Playtest dates....


Pathfinder Playtest

Scarab Sages

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So after listening to the banquet speeches (thanks for the recording, Paizo), I am now even more hyped for the Playtest. So hyped, in fact, that I wish to start doing a bit of scheduling of time.

So as stated by Jason, the playtest will be in 7 stages (one for each scenario in Doomsday Dawn), the first will be for the three weeks after release and the others in two week blocks after that. So, by my calculations with the assumption to schedule changes on a Thursday, the schedule should look like this:

Scenario 1 - 2 August to 23 August
Scenario 2 - 23 August to 6 September
Scenario 3 - 6 September to 20 September
Scenario 4 - 20 September to 4 October
Scenario 5 - 4 October to 18 October
Scenario 6 - 18 October to 1 November
Scenario 7 - 1 November to 15 November

And done

Does that sound right??

Scarab Sages

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Bump...

As it is now only two months away, I would really like to organise this. I have at least 13 people to wrangle so far, so would like to lock in dates in people's calendars.


I know Mark told us we are going to get a logistics blog coming up when I asked about the topic.

Hopefully that will come soon as I have the same desires to get a group together with plenty of notice!

Scarab Sages

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Thanks for that info, Stone Dog. I will now wait...not so patiently :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm concerned about this too, because I won't be able to start running until August 16th. I'm hoping they'll still be interested in feedback even if it comes in late.


Darth Krzysztof wrote:
I'm concerned about this too, because I won't be able to start running until August 16th. I'm hoping they'll still be interested in feedback even if it comes in late.

They already have said that they will. Maybe that was in one of the Paizocon streams though. I can't remember where it was said.


Nice work sanwah68. That will help with the always important management of expectations. Thanks!

Scarab Sages

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Darth Krzysztof wrote:
I'm concerned about this too, because I won't be able to start running until August 16th. I'm hoping they'll still be interested in feedback even if it comes in late.

From my calculations, assuming the above timing is correct, you will be right on time to participate in the first round, as it won't finish until the following week.

Scarab Sages

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The Mad Comrade wrote:
Nice work sanwah68. That will help with the always important management of expectations. Thanks!

My pleasure. Ahh...Epectation Management, the most important aspect of any project, and where things have the most potential to go pear shaped.


sanwah68 wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Nice work sanwah68. That will help with the always important management of expectations. Thanks!
My pleasure. Ahh...Epectation Management, the most important aspect of any project, and where things have the most potential to go pear shaped.

That they surely do. ;)


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Darth Krzysztof wrote:
I'm concerned about this too, because I won't be able to start running until August 16th. I'm hoping they'll still be interested in feedback even if it comes in late.
They already have said that they will. Maybe that was in one of the Paizocon streams though. I can't remember where it was said.

What about early? Will the surveys be all around at the beginning? I'm guessing probably not, otherwise what's the point of the stages? Mostly I'm curious about those who end up ahead of schedule.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Darth Krzysztof wrote:
I'm concerned about this too, because I won't be able to start running until August 16th. I'm hoping they'll still be interested in feedback even if it comes in late.
They already have said that they will. Maybe that was in one of the Paizocon streams though. I can't remember where it was said.
What about early? Will the surveys be all around at the beginning? I'm guessing probably not, otherwise what's the point of the stages? Mostly I'm curious about those who end up ahead of schedule.

I think the "stages" are sets so that most can share their experiences on the forums and be somewhat at the same place in the adventure.

Scarab Sages

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Bump...

It is now less than 2 months away and I have 15 people asking me for dates....I would really like confirmation that the dates above are correct or incorrect, so I can start placing things in the calendar.


Why not create your calendar based on that information, with the warning that, as the start date gets closer, staff may make adjustments.

Heck, the staff may make adjustments even during the playtest, no matter what they tell you today. They have already said that they may be testing more than one version of a mechanic, based on what happens during the playtest.

