Please Do One of These Two Things if you Launch Thursday.


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

I think it's hard to find a sandbox MMO with a balance between crafting and adventuring some, but not an overwhelming amount of PvP.

Darkfall is overwhelmed by PvP.

Most of the other fantasy sandbox games I've looked at have either had an emphasis on crafting or an emphasis on adventuring but don't have much balance (and seem to not function because of that; there's no reason to craft in the games with little adventure, and no reason to adventure in the games with little crafting).

I think there are no games you can say "this is a fantasy version of EVE" about, except for Pathfinder Online. From what I can tell, for MMOs, a rough balance between crafting and adventuring, and PvP as an element but not the overwhelming focus of the game is unique to EVE and Pathfinder. To be fair, Pathfinder Online is not a fantasy version of EVE as it is today, but it roughly parallels EVE when EVE was released in 2003.

As far as I know there are no fantasy MMOs where players can make persistent changes to their characters based on collective action in the way that Pathfinder enables via the Settlement mechanic. War of Towers will make that happen immediately, and the long term plan is very rich and robust in this respect.

As far as I know there are no fantasy MMOs where players can directly contribute to the design of core features and balancing in the way we are with Crowdforging. There may be no MMOs at all which have taken this to the degree we have taken it and will take even further.

There are no other MMOs that tap into the rich backstory and world development of Golarion, a world that has hundreds of thousands of vested players.

I'll agree that there's no single thing (except the IP) that Pathfinder Online has that no other game has, but I would strongly argue that no other game has the same matrix of those features that Pathfinder Online does.

Mortal Online

Mortal Online actually has a pretty good balance between combat and crafting. In it's system you have a huge variety of materials you can use for any task. Say you are making a bow. There are several components to the bow and you can choose between many different types of wood, bone, leather etc. to make each component of that bow all with unknown effect unless you've experimented with it before. The best crafters have their own recipes they've discovered and while some recipes are out there in the public some groups try to keep their discovered advantaged secret.

The world itself has different material types and animals scattered all over the map and no form of teleportation. Trade is essential if you want to use certain materials in combination with eachother or breed certain types of animals together.

It also has full Open World PvP a lot of people really enjoy where you can use your limited skill points to create a combat character unique as the items you're wielding and custom bred mounts you are riding. That combat system is governed by the best alignment system I've seen in any of these titles, including PFO. It doesn't punish you nearly as harshly for a single kill but if you go on a killing rampage that can be very hard to recover from, and you suffer lost skill points when you die as a low alignment character.

In other words the crafting is way better than PFO's and the combat is at least as good.

What it suffers from is bugs and imbalances that have not been addressed for literal years, and at this point I think too many people have lost faith in the devs for it to ever make a full recovery.

Wurm Online

Wurm Online has what I would rate as a 5 star crafting system. It's the only game I've ever seen address the issue of why crafted items are generally so undervalued, the fact they are always trivial to make once you have the materials. In Wurm making a high grade item is the product of hours worth of improvements and then finding a priest willing to sit their and improve the enchants until they are at the desired level.

As a result you can become a blacksmith, and focus on almost nothing but blacksmithing. Or a carpenter that does nothing but carpentry. Trade skills are in extremely high demand and the item you put out will always be far more valuable than the materials that went in.'

Combat is simplistic yet functional and a lot of people really enjoy it. The PvP servers do divide you into 3 preset factions but there is also the ability to found your own player kingdom. Combat tends to revolve less around players killing players and more around busting into enemy settlements and stealing their goods. Building a highly defensible settlement with quality walls is very important.

Overall I would say crafting is favored a bit more than combat but they do coexist in the same world. The areas I would really say it lacks is the combat is a bit simplistic for me, and it has more grinding than any game I've ever seen. Even Runescape. The graphics are also meh, but that's not a huge deal to me.

Darkfall Online

Darkfall Online has seen a lot of improvements over the years. At this point it's crafting system is a bit better than PFO's and it's combat system is drastically better. You can pull abilities from any role in the game and put them on a single character just like PFO.

I also found the exploration aspect to be second to none. Taking out a sea scrapper to dredge the ocean for valuables and treasure maps is probably the most profitable venture in the game if you can defend it, and hunting down the treasure from those maps is a bit less risky, also very profitable, and sees players running around and uncovering huge sections of the map.

You can be killed by anyone, anywhere, any reason without much consequence. It's harsh but many people are able to get over it if they are shown the proper survival methods and hook themselves into a good group.

Where the game really lacks is it has no forgiveness for people with slower systems, connections, or reflexes and despite a huge reduction in grind time a lot of people still find it pretty grindy.

Xsyon

Until playing LiF I would have labeled this game as the best terraforming MMO ever. You can completely terraform the landscape and build a wide variety of pretty well designed structures on it. Plus I've heard they've recently made it so that terraformed landscape reverts to it's original form over time if not controlled by an active settlement.

Last I played the combat was awful. Full manual aim but very simplistic and practically impossible to kill someone if they just turn and sprint the other way. That could have changed by now.

There was a huge variety of recipes and you could make some really cool looking armor. Discovering recipes was a huge deal and very fun. As a leatherworker/toolsmith I was able to craft people a wide variety of looks based on their preferences and my large variety of tool recipes allowed me to make the same tool many different ways from simple ones that only used a piece of stone to complex ones combining many more rare components.

