Ryan: The Core Rhetorical Challenge Facing Goblinworks


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

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GW has a serious rhetorical challenge facing it: to general gaming public, this game is a murder simulator, and most of the people this game would appeal to don't want a murder simulator. It's a miscommunication, compounded by some rhetorical mistakes GW is making (understandable ones, and ones that can be fixed), and the ongoing discourse at gaming sites.

I had an intuitive sense of this problem, and so I conducted a corpus linguistics analysis of editorial and user comments at sites like Massively and MMORPG.com. What I found was that people are extremely negative about the game, are very certain about their arguments, and express uncertainty about the future success of the game, specifically:

-Statistically significant levels of emotional "negativity" language (words and phrases English speakers use to refer to very negative outcomes, e.g. rape, murder, suicide, mistreatment) along with an absence of positive emotion language.

-Significantly lower levels of positive values langauge

-High levels of combined oppositional reasoning, confidence and intensity (e.g. commenters arguing back about how bad PFO will be, and using high levels of certainty/modals w/ intensifiers as they argue)

-High levels of uncertainty and future projection (e..g expressing a lot of doubt about the future of the game).

This is what Joe the Gamer thinks about PFO, and and passes on to other gamers in a self-reinforcing discourse:

Quote:
If you change the design to something that everyone can enjoy, something that fits the Pathfinder style, I will gladly support it. Right now, though, you're making a modern recreation of Ultima Online that rewards griefers and gank-squads instead of honest players. I've discussed the game with dozens of fans of both pen and paper and MMO titles, and I have yet to have one of them who thought that what you are making would be entertaining, or that it was at all a match for the kind of community thinking that made Paizo and Pathfinder so wonderful. I'm very afraid that you're making a mistake, one that will sully the Pathfinder name to much of your potential new audience

What I want to highlight Ryan is that you can get more subscribers and better press if you change some of GW's talk, and directly counter the core issues of controversy. Think about this:

You said that people will come to PFO with major misconceptions, including that "Open World PvP implies a murder simulator," and I 100% agree with you--that's what the phrase means in usage. Guess what GW has on it's "About PFO?" page--one of the blurbs is "Open World Pvp." We know that GW is not advertising a Murder Simulator, and people that take a chance on the game will see it is not, but to the larger public, you are advertising the production of a innovative, high quality murder simulator.

I think there are a number of possible rhetorical moves you could make to disrupt and reshape the current public gaming discourse, but the first step in that is seeing that instead of crafting a message for your interior audience--the already converted--you need to craft effective messaging for a different, larger audience that has money and wants an amazing game.

*Nerd Notes*: This was a pretty down and dirty corpus from the most obvious MMO sites, looking for editorial/feature pieces on PFO, and the reader comments (I stripped Ryan and my counter-arguments to better capture the talk of the uninitiated). I used DocuScope, a corpus linguistics tool that uses a pragmatics approach (more concerned with human ends and goals in language than with semantic meaning), and is particularly reliable at detecting sociocultural parts of talk, like emotion, attitudes, values, argument, and stance. I used a two-way ANOVA Tukey's test, comparing the PFO comments corpus to a general reference corpus of English (FROWN Corpus of 1990s English) as a benchmark.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

GW's can't be more clear about their intentions than they are already. Could we see some examples of articles saying that there is a game is promoting a murder simulator ? I don't read Americans MMO websites, but I don't have this impression at all in France.

Goblin Squad Member

I think this is relevant.

I'm increasingly worried that the messages coming out of the community don't match what will actually happen in game, and the disconnect between what people hear, and what they experience, will cause blowback. So I'm trying to be blunt when asked this question directly:

"Will I get killed regularly in Pathfinder Online by other players?"

The answer to this question is "yes you will".

American football is not a game about tackling, but tackling happens on almost every play. Pathfinder Online is not a game about killing other players, but your character will be killed by other players regularly.

Pathfinder Online is a game about conflict. One mode of conflict is combat. It will be the primary mode of conflict as Early Enrollment begins. Suggesting otherwise creates a false impression of what the game will be like that will potentially cause a huge problem as we launch.

