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


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

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.

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Yes, I do about 90%. I think if you want a reason why the game did not make it as hoped, the 10% is the reason and that's as it is with all things at the cutting edge, fine margins in sports, wars, inventions etc.

A great great deal of this work was good and better than good, imo.

However the first big problem was from day 1 the lack of reconciliation between two essential but disparate markets:-

1. Paizo TT market
2. MMORPG PvP market

I never understood the writing off of 1. even if the idea of sandbox required PvP which I fully understand.

The second big mistake was the WOW ENGINE converting the design into the actual ENGINE, it turned it into something not fresh as well as ensuring the budget was x10 larger than necessarily and the tech problems x10 more challenging as a function of spreading the game design so thin. This realization was where it seemed to me the real strength in Ryan's design was never actually going to be realized at the pace of development using such an engine to represent PFO.

Given it won't change now, the assets and code have a market value potentially to publishers that could be valued investments, so that makes sense.

However if the Pathfinder IP is to become a digital social online game, I'm going to write up a game design doc that more or less takes a lot of Ryan's design but wrap it up in a new form. In fact the more I've thought of this new form the less and less it resembles the MMORPG form at all... but building off a young current genre elsewhere entirely with online elements very similar to mmo-.

The exercise here is simply to advance the online social gaming possibilities.

Enough waffle "i know best" from me, until next that is. The main thing is to provide my sincere if flawed feedback and to wish the Paizo/GW crew the best and thanks for their efforts.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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I agree with the general direction he made us believe, he was setting. Absolutely not with the actual direction, he set.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
I agree with the general direction he made us believe, he was setting. Absolutely not with the actual direction, he set.

Agreed. It is always easier to talk the talk, rather than walk the walk.

Goblin Squad Member

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I thought I would poke my head back in and see what was going on after getting the email. Sad to see things have panned out as they are now and I wish Paizo and PFO the best going forward, but while I supported both Kickstarters with a couple hundred dollars; the focus on PvP and not actual Pathfinder MMO style RPG turned me away and I never even loaded anything on the PC. Too much of a Carebear from way back.

Good luck all going forward.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Back in the day when Dancey bought the Living City campaign from RPGA, the first thing he did was to tell us players that he was trashing the City of Raven's Bluff, and move the campaign 20 years in the future where we started all fresh characters.... in jail.

Things went rapidly south from then on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So what happened exactly?

Goblin Squad Member

Here's the blog post Lisa put up on the Goblinworks website:

https://goblinworks.com/blog/lisas-community-address/

Basically, the potential investors pulled out and cash flow went to almost zero so all but the skeleton crew staff was laid off. Lisa Stevens, CTO Mark Kalmes, Art Director Mike Hines and Designer Bob Settles are the only remaining staff while new funding is sought. Patch 10.2 is in the can and ready to deploy, Patch 11 is largely complete and ready to test, and after that they will be winging it.

Have had fun, and hope to keep the social aspect as I love the group that has coalesced here. We shall see what happens.

Goblin Squad Member

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I read the email. but I don't remember seeing the part about potential investors pulling out.

As I have said from the beginning, I think the tilte Pathfinder Online has been extremely misleading - there is little of Pathfinder the ruleset in PFO - rather I have argued that it be called RKO - River Kingdoms Online.

Now there has been some debate that the ruleset of Pathfinder could not be emulated due to the restrictions of the OGL perhaps - I'm not exactly sure. But whatever the problem was, the turning away of the TT segment of PF fans has both amazed and frustrated me. I really like PF, the tabletop game, and would pay actual money to play Pathfinder Online in or more truly, something akin to Neverwinter Nights - as I have stated before, maybe even a Pathfinder Offline version of PFO with quests, interaction with all the wonders of (at first) a section of Golarion (hopefully something more interesting than the prosaic River Kingdoms of hills and grass), ability to choose from PF character classes, modify an avatar etc...

I have never beeen able to grok PFO, with it's outwardly appearing incredibly arcane class and leveling system, or ensemble events like Land Rushes, Wars of Towers etc - it has all been incredibly esoteric to a tabletop roleplayer such as myself.

