Should They Release the PDF Early?


Prerelease Discussion

Liberty's Edge

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According to the FAQ "Pathfinder Playtest products will be released on August 2, 2018. "

It takes a long time for Paizo to make its physical books.
Layout takes time. Shipping the printer's proof and evaluating that takes more time. Evaluating the proof and making changes also makes time. And getting the actual print copies takes, you guessed it, time.

April tends to be "GenCon Crunch", which is when the books need to be done. So the PDF for the playest will actually be finished then, three full months prior to being released. That's three months they're effectively just sitting on the PDF.
Normally, that's not a big deal. But, this isn't a normal release situation.

Paizo cuts off its playtest eight or so months before the books are released, based on the the playtests for the Advanced Race Guide and the Advanced Class Guide. Mythic Adventures ran a little longer, being 7 1/2 months prior, while the shortest was Ultimate Combat whose playtest ran until mid-February.

This means that when the playtest book and documents are released in August, the fans might have as few as four full months to playtest the entire game!

Even for groups that manage to play weekly (lucky bastards) that's probably five levels of play. Even gaining a level every session-and-a-half (barely enough time to *really* test an entire level's worth of abilities) you're unlikely to test beyond level 10. And the game REALLY needs to be tested beyond level 10. Seriously.
(And tested by characters the players know how to play and are able to use effectively rather than pregens they might have spent 30 minutes with prior.)

If Paizo were to release the playtest PDF early—such as early May—they could significantly increase the playtest time. Possibly by as much as 75%.

It doesn't even have to be the full document. A plain formatted PDF with no art and backgrounds would almost be preferably, being easier to print and use at the table. It could even be purposely limited, with pregenerated characters and notes of how to level them up.

After all, the point of this process is to test the game and get as much useful feedback as possible, and the longer people can actually test the rules in actual play situations, the more problems that will be caught and the better the final product will be.

(This is not me selfishly wanting the PDF right now. It's unlikely I'll even be able to seriously look at the PDF until September, let alone play. Just the realistic concern that more playtesting = better.)


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Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.


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Because members of my group are teachers I too will miss a bunch of potential testing time. There will be about a week and a half after scheduled release before they're back in school. If release were to happen in May, well, we play about 4x a week during the two-ish months of Summer... so...


I'd still buy the playtest in hardcopy but if we could use the alpha now...or soon...I'd be down with that.

I am looking to start up a game anyways, so this would be the perfect time for it.

Otherwise, I need to time it so that we end the game we start now sometime in August. That's enough time for a super module or two, but not an entire AP.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Not going to happen. This is a coordinated worldwide campaign—our German and French translation partners are in on it too, and they don't even get to start their work in earnest until the English edition is locked down. We have other licensees working on playtest support as well, and most of them also need us to finalize things before they do the bulk of their work. And we're not going to treat people who choose to participate by picking up the book at their favorite retailer or at Gen Con as afterthoughts.

As far as the time requirements for the playtest goes, we have a guided plan that will ensure we get the feedback we need in the time we have.

Playtest products release August 2. The playtest itself begins August 6. For everyone.


I agree. Get it out earlier if you have it. What's the point of holding back?


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No. They need a properly structured playtest and avenues of feedback, else-wise it just turns into meaningless noise.

Giving solid warning on the edition happening and the playtest happening is good, as it gives people time to settle down and decide if they really want to contribute rather than knee-jerk react all over the feedback venues.

As for leveling a session and a half... Look, that kind of organic campaign testing matters a bit, but it pales in comparison to methodological feedback. Real constructive feedback involves testing all sorts of things in batches, changing minimal variables and testing again. And again. And again.

Absolutely you want to test higher level stuff, but the best way to do at is generating high level characters and throwing them into repeatable encounters. How do they function against various high CR critters? Or much higher or lower CR critters? Do a bunch of encounters in turn.

Run characters through old encounters to see what out of combat and utility tools they've got. Change up the party and do it again. Just a normal campaign with beer and buddies isn't going to produce the quantity or quality of testable material. It will bring some lessons, but not nearly enough. Real QA Testing is hard work, folks.