Our goal, as developers, and our goal, as a community, needs to be to work to make those conflicts meaningful rather than random, and we need to work to identify, and remove, players who only want to inflict meaningless deaths on other players "just for the lulz". But we owe it to ourselves and to the game to be upfront and honest when people ask us if they're going to face character death at the hands of other players. Because they will.

A possibility that occurs to me is that Ryan is faced with two options: 1) allow PFO to be perceived as a murder simulator, confident that reality will moderate that perception once people are playing the game and talking about their actual experiences; or 2) fight the perception that PFO will be a murder simulator, but then have to deal with players who have very negative experiences in-game because they weren't prepared for the reality that they'll be killed by other players. It seems reasonable that, if those are the options Ryan sees, he might have already decided that there's less downside in Option 1.

Goblin Squad Member

Cool analysis, Mbando. My wife earned a degree in Rhetoric a few years back and I think the scientific study of communication is pretty interesting.

Ryan might be in a balancing act between hawking the game and managing expectations. There will be non-consensual PvP (even feuds and war will be non-consensual), while at the same time there will be consequences to some forms of PvP. The posts of people staying away now, before the game is released, might be tame compared to the flaming posts from people who entered the game expecting total protection from PvP only to be ganked in the first 15 minutes.

Goblin Squad Member

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Thank you for taking the time, Mbando. Please consider sending your results and analysis directly to Goblinworks instead of relying solely upon these boards to carry your message to them.

It's fascinating to see people applying scientific techniques to things not often thought of as having appropriate tools available. I, for one, will be interested to hear anything else you learn, especially if you turn your spotlight toward these boards somehow :-).

Goblin Squad Member

Urman/Nihimon, if Ryan is choosing this tactic because he thinks it will serve a larger strategic purpose, then I'm cool with that as an informed choice (and would like to hear his reasoning).

That being said, I think it's possible to more artfully explain the game design principles. It's repeated--there's an article written at a MMO site (including a response Ryan wrote), and then there is a chorus of negative responses that Ryan, myself others have to repetively say something "Actually, it's the opposite." Check out these comments. The kooky part is having to over and over again explain to people that their take-aways from the article are the exact opposite of what the reality is. That's what a communication failure is.

PS Murman: Cool. My PhD is from the Rhetoric program at Carnegie Mellon University. Engineering/Tech school, so my work is all on the empirical side--most rhetoric programs are humanities-based.

Goblin Squad Member

I think the problem is the people who WANT this game to be a MURDER simulator are poisoning the community. I never got that impression from GW and have said as much when I mention this game to others.

Goblin Squad Member

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Mbando, I completely agree with your OP. Not only because I see these discussions in the community, but because I also share those same fears of the game being a murder simulator and that I will not be able to find a long-term place here because I will not find the game fun.

My personal response has been to challenge myself to influence the game away from the murder simulator, not through constant appeals to the developers but by trying to work with an intended in-game community that is dedicated to providing the atmosphere that the larger gaming community fears will not exist. We cannot and should not enforce it over the map, but I think if there is success in our endeavors then we may win people over.

At this point, folks have made up their minds about the pre-launch rhetoric. At this point, there will need to be a game that can be shown to prove their fears either correct or unfounded. They are done listening to talk and sales pitches. They need to see it for themselves.

In shorts - words won't do much. It is now in our hands to act and forge the game into an appealing product. Mechanics are only half of the value equation.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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You mention a statistically significant results. Can you quantify that? Eg. Sample size, how the value of that statistical significance is arrived at, and any bias due to selecting the vocal members of the community.

Edit: Also, any attempts to look at the background? Ie. what typical gamer discussions on those sites are like? Typical conversations about other games about to release? Basically to eliminate the possibility that every discussion about new games or every discussion on those sites gives a negative tone.

Goblin Squad Member

TEO Malvius012 wrote:
I think the problem is the people who WANT this game to be a MURDER simulator are poisoning the community. I never got that impression from GW and have said as much when I mention this game to others.

It's not possible to control what others say, so it's Goblinworks' and our responsibility to convey the proper message even in the face of coordinated, deliberate opposition.

Goblin Squad Member

I agree that it will be very hard to turn around the general, biased and uninformed opinions that are out there right now with mere words and explanations. I think any other outcome (a more positive outlook) would have needed a massive amount of one-sided hyping or even straight lying about what the game would be.

