One is the Loneliest Number

Saturday, August 8, 2015

We just got back from a great Gen Con where we met thousands of people interested in Pathfinder Online, and we gave out around 1,700 postcards inviting people to check out the game. We were running the Elemental Rift escalation all weekend with a giant screen showing the action to everyone while veteran players took turns fighting pesky elementals for the crowds. Overall, it was a really fun weekend—I especially loved putting real-life faces to many in-game avatars.

One question came up over and over at the con: Can you play Pathfinder Online solo? In a game billed as massively multiplayer, with territory control and settlement building as main features, is solo play even viable?

The answer is that while you really need to join a settlement for training purposes, there are many activities that you can pursue on your own that don't force you to interact with others.

Gathering raw materials is usually a solitary endeavour. Heading out into the wilderness to find some rare ingredient can be very zen-like as you move from resource node to resource node discovering what bounties the wild has to offer. Sure, harvesting in a group can provide safety from NPCs and other players, but there is something very satisfying about exploring the world and its resources without having to communicate with other gatherers.


Tenbar checks out a forest node near Pathfinder University.

Crafting is also a solitary pursuit. You can train your character in all the skills you might need to make certain items such as weapons or armor, from gathering to refining to crafting. You will want almost certainly want to buy or sell raw materials, refined goods, or finished products, but you can do that via the auction house, interacting only indirectly with buyers and sellers.

On the PVE side, it is rather easy to go out hunting solo as long as you're careful about which groups you initiate combat with. You'll eventually learn which groups you can take down with ease, which are a bit of a challenge, which you can defeat with some help and a little luck, and which will almost surely result in your demise. Part of the fun of solo combat is that you can constantly challenge yourself, testing the limits of your abilities. When you are in a group, it is never certain what part you played in the success or defeat of your group, but when you are solo, the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat is solely in your hands. But no one will be there to heal you back to health if you bite off more than you can chew, or to help you take down a particularly difficult foe.

Obviously, the territorial aspect of PFO isn't for the solo player. Running a settlement and generating the influence needed to make it viable is something that dozens of players need to do together. Even holdings and outposts need a handful of players to put up and run. But there are many other ways a solo player can contribute to a game which focuses on the interactions of many players.

Lisa Stevens
CEO

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Tags: Pathfinder Online

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And hopefully one day we'll also get a single player Pathfinder RPG PC game that allows you to build a party of four (and also gain NPC Cohorts if you take the Leadership feat like in Storm of Zehir).

Goblin Squad Member

Berselius wrote:
And hopefully one day we'll also get a single player Pathfinder RPG PC game that allows you to build a party of four (and also gain NPC Cohorts if you take the Leadership feat like in Storm of Zehir).

You have Sword Coast Legends (based on D&D 5E) to do that.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
And hopefully one day we'll also get a single player Pathfinder RPG PC game that allows you to build a party of four (and also gain NPC Cohorts if you take the Leadership feat like in Storm of Zehir).

I hope so too. I don´t like online games - single player or lan network games for a few players are far more satisfying to me.

And yes, there are other games but sadly no pathfinder games.

How cool would a single player game in the spirit of "The Witcher" be where you explore hauted Ustalav?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The question isn't "how cool".

The question is "how well it sell compared to The Witcher"?

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bluddwolf wrote:
Berselius wrote:
And hopefully one day we'll also get a single player Pathfinder RPG PC game that allows you to build a party of four (and also gain NPC Cohorts if you take the Leadership feat like in Storm of Zehir).
You have Sword Coast Legends (based on D&D 5E) to do that.

I do hope that turns out to be a good game, but sadly the suggestion isn't much use to those of us who would like to actually play a game using in the pathfinder ruleset and set in Golarion.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Suthainn wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
Berselius wrote:
And hopefully one day we'll also get a single player Pathfinder RPG PC game that allows you to build a party of four (and also gain NPC Cohorts if you take the Leadership feat like in Storm of Zehir).
You have Sword Coast Legends (based on D&D 5E) to do that.
I do hope that turns out to be a good game, but sadly the suggestion isn't much use to those of us who would like to actually play a game using in the pathfinder ruleset and set in Golarion.

To use the OGL rules in a video game requires the permission of WOTC. That's not going to happen.

Plus the same things that make a rules system good for tabletop make it bad for a computer game. Contrast TOEE (Troika 2003) with Pillars of Eternity; using a fine-grained system designed for computer use makes everything better (rather than the NWN approach, witch required that many creatures be arbitrarily immune to many types of effects for balance reasons.


