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Warning: The EVE Way


Pathfinder Online

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I'm sure everyone has noticed that the developers over at Goblinworks are quite fond of EVE Online, and while EVE Online may be considered an extremely unique MMO with several different activities to partake in, in the grand scheme of things, quantity does not equate to quality. The quality of the gameplay itself, the action, the player input, the act of doing things mostly feels stale across many levels. Some may point out that risk is all a game needs to make gameplay fun, I digress. At many points in EVE, things feel slow, boring, and stale because the gameplay is not fun, for there isn't risk 100% of the time. The controls are not intuitive, the combat isn't exciting, the UI is cluttered, travelling is boring, mining is boring, doing missions is boring, etc. If the fun factor relies heavily upon the risk factor, then there is something seriously wrong with the core gameplay mechanics. Playing the game itself should feel enticing. It should captivate you from the very first minute.

You may say that EVE Online only gets better as you play more, but the harsh reality of things is that first impressions are crucial in forming opinions about anything. Gameplay needs to be gripping from the get-go. The number one reason I would log out of EVE was because I would get sleepy. At 4PM.

Funny little video (lower volume down a bit before watching): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMSjd6HNQdY

Goblin Squad Member

EVE is a great game but it isn't perfect. I think there is a lot that can be learned from EVE of what to do... and what not to do. I think going with a skill training SIMILAR to EVE has a lot of room to make something really great. I think I direct cut/paste of the EVE system would be a huge folly, but I don't think that is their intention as they have already announced tweaks such as merit badges.

I think the main problem with EVE is as the video shows, the start up. Unless you are doing level 1 missions to get standing with X faction, there isn't really much point to playing for the first month. Do yourself a favor, buy a PLEX, cash it out, and in a month when you have the skills to do something get to work. Anything a low level can do in-game doesn't really serve a purpose because reward level = non-existent.

The 2nd problem is the combat. I came from Freelancer so turning modules/on and off and telling my ship what distance to orbit what target off... wasn't too thrilling. Even Guild Wars and I hate to say it but... WoW had more engaging combat. But I don't see that being an issue here. This is an entirely different style of game and a transplant of EVE combat to Pathfinder... would be insanity. I think at bare minimum we will see WoW style combat, and at maximum we will see something like Darkfall without the crazy grind and hybrids.

I think PFO just needs to learn ways to make the game more engaging and exciting from day 1, and of course use different combat. (as if that wasn't already their intention.) If they can do that the game will be great.

PS. I re-subbed within the past week or so. Faults or no faults its fun enough that so much discussion of it made me want to try it again.


Although you may have not liked EvE, I played it for many years. I found many friends in an alliance that I stayed with for a long time. EvE provided me the opportunity to fight against plenty of people and risk myself all the time. I valiantly fought against the Goonswarm and have had an impact on the history of that game. Their is plenty of risk involved in EvE if you know where to look for it and plenty of reward for that risk too. Mining, fleet battle and tactics, or 0.3 and below provided me tons of thrill.

I found the missions to be quite fun, mining was fun, and so was travelling. Yes you had to factor in risk into some of those but from the second I started playing I was very much enticed. Perhaps you could tell us *what* did not entice, *how* the missions were boring, and *why* mining was once again boring to you. I never had any issues with the UI or the controls and seldomly have I heard any complaints about them. I have never heard anyone say EvE combat is "boring". Sure if you stuck to yourself it might have been boring but it is an MMO... community. The PvP in that game was fantastic and the combat was really fun.

Taking out a Titan or any capital ship for that matter gave me a swell of pride in my chest. Taking charge of a group of 100+ players was fun and so was guiding a battle of over 750+ ships. I found the combat to be very fun and unique to itself.

Now, while I don't want PFO to be a fantasy version of EvE copied and pasted, I would love to see what EvE succeeded on to be implemented into this game. One of the reasons, I have faith in this game is because of the Devs behind it and their experience in the MMO industry. Hopefully they can take what they have learned and make this game the next greatest sandbox.

Goblin Squad Member

Solemor Far'men wrote:

I found the missions to be quite fun, mining was fun, and so was travelling. Yes you had to factor in risk into some of those but from the second I started playing I was very much enticed. Perhaps you could tell us *what* did not entice, *how* the missions were boring, and *why* mining was once again boring to you. I never had any issues with the UI or the controls and seldomly have I heard any complaints about them. I have never heard anyone say EvE combat is "boring". Sure if you stuck to yourself it might have been boring but it is an MMO... community. The PvP in that game was fantastic and the combat was really fun.

Taking out a Titan or any capital ship for that matter gave me a swell of pride in my chest. Taking charge of a group of 100+ players was fun and so was guiding a battle of over 750+ ships. I found the combat to be very fun and unique to itself.

Having discussed EVE with you elsewhere I can understand what you like about it. The scale and tactics of EVE is pretty fun. What I am referring too when I say I don't like the combat is the system of fighting itself. In Freelancer running a high level mission was dodging among enemy through asteroids I had to manually avoid while picking off targets that I actually had to draw a bead on. In EVE well...... I sit there and let them beat on my shields while I lock targets and tell my missiles to fire at them.

Large scale combat is fun in other games too. So they should copy the scale but not the system. I think my ideal system would be something with a targeting system to help you keep track of who your target is and quickly be able to target your nearest enemy if the battle gets too chaotic (That is a huge thing if you have ever played a game without it!), but that you have to aim manually.


The thing about controlling EVE that I really like is that I can do it all with the mouse. The F1-F8 high slot commands (and weapon groups) make it very easy to play. I am not a big fan of having to click across as many as 40 different action boxes across 4 action bars while cramping the other hand withactual movement *and* trying to pay attention to what is on-screen.

There has to be a happy medium between the two extremes. It gets actually painful to play the latter control set ups in a few minutes' time.

If the controls are simple enough to use and combat options are a healthy balance of passive and active the more one can enjoy the fighting. F1-F4 for offensive options, F5 and F6 for self-healing / self mana recharging ala Diablo's health/mana potions; F7 for an active defense toggle (Deflect Arrows) and F8 if you've learned an in-combat *bamf* home ability or abundant step (or equivalent) to the targeted spot.

Keeping a few buttons straight in a player's head is far easier than trying to remember as many as FORTY buttons...

Goblin Squad Member

Turin the Mad wrote:

The thing about controlling EVE that I really like is that I can do it all with the mouse. The F1-F8 high slot commands (and weapon groups) make it very easy to play. I am not a big fan of having to click across as many as 40 different action boxes across 4 action bars while cramping the other hand withactual movement *and* trying to pay attention to what is on-screen.

There has to be a happy medium between the two extremes. It gets actually painful to play the latter control set ups in a few minutes' time.