There is also still the fact that Ryan Dancey is currently still the abolute figurehead of this endeavour. He mentoned it himself, but when I mentioned this game on a certain forum (KS was active then) the thread immediately turned nasty. I had no idea that Ryan had killed so many puppies (read, their favorite CTG's). It was abolutely vicious, nobody even cared about the KS or the features ofPFO.

That is the wonderful internet for ya; long memories and an unlimited energy-source for haters that can drown out any positive energy within minutes.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Mbando

Thanks for this great piece of research and for sharing it. You are absolutely right that there is a concern in the larger public about the game and this goes back to the Kickstarter.
It seemed surprising how hard they had to work to reach the goal on the last day - looking at what Goblinworks tried to offer

Nihimon wrote:
A possibility that occurs to me is that Ryan is faced with two options: 1) allow PFO to be perceived as a murder simulator, confident that reality will moderate that perception once people are playing the game and talking about their actual experiences; or 2) fight the perception that PFO will be a murder simulator, but then have to deal with players who have very negative experiences in-game because they weren't prepared for the reality that they'll be killed...

I really hope it is option 1 indeed. We won't know until the game really has started.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I always go back to, Goblinworks has said that they don't want a murder simulator and will adjust the game as much as needed to prevent that.

Ergo, either Goblinworks is lying, the game won't be a murder simulator, or it is somehow completely impossible to avoid the game being a murder simulator.

Personally, I suspect that many of the detractors are defining 'murder simulator' as 'includes PvP' and therefor it won't be possible to avoid that label so long as the game includes PvP. Thus, I think it will be important to focus on how the game differs from past 'murder simulators' / 'open world PvP' games like Ultima Online;

'Yes, other players may attack your character, but it doesn't happen as often as you seem to think because characters who do that all the time are gimped.'

Goblin Squad Member

"Statistically significant levels of emotional "negativity" language"

ROFL.

Most of mmorpg.com is like that I believe!! Massively is somewhat better but only if you consider an increase in whinging as opposed to hostility :) What is great is you've done a quick analysis and confirmed this. *Basking in the warm rays*

Early adopters are different from the mainstream who don't realize they're more conservative than they believe? If the game is fun that will get out in the open, and word of mouth will do the rest along with targetted headhunting by guilds.

We want people who are *really* interested eg 9/10 as opposed to people who are 5 or 6/10 interest, also. If open pvp is deal-breaking they're already sliding below 5??

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Thod wrote:
It seemed surprising how hard they had to work to reach the goal on the last day - looking at what Goblinworks tried to offer.

I think that was a result of competing with the christmas season rather than waiting a bit for tax-return season.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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If I wanted to play a settlement building game with zero risk, I'd play Animal Crossing.

And no, having watched Mrs Snorter and SnorterDaughter play Animal Crossing for hoouuuuurs, and achieve nothing of worth, I can assure you, I do NOT want to play 'Animal Crossing with Elf ears on'.
I found myself wishing for a horde of Goblins to come over the hill, and burn the place down, stringing Tom Nook from the town square flagpole.

Goblin Squad Member

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The basic problem is this (IMO). PFO has all the key elements that murder simulators do.... Open World, FFA, PvP with looting... that is pretty much the murder simulator recipie. Tie in F2P (once OE happens) and you have an even stronger case. Now I know GW is putting a ton of controls and mechanisms in place to try to mitigate the more negative aspects of those gameplay elements so that PFO does not become a murder simulator and they are commited to do so. However virtualy every other game that has those elements has had thier Dev's come out and say "Our game isn't going to be a murder simulator and we're putting controls in place to make sure that doesn't happen" and they've all failed to make it work. "This time will be different" is not a very convincing arguement after so many failed attempts.

It doesn't work for GW to not mention those gameplay elements because then you are going to get alot of consumers upset that the product has features that they didn't expect and didn't want and PFO will get a bad name because of that disappointment plus GW and the people involved will burn thier reputations as reputable developers. Plus a little time investment here in reading about the game will reveal those features anyway.

