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Targeted ESRB Rating?


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

All I have to say on the "competing with WoW' debate is that it's like talking about chess trying to compete with checkers as a game. Some people prefer chess, some prefer checkers. Some people like watching documentaries, some prefer reality shows about spoiled pop princesses. In some ways the different genres are competing, but some would see it as in a fairly superficial way.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caedryan wrote:
Also it's not about the violence in particular, as previously stated, but it's about the general world design, which I'd love to be realistic, maybe a bit darker and not like My Little Pony.

Can we scrap PFO and put all resources into a My Little Pony MMO? If copyrights are an issue, you can just trade Hasbro the Pathfinder brand! :D

Goblin Squad Member

Looks like part of the confusion is relating the style and look/feel of a game with the content that style is depicting. GW is saying they're not going to aim for hyper-violent content, and have stated approximately zero about the style.

Gritty, Dark, Realism are all perfectly valid forms of entertainment, that in no way rely on graphic violence or highly sexual themes to convey. Much like the content Paizo provides as being generally very neutral in sexual themes, and occasionally dip into some of the graphic and horror aspects of fantasy gaming.

WoW has a distintive cartoony exaggerated look and generally bright style. It also has very neutral content. Its easy to confuse one for the other.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gruffling wrote:


WoW has a distintive cartoony exaggerated look and generally bright style. It also has very neutral content. Its easy to confuse one for the other.

This depends highly on the area. The Gilneas and Forsaken areas are hardly "bright".

Cartoony is a bit more of a subtle question. Remember that WOW was not created to require top notch graphics cards for entry and the intent was to provide for the possibility of mass PC battles.

Goblin Squad Member

LazarX wrote:
Gruffling wrote:


WoW has a distintive cartoony exaggerated look and generally bright style. It also has very neutral content. Its easy to confuse one for the other.

This depends highly on the area. The Gilneas and Forsaken areas are hardly "bright".

Cartoony is a bit more of a subtle question. Remember that WOW was not created to require top notch graphics cards for entry and the intent was to provide for the possibility of mass PC battles.

Even in the darker areas, its still a highly saturated color palette, but true, not always "bright". I was condensing the review. Also, the underlying geometries of WoW characters are really where they saved a lot on bandwidth, for the reasons you cite. Something I believe they're looking to update significantly with the next expansion.

My point was as it references this thread; Content and Style are related, but ultimately different points on the design spectrum. You can have Grimdark Gritty Death festival, without lopping off heads and "Hot Coffee" incidents.


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I would just like to throw out there that I - and I admit that I am a bit of a standout on this one - consider a game based on its game play, not what it can blast me out of the water with on a screen. I have a decent computer, but I don't want to have to buy the latest and greatest computer to play anything that PFO has to offer. In addition, we've really seen the best that graphics in and of graphics themselves have to offer. As they said on the forum "SWTOR is the Avatar of the MMO industry." You can't compete with the pure graphics, and I don't want the appeal of my game to be based on how debased my character can get. I want my game to draw me in because of the options I get, the things I can do, the intricacies of the world that I have seen PFO developing. Maybe they will change that direction, but I for one would urge them not to.
I'm not saying that I want My Little Pony MMO (although that would be hilarious,) and I certainly want a darker, grittier feel. I just think that Goblinworks has already made clear that blood splattering gore is not the direction they wish to take this game, in favor of a sandbox in depth game play style.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm a big fan of Grimdark and gritty in my home games, but then I'm the one controlling the content directly. My perspective on it is probably very different than a lot of people who say they like the same, as of course, my game experiences are my frame of reference. When we say we want it so, maybe we can provide some cultural reference as a way to pin where we think we are on the spectrum.

I'd love to see PFO in the same vein as The Skinsaw Murders or Hook Mountain Massacre, but I realize this is probably just past one end of the gore spectrum.

Goblin Squad Member

It seems like the people who have played WoW are the only ones worried about PFO being like WoW. If it didn't bother you then why would it bother you now?