If the controls are simple enough to use and combat options are a healthy balance of passive and active the more one can enjoy the fighting. F1-F4 for offensive options, F5 and F6 for self-healing / self mana recharging ala Diablo's health/mana potions; F7 for an active defense toggle (Deflect Arrows) and F8 if you've learned an in-combat *bamf* home ability or abundant step (or equivalent) to the targeted spot.

Keeping a few buttons straight in a player's head is far easier than trying to remember as many as FORTY buttons...

Lol. I entirely get what you mean. When you are playing something like TOR or WoW at max level when you get all the skills you really have to be on top of things to remember all your abilities. I mapped a lot of abilities to letter keys and use a Razor Naga mouse just to keep on top of it all.

When you get into a game like Darkfall where a PVPer may be using a bow, a 2 handed melee weapon, knives, 1 handed sword, shield, around 5 melee abilities, 3-5 consumables, 1-2 staffs, and their favorite spells from a selection of over 100 WITH no-tab targeting, and FPS style combat...

I like a challenge but that game's combat system was TOO MUCH.

I personally really liked ability management in the first Guild Wars. 8 skills. That is all you get. 8 skills. It taught you to get familiar with your build and really learn how to use those 8 skills. Despite just 8 skills it was 10 times more engaging and fast paced than games like LotRO, TOR, and WoW.

I think an ideal system might be. Tab targeting. FPS aiming, and somewhere between 8 and 16 MAXIMUM active(As opposed to passive) feats/abilities/spells that can be used in combat. If its closer to 8, don't include consumables in that number. If its closer to 16 do. With proper usage of your keyboard/mouse to run a custom hotkey setup that works well for you, that number of abilities should be simple to manage, especially if some of them are like 30 sec to one minute buffs or something.

That would be fast paced engaging combat, that doesn't make your mind want to explode like a soda can in a bonfire. I know a lot of people really despise FPS style combat in fantasy games though so... well see how it goes.


Solemor Far'men wrote:
Perhaps you could tell us *what* did not entice, *how* the missions were boring, and *why* mining was once again boring to you. I never had any issues with the UI or the controls and seldomly have I heard any complaints about them. I have never heard anyone say EvE combat is "boring".

Just watch the video. Those were the EXACT first impressions I got from playing EVE.


I like that balance Andius, 8 permanent plus not more than 8 "consumables" hits the balance between too much and not enough. Tab targeting, rangefinding - gawds I detest not having some method of quickly determining range to target - and maybe a balance or option between manual facing or a toggle to "face current target".

IRL hunters, cops, soldiers and other "adventurer types" quickly learn how to pretty accurately gauge distances in concrete terms (yards, meters, feet). Too many MMOs don't have such a mechanism. At least, not one that could be pertinent to PFO. Game terms depend heavily on distance to target or target point. Sneak attacks, range increments, close/ medium/ long spell ranges, etc.

I wonder if spells with area effects will "ghost" the shape on-screen when you're 'charging' the ability before casting? burning hands, color spray, cone of cold and so much more need to know!

And fireball .. mmm, those should be fun to see!


Yes, restricting the amount of abilities you can use at a time seems to be a new wave in MMOs, with a lot of new and upcoming games opting for that route, including DC Universe Online, Guild Wars 2, and The Secret World. There's always a lot of complaining from the people who are used to 30-skill hotbars, but I quite like having to put some thought into which skills to put in my loadout.

I also enjoy more active combat, without targetting. I've found the aforementioned DC Universe Online quite entertaining, despite it the system being rather simplistic.

Goblin Squad Member

Aquilus wrote:
I also enjoy more active combat, without targetting.

No targeting seems nice at first, but when you get in a major battle, it can be a NIGHTMARE. For 1 vs. 1, or even a 3vs.3 no tab targeting can be fine. It is generally pretty easy to keep your focus on a target and continue to hit that target pretty consistently. When you get into 10 vs. 10 or 200 vs. 200 this system is an absolute NIGHTMARE. You have no idea where you're enemy is and whenever you lose track of your enemy you find yourself floundering around looking for a new enemy, having to hover over each of the players rushing by to determine who's side they are on.

Throw this into a game where factions aren't set but rather you can determine who your enemies and allies are yourself, and it's utter confusion. "There is another GL, that's my clan. Theres a DC, they are with us too. YAS? Who are they with? WOL! Thats the enemy! Wait where did he go?!"

Tab targeting can remove this confusion. You press tab. It skips over all your company-mates and allied companies/people on your friends list. You have YAS targeted. You don't know who they are. You press tab again, you have WOL targeted. There is now a visual identifier making him easy to spot, and maybe even an arrow showing which direction you need to turn to see him if hes off-screen. Just because you have him targeted doesn't necessarily mean you have auto aim. You might still need to aim at him FPS style and avoid hitting friendly targets. What it does mean is the combat is more smooth flowing an less confusing, allowing you to be constantly in that thrill of fighting for your life rather than flailing around in confusion to determine who the enemy is.

Realistic? No. Fun? Yes. This is one of the areas that I believe fun should come over realism. I think if you have played a game like Darkfall or Mortal Online, and then compare it to a game like Freelancer or Star Wars: Battlefront 2, you might be prone to agree with me.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
I think an ideal system might be. Tab targeting. FPS aiming, and somewhere between 8 and 16 MAXIMUM active(As opposed to passive) feats/abilities/spells that can be used in combat.

Most definitely not ideal for me.

The thing about PFO is that you will be gaining options instead of raw power. If you're limited to 16 options in combat, then at some point, there's going to be a major disconnect.

I use a Nostromo gaming pad, which makes it extremely easy for me to use my right hand for the mouse to control all looking and movement, and my left hand to control strafing left and right, tab-targeting, and (did I mention) extremely easy access to the '1' thru '-' keys (they have a scroll wheel where I would have mapped '='), even when I'm also holding Alt, Ctrl, Shift, or virtually any combination of those.

If I could start a crowd chanting outside Goblinworks' main office, I'd get them to chant "No arbitrary limitations!"

Goblinworks Founder

I'm use to the tab targeting from, just in some games like Star Wars it didn't always target the one you wanted at the time you needed it to. During big battles it was difficult to get the right mob, but easier then trying to click on them among ten other targets in the clutter he he.

Was glad for 'assist target' to get around some of the confusion of finding a target.

Seen that Guild Wars 2 and think Secret World is doing the switch weapons to get new set of skills/spells; which clears up the bar of a mass of buttons to hit.