Quote:
To use the OGL rules in a video game requires the permission of WOTC. That's not going to happen.

Wait, does the game have to have a physical version for it to require permission or can Paizo get past that by just offering it for online download? If not then how the hell are they marketing Pathfinder Online then? Is an MMORPG not specifically stated in the contract as being WOTC's property?

Quote:
Plus the same things that make a rules system good for tabletop make it bad for a computer game.

While I agree the rules and player options are complex enough to make things difficult I'm sure they could be simplified enough to make the game playable and enjoyable.


Quote:
You have Sword Coast Legends (based on D&D 5E) to do that.

Yeaaaahhh, I ain't goin back to Wizards of the Coast anytime soon dude. 4th Edition kinda soured my experience with them.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Berselius wrote:
And hopefully one day we'll also get a single player Pathfinder RPG PC game that allows you to build a party of four (and also gain NPC Cohorts if you take the Leadership feat like in Storm of Zehir).

+1

Scarab Sages

Mythic rules kinda soured me on pathfinder, but I've found 5e to be very enjoyable so far. Our 5 yr pathfinder group is switching over to 5e. Less bloat and flows better and don't need herolabs (cool when we first started using it) to keep up with the 2000 feats, yes that correct 2000 well last time I checked it was 1776 but that didn't include their last round of bloat books. Can a person tell mythic soured me on PF currently much like 4e got me to start playing PF.

I am getting sword coast legends, looks fun


Lol, the people on facebook aren't that impressed I guess, they all hate the PVP and the game in general, not really good for buziness!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
Quote:
To use the OGL rules in a video game requires the permission of WOTC. That's not going to happen.
Wait, does the game have to have a physical version for it to require permission or can Paizo get past that by just offering it for online download? If not then how the hell are they marketing Pathfinder Online then? Is an MMORPG not specifically stated in the contract as being WOTC's property?

Pathfinder Online does not use OGL content (rules). It uses a whole different ruleset.

Making a video game that would actually use the d20 ruleset is quite difficult due to the fact that the way WotC interprets the "exclusive" part of OGL nature is that it cannot be combined with any other licenses in a product. Given the nature of video games which uses dozens of licenses (graphics engine, physics engine, sound banks, to name a few) means it's pretty much impossible to make an A-grade game without licensing from WotC.

Of course you can make a game that doesn't use the OGL mechanics while retaining the Pathfinder setting.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeciusBrutus wrote:
Plus the same things that make a rules system good for tabletop make it bad for a computer game.

While this is possible, it's not at all necessary.

If you've ever played the classic Knights of the Old Republic (and its sequel), its rules system is pretty closely based on D20. There are the classic abilities, feats, and so forth. The interface to the player is simplified, but it really does have the core of the system. And the game was excellent-- mostly because the story was really well done. But, also, the mechanics of it worked well.

Goblin Squad Member

A few comments to the topic. (In case anyone still interested).

-yes, it is possible to play solo. But be aware that the game is deliberately designed to 'force' cooperation.

-the world is huge, and there are parts of the map where the only people you are likely to meet are solo gatherers not interested in trouble.

-auction houses (some, not all) are getting decently stocked. It is possible to get equipment (or raw materials) without knowing any crafters or being in a guild.

-after a month so, you will want to use higher level skills than can be offered in the npc settlements. The upcoming faction system will give a way to get this without joining a settlement. In the meantime, there are settlements (such as the University) who will be happy to host anyone as long as you are not making trouble .

-the best part of tabletop gaming is playing with the right people. Same with MMOs - and the current PFO community is very friendly. So if you enjoy the solo game, chances are it will get even better.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I did write a series of advice for different styles of play and what to look out for if you solo-play. Will search for them and post it here.


At the risk of looking like a noob: how much is it? I've just spent a few minutes clicking through the goblinworks website but cannot find a pricing schedule anywhere...

Goblin Squad Member

The first 15 days is a free trial, then it's a few cents under $15 per month, with a bit of discount for buying time in six or twelve month blocks.


Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
The first 15 days is a free trial, then it's a few cents under $15 per month, with a bit of discount for buying time in six or twelve month blocks.

Thank you. I saw the 15 days free - that is very easy to find, but nothing about ongoing costs. That is a reasonable subscription fee.

Goblin Squad Member

If you enjoy the game it certainly is. I have an ongoing annoyance at online gamers in general, who think that they should get the moon for nothing. $15 is one good movie ticket, and I get way more entertainment out of pfo in a month than 3 hours.

But do the trial first. The game is still pretty raw and young, and it isn't for everybody.

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