What the game really suffered from was a lack of a soul. The combat was horrible and you were invincible once you retreated within the safety of your own settlement, and no siege system existed at the time. Though the crafting and terraforming system where far better than PFO's I was eventually still left feeling like it was a chore to log in as I didn't see what I created serving any real purpose.

Conclusion

All of these games had things they did right. Things I could say they did better than any other game. Eventually it was the gravity of things they got wrong and the slow speed at which they progressed that killed the titles for me and many others.

All of these games a set apart by things at least as important to your common MMO player as the Golarion setting (Sorry but that's not going to sell titles to anyone who's not already a huge Pathfinder fan unless you have a great/unique MMO title to back it up.)

Most of these communities are small enough that the diehards do have a fair bit of input. Wurm in particular I know makes heavy use of Ideascale and the head developer has regular discussions with the community about what features to implement next.

EVE was created in a world devoid of good sandbox games. Your competition is rising and has stepped things up a notch. If you're going to avoid fading into obscurity as most of them have, you'll have to do the same, infact you'll have to do it better than any of them can, and at this moment I feel like LiF is leading you by miles in that fight.

A fantasy version of EVE can't replicate EVE's success any more than a Sci-Fi version of WoW can replicate WoW's. I know I could care less about the IP. I actually feel like the Pathfinder affiliation holds this title back from doing things it could do easier if it had it's own unique world and lore. Along with many others, I'm judging you 100% on the quality of the product you produce.

CEO, Goblinworks

Quote:
A fantasy version of EVE can't replicate EVE's success any more than a Sci-Fi version of WoW can replicate WoW's.

I think you're 100% wrong about that. I think people want and will play that game and that's our target (with improvements to culture and community).

I've looked at all those games and like I said, I found them to be strongly unbalanced. I think EVE got the balance right and that's why it succeeded.

The most important thing in EVE is the market. Unlike all those other games, EVE's market actually functions and displays classic macroeconomic behavior. The price signal works in EVE - people modify their behavior in response to price stimulus. The market works in EVE because PvP, PvE, and crafting have the right balance.

CCP knows that the biggest problem they have is that the audience for games without humanoid avatars is much smaller than the audience for games with humanoid avatars. Not having "bodies" is one of the biggest reasons people won't play EVE. A fantasy version of EVE, all other factors being equal, will outcompete EVE simply due to that fact.

WoW did not succeed by making a type of MMO work. It succeeded in making MMOs work in general. It isn't the best theme park and it has no technical or aesthetic leadership position. It just works really, really well and launched as a mass audience got fast enough internet, good enough video cards, and community tools for guilds proliferated and stopped being something a techpriest had to manage. It's unique selling proposition is its size and the density of the social graph of MMO players it has accumulated.

A "sci-fi" version of WoW can't exist because WoW was a service, not a gaming, innovator. A fantasy version of EVE can exist because EVE has a gigantic need/gap.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
A "sci-fi" version of WoW can't exist because WoW was a service, not a gaming, innovator.

If your intent is to produce EVE with a few unique gimmick features in a new setting then neither are you.

Your Pathfinder setting is going to hold you up any more than the Star Wars setting held up The Old Republic and SWG.

I'm telling you, I talked to upper leadership of a settlement outside the NC last night and they brought up the subject of how they are losing faith in this title and can't get people interested. They brought up how they've been looking at LiF if this game doesn't pan out.

These game needs to focus on it's core content and do it well before you start saying "EE has been released." You can't afford to ask people to pay for the product you're about to put out. There is a world of difference between a content light EE and a poorly functioning EE and nobody but your most diehard fanboys will forgive you the later.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ok, we are told it is MVP, but if they consider what they have implemented MVP then it is not ready for EE as so much of what they have implemented flat doesn't work.

I ran from Stoneroot Glade to Guardheim yesterday. I died twice on the way, once because the UI is too laggy. I crashed once and found myself floating in the air once. When I got to Guardheim I was then chased by bandits around the town which I couldn't fight for fear of retaliation from the useless guards. This does not leave a positive impression of the game.

Also, and while I know it is part of the game design, it lacks the reward structures that made games like EQ and WoW "addictive" to me. You have to have some actual reward for playing. I set myself goals to make the game more interesting, and I try to make them realistic. I played for ~4 hours last night and didn't gather enough materials to make basic leather sheets. I did gather a bunch of useless stuff that I will never use and no-one wants.

I can see myself playing for the 4 months I have paid for, but if there haven't been major improvements in those 4 months, I'll move on. It's not like I haven't kickstarted other games.

Goblin Squad Member

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Let me see...

Still desync
Reflectives are sucide
Curing tokens don't work
There are graphic glitches all over place
Towers don't work
Auction Houses don't work
Settlements don't work
Companies don't work
Roles don't differentiate
No encumbrance
No player looting
... I probably forgot something

IMO the list has to be cut in half to be a MVP pay product ...

I will have fun for a while running around and pretending it is something post-apocalyptic ... But at some point I'll put it among all the other KS started things that didn't turn out as I hoped ...

Or I buy a 12 sub and rejoice my fortune of supporting this, but if EE start in this state I'm sceptic to if this company really are run in a way that works in neither short nor long run.


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Doc || Allegiant Gemstone Co. wrote:
Quote:
This game is in serious trouble and burying our heads in the sand and saying it's all going according to plans isn't going to fix the problem.

