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Smedley's been lurking Ryan's Blogs!


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:
because there is nothing fundamental to improve while still staying in the gerne.

I dunno. SWTOR has a vastly improved story presentation compared to WoW, what with the story focusing on you instead of shoving you into the role of a nameless extra and having cutscenes that you not only actively participate in but can change depending on your choices and the choices of your party members as well.

I dunno if a sandbox MMO can have the same kind of story that a theme park MMO can have, but if PFO at least doesn't make me feel like some NPC is taking credit for my accomplishments, they'll at least one-up WoW in that department.


I prefer to make my own story and not be lead down a path, even if that path has branches. If I want that I will play single player rpgs, they have the story part down.

When there are real player journals that log and consolidate info into a readable story based on your own achievements, and exploits, then we can come back and say a game as made major improvements to story presentation.

Goblin Squad Member

The story in SWTOR was great...until the end.
For example, my Sith Sorceror, Darth Nox. He is a sitting member of the Dark Council. He fought his way to the top from being a slave.
He killed Darth Thanaton in a duel for his seat on the council.
He should have started a campaign to benefit those that supported him, and made those that opposed him suffer. He should have began moves to destroy the power bases of those who sat back and watched, as the Sith way is through strength not through cowardice. He should have used his apprentices to wreak havoc on the republic, while he sought out more powerful Sith ghosts to control to gain even more power. His power would grow till it rivaled that of the emporer himself! His strength should have set him free...

But, nope. Go to Illum and do the bidding of a imperial admiral, and get treated like a lackey by a guy who isn't even on the council.
LAME!
This is the drawback to themepark story telling. You can tell the grandest story ever, but it means nothing if you can't reap the benefits and cons of that story.

Goblin Squad Member

@Sparrow,

I don't think most of the fixation with finding a "WoW killer" is coming from players... I believe it's coming from investors and publishers.

Obviously if you are going to invest your money into something, you want the biggest return you can possibly get. So every investor/publisher that backs an MMO would love to see the kind of subscription/revenue base that WoW has....just like every software company would love to have the kind of market share that Microsoft has or every grocery chain would love to have the kind of income Walmart does.

The problem with that, of course, is unrealistic expectations. If a software company sets itself up with the expectation that it's going to overtake Microsoft in 2 years, it's likely to fail and fail hard. The decisions you have to make and the dependancies on those expectations are VERY different then saying..."Ok I don't need to be huge, I just need to be proffitable in 2 years." . That's a much more realistic and achievable goal for a startup software company....unfortunately it's also alot less atttractive to say..."I'll get a 5 percent return on my investment" then it is "I'll get 500 percent return on my investment."

It's also a REALLY, REALLY difficult task to try to set yourself up to try win market share from a well-established successfull brand. Essentialy saying "Ok, I'll do what WoW (or Microsoft) does but I'll do it so much better then them that I'll steal customers away".... that's a REALLY, REALLY tough battle to win... but it's tempting for companies because it IS the largest subscriber base around (i.e. the biggest prize) ....and it's also something that alot of folks think they HAVE to do, because they mistakenly equate the potential MMO audience with WoW's audience.

What Ryan and GW are doing (IMO) is really smart and it's the way ALOT of successfull entrants in existing verticals operate. Rather then trying to fight the existing market leader for it's share of the market.... they build up thier OWN unique audience by finding a segment of the market that is being currently underserved or even folks that aren't part of the market yet and that's where they target thier product at. Essentialy they are GROWING the market by doing something very different rather then fighting an existing brand by trying to steal away it's audience. They are also starting small with realistic goals and growing from there.

If you look at something like how Apple reinvented itself or how Google has grown, it's a great example of creating your own market and not fighting the market leader for share. Apple for years had been fighting Microsoft for the OS market (and PC manufacturers for hardware) and for years it had been losing that battle badly... to the point where it was pretty much dead (I think it had something like 3 percent market share).... and then it did something really smart, it said "Ok lets not try to continue fighting the same battle we've been loosing for years. Let's find a brand new market that no one's really looking at much right now and grow that.".... and it took a look at phone/tablet/mobile devices...something that really was in it's infancy and not many of the big players were paying much attention to...and it threw all it's resources into that. It stopped trying to be the "Microsoft killer" and became "The company you goto for Smartphones/Tablets and portable muisic devices".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber

That all depends on what you guys mean by 'sandbox' - EQ was pretty much a 'sandbox' game when it first came out - there were no real directions on what to do other than go out and get stronger.

Eve as a 'sandbox' game to me is just an excuse for 'no limits pvp anywhere that has anything exciting to do!' - and that is not fun for me. There is a reason that the 'full pvp' servers always are few compared to the 'non pvp' servers - most people don't want to have their fun ruined by someone else.

So depending on what 'sandbox' ends up being here - I'll either give it a whirl or skip it without a second thought.

And I've played...

EQ (for years)
Ultima Online (several times - never could stomach it for more than a few days)
EQ2
WoW (for years)
Age of Conan
Eve
Rift
SW:TOR
GW2
LoTRO
DDO
STO
Warhammer Online
DAoC

Out of all of those - DDO is the one I find the most fun (I like the modular concept of dungeons - even though the execution of the game and balance problems due to 3.5 levels and such are an issue).

If I had to give one game the 'If they just tweaked it a little it would be my favorite' award it would be Warhammer Online - the PvP was great - the flavor of the game was great - the leveling in that game was the most boring experience I've ever had. That combined with a poor engine that had bad issues (if you've played it you would most likely understand) meant I couldn't keep up with it.

