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Then perhaps you need to consider who you are talking to instead of where you are talking.

Agelaus wrote:
You have then already failed if I have to read a guide to even start the game. There should be in game help, pop ups or other directions to point a new player in the right direction.

This person is clearly a fan of the P&P and knows how it works but it appears there expectation of what a video game should be like has been formulated by... video games!

In this case probably single player and theme-park video games which are pretty self explanatory and only need a brief tutorial to get you going. Pretty easy when you've already played 100 other games almost just like them.

Sandboxes are catered to players who like depth and detail. That means a steeper learning curve. They also have much fewer games like them and may be the first game of this type the player has tried, which also makes the learning curve a bit steeper.

You're argument to them essentially boils down to. "You like the P&P and this is like the P&P SO YOU SHOULD LIKE IT MORE." An approach more along the lines of "This is probably different than most games you've tried and a steeper learning is the price we pay for a more detailed and interesting game, it's industry standard for comparable games at this stage of development" would have a higher chance of working.

Well... once this game is detailed and interesting anyway. lol

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Agelaus wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
I recommend you read the New Player Guide before you start play!

You have then already failed if I have to read a guide to even start the game. There should be in game help, pop ups or other directions to point a new player in the right direction.

Furthermore, having to click on each NPC to find out its name was also not fun. If there was a command to display a name banner over their head I was unable to find it as I did hunt around for a list of commands.

And yet, those things are the essence of the tabletop experience. Without a patient group around you, willing to talk you through the complex rule system, you couldn't get anywhere without reading a large book.

I actually agree complexity is the core of a sandbox and most sandboxes don't have very good tutorials early on. Good player guides and wikis are essential to any good sandbox.

However you did justify your argument with "And yet those things are the essence of the tabletop experience" and that's what I'm attacking because it's a seriously bad argument.

"Life is Feudal doesn't even have a tutorial at this point and look at how many players they have on their servers" is a lot more valid argument when you are talking about a sandbox MMO. Of course you have to know the sandbox MMO genre to make arguments like that. ;)

This is an MMO, not a tabletop experience. If you want to continue to say "well it's that way in the books" don't be surprised when they day comes when GW says "Well, nice run but we've been bleeding money too long and will be selling this game/down-sizing our team/shutting this thing down."

There are not 3333 and one third players who care if this game is authentic to the P&P. MMO players care how good your MMO is.

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Calidor Cruciatus wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
w w 379 wrote:
Including the possibility of making money this early when the game is so unpolished is a major turnoff.
You understand that without paying any other bills, wages are costing them over $50,000/month right now, just to keep making the game?

I understand it. You understand it. But the real question is, did the devs understand it when they came up with the business plan? I have never seen a company sell boxes to their game and then cancel the need for it before the game even fully launches. I would imagine there is some potential for really bad PR based on the number of people who pledged during the Kickstarter and may have decided to just wait for Open Enrollment. Are those folks being compensated in some way?

I think this is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with the dev's perception of the market.

Like battle plans, no business plan survives first salvo. They got it wrong. Life goes on. Now they are working to make it work within the market they actually have. The people who haven't activated their accounts still have all their free time coming. The people who have gotten to play for the a while. They all get the free extras. They still get their Destiny's Twin, which is currently going for between $100 and $400. Big loss for that $35 or $100 pledge, eh?

Maybe they'll offer the rest of us some extras as compensation, maybe they won't. What do you get from assuming the worst? Perhaps you think those people that are waiting would be better off if they just said "Well, that didn't work. Shut it down."?

But people still make business and battle plans for a reason. Investors still want to see your business plan before they will back you.

The difference between a good business plan and a bad business plan isn't if everything will happen 100% how the plan says but how close the plan is to reality, and how adaptable it is when things don't go according to plan.

Lets be generous and say the current store sales are equal to the costs of all non-employee wage business expenses including marketing, server maintenance, any equipment and programs that must be purchased etc. even though there are no box sales for the game anymore.

Then going by your figure of 50k a month to pay all wages they would need 3,333 and 1/3 subscribers to simply break even.

Anyone figure this game actually has that many paid subs atm. not counting destiny's twins, trial accounts, or people on pre-paid time?

Because if not this game is bleeding money faster than it's bringing it in. Layoffs, a shutdown, or a sell out will occur as soon as the KSer/personal investor's money runs outs. Unless the game can be brought above the point where it is bleeding money before they reach that point.

There clearly aren't the thousands of players waiting in line to be let in with each new month of EE for Ryan Dancey's EVE so major adaptation of the business model is needed. Like a few months ago soon. I'll give a hint. 15$ a month doesn't even work for a lot of much more successful titles.

Personally, unless I've researched a product and it's competition, I don't tend to assert that it's the only thing like it on the market or the greatest thing like it on the market as the PFO community continually does.

Rynnik wrote:

To each their own and my post can be read as 'for me'. But it really isn't a competition at all.

Wurm isn't designed around inter-player conflict. Darkfall has no economy. MO is even buggier then PFO, the skill system is awful, and its f2p model sucks.

For single shard, economically driven, one-character can do anything games you have this one and EVE Online and my spaceship flying days are over.

PFO is a wonderful start to a game with an empty market niche and all the potential in the world.

I am comparing those games to PFO as it is now. Why?

Rynnik wrote:
Pathfinder online is the best fantasy sandbox game on the market right now...

So. What inter-player conflict is central to PFO at this point, or more meaningful than the PvP found on Wurm's epic or chaos servers where there are now player made kingdoms?

What's so great about a game being single shard if that single shard contains less players on it than each of the multiple shards of other games? If this game is economically driven it needs faucets and drains. Where are the drains in PFO's economy?

This game is a start of something but I've been slamming this game on the MMORPG boards for not having a single event with more than 43 players that I've heard of and nobody seems to be countering. Why aren't they combating that info like Ryan asked them to unless it's not false? Why would PFO be hiding their population stats if they are actually anything halfway decent?

When the DFU community is screaming the sky is falling because only 20-30 people showed up to one of their recent sieges why should we expect that the PFO community can advance any faster when they haven't posted any numbers larger since the stress test in alpha when the game was still full F2P?

