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


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
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.

True. They have made a lot of small mistakes like that. I do not even think that was a particular small mistake: for a game that needed to rely heavily on a Community during its development, solid forums and stuff like a friendslist should have been at the top of the list.

Goblin Squad Member

The Forums, there's no beating around the bush: They are absolutely terrible. There's no diplomatic description, especially for the "crowdforging" concept (wonderfully coined word we all came up with). Again this was what got my antennae twitching even before the forums confirmed that crowdforging was not really more than a shell of an idea without the actual idea being do-able:-

Q: How the hell could the devs implement "Crowdforging" using "WOW ENGINE" or indeed any MMO that uses this development? Plenty of people have said, fans are not devs and should not be anywhere near development. I kinda think however for these persistent worlds you want a basis where the community are part of the "building"; I suppose another valuable take-home from PFO is build an Engine that is conducive to that idea in some way; How? That is a very very good question. EQN seems to have suffered this problem too with it's Landmark schism before SOE turned into Daybreak and Smed departed.

But you have to look at the community and what it was able to "talk about" within forums. I think a big indicator that things just were not going to work in a way where the game would create a community was the incessant conversations on PvP and then backwards and forwards "I'm gonna git you sucker!"

Too many people find that a complete turn-off as well as no place to jump into the conversation either. The War Of The Towers probably was a consequence of Delpha + boot-strapping dev via PvP. There's probably a bit more "magic" flying a spaceship in vast space in 2003 than WOW avatars double-timing over tedious terrains in 2015.

Sure it's easy to "pick the bones" of the game with hindsight's vision.

Here's some really interesting thoughts from George R.R. Martin to turn what Pathfinder Online's communicty could be having a conversation about and seeing such ideas breathe life into a virtual world game space:-

Fictional dragon fights aside, Martin addressed the impact Tolkien's meticulously detailed Middle Earth saga had on the world of epic fantasy, especially in regards to world-building. Martin suggested that the mythos, history and languages of Middle Earth — as detailed in Tolkien's posthumously published Silmarillion — was perhaps more important to the author than The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings books themselves. "Readers now expect a fully realized 'secondary world,' as Tolkien called it," Martin said. "So certainly that's what I set out to create in Westeros."

Though these days that doesn't always happen, Martin joked, saying that a lot of fantasy writers, himself included, don't start writing with a fully fleshed-out world in mind. While Martin said he built Westeros as he wrote his books, he also noted how important his rabid fans were in helping him realize his fictional universe.

[...]

Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it's not that simple. Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good. But Tolkien doesn't ask the question: What was Aragorn's tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren't gone – they're in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?

In real life, real-life kings had real-life problems to deal with. Just being a good guy was not the answer. You had to make hard, hard decisions. Sometimes what seemed to be a good decision turned around and bit you in the ass; it was the law of unintended consequences. I've tried to get at some of these in my books. My people who are trying to rule don't have an easy time of it. Just having good intentions doesn't make you a wise king.

[...]

The war that Tolkien wrote about was a war for the fate of civilization and the future of humanity, and that's become the template. I'm not sure that it's a good template, though. The Tolkien model led generations of fantasy writers to produce these endless series of dark lords and their evil minions who are all very ugly and wear black clothes. But the vast majority of wars throughout history are not like that. World War I is much more typical of the wars of history than World War II – the kind of war you look back afterward and say, "What the hell were we fighting for? Why did all these millions of people have to die? Was it really worth it to get rid of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, that we wiped out an entire generation, and tore up half the continent? Was the War of 1812 worth fighting? The Spanish-American War? What the hell were these people fighting for?"

[...]

Truth is sometimes hard to hear. Two of the central phrases are true, but they are not truths that most human beings like to contemplate. Winter is coming and Valar morghulis – all men must die. Mortality is the inescapable truth of all life . . . and of all stories, too.

Hopefully (not hypefully!) quoting Martin makes up for all the gibberish I've posted so far! Or paizo log off page: "If Someone Asks if You Are a God...". These "If Questions..." are what a game could be/should be built around if a method how to do so could be worked out?

Pulling this all back to Ryan's great GDD, that aks a lot of these questions of MMO Virtual Worlds that don't seem to have been done or pulled all together before in a more simulated imagining of what it would be like in such a world.

One area of the GDD that has to change to reflect Martin's final quote above: Mortality.

Goblin Squad Member

Coming back to World's Adrift for one final time, this presentation I think demonstrates how essential the engine platform can be depending on what type of game you are making:-

Develop 2015 Highlights Vince Farquarson, Bossa Studios

And in writing in this interview:-

Co-founder of Bossa Studios Talks Worlds Adrift

1. Tech platform is essential
2. Pick your battles: the sky probably helps with this game (less land to worry about).
3. Distribution of players appears to even so be an important way to manage the server on a single-shard persistent world.
4. A breathe of fresh air getting rid of the old tired tropes such as xp which don't necessarily fit the game or need to eg player-skill and player-knowledge instead.

Henrique Olifers, co-founder of Bossa Studios wrote:

“There are many, many reasons why MMORPGs were and still are not the “in” thing to do,” Olifers said. “Most importantly is the fact they’re all the same, going after the same players, doing the same things, just dressed up differently. Massive games that diverged from this formula like Eve or World of Tanks are successful in part because they’re unique and address their niche. Second to that is the fact it’s difficult to solve many game design challenges in massive multiplayer due to technical limitations.”

“This is where the Improbable platform comes in, removing from the equation issues such as sharding, instancing, non-persistency, server load and so on,” Olifers said. “It enabled us to create a truly unique MMO that has none of the tropes of MMORPGs, thus putting Worlds Adrift in its unique space, thanks to its unique design features. Internally, we don’t even call Worlds an MMO, as we force ourselves to stay away from all the established solutions and features.”

Traditional MMORPGs have been around for a long time, employing systems like leveling, choreographed events and scripted NPCs. I wondered if there was any risk in alienating the fanbase in making a game without all of these things. Olifers said that there would be a risk in not forgoing these things because there are a lot of companies doing traditional MMORPGs and a couple doing them very well. He went on to say that there was no need for Bossa Studios to walk into that space.

“What I can tell you, with my player hat, is this: once you are in a massive online environment where you can shoot an arrow — a physical arrow — that can be dodged by good reflexes or deflected by another object; when you can swing at an enemy from the top of a tree and push him from the edge of a floating island into an abyss; when a flying ship comes crashing down into the ground with parts flying all over the place and hitting players, taking down trees, leaving salvage behind in its wake… there’s no turning back.”

Goblin Squad Member

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Avena, dude, man, just say WoW clone, much clearer and everyone already knows that term. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

Gambit wrote:
Avena, dude, man, just say WoW clone, much clearer and everyone already knows that term. ;)

If it were a WOW clone, or a clone of just about anything else, it would have been more successful.

I wish Lee Hammock was able to just re-skin Fallen Earth, basically bringing most of its mechanics over.

