Will Pathfinder Online follow the sage advice of Gary Gygax?


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Danneth Sky wrote:
I'd just like to add that there's only one master of "Sage Advice," and that man is Ed Greenwood!

Hear! Hear!

Goblin Squad Member

Danneth Sky wrote:
I'd just like to add that there's only one master of "Sage Advice," and that man is Ed Greenwood!

I met "Elminster" at a LG conference dinner once. Ed Greenwood is definitely an interesting guy.

Goblin Squad Member

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I loved Ed's bio for the Kickstarter/Emerald Spire. "Flirtatious Canadian librarian. . . "

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

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If you're thinking of permadeath, I heartily recommend observing and playing through hardcore diablo 3 to see how and why it works.

here's a few observations:

1. in softcore diablo 3, characters can build themselves out for maximum dps first because death doesn't set you back much of anything, and they lose out on nothing. this heavily favors certain builds and usually ends up making most gear useless because "there's only one stat."

In hardcore, however, you must, MUST balance out your damage with survivability. too far in either direction cripples your character, and you are, at times, balancing on the knife's edge, with sixty-plus hours invested into your character, who could be lost at a moment's notice.

2. In softcore diablo 3, any item you craft with a level requirement reduction is a piece of trash and must be discarded. that's a wasted stat slot, it cuts directly into your dps. any gear that you outgrow is discarded forever because it's worthless.

In hardcore diablo 3, level requirement reduction gear is a GODSEND. It allows you to save tons of effort in time, energy, and money getting your next character back up to speed.

3. In softcore diablo 3, there is a cap to how far you can progress before you're "done."

In hardcore, however, there is always the threat of having to start over again, so you can keep piling on the legendaries in your stash, confident that they will not be wasted!

There are a few things to note though, just to be sure.

A) Softcore and Hardcore characters are never allowed to co-mingle. They can't even share items across the account-bound stash. It was incredibly frustrating that I couldn't unlock skins and recipes for softcore characters with my hardcore characters. When my friend got pissed at losing his wizard again (seriously, dude, put teleport on your bar and this wouldn't happen so much) he gave up on hardcore and the grind was sooooo annoying. (but that was mainly because I had a 70 character in badass gear right... over... there...

B) There is next to zero pvp, and absolutely NO nonconsentual pvp. This is a big thing that helps the hardcore experience, because it's a lot easier to get into.

C) Their servers don't suck anymore. This was a huge deal-breaker when the game first came out.

D) Leveling up is nowhere near as bad as it once was, and having high level characters and a few items in the stash REALLY helps alleviate the sting of losing a character.

E) The game is 100% co-operative, and at every turn, they remind you that the bad guys are "over there" and you are the good guys and you have to save the day by working together. The bad guys can't be any more bad, you can't be any more good. Seriously they drill this into you. The monsters in the game are the hostile environment. You work together to destroy it. This likely wouldn't work as well if you had to play against other players with different goals who were actively trying to eliminate you. (and if it were, things would get out of hand FAST, since players deal upwards of millions of points of damage and have hit points MAYBE in the hundreds of thousands, but much more likely in the tens)

F) This is the most important and if you don't read anything else, read this: In diablo 3, hardcore, when you die, you do not lose everything. You have a stash. Your stash holds gear, gems, and money. Once you hit the level cap, you get paragon xp, which makes every character (hardcore, that is) better. That means that when you begin the long crawl back up, you have a big boost. Not only are you more prepared against fights like the one you lost, but you have a little bit of your last character that will always be there to help you up. Even though you lose a character when it dies, you don't lose everything. In fact you can get right back up to where you were pretty fast.

Now, Diablo 3 only has 6 classes. There are a lot of things you can do with those classes, but Pathfinder has a lot more. A hardcore game option wouldn't just be cool, it would be a fantastic way to explore all sorts of different character builds, especially since some of them take off at different levels. A wizard might be awesome at high levels, but if your guild has one and he's working on getting level 5, he's a threat to other guilds nearby, who would love to kill him and prevent him from getting access to fireball, or worse, capturing him and forcing him to work for them.

