Kelpie's page

Goblin Squad Member. 42 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


Goblin Squad Member

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Before I start I'd like affirm that I want this game to succeed, and I'm on board with the vision presented during the kickstarter: hybrid MMO, competing player kingdoms, etc.

However I do have some concerns and agree with some of the earlier posters, notably Dogan and Tynecale.

In the time the game has been under development and considering the money that has been spent: 4.9M by end 2014 according to the infographic, it should be in a better state and with more content that we're seeing. Other unity games are doing better with less. This suggests to me poor productivity and/or poor project management in the GW team.

A few scenarios as an outsider that make me question their project management skills:

- game of towers: spending time and resources developing gameplay which will only be in use for a few months and then be obsolete and replaced (or so we're told), seems inefficient - why not spend the war of towers resources accelerating settlements or developing nascent gameplay in another area such as faction warfare

- Mr Dancey, goblin works CEO, clearly spends a lot of time reading and communicating on the PFO and other forum boards. Presumably Mr Dancey is one of GW's most expensive employees. Therefore I question why there isn't a community manager doing what much of what Mr Dancey and associated alts do on the forums. Shouldn't he be doing CEO things? In my projects I have to add value commensurate with what clients are charged for my time. It is poor value for the business for me to be doing a job that could be done by a junior employee.

- the MVP branding. I think it breeds complacency, laziness and an acceptance of mediocrity. I'm worried that the statement 'it's good enough for MVP' has infected goblinworks. I see the auction house as an example of this. There are so many basic ease of use features that could be added but haven't been done. As a consumer the MVP sounds like a Minimum Value Product, and I'm not sure that's what I want to be buying.

Process of alpha to EE.
As far as I'm concerned MVP is when I and others are willing to pay 15 dollar/month for the game. I think we're a long way from that. I personally want to play PFO, not game of towers.

What I feel isn't MVP:
Game of towers. I know this is happening and is some kind of filler until settlements have been developed sufficiently to be implemented. But until that time (6 months to a year away?), PFO is essentially a PVP game about fighting over a few towers scattered on the landscape. There is a crafting element in that you can make the weapons and armour you'll use to compete in the game of towers. There are also some static mobs of PVE monsters that will attack you if you approach them. PFO: game of towers isn't the PFO game I want to be playing (or an early/beta implementation - it) and I don't expect there is a great market for it.

What I feel should be MVP:
Factions (at a basic level in the first instance). There is no pathfinder or golarion currently in PFO. I know some Paizo/table top fans who put funds into the kickstarter and are disappointed. GW want to have a cashstore and sell cosmetic products. I expect PVE/builder/character development type gamers are the biggest market for these products. GW should be trying to keep them engaged rather than solely PVP crowd. There is little purpose or drive in the game. Little to aim for. Introducing some level of faction membership would help create content, a reason to play the game, competition between players, and allow the project to make use of Golarion material.

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DeciusBrutus wrote:
A beta build is feature-complete but not fully tested. PFO will never have such a build.

...but the kickstarter pathfinder online page uses the term EE and beta interchangeably.

I know a few Paizo/pathfinder tabletop fans who backed the kickstarter who are less than happy, putting it mildly, that the rich hybrid MMO that had been described at kickstarter launch time has somehow morphed into a PVP focused 'minimum viable product'. Apparently the kickstarter page even had a video clip of dungeon exploration.

They had expected EE to be a beta, not feature complete, with some bugs, but stable, with enough content to demonstrate the range of activities that would be in the game at OE, which had been mentioned on the kickstarter websites, and indicate in general the quality level that GW would strive towards when developing additional features (graphics, etc).

It has been more than two years since the first kickstarter, they expected way more of the alpha/prospective EE launch build than we've seen.

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T7V Avari wrote:
Leithlen wrote:
They released something that works smoothly and well, but doesn't have all of it's features yet, which is what I was expecting from PFO. That's not what I feel we have here.

This to me is valid. If someone is going to critique GW, it should be exactly this. Suddenly turning on the business plan after GW told you what it was a million times over seems insincere, like a guy who ordered anchovy pizza only to want their money back because they hate anchovies. Criticizing GW's dedication to crowdforging is just plain BS and offensive to be honest.

But if you are saying that EE was supposed to be SIMPLE but FUNCTIONAL and you do not think it is functioning in a manner that warrants Minimum Viable Product, that is a valid argument. You are probably pointing directly at the combat and I can understand someone saying they will be back in a few months but are disappointed.

There was an update to the combat last week but I am still sliding after every single battle, my two weapon fighting is bugged out the wazzoo and the animation delays and lack of combat logs make analysis an exercise in faith.

Yes, I do believe this needs to be better before EE starts.

The minimum viable product is absolutely open to criticism.

Nether of the PFO kickstarter prospectuses (prospecti?) mentioned the term mvp. It was those kickstarter websites customers read when they were sold the game, and upgrades to pay for EE or Beta as it was also called at the time. Many backers may well feel that they are being given less than they had signed up for.