There is a lot of middle ground between pretending everything is all right and being a white knight, and griefing the forums continuously to facilitate a negative perception of the game.

What the game/community really needs is for the the white knights and forum griefers to back off, and provide more room for the less vocal majority to provide constructive criticism and useful feedback to the development team.

I would cry a bit if I was described as a forum griefer. haha.

Probably am, oh well.

That's not my issue.

If it matters what I think (and I can say again, for fun), I don't have the same problems with the game that other people do. I don't have any issue with paying for EE as is... IF the game continues to improve. I am more worried about the OE state, looking at the game now, than the EE state.

If they can go from Alpha now to OE in 20-whatever, then that's gg. If it's partially the game I want, I would probably pay them through then. So, I would say I am neither a white knight nor a griefer. I can believe; I want to believe. I have optimism, but certain things have really made me take a step back.

The issue is basically this: I played Alpha solo for awhile. I had fun. I played alpha with my buddy for awhile, I had fun. Now, I've pretty much done everything there is to do. No, I didn't take it to tier 3 gear or whatever, but enough to get a 'feel' for what they have to offer. It really does feel, after much thinking, like something is missing. It could be full loot pvp. That could literally fix the game, and I would like to see that in the game before EE, but it seems to me everything other than pvp is underdeveloped. And no, I don't believe a game can survive on pvp alone.

Edit: @ Ryan,

I can speak for Mortal. I played it. It's imbalanced, somewhat. The main issue is exploits. They have duped and they have stuff like mining macros that really kill the game. Also, they have speed hacks and, in that game, even a tiny bit of speed is enough. Like 2%, cuz you can run and self-heal.

The positive of Mortal is that even though it's in a literal beta state still, it's deep. It's got a lot of systems. It's also got GMs that you can say GM I FELL THRU THE EARTH FIX ME. And they say OK! Or my mount... it didn't follow me.

The thing that turned people off to Mortal more than anything was the way pvp was. It's a very high stress level game. I didn't mind because it was a challenge. I still did my stuff. Farming was fun in that game, gathering was fun... because I was focusing on mastering the cooking system in the game. Why cooking? Why not. It was kind of mathy. I traveled all over the map, farming, gathering. Then, when I finally figured it out... I became bored. All of the games flaws came to the forefront. That it was all big guilds just ganking people, etc.

That Mortal had a system it took me 2 to 3 months to master (counting gathering to experiment) was cool. I am missing that in PFO. Some of us want non-combat challenges. We want occult knowledge.

I can't speak on Eve, however.

Peace.

Goblin Squad Member

I decided a few days ago, not to play until EE. I decided about a week ago to argue that even with 10.1, the game is not ready for EE.

Kradlum above I believe is the average view point of the Kick Starters who had not bought additional time. They will play for the one, two, three or four months based on their pledge and then move on to another game.

Is there something planned before OE that will bring these players back?

What will happen to server population in the meantime?

We already have proof positive that the population is too small to cope with the escalation system. We can assume based on that low population that there won't be this vibrant player economy / AH, because having to rely on common item recipe drops or their components is taking up an inordinate amount of time that could be spent actually making items.

Common recipes should come from raising the crafting skill, period. More uncommon or rare recipes are decent loot drops. Unique recipes are the things of legend.

For those that argue, including Ryan, that unique items / recipes will lead to some characters being more powerful than others, I respond: if everyone gets into the Hall of Fame, there is no Hall of Fame.

GW must incentivize being in the game longer, and that is by saying "your character will be more powerful."

The prospect of a double dip in population is going to be devastating to this game's future.


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Bluddwolf wrote:


We already have proof positive that the population is too small to cope with the escalation system.

Double post (sort of) I don't agree with this. If it was worth it, people would clear them. If you can do it in 4 hours with 5 strong people ( throwing out numbers) and you get an amazing reward, then people would go throughout the map clearing them.

Also, if there was ever an issue making those hexes impassable, people would clear them. Then, the further hexes would be overrun. I mean, the escalation system is good, I think. It's just too simple like everything else.

Show me an escalation system where the dudes, after getting at 100, start building a monster settlement, heh. You know?

I think the main issue, even though clearing them can take a long time, is just that people don't want to be bothered. Nobody is like in all-chat "An escalation is forming!" and like 10 people report to that hex.

The downside of making it even more ridiculous in terms of hex control is people may feel it's grind, but as I said, it just seems that they can be avoided, for now.

Maybe not everyone has my mindstate, but, let me repeat, if it was necessary or worthwhile to clear an escalation with however many people I had, I would do it. But it's neither... to the point where it's essential. Escalations have to become an issue. They have to make it so you can't gather, pass, pvp, etc in the hex... otherwise, it doesn't matter. As long as mobs can be run around or through, no issue.

Edit: so possibly the escalation system is taking control due to player apathy, and it's less of a proof of a low pop game than an apathetic playerbase, currently. Low pop of dedicated players could do it.

Goblin Squad Member

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Agreed with Celestialiar, a 100% hex should be a little more than something that slightly delays movement. as for now, the only thing they actually disrupts are auto-running and chatting at the same time.

Have the escalation take away towers, patrol the area and increase perception range...

Goblin Squad Member

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I think just adding some basic pathing rather than the mobs just standing there would help.