If the original game had cleaved much closer to Pathfinder rather than being aimed at MMO folks I wonder whether I would be playing it now and championing it to other folks, rather than seeing this happen, which is what I fully expected to happen almost with every update calling for more players and offering deals to entice more players and for existing players to recruit more players etc.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Without a doubt the biggest mistake happened on day 1 of the second kickstarter

The kickstarter goal should have been set at 3m not 1m and the MVP (minimum viable product) we have now should have been more complete. Its likely though, that at that price the game would never had been put into development.

Over the past 9 months the devs have been trying to follow a release goal but that has been hampered by the demands of the players already in the game.

The game will eventually feel like Pathfinder, it will have the lore and PVP will work alongside the non-PVP. But we have none of that now because its far too early in development.

I backed this game knowing this to be the case but even I was surprised by how early the games state was at the beginning of Early enrollment. They needed subs to finish what they started and this brings me back to the kickstarter - the budget and grandness of this project has been its downfall.

I do think Lisa is doing the right thing approaching some gaming publisher to take on PFO and I hope they get someone while the community is still behind this project. If they have to shut down for a year there will likely be nothing worth coming back to. Better just starting over with a new plan.


Audoucet wrote:
They should make a third KS, I'm sure there would be enough stupid people to give them a couple million dollars more.

Is someone who knowingly supports a high risk project because he can spare some money instead of spending it on beer and chips for a few sessions "stupid"? Is someone who can afford to spend some of his own money and wishes to support the project even if he does not believe it will succeed stupid? That was rather disparaging and uncalled for remark.


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Audoucet wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
They should make a third KS, I'm sure there would be enough stupid people to give them a couple million dollars more.
Is someone who knowingly supports a high risk project because he can spare some money instead of spending it on beer and chips for a few sessions "stupid"? Is someone who can afford to spend some of his own money and wishes to support the project even if he does not believe it will succeed stupid? That was rather disparaging and uncalled for remark.
No it was not. I gave 1600$ to them, I would be stupid to give more.

It was your call, your choice, and your right because those were your money. And you can call yourself stupid anytime you want. If you spend that $1600 not understanding that this is a work in progress and it might fail failure due to various circumstances then your self-judgement might be appropriate but do not extend this judgement to others in the future whose motives and decision process you know nothing about.

Quote:
And if you want to make stupid comparisons with the use of money, I can be even more hypocrite and tell you to give it to the poor sad innocent little syrian refugees.

1. The only "stupid comparison with the use of money" here is your reaction: to my complaint that you disparage others about how they might decide to spend own their money by making assumption they won't give a good consideration about that choice, your respond with telling me how to spend my money. There is rather big difference between defending choices of others and telling others what to choose.

2. You last jab fails anyway because I will be giving some of my money to said "sad innocent little Syrian refugees" via my taxes.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm pretty sure I'm right...

1. As it's a social online game, GW had to use it's core fanbase of paizo peeps to "buy-in" first. Yet this set at odds with the mmorpg niche which was:-
2. mmorpg ffa/ow pvp.

And from experience 2. crowd are mission impossible. I mean, the tech itself is infernal for mmo- dev but then you have to design social cooperation and competition structures that these players with economy are highly motivated to get around. The only thing keeping them happy is if the tech and game polish are really really high for their pvp harvests and conquering - which was impossible as combat as per GW2 spend huge amounts still for players to criticize it.

Then the WOW ENGINE. Cost to dev scope to quality over time.

In fact from all the above, MMORPG is not the right approach at all.

That engine requires too much hard work on all the froth and fluff and not enough on The Player's Mental Model Of The Game.

Goblin Squad Member

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
As I have said from the beginning, I think the tilte Pathfinder Online has been extremely misleading - there is little of Pathfinder the ruleset in PFO - rather I have argued that it be called RKO - River Kingdoms Online.

