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Goblin Squad Member

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One thing I love is realism in games, and one thing that kills realism in games is a 'T' rating.

The mega-majority of MMO gamers are people that are over 17, and/or they are kids with parents that don't care.

I would like to see the game shoot for an 'M' rating, simply so GW never has to hold back. The only thing they couldn't do is portray hardcore sexual behavior, which isn't something really needed in an mmo. I would like to see the game made in the style of R-rated middle-ages movies.

The game is already rated 'A' simply because there is in-game chat, and unless GW pulls an SOE and starts forced-censoring phrases like: "Anyone want to run the missions on Amu******t Island?" this isn't going to change. You can never make chat tame enough for right-wing christian family ideals, there are always loops around it, it's the internet.

the word is "amusement"

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:

One thing I love is realism in games, and one thing that kills realism in games is a 'T' rating.

The mega-majority of MMO gamers are people that are over 17, and/or they are kids with parents that don't care.

I would like to see the game shoot for an 'M' rating, simply so GW never has to hold back. The only thing they couldn't do is portray hardcore sexual behavior, which isn't something really needed in an mmo. I would like to see the game made in the style of R-rated middle-ages movies.

The game is already rated 'A' simply because there is in-game chat, and unless GW pulls an SOE and starts forced-censoring phrases like: "Anyone want to run the missions on Amu******t Island?" this isn't going to change. You can never make chat tame enough for right-wing christian family ideals, there are always loops around it, it's the internet.

the word is "amusement"

One thing I hate is realism. I see this game being aimed at people ages 13 and above as that's what Paizo tries to keep Pathfinder rated as far as I know. That, and I know just as much kids that play Pathfinder (Society) as adults (Ratio's about 50:50). Same applies to MMOs, I see a load of kids play MMOs too, and the hardcore MMOs at that. There's nothing wrong with being T-rated. Plus if it's M-rated, then you have to deal with Fox and Black Tentacles.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm 41 years old and can't think of a single thing I'd want in a game that would require an 'M' instead of a 'T', but then I don't know for sure what the differences are. I played Age of Conan, and the only thing I noticed with the 'M' was bare-chested ladies.

I'd rather the game be family-friendly.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Valkenr wrote:

One thing I love is realism in games, and one thing that kills realism in games is a 'T' rating.

The mega-majority of MMO gamers are people that are over 17, and/or they are kids with parents that don't care.

I would like to see the game shoot for an 'M' rating, simply so GW never has to hold back. The only thing they couldn't do is portray hardcore sexual behavior, which isn't something really needed in an mmo. I would like to see the game made in the style of R-rated middle-ages movies.

The game is already rated 'A' simply because there is in-game chat, and unless GW pulls an SOE and starts forced-censoring phrases like: "Anyone want to run the missions on Amu******t Island?" this isn't going to change. You can never make chat tame enough for right-wing christian family ideals, there are always loops around it, it's the internet.

the word is "amusement"

I agree with you 100%. I've been touting this game to several of my friends who are looking for something a more gritty per-se in terms of game play. However, given that I have been quietly lurking around these forums since the first blog, I think you may be talking to a brick wall at this point. There are too many people who do not wish to have a niche game, but rather one that caters to teenage Jimmy who just grew his first chest hair to Grandma Betty who's getting ready to meet her maker. The age of gaming belonging to any one group is on a downward slope so fast that even Shawn White can not keep up with its rapidity.

I have hopes that the guys at GW and Paizo will try to make their "own" game rather than attempt to copy elements from the one that McDonalded the MMO world.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nimion

It comes down to language, violence, drug use, and nudity.

Language has to be generally tame, and for the most part PG, for a T.

Violence in a T game turns blood into little red lines, that really don't look like blood. If the game uses semi-realistic blood animations and has things like lopping human heads/limbs off it will get an M. Violence towards non-humans seems to be less of an issue with the ESRB and MPAA.

This is an example of the M rating in AOC

Drug use in a T game is pretty much alcohol only, criminally associated drugs get and M.(not that this really fits into PFO)

Nudity is an automatic 'M' and hardcore images is an automatic 'A', because as we all know, a naked body is much more psycologically damaging than seeing someone get ripped apart.

@chrono

I wouldn't consider an M rated game a 'niche' It's a game that gives the developers a larger creative license.