Same issue with SW:TOR - you can say what you want about the game - but the fact that (it's been proven) the effects file (100 meg of textures) causes the framerate to drop from 50+ to 1-5 when it loads an effect like... lightsaber - cut the people willing to play.

WoW runs great - it's responsive - when you click something it works.

GW2 got the engine right - but content seems to be lacking - they can fix that.

One thing that War and SW:TOR and EQ2 taught me about MMO's though - if your engine runs like crap - people won't bother to stay.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:
That all depends on what you guys mean by 'sandbox' - EQ was pretty much a 'sandbox' game when it first came out - there were no real directions on what to do other than go out and get stronger.

"no real directions on what to do" is definitely not my definition of sandbox.

I think most people here probably think of sandbox meaning "a place where I can build my own stuff". EverQuest was most definitely not a sandbox in that sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Nihimon wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
That all depends on what you guys mean by 'sandbox' - EQ was pretty much a 'sandbox' game when it first came out - there were no real directions on what to do other than go out and get stronger.

"no real directions on what to do" is definitely not my definition of sandbox.

I think most people here probably think of sandbox meaning "a place where I can build my own stuff". EverQuest was most definitely not a sandbox in that sense.

The only game (with a big name) that currently meets that definition is EQ2 (as it has a dungeon creator that users can build dungeons in and give them to the game for other people to run).

Eve is touted as 'the sandbox' game and as far as I can tell from playing and reading the community the 'sandbox' tag comes from 2 things:

1. No limits on what you can do (outside a small protected area) - so full PvP anywhere anytime.

2. No direction on what you do - whatever you want to do - it's up to you.

EQ (the first one) fit #2 pretty well. #1 is what Darkfall uses to classify the 'sandbox'.

That's why I will need to figure out what they mean by 'sandbox' - the only games currently that use that definition are heavily PvP and as such the playerbase is itty bitty.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:


That's why I will need to figure out what they mean by 'sandbox' - the only games currently that use that definition are heavily PvP and as such the playerbase is itty bitty.

A good example of a more or less non-pvp (or at least rarely used PVP) game would be minecraft. Minecraft there is no objective right way to play the game. No objective deffinition of "success", you build an awesome ultimate thing, your friends think it's awesome, your friend builds up something else that's awesome, there's no real objective way to say mine is better than yours, or vice versa.

The main thing people think of with sandbox in the PFO planning, is very open ended gameplay, IE the goal of the game is what you make of it.

Group 1's goal is to be the ultimate economic powerhouse, he wants to have his hands on as many deals as possible, make as much money as possible, but most importantly, be a huge influence, someone sells you all of their X's, and you laugh because you know next week actions you set in place are about to double the price of what he sold you. For guy 1, it's not about ammasing wealth, it's about holding the local market in the palm of his hand.

Group 2's goal is to be an assasain's guild. Someone hands him money, the victim is dead. Guy 2 wants the infamy, he wants when someone mentions that he may be hired, people to shake with fear.

Group 3 wants to be a shippers, they hold with pride the fact that anything asked to be moved from point A to point B, gets there, every time.

Group 4 is the bane of group 3, bandits, they want to intercept and profit from as much illegitimate gains as possible. They love the hunt, and they love running from those who hunt them after they make their strikes

Yadda yadda, add in military powerhouses bent on world domination, military powerhouses bent on keeping the peace and protecting the weaker, adventurers focused on exploring rare dungeons looking for the ultimate loot, someone wanting to be the ultimate swordsmith etc... etc... Basically if you can dream a goal that you would enjoy trying for, you could do it.

Compare that to say WoW, where pretty much everyone falls into
"I am just casual chilling"
"hardcore raider"
"hardcore PVPer"

Or if they have tons of time, any combination of the 3.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:
That's why I will need to figure out what they mean by 'sandbox'...

Here's a list of all of Ryan Dancey's posts that mention "sandbox".

Have you read the Goblinworks Blog?

To me, the key aspects of a sandbox are:

  • Complex, organic economy;
  • Persistent changes in the world, due to player action.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:

[Eve is touted as 'the sandbox' game and as far as I can tell from playing and reading the community the 'sandbox' tag comes from 2 things:

1. No limits on what you can do (outside a small protected area) - so full PvP anywhere anytime.

2. No direction on what you do - whatever you want to do - it's up to you.

Not entirely... In in EVE there is a wide array of POS's or Player Owned Structures. You can build storage structures, refining structures, research structures, industrial assembly structures, territory control structures, defensive structures, and even take and lose control of certain stations. That is probably the most clear cut sandbox feature in EVE. That feature alone really makes it a sandbox. The fact there are areas where you can build your own content. Not decorate, but build.

Also EVE has no classes. Your character's abilities are decided 100% by what skills you do or don't train. And of course EVE does not force you to join an NPC faction. While there are militias that belong to NPC factions most players are part of player alliances that have no tie to an NPC faction.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Nihimon wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
That's why I will need to figure out what they mean by 'sandbox'...

Here's a list of all of Ryan Dancey's posts that mention "sandbox".

Have you read the Goblinworks Blog?

To me, the key aspects of a sandbox are:

  • Complex, organic economy;
  • Persistent changes in the world, due to player action.

Thanks for the links - they did explain it

Quote:


Of course, those who simply wish to avoid any PvP at all will choose to remain within the very high security zones close to NPC settlements where PvP is effectively impossible. Such players will have fewer opportunities to find adventure or to earn treasure than their braver and less risk-averse peers, but they'll be safe from griefers.

The high security wording sounds pretty much just like Eve - I'll keep my eye (and ear) open to how it shapes up but that's exactly the reason I never found the games that say 'sandbox' to be fun. :(

CEO, Goblinworks

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My definition of sandbox:

The primary mode of interaction is Players interacting with Players.

