First Impressions


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

You mean Marking? Hardly an aggro mechanism. It forces the GM to either maneuver his monsters in an intelligent manner, or suffer the consequences. It is one of the subtlest aggro mechanics around. Monsters can still ignore the tank, they just get punished for it.

All it does is give more power to the player, and force the GM to actually think about how he fights.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Gol Morbis wrote:

You mean Marking? Hardly an aggro mechanism. It forces the GM to either maneuver his monsters in an intelligent manner, or suffer the consequences. It is one of the subtlest aggro mechanics around. Monsters can still ignore the tank, they just get punished for it.

All it does is give more power to the player, and force the GM to actually think about how he fights.

Yeah, just kidding.

Goblin Squad Member

Oh, right. Sorry. Morbis is a veteran of the Great Edition Wars. I have a bit of a trigger finger when it comes to 4E.

("D&D 4E is basically just an MMO" is one of the stupidest ways to disparage the game is all. There is plenty wrong with 4E. Being like an MMO isn't one of them.)

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Well, to be honest, I did have a MMO feeling, and most my friends too, but it's a feeling, that's all.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
...if by some stretch of imagination GamePro (or some other) rated PFO a 9.0...

Don't forget an insidious trap faced by successful companies: unmet--or, more specifically, unmeetable--demand. I doubt GW wants PFO rated 9.0, as their announced plans wouldn't allow them to grant immediate entry to as many folks as would show up in the wake of that rating.

If there's one thing we can state for certain about people who'd come to PFO on no more info than a published rating, it's that they'd also not accept being queued for a period of months for getting into the game. It's not hard to imagine the buzz that'd follow.

Goblin Squad Member

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Virgil Firecask wrote:
In a world with Minecraft, I'm not sure people care as much about graphics as this thread implies.

With a couple hundred hours into Terraria, I'd like to give this a few more 'favorite' votes.

Goblin Squad Member

My sense is that the crowd on those sites mentioned above are not necessarily the crowd that will make PFO great.

Awesome graphics are cool, but they fade over time. Gameplay is the key, especially for a game like this.

Goblin Squad Member

Regarding the trinity: I think we as players who are aware of what we do should be able to adapt to our environment. It should not be the case that a tank is needed to taunt all damage to himself to leave the dps and healz free to do their 'jobs'. Each member of a party should be able to absorb some damage and deliver dps, but none should be able to take all the damage or deal all the dps. I look forward to seeing what the AI evolves into and hope we can finally get past the dependency element of the trinity.

Especially with Independence Day coming up for those of us in the States. Social codependency in a game is anathematic. Cooperation should be nurtured. Common cause should be encouraged. Codependency should be scorched and burned out to the roots.

Scarab Sages Goblinworks Executive Founder

Yeah I have no issues with the graphics. Graphics are great and important but I think gameplay is more important and with the free-roaming sandbox feel that GW is shooting for top notch graphics just don't make sense especially when you have hundreds or thousands of people running around inside of it at the same time plus all the mobs.

I honestly think the graphics are on par with the final vision of where the game is going. From an artistic standpoint the only thing I have a gripe with is the animations, but I am fairly certain more robust and fluid animations will be coming down the pipeline.

I mean go back and look at SWG (the game I relate this the closest too) at the time there were a lot of games with much better graphics but the gameplay (read sandbox MMO - I'm talking pre-NGE) was pretty great and people enjoyed it.

Goblin Squad Member

Better graphics are better. Okay graphics are okay.

Better is better than worse.

Goblin Squad Member

Being, you have hit the nail on the head. If all characters have a blend of offensive and defensive capabilities, plus special abilities in keeping with their areas of focus, The Trinity will return to it's (IMO) correct place: just one strategy among many.

Goblin Squad Member

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I can attest to the fact that the idea of a "Tank" in D&D was certainly there in the mid-80's. With my group at the time, it was usually a "Dwarven Tank" in very heavy armor with lots of Con and HPs.

The MMO Tank is a wholly different thing, and it all boils down to aggro control. Most MMO forums have guides for tanking, and they very consistently point to "snap aggro" (instantly forcing the mob to attack the tank) as being the key thing that makes tanks awesome. Being able to "snap aggro" on an entire group of mobs is the ultimate tool in the MMO Tank's toolkit.