From the kickstarter websites PFO has:

a hybrid sandbox/theme park mmo
a world of high fantasy in the tradition of epics like the lord of the rings, ....
a robust trading system
character controlled settlements
exciting scripted adventures

Personally some areas I think GW need to concentrate on before EE launch are:

- settlement management
- graphics, with a focus on eliminating as far as possible the quirks that make the game look amateur, like clipping walls, having buildings suddenly appear 20 paces ahead of you, being able to see beyond buildings through the space between the floor and the ground, etc. PFO is going to get massacred if it launches with too many of these
- the auction house. I played eve, much of the time with a focus on industry and the market. PFO aspires to have a dynamic economy much like eve. For that to happen people need to be able to access lots of market info effectively. Eve is spread sheets in space, but it works for the trading game. The current incarnation of the auction house doesn't do that. I can't see what is available. I can't place buy orders. It isn't even fun to go shopping for new gear.
- kickstarter add ons. We paid for them.

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T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
KarlBob wrote:
...until it reaches commercial viability.
Remember also that we don't know how many folks have to decide to play--and thus pay--for Goblinworks to continue development through self-funding; Ryan's told us that's a goal of EE.

GW don't need backers funds to pay for game development. They're just a nice to have. We were told that by GW during the Kickstarter campaign. A quote from the Kickstarter campaign site:

"Because Goblinworks has the funding to make Pathfinder Online, even if the timeline is a long one, there is only a very small chance that the game will never see release."

Goblin Squad Member

In UK (an anlgo saxon society) consumer protection provisions apply to kickstarter launches just as they do any other product sold. Seller has obligation to deliver goods sold, false/misleading advertising is grounds for complaint, etc. I'm pretty sure the tax authorities see Kickstarter funds as advance sales and subject to sales tax the same as any other transaction. Statute takes precedence over contract terms and conditions. In practice I doubts its particularly easy to progress a claim.

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@ AvenaOats

I'm not sure I fully understood what you're saying. PFO and SoTA are very different styles of fantasy sandbox MMO. I merely mentioned them as an example of a developer that seems to be doing things well. I backed both games, as well as Elite and Star Citizen. Of those the SoTA development seems to me to be most comparable with PFO.

Some key differences I see between PFO and SoTA communication & marketing:
- SoTA have published their development schedule in detail indicating what they intend to deliver each month in detail, month by month with a 3-month look ahead. They generally meet most elements of their published schedule, giving their backers confidence in the development. PFO however keep their backers largely in the dark, and aim low. They have a target date for EE but didn't ever clearly state what content that would be, and haven't stated what their development schedule is beyond EE. This clarity gives backers confidence in the development.
- Some of the SoTA kickstarter pledge levels were quite expensive, like those of PFO. Unlike PFO SoTA provide regular updates showing how development of the backer rewards is progressing, art assets, etc. This gives backers confidence to hand over more money.
- SoTA developers seem to appreciate their customers. They periodically post thank-you letters, etc. Marketing I'm sure but at least they're showing some appreciation. In PFO however the developers and what appear to be their forum alts periodically get involved in slagging matches on the forum. Provoked perhaps. Regardless the impact is that I'm not sure I want to give these guys more of my money.

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T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:

From the Alpha boards:

Current planning is that New Player Packs and Destiny's Twin will be available at the start of Early Enrollment, but that is not 100% confirmed yet. As soon as I can confirm they'll make it in, we'll blog about it.

Thanks for the info. I'm disappointed that's all we've been told, and hidden away on another board at that.

PFO/GW could really do with taking some lessons in communication & marketing from some other developers. Take Shroud of the Avatar. Another low-budget niche MMO using Unity from an indy developer. Their kickstarter finished after PFO, they raised a little under 2 million vs PFO ~1.5 million (total of the two PFO kickstarters). I see them as comparable even though they are different styles of game. Since their kickstarter SoTA have more than doubled their income and are sitting at about 5 million. SoTA's forums are generally a positive place to visit and I sense the community mood is positive about the game's prospects (there are of course squabbles between PVE and PVP players trying to influence development to favour their style). Hopefully its not too late for PFO to recover.

Goblin Squad Member

I’d like to know what the current state of development is of each of the kickstarter add-ons. I purchased a few of these and so am excited to know of course. This is important for me I am inclined to delay starting playing the game until these options become available. It was the destiny’s twin that tempted me to put money into the kickstarter. Without that I wouldn’t have done so, and during EE/beta I’m struggling to persuade myself that paying a premium title subscription fee presents good value for money, given the stage of development of the game, without a destiny’s twin. Also several of the add-ons included equipment of various sorts. These were sold along side the EE packages. I don’t want to find that having paid for this additional equipment, that by the time I receive it I already have better kit and therefore received no value from the product I paid for. So I might defer joining EE until it is available. Similarly having paid for regional trait pack, which should influence my character concept, I don’t want to have created my ‘main’ character only to find out later that the mot appealing regional trait concept fits an entirely different type of character.

I still glance at the Paizo forums periodically, but haven’t seen clear information on any of this so apologies if it’s been covered elsewhere.

Destiny’s Twin. Will I have that at the start of EE?

