Goblinworks Blog: A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step


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Goblin Squad Member

kyrt-ryder wrote:

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I have to wonder if you can be sure to fill your 4500 per month playerbase growth when it's restricted to subscribers, but only time will tell for sure. Best of luck Ryan.

I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

.

I have to wonder if you can be sure to fill your 4500 per month playerbase growth when it's restricted to subscribers, but only time will tell for sure. Best of luck Ryan.

I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.

You may want to pick a better analogy, the failure rate for new restaurants is well over 50% in the first year.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

I understand it is very early days, but I had a quick question as to whether Goblinworks have considered the availability of a Collectors Edition/Deluxe Edition or form of pre-order box to which players could expect early access bundled with a relatively expensive box purchase?

I guess it begs the question as to whether you will be publishing tangible boxes, but I'm sure this is not known at this time and my question is more in regard as to whether you would be considering such an option in acquiring early access?

Goblin Squad Member

Idea for who gets to throw their hat in to play first: those who subscribe to *a* Paizo product.


With the division between the two companies I'm not sure if that's possible Delzoon. That being said, however, it's an intriguing idea. Especially for Superscribers.


Hey, you will have me for at least 3 months. If it is at least to the good mark, then I will stay longer.

Edit - And yes, I said GOOD. Not great. If it is good, I will stay. HOWEVER, I am hoping that it is GREAT. I WANT it to be GREAT. But I am willing to settle for good. Hopefully Ryan and the rest are only willing to settle for GREAT.


Delzoon wrote:
Idea for who gets to throw their hat in to play first: those who subscribe to *a* Paizo product.

~shrugs~ Paizo usually has very good products. I am willing to give them a chance for at least a little while. If I do not like it, then I can always quit. Hopefully this is not a flop for Paizo.


JoelF847 wrote:

I have to say, the limited number of new players each month is a bit distressing. When you factor in that just about everything with "Pathfinder" in the name has sold far more copied than initially anticipated, if you have 50,000 people interested in the game when it launches, and turn away over 90% of them, some are simply going to not try again. Either because they get involved with another game instead, or hold a grugde over having their money turned away to play a game they wanted to, it strikes me as a way to generate far more ill will towards the game than beneficial.

When you also factor in the very realistic situation of having one player get in one of the first few months, and love the game, only to find out that even though he's plugged the game to his other gamer friends (either other MMO players, or tabletop gaming group, etc.), they can't get to play for several months until they are able to get in....by then the original player may have become dissolussioned with the game and his friends never join to play with him.

Finally, giving preferential treatment to guilds from other games is simply elitist a major turn off to potential new players (at least some of them, counting me - I don't claim to speak for everyone) when there's only a limited number of openings. So I potentially can't get to play because people who play another game get a "fast pass" to the beginning of the line?

Now, if these first 7 months are the Beta period, that's one thing, but the blog post doesn't indicate this is the case. By not being a Beta, it's a finished product that's able to be paid for, and I can't fathom the business sense of actively turning away customers.

Agreed, on every account. There's no better way to destroy your fan base then to ignore them, sort them or label some as better than others. Despite the best intentions that may be the motive here, letting in such limited numbers of people for several years is bound to have some type of negative backlash associated with it. I just don't see this as positive in nearly any light. I want this project to succeed but to use a famous quote, "I have a bad feeling about this."

Goblin Squad Member

This to me is some of the most exciting news that I have seen all year. This for me would most certainly trump any other game out there for me assuming that it is done well and sticks true to the Pathfinder World. I would love to see the world around me grow as new players were allowed in and the content expanded, but I fear that space will be difficult to come by as I think the spots will be gobbled up as quickly as they appear. I for one can say, if I do not get an initial spot I will not be offended but will continue to frequent the site in hopes of a spot opening up. A question comes to mind though, you mentioned that you have an expectancy of people dropping out throughout the course of the month. Will those spots become available to new players as people drop out or perhaps in future months. And if so, how will you determine that someone has actually dropped out as opposed to taking a break from the game?


