Pathfinder Online’s Ryan Dancey Defends Elder Scrolls Online and Subscriptions


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CEO, Goblinworks

This matches well to what I have seen and what else I have read.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

That's interesting. Sounds like WoW with small hint of open world PvP.

Goblin Squad Member

The above article lacks some key details making it look like it's less persistant then it actually is*.

*while the end result may very much be like the article describes it the stage i'm aware of does not.

Goblin Squad Member

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DeciusBrutus wrote:
Any publicity that can get "Pathfinder Online" in the title of a story about ESO is great. All of the Elder Scrolls fans that follow all the ESO news just heard about PFO.

I've been talking about Pathfinder Online on the Wyrmrest Accord forums of WoW, and I think I may have converted a few of the more progressive Guilds to do some research on Pathfinder Online, simply because they love the thought of a kingdom-building game with sandbox and 'world' PvP elements.

Is that acceptable or am I crossing lines here?

Goblin Squad Member

Papaver wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
There is no persistent territorial control. They're just WoW-style battlefields with sieges.
This is not an accurate description of ESO PvP ( or RvR if you will).

ehhh I dont think so. my experience of it was that it was like the whole RvR concept. here is a place to pvp, here are a couple of objectives, to the side of the game.

CEO, Goblinworks

There is no persistence. How could there be? They're not going to shut down the server once some group holds Cyrodil and confronts Molag Bol. The Cyrodil zone will just reset after a period of time to let a new round of combat begin. It can't be any other system.

Goblin Squad Member

As I said vital details are missing.

Goblin Squad Member

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Kryzbyn wrote:
WAR had some of the best PVP I've ever engaged in...

Really, that astounds me a bit.

WAR PvP was okish up to level 10 but was seen by many (me included) as taking the worst aspects of WoW PvP while not building on any of DAoC PvPs strengths and then season it with horribly unbalanced classes and balancing decisions ON TOP of broken PvP end game.

I remember when they introduced easy to get magic resist gear because ONE mage class was very OP which resulted in this:

Spoiler:

You deal 23 (-517) damage to Iron Breaker. You explode from your backlash, you deal 152 damage to yourself.

You deal 23 (-517) damage to Iron Breaker. You explode from your backlash, you deal 226 damage to yourself.

Matt Firor also stumped hard on his first big job: DAoC Trials of Atlantis. This does not give me huge faith about the direction of ESO.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Papaver wrote:
As I said vital details are missing.

What, once a faction beats Molag Bal he stays dead and the PvP arena ends, or a new Daedric lord becomes the target? The raid event can only be completed once?

CEO, Goblinworks

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@DeciusBrutus - I think he means "the details the developers haven't disclosed but must exist to avoid making this system a WoW Battleground", because there's nothing in the game now and nothing that's been disclosed from the Dev team so far that is anything other than that. He is probably hoping that there will be persistent territorial effects beyond Cyrodill as a part of the development roadmap.

Goblin Squad Member

More likely he cannot explain due to an NDA he intends to honor.

CEO, Goblinworks

The lead PVP designer for Elder Scrolls Online made very public statements about their plans and intents in December.

I seriously doubt much has changed since then.

Goblin Squad Member

Which says the Emperor is persistent until the six keeps are lost, right?

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
WAR had some of the best PVP I've ever engaged in...

Really, that astounds me a bit.

WAR PvP was okish up to level 10 but was seen by many (me included) as taking the worst aspects of WoW PvP while not building on any of DAoC PvPs strengths and then season it with horribly unbalanced classes and balancing decisions ON TOP of broken PvP end game.

Well I hadn't played DAOC...

But the goal/objective oriented PVP that played into the story somewhat was alot of fun.
I agree that the T1 Open RVR areas were the most fun, but I enjoyed that set up greatly.
Scenarios I remember playing in before, but over the last year or so no one had queued for them...

The ability to quest and then when you felt like it simply walk over int othe open areas and fight other players over objectives was fun to me. Far more fun that PVP all the time, like on a server dedicated to it, or in scenarios you have to queue for.

Goblin Squad Member

I really enjoyed PvP in Warhammer Online, but didn't play beyond level 10, and that only in the beta. It was apparent to me it was not the kind of game I wanted to play.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I really enjoyed PvP in Warhammer Online, but didn't play beyond level 10, and that only in the beta. It was apparent to me it was not the kind of game I wanted to play.

Overall, it really wasn't for me either. But the RVR was really fun.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I really enjoyed PvP in Warhammer Online, but didn't play beyond level 10, and that only in the beta. It was apparent to me it was not the kind of game I wanted to play.

When I started, it was buggy and laggy and broken with a terrible UI. When I tried it again after putting it down for a while, it was empty and void. So I didn't really get too far either.

