I'm warning you now, Paizo...


Pathfinder Online


I absolutely LOVE Pathfinder. I've been on board from day one when my Dragon magazine subscription carried over into Rise of the Runelords. I absolutely love Paizo as a company as well. When Pathfinder Online was announced, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

That being said, I am VERY concerned about Pathfinder Online's initial 4,500 player cap. I understand the limitations and the business model, but when the game comes out, I want to play it. If I can't, words cannot describe how disappointed and unbelievably pissed off I will be.

I realize the plan is still taking shape. I know we'll hear more over the coming weeks and months about how all of this will work. As a devoted Pathfinder fan, I'd like to be able to relax, follow the game's development, and look forward to playing it. Instead, it appears I get to worry and stress about how to get a spot in the game.

NOT. COOL.

Am I missing something? Jumping to conclusions? Overreacting? Does anyone else share my fears?

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Svevenka wrote:
Am I missing something? Jumping to conclusions? Overreacting? Does anyone else share my fears?

The game is not even in preproduction, yet could be jumping onto our screens at a very accelerated rate thanks to this approach to design and launch.

Consider it more your getting it early, than you have to wait and play it late. At launch we must assume that the playable areas will be small, content minimal and in effect a beta. A pay to play beta.

The game is intended to be free to play and this period will only be for paying customers. I think this will be less of a problem than most think.


Accelerated rate yes Coldman, but I'd theorize it's virtually impossible to complete it in under a year.

And Coldman... where did you see the point at which they open the free to play aspect? I never saw that mentioned anywhere and if I missed it I'd like to know.

Goblin Squad Member

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Accelerated rate yes Coldman, but I'd theorize it's virtually impossible to complete it in under a year.

If we had screenshots, video and a good working knowledge of the game with beta/staggered launch coming within 6-12 months of January 2013? That's still epic.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
And Coldman... where did you see the point at which they open the free to play aspect? I never saw that mentioned anywhere and if I missed it I'd like to know.

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. - Ryan

Goblin Squad Member

Svevenka wrote:

I absolutely LOVE Pathfinder. I've been on board from day one when my Dragon magazine subscription carried over into Rise of the Runelords. I absolutely love Paizo as a company as well. When Pathfinder Online was announced, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

That being said, I am VERY concerned about Pathfinder Online's initial 4,500 player cap. I understand the limitations and the business model, but when the game comes out, I want to play it. If I can't, words cannot describe how disappointed and unbelievably pissed off I will be.

I realize the plan is still taking shape. I know we'll hear more over the coming weeks and months about how all of this will work. As a devoted Pathfinder fan, I'd like to be able to relax, follow the game's development, and look forward to playing it. Instead, it appears I get to worry and stress about how to get a spot in the game.

NOT. COOL.

Am I missing something? Jumping to conclusions? Overreacting? Does anyone else share my fears?

Personally, I'd like to be involved. Eventually. But I have no interest in being in the first month, or the first several months. I'm sure I'm not alone on this one, although I'd imagine the online forums are a bit biased in favor (with a few extreme exceptions).

I think that they must be basing this off of Paizo's existing customer records, which they're not going to share with us, but I trust this has been very well thought out, and that they're using the best data available to them. It's an awful risky venture and I'm sure they're thinking very carefully. I'd like to see Paizo and Pathfinder succeed, and if this is their best idea for avoiding the crippling failures of other MMORPGs, I'm all for it.

That said, I'm just not that interested in MMORPGs. That's why I play Pathfinder. I know it's not exactly the same as one or the other, but in a world with limited time, to some degree it is. Frankly, I'm kind of worried about Paizo taking this step, and I'd rather have seen something like the unfulfilled promise of the virtual gaming table WotC yammered on about at the transition to fourth edition. That would make it a lot easier for me to play the game they already make, rather than adding a new game that will, inevitably, no matter how hard they try, suck up some of Paizo's (also) limited time and resources. But this is the route they've chosen to go, and as the company I love, I hope to support them.

But you can gladly have my spot in line.


Coldman wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Accelerated rate yes Coldman, but I'd theorize it's virtually impossible to complete it in under a year.

If we had screenshots, video and a good working knowledge of the game with beta/staggered launch coming within 6-12 months of January 2013? That's still epic.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
And Coldman... where did you see the point at which they open the free to play aspect? I never saw that mentioned anywhere and if I missed it I'd like to know.
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. - Ryan

Yes I just got that reply in the other thread lol, but it bears repeating for people in this thread that haven't seen the other.