Objects made by players are persistent. The game world is largely defined by where these objects are placed and and how these objects are traded and used by characters.

The game environment permits players to explore and interact with the game world in a non-linear manner.

My definition of Theme park:

The primary mode of interaction is Players interacting with the Environment.

Few objects in the game are player crafted. Few player crafted objects are visible to other characters. Most objects in the game are spawned by the environment and player-crated objects are rarely traded or used by characters.

The game environment tends to group content into clearly defined zones gated by character power level and characters below the power level gate are severely limited in where they can go and what they can see by environmental threats.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:
Thanks for the links...

Glad I could help :)

Goblin Squad Member

Harrison wrote:
MicMan wrote:
I dunno if a sandbox MMO can have the same kind of story that a theme park MMO can have, but if PFO at least doesn't make me feel like some NPC is taking credit for my accomplishments, they'll at least one-up WoW in that department.

Storylines are requires in themeparks for both quests and instances to have any meat to them. Sandbox games have generally in the past followed a certain story or specific period for any given expansion of the game. Given the nature of sandbox games, the meat generally comes from the players themselves and is supplemented by GM events to tick through the period in question until the next expansion.

Like you say, they're two different beasts, but I for one am glad that PFO will not need an over arching story for it to be successful; PFO will have us.

Goblin Squad Member

What I've never quite understood in MMO development is why they all only go back to Meridian 51 and 1999.

Ryan may know more about this and correct me since it seems like this from the outsiders perspective, but MMO's have existed since the late 80's in the form of MUD's and the industry seems to have pretty much ignored them.

Now obviously graphical components change a lot of things, but MUD's lived and died on the strength of their game systems and playability. A lot of the big ones still exist today, twenty years on, and still have reasonable numbers of people playing them. Some of them had amazing quest systems, guilds/class/race setups, settings, faction systems etc.

There were so many of them doing unique things that it boggles the mind that all anyone seems to have come up with over the last 10 years is WoW.

That being said, if there is one thing I would look at from an MMO perspective that MUD's used that could work for a modern game, the 'wizard' system. Players could eventually join the ranks of creators and add to the content properly. This would obviously need an approval system and be difficult to manage in a 'for profit' game, but if an MMO could actually capture this, they would in my opinion, come to absolutely dominate the market.

When you look at modding communities for games like TF2 and Skyrim the desire and talent is out there, it's just how an MMO company manages to tap into it.

CEO, Goblinworks

3 people marked this as a favorite.

What the world wants is a fantasy sandbox where everything "works" like it does in great stories, where people act like role players, where creative folk can add to the world, where everything is balanced so no "build of the week" is dominant, where the game never runs out of interesting things to explore, develop and/or dominate, where players can live in cool kingdoms or build their own, where there's an endless supply of really fun dungeons, that has photorealistic cloth, clothing, hair, and physics, runs on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, plus XBox and PS3, has an amazing community filled with harmony, is free to play, millions of people share one server, but everyone's character is unique and special, and the AI could pass the Turing Test.

As an industry, we get that, but realistically we have to evolve to that game and it will likely take at least another 20 years. In the interim, we do what we can with subsets of that vision based on what we can get funded, what we think we can build, and what we think customers will pay for.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

What the world wants is a fantasy sandbox where everything "works" like it does in great stories, where people act like role players, where creative folk can add to the world, where everything is balanced so no "build of the week" is dominant, where the game never runs out of interesting things to explore, develop and/or dominate, where players can live in cool kingdoms or build their own, where there's an endless supply of really fun dungeons, that has photorealistic cloth, clothing, hair, and physics, runs on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, plus XBox and PS3, has an amazing community filled with harmony, is free to play, millions of people share one server, but everyone's character is unique and special, and the AI could pass the Turing Test.

As an industry, we get that, but realistically we have to evolve to that game and it will likely take at least another 20 years. In the interim, we do what we can with subsets of that vision based on what we can get funded, what we think we can build, and what we think customers will pay for.

While I appreciate the post....you do understand the concept of sleep , don't you sir?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

What the world wants is a fantasy sandbox where everything "works" like it does in great stories, where people act like role players, where creative folk can add to the world, where everything is balanced so no "build of the week" is dominant, where the game never runs out of interesting things to explore, develop and/or dominate, where players can live in cool kingdoms or build their own, where there's an endless supply of really fun dungeons, that has photorealistic cloth, clothing, hair, and physics, runs on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, plus XBox and PS3, has an amazing community filled with harmony, is free to play, millions of people share one server, but everyone's character is unique and special, and the AI could pass the Turing Test.

As an industry, we get that, but realistically we have to evolve to that game and it will likely take at least another 20 years. In the interim, we do what we can with subsets of that vision based on what we can get funded, what we think we can build, and what we think customers will pay for.

You're quite right (although personally I can live without the photrealistic side of it ;), and I'll never fault a game company for trying their best, if I could do it myself I'd be right there with you.

I just like to add my two cents, and its damn nice to have someone in the trenches actually respond, so I'll never be overly critical of your attempts. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Looks like more devs are trying to jump ships on labelling their mmorpgs as themeparks (since SWTOR?), or at least paint the ships with a new lick of sandbox paint (not impressed): Wildstar Online: SANDBOXES AND THEME PARKS: FURTHER ANALYSIS

Reading this, sounds like a themepark quest system with (more open world) dynamic content to me and if there is sandbox features either I've missed them or it's been poorly explained (it's not sandbox). I can undertand why companies are changing their marketing jingle, but for the sake of all that is "plain speaking", I wish mmorpg companies would stop trying to invite the whole world to dinner...