Player Pack of Consumables. Included in the Adventurer and Pioneer backer levels, also sold for 15$. I’m not overly concerned about this one, but 15$ worth of digital product should be a nice selection of goodies. When I quit EVE 1 PLEX was going for about half a billion ISK which is enough for a serious shopping spree. 15$ worth of gear had better be more than a couple of healing potions and a candle.

Alliance Pack. Included in Pioneer backer levels, also sold for 20$. I believe this gave you a decent starting reputation with one of the factions & possibly some other benefits. Knowing what factions are available could influence the type of character I create. I might defer starting EE until this is released. If there is a limited selection of factions available I wouldn’t want to unknowingly trash my reputation with the most appropriate fit for me in the weeks before the alliance pack becomes available.

Regional trait pack. I bought this one. Again I’m inclined to delay joining EE until this is available to avoid regret. I want to play a character that works with the regional trait pack I paid for. If I want to play a barbarian type character I might expect to take the Lindhorn King regional traits, however if the Lindhorn King traits where for Skalds/bards then I might run with an alternative concept. Note that the regional trait pack offered a small mechanical benefit, which is partly why I bought it. An exception it would seem to the general policy of no pay to win.

Twice-marked of Pharasma. I bought this one. Again it offered mechanical benefit and extra game-play content to those who payed GW the money. Since the mechanical benefit I get might influence the type of character I build I’m inclined to delay EE until it has been released. If for instance the twice-marked of Pharasma mechanical benefit is something particularly suitable for paladin types, then I’d at least like to know that before I create my necromancer character J

I’m hoping GW can provide an update on these packages. I’m sure I’m not the only person to be interested.



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We were told we'd be able to be a member of several organisations, though only one settlement. I'm hoping there will be cross-settlement organizations we can create, such as for churches of popular deities, for thematic and RP purposes.

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http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/02/14/some-assembly-required-is-this-real ly-the-sandbox-renaissance/

~ seem to be having trouble posting links lately: random spaces seem to be inserted by the forum formatting. This time between the two 'l's in really

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DeciusBrutus wrote:
Kelpie: How would the potential economic effect change if the system of reservations was by auction; whenever a -unit- finishes production, production proceeds to the job order that offers the highest payment per unit time?

I think changing to an auction mode would hinder casual industrialists and have little effect on 'professional' industrial corporations. It would increase the amount of ISK spent on renting factory slots and so increase the (minor) ISK sink (which is beneficial to the economy in helping limit inflation).

In the queue system a beginner or casual industrialist will get a shot at manufacturing, even if it takes a while. Experienced industrialists will tend to manufacture higher value products with longer manufacturing times, so they are at an advantage in the queue system.

In an auction system the casual industrialist is at a distinct disadvantage and may well never get a shot at manufacturing. Say I'm running 60 manufacturing jobs in parallel and I know (from my extensive set of spreadsheets) that I will get 25 million ISK profit per job. I then also know I can easily afford to pay 1 million isk per factory slot rental. 1 million isk is many times more than rent would normally cost, and far more than a beginner industrialist can afford to spend. The value of small T1 ships that a beginner might make is << 1 million, never mind the profit.

Goblin Squad Member

I can see having the ability to have 5 characters per account leading to trouble. If there is also the potential for accounts to be essentially free to play if no character is in training the problem is compounded.

As an illustration of the type of thing that could happen, here’s a description of how I spent much of my last year in EVE before I got bored and quit. Everything I did was entirely legitimate. I paid for my accounts by annual subscription, thought it became clear I could have played for free.

I had 2 accounts with 3 characters on each. On each account I had a main character, which was used for combat. However these two characters as well as every other character in the two accounts had optimised skills in a particular area of T2 production, and every other point on the manufacturing tree leading to the end product. I would buy raw moon materials, minerals, and some planetary components in bulk from Jita or wherever was cheapest. I always had 60 factory jobs running in parallel + the necessary BPC copying and invention jobs to support the enterprise. Each month I made several billion ISK, with little effort and little risk.

It was an intellectual challenge to learn how to do this optimally and organise my workflow, but rapidly became boring afterwards.

Now if I had had 5 characters per account rather than 3, and if my accounts became free to play once my characters were trained, then I could have made vastly more income, and with other players doing the same would probably destabilise the whole New Eden economy with little benefit to other players or CCP.

It won’t solely be experienced PVPers that come to PFO from EVE. Experienced scam artists, market manipulators and industrialists will be able to take advantage of alts to play the game for optimum advantage (or cause maximum trouble, depending on your perspective).

If I have a lot of characters I can become more self sufficient. This reduces interaction and has a tendency to become boring.

Since PFO will be a young game with limited number of players and immature economy, these types of tactics could be damaging. For instance one account, making maximum use of alts, might consume all available manufacturing slots in a town. In EVE with two characters I would personally use all slots on a station, and book them weeks solid. If there were another corp in the area I wanted to drive away I could switch my manufacturing to a product with a slightly longer build time, and prevent anyone else using facilities in the system for close to a month.

Goblin Squad Member

I would be happy to see some restriction on proliferation of alts. Particularly ‘disposable alts’.

In PFO I will likely want and use alts. In EVE I certainly did for activities such as scouting, neutral hauling, working the market, etc.