A hardcore option for Pathfinder online would be AMAZING. But in order for it to work, there has to be a better foundation for the game, including a softcore alternative for players who need to work their way up in baby steps to the hardcore mode.

Here's my meteor swarm wizard:
https://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Tentacles-1857/hero/44918930

And while I'm at it you can check out my future Pathfinder Online guild.
https://goblinworks.com/landrush/guild/144
http://almightier.guildlaunch.com/

Goblin Squad Member

Personally when I Kickstarted this I was hoping for something very faithful to the Pathfinder RPG rules. That's what attracts me to Pathfinder and D&D in general, not the setting, but the deeper, more interesting systems that diverge greatly from what you typically see in an MMO.

Even DDO has vast differences from the tabletop game, and that's where a lot of the really egregious imbalances come from (not to say the tabletop RPG is perfectly balanced, but DDO was even less careful about power levels).

So as not to have my hopes dashed, I'm pretty much expecting Pathfinder Online to be another WoW-clone, or to resemble the Neverwinter MMORPG that came out recently (and again had zero in common with its tabletop ancestor, despite D&D 4e already borrowing so much from MMORPGs).

I can understand why they're diverging from the tabletop game, they must think that it's safer to make a system specific to the MMO in order to give it longevity and balance in that space.. but I very much doubt it's going to have the complexity and depth of an extensively played tabletop game with a long history.

So I'm prepared for the worst and hoping for 'okay'. The 'best' is off the table.

Goblin Squad Member

Is Necroing a Thread considered an Evil act?

And Stromko, you've got a lot of reading to catch up on if you think this:

Quote:
I'm pretty much expecting Pathfinder Online to be another WoW-clone, or to resemble the Neverwinter MMORPG that came out recently

Goblin Squad Member

Now almost a year later ( If I'm not mistaken ) we are aware of the fact that PFO does not have permadeath on the character level but does have something akin to permadeath on the settlement level, no?

Goblin Squad Member

ooh, a necro thread. should i try to turn it or control it?

Moriquende wrote:


Gary Gygax in the preface to the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide wrote:
The danger of a mutable system is that you or your players will go too far in some undesirable direction and end up with a short-lived campaign. Participants will always be pushing for a game which allows them to become strong and powerful far too quickly. Each will attempt to take the game out of your hands and mold it to his or her own ends. To satisfy this natural desire is to issue a death warrant to a campaign, for it will either be a one-player affair or the players will desert en masse for something more challenging and equitable.

1. power creep: GW already has a solution here. Staying at peak power is just not going to be cost-effective. (to the point where assassinating someone in full T3 gear may be seen as economic warfare more than murder). PvP means it isn't so easy to only pick winning fights.

2. players trying to mold the game to their own ends: this is a main feature of the game. GW is providing a framework and letting players make - no, be - the content.

Ravenlute quoting Stromko wrote:


I'm pretty much expecting Pathfinder Online to be another WoW-clone, or to resemble the Neverwinter MMORPG that came out recently

It will be a MMO game, not virtual tapletop Pathfinder RPG. If that is what was meant by 'WoW clone', then there is just a communication gap between RPGers and MMOers. It will certainly not be a static themepark MMO where you run the same quest/instances over and over.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:


I think the most extreme versions of death penalty in PFO are going to be: Losing all your best gear and whatever else you are carrying, assassination causes some additional penalties I believe (?) and obviously if your whole settlement is burned down!

Yep. Most of the discussions here center on mechanics and outcomes at the character level, and that's the wrong level of analysis. This isn't a PvP game (in the current sense)--it's a Social Structure vs. Social Structure game, and that's where the stakes are. As Avena pointed out a year ago, and what Papaver reminds us of, Permadeath is at the level of the social structure: your POI, Settlement or Nation being destroyed in conflict.