---------

I'm not asking for blatant nudity or violence, but if it fits into the story it should be there. If you go to a brothel there should be nudity and if you fight someone with heavy metal weapons there should be blood and gore. I'm seeing a push for realism in these forums, and realism comes with an 'M' rating.

It's a pet peeve of mine when a violent act isn't portrayed as violent. If you think images of blood and gore are damaging to youth, smacking down someone with an obvious weapon until they are lying on the ground is much more psychologically numbing than seeing the blood and gore that results from your actions. It shows consequence and doesn't disconnect you as much.

Watchmen, IMO is my favorite superhero move, because it is rated R, when the heroes beat people up you see bones break and blood. It adds so much depth to the story when you are not constantly thinking "wow, there should be more blood, wolverine just put his claws through a guys heart."

Skyrim is my favorite middle-age-fantasy-rpg, it has great mechanics, and the perfect level of adult content.

Not that this is something that would keep me out of the game, but it would increase my chances of longevity. I'm a mechanics player, not a visual player, good visuals increase my enjoyment.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

I'm 41 years old and can't think of a single thing I'd want in a game that would require an 'M' instead of a 'T', but then I don't know for sure what the differences are. I played Age of Conan, and the only thing I noticed with the 'M' was bare-chested ladies.

I'd rather the game be family-friendly.

Letek: [of Humans] "They shamelessly clothe their females"

-Star Trek: The Next Generation: Angel One (#1.13)

Goblin Squad Member

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Nihimon wrote:
I'm 41 years old and can't think of a single thing I'd want in a game that would require an 'M' instead of a 'T', but then I don't know for sure what the differences are.
Valkenr wrote:
It comes down to language, violence, drug use, and nudity.

Then I stand by my original statement that I "can't think of a single thing I'd want in a game that would require an 'M'".

I have no more interest seeing an NPC in-game swearing in local chat than I do in seeing a guildy swearing in guild chat.

I have no more interest in seeing Mortal Kombat style "finisher" animations than I do in seeing a bloody car wreck on the side of the highway.

I have no more interest in seeing "magic mushrooms" that make my screen melt with different colors than I do in actually taking the real things.

And I have no more interest in seeing animated nudity or sex in my MMORPG than I do in seeing people engaging in sex at the Food Court at the mall.

I would very much like to be able to play this game with my 14 year old daughter.

Andoran Goblin Squad Member

Perhaps the ability to turn it on and off? Just a thought...there could even be an option for people to burst into candy! That would be UTTERLY HILARIOUS!

Edit: Wanted to be a little more specific. I don't condone most of those things in video games, but I want a few heads every now and then and a brothel without cleavage is like an ocean without boats...barren and terribly bland. However, if you want your daughter to play, perhaps a "safe mode" could be turned on that limits the areas the child can go (ie if it's a brothel she couldn't go in if the filter is on), chat would be sensored, dismemberment and blood/gore would be turned off. The best of both worlds!

P.S. My candy idea is still funny to me...however impractical/stupid it may be.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Valkenr wrote:
It comes down to language, violence, drug use, and nudity.
Then I stand by my original statement that I "can't think of a single thing I'd want in a game that would require an 'M'".

Then I'll think about it for you. Mmmmmm, that's nice...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Pathfinder brand will not appear on products targeted for mature audiences only. Period.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Vic Wertz wrote:
The Pathfinder brand will not appear on products targeted for mature audiences only. Period.

Without sarcasm: that's probably the best reason I can think of to target a T rating.

For a large number of people, PFO will be the first or primary way they encounter Pathfinder or D&D. For that reason, it is important to follow the 'generally accepted standards', even if that compromises the principles (which it doesn't have to).

Among other things, that means that characters will have unremovable skivvies, and probably won't have graphic or realistic violence, but more of a "I wave my sword around/through you and you fall over" violence.

Goblin Squad Member

Keep in mind, the ESRB rating only applies to what the game makers do. I can still use a bot to run a second account with an elven slave girl to follow me around and behave in a really debased manner.