Some games currently in development that I’m aware of have made a design decision to either prevent alts (unless another full copy of the game is purchased) or an alt character in the add-on store is purchased.

Their reasoning seems to be that:

- Alts are associated with a lot of undesirable conduct in MMOs, such as scamming, gold selling, spamming local, etc.
- A lot of MMOs designers claim they want actions to have consequences, whether reputational or otherwise. If a misbehaving character has been designed to be disposable, then there is no meaningful consequence to misconduct.
- Alts weaken game immersion. Immersion is likely to be greatest where most characters interacting are established, care about their reputation, and have a meaningful place in the world. If a player finds they are interacting with characters a few weeks old, and/or with lazy character names, and obviously an alt then credibility is lessened.
- Alts are more likely to have silly or lazy names, eg “hauler03”, than primary characters.

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Notmyrealname wrote:
Kelpie wrote:
I've been following SotA development. Portalarium have just had to start a damage limitation exercise and give Kickstarter backers some new benefits because their forum community challenged them over perceived backtracking on statements made during the kickstarter campaign, etc.

Do you have a link for that?

https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/trust-and-doing-t he-right-thing-regarding-early-founder-pledge-gifts-transfers.7158/


https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/recognizing-our-o riginal-backers.7234/

I don't have the full details. But it seems the Kickstarter backers were feeling they had been taken for granted and had backed the game sight unseen, and taken a risk in doing so, when they could have waited until much later, getting the same benefits as kickstarter backers at the same price.

Goblin Squad Member

I've been following SotA development. Portalarium have just had to start a damage limitation exercise and give Kickstarter backers some new benefits because their forum community challenged them over perceived backtracking on statements made during the kickstarter campaign, etc.

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Some random thoughts on future Goblinworks store:

Class packs were offered for 10 dollars. Some basic weapons and equipment. Why should someone buy a class pack if PLEX will also be sold in-game? If PFO is anything like EVE you’ll be able to get a lot of low-level kit for a PLEX equivalent.

Will regional trait packs be offered? During KS these were add-ons that provided an achievement, a title and a small mechanical effect. Various Goblinworks posts on the forums have since stated that no pay to win type mechanical bonuses will be available. So will this type of package be offered again, and if so will the mechanical effect be limited to say a non-combat effect?

Will Twice-Marked of Pharasma be offered? During KS these were add-ons that provided additional content and mechanical benefit. Various Goblinworks posts on the forums have since stated that no pay to win type mechanical bonuses will be available. So will this type of package be offered again, and if so will the mechanical benefit be limited to say a non-combat benefit?

The Crowdforger Kickstarter level gives several miniatures as a benefit. I would imagine the cost of producing these, handling, packaging and posting these to backers is not insignificant (postage was not a further cost to the backer at this backer level). Perhaps Goblinworks might offer an option for Crowdforger+ level backers to select some alternative benefit as an option to save Goblinworks some cash. Perhaps some PFO shop credit, Paizo shop credit, one of the add-ons or a set of daily deals.

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Steelwing wrote:

I would certainly agree with most of this synopsis.

However the caveats I would add is to repeat the point about choke points. As yet it is unknown whether you will be able to cross easily from one region to another ( a region may equate to part of a hex, a single hex or multiple hexes. Many mmo's such as wow still have regions in which there are choke points and you cannot cross from one to the other just anywhere). If there are no choke points I would actually welcome it because frankly sitting in a gate camp is a very passive thing to do and more possibility of incursion into owned territory lends a certain frisson to the game.

While hopefully PfO will avoid the whole moon goo issue that Kelpie talks about I think controlling important resources will still be important and is why I have talked much lately about controlling hexes that are theoretically not within the boundaries of your settlements mechanically defined area of control.

I am not sure however that I agree with the conclusion Kelpie comes to completely. I think he would be more correct to say it will be more feasible for casual players to take control of some territory. However the same issues that make it easier for them to take that control such as boundary porosity and lack of local intelligence also conspire to make it harder for them to keep it.

A casual company set up next to a well organised and expansionist company will certainly struggle and likely loose, which is entirely appropriate. But there may well be a limit on how much territory an aggressive company can claim (unless it recruits new members). While it may have a very competent warband on call it takes time to move around the map. So it may be difficult to both invade new hexes while also fighting off raiders on its mines at the other side of its lands.

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Some speculation on how PFO conquest game might differ from eve.

I believe that in PFO it will be more difficult for numerically small but well equipped and organised groups to dominate territory and resources in the same way as they do in eve. The following are the main points

Instantaneous travel and power projection
Choke points
Local chat
Resource distribution

In eve capital fleets can traverse the universe in minutes. Hot drops on a target several systems distant occur. This allows well-equipped fleets to project power over huge areas. Unless PFO introduces teleporting I don't see this happening in PFO. The corollary being if it takes time to move an army across the map in PFO it becomes difficult to control a large territory unless holding company also large and occupying all territory

In eve there are gates between systems. These are choke points where a PVP outfit can wait and pick off others passing through. Particularly industrialists and pve-ers attempting to operate in lowsec. In PFO if it is possible to cross a boundary between hexes at any point it presumably makes entering hostile territory more feasible and so activities such as ninja mining more feasible. Hideout and watchtower mechanics TPC. Presumably also means to detect and prevent incursions into your territory you must have people present, unlike EVE where many systems are largely empty.