The discussion should be about the power curve and mechanical disparities between settlements--if LG has too much mechanical advantage, if LE has so much freedom for action via alignment + mechanics that they can dominate, if there are scale advantages that allow a leading edge settlement to gain an insurmountable advantage over others, etc, then the we have the problem the OP tried to get at.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Most of the discussions here center on mechanics and outcomes at the character level, and that's the wrong level of analysis. This isn't a PvP game (in the current sense)--it's a Social Structure vs. Social Structure game, and that's where the stakes are.

Sometimes it seems like PFO characters are going to be individually controlled pieces in a giant game of Risk.

Goblin Squad Member

In hardcore Diablo 2, the time period this thread was necrod from, I had a both a Lagomancer and a bone-and-aura specialized "Safety Necro" in their full heroic class sets.

Goblin Squad Member

One thing that drew me to PFO is something that was said about PC power levels early on. Basically players will max out with powers comparable to a TT character in their low teens. This means that most iconic monsters will be a challenge throughout the game. Personally I like more of a low fantasy setting so this is good news. When I play 3.5 or Pathfinder I like to use Epic 6th or my own variation Epic 8th.

Goblin Squad Member

I've never understood requests to developers to add Permadeath or Hardcore elements. It feels--to me--as if they're already there: if you die, start a new character.

What have I missed in trying to grok the fullness of those suggestions??


T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:

I've never understood requests to developers to add Permadeath or Hardcore elements. It feels--to me--as if they're already there: if you die, start a new character.

What have I missed in trying to grok the fullness of those suggestions??

I am not talking for PD here, just to make it clear.

Imagine they removed the ability to die at all.
No one could take any damage.

Instead, your characters went up to each other and played a quick rock-paper-scissor match.

After that, the loser could CHOOSE to type /death and his character would die and the looting rules etc from the rest of the game would work.

If the loser didn't want to, then he could just move on.

Would you choose to use /death?

Goblin Squad Member

Some folks would, some wouldn't. What I don't understand why we'd want to ask the devs to add /death, when the loser of the Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock could just use the character-delete function that the game'd already have.

Players may thus mimic Permadeath--if they choose--while costing no additional development resources. In a PM, someone told me they'd want the system to delete the character in order that the player would not be tempted to avoid Permadeath, but--once again, to me--that's just willpower, and asking the devs to assist us with willpower-issues seems a bit...odd.

Goblin Squad Member

T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:

I've never understood requests to developers to add Permadeath or Hardcore elements. It feels--to me--as if they're already there: if you die, start a new character.

What have I missed in trying to grok the fullness of those suggestions??

I've always thought the best solution for players that wanted a "Hardcore/Perma-Death" mode was to allow Players to display a flag/title that indicated they'd never died. If their Character died, they could still play that Character if they wanted, but they'd no longer be able to display their "Never Died" title. They get all the bragging rights they really need at a really, really low cost to the developers.

Unfortunately, I think even that solution would end giving Players the idea that it's okay to spam Customer Service with requests to get their title back because their death "wasn't fair" - either they lagged out, or their PC crashed, or they died to a bug or exploit, whatever the reason really.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

There's a certain mystery behind it that you'll never be able to understand until you try it.

It IS just a game, and you don't really lose that much when you lose a character, but there's an immense rush that you get from surviving in a game where survival means so much more.

The stakes are higher and the rewards are the same, but each reward means so much more because of the potential for loss.

What's really impressive about it is that you stop seeing the exact same glass cannon builds over and over, because those characters just disappear when they get caught off guard.

I encourage you to try it out if you don't understand it.

Part of what makes hardcore work though, is that there's no question that the character hasn't died. Bugs, lag, sudden real life emergencies, these things happen. And in real life, you might very well die because some old driver plowed right into your house, accidentally flooring the wrong pedal.