I just hate to think that loyal fans who are excited and willing to pay might be turned away while other people get to play the game.

Maybe Paizo should let people "pre-order" a spot if they're willing to pay ahead and commit to six months or a full year.

Goblinworks Founder

Azazyll wrote:
Frankly, I'm kind of worried about Paizo taking this step, and I'd rather have seen something like the unfulfilled promise of the virtual gaming table WotC yammered on about at the transition to fourth edition. That would make it a lot easier for me to play the game they already make, rather than adding a new game that will, inevitably, no matter how hard they try, suck up some of Paizo's (also) limited time and resources. But this is the route they've chosen to go, and as the company I love, I hope to support them.

It is a Goblinworks project and Paizo have already stated that it will not effect Paizo products in any shape or form. There will be no sucking up of Paizo's limited time or resources.

Goblin Squad Member

Svevenka wrote:
Maybe Paizo should let people "pre-order" a spot if they're willing to pay ahead and commit to six months or a full year.

Who's to say they won't? A number of aspects will no doubt dictate a players entitlement to early access.

Offering players a Collector's Edition or Deluxe Edition which offers early access for an enhanced price is one very viable option which speaks in monetary terms. Offering players an annual pass similar to what World of Warcraft offers: 12 months premium gametime at a reasonable price.

I'm sure that every opportunity will exist for community members to get into the game early beyond being a friend of a friend.


Maybe I missed something. Are the initial 4,500 players beta testers, or are they the first players let into the game world at launch? The blog at goblinworks.com leads me to believe it's the latter.

Coldman wrote:
Who's to say they won't?

Maybe they will. What I'm looking for are assurances NOW that I don't have to worry about it.

So far, the only way they've mentioned to secure a spot is "being an active and contributing member of the global Pathfinder community." I don't want to have to jump through hoops to prove my loyalty to Paizo. The number of Pathfinder products I've purchased should do that already! ;p


Yea. This could be a problem.


Svevenka wrote:
Maybe I missed something. Are the initial 4,500 players beta testers, or are they the first players let into the game world at launch? The blog at goblinworks.com leads me to believe it's the latter.

The launch is the "beta." They just don't call it that because they want money too.


I tried to look through other threads to make sure I wasn't doubling up, but I missed a couple:

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.

And this was someone else's response:

Hawksm00r wrote:
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."

Grand Lodge

What I think that a lot of people are missing here is that most if not all MMO's in the last 5 years as has been mentioned in the blog, take about 5 years to create and most if not all of them fail in the first year of being around. Keeping in mind most of THOSE MMO's took incredibly large budgets and incredible amounts of time and effort to implement and design.

With the above being said Goblinworks is trying something different they WANT to get us the game with in a year or two instead of the usual 5 years of creation, Alpha, and Beta testing not to mention all the internal testing they do too. The way MMO's have done this in the past usually fail BECAUSE of the huge budgets and the like because of said spiks and decline mentality of the MMO player these days.

Most MMO players join a game, burn through the content hit the end game where they are high level, level several alts and then move on to the next MMO out of boredom or go back to the previous well established MMO they were playing before. Hence the Spike and Decline mentioned earlier. Goblinworks wants to avoid this by giving us the Pathfinder Players and Paizo fans a chance to get in earlier then say the traditional MMO mentioned above in my post.

Lets face it, how many people, when they heard that Pathfinder was going to be released as an MMO were so elated and excited in the initial day that we went and looked online for every scrap of information we could find only to remember that most if not all MMO's take about 3-5 years minimum to create and then become dejected??

If Pathfinder Online took 5 years to implement and then release most if not all of us would be extremely disappointed and even dejected overall because we can't play it soon enough and lets face it 5 years a very very long time to wait.

Goblinworks does not want that for us. They want us to play, be a part of the creation process and get our opinions and input on this game and lord knows even create the setting through our play and participation initially as they put it through the 4,500 a month. If they loose 75% of that initial participation a month then It just means we will be able to eventually play. But we WILL be able to play long before you would if Goblinworks did it the traditional way and made us wait for 5 years before they even got to the beta stage, is that what you want?

I think that what Goblinworks is doing is a very cool way of implementing something that could potentially explode on the market in such a way that makes other MMO companies sit up and take notice. Now keeping in mind they are shooting for low numbers immediately upon release and that is what makes it unique and they could potentially after 5 years have millions instead of the low 100k number most MMO have after 6 months of implementation and have to shut down because they did not clear their budget of 300+ million dollars.