What SouthRaven says is interesting about MUDs and how apart from EvE (which has less issues to deal with graphics I believe), graphical mmorpgs don't seem to have had as compelling game systems or longevity or rate of change has just been speeding up which leaves graphics behind too soon?

I was reading about a player in EvE who lost 6k$ value of a ship recently. What I like about this story is the emergent quality: How did the value get to this point, the sum suggests players attribute a real value (convertible?) to this. What was the scenario for this ship to be destroyed/taken? With EvE, the things that seem to be remembered are these living stories... even if they are disasters (makes for a better story!).

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:

Looks like more devs are trying to jump ships on labelling their mmorpgs as themeparks (since SWTOR?), or at least paint the ships with a new lick of sandbox paint (not impressed): Wildstar Online: SANDBOXES AND THEME PARKS: FURTHER ANALYSIS

Reading this, sounds like a themepark quest system with (more open world) dynamic content to me and if there is sandbox features either I've missed them or it's been poorly explained (it's not sandbox). I can undertand why companies are changing their marketing jingle, but for the sake of all that is "plain speaking", I wish mmorpg companies would stop trying to invite the whole world to dinner...

What SouthRaven says is interesting about MUDs and how apart from EvE (which has less issues to deal with graphics I believe), graphical mmorpgs don't seem to have had as compelling game systems or longevity or rate of change has just been speeding up which leaves graphics behind too soon?

I was reading about a player in EvE who lost 6k$ value of a ship recently. What I like about this story is the emergent quality: How did the value get to this point, the sum suggests players attribute a real value (convertible?) to this. What was the scenario for this ship to be destroyed/taken? With EvE, the things that seem to be remembered are these living stories... even if they are disasters (makes for a better story!).

A friend of mine who is a now mostly retired MMO player found out I play EVE these days and what he said was interesting.

"It's not a game I've ever tried, but I love the stories the people who play it tell me."

He's not huge on Sci Fi in general, but he's someone I'm recommending this game to. And it's what I'm really hoping will turn out well in this game. That it generates compelling stories.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
AvenaOats wrote:

I was reading about a player in EvE who lost 6k$ value of a ship recently. What I like about this story is the emergent quality: How did the value get to this point, the sum suggests players attribute a real value (convertible?) to this. What was the scenario for this ship to be destroyed/taken? With EvE, the things that seem to be remembered are these living stories... even if they are disasters (makes for a better story!).

Eve lets you buy items in game that give you a 30 day sub. They are paid for with real money and are items in the game - that once you use them give you 30 days of subscription to the game.

Due to this mechanic - people buy these items and sell them on the trade network for in game cash - thus converting real money to game money.

Someone who gets an industry going in eve thus never has to pay - instead his time is being paid for in real money by someone who doesn't have the time or care to farm the cash.

Because it's an in-game item you can store these on your ship - so when they say $6,000.00 ship - they mean it was a $0.00 virtual goods ship - and a $0.00 worth of goods character - that lost $6000.00 worth of in game credit.

Because if you carry them on your ship and get blown up - they go poof.

Not exactly something that you'd want to ever have happen to you in something that is supposed to be fun :)

CEO, Goblinworks

@Chorik - one thing to add to your otherwise excellent description.

PLEX don't have to be moved. The only reason anyone would ever take one from place to place is because their friends can't be bothered to make a trip as an alt to a safe trading hub once a month to do the transaction with no risk.

Goblin Squad Member

@Chorik that's not quite what happened though. As PLEX has a current value in ISK (Their in game currency) people tend to extrapolate the ISK value of the virtual goods into real dollar amounts.

The player in question was transporting a ridiculous number of in game items valued in the billions of ISK. People did the sums and converted that through the PLEX mechanism to a real world dollar amount.

Still disastrous for a player though.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

What the world wants is a fantasy sandbox where everything "works" like it does in great stories, where people act like role players, where creative folk can add to the world, where everything is balanced so no "build of the week" is dominant, where the game never runs out of interesting things to explore, develop and/or dominate, where players can live in cool kingdoms or build their own, where there's an endless supply of really fun dungeons, that has photorealistic cloth, clothing, hair, and physics, runs on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, plus XBox and PS3, has an amazing community filled with harmony, is free to play, millions of people share one server, but everyone's character is unique and special, and the AI could pass the Turing Test.

I've been following the Pathfinder development since the beginning but I can't find any mention of what payment model the game is going to follow. Can anyone help here?

CEO, Goblinworks

@thenoisyrogue - the game will be a hybrid. You'll be able to pay for a subscription, or pay via microtransactions.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

I want a game where I can have fun. Unfortunately, for me (since I love Pathfinder) PFO won't be fun, unless....

I would like a sandbox game where a person who simply likes to ruin other people's days by breaking/stealing/interrupting their gameplay are stopped.

From what I've read of PFO, this behavior is pretty much encouraged and called "player interaction" and is touted as a feature.

That's like saying bullying people, beating people to a bloody pulp, and stealing their stuff is all "social interaction" and therefor is "feature" of life, so stop complaining.

It's not fun for me at all and I don't see why a sandbox game must include this aspect.

Horizons was capable of this. Yes, it was more static and more of a theme park game, but what it DID have was communities working together and I have to tell you that the first three months or so were fairly glorious and fun. The underlying game engine was horrible, however, so everyone left when it didn't improve.

I just feel, from what I know of the upcoming game, that it is catering more to those who wish to disrupt than to those who wish to coordinate and construct.