Goblin Squad Member

Didn't a lot of the old, old games have just a few spell slots also? I remember eq1 having 8 or so spell slots originally and maybe 4 ability buttons later. The player loaded the abilities they needed for a certain situation. Of course, it wasn't a pvp game and I am not experienced in those at all. *smiles* I am hoping this isn't going to make it impossible for me, and other old gamers like me, to enjoy this game.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Aquilus wrote:

Yes, restricting the amount of abilities you can use at a time seems to be a new wave in MMOs, with a lot of new and upcoming games opting for that route, including DC Universe Online, Guild Wars 2, and The Secret World. There's always a lot of complaining from the people who are used to 30-skill hotbars, but I quite like having to put some thought into which skills to put in my loadout.

I also enjoy more active combat, without targetting. I've found the aforementioned DC Universe Online quite entertaining, despite it the system being rather simplistic.

That comes as a requirement of console support. It's entertaining and fast paced, but not deep.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Most definitely not ideal for me.

The thing about PFO is that you will be gaining options instead of raw power. If you're limited to 16 options in combat, then at some point, there's going to be a major disconnect.

I use a Nostromo gaming pad, which makes it extremely easy for me to use my right hand for the mouse to control all looking and movement, and my left hand to control strafing left and right, tab-targeting, and (did I mention) extremely easy access to the '1' thru '-' keys (they have a scroll wheel where I would have mapped '='), even when I'm also holding Alt, Ctrl, Shift, or virtually any combination of those.

If I could start a crowd chanting outside Goblinworks' main office, I'd get them to chant "No arbitrary limitations!"

Guild Wars had plenty of options. I believe there are more abilities in Guild Wars for a single character than any class in WoW, ToR, OR LotRO. You could potentially have ten BILLION options to choose from. But you can only have 8 of them on your skillbar.

As you unlock more abilities it allows you more and more options from builds. For instance my Guild Wars build was.

1. Healing Breeze - Heal over time, medium energy cost.
2. Heal Party - Instant heal, high energy cost, hits whole party.
3. Healing Signet - Weak heal, high cast time, no energy cost.
4. Heal Other - High amount of healing, medium energy cost, can't be used on self.
5. Healing Hands - Heals target whenever damages is dealt to target for 15 seconds. Low cost, 45 second cooldown.
6. Orison of Healing - Medium healing, any target, low cost.
7. Resurrect Signet - No cost, fast cast, one use per battle.
8. Restore Life - Medium cost, insanely slow cast, unlimited use.

I started out with Healing Breeze, and Orison of Healing. I picked up Resurrect Signet very early on. The rest of my build evolved as I got more abilities. At one point I know I head an AoE heal that I dropped for Heal Party. Healing Hands, one of my favorite skills, I didn't pick up until near the end of the game. My build has limitations. I can heal way damage easily but I don't have the ability to purge hexes or negative conditions. I do have the option to run those skills in my build if I had them however. Options are great! But a limited number of skills AT A TIME = faster paced more engaging combat. The less we are fumbling with the right skill for a situation, the more fast paced you can make the combat.

Guild Wars should know about levels not unlocking more power but more options. In Guild Wars Prophecies you hit max about halfway through the game. In Factions and Nightfall you hit max level VERY early in the game, and could even hop in with your max level Prophecies character. The rest of the game revolved around unlocking new abilities!

I'm not saying have 8-16 abilities in the entire game. I'm saying limit us to 8-16 abilities at a time.

Lantern Lodge

Do that and multiclassing is less of an issue so long as any known ability can be set too, though 8 was too few for me I would go for 12 to 18(including consumables though I steer clear of those myself.) but allow the use of other abilities from menu out of combat.

Goblinworks Founder

Well I guess for a caster it can get bogged down after awhile if you go by the game itself. Once you hit level 20 you had a wide variety of spells prepared for an adventure, but then we just had a little piece(s) of paper and time to know which spell you were casting.

Seeing as how some useful spells were only at a certain level like bulls strength if you wanted it's benefits or a bless for that extra push. Guess I'm looking at it from that perspective of having a lot of buttons to use but then you had classes like warriors who were using feats as their actions so they wouldn't have a lot of slots to use.

Let's just use voice recognition software and shout out our spells. Healing on Player one... fireball on player 2... wait no i meant orc 2, uh oh...


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From what I remember from the short time of playing EVE online i can tell, the less a game is like EVE the better. If I just want to watch the screen 99% of the time without doing anything myself, i'll go watch a movie.
In games I look for something that immerses me in the action. I play them to entertain myself, and it's not entertaining to just watch your character doing themselves while i may give them a command everyo nce in a while. The more action oriented the gameplay the better in my opinion.

I already find WoW combat terribly unengaging, because most of the attacks are done by the character automatically.

Goblin Squad Member

Eve was unique in that it was fun while also being mind-numbingly boring.

Goblin Squad Member

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Andius wrote:
I'm not saying have 8-16 abilities in the entire game. I'm saying limit us to 8-16 abilities at a time.

And that is exactly what I am so adamantly opposed to.

"No arbitrary limitations!"

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Threeshades wrote:

From what I remember from the short time of playing EVE online i can tell, the less a game is like EVE the better. If I just want to watch the screen 99% of the time without doing anything myself, i'll go watch a movie.

In games I look for something that immerses me in the action. I play them to entertain myself, and it's not entertaining to just watch your character doing themselves while i may give them a command everyo nce in a while. The more action oriented the gameplay the better in my opinion.

I already find WoW combat terribly unengaging, because most of the attacks are done by the character automatically.

You play WoW differently than I do. Basic attacks are what happens in between, or ib lieu of decisions, not the core of combat.


I'm all for more action oriented gameplay, my dream game would have something like the Vindictus or C9 combat engine without session based play. I don't think we are there yet, but perhaps we're closer than I think.

Vindictus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnKJpXZxmyU
C9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-gkFL7G8ow

Hmm, kinda feel like playing Vindictus now, in spite of it's many flaws. Hadn't thought about it in awhile. And yeah, it all goes back to doing more with less buttons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HTHjC1Z0xo

You often must choose...the way I see it, which is a pity. As a gamer I never get to scratch all of my itches in the same place.

Eve, Wurm, etc: Awesome world, crappy gameplay
WoW, SWTOR, 1M clones: mediocre world, mediocre gameplay
Action MMO: Awesome gameplay, crappy world

Guild Wars 2 is what I'm most looking forward to in the immediate future because it looks as if it will have sandbox like PvP and a dynamic world with pretty good *more active than standard* combat. Pretty good gameplay combined with a pretty good world is a nice formula to start with. For me, one cannot be entertaining long term without the other. I end up either craving more sandbox play or more dynamic gameplay and look elsewhere after bursts that could last anywhere from a few days to a few months.

The best gameplay aspect of Eve is arguably fleet combat. However, from a "fun gameplay" perspective even that is utter crap compared to really old games like X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, and it without question has a much higher barrier of entry.