I would rather play for the long term and not think in the short term which is what Goblinworks is doing here. They are looking at the big picture and from what I am seeing (personally and my own opinion here) most in this thread and many others in this larger thread about the Pathfinder Online game, are approaching this as a traditional opening of an MMO and this is anything BUT typical of an MMO by any means.

Goblin Squad Member

I do not read anything in the press release that indicates beta testing. He also clearly states that the are buying a licence for a middleware software which has already been tested.

the primary reason we test programs is to see if they can handle the stress of many players logging in, many players been in a certain area. Many players spamming kills on certain areas. many players chopping trees or stealthing a certain area in mass, etc etc.

this sort of testing has been done by who ever they buy the software off.

It will just be a matter of them programing out values/stats for "X" spell and "Y" attack.

building the world layout, scripting events or quests. setting spawn timers for resources and monsters etc.

This is not a finished product "BUT" a large portion of the ground and middle work has been done by who ever they buy the program off.

Sure it will still need some testing to ensure it meets their standards and scripts work as intended etc.

not to say testing wont be done on the final product. But im very confident that we the early 4500 will not be the "beta" testers so to speak.

Goblinworks Founder

Magus Nex wrote:

But im very confident that we the early 4500 will not be the "beta" testers so to speak.

This was how I interpreted the blog post as well.

My initial thoughts were that the 4500 in the first wave would be specifically chosen to lay the initial foundations of the community and perhaps be the first wave to begin land claims and construction.

Instead of launching a game with an uncontrolled population explosion and everything turning to custard when thirty thousand people all fight over the same bit of turf.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Svevenka wrote:
So far, the only way they've mentioned to secure a spot is "being an active and contributing member of the global Pathfinder community." I don't want to have to jump through hoops to prove my loyalty to Paizo. The number of Pathfinder products I've purchased should do that already! ;p

Maybe it has! We have some ideas about how to identify "active and contributing members of the global Pathfinder community," but we haven't made firm decisions. When we do, we'll explain them, possibly in a future blog post. Until then, don't worry—just keep an open eye.


Azazyll wrote:
That said, I'm just not that interested in MMORPGs. That's why I play Pathfinder. I know it's not exactly the same as one or the other, but in a world with limited time, to some degree it is. Frankly, I'm kind of worried about Paizo taking this step, and I'd rather have seen something like the...

Well said. Real life demands more time the older you get and the more responsibilities you take on. I'm dropping PC gaming and getting into Play By Post because I don't have the time for the former anymore. An MMO is just another free time option that will cut into any other Pathfinder play.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Svevenka wrote:
So far, the only way they've mentioned to secure a spot is "being an active and contributing member of the global Pathfinder community." I don't want to have to jump through hoops to prove my loyalty to Paizo. The number of Pathfinder products I've purchased should do that already! ;p
Maybe it has! We have some ideas about how to identify "active and contributing members of the global Pathfinder community," but we haven't made firm decisions. When we do, we'll explain them, possibly in a future blog post. Until then, don't worry—just keep an open eye.

~sighs~ So that means I will be the last person to be admitted and that will be after 5 years. I blame Cosmo. And Sebastian.

Goblin Squad Member

.......... *runs off to buy every single thing so that he can be one of the first 4,500 players, get himself a Tavern, then bore newer player rigid with "I used to be an adventurer like you .... then I took a Goblin to the knee!"-esque lines*

Goblinworks Founder

HalfOrcHeavyMetal wrote:
.......... *runs off to buy every single thing so that he can be one of the first 4,500 players, get himself a Tavern, then bore newer player rigid with "I used to be an adventurer like you .... then I took a Goblin to the knee!"-esque lines*

"What was that? You'll have to speak up, I had my ear canal replaced with sky metal tubes after an incident with a kobold earwig trap." *sticks a handkerchief in one ear and slides it out the other.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Accelerated rate yes Coldman, but I'd theorize it's virtually impossible to complete it in under a year.

Unless of course, a good deal of the work had already been done in secret before anyone spilled the beans here. For all we know, Dancey might be remaking one of his aborted projects under the Pathfinder label.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm pretty sure the reason they're not calling it a beta, even though that's effectively what it is, is because they're not wiping it afterwards.