Even with all the time I have invested here and learning about PFO and it's developers and it's mitigating controls I am not fully convinced it won't end up a murder simulator. It's a distinct chance and that's the (fully informed) risk I'm taking with my time and monetary investments. I'm certainly not convinced it will end up that way...it took alot of failed attempts at manned flight before Kitthawk and Ryan and his team certainly have the talent and commitment to pull it off... but it's very difficult and delicate thing they are trying to do... definately not a sure thing.

That's why I thiink GW strategy is exactly on target. The only way to really convince people that ANY game with the gameplay elements mentioned above, regardless of mitigating controls, won't be a murder simulator is by building it, having some people play it and demonstrating empiricaly that it's not. By building slowly in a controlled environment (EE) is exactly the roadmap to try to make that happen.

GW changing rhetoric isn't going to work because to most players ANY rhetoric by a developer is just hot air and marketing. Trying to de-emphasize core gameplay elements will just make it seem like GW is trying to hide something....because information about those elements always gets out viraly.

In one of the first posts about the game that I read, Ryan said he and his team were trying to accomplish something that many people think is impossible. I think that's essentialy it.... and the only way to really convince people that the impossible is possible is by doing it. YMMV.

Sczarni

One of the things I liked about wow when I played was the option to play pvp or regular play. Since I would still need to purchase a new computer, if goblinworks offers non-pvp play I will consider giving it a try.


Hey lets face it, most people don't like pvp games period, they don't and trying to convince them that this time would be different is a waste of time. I think GW needs to just make the game and let its systems that they speak about speak for themselves. Even if those systems that are in place to deal with gankers and griefers are working 100 percent you still are going to have people out there who want an experience that is all pve and more like playing a tabletop. I am looking forward to this game, but if they truly wanted the Pathfinder rpg audience they would have built a game like the old Neverwinter Nights with its persistent worlds or the upcoming Shards.

I'm fine with the game as it is, but lets be honest it won't appeal to alot of people who just plainly don't like the concept of -any- pvp at all getting in the way of their idea of fun. Just the fact that there is only one server alone will kill this game in the eyes of many PVErs and Rpers, and lets be realistic most of the gaming community prefers an easygoing game that they can come home drink a beer to and have low stress fun. Its why themeparks do so well.

GW is going to have to really bust their butts to make those systems work and honestly they are going to have to build their own niche through word of mouth primarily.

Unfortunately EQN will be the game that many of those who wish a "less stressful" experience will head to if they are truly looking to play a sandbox.

Goblin Squad Member

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Another huge problem here is that everyone has a different threshold for where they consider that Murder Simulator line to be. Some have it very high, others have it very low. My level for Murder Simulator would probably be considered Kid Gloves by the likes of Bluddwolf or Xeen. Not to pick on them, as I am fairly sure they do not want to see murder simulators either, but their threshold for that is in a completely different place from my own.

Goblin Squad Member

Snorter wrote:
I found myself wishing for a horde of Goblins to come over the hill, and burn the place down, stringing Tom Nook from the town square flagpole.

One word: Kickstarter. You'll break records.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Lifedragn wrote:


In shorts - words won't do much. It is now in our hands to act and forge the game into an appealing product. Mechanics are only half of the value equation.

I agree. This is a SANDBOX world. That means it will become what we make of it. I find myself chuckling as I write this because I believe it is quite fair to say it will be a battle of Good vs. Evil - and isn't that at the very core of Pathfinder? Good for you GW, for capturing such a fundamental concept of Pathfinder so well in your game design.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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Can we start playing now? I'm getting bored reading. :-)

CEO, Goblinworks

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@All - I have read this thread and I'd like to respond but I have 107 messages in the Customer Support inbox and I have to give priority to helping those folks. Once we close the Pledge Manager tomorrow things will settle down a bit and I will have more time to talk about issues like this.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

GrumpyMel wrote:
However virtualy every other game that has those elements has had thier Dev's come out and say "Our game isn't going to be a murder simulator and we're putting controls in place to make sure that doesn't happen" and they've all failed to make it work. "This time will be different" is not a very convincing arguement after so many failed attempts.