In game, each hardcore character knows that they are in a field of massive attrition. Every single character has to have gotten where they are by not dying. There can't be any co-mingling. If a softcore character has the ability to make themselves into a character with no defensive ability but the ability to one-shot both themself and someone else, well, that's not cool, because they'll just get back up and the hardcore character won't. In other words, only hardcore characters can interact with one another. No flags, no purely voluntary nonsense, nothing.

I'm all for it, but I don't see it happening soon, because it would require a separate server. The goblinworks folks probably don't want to "divide the population" so they'll avoid it for now. (Even though the population will probably already be divided)


T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:

Some folks would, some wouldn't. What I don't understand why we'd want to ask the devs to add /death, when the loser of the Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock could just use the character-delete function that the game'd already have.

Players may thus mimic Permadeath--if they choose--while costing no additional development resources. In a PM, someone told me they'd want the system to delete the character in order that the player would not be tempted to avoid Permadeath, but--once again, to me--that's just willpower, and asking the devs to assist us with willpower-issues seems a bit...odd.

ok, lets take it one step further.

We have PFO, like it is planned to be right now.
Except, that when one group attacks a settlement, the loser of the war can choose NOT to lose their settlement.

Sure, you can use your usual argument, that some people might choose to to do this, but why would they?

I am already doubting that most people will be able to handle even losing this much.

How many people do you think will rage quit, once their settlement is lost?
PD, doesn't seem so bad, compared to losing months of work on a community build.

I don't expect people like Nihimon or any of the gentler people to stick around past OE or even through EE.
They simply wont think it is fair.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm not sure I understand this one. Why would Goblinworks ever offer us the option to keep our Settlement, as it would remove the prime motivating force they seem to be envisioning for their game?

Allowing the hypothetical to facilitate discussion, what incentive would anyone have to try to take a Settlement if it couldn't be taken? In our previous examples, those who want "tougher" can make it tougher upon themselves without requiring others to pay that price; it's untenable at best to allow those challenge-pursuing people to impose those tougher conditions upon the unwilling.

In this exchange, I'm not seeing the corollary to "some people want it tougher; here's what they can do that doesn't affect those unwilling". It feels as if we've gone from one set of hypotheticals to another unrelated to the first.

Goblin Squad Member

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Cirolle wrote:
I don't expect people like Nihimon or any of the gentler people to stick around past OE or even through EE.

You only meant that in your hypothetical, right? I very strongly expect I'll still be playing PFO - and only PFO - until they shut down the servers.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

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The settlement is currently "hardcore."
The characters are not.

Goblin Squad Member

Bastress wrote:

The settlement is currently "hardcore."

The characters are not.

Yeah, this point has been made a lot, and deserves to be made again, thanks :)

If your Settlement gets killed, it's dead and you have to start over. That's pretty hardcore :)

Goblin Squad Member

It is the nature of mankind to not surrender even in the most hopeless situation.

A desperation to survive.

A determination to rebuild.

Bigger. Better. Stronger. More Lasting.

We are not yet done.


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Optional PermaDeath, you say? You realize there's a handy-dandy "Delete Character" button (or there probably will be)?

I mean, Official PermaDeath would just add a job for GW, increase the likelihood that someone would regret making the character PD and stop playing after they die, and it's easily replicated "artificially".

Also, it would be a bit...terrible. Death is supposed to be very dead common in PFO. That doesn't mesh well with PermaDeath.

Goblin Squad Member

Moriquende wrote:


...
I've been playing DDO since the first year it launched and I've seen how the game has been ravaged by the uncontrollably desire for more powerful characters and equipment. It's natural, as Gary said, to desire to be become strong and powerful, but the game has devolved into a zergfest where players race from 1st to 25th level, again and again, soloing huge portions of the content with barely the slightest danger of failing a quest. The difference in power between those who grind 12 hours a day and those who are solid players but don't dedicate their lives to clicking has become huge, creating large imbalances which make PUGing an increasing rarity. Regardless, the quests, which were once challenging, have all become cake walks.

Yes, it has been considered.