Paizo Is going to want to come up with encounters that they've constructed to test specific problem areas and potential problem areas. They're going to want both quantifiable numbers and impressions on how people react to certain ideas.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So what happens on August 6? Is that the day that the forum moderators stop purging premature playtest feedback, or is there some other significance to that date?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
We have other licensees working on playtest support as well, and most of them also need us to finalize things before they do the bulk of their work.

This bodes well for Roll20 and HeroLab.


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Vic Wertz wrote:

Not going to happen. This is a coordinated worldwide campaign—our German and French translation partners are in on it too, and they don't even get to start their work in earnest until the English edition is locked down. We have other licensees working on playtest support as well, and most of them also need us to finalize things before they do the bulk of their work. And we're not going to treat people who choose to participate by picking up the book at their favorite retailer or at Gen Con as afterthoughts.

As far as the time requirements for the playtest goes, we have a guided plan that will ensure we get the feedback we need in the time we have.

Playtest products release August 2. The playtest itself begins August 6. For everyone.

I love the worldwide coordination!

How long will the playtest last? When is the closing day?


Ryan Freire wrote:
Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.

Honestly, then don't bicker over Paladins being LG. That is exactly the sort of noise that doesn't matter for a playtest- it's just a he said, she said of i want/don't want, with a lot of vocal minorities but little representation (on all sides). It's the kind of thing that needs to be decided in house if it fits the new edition and the setting and maybe slipped into a reaction poll later to see if they're is a major unexpected pushback on the decision. A bickering thread isn't going to decide it.


If it's anything like the Pathfinder Beta... I think it went into January or February last time, then they finished so they could start finalizing things. But it's been a long time, I could be wrong.

Shadow Lodge

January, I believe. I wish they would push it back, but they can't make the big bucks at conventions next August if it isn't done that quickly.

Maybe we will get lucky and they will abandon their "no errata until reprint" policy. That would miraculous.


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As much as I would love to dig into it, I'm gonna say no.

No matter what, when it comes out, we are going to Gut it in everywhay imaginable.

Take the time to build up to it and justify the decisions they made so that when we do Gut it we can hopefully look at it with a less bias eye and some understanding of the logic involved.

That said they need to settle a couple of things really quickly cause people are jumping to some conclusions that need to be cut off before they take root.


Voss wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.
Honestly, then don't bicker over Paladins being LG. That is exactly the sort of noise that doesn't matter for a playtest- it's just a he said, she said of i want/don't want, with a lot of vocal minorities but little representation (on all sides). It's the kind of thing that needs to be decided in house if it fits the new edition and the setting and maybe slipped into a reaction poll later to see if they're is a major unexpected pushback on the decision. A bickering thread isn't going to decide it.

This is an unrealistic position, its a thing thats going to happen over wishlisting and people's worries over the game, by the time it comes around everyone should have been subtly goaded by the opposite sides of the debate into a frothing rage.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Voss wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.
Honestly, then don't bicker over Paladins being LG. That is exactly the sort of noise that doesn't matter for a playtest- it's just a he said, she said of i want/don't want, with a lot of vocal minorities but little representation (on all sides). It's the kind of thing that needs to be decided in house if it fits the new edition and the setting and maybe slipped into a reaction poll later to see if they're is a major unexpected pushback on the decision. A bickering thread isn't going to decide it.
This is an unrealistic position, its a thing thats going to happen over wishlisting and people's worries over the game, by the time it comes around everyone should have been subtly goaded by the opposite sides of the debate into a frothing rage.

People should probably start acting a bit more grown up then.

I've read a whole bunch of threads and posts of what I would consider stuff to annoy me but have just scrolled past and joined the conversation where I can say something more interesting or positive.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Voss wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.
Honestly, then don't bicker over Paladins being LG. That is exactly the sort of noise that doesn't matter for a playtest- it's just a he said, she said of i want/don't want, with a lot of vocal minorities but little representation (on all sides). It's the kind of thing that needs to be decided in house if it fits the new edition and the setting and maybe slipped into a reaction poll later to see if they're is a major unexpected pushback on the decision. A bickering thread isn't going to decide it.
This is an unrealistic position, its a thing thats going to happen over wishlisting and people's worries over the game, by the time it comes around everyone should have been subtly goaded by the opposite sides of the debate into a frothing rage.