Pretending that the MMO Tank existed in D&D because there was something else called a Tank in D&D is just silly.

Goblin Squad Member

If the promise of formation combat makes it into production as described, we may also see trinitizing on a grander scale: whole units of infantry, backed up by whole units of support, defending whole units of artillery.

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:
If the promise of formation combat makes it into production as described, we may also see trinitizing on a grander scale: whole units of infantry, backed up by whole units of support, defending whole units of artillery.

I think in formation combat (as opposed to information combat) the trinity will still find domain but with a fourth element (skirmisher/scout).

Goblin Squad Member

There will be players who experiment to see whether focused specialization on the trinity model is still superior in the end. It may be a measure of the design's success if those trinity-focused specialists are NOT superior.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Being wrote:

Better graphics are better. Okay graphics are okay.

Better is better than worse.

Well, I actually don't agree at all. The more sophisticated are the graphics, the more they seem outdated, a few years after.

Age of Conan or Rift were way superior to WoW, in my opinion, when they came out, but now, my opinion is that they suffer the comparison.

About the Trinity, I would add that an essential part of the Trinity is the capacity to completely counteract the damage received, with healings, which will count in D&D. You can't "sustain" healing, as in a MMO with the Trinity.


Audoucet wrote:
Being wrote:

Better graphics are better. Okay graphics are okay.

Better is better than worse.

Well, I actually don't agree at all. The more sophisticated are the graphics, the more they seem outdated, a few years after.

Age of Conan or Rift were way superior to WoW, in my opinion, when they came out, but now, my opinion is that they suffer the comparison.

About the Trinity, I would add that an essential part of the Trinity is the capacity to completely counteract the damage received, with healings, which will count in D&D. You can't "sustain" healing, as in a MMO with the Trinity.

Just chiming in, because some of what you are saying doesn't make sense to me (could be me, there is always that possibility).

Better graphics are better graphics.

I am getting the feeling, that you are talking about the either aesthetics or stylized vs realistic even.

Aesthetics http://extra-credits.net/episodes/graphics-vs-aesthetics/

Stylized vs realistic (uncanny valley) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K1Kd9mZL8g

But simple graphics, better is better no matter what.
It is not a matter of taste really.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

I can attest to the fact that the idea of a "Tank" in D&D was certainly there in the mid-80's. With my group at the time, it was usually a "Dwarven Tank" in very heavy armor with lots of Con and HPs.

When I played TT, the fighters (and subclasses) were both the best armored and the best consistent long-term damage dealers. Mages were key for AoE against mass enemy groups or for massive damage against 'bosses'. They were critical for pulse damage in key fights, but weren't the consistent high-dps members of the party. Likewise, thieves/rogues were good for about 1-2 high damage outputs in a fight, but most of the time were only competent fighters - their value to the party rested on their other skills. So the classes weren't balanced, not by MMO standards, yet it worked pretty well.

Goblin Squad Member

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Finally something where my inexperience offers me an advantage. The graphics look terrific to me....

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Finally something where my inexperience offers me an advantage. The graphics look terrific to me....

hehe.

You Win.

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Finally something where my inexperience offers me an advantage. The graphics look terrific to me....

Yeah, the environment graphics look Fantastic to me, too. I expect any objections I have to character models right now are that there's too little variety.

Goblin Squad Member

There is a huge disconnect I think between what many people see a Tank as and what they are referring to a Tank as in it's role within the MMO Trinity.

Classic Tank - Heavily Armored, High Hit Point Character

MMO Trinity Tank - Heavily Armored, High Hit Point Character that can force enemies to focus only on him.

In TT RPGs, there usually isn't that ability to force aggro, or if there is, it's relatively limited or rare. Instead, the players have to use tactics and maneuvering to block access to other players, so that the monsters have to go through the tank to reach the other party members.

In MMOs, it doesn't matter so much on positioning. Button A makes Creature A target you instead of other party members.

That said, I don't really see much of a difference between the two. Unless the creatures just stand there when blocked from their preferred target, blocking access to their target is effectively the same as forcing them to target you (either way you have to die for them to move on to their target). The only big difference comes with ranged enemies, where you can't block access without you party members moving out of LOS or range.

