Q: Do you agree with the general direction Ryan set for the game?


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:

The same original design that we read about is probably a very diluted or... summary look at the real Design Document.

I think that I grasp most of what you are pointing out here Avena, I really am not sure that it is the actual engine that you mean or the actual formula of the style/feel.

When I say that the original presentation is what I hope can be gotten back to, I mean it. That doesn't mean that more of the "Four Pillars" do not need to to be strengthened and developed. If they are trying for a blend, or a "meeting place" between the extremes, i.e. Hardcore PVP vs. Builders and PVE entusiasts, then they need:

*That PVE content drastically improved,

*the PVP tuned with real consequences (for the penalty parts) and with tighter limits [that still means lots of ways to PVP, but not 23/7/365 forced on anyone].

*Whatever is missing to hook and retain people that try the game.

I disagree that the old standard cycle (the sandbox ecosystem) is dead. It is the ever hungry cycle that is a perpetual motion machine.

WOW ENGINE = 3D AVATAR that takes up a good chunk of the screen, usually skill abstraction is 75% hence Tab-Target and everything is built off this. This is now a half-way-house (lol: Name of my local!) designs have to really branch out and specialize now. Star Citizen proves this:-

* A bit of wing-commander single-player
* A bit of multiplayer w-c
* A bit of FPS
* Some Elite
* Some MMO-

You are a spaceship multiple, or a crew or a FPS gun or a 3rd person running around.

What Ryan always used to say about PFO EE is that some major sacrifices had to be made at that 2yr dev cycle of a 5-6yr release and that's true... but the sacrifices were NOT ENOUGH I would say!

It's brilliant of you to link that Ecosystem Sandbox because THAT is what should have been the "engine" of the game! Ryan said the beating heart was the economy but he did not get that translated past the WOW ENGINE. Well I'll bash out my mini-thesis and perhaps I have to send it direct to Ryan/Lisa. I doubt it will be used, but I think I'm right and if so that is worth something.

Just coming back to PvP, as with the model above, outer rings is where most PvP would be. It does not make any sense without writing up then you "get" what model is really describing. The thing is to make PvP work via rule-sets that can are can be modified depending on the particular group of players... as I said there has to be sacrifices and on first appearances that sounds like PvP is relegated... far from it!

Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:

A: When we first starting to think about making Pathfinder Online, Paizo hired Ryan to create a design document that would be used as a template for making the game. The Paizo team approved that document and that has been used as the marching orders for the team ever since. That won’t change now that Ryan is not with the company.

That is also the game that I still want. The marching orders need to be changed. Now they can be with the least fuss and muss.

Lisa needs to understand that those marching orders came from someone who had no experience in the development of an MMO, a sorted history in the MMO industry and nit a very good track record in marketing (which was supposedly his strong suit).

Bottom line, Paizo got duped by a snake oil salesman. If they hope to get someone else to pick up the development / publishing of PFO they have to be prepared to protect the Pathfinder IP, but not the design document. That might require a complete wipe of everything they have done up to this point.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
a sorted history in the MMO industry

I'm assuming you mean "sordid?" Or is it "varied/chequered?" I guess either way, the meaning is pretty comparable, if not exactly the same.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:

It's interesting, but I don't think any of the above posters fully understood what Ryan's Design Document was actually designed to do:-

...
2. Needed a lean Game-Design too = Sandbox PvP (because that's what a whole host of crowdfunding etc games are doing too!).
...

The game was touted as having PvP and being a sandbox. I have no particular feeling about the first, but needed the second. A sandbox signifies the existence of tools necessary to interact with the sand. I guess I have just gotten too spoiled playing games like Minecraft and Landmark.

Goblin Squad Member

There isn't anything really wrong with the original vision of the game. We all bought into that. Some of that is actually here now. Pkers are a bit reluctant to kill with abandon. The game is really heavily geared toward social cooperation. Most is not here.

It is obvious now that the pathway to get there was planned too tightly without leeway for many things not turning out as projected. Also that the balance between PVP and PVE focus was miscalculated. AND the priorities of implementation were badly misjudged.

Don't confuse the end result goals with the old planned road map. That is really what did not work.

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
a sorted history in the MMO industry
I'm assuming you mean "sordid?" Or is it "varied/chequered?" I guess either way, the meaning is pretty comparable, if not exactly the same.

Varied would have been a better word, because he does have a better reputation within the TT community, and an absolutely horrible one associated with PC Gaming (particularly MMOs).

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
Bringslite wrote:

A: When we first starting to think about making Pathfinder Online, Paizo hired Ryan to create a design document that would be used as a template for making the game. The Paizo team approved that document and that has been used as the marching orders for the team ever since. That won’t change now that Ryan is not with the company.

That is also the game that I still want. The marching orders need to be changed. Now they can be with the least fuss and muss.

Lisa needs to understand that those marching orders came from someone who had no experience in the development of an MMO, a sorted history in the MMO industry and nit a very good track record in marketing (which was supposedly his strong suit).

Bottom line, Paizo got duped by a snake oil salesman. If they hope to get someone else to pick up the development / publishing of PFO they have to be prepared to protect the Pathfinder IP, but not the design document. That might require a complete wipe of everything they have done up to this point.

Although your experience and strong eye for scepticism mean it's not a good idea to disagree with you (!) or aver an alternative opinion, I still think the design document was pretty darn good. Several of Ryan's key ideas for lean development were strong:-

* pvp core game loop in essence as first population of players much cheaper than PvE
* simulation around economy the key take-home from eve
* and more but won't spoil the surprise...

You have to look at the baseline: Most of the mmorpg indie devs flunk in some manner either number or pitching an idea or dev or funding or just terrible reception by players!

If you look at CU and Crowfall, a lot of their funding >2m is based off established mmorpg fanbases of older mmorpgs before the Themepark era really took hold.

Ryan did well all things considered without such pedigree albeit leaning heavily on Paizo...

... and that's where it went wrong as I said, the 3 incompatibilities:-

* TT PF market needed to be harnessed
* MMO pvp market needed to be harnessed
* WOW ENGINE was wrong way to deliver

My conclusions is that PFO due to the WOW ENGINE is beyond salvage. I imagine that is backed up by facts:-

1. Player response very turgid
2. Investors looking at 1. and the investment bracket of a few mill, no point in investing what already looks like a market reject.
3. Even with cash it's throwing good money after bad on that WOW ENGINE, as someone else said it would still take huge amounts to get to the level of polish that these half-way-house mmorpgs in this engine require.

I did not want to be so explicit or so bleak, for decorum's sake to others invested in the game and the slim chance some cash comes along. But it is merely x1 of many random people on the internet's opinion even if I do say it now.

This is my opinion so much so I've left the mmorpg genre as we know it now, never to return. I was working on a mini-project to categorize mmorpgs in the hope that such a universal picture would be useful to conceptualize the genre and hence find solutions, but then I decided the actaul fundamentals in so many of these are all wrong ie the WOW ENGINE and it would be better to trash the entire genre and start from scratch!!! Kinda reminds me, when a kid, after making camps/bivouac's and finding it immensely fun there was only one thing almost as fun: To trash them and start again!

I think for players of your mindset Bludd the game such as Mount and Blade, Chivalry, Life Is Feudal, Gloria Victus ie Medieval Swordplay FPS perspective ie a merging of some MMO- features with these types of Multiplayer PvP with high combat quality and visceral butchering and territory control is probably the future??