Goblin Squad Member

I agree with Celestialiar that something is missing, but I expected that: We were told early on that much remains to flesh out the full design. I think I know what is missing, and am I am fairly comfortable with it this early in the project development path.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Celetialiar

If you are wrong and it is a matter of population, and you further restrict player movement by making those escalation cycles impassable, that will make the game unplayable for most.

I believe it is a factor of server population, and I see no reason to believe that will change in the short term with the start of EE.

If EE is being built for a population of 20k, then the challenge should be reasonable for 2000 players on the server at any given time. The problem is, they are lucky to have 200 - 400 at any given time, and that might be generous.

Escalation growth needs to be scaled to the population that exists, not the population that is hoped for.

Goblin Squad Member

I do think their population goals for EE might be a bit "lofty" - now if that was their intended goal for towards the end of EE I can see that.

I always thought escalations would be scaled back a little once EE started. But if not, it's not much of a concern for me at this time.

We will just have to get use to a small crowd, much like Alpha, for the next few months and as GW improves and adds features, we will no doubt see a slow trickle of players either coming back or playing for the first time.

I think the mistake made by some is thinking this would be a "full-time" game this early on. I beg of you, don't burn yourselves out. There is a trend that playing more creates the desire for more and if that is left unfulfilled, then you leave unsatisfied.

It is important for settlement and company leaders to keep expectations minimal and reasonable and extend those onto their member base.

Goblin Squad Member

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Bluddwolf wrote:
We already have proof positive that the population is too small to cope with the escalation system.

We may be talking to different populations of players. The ones I'm familiar with aren't clearing escalations because--in general order of how often I hear a reason--1) I'm not playing much until EE begins, 2) I'm playing, but clearing escalations doesn't matter until EE, and 3) one can run through even a 100% escalated hex without "too much" dodging, so who cares?

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm on the fence about EE starting thursday. Part of me is an update away from saying "let's just do this" and I'll re-evaluate when my pre paid time is up. The other part wants GW to keep adding and fixing until they just can't go another day without monetizing. Either way I re-evaluate when my pre paid time is up.

There's a lot of reasonable thoughts in here about what makes up MVP and I agree with the line Andius is on now, one that I myself started pushing about 6 weeks ago which is the difference between simple and unfinished. I think the game right now is very close to MvP if it's not there yet.

But what I can't make for the life of me is people pointing to alpha population as proof the game is in trouble. Disinterest in alpha is disinterest in alpha. I'm logging in about twice a week, because its alpha and I've already tested everything I want to test. If game goes live thursday, I'm playing almost every day.

Goblin Squad Member

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T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
We already have proof positive that the population is too small to cope with the escalation system.
We may be talking to different populations of players. The ones I'm familiar with aren't clearing escalations because--in general order of how often I hear a reason--1) I'm not playing much until EE begins, 2) I'm playing, but clearing escalations doesn't matter until EE, and 3) one can run through even a 100% escalated hex without "too much" dodging, so who cares?

The 7th Veil has about as many "fanbois" ready to play every day as anybody in the game. We spent about 2 days clearing escalations just to do some testing on their strength. We haven't worked one since.

If Alpha starts thursday, we will be taking them down regularly. Using escalations in Aplha as a thermometer for the game's health is downright silly imo.

Half the groups in the Everbloom Alliance haven't even shown up, because its alpha. Yeah, fancy that, some people don't like to grind characters that will get wiped.

Goblin Squad Member

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I walk a lot of new players through the alpha from my settlement.

Things we've heard less that are just as frustrating to new players:

Having no idea what feats to train without reading an out of game guide thoroughly
- This is fine for the minority that keep up on the forums and read things every day. Not great for bringing new people into the game. A "role help" screen with basic descriptions of what feats do (in layman's terms) that you could bring up in game would go a LONG way.
The lack of decent tooltip information
- "What's streak mean on this ability?"
- "What does leaving yourself "open" do?"
- "When do things have opportunity and how do I tell?"
The lack of any notification for what you've looted
- This makes killing things feel less rewarding and makes you check your inventory constantly in the hope that you can tell what's new.

So many people on the forums have already brought up:

The auction house UI, no one I know likes it, some people moderately tolerate it while others just avoid it.
- People want to search for something and have the results show up, not have to click on each item to see if it is in stock, in all of its different forms.
- It'd be nice if just clicking on "Heavy Armor" brought up all of the armor results.
Teleport bugs
Heavy Armor Mages
- I was hoping to one day play a magus, but this isn't exactly what I was going for
Also Teleport bugs (desynchs or whatever you want to call them)

The most common question I get is "Do you think this game will be good, you know, like a year from now?".

I've seen the improvements from patch to patch and I have a lot of faith that the game could be good in about a year. I'd love for there to be more to do in Early Enrollment than there is now.

A better tutorial might be a good thing. Maybe even role-based tutorials that are far more in depth and don't make permanent expenditures of your experience that you don't want to make. The main complaint from people (other than crafters) has been "I really just have no idea on direction or what to do in this game."

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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"I really just have no idea on direction or what to do in this game," is a very common refrain from PFO's spiritual ancestor, EVE Online. One way that the players themselves helped to answer this issue was the creation of EVE University. They offer a variety of generally one hour classes on things like skill/feat planning, how to get the most out of difficult-to-master game systems (EVE - Scanning, PFO - Auction House?), and communications ("What does it mean when the Squad Leader tells us to do X?"). Later on, students can take classes in the more advanced roles (scout, commander, etc.). In between classes, students can go out on patrols with knowledgeable commanders, fighting pirates/bandits together and learning how to translate the classroom lessons into actual combat. It would be very interesting to me if, once we as Alpha testers learn what we're doing, some of us founded PFO University.