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Leslee wrote:
I fear that SW:TOR may be the death-knell for large budget, AAA MMOs.

Though I agree that many AAA MMOs have suffered in the past due to over spending and under selling, I don't think this will be a problem for TOR.

It seems they are on par to recoup the cost of the game through pre-sales and early launch sales alone.

Presale Numbers for TOR Looking Good

If they manage to keep a mere 25%, as Mr. Dancey states he wants to keep for PFO, then according to those numbers they will still be raking in the dough hand over fist.

I'm not even sure where Mr. Dancey got his numbers from. I know that a guy with his experience has connections but I think $300 million is a far cry greater than what EA is actually claiming to have spent.

$300 million? EA checks their books

It feels to me that video games are really now just hitting their stride, becoming major blockbusters in a way that at least I myself, would have never thought possible. Just look at Black Ops, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim, for recent examples.

Does it really seem like such a good idea to jump on the bandwagon at this date and not bring your AAA game with you?

I was really excited when I first read the news about this project. As I stated in a previous post I would love to see this game kick ass, but I just don't see that happening on such a small scale. I too fear for the future of MMOs, but not the big guns, it's the small fries that have me concerned.


Regarding the 'sandbox' nature of this game, how open to change will the world be? Will people be able to make their own settlements? Can a person make a living as a merchant or a crafter?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I am quite excited to see a new and innovative model begin to work its magic on the MMO space. This new plan for the MMO creation will quickly weed out players that cruise through content before bouncing to the next new thing, allowing those seeking meaningful play through interaction with others to support and nurture the game they want to play. I think this plan will create a core community of loyal players that are emotionally invested in the game they watched grow from infancy. I wish more companies with IPs that I already love gave me the opportunity to give them feedback on what I do and don't enjoy about the game play. Not only am I able to support the development of something I enjoy playing, but it has to be incredibly useful to have real players testing your game rather than building systems to simulate real players or paying testers to break the game.

From the blog I get the impression the game will be very playable from the start, albeit limited in scope. There likely will be more for us to do than we can exhaust in a month's time span assuming the player base is engaging in RP and forming its own community. You must remember that it is a sandbox game with theme park elements and not the other way around. This means that the players are the ones creating the meat of the content through their interaction.

As for the consistent player base growth, I know I found myself immediately asking how I could be one of the first 4,500 people in line for this MMO, and I'm sure there are more than a handful of others that have the same sentiment. After all, the table-top RPG player base is an incredibly loyal fan base and will likely support Paizo (and Goblin Works) for the long haul.

I can't wait to see what Pathfinder Online has to offer and will be excited to support the development of this game soon!

Goblinworks Executive Founder

cptpatriot wrote:
Regarding the 'sandbox' nature of this game, how open to change will the world be? Will people be able to make their own settlements? Can a person make a living as a merchant or a crafter?

From what I've read on these forums we should be able to both make our own settlements and make a living as a craftsman. To what extent we will be able to manage those cities is still a mystery. I would imagine that craftsmen would be a resource most adventurers would need in order to make something of the rare materials they find. I doubt every city will have a legendary blacksmith or leather worker.

Goblin Squad Member

Quote:
From what I've read on these forums we should be able to both make our own settlements and make a living as a craftsman. To what extent we will be able to manage those cities is still a mystery. I would imagine that craftsmen would be a resource most adventurers would need in order to make something of the rare materials they find. I doubt every city will have a legendary blacksmith or leather worker.

That then begs the question, will a single person be able to create and maintain a city/fortification on their own or will it require a guild to create. Either way that would be something of immense interest. The ability for a person or group of persons to create a city that would be open to the world is very interesting. That also would open possibilities for PvP of players attacking other players cities.