I cannot name any grounds on which PFO could possibly be considered better than DFU/DFO or MO.

Both games offer maps with a wide variety of visual appearance to areas, some of them very impressive like the floating elven city in DFO or the massive/ornate tunnel though the mountain in the middle of nowhere in Mortal.

PFO, not so much, and none of it looks very impressive.

People may sometimes feel abused during PvP in Mortal and DFO but at least there IS PvP... and people. Not only that but with real loot drop (the kind where you couldn't just bank your inventory before PvP to negate all real losses) and actual territorial control there was meaningful PvP too.

Mortal had the best animal taming and breeding system I've ever seen. Darkfall Unholy War's naval combat is the best out there period. PFO has.... a crafting system prettymuch ripped of directly from EVE?

Wurm is hands down the best fantasy sandbox until LiF and CF are more ready, and it's F2P w/ 15 Euros per TWO months for premium. Unlike PFO LiF and CF have enough people still behind them to actually become something someday.

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Download links that aren't obtrusive:

I have no idea what this means.

An example of an obtrusive download link would be if you go to www.mmosite.com and your screen is consumed by "Download MMO Name Now" or something similar that you have to click past to get to the actual site.

This practice seems to have fallen out of popularity and I can't immediately recall any games currently doing it. Runescape was for awhile but at least on mobile devices they aren't anymore.

Most games generally frown on account selling as well. However distasteful anyone feels this is "most companies frown on this" is prettymuch a useless statement. I'd source something from the EULA or wait for an actual GW employee to tell people what they are and aren't allowed to do.

PS. Want to sell trial account. Account comes with a bank filled with X Coal, Y Stone, and Z items and recipes.

Duffy wrote:

One of the EVE dev blogs has an amazing write up about the problem and how they came up with and adjusted their time dilation issue to solve it. Pretty interesting, they also had a blog about their database server architecture that I thought was really neat. I mostly work with business applications that are pretty localized (geographically) so reading about how they use the same technology but in a drastically different configuration is pretty cool.

Anyways I agree in principle, smaller sizes in the 20-30 range are more interesting that giant blobs. Just take a look at a modern round based shooters, 36 players is about the current max for smooth gameplay and tends to avoid too much blob play. Unfortunately in an open world MMO you need to either artificially limit things or come up with a architecture that makes players want to split up, but even then someone will always try to play a numbers advantage if they can.

As to tech getting better yea it does but it's a huge complex problem for multiplayer stuff, it's not really about your computer (which progresses the fastest) or the server, it's about the network infrastructure between you, the server, and everyone else involved in that particular game. The numbers have surprisingly not changed as much as I would have expected over time. They will change, I just don't expect 1000 person shooters to just start happening it will probably be pretty gradual. Someone figures out some tricks once in awhile but it's usually via sacrificing something else (see typical MMO combat).

I had suggested awhile back that sieges should not be based on doing damage to a single target to take control of the keep but more of a battle over multiple objectives that takes place over a longer time. If a battle is less over "Everyone push the clanstone" and more over building points holding objectives A,B, C, D, E and F for X hours then you naturally need to split up a bit and rather than sending out an emergency call to arms to wake up and defend at 3 am it's best just to have your members put the time they can afford into it.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has a lot of the idea I'm going for.

Your individual actions may have little impact on changing the course of the siege but at least you can get the rush of being "The hero of objective C."

Of course that's kind of a moot point for PFO until you get more than 20-40 players showing up for major server wide events.

I see SC this way. Everything being sold for $ will be available in-game as well. Some people will get a headstart because of ships they own. Sure.

But in titles that you can't buy in-game items for real world money what will happen is a few people that are unemployed will pull drastically ahead of everyone anyway.

At least in this case, with money, what they are contributing goes to further benefit the continued development of the game, where letting people poopsock their way to the top benefits nobody who doesn't poopsock.

But yeah. It's a waiting game with any of the good upcoming titles. In the meantime I'm just having fun building up my skills and connections in other titles.

They sound a lot like the Darkfall forums. Let's just say on the Darkfall forums I always say exactly what I mean to say in the exact words I want to use and I've never once received a warning not was any of my language censored. I like having that but unfortunately Albion's gameplay looks substantially less appealing to me than Star Citizen, Life is Feudal, and Crowfall. I might still check it out when it releases though.

Bluddwolf wrote:
Perhaps Andius will buy it, I hear he is writing for Goonswarm, and maybe he can convince them to set up a CE settlement. ;-)

I have no affiliation with the actual organization of Goonswarm and no intention to pursue one atm. I've just been invited to write some articles for a site owned by them.

Duffy wrote:

Skill based combat has a ton of inherent issues with large numbers of players and processing the instructions they generate quickly. There's a reason most twitch based games have the player limits they do. Just look at Star Citizen's and Elite Dangerous instancing mechanics despite being MMOs with respectable budgets. 'Traditional' MMO combat is the way it is for a very good reason.

Options are limited if you aren't willing to severely limit the number of players in a particular 'area'. While it might not be true right now, the goal is to have larger amounts of players involved in a given fight, part of the reason they have a plan for formation combat is to get around this very problem by reducing the amount of commands they would have to process for large battles.


Your description of the combat is a bit incorrect. Timing, interrupts, movement, and resource management are very intricate to winning an evenly matched fight in PFO. It's not super complex once you get the hang of it, but it still requires you to do more than just slam a rotation as fast as you can.

There is a universal constant in modern technology. It is constantly improving at a fairly rapid pace.

The smallest siege I ever attended in Darkfall had about three times as many players as TEO's server wide escalation event or over twice as large as PFO's "stress test." That was a few years after DF's release when it's population had declined. The largest I ever attended definately had at least 200-300 players and I never played before the American/European server split.

DFO of course being fully manually aim with a combat system about as difficult to truly master as QWOP.

Some of those sieges were very laggy and chaotic but they did work. I am not at all convinced that a smoothly operating combat system based on smart-targeting cannot support hundreds of players in 2015. And it will only get smoother as time goes on.