Goblin Squad Member

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<Magistry> Athansor wrote:
A better tutorial might be a good thing. Maybe even role-based tutorials that are far more in depth and don't make permanent expenditures of your experience that you don't want to make. The main complaint from people (other than crafters) has been "I really just have no idea on direction or what to do in this game."

So when does the game start?

Goblin Squad Member

"I really just have no idea on direction or what to do in this game," is something I have felt with every MMO I play. I learnt early on in EQ that to alleviate the boredom of grinding you have to yourself goals.

While this game claims to be "no grinding", the reality is for the crafting economy to work someone has to do the gathering. It seems more "little to no reward for grinding."

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
A "sci-fi" version of WoW can't exist because WoW was a service, not a gaming, innovator.

If your intent is to produce EVE with a few unique gimmick features in a new setting then neither are you.

Your Pathfinder setting is going to hold you up any more than the Star Wars setting held up The Old Republic and SWG.

I'm telling you, I talked to upper leadership of a settlement outside the NC last night and they brought up the subject of how they are losing faith in this title and can't get people interested. They brought up how they've been looking at LiF if this game doesn't pan out.

These game needs to focus on it's core content and do it well before you start saying "EE has been released." You can't afford to ask people to pay for the product you're about to put out. There is a world of difference between a content light EE and a poorly functioning EE and nobody but your most diehard fanboys will forgive you the later.

Interesting that you should mention SWG, since it had the same slow growth curve as eve before SOE released the NGE.

There will be significant churn in the first few months. I think the expected distribution has most players lasting less than a year, few lasting between one and five, and many players lasting for over five years. Pointing at someone who is part of the fast churn doesn't provide more than a bit of evidence for anything {literally: log2[P(B|A)/P(B)]<1 for all P(B)>0.5}

One bit of evidence can be significant, but it must be added to the available evidence, not replace it.

Goblin Squad Member

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It's painfully obvious by now that EE is going to belong to the builders. The early stages of the game will be more about crafting, escalations and maybe PvP on sundays. If you are interested in playing different facets of the game, you should be fine.

I understand the frustration of the PvP crowd. It doesn't appear that a 100% PvP player is going to be viable for AT LEAST another 6 months, possibly until OE to be honest. To be fair to Ryan Dancey, he left tons of clues in the tea leaves it would be this way, selling EE as a chance to "build the world both in game and at a meta level".

If the community doesn't want to play until pvP 24/7 is viable, we will be waiting an awful long time I am afraid.

On that note, I've decided I'm ready to go if the next update improves the social engines (company management/custom chats) and gives us at least 2/4 between encumbrance/player loot/falling damage/gushers.

Goblin Squad Member

I hope Feuds, Looting, Encumbrance and some form of SAD make it in at the same time with Fast Travel. Not because Fast Travel will be the safe option, but because getting robbed on a slow trek to another town seems doubly frustrating then getting robbed on a fast trek.

Well, basically I am saying, we need some sort of Fast Travel because hoofing it is just boring, and we need to get that cross-settlement economy(+ animosities) going. And with Fast Travel should come danger.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
A "sci-fi" version of WoW can't exist because WoW was a service, not a gaming, innovator.

If your intent is to produce EVE with a few unique gimmick features in a new setting then neither are you.

Your Pathfinder setting is going to hold you up any more than the Star Wars setting held up The Old Republic and SWG.

I'm telling you, I talked to upper leadership of a settlement outside the NC last night and they brought up the subject of how they are losing faith in this title and can't get people interested. They brought up how they've been looking at LiF if this game doesn't pan out.

These game needs to focus on it's core content and do it well before you start saying "EE has been released." You can't afford to ask people to pay for the product you're about to put out. There is a world of difference between a content light EE and a poorly functioning EE and nobody but your most diehard fanboys will forgive you the later.

Yeah, from the sidelines, this is my impression. I would love to wax lyrical about PFO; not hype but describe the full vision of PFO (which is really where it seems a lot different to other mmos to me), but atm it's not possible from the reports of alpha I have heard.

And here's the bit that's missing: When the vision has a disconnect with people that's where "the creative tension" should be able to pop in and suggest how it's going to come good and "show people a new way of enjoying mmorpgs". Eg some of the pvp concepts with roles and social measures really come good on that.

But atm, it's not possible to talk it up if the basics which the above build on are in "no fit state". Without that sort of impression, the vision is more discouragement than creative tension.

So if that is the case, how does the current state fit within the larger system that leads it closer to the more final vision? Again that's something that feels like it's "Not going to happen" when the basics are scrappy.

Ie the basic MVP needs to be a system that itself works then you think the vision is being translated into the mmorpg systems that are added gradually during EE, what new cool feature is next?!

That to me is what sounds like it's missing and where LiF has it right for a MVP to back up that pov.

Goblin Squad Member

@Tyncale, but if you're fast traveling, how can I "inspect" what you're carrying?

Goblin Squad Member

Atheory wrote:
@Tyncale, but if you're fast traveling, how can I "inspect" what you're carrying?