KitNyx wrote:
The game was touted as having PvP and being a sandbox. I have no particular feeling about the first, but needed the second. A sandbox signifies the existence of tools necessary to interact with the sand. I guess I have just gotten too spoiled playing games like Minecraft and Landmark.

It was actually a subset of sandbox: Simulation and indeed Crowfall even got this marketing correct doubly so with reference to both EVE and Game Of Thrones as well as simulation:-

It's like Game of Thrones meets EVE Online" - a new MMO by J Todd Coleman (Shadowbane, Wizard101) and Gordon Walton (UO, SWG, SWTOR)

We call it a Throne War Simulator

Sandbox -> Modify:-

* Objects = Terraforming modding
* Rules = Rule-Set modding

And/Or both those. See Shards Online.

Simulation -> Build systems that integrate with each other and player inputs feed into to create complex reactions and effect/outputs. More systems more emergence, but fundamental rule-sets do not change, they're the basis of the world-building.

Eg EVE Online and the meaning of 'sandbox'

The problem was all the frankly dev needed that was never going to really start adding value to the game via these systems THROUGH the dev MEAT-GRINDER of eg animation, combat and all that stuff eg jumping too high as mmorpg.com kept mentioning.

Bringslite wrote:
It is obvious now that the pathway to get there was planned too tightly without leeway for many things not turning out as projected. Also that the balance between PVP and PVE focus was miscalculated. AND the priorities of implementation were badly misjudged.

0. Marketing tag (I'll point this out later)

1. Prioritize what most players want first (I'll point out later how)
2. Bring in the TT PF market (I'll point out later how)
3. Now what you say about what we call PvE is interesting, as per my funny layer-cake thing above the inner cylinders are something else, THEN 3 layers OUT you have PvE then the next layer is PvP. So yeah, more PvE for the economy. PvP attaches differently. Remember with the WOW Engine and cost of dev PvP had to come first given the choice.
4. Populate the game ie stuff full of cool pathfindery things asap via rapid asset deployment ( not possible using WOW ENGINE!).

But you can't do any of this if you WOW ENGINE is in the way! So that's what caused the team to take too long, too not be able to offer fun in the code soon enough and to not be able to deliver the maket expectation of quality of 2015. Again the value of PFO's failure is taking as a Given you need millions to make a really complex game with this engine.

Just see CU, it will probably do RvRvR quite well, but I do wonder what happens if players play it for a few months then decide: Done that, what next? Why do players get to that stage with a persistent game?

tl;dr: I keep dropping that phrase until the penny drops... took me long enough so no great shakes.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd like to ask that people stop with the mis-appellation of the Unity Engine, as the "WoW Engine."

Unity as a software platform has nothing to do with World Of Warcraft and the two terms are not interchangeable.

I have a lot of opinions and concerns about how poorly Unity's technology was implemented in PFO to this point, which I might or might not share. But it is misleading and confusing to continue to refer to Unity as something it's not.

Thank you.

Goblin Squad Member

jemstone wrote:

I'd like to ask that people stop with the mis-appellation of the Unity Engine, as the "WoW Engine."

Unity as a software platform has nothing to do with World Of Warcraft and the two terms are not interchangeable.

I have a lot of opinions and concerns about how poorly Unity's technology was implemented in PFO to this point, which I might or might not share. But it is misleading and confusing to continue to refer to Unity as something it's not.

Thank you.

I would suggest you ask questions, instead of making directives that are from a misapprehension.

I coined the term "WOW ENGINE" to drive a point a very simply point home. It derives from a sh-ton of research I've done on the subject. But as with any communication half the onus is on my own efforts and the other half is on other parties.

There is no such Middleware called WOW Engine. That much is obvious. But if you want to discuss Unity-4, well it was a huge huge blow to GW not getting BigWorld Middleware instead, when that happened my inner monologue was:-

Quote:
"The Bably will be still-borne without even a chance to breath."

Yes, I was really devastated when that announcement half-way through the second kickstarter came about. It's probably one of the single biggest contributions to PFO's failure; and such are the fine margins of chance and a little luck: It's why I won't condemn any of GW or complain with what they did. I will criticize constructively however and the most constructive I can be apart from posting another Design Doc is to single out the "WOW ENGINE" as the design basis to represent the Game Design Document.

The shadow of WOW on MMORPGs:-

Ryan Dancey wrote:

World of Warcraft cost $75 million. It nearly bankrupted Blizzard (it's the reason Blizzard agreed to the tie up with Vivendi). ... To compete in the post-Warcraft world you needed a Warcraft budget. But Blizzard didn't stop investing in Warcraft. So you needed to invest what Blizzard had to develop Warcraft PLUS what Blizzard had invested since...

...I think the market is littered with the dead games who all pursued a very specific strategy: Make a theme park MMO that targeted people who like playing World of Warcraft. ... I'm reasonably certain that doing that over and over and expecting a different result was not an effective use of time, money or talent.

..In my perfect world, Pathfinder Online will be to EVE Online what World of Warcraft was to EverQuest.

The Core Gameplay Experience as per WOW:-

Ryan Dancey wrote:

We'll begin Early Enrollment with a combat system that looks very much like WoW. That's because it's easy to implement, well understood, and familiar to most of our target audience. There are all sorts of elaborations and alterations that could be made to that system, and some of those things will likely be Crowdforged into the game over the long term. The longer the term, the more elaborate the system will become. We're talking years not months.

This is one reason that so many games use the WoW-style combat system. It's proven to scale to the sizes they need, and its been validated by millions as being more than adequate as a game mechanic.

Some MMOs have tried to be different and have received a variety of pushback.

EVE's system has a fairly lengthy increment; I think it's 3 seconds. As a result of this you can't "fly your ship" - instead you indicate direction changes by clicking on the starscape and by using predefined maneuvers like orbits and "go to x" style commands.

This drives a lot of people away from the game. They came expecting a flight simulator, and instead they got a ferryboat simulator.

It also means that the choices you make are fairly important. You're going to send a lot fewer commands to the server during a fight in EVE than you will in Call of Duty, therefore each one carries a higher impact on the win/loss result. It's unforgiving of errors in judgement or lapses in concentration.

So the closer you go towards "action" style combat, the more likely the conventional wisdom believes you'll come to losing half your target audience.

We're not trying to create a lot of stuff nobody has ever done before.

This industry is full of innovative, great ideas. There are more great ideas than there are successful games.

What we're trying to do is to use the best of what people have done before in new and interesting ways, learning the lessons of the many, many games that have gone before.

Some scraps but I remember all this and once this choice was made the rabbit hole of that type of combat and everything else that stems from it, became the huge burden for GW. I always felt uneasy about going with tab-target same old same old done to death core game experience. Everyone has played that for decades... and it's so challenging to dev for for mediocre results.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
...UO was envisioned as a "world simulator",

This direction is where PFO should have focused on "World Simulator" of Golarion/River Kingdoms.

I was just observing Gloria Victus' new movie for Unity-5 and it looks very good graphically, the combat is far better than PFO, but it still looks like a crowded field for that type of experience and not a million miles different and fresh for players to extend the thoughts here.

Goblin Squad Member

I think there is indeed a huge aggregate of evidence in support of my criticism that I try to coin as the "WOW ENGINE" problem, that if true makes PFO absolutely nothing exception in the mmorpg development chronicles and that is enormously empowering to future attempts I would contend.