Lord Rahl08 wrote:
Quote:
From what I've read on these forums we should be able to both make our own settlements and make a living as a craftsman. To what extent we will be able to manage those cities is still a mystery. I would imagine that craftsmen would be a resource most adventurers would need in order to make something of the rare materials they find. I doubt every city will have a legendary blacksmith or leather worker.
That then begs the question, will a single person be able to create and maintain a city/fortification on their own or will it require a guild to create. Either way that would be something of immense interest. The ability for a person or group of persons to create a city that would be open to the world is very interesting. That also would open possibilities for PvP of players attacking other players cities.

I'd add for different types of governments. Then players can choose to set up in your cities with their crafts based on taxes/perks/etc.

If they're going into this much detail on concept alone I hope this game will allow for such things.

I'm so geeked for this game.


Also whoever came up with the "Pathfinder Campaign Setting = Sandbox" was either somewhat dim, or brilliantly deceptive. Yes, it's a sandbox that DMs build a themepark in. Not the adventurers splitting up, joining competing factions, each trying to build their own thing and fighting with each other. A PvP sandbox is a fundamentally different thing than Pathfinder PnP.

Lord Rahl08 wrote:


The ability for a person or group of persons to create a city that would be open to the world is very interesting. That also would open possibilities for PvP of players attacking other players cities.

This seems already practically confirmed to me.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Truth be told, this thread has already gotten too long for me to bother reading all of it, so I have no idea what has been said by whom, but basically, I'm psyched for this game. I'm relatively new to roleplaying, and almost as new to MMOs, but, compared to DnD 4e and even 3.5, I find Golarion and all its mysteries infinitely more interesting. This is certainly a game I'll be paying for when allowed to. I don't think I've found myself so immersed in a fantasy setting since I first read the Lord of the Rings years ago. I want to attend the Arcanamirium! I want to see the world in all its glory without either having to go through the trouble of GMing myself-though I do enjoy it, or having to put up with the often unreliable at best other GMs in my relatively rural area. Basically, yeah, I'm geeking. I definitely like the idea of the model as presented in this article as well. I do have my concerns though. Middleware can be marvelous, especially when done right, but I've seen games where it creates its own kind of money pit-just that the money is going to another company instead of towards your own infrastructure. Still, I'm very optimistic. Now, adapting the game for a different medium is a creature in itself, though based on my game experiences, I do hope they keep its digital system as close to that of the core game as possible. I like having to prepare spells! Call me crazy but I do. And it's faux pas for almost any MMO, but I like the idea of character death being significant and having major detriments. Don't just go trying to charge the Gallowspires at level 7 you fool! In any case, regardless of what the mainstream gaming media will say, I know people who play EVE Online. If this is as wonderfully-developed a world as that, I know we'll find success! I look forward to the day when I can even venture to Akiton for some planetary romance, things like that. I hope the sandbox can even drive the Theme Park elements nicely. I'd like to see the Gluttonous Tome first discovered in pieces by unsuspecting PCs, and have its current location be determined by what they then did with it!

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Removed a post. Links presented as Goblinworks URLs and are not, are inappropriate, even in the name of a joke.


Wow. You are up late Gary. Go home and get some (much deserved) rest.

Goblinworks Founder

GURPS_Uber_Alles wrote:


You may want to pick a better analogy, the failure rate for new restaurants is well over 50% in the first year.

Only those with no marketing :-)

Grand Lodge

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Sharoth wrote:
Wow. You are up late Gary. Go home and get some (much deserved) rest.

Gary doesn't sleep. I think he is a golem......

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

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I have to wonder if you can be sure to fill your 4500 per month playerbase growth when it's restricted to subscribers, but only time will tell for sure. Best of luck Ryan.

I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.

Are you at all worried about the opposite effect? 4500 players is...well, next to nothing. When you keep pushing people further and further away from the initial starting point, aren't you worried that some of them will just walk to another restaurant? It's an odd model, for sure. I honestly hope it works out in the end. And I really hope I'm one of the initial 4500 in. This sounds like the game I've been waiting for since UO went to crap.

Grand Lodge

With such interesting and rich written material, I can't wait to see the sneak peak of the art. I'm also intrigued by your business plan, it's sounds well thought out. No matter what it takes I will be part of that BETA. =P

Goblin Squad Member

I am intrigued as well.