You're very close. The best (and really really good) bits in Ryan's design doc wer not Pathfinder TT but Kingmaker Campaign:-

* Economy
* Kingdoms
* Armies
* Buildings
* Wide Society of Roles

The bits that dragged PFO down:-

* Combat tab-target
* animation bar is extremely high for 3d WOW avatars
* Multi-class skilling never squared the circle of PF Classes eg capstone
* Networking must have been a huge huge challenge for a single-shard server.
* Open PvP gave it a terrible press it was always working against

etc there's a lot of "magic" in Ryan's Design docs but the translation due to the WOW Engine was the culprit. Ryan took that as a market given and that was the big flaw. But he knew at >million it was already risky to make an MMO. So I guess if he could have gone back to the plan and cut it down again !! Yes, that may have reevaluated the entire MMORPG shape or form for his wonderful design ideas and THEN it might have translated more easily as well as perhaps unifying some loose-ends with that huge assumption squashed opening creativity and finding "going with the grain" not fighting it suddenly materializing?

Goblin Squad Member

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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. I used to own Warsong Gulch in World Of Warcraft, and I enjoyed doing so. What I did not enjoy was unrestricted PVP and the players that pushed for it so heavily. New players need a safe environment to get used to the game and enjoy the content. The direction that was set for PFO was not and is not a direction that provides that safe environment.

Saying "we won't have the same problems in our game because we're smarter" isn't enough. If you follow the same formula as the other games that have had this problem, you are going to have the same problems. Their mistakes should be a warning sign, not a welcome mat.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Removed some posts. Posting constructive criticism or concerns is fine, but posts made solely to bait others in the conversation/escalate the conversation, including pejoratives for other gamers, and racist commentary are not acceptable.

Goblin Squad Member

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I've been playing the TT game for years now, have shelves of the books, played a bunch of the adventure paths and I'm not certain where even a tiny grain of PVP inspiration comes from.

I kill a random townie, the guards and the watch arrest me. Some random player kills me, the guards and the watch should grab him.

Seems like we ought to be off killing Goblins and Demons and taking their loot.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm sorry this happened. Even though what PFO became isn't what I pledged for, I hoped that it would succeed merely for the Paizo name's sake. It seems now that it's not to be.

Goblin Squad Member

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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

Captain Marsh came in with some valid questions and Ryan and the fanboys treated him like dirt. Lisa came in at the end and attempted to salvage the situation, but this is when she should have sacked him.

Captain Marsh hit it on the head when he said this:

"... In my business -- which I admit is not running a RPG company -- whenever someone demands your silence it's a marker.

It's a warning sign. It means that more conversation, not less, is warranted.

This is a company's website. But part of the business model is that it's also a community.

So quit hectoring and demanding that people respect your agenda. Converse, talk, listen.

If other members of your community are worried by something -- even if it's something that doesn't worry you -- respect that ..."

You fanboys who demanded everyone's silence who didn't agree with Dancey's grand plan are just as much to blame for this disaster. You enabled Dancey. You should hang your heads in shame.

Goblin Squad Member

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Just to be clear - I'm less concerned about griefing and PVP than I am about a distinct lack of Pathfinder ruleset emulation, which I feel would greatly aid in enabling TT-players to swing across and PFO players to try out TT PF.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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I will say that I passed on the game completely because of the non-negotiable non-consensual PvP. I didn't get past that hump to any other aspect of the game.

Goblin Squad Member

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And I have a lot of empathy for that. I didn't even get to that because of the lack of Pathfinder in PFO.

If there was PF, and then there were dedicated places to avoid the ganksters and enjoy the realm, that would be even better.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

The only places where you could were starter zones, which I feel was a mistake as well.

Ocenashieldwolf - I get where you're coming from, I want to say that I was addressing the question in the OP, not you directly at all. Sorry I wasn't more clear on that front.

Goblin Squad Member

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He tried to create EVE with swords and spells, and it just didn't work out. I would have been much more interested in a PVE focused cross between EQ and SWG (still the best sandbox MMO ever created) that captured the feel of playing D&D/Pathfinder in video game form. As it stands now, I kinda regret backing the KS (have for a long while actually).