I for one have never played WoW because it never appealed to me, and never once did I think PFO would remotely resemble WoW in any way.

Ryan worked on EvE online what would give anyone the idea that he will create My Little Pony MMO? You people crack me up!

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Graphic depictions of violence is not a part of our objective or plan. So if you're looking for that as the feature that makes Pathfinder Online for you, you'll be disappointed.

I don't think anyone here has stated that graphic violence would be what draws them to get game. If you are going to have a game with up-to-date graphic quality. There are more and more 'mature' video games being released with huge success. As graphic quality increases, realism needs to increase in kind, and blood/gore is part of that realism.

If PFO is going to have up-to-date graphics along with combat, graphic violence is a must to keep with visual quality.


Darkrunner wrote:


I'm not saying that I want My Little Pony MMO (although that would be hilarious,)

Not to derail things, but I believe there actually is an fanmade MLP MMO in the works. It got split into two separate projects due to 'creative differences' recently, though.

Goblin Squad Member

BlackUhuru wrote:

It seems like the people who have played WoW are the only ones worried about PFO being like WoW. If it didn't bother you then why would it bother you now?

I for one have never played WoW because it never appealed to me, and never once did I think PFO would remotely resemble WoW in any way.

Ryan worked on EvE online what would give anyone the idea that he will create My Little Pony MMO? You people crack me up!

In my little pony online you can't transport 1^3 m of prostitute.


Oh, I don't know about that. Those ponies are really scary. Who KNOWS what they might be transporting...


Indeed. Sounds like somebody hasn't watched Lesson Zero. Or Party of One. Or any of the other episodes where a character goes insane.
:33


The problem with realistic graphics is twofold:

1. They require a better computer.
2. They show their age quickly.

Neither of these things is in line with their goals to create a long-term game that you don't need a high end computer to play.

Cartoony graphics age more slowly and are less demanding of computers, which in both the long and short term will allow more people to play. It is an obvious style choice for an independent, low budget, niche game that is aiming for the long haul.

However, as I think Gruffling is trying to point out, style is not the same as tone. You can have realistic graphics that are all sunshine and rainbows, and you can have cartoony graphics that are dark and gritty.


Hudax wrote:
You can have realistic graphics that are all sunshine and rainbows, and you can have cartoony graphics that are dark and gritty.

Well said.


Darkrunner wrote:
Hudax wrote:
You can have realistic graphics that are all sunshine and rainbows, and you can have cartoony graphics that are dark and gritty.
Well said.

Ooo! Ooo! I want those!

Goblin Squad Member

Darkrunner wrote:
Hudax wrote:
You can have realistic graphics that are all sunshine and rainbows, and you can have cartoony graphics that are dark and gritty.
Well said.

Then let's clear it up: Dark, gritty and realistic.

You can add an artistic style even to a realistic game that will make it age very well. Mass Effect 1 for example. Or Dead Rising, which was, I believe, a launch title for the Xbox 360 and still has awesome graphics. Maybe not top notch anymore, but still awesome.

Goblin Squad Member

MMO's always have lower graphics than single player games, you don't want to start low, or once a few years go by you will be very low.

A game won't do well entirely on mechanics you have to look good too, and the number one complaint coming out of WoW (other than mindless repetition of questing) i see is the cartoon feel.

I have little faith in GW if they don't plan on increasing the graphic quality of the game every few years or so, and up the minimum specs. All these older MMO's would have a larger draw if they didn't look like they came out 10 years ago.