It actually sounds a lot like what the game talked about here is doing:

Quote:

Uber Entertainment began the beta with 50 players, and the pool has now grown to 2,000 or so players. The developers have begun to balance things for newer characters and to test for accessibility while also having a number of high-level, expert players to provide balance to the games and servers. The timeframe for "release" seems loose, but the model of constant updates and new content will be retained.

"Our plan is to switch from Beta to an Invite-only game over the next several months as we add more players and more features to the game," Ekanayake said. The game is to be considered "shipped" when Uber opens access to anyone and everyone who wants to play. "It's a very different way of thinking about a game when it's constantly evolving and being updated," Ekanayake said.


LazarX wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Accelerated rate yes Coldman, but I'd theorize it's virtually impossible to complete it in under a year.

Unless of course, a good deal of the work had already been done in secret before anyone spilled the beans here. For all we know, Dancey might be remaking one of his aborted projects under the Pathfinder label.

Except for that irritating little clause that makes almost any aborted project work the property of his employer at the time it was being developed.

Quote:

So far, the only way they've mentioned to secure a spot is "being an active and contributing member of the global Pathfinder community." I don't want to have to jump through hoops to prove my loyalty to Paizo. The number of Pathfinder products I've purchased should do that already! ;p

Maybe it has! We have some ideas about how to identify "active and contributing members of the global Pathfinder community," but we haven't made firm decisions. When we do, we'll explain them, possibly in a future blog post. Until then, don't worry—just keep an open eye.

As far as this is concerned, I implore you guys not to make this a contest of who has spent the most money in online orders and subscriptions, or a contest of post count. You have legions of fans who love your products but only purchase them at their FLGS in order to support brick and mortar enterprise.

Goblin Squad Member

Moro wrote:
You have legions of fans who love your products but only purchase them at their FLGS in order to support brick and mortar enterprise.

Or who live outside the US.

On a side note, please god do not employ what The Secret World is doing. I'm no expert, but as far as I am aware, getting a beta spot requires engaging in social network fascism.


A lot of people have mentioned the reduced timeline for creating Pathfinder Online, as if that offsets the wait that may occur from not being one of the initial 4,500 players. I understand what you're saying, but...

To me, that's mostly irrelevant. Like I said, I understand the business model. Sooner would OBVIOUSLY be better than later, but I don't care how long development takes as long as they make a great game.

All I'm saying is that once Pathfinder Online is ready to play--whether in 2 years or five--I want in! I don't want to be kept from playing because there aren't enough open slots. That's the whole point of this thread.

Grand Lodge

Svevenka wrote:

A lot of people have mentioned the reduced timeline for creating Pathfinder Online, as if that offsets the wait that may occur from not being one of the initial 4,500 players. I understand what you're saying, but...

To me, that's mostly irrelevant. Like I said, I understand the business model. Sooner would OBVIOUSLY be better than later, but I don't care how long development takes as long as they make a great game.

All I'm saying is that once Pathfinder Online is ready to play--whether in 2 years or five--I want in! I don't want to be kept from playing because there aren't enough open slots. That's the whole point of this thread.

All I can say to this then is that if you don't care how long it takes... then be patient, wait the 5 years it would normally take to get in to a normally implemented MMO and then you will pretty much be guaranteed a spot because there will be plenty of spots open because by that time PFO will have 750k clients easily :D

Meanwhile I will just be patient and try to get in as early as I can even if it takes a couple months. You say you will wait but you won't wait to get in on the que?? Does not make sense to me at all.

Goblin Squad Member

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It'll be alright, folks. I overhead somewhere that, one week prior to release, Goblinworks will open up the Thunderdome, where accounts will be handed out to the survivors.

I'm already sharpening my portable chainsaw ballista-motorbike.

TWO NERDS ENTER; ONE NERD LEAVES

And Torag help me I'll be survivin'!


I realize that what I'm saying may sound weird/contradictory. Let me try to explain one more time. I'm not worried about the wait between now and when the game comes out. I'm worried about the wait between when the game comes out and when I can start playing. Those are two different things. I'm not worried about the wait while the game is being produced. If anything, it will be fun to follow its development and have something awesome to look forward to.

My concerns have more to do with feeling left out. Because there's a player cap, some people might get to play and have fun while other people get left out. It's like knowing there's a really cool party going on, and you're not invited. Only, in this case it's worse because you might be a longstanding, loyal Pathfinder/Paizo fan who's passionate and willing to pay, and you still get left out!