Darkfall's combat was fairly fun, however my net or wireless router pukes on me at least once a night. Losing everything on your person every time that happens is quite annoying. So, chuck it in that large bucket of games I like the ideas behind that just don't work for me in reality. Keeping a latency monitor open and trying to safely log out of a game if my dropped packet rate gets above 5% is not really that entertaining.

Goblin Squad Member

The max slots system is a pretty nice addition that is being brought to MMO's. And if it similar to anything, it is probably the spell/day system. You have easy access to a much larger selection of abilities, but it takes the idea that a player cannot do everything in the same breath and puts that into a mechanic. The system, I believe, requires a lot more thought, you have to design the character for what you are going to be doing, and you can never excel at more than a few things at once.

I think it goes hand in hand with a system where your major progression is diversity. The only way to balance a diversity based system is by limiting usage. Otherwise you get into situations where you have a 7 year old character about to finish their 3rd archetype chain, and they have multiple abilities that all link to another ability and power it up. They have to choose if they want to be a 1 trick pony, or branch out and lessen their maximum power.

I personally don't like having 50 abilities to sort through on my screen, I like every action to be mappable to the left half of the keyboard, and all them menus and such to the right.

This system of course excludes social abilities, and anything related to crafting. This is purely a combat balancing system.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

There is no inherent reason why different archetype skills or abilities need to synergize effectively. It is trivial to separate them to eliminate all synergy, and straightforward to separate them organIcally and sensibly so that synergies aren't overpowering.

Also, LOL at TIE fighter "low barrier to entry": a skilled pilot can consistently drive off capital ships with a fighter, while someone with entry-level skills will be lucky to clear a minefield.


DeciusBrutus wrote:

There is no inherent reason why different archetype skills or abilities need to synergize effectively. It is trivial to separate them to eliminate all synergy, and straightforward to separate them organIcally and sensibly so that synergies aren't overpowering.

Also, LOL at TIE fighter "low barrier to entry": a skilled pilot can consistently drive off capital ships with a fighter, while someone with entry-level skills will be lucky to clear a minefield.

The few hours it takes to get good at a space combat sim you've never played is a much shorter amount of time than it takes to get to a point where you can participate in fleet battles in Eve as non-fodder...and even if you "suck" it's more fun than Eve's fleet battles. So, it's immediately within the first 2 minutes of loading up the game more fun from a gameplay perspective. We could easily splice in any other *fun* space sim, like Wing Commander, Freelancer, etc; and get the same effect.

I'd go even further and say side scrolling bullet hell space games have better gameplay, as do 2d space fighters like Star Control.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

"More fun" is a matter of opinion; if your total contribution to the battle is absorbing three enemy missiles because you don't have the trained reflexes to destroy or evade all of them, you might have fun. I can have fun if my major contribution is reporting on the lack of enemy presence in areas where they aren't expected to be, or pretending to scout areas which are not on the list of potential engagement areas, or even flying a ship which is expected to be destroyed in a group expected to trade off at a loss.

"A few hours" is also a matter of opinion; I don't consider a decade of gaming experience, several years of various space sim general experience, and hundreds of hours of practice with a single craft in a single game to be 'shorter' than any of EvE's skill requirements; There are things that I have attempted in TIE fighter hundreds of times and will never get, because my twitch reflexes will never be good enough to react correctly to the number of simultaneous threats needed to do so. (In perspective, the goals that I -have- attained include defeating a Star Destroyer with a TIE fighter)


DeciusBrutus wrote:

"More fun" is a matter of opinion; if your total contribution to the battle is absorbing three enemy missiles because you don't have the trained reflexes to destroy or evade all of them, you might have fun. I can have fun if my major contribution is reporting on the lack of enemy presence in areas where they aren't expected to be, or pretending to scout areas which are not on the list of potential engagement areas, or even flying a ship which is expected to be destroyed in a group expected to trade off at a loss.

"A few hours" is also a matter of opinion; I don't consider a decade of gaming experience, several years of various space sim general experience, and hundreds of hours of practice with a single craft in a single game to be 'shorter' than any of EvE's skill requirements; There are things that I have attempted in TIE fighter hundreds of times and will never get, because my twitch reflexes will never be good enough to react correctly to the number of simultaneous threats needed to do so. (In perspective, the goals that I -have- attained include defeating a Star Destroyer with a TIE fighter)

Oh, no doubt we have hundreds if not thousands of hours sunk into training "ourselves" to be good at space combat simulators. However, did that feel like a grind at any point?

Ultimately space combat in Eve is utterly uninteresting from a raw gameplay perspective. It's like being a single unit in an RTS. This is how "most" MMO's play, and it sucks. It means they have to try that much harder in every other category to be interesting or engaging long term for people like *me* who enjoy the social nature and large worlds of MMO's, but don't view the gameplay systems driving an MMO any differently than any other game type.

When the rose tinted glasses come off standard MMORPG combat is crap (WoW, etc), and Eve's combat is crap. Any individual battle is crap strategically compared to most any strategy game and it's crap from a gameplay perspective compared to anything non-MMO in the same category.

Some exceptions have come out of Asia, but they tend to have either very shallow content, or no real persistent world (session based). Often both.

/edit: Because the gameplay is shallow and relatively unskilled losing in a normal MMO is easily a million times more irritating than losing in an FPS, RTS, fighting game, etc.

Average player reaction to losing in a standard MMO against an opponent further along in progression: No lifer, mom's basement, grumble grumble.

Average player reaction to losing in a normal game vs a great player: Wow, that guy was really good. I need to practice some more so I can be that good.

Goblin Squad Member

"Average player reaction to losing in a standard MMO against an opponent further along in progression: No lifer, mom's basement, grumble grumble.

Average player reaction to losing in a normal game vs a great player: Wow, that guy was really good. I need to practice some more so I can be that good."

A NORMAL game? What is that, in your opinion?


Misere wrote:

"Average player reaction to losing in a standard MMO against an opponent further along in progression: No lifer, mom's basement, grumble grumble.

Average player reaction to losing in a normal game vs a great player: Wow, that guy was really good. I need to practice some more so I can be that good."

A NORMAL game? What is that, in your opinion?

A game where players can compete against each other that by design facilitates fair play. Most any multi-player game that comes out that doesn't have glaring balance issues, from racing to fighting to fps qualifies.

I call them normal because in a standard game, whether it's Monopoly, Chess, Soul Caliber, or Quake; everyone begins the game with the same tools and options. You don't reward the guy with the most play time additional gameplay advantages to ensure his victory. In fact, if you're good at a fighting game and you're against a new player you'll usually turn on a heavy handicap to make the matches more fun.