* Crafting (rated 5th best of all time)
* Factions (PVP, Faction Based Skills, Faction Based Gear).
* Combat (melee, ranged and mounted)
* PVP (Voluntary Flagging, Zone Flagging, Faction Based)
* Gathering (Zone based)
* Not completely tab targeting, you still had to keep the target in
the target zone.
* Hit location for more damage and better protection.
* Full Loot

The graphics would have been about the same, circa 2009.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AvenaOats wrote:

THopefully (not hypefully!) quoting Martin makes up for all the gibberish I've posted so far! Or paizo log off page: "If Someone Asks if You Are a God...". These "If Questions..." are what a game could be/should be built around if a method how to do so could be worked out?

Pulling this all back to Ryan's great GDD, that aks a lot of these questions of MMO Virtual Worlds that don't seem to have been done or pulled all together before in a more simulated imagining of what it would be like in such a world.

One area of the GDD that has to change to reflect Martin's final quote above: Mortality.

What exactly do you mean? Caprica aside, I don't think you're going to find much traction to a game where your first death is your last. Eve Online succeeds very well despite the fact that players themselves are by game conceit, immortal.

The essential problem with Pathfinder Online was that the expectation was that the Players would provide the world with content via PVP, empire building and empire smashing, instead of going by the quest/storyline model of more traditional MMORGs, including D+D based Neverwinter, thus saving the need for heavy development. The approach WORKS for Eve, and it works well. Dancey clearly expected to import that model to Pathfinder. The problem being is that chugging through forests isn't as fun as flying starships.

Goblin Squad Member

@Gambit: Haha, good to see you have a sense of humor!

Yes, it needs more work, it's also interesting for other perhaps invisible reasons atm but that's no matter at all. Your humor is what wins out! Let's go:-

Here's the dilemma:-

1. Relevant to the discussion: Ryan rightfully discarded the Themepark concept of mmorpgs and went with Sandbox.
2. He unfortunately imo made a crtical error in taking "WOW" or conventional tropes of MMORPG as givens and hence building his vision from the GDD on those fundamentals.

Hence I tried to merge the 2 ideas: WOW + ENGINE. But to little avail. In the above talk by Vince from Bossa Studios, he uses the term perhaps that fits best: "PLATFORM".

Engine + Game Systems = Platform.

The conventional manifestation of mmorpgs is mixture/merging of both.

We could call it the "Conventional MMORPG Platform"? What suggestions do people think they can coin?

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
Gambit wrote:
Avena, dude, man, just say WoW clone, much clearer and everyone already knows that term. ;)

If it were a WOW clone, or a clone of just about anything else, it would have been more successful.

I wish Lee Hammock was able to just re-skin Fallen Earth, basically bringing most of its mechanics over.

* Crafting (rated 5th best of all time)
* Factions (PVP, Faction Based Skills, Faction Based Gear).
* Combat (melee, ranged and mounted)
* PVP (Voluntary Flagging, Zone Flagging, Faction Based)
* Gathering (Zone based)
* Not completely tab targeting, you still had to keep the target in
the target zone.
* Hit location for more damage and better protection.
* Full Loot

The graphics would have been about the same, circa 2009.

I don't know enough about Face Of Mankind to really comment, but I always did like Lee Hammock!

My own general opinion is that as per the idea of mmorpgs running with a "conventional platform" because of tech challenges and financial constraints... such potentially future shining lights such as:-

* Camelot Unchained

* Crowfall

I think have a good chance of being fun, but STILL being games that are just another mmorpg in a crowded genre where the players are ever more transient as more online options exist.

So even if PFO had the quality that these 2 will be able to open their mmorpg accounts with, it would STILL be a huge challenge even at that stage. Probably enough to be profitable? Maybe that is enough.

Whereas I look at Star Citizen or World's Adrift and I see some fundamental changes to the platform, they're Post-MMO games to use Vince's coined term. And on the basis of escewing the "Conventions of the Platform" they are technically accurate; not merely "marketing The Emperor's New Clothes" which fit remarkably like the old ones.

Goblin Squad Member

LazarX wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:

THopefully (not hypefully!) quoting Martin makes up for all the gibberish I've posted so far! Or paizo log off page: "If Someone Asks if You Are a God...". These "If Questions..." are what a game could be/should be built around if a method how to do so could be worked out?

Pulling this all back to Ryan's great GDD, that aks a lot of these questions of MMO Virtual Worlds that don't seem to have been done or pulled all together before in a more simulated imagining of what it would be like in such a world.

One area of the GDD that has to change to reflect Martin's final quote above: Mortality.

What exactly do you mean? Caprica aside, I don't think you're going to find much traction to a game where your first death is your last. Eve Online succeeds very well despite the fact that players themselves are by game conceit, immortal.

The essential problem with Pathfinder Online was that the expectation was that the Players would provide the world with content via PVP, empire building and empire smashing, instead of going by the quest/storyline model of more traditional MMORGs, including D+D based Neverwinter, thus saving the need for heavy development. The approach WORKS for Eve, and it works well. Dancey clearly expected to import that model to Pathfinder. The problem being is that chugging through forests isn't as fun as flying starships.

Imho, if you are making a game where combat is the core gameplay, then then trend is towards physical simulations via technical achievements that develop such engines that can handle this. If you're making tab-target combat games you're already making a game from 10yrs ago.

One of the reasons as per Ryan's post is it's tested to scale appropriately. Yet there's been evidence that mmorpgs with lots of combatants fighting at once is not merely a performance challenge but actually is not very exciting gameplay for players either aka "Zerg".

So imho if those considerations hold, then you have to make a choice:-

1. Is your game going to have combat as it's core gameplay system of player interaction? If so, then you got to go with the tech and try to focus on the quality of physical simulation for a number of players in a persistent space and work around group sizes that maximize that: Probably not that large a number of concurrent combatants I would guess?

2. Combat is sure popular. If you demote combat, then you must have something that's as or more compelling. I'd say social interaction systems above and beyond combat should be the focus of the MMO- game to create a virtual world: Not merely geography but psychological landscape. Now if you can come up with systems around that "somehow" (lol!!) it sure does scale a lot more conducively than 1. is capable of hence tab-target trade-off.

I think in such a reworking it would be possible to do something very different with mmorpgs and provide hence a very fresh experience.

To come to the question, it then makes perfect sense that life-death are not merely win-loss states from combat either PvE or PvP, but part of a spectrum built on a wider concept altogether:-

Quote:

This thing all things devours:

Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

It does remind me of Martin's other phrase: "Winter Is Coming".

Goblin Squad Member

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A point worth mentioning as above, one of the most superficial criticisms of PFO was that they took a coop TT game and turned it into a FFA PvP game.

You know if you looked at the sun "coming up" in the morning, sail across the sky all day from East-West and then "sink" under the horizon in the evening: You'd say exactly the same thing! And who could blame you? For millenia that's what it looked like, what it did repeatedly and hence "that's how it worked". Except it didn't.

If you remember one of the core reasons to emphasize PvP was:-

* Tab-Target PvE is "rubbish".
* And expensive

* Tab-Targe PvP is a little more interesting
* Much less expensive (or so it was hoped)
* The real jewel of PvP was not necessarily the elegance of the actual combat but the CONSEQUENCES and CONTEXT to it that made it hopefully in that oft used-phrase: "Meaningful!"