Paizo probably already has a plan that will take care of this (at least I hope they do). I realize they have to go with a feasible business model given monetary limitations, risk, etc. I actually think their plan is quite brilliant! I just worry as a fan/consumer about getting immediate access to the game upon its release. At that point, I won't want to wait 2 days, let alone 2 months. Does that make sense?

Goblinworks Founder

Svevenka wrote:

I realize that what I'm saying may sound weird/contradictory. Let me try to explain one more time. I'm not worried about the wait between now and when the game comes out. I'm worried about the wait between when the game comes out and when I can start playing. Those are two different things. I'm not worried about the wait while the game is being produced. If anything, it will be fun to follow its development and have something awesome to look forward to.

My concerns have more to do with feeling left out. Because there's a player cap, some people might get to play and have fun while other people get left out. It's like knowing there's a really cool party going on, and you're not invited. Only, in this case it's worse because you might be a longstanding, loyal Pathfinder/Paizo fan who's passionate and willing to pay, and you still get left out!

Paizo probably already has a plan that will take care of this (at least I hope they do). I realize they have to go with a feasible business model given monetary limitations, risk, etc. I actually think their plan is quite brilliant! I just worry as a fan/consumer about getting immediate access to the game upon its release. At that point, I won't want to wait 2 days, let alone 2 months. Does that make sense?

If you train your thought pattern to interpret the launch as 4500 people will be in pre-alpha (Usually reserved for friends and family of developers), followed by successive months of new alpha testers, followed by closed beta, open beta then finally the launch (at 7 months) then it really isn't any different to what the gaming industry already does. Instead of feeling left out, learn to accept that this is how they are doing things and find something else to do until your email arrives.

Everyone would love to win the golden ticket to Willy Wonkers Chocolate Factory but only five children will get the golden ticket.

If I don't get into the first wave, then I accept that and hope that the first wave fulfil their responsibilities and begin the foundations of civilisation for the next successive waves. I believe the first wave will be specifically chosen so they do not just form several PK guilds and ruin everything.


*sigh* Sorry, but I'm sticking to my guns. I'm not going to pretend it's something else. It's not a beta test! Paizo's new model may be revolutionary, but, by definition, it also restricts access (vs. the existing model where you simply pay to play, and no one gets turned away).

Sorry to be so vocal, but obviously I have a problem with that. I'd hate to see Paizo shoot themselves in the foot because they didn't create enough supply to meet demand. Hell hath no fury like a gamer scorned! :)

I have no doubt Paizo will stick with a player cap (they pretty much have to for the rest of the plan to work), but even measuring demand and then adjusting the cap accordingly would help. In fact, I assume Paizo has already done this to a certain degree. I was thinking more along the lines of measuring demand via pre-orders, but 4,500 is a very specific number. I'd be curious to know what criteria went into that decision.

Paizo's always been transparent with us, and I hope they continue to be. I'm sure more details are forthcoming, so I'll try to shut up now, lol! ;p


But first, a few more posts from other threads that seem to support my opinion:

Balodek wrote:

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.

Wirth wrote:

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...

And my personal favorite...
Uncle Bob wrote:
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.


Player cap?
nm, just read it. Interesting approach to save money.

Goblin Squad Member

Player Cap refers to a few things, but as written I believe it means that each server (or THE Server) would only have 4,500 openings for accounts or players at a time. Meaning that assuming things run as the Goblinworks Blog says, every month they open up a few thousand more 'slots', meaning within two or three months everyone who is interested will have been able to go in and play around.

I will admit it's unorthadox and as a business model it has me scratching my head, but these people, Paizo especially, have made a thriving business out of what most modern gamers consider a 'dead end', so I'm willing to definitely throw my lot in with Pathfinder Online.

Now if only I had a spare 100,000 to throw into the submission bin. With the caveat of a cameo, naturally *evil Killer Croc-esque grin*

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

The thing you need to remember is the logistics of it. They were talking about the spike and decline. Say only 25% of those that sign up stay long term. If you open the game to say 100,000 people, you need the servers to handle 100,000 people even though a month later only 25,000 will be paying you money. Thats 75,000 people of wasted server space. And remember, no guilds we be running day 1. A lot of the server economy won't be worked out yet.

So let's say you start with adding 4,500 paying players each month. That's 1,125 retains per month. So we have a ramp up of devoted players who aren't being swamped by tens of thousands of newbies just trying the latest flavor of the month. Let's look at it for the 1st year.