For years now I gripe that every new MMO I try is the same old and plagued by the same old things I dearly hate - namely the fact that it is a mad rush for the first few days and before a good community can form, most of the players have already left resulting in empty worlds.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Elth wrote:

Am I the only one that is still seeing this as positive?

I see it as a chance to watch a virtual world come to life, not as a pay to beta test confidence trick.

Not that I have a problem with paying to test games. I have payed for pre-alpha games in the past as a show of support for indie developers. I have no problem doing it for a seasoned development team.

No, you aren't the only one.

The idea of aiming for a moderate pace of growth while expanding the word seem interesting and assuage some of my fears.

And I see it as paying to test if the game interest me, not to test their game.
I have brought several games that costed me good money and after trying them for a little time I let them on a shelve to gather dust. I don't see the difference.

RedMageSA wrote:
You realize this means he needs 500 dollars from each of his players at the three year cap to break even. Thats a hefty goal. I am beginning to understand why Dancey is no longer with CCP.

You realize that EVE (from CCP) wasn't paying its own bills till he reached the 50.000 subscribers?

And that only after that point it started to pay back the starting investment?

BTW: 15 $/€ month, for 36 months = 540 $/€

Ryan Dancey wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

.

I have to wonder if you can be sure to fill your 4500 per month playerbase growth when it's restricted to subscribers, but only time will tell for sure. Best of luck Ryan.

I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.

Where is the waiter I can bribe to get ahead? ;-)

Ryan Dancey wrote:


We're also going to ensure that there won't be startegic choke points in the core game regions that would let a group block access to critical resources or travel routes.

I love you Ryan (in a absolutely platonic way).

Ryan Dancey wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I'm wondering, how does this restriction interact with the free to play members?
It is likely, but not definitive that we won't have free play during the ramp up. We may have limited duration trial play so that people have a chance to "try before they buy", but the emphasis during the ramp will be on subscribing players. A big part of the ramp strategy is to ensure there's enough content and social structure in place to make the F2P/MTX model "make sense" from a player perspective.

A bit counter-intuitive, but not a problem. And I would bet on you reaching your projected quote of subscribers.

Delzoon wrote:
Idea for who gets to throw their hat in to play first: those who subscribe to *a* Paizo product.

/Me look the tags behind my name.

Oh YES!
LOL


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Apologies, but the game concept leaves me feeling rather cold.

Personally, I would like Pathfinder Online to allow me to play Pathfinder... Online. By this, I mean I would like to:

> take part in official Pathfinder Adventure Paths (either alone, or with friends), which are regularly expanded as part of an on-going campaign/s.
> create my own custom Pathfinder Modules to share with friends.
> GM my own Pathfinder Adventures for others, playing the NPCs, monsters, and so on.

Visually it would need to look at least as good as Torchlight 2, nothing much fancier than that.

Further innovation outside of the above (which are really just the best features of the 10 year-old Neverwinter Nights) would be welcome. The game as described on Goblinworks.com doesn't appear to offer much in the way of exciting new gameplay hooks, or technical implementations. The prospect of exploring a digital Golarion remains the one redeeming feature.

Please try to make an online Pathfinder game that can be closer to the majesty of the P&P version, allowing for all the user creativity, input and participation which help to make table-top RPGs superior to rigidly designed computer games in many ways.

If it’s just to be a Pathfinder-flavoured version of the fantasy MMOs which have come before (Age of Conan seemingly the nearest analog, with the city building and mass combat etc.), then I can’t see how the game can be that compelling, no matter how audacious the plans behind the scenes.

Goblinworks Founder

Would it be possible to keep these first seven months as some kind of paid beta test? After seven months game starts fresh (and everybody knows that from the beginnig) but beta testers have the knowledge they have gathered playing the beta. I know I would pay even for that. Or maybe you could give some perks to beta testers depending on their time in beta and/or feedback/bug reports given. This way only the real hardcore fans wanted to participate from the beginning and those hurting their feelings if not let in from the beginning would have better chance to get in from the (new fresh) start.