Some stuff during the playtest is contingent on what happens during the playtest. You're not going to get a guarantee about timing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Has anyone shared the titles for the scenarios anywhere around here? I was able to make them out on the slide at the PaizoCon banquet. : D


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I could use the scheduling info too--it's like herding cats sometimes to get various gamers on the same page :)


I've found it almost ALWAYS like herding cats to get a gaming day going... Ah, for the long lost days of college, when a "hey, lets game NOW" was a thing.

Scarab Sages

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Yeh, have to fit the playtest around all the other stuff that is in my life. Hence why I would like some confirmation that the date ranges in my OP are mostly correct.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

One of the things I'm concerned about is how valid the playtest will be in light of the learning curve for the new system given the limited time-frame results will be expected after release. Learning a new system is hard, and I can't imagine how many mistakes I probably made the first several times I ran previous editions of the game. The math for PF2 is designed to be very tightly-fitting and although I know one of the design goals is for a streamlined, easy-to-learn game, I think it's going to take groups a while to really get up to speed. In the meantime, a good chunk of what they report is likely to be tainted by errors that affected their experiences.

Shadow Lodge

That was one of my concerns too. We simply might not have enough time and will get a subpar product because of it. Still, it's better than no playtest. We've seen what comes from that.


Yeah, I'm concerned by the short time window as well. Especially with the survey for the first adventure only being 3 weeks after the book comes out. I'm not sure that's enough time for everyone to read it and grok it well enough to process it AND play through an adventure without making a ton of mistakes, even if everyone other than the GM is using PDFs instead of sharing a physical book.


Weeeeell... even setting aside that we don't actually KNOW what kind of timeframes we are looking at yet, having too short a timeframe to learn the game still yields valuable data. Remember, a big goal of the new system is that you can learn it quickly. If we can't, then Paizo needs to figure out why not and try to adjust.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

But how will they know what part of our feedback is affected by the mistakes that we don't know we're making? :)


Jhaeman wrote:
But how will they know what part of our feedback is affected by the mistakes that we don't know we're making? :)

I'd imagine that level of detail is probably only obtainable through forum posts.


Having some further refined dates would be nice to help with expectations, especially as me and the missus are expecting. If its as above that would be great, a nice tight amount of months will make it easier for folks to set aside that Tuesday night.


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If I remember correctly, one of the team, during a session at PaizoCon, mentioned that there would probably be an x week period after release and before the first playtest session began, specifically so people could familiarize themselves with the general material. They are asking us not to rush ahead as they want players experiencing the settings fresh during each playtest window. They had not at that time determined exactly what the length of the x week familiarization window would be, so that may be why we have yet to hear anything.


numbat1 wrote:

If I remember correctly, one of the team, during a session at PaizoCon, mentioned that there would probably be an x week period after release and before the first playtest session began, specifically so people could familiarize themselves with the general material. They are asking us not to rush ahead as they want players experiencing the settings fresh during each playtest window. They had not at that time determined exactly what the length of the x week familiarization window would be, so that may be why we have yet to hear anything.

The OP's post was based on that comment. I believe it was Jason that said the first was three weeks with the rest being two weeks each.

Now they can decide to change their minds, but that was the plan they mentioned at the time.

Shadow Lodge

Such a small amount of playtest time.... I fear nothing is going to change for the better. Especially if each 'phase' turns out to only be meant for certain parts of the book.

Scarab Sages

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There is now less than a month to go...any news??

Please don't make me beg!!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

It's been mentioned that we'll have about two weeks for each segment of Doomsday Dawn in the playtest. Is there going to be maybe an extra week at the start to allow GMs time to read the adventure 1st?

Personally, I plan on running playtests for several different groups if possible, but I like to read adventures at least 3 times before I run them, in order to really do it justice.

Ah, I didn't remember the two week thing had been mentioned, and that was what I was dancing around before. It's not a hard limit by any means; it's sort of Jason's best guess for a good pacing to give most weekly groups time to run it and then we all (by which I mean the designers as well as all of you) talk about how that chapter went in particular as a group, but if your group marches to the beat of a different drummer (either faster or slower), you will absolutely still be able to do your thing and send in your survey results, you just might be off-synch with our most direct discussion focus or videos.