Good crowd control and taunts end up in the same place, the crowd control just takes more effort and skill.

I think the biggest curve away from the classic Trinity design of advance only your primary role (damage mitigation, DPS, Heals) in PFO is actually the games focus. PvP. Everyone has to focus on defense, because everyone is at risk from other players and unforeseen combat.

@Cirolle
Better graphics is not always better. Sure in a single player game, or a small scale multiplayer game, you could probably make that statement and be right. In a game where the number of players on the screen moving at one time can be in the hundreds, it simply is not the case. Better graphics can end up being a horrible, horrible idea.

Take a look at MAG's graphics vs. CoD's graphics as an example. MAG looked like a previous generation game in comparison, but if it had had CoD level graphics, it would have made the large battles (128 vs. 128, compared to CoD's 9 vs. 9) pretty much impossible.

PFO is about settlement warfare. Settlements can have hundreds of players. Assuming two large settlements duke it out, you could see 1000 people fighting over an area. Better graphics are not a better thing for that case. More efficient graphics are the better thing.

CEO, Goblinworks

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There are so many variables that go into the "graphics" of an MMO it's very hard to discuss one element of them without discussing the impact on others.

As with all things in Pathfinder Online, our objective is to implement the "minimum viable" level of a feature, then decide over time how and when to iterate it.

As a result there are a lot of parts of the graphics package for which I really only care that they exist, not that they are aesthetically awesome. Getting them to work at all is a huge step. Getting them to look great can be done iteratively.

For example, we are creating a gigantic world. There is no way we could hand-craft that world with the staff and resources we have. So we needed to build a system that would allow us to create large segments of terrain procedurally. So far I'm really very happy with the tools we've built in general. We made mountains and forests and deserts and we can make more of them in huge quantities within our existing resources.

Right now the terrain is built with very large macro level features - the divisions between hexes of different types and the major elevation changes being the most notable, followed by the roads and the rivers. We have made almost no effort to try to create "interesting" places within the landscape - the interesting geography that does exist is almost all an emergent property of the procedural generation.

But you'll probably notice very quickly that none of that terrain is particularly advanced in terms of its visual elements. There are trees, but there are not many different types or sizes. There are a lot of sharp angles in the deformation of terrain rather than smoother more organic curves. There are very few "features" in the terrain besides the resource nodes - and right now the resource nodes themselves only come in a small number of varieties.

The hard part was making huge amounts of terrain. We got that done. Making that terrain more "interesting", and increasing the number and variation of the elements of the terrain, and figuring out how to make it appear more aesthetically pleasing can come over time if that is determined to be the plan.

Your average game reviewer will look at what we've created and give it a low "score" because that's honestly what it is. Compared to terrain created by a huge team of artists who have years of time to build objects and programmers to write shaders and create hand-built merges between objects and ground and lighting and particle effects, etc. Pathfinder Online is not going to earn a very high "score".

On the other hand, there are people looking at what we've produced, with the size of staff we have, and the budget we have, and the timeline we're on, and they're shaking their heads and wondering how the hell we pulled it off. That's a very nuanced perspective and it doesn't reduce easily into a "score".

We have to sell people on the idea that we will, eventually, have AAA class graphics and we will eventually have achieved the kind of aesthetic that meets or exceeds AAA expectations. But we won't have that for a very, very long time. Instead, we'll have a series of incremental steps where things get very slightly better, continuously.

Obviously, the number of people who will accept such a thing is much lower than the total number of people who buy videogames or play MMOs. That's why we built our business plan around the idea of having a very small population of paying players which grows slowly but steadily over a long period of time. We don't have to start out with a "high score" because we don't need to attract several hundred players on the first day. We just need to find a couple of tens of thousands, out of millions, who can accept the fundamental idea of incremental improvement and we'll be ok.

Goblin Squad Member

Out of curiosity, Ryan, have you guys considered doing something similar to what inXile did with Wasteland 2 to crowdsource more models.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
We have to sell people on the idea that we will, eventually, have AAA class graphics and we will eventually have achieved the kind of aesthetic that meets or exceeds AAA expectations. But we won't have that for a very, very long time. Instead, we'll have a series of incremental steps where things get very slightly better, continuously.