I like it :0

An MMO in a game setting i have come to love and enjoy over the last couple of years as an avid p&p gamer, where the developers seem willing to push the possibility boundries beyond the norm for mmo's, sure i am curious about how sandbox and theatre will work together, and i salivate at the thought of recreating my favorite pathfinder character's meglamaniacal quest for world domination and political subterfuge in a living world containing thousands of players not just my friends at the table, what more could any player really ask for?

go for it guys

p.s loved the blog

Goblin Squad Member

Elth wrote:

Am I the only one that is still seeing this as positive?

I see it as a chance to watch a virtual world come to life, not as a pay to beta test confidence trick.

Not that I have a problem with paying to test games. I have payed for pre-alpha games in the past as a show of support for indie developers. I have no problem doing it for a seasoned development team.

Not at all, I agree totally and see this development plan as very encouraging and at least an attempt to break from the norm. It could also help development a very tight strong knit gaming community which should provide a stronger base for the game to thrive in. My favourite part of an mmo is those few initial months of exploration and by the sounds of this development plan that could be stretched out over a much longer period as the content and area gradually grows with the community to reveal new zones, locations and most likely a need to return to previous zones for newly seeded content.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Chris Lambertz wrote:
dhemery wrote:
I have a request for the blog: Add an RSS feed.
I'm unsure what can be done about this at the moment. The Goblinworks blog is being manually built for the time being.

Note that Paizo is managing the website for now because Goblinworks doesn't have the staff to do it themselves yet. At some point, they'll take it over themselves, and one of my team's goals is to minimize the number of technological decisions we make so that we don't paint them into any corners.

On the plus side, odds are good that they'll take it over before the blog schedule changes from "every two weeks, on Wednesdays," which is hopefully memorable enough that you won't need an RSS feed.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Daniel Powell 318 wrote:
Limiting users also only helps control hardware costs. You still need the same amount of content for 4500 users as you need for millions.

That's true for some theme park content, but not so much for sandbox content. Remember, content in the sandbox is really about creating a setting, and a world that holds 4500 people is much smaller than (and contains much less stuff than) a world that holds millions.


Ryan Dancey wrote:


I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.

Waiting lists are usually not setup for unknown products but something that is publicly highly anticipated or benefits from already established reputation.

Neither is your case.

1) You are a no-name company with low-budget project.
2) You are not targeting mass audience.

Middleware and cutting costs:

Whether your budget for the game is 100M USD or 20M USD, the price of purchased technology will be the same. So much do you really save on middleware solution?

This reminds me why Lunix isn't used for corporate solutions. It may look like cheaper solution but once your demands reach certain treshold, customization costs become very expensive. Thus I see you have 2 choices: You either won't save much or your game won't deliver what you expect.

Based on points above, with target of 4.5k subscribers, I do not see much room for reasonable continuous development and paying off development costs. The game will lack content and with low income, you won't be able to deliver the content fast enough to maintain your player base.

High spike player population:

Hype happens, true. But it also happens to games that spent lots of money on content development and marketing in attempt to attract such numbers. The costs for spike of 1M players dropping to 100k are high but 45k to 4.5k?

As said in first paragraph, neither is your case which makes your concerns not to say absurd. You are fixing a problem that is unlikely to happen.

There is still this odd premise of yours that there are infinite, thousands and thousands of players doing nothing else but waiting to play your game. Slow evolution of EVE Online is uncommon sight on the market and this isn't 2004, the market is way different these days. There are enough other games to play than waiting for your slow development.

Good luck though, it will be interesting to watch how you are doing but even though I haven't seen the numbers, I doubt highly this will work. I cannot imagine anyone giving you money when you expect customer behavior that has absolutely no reflection in current market nor any historical evidence supporting the idea.

Liberty's Edge

Well this all seems rather interesting; and i'll add sounds safe from a business standpoint.