Even so. Big battles look more impressive in hindsight than in reality. All of my favorite PvP memories involve less than 30 players because there was room for individuals to stand out, and more of a feeling that the team was really depending on you and your performance. I don't think mass scale PvP is as important or impressive as this community hypes it up to be.

Toward the end of my DFO career I remember 90% of a siege for me was simply communication to figure out which of the dozen or more groups coming to our sieges were there as allies, enemies, or just there to scavenge loot. In the big scale of things it was mainly massive blobs throwing AoEs at eachother or chaotic melees where it was often difficult to tell friend from foe and your actions had very little chance to sway the siege one way or another unless you were the one giving commands.

I think avoiding blob vs. blob combat may be an intelligent design direction even if the tech can support it flawlessly.

As to PFO's formation system, I'll believe it when I see it. I'd say its a 50/50 on whether they ever do it at all with the chances of it being done well far, far, dimmer.

@Bluddwolf. I don't think people have any expectation of being on par with veteran players in terms of experience with the game systems. Nobody picks up a new title that they have no experience with nor experience with anything like it, and trashes everything. I do think there is some expectation by many people that the better player will win. Rage that trash vets are able to beat someone simply because of their character stats is a common thing I've heard echoed by many, many, many players not just on forums but in-game, on Teamspeak, and even in person. Is that not the root of your issue with DFUW's prowess system?

I think it's larger than you are estimating. The main people I had in mind weren't forum warriors. They were real life friends that cited ridiculous grinds and level imbalances as their reason for not playing either specific MMOs or in some cases MMOs period.

I don't think anyone wants an MMO were you poopsock to max level in week two and that's not what I said. What I said is "no combat-stat progression."

In other words the combat stats you start with will never get better. In terms of character strength, you are always equal to everyone else. It's knowing how to play your character that sets the newbs and vets apart.

I've actually put a lot of thought into how you would do such a system. There is a few principle things you would need:

1. You need new "bulk" content. In most MMO's level grinding is the "bulk" of the content for most players. Models that have proven successful other than scripted content are creativity (Minecraft or 2nd Life) and interaction (EVE, MOBAs).

2. There has to be gear progression but gear should be more of a temporary power up than a permanent character upgrade. That means 100% gear-loss to the loser and at least 50% of those items being permanently circulated out of the economy. The reason being is that you need something driving either the economy or social interaction. Gear loss drives them both as a reason to continually produce goods and an objective to fight over. Not just inventory loss. GEAR loss. When you must consistently maintain the gear you can't be a trash player running around in good gear all the time. People can't grind or "whale" their way to the top and then stay there unless they have the skills to back it up.

3. You do still need some way for players to showcase their accomplishments and feel like they are building on something. Achievements are a big way to do this. NOT PFO-style achievements that gate progression. Being able to show off your achievements pages, get some titles, maybe a unique cosmetic-skin for items. That all works fine. Also you can do it like they did in the original Guild Wars after hitting level cap. It was easy to max out your gear and level in that game but they still had tons of skills to hunt down for your character. The skills weren't better than any of the skills you started with but they opened up new build options so they were still highly desirable to hunt down. Another example is Team Fortress 2 where you can earn new items with cool properties but they always have a downside to keep them on par with your original ones.

4. You can still have non-combat skills you progress in. Leveling gathering, crafting, social, merchant, etc. type skills does kind of increase your power in that you have more economic weight to throw around but as long as you keep market relevancy for low grade items and such and keep crafting/gathering tied to a risk vs. reward system it kind of works out. Social connections will even things out a bit where effective groups aren't going to spend all their money getting someone gear thats 5 times as effective as rank 1 gear for 20 times the cost but have a bunch of guys running around in trash when they could get a ton of guys gear thats 3 times effective for only 5 times the cost. In a risk vs. reward system they need all those guys to help mitigate risks and increase their rewards.

5. Combat would have to be very skill based. There would need to be substantial learning room to become a truly great player. Tab-targeting would almost certainly have to go.

The ridiculous gap and strength between newb and vet is something holding back the MMO industry as a whole. It's so deeply in-grained In people's minds it's really become somewhat of an expectation.

It's also a frequently cited reason I hear single-player game, MOBA, FPS, RTS, Minecraft etc. enthusiasts give for avoiding the rich and immersive worlds MMOs could offer them. That's actually the reason most of my Freelancer crew gave up on MMOs.

I personally am of the school of thought veterans should be rewarded with skills (player skills), social connections etc. that they have built during their time playing.

In an engaging world with driven by either creativity (Minecraft) social or social dynamics (EVE) grinding stats as a reason to play isn't really needed.

Of course in order to make a "no combat-stat progression" model work you would need an engaging / skill based combat system that really rewards veteran players for their extra practice. That's likely where PFO falls short.

But anyway "I dumped X$ into a crappy game before it was playable" really isn't going to be a convincing argument to newbs forced to deal with a ridiculous stat gaps for month or years when they join PFO. They will simply allow you to remain king of your ant hill while they leave.

Before everyone says "EVE is doing fine" let me remind you ~75% of their population lives in high security space.

Also the "feeling they could never catch up" was an extremely common reason for leaving EVE given to me by college friends.

I saw your calculation. Your quote was completely out of context. I was defining "growth" as opposed to growth. "Growth" being pretty clearly labeled as a meaningless term to anyone who can pick up on the connotations. Meaningless enough it's not even really worth talking about. Generally my favorite measure of activity is the average players logged into Teamspeak during your busy hours because I've always viewed anyone who doesn't use TS as pretty useless to the group and only active members use it.

The original post you made was that you brought in new members so you were growing. My point is we didn't know if you've lost any so we don't actually know if meaningful growth has occurred. If you have a meaningful measure such as that your parties are getting larger or your presence in voice comms is up then awesome.

I was just adressing your original post and the connotations I felt it contained based on my experience of how of most people you bring in when mass recruiting the majority will have left the game / stopped using that character / gone inactive within a couple weeks and some of those who remain will end up not being contributing members. A small portion end up being your core membership. That's even true in healthy titles. So I felt "we brought in some new members" was kind of a funny thing to brag about. Any group not doing so on a regular basis will quickly shrivel and die.