I've tried to be as pacific as possible albeit length becomes it's own limitation by putting people off, so this is a final criticism and I think I've successfully avoiding complains or condemnations either whereas some of the posts offering criticism have conflated the 3 which makes communication a little harder as emotions ebb and flow at an emotional time. Enough prose and Proust!

There's 3 useful threads at the official forums (Even I find it hard not to complain demonstrably about how bad those forums are for a game selling the concept of "crowdforging" so there you have it):-

https://goblinworks.com/forum/topic/3782/

This is the lowest score I've ever seen mmorpg.com give a game and they've always been accused of being shills. I think it's fairly balanced piece of criticism personally that does of course do a dog-walk for the discursive "shoulda, coulda, woulda" hounds; part of the review's function is the generate comment afterall:-

Quote:

The game did have some quality ideas but it was just too large of a scope for too little money. It also had some really terrible design decisions. Tying experience gains to the amount of time the account was active was a poor choice to say the least. They were also unable to get character movement to feel normal. Your characters could always jump too high and moved to odd. It was just a poor experience.

Another problem with the project is it never really felt like Pathfinder. In its pen and paper form Pathfinder is about taking your characters on grand adventures.

Obvious fan reaction is still "raw" atm, but those are criticisms I find too: The core one being the cash to scope issue. EE itself could work if that ratio was smaller and more realistic. That's the key one I call the "WOW ENGINE" problem eg that character movement. Then of course the other issue the TT PF crowd.

https://goblinworks.com/forum/topic/3778/

Here the MVP idea is called into question, but as above, it's the WOW ENGINE that doomed PFO in a catch-all term to use.

Quote:
Let's face it, those three words are what killed this game, with sub-par graphics that feel like Everquest 1, and a game system that expects a player to spend hours outside of the game to figure anything out.

https://goblinworks.com/forum/topic/3777/?page=1

Quote:
The only way to compete, would be to offer something different and unique. After reading the design plan for the game, I was quite intrigued. Being an old Ultima Online player, I really became accustomed to skill-based character development as opposed to level-based character development, and I was happy to see PFO was going the route of the former.

YES! That is what is needed - "something different and unique"! The Design offered that, but the WOW ENGINE turned it into the same old...

I actually got this idea from Richard Bartle:-

The Decline of MMOs

Quote:

Re-use of technical assets. We saw this in the days of text MUDs, when people would take a complete game engine and use it to cre

ate a new game curiously similar to the new games everyone else using the engine created. The worlds would change but the games wouldn’t. Of course, if you have invested millions in making an MMO engine it makes sense that you would want to use it for more than one product, but if little changes except the setting then eventually players will see through that. Production lines create identical products cheaply – that’s the whole point of them. It does mean the products are identical, though.

Other derived criticism:-

* Graphics
* UI
* Animation
* Unintuitive
* Down-Time required to understand
* Charging for "DELPHA" (I coin this term too): It's not alpha, but it sort of is, but then it's definetly not Beta-standard but it's being charged as a Beta Release which would be Delta, so it's "DELPHA".

Agree with all those except the last one: YOU can charge for "DELPHA"! Plenty of games have crowdfunded to success. Happy Days amid all these storms.

What was wrong was the Scope:Cash ratio due to... WOW ENGINE.

Anyway if want good criticism and can filter your emotions from the complains or condemnations that sometimes creep through all the above links are valid points and contributions and majority good constructive criticism.

I think this chapter closes now. The PROBLEMS chapter. The next chapter may not be published, I may send direct to Lisa and Ryan and that chapter is: The SOLUTIONS chapter.

I invested cash into PFO but was able to recoup it all. However more valuable I invested a great deal of learning and my time hence thinking about PFO and the mmorpg genre and before the EE days such a great community here perhaps all here sharing the same desire; daring to dream "The Simulation Dream"??


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AvenaOats wrote:
jemstone wrote:

I'd like to ask that people stop with the mis-appellation of the Unity Engine, as the "WoW Engine."

Unity as a software platform has nothing to do with World Of Warcraft and the two terms are not interchangeable.

I have a lot of opinions and concerns about how poorly Unity's technology was implemented in PFO to this point, which I might or might not share. But it is misleading and confusing to continue to refer to Unity as something it's not.

Thank you.

I would suggest you ask questions, instead of making directives that are from a misapprehension.

I coined the term "WOW ENGINE" to drive a point a very simply point home. It derives from a sh-ton of research I've done on the subject. But as with any communication half the onus is on my own efforts and the other half is on other parties.

If you coined the term then on your part lies the weight of informing others that you diverted the original meaning of the term (i.e. the proprietary engine of the World Of Warcraft, publicly unnamed as far as I know) instead of they having to ask you if you happen to use that words to mean something else than they actually mean (i.e. the proprietary game engine used in World Of Warcraft). And we might still disagree with you on use of that term in the capacity you would like to add to it because it is misleading and confusing.

Quote:
There is no such Middleware called WOW Engine. That much is obvious.

Doesn't matter. World Of Warcraft has its own game engine. Saying WOW Engine first calls reference to that.

Goblin Squad Member

"Themepark Trap" - Tick

"WOW ENGINE" - Cross

I can't boil the central argument down any more.

The arguments against the GDD are don't think are the major ones
The arguments against Unity again are not the major ones
The arguments against the devs talent are not the major ones
The arguments against the pricing during DELPHA are not the major ones

All the above are contributory.

But the major argument I'd contend is via the implementation according to the concept of a "MMORPG" = WOW ENGINE for "that market". Ryan was adamant that a certain graphical look was imperative to capturing the mmorpg market.

Some of the comments on PFO is that it looked like a MMORPG from early 00's or mid 00's. But also I suspect "the feel" is what is also being described in the summary form of "looked".

The technological constraints are a component of the cost and the quality and those over time. It seems to me there was merit in "boot-strapping" development forwards. I think PFO's failure suggest modifications at x10 less the cost (and initial scale) and x100 less the weight of industry standards expections from the player market also.

To reduce dev of an mmo from 10's millions or even 100's to under that itself was a major innovation. But the actual concept of mmorpg itself I think needed innovation to circumvent the technological constraints: The problem with the current PFO is that a great deal of the final code and assets don't translate directly into player value.

One of the biggest signs that the design itself was creaking to fit together was the Cap Stone change due to the Skill-Training. The iconic adventurer classes were being pushed through the "WOW ENGINE_combat" meat-grinder to fit the game. An early casualty.

The great concept of Pathfinder was meating (pun) head on in a clash the WOW Engine specifications for combat eg skill-training progression system plus actual mechanics due to servers and graphics and animation and of course all impacted design such as multi-classing vs fixed classes in contention with progression and hence pricing business model.

It's a fascinating story, is it accurate? I thought about it enough and the problems seem to me to point that way. However I don't believe "The Simulation Dream" is dead for Pathfinder not if a whole new concept is forged.

Words Are Wind. WOW ENGINE is wind through the fingers atm. A new design and maybe we can hold Golarion in the palm of our hands...

Goblin Squad Member

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I guess what they are trying to tell you AvenaOats is that the term "WoW Engine" primarily and immediately calls up the graphical engine of the game used by WoW while I think you mean the "WoW look" as in presentation.