My own concerns are how will the initial people who get to Beta test get picked? The blog mentions guilds? What guilds? What is the criteria for selection basically is what i'm asking.

I mean I would love to get in on this, and I think honestly one of the biggest excitements in this venture (from the player perspective) would be playing in the world and watching as the map literally grows and so does the content. On the other hand if you're coming in late, say after 3 or so map expansions it will still be a fun exploring experience...though the constant callings of 'noob' will be rampant.

Are there any thoughts on what monthly costs will be?


Ryan, It would be really interesting if 3PP publishers could produce content and sell it, just as it happens in RPG business...


GURPS_Uber_Alles wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

.

I have to wonder if you can be sure to fill your 4500 per month playerbase growth when it's restricted to subscribers, but only time will tell for sure. Best of luck Ryan.

I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.
You may want to pick a better analogy, the failure rate for new restaurants is well over 50% in the first year.

69% of the people who take out a paying subscription are expected to give it up, based on the numbers in the post. (4500/month for eight months, 12500/month of 28; total, 386000 subscriptions; target, 120000 subscribers after three years).


I still don't get why you need to compete with WoW and its clones...

...using middleware just even more locks you up into the stereotype-MMO approach. So you'll be comitted first from a business side (you want to make something similar to actually compete with them) and then you'll also be comitted technically through using middleware...

I'm not saying its a bad businessplan. People will buy any crap if it just smells like a WoW clone with some new functions, throw in some other lore and you're done. Nothing groundbreaking but selling indeed.

Good luck...

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

No amateur MMO building advice from me, but I do want to voice a concern. When I read the blog last night I actually started to get excited for this game. Now that I've had time to sleep on it, I'm starting to lose that feeling. 4500 people cap? So if I'm 4501 I have to wait a month to give you money? No thank you, I'll be back in 6 months or more if ever.

But wait, if I rush out and start playing another MMO right now and join a guild I may get selected to seed the world with a ready built player organization? My happy thoughts of supporting this game are going away, I'll have to wait to hear more about PFO before knowing if I'll be spending my money on it (or trying anyway).


Bluenose wrote:


69% of the people who take out a paying subscription are expected to give it up, based on the numbers in the post. (4500/month for eight months, 12500/month of 28; total, 386000 subscriptions; target, 120000 subscribers after three years).

The obvious flaw of those calculations is that you take a pattern of subscription generation on one system and then strap it on another, assuming it will work exactly the same, despite the blatantly obvious fact that condition generating the pattern has radically changed.

Unrestricted, standard approach means high initial interest but how many of those will wait 3 or more months to get into a game?

In days, when majority of the MMO market is moving or already is operating under F2P model to achieve lowest entry barrier possible, Goblinworks wants to go complete opposite and introduce the heaviest entry barrier ever seen?

This does not seem as out of box thinking, it seems dotty to me...


Ryan Dancey wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

.

I have to wonder if you can be sure to fill your 4500 per month playerbase growth when it's restricted to subscribers, but only time will tell for sure. Best of luck Ryan.

I have zero concerns about it. We'll have far more folks who want in than we'll have slots available. Think of it like the waiting list for a new restaurant.

The downside for the PFO restaurant is the the MMORPG community in general is a seething cesspit just waiting spew their vitriol on the soapbox that is the internet.

There was a considerable amount (to say the least) of negative 'feedback' on the SW:TOR forums when EA/Bioware announced that they would be restricting the launch regions for The Old Republic. Setting a limit of 4500/month is going to be akin to dousing yourself in chum and jumping into a shark tank.

Can a new MMO company afford the luxury of raising the ire of the irrational kettleheads that infest the MMO community? The silent majority of gamers may accept the reasoning behind your decision, but the vocal minority that plague gaming sites worldwide are going to be frothing at the mouth (and let everyone know about it) as the development process rolls on and the reality of the population cap sets in. Heck, I willing to be that many within the gaming media will view the idea with skepticism.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Uncle Bob wrote:


Can a new MMO company afford the luxury of raising the ire of the irrational kettleheads that infest the MMO community? The silent majority of gamers may accept the reasoning behind your decision, but the vocal minority that plague gaming sites worldwide are going to be frothing at the mouth (and let everyone know about it) as the development process rolls on and the reality of the population cap sets in. Heck, I willing to be that many within the gaming media will view the idea with skepticism.