If monopoly was an MMO a "high level" player would get 2 dice mulligans every go round the board and start with 25X more money and 6 properties vs someone just starting out.

In a PvP based MMO until you get to a median level of power the core feature of the game (PvP) isn't fun, because often the gameplay, controls, and level of player skill is too shallow to allow a chance of newbie victory.

In a time based advancement system with a standard RNG laden MMO combat system that experience is comparable to playing a Magic The Gathering starter deck against Tournament Decks. Even if the game has attempted to flatten the curve by equalizing damage and hps there are no realistic chances at victory due to customized builds, versatility, and synergies.

Goblin Squad Member

I understand now. Thank you =)

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Marou_ wrote:
Misere wrote:

"Average player reaction to losing in a standard MMO against an opponent further along in progression: No lifer, mom's basement, grumble grumble.

Average player reaction to losing in a normal game vs a great player: Wow, that guy was really good. I need to practice some more so I can be that good."

A NORMAL game? What is that, in your opinion?

A game where players can compete against each other that by design facilitates fair play. Most any multi-player game that comes out that doesn't have glaring balance issues, from racing to fighting to fps qualifies.

I call them normal because in a standard game, whether it's Monopoly, Chess, Soul Caliber, or Quake; everyone begins the game with the same tools and options. You don't reward the guy with the most play time additional gameplay advantages to ensure his victory. In fact, if you're good at a fighting game and you're against a new player you'll usually turn on a heavy handicap to make the matches more fun.

If monopoly was an MMO a "high level" player would get 2 dice mulligans every go round the board and start with 25X more money and 6 properties vs someone just starting out.

In a PvP based MMO until you get to a median level of power the core feature of the game (PvP) isn't fun, because often the gameplay, controls, and level of player skill is too shallow to allow a chance of newbie victory.

In a time based advancement system with a standard RNG laden MMO combat system that experience is comparable to playing a Magic The Gathering starter deck against Tournament Decks. Even if the game has attempted to flatten the curve by equalizing damage and hps there are no realistic chances at victory due to customized builds, versatility, and synergies.

Bad analogies- If Monopoly was like EvE, there would already be hotels on all the properties, but you would start off just like everybody else did when they started- $1500 at Go.

The way that I think PFO is trying to avoid that is to make the world bigger rather than just adding more players. Established players will simply not be in direct competition with new players, and the time cost of waging war in distant territory is greater for the expeditionary force than for the defending force. There will be many different games being played within the same program.

If you want a MMOFPS, <a href="http://www.firefallthegame.com/home">Firefall</a> might be right for you. They are in semi-closed beta right now, and you can probably get in pretty easily.


I'm in Firefall beta, but it leaves much to be desired at this point. Rough around the edges is a serious understatement.

I thought the MTG analogy was rather good. As far as established players not being in direct competition with new players...yeah, that's not going to happen unless there are literally impassable walls in the game. The /not good enough to compete in established areas/ players are the ones that will be capturing new turf as it's added.

The way to mitigate some of that negative PvP experience for new players is to make combat highly dependent on player skill in addition to character skill. So that a cyborg with wired reflexes (really looking forward to the new Shadowrun CRPG!) can compete with a mere human that has spent a few years playing the game.

It sounds as if they may already be planning this to some extent, and I can't think of any 3rd gen (GW2+) games on the horizon that aren't making core gameplay a much more active affair than gen1 and 2 got people used to. We'll see what future dev posts bring.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:

There is no inherent reason why different archetype skills or abilities need to synergize effectively. It is trivial to separate them to eliminate all synergy, and straightforward to separate them organIcally and sensibly so that synergies aren't overpowering.

Also, LOL at TIE fighter "low barrier to entry": a skilled pilot can consistently drive off capital ships with a fighter, while someone with entry-level skills will be lucky to clear a minefield.

Yes I consider skill-based games to be a low barrier entry because any good game requires some skill. It's not like it takes no skill to play most MMOs, its just that levels will protect you from lower level unskilled players, such as in WoW it is literally impossible to lose to someone far enough behind you in levels. So you jump through 8000 hoops and THEN you make it to the big leagues were the real learning begins.

In opposition if you joined my clan on Freelancer (Very similar to Tie Fighter) I would give you some instructions on dodging enemy fire. Then I would tell you to take your newb ship directly to Freeport 9, where the best ship in the game is sold. You would have to dodge past some high level NPCs that could 2 shot you to get there. Once there I would give you the money for the ship and a full loadout of gear for your ship. (This would take you roughly five hours to earn on your own if you knew what you were doing. With me handing them everything it took roughly 30 minutes.)

Then I would tell you. "Ok here is your tryouts. Beat me two times in a row in a 1vs.1 deul. You have unlimited tries." I NEVER went easy on them, especially if they were going for their 2nd kill in a row, but I told them what they were doing wrong after each duel. In 2 to 4 hours they generally always passed my tryouts. That is a basic newb taking on someone who had been playing the game for 3-4 within 2.5 to 4.5 hours of gameplay. I also gave the same training to anyone I noticed under-performing in allied clans.

Sure there were the people who had no formal training, that I utterly dominated for many months before they got the hang of things, but it's not like there weren't people out there willing to show them how to play.

Compare this to a Theme-park where you spend a month grinding your character and a month grinding your gear before you reach the top. Or Darkfall where it takes two years. If a game has little in the way of stat-advantage you can be competing with and LEARNING from the best players in the game from the moment you join. I call that low entry barrier.

We are all likely going to be in the first 4500 given how early we are watching this game from. Its not like with time=stats that I won't have a huge advantage if stats give us a huge boost. I still want to be able to take off my armor, grab a wooden sword, and start competing with utter newbs on fairly even grounds so that I can teach them how to play. I would rather be an ok player who earns it through skill, than a god-like player who uses their stats as a crutch. If I can't beat someone who starts a year or two after me with skill alone, I don't DESERVE to.

Nihimon wrote:
Andius wrote:
I'm not saying have 8-16 abilities in the entire game. I'm saying limit us to 8-16 abilities at a time.

And that is exactly what I am so adamantly opposed to.

"No arbitrary limitations!"

Actually that gives me an idea. You don't need to make them arbitrary. Certain races like humans get more feats and skills. If I remember arcane magic right (And I might not because I never played arcane outside experimenting with up to like level 5 in Neverwinter Nights.) but a wizard gets X spells per day but they have to choose what each of those spells is like "3 magic missiles and 1 light" where a sorcerer has less spells per day but they just get something that says "3 first level spells" and they can choose from any first level spell they know, giving them more versatility.

Things like this could easily be changed to a system like "Humans get 1 extra ability slot." "Sorcerers get 2 extra ability slots" as opposed to "Wizards get extra mana." You also might give like 5 passive attributes slots that give various passive bonuses including things like "Get 3 more active ability slots." or perhaps give intelligence and/or wisdom the "You get 1 extra ability slot per int modifier."