Wich ones ?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

[DISCLAIMER]
These are just my experiences and opinions - please don't beat me up.
[/DISCLAIMER]

I think I understand the delicate balance GW is having to do. There is probably a 2:1 (or higher) ratio of players that enjoy the PVP over non-PVP. In my experience, the non-PVP players are the ones that tend to be older and come from previous table-top D&D or Pathfinder histories. Older, non-pvp players are potentially more stable economically and can afford to support games like this on a consistent basis. Therefore, these players are of great importance to GW from a revenue perspective.

I am one of these older players who came up pre-video games and prefers games where players work together to accomplish common goals, like a table-top game. I love the settlement vs settlement concept, and I like the ability to attack caravans and POI to disrupt supporting settlements. These systems are logical and make great sense. But, I would be perfectly happy with no PVP outside these activities. However, I am wise enough to understand that I am but one voice and probably in the minority on this topic.

Ryan, answered a forum post of mine this morning at 2:08 AM and I was thinking, what is he doing up this late during the week. Its because he probably can't sleep with all the stress trying to make Investors happy, Paizo happy, PVP Players Happy, PVE Players Happy and RP Players Happy while still remain sane and have a tiny bit of personal time. If he is married, he has to also keep Mama Happy.

My advice to Ryan and the entire GW Team is to do your best and end the end, go with your gut. At least that way, regardless of what happens you keep your integrity. I pray that PFO does well and makes a lot of people happy for several years to come, and I pray that Ryan and other GW leaders make the right choices for its success.

I for one plan to support GW and PFO however it turns our. I mean, its gotta be better than Wurm, right?

Urlord Goblin Squad Member... No Really, I am... I am damnit! LOL

Goblin Squad Member

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I can mostly get behind what GW is doing. The thing I wouldn't have done is use the words "Open world pvp sandbox MMO" in that order because of the connotation that phrase already has in the general public's mind. If you're going to do something different you might as well start by talking about it like it's different.

I would say "An open-ended Pathfinder MMO with pvp".

It de-emphaszes the pvp putting the Pathfinder aspect as primary instead. "Open-ended" explains the lack of being led around in one word to the potential audience better than the term sandbox which you then have to define as open-ended. And Pathfinder tabletop players wouldn't expect themepark rails anyway, the most you'd have to explain is this isn't modules online.

Goblin Squad Member

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Urlord wrote:
If he is married, he has to also keep Mama Happy.

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

Goblin Squad Member

Nightdrifter wrote:

You mention a statistically significant results. Can you quantify that? Eg. Sample size, how the value of that statistical significance is arrived at, and any bias due to selecting the vocal members of the community.

Edit: Also, any attempts to look at the background? Ie. what typical gamer discussions on those sites are like? Typical conversations about other games about to release? Basically to eliminate the possibility that every discussion about new games or every discussion on those sites gives a negative tone.

Nightdrifter,

1) The corpus was 32,049 words, normalized into 46 equal-sized chunks. For the Tukey’s Family comparison of confidence
intervals, differences were significant at p<.05 or better.

2) We can't talk about bias of voices, because the object of analysis is the discourse, not the opinions of participants. That some members of the community are more vocal is one of the things we want to capture.

3) There was no comparison to other games, and it is quite possible that posters at game sites are sour as hell in general. My concern is partly with how sour they are, but in particular I'm concerned with their expressed reason for being sour: Goblinworks is building <insert exact opposite of what they are actually building>.

Goblin Squad Member

I think there are a lot of players of "Open-World PvP Sandbox MMOs" that will really, really like PFO, and Ryan has to reach out to them. I think most of them will come here and very quickly adapt to the Reputation System. I really don't think the Reputation System itself will have that much of an impact on PvP overall - it's just that it will have a significant impact on a small subset of PvP that most high-end, cohesive groups probably don't waste much time with anyway.

Goblin Squad Member

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Mbando wrote:
I'm concerned with their expressed reason for being sour: Goblinworks is building <insert exact opposite of what they are actually building>.

For some reason, that really has me thinking of this:

Griefing encompasses a wide spectrum of behavior, and there will be players who feel that they have been subjected to griefing while their opponents feel they're engaged in legitimate gameplay.

It's not surprising to me that there would be groups on both sides of the debate about PvP who characterize PFO with diametrically opposed definitions even if both groups have an accurate understanding of the systems.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
PvP with looting

This is kind of the big one for me. You hear "pvp with looting" and you think murder simulator. There have to be some really strong mechanics in place to balance that one out.