Referring to it as the "WoW Engine" sidetracks the reader off the point you are trying to make and frankly confuses people.

Not trying to give you a hard time, but I have had to read your posts multiple times to get what I think is your point. (yes, you can call me dense)

Goblin Squad Member

Andas wrote:

I guess what they are trying to tell you AvenaOats is that the term "WoW Engine" primarily and immediately calls up the graphical engine of the game used by WoW while I think you mean the "WoW look" as in presentation.

Referring to it as the "WoW Engine" sidetracks the reader off the point you are trying to make and frankly confuses people.

Not trying to give you a hard time, but I have had to read your posts multiple times to get what I think is your point. (yes, you can call me dense)

I don't think you're dense. AvenaOats is throwing around terms that don't seem to have a common meaning to the rest of us.

AvenaOats wrote:


The great concept of Pathfinder was meating (pun) head on in a clash the WOW Engine specifications for combat eg skill-training progression system plus actual mechanics due to servers and graphics and animation and of course all impacted design such as multi-classing vs fixed classes in contention with progression and hence pricing business model.

I have no idea what that sentence is supposed to mean.

Skills vs classes have no relation to pricing model.

I'm also trying to figure out in what ways Pathinder Online is at all like WoW besides a 3D interface and playing online.

Goblin Squad Member

It seems to me the criticism that PFO had very little to do with Pathfinder has it's apotheosis in the "WOW ENGINE" manifestation despite the now established wisdom it was "pvp" in a pve IP. The same with WAR as I remember Warhammer World became WOW ENGINE Warhammer world. The conflation is deliberate, even if the confusion is not. Perhaps that's the way forward:- WOW-ENGINE-PFO, WOW-ENGINE-WAR, etc?

Personally the graphics seemed more or less fine to me, but "the feel"; how do you measure that fresh experience that sometimes ignites a new genre? People are "wow this, wow that..." in this genre, afterall.

Now if you had such an effect or value in a game but it needed DELPHA funding... could you say you'd not spend money on it? Imo it would look and feel and play very very little like WOW. What about PvP I hear you next say? What if even PvE players did PvP and enjoyed it...

Impossible?

Goblin Squad Member

There has got to be a way to make an MMO that feels like an MMO AND be a workable sandbox. There are many different ways to skin a cat, as the adage goes. Just because (imho) Dancey's implementation of his vision was unsuccessful, doesn't mean it can't be done.

Goblin Squad Member

deinol wrote:
Andas wrote:

I guess what they are trying to tell you AvenaOats is that the term "WoW Engine" primarily and immediately calls up the graphical engine of the game used by WoW while I think you mean the "WoW look" as in presentation.

Referring to it as the "WoW Engine" sidetracks the reader off the point you are trying to make and frankly confuses people.

Not trying to give you a hard time, but I have had to read your posts multiple times to get what I think is your point. (yes, you can call me dense)

I don't think you're dense. AvenaOats is throwing around terms that don't seem to have a common meaning to the rest of us.

AvenaOats wrote:


The great concept of Pathfinder was meating (pun) head on in a clash the WOW Engine specifications for combat eg skill-training progression system plus actual mechanics due to servers and graphics and animation and of course all impacted design such as multi-classing vs fixed classes in contention with progression and hence pricing business model.

I have no idea what that sentence is supposed to mean.

Skills vs classes have no relation to pricing model.

I'm also trying to figure out in what ways Pathinder Online is at all like WoW besides a 3D interface and playing online.

You know some of the reactions on the official forums to the 3 threads I pasted above are of this kind. That is another argument I did not address the fan reaction is accusation against PFO. I can be addressed:-

There's a coinage for this: "HYPEFULLY".

I was very hypeful for PFO, but I underestimated the WOW ENGINE as I've been calling it, that was my mistake. Perhaps not the only mistake, the layer even lower than this appears to be in need of innovation too which has played on my mind a lot despite coming up with a good GDD, am I too fallen foul of lower assumptions, just as I think Ryan did? That is a worry.

Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:
There has got to be a way to make an MMO that feels like an MMO AND be a workable sandbox. There are many different ways to skin a cat, as the adage goes. Just because (imho) Dancey's implementation of his vision was unsuccessful, doesn't mean it can't be done.

It's heartening to hear such considerations and I fully believe it's possible. The tricky part is the social online dynamics! But I have an inkling there too: If making a PF game, then why not make it "more for" actual TT PF community as the core community??

Different Rule-Sets and different shards interconnected are a way to do this albeit in a manner that still connects them to the same shared world but removed also. I notice SC dev has a number of modules to it's development, and that seems an approach to work with.

Goblin Squad Member

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I think that perhaps "make it feel more like TTRPG" and "make it feel like an MMO" are at odds. NWN and DDO never felt like MMOs to me. I haven't played Neverwinter (the MMO) so I dunno that it can't be done, it just hasn't as of yet.

You mention SC, and yeah they are steadily moving toward completion, but honestly, that won't feel like an MMO either. There won't be a hotbar,you won't level, you won't even have classes or skills to raise. You will get better at doing things, by doing them in game and learning how to do it correctly. In SC's case, with what it's trying to be, I'm ok with that. It doesn't need to feel like an MMO.

This is all IMO, of course.


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Honestly, I always felt that PFO catered too much to the TT crowd and too little to the crowd that actually likes PVP and MMOs. But I'm feeling a bit alone on that front. :P


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Honestly, I always felt that PFO catered too much to the TT crowd and too little to the crowd that actually likes PVP and MMOs. But I'm feeling a bit alone on that front. :P

Introduction of kobold playable race... That moment when fighting kobolds moves from being PVE to PVP...

Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:

I think that perhaps "make it feel more like TTRPG" and "make it feel like an MMO" are at odds. NWN and DDO never felt like MMOs to me. I haven't played Neverwinter (the MMO) so I dunno that it can't be done, it just hasn't as of yet.

You mention SC, and yeah they are steadily moving toward completion, but honestly, that won't feel like an MMO either. There won't be a hotbar,you won't level, you won't even have classes or skills to raise. You will get better at doing things, by doing them in game and learning how to do it correctly. In SC's case, with what it's trying to be, I'm ok with that. It doesn't need to feel like an MMO.

This is all IMO, of course.

You smack, bang, wallop right on the money.

To change what we believe an MMO-RPG to be, means difference to the MMO- and difference to the -RPG. One of the driving reasons is to cut dev costs down as much as possible. Innovation comes from understanding what has gone before, and either through new technology changing the boundaries themselves or reconfiguring what is possible within current boundaries.

In fact speaking of boundaries that's one of the worries with the IP brand here. The idea circles around stories. And you need a fairly open canvass to be able to paint all sorts of stories. It is notable that "bad events" seem to make for the stories we retell rather than "the good times" as described in The Hobbit for example. And as we know there are many bad events in Golarion: Slaving, Massacre, Evil Other-worldly monsters and worse. These are not presented for their gratuity value nor their striking visual aspects... they are very important ingredients in the whole story: Without them you don't learn the value of survival or trust in a settlement where each indivdual is also attempting to secure more for their own future as well as their groups. The worry is how far would Paizo allow such stories to get quite dark in abstract way of course. Hence even if you achieve a really good game, that itself poses it's own problems between what the game is intended to do and what it's players when they take control find themselves wishing to express of themselves?

