Alpha Report - First Day Impressions


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

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First, congratulations to Goblinworks - and especially Mark and the programmers - for this truly groundbreaking achievement. This Day One Alpha was remarkably stable.

And for the question I know many of you are asking yourselves: Yes, I did come into work today :)

User Interface

The UI is different than what I'm used to, but I think it's right because the game systems are quite different as well. It will probably take a bit more time to figure out how to efficiently use it, especially things like getting the right Implement associated with the right Weapon Set. Right now, you can't drag Feats around on your action bar (unless the Feats tab is open?).

Movement was great. Mouse-look/mouse-move worked almost exactly like I'd expect it to, except that using mouse-move didn't cancel auto-run the way I'd have expected. It took a little to get used to the fact that your character doesn't make large turns instantly; if you turn the camera completely around and then use mouse-move, your character will start running the way he was originally facing and then gradually turn to face the new heading.

The biggest problem I had was not being able to enter custom key bindings so that I could efficiently use my Nostromo, but Stephen tells us that may just require some manual editing of a config file, so I'm happy.

The other big problem I had was that there were no tooltips at the Feats trainers, so it was hard to know what to train. I trained Bright Rune only to discover afterwards that it was a Wand feat, not a Staff feat.

There was noticeable lag when crossing hex boundaries, but as I said elsewhere, it's already better in PFO on day one of Alpha than it was crossing chunk boundaries in Vanguard after 6 years of being live.

Combat

It's very easy to die. The first time I died, I hadn't really processed that I was taking damage yet, but I fairly quickly adapted to that. It's also pretty easy to kite. The most important thing for me as a Wizard was realizing the value of switching between Staff and Wand. Staff gives much better range than a Wand, so is great for pulling. The Wand is better damage once things are close, though.

Don't solo. Running around in a group of 4 to 5 players was a total blast, and just felt awesome. Also, let a fighter or healer start the fight - Rogues and Wizards are definitely squishy.

My biggest problem with combat was that one of the default Fighter bow attacks was ridiculously over-powered, with a Damage Factor of something like 3.6 that was almost one-shotting mobs that would take me 5 hits to kill.

The combat was also a little sluggish sometimes. I would make an attack and it felt like it took a while for the animation to fire off, and then a bit longer for the damage to register.

Crafting (Sorry, didn't even try)

High Priority Fixes

I think the single-most important thing to fix as soon as possible is tooltips at the Feats trainers so we can know what we're buying.

Notification when leaving the play area. Every time we explored west of the starter town, our character would simply disappear and we'd be stuck and unable to move. We had to logout and log back in to get unstuck. Which leads to...

Every logout is a total character wipe. You lose all (most?) gear, all feats, and all XP gained. This might actually be necessary for a little bit because it's also pretty easy to go kill-on-sight to the guards and the character wipe also resets your Reputation, so this might not actually be a high-priority fix.

Overall Impression

ZOMGWOWSOMUCHFUN!!

Two and a half years of anticipation might have something to do with that, but I really had a blast. The game does a great job of rewarding you for working with others.

There's a bit of "what do I do now?" It will probably take some time for enough information to be organized and released by the community to give folks a sense of what they should reasonably expect to be able to do on first logging in.

Last night was all about jumping in with both feet and testing limits. Tonight will probably be much more structured for me. I expect I'll spend most of my time in the starter town (Sotter Hill? sp?) cataloging things like trainers, recipes, etc.

If you're in Alpha, try to stay around the mountains. It's easy to get hopelessly stuck if you wander too far. If you haven't already noticed, the Alpha area is centered around the mountains between Callambea and Freevale on the Land Rush map.

So. Much. FUN!

Goblin Squad Member

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Thanks for this. I have to say that I'm so impressed with all of you guys already in Alpha. I loved watching all the streams and listening to the feedback so far. It really is giving a sense of cohesion with the community. As someone whom has seen my fair share of early development stuff, this looks quite good. I can absolutely see where they are going from this point and you guys were highlighting that really well.

Nihimon, I do have two questions for you though. What was it like running around at night for all of you guys? It looked really dark (which I love btw.) Also collision detection is obviously in for PCs, but what about NPCs/mobs?

I'll definitely be looking to check out Twitch again tonight, so hoping people will still be streaming. :)

Goblin Squad Member

FMS Quietus wrote:

Thanks for this. I have to say that I'm so impressed with all of you guys already in Alpha. I loved watching all the streams and listening to the feedback so far. It really is giving a sense of cohesion with the community. As someone whom has seen my fair share of early development stuff, this looks quite good. I can absolutely see where they are going from this point and you guys were highlighting that really well.