Goblin Squad Member

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AvenaOats wrote:

"Statistically significant levels of emotional "negativity" language"

ROFL.

Most of mmorpg.com is like that I believe!! Massively is somewhat better but only if you consider an increase in whinging as opposed to hostility :) What is great is you've done a quick analysis and confirmed this. *Basking in the warm rays*

Early adopters are different from the mainstream who don't realize they're more conservative than they believe? If the game is fun that will get out in the open, and word of mouth will do the rest along with targetted headhunting by guilds.

We want people who are *really* interested eg 9/10 as opposed to people who are 5 or 6/10 interest, also. If open pvp is deal-breaking they're already sliding below 5??

AvenaOats, I respectifully disagree with you. GW doesn't want to attract 9/10's--they want ever dollar they can get to fund this thing. They are doing well, but this is by no means a done deal, and more revenues make PFO a much more likely thing to happen.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:


It doesn't work for GW to not mention those gameplay elements because then you are going to get alot of consumers upset that the product has features that they didn't expect and didn't want and PFO will get a bad name because of that disappointment plus GW and the people involved will burn thier reputations as reputable developers. Plus a little time investment here in reading about the game will reveal those features anyway.

GrumpyMel, the idea here isn't to lie to players or misrepresent the game. I'm suggesting the exact opposite: stop using language that confuses the audience--that means one thing here, but pretty much the opposite to a general audience.

Goblin Squad Member

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<Magistry> Toombstone wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
PvP with looting
This is kind of the big one for me. You hear "pvp with looting" and you think murder simulator. There have to be some really strong mechanics in place to balance that one out.

Or a change in attitude towards your gear. If you learn to value your gear less than your time spent in experiencing the challenge of PvP, you will mind less the loss of gear.

Why is the "go to solution" always have to be limiting mechanics? There is never any compromise or acknowledgement that perhaps your attitudes can change.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Nightdrifter wrote:

You mention a statistically significant results. Can you quantify that? Eg. Sample size, how the value of that statistical significance is arrived at, and any bias due to selecting the vocal members of the community.

Edit: Also, any attempts to look at the background? Ie. what typical gamer discussions on those sites are like? Typical conversations about other games about to release? Basically to eliminate the possibility that every discussion about new games or every discussion on those sites gives a negative tone.

Nightdrifter,

1) The corpus was 32,049 words, normalized into 46 equal-sized chunks. For the Tukey’s Family comparison of confidence
intervals, differences were significant at p<.05 or better.

2) We can't talk about bias of voices, because the object of analysis is the discourse, not the opinions of participants. That some members of the community are more vocal is one of the things we want to capture.

3) There was no comparison to other games, and it is quite possible that posters at game sites are sour as hell in general. My concern is partly with how sour they are, but in particular I'm concerned with their expressed reason for being sour: Goblinworks is building <insert exact opposite of what they are actually building>.

Thanks!

The last point worries me a little, but I guess it depends on how much time and effort you want to put into looking at other games. From my own biased observations of gaming sites I tend to see a lot of negativity surrounding new games (eg. ESO).

Goblin Squad Member

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Bluddwolf wrote:
<Magistry> Toombstone wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
PvP with looting
This is kind of the big one for me. You hear "pvp with looting" and you think murder simulator. There have to be some really strong mechanics in place to balance that one out.

Or a change in attitude towards your gear. If you learn to value your gear less than your time spent in experiencing the challenge of PvP, you will mind less the loss of gear.

Why is the "go to solution" always have to be limiting mechanics? There is never any compromise or acknowledgement that perhaps your attitudes can change.

We're talking about how someone on the outside is going to perceive PFO, I believe. If you're trying to describe a game with murder-simulator potential, then "open world pvp with gear looting" is a fantastic phrase to start off your description. And if there's nothing in your design to curb that thought, people will continue thinking it. Preaching "Just don't see it that way" isn't going to change that perception.

Goblin Squad Member

Just FYI ND, for these kinds of analyses, I want a minimum of 25k words for ANOVA testing, 50k for Kolmogorov-Smirnov testing for distribution, and 120k for Exploratory Factor Analysis (factors break down between 1k and 500 words, and I am testing for 119 variables, so I need 119 or so 1k chunks).