I'm not so unrealistic to expect it to stop. I'm just aware that it won't accomplish what the partisans want, or anything meaningful, 'I want it so you better give it to me' isn't useful or usable feedback for a playtest.


Vic Wertz wrote:

And we're not going to treat people who choose to participate by picking up the book at their favorite retailer or at Gen Con as afterthoughts.

What? Mistreating customers works well for for a certain bunch of pointy-hat arcane spellcasters who may or may not dwell near a large body of water, if you catch my drift. *wink*

On a more serious note, I've always viewed Paizo as being an OGL / PDF-oriented environment. Our group collectively owns a handful of CRBs, and a few of the more useful other books, and otherwise is entirely focused on d20pfsrd / nethys and PDFs.

My own personal feelings are that having to wait on a physical print is just a reality of the limitations of that medium. It's hardly treating hardcover/softcover people as afterthoughts.

Anyhow I would love an early release, or at least some sort of teaser thing (like the starter box thingy, but for PF 2e). Pretty please?

Liberty's Edge

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Quote:
Not going to happen. This is a coordinated worldwide campaign—our German and French translation partners are in on it too, and they don't even get to start their work in earnest until the English edition is locked down. We have other licensees working on playtest support as well, and most of them also need us to finalize things before they do the bulk of their work. And we're not going to treat people who choose to participate by picking up the book at their favorite retailer or at Gen Con as afterthoughts.

Which is nice and all. But it's putting those licence partners above the people who might buy the game over the next two or four or ten years.

Quote:
The playtest itself begins August 6. For everyone.

Unless you can attend GaryCon, at which point the playtest begins right now.

And likely PaizoCon as well.

So people who live in the continental United States and have the free time and money to attend a con are already getting an early look. You're putting those people waaaay above people picking the book up at their favourite retailer.

Why not put those adventures and files online and available for homegames and small local conventions?

Quote:
As far as the time requirements for the playtest goes, we have a guided plan that will ensure we get the feedback we need in the time we have.

That's nice.

A plan for getting feedback is good.

But the point isn't breaking down what feedback you receive when, but the quality of feedback. Feedback based on actual time with the game rather than just reading the rules. Because how a mechanic reads and how it plays are often very, very different.
Devoting specific weeks to garnering feedback on races and spells and classes (like was done during the Pathfinder Beta playtest) means little when people only have a couple weeks to test that particular aspect, and not beyond level five.

What's the point of playtesting the game in a massive public playtest is you only test a quarter of the game?

Liberty's Edge

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The hard truth that is pushing me to ask: No game is ever perfect.
You could finalise the rules to a game and then spend years tweaking and polishing and revising. There's always a new problem or imperfection or imbalance.
Always.

After all... Blizzard has been trying to perfectly balance and design World of Warcraft for how many years now? 13? 14? Plus the beta so like 15 or 16.
Or, put a more familiar way, 3e had been played for how long and when Pathfinder was released stealth and light levels were still problematic. To say nothing of balance in the latter half of the game.

Pathfinder 2 is going to have bugs and warts. That's inevitable.

But the longer the game is in the public eye, the more of those little bugs and warts will be seen and able to be fixed. (And, of course, seen, fixed, and then the fix tested because, of course, the first fix is very often an over-correction that goes too far.)

Not getting the rules in people's hands as soon as possible is knowingly choosing to release a game that is more flawed than it could have been. And disproportionately flawed in the late game because that's what will see far, far less testing. And what testing it does receive might be less valid as people aren't playing their characters with the same efficiency they would after levelling up properly.

In 2023, when Pathfinder 2 has been out for four years and a player is struggling with a problematic rule in the game, what do you want to tell them?
"Sorry you're having troubles. They did EVERYTHING they could but it wasn't caught in time." OR "Sorry. They coordinated worldwide campaign and had other licensees who needed Paizo to finalise things. And they were worried about people picking up the book at their favourite retailer would be an afterthought."

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jester David wrote:
Which is nice and all. But it's putting those licence partners above the people who might buy the game over the next two or four or ten years.

Oh, those license partners also have customers who might buy the game over the next two or four or ten years. Care to explain why you think that you're somehow more important than those?