But the entire idea of Sandbox PvP is predicated upon the fact that Combat via a 3D avatar is the central gameplay interaction of the game and then over time more non-combat roles would pop up, probably as multi-alts.

Here is some of the most awesome potential that Ryan's wonderful GDD harbours. But the combat engine requirements for this "platform" were simply too trying both technically but also to market PFO as a PvP game also.

In the PFO forums this quote caught my eye:-

Honestly, the two biggest things that were not in this "MVP" were the basic UI stuff (tabbing through windows, being able to log in and out, etc.) and most of all better social and chat tools for player interactions.

Busy week, got a cold (not gold!) and Winter Is Coming: I'll try to write-up that infernal doc I keep prattling on about. Promises to keep...

Quote:
"Understanding the problems before starting on solutions."

I think we're really starting to understand the problems? If you thought that was hard, just wait until you see the solutions: Revolt and Revolution; there's bound to be blood spilt and civil war between "true believers" and "real believers"!!

The Exchange

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I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think the failure of Pathfinder Online to get off was not due to technology (although that did play a part) but even more inherently one of concept.

Let's be frank: MMORPGs already have to compete among themselves for customers. Pathfinder Online's problem from the outset was that it targeted itself towards the segment of potential MMORPG players who also had an interest in Pathfinder. Even though Pathfinder is a big name in tabletop RPGs, that particular segment of the market is still really tiny. Pathfinder as an RPG doesn't have the same amount of name recognition outside of the tabletop market as D&D does, and even D&D has struggled in the MMO market. While DDO and Neverwinter have both found their comfortable niches in the MMO market, neither really took the market by storm. If the biggest name in tabletop RPGs can't make it big in the MMO market, what hope did Pathfinder ever have?

And this really is the root of the problem: MMOs, whether themeparks or sandboxes, live and die with their community. Actually, I'd say that it's even more of an issue with sandboxes, because when you're given a wide open sandbox to play in, a lack of a large community only emphasizes the fact that the sandbox is actually just full of sand and doesn't have any toys in it.

There is potential in a sandbox MMO, but Pathfinder Online was always marketed towards Pathfinder players first and MMO players second. This is pretty clear when one looks at the Kickstarter rewards for Pathfinder Online's two crowdfunding runs: while some of them offered in-game benefits, there were also many things offered in those Kickstarters that were only of benefit to you if you were already invested in the tabletop RPG.

I mean, beyond the name Pathfinder, what did PFO offer to sandbox MMO players that other games weren't promising? The only big name attached to this game was that of Ryan Dancey, and most people outside of tabletop RPG circles only know him as that guy who worked on EVE Online for a while. There were no big names on display who had any credits for working on MMORPGs in the past, so what was there really on offer to the crowd who should've been the game's primary target?

Pathfinder as an intellectual property and a game has its strength in adventures with really well written narratives and a world that has really sparked the imaginations of tabletop players. Pathfinder Online leveraged none of those strengths, instead focusing on a wide and empty swathe of Golarion. It lacked all of the color of Pathfinder.

Given the fact that the potential market was already small enough as it was and the fact that the game never really leveraged the strengths of the IP it was based on, in hindsight it might have been better for Pathfinder's first foray into the video game market to have been a single-player RPG in the style of the classic Infinity Engine games like Baldur's Gate. Sure, they couldn't have been able to replicate the mechanics of the tabletop game one-for-one because of limitations in the OGL (and I would actually argue that this would've been a good thing, because simply copy-pasting tabletop RPG mechanics into a video game is actually dumb and bad), but that would've been secondary: Pillars of Eternity proved that you could make a game that felt like a spiritual successor to those games without aping all of their mechanics.

Or I don't know, I might just be talking out of my ass, I never invested in this game beyond checking the news on it for developments (man, that was a wild ride), and as I said, hindsight is 20/20, but everything about this project just seems really weird retrospectively.

Goblin Squad Member

Ratpick wrote:
I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think the failure of Pathfinder Online to get off was not due to technology (although that did play a part) but even more inherently one of concept.

Hindsight can be summed up very easily: It's use is looking only at the "the bottom line" which is summed up by a poster in the PFO forums:

We all know the MVP was not met for EE release and many feel that what the projected MVP set out may have not been enough. The undeniable fact however is that they had to launch the game to bring in the revenue to finish it. This I believe is where we where miss-sold this game.

The feeling for me is that the $1m kickstarter was hugely under priced. This game needed at least $3m but as I've said before, this game probably couldn't have generated that kind of funding.

Instead they took a gamble and speculated on those passionate about the game and pathfinder to back it through the last $2m. It didn't work and now we are waiting on a backer to fund it.

Coming back to the "reason", it's a systemic reason, not a discrete hierarchy reason as per:-

1) DESIGN

2) PLAN

3) ENGINE

4) GAMEPLAY

5) ART

That's merely order of derivation, not hierarchy. Namely, the design as fine, and the plan was brilliant (business plan) but the design hit a snag with the combination/interaction between ENGINE + GAMEPLAY = PLATFORM. Hence from that you had to go back to the Design what you're calling concept.

Ratpick wrote:
There is potential in a sandbox MMO, but Pathfinder Online was always marketed towards Pathfinder players first and MMO players second. This is pretty clear when one looks at the Kickstarter rewards for Pathfinder Online's two crowdfunding runs: while some of them offered in-game benefits, there were also many things offered in those Kickstarters that were only of benefit to you if you were already invested in the tabletop RPG.

Imo, you are mixing things up. Effectively GW knew they could lean on the Paizo community via rewards and incentives to fork out and thereby boost the Kickstarter.

Then it comes down to the feasibility of the "platform" as the above starkiller quote points out. And that's why I suggest a lot of the demands of that platform are art assets and then immense challenge to code combat that would be old-school anyway... all before you're even seeing any of the best of the GDD which imo the innovation was in the Kingmaker components. Choosing the conventional platform to THEN add those off was the problem hence given the feasibility of time/cost.

What you notice with Albion Online is that it's economy + everything based around the economy in terms of the gameplay.

They pulled what Ryan wanted to do with PFO off, using a simpler art asset or type of platform to represent the game.

Now looking at that, and asking would THAT really serve Pathfinder? I've got to admit, that again emphasizing combat seems to be the area that does a disservice still. UO was more of an RP experience interacting with the world. So how could that RP/virtual world representation of Pathfinder really be done?

Ratpick wrote:
I mean, beyond the name Pathfinder, what did PFO offer to sandbox MMO players that other games weren't promising? The only big name attached to this game was that of Ryan Dancey, and most people outside of tabletop RPG circles only know him as that guy who worked on EVE Online for a while....

That's definitely a huge advantage from hindsight we can see with Mark Jacobs (who incidentally did set 2m and then not "just enough for dev" but "enough plus investors and his own cash and ks" to fund full dev) or Lord British and their NAME and legacy fans of their previous games.