In EVE local chat immediately alerts the occupier of a system that someone has entered. Chat system in PFO FBC. Presumably some form of chat to encourage interaction. If designed so as not to provide location intel it is no longer a tool to detect interlopers. In EVE nulsec alliance members happily mine and PVE in safety until a visitor is seen in local, when they dock up. Local chat also used by macro scripts for bottling. PFO might for instance limit local chat to settlement hexes.

In EVE there have historically been a number of very high value static resources which are generally held by a small number of very rich nulsec alliances. They can claim resources remote from their home systems due to ease of force projection. The extreme value of these few resources means a rich nulsec alliances can wage economic war on others, effectively treating as disposable assets another corp would be unable to replace, and therefore able to outlast other corps in a sustained war. In PFO some hexes will likely be more valuable than others, but hopefully not with the extreme variation that occurs in EVE.

In general I believe in PFO it will be more feasible for casual players to control some territory than in EVE.

Disclaimer - I played EVE for several years, but stopped a while ago.

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Is it known if there will be a means to trade, sell or transfer ownership of structures between organisations?

I can see many reasons why this would be useful, eg

- a company of builders might make a business of developing and then selling buildings, PoIs, etc
- as a settlement following a war it might be agreed that structures or hexes change hands
- diplomatic horsetrading
- a company, say an alchemists guild, might want to move from one settlement to another, so might want to sell assets in the first settlement

I think this feature could be necessary and necessary early in the game to avoid a deflation type effect.

If companies have to earn and spend influence to build structures, and if influence is hard to come by, and if owning multiple structures makes additional ones exponentially more expensive (hinted at in The Window's a Wound, the Road Is a Knife blog), then companies might hold off spending influence until the stars align and the perfect opportunity arises to spend accumulated influence on the company's ideal structure. Such an outlook would likely be bad for early settlement and world development.

Knowing however that a structure no longer needed can be traded or sold ought to make companies less likely to hoard influence.

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If aristocrats are providing party buffing capability through banners/warhorns, does this infer that the aristocrat role is a replacement for TT bard role?

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

in 2012 CCP generated about $65 million in revenue, and had about $4 million in profits. They increased their debt by $19 million. In 2013, through the first 6 months, they had generated about $36 million, and a tiny profit.

CCP are developing 4 games (EVE, WOD, DUST & Valkyrie), running studios in 4 countries that I am aware of (China, US, UK & Iceland), but are only able to extract much revenue at this time from EVE.

I think GW need to have a cash shop at launch to give them an opportunity to continue to make money from the game and fund development.

CCP don't seem to be able to grow their revenue much: EVE's player base is largely static (http://eve-offline.net/?server=tranquility), I don't recollect their subscription rates ever being raised, and CCP failed to launch an effective cash shop. I expect this is why CCP seem to be putting development funds into new games rather than EVE (recent updates since Apocrypha in my opinion are glorified patches - necessary balance fixes etc - but not exactly expansions). Valkyrie for instance will be a separate game and not an update to EVE.

I want GW to continue to see the value in investing in PFO and to do that they have to see growth.

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Vic Wertz wrote:

Hey, you know what? The Pathfinder Online cash shop is not theoretical—it has already happened. In the Kickstarter, people have already given Goblinworks real-world money, and some of those people will be receiving in-game rewards, including some things that other people will be unable to get (though some of those rewards may change hands in-game).

And you can see from that exactly the sort of game-breaking items that Ryan thinks is appropriate to exchange for money: Pointed-Toe Shoes! A Cool Fez! The Goblin Squad Dogslicer—a poorly-made weapon with a goblin head embossed near the hilt!


The Kickstarter campaign also featured a few add-ons providing mechanical bonuses:

$15 - Regional Trait Pack

Players can purchase Regional Traits Packs for their characters that give them background elements of coming from a specific country or region in Golarion. A Region Trait Pack will provide the character with an achievement
stating the country they hail from, a title, and a small mechanical effect, all based on the country of origin selected when the pack is used

$20 - Twice-Marked of Pharasma

All characters in Pathfinder Online are marked by Pharasma and are thus able to return from the dead at the soulbinding points. You bear the same mark as all other characters but you have a second, distinctive mark
as well. None know why you bear this mark, nor what it may portend in the future, but be sure that Fate has many surprises in store for those who are Twice-Chosen by the Lady of Graves. The bearer of this second Mark
will have access to content and mechanical benefits distinct to those who are Twice Marked!

These addons available in the store clearly state they provide an additional mechanical effect. I don't know if its intended that these are limited to original kickstarter backers as a special reward and not available in the future cash shop. Regardless, I did purchase these options and so expect to receive some benefit from them, even if the benefit is relatively minor. I personally purchased them for thematic/RP purposes as much as anything else.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm generally fine with a subscription model supplemented by cash shop.
I want to enjoy PFO and therefore be happy to pay for the experience. In that context things which would upset me include:

"deliberately" making starting characters weak/unplayable, and then selling "convenience" products in the cash shop to make them playable. For instance making long distance overland movement unbearable and then selling teleport vouchers or boots of speed, or letting characters carry only a couple of items and then selling bags of holding.