In PFOL, the end-game monsters are players from enemy settlements.
So, you will get +2 gear, they will get +2 gear at about the same time, and so they remain equally challenging, and so "not a cake walk".
Eventually, you will get +25 gear, and they will get +25 gear, and so will still be a challenge, and so "not a cake walk".

Goblinworks are planning on using Players As The Content for exactly the reasons you are worried about, as attempting to constantly create NPC content (theme park) is too expensive to be viable, leading to old content that - as you note - ends up being a cakewalk.
So the only viable long-term challenge are other players fighting over finite resources.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Cirolle wrote:

I don't expect people like Nihimon or any of the gentler people to stick around past OE or even through EE.

They simply wont think it is fair.

Er, obviously a lot of settlements will be destroyed, once the mechanics for this are live. Everybody is aware of that.

What will happen if Phaeros is destroyed ? Well, its inhabitants will join an other settlement. And another if this one is destroyed too.

In this game, it seems we will have some measure of control for settlement vs settlement in economics, with the influence system. In EvE, there isn't such a system. And yet, stations even in 0.0 aren't destroyed THAT much. I don't see why it would be so much horrible here.

Settlement destruction will happen much. But not that much.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
...its inhabitants will join an other settlement.

Don't forget how likely we are to break out the hatchets, shovels, and pickaxes as well, starting on a new Settlement while borrowing a corner of town from a friend.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm befuddled by this conversation. Talking about perm-death makes sense if you're talking about a game like DDO, where the only thing that is persistent is your character. Putting that at risk through a (social) mechanic adds risk to the game, and so it has stakes and more meaning for some players.

In PFO though, players can make persitent change in the world by creating social structures and associated buildings . And so risk is at the level of the social structure, thus adding stakes to the game, and thus meaning. Moving risk down to the level of players by adding permadeath is at complete cross-purposes to the game design. It's supposed to be ok if I die, but not ok if my settlement gets burned to the ground. We want players to take chances that might result in death: to go on raids, to defend caravans, to go to war, in support of their social structures. It would ruin things if players were more concerned with their own safety than the safety of the social structure.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

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Mbando wrote:

I'm befuddled by this conversation. Talking about perm-death makes sense if you're talking about a game like DDO, where the only thing that is persistent is your character. Putting that at risk through a (social) mechanic adds risk to the game, and so it has stakes and more meaning for some players.

In PFO though, players can make persitent change in the world by creating social structures and associated buildings . And so risk is at the level of the social structure, thus adding stakes to the game, and thus meaning. Moving risk down to the level of players by adding permadeath is at complete cross-purposes to the game design. It's supposed to be ok if I die, but not ok if my settlement gets burned to the ground. We want players to take chances that might result in death: to go on raids, to defend caravans, to go to war, in support of their social structures. It would ruin things if players were more concerned with their own safety than the safety of the social structure.

It takes a little bit of time to get used to a permadeath system, but there's a huge pull towards it for people who play Pathfinder - after all, THIS GAME has a serious 100% permadeath system with options for things that can be done to bring characters back, assuming it's not a TPK.

But I assume that the developers are simply not confident enough in a permadeath game because it would be "too easy to grief." (it's always going to be too easy to grief, the consequences are just less permanent the way they're currently working on it)

One of the things that helps Diablo 3 Hardcore (which works well) is that no matter what, you make progress for your account even if your character gets obliterated. (this is assuming, of course, that you didn't blow all your gold on gems right before losing a hardcore character... twice... like my other friend has...) Because there is always forward momentum, you can feel ok playing the game and just doing what you do.

But in a game like EVE, you can play for 15 days straight and just vent money and time and energy into space and lose everything and it's just murder on the soul. And that's a game that is NOT permadeath. (rather, just the opposite) When I say I like hardcore games, I mean I like games where you are encouraged seriously to work as a team because if you screw up and lose a character you lost a LOT. Even if, in a permadeath system, you had access to resurrections, your friends would have to save your body. There are many circumstances where this could be made more difficult. If you died at the bottom of a very big pit, they might not have enough rope to pull you up. If you slipped on a banana peel and fell into a sphere of annihilation, you done goofed. If your body was reanimated by a necromancer before they could retrieve it, and you shambled away as a zombie, well, tough luck.