I dunno about the negativity thing. ESO discourse was/is very negative, but then again to my human reading, EQN has relatively positive talk.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
@All - I have read this thread and I'd like to respond but I have 107 messages in the Customer Support inbox and I have to give priority to helping those folks. Once we close the Pledge Manager tomorrow things will settle down a bit and I will have more time to talk about issues like this.

Thanks for the heads up Ryan--mos def want to hear your thoughts on this.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
I dunno about the negativity thing. ESO discourse was/is very negative, but then again to my human reading, EQN has relatively positive talk.

Good point. Could be that I'm noticing negative posts more than positive ones and that's biasing my perspective. Maybe EQ having an established fanbase as an MMO for many years contributes to the more positive reception?

Goblin Squad Member

That's is why human serial reading and intuition are useful exploratory tools, and quantitative analysis is such a darn good confirmatory approach :)

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Bluddwolf wrote:

Or a change in attitude towards your gear. If you learn to value your gear less than your time spent in experiencing the challenge of PvP, you will mind less the loss of gear.

Why is the "go to solution" always have to be limiting mechanics? There is never any compromise or acknowledgement that perhaps your attitudes can change.

Because sometime less is better.

I agree with you : never use a stuff you're not willing to lose, because you WILL lose it eventually. that's the way of meaningful sandbox.

It doesn't mean that it doesn't need some balance, some control and some limitations.

Goblin Squad Member

<Magistry> Toombstone wrote:
We're talking about how someone on the outside is going to perceive PFO, I believe. If you're trying to describe a game with murder-simulator potential, then "open world pvp with gear looting" is a fantastic phrase to start off your description. And if there's nothing in your design to curb that thought, people will continue thinking it. Preaching "Just don't see it that way" isn't going to change that perception.

First you should start by not buying into that definition of what is a murder sim, it is not the one that Ryan Dancey uses. Just as Andius (one if my members now, so I don't use his name to ridicule him) believed, your definition of what is a murder sim has far too low a threshold. Andius had tried to describe EvE Online as a murder sim, and Ryan quickly rebuked that idea, strongly.

Ryan seems to use the term "murder sim" almost exclusively for First Person Shooters. There you have no other objective but to kill the other side, nothing to gain by winning the round, no loot to acquire, it is just killing for the sake if killing. No persistence from one round to the next, also contributes to the lack of meaning.

All of the major Open World PvP MMOs could not be categorized as murder sims, at least not by Ryan's standards. In all of them there are objectives for killing, even if that was simple looting. In games like Rust (alpha test) there was literally nothing else to do but kill each other, and we al better be prepared for that in PFO early on.

So as to how someone on the outside perceives this game, well maybe the best way to avoid them viewing PFO as a murder sim is for us not to recognize. That it has the potential for it to become one. Certainly don't attach the term to "Open World PvP" ourselves. You will just feed into that wrong perception.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan has been extremely coy about which games he would consider a "murder simulator", but I don't think it's fair to say he views it as exclusively related to FPS games.

... a lot of people will come to Pathfinder Online with two incorrect preconceptions about the way the game is played. Those two preconceptions are:

1: Open World PvP implies a murder simulator

2: Killing early, often, and without discrimination is the route to long-term success

These two preconceptions mutually reinforce each other. If #2 is true, #1 is inevitable. This is the trap that game after game after game fell into. (Sometimes they didn't "fall" into it as much as they embraced it as a design paradigm on purpose.)

So, it sounds like Ryan is saying that "Open World PvP" by itself, even without the "full gear looting" is enough to give "a lot of people" the idea that it's a "murder simulator".

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:

"Statistically significant levels of emotional "negativity" language"

ROFL.

Most of mmorpg.com is like that I believe!! Massively is somewhat better but only if you consider an increase in whinging as opposed to hostility :) What is great is you've done a quick analysis and confirmed this. *Basking in the warm rays*

Early adopters are different from the mainstream who don't realize they're more conservative than they believe? If the game is fun that will get out in the open, and word of mouth will do the rest along with targetted headhunting by guilds.

