|Nemo_the_Lost Goblin Squad Member|
At this point the success of the Pathfinder Online is pretty much assured – if nothing else, Goblinworks certainly has at least $50K in a slush fund ready to tip this thing over the edge. Failure at this stage would be too much bad publicity to stomach when the solution is so simple.
I confess I was not rooting for this outcome and I find myself a little disappointed.
I am right smack-dab dead-center in Goblinworks’ target audience for this game. I’m a big Pathfinder fan with disposable income. I love EVE Online, at least in concept. There is nothing I would like to play more than a fantasy sandbox MMOG that rewards me for playing a traveling merchant. And I’m a Mac user. Solid props on the Mac version, BTW.
But I don’t think Pathfinder Online is my game. First it’s hitting my disposable income with a subscription fee in a genre where subscription fees are already on the way out four years before the game is supposed to launch. It’s proposing an EVE Online-like player-run economy in a setting that should be adventure driven. It encourages playing characters like traveling merchants but makes it impossible to travel any significant distance in the game without adequate player protection against player bandits.
Looking at the flip side of the coin, it’s enabling open PvP but actively punishing those who engage in it. It’s promising to heavily regulate its open economy to eliminate cutthroat practices.
Who is this game for? It’s not for me, and I’m hard-pressed to believe that it is for hardcore PvPers or even die-hard crafters and traders.
I’m not going to lie; Goblinworks is more or less guaranteed to make the MSRP of Pathfinder Online off of me at release. It’s a game that I am excited to at least try. But it is not a winning proposition for me. Either it will be everything I want but with an actual target audience so small that it can’t maintain development, or it will be nothing I am interested in and I will still be disappointed (just slightly richer).
I encourage Goblinworks to revisit their plans for this thing. I think it is great that the game has a strong economic element, but you have to balance that with at least as much dungeoneering or the game just isn’t Pathfinder.
I realize that the game is intended to be boutique, but it still ought to acknowledge that the majority of interested players are still going to be solo casual PvE players. It ought to accept that you can’t punish organic incentives and create artificial incentives to replace them and still expect anyone to be happy with the result.
Every Kickstarter has a strong element of “pay us to achieve the impossible!” but this one has a lot more pie in its sky than most. So while I can’t in good conscience wish Goblinworks luck with this endeavor, I will wish all of you who donated to the Kickstarter campaign the absolute best of luck. I sincerely hope you get your money’s worth out of this thing, and I wish I shared your optimism.