A someone who has seen several projects go from prototype to finish I can only say that smoothing out the animations and matching the existing GFX to their gameplay effects goes a really really long way. But I believe your gameplay people already know that :)

Goblin Squad Member

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I just wanted to chime in a little bit for people concerned with the graphics.

A lot of the streaming I've watched looks worse than the game actually does as those streams drop the resolution quite a bit sometimes. Take a look at Paizo's video for a better idea of how things look:

Here

The graphics are by no means perfect, but better than a lot of the streams make them out to be. I'd go as far as to say the models and most of the textures look just fine.

A lot of animation is missing but that's to be expected. Good rigging and animation is time consuming. The overall graphics will look much better when some of the quarks in the animation are dealt with:

Animations don't always trigger right away so people look like they're sliding when they back up or strafe.
Idle positions for weapons are often awkward. (An animation for holding weapons when idle would help quite a bit with this. As is people tend to look like statues holding out weapon and pivoting.)
Many attack or casting animations are basic or just missing.
The stow animation for blunt weapons (like a mace) looks like the character is trying to insert it into a sheath.
A slew of missing animations that they know of and are listed "to do".

The problems with animation are more apparent when you have more players on the screen as opposed to NPCs, since player movement is generally less predictable and requires far more animation.

They have a lot of different aspects of the game to test and work on and that's really what alpha is about. I'd be surprised if nearly all of the animation in the game doesn't get revised in some way or another before open enrollment.

SWTOR didn't have exceptional graphics, but the animation was amazing and that's really what made most people love the visuals.

Goblin Squad Member

Looking at the alpha footage, I think it really shows that a lot of work has already gone in the terrain. Not fleshed out in details or landmarks, but it seems to have a real feel to it, with the smaller elevations, ditches, earth walls and such.

I looked at some early footage of Eve and those graphics have improved big time too. Same with Everquest. I still love the graphics in Everquest but I will admit that nostalgia may play a role here. :D

Ryan, what you write above makes so much sense, that nobody who reads it will most likely worry anymore. The problem is off course that hardly anyone will ever read it, or read it like we do now.

Doesn't matter, lots of people "discover" a game much later on, even when they have discarded it 2 years ago without much thought.

Scarab Sages Goblinworks Executive Founder

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

For example, we are creating a gigantic world. There is no way we could hand-craft that world with the staff and resources we have. So we needed to build a system that would allow us to create large segments of terrain procedurally.

...

But you'll probably notice very quickly that none of that terrain is particularly advanced in terms of its visual elements. There are trees, but there are not many different types or sizes. There are a lot of sharp angles in the deformation of terrain rather than smoother more organic curves. There are very few "features" in the terrain besides the resource nodes - and right now the resource nodes themselves only come in a small number of varieties.

I can comment on this directly, we have one level designer who works part time and a couple modelers and it is taking us months to get the world to be interesting using a procedural generation system. The only reason that we are even where we are is that we are using a grid based system which makes things a LOT easier to generate then just pure 100% random generation. So I can completely understand this and I wish more gamers knew the amount of work that went into this type of development.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
On the other hand, there are people looking at what we've produced, with the size of staff we have, and the budget we have, and the timeline we're on, and they're shaking their heads and wondering how the hell we pulled it off. That's a very nuanced perspective and it doesn't reduce easily into a "score".

*Raises Hand* I would definitely be one of those people. It is easy to sit back and compare to other products that have had bigger teams, bigger budgets, bigger timelines but when you consider all the factors, and I mean honestly consider them, it is pretty great to see where things are currently. I say this as a fellow developer not as a fanboy, so I hope more people take the things Ryan has said to heart.

Scarab Sages Goblinworks Executive Founder

Crash_00 wrote:
Out of curiosity, Ryan, have you guys considered doing something similar to what inXile did with Wasteland 2 to crowdsource more models.

I am curious about this one too. I know it has been suggested/mentioned by community members a number of times :D

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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Banesama wrote:
I've seen info on bow feats/skills for the Fighter role but anyone have the info on bow feats/skills for the Rogue role?

There are only bow Feats and Abilities; they are the same for everybody.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, EQ has been doing something like this with Player Studio, and I really love what some players have submitted to the Store. Bought several items, since they often looked better then the SOE created stuff that was already there. Amazing what some people can model, considering the rather strict rules (max amount of poly's and such) that SOE has set for submissions.