Goblin Squad Member

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Chuck Wright wrote:

The only places where you could were starter zones, which I feel was a mistake as well.

Ocenashieldwolf - I get where you're coming from, I want to say that I was addressing the question in the OP, not you directly at all. Sorry I wasn't more clear on that front.

I understood Chuck. It's all good. I just wish we were talkin about something we did want to play. I currently play NO games on my computer on- or off-line, (apart from PbP's here...) but I would play a true PF, first person graphic experience, and I'm betting a lot of TT PF fans would too. Heck, even Steve Geddes had an account! ;)

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

Gambit hits it. Ryan Dancey worked at CCP, where EVE Online is a pretty successful thing. It's a very niche thing-- it never had the numbers of WoW. But it has been pretty steady for years. Sometimes there are near player revolts as CCP makes bad decisions, but they've weathered through it.

I haven't played PFO, but reading Lisa's blog posts and such, it was pretty clear that PFO was trying to be EVE Online "Onnn Theeee Grouuuunnnd". I can only speculate how it came to that, but I suspect Ryan Dancy thought that EVE Online had a pretty interesting model and an interesting game. The fact that player actions do really change the political landscape of the entire game world is pretty interesting. (I haven't played EVE in a couple of years now, but my understanding is that they're even starting to integrate some player lore with the background game lore. Charles White is a guy at JPL who also plays EVE, and who has become influential within the NPC Amarr empire. Previously, it was just the "nullsec" alliances -- the parts of space not controlled by the NPC empires -- the "River Kingdoms" of EVE online wouldn't be a bad description -- that PCs influenced.)

I next speculate that there was an unfortunate perfect storm. Pathfinder had been on the rise and had become the market leader RPG. It had its own world, Golarion, which is huge and diverse. Ryan Dancey wanted to do an EVE Online fantasy style, and saw this world as a possibility. Paizo was intrigued by the notion of an MMO. But it was an unfortunate perfect storm, because as many have noted, the whole "EVE Online" approach to gaming is nothing like the sorts of stories that people who play Pathfinder are really interested in playing. People that interested in PVP are more likely to be playing something like Warhammer. And, so, there was this problem that the target audience of PFO turned out to be a tiny overlap on the Venn diagram. It just wasn't really Pathfinder at all, not the way most people play Pathfinder. I think this made it sort of doomed to fail, even without the other complaints we've heard (the game just not being very playable, the extremely out-of-date graphics, the fact that it was underfunded by at least an order of magnitude compared to what it takes to get a new MMO of the magnitude they were after going, etc.) It suffered from a conceptual flaw from the word go.

Honestly, if you like PFO, and want that sort of game, I strongly suggest you check out EVE Online. Yeah, it's spaceships rather than swords and spells, and that may not be your thing. But if you do like that thing, the mechanics get at a lot of what PFO does. I suspect it's done better as well. If you're interested in crafting and selling and "market PVP", there is "high sec" in EVE where you're not likely to be ganked at any time. From what I've read, I'm not sure PFO had that; it sounded like, with small exceptions, they were implementing only the nullsec part of EVE.

Also, honestly, I think that Paizo would be making a mistake to sell PFO off to another game company. PFO's very conception isn't a good idea. By selling the license, though, they might be limiting themselves as to where they could sell the license for Pathfinder or Golarion, and somebody else might well be able to make a video game that fits Pathfinder far better. I honestly think the best decision at this point is to say, hey, we tried, it didn't work, let's learn what we can from it, let it die, and move on.

The Exchange

Andas wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
I agree with the general direction he made us believe, he was setting. Absolutely not with the actual direction, he set.
Agreed. It is always easier to talk the talk, rather than walk the walk.

I'm personally finding it hard to believe that the self-described Steve Jobs of MMO marketing had such a hard time marketing his product to the MMO audience. :(

Goblin Squad Member

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Coming back because of the email. The only reason I backed the kickstarter was because of Paizo and Pathfinder. I was hoping that at some point a balance between what Paizo fans wanted and what the hard core MMO PVP crowd wanted would be achieved.