If those connotations were not intended and you actually are growing by a meaningful measure then good for you. I was addressing your post as I read it.

There is no test that is perfect and there is always margin for error so I tend not to talk about scores publically too often but I've taken more than one official test that reflects that if you were to stick me in a room with a couple dozen other people I'm generally going to be the smartest one there. You can choose to believe it or not, but its true no matter what you believe.

For the record there are a few individuals in PFO I believe may be smarter than me. Avena Oats and Decius both have the mark of evidence of extreme intelligence coupled with the inability to always communicate it effectively I associate with extreme genius. I just believe that in Decius's case my experience in Open World PvP as compared to his near complete lack of it counts for a lot in the kinds of subjects we debated.

Also for the record I do not consider PFO to have yet reached the status of "Open World PvP title" in any meaningful capacity. The penalties for winning are currently stronger than those for losing.

Thod wrote:
Yes you read right - a growing settlement - despite it being now second of May.

Thod's post is obviously aimed to debunk the idea that May is going to be a hard month on PFO sub numbers. It's a lot of flaws in that regard and I pointed them out.

I do have more than 20 minutes each day Alex. More than enough to shoot off a few posts here and still play other games or sometimes even do it while I play other games.

In this case I'm using the facilities. ;)

@ Thod. There is "growth" and there is growth.

"Growth" is when members are joining faster then they are removing themself from the roster but you aren't cleaning out inactive members. Your player population may be growing but your group isn't actually growing in activity or active members.

I'm sure a lot of people know that experience of logging into a game you haven't played in a couple years to see the guild you were in has 200 members and you are the only one who's been online all week. That's "growth".

Growth is when your average online members and activity are actually growing.

You can measure it by whatever standard you wish but this game needs growth if it's to succeed. "Growth" doesn't pay the bills.

If I actually had kept my accounts I'd have activated at the end of month 1 to get the full XP and then let XP build while I occasionally check in until the game was in a playable state. Now would be a time I'd be logging in to get a good feel for the game before deciding if I felt the game was advancing at a rate that I felt my 15$ a month would ever be worthwhile.

Of course I've already made that decision but May will be a time that many others will have to.

Lets be realistic. First off anyone who activated in January got backdated XP to the first so the losses won't be fully realized until the end of the month. Also have all of your members logged in since the first or do they get auto-booted if their subscription lapses? If not then you don't really know if you've lost anyone yet.

Agreed. SWTOR and ESO are probably my two favorite theme parks. They were both extremely enjoyable for what they were. LotRO was fun too but it feels quite dated these days.

I can only play any Theme park so long before it becomes stale though. LOTRO and SWTOR are the only ones I ever maxed a character in. Before the first expansion for both. And only one apiece. ArcheAge too if you count it as a ThemePark I guess.

@Whoever used my name (Andius) in the comments to the first article linked above. I agree with the general message of your post. Interested to know who's going around claiming to be me though if you'll PM me your real identity.

PFO has gone the DF route in terms of city placement. I would argue this game's intended focus is combat but that combat is primarily glorified harvesting here as well.

Crowfall from all indications will be a true Sandbox. It runs off the voxel system featured in titles such as Everquest landmark. It's also intended to be a true Open World PvP focused title (unlike PFO atm) but that doesn't make it any less a sandbox.

It's definitely a sandbox, definitely PvP focused, kind-of-sort-of an MMO, definitely looks worth keeping an eye on.

First Harenloot derails the Aragon thread by making a jab at me there now you have to call me into someone's trading thread by name? You guys have really got to stop calling me out in unrelated threads unless you want this argument to spill over to every thread on the forums.

Just make a "Can PFO Succeed?" topic and fight me there if you want.

Accounts are selling left and right. I can see that. When I sold my 4 accounts I believe all of them went to existing community members who already owned an account. I know one went to Geditchtiwitcht and one or two of them went to Takasi. I forgot who bought the 4th but I'm pretty sure it was someone I had heard of before.

PFO has a very small/devoted following who seem to be buying up a lot of accounts. You can also see you are losing a lot of people though including some old / prominent followers such as AvenaOats and Dienara.

I'm with Bluddwolf that it's going to be interesting to see how much the population drops come May when you start losing everyone that activated during that first and hasn't been impressed enough to justify a 15$/mo sub.

(Remember that loss will not be full until June given a lot of people activated at the end and got their backdated XP)

Given PFO has pulled out all the stoppers in terms of selling access + a month of game time for 30$ the population you are seeing for PFO now is not likely to ever make a large jump in the future. The slow/steady growth of EVE has not been replicated by most other sandboxes that got off to a slow start. Darkfall's population seems to have grown from when I played it but declined from it's launch. Mortal looks like it has declined. Wurm holding steady.

With all 3 of these titles they were the dream projects of small teams or individuals without much prior experience in MMOs. They continue to build them because they are making livable wages doing what they love.

Most of Goblinwork's team has been succesful in other areas and could still go get good jobs on other projects. When the kickstarter/investor money runs out and the subs aren't enough to pay their current wages how many do you think will stay on?

I just don't see this game succeeding anymore. Especially not in a market with so many other Indy MMOs popping up through crowdfunding.

Neadenil Edam wrote:
For me it is one of the most enjoyable games I have got involved in for some time. Just the fact that you have to work hard at understanding the system and make meaningful decisions (no webpages with min/max cookie cutter builds to download here) and have to work at becoming useful (rather than the magic instant level up and get awesome crap in other games) is an attraction.

Any build that is useful and can be emulated can be a cookie cutter. I didn't refine it much but one of the most satisfying things I did in Alpha was create a level 1 cleric with no expendables that could face-roll entire spawns because it had healing, tanking, and DPS all rolled into one character.

The build was posted in a public section of my group's boards where anyone could copy it.

That my friend, is called a cookie cutter. If people ever start caring about this game then they will be there.

If I wanted to min-max it then the dwarven bonuses would have made it even more powerful.

It doesn't matter how Grip Guiness meant the word, he was responding to my usage of it.