What I find really funny is how some people try to explain two Paizo how an open playtest works, when Paizo has probably more experience with open playtests than anyone else in the business.

So instead of throwing childish tantrums over not getting what we feel entitled to get in the age of instant gratification, why don't we just use the time perusing the information they'll give us in the weeks to come, thinking about where some problems might arise and then using the playtest to check our assumptions?

Shadow Lodge

I'm not sure it is childish if people actually are getting the playtest books early. That is not as advertised, because it does start the playtest much early but only for a small group.

That's not very open, is it?

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:

I'm not sure it is childish if people actually are getting the playtest books early. That is not as advertised, because it does start the playtest much early but only for a small group.

That's not very open, is it?

The open playtest starts at August 6th, so yes, before that date, it isn't very open. Kinda obvious, if you think about it.

And at Gary Con, they are demoing PF2 but I'm not sure where you get the information that anyone will get the actual Playtest book before August 2nd. But even if, they'll certainly not decide things just by the feedback of a selected few.

No matter what, neither you nor I are entitled to anything. Paizo is gracious (and clever) enough to do an open playtest, so that we have a chance to influence the outcome. They have been very clear that it is important for them to have their retailers and their international partners on board for that. If that means that we'll have to wait a bit for the playtest documents to be published, that's their prerogative and is most certainly not done because they want do put anyone over anyone else.

And if they decide to allow for a little glimpse into their new system at Gary Con or Paizo Con, that's again their prerogative and yes, it's a reward to those who are willing to take the time and money to visit those cons.

You'll still have all chances to give your input starting August 6th, so there's actually no reason to complain at all. And no, expanding the time for that playtest doesn't necessarily lead to better solutions. Again, they know better than you or I how long that period needs to be.

Shadow Lodge

"If they are" not "they definitely are" is an important distinction. If you look a few posts up you'll one person saying playtesting begins now for people at conventions. Until it's confirmed people are getting physical copies my statement remains "if they are" because I'm not sure.

However, if they are(which I doubt a bit, but do not discount the possibility of) then it's not fair at all, might make people think they've been lied too, and put Paizo in a bad light. Again.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But what actually happens on August 6th? Apparently we will be able to start downloading the playtest documents on August 2nd, so some playtesting is likely to occur before the 6th.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

But what actually happens on August 6th? Apparently we will be able to start downloading the playtest documents on August 2nd, so some playtesting is likely to occur before the 6th.

Well I guess at August 6th they officially open the playtest forums.

Dragonborn3 wrote:
If you look a few posts up you'll one person saying playtesting begins now for people at conventions.

Well, I think that this statement is wrong. As said, at Gary Con they are demoing 2E. From what I've got over at ENWorld, they had readied pregen characters and were talking generally about things like the action economy. I've not heard anything about them handing out actual playtest documents to the participants, so the people attending there won't go home with more than a few first glimpses into 2E. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt that this can be counted as actual playtesting.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

August 2nd is a Thursday. August 6th is a Monday. They'll allow people to download the document on the 2nd and they'll open up the forums to feedback on the 6th. You can probably post right away, but the "feedback" area might not be open yet. (Edit: Basically, what Wormy said..)

I'm sure they're doing that to allow a few days (over the weekend, no less) for people to actually play the game. That's the "play" part of "playtesting," which is what Paizo asked us to do. Giving people a few days to organize, make characters, get together, roll dice, take notes, and turn that into forum posts that make sense.

I don't know what they're showing off early at cons and I really don't care. We'll hear about it one way of the other. I'll be a little surprised if they're letting people have access the rules at a con. It's not likley that some people will get to "play"; it will probably be more like a demo where they're told, "here's your pregenerated character, your fighting this thing, and in this situation, these are your options and you make these rolls."

And if people going to the cons actually do see some rules and get to play, that's great! I look forward to hearing what they have to say about it.

-Skeld

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Jester David wrote:

The hard truth that is pushing me to ask: No game is ever perfect.

You could finalise the rules to a game and then spend years tweaking and polishing and revising. There's always a new problem or imperfection or imbalance.
Always.

After all... Blizzard has been trying to perfectly balance and design World of Warcraft for how many years now? 13? 14? Plus the beta so like 15 or 16.
Or, put a more familiar way, 3e had been played for how long and when Pathfinder was released stealth and light levels were still problematic. To say nothing of balance in the latter half of the game.