We want people who are *really* interested eg 9/10 as opposed to people who are 5 or 6/10 interest, also. If open pvp is deal-breaking they're already sliding below 5??

AvenaOats, I respectifully disagree with you. GW doesn't want to attract 9/10's--they want ever dollar they can get to fund this thing. They are doing well, but this is by no means a done deal, and more revenues make PFO a much more likely thing to happen.

Ideally so, yeah. But the value of PFO in EE will be a great community that holds more 9's than normal. That in itself becomes a draw. But also realistic, given it's MVP and sub and sandboxy low on content and low on polish compared to what a lot of people are going to be demanding.

I certainly agree about language and communication, if there's a way to portray the game as neither a murder-simulator (come all ye griefers! be gone ye carebears) nor as a virtual world with minimum requirement for interaction and consequence of action... definitely a tricky proposal given detractors to the right of me, jokers to the left... ! :)

I'm personally hoping it will be possible different guilds will be able to offer different things eg pvp, safety, rp, some theme or other and so on. That would be an ideal result.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Urlord wrote:

[DISCLAIMER]

These are just my experiences and opinions - please don't beat me up.
[/DISCLAIMER]

I am one of these older players who came up pre-video games and prefers games where players work together to accomplish common goals, like a table-top game.

PONG! The only video game you ever needed to play!

Goblin Squad Member

I'm honestly in the PvP-is-not-the-highlight-of-my-gaming-experience crowd, but I willing to help try to make both the PvP and the PvE components of the game meaningful and fun. The Pathfinder world can be rich and challenging if PFO is willing to take some risks.

I agree that PFO does need to quash misconceptions, but I also think that is where both the player base and the new Community Manager (Jane) can help out to help dispel those myths.

Goblin Squad Member

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Right, okay. GW is marketing from the wrong direction of their product.

So instead of stating 'Open PvP' as a feature why not lead off with 'Settlement Warfare' and then go into how pvp is a natural part of that? Make it all about the settlements in the Kingdom Game and how characters can fight wars against each other in the name of their settlement.

Talk about all the cool war related functions people in a settlement can do. Talk about how different companies within the settlement can go out and raid enemy outposts to weaken their production line. Talk about the trade lines between allied settlements and how you can send bandits after your enemies caravans and steal their shipment of weapons for your own army.

This will cause players to view PFO as a kingdom warfare game that has PvP in it, instead of an open world gank fest that has towns in it.

When a soda company like Coke or Pepsi makes a commercial they usually are talking about how great a time you are having or how awesome you feel while drinking their product, not what the product is made of. It's the same thing here, the message should be all the great things that you can do because of PvP, not the base PvP itself.

(the Open World PvP block is next to a statement that doesn't even mention PvP: "Pathfinder Online is a single, persistent world for all players. It is not broken into instances or across multiple versions of the same world. If you want to find your friends in Pathfinder Online, they will always be somewhere in the world with you." If GW really wanted to say this then maybe put 'Single Server' instead of 'Open World PvP' in the block.)

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bluddwolf wrote:
So as to how someone on the outside perceives this game, well maybe the best way to avoid them viewing PFO as a murder sim is for us not to recognize. That it has the potential for it to become one. Certainly don't attach the term to "Open World PvP" ourselves. You will just feed into that wrong perception.

If we want to reduce the chance that a casual observer might mistake PFO as a game that's all about murder, then maybe a first step in that direction would be for there to be less thousand-post threads, between all the Usual Suspects, arguing 'how much murder is the right amount of murder'?

Goblin Squad Member

Snorter wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
So as to how someone on the outside perceives this game, well maybe the best way to avoid them viewing PFO as a murder sim is for us not to recognize. That it has the potential for it to become one. Certainly don't attach the term to "Open World PvP" ourselves. You will just feed into that wrong perception.
If we want to reduce the chance that a casual observer might mistake PFO as a game that's all about murder, then maybe a first step in that direction would be for there to be less thousand-post threads, between all the Usual Suspects, arguing 'how much murder is the right amount of murder'?

As one of those usual suspects, you've never read anything that I have written that refers to PvP as murder. You create impressions based on the terms that you use, yes words have power, so when you use a term that has a negative connotation it creates a negative perception.

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