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:

From what I've read of PFO, this behavior is pretty much encouraged and called "player interaction" and is touted as a feature.

That's like saying bullying people, beating people to a bloody pulp, and stealing their stuff is all "social interaction" and therefor is "feature" of life, so stop complaining.

It's not fun for me at all and I don't see why a sandbox game must include this aspect.

You seem to be under the impression that this behavior carries no consequences.

Sure, if you could kill someone with absolutely no repercussions, people would be killing each other all the time. However, you can't just wantonly kill whoever you want without someone either trying to stop you or trying to hunt your ass down to persecute you.

Sure, someone could go around murdering low-level players and stealing anything they can from their bodies, and there's pretty much a 100% chance that at least one person is gonna do this. However, killing a low-level player and stealing their stuff has a couple noted consequences:

A) It's an evil action and doing so will forcibly changed you alignment to evil (not so much a consequence for people who are already evil, but can be considered a huge consequence for people who choose a Neutral or Good alignment)

B) NPC guards will kill you; if they catch you, do not expect to live very much longer

C) People will want your head. If you make a name for yourself as a dirt bag that kills players and steals their stuff, sooner or later someone's gonna put a bounty on your head and people are gonna come kill you and take your stuff, possibly multiple times.

D) If it gets bad enough that it can be considered a case of griefing, you are gonna get banned.

PvP happens, but don't think there will be no consequences depending on how bad it can get.

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:

I want a game where I can have fun. Unfortunately, for me (since I love Pathfinder) PFO won't be fun, unless....

I would like a sandbox game where a person who simply likes to ruin other people's days by breaking/stealing/interrupting their gameplay are stopped.

From what I've read of PFO, this behavior is pretty much encouraged and called "player interaction" and is touted as a feature.

That's like saying bullying people, beating people to a bloody pulp, and stealing their stuff is all "social interaction" and therefor is "feature" of life, so stop complaining.

It's not fun for me at all and I don't see why a sandbox game must include this aspect.

If the system is anything like the one EVE uses (and I believe it is from what I have seen), then there are whole swathes of areas within the game where pvp interaction would be absolutely minimal due to guards and the risk vs reward being utterly out of proportion.

Griefing itself has been stated as something that could be a bannable offence.

But to say that such concepts and gameplay elements shouldn't be there at all? With the possible exception of "A tale in the Desert" I cannot think of a game that doesn't have some of this.

Because most people enjoy it. If anything GW seems to be trying to create an environment where your participation in this kind of gameplay is really up to you. I'm really not sure how much more than that they could offer without equally alienating the opposite side of the fence to you, the people who genuinely enjoy that kind of gameplay.

Goblin Squad Member

Harrison wrote:


B) NPC guards will kill you; if they catch you, do not expect to live very much longer

If you are talking high sec areas, IE newbie areas, you are right but it isn't "IF" as a when. if I recall in eve it was flat out an exploit to not get killed by the guards if you kill in high sec.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Chuck Wright wrote:

I want a game where I can have fun. Unfortunately, for me (since I love Pathfinder) PFO won't be fun, unless....

I would like a sandbox game where a person who simply likes to ruin other people's days by breaking/stealing/interrupting their gameplay are stopped.

From what I've read of PFO, this behavior is pretty much encouraged and called "player interaction" and is touted as a feature.

That's like saying bullying people, beating people to a bloody pulp, and stealing their stuff is all "social interaction" and therefor is "feature" of life, so stop complaining.

That's the same basic gameplay as Skyrim, isn't it? Go around and find other characters, kill them, and get stuff. Sometimes you find stuff in the environment which you may or may not have to kill other characters to get.

Pathfinder is basically about people who kill other people and take their stuff. What's the difference between being ambushed by NPC characters and being ambushed by PC characters? It's hard to determine when NPC characters have a motive to attack, and unless it is done perfectly there will be failures in the edge cases, either when a lone outcast bandit charges a major guarded caravan or when a fully prepared large gang springs a major ambush on a poor new player wandering through the wrong area.

Don't like a certain group of players? Join the group boycotting and blacklisting them, because there will very likely be one. Or join one of the groups dedicated to wiping them out.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Smedley sounds like the name of a villain who hears a wide brimmed black hat with a long curly mustache who ties maiders to the railroad tracks. IRL, not that far apart, AKA SWG.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Chuck Wright wrote:

I want a game where I can have fun. Unfortunately, for me (since I love Pathfinder) PFO won't be fun, unless....

I would like a sandbox game where a person who simply likes to ruin other people's days by breaking/stealing/interrupting their gameplay are stopped.

From what I've read of PFO, this behavior is pretty much encouraged and called "player interaction" and is touted as a feature.

That's like saying bullying people, beating people to a bloody pulp, and stealing their stuff is all "social interaction" and therefor is "feature" of life, so stop complaining.

That's the same basic gameplay as Skyrim, isn't it? Go around and find other characters, kill them, and get stuff. Sometimes you find stuff in the environment which you may or may not have to kill other characters to get.

Pathfinder is basically about people who kill other people and take their stuff. What's the difference between being ambushed by NPC characters and being ambushed by PC characters? It's hard to determine when NPC characters have a motive to attack, and unless it is done perfectly there will be failures in the edge cases, either when a lone outcast bandit charges a major guarded caravan or when a fully prepared large gang springs a major ambush on a poor new player wandering through the wrong area.

Don't like a certain group of players? Join the group boycotting and blacklisting them, because there will very likely be one. Or join one of the groups dedicated to wiping them out.

<laugh> That's why I don't play Skyrim.