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Honestly, I always felt that PFO catered too much to the TT crowd and too little to the crowd that actually likes PVP and MMOs. But I'm feeling a bit alone on that front. :P

The idea was to replace the TT PF crowd with the MMO PvP crowd as far as I can see. All the talk about TT being a non-growth industry and MMO being a growth market poised between Themepark Era to Sandbox?

As said, the community is itself a big challenge, as per DF forums which were quite ugly tbh, and no disrespect to people who like that. I'm "new to Paizo" but they always get good word for their community-centric approach: Why not make a game cheap enough in budget but exclusive to PF Society members to purchase first? The key is to find the right concept however. Later extensions to other "communities" could be developed as the game is scalable. What I think the PF Paizo community like are things such as:-

* World Building details
* Character biographies
* Adventure paths
* Role-Play theatre moments
* Diversity and more diversity in a strange world
* Their own imprint on the world to use for story material in different forms later etc.

Goblin Squad Member

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Wizards of the Coast went the route of handling its IP license over to be used to create a cooperative multiplayer RPG, and Sword Coast Legends might actually be a ROLLD20 killer.

That would probably been a better route for Paizo / Goblin Works to have taken.

Goblin Squad Member

I've heard high praise for it. To me however it looks like any old dungeon-crawler with the combination of Dungeon Keeper DM option and custom options which is definitely a good thing, but still a dungeon-crawler.

Players tend to choose what they know, so it will probably pick up a crowd.

What excites me for example about SC is the sheer breadth and sense of size in space.

I think for fantasy what would really impress me would be the sense of scale to the world. A place where time flows, histories are sown and the wheel of the world spins with and without players' presence.

Goblin Squad Member

The ideas behind PFO very much encapsulate the basics of what TT is, a system of rules to resolve conflict. That's a simple definition really and you can claim almost any game does that and your right, but they all do it differently and those differences that appeal to our particular sensibilities are the key to why we tend to enjoy certain games more than others.

Maybe it's because I always pretty much play homebrew setting games, and they may or may not include aspects of a particular game's setting, but the default setting has never been that integral to a TT game for me. In the case of PFO all the monkier of Pathfinder means to me is that you'll have sandbox full of tools and aspects of the Golarion setting. Just like the core books.

The thing that excites me about PFO is that they plan to take these rules to extremes I haven't seen in other MMO games before. To make rules and systems I haven't really seen attempted or mixed to such a degree while reigning in some aspects of the traditional sandbox that they didn't like. Go read the flagging blogs, the assassination blogs, settlement warfare blogs, banditry blogs, faction blogs, etc...

They plan to put layers and layers of systems in place, something I haven't seen too many other games do in a long while much less to this sort of scale. Lot of folks say less rules make things interesting, I disagree, that might work for TT where the whole group is always working together even the DM, but in an MMO where head to head is just as likely as cooperative you need lots of rules to cover all the cases and make actual gameplay interesting.

The game we got today is not what they have planned, it's a prototype on the way, to claim it reflects their 'true' intention or the long term goals is intellectually dishonest. Even before the cutbacks they couldn't do everything at once, no company could, we just saw things a lot earlier than anyone normally would; the product was always going to be very iterative for early adopters, more so than even a release MMO usually is. I only hope that they do find financial backing and we can one day see something actually resembling their intentions with all these systems that do not even exist today working together to create something unique and interesting.

Goblin Squad Member

I like your approach, Duffy. Taking a step-back and observing the wider picture.

Your first paragraph is I suppose setting that scene as opposed to any specific semantic insight.

Your second paragraph is an important extra-dimension. It's been noted before that one of the key magical ingredients in some older mmorpgs with multiple servers = RULE-SETS. But that itself is not the magic phrase or the secret sauce... ALONE. For that you have to have communities. And for communities something even MORE fundamental... To come back up to the surface and breath some more replenishing oxygen (!) and leave that sunken glittering treasure (for now) the different communities are drawn by the different rule-sets according to their self-selecting interests and that means like-with-like and that means SOCIAL.

This is the key to huge revenue from the business pov.

On your third paragraph that is where I was with PFO: The rules for one server. However almost all that did not "make the cut" to date. Namely in a phrase: "The code and asset volume did not translate to high player value fast enough!!!"

Again all this is 101.

So we arrive at your last paragraph and agreed. But why?

And why does the lack of speed mean we need more funding for even longer to reach the goal?

To me that is not looking back at the bottle-necks that prevented "work done" => "player value". Either:-

* Too much work to create value for this project ie present method is simply too poor a ratio. MMORPG Design model is wrong.
* Too much work on features/areas/basics that don't translate to value yet ie building the bones is itself too expensive and that's not even a guarantee that the "meat" itself will necessarily convert to player value; an untested assumption. DELPHA Business model of boot-strapping is wrong.
* All of these or either of them are compounded problems by "Death Spiral": Not enough players take notice => Media takes notice (or does not take notice!) => Impacts on revenue loss => Impacts on investor confidence => Reduces what the devs can actually develop => Worse game at slower rate => Moment is gone.

Most arguments have asserted I believe that the DELPHA model is the culprit. Some arguments that the type of MMORPG design model is the culprit namely PvP and some of those have said the TT player base (?) is the culprit.

I think it's possible to finally create a summary of all these arguments and how they are inter-lacing with each other:-

* Pricing Model of Early Enrollment for MMORPG: MVP at mercy of market
* Hence price to value: The actual gameplay itself was not developed strong enough.
* Sandbox PvP Design overlay on the Pathfinder IP, not a good fit hence Ryan's GDD doc is to fault
...
* I'm arguing even deeper: The MMORPG concept itself needs is no longer a good market fit for games-players ie it does not attend to their needs sufficiently and you get a death spiral as well as "themepark trap"
* We can go even deeper again: The concept has to fit the actual community itself to be a Social Online design that then needs a technical implementation and then business model.
* But yet again we must go deeper! What is the fabric of "a community"?

Now if you answer that final question, you are finally ready to DERIVE higher and higher levels of intention that are a synergy of working parts and instead of a "Death Spiral" combining all levels to failure; we generate a "Virtuous Spiral" at all scales.

Goblin Squad Member

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Duffy wrote:

The ideas behind PFO very much encapsulate the basics of what TT is, a system of rules to resolve conflict. That's a simple definition really and you can claim almost any game does that and your right, but they all do it differently and those differences that appeal to our particular sensibilities are the key to why we tend to enjoy certain games more than others.

Maybe it's because I always pretty much play homebrew setting games, and they may or may not include aspects of a particular game's setting, but the default setting has never been that integral to a TT game for me. In the case of PFO all the monkier of Pathfinder means to me is that you'll have sandbox full of tools and aspects of the Golarion setting. Just like the core books.

To me the moniker Pathfinder Online conveys the opposite - that the ruleset of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system will be emulated, not Golarion which the ruleset is not autoselected for. I say again - PFO was a misnomer - the game seemd to be RKO - River Kingdoms Online, with a non-Pathfinder conversant mechanic approach that I was wholly uninterested in interacting with. Classless. Few races. Arcane and esoteric levelling.

Goblin Squad Member

@OceanWolf:

You're right.

PF = 'Party of class adventurers'.

PFO = Kingmaker Campaign Scale level

PFO failed with the revised Capstone idea to combine the two. Adventuring was relegated.
This is due to lack of derivation as above. Instead super-imposing a fit PF onto a MMORPG skill-progression system that could not fit it.

