It turns out: I like writing blogs. And here you thought you got rid of me!
For the past six months, I have been very focused on Pathfinder Online now that it has been released into the wild. Since January, we have had nine large releases of content, and we've progressed to the point where I am really happy with the game and the community that has built up around it. So I'm going to be writing this weekly blog each Saturday to keep you up to date about the cool things going on in Pathfinder Online and to let you in on what is coming down the turnpike. Think of it as an Auntie Lisa's Story Blog with a focus on Pathfinder Online!
Starting Has Never Been Easier
With the latest release this past week, Pathfinder Online has entered a new realm of convenience and ease. The new patch focused on the new player experience, providing a new improved tutorial, an improvement to the maps in the game, and most importantly, newly improved tool tips which provide enhanced information to the player on what something does and how to most effectively use it. Pathfinder Online, like the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, is a fairly complex and detailed game, so providing lots of information for players is paramount.
It is also way easier to get into the game and start playing. Every new account comes with a free 15-day trial period. At the end of that period, you just start paying your $15 per month subscription fee to keep playing. No box price. No levels of membership. Just one small price per month for countless hours of entertainment!
Monsters, Monsters Everywhere!
While Pathfinder Online has had a wide variety of your typical bestiary monsters such as goblins, skeletons, ogres, bandits, wolves, and more, we keep adding new monsters to the game, and I'd like to acquaint you with the two most recent additions.
The Emerald Spire Superdungeon is at the heart of many of the bad things that plague the Echo Wood region of the River Kingdoms. The Emerald Spire itself delves deep into the earth, opening up rifts into the Darklands. One group that used the Spire to enter the region is the duergar slavers. The dark dwarves have found fertile ground for their slave raids amongst the folks of the Echo Wood and the heroes need to push them back to their dark home.
Like any good invasion force, the Duergar are well rounded in their roles. The fighting force is made up of Warriors, Soldiers and Defenders. They also have Scouts and Silencers to sneak around and do rogue-type stuff. Their ranged groups are made up of the Junior and Senior Artillery squads as well as the Bombers. Every army needs its divine support and the Priests of the Duergar do Drokar's work well. Finally, the wizardly sages provide spells in support of their compatriots. Because of their diversity, the Duergar are one of the harder groups to fight in the game, able to provide stout fighters along with destructive ranged combat and spells. They have been testing the mettle of all since their arrival on the scene.
The other group of creatures that has recently made the Echo Wood more deadly are the elementals that have been unleashed. Once again, the Emerald Spire is the culprit for this invasion of aggressive elementals. Ranging in size from rather cute small elementals all the way up to towering huge elementals, the diversity in challenges is unparalleled. These elemental harness many types of elemental energies, from the fiery Magma Elementals, to the dusty Sand Elementals, to the rocky Earth Elementals, and the freezing Ice Elementals, the sheer scope of the various energies at play can be daunting, not to mention the sheer size of the largest ones.
The first appearance of these creatures in the game happened near my in-game home, Pathfinder University, and it took the combined might of many different settlements sending their best adventurers to turn back the tide and defeat the elementals. Part of the fight was done live from PaizoCon, as experienced veterans and new players alike allied to fight the elementals off.
The Face of Evil
One of the things we unveiled at PaizoCon was the fact that each month, there would be a server-wide event that would drop unique loot and advance the storyline of the Echo Woods, challenging the players to defend their homes. For the month of July, the server event is called The Wrath of Nhur Athemon. Check out the video we made for the PaizoCon banquet!
If you played the Emerald Spire Superdungeon, you are well aware of Nhur Athemon, the renegade Azlanti who was imprisoned below the Emerald Spire many hundreds of years ago by his Azlanti brethren. Nhur Athemon is now a lich using his vast powers to spy upon the Echo Woods above his dungeon prison. His anger at what is happening above is coming to a boil, and it's going to take the combined might of the server to fend off Nhur Athemon and his minions.
If you want to be part of this epic event, be sure to get into the game and gear up right away! The Wrath of Nhur Athemon is a one time event that will not be repeated!
Player Character Profile: Laurethoron
I think one of the most interesting things about Pathfinder Online is that it allows players to make their own stories, just as they do in the RPG. So each week, I intend to showcase a different Pathfinder Online player and that player's main character. And to start it all off, I'm going to do something that everybody always does to me: I want to tell you about my character.
Laurethoron is a female elven fighter who has a smattering of cleric and rogue skills to augment her fighting prowess. She wields a longbow and a greatsword. In January, I started the game in the southeastern corner of the map in the Southern Cragthorn mountains, centering my adventures around the Neutral Good settlement of Brighthaven. For the first month or so, I battled goblins, ogres, bandits, wolves and undead with the members of the Argent Crusade company, with occasional forays against the much tougher Ustalav invaders and Mordant Spire elves.
While my time with the folks of Brighthaven was awesome, I felt that I needed to do something in game to encourage my fellow workers at both Goblinworks and Paizo to play together, so I started a company called the Bloodstone Swords, based on the mercenary group detailed on page 12 of the Pathfinder Chronicles: Faction Guide. We moved our base of operations to the NPC town of Thornkeep and started building a crafting empire to outfit all the new players being added to our company. Gathering resources and leveling up my crafter characters took much of my time for the next few weeks as plans were laid and implemented. At the end of that time, the Swords had swelled to 26 characters and we were ready to start adventuring. To date, we have mostly tackled lower-level adventures as everyone got used to working together, though recently an enclave of Mordant Spire elves was spotted in the hills to the north of our home; we have been battling them, though the cost has been high in deaths. Fortunately, Pharasma, Golarion's goddess of death, has taken a special interest in this region, and death is just a temporary setback.
About a month ago, it was time to move again. NPC settlements are great for getting started, but the only way to gain advanced training for your characters is to become part of a player-run settlement. After looking around the game, we settled on Pathfinder University, a settlement run by a group of players who are dedicating their gameplay to helping new players learn the game and get situated with equipment and training. I liked their mission, so we dedicated the Swords to helping them out, and moved from Thornkeep to University Commons. We are now safely ensconced in our new home and have made a bunch of new friends including Pathfinder U's Faculty and many of the recruits that the University helps out.
As community members, we have taken on the responsibility to build and maintain a few holdings and outposts in the hexes surrounding University Commons. To the south, we built a Library, supported by a lumber camp and a hunting camp. To the southwest, we built a Sanctum, again with the support of lumber and hunting outposts. To build these structures, we had to gather raw resources; refine them into items such as iron nuggets and hemp rope; beat down a few of the escalations that plague the land, giving us victory markers that allow us to claim the territory we want to build on; then bring everything together to make the buildings. It was a tall task that took the skills of numerous Swords to pull off, but now we are the proud owners of two hexes that will support University Commons.
The Bloodstone Swords have also started a little business making nicer gear for beginning characters and providing them with spells and recipes that allow them to craft their own items. Our crafting queues have been pretty full making goods to put into the Auction House and our gatherers keep us stocked with raw materials.
In the next months, we will continue to support Pathfinder University, but we also have a new goal. A few weeks ago, I invited all of the Pathfinder Society Venture Officers to join the game, and they've been flooding in from all parts of the world. Right now they are getting their feet under them in the game, but I don't doubt that there will be quests and goals aplenty for this group as they spread their wings in the game, and the Bloodstone Swords will be there to lend a hand.