As for "griefing" being a bannable offense... well, sounds like a good idea. Now what exactly is griefing? Where does it stop being "role playing the villain" and start being "obstructive to the game"?

All I'm saying is that there is a way to have competition and accomplishment without, as I see it, catering to people who get off on ruining the fun of others.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

As a side note, I'm explaining why this game isn't the game for me.

What I'm not doing is trying to tell anyone that they're going to have "bad-wrong-fun" nor am I looking for reasons to play it. I've played open-ended PvP games and did not care for them. I like "zoned PvP" like Warhammer or DAoC.

I was more interested in answering Ryan Dancey's question of "What else is there to want?" and that would be a sandbox MMO that doesn't HAVE to be player-policed to be enjoyable. This game will not allow me to play it as a game, the time investment that is going to be required just to gather raw materials without 8 player-groups of bandits ready to kill you and take your stuff would be beyond any enjoyment level for me. I don't like paying for what feels like a job when I play a video game.

That's all, just another perspective.

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:

<laugh> That's why I don't play Skyrim.

As for "griefing" being a bannable offense... well, sounds like a good idea. Now what exactly is griefing? Where does it stop being "role playing the villain" and start being "obstructive to the game"?

All I'm saying is that there is a way to have competition and accomplishment without, as I see it, catering to people who get off on ruining the fun of others.

Well I imagine there will be a laid out TOS that defines 'griefing' and what the punishments will be.

That being said though your definition of Skyrim as one of those games is flat out strange. Is a DM of a role-playing game 'griefing' his players when he sets out opposition to them? Skyrim has NPC's that seek to kill you, like every roleplaying game in history has. It's about overcoming adversity, and is a key element to pretty much every heroic legend in human history.

People will have conflicting goals. Sometimes those conflicting goals will lead to them attacking each other. That's human nature and that will certainly not change in our lifetimes. I'll kill other players, and I may feel good if overcome a tough opponent, but I certainly wouldn't categorise it as 'getting off on it'. You can try casting a moral net over them all by classifying them as griefers but the reality is they all have different motivations and reasonings behind why tey do what they do. A very very small component of players may display true sociopathic behaviour, and they would almost certainly not last in this game. Even if GW didn't stop them, the other players would.

Now if that's not enough for you, then perhaps you are correct and this isn't a game for you, I guess that's up to you to decide however. Regardless I wish you luck.

CEO, Goblinworks

Quote:
Well I imagine there will be a laid out TOS that defines 'griefing' and what the punishments will be.

Here it is: "Don't be a jerk". We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason.

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:

As a side note, I'm explaining why this game isn't the game for me.

What I'm not doing is trying to tell anyone that they're going to have "bad-wrong-fun" nor am I looking for reasons to play it. I've played open-ended PvP games and did not care for them. I like "zoned PvP" like Warhammer or DAoC.

I was more interested in answering Ryan Dancey's question of "What else is there to want?" and that would be a sandbox MMO that doesn't HAVE to be player-policed to be enjoyable. This game will not allow me to play it as a game, the time investment that is going to be required just to gather raw materials without 8 player-groups of bandits ready to kill you and take your stuff would be beyond any enjoyment level for me. I don't like paying for what feels like a job when I play a video game.

That's all, just another perspective.

That's well said. But I think you label PFO in error above this post. What you are saying is, why does a sandbox have to have degrees of open pvp or more accurately, grades of "Limited open PvP" [From open areas to semi-pvp to zero-pvp to paint the picture]?

What's been said before is that Sandbox = player-player interaction, players as content. You see bandits the AI is not real bandits, other players are; except what you're saying is some minority percentage of those won't be bandits either but griefers.

I think you are therefore pessimistic to the possibility of "real bandits" instead of players dealing with NPCs who have arrows over their heads, and hand out fedex quests etc (is this why themeparks took off?).

Give the players the chance I say. Great article on why EvE is a good example of pvp + sandbox = success for the players and devs:

CCP Online's three design pillars for sandbox MMOs

discussion:
And maybe you have good cause for concern, if another player "ruins" your fun once, it can have a permeating negative effect, that's true. Yet, I think the "risk" is worth it and if the community is mostly a good one, it's always going to be a case of one or 2 apples going bad whatever club/society/social collective you are are a part of and having to deal with it. That's applies anywhere. Maybe online games has particular issues is also true.

But this is one eg. Ideally most if not all people you interact with in the game will be other players role-playing their character to the game world in many different guises and capacities. Why is that important Players in Themeparks usually complain at a certain point that the game feels pointless or there is no real goal. This comes down to not enough and frequent meaningful interaction with other players and not enough change or influence on the world. The solution = grind and end-game to keep player on the tread mill. Unless you have a better solution to this conundrum?

So pvp is another engine of change: It leads to those emergent situations such as help or hinder another settlement maybe? What is the past history of interactions, if the tables were turned would they help us or exploit our situation? The above eve eg is a bit extreme, but you get the gist of these memorable emergent stories that occassionally blow up and sometimes become (in)famous. Ever wonder why newspaper stories are so full of bad news and not good news? Good stories come out of (overcoming) adversity it seems to me (or a drunken night that goes south!). A lot of games don't have real consequences for losing, so winning feels formulaic, instead of a great achievement. At least some genres correct this.

The above does not reference pvp too much nor too directly, yet by including pvp as part of the players-players interactions, it makes the mmorpg sound a lot more like an adventurous place to be, at least to me.

If you cut that interaction down, you just lead to players not interacting frequently enough, not meaningfully enough and therefore the stories dry up and the company starts losing players and starts going out of business. The opposite seems to be a problem in other open pvp games where the pvp COMBAT IS the game play. But if there is good opportunity to build settlements and make deals and so on and so forth, it'll be another great accomplishment for players to have resolution of disputes peacefully as well as with weapons.