Looking at those successees the DEISGN had to do 2 things differently:-

* Emphasize Paizo Pathfinder Community 1st
* Not go after the PvP Combat mmo crowd - wrong crowd to go for to create a community based product with Pathfinder brand IP.

The Exchange

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AvenaOats wrote:

Looking at those successees the DEISGN had to do 2 things differently:-

* Emphasize Paizo Pathfinder Community 1st
* Not go after the PvP Combat mmo crowd - wrong crowd to go for to create a community based product with Pathfinder brand IP.

But that's sort of my point: compared to the sort of numbers you need to sustain a healthy MMO community the section of the Pathfinder community that is also interested in playing an MMO (nevermind the type of MMO) is really small. Even if you go after just the Pathfinder community there's only so many people in that community who really absolutely want a Pathfinder MMO, and those numbers are simply too small to sustain any kind of MMO community.

And that's pretty much the crux of the matter: no matter the technology or design you've got, it's pretty much nothing unless you've got the players. The sort of numbers that you'd need to sustain a healthy community in Pathfinder Online are simply unfeasible, especially since, as I said, Pathfinder as a brand does not have a lot of recognition outside of the tabletop RPG market.

Goblin Squad Member

Ratpick wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:

Looking at those successees the DEISGN had to do 2 things differently:-

* Emphasize Paizo Pathfinder Community 1st
* Not go after the PvP Combat mmo crowd - wrong crowd to go for to create a community based product with Pathfinder brand IP.

But that's sort of my point: compared to the sort of numbers you need to sustain a healthy MMO community the section of the Pathfinder community that is also interested in playing an MMO (nevermind the type of MMO) is really small. Even if you go after just the Pathfinder community there's only so many people in that community who really absolutely want a Pathfinder MMO, and those numbers are simply too small to sustain any kind of MMO community.

And that's pretty much the crux of the matter: no matter the technology or design you've got, it's pretty much nothing unless you've got the players. The sort of numbers that you'd need to sustain a healthy community in Pathfinder Online are simply unfeasible, especially since, as I said, Pathfinder as a brand does not have a lot of recognition outside of the tabletop RPG market.

Pretty much where I got to.

* Complete change in concept of mmo.
* Even reducing THIS down to a non-MMO but coop community type of experience for the Paizo community itself. A technology platform for the Paizo pathfinder products that happens to also be a game.

I look at World's Adrift eg the clouds and that looks really fun. It's all about physical simulations.

But Paizo, Pathfinder is all about story-generation for a community around a very malleable IP for this purpose. The more you look at story-generation the more exciting it becomes and the better and cheaper the fit to Pathfinder. I already noticed on the PFO forums ppl were attempting to write up stories... just goes to show.

The Exchange

Oh, so we're actually in agreement. Sorry, I had a bit of trouble parsing all your words. Hindsight-five!

Goblin Squad Member

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It's more that you have to go back to reconsidering the design/concept based on your intentions then working out the underlying of your intentions. What are they?

For me I have a vision of an MMO- but I think it's my vision and not shared enough - so far.

Hence to go back and work on the intentions that fits the Paizo community and build something different (not the usual isometric design of the NWN/Pillars genre) but something similar but different and new and extensible.

I did not make that clear so far, because I've been thinking of writing up the basis of it and posting it, if I get a chance (between a cold and variable work calls).

One of the keys is to create a world that is changeable and one that induces the creation of stories, their recording and then distribution amongst the community. That's the first step. And digital games already have some answers on those things to hand and for a lot less money. I don't honestly think the graphics requirement is nearly as high as Pillars goes for more as a product than as a service which I think is what is needed to match and merge with TT and to bring the TT another digital arena to game in/amongst their peers.


jemstone wrote:

I know I'm a broken record, here, but the open-world, PVP free for all model is not conducive to encouraging roleplayers or PVE players to get into your game. Running a game that is so heavily focused on FFA PVP is detrimental to the player base that PFO claimed it was trying to achieve.

That was a major mistake and I cannot for the life of me fathom why it was (and has remained) such a heavy focus of the game.

*Edited to Add*

I'm not decrying PVP. I'm simply stating that a free-for-all, non-consensual PVP game leads to griefing, and has been shown in numerous other games to actively discourage and disenfranchise people who want to play the game for its story and its content.

and yet there was almost no griefing.

But you are 100% right if you are suggesting that people's (even irrational) fears of being griefed cut into the population.


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Regardless of all this, I think that something more would have resulted had we not been asked to pay for what was basically a beta.

I understand why this was done. But it made it very, very hard to keep up enthusiasm. Everyone just ended up saying, "Screw it, I'll spend my money when the game works." And then everything went downhiller.

Goblin Squad Member

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Regardless of all this, I think that something more would have resulted had we not been asked to pay for what was basically a beta.

I understand why this was done. But it made it very, very hard to keep up enthusiasm. Everyone just ended up saying, "Screw it, I'll spend my money when the game works." And then everything went downhiller.

And once you start charging a subscription you are released - no matter how you may protest that it is 'early enrollment' and not a public release. Cue the reviews and the firestorm of criticism...

Goblin Squad Member

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We lost the Pathfinders with the PvP focus. Should have identified that as a clue. Making it possible to PvP was, I think, a right move. Making the game all PvP was a mistake, no matter how cost effective it looks on paper for paying players to be the content.

Goblin Squad Member

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Good to see you around Being! Miss the good community that was once here all looking for the future of storytelling.

=

There's merit in the MVP approach to a lean start-up and agile development with the customers. But as pointed out the valid status of MVP to the customers is crucial/vital.

On PvP, I think it was reliant too heavily on this will be fantasy-EVE and those players will fund the game atst as this approach was the most extreme way to alienate the core fans of the IP...

Hindsight and all.

But, actually it comes back to the deepest intentions. What are we actually trying to create?

For the Pathfinder IP it's very clear: Stories and Social Stories at that.

As I previously said the WOW Platform standard, that is a technical barrier that is imo unnecessary and leading away from story generation and leading excruciating standards of requirement for development and for market and for performance and indeed attracting the wrong crowd of mmo'ers not rpg'ers. All these made the MVP impossible under these conditions. So what conditions would MVP have worked for the design?

If a real solution was discovered or presented, how could we tell/recognize it?

The more interesting thing is however, the reaction that people might have to it. Do they see through it's new form and say "yes that will bring me the sorts of stories I crave!" or will they say, "I can't accept that that will immerse me in the world of pathfinder, I'm sorry it just does not work for me." ?

The measure might be how easy is it to identify possible stories that already could be played out in MVP, may be one way to approach recognizing a winning solution and it's subsequent relative ease with which further story types might be added/developed from that baseline.

Goblin Squad Member

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We could best tell if a real solution was discovered by playing it.

It is possible that the opportunity is now. If there is nobody there but us we could play as we prefer.

What would be missing, were we to try it, is the means of story-telling.

Now,storytellers have been gathering ears for millennia with nothing but a campfire. But what we are seeking is rather different. A story lived, virtually, varies from a story told.

The nut of a story is a conflict. We have a setting. We need characters. We need a conflict and a way to resolve it.