CEO, Goblinworks

@Being - I'm not really sure what you're asking.

Yes, from what I can tell, if you "win" the battleground of Cyrodil, you hold a title until someone else takes it from you. That doesn't seem meaningfully persistent to me.

It's just an endless game of king of the hill. If one guild becomes Emperor and holds it longer than a brief period of time, nobody else will ever bother with the game system. It has to turn over regularly or its useless.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan Okay. I was imagining by 'not persistent' that you meant the battlefields would periodically be reset to neutral the way it works in GW2 and, I think, The Secret World.

Goblin Squad Member

I'll guess we'll see the Big Chair get harder to hold the longer you accomplish that task, perhaps in the form of an upward-ticking buff for your enemies, or some-such? I seem to recall DAOC didn't do periodic hard resets, but still managed to turn over its PVP battle-areas enough to keep folks coming back to try to win victorious; it can thus clearly be done.

Goblin Squad Member

If an alliance is an underdog I believe they do gain some sort of balancing effect but I don't believe I understand it.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@theStormWeaver - I think it's very hard to say it's in the middle between Pathfinder Online and WoW. There is no persistent territorial control. They're just WoW-style battlefields with sieges. There's nothing persistent in the game except stuff you craft and your character. The factions are determined by developer fiat and don't respond to any player input. The focus of the game is clearly and squarely on it's PvE content.

It's another themepark WoW clone.

I was under the impression that there WAS persistent control and that it was the entire point of the late game. You own enough forts around the city and you can make a bid for Emperor by controlling the city itself long enough.

True enough, the factions are hard-coded and unchanging, but that is the part that makes it closer to WoW than PFO.

Has the game play changed completely from that?

Goblin Squad Member

Didn't look into this so far, are there more than two factions?

That was one thing I LOVED about DAoC, three factions. So the two underdogs could unite against the top dog - bam, instant balance.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, there are three alliances each comprised of three races.

Goblin Squad Member

OK, finally someone realized that DAoC did it right. Now I just hope they can steer clear of all the other mistakes of WAR and then this game might actually be decent.

However it will be interesting to see how they differentiate themselves from Guild Wars 2.

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:
OK, finally someone realized that DAoC did it right. Now I just hope they can steer clear of all the other mistakes of WAR and then this game might actually be decent.

If you prefer someone who learned from the mistakes of WAR i would suggest looking at the project by the guy who learned from his own mistakes developing WAR.

Goblin Squad Member

Yep. I backed it. CU looks like it might be a contender. I don't find myself enthusiastic about their 'smackhammer' demo, but it looks good.

CEO, Goblinworks

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theStormWeaver wrote:


I was under the impression that there WAS persistent control and that it was the entire point of the late game. You own enough forts around the city and you can make a bid for Emperor by controlling the city itself long enough.

It is persistent like a game of capture the flag is persistent. If the throne doesn't turn over often and consistently the game system will fail, therefore the mechanics have to be structured to facilitate turnover. You can't have a game that funnels everyone into a PvP zone but futiley blocks them from winning in that zone.

The players don't have agency to decide where, when and how to develop the Cryodil zone and there is no value to taking and holding it outside of its PvP system (and the "end of story" raid controlling the zone unlocks). Whoever currently holds the throne knows that they'll be kicked out soon. And there's no meaningful consequence for being kicked off the throne - your faction just goes back to fighting to take it again as soon as possible. Everyone gets the same throne, everyone gets the same advantages/disadvantages for holding it, nobody gets any meaningful choices about managing/running the zone, there's no meaningful effect on the rest of the game based on who is on the throne, etc.

It's a sports championship, not a sandbox.

Goblin Squad Member

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Yeah, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not interested in MMORPGs where it's a big kind of game eg: Quest-Levelling (themeparks) or Combat-Contest (Pvp battle-grounds).

I want to see the virtual simulation of worlds where the ripple effect of actions and reactions drives the conditions everyone experiences.

Some small curiosity for "build'em-up" gameplay making your own worlds, but if it's just building-blocks and AI to sell I'm not interested.

Saw this on reddit recently and the idea of a fantasy world or planets in space with all sorts of interactions: It's the vision that appeals to me most:

Middle-Earth modelled in the Outerra game engine - fully explorable, 1:1 scale.

Direct Link to image

Imagine Golarion via hexes growing this big!

Goblinworks Executive Founder

There's nothing BAD about ESO PvP being an esports championship ladder. It's just that there's no meaningful decisions being made by the current champion.

Once someone is dethroned, the world is unchanged from what is was before they took the highest title.

CEO, Goblinworks

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There's nothing bad about it at all. I live in Seattle. We're all a bit obsessed about a sports championship right now.