Perhaps ganking is a sign of anxiety because the challenge becomes impossibly high for the victim. But the reverse is what you get without a suitable level of challenge: boredom or apathy in themepark games: So mmorpgs need to move in this direction a bit more imho.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
where everything is balanced so no "build of the week" is dominant

That is an huge subject all in it's own. I've always felt a huge part of the problem with balancing in a lot of MMO's is that there is too much emphasis on every class being competitive with every other class in 1vs1 fights.

I've always taken great opposition to this. Mainly, I think 1vs1 combat is the least important version of PVP that can be taken into consideration.

I kind of hope PFO mainly takes the approach of "Screw 1v1 balance. Let's make it so every build has a place inside group combat." If that makes a few of the classes like a rogue, cleric or fighter into 1v1 gods while the bard and wizard get shafted so be it. The 1v1 gods will be missing the AoE damage and group buffs of those classes in group combat.

Goblin Squad Member

Just to add to the above discussion. One thing that perhaps a Themepark and a heavy open-pvp combat game both have in common, is that most people most of the time do the same things as everyone else is doing. I wonder if that might be a good measure for a successfully running and fully featured, sandbox mmorpg?

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I've hated PvP since UO. Always have always will. Given a chance you will always run into a tool that enjoys denying others their enjoyment of the game.

I am watching the Pathfinder MMO and will be curious to see what comes of it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
AvenaOats wrote:


What's been said before is that Sandbox = player-player interaction, players as content. You see bandits the AI is not real bandits, other players are; except what you're saying is some minority percentage of those won't be bandits either but griefers.

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh I agree with his comment and that's my perception too - If you play Pathfinder (by the book) and your GM gives you 'bandit' encounters - he is trusted to make sure they are fair and not so numerous that they become unfair.

'NPC' (computer controlled) bandit encounters are like GM made CR's - you find ones that match up to your level and go for it.

Players on the other hand won't do that - just like in Eve where people gather dozens of buddies and capital ships at a jump point and pick on the 'one or two guys' that come through.

If your GM did that to you at a table game you'd quit.

I'm not sure why you think that it 'must be' this way in a computer game to be fun - but that's why it doesn't seem fun for many people.

I only took the time to write this down so perhaps you could understand the other side of the coin - Eve may be successful - but it has less players than EQ (at it's most popular) and doesn't hold a candle to other 'theme park' MMO's in terms of numbers (even the ones that are considered failures). I don't think 'this is what everyone wants' is the correct way to say it - 'this is what some people want' is much more accurate.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:


'NPC' (computer controlled) bandit encounters are like GM made CR's - you find ones that match up to your level and go for it.

Players on the other hand won't do that - just like in Eve where people gather dozens of buddies and capital ships at a jump point and pick on the 'one or two guys' that come through.

A good DM balances risk vs cost. For the most part, player death in P&P, is something that should happen extremely rarely, as a death whipes out that character. When the death penalty is under a day's work, the taboo of killing players is gone. IMO this has a huge benefit to the game, IMO in most MMO's one of the big pet peves of mine, is there's no variety, there is no planning in what people equip or carry around with them. You pull out the biggest baddest weapon and armor you have, scrap the rest, why would you ever wear anything less than your absolute best. With the penalties planned for this game... the oposite is true. If you are out carrying gear worth 90% of your characters worth... you made a huge mistake.

Also in eve from what I've gathered, your dozens of warships picking on 1-2 guys, is a pretty obscure thing, Unless those 1-2 guys have done something pretty extreme to the army that's coming after them, or they are trespassing through not blue shoot it space, there is no logical reason why anyone would risk a capital ship, or even really be bothered with wasting their time, harming their groups reputation etc... The only times I've heard examples of what you describe, would be the major political events, like burn jita, or the first titan kill etc... (and destroying a warship that took more or less a year to build and resources that via ISK to real world money conversions, is worth over 40K USD), does not fall into picking on newbies, that is more like destroying a nuclear weapon.

If more than 5 guys are wasting their time and money attacking weak stragglers, that is the exception not the rule.

Goblin Squad Member

Ckorik wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:


What's been said before is that Sandbox = player-player interaction, players as content. You see bandits the AI is not real bandits, other players are; except what you're saying is some minority percentage of those won't be bandits either but griefers.

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh I agree with his comment and that's my perception too - If you play Pathfinder (by the book) and your GM gives you 'bandit' encounters - he is trusted to make sure they are fair and not so numerous that they become unfair.

'NPC' (computer controlled) bandit encounters are like GM made CR's - you find ones that match up to your level and go for it.

Players on the other hand won't do that - just like in Eve where people gather dozens of buddies and capital ships at a jump point and pick on the 'one or two guys' that come through.

If your GM did that to you at a table game you'd quit.

I'm not sure why you think that it 'must be' this way in a computer game to be fun - but that's why it doesn't seem fun for many people.

I only took the time to write this down so perhaps you could understand the other side of the coin - Eve may be successful - but it has less players than EQ (at it's most popular) and doesn't hold a candle to other 'theme park' MMO's in terms of numbers (even the ones that are considered failures). I don't think 'this is what everyone wants' is the correct way to say it - 'this is what some people want' is much more accurate.