Crash_00 wrote:


@Cirolle
Better graphics is not always better. Sure in a single player game, or a small scale multiplayer game, you could probably make that statement and be right. In a game where the number of players on the screen moving at one time can be in the hundreds, it simply is not the case. Better graphics can end up being a horrible, horrible idea.

Take a look at MAG's graphics vs. CoD's graphics as an example. MAG looked like a previous generation game in comparison, but but if it had had CoD level graphics, it would have made the large battles (128 vs. 128, compared to CoD's 9 vs. 9) pretty much impossible.

PFO is about settlement warfare. Settlements can have hundreds of players. Assuming two large settlements duke it out, you could see 1000 people fighting over an area. Better graphics are not a better thing for that case. More efficient graphics are the better thing.

First, let me just say, I understand why PFO is at the stage it is with its graphics.

It does not bother me, personally, the least.

You don't have to cover it up and make excuses for it.
It is what it is for very specific reasons.
As Ryan explains in his post above, they are creating a gigantic world, they have a small team, and they have limited resources compared to some of the huge companies.

But, I am pretty sure, that if someone came along and said "Hey, we will make AAA graphics for you, fast and free", that they would take it.

Multiplayer games have also come a long way.
Most of the time, it is on the client side, that "lag" happens if it have to do with graphics.
This is easy to deal with, by offering lower settings.
PS2 is a great example of a very decent graphical game, with many many players fighting.

The rest of you post goes on, talking about the same as the first paragraph, so I will leave it at that.

There is no bad thing that goes along with better graphics, really.
You cannot make a game worse, by adding the option of higher resolution, more varied landscape, better lighting, realistic shadows etc.
It is not possible, as long as you offer settings.

My post, that you responded to, was actually a long question about what Audoucet meant when he was talking about graphics.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Graphics: The graphics quality is better than I expected. Certainly not the best I have seen by a long shot, but plenty good enough. If they are able to maintain this level of graphic clarity with mass battles it will be a very impressive achievement.

Trinity: Tanks being able to pull aggro may be the most common way for the trinity to arise, but it is not the ONLY way. To me, the biggest 'trinity' change has actually been to the 'healer' role. In my pre-MMO tabletop games, healing was used during combat only if another party member were about to go down. It made more sense for all the characters to be attacking (physically and/or magically) to down the opponents and then healing back up between fights. In MMOs, and now some TTs, you instead see some characters spending the vast majority of their time in combat casting one heal spell after another and only occasionally taking some other action.

The other types have changed in how they carry out their roles (e.g. tanks pulling aggro rather than physically blocking movement towards other party members) and become more focused/limited to those roles, but those with healing abilities have completely changed their in-combat behavior. Some of the factors contributing to this have been; rapid out of combat health regeneration, low/no chance of healing being lost due to being hit while casting, and combats set up to deal more damage than characters could possibly survive w/o constant healing.

Given that PFO alpha has rapid out of combat health regeneration there is no logical reason to 'waste' magical healing between combats... so magical healing will either be useless OR have to be good enough that it makes sense for Clerics and other healers to be healing in combat rather than generating their own DPS. At which point you'd expect to see tank type characters forming a defensive line or perimeter around other characters, healers keeping those tanks up, and ranged DPS attacking from within the 'safe zone'... potentially bringing us right back to the trinity with just minor modifications. I'd suggest requiring magical healing to recover health between combats. That'd be one more nail in the coffin of solo play, but w/o it I expect you'll still see a trinity setup developing.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
We have to sell people on the idea that we will, eventually, have AAA class graphics and we will eventually have achieved the kind of aesthetic that meets or exceeds AAA expectations. But we won't have that for a very, very long time. Instead, we'll have a series of incremental steps where things get very slightly better, continuously.

TAAADAAA!!! That is the answer, the only and most honest answer needed. On those other websites, with the Alpha not having an NDA, what I just cut and pasted, should be the stock answer given to the nay-sayers.

The casual viewer needs to be reminded, this is alpha, and it will get better.