This is rather old but as far as I know, the last that has been said about Fast Travel and Blinds, used to knock people out of fast travel;

About Blinds and SAD

And some more about inspecting players:

Inspection

And some more about Fast Travel:

Fast Travel

Fast travel is one of the features I am looking forward to, it will connect the world.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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If there's a lag between the end of stamina-free sprinting and the beginning of fast travel, the far ends of the map may feel disconnected, indeed.

Goblin Squad Member

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AvenaOats wrote:

And here's the bit that's missing: When the vision has a disconnect with people that's where "the creative tension" should be able to pop in and suggest how it's going to come good and "show people a new way of enjoying mmorpgs". Eg some of the pvp concepts with roles and social measures really come good on that.

A funny thing - in an "epic" game, that catches people with more complicated forms of "fun", very few actually understand what exactly was so good about that game. When they try to describe it, they start listing particular details, thus missing the point. Imho, advertising with a "vision" is pointless - in the best case one would find some eye candy in between your words. The vision should appear *after* one started playing - once the gameplay reached the state when it can keep players in. For those, who can actually be caught by the concept itself, "talking up" is usually not needed.

Goblin Squad Member

psyphey wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:

And here's the bit that's missing: When the vision has a disconnect with people that's where "the creative tension" should be able to pop in and suggest how it's going to come good and "show people a new way of enjoying mmorpgs". Eg some of the pvp concepts with roles and social measures really come good on that.

A funny thing - in an "epic" game, that catches people with more complicated forms of "fun", very few actually understand what exactly was so good about that game. When they try to describe it, they start listing particular details, thus missing the point. Imho, advertising with a "vision" is pointless - in the best case one would find some eye candy in between your words. The vision should appear *after* one started playing - once the gameplay reached the state when it can keep players in. For those, who can actually be caught by the concept itself, "talking up" is usually not needed.

You're right that devs/players don't seem to learn how to learn from the competition and thus create a product that has a competitive edge in the next wave of releases...

... but I believe Ryan has described the vision built off that learning for PFO and think if it can get some fundamentals in place that make it a passably enjoyable game even in a primitive state to the above, it can grow lucratively.

So you see I think the whole GW Blog (>90 of them) for example is a part of that. What remains is the success of the system that is being used to convert vision into a positive cycle. This is the MVP concept. And where Ryan seems accurate is in the virtual economic market driving the game's growth + Avatars. The problem seems that with Avatars comes a higher threshold of quality of the avatar and the environments....

Which atm that does not appear to be working to a high enough level, let alone the economy - and that's the subject of this thread. I think LiF throws it into stark relief being on Steam in early access state and being popular albeit with different problems and approaches?

I do wonder how much of the reason is due to BigWorld vs Unity ie the networking work required would appear to be the major technical challenge to PFO to scale with a few 00's of players combating and congregating and that obviously feeding the economy and scaling the whole gawd-dang shebang!

Goblin Squad Member

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To be honest I actually enjoy the game in Alpha and have been playing it more than I play EVE.

Making this clear, I am actually happy with the overall state of the game.

My two frustrations:

1. lack of player participation and interaction,
- with some noticeable exceptions most settlements are empty and settlement leaderships are conspicuous by their absence.
- Also becasue of the old party bugs people are in the habit of doing PvE solo.
- There is also a "make everything myself" mentality in crafting.

2. lack of meaningful challenges,
- aside from T2 recipes which in alpha are fairly useless there is no real reason to kill reds and purples, you get more "stuff" knocking over 100s of little guys an hour.
- the only challenge in crafting is the odd impossible to find ingredient like green for spellbooks. They doubled the XP but that just was frustrating rather than challenging.
- There is no reason to clear escalations, you do not get any unique rewards that make people say "awesome an escalation just spawned lets raid it" . Escalations are merely an impediment to fast travel.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Unfortunately, Edam, I suspect player enthusiasm will be at a low ebb for a little while. I've enjoyed Alpha too, but I'm ready to start doing something that isn't going to vanish in a puff of smoke on some random day.

I'm sure I'll keep playing occasionally, but there are a couple of things that could draw me back into daily play: PVP Windows that actually open, and enough simultaneous players to have any hope of completing even a 5% escalation.

Logging in to see that my Settlement's towers are perfectly secure because the window should have opened 2 hours ago, but it didn't, is boring.

Fighting an escalation with one or two party members for a couple of hours, and seeing that at best, we might be holding the escalation in place, is too frustrating to be a good challenge. (Unfortunately, this one is a vicious cycle. Fewer players means more frustration, means fewer players, etc.)

Goblin Squad Member

T7V Avari wrote:
It's painfully obvious by now that EE is going to belong to the builders.

I've actually done very little fighting in LiF. Hell the server I play on is hardcore (AKA permadeath) so combat is a bit sparse. People only fight over issues that really matter because the consequences are so high.

However the crafting and terraforming has proven to be very fun. Also because it is perma-death you can engage in fights with practice weapons relatively free of consequence (since the consequence for attacking people is skill loss when you die, and our server you lose everything regardless of alignment.)

If you're going to make PFO belong to the builders you need more than a 1 star crafting system where you throw set ingredients in a building and wait for it to spit a product out at you.