I don't think beating down a hex filled with whatevers quite fits that bill.

Is this the trail we seek, or a dagger I see before me?

(Ostentatious Shakespearean allusion provided gratis)

Goblin Squad Member

Ah I did actually forget how good you are with the pen! I secretly pride myself as "a bit of a word-smith" but then such golden illusion cannot be sustained when it comes into contact with the real thing! Hehe. Are you still writing, Being? What else?

Stories. I've watched great films. The Martian, Another Earth, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night etc, I've read some great books: Starship Troopers, The Man In The High Castle, The Forever War and more...

But I have not played and abandoned MMOs because I do not find great stories there.

There is conflict and that is one way of describing stories, nothing much news-worthy until a conflict happens that sets of an exciting chain of events.

I think what it comes down to is World.

And I think how to make a world in a compute game is Simulation.

This to my mind points the way. Maybe I can write this darn thing up tomorrow and get it off my chest.

Being wrote:
We could best tell if a real solution was discovered by playing it.

Yes indeed. But if we look at stories as our plan. We ideally need a template that suggests the best way of doing these in computer games to design around or based on before no doubt the solutions almost start working themselves out as you tread new ground...

That's the feeling I always got from the genre-making games of the 80's. They made it up as they went along and it sort of all came together - but it invariably was based on a great concept then trial and error fiddling.

Being wrote:
I don't think beating down a hex filled with whatevers quite fits that bill.

No, or if it does it is to a smaller market or a more competitive market. This is for me a "convention" now of the technology, the MMORPG Game Platform.

If you rip that up and remove it and create an entirely different platform... this is the new vision I would argue. Such concepts as "grinding" I think then do not apply or if there is grinding it's not how we know it.

The player themselves changes, the game creates the world and the player manages the story with the odd direct agency at the appropriate level, for example quests and the core pathfinder tt expectation. You just have to have something that apes this.

You know the old game Elite it was tiny, less than a modern email but it created so much story!


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Well as much as I'd love a 'pathfinder online' I won't allow PvP at my table - nor do I know of anyone that does.

Going back 30 years worth go gaming and the only thing that stands out to me are the numerous warnings and tales of how any PvP at any table inevitably led to the dissolution of that game group.

Playing online - all the way back to UO and Everquest - I couldn't stand UO and played EQ - even led a guild of 200ish people all the way to the gates of discord. Where we frequently fielded 75 people in a single raid. Out of the 200+ people that stuck with the guild and have moved on to other games - I only know of 1 that played open PvP games and liked them. Not a single other person did.

I know poeple who made grandmaster in WoW (when it was not easy to do) that can't stand open PvP. That and the PvP servers were always on the backburner in the biggest MMO ever made. Heck even UO ended up putting non-pvp areas into the game in an attempt to stave off the people leaving.

Perhaps there is a magic bullet that will someday make an open PvP game that will be immensely popular - but without a large budget to experiment on design to get it right - I don't see how that aspect of the game will help find an audience. I'm also unsure how much overlap there is between people who care about Pathfinder (the game and brand) that want open PvP - yes there is a small and dedicated fanbase for these types of games, however I'd think that trying to make a game based on Pathfinder would want to leverage Pathfinder fans, not MMO PVP fans - which is where I don't believe the zen diagram has much of an overlap.

This is why I avoided the game, and have no interest in it at all.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I can add some comments as a person who enjoys Pathfinder and MMOs but avoided the heck out of this game. Much of this will echo what's been said before.

The main thing that lost me was the PvP. I was super excited to hear about the game until I found out it was going to based on an EVE model. I admit that I don't know a lot of facts about EVE, but my impression is that it's a ganker/griefer paradise where you can't even finish the new player tutorial without being killed by a griefer camping the tutorial routes. I don't play on PvP servers because I want to be able tom experience the game without being murdered by immature high level players looking for kicks by putting down lower levels in one sided contests.

Now, you can argue that there are game mechanisms in place to prevent such things, but most potential players won't hear that argument. Many players hear "always on PvP" and are immediately reminded of UO or some other game where you couldn't even get started as a lowbie and they're done. You've lost them, and they are not even going to stick around long enough to hear your counterargument. I know at least 7 people personally that would have tried the game if it had been a PvE game.

As another point, I really couldn't figure out what made this game "Pathfinder." To me, Pathfinder is the game system and the adventure paths, and this game had neither of them. It just happened to be set in a particular region of Golarion, but with no connection to either the mechanics of Pathfinder or the themes of what is a fundamentally PvE tabletop experience, what am I supposed to connect to?

Goblin Squad Member

ryric wrote:
As another point, I really couldn't figure out what made this game "Pathfinder." To me, Pathfinder is the game system and the adventure paths, and this game had neither of them. It just happened to be set in a particular region of Golarion, but with no connection to either the mechanics of Pathfinder or the themes of what is a fundamentally PvE tabletop experience, what am I supposed to connect to?

This is one of my favorite things to discuss, I'm always fascinated by other folks interpretations and the reasons behind it. A lot of it I think comes from how you view, play, or were introduced to tabletop games. (Different is okay! Nothing can be everything to everyone.)

For me personally the intended design of PFO encapsulates Pathfinder and most tabletop RPGs pretty well. To me they're group storytelling systems with rules to resolve conflict. That conflict can be between players or with the GM via NPCs. The specific rules aren't that important and the setting is flavor and suggestive, not a hard fact.

Now that seems very heavily based on how I play TT: we always homebrew our adventures and regularly mess with the systems even if we love them. Pathfinder is our default d20 fantasy system right now, but we will play other game systems or even sometimes mix things (we recently did a Pathfinder + d20 BESM, Pathfinder Gestalt + Mythic, currently doing a d20 BESM + Pathfinder Feats). We never use the modules or adventure paths unless we're pulling a bit of content to pad an adventure. We usually treat the Golarion setting as an amorphous grab bag of ideas we can borrow or ignore as we desire. So to us Pathfinder is really just a vague collection of systems and ideas.

Ultimately this seems to translate to PFO being right up my ally: there will be a good amount of variety between PvE and PvP, there's supposed to be a lot of systems to interact with and play off one another, and it's got that flavor of a coherent setting without being too exact. It fits perfectly in my way of playing TT.

As an MMO player I personally just can't play Themepark MMOs anymore and if that's what PFO was, I wouldn't bother. Hell, I originally ignored the Kickstarter because I assumed it was!

So that's my interpretation and reasons for playing, hope it offers some insight.


While tabletop PvP is usually poor entertainment, PFO is based on PF's Kingmaker concept and that is going to be, by its very nature, competitive if each subscriber wants a chance/possibility to rise to power or influence a rise to power.

It doesn't lend itself to the everyone's a winner participation trophies PvE that most MMO players are used to.

That may have been a huge financial mistake.

But Eve Online's success suggests that with better execution, there is a mass market for a PvP oriented game, and that's a market that doesn't have to strive to be a WoW killer, like so many PvE games that fail or peter out after a year.

Goblin Squad Member

EQN Landmark is officially - DEAD!