What that means imo is change of yet more fundamentals to all align...

Goblin Squad Member

"So long, and thanks for all the fish." is how I'm gonna remember Ryan's direction.

Goblin Squad Member

I did not know that expression but looked it up, a very humorous phrase, indeed! Half-way through the first book so I am late to the party.

However application to Ryan's direction, it is misleading imho to personalize this. Ryan did enough to divulge to "EXPLAIN" the reasons for his direction chosen which then formed the basis for a lot of the GDD.

Now if we replay those basis, you can see how much of the GDD document is decided upon from it. And I don't find a huge amount of fault in that process... in fact I'd stick to what I said before: It's one of the best Designs for mmorpg I've seen.

The trouble is the implementation phase and again to contextualize, that's much further than many such attempts even if it's shorter than a full gold release (with more money and narrow scope of ambition).

But to repeat, if you look at the basics or givens HOW TO IMPLEMENT PFO, then you find the real problems. It's very tempting to say x went wrong and here's why hence here's a better answer. That's relative and probably won't lead anywhere either. In fact that's about 99% of comments by players in mmorpg forums.

The major problem how to implement PFO is the what I'm coining the "WOW ENGINE" technical concept of an mmorpg (=/= as the actual WOW Engine). If you remove this, you entirely have to re-evaluate many of the tropes of the genre and you have to access each part of those, how well do they serve the original intention you have for making a game of pathfinder?

If you take this approach you do actually come out with a set of solutions that makes the heavily modified GDD radically different. Not because you've taken the original and crossed bits out and added bits to "improve or rectify or ""correct"" it" to then make PFO's future brighter or hopeful (Hypeful?) but because you've changed the basis/basics of translating your intention into an implementation that pulls together.

That process involves significant sacrifices, but then that is the essence of practical implementation NOT genre-defined implementation. Ryan believed that he was chasing market share that could be adequate to fund PFO through development then possibly lucrative once at gold at the requisite quality to be suitable for ex-wow, current bored wow players etc to find PFO liberating my comparison as the next mmorpg to move onto.

I never agreed that was the thinking to use, even if it's strong "by the market numbers". The genre is stale. Gamers are fickle but they do like freshness. The research shows that they also would like if the market was offering it Social Online Virtual Worlds.

Let's pop out of the mmorpg hole for a moment. Take some of the superlative FPS games, that in some respects are more visceral more adrenaline-fuelling and involving than their corresponding action movies. I was looking at Vermintide for a fantasy version and that looks more interesting than most fantasy sword and sorcery movies that rely so heavily on old conventions to then be the props to the set-pieces (the actual meat of the movie) the action sequences and Vermintide looks superior from that pov with it's FPS butchering of rat-men and coop option.

I would anticipate Star Citizen may get the press saying in a similar way that Mass Effect > Avatar for sci-fi that it is a better sci-fi experience than many of the Hollywood sci-fi movies. It's a feat to aspire to. Looked at through this particular prism, this is the promise I see for a remodelled fantasy mmorpg but perhaps not in comparison with movies but with books? And that is why the whole concept would be so radically different.

TL;BTD!

What's the take-home for PFO? If any of the above holds a grain of use, it is that:-

1. It's immaterial to personalize the direction of the game design though to acknowledge the creator is just, to call it "Ryan's GDD".
2. Given my central argument's single point criticism: If it holds, then it means there's very little use in modifying what is currently created to keep the show on the road; once that given was taken, the whole design has a systemic fault in it for this level of funding. IE if magically 20m was given it's a go, to create another clone mmorpg - only. But I don't see that magical condition as even not likely.
3. There's another way that's do-able for a few million and possibly via Early Access even less to begin with, that would fit Paizo's gameplan for their IP, except they're not in the market any longer for risky game dev.

To point 3., it's probably of academic interest only and they may not even agree anyway with this new vision. However via the development process, the solution is to hire small teams for different components of the game that are veterans of that particular component, that is a modular separate. This is one of the heaviest difficulties of mmorpg development removed via this method. It's also a good fit for Paizo because it would also leverage their community directly too.

Goblin Squad Member

Ugh, more "Wort Salat".

Goblin Squad Member

True, it is because:-

1. I've gone on and on for 2 pages now without actually explaining the hypothetical "alternative".
2. It does not matter how many times you say something or in how many different ways, all you'll get is conventional reasons for PFO's failure or conventional reactions masquerading as reasons... more of the latter unfortunately.

What I'm saying is that bits of criticism are not very useful, whereas a case built up with different opinions and contributions engaging, well it might lead to something constructive, such as consensus on a consistent conclusion as to where PFO failed.

And it's a shame it did. But when I compared the present mmorpg genre to various other game genres in digital games, it's really a very unattractive genre to both developers and players both for time and money.

The online social prospects it seems still manages to carry it though.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Online is tabletop WoW?!

Goblin Squad Member

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Ratpick wrote:
Pathfinder Online is tabletop WoW?!

I'm no fan of WoW (only played it for about 6 months when it launched), but WoW is a better game in every aspect, and that includes during its first few months.


thenoisyrogue wrote:

This thread was the moment I knew pathfinder online was in trouble:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pasw&page=2?Why-this-whole-OnLine-Thing-wo rries-me#86

You really should be talking about this more, Dancey opened with this when he came into the thread:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@All - I think it's unavoidable that some folks who love Pathfinder tabletop will see Pathfinder Online as a mistake. That's just human nature.

I'd like to emphasize we're all in this together. It's unhelpful to tell people they have bad-wrong concerns, or that they're being repetitive of things others have said, or question their knowledge or their love of the brand.

The best thing you can do is not respond.

You're not going to convince Captain Marsh, and those like him that he's wrong. Can't be done.

But you will create the impression that it's us vs. them. And that's bad for Pathfinder, Pathfinder Online, Goblinworks, and Paizo.

You help us more by saying nothing. Just let it go. These kinds of messages will appear forever. Allow it to simply pass without comment. There's no upside to engagement, and a lot of downside.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

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Eoxyn wrote:
thenoisyrogue wrote:

This thread was the moment I knew pathfinder online was in trouble:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pasw&page=2?Why-this-whole-OnLine-Thing-wo rries-me#86

You really should be talking about this more, Dancey opened with this when he came into the thread:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@All - I think it's unavoidable that some folks who love Pathfinder tabletop will see Pathfinder Online as a mistake. That's just human nature.

I'd like to emphasize we're all in this together. It's unhelpful to tell people they have bad-wrong concerns, or that they're being repetitive of things others have said, or question their knowledge or their love of the brand.

The best thing you can do is not respond.

You're not going to convince Captain Marsh, and those like him that he's wrong. Can't be done.

But you will create the impression that it's us vs. them. And that's bad for Pathfinder, Pathfinder Online, Goblinworks, and Paizo.

You help us more by saying nothing. Just let it go. These kinds of messages will appear forever. Allow it to simply pass without comment. There's no upside to engagement, and a lot of downside.

RyanD

Looks like Captain Marsh was correct and Ryan was wrong.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I only wish PFO DID have a "WOW style engine". That might have made it playable for me.

Quite frankly, I don't think the engine was the issue. It was more the fact that when I created starter characters, the game would inexplicably teleport them into the middle of high risk areas which made the game a futile slog to get them back into the starter territory where I could actually progress.