Make material types matter like in Mortal, make a complex quality system where producing the same exact item with different QL materials, tools, and character skills has a huge impact on the final product like LiF. Make a system where crafting is an involved process like Wurm.

None of that is practical now but that's why they should have put in a feud or dueling system or just SOMETHING where we can engage eachother in combat without penalties. It offers huge amount of content with little effort unlike a good crafting system or engaging PvE.

That's what they said they were going do, and going back on it has probably been the worst decision they have made to date. It's probably the biggest piece of evidence proving their crowdforing system is a failure.

CEO, Goblinworks

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How is War of Towers not "a feud or dueling system or just SOMETHING where you can engage eachother in combat without penalties"?

Andius, sometimes I think you stopped playing the game around Alpha 7 and haven't been paying attention to what's actually in the game today.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:


If you're going to make PFO belong to the builders you need more than a 1 star crafting system where you throw set ingredients in a building and wait for it to spit a product out at you.

Make material types matter like in Mortal, make a complex quality system where producing the same exact item with different QL materials, tools, and character skills has a huge impact on the final product like LiF. Make a system where crafting is an involved process like Wurm.

With the differen quality levels of the resources there are at least potential to add more parameters into the crafting process and affect things such as crafting time and durability. Heck, in a dim and distant future there could even affect the appereance of items.

There may be special very rare reciepts that adds keywords or unique functionalities.

The potentials of the crafting system leaves me no worries, there must be quite easy to expand it considerably when other stuff are running smoothly.

Goblin Squad Member

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Andius the Afflicted wrote:
It's probably the biggest piece of evidence proving their crowdforing system is a failure.

Crowdforging suffers the same flaws as real world democracies only exaggerated.

- the idea that what the majority of people want, believe or decide is the correct way to proceed is flawed. The majority do not have all the facts, are easily swayed by loud self interested agitators and often act on impulse or for selfish reasons.
- the majority in most cases are detached and disinterested. This leaves a lot of scope for one or two disgruntled, self-interested or just plain s#$~-stirring individuals to have a huge influence. In real life of course it also hands a lot of power to organised groups like corporations and religious movements.
- in games, just like real society, the types of activities that attract aggressive loud and argumentative people tend to get way more attention even without crowd forging.
- negative disgruntled people are more likely to comment and post then happy ones. The happy ones just get on with things.

Some compromise is needed of course. Examples of the two extremes:

Example 1) Wizards/Hasbro with 4th Edition totally ignored all help and advice from players (including people like myself that were heavily involved in their own LG organized play and writing modules for them) and decided based on marketing and other advice to proceed with the disaster that was 4th edition.

Example 2) I was heavily involved with player content for the WWII flight sim IL2 and part of a group producing extensive quantities of historical skins, missions and campaigns. The "open discussion" approaching crowd forging for the sequel Cliffs of Dover (it is probably still the best Combat Flight Sim ever made)eventually lead to the game failing as a combination of in-fighting between different interest groups (historical players versus 1v1 PvP types etc) some disgruntled "entitled" people criticizing absolutely every small flaw they could find and some rather obvious in forum sabotage by proponents of competing games meant the game looked totally unattractive to casual visitors.

My personal opinion ? Devs should take notice of player opinions but open "crowd-forging" is a dangerous thing that will most likely lead to a negative impression of the game and failure.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

How is War of Towers not "a feud or dueling system or just SOMETHING where you can engage eachother in combat without penalties"?

Andius, sometimes I think you stopped playing the game around Alpha 7 and haven't been paying attention to what's actually in the game today.

I kind of forgot about the WoT because when I logged on to test it and set the training to the character I wanted to have it (The only character on that account actually) I discovered that not only had I not received any experience since the last time I had logged in, but it had retroactively deleted all my experience back to 1000 XP, and then I got the same results when I tried using a different account.

I believe I said something to the affect of "If these ****ers can't even bother to test this ****ing **** before they throw it on the ****ing server why the **** should I test it for them?!"

Then I went over a long list of problems with the other Aragonians in TS asking which had been solved, and not a single one had been solved, so I decided it wasn't even worth my time to submit a bug report.

Regardless from all reports the WoT is a few people who care enough to take towers running around and capturing them uncontested with some towers not even captured at all since there is no real purpose to taking them in alpha. Not a consistent source of PvP as the feud system or a deuling system could offer.

Goblin Squad Member

My experience with dueling systems is that they are typically used to 'invite harass' people who aren't interested in such, and trap newbies who don't know not to click yes. They aren't really a consistent source of PvP.

Goblin Squad Member

I actually think establishing meaningful things to fighter over first is a good thing.

We have already been getting a bit of trolling occasionally from people that seem to think anything other than PvP is carebear and any character prior to a maxed out one is boring and a chore to play.

Agreed the current reps system is rather harsh on people trying out PvP but I am not sure how you would get around the consensual PvP thing ?

Hisec duels in EVE for example (they are unnecessary outside highsec) are just an exploit where vets con gullible noobs into dueling and then if they evenly remotely look like losing get remote logi to buff them, generally accompanied by comments that the noob is a "pathetic carebear and should go play WoW" :D

CEO, Goblinworks

So you're retracting your statement about Crowdforging failures then, yes?

Goblin Squad Member

Neadenil Edam wrote:
Agreed the current reps system is rather harsh on people trying out PvP but I am not sure how you would get around the consensual PvP thing ?