The way that I meant it was that the game is not the most engaging title on the market at the moment. Especially if you are willing to pay 15$ a month. So paying into and playing PFO is only a worthwhile investment if you believe 5-10 years down the road it will be the best title for you.

I believe that 5-10 years down the road there won't even be a PFO.

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GripGuiness wrote:
Money spent on a game shouldn't be considered an 'investment' unless you love to be disappointed ... your expectations are unlikely to be met if it's an investment to you.

Clearly some of the prominent supporters of PFO disagree with you.

Nihimon wrote:
The main reason to buy PFO right now is if you believe in the vision and want Goblinworks to have the time and resources they need to continue development.

When your main reason for buying something is that you want it to pay off later, that's an investment.

Also I agree with Phyllian. The forums are entertaining even if the game is not. It's the closest thing to actual PvP that PFO has. ;)

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Interesing Story About SWG's Downfall

Aragon has a very realistic approach to PFO. They are well aware of it's issues and make no attempt to sugar coat it. They also are actively exploring titles such as Star Citizen, Life is Feudal, and Crowfall.

What I've seen from those that stayed is that they have paid a lot into this title (A year or two of sub time in Bluddwolf's case) and want to see what comes of it in the time they've paid for.

I don't think that there is a misguided sense in Aragon that they somehow owe loyalty to GW or the PFO community to stick with this game to the bitter end and I don't think most of them will tell you they find the long term success of this game to be certain or even likely.

I think those remaining are at a comfortable place in their life where they can be at peace with throwing 15$ a month at something that will probably never pan out while others of us have things like weddings and first homes to plan for and don't want to invest in games that don't have a reasonable chance of success.

This is like the third or fourth time you've relaunched this topic since I edited the original version to reflect we joined CoTP and Lifedragn posted it.

With the exception of changes in the sub-companies, the political status section, and some minor edits that post is written entirely by me.

Please do me a favor and use your own wording next time given I've long since disowned this group. Thanks.

The Doomkitten wrote:

Hey everyone,

So, I really want to get Pathfinder Online. Like, I really want to. But the thing is, I have a really hard time justifying paying sooo much money for it. I guess I'm just looking for somebody to sell me on it. (No pun intended.)


The game is only 30$ at this point and that includes your first month of playtime so it's really about average in terms of price these days.

I would take their suggestion and give the 15-day free trial a whirl.

But don't get tunnel vision. This is one of many sandboxes in development right now, most of which are fantasy themed. Take the time to read up on and watch reviews for games like Star Citizen, Crowfall, Life is Feudal, ArcheAge, Shroud of The Avatar, Camalot Unchained, EVE, and even some older titles like Darkfall and Wurm Online.

There is some particularly exciting stuff going on in the industry today you really need to check out before committing to the long haul for any MMO, and if you're paying 15$ a month for this game without the long haul in mind you are crazy.

If you've played the 15 day trial and researched/tried those titles and still believe PFO is the best then it's probably worth 30$ to you.

Bluddwolf wrote:
Saiph wrote:
I cannot read all of your post material Avena, but I can tell you that Darkfall hasn't (and will probably never) have a huge sub base BECAUSE of its PvP system.

I think more likely because of its grind for Prowess (experience points).

Its PVP system was really quite simple. When you left the safe zone, you were not safe. The best harvesting sites, were not in the safe zones. But if you were content with just crafting, you could remain in the safe zone if you chose to, only vulnerable if you were actively at war.

If Darkfall removed most or all of the barrier to entry and added a slight amount of aim assist or more AoE abilities (Think SMITE) it's probably what I'd be playing right now. So I think both of you have an element of truth to what you are saying.

I think even with those changes though there are third age MMOs coming out that I would eventually leave it for.

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I feel like you have a lot of good ideas Avena, though due to their length they might be better expressed as a sound file or video. Lol

As for me I think I've come up with a pretty simple way to sum up my feelings on PFO. We are entering the third age of MMOs.

The First Age was The Dawn of MMOs. An age in which MMOs were so new no real standard had been established yet so titles were more innovative and unique.

The Second Age was The Age of Themeparks. Themeparks established themselves as a successful model and World of Warcraft was their king. Investors wanted more WoW like titles and nobody would put any money into titles that pushed the envelope too far.

The Third Age is The Age of Crowdfunding. Star Citizen blasts into the picture raising 10s of millions of dollars. All of a sudden innovative new titles are springing up left and right and some are getting millions to build their projects.

The factors I'm seeing that make Crowfunded titles succesful:

1. Early Graphical "Wow" Factor AKA pretty graphics in your initial trailer.
2. Promise the Sky with you Stretch Goals
3. Ongoing Crowdfunding

PFO kind of lacks all 3. It's graphics didn't wow anyone, it did promise the sky but not in its stretch goals. Nobody even really knows about it's plans unless they comb through blog after blog. And there was almost no Crowdfunding effort in-between the end of the KS and the beginning of EE.

PFO has one foot in both worlds. It's a failed prototype of the dawn of the third age. Those looking back on the second age see how given 10 years it could really be something. Those looking forward into the third age see how it's already failed.

It's an incredibly exciting time to be an MMO gamer. The innovative titles coming out are many fold. Those with all their eggs in the PFO basket need to broaden their horizons.

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@Bluddwolf and Avena. If you look at the subscriber numbers for Wurm, Mortal, and Darkfall you have the numbers for games that will drag on without shutting down, continually improving but doing so at a rate too slow to ever catch up with their competitors. I think at least Darkfall was somewhere in the 10k sub region so that's really what it takes to not have a backwards title like Mortal that gets more outdated as time goes on. And that was during a time where their only real competition was EVE. I wouldn't be surprised if those titles started to shut down as some of the newer ones hit the market. Even EVE itself may suffer greatly from the release of Star Citizen.

@Forencith. The reputation system is more like pumping your pool full of chlorine and telling people it's time to swim before you have any water. It just doesn't work without things like SADs, feuds, raids, factional warfare, etc. They should have been implemented together. Until then, all water and no chlorine works better.

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Risk vs. Reward isn't a system that caters singularly to Darkfall/EVE/UO style PvPers. It's a content driver.