Also the first level character experience was quite frankly vastly inferior to any other roleplaying MMORG I've ever done. The latest incarnation of Neverwinter was a far superior experience. and it actually implemented D+D (okay 4E) rather well. It's prior incarnation had done fairly well with 3.X.

The problem is that the game took an essentially limited content approach "let the players make their own story through conflict" model very simmilar to what is done in Eve Online. The problem is that slogging through Pathfinder's forests wasn't nearly as fun as flying ships in Eve.

Goblin Squad Member

Blame the genre, which has morphed into "it must follow these conventions" of which I try to coin it "WOW ENGINE".

Who says a Virtual World has to be created this way for many people to enjoy?

The problem is "Big Project IT" syndrone kicking in with mmorpgs - not community-building but eye-candy consumption.

I had last-minute work all of today so could not write-up my minor scaled-back idea of the new genre beyond mmorpgs, tailored to Paizo and Pathfinder. Hopefully, Wednesday-Thursday (work evenings then).

@LazarX: Strong post, that's what I'm saying all the millions only produced what you describe. How could you spend cash on a game with break-even or profit but with the maximum benefit to Paizo's Pathfinder IP and Community of players? That's the right question to be asking! :-)

Got to admit, I miss the good community here :'(

Goblin Squad Member

* I realize this thread is somewhat lop-sided to say the least. There's a lot of my own views with less than I hoped the views of the community that has/had existed here for some years.
* I've taken on board the criticism of some of the presentation of ideas shared here.
* To reconceptualize in yet another way, the essence of the argument put forward, if anyone is interested in such things (still):-

1) DESIGN

2) PLAN

3) ENGINE

4) GAMEPLAY

5) ART

Here is a perfect "formulation" of a game from concept to actualization.

What I think has often gone wrong is that the mmorpg genre is driven by the standards of todays mmorpgs ART/VISUAL REPRESENTATION that the Market expects.

From this working backwards you then set the ENGINE fundamentals. I believe this is the problem. With the current standards the cost and dev of mmorpgs is in a very risky zone (Big IT Project syndrone).

But also the problem is working backwards from the market. Not matching at all stages the "Player mental model" of the game design. I think Ryan appreciated some and a lot of this via his 2) PLAN stage (mvp/ee/bootstrap via pvp). To guess he compromise was critical according to 5) ART the 1) DESIGN.

Something Raph Koster noticed was that social networks such as facebook somewhat took a chunk out of the USP of mmorpgs in sharing a social interactive online space. One thing Facebook got right obviously was linking people to their own communities ie 1) Design right back back far far to the drawing board, again.

Ie if you review/reassess the whole design conception from much more basic fundamentals about what is the intention of the game system and for whom etc, you may derive a lot more away from the present visual conventions that the "mmorpg engine" seems to churn out all the time?

Not to belabour the point...

Goblin Squad Member

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I think the key innovation of Pathfinder Online as described in the blogs - the "killer app" aspect of it, if you will - was the idea that players would require in-game structures that could be destroyed by other players in order to maximize their Character Power. That level of risk was, I think, essential in capturing the PvP-averse players who really wanted nothing to do with a game that let other players attack them at will. The decision to abandon that innovation at the first opportunity (i.e. the War of Towers) leaves me scratching my head.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm not sure why you highlighted that aspect or how you think it would be the candidate to draw in players that aren't super fond of PvP. A big snow-bally punishment stick is not going to be a very good PvP incentive for those that are iffy about it in the first place. Personally as a competitive gamer it's my opinion that building that sort of effect into your game is really difficult to balance and I am leery of any game that takes more than an hour or two (so match based games only pretty much) putting that sorta mechanic in to even begin with.

That works in your RTS games or hell even Chess, but tends to create very specific failure scenarios that are just not fun in an MMO setting.

Personally the strength of PFO to me was the myriad of overlapping systems. I haven't really seen a good sandbox game build as many systems as they proposed in the blogs. I would love to see a game with all of them and more. I'm of the mind that in this sort of game more rules and systems is better than less, you just need to cover a lot of options to balance it all out and make it fun for the long run.

Goblin Squad Member

Duffy wrote:
I'm not sure why you highlighted that aspect or how you think it would be the candidate to draw in players that aren't super fond of PvP.

It makes Social PvP more meaningful. The players who are able to articulate a position that gets a significant faction of the server supporting them will have an actual advantage in-game, rather than the advantage always going to the most bloodthirsty / least scrupulous, as seems inevitably the case in most PvP sandboxes where the only thing that limits a player's ability to continue the attack unhindered is their own determination.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
Duffy wrote:
I'm not sure why you highlighted that aspect or how you think it would be the candidate to draw in players that aren't super fond of PvP.
It makes Social PvP more meaningful. The players who are able to articulate a position that gets a significant faction of the server supporting them will have an actual advantage in-game, rather than the advantage always going to the most bloodthirsty / least scrupulous, as seems inevitably the case in most PvP sandboxes where the only thing that limits a player's ability to continue the attack unhindered is their own determination.

Those that left the game because of PvP, would have left even if their attackers were weak and naked, but relentless. They still would have been forced to PvP, any time and any where. There were players who quit, because they heard rumors of other players getting jumped.

Trying to make PvP palatable to strongly PvP adverse players is like trying to convince some one on welfare to vote Republican. Their interest is just not there.

You used to get so upset when I said "This game is not for everyone" and I directed it to a PvP adverse person. There was no way to convince them, and wasting time trying to do so may have slowed advertising efforts on the part of goblin works.

I have never, in any industry, seen such a poorly marketed product. Not just in its target audiance, but also just in the lack of overall advertising.

Scarab Sages

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Hello everyone... Yes, it's me.. No, not Mario...

Some days ago, arrived to me the information of the plot-twist of the game development and I start to read forums, articles, GW blog. And if you don't mind, I want to share my point of view.

Before I start, I don't intend to bring an untold truth or being the mouth of the masses. I just want to share my thoughs. I did not intended to bash the dead corpse, or even insult anyone. Please, take it easy.

I was one of the PnP players that was taunted to PFO by the brand. What exactly I was expected, even I didn't clarify too much. I think I hoped for the same fellings of the RPG PnP with a strategic settlement game. Maybe it was my fault to not understand well the real objective of the game when we (me and 5 others friends) bidded the Kickstarter.

The thing is, point by point, we were being frustrated in our envision of the game. And when we understood what is the plan for the game, we did not want to play it. (There was some particular problems that occur concomitantly that time, but not the point).

So, I and my ex-futures-guilds didn't agree with the general direction of the game, but I guess the main reason was to our overly attachtment with PnP Pathfinder, and let's face that trying the game early was not a good argument to chance this sensation. But we understand that the fault is not of Ryan personally, as the question tend to point it out.

The points that are Coup-de-Grace to me was the poorly animation of character, confusing character development, mindless grinding and the lack of fantasy (history, plot, the sensation of being part of something bigger). I understand that these points were criticized by a lot of people that do not care about such fluffy things, but this is what makes fantasy games fun, in my humble opinion. So since we understand we were not having fun in the game, we let it go. Simple like that.

There were a lot of more technical post in here, trying to explain more accurately why the game is at risk of being shut down. That was just my personal and honest answer.

But then why do you come back here?