It's not really fair to call people voicing concerns irrational kettleheads (I don't even know what that means). I have plenty of experience playing MMOs but I don't know anything about creating them and what makes them work (other than people liking the game). I don't think that should mean I can't say "I'm concerned about this player cap, please make sure you address that in the future, because I probably won't be the only one."


Eluhil wrote:
Truth be told, this thread has already gotten too long for me to bother reading all of it, so I have no idea what has been said by whom, but basically, I'm psyched for this game.

I totally agree. This thread got really old really fast, and I stopped reading it a little after Eluhil's post.

I've been lurking around the Paizo forums since around the time of the savage tide adventure path in old dungeon and dragon, never posting, but I am so excited about the possibilities presented for this game that I just had to get my perspective out there.

I was in the World of Warcraft Beta for a good month before launch, and I bought the collector's edition when it came out. Some would say that there needs to be a certain level of dedication to a concept for that kind of action, and really I loved the world and Blizzard products in general, so I was happy to shell out. Sure, the game didn't have everything I wanted in it, everything that I dreamed of doing in an MMORPG, but this was Blizzard, so they would come through for me, right? I got bored around the 6 month mark. The grind just wasn't for me. I didn't have the time to keep up with it, and all my friends just out paced me, so the game basically became a single player experience, and whats the point in paying $19 bucks (Canadian $ was a bit lower at the time) a month for something that just didn't live up to my expectations? The real killer came when I got massacred by a bear with a skull for a level doing the last thing that I actually enjoyed in the game - exploring.

Then, a few years later, someone introduced me to EVE Online. I was in heaven. Here were all the things WOW didn't have, the things I really wanted: economics. I spent something like three months happily moving water from one system to another, chasing market trends until i could finally afford a real cargo hauler. Then I kept doing the same thing, just on a larger scale. It was great, and I could still play with my friends in mining ops or instanced missions. Time killed even EVE for me, though, as I just couldn't justify the hour or two I could play a week with the price tag.

So, in conclusion, here is a casual gamer, with a casual amount of time on his hands, who is casually going to wait for the Free to Play option to roll out. What will I do when it comes out? Probably do odd jobs until I can afford a horse and cart to ship grain. Or maybe even water. And hey, I will probably even buy a module or two to play with my friends when I've got a spare weekend!


Wirth wrote:
Based on points above, with target of 4.5k subscribers, I do not see much room for reasonable continuous development and paying off development costs. The game will lack content and with low income, you won't be able to deliver the content fast enough to maintain your player base.

This, especially the part in bold.

Players will do their best to blast through any game's content as quickly as possible, and then spend their time b!@&@ing to anyone that will listen about there being nothing to do.

If you try to put caps/limits on progression then your game will be labeled as a grind or at best the caps/limits will be branded as a greedy means of forcing, er.....I mean 'encouraging' people to pay/play longer.

The current generation of gamers have been weaned on theme-park games (like World of Warcraft) and many potential customers are going to be expecting certain standards/amount of content for their subscription dollars. Many of them will simply not know what to do in a sandbox style game and need clear and concise markers (content) that lead them around by the nose. Dice-chuckers might be happy to go off and play the role of murder-hobos, seeking adventure where the find it, but a lot MMO players need/want to be told where to go, who to kill and what to loot. And like it or not, those players will most probably be your bread and butter customers.


That was an interesting read. RPGers seem to be a demanding bunch when it comes to being told details and given information on upoming/ongoing projects. Much more so than in other "real world" industries. 'Entitled' comes to mind. I look forward to further posts giving the kind of insights this first one included.

Fascinating, really.

Goblin Squad Member

Uncle Bob wrote:

...