The game undeniably catered to the hardcore PVP crowd. Non consensual PVP was a huge mistake in my opinion. Every time this was brought up we were told to shut up and go play something else. I disengaged from the conversation and never looked back. Indeed only the resent email reminded me that Pathfinder online existed.

I wish goblin works and the Pathfinder online community best of luck in the future.

Goblin Squad Member

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:-

1. Lean start-up budget = Middleware + Kickstarter + Strong Brand (+ good marketing hehe)
2. Needed a lean Game-Design too = Sandbox PvP (because that's what a whole host of crowdfunding etc games are doing too!).
3. At first there very much is/was a market for pvp and one sold as eve or game of thrones (even better tbh as Crowfall has blatantly done).
4. IF this took off and funded dev for several years: Guess what? Much more PvE content would have been added which is expensive but the game would have been funding it.

So to say it was a terrible idea to go for PvP is imho not the problem. The problem was not being able to use the fanbase of TT and not use the WOW ENGINE. by USING the WOW Engine it would have been possible to develop a game design model based around the good bits from Kingmaker. By not using the original fanbase, you kill half the inherent initial interest which are the most vulnerable bits of the project life-cycle.

For example, the good design of a beasts of burden with mules is a great idea, but it looks like there was a lot of technical issues to make this type of gameplay work and be fun. It certainly took too long to get into the game via implementation hurdles than knitting the entire game together design reasons. This type of feature could have been huge for the economy of the game for example and fed many other game systems wonderfully eg breeding mules on farms role, bandit role etc using various Rule Systems.


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Just to be clear - I'm less concerned about griefing and PVP than I am about a distinct lack of Pathfinder ruleset emulation, which I feel would greatly aid in enabling TT-players to swing across and PFO players to try out TT PF.

Besides the concerns with licensing issues of use of d20 mechanics in computer game, the problem is that d20 is terrible mechanic to use in non-theme park game because of its power progression escalation and progression steps, especially with PvP present. Making a non-theme park mmo requires building a new game mechanic from scratch anyway because nothing remotely resembling d20 mechanics will work for such purpose - either the power escalation will be too great for MMO where players are supposed to develop their characters for a few years, or the advancement will be too slow to generate positive feedback of feeling progress, which is important factor for an MMORPG's success.

I would prefer greater stress put on the lore and rich world but that is not exactly in line with the initial idea that the players should be primary source of content (which I personally strongly dislike and which disinclined me to the Pathfinder quite early).


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rknop wrote:

Gambit hits it. Ryan Dancey worked at CCP, where EVE Online is a pretty successful thing. It's a very niche thing-- it never had the numbers of WoW. But it has been pretty steady for years. Sometimes there are near player revolts as CCP makes bad decisions, but they've weathered through it.

I haven't played PFO, but reading Lisa's blog posts and such, it was pretty clear that PFO was trying to be EVE Online "Onnn Theeee Grouuuunnnd". I can only speculate how it came to that, but I suspect Ryan Dancy thought that EVE Online had a pretty interesting model and an interesting game. The fact that player actions do really change the political landscape of the entire game world is pretty interesting. (I haven't played EVE in a couple of years now, but my understanding is that they're even starting to integrate some player lore with the background game lore. Charles White is a guy at JPL who also plays EVE, and who has become influential within the NPC Amarr empire. Previously, it was just the "nullsec" alliances -- the parts of space not controlled by the NPC empires -- the "River Kingdoms" of EVE online wouldn't be a bad description -- that PCs influenced.)

I next speculate that there was an unfortunate perfect storm. Pathfinder had been on the rise and had become the market leader RPG. It had its own world, Golarion, which is huge and diverse. Ryan Dancey wanted to do an EVE Online fantasy style, and saw this world as a possibility. Paizo was intrigued by the notion of an MMO. But it was an unfortunate perfect storm, because as many have noted, the whole "EVE Online" approach to gaming is nothing like the sorts of stories that people who play Pathfinder are really interested in playing. People that interested in PVP are more likely to be playing something like Warhammer. And, so, there was this problem that the target audience of PFO turned out to be a tiny overlap on the Venn diagram. It just wasn't really Pathfinder at all, not the way most people play Pathfinder. I...