Because I always was around here in Paizo foruns (mostly reading than posting), never left. And in the end, deeply inside, I still hope PFO would become a proper game, fun and complex, (even if it was not what we thought) to me and my friends want to play it.

EDIT: There were others technicalls problems that frustrated us, related to PDFs, minis and KS rewards. But it was all past now. They are not the main reasons to depart us from game, but they were minors.

Good to see you here Bludd, Nihimon, Duff, Avena, KC. Still caring and being constructive.

Take care folks, best of luck for PFO!

Goblin Squad Member

I think they are all good points, different components to a total consideration; looking at one facet on a diamond at a time is the analogy I find most pleasing, personally:-

* Duffy: Possibly favourite way of seeing PFO: The integration of many systems to create an interesting virtual world simulation of Pathfinder.
* Bludd makes a good point about "PvP'ers as a market".
* Kemedo: It needed by contrast to be about Pathfinder, creating the WORLD.

I found a new MMO in dev only recent, the developers are Bossa, of whom I have indeed played their iOS offering Deep Dungeons of Doom, a neat little roguelike-like albeit messed up by IAP. Anyway they've built their new MMO idea off:-

A New Engine

Quote:

Improbable is developing an operating environment that makes building simulated worlds possible. Worlds which can be run in real time, simulating the behaviours and interactions of millions of entities. Spaces with their own rules and properties that a multitude of people can simultaneously change, explore and visualise in as many different ways as developers can imagine.

Simulated worlds provide unique insight to those asking questions of complex systems. As well as enabling completely new experiences in gaming, simulated worlds can solve significant problems in areas as diverse as defence, energy, city efficiency, health, and finance.

All the above is merely informative and illustrative. I checked out their:-

4) GAMEPLAY video

Would say based of very short first impressions of ~2minutes that the engine succeeds at creating a whole "different feeling" it is in my personal impression "NOT WOW ENGINE" experience.

Definitely cannot say how good a game it is, but it is already successfully different. Whether or not that difference is more fun is another question.

I hope this update finally captures what I've failed to fully convey over the last 2 pages. I feel we're getting nearer.

Of course what makes Golarion/Pathfinder interesting is the lore as Kemedo pointed out, it's "MYTHOPOEIA" quality. How to represent that? I don't think graphics/art is the highest in the list to do that.

Goblin Squad Member

I thought that to not have trainers with names and a little lore to impart (alluding to future factional conflicts perhaps) was a mistake. I think that people believed the first 4 classes as part of the 'mvp' would be further along in development and not require a 'university' to understand. The WoT seemed like an immersion-breaking, desperate gimmick to me. There certainly is a chicken-and-egg problem involved with the pure sandbox: You must have a large, engaged, motivated and knowledgeable community to create the world to attract your large, engaged community. And pay for the privilege! I don't know if the organic rise of EVE can be copied on purpose.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hi gang! Resurfacing to join the gravöl as we say in Swedish.

Interesting thread, although AvenaOats threw me off track for a while with the WoW-engine talk as it gave me totally wrong impression of what was being said. When I realised it was WoWish Interface that was the gripe everything make much more sense (is that correct? Otherwise I have to reread it from the start.

Aaanyway, here is my two cents threwn into the pile. I was mainly into the KS because I found the sandbox version of NWN (MOO style) set in Golarion (which I didn't know much of) interesting (that was how I read the pitch). Then promptly forgot about it as I do with all my KS (otherwise I would have died of ulcers ages ago).

When I finally joined due to beta being opened to every-one I was confused but entertained. The system was not d20 but clever, however it was lousy implemented and the lack of working documention made it a slog, but what ever to expect in beta.

I had a fun time, made friends and saw progress, in the end it was several small thing that made me take a break.

The bugs, every time a new version was applied the game went south for several days. That induced a bad impression of the development process in me.
The "class" Rogue never implemented, and the treatment of those who wanted to know why and when.
The reason I prefer to not play multiplayer games in general, other people. I frankly got tired of the bickering between the PvPers and the PvEers, the hadcore crowd of each wouldn't accept even the most sensible of compromises without screaming murder.

So what have this to do with anything? Well as been said above the marketing of the game was.... confusing, making the conflict between murderhobos and carebears endless and vocal. I guess GW should have been working a bit more adressing that, but I don't think it would have helped, b'cus humanz. My take had been to put more emphasis on exploring than on crafting and war, a greater survivalist feel had excluded both fringes of the extremists, perhaps catering to a smaller crowd (yes that would have been a problem) but save oh so much time and sweat.

I actually understand the PvP crowds frustration with the "other side" when I relised that it would blow into pieces of rage if a pickpocketing system was implemented.

So my conclution is that PFO was probably wrong in it's inclusiveness, humanity was not ready for it.

Goblin Squad Member

@Bludd

On this point I actually agree with you, not every game can be for everyone. But this cuts both ways and I think that's the point that gets lost alot. I usually avoid the dedicated PvP MMOs, not cause I dislike PvP but I dislike how those games do it, the result is not an interesting or fun environment for me. I would rather go play some ranked matches in a MOBA or a few rounds of a team FPS.

When it comes to MMOs I am that middle player who likes PvP but is adverse to it in what is traditionally considered the 'hardcore' PvP MMOs. The way this game has been sold to me makes it seem to me that either of the extreme sides are not gonna like this game. Those who want hardcore PvP MMO sandbox are not gonna like it, those that want a themepark co-op Golarion game are not gonna like it. This is the first MMO PvP Sandbox to appeal to me personally and that is why I defend it in the way I do and hope that it gets a chance to do it's own thing. That thing might not be for you or for others, but it might be for me (or maybe not!).

(I seem to be responding to you on forums today, I swear I am not stalking you!)

@Kemedo,Schedim
Not really being argumentative with the following, just adding some context you guys had nice posts.

One thing to keep in mind, what was launched and what we have today is a work in progress. That has always been touted from the beginning and that means early adopters are gonna have a mess of a time. It's gonna take effort to figure things out and their are gonna be bugs. Maybe the 'finished' product could be for you, but the early access aspect today might not be. Now if some of that stuff never gets improved or ironed out by 'OE' then yea they got a problem.

Then again EVE still has a university setup and I think any sufficiently complex game needs someone who knows the rules. Plenty of TT games have taught me that.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Schedim

Interesting and always like learning new words!

Some topics are more divisive than others in communication eg Religion and Politics. One Indian friend said they were bordering on taboo subjects out there where there is such diversity it is not a practical way to "small talk", iirc.

I think this connects to your last comment.

However if Pathfinder Golarion World had been created in a different way then that is the real function of fantasy or sci-fi to ask such difficult questions in a different context that then ALLOWS people to explore such subjects as by-products of other engagements.

In these worlds I want to see racial hatred between say dwarfs and elves, I want to see religious fanatics sacrificing a sentient being to their dark gods, or the fact that the wilderness is almost instant death to the common folk where heroes rise above and are able to protect the people and go on adventures beyond time-space, or hold a conversation with some immortal omnipotent being: How would such a conversation actually be carried out and so forth and so on...

The digital form of these I think could massively enable community scale stories.


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A minor failure I think the game made was trying to move discussion to unfinished forums. That really turned me off. If I'm going to leave Paizo, I expect to at least be given a Freeforums-tier forum in exchange. And that's real bare-minimum-type stuff. I never did follow the Goblinworks Forums discussions, and didn't really try.

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