Scarab Sages Goblinworks Executive Founder

CBDunkerson wrote:
Given that PFO alpha has rapid out of combat health regeneration there is no logical reason to 'waste' magical healing between combats... so magical healing will either be useless OR have to be good enough that it makes sense for Clerics and other healers to be healing in combat rather than generating their own DPS. At which point you'd expect to see tank type characters forming a defensive line or perimeter around other characters, healers keeping those tanks up, and ranged DPS attacking from within the 'safe zone'... potentially bringing us right back to the trinity...

This isn't 100% accurate see below which makes healing out of combat important:

AlphaInstructionsv1 wrote:

• Injuries: If there is a smaller bar overlaying your Hit Point bar that is your Injury bar. It goes up each time you take a critical hit and, if it is greater than your Hit Points, you will suffer serious penalties. Injuries are removed using divine healing spells or resting in taverns and other special locations. (Injuries are not yet implemented.)[/quote

CEO, Goblinworks

Right now we don't have a good way to get assets into the game ala Wasteland2 from 3rd parties. That is something we have talked about doing from the very inception of the project and it is something I personally would very much like to do.

Right now we want to focus on making our tools work better and on targeting specific things in the list of objects we could make to define what the world should look like. Its an all-hands-on-deck process which means we don't have any spare bandwidth to review outside submissions. We don't even have the bandwidth to create the kind of tutorial and reference assets that would be needed by an outsider to work with our toolchain.

Someday I hope we'll manage to get to a point where we can look at outside submissions but we just don't have the bandwidth to try it yet.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The cure spells in alpha restore 350 hp. The osiron cures 100.

Base hp is 400, 560 is really expensive.

I think that cleric healing is useful in combat, if you can get close enough.

Goblin Squad Member

CBDunkerson wrote:
Trinity: Tanks being able to pull aggro may be the most common way for the trinity to arise, but it is not the ONLY way. To me, the biggest 'trinity' change has actually been to the 'healer' role.

I completely agree. I would actually favor a system of diminishing returns for healing the same target during the same combat, or even a hard cap like limiting total heals to max hit points. Taking a Fighter who has 1,000 Hit Points and healing him for 70,000 Hit Points or more during an encounter feels very, very wrong to me.

Goblin Squad Member

Cirolle wrote:
...But simple graphics, better is better no matter what. It is not a matter of taste really.

I believe it is. I'm not playing wildstar because of the graphics and that is surely a matter of taste.


Being wrote:
Cirolle wrote:
...But simple graphics, better is better no matter what. It is not a matter of taste really.
I believe it is. I'm not playing wildstar because of the graphics and that is surely a matter of taste.

Wildstar have great graphics.

I do not like the style though.

Goblin Squad Member

To clarify, while the graphical representation of characters in alpha is not where I expect it will be at OE, I'm not displeased and I am actually quite pleased at how smoothly the game runs unoptimised and raw like this. I fully understand that the skins will change and become refined and the animations may gradually improve or be replaced but the important thing at this point is to ensure all the MVP elements are in the game and playing nice together.

And when I say better graphics are better that is evaluating 'better' as a variable and not an absolute. This isn't Ethics 101: You'll have to see professor Langston down the hall for that.

Goblin Squad Member

Wildstar: I'm not paying money to live in a Looneytune cartoon. Period.


Being wrote:
Wildstar: I'm not paying money to live in a Looneytune cartoon. Period.

Hehe, yeah, it have some charm though.

Not into that style as I said.
But it is very pretty and well made.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'd say Wildstar has great aesthetics and moderately good graphics.

Goblin Squad Member

I cannot judge from evidence, Papa. I'll leave that to you.

<my luck it will turn out to be the WoW killer, and I'll have missed it. Interneters worldwide will nudge one another and point lethal giggles at me with a knowing smirk>

~edit~

People don't talk about aesthetics. Aesthetics are a branch of philosophy, so they have to be called 'graphics' for the sake of the imperial technocracy that banned the liberal arts altogether as more dangerous for a well-ordered society than cannabis sativa.

Goblin Squad Member

I still think WoW has better aesthetics than Wildstar though I haven't played Wildstar that much though and I freak fantasy. Maybe it's nostalgia but I think vanilla WoW had the best aesthetics I seen in any game. All the areas had such a unique and touching feel to them starting from music etc.


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Fifty new posts!? Jesus, did Bluddwolf say something about Nihimon's weight agai...

