golarion Horse Association)? Will there be a mini-game GTH?

Goblin Squad Member

Sounds like a nice big area laid out for the game. It'll make the world actually feel big. Now comes the fun of planning which bit of real estate to conquer.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
JoelF847 wrote:
In the first line in the Crusader Road section, it mentions that adventurers are traveling to confront the diabolic menace. Devils aren't invading in the Worldwound, demons are, so it should be a demonic menace (unless you mean they're going after the Hellknights, which are a diabolic menace).

You are correct—we'll fix it.

JoelF847 wrote:
In the next paragraph, it mentions the righteous and lawful Knights of Iomedae. This should be the Knights of Ozem. While they are knights and do worship Iomedae, their organization is called the Knights of Ozem.

The Knights of Ozem, in Erik Mona's view, are far more associated with the nation of Lastwall, and probably wouldn't be ranging around the River Kingdoms. A lot of the crusader knights heading up to Mendev follow Iomedae, though, and many call themselves "Knights of Iomedae."

JoelF847 wrote:
Also, it mentions that both the Knights of Iomedae and the Hellknights are in the northern section of this area, but I'm assuming one of the groups is in the south, and the other is in the north.

Correct again—the Hellknights guard the southern approach. We'll fix that as well.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Vic Wertz wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
In the next paragraph, it mentions the righteous and lawful Knights of Iomedae. This should be the Knights of Ozem. While they are knights and do worship Iomedae, their organization is called the Knights of Ozem.
The Knights of Ozem, in Erik Mona's view, are far more associated with the nation of Lastwall, and probably wouldn't be ranging around the River Kingdoms. A lot of the crusader knights heading up to Mendev follow Iomedae, though, and many call themselves "Knights of Iomedae."

Well, you and Erik know better than I do, but I had just finished reading the section on the Knights of Ozem in Faiths of Purity before making the post, and while they're most focused on Lastwall and guarding Gallowspire, the 2nd paragraph there mentions that one of their other missions is "to cast back the demons of the Worldwound." That's why I figured the Knights of Ozem would be the ones involved on the Crusader Road.

Osirion

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
JoelF847 wrote:
Well, you and Erik know better than I do, but I had just finished reading the section on the Knights of Ozem in Faiths of Purity before making the post, and while they're most focused on Lastwall and guarding Gallowspire, the 2nd paragraph there mentions that one of their other missions is "to cast back the demons of the Worldwound." That's why I figured the Knights of Ozem would be the ones involved on the Crusader Road.

I think what would be best is actually a new order of Iomadan Knights that would be analogous to the historical Knights Templar guarding the road to the crusade.

Its perfectly understandable that such a group hasn't been outlined yet.

Similarly I'm left wondering which order of Hellknights will be in the region. I don't recall any of the previously described orders being active in this part of the world. I'm sure the creative team will give us something juicy there too.


Great blog update!

Seriously, I'm going to be counting the days off to the next blog, they're so juicy and full of exciting info. Honestly, I'm going to be foaming at the mouth to play this game. I've been waiting for a sandbox MMO for a long time.

My only concern is that during the first few growth periods of Pathfinder Online, will there actually be enough room for people to develop things? And I hope that they're is more unique landscapes to explore than just forests, rolling hills and plains.

Andoran Goblin Squad Member

Matthew Trent wrote:
Similarly I'm left wondering which order of Hellknights will be in the region. I don't recall any of the previously described orders being active in this part of the world. I'm sure the creative team will give us something juicy there too.

I am also curious as to why they are out here in the middle of nowhere. From the write up in the ISWG I get the feeling that they are more likely to infest themselves into cities that have troubles then setting up a fortress to keep bandits at bay. I wouldn't but it beneath them it just seems a little out of place for them.

Goblin Squad Member

Klotild wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
Similarly I'm left wondering which order of Hellknights will be in the region. I don't recall any of the previously described orders being active in this part of the world. I'm sure the creative team will give us something juicy there too.
I am also curious as to why they are out here in the middle of nowhere. From the write up in the ISWG I get the feeling that they are more likely to infest themselves into cities that have troubles then setting up a fortress to keep bandits at bay. I wouldn't but it beneath them it just seems a little out of place for them.

In this case, I believe that their purpose is to maintain the route for the crusaders to travel to Mendev. While it isn't really glorious, it is critical that they keep people traveling north to combat the chaotic demonic menace.

Osirion

Totally Death's Echo.

Thornkeep, Greenmire, etc. are a bit too 'darkbad' or 'tentacleface brainsucker' for my taste.

Goblin Squad Member

Hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngh! Want to see moaaaaaaaaaaar!

Seriously, cannot wait, this is sounding more and more epic every update!

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

I liked a few of the ideas, but Death's Echo seems the most appropriate, though I wish there were a few more choices.

I'm very excited to jump into this world. I'm probably most interested in the economy and building systems, with politics and exploring competing for second. I'm assuming that one character probably won't be able to excell at more than one thing, so I'll probably create multiple characters to explore the factions as well as participate in the world-building aspects.


Hmm, interesting. It hadn't really occurred to me the sheer (lack of) scale of most MMOs. Sounds like a decent size, even if my first instinct was (like many people's) "Wow, so tiny an area?"

Plus, Hexes. You can't go wrong with hexes.

Overall, this still leaves me cautiously optimistic, though my carebear nature means a *lot* of caution. One thing for sure, I'll be trying it as soon as possible (which sadly, might be a terribly long time after it starts *sadface*).

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