The best resources are gathered by the best gatherers and hunted by the best bandits. The best gatherers need the best military to defend them from the best bandits. The best bandits end up not being the best bandits but raiders from the other nation that believes it has the best military. These two nations go to war because of hostilities stemming from the actions of the raiders. War requires weapons. Weapons require crafters and resources. Resources require gatherers. Gatherers are hunted by bandits and require protection from the military.

Or... the best resources require no more danger to harvest than any other resource. There are few to no real bandits because the population is to low to sustain them and SADs never made it in so they have to take rep hits if they want to be bandits. No protectors are needed. The war never breaks out because the raiders never were there and there is no feud or siege system to wage it with. No weapons are needed. The crafters don't need to make weapons so they don't need resources. The resources aren't needed so the gatherers aren't that big of a deal.

All jobs become a boring cycle of stuffing banks full of items and resources there is no meaningful purpose for.

Resources instead go into making suits for fashion shows and screwing around with a pissing match over meaningless objectives nobody really cares about. All but a small few find it boring and pointless. Population drops so low the Early Enrollment is opened to people with Open Enrollment accounts while most people are still playing on free time they got through the kickstarter.

Fast forward 5 years. Star Citizen, Crowfall, Life is Feudal, Black Dessert, Albion Online, Shroud of the Avatar, ArcheAge, Camelot Unchained, Project Legion etc. Have all been released on the American market and had time to iron out their kinks.

Do you really feel Pathfinder Online has a community large enough to give it the financial backing to compete with them all? Given it is already a few years behind if it advances five years in the next five years it's still a few years behind. Most players aren't sold on a single vision. They just want a title that's fun to play. I love PvP driven sandboxes but I'll play a well built theme park over a crappy sandbox any day of the week. Nobody is going to tollerate a game years behind it's closest competitors in terms of features, graphics, and gameplay unless it's incredibly unique and it's the only title that fits what they want from a game, and PFO is only slightly unique compared to the other sandboxes being developed.

Bluddwolf wrote:

@ Andius,

I will point out, or at least I hope it is true, that it is also a fringe element that wants to make non consensual PvP a rare and "frowned upon" event.

I really wish that were so but the policies this community opposes have me firmly convinced it's greater than 50% of PFO's current player base.

If Crowfall were direct competition to PFO it would be safe to pronounce this game dead already. Where titles like Life is Feudal have a decent edge on PFO, Crowfall is leaps and bounds ahead of it in terms of how sophisticated their operation is, and the experience of the team working for them. Their crowdfunding has also been significantly more successful and the fact they are running the Voxel engine opens up a world of possibilities not accessible to PFO.

The fact that there are almost as many current and former PFO community members using their boards as there are using these boards also could be a major cause for concern.

Still, I think the lack of persistence of campaigns will help PFO out in terms of setting itself apart. But if they focus more on their post KS crowdfunding I could see them bringing in enough money to create a game that will eclipse all other fantasy sandboxes in the same way I don't care about any futuristic / space based title being worked on other than Star Citizen.

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Pax Pagan wrote:
As I have been outed(with my permission) sorry Pax guys you are a great bunch and it wasn't personal

NICE!!! Confirmation!!!!

I have a series of PMs between Pax and myself where I let them know that I believed "Ulfang Fourfingers" one of the spies that was known to TEO leadership at the time, Pax Pagan, and Steelwing were the same person.

They dismissed it as impossible.


(Original Message: "A Possible Spy Within Pax")

There is a member within Pax who we have reason to believe is linked to a member within TEO intending to sabotage us. I'm however growing somewhat less inclined to believe he's actually working for Pax, or if he is, he certainly seems to have an independent agenda.

If this is something you are interested in discussing get back to me. However I must say that due to the nature of this saboteur, I would ask you to keep all information on this, including this message, completely confidential, as if I am right this individual is in a somewhat trusted position within Pax.

And before you ask, no it's not Areks, though I was originally suspicious of him and personally could believe his involvement we're currently looking at someone else based on a tip we received from a relatively trusted source.

(Later Message)

I assume by freeze protocol you mean that I can talk freely now?

There is a spy within TEO known as Ulfang Fourfingers. I know for a fact Ulfang is Greyknife of Dark Omen. I've seen his registration on the DO boards, noted his guilty behavior such as using hidden status on our forums, dropping posts obviously made to stir up discontent, and being the only person to ask "What's Dark Omen" when I subtly dropped the name at a clan meeting. This I am 100% certain of.

Pagan has been reported by a relatively trusted source to have read information given to Ulfang/Greyknife as it was posted on the PFO Fan TS. This was after you confirmed to me you know of no Pax spies in TEO.

At the time I had taken it of evidence of dishonesty especially when coupled with how information from our boards is known to Pax. I tested this once by referencing CotP using only the acronym before they had ever been mentioned outside our private forums. Sure enough, Pagan shortly after used their full name. To me, Pagan's involvement with Ulfang mostly certain.

However the recent emergence of Steelwing has caused me to question if a Pagan is working for Pax, or if he is Steelwing. Steelwing seems to have a lot of the same information as Greyknife, and talks about doing things such as sitting in on our TS meetings that I know Greyknife has done.

Further interesting tidbits is his asserted familiarity with Pax's plans and British spelling of words.

Not a strong enough case to convict on it's own, however if I'm right I'm sure this may bring some evidence you may be holding to light. Something I'd appreciate knowing is Steelwing talks about waking up with his wife and 2 adult daughters to take part in EVE battles. While it would be really sloppy, Ulfang's trademark is how sloppy he's been so far, so I'm wondering if that might be a possible connection to Pagan.

Fun times. That was from back when I was spying for TEO as Eldurian Darkrender.

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While my satisfaction with the current situation is primarily because the EA which came out "ready to rumble" in terms of taking towers most people have agreed are meaningless at this point they have clearly been given a black eye and a bloody nose in a very meaningful way if Golgotha's raids have resulted in the loss of members for them.

I also believe that in some cases the loss of some parts can can increase the health of the whole. The EA's current ideology is absolutely a rot eating at the whole.