Lam wrote:

Many of 4th edition players seem to apply trinity to TT play and may have come to DnD from MMO or game stations. RP is extraneous and upsets them.

Oh...

Shaibes wrote:
4E D&D wasn't roleplaying anymore, it was WOW on a table.

Oh nooooooo...

Bluddwolf wrote:
GamePro

When you're at a corner, he's gotcher back

He'll never ever betray you man that's a fact
Yo he's you're best friend, and never foe
So c'mon and let's gooooo

Nihimon wrote:
Pretending that the MMO Tank existed in D&D because there was something else called a Tank in D&D is just silly.

Indeed, the tank is known to date back to the Second World War, where the high-HP, high-AC armies of Russia saved the British healers and American DPR monsters from a costly defeat by forcing the Germans to take aim at them instead.

Ooh, Ryan made a post! *Favorites before reading*

Am I the only one who's way more likely to favorite a post if someone else already has?

Athansor wrote:
The stow animation for blunt weapons (like a mace) looks like the character is trying to insert it into a sheath.

No comment.

Decius wrote:
The cure spells in alpha restore 350 hp. The osiron cures 100.

Really? I always thought Osiron was a bunch of jerks.

In seriousness, yeah, healing seems pretty powerful. I saw a fighter going up against two clerics in the GW stream. Clerics kicked butt.

Goblin Squad Member

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Fifty new posts!? Jesus, did Bluddwolf say something about Nihimon's weight agai...

Nope, but for the record I'm 6'4" and about 315 lbs right now. "Fat and Happy" is, I believe, the operative phrase :)

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There are so many variables that go into the "graphics" of an MMO it's very hard to discuss one element of them without discussing the impact on others.

As with all things in Pathfinder Online, our objective is to implement the "minimum viable" level of a feature, then decide over time how and when to iterate it.

As a result there are a lot of parts of the graphics package for which I really only care that they exist, not that they are aesthetically awesome. Getting them to work at all is a huge step. Getting them to look great can be done iteratively.

For example, we are creating a gigantic world. There is no way we could hand-craft that world with the staff and resources we have. So we needed to build a system that would allow us to create large segments of terrain procedurally. So far I'm really very happy with the tools we've built in general. We made mountains and forests and deserts and we can make more of them in huge quantities within our existing resources.

Right now the terrain is built with very large macro level features - the divisions between hexes of different types and the major elevation changes being the most notable, followed by the roads and the rivers. We have made almost no effort to try to create "interesting" places within the landscape - the interesting geography that does exist is almost all an emergent property of the procedural generation.

But you'll probably notice very quickly that none of that terrain is particularly advanced in terms of its visual elements. There are trees, but there are not many different types or sizes. There are a lot of sharp angles in the deformation of terrain rather than smoother more organic curves. There are very few "features" in the terrain besides the resource nodes - and right now the resource nodes themselves only come in a small number of varieties.

The hard part was making huge amounts of terrain. We got that done. Making that terrain more "interesting", and increasing the number and variation of the elements of the...

I totally support 100%, all these design choices.


Banesama wrote:

Great graphics might lure in some new players but won't keep them in the game. In my experience, those that focus more on graphics instead of gameplay, often move from game to game regularly. They aren't the type to stick to a game for an extended period of time.

Another factor that GW is using for PFO is building the community small and expanding from there. I think this route will allow the community to grow steadily instead of getting huge spikes of new players only to lose most of them in a month or so.

If PFO can remain in the black each year and that margin of black continues to grow slowly each year, then that will be a success.

that's because those games are lacking in gameplay, not because the players won't stick with the games. PFO is working on better gameplay, but now the graphics are lacking. All this debate seems to be on the premise that you can't have both for some reason. You certainly can, and that would be a truly awesome game. Unfortunately they're on such a restrictive budget it kinda ruins that possibility.

I was going to play because I believed in the game. I thought because of the improved style of play that after a year or 2 it would be bringing in the kind of money it would take to re invest in the graphics it deserves. Unfortunately I now see that that's not the plan and not cared about what so ever, so I will likely not play at all, I'll just wait and see what the next game of its kind looks like if there even is one.

And please, anyone who reads this, I don't care about your opinion about "graphics is deserves" doesn't matter. I know there are some of you out there that dont think they matter. I was speaking for the other 95% of us.

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