Ak, could write a long response. I'll try to get my 'message' across in 30s! ;)

1. Not saying one way is better, as people in contention in a game, it's wide range of different personal impressions & derivations of fun.
2. Just eg AI bandits do their routines, players maybe you can join 'em, maybe pay a levy not to attack you or hire them to attack a rival, or form a posse to rid the area of them etc...
3. I've played against AI bandits in mmorpgs and think that the experience would be the same if I played against them in another. Even though griefing finds the smallest leak to trickle through, this risk is worth taking imo and solving?
4. Maybe avatars are very personal for people and this makes falling foul of pvp not something someone wants when RL can be hard-nosed enough. But the way I see a mmorpg that lasts, is each avatar is a unit in a system and different feedbacks lead to different changes in the system even a single unit could have this butterfly effect!
5. Mission Objective for mmorpg imo should be: Lasting game, Those who play it and stay really dig the game, vs the next new shiny mmo release and repeat. So even if sub numbers in EvE are not the highest, the longevity and steady rate seems to be conducive for an interesting online community, would you say?

/think I went over 30s, dang!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
AvenaOats wrote:
*good points*

It may be a very good community - I think Eve for sure has alot going for it (retention wise). I'm not out to change the direction of this game I just wanted to get some clarity of what they were looking for.

I have seen games that were supposed to cater to this market (Shadowbane, Anarchy Online, Eve) some of them didn't work well (and honestly I never bothered with them so I couldn't tell you with any personal conviction what it was that was wrong.

I hope this succeeds, even if I don't like it - I do like variety - and I'd prefer people looking for this type of game have it rather than try to change another game I'm enjoying into what they want ;)

I did want to give an explanation as to why some people stay away - I'll say again I'll be keeping my eyes open to see how it turns out.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Southraven wrote:
A very very small component of players may display true sociopathic behaviour, and they would almost certainly not last in this game.

This is where we differ in expectations. Sociopathic and anti-social behavior has abounded in most of the games that I've played. It's the anonymity=jerk phenomenon that you see all over the internet.


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It's strange that in MMORPGs, success is measured by becoming McDonalds, not by being profitable. There are some sandwich shops that do great and become chains and within a decade or two have fifty stores spanning a number of cities - this strikes me more as what GW is trying to do. Not everybody needs to like the sandwiches, just enough people. Not everybody needs to enjoy PFO, just enough do.

I myself am somewhat concerned at the danger of losing stuff because another human wanted to take it from me. I also really enjoy PvE content. I'd most want something with plenty of interaction and cooperation and competition between players without a ton of conflict, and most, but not all, of the conflict coming from the environment.

I really wish Wurm had a little more exposure, growth, and development. If I'd have known it existed, I'd have been playing it and referring friends for years.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:

@Sparrow,

I don't think most of the fixation with finding a "WoW killer" is coming from players... I believe it's coming from investors and publishers.

They may want people to believe it, but it doesn't explain why people would post things like "This is going to be a WoW killer" on message boards.

Talking to investors is not the same as talking to potential customers. Who is going to invest inb a company simply because the company says that they want to build a WoW killer?

And if the company says something and the customers pick it up and run with it, like the 'WoW killer' thing, then that is because it means something to those customers.

But that is really neither here nor there.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As far as the 'PvP as content' thing that people are now talking about, I am torn.

I have been killed in EVE for absolutely no good reason (unlesss you consider passing through low-sec space to be a 'good reason').

I didn't like it, but I can't say that it warranted a suspension or a ban.

But how much of the game can someone play if they stick to the 'civilized' area(s) and do not join a CC?
What aspects of the game can they explore?

I just think that there is serious potential for a gang-mentality to take over, and if you are not in a large CC that you are could be in for some tough times... People in the large CCs could kill you for whatever reason (including 'because'), and if you dare seek revenge each and every member of that CC could then kill you whenever they see you for the forseeable future because you 'disrespected' them and are obviously in need of a 'lesson'.

I hope that the devs can find a good way to let players do their own thing within the game but not let them run roughshod over other players while hiding behind the game.

That can be a tough thing to do.

Goblin Squad Member

Southraven wrote:


This is where we differ in expectations. Sociopathic and anti-social behavior has abounded in most of the games that I've played. It's the anonymity=jerk phenomenon that you see all over the internet.

Where did you get the idea that the design philosophy for PFO was anti-social?


Mbando wrote:
Where did you get the idea that the design philosophy for PFO was anti-social?

He didn't, he merely was stating his experience/perception that in MMOs where ever you give people the opportunity to be antisocial, or sociopathic, or jerks, they will be. One of the biggest design points in PFO is to discourage that sort of thing. Southraven, did you ever play EvE and experience what that was like?

Goblin Squad Member

Waffleyone wrote:
Mbando wrote:
Where did you get the idea that the design philosophy for PFO was anti-social?
He didn't, he merely was stating his experience/perception that in MMOs where ever you give people the opportunity to be antisocial, or sociopathic, or jerks, they will be. One of the biggest design points in PFO is to discourage that sort of thing. Southraven, did you ever play EvE and experience what that was like?

I'm playing it right now. So far I've not fired a shot in anger at a PC. Then again I've also only hung out purely in hi-sec mining while I improve. When I'm a little bigger and have some money to waste dying and losing ships I'll look at moving into low-sec to see what it's like there.

The point is the option is there. I'm not going to say Chuck is right or wrong in his impressions, ultimately the game isn't out yet, so while we don't know what it is going to be like precisely, he does know he has a big aversion to PVP. I won't begrudge him that, how he feels is how I've felt everytime a new MMO came out that was yet another Themepark when all I wanted was a Sandbox, si I can completely relate to his frustration that another promising game isn't meeting his expectations.

Goblin Squad Member

Whoops I meant to quote Chuck Wright--put words in Southraven's mouth on accident :(

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