Selling instantly available healing potions which could be used in tough PVE or PVP encounters to outlast and overcome a tough foe. Takes away the challenge of the game and could be construed as pay to win.

Another thing is I don't want to regret backing PFO in the context of the money I spent being poor value. Goblinworks isn't a charity. [some kickstarter developers seem to be grateful for kickstarter backers who took a gamble and provided initial funding to get a game going, ensuring those backers get good 'value', whereas seem to forget that very fast and erode the benefits kickstarter backers were promised]

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

With regard to dungeon modules: we have the idea that in the distant future our tools may have evolved to the place where 3rd parties can develop content for the game. In that distant future it is possible that we'll have a "Dungeon Store" like the App Store where we sell your content to our customers and split the revenue with you.

In the distant, distant future.

Awesome. You may be aware Shroud of the Avatar have been constructing dungeon design kits and published videos showing some of the results, and they are pre-alpha. The results don't look too bad at all. Presumably Goblinworks ought to be able to achieve something similar.

I'd be keen to see this feature added asap. I assume that until then much PVE content will be limited to wandering monsters and incursions.


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I think PFO could thrive with no unsanctioned PVP, but I'd still like for unsanctioned PVP to be possible.

There are many mechanisms for access to PVP through wars, feuds, and faction membership. So if PVP is what the player desires then there are plenty of opportunities by following the 'rules'.

Since PFO is about building settlements as much as PVP and destroying them, there is likely a fine balance between PVP being desirable to create tension/destroy resources, and excess (?unsanctioned, chaotic, apparently random?) PVP assaults on resource gatherers, builders, etc.

If it became the case that players fitted for non PVP activities felt that they had no chance of going about their business without being slaughtered, then I see a risk that the PFO concept as a whole could fail. It might not then be possible for any settlements to actually be built. Imagine if the whole of the EVE universe were nulsec and there were only say 3 NPC stations that people could dock at. It would be a mess and most players would have quit.

In EVE the PVP is great and certainly adds tension to the game (only bit I feel ccp got badly wrong is enabling high sec suicide ganking of young players - there must have been thousands of players who started as miners, saved for their first hulk, then saw it destroyed in hisec and quit). In EVE there the consequence of unsanctioned PVP (highsec suicide ganking)is so trivial it really isn't a consequence.

In PFO unsanctioned PVP ought to be unnecessary, but the risk of it will add tension as you will never be able to know 100% if the character you encounter might attempt to kill you. Unsanctioned pvp should however carry really severe penalties. Massive reputation loss, inability to enter NPC settlements, etc. Reputation recovery should take a long time and not be a matter of killing 10 goblins. Thus unsanctioned PVP becomes a conscious decision, eg for strategic purposes, rather than an inconsequential choice.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'd like to be able to buy additional characters. Alts in effect. Such as a merchant I could place in a starting town to engage in trading.

I'd actually prefer to have to pay for additional characters than get them free. Having paid for a character I'm more likely to value it and spend more time and effort developing it.

A couple of other crowd funded games I follow (star citizen, shroud of the avatar) have decided not to give players multiple free characters on the one account. The reason being doing so would result in disposable characters, consequential loss of immersion, and likely facilitate scams and undesirable gameplay (ganking).

Goblin Squad Member

I'm hopeful that npcs/monsters and loot types can be tied into crafting, alignment and reputation.

For instance perhaps certain potions or poisons require collecting body parts which may be an evil act to collect, craft from, and use. Maybe elf hearts or unicorn horns. Would create more variety in random encounter wandering 'monsters', and lead to players having to make choices rather than taking the approach of killing anything that moves. 'good' alchemical ingredients might come from good outsiders, but the act of killing their owner would presumably be an evil act. Could lead to trade and/or moral choices.

Goblin Squad Member

The art generally looks good to me. I like the sense of scale I get from seeing trees disappear into the horizon. I feel getting the landscape right is very important to PFO, and essential for immersion into the gameworld. There will be limited themepark/dungeon elements so players will spend most of their time in the outdoor environment.

One suggestion: please consider how the grass might be improved. In the earlier animated clips I found the way 'fans' of grass rotate as you move to maintain their facing relative to you disconcerting and immersion breaking. The ogre clip looks like it has the same grass as all fans are perpendicular to the viewer. I'm not sure if this is a unity issue. Clips from Shroud of the Avatar seem to indicate it suffers from weird grass effects too, eg at the 4 minute mark in the linked demo. To me the animation of grass in parts of that demo reminds me of a subsea kelp forest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wckfc-0WyPs&list=TLMOOHcKyNIvKkfiUuJxgun NSgLsfgZnqa

Goblin Squad Member

Came across an interesting article on MMO economics which seems to suggest the subscription model isn't necessarily dead.

http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/09/19/a-virtual-economist-s-defense-of-th e-subscription-model/

http://gamasutra.com/blogs/IsaacKnowles/20130917/200455/A_measured_defense_ of_the_subscription_model.php

The argument seems to be based around MMO demographics: typically 30ish with reasonable income but responsibilities and little free time.