Kinda like this one: link to screenshot

>:D

Goblin Squad Member

@Blaeringr

"Game experience may change during online play"

-----

Well, there's the answer, kinda disappointed. Wish this game could at least be up to level of maturity of skyrim or assassins creed. I'm curious why paizo wouldn't market anything with an 'M', I can get behind staying away from 'A', but games in the lower side of 'M' can have much more realism. Exposing someone to an open chat room can be multitudes worse than showing some blood. I will stand behind saying non-graphic violence is worse than graphic violence. Having an M rating doesn't mean you need gratuitous violence and nudity, it just means that 'Evil' can look more diablo-esque, and not just 'dark-ish and pokey'

I think people would be surprised how many acts that happen in the PnP would translate to an M rating if they weren't heavily modified. And i'm really not a fan of 'Cartoon Violence'

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Definitions from the ESRB site:

ESRB wrote:

EVERYONE 10+:

Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
TEEN
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
ADULTS ONLY
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

So 'violence' is in, but 'intense violence, blood and gore' is out; crude humor is in, but sexual content out, and strong language will be infreqently used.

For reference, TES4:Oblivion got a T rating (adjusted upward to an M rating when modders discovered that female characters were naked under their armor... go figure)

AO is typically reserved for gambling or sexual content. Most retailers won't stock M games, and the major console manufactures refuse to certify AO games as a matter of policy. (Not that I want PFO to be playable on a console, or make the compromises to interface that I've seen console games make)

Goblin Squad Member

I am not sure at this point if we'll even bother with ESRB or other ratings. They're only necessary if you want to sell a game through traditional Rick & mortar retailers.

Goblin Squad Member

@DeciusBrutus

What retailers are you talking about, I get my stuff from a 'Frys' who sell everything but i have never gone to any other major retailer and not seen 'M' games, I know target/walmart/FredMyers won't stock Ao or NC-17, but i have seen 'M'there.

and Oblivion had that patched out almost immediately, the modders then re-skinned females, the same thing happened in skyrim, and is the most downloaded mod.

I don't know where you got that 'gambling' thing from. If gambling causes an Ao then pokemon fans are in for a rude awakening. If you are talking about hard RL cash gambing in the game, that's illegal.

@Ryan

That's what i expected, and i guess there's some hope now.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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ESRB rating or not, Paizo will not be approving content that would be inappropriate for the average 13-year-old.


And there you have it.

Goblin Squad Member

Most major retailers will not sell a packaged game without an ESRB rating. You can't get them approved for production for any of the major consoles either. So virtually every game you play has an ESRB rating.

However MMOs are a special case because most of the time you'll get the game directly from the publisher and there are no middlemen. Therefore there's no reason to pay for the expense of participating with the ESRB, or with dealing with the fines they impose for violations of their codes (which are steep, and the codes are complex).

Until and unless we decide that we need to make a retail product, and get pushback that such product must be ESRB rated (or PEGI rated in Europe), and we decide that it's worth the hassle to comply, we'll probably sidestep it.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Most major retailers will not sell a packaged game without an ESRB rating. You can't get them approved for production for any of the major consoles either. So virtually every game you play has an ESRB rating.

However MMOs are a special case because most of the time you'll get the game directly from the publisher and there are no middlemen. Therefore there's no reason to pay for the expense of participating with the ESRB, or with dealing with the fines they impose for violations of their codes (which are steep, and the codes are complex).

Until and unless we decide that we need to make a retail product, and get pushback that such product must be ESRB rated (or PEGI rated in Europe), and we decide that it's worth the hassle to comply, we'll probably sidestep it.

RyanD

It's a concept I'd not considered before, but the move to digital-only distribution would indeed spell the end (for now anyway) of the ESRB systems. Ah the magic of the modern world.

For the record it literally makes no sense to me to market this game as M or higher, D&D (and by extension pathfinder) has always been a young teen and up game. Shooting for 'realism' is what happens when you graduate to Vampire the Masquerade or Age of Conan


ESRB wrote:
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

So, let me get this straight...

1. I get to kill things and watch them bleed. (check)

2. I get to wear suggestive outfits and flirt. (check)

3. I get to tell dead kolbold jokes and swear. (check)

4. I get to gamble. (check)

Cool, I'm in.


Pheoran Armiez wrote:


3. I get to tell dead kolbold jokes and swear. (check)

The only good thing about dead kolbold jokes is that we kobolds get to make fun of spelling errors. ;D


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Pheoran Armiez wrote:


3. I get to tell dead kolbold jokes and swear. (check)
The only good thing about dead kolbold jokes is that we kobolds get to make fun of spelling errors. ;D

I kill them, so I spelks there names how I wents too.