Goes to show even a themepark sandbox is as challenging to pull off as a pvp style sandbox ala fantasy eve. All because of the MMORPG Conventional Platform I'd assert. Millions poured in, talent, the wishful or hypeful following of many leading to no result. It's been like this in mmorpgs forever (as far back as early 2000's iirc remember) and it's not going to change either to conclude... who's next? Carbine just axed 70 jobs (wildstar?). Crowfall will face problems and CU may feel like PFO ie 10 years ago style of mmo. Certainly it is doom-laden genre.

All the same old opinions as we saw with PFO more or less. PFO did well given it's budget to where it went. But it suffered as I say for the key reason...

Ckorik wrote:
Perhaps there is a magic bullet that will someday make an open PvP game that will be immensely popular - but without a large budget to experiment on design to get it right - I don't see how that aspect of the game will help find an audience.

There is no silver bullet as you probably guessed already. As I say, it's the MMORPG PLATFORM that has to change. If this happened, then for example you can square the circle that is otherwise impossible:-

1. You separate PvP from player death.
2. You include death as a part of life irrespective of violent death (what used to be called PvP but in the new form is not).
3. Death is a permanent end and beginning all in one and the player feels good about this.

All just become systems - no need for the enormous bloat that the MMORPG Platform creates. The big challenge is the network code to ensure that the world interacts with the players and the players interact with the world and each other.

PvP was always the old MMORPG Platform trope or convention to do that cheaply and effectively than the other out-moded convention PvE. Hence any time you talk in these terms you already multiple the future problems to come; even before you begin the old experiences repel the story rpg crowd and attract the wrong crowd hackers/exploiters/griefers etc.

ryric wrote:
As another point, I really couldn't figure out what made this game "Pathfinder." To me, Pathfinder is the game system and the adventure paths, and this game had neither of them.

The classic dungeoneering could very easily be added if you changed the MMORPG Platform. It was actually a module that could have been done very easily as an instance style addition if the graphics were a lot less demanding on asset creation. But for the main game ie world creation of Pathfinder,

Savage Grace wrote:
While tabletop PvP is usually poor entertainment, PFO is based on PF's Kingmaker concept and that is going to be, by its very nature, competitive if each subscriber wants a chance/possibility to rise to power or influence a rise to power.

Answers the question. The main game would be world creation in which you then make the modules for adventure paths/dungeons of classic style of party group experience. Personally I would have made these closer to Torchbearer ie survival-exploration at last 60% to 40% combat. With a reconception it's possible it would also be easier to make it more like a miniature version of the baldur's gate style props for story leading to the main course of hacking to the end boss showdown and reward.

But the Kingmaker was the key focus. It got swallowed by the MMORPG Platform (Game + Engine) outcome.

Duffy wrote:

For me personally the intended design of PFO encapsulates Pathfinder and most tabletop RPGs pretty well. To me they're group storytelling systems with rules to resolve conflict. That conflict can be between players or with the GM via NPCs. The specific rules aren't that important and the setting is flavor and suggestive, not a hard fact.

Now that seems very heavily based on how I play TT: we always homebrew our adventures and regularly mess with the systems even if we love them. Pathfinder is our default d20 fantasy system right now.

I've got a great idea or system that resolves the problem. The problem is that in pvp the player feels the zero-sum outcome too intensely and indeed the outcome zero-sum is too extreme and yet if it's not extreme it's not impactful on changing the world. Indeed PvP is too powerful a way for players to play to mess with other players: Huge motivator. In fact players should mess with others but not on their own terms necessarily or partly so!

People don't mind losing against the GM who should be modulating the challenge in service to rich story outcome. Risk should boost the richness if it's included either way.

One of the big problems is people also want to be the hero in a world of averages. This is a big problem few mmorpgs ever tried to solve, eve up to a point. If a system is created it has to solve this huge problem also, as big and connected to pvp and indeed informative on power bloat or inflation too of the world. With large numbers, comes proportion/ratio on all things so they fit the "ecosystem" which itself as per PFO must serve an economy which shapes players decisions into logical story enhancing choices.

The idea of endlessly sending hero-champs into a part of the world to attack players is absurd gameplay and story.

Goblin Squad Member

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Wow.

You know, as I necro myself back into the forum life, I have to say: the biggest reason I flopped my ass out of this game when I got access into it wasn't the graphics, wasn't the poorly implemented system, wasn't any of that.

For my two cents, it was just the emptiness. Not the lack of people but the plain emptiness of the whole thing. I knew it wasn't finished, as we all did, and I knew why we couldn't cram in a million little trees, but what it simply boiled down to was I could either live my life, get good grades in college, and not waste hundreds of dollars on an incomplete game, or I could sit around spending money on a glorious dream that has yet to see fruition. It is obvious by now which of the two won out (I believe I owe an apology to my elven compatriots who were expecting some druid help. On the bright side I got straight As in college that year). Further, as was mentioned before in this thread, this online game didn't, at the time, have that pathfinder feel to it at all. The Rappon Athuk tremor or the creative depth. It just felt generic mmo to me, except not as well implemented as some of the bigger ones on the market, and much more appealing in scope.

It really is wonderful to see all the old faces again, however, and to know you all still care about this dream. I leave you to your debate good sirs and madams.

quick edit to add in a little more of my opinion.

Goblin Squad Member

@BroaderZael -

Yup, but emptiness is not just visual, above all it's interactive. The great problem with the "conventional mmorpg platform" that so many have made is that visually they have to be incredible looking to sell to market to compensate for such lack of simulation. Notice UO had simulation galore and EVE via a sort of "spiral growth" of systems over time. I don't think PFO could activate that spiral due to the inherent "conventional mmorpg platform" not even if it spent 100m on it.

That said what is imo interesting about PFO is that the GDD that Ryan put together as a blueprint is mainly still very very strong. I noticed the first loss of coherence in it was the old capstone levelling issue and PvP issue and indeed the loss of the sort of D20 style of combat itself. The Kingmaker however was perfect except it needs a totally different platform to make it, which in turn WOULD (not could!!!) indeed resolve the previous inconsistencies.

So the merit in the GDD keeps the torch alight as it were.

Yes, I made similar choices; been studying too. The objective of an mmo-rpg for me is not a major lifestyle choice, it's simply to have a big world that has many player interactions and stories to pop in and out of. I think the philosophy to lure players back in or stress them to come back is not a good one even if there is commercial pressure to do so. I think it needs to be a social (not pressure) calling to come to the game most of all as well as a story curiosity to want to see what could happen next and to write the next chapter/saga in the players' own story impact on the world.


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AvenaOats wrote:
...one of the most superficial criticisms of PFO was that they took a coop TT game and turned it into a FFA PvP game.

Far from superficial, the criticism speaks to the core of the Pathfinder brand and consumer expectations.

When consumers who are familiar with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game see the Pathfinder logo, a few associations may come to mind:

  • d20 Ruleset
  • Character-based Progression
  • Group-based Co-op Gameplay
It does a tremendous disservice to Paizo, the Pathfinder brand, and to the open world PVP genre to maintain this inexplicable association.