In this very thread I was told by an EA member that their alliance seeking to make "non-consensual PvP" a "fringe element". That's a radical departure from their earlier ideology that talks about "Random Player Killing" or "Killing for the sake of killing" as the issue they sought to make a "fringe element"

Risk vs. Reward is thee defining element of games that successfully sell PvP driven player interaction as the core of their game. In say World of Warcraft PvP doesn't offer better rewards than any other content, it just offers different rewards. If you don't want to participate in PvP you opt out, and the PvP is something you can pick up or leave at any time. It's not really that compelling.

Contrasted with a successful risk vs. reward title like EVE, exposure to PvP is a requirement to get the best resources and create the greatest items. Not just any PvP but non-consensual PvP because absolutely nobody is going to consent to PvP while gathering valuable resources, doing lucrative PVE, or building greatly beneficial structures.

That's what makes it a type of content you can build a game around. PvP can put your group ahead or put your enemies behind, and gathering, crafting etc. gives your soldiers the tools to do it. You aren't fighting over epeen points you're fighting over power.

The more you go after valuable resources the more valuable you are to rob. The more more wealthy the people you rob the more powerful they tend to be, and the greater the power of the enemies you will make. Risk vs. reward compelling content. Interesting dynamics are made and people have a reason to log on.

Now the older ideology of TEO didn't fight this dynamic. It actually assisted it by dealing with the opposite problem of that no or little non-consensual PvP creates. A lack of non-consensual PvP based on a risk vs. reward progression make it so you are rewarded equally for every level of risk. "Random Player Killing" or "Killing For The Sake of Killing" gives equal risk for all levels of reward. If you examine TEO's founding doctrines that they've since departed from you can see they are aimed at reducing behaviors that give high risk to those who are not seeking high rewards. Basically they're about stabilizing the curve.

It also had a focus on letting people progress up the scale of risk vs. reward at a rate that was comfortable to them, and arming them with the knowledge they needed to progress up that scale.

The current TEO, EA, and a great portion of the community as a whole have basically been exchanging a risk vs. reward system to one in which crafters and PVEers feel a sense of entitlement to the best resources and greatest rewards and want equal protection to newbs and players who play it safe.

A few people may be content to use this game as an extension of the forums but the fact this game has a nearly crisis level low population with more leaving every day and people's free months through the kickstarter haven't even run out yet says the people holding this game back with their repetition of "Well I'm having fun" probably aren't great enough in numbers to pay the bill for this game improving fast enough to keep up with it's competition, which is also constantly improving.

In that regard, this game could use more people serious about Crowdforging a PvP driven title and less people attempting to neuter the systems that could make it a compelling title.

That is an extremely curious comment...... The EA is seeing war in earnest (well kind of, war in earnest would require sieges, feuds, etc.) for the first time and now one of their members mentions PVEers leaving the game because of the possibility of sudden attacks.

This pleases me. :)

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On that note I believe there is one possible way for PFO to move beyond their current circumstances. Pick one or two features and make them so good people keep coming back for more.

Take Minecraft for instance. Bad graphics, boring combat, un-engaging item crafting, and absolutely no scripted content or goals. Just a bad to mediocre game in all aspects except two.

Limitless exploration potential and the ability to shape the terrain however you want to. (Within the limits of a block based system)

Result? Perhaps the most popular game of our time.

PFO needs to find it's reason for people to log in. That was originally PvP but if you're going to use PvP you really need to focus on it until it's amazing and if not pick something else. But right now your most unique aspect is that you are a sandbox (kind of) with a fantasy theme, and the number of "fantasy sandbox MMO" games that are out there is growing by the day.

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@AvenaOats - sorry, still can't process that much stuff.

Is your core point "over-the-shoulder 3D worlds are dead"? Because if that's your core point, I just don't know what to tell you. You're wrong.

Are you wondering how big we think the market for a for a fantasy sandbox MMO is?

ArcheAge, which is a beautiful game that sells itself as a sandbox (but has only a very small bit of sandbox gameplay) generated two million signups in the west. It's Free to Play so that's a reasonable sizing function for "how big is the North American and European Market for a sandbox fantasy MMO" (the addressable part of that market for a Pay to Play game will be smaller, of course.)

Are you wondering why we don't have more players yet?

We have not turned on the marketing. We are spending effectively nothing on marketing yet. Awareness that this game exists within that 2 million person audience is close to 0%.

ArcheAge has questing, leveling, faction, instanced dungeons for set group sizes for gear grinding etc. On the sandbox side it has player housing but it's restricted to a few small/overcrowded zones, piracy of trade packs, and siegable castles that are built in set locations.

In other words it has everything that appeals to traditional theme-park players with a few sandbox features included. It's player base mainly comes from other ThemeParks.

The encouraging part about ArcheAge for a sandbox developer is that it means ThemePark games and players are now moving closer to sandboxes. Not that it's 2 million players are all eager for a true sandbox title.

Where a sandbox developer should be drawing their inspiration is the tens of millions of dollars raised by Star Citizen which is a clarion call to developers "We want something different, and we'll spend lots of money on it."

But the scary part is that because of Star Citizen there are some seriously talented developers coming out of the woodwork to create innovative titles and I personally believe it may only be a matter of time before companies like EA and Blizzard get in on the action.

The issue with Pathfinder Online is it looks, feels, and plays outdated. It's making improvements but what's considered to be an "up-to-date" game is a constantly moving goal line. While PFO makes its improvements so does every other MMO on the market. And newer, sleeker, more modern MMOs go into development, and get released.

So it's not an issue of "Is PFO getting better" but is it generating enough revenue to support a team capable of keeping up with the pace of the rapidly evolving MMO around it?

I believe the answer to that question is no. Why?

Here we are month 3 and they are already letting people with Open Enrollment accounts in. Open Enrollment accounts were supposed to be for... Open Enrollment. That combine with the state of the game when they went into EE and the fact it costs 15$ a month suggest one thing. This project is in serious need of cash and they are depending on the player base to provide it.