True. Correcting you cuts into our Running Away Time.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
True. Correcting you cuts into our Running Away Time.

I'm at school tutoring English right now, isn't that neat!? :D


I guess hacking the heads off orcs is right out then? Or limbs?

The lengths people go to dress down something. Using swords in a fake fight is OK, but seeing the results, even when it's patently obvious they should be occurring and it's STILL obviously fake is a no-no!???

I guess then that means no Vorpal weapons, since they remove limbs and heads. What a shame. I thought this was going to be similar to playing the tabletop game with nifty magic weapons. Or is someone out there going to tell me they never game with one and don't describe the results when they roll a 20? I'd call BS on that. And is there any difference really between an imagination composed of a sword hacking off a head with all graphics done in the mind, and one that uses pictures to assist in the immersion? And is someone going to claim 13 year old boys DON'T imagine being ninjas and such and NOT doing that?

I think a lot of people are literally living in fantasy lands of their own creation. And they apparently work at the ratings board.

Goblin Squad Member

Well, they've given us their reasoning, and it seems sound to me. I imagine there will be some death animations, even if they are relatively tame ones. I doubt mobs will just tip over on death, like figures on a table. :)

Goblin Squad Member

The way I play Pathfinder and the way I imagine PFO makes it M.
I want to hack off limbs, heads and other body parts. And I'm all for realism.

As a European (Swiss for that matter) I don't think seeing topless ladies is a disturbing thing. Americans do. Therefore: m

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Caedryan wrote:

The way I play Pathfinder and the way I imagine PFO makes it M.

I want to hack off limbs, heads and other body parts. And I'm all for realism.

As a European (Swiss for that matter) I don't think seeing topless ladies is a disturbing thing. Americans do. Therefore: m

Vic Wertz wrote:
The Pathfinder brand will not appear on products targeted for mature audiences only. Period.

I'll also add a "No matter what." And an "Ever." And, what the heck, another "Period."

Goblin Squad Member

Whatever *shrugs*,already accepted that. Doesn't, however, change the way I'd imagine it. And that also doesn't change the way I think about American ratings, or rather the criteria for those ratings.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Vic, I'm not quite sure you're being clear enough :)

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ryan Dancey wrote:
I am not sure at this point if we'll even bother with ESRB or other ratings. They're only necessary if you want to sell a game through traditional Rick & mortar retailers.

They're kind of necessary to go through the Mom & Dad barrier. They want to see that "Teen" label on the game they're buying for Junior. And I know Dancey enough that he's not just looking to sell to elite hardcore gamers that want a constant stream of soft porn and profanity on the screen. He's looking to sell to the masses.

Besides you just heard it from the Tech Director itself. "M" or above simply is not going to happen.

Goblin Squad Member

I have zero belief that Mom and/or Dad know what ESRB is, what the letters mean, or make any decisions about games based on them. On the other hand, I am pretty confident that the companies that got behind the ratings system did so to avoid the spectre of being rated involuntarily by government fiat. I think the ESRB has about as much value to parents as the Comics Code did.

And not to get too deep into it, but the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game taken as a whole line wouldn't get anything other than an M rating as written due to the inclusion of drugs (i.e. pesh), and its depictions of extreme violence.

But I really don't want to have a debate about the merits of ESRB or its individual ratings - there's enough bad blood out there already and it has almost nothing to do with us, so I think we can safely avoid the topic.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan

I wouldn't go so far as to say parents don't know, but it is more likely that they don't care, or are unaware the child has the game.

I've always found it funny that there are so many adult themes in the DnD genera, but everything is labeled 12+, and most 12+ don't have the cognitive capacity to play these games effectively unless they have parents that raised them to do so.

There seems to be some conflict between you and Vic. Are we going to be seeing a 'dumbing down' of pathfinder written content to satisfy Paizo's 'inappropriate content' stance? since the jump from written-word to visual-depiction, quickly jumps towards mature-content?


All I can say after my last bit is, if I wanted to play World of Warcraft, I would be doing just that. If this game isn't different from that game except for the world it's based in and a few differences in how skills are handled, it's the same game, just a new wrapper.

Why would anyone that won't play WoW, or has out grown it, play this game? You have to be aware that a large part of your initial customer base is going to be players of the tabletop game, and if the game is so radically different that it's not clearly similar using a similar world view, you won't keep them for long, as the tabletop game will have a better draw, due largely because of it's freedom from arbitrary social standards.