But without those limitations, players will be doing really dumb things (TM) like leaping at the wizard flanked by umbral blots, or using the barbarian to detect traps, or perhaps not even bothering to detect traps because the cost of time spent detecting and disabling doesn't let them meet their quota. You might chuckle at this, but we're talking about gamers. They will cut corners that should never be cut, they will find the most efficient way to "farm" things that should not be farmed, and they cannot be held back by trivial game mechanics.

Forcing them to start over from character creation, though? You're not just talking about slowing them down a few hours, you're talking about giving them a good enough reason to play a different character altogether.

In the end, the big difference between hardcore and non, is that in hardcore, damage per second is no longer "the only stat."

Goblin Squad Member

Bastress wrote:
But without those limitations, players will be doing really dumb things (TM) like leaping at the wizard flanked by umbral blots, or using the barbarian to detect traps, or perhaps not even bothering to detect traps because the cost of time spent detecting and disabling doesn't let them meet their quota. You might chuckle at this, but we're talking about gamers. They will cut corners that should never be cut, they will find the most efficient way to "farm" things that should not be farmed, and they cannot be held back by trivial game mechanics.

You're talking about games like DDO. This game is not like DDO, and concept like permadeath is irrelevant to this game.

It's not that permadeath takes a while to get used to--it's not relevant to this game, because the game puts real stake at the level of social structures.

You don't understand this game at all in a design sense.

Goblin Squad Member

Bastress, I'm one of those who believes that, if PFO added anything even resembling Permadeath, when added to the difficulty they're already having--and will continue to have--with audience reaction to the words "Open World PVP", they'll have extreme difficulty in encouraging folks to even try the game long enough to see whether they like it.

This is already going to be a "more hardcore" game than others, because it appears there's not going to be a lot for casual players, those who might have 20 minutes on a given night and want to jump in to the game and feel they can accomplish a little something, or who want to relax and un-wind after a hard day.

This feels as if it's a game where relaxing is going to be a foreign concept, because of the near-omnipresence of risk of loss, and where seeking quick accomplishment might be questing for a Holy Grail. I hope to be wrong on both counts, but we-the-players will have to create that wrongness...somehow.

I believe those who want "tougher" than what they find in a theme park are already going to be pleased with Goblinworks' design. One part of that design, involving we-the-players in Crowdforging, allows our voices to affect what we end up with; we can watch our fellows and suggest adjusting mechanics if they appear to be cutting corners or being "too efficient".

Scarab Sages

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Permadeath with the months training skill system?

Sorry no.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I'd actually be ok with PFO having 'real' death if it were 'reversible' similar to Pathfinder TT. Maybe something like, if your character gets killed you can't play that character (and/or stop earning XP) for some set amount of time while a kindly NPC takes you back to town and gets you resurrected (possibly with some sort of cost or lingering debuff)... unless another player either raises you themself or takes you back to civilization and gets you raised there.

Adds to the 'meaningful human interaction' and 'need to work with others' aspects of the game. Downsides would be sitting around waiting to be rezzed and the IMs from company/settlement members asking people to come rez them, but might also be a good reason to go play an alt. Make the play/XP downtime and/or debuffs increasing for characters that die frequently and it would be another way to discourage ganking type behaviour... yes, they could switch to alts too, but unless they are paying for separate accounts for all of them XP would be tight and thus active gankers would be weak characters.

PS: Actually, the more than I think about it, the more I'm moving from 'would be ok with this' to 'actually think this would be an improvement'. The primary reason ganking exists is that death has no consequences in computer games. Add meaningful consequences and you'll promote meaningful conflict over random ganking.

Goblin Squad Member

CBDunkerson wrote:
...(and/or stop earning XP)...