This would remove the "arbitrary" part from it and put more control in the hands of the player. You want a character with a ton of versatility that requires you to manage quite a few abilities? Fine. Make one, you can sacrifice a bit from other areas to do so. You want a character with less versatility but more raw power or higher health or resources like mana to keep things a bit easier to manage? Fine. Make one.

Nihimon wrote:
The thing about PFO is that you will be gaining options instead of raw power. If you're limited to 16 options in combat, then at some point, there's going to be a major disconnect.

This is your only argument against "arbitrary limitations" and it makes no sense to me. If you are gaining options instead of raw power, wouldn't gaining a ton of options you can use at once give you FAR more disconnect than a system where you are limited to X available options but have more options to choose from? In the first option a low level character could start out with 10 active abilities and go up with a high level with 50 at their disposal all at the same time. In the second option a character could start out the 10 active abilities of which they can only use 8, and go up against a character that has 500 active abilities of which THEY can only use 8. The 2nd seems drastically more even to me. Your starter abilities tend to be cheap, basic abilities that serve you very well. More abilities just helps you specialize better. For instance just using 4 abilities to make things simple.

A low level cleric might look like this:

1. Heal minor wounds- Heals 50 health on target. Costs 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
2. Inflict minor wounds- Deal 75 damage on target. Cost 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
3. Purge Condition- Removes one non-magical effect on target. Costs 15 mana. 1 second induction. No cooldown.
4. Virtue- Target gains 250 max HP for 3 minutes. Costs 30 mana. Instant. 30 second cooldown.

A high level cleric might look like this:

1. Heal minor wounds- Heals 50 health on target. Costs 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
2. Heal serious wounds. Heals 200 health on target. Costs 50 mana. 2.5 second induction. No cooldown.
3. Moderate Spring of Healing. Heals 150 health over 15 seconds. Costs 50 mana. Instant. No cooldown.
4. Resurrect- Restores target to life with 25% health and resources(mana/energy/whatever). Costs 100 mana. 5 second cast. One minute cooldown.

I slapped the numbers out so they aren't important. I have little doubt that those builds and skills would not be balanced but it illustrates the point. The high level cleric is CLEARLY a better healer. They can slap on a heal over time and blast their target with a Heal Serious wound if needed where the low level cleric is stuck spamming "Heal minor wound" over and over and over. But heal minor wound is the most mana efficient where the high level cleric likely can't sustain that kind of massive healing. The low level cleric also has damage abilities and the ability to purge conditions. Beyond that they can buff their allies with Virtue while running into battle allowing them to over-heal their targets for a nice buffer to work with.

Your model would look more like this-

Low level cleric:

1. Heal minor wounds- Heals 50 health on target. Costs 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
2. Inflict minor wounds- Deal 75 damage on target. Cost 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
3. Purge Condition- Removes one non-magical effect on target. Costs 15 mana. 1 second induction. No cooldown.
4. Virtue- Target gains 250 max HP for 3 minutes. Costs 30 mana. Instant. 30 second cooldown.

High level cleric-

1. Heal minor wounds- Heals 50 health on target. Costs 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
2. Inflict minor wounds- Deal 75 damage on target. Cost 10 mana. 1 sec induction. No cooldown.
3. Purge Condition- Removes one non-magical effect on target. Costs 15 mana. 1 second induction. No cooldown.
4. Virtue- Target gains 250 max HP for 3 minutes. Costs 30 mana. Instant. 30 second cooldown.
5. Heal serious wounds. Heals 200 health on target. Costs 50 mana. 2.5 second induction. No cooldown.
6. Moderate Spring of Healing. Heals 150 health over 15 seconds. Costs 50 mana. Instant. No cooldown.
7. Resurrect- Restores target to life with 25% health and resources(mana/energy/whatever). Costs 100 mana. 5 second cast. One minute cooldown.
8. Inflict serious wounds. Deal 300 damage on target. Costs 50 mana. 2.5 second induction. No cooldown.

How is that more balanced???

PS. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't get hung up on the details of those abilities. I made them up on the spot. If I were really trying to design a balanced system, I would analyze different abilities from other games and how they balance out. Come up with abilities based of the system I want, what works on games with similar systems, and what I think would work based on those numbers. TEST that balance, and edit as needed. Of course these abilities aren't balanced when I just pull numbers out of my butt.

Goblin Squad Member

nice explanation Andius

To anyone opposed to the system: Go try out DCUO, its free and a good example of a limited system. At first you are annoyed at not having 50 slots to put abilities into, but it grows on you fast. It's also a good example of action controls. And the entire leveling process is under 20 game hours.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
I call them normal because in a standard game, whether it's Monopoly, Chess, Soul Caliber, or Quake; everyone begins the game with the same tools and options.

So, with respect to Chess, are you arguing that players who have spent more time studying the game are not at an advantage when they sit down to play against a newer opponent?

Goblin Squad Member

@Andius, sorry, but I don't have time to read the whole thing and try to process it right now.

I did notice this post where you were talking about the highly skilled Rogue being a great asset to his team. I'm curious why you don't see that as a compelling reason to avoid arbitrarily limiting the options a character has available at any given time. After all, if I'm going to be limited to the number of options I can utilize, I might as well forego the high intelligence and just maximize my dps.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Everyone, including me, is making far too many assumptions about the basic nature of gameplay. I think traditional-style "abilities" might be the best way to go, but I'd be interested in trying something that uses a radically different paradigm.


Nihimon wrote:
Marou_ wrote:
I call them normal because in a standard game, whether it's Monopoly, Chess, Soul Caliber, or Quake; everyone begins the game with the same tools and options.
So, with respect to Chess, are you arguing that players who have spent more time studying the game are not at an advantage when they sit down to play against a newer opponent?

No, I'm saying that in a normal game rather than a progression based MMO everyone starts with the same tools and must adhere to the same rules. If I play against a grand master in chess I will not win, however, it is that player that will beat me, not his chess pieces. On round 1 it was anyone's game, by round 10 I'm probably screwed, but we both followed the same rules and had the same tools at our disposal.

This being compared to a progression based MMO, where in addition to the expertise gleaned from years of chess, the master would get huge arbitrary advantages to insure they could not lose even were I some prodigy at the game. In reality if I played against a master in chess they would likely give themselves a handicap to insure the game was more fun and fair for both of us.

Goblin Squad Member

@Marou_, I don't understand why you're acting as if the Grand Master's knowledge and experience isn't a "tool" at his disposal.

The way I see it, the Skills in PFO will be a model of "knowledge and experience".