Clearly, some 'children' are growing up faster than their own parents, who still require further maturation. And the industry needs to start challenging the status quo, or it will never mature past 'T'.


Ryan Dancey wrote:

I have zero belief that Mom and/or Dad know what ESRB is, what the letters mean, or make any decisions about games based on them. On the other hand, I am pretty confident that the companies that got behind the ratings system did so to avoid the spectre of being rated involuntarily by government fiat. I think the ESRB has about as much value to parents as the Comics Code did.

And not to get too deep into it, but the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game taken as a whole line wouldn't get anything other than an M rating as written due to the inclusion of drugs (i.e. pesh), and its depictions of extreme violence.

But I really don't want to have a debate about the merits of ESRB or its individual ratings - there's enough bad blood out there already and it has almost nothing to do with us, so I think we can safely avoid the topic.

RyanD

As both a gamer and a parent of a 10-year old and a 17-year old, I'm well versed in ESRB ratings. I make many, many decisions based on ESRB ratings alone, and other decisions based on personal experience.

I know many, many parents who will not allow their children to buy any M-rated game for any reason. I know other parents that allow their kids to buy anything, because 'M' just means shooting things with guns and some moderately bad language... and then they see Sex Games in GoW, or hear the narrator in Afro Samurai and freak out.

I think you'll see more and more parents having a very complete understanding of the ESRB... the number of adults with teenage children that are completely unaware of the gaming culture gets smaller every year.

As a parent, I know that the Comics Code had a small amount of value in that it made sure certain stories weren't told, but as soon as the companies realized that no one cared about the code and they could publish without it, it ceased to have value.

The ESRB is a tool I use every month. I know my 10-year old daughter has no business playing M-rated games. I don't need to know exactly why it's M-rated. T-rated games are judgment calls.

For my teenage son, a lot of the M-rated games were perfectly fine, but others I didn't want him playing. For these, I made judgment calls on the ones I knew, and a blanket banning of the ones I didn't. Now, though, he can make his own choices... but he also knows he can't play M-rated games while his sister is in the room.

I realize this is purely anecdotal, and I'm a gamer dad, and all my friends with kids are also gamers, so my experience is decidely non-standard, but I think you'd be surprised with how many parents of 10-15 year olds actually do care about the ESRB.

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:

All I can say is after my last bit is, if I wanted to play World of Warcraft, I would be doing just that. If this game isn't different from that game except for the world it's based in and a few differences in how skills are handled, it's the same game, just a new wrapper.

Why would anyone that won't play WoW, or has out grown it, play this game? You have to be aware that a large part of your initial customer base is going to be players of the tabletop game, and if the game is so radically different that it's not clearly similar using a similar world view, you won't keep them for long, as the tabletop game will have a better draw, due largely because of it's freedom from 'arbitrary social standards'.

Umm... I'm sorry where is the connection between level of violence and whether it is a WoW clone? A game stands on it's gameplay, If I took wow and just added a whole ton of gratuitous violence, it would still be a WoW clone.

Any game no matter what is going to be drastically different from the P&P game, because the P&P game is an empty book. The level of violence is entirely based on how the DM words things. Some DMs run a game rated G, and the most violent thing you hear is "He dies", some DMs may give a 5 minute description of how the blood pours out of his throat after he is stabbed. Some adventure paths are very vanilla, some DM's will run a series of Nicholas Logue adventures back to back. You can't say the same violence of a game that can vary from G to XXX depending on how the DM wants to run it.

The point is the developers have to pick what level of violence will be best for the audience and get the largest quantity of gamers that will be likely to enjoy the rest of the game. Both violence and non-violence will turn off certain people, and as I am not a marketing expert, I am not going to pretend I know what balance is perfect.

Also I would imagine things like dialogue will likely be more focused on area. Assuming party chat/guild chat exist, there likely won't be heavy restrictions on what you can say to a group of likeminded individuals, but saying it out loud in a public area, will likely get you reported.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Valkenr wrote:
There seems to be some conflict between you and Vic. Are we going to be seeing a 'dumbing down' of pathfinder written content to satisfy Paizo's 'inappropriate content' stance? since the jump from written-word to visual-depiction, quickly jumps towards mature-content?