As a consequence the price paid per hour play time by this large demographic is not insignificant.

Goblin Squad Member

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GW is going to have to be very careful how they structure & present their cash shop. Lots of games seem to make a mess of it. EVE one example. Even Star Citizen, which seems to be doing almost everything right for a game at least a year away from launch, made a bit of a mess of their cash shop launch and had to embark on damage limitation exercise a couple of days later.


Their forums are generally full of nothing but praise of Chris Roberts & team. But a few hours after launch of Voyager Direct that all changed with thousands of negative posts on the forum.

RSI handled the situation pretty well, but had to drop the prices of several items in their store, and gave every backer and extra 5 USD equivalent store credit.

I think the major problem was that the game is going to be funded through a mix of game purchase + cash shop. However currently kickstarter & other backers have already contributed a lot of money each for a game not yet launched. Apparently most people who have backed the game have done so for over 100 USD. So if you're in that position seeing a cash shop launched so early comes across as a bit crass and a cash grab.

GW are probably then being wise to start of the game on a subscription basis to avoid risking alienating kickstarter backers who might well already have put up a fair bit of money.

Just a thought.

Goblin Squad Member

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As a long term EVE player with a focus on industry can I request that goblin works carefully consider the design of the user interface for crafting. EVE's one is horrible. Each job launched requires a series of selections from a series of drop down lists and windows. With the right skills and experience you can run 10 jobs. Launching each requires the same series of selections even if the job is identical. For a short run such as T2 drone your job is complete after 2 hours and you have to start all over. Good isk but not fun.

Suggest as a minimum a way to batch launch multiple identical jobs. Also way to save favored selections as a recipe would be good. Eg if I make cure light potions most of the time with a standard set of parameters let me select that with a single click.

Goblin Squad Member

I've backed Star Citizen as well as SoA, and am likely to give Star Citizen more money in the coming week, with no regrets.

The way I see it with kickstarter and other forms of backing a game's development, you are placing trust in the company to produce a good product. The more money you put forward the greater the risk you take on and the more important it is you're given confidence you're going to see a product you value at the end of the day.

SoA are looking for a lot of money from individual players, while providing minimal information on game play development. Most information released seems to relate to housing, which probably interests some people, but I don't see it as core gameplay. Hence loss of confidence.

You can pledge a lot of money to Start Citizen if you're inclined, but since they provide you with almost daily updates on game development you have confidence in what they are doing. And by donating money you are prepurchasing starships to fly. It is clear what you are getting for your money, and the items you purchase directly enhance your gameplay. Hence confidence in the product from the community, and on-going willingness to donate more cash.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm inclined to play a cleric and I'm pleased we're able to join multiple chartered companies.

Think it would be neat if, in addition to belonging to a settlement-company, there could be a company comprising other clerics and paladins of the same deity as me, to which I could also belong. A congregation as such. That priestly company could perform a rp or social function or organize events.

Goblin Squad Member

Richard Garriot's Shroud of the Avatar game uses unity and has some means of crowd sourcing art:


I backed that kickstarter, but now regret it, so perhaps not a good example. Most dev blogs seem to be about player housing you can buy with real money, or else different ways you can give the company money: now paypal!; now layby, only x% extra service fee! Starting to feel like an MMO timeshare scam.

Goblin Squad Member

Thanks for the responses guys. Clears it up for me and addresses my concern.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm unclear on what the dedication bonus is. Can anyone enlighten me?

I've read that there is a "Dedication Bonus" which provides benefit if you have pursued training in-line with a specific traditional character class.

However I've also read a developer (Stephen Cheney) state that "your sorcerer or bard with a greataxe ....... won't be considered to be slotted for multiple roles unless he puts some Fighter-specific attack feats on the weapon"

Stephen seems to be suggesting that there might be a penalty or loss of advantage if your character is 'slotted' or configured at any point in time as multi-class.

Is Stephen talking about the dedication bonus, or a different system?

Is the access to the dedication bonus based on currently configured skills & feats, or skills known?

If I were to play a wizard and I learned a sword skill for the Gandalf effect, would that mean I can never have a wizard dedication bonus even if I switch back to carrying a staff rather than the sword?

I can understand why a dedication bonus (or penalty to cross classing) might be necessary to manage game balance. Otherwise everyone would take some druid/ranger skills to have an animal companion, everyone LG would take some paladin skills to have a magic mount, and every fighter would take some thief skills to backstab.

Goblin Squad Member

How is a character's affiliation displayed in-game?

If I encounter a character in the wilderness can I see at a glance that he is a member of the Very Rich but Defenceless Merchant Consortium, or that the character next to me in town is a member of the Very Secret Sneaky Assassin and Murderer Guild?

Chartered company or settlement membership is intended to be alignment based. What mechanic enforces that?