Because a player's knowledge and experience are a tool at their disposal in an MMO too, they just ALSO get arbitrary advantages in addition to the player experience they have. I was specifically stating that because of their nature making player competition in MMO's FUN is much more of a design challenge due to arbitrary advantages that don't exist in regular games.

If someone's only advantage is player skill at a game, you could catch up to them in 2 hours if you are very good at video games. After those 2 hours their arbitrary advantage is what renders them unkillable for the next year+ of realtime in a time based game, or (X weeks) in a normal progression game.

If you've been playing games that fundamentally *play* like EQ for over 10 years, you are not gaining player skill when you play a WoW, or SWTOR, or (insert X here). As a result, the only advantage left is the arbitrary one.

/edit: I took over my wife's Sorcerer in SWTOR 2 minutes into a Warzone because she got an important phone call. I had never played one before, and I finished first in damage and kills, and 3rd in healing. To me that says I've already mastered that game type. I'm not growing as a player when I play another copy/pasta of WoW/EQ because I've been doing it off and on since the genre came into existence. Fundamentally it's poor gameplay and is not skillful or challenging from a GAMER perspective.

If me, my wife, and my friends all get roughly the same performance out of my character within 1 hour of playtime, the player skill cap is far too low, and combat is very poor from a gameplay perspective. Since the player skill cap is so low, it marginalizes all accomplishments in game and makes victory over other players hollow and unsatisfying.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Nihimon: The number of useable skills at any one time in an MMO like Guild Wars is not 'arbitrary'. It's not like the CEO jumped out of his office one day and went," Eight skills at a time, fellas! Because I said so! Waahaa!" This style of combat is by design. It is also tested; alpha, beta and years of successful gameplay. You choose from a wide menu of choices between each mission (quest, encounter) to taylor your character to that specific time and your style of playing. In GW it ended up with 8 billion (with a B) possible skill combinations. In the upcoming GW2, some peeps are complaing the game will open with 'only' 86,000. You can change weapon sets as you wish, your other 5 slots I believe you have to be out of combat to swap. My highest dps in WOW I had nearly every spell and ability on my screen yet I pressed just 3 buttons in order every time unless it was a specialized boss fight. @ Marou: Advantages for higher level characters in a progression based MMO are not 'arbitrary'. Gaining levels and the power associated with it is the point of such games. At each level there are usually choices made based on your playstyle. Now gentlemen, I'm not saying this or that option is better; I'm saying no one 'came up' with the idea of level advantages or equipped skills in a vacuum.


Sepherum wrote:
@ Marou: Advantages for higher level characters in a progression based MMO are not 'arbitrary'. Gaining levels and the power associated with it is the point of such games. At each level there are usually choices made based on your playstyle. Now gentlemen, I'm not saying this or that option is better; I'm saying no one 'came up' with the idea of level advantages or equipped skills in a vacuum.

I'm not disagreeing with you. It's inherit in the game type. The advantage IS arbitrary because if the players are equally skilled the hard coded handicaps given the newer player are the reason for their inability to compete.

I was saying that type of *give advantages to the rich guy* approach makes it much harder to facilitate fun player competition comparative to a normal game. Especially in very *unskilled* systems such as EQ standard model gameplay. More skillful gameplay systems can help much in that respect. Stuff like the GW2 active dodge/block mechanics, etc. Systems like that raise the *player skill* cap to where it is far less likely both players will be equally skilled. Losing to a more *skilled player* is more palatable than losing to *higher dmg dice*.

Goblin Squad Member

@Marou_, I think the big disconnect between you and me is that you're talking about Player skill and I'm talking about Character skill.

I don't really care to play a game that's primarily about Player skill. I want my Character to really matter. As I've said elsewhere, I'd really like it to be possible for a severely disabled Player (think Stephen Hawking) to still be able to effectively play the game. I don't expect PFO to achieve that, but I certainly hope they don't go full-tilt in the other direction.

@Sepherum, if my Rogue knows how to Hide in Shadows, but I'm forced to only pick 8 abilities so I leave out Hide in Shadows, then there's an arbitrary restriction keeping me from utilizing my ability to Hide in Shadows. I'm fine with requiring him to equip his Lock Pick Set before he can Pick Locks; but if I have to go get out of combat or even go back to town to change my equipped abilities, I'm going to be terribly disappointed.

Perhaps a better example would be skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, etc. There's no rational reason why those should depend on any particular equipped gear. However, it sounds like your proposal would require me to only select a few of those. I don't understand why I'm being limited that way, except that some people consider it better - that's my definition of "arbitrary".


Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, I think the big disconnect between you and me is that you're talking about Player skill and I'm talking about Character skill.

I don't really care to play a game that's primarily about Player skill. I want my Character to really matter. As I've said elsewhere, I'd really like it to be possible for a severely disabled Player (think Stephen Hawking) to still be able to effectively play the game. I don't expect PFO to achieve that, but I certainly hope they don't go full-tilt in the other direction.

Certainly I think he could play the game, as a crafter or harvester, but he should not be in the top 10 PvP players, it's just bad game design that would allow that. It means you as a player need not even play, a bot could do it just as efficiently since any player conflict is the resolution of a math equation. A game with such slow pacing and such poor *gameplay* a quadriplegic can effectively compete in it is NOT a fun game to play unless it's turn based.

Nihimon wrote:

@Sepherum, if my Rogue knows how to Hide in Shadows, but I'm forced to only pick 8 abilities so I leave out Hide in Shadows, then there's an arbitrary restriction keeping me from utilizing my ability to Hide in Shadows. I'm fine with requiring him to equip his Lock Pick Set before he can Pick Locks; but if I have to go get out of combat or even go back to town to change my equipped abilities, I'm going to be terribly disappointed.

Perhaps a better example would be skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, etc. There's no rational reason why those should depend on any particular equipped gear. However, it sounds like your proposal would require me to only select a few of those. I don't understand why I'm being limited that way, except that some people consider it better - that's my definition of "arbitrary".

In general these types of systems are constraining you to X # of abilities IN COMBAT. Non-combat abilities can be used or swapped out at any time you are not IN COMBAT.

Goblin Squad Member

The thing that I want to see out of PFO, is that it retain the SPIRIT (not actual mechanics) of Pathfinder and other PnP style RPG combat....

Namely that TACTICS matter. Not just in terms of how you build you character but also in terms of how you use the abilities that you have. Things like flanking & cover & initiative & stealth/spotting/surprise... fighting defensively, attacks of opportunity, grappling, pushing the enemy back, occupying favorable ground, choice of weapons, etc.

All the sorts of things the a good PnP GM would take into account when running tabltop combat (even if they weren't included in the ruleset.) The pacing and the mechanics have to allow for deep and meaningfull tactical choices in combat.