So it's not set in stone, and maybe they've changed it since this was last discussed... but basically it sounds like it will be maybe 3 weeks from release to the first adventure survey, and then every 2 weeks thereafter.

That's kind of a fast pace though, and would knock out all 7 adventures in about 3-4 months. I think the playtest, as short as it is, is longer than 3-4 months. So if they keep this pace, maybe the hope is then for people to playtest homebrew games or converted adventures after the Doomsday Dawn focus is done.

Or maybe they changed their minds and it will be 3 weeks per segment. I guess we'll find out soon!


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I'm also concerned with the short playtest time. This would be fine if this was a more standard edition change, mostly cleanup with the base of the system still mostly the same. But everything we've seen shows that PF2 is a complete overhaul with little of the system untouched. Maybe not as big a change as AD&D 2nd to D&D 3rd, but closer to that than the AD&D 1 to 2 change. So if any of the major subsystems (like resonance) is found to be a big problem, any fixes or replacements will have to be done quickly and without any further feedback on the fix. I really think we'd be better off with a longer playtest and a second pass at the rules, at least if needed.

If everything works well enough and only minor tweaks are needed, then great. Everything can go as currently planned. But if something really doesn't work, or is poorly received and needs significant work, then the playtest should probably be extended by at least 6 months to a year and have the replacements tested. Otherwise the fix to anything discovered in the playtest is going to be untested, and given less of a look than what it's replacing.

Resonance is my big concern here. But some of the classes likely would benefit from a second test pass, as well as balance of spells, abilities and feats. Some of this might be doable with the current timeline, and maybe PDF downloads of reworked classes or something.

I'd love to see an extended test, but I doubt we will, because it will completely throw out of whack the release schedule Paizo has for PF1 and PF2 over the next two years. They've still got APs, Campaign Setting and Player Companion books to release, a delay would mean those would need to be reworked as PF1 instead of PF2, which might be doable, but a serious pain when they're also working on the major project of a new corebook.

Silver Crusade

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Paizo has stated that different chapters of the adventure are targeting different aspects of the system.
So I hope that resonance is one of the first aspects of the game being tested.

Chapter 1 will likely not test anything particular to give us time to get to know the system, so I'd guess that the chapter 1 survey will focus on the feel of the system.

We also don't know if the chapters will have us play characters of ascending levels, or if chapter 2 maybe has us play level 7 characters, then chapter 3 is with level 3 or so.

But I hope that resonance is tested in chapter 2 or 3, then revisited/retooled/replayed in the same chapter again, after all chapters have been played.

Scarab Sages

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Bump

It is now about two weeks away and still no information about the expectation of the dates. There has been information in the PFS Blog that each of the Doomsday sections is about 5-8 hours worth of playing.

It would be really nice to get some idea of the date brackets, as I now have 16 people want to playtest, and need to fit it into everyone's lives.

We are doing ours as an additional special thing, not a replacement of a regular game day.


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Franz Lunzer wrote:

Paizo has stated that different chapters of the adventure are targeting different aspects of the system.

So I hope that resonance is one of the first aspects of the game being tested.

Chapter 1 will likely not test anything particular to give us time to get to know the system, so I'd guess that the chapter 1 survey will focus on the feel of the system.

We also don't know if the chapters will have us play characters of ascending levels, or if chapter 2 maybe has us play level 7 characters, then chapter 3 is with level 3 or so.

But I hope that resonance is tested in chapter 2 or 3, then revisited/retooled/replayed in the same chapter again, after all chapters have been played.

Egads I hope that this is not the approach that is taken.

The cornerstone of problems a great many complain about high and low since the advent of 3e nee Pathfinder is high-level play. If we're not taking 20th level characters out on a proper shake-down cruise, the whole enchilada is for naught.


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Since my group will at most get in one playtest session per month, I am wondering how to do triage on which scenarios to run.

It is my understanding that the scenarios will be of two types:

1) Scenarios in which you create a new party of characters, and

2) Scenarios in which you advance your original party to a new level.

Has anyone yet revealed how many scenarios are in each category?