If I submit a membership application does the company leader get to see my alignment? Does the game interface do the checking and stop me submitting an application in the first place (lore justification?)? Is it the case that I can submit an application if I am the wrong alignment, and potentially be accepted into the organisation, but because I am misaligned I am penalised in some way and at risk of being ejected?

Goblin Squad Member

What game mechanic is envisioned to prevent an unwilling combatant fleeing an engagement?

In EVE effects such as warp scramble, web and to an extent energy neutralisation are employed to this effect. Yet dev blogs have stated crowd-control spells such as hold person will have limited effect.

Will a character’s religion have a mechanical effect? Will it be possible to change religion without significant penalty if more options are introduced later in the game?

I’m thinking this is an issue for a potential cleric character. Suppose I’m dreaming about playing a follower of an elven moon goddess, or a dwarven craft god, or a primeval hunter deity. If they don’t exist early in the game I might have to compromise, and switch later. However if I know that that won’t be possible or will incur a penalty I might delay proceeding with a cleric character, and it might not be good for the game if many potential cleric/healer players are deterred.

Will there be spell effects that have significant effect in the game, which can be cast outside the combat arena, such as rituals or cooperative spell casting?

In a team working and world building game such as this it would be nice to see thematic ritual effects along the lines of 3E ceremonial feat effects or spells such as heroes feast. On a larger scale Shadowrun or Ars Magica style cooperative casting would be neat, and even better Birthright style realm magic could work well.

Will suitably skilled and equipped characters be able to provide leadership bonuses to the whole team, akin to command ship pilots in EVE?

Membership of chartered companies and settlements is alignment based. Is there any mechanism for secondary or less formal team structures which are open to multiple alignments? Can I be a member of multiple organisations such as chartered companies at the same time?

Characters may join chartered companies based on character’s career/political objectives. However players may also want to adventure or engage in occasional PVE activity with their tabletop buddies or an eclectic mix or acquaintances. Similarly suppose I'm a spy for one organisation, can I join and infiltrate another while still a member of my 'real' organisation.

Is there any mechanism for a settlement or company to be race rather than alignment based, such as halfling-only?

Goblin Squad Member

Deianira wrote:
For the Regional Trait Pack, I've used the Pathfinder Wiki geography page to look up the various regions.

Thanks for the link. Nice website.

I do think it would be in Goblinworks best interest to provide a bit more information and make it easier for potential customers. I appreciate Goblinworks/Paizo have dedicated fans who know what the various reference mean, but would expect that to attract new customers, broaden the game's appeal, etc., they ought to provide a bit more information. Provides confidence in the product being offered and reduces risk that it will be perceived as a niche product for an already knowledgeable clique.

Goblin Squad Member

I've a couple of thoughts on Goblinworks next round of crowdfunding:

For international customers the presence of physical rewards in a package can actually be a disincentive to contribute. Issues associated with shipping costs and risk that the package won't actually ever arrive. Goblinworks might consider solely digital alternative packages where elements such as miniatures are included. Believe doing so would be favourable to Goblinworks. Looking at Shroud of the Avatar kickstarter, almost as many people selected digital only options as ones with physical rewards. Also reduces shipping and logistics and overheads costs (flagged by Chris Roberts on Star Citizen as a big issue with physical kickstarter rewards).

Also would be nice to have more information on what the various add-ons do or offer. I'm tempted to purchase the regional trait pack ... but I have no idea what it does or what the options mentioned such as Mwangi Expanse mean and whether they align with my character concepts. The same applies to additional alliance pack. It would be nice to have a list of available alliances - if I saw one that aligned with my character concept I'd certainly pay for it.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm hoping bards can produce similar effects to fleet boosters in EVE. In EVE if you have the right skills you can boost effective HP of your fleet (armour or shield tank or both). Other bonuses are available, including resistances, speed, repair. Bonus amount is a function of skill level, ship flown (eg command ship), skill at piloting that class of ship, equipment used and cybernetic implants installed.

Also hoping that this type of aura or team bonus can be achieved via either thematically appropriate musical instrument (bagpipes?) or carrying a standard.

Think it would be neat if an army had a standard bearer who could provide a morale bonus of some sort, at the risk of becoming a prime target.

Goblin Squad Member

Is it necessary for monks to use equipment from a balance perspective to enhance their unarmed strikes?

A character might select a weapon based on his opponent's strengths and weaknesses. For instane bludgeoning/piercing, or some magical property. Therefore monks might often choose to use a weapon much of the time, so their unarmed fighting ability gives them versatility rather than more power. This would be particularly true if an unarmed strike did less damage or had less scope for upgrading than a weapon.

I'd like it if monks in PFO don't have to be oriental styled. I'd like it if they can select say any light weapon and be able to use that to flurry. This would allow for broader interpretations of the monk class. I don't see how doing that would necessarily unbalance the game (unlike a flurry with a great axe).

I once played a bald elven mystic (i.e. monk) who had an extremely logical outlook on the universe, pointed ears, was good at martial arts, could paralyse with touch, and who greeted his buddies wishing they would live long and prosper. A lot of fun. My GM allowed me to flurry with a short sword being an elvish weapon with similar stats to the special monk ones.