Player-base Retains
Month 1
1,125
Month 2
2,250
Month 3
3,375
Month 4
4,500
Month 5
5,625
Month 6
6,750
Month 7
7,875
Month 8
9,000
Month 10
10,125
Month 11
11,250
Month 12
12,375

So after a year you will have 12K+ committed players, likely good guilds, and a strong economy already for the full opening of the game.

Let's say they release 2 years from now. Average MMO takes 5. Even if you have to wait the full year before you get in, You will be playing PFO 2 years earlier than if it was a "normal" MMO.


I agree with Svevenka...I don't like this player cap. It means in a game of pvp and players battling for area.....and setting up poweer blocs....Those 4,500 players will be the movers and shakers....and it will be nearly impossible for anyone to later join and effect anything.

My problem with Eve online was that you pretty much became a wage slave for the higher ups....sorry not interested.

And also the whole guilds from other games getting preference....well being a not so much MMO player and don't have those kinda of contacts. My interest in the game is approaching zero. I was willing to give it try but if I don't get in at the ground floor...why should I join later?

Goblin Squad Member

Just to make a point, this is not the first time an MMO uses this model. And I think some people might be a bit too fatalist about it.

Two years ago, Darkfall online started with a very similar system: Sandbox game created by a small indie developer, aiming at high-population servers (only two of them initially), and a 10,000 player cap. The idea was to allow the game some time to settle and avoid the player spikes mentioned by Ray Dancey in the Goblinworks' blog.

However, unlike PFO, Darkfall did not have a set schedule (or at least didn't announce one openly) to determine when more people would be allowed to join; in fact, the official answer was "keep watching the online store for a surprise". This cap would last for a while, until the game was opened to everyone (I managed to get in about two weeks after launch, if memory serves).

Now, based on the perception here, one would think that people would have turned away from such a game. But reality was that the game had very high demand for a while, until technical problems (the game was indeed very buggy, unbalanced and severely lacking in content) ended up turning players away (to use the more technical term circling around as of late, the player attrition was enormous after 3-4 months).

So the point I'm trying to make here is that while having to wait to get into the game will indeed hurt our gamer sensibilities, I am quite sure that it will not deter people from playing. If life is a teacher, then not having something you want badly is a sure way to make you want it even more.

After all, I think that if someone is interested enough in the game so as to make that person angry about not being able to join right away, I'd wagger that person's interest in the game will surpass that anger once the opportunity to join comes up. Pride becomes surprisingly fickle when the counterpart is not even perceiving it, and I don't think we'll see too many cases of "So you won't let me it? Screw it, I'm not going to even if you let me a few months down the road". Not saying that it will be your particular case should that happen, but experience shows me that those attitudes tend to be very, very rare among interested parties.


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John Kretzer wrote:

I agree with Svevenka...I don't like this player cap. It means in a game of pvp and players battling for area.....and setting up poweer blocs....Those 4,500 players will be the movers and shakers....and it will be nearly impossible for anyone to later join and effect anything.

My problem with Eve online was that you pretty much became a wage slave for the higher ups....sorry not interested.

And also the whole guilds from other games getting preference....well being a not so much MMO player and don't have those kinda of contacts. My interest in the game is approaching zero. I was willing to give it try but if I don't get in at the ground floor...why should I join later?

Eve also has the problem of a limitted galaxy number because of programing language restraints (its based off of at least 8 year old architechure.) This means that they cannot open up new vistas for mid-level players to go to and become the dominant parties. If they properly scale the game space to number of players, this should not become an issue. edit Ryan talks about it here

As far as guilds from other games getting invites - I see this as a good thing as long as guilds are chose correctly. The best Eve player wikis, for instance, are maintained by a guild that wants to help new players. By inviting groups like that, you get people who have a track record for creating good support information. They explore the early system you have set up and create more detailed player guides than you can possibly make. When the next round of players gets brought in, you lose fewer people because the initial frustration of figuring out what to do has been done by people who enjoy both figuring out these systems and documenting them for others.

Similarly, I can see them inviting people who mod the WoW interface to be more usable. These people will provide useful feedback on the UI design, and possibly make their own mods that inspire the developers to make it better out of the box.

Getting people who will provide useful feedback on the game in early is a plus, even if they aren't calling it a beta. It means the game will be better for new players when they open it up to more.

Scarab Sages

I actually think its genius. I'm intentionally avoiding the launch of SW:TOR because I don't want to deal with a hundred million players choking the login servers and newbie zones. With this model I won't hesitate to pre-order. Even without a guarantee of being in the initial group.

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