Most MMO's today really don't do that. They may present the ILLUSION of tactical choices...by giving you a couple dozen "special abilities" on your hotbar...but when you peel back the covering...all those abilities are doing pretty much the same thing in the same way, just with different graphics attached.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
Sepherum wrote:
@ Marou: Advantages for higher level characters in a progression based MMO are not 'arbitrary'. Gaining levels and the power associated with it is the point of such games. At each level there are usually choices made based on your playstyle. Now gentlemen, I'm not saying this or that option is better; I'm saying no one 'came up' with the idea of level advantages or equipped skills in a vacuum.

I'm not disagreeing with you. It's inherit in the game type. The advantage IS arbitrary because if the players are equally skilled the hard coded handicaps given the newer player are the reason for their inability to compete.

I was saying that type of *give advantages to the rich guy* approach makes it much harder to facilitate fun player competition comparative to a normal game. Especially in very *unskilled* systems such as EQ standard model gameplay. More skillful gameplay systems can help much in that respect. Stuff like the GW2 active dodge/block mechanics, etc. Systems like that raise the *player skill* cap to where it is far less likely both players will be equally skilled. Losing to a more *skilled player* is more palatable than losing to *higher dmg dice*.

We'll have to wait and see if having more money to spend playing is going to be an advantage and/or how big that advantage will be. I think it probably has to be. Having more options and more characters should make a player more powerful overall. But yes, one way to level the field for newer players is to have limited equiped combat skills chosen from a menu of earned skills-a newer guy/gal could concentrate on a few good combos and max those skill progressions first.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
Certainly I think he could play the game, as a crafter or harvester, but he should not be in the top 10 PvP players, it's just bad game design that would allow that.

There's a world of difference between "top 10 PvP players" and "effectively play the game".

Marou_ wrote:
In general these types of systems are constraining you to X # of abilities IN COMBAT. Non-combat abilities can be used or swapped out at any time you are not IN COMBAT.

You'll note that I was aware that "IN COMBAT" mattered.

Nihimon wrote:
I'm fine with requiring him to equip his Lock Pick Set before he can Pick Locks; but if I have to go get out of combat or even go back to town to change my equipped abilities, I'm going to be terribly disappointed.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, I think the big disconnect between you and me is that you're talking about Player skill and I'm talking about Character skill.

I don't really care to play a game that's primarily about Player skill. I want my Character to really matter. As I've said elsewhere, I'd really like it to be possible for a severely disabled Player (think Stephen Hawking) to still be able to effectively play the game. I don't expect PFO to achieve that, but I certainly hope they don't go full-tilt in the other direction.

@Sepherum, if my Rogue knows how to Hide in Shadows, but I'm forced to only pick 8 abilities so I leave out Hide in Shadows, then there's an arbitrary restriction keeping me from utilizing my ability to Hide in Shadows. I'm fine with requiring him to equip his Lock Pick Set before he can Pick Locks; but if I have to go get out of combat or even go back to town to change my equipped abilities, I'm going to be terribly disappointed.

Perhaps a better example would be skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, etc. There's no rational reason why those should depend on any particular equipped gear. However, it sounds like your proposal would require me to only select a few of those. I don't understand why I'm being limited that way, except that some people consider it better - that's my definition of "arbitrary".

Yeah I guess we disagree on the definition. You're right-if hide in shadows is considered a combat skill and you don't have it on your active abilities bar you couldn't hide from the ganker. Even if the system allowed you to swap immediately that's one more button to push in a fight. Heck, it might be considered a utility skill and you have it anyway. You might end up terribly dissappointed; I hope you play anyway, and for this reason: The devs have stated that the abilty of a relatively new player to compete with old timers in at least some areas is a design goal. So a Monk meets a Sorcerer in the wild and they belong to enemy factions-the monk is a newer player. He concentrated on combat and survivability; the sorcerer has maxed many skill trees including spells, crafting and finance. Let's say the monk has power attack, flurry of blows, stunning fist, evasion, hide, acrobatics, dungeoneering and appraisal. Nothing else to equip. He'd make a good showing against anybody if you only have 8 active skills, I think. Oh, and I mean 'equipped' skills/spells/abilities, not gear, 'tho some games make some abilities gear-dependant.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, I think the big disconnect between you and me is that you're talking about Player skill and I'm talking about Character skill.

I don't really care to play a game that's primarily about Player skill. I want my Character to really matter. As I've said elsewhere, I'd really like it to be possible for a severely disabled Player (think Stephen Hawking) to still be able to effectively play the game. I don't expect PFO to achieve that, but I certainly hope they don't go full-tilt in the other direction.

@Sepherum, if my Rogue knows how to Hide in Shadows, but I'm forced to only pick 8 abilities so I leave out Hide in Shadows, then there's an arbitrary restriction keeping me from utilizing my ability to Hide in Shadows. I'm fine with requiring him to equip his Lock Pick Set before he can Pick Locks; but if I have to go get out of combat or even go back to town to change my equipped abilities, I'm going to be terribly disappointed.

Perhaps a better example would be skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, etc. There's no rational reason why those should depend on any particular equipped gear. However, it sounds like your proposal would require me to only select a few of those. I don't understand why I'm being limited that way, except that some people consider it better - that's my definition of "arbitrary".

Actualy there is nothing about "Player Skill" that neccessitates reaction time or keyboard/mouse dexterity. That can be one type of skill certainly, but hardly the only option availble.

Think about Chess, an entirely Player skill based game...but not dependant upon a players ability to handle a keyboard/mouse.

Personaly, I'm hoping that PFO IS largely based upon PLAYER skill...but not at all on the speed or skill with which you handle the input controls.... I'm looking for something that tests a Players skill in tactical and strategic thinking... could care less about the active play stuff. I don't want the challenge to be making the input controls do what I want the character to do....I want the challenge to be about deciding what the character should do in the first place.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

First of all, I think we need to agree on what "Arbitrary" means. My dictionary has "Determined by will or a sudden whim or fancy; Determined at random".

"Determined by will alone" is how I, and computer science, typically use arbitrary. 6 slots instead of 10 is an arbitrary distinction.

Next we need to figure out what we mean by "player skill". Winning at Pac-Man is entirely based on player skill, and there exist people who have reached the maximum theoretical score on Pac-Man arcade machines.

A character does not need to be able to compete in 1v1 PvP to be a useful participant in PvP. The proper view of a new player's contribution to a PvP battle isn't "4 top-tier characters and 1 new character vs. 5 top-tier characters", it is "15 mid-tier characters and 30 new characters vs. 25 top-tier characters"; the proper stat for a PvP character isn't Kills/deaths, it is 'total battles won'.

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