I am pretty sure that there is a great potential for EVE Online-style sandbox fantasy game and I think it could succeed quite well, if marketed as such to the right audience. It would probably have to be done by a bigger company with budged already secured, though, to offer the first players more developed game.

Goblin Squad Member

The vision of the game presented during the kickstarter was an extremely inaccurate picture of the game. Weather the game as it stands now was Ryans vision, or what we ended up with based on monetary, software, hardware or time limitations is unknown.

There was so much left to the backers imagination during the kickstarter phase that the project never had an honest chance.

I do not think anyone can honestly say that when they read the 1-2 paragraph description of characters and skills during the backing phase they system that was ultimately implemented is what they pictured and hoped for in there head.

I know what I pictured them describing as MVP and ready to start charging subscription fees is still somewhat farther along then the game is right now.

I would like to see the game survive and grow to the point I expected it to be at the MVP release as I think under proper leadership, i.e. just about anyone but Ryan, it could be a game worth playing.


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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:-

1. Lean start-up budget = Middleware + Kickstarter + Strong Brand (+ good marketing hehe)
2. Needed a lean Game-Design too = Sandbox PvP (because that's what a whole host of crowdfunding etc games are doing too!).
3. At first there very much is/was a market for pvp and one sold as eve or game of thrones (even better tbh as Crowfall has blatantly done).
4. IF this took off and funded dev for several years: Guess what? Much more PvE content would have been added which is expensive but the game would have been funding it.

So to say it was a terrible idea to go for PvP is imho not the problem. The problem was not being able to use the fanbase of TT

The PvP was one of the main reasons why the project was less than appealing to significant part of the fanbase. The second one was not using d20 rules, but using d20 rules or close approximation of them would make the PvP and sandbox aspects unplayable making it a lose-lose scenario.

Goblin Squad Member

If it were more like pre-NGE SWG (or even post would be better than what it is...) I think it would have been more successful.
SWG had almost everything this game was promising, except open PVP all the time.

Goblin Squad Member

I think the Crowfall game is going to do what Dancey intended with PFO, and do it far better and more successfully. Not a game I am personally interested in, but it will be interesting to see its final product.

Goblin Squad Member

You have good thinking Drejk. I can stitch together you useful thoughts.

Drejk wrote:
I would prefer greater stress put on the lore and rich world but that is not exactly in line with the initial idea that the players should be primary source of content (which I personally strongly dislike and which disinclined me to the Pathfinder quite early).

YES. What EVE is and should be called is a Simulation of a type of Virtual World. The sandbox moniker is too broad. It's more rigid basic rule-set that then allows emergence from players actions within those systems. This is an excellent problem for a computer to solve and indeed MMO- should be a good problem too to network 000's in the same game concept.

Again, I think the Scale of Kingmaker fits this. Really there needed more bravery to not go for the WOW ENGINE graphics. To create an area of Golarion and the River Kingdoms with Seasons, Weather, growing food and long production cycles and steady building. All this was planned but the WOW ENGINE made it a huge huge task for the devs to do.

Drejk wrote:
the whole "EVE Online" approach to gaming is nothing like the sorts of stories that people who play Pathfinder are really interested in playing

1.2002

2. Sci-Fi ships
3. Space

I guess all those helped EVE and did not help PFO. The problem I've found and you even find it on this excellent community is that the pvp mmo gamers are extremely aggravating to each other and to anyone else. It's just how they do things and they like the fact "Might Makes Right" because it's extremely hard evidence of some form of superior gameplay and that STATUS through JUST TRIAL does possess a certain "je ne sais quo" that is indeed quite appealing if you boil off the posturing and cussing and bantering and baiting!