The academic discussions about the MMORPG market and MMORPG design are interesting, but not particularly relevant to the topic, which is the insurmountable dissonance between the branding of this game and the content of this game.

If I had an open world PVP game, I would not choose a name like "Pathfinder" or "Dungeons & Dragons". Heck, might as well call it "Co-op Adventures" and immediately lose any appeal it might have to exactly the kind of game players I want to attract.

Product names and brand names mean something. Let's look at some PVP games:

  • Ultima Online
  • Mortal Online
  • Asheron's Call-Darktide
  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • Shadowbane
  • EVE Online
  • Darkfall Online
  • Crowfall
  • Age of Conan Unchained
  • Camelot Unchained
Without any coordination, except for the Camelot titles, the PVP MMORPG genre has formed an "implied brand" by word association. It's really very remarkable.

Now, I'm not suggesting they should change the game mechanics at all. I'm suggesting they should remove Pathfinder from the name and rebrand it. It's not my area of expertise, but I would recommend something like "Eventide" or "Shadow's Call".

If Paizo then decides that they want a Pathfinder branded video game, they can make something that more closely aligns with the brand and has a broader appeal to their existing market.

Finally, kudos to Bluddwolf for the best comment in the thread:

Bluddwolf wrote:
If it were a WOW clone, or a clone of just about anything else, it would have been more successful.

No truer words were ever spoken, or something like that.

Goblin Squad Member

1. Yes PF TT crowd was not the intended market hence the dissonance.
2. Irrespective the brand along with Tab-Target combat were merely a set of "knowns" to launch with and reduce risk from an already risky MVP plan.
3. The intended market was PvP crowd to build the game before the growth after 3yrs or more would lead to Themepark elements and expanding the market eg 20-50k target.
4. Once you go with Tab-Target etc you go with either PvE combat or PvP. Only PvP fit MVP development model. The risk of bad mouth from TT brand was acceptable risk to:-
5. Gap in the mmorpg market to get 1st mover adv and convert the old wow players (millions) to a more sandbox style of experience. That was the financial gamble rationale iirc going with MVP.
6. The conventional mmorpg platform proved to be the bottleneck that was too costly both technically at that budget but also market expectations are so high for the same old platform. eg ArenaNet spent millions on their combat and still really tedious.
7. Experience is what counts, the original sin of pvp or rule set servers is different approaches to solving that problem away from themeparks both seem to have failed (EQN) whereas Star Citizen appears to be working considering the money tells the bottom-line story best.
8. Agree you want to see those cores from PF in the game. The emphasis was right however Kingmaker, the platform was the problem making those 2 elements sunder.
9. Agree PvP crowd is the wrong crowd to make a mmorpg for and wrong for a story-centric mmorpg also.
10. IP/Brand if the game was successful would have opened up another market, but I think the best thing about Paizo is the story generation experience they have and that was not able to be utilized in the conventional mmorpg platform.
11. WOW clone may have had better word of mouth but above reasons precluded it, especially the financial investment calculation risk some but win big.
12. Digitally making the world of GOLARION for thousands of players then from that adding the PF specific slice. That would leverage the digital platform maximally for the brand.


AvenaOats wrote:


9. Agree PvP crowd is the wrong crowd to make a mmorpg for and wrong for a story-centric mmorpg also.

12. Digitally making the world of GOLARION for thousands of players then from that adding the PF specific slice....

9 - I disagree - I think the answer here is that no one has done PvP in an MMO correctly.

PvP in any game that has equipment or levels creates a very sharp 'sheep/predator' environment - where anyone who has had the chance to level up and gear up can prey upon someone who hasn't. Opening the game up to people who want that environment and letting them play first would never attract enough sheep to keep them happy.

No one likes being ganked. Pathfinder (the brand) has made a huge investment in re-designing the game to have a smooth 'CR curve' where if you look at an adventure path there is very little chance that a party will encounter a situation that is 'over level' for them - now things can happen and they TPK but that's because fate is fickle - not because they fought a CR20 dragon at level 2.

PvP in an MMO is always like that - every time you step out you run the risk of a CR 20 dragon at level 2 - because gear and levels mean someone out there who has nothing better to do will be looking to pounce on you. Some find that fun - most do not. So yes - niche market and all that. However the branding doesn't help in that regard considering Pathfinder is (IMO) the most 'carebear' rollplaying game that has ever been produced. They have gone out of their way with 'wealth by level' and 'cr' and even designing their own monsters with crappy feat choices to make them less dangerous in most cases than they otherwise would be.

Look at huge PvP successes and you see they are a) not level based, and b) not equipment based. Note here games like Call of Duty (which sell 10 million plus each release) are real successes - Eve Online is close but still niche. Again I won't say there is *no* design that could work for this - but player policing hasn't worked so far when tried and no one is willing to implement a system that would be close to draconian enough to discourage bottom feeding (such as kill someone CR 5 or more under you and you are KoS to any guard/NPC and possibly permadeath - which *might* be enough to discourage that kind of thing).

/my two cents.

Goblin Squad Member

Didn't they do away with leveled equipment, at least in the sense of many different types, and instead made it so that we would be glad of a +1 longsword, whereas a +5 longsword of kobold cleaving would be the stuff of every 16 year old boys fantasy dreams?

or did that not go into affect.

@AvenaOats

I agree. visuals and the like aren't what make the game. the people are. If this does get deemed a failure, I know most of us here would be willing to try again, if perhaps we are a little more cynical next time around then so be it.

People are what make this game. And I agree that the sort of people we need can't be bought in with pretty lights and neat videos (not say GW is doin that, just sayin)

Goblin Squad Member

@Ckorik : If you go with the Kingmaker core, then you remove a lot of the old tropes of mmorpgs:-

* Levels
* Immortality
* Change Identity
* Player agency
* Player interactions
* Community building

From that all the old problems; old game play are removed. Who knows if taking such an approach would be something players would find to different to what they would prefer? But it would actually be story-driven even if graphics would be very much less emphasized.

@BrotherZael :

It interests me that you can have stories in books or movies, then the TT shared story, so the idea of a digital large community, it is something interesting. Overall I believe that's what the original idea was all about but got lost in the technological implementation; the same old tropes from the conventional established mmorpg platform that works against that idea.

Goblin Squad Member

@ AvenaOats

Hi Avena. Nice to see you perched around still. :)

This Mythical Dream of the new MMORPG "platform", different from the ground up, could you describe exactly what you mean and how it would work or perhaps link to a previous post?

Thank You,
Bringslite

Goblin Squad Member

Problem is the "player created story" never happened.

There was fighting in game, and drama on the boards, though.
Was that the intention?

Ok, not the only problem. There were myriads.

Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:

Problem is the "player created story" never happened.

There was fighting in game, and drama on the boards, though.
Was that the intention?

Ok, not the only problem. There were myriads.

That is supposed to be exactly the story. Player/kingdom? conflict. A story for everyone involved and a story for everyone that watched or followed it. I suppose anything could be the story if looked at the right way. War is just one of the easiest canvases. Doesn't have to be RPed, but would be more neat if it was.