In game, right now, there are unclaimed towers (there were yesterday, anyway). Anyone who wants to test out PvP can collect up his buddies, go into one of those hexes, and have at it with no Rep loss. Then go back to town and train some other skill that they think they need.

Yeah, it's not particularly meaningful. It's testing stuff out, just like the rest of Alpha. I do wonder if GW has tracked any numbers on how much PvP has actually gone on in those unclaimed hexes.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:

How is War of Towers not "a feud or dueling system or just SOMETHING where you can engage eachother in combat without penalties"?

Andius, sometimes I think you stopped playing the game around Alpha 7 and haven't been paying attention to what's actually in the game today.

I kind of forgot about the WoT because when I logged on to test it and set the training to the character I wanted to have it (The only character on that account actually) I discovered that not only had I not received any experience since the last time I had logged in, but it had retroactively deleted all my experience back to 1000 XP, and then I got the same results when I tried using a different account.

I believe I said something to the affect of "If these ****ers can't even bother to test this ****ing **** before they throw it on the ****ing server why the **** should I test it for them?!"

Then I went over a long list of problems with the other Aragonians in TS asking which had been solved, and not a single one had been solved, so I decided it wasn't even worth my time to submit a bug report.

Regardless from all reports the WoT is a few people who care enough to take towers running around and capturing them uncontested with some towers not even captured at all since there is no real purpose to taking them in alpha. Not a consistent source of PvP as the feud system or a deuling system could offer.

So... You haven't played since alpha 8 or 9, and you asked only one small group about what had been fixed, and they didn't mention the five or so huge things that had been fixed?

Or did you think that customer service fixes would be part of alpha, like restoring XP that was lost or replacing things that went poof in a desynch?


To be fair, I suspect we got WoT in both because people wanted change in what had become a pretty stagnant alpha, and because having us test it in alpha saves them time having to debug it entirely themselves. We'll likely get a far less buggy WoT patch down the road than we would have had all the bug-fixing been in-house.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
So you're retracting your statement about Crowdforging failures then, yes?

I'll consider that once I can log into a game that isn't deleting my character's XP and gear, try it for myself, and discover it to be a rich source of combat that doesn't have me running all over the map to discover no other contestants showed up and I'm pretty much PVEing.

Based on the reports I've heard I wouldn't hold your breath for a retraction.

I consider the fact that the more complicated less content rich WoT made it in before the simpler and extremely content rich feud system or even simpler deul system a heavy indication of failure on the part of the crowdforging system.

Goblin Squad Member

Decius Brutus wrote:
Or did you think that customer service fixes would be part of alpha, like restoring XP that was lost or replacing things that went poof in a desynch?

I would think any game considering release within the next 24 hours would have ironed out any bugs that severe month ago.

You shouldn't even enter the stress test with item/XP deletion and gaurds attacking players because of a buggy wolf spawn.

If people start losing paid for XP in the actual release prepare for a lot of very angry 1 star reviews and possibly even lawsuits.

Goblin Squad Member

Well since there will be an Alpha 11 build, what are the chances that combat animations will be fixed?

I started playing with an axe last night and a majority of the time my character just stood there but was dealing damage.

There also seemed to be quite a bit of lag.... Lag! Really? I was in a non escalation hex in the wilderness all by my lonesome.

Goblin Squad Member

Rigth now I'm happy as long as an item/feat/whatever is working, whatever animation it shows ... Even if it is a Goblin twerking!

Goblin Squad Member

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I think there are other issues that take priority over working animations but they are much more than visual fluff. Seeing and hearing your character execute their abilities is very important in timing your attacks. Thinking your ability failed to execute because nothing is happening can really throw off your game.

I would certainly prioritize it above say... throwing in another poorly implemented piece of non-MVP content like grenades.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
I kind of forgot about the WoT because when I logged on to test it and set the training to the character I wanted to have it (The only character on that account actually) I discovered that not only had I not received any experience since the last time I had logged in, but it had retroactively deleted all my experience back to 1000 XP, and then I got the same results when I tried using a different account

If you'd paid any attention to the alpha announcements forums, you'd be aware that they announced implementing the EE account management system several weeks ago, which included a clearing of all unspent xp, and that no further xp would accumulate until you selected a character specifically to receive accumulation, even if you only have one character. It seems your biggest complaint in this chapter is that the system is doing exactly what they said it will do, but as an alpha tester you hadn't been watching the alpha forum nor had you logged on to set any character to accumulate xp.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:

I think there are other issues that take priority over working animations but they are much more than visual fluff. Seeing and hearing your character execute their abilities is very important in timing your attacks. Thinking your ability failed to execute because nothing is happening can really throw off your game.

I would certainly prioritize it above say... throwing in another poorly implemented piece of non-MVP content like grenades.

I think if PFO is based around tab-target then it's never going to look really exciting combat. Hence it has to appeal via really stylized animations that give the impression of an RPG action being executed to gratify the tactical "dance of combat" going on and the fun appearing to be the interesting decisions and skill choices the character can choose from and choose to use to react intelligently with.

If the combat animations don't even sync then it's just not going to look very fun in this area of the game? In fact you'll get "student project" thrown around at it instead of "Role-Player's will like this".

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
...simpler and extremely content rich feud system or even simpler deul system...

Without intimate knowledge of Goblinworks' PFO code, there's no way for anyone to say what is simple and what isn't.

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