But I think what Ryan, Paizo and Goblinworks Holy Grail is is to create a new community online around their IP. To secure it's future via planting a new seed (albeit mmorpg appears to be barren soil).

I think you're right the sort of people into fantasy are drawn by something else than the eve pvp of starships and I think I know what.

Drejk wrote:
The PvP was one of the main reasons why the project was less than appealing to significant part of the fanbase. The second one was not using d20 rules, but using d20 rules or close approximation of them would make the PvP and sandbox aspects unplayable making it a lose-lose scenario.

I've got a solution just need to write it up. Reconciling these knocks out the PF TT vs MMO PvP contradiction. The other solution is the removing the WOW ENGINE problem. For example the game world was literally a MODEL WORLD. It did not feel like an epic fantasy geographical vast wilderness. This goes straight back to what Drejk said above.

Gambit wrote:
I think the Crowfall game is going to do what Dancey intended with PFO, and do it far better and more successfully. Not a game I am personally interested in, but it will be interesting to see its final product.

Ryan always talked about along the lines of "Doing for WOW what EVE did for UO." Imho, Star Citizen will be the next "WOW" ie leap forward in the MMO-RPG space. And there's a very good reason why it is not really considered an MMORPG but atst will do what MMORPGS used to do but a lot better and with less of the huge amount of legacy junk in the WOW ENGINE genre it's become.

As for Crowfall, I'm sceptical, it will have polish which may work out well in terms of return for money, but I'm not getting that thrill of excitement and fun I got when I read PFO's design docs, or when I read about EVE or Star Citizen's designs. PFO had the bare bones to be a really interesting fantasy simulation virtual world, but not with the WOW ENGINE, we've learnt something very useful from the failure of PFO; which is sad news as Lisa rightly mentioned: Some nice people and friendly community here and a fantastic (lazy pun intended) IP.

Goblin Squad Member

Summersnow wrote:

The vision of the game presented during the kickstarter was an extremely inaccurate picture of the game. Weather the game as it stands now was Ryans vision, or what we ended up with based on monetary, software, hardware or time limitations is unknown.

There was so much left to the backers imagination during the kickstarter phase that the project never had an honest chance.

I do not think anyone can honestly say that when they read the 1-2 paragraph description of characters and skills during the backing phase they system that was ultimately implemented is what they pictured and hoped for in there head.

I know what I pictured them describing as MVP and ready to start charging subscription fees is still somewhat farther along then the game is right now.

I would like to see the game survive and grow to the point I expected it to be at the MVP release as I think under proper leadership, i.e. just about anyone but Ryan, it could be a game worth playing.

Won't repeat what I said above which applies to the above. But to add, the key thing with the lean start-up method was the quality of the founder community and the match of the game to their Mental Model's of the Game in a very highly satisfied rating eg that old Market Segmentation blog. And I think where PFO was losing it's way was NOT finding a solution to accommodate TT PF community atst as thinking PvP community would be a good founder community: I think the combat in WOW ENGINE mmorpgs simply has to be really good. "Mount and Blade style" or bust it seems for PvP?

But the thing I wanted to add in connection was this: The forums never were prioritized for the early community. This suggested the link between devs-players was all at sea to me.

Honestly this is big but I hope as much as it is scathing, constructive criticism. I suspect there was the idea that the big pvp guilds would move in with their own forums etc and they'd also fund the rest of EE/alpha/"delpha". One of the big-sells of PFO was "Crowdforging" but what I realized at one point is that I could have a great idea and it never was going to see the light of day due to the WOW ENGINE. It also seems settlements needed those big zerg guilds and again loses too many people who want something a bit smaller for themselves to play as an individual within a society = the massive draw of the mmorpg or virtual world CONTEXT. The lack of forum priority was imo a big suggestion that things were too stretched between the devs offer of a game and the players' mental model of the game. It's why I decided not to play EE or recommend it to others. The "Crowdforging" simply wasn't on offer and the incredibly poor provision of forums was the most visible sign of that.

Goblin Squad Member

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.