Goblin Squad Member

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If the story was kept in game, and not on the boards, definitely. If that story then affected NPC behavior, even more so.

There has to be more than just player conflict.

In Warcraft lore, you have Horde vs. Alliance, but that's not the entire story, or story to be had/experienced. And if that's all there was, it'd be pretty damned boring.


Bringslite wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Problem is the "player created story" never happened.

There was fighting in game, and drama on the boards, though.
Was that the intention?

Ok, not the only problem. There were myriads.

That is supposed to be exactly the story. Player/kingdom? conflict. A story for everyone involved and a story for everyone that watched or followed it. I suppose anything could be the story if looked at the right way. War is just one of the easiest canvases. Doesn't have to be RPed, but would be more neat if it was.

In Eve Online the story is the struggle between the various player groups for sector and resource dominance. That apparently, was going to be the model used here.

Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:

If the story was kept in game, and not on the boards, definitely. If that story then affected NPC behavior, even more so.

There has to be more than just player conflict.

In Warcraft lore, you have Horde vs. Alliance, but that's not the entire story, or story to be had/experienced. And if that's all there was, it'd be pretty damned boring.

My bolding. That is the key. The NPCs get affected and in turn things happen and other players get affected. Problem I see is that it would take one hell of an A.I. to make it random and with ongoing ripples and in no way static or "result 3b" out of 20 possible.

Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:

@ AvenaOats

Hi Avena. Nice to see you perched around still. :)

This Mythical Dream of the new MMORPG "platform", different from the ground up, could you describe exactly what you mean and how it would work or perhaps link to a previous post?

Thank You,
Bringslite

I probably did leave enough material on what it would be in some of my older posts, but given there's a lot of them and they're usually overly long (accused of being word salad worthy!) it's probably pointless to dig 'em up...

I really want to write it up in one place as GDD summary for concept, but with so much on my mind, I just need a clean slate and a lot of coffee and I can sit down and let the creative side of thinking pull all the strands together and get the 'dratted' thing done.

It's not something you can mention a few aspects of and people "get it". Has to be like a complete painting then you see it.

However an example of how radical a change:-

A huge never-ending demand and especially so for RP'ers as I often read is for what is so widely known as "character customization".

It's really important. But obviously it's really intensive on assets. So the solution is if your avatar is not heavily on the graphics then the solution for aesthetics is:-

A Portrait picture that you can customize dramatically. Secondly the customization is far more in the stats and range of stats covering many more categories per character. These stats in turn interact in a large range with the world. However they are not stats according to a power-curve! They are very different; though they are reduced to the specific career that the character tends to specialize as. But they would change according to the story and in turn input into the story. This is a major thing to add: A recording of actions and events engine and then extend it's functionality to "narration flow" with the player inputting too.

Now the key is that the customization and stats work not for power but for story like this:-

http://piecomic.tumblr.com/post/139983483267/tbt

And the solution? Is player choice not player complete agency. So how do you resolve the linear choice? Simple! All those parallel worlds choices are rooted in time. The beauty of the path taken is the fact all the other paths were not and that is the life chosen, the story told.

I will write it up some time...


Kryzbyn wrote:


There has to be more than just player conflict.

Player conflict can provide all the story and drama you'd ever absolutely want and then some. The really big battles and the major tracheries of Eve Online can make it into mainstream news because of the sheer amount of player resources on the line.

The problem with Pathfinder Online is that in it's current state of development it simply doesn't scale the way Eve does. PFO is trying to map a galaxy-wide paradigm down to the size of a very small slice of the River Kingdoms.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes those group sizes combined with player agency, that's not how I see the story of a radically different game being best served as above, the issues of zerg-pvp takes over.

I think it would be great to see really interesting stories: They might be brutally violent or they might be intricate and fantastical exceeding players' expectations and so on but all players being really compelled by the stories the characters develop.

What it seems is that players believe interactivity is the way to directly experience these stories in mmorpgs, that I think may come about more with those virtual headsets where you are/the character is swinging that sword lopping off goblin heads; the approach I suggest is more about producing interesting written story and relations feeding into that zigzagging linear narrative formed.

PFO idea of careers was one of it's best ideas. Imagine that instead of the boring avatar running around, you free up the player to concentrate on the interesting things, not the manual and mundane that you get so much of with the tab-target conventional mmorpg platform experience.

Goblin Squad Member

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Now that I have divested myself from the game, I looked back at some of my earliest posts going back over 3 years ago.

Germaine to this discussion, all I can say is.... Damn if they only made the game they described in the blog posts!

The early ideas of the flagging system, were what really sold me on the game. Unfortunately, they never really got the PvP system right, it was never open enough and just far too limiting and without risk or reward.


PvP wars would have been better, if PvP actually led to anyone becoming stronger.

The Forever War only occurred because of enmity between player groups dating back to accusations of cheating during Land Rush BEFORE THERE WAS ACTUALLY A GAME.

There is no in game incentive for conflict (or it isn't strong enough to work), so the vast majority of conflict occurred in one long grudge match where people's participation has actually been DETRIMENTAL to them becoming more powerful in the game.

Conquerors need something of value to conquer.

Such a design is a double edged sword though because making anything valuable enough to bother conquering will be tricky without also making the game even more blob friendly than it is now.

Goblin Squad Member

Who gets to play Zordekai?
How could that even happen in PFO? How could any of the other cool stuff that is in Golarion's history be done?

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:

Now that I have divested myself from the game, I looked back at some of my earliest posts going back over 3 years ago.

Germaine to this discussion, all I can say is.... Damn if they only made the game they described in the blog posts!

The early ideas of the flagging system, were what really sold me on the game. Unfortunately, they never really got the PvP system right, it was never open enough and just far too limiting and without risk or reward.

It's great to hear some of the community voices again! A good community and I think most were all looking for the quality stories that pathfinder provides?

The flagging was very important. Now imagine flagging not just for pvp but all sort of range of things "the characters" will tend to do, not do and so on?! Now we're getting somewhere.

Of course the effort on the flagging had to be one of the major systems (behaviour or methods) that was much more priority and for that a price has to be paid: Graphics much less prioritized.

This is where the whole thing fell into a financial hole.

The funny thing is the people who said you could not have pvp would have seen something that they would have accepted that was not pvp but was story through pvp as natural as any other such action.

=

The other thing you realize from SWG's is that a lot of story generates from players who experience on the edge of what is possible, what they know of the game systems ie they do something very rare or even "first" not for competition but because they're doing what they do and something unexpected happens that generates a huge story gold result.

With this, a system that devs can tamper and tinker with and unveil over time different things as they're "discovered" and developed.

One area this comes to is, given enough time, does technology, a body of knowledge grow? If so, could catastrophe "lose" such knowledge?

Goblin Squad Member

I hate to be that guy, could someone, perhaps avena or bludd, give me a quick PM to recap me on just what the hell happened between release and now that caused "blob-friendly", "financial holes", "Ryan being fired", etc. that is the PFO as it exists now.

My own fault for being outa the loop but... well even links to relative articles would be sweet xD.

edit: maybe even relevant articles too!

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