Goblin Squad Member

For those of you not sure of the rating ESRB Ratings
Now I remind you, they said they are going by what they consider appropriate for age 13, not the ESRB. Just how many MMO's are M-rated ? I went through my library and found them all T-rated. WoW, Aion, Rift, EQ2, CoH, DAoC, Global Agenda to name a few. And honestly, my like or dislike didn't have to do with the limitations the ESRB rating imposed on them. According to ESRB Teen rating, we could have a dark violent world with a whore house and gambling hall where the patrons use foul language, get in a fight and kill some one and have blood on the table or ground. You just don't get the gore, to actually play the gambling game, or see the sex. As for reality, have you ever seen some one chop off somebody's arm with a sword ? Not easy and doesnt happen in one swing. Even beheadings weren't always single blows and they are static targets and you have a specail tool thats precisely sharpened. Not happening in every day life. Do you really need to see the intestines hanging out to be happy as compared to a guy laying face down in some blood ?

Goblin Squad Member

As long as people can drink and smoke when they are in taverns I could give a darn less about the rating.

Watching blood spatter everywhere is horrifying as a little kid and really cool when you are a teenager playing your first game that has it. Afterwards I cease to care one way or the other. It doesn't bother me when its there, but I don't miss it when it's not. I generally don't even notice most of the time unless its like Dragon Age and your character is covered in blood spatters. Even then its like "WOAH" the first time you see it, and a non-issue from then on.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:


So under the "if its in the books category" we can expect:(from looking through the player handbook)
-Spurts of realistic blood
-Graphic wounds
-Dissolving in acid
-Libs being ripped off graphically
-Female clothing that leaves almost nothing to the imagination
-'Beat up and bloody' look
???

Outside of tasteful/appropriate nudity(humanoid wildish), that covers most of what i'm looking for in realism aspects that would fall under any content approval.

Heh, if we can get these in PFO I'm happy. I don't really feel the need to see arms, legs and heads flying around when I'm fighting anyways. As long as there's blood to some degree and as long as you can tell that a character has just been in a pretty intense battle and is quite wounded I'd say that's enough realism for me at least.


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Keep in mind that the Baldur's Gate is rated teen.

It has:

1) Enemies that explode into showers of body parts.
2) Working brothels.
3) Depictions of torture.
4) Literal fountains of blood.
5) Your main character is a spawn of the god of murder who raped thousands of mortals during the time of troubles to ensure his continued survival.
6) Quests involving serial killers (The Skinner chain, etc).
7) Slavery (including of children)
8) Disfigurement

I think in most everyone's head Pathfinder is equilavent to D&D in content style and tone. Most everyone would also agree that the content in say, Planescape Torment, or the Baldur's Gate series is rather mature, even though it's rated 'T'. If those games came out today, they would probably get an 'M', but that's irrelevant in PFO. Those games are likely in line with what Paizo considers acceptable content for PFO.

Would you Goblinworks guys say that is a safe assumption? Or, are those classics more mature than your aim?


I used to be a salesclerk in a large shoppingmall that happened to sell games and movies as well.
So i know that about one third of the people either don't know about ESRB or just don't care.
Many only buy the game dreading the ruckus their kid would raise if they didn't.

I understand that PFO will probably only be downloadable, but the fact still remains that i've seen how reckless many people can be.
If their kid whines about a game every day many parents will sooner or later give in to the pressure.

Then they go on the net with their credit card and let's the kid play thinking that he will get bored with the game sooner or later.
Most kids get's far less interrested with a game after playing it for one-two weeks (fact) you see.

Let's not forget that there are plenty of kids out there with ways to get ahold of their parents credit card without their knowledge.

Grandparents never buy a mature game if they are alerted to the violent content.
But most storeclerks i've worked with or seen in stores just plain don't care what people buy as long as they get paid so customers are rarelly alerted.
There are plenty of storeclerks are just too plain bored to bother alerting customers to the violence in games.
They are too busy checking the clock most of the time thinking: Can't time run faster so i can go home!

Paizo has the right attitude about the rating. Having a teen rating is good enough in my opinion.
While it's true that many kids see far worse things on the TV every day i don't think PFO should be another contributor to it all.

Spleenslitta- The salesclerk who has seen it all through 15 years behind the counter.

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