Can a new MMO company afford the luxury of raising the ire of the irrational kettleheads that infest the MMO community? The silent majority of gamers may accept the reasoning behind your decision, but the vocal minority that plague gaming sites worldwide are going to be frothing at the mouth (and let everyone know about it) as the development process rolls on and the reality of the population cap sets in. Heck, I willing to be that many within the gaming media will view the idea with skepticism.

if only more MMOs would set limits. devs should feel responsible to players that do play. trying to please everyone never really works to everyone content.

tho, what devs really have to work out is: early players shouldn't have long-term mechanical advantages over later players. while EVE skill system might look good, it creates characters that are increasingly adaptive. in an environment that is balanced through counters (which is necessary in player-driven sandbox; time-based stat inflation through planned obsolescence really shouldn't be considered), a new players, even if they specialize, will face older players that are specialized in counters.

make new characters somewhat capable from the start. keep a "leveling" short. allow for "retraining". make game be gameplay.

Goblin Squad Member

Jagga Spikes wrote:

if only more MMOs would set limits. devs should feel responsible to players that do play. trying to please everyone never really works to everyone content.

tho, what devs really have to work out is: early players shouldn't have long-term mechanical advantages over later players. while EVE skill system might look good, it creates characters that are increasingly adaptive. in an environment that is balanced through counters (which is necessary in player-driven sandbox; time-based stat inflation through planned obsolescence really shouldn't be considered), a new players, even if they specialize, will face older players that are specialized in counters.

make new characters somewhat capable from the start. keep a "leveling" short. allow for "retraining". make game be gameplay.

Eve skills is great in every way excluding it's lack of soft or hard cap. Roleplaying games, specifically of the fantasy genre, should encourage characters to play multiple characters than that of all roles on a single character.

Short levelling duration, long duration to 'max' a certain skill, cap the number of skill points. Any creation of a skill system where a single character can continue learning skills indefinitely will always create escalating problems in the long run.

Goblin Squad Member

Delzoon wrote:
Idea for who gets to throw their hat in to play first: those who subscribe to *a* Paizo product.

To reinforce this idea, a player could get some of their Paizo publications on Amazon.com for significantly cheaper. Some of us choose to continue to get them straight from Paizo, which I have to think would benefit this small company more so than getting the stuff from Amazon. Allowing the subscribers first crack at the game would be rewarding =)

Also, regarding the idea of people being turned away at first due to the player cap, and thus turned off, I have to think that there will always be enough people wanting to play the game that Goblinworks will have no problem getting slots filled. A player who was turned away due to the player cap might develop some hard feelings, but if finally given the opportunity to play, I have to think they would jump on it anyway. Politics aside, once a gamer, you know....

Goblin Squad Member

superfly2000 wrote:
I still don't get why you need to compete with WoW and its clones...

Because there is an MMO market out there, and there are competitors.

superfly2000 wrote:
...using middleware just even more locks you up into the stereotype-MMO approach. So you'll be comitted first from a business side (you want to make something similar to actually compete with them) and then you'll also be comitted technically through using middleware...

If they're using middleware made by Blizzard, you may have a point.

Since they want to make a sandbox game, and not a theme park one, which World of Warcraft is, I doubt they make a middleware product they could use.
I would imagine they will court companies that make middleware that already have or have published successful sandbox MMOs, like EVE for example, which is nothing like World of Warcraft.

superfly2000 wrote:

...I'm not saying its a bad businessplan. People will buy any crap if it just smells like a WoW clone with some new functions, throw in some other lore and you're done. Nothing groundbreaking but selling indeed.

Good luck...

Condescending, but I think we all want a Paizo/Lisa Stevens backed endeavor to do well. Good luck indeed!

Goblin Squad Member

Sounds great! I think the slow ramp model is a really interesting approach :)

I'm curious about what level of involvement the community will have during development?

Additionally, with budget constraints in mind, will Goblinworks possibly make use of freelance design similar to the RPG superstar model? It might be a great way to get content from a community eager to contribute. Just a thought.

Best of luck!

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