Ryan is just saying that the ESRB has their own standards for what they define as"Mature," and that their definition does not have any bearing on the matter. I could just as easily point out that while drug use might get an automatic "Mature" from the ESRB, a movie depicting exactly the same behavior may get a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. But neither of those rating systems necessarily maps directly to Paizo's standards for content.

To be very specific, Goblinworks—like any other Pathfinder licensee—will not be allowed to create content for Pathfinder Online that the general public would classify as "adult content," offensive, or inappropriate for minors. Goblinworks will also be required to use reasonable efforts to ensure that content created by their users follows the same standard, and those exact terms will almost certainly be part of the Terms of Use agreement that Pathfinder Online users will need to accept.

What you can assume is that the visual depictions of violence and sexuality, among other things, will be no more explicit that the illustrations you currently find in Paizo's own Pathfinder books, which we believe are acceptable to market to an audience ages 13 and up.

Goblin Squad Member

@Marshall

The question is: "how many parents would let their children play an MMO, but not an 'M' rated game?"


Hunger Games has 4 different ratings right across Canada. You can't get any more arbitrary than that.

And my point about WoW being kiddie ville stands. If this games only difference is the wrapper around the code, there is not going to be anything to make it stand out. The skills application is just mechanics. WoW with Eve style skill code would still be WoW.

I find it very hard to understand how a game that is purported to contain player on player 'simulated' violence would be concerned with something like an ESRB rating; it's hard to reconcile. Obviously you aren't fighting a non person like a mob, that's a living person on the other end of that graphical animation. Unless you are suggesting that people don't realize that? Even indirectly, that is violence towards another human. How can that be rated anything but M unless you intentionally force a disconnect mentally about what it represents? Even slasher flicks get higher ratings than T when their own depictions are tame. And a lot of movies that used to be R would now be 14A, or less. That's how much people have changed over the last 20 years.

And then that brings up the whole, why ratings and changes in depiction in the first place. Are you trying to alter peoples perceptions of violence by intentionally removing all the nasty stuff that it has, like blood, gore, and other adults subjects? Like the original Star Trek episode "A Taste of Armageddon", you continue to have violence in games at the expense of the reality, thereby reducing your own understanding of the true nature of violence, and therefore any one that used your product would suffer from the same reduction in reaction to it as well. It's no wonder there are some officious officials who claim video games lead to real violence, when the violence people is exposed to is so full of tripe.

Now, if the above paragraph is poppycock and easily dismissed, why ratings then, as they are supposed to protect people from bad things, but if there is nothing to protect them from, why have them then, if fake violence is so obviously fake as to be discounted totally. And if fake is fake universally, why should simulated reality be a problem to anyone, since that too is as fake as fake can be? Because some suit somewhere stood up and said, 'Hey, I'm wearing a suit, so I know what I'm talking about and you should take me seriously.'??

All I can see from the official stance of the industry and the ESRB is a lot of hypocrisy and a lack of stones in not challenging that hypocrisy. At least Europeans are more progressive. It's like living in a cave here in North America.

But it's your game, develop as you wish, but don't complain when you draw the exact kind of crowd your rating suggests will be the majority, and good luck competing with the 100 pound Gorilla.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Probitas wrote:

[lots of stuff]

First of all, you seem to be suggesting that we're all about the ESRB rating, but we've explicitly said that we don't expect to *carry* an ESRB rating.

Second, you seem pretty confused about what Pathfinder Online is. Have you actually read any of the development blogs? Especially, have you taken the time to understand the distinction between a sandbox and a theme park? If not, see the first blog.

And you're also under the illusion that we're trying to compete with WoW—we're not. Again, see the first blog.

But if, as you've implied, all you're looking for is WoW with more violence, well, we're not that game... so maybe you shouldn't bother reading the blogs.

Goblin Squad Member

@Vic
You are trying to compete with WoW by entering the MMO market. You are going to have players come here from WoW, and leave here to WoW. I'm guessing that a lot of pathfinder players play WoW.

I think Probitas is looking at WoW from a visual perspective. In which case it dominates the family friendly Medieval Eurasian Fantasy Market.

I'm sure there will be Pathfinder tabletop players that leave the game because it isn't realistic enough. The whole draw of the tabletop is to have greater control than in a video game.

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.