Nihimon, I do have two questions for you though. What was it like running around at night for all of you guys? It looked really dark (which I love btw.) Also collision detection is obviously in for PCs, but what about NPCs/mobs?

I'll definitely be looking to check out Twitch again tonight, so hoping people will still be streaming. :)

I am not Nihimon, but will stick my nose in anyway. =P

I did not have any issues seeing at night. The moon was actually quite bright. Both it and the sun were so bright my body did not obscure them even when position directly between them and the camera. =P

I don't recall testing collisions with any of the bandits or ogres we fought (because I am a wizard, and was running away from them), but collision was definitely a thing with the vicious, murderous Thornguards protecting the town from my respawning corpse.

Scarab Sages Goblinworks Executive Founder

Jumping in on the collision question. I don't recall there being collision on the mobs. Though combat was a little hectic so I can't say for sure. I do know after we killed an Ogre there was no collision on his body.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon, I ran around and used Twitch to record all the feats/skills available to a starting character. That might cut down on the time you need to spend on that.

Last Night's Streams

Goblin Squad Member

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All of you guys are amazing assets to all of us hungry EE ticket holders and the OE audience at large. For the record, I saw Nihimon play a "wizardish" type in DFUW. It does not surprise me at all that he is part of a small group that can take out multiple Ogres in the first cpl hours of play.

Thank You for the streams.

Goblin Squad Member

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FMS Quietus wrote:
Nihimon, I do have two questions for you though. What was it like running around at night for all of you guys? It looked really dark (which I love btw.) Also collision detection is obviously in for PCs, but what about NPCs/mobs?

I loved the Day/Night cycle. I didn't time it, but it felt like it was an hour or so - 72 or 96 minutes wouldn't surprise me. The graphics, even on the default "Fastest" setting, were surprisingly good for the environment. The sun and moon were breathtaking, although the moon was quite a bit brighter than I'd expect, but I loved it and hope they keep it looking like it's a direct source of light rather than just reflective.

I generally stayed far enough away from mobs that I don't actually know what the collision detection is like with them.

I'll definitely be streaming tonight, with audio! I'll post something on here when I start, but it'll probably be around 6:00 PM Central (11:00 PM GMT).

Goblin Squad Member

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TEO Alexander Damocles wrote:

Nihimon, I ran around and used Twitch to record all the feats/skills available to a starting character. That might cut down on the time you need to spend on that.

Last Night's Streams

Awesome! Thanks, I wasn't really looking forward to it :)

If anyone has any suggestions or questions, feel free to post them here or in the chat on twitch and I'll try to keep up with them. Some may have noticed a distinct drop in posting from me last night... whistles

Goblin Squad Member

A quick note on the "night" visibility. I had my own stream running, and it appeared that the nighttime looked a lot darker on the twitch stream than it did in the game. But that could just be my monitor settings? I'll have to check it again with both windows on the same monitor.

And yes, Rogues are super-squishy and currently seem under-powered. Nonetheless, it's certainly fun to play around with. It's likely I am not playing it to its full potential.

Goblin Squad Member

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Kitsune Aou wrote:


And yes, Rogues are super-squishy and currently seem under-powered.

Well, they *are* trying to follow the spirit of the tabletop game...

Goblin Squad Member

I imagine that when abilities enter the game that take advantage of rogue mechanics - sneak attack while flanking or from stealth with ranged weapons especially - rogues will dramatically increase in power.

Goblin Squad Member

TEO Alexander Damocles wrote:
Kitsune Aou wrote:


And yes, Rogues are super-squishy and currently seem under-powered.
Well, they *are* trying to follow the spirit of the tabletop game...

This is something I've been worried about and I sincerely hope it is not really the case. If rogues are basically "weak fighters" with sneak attack and few extra non-combat skills I'll be extremely disappointed.

Goblin Squad Member

Yeah, my Cleric was beasting through things, while my Rogue struggled. I'm interested to see the game balance develop. I'm certain that it will.


I'm guessing rogues will become less weak when skills start playing a bigger role.

I really hope there's a Hallowee-style event where the moon changes to look like Groetus. ;D

Goblin Squad Member

I loved how the rogue kicked up dirt every time they attacked, or at least the ones I saw did. Brings new meaning to the phrase "dirty fighter".

Goblin Squad Member

The rogue could be a slow builder too. Stealth is already in the game for everyone right? I thought I saw that for the controls doc. Wonder if the damage from stealth does make a difference.

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