What I am considering doing is running the first scenario and then limiting the group to either the scenarios that advance the original party to a new level or to those that involve creating an entirely new group of characters (essentially making every session a "one-shot"). Ideally, I would want to set things up so that we run just under half of the Doomsday Dawn scenarios during the playtest.


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David knott 242 wrote:

Since my group will at most get in one playtest session per month, I am wondering how to do triage on which scenarios to run.

It is my understanding that the scenarios will be of two types:

1) Scenarios in which you create a new party of characters, and

2) Scenarios in which you advance your original party to a new level.

Has anyone yet revealed how many scenarios are in each category?

What I am considering doing is running the first scenario and then limiting the group to either the scenarios that advance the original party to a new level or to those that involve creating an entirely new group of characters (essentially making every session a "one-shot"). Ideally, I would want to set things up so that we run just under half of the Doomsday Dawn scenarios during the playtest.

Easier to answer in reverse

2) You return to your original party twice at a new level, for 3 scenarios total.
1) You create new one-shot parties the remaining 4 scenarios.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Folks... the announcement on this is coming, but I will give it to you in a nutshell just to alleviate some concerns that we are moving things around.

There are 7 chapters in Doomsday Dawn. We are giving three weeks after Gen Con for part 1 and two weeks for each part after that. To go any slower would make it so that we do not get feedback in time to make any reasonable changes to the game.

We will have plenty more news on how this will work right before release.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks... the announcement on this is coming, but I will give it to you in a nutshell just to alleviate some concerns that we are moving things around.

There are 7 chapters in Doomsday Dawn. We are giving three weeks after Gen Con for part 1 and two weeks for each part after that. To go any slower would make it so that we do not get feedback in time to make any reasonable changes to the game.

We will have plenty more news on how this will work right before release.

I've been wondering, if any game change is made, will it be announced? or we will need to wait for PF2 launch to know of it?


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks... the announcement on this is coming, but I will give it to you in a nutshell just to alleviate some concerns that we are moving things around.

There are 7 chapters in Doomsday Dawn. We are giving three weeks after Gen Con for part 1 and two weeks for each part after that. To go any slower would make it so that we do not get feedback in time to make any reasonable changes to the game.

We will have plenty more news on how this will work right before release.

As much as I'm looking forward to the playtest and PF2, I fear you've let publishing/marketing deadlines constrain your playtest schedule. By scheduling 8-10 hours of game play for every two weeks you're only going to get feedback from groups that can run weekly. Which sounds like from posts in numerous threads is a minority of posting playtesters. Will you get the feedback from a wide enough swath of player-types? Could you have structured each playtest chapter as a 4-5 hour block instead of an 8-10 to fit into your schedule?

If the goal is to launch PF2 at GenCon next year, it seems like you should have started the playtest well in advance of GenCon this year.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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I should also note that the surveys will be open much longer than the initial window would suggest. Think of the windows as a "time of focus" to keep things moving along. They are not meant to be the only time in which we can take feedback.

Also, if there are any changes that we need to make during the playtest, we will be making those quite public. I think we will be talking a bit about changes that are in store for the final, but I would not want such talk to alter the trajectory of the playtest unless it is vital or something we want to do a little quick testing on.


So starting the 26thish of august?

Scarab Sages

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Jason, are the dates in the OP about right, they don't have to be exact, just working out what weekends sit within each "time of focus"


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It sounds like the very first post in this thread got it right:

Scenario 1 - 2 August to 23 August
Scenario 2 - 23 August to 6 September
Scenario 3 - 6 September to 20 September
Scenario 4 - 20 September to 4 October
Scenario 5 - 4 October to 18 October
Scenario 6 - 18 October to 1 November
Scenario 7 - 1 November to 15 November

Jason, can you confirm that's correct?


Ooooh, gencon is when they're releasing the first and are giving three weeks from that point. I see the intent now.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, my group is not going to be able to keep up with that schedule - we struggle to make a bi-weekly game and rarely play more than 3-4 hours per session.

Hope late feedback doesn't get overlooked. :(

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