Gotta be careful with tinkering with the XP stream, because that's what folks're paying money for, and they'll react loudest in that area.

CBDunkerson wrote:
...death has no consequences in computer games. Add meaningful consequences...

I believe you're looking at exactly what Ryan's talking about when he says we're going to need (and will see) repeated strong shocks to the system. He wants to convince both malefactors and those tired of them that PFO is something they've not seen before, and that the former won't like it a bit; I'm guessing he thus hopes the rest of us will love it.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

Given the shallow power curve promised the only element that might become an issue is the power curve of the gear.

Therefore if you need to argue for permadeath then let it be for the gear.

Hasn't it been stated that buildings and possessions will depreciate/degrade over time/use, so as to justify the existence of crafters in game, to replenish it all?

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:

I'm befuddled by this conversation. Talking about perm-death makes sense if you're talking about a game like DDO, where the only thing that is persistent is your character. Putting that at risk through a (social) mechanic adds risk to the game, and so it has stakes and more meaning for some players.

In PFO though, players can make persitent change in the world by creating social structures and associated buildings . And so risk is at the level of the social structure, thus adding stakes to the game, and thus meaning. Moving risk down to the level of players by adding permadeath is at complete cross-purposes to the game design. It's supposed to be ok if I die, but not ok if my settlement gets burned to the ground. We want players to take chances that might result in death: to go on raids, to defend caravans, to go to war, in support of their social structures. It would ruin things if players were more concerned with their own safety than the safety of the social structure.

I agree with this, but I would add this:

For some, my group included and possibly represents this belief more so than most, the charter company is the most important social structure.

The settlement is a location were we get training. We will meet more socially in meta game (TS / Mumble). We can meet behind a mound of rocks just as easily or conveniently as in a guild hall.

If the settlement is lost, the company lives on.

Goblin Squad Member

25% of unthreaded gear is destroyed on death, the rest is up for looting, and thus loss, requiring crafters and materials for replacement. Threaded gear will lose integrity--about 10%, if I remember--and require repair, involving a crafter and materials.

I think we'll see a near-constant demand for crafters and the gatherers supporting them, before even considering the needs of Settlement-building. I can't remember what we know about wear-and-tear of Settlements themselves, though.

Goblin Squad Member

Permadeath would completely negate the time-based advantages of the design. It would completely level the playing field between the untrained ganker and the ancient vet he murdelized. Both now have to start again at square 1.

Let me think about this and get back to you, k?

Goblin Squad Member

Have to agree with the posters opposed to perma death. The risk of loss to the character is factored into the ongoing social conflict. There will be bandits, faction fights, feuds and wars. The hard work and time that you put into gathering, refining, and crafting gear and buildings are always at risk. They need to be defended. They need to be attacked. Perma death would make it unattractive to defend or attack those things.

Boring.

There is also the money investment in the character. With exp gained through paid subscription and measured by "time of", you can't just recover quickly like you do in an "exp grind" situation.

If you make "perma death" and add mechanics like raise dead and resurrection, they either have to be widely available/low cost (read the same almost as respawn) or they are not a solution that makes it fun or possible for a character of less than a few years of play. At least not on a regular basis.

If the game were designed with perma death from the start, that would be different.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
...(and/or stop earning XP)...
Gotta be careful with tinkering with the XP stream, because that's what folks're paying money for, and they'll react loudest in that area.

Yes... but that's also exactly why I suggested it. :]

Losing in-game currency or equipment can be annoying, but is only a temporary setback and can be minimized in various ways (e.g. transferring your money to an alt and wearing mediocre equipment). On the other hand, losing your character entirely because a few %#%@$@ decided to ambush you would be extremely discouraging. Being unable to play your character or losing XP for advancement are more 'middle of the road' penalties for death.