Keep in mind PFO is not Pathfinder Table Top: Online Edition. I think I understand what Vic is saying. They have their standard in mind. They don't care how the ESRB or other ratings standards would rate that standard. That said, the standard in their head is not the Pathfinder RPG. I think what they're going for is the spirit of Pathfinder story-wise and thematically and not things like the mechanics of ripping arms off. At this stage we really don't know anything about PFO other than it's based on Pathfinder. But, given the blogs, we don't know what that means.

The target market here on the forums is one of the table top players. Of course we want table top on a computer. But, that's not what's being delivered. I would imagine they're going after non table top users as their target audience to dramatically increase their overall market coverage rather than trying to attract the table top crowd plus n%.

That said, I'm both apprehensive and excited to see the first glimpses of specific content they're putting in the game. Apprehensive because I don't want a variant of WoW with a Pathfinder paint job. I'm excited because it's Pathfinder and I love the game system and game setting. It's visceral and very life-like which is something I enjoy. How they deliver that, though, is the question.


Valkenr wrote:

@Marshall

The question is: "how many parents would let their children play an MMO, but not an 'M' rated game?"

I can't speak for other parents, but my son got his WoW account (via Recruit-a-friend, so I'd get the rocket and we could level together) when he was 16. The same time I granted him access to most M-rated games.

Prior to that, I occasionally let him play WoW on my account while I was there, and after I'd turned off chat.

In my opinion, EVERY online game with unmoderated chat is 'M'-rated, though.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:

@Vic

You are trying to compete with WoW by entering the MMO market. You are going to have players come here from WoW, and leave here to WoW. I'm guessing that a lot of pathfinder players play WoW.

I think Probitas is looking at WoW from a visual perspective. In which case it dominates the family friendly Medieval Eurasian Fantasy Market.

I'm sure there will be Pathfinder tabletop players that leave the game because it isn't realistic enough. The whole draw of the tabletop is to have greater control than in a video game.

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.

I absolutely agree with you. But it looks like we're gonna get another Wakfu. Or basically every other Anime/Comic-style MMO with colorful violence and lots of flowers. You know, like Dynasty Warriors, less violent and brighter. Hooray.

And a bit more constructive: I'm done with those unrealistic World of Warcraft, Kingdoms of Amalur, Final Fantasy, Aion, Tera worlds. I want a darker world. A more realistic world. That's why I loved The Witcher and Demon's Souls/Dark Souls.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.

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.

You're implying that Valkenr and I are some sort of violence voyeurs. But that's not the case and I think we both know that. If I want to play a game, where violence is THE feature, then I play Happy Wheels. Or Mortal Kombat.

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.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

"World design" is perhaps the vaguest descriptor possible. Batman: The Animated Series had a censor-friendly dark, gritty world. Tremors had lots of graphic violence and grisly deaths but deserved its pg-13 rating.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:


But if, as you've implied, all you're looking for is WoW with more violence, well, we're not that game... so maybe you shouldn't bother reading the blogs.

Presumably what he wants is a game with no restrictions to sex, violence, guts, and gore. Anything less is probabably what he defines as a "carebear" "dumbed down" WOW clone.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
"World design" is perhaps the vaguest descriptor possible. Batman: The Animated Series had a censor-friendly dark, gritty world. Tremors had lots of graphic violence and grisly deaths but deserved its pg-13 rating.

That's why I added two examples of a dark and realistic world. Dark Souls/Demon's Souls and The Witcher 2.

I'm not sure however, how graphical the violence in those games actually is. I don't observe every bit of it. To me it's more part of a coherent, atmospheric world.

For me it's not compulsory to be able to hack of arms and heads - altough that can be a very cool feature in a certain context or game-world.

I'm not sure either how to look at American ratings since in Euorpe and especially Switzerland/Germany we have two ratings. PEGI (pan-european) and USK (Germany). Both games are 16+ (except TW2 was rated 18+ by PEGI which is, I think, because of the overall tone of the game). So I have no idea how to rank your ratings. What I know, is that Teens (the next rating under 16+ is 12+ here) get to see absolutely nothing. If it's got a gun in it, it's more or less immediately 16+.

I'd love PFO to be in the style of the mentioned games above and not in the style of Aion and those rainbowy Korean MMOs. If there's a realistic and non-dinastywarriorsfinalfantasy'esque world I really don't care about separating heads from bodies.

I just fear PFO might go into the hoorayloveandponies direction.

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