Yet despite that, as confirmed by Ryan, they have spent almost nothing on marketing. Why wouldn't they do that if they need sub money so bad? I'm sure most of you already realize this one. PFO isn't a marketable product. It will bring few subscribers given the state it's in right now, and turn many potential future subscribers away given how bad their first impression will likely be.

Desperately needing money to bring the project up to date but not having a very marketable product to bring in money is a terrible cycle a lot of indie MMOs are stuck in, which generally only ends if the MMO shuts down.

Savage Grace wrote:

138 Holdings would cover the claim.

With perfectly min-maxed companies (getting 67 influence per characters) it will take 205 characters (iirc that holdings cost 100 influence before upgrades). That is well within the EBA's character numbers. But that only works if companies can hold multiple holdings... Can they?

The logistics of it all would be interesting to see.

Of course 1194 characters could claim the entire 800 hex map through the same math.

I would LOVE to see them try controlling that entire area with outposts once raiding, asset destruction, and feuds are in. If those features ever make it in without being completely neutered first.

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Black Silver of The Veiled, T7V wrote:

The entire game is based on territorial control. Resources, Escalations, and Land itself. Every nation that has ever existed has claimed land and secured it in someway. By your definition then, every nation is evil. So I guess every living sentient people is evil for wanting to protect what is theirs.

We do kill hostile players in our territory but that is mainly because at the moment that is the only mechanic the game gives us. We clearly stated what was our territory but that didn't stop some hostile groups to EBA to come and farm down there or even go around killing any player they come across, some EBA members some not.

You seem to be complaining about EBA claim to territory but that is part of the game. At the very beginning Goblinworks stated this would be a game about PvP territory control. So complaining about it now seems out of place, unless your complaint is strictly about EBA which leads me to believe you have an agenda.

If this is all about territory control as the game intended how is that I can come into your territory and gather/fight escalations as long as I want with no consequences but if you kill me you take reputation loss?

This game is about territorial control tied to holdings and backed up by the laws you set in the territory you actually control.

This move is about drawing abitrary lines you don't have to defend and acting as if it gives you the moral high ground to bully around people who use the territory you say is yours for harmless activities like gathering and PvE.

As I said, this move is premature. If you can claim and defend all of this territory through the use of holdings then you might have a leg to stand on.

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I would like to claim the entire map. Anyone doing anything, anywhere on the entire map will be considered hostile unless given my prior permission. Thank you.

I think the Lawful Good bit is really entitely beside the point. What Lam is obviously trying to say is that he finds your actions inconsistent with an alliance that promotes itself as the good guys, which you definitely do.

Lam has backed you guys up in the past so you could attempt to enlighten him on how you are not evil. Or you could have Decius post a dismissive/condescending comment and act pretty much just like... me. Then circle the wagons and pretend like his obviously insulting post was polite even though anyone fluent in the English language can see that's a lie.

Lam wrote:

I think the gross usurpation of the entire south east many hexes from yous settlements, including to the north of your hills where you have no settlements. Yes, you are the largest and can back that. Just don't try to convince us it is lawful or good, only greedy.

If you said anything 2 hexes from a EBA settlement, all of your mountain, and any hexes at range 3 or 4 internal to those above (2 hex range) which touching 2 or more of the previously claimed areas. OK, But there are huge amounts to southeast which represent future town sites which you calm to own. And there are huge amounts of the middle. You are claiming huge tracts you probably don''t even visit.

And to think I considered joining.

DeciusBrutus wrote:
This thread is for the discussion of the EBA territory and polices. Please take discussion of policies that you imagine some nominally Lawful Good group created to a different thread.
Bringslite wrote:
Could you please also not "ask" them politely to take their opinions based on false information elsewhere?

Shall we discuss the price of that island you want to sell us over a nice refreshing glass of Kool Aid?

Don't be "toxic" Decius. The man is just expressing his opinion of your policies. ;)

@Drake. Those games were successful. I'm their time. There is a reason people gravitated from those titles to newer ones, and certain features not present in old MMOs are standard in modern ones. Even modern sandboxes that break the mold in most regards.

I have played older games where territorial control wasn't so cut and dry. And I responded by enforcing extremely simple rules in our territory there. Basically "Don't pick on Newbs." It cost us in tax revenue but was best for the community. Obviously you are so eager to get your hands on anything you feel you have the strength to hold you can't wait until there are actual mechanics for it.

@Drake Brimstone

I could care less what you've heard of since apparently this is the only sandbox you've played since you upgraded from your Comodore 64.

Of the titles currently released and still running I can think of off the top of my head.

EVE - Displays the sovereignty of a system in the top left with the other system info. Sovereignty controlled by POSes.

Darkfall Unholy Wars - Sovereignty controlled by areas of influence around holdings. Alerts you when you enter or leave someone's territory.

Mortal Online - Sovereignty controlled by outposts. Alerts you when you enter (and I believe) leave someone's territory.

Wurm Online - Sovereignty controlled by deeds. Alerts you when you enter or leave a deed.

ArcheAge - Sovereignty controlled by castles. The owners of a regions's castles can be seen on the map.

Xsyon - Sovereignty controlled by tribal totems. Alerted when entering or leaving a totem controlled area.

So if we aren't counting PFO as released, that's 100% of the sandbox MMOs currently on the market that I know of with territory control. I said "most" to account for any I've forgotten or overlooked.

It's not the feature PFO needs most at the moment but it's also premature to be punishing people for adventureing in "your territory" when "your territory" is just a line you've drawn on the forums and enforce with a "might makes right" policy if you want to call yourselves Neutral Good protectors of the weak.

EVE absolutely does tell you who holds sovereignty over a specific system if it's actually owned, Unholy Wars tells you when you cross into territory controlled by a holding, and Wurm tells you when you cross into a deeded area.

SWG doesn't exist anymore incase you missed the memo and UO is a dinosaur.

Games aren't the real world. People don't just go wandering across national borders without having some idea of where they are in the real world. In games they do.

Most sandboxes help you out with that by giving you ways to establish sovereignty and telling players when they cross into the territory of a nation. Usually tied to holdings.

In this instance the EA has simply drawn a line on a map and said "This is our and you must follow these rules while you are here."

You cannot reasonably expect for people to be aware of that.

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