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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.

Goblin Squad Member

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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.

Goblin Squad Member

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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

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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.

Goblin Squad Member

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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.

Goblin Squad Member

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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.

Goblin Squad Member

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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

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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.

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13241-17-Million

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.