Goblin Squad Member

Sadly we will never know, but I fully believe that this game would have been (more) successful if it had gone full on Star Wars Galaxies style sandbox instead of UO/EVE/Darkfall style sandbox.

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.

I'm probably out of line but as I said the failure of PFO does I think teach a useful lesson: The WOW Engine has had it's day. It's a halfway house and the future of the genre is not going to look so similar at all, but of course until you see it you just cannot figure out what it will look like.

Gambit wrote:
Sadly we will never know, but I fully believe that this game would have been (more) successful if it had gone full on Star Wars Galaxies style sandbox instead of UO/EVE/Darkfall style sandbox.

You're right we cannot know and is worth stating. I agree with the point about SWG in terms of it nullifying the terrible press PFO had to fight from day 1 over the PvP from BOTH TT and MMORPG markets of players!!!

However, Raph Koster posted a number of interesting summaries of SWG and I can't shake the feeling it was a game "of it's time" and hence any useful lessons from it are somewhat closed off for "our time". As you say maybe what you say is right or not and we cannot say, but my vestigial memory of reading those blogs concluded on that gut feeling. If we look at the current "doing ok" kickstarter mmorpgs, the ones that tapped directly their intended market eg CU (daoc rvrvr) and Crowfall (Koster + Shadowbane/SWG/UO) they're more "on song" to their intended players aren't they? Hence SWG leaning is adequate. However as per business model the pvp crowd for the minimum playable game was Ryan's key to then expanding from that point.

As said, the key is RECONCILE both markets in the single game design document as opposed to either eliminate either either irreversibly or sequentially.

I think Ryan was very very close... and I think some criticism of him has been too savage in a savage genre: In fact blame the genre is my verdict.

Quote:
"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

- Oscar Wilde


AvenaOats wrote:
As said, the key is RECONCILE both markets in the single game design document as opposed to either eliminate either either irreversibly or sequentially.

Can they truly be reconciled, though? The wants of targets in both markets are quite different, and often at odds...

Grand Lodge

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AvenaOats wrote:


I'm probably out of line but as I said the failure of PFO does I think teach a useful lesson: The WOW Engine has had it's day. It's a halfway house and the future of the genre is not going to look so similar at all, but of course until you see it you just cannot figure out what it will look like.

Why do people keep referring to the Unity Engine as WOW?


LazarX wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:


I'm probably out of line but as I said the failure of PFO does I think teach a useful lesson: The WOW Engine has had it's day. It's a halfway house and the future of the genre is not going to look so similar at all, but of course until you see it you just cannot figure out what it will look like.

Why do people keep referring to the Unity Engine as WOW?

I think it is supposed to mean "WoW-like presentation and interface style" and not referring the actual game engine which is something different.

Goblin Squad Member

Drejk wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
As said, the key is RECONCILE both markets in the single game design document as opposed to either eliminate either either irreversibly or sequentially.
Can they [STRIKE]truly[/STRIKE] be reconciled, though? The wants of targets in both markets are quite different, and often at odds...

No and Yes. Not truly, but with a shift yes. I mean if you think of people ONLY as Market A; Market B... Market N etc, then this is only accurate within a narrow reference: People are all sorts of contradictions. So with that in mind I grab this picture off google:-

Concentric Cylinder Stacks/Shells

On the RHS. I position PvP in the outer most layer and at the very pinnacle of the inner-most cyclinder for different types of PvP. This insulates the core population however the top pinnacle acts as the most momentus game/world changing potential... via strictly controlled but immensely destructive if triggered PvP. The outer layer is much smaller scale PvP, daily sort! Enough to be a wasp at the picnic type of irritation. But as you can see it's very wide and that means it has many forms but they are incidental to the inner cylinders.

If you remember in mmorpgs the argument is around Venn Diagrams: Separate Sets, tiny overlap or Sub-Set or perfect symmetry of overlaps of sets.

Generally that's how it's thought of: But it's very limiting that way: The cylinder nested sets is the key.

Goblin Squad Member

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.

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