Of course, you could also have an 'all of the above' approach; Die once in a month, no big deal... you lose some equipment and/or money. Each subsequent death in the same rolling 30 day period costs more. Get up to five deaths and you're losing everything you had on you and also unable to play that character for an hour. Hit ten deaths in a 30 day period and you can't play that character for six hours and start to lose XP. Get up to 20 deaths and it becomes perma-death... character gone.

Could also have it so that the player has the option to adjust the various penalties (e.g. pay more gold to be out of the game a shorter amount of time) subject to minimums on each penalty determined by death frequency. Lots of room for flexibility in creating a sliding scale that could then be used to control the overall frequency of character death in the game.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:

Bastress, I'm one of those who believes that, if PFO added anything even resembling Permadeath, when added to the difficulty they're already having--and will continue to have--with audience reaction to the words "Open World PVP", they'll have extreme difficulty in encouraging folks to even try the game long enough to see whether they like it.

This is already going to be a "more hardcore" game than others, because it appears there's not going to be a lot for casual players, those who might have 20 minutes on a given night and want to jump in to the game and feel they can accomplish a little something, or who want to relax and un-wind after a hard day.

This feels as if it's a game where relaxing is going to be a foreign concept, because of the near-omnipresence of risk of loss, and where seeking quick accomplishment might be questing for a Holy Grail. I hope to be wrong on both counts, but we-the-players will have to create that wrongness...somehow.

I believe those who want "tougher" than what they find in a theme park are already going to be pleased with Goblinworks' design. One part of that design, involving we-the-players in Crowdforging, allows our voices to affect what we end up with; we can watch our fellows and suggest adjusting mechanics if they appear to be cutting corners or being "too efficient".

I think you're misunderstanding me.

I've already stated, the settlements are hardcore, the characters are not.

I'm pretty sure a double-hardcore game won't work.
But I think the more interesting approach would be to make the settlements non-hardcore, but the characters hardcore.

Then, if a high level character gets killed, they have to scramble to replace that character in the hierarchy of the settlement, otherwise the settlement becomes a joke, probably gets taken over by someone else, and renamed. But I can't really think of a way to preserve forward momentum across your account.

Maybe if a character died, you got an xp bubble from pharasma that let you gain xp at a boosted rate until you got caught up. Just don't die with the bubble.

Eh, it's all thought experiments.

Goblin Squad Member

Bastress wrote:

...make the settlements non-hardcore...

...otherwise the settlement becomes a joke, probably gets taken over by someone else...

A Settlement getting taken over seems pretty hardcore :-). Destruction or takeover, folks've still lost their Settlement.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

If character death is common and permanent, it's meaningless. Not because it is permanent, but because it is common.

There is nothing that can turn a set of common occurrences into a set of meaningful occurrences.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

This thread is pointless and I wish it had been given a title which reflected what it is actually about, so the next time it pops up I'll remember to turn off the reply counter.

Goblin Squad Member

MBando's analysis is spot-on, so I don't have much to add. This is entirely the wrong game to consider permadeath by virtue of the game's design.

TL;DR: +1 MBando


I'm late coming to this thread, but, to answer the original OP's question... Was Gary Gygax a sandbox MMO developer? If so, his sage advice is most appreciated. If not, then I could see how one might support the argument that said "sage advice" is in no way relevant (and by extension, that might speak to the validity of this thread).
Please let me know whether Gygax was an MMO sandbox developer, or someone we shouldn't listen to under any circumstances (for clarification purposes).


Neither. Gygax should be listened to under many, many circumstances, but video games probably aren't one of them.

That being said, his advice is simply flat-out irrelevant here. The OP kind of interpreted it oddly. He seems to be saying, "Don't let your players walk all over you."

He's the co-creator of D&D, for the record.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Neither. Gygax should be listened to under many, many circumstances, but video games probably aren't one of them.

That being said, he's right in this case: Games need stakes. That's why PFO has stakes.

Oh I'm all for no hand-holding KC, all for no hand holding. You should always hold the hands of your little children when crossing a busy intersection.


Wait...that's not what June Cleaver told me. >_>

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