I was just responding to the characterization of Elder Scrolls being somewhere between World of Warcraft and Pathfinder Online. It's really somewhere between World of Warcraft, and World of Warcraft if you required everyone to end the game in Atlerac Valley or the Isle of Conquest.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There's nothing bad about it at all. I live in Seattle. We're all a bit obsessed about a sports championship right now.

I was just responding to the characterization of Elder Scrolls being somewhere between World of Warcraft and Pathfinder Online. It's really somewhere between World of Warcraft, and World of Warcraft if you required everyone to end the game in Atlerac Valley or the Isle of Conquest.

Yes. Indeed we are!

Goblin Squad Member

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<grumble grumble Philly grumble>

Goblin Squad Member

Well, I hate to say it but the folks over here in the Denver area are just a bit on the obsessed side too. Care to make a wager Mr. Dancey? I sure do want some way to get into the Alpha and didn't have the cash to pay my way in!

Goblin Squad Member

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I'll get behind Denver because it's the best vindication of my long held opinion Indy never should have let him go; but if alpha spots after the backers are on the table...

Goblin Squad Member

May you both be sooooo wrong!

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

As Washington is my new home, I have to go with Seattle winning at some sportsball.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ha! I don't care if I'm wrong or not, I just want some way into the Alpha and if I can worm my way in using a sporting event, I will! I just hope Ryan sees this and cares enough about his team to put it on the table. I claim dibs though for thinking of it!

Goblin Squad Member

Wexel Daventry wrote:
Ha! I don't care if I'm wrong or not, I just want some way into the Alpha and if I can worm my way in using a sporting event, I will! I just hope Ryan sees this and cares enough about his team to put it on the table. I claim dibs though for thinking of it!

Fair enough. :)

Hey! You didn't list what you would put up. I doubt that he will take it unless you are risking something pretty good!

Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:
Wexel Daventry wrote:
Ha! I don't care if I'm wrong or not, I just want some way into the Alpha and if I can worm my way in using a sporting event, I will! I just hope Ryan sees this and cares enough about his team to put it on the table. I claim dibs though for thinking of it!

Fair enough. :)

Hey! You didn't list what you would put up. I doubt that he will take it unless you are risking something pretty good!

Yeah, I thought of that and I really don't have anything he wants. I've already thrown in hundreds of dollars, stalk the forums, click refresh on the blog Wednesdays way to many times. I tell my friends about the game, try to crowdforge as well as possible. If I just had a wheelbarrow, that would be something!

Goblin Squad Member

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The seafood in Seattle is better, and I think the city is prettier too, like a cleaner, younger interpretation of San Francisco. Denver has the Rocky Mountains though, and good beef.

I think Seattle has the better beer selection.

Tough call.

Goblin Squad Member

Wouldn't mind seeing The Sheriff get another ring and although Richard Sherman is a hell of a player, he's an absolute Bozo.

Goblin Squad Member

Seahawks. Because despite the metaphors for PFO, I do watch football for the tackling!

Goblin Squad Member

Wexel Daventry wrote:
Ha! I don't care if I'm wrong or not, I just want some way into the Alpha and if I can worm my way in using a sporting event, I will! I just hope Ryan sees this and cares enough about his team to put it on the table. I claim dibs though for thinking of it!

I would really, really love to see them open up the Fulfillment Tool again to allow new folks to pledge into the Alpha.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
theStormWeaver wrote:


I was under the impression that there WAS persistent control and that it was the entire point of the late game. You own enough forts around the city and you can make a bid for Emperor by controlling the city itself long enough.

It is persistent like a game of capture the flag is persistent. If the throne doesn't turn over often and consistently the game system will fail, therefore the mechanics have to be structured to facilitate turnover. You can't have a game that funnels everyone into a PvP zone but futiley blocks them from winning in that zone.

The players don't have agency to decide where, when and how to develop the Cryodil zone and there is no value to taking and holding it outside of its PvP system (and the "end of story" raid controlling the zone unlocks). Whoever currently holds the throne knows that they'll be kicked out soon. And there's no meaningful consequence for being kicked off the throne - your faction just goes back to fighting to take it again as soon as possible. Everyone gets the same throne, everyone gets the same advantages/disadvantages for holding it, nobody gets any meaningful choices about managing/running the zone, there's no meaningful effect on the rest of the game based on who is on the throne, etc.

It's a sports championship, not a sandbox.

I see you're point now.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Wexel Daventry wrote:
Ha! I don't care if I'm wrong or not, I just want some way into the Alpha and if I can worm my way in using a sporting event, I will! I just hope Ryan sees this and cares enough about his team to put it on the table. I claim dibs though for thinking of it!
I would really, really love to see them open up the Fulfillment Tool again to allow new folks to pledge into the Alpha.

Yeah, that would be a really good option although I still don't know if I could come up with the several hundred more dollars to pay my way in. Still, it would be great if we could.

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