Pathfinder 2 is going to have bugs and warts. That's inevitable.

But the longer the game is in the public eye, the more of those little bugs and warts will be seen and able to be fixed. (And, of course, seen, fixed, and then the fix tested because, of course, the first fix is very often an over-correction that goes too far.)

Not getting the rules in people's hands as soon as possible is knowingly choosing to release a game that is more flawed than it could have been. And disproportionately flawed in the late game because that's what will see far, far less testing. And what testing it does receive might be less valid as people aren't playing their characters with the same efficiency they would after levelling up properly.

In 2023, when Pathfinder 2 has been out for four years and a player is struggling with a problematic rule in the game, what do you want to tell them?
"Sorry you're having troubles. They did EVERYTHING they could but it wasn't caught in time." OR "Sorry. They coordinated worldwide campaign and had other licensees who needed Paizo to finalise things. And they were worried about people picking up the book at their favourite retailer would be an afterthought."

On the flip side, editorial processes that last too long can also ruin a final product.

Additionally, Paizo is still cranking out products for the existing edition and will continue to do so until the end of its life cycle. That means they only have a finite time to gather meaningful information from the playtest. Opening it up a few months early might be great for us, but doesn't necessarily mean the company gets to address issues that come up early on. Allowing a five-month window where people are playtesting but the company can't gather structured, meaningful data from that playtest could do more harm than not.

I don't have enough information to know whether Paizo is making the right decision or not, but I am sure they have a good idea of what can fit into their busy schedule and what can't.


WormysQueue wrote:


Well, I think that this statement is wrong. As said, at Gary Con they are demoing 2E. From what I've got over at ENWorld, they had readied pregen characters and were talking generally about things like the action economy. I've not heard anything about them handing out actual playtest documents to the participants, so the people attending there won't go home with more than a few first glimpses into 2E. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt that this can be counted as actual playtesting.

Um, what about that podcast? Did they get to see the rules? It sounded like the people had made their own characters or something..?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Kerrilyn wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:


Well, I think that this statement is wrong. As said, at Gary Con they are demoing 2E. From what I've got over at ENWorld, they had readied pregen characters and were talking generally about things like the action economy. I've not heard anything about them handing out actual playtest documents to the participants, so the people attending there won't go home with more than a few first glimpses into 2E. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt that this can be counted as actual playtesting.

Um, what about that podcast? Did they get to see the rules? It sounded like the people had made their own characters or something..?

I believe the folks in the podcast said they got pregens and a quick briefing on some of what had changed.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kerrilyn wrote:
Um, what about that podcast? Did they get to see the rules? It sounded like the people had made their own characters or something..?

Well, I guess. I don't see that this is a bad thing though, as it creates buzz around the material and gives us not only insight into some of the inner workings of 2E, but also an impression of 2E's fun factor.


The truth is this is about selling copies and not testing. If it was about testing as said they would release the basics now to get it in peoples hands. You can see how quickly after a new book is released that any broken gameplay elements are found that no internal QA can match what the masses can do. That said it takes a lot of money and time to sort the gems from the garbage.
I am looking forward to the new game, if I hate it I will stick with P1E.


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Hargert wrote:
The truth is this is about selling copies and not testing. If it was about testing as said they would release the basics now to get it in peoples hands.

Maybe that's how you run your company, but obviously it's now how Paizo runs theirs.

You can't extrapolate from your own principles to someone else's


The PDF? No.

A PDF of ideas they have so far and maybe even ideas they threw out? Yes.

I know I would rather take a gander at it. Make note of what I like and dislike, and then check out until the actual playtest is released.


Well, from what I understand, they've already been doing playtesting, but it is a closed playtest and the people in it, with a few exceptions (for example when we see Buhlman or others that talk about it or play it on podcasts) are under an NDA.

At this time it seems to be a closed playtest and has been probably for a while (maybe several months to over a year already).

We know there are some elements from Pathfinder unchained in it, and so to a little degree that has already had a sort of public viewing period.

I'd like to see what they have as much as the next guy, but right now it seems that the official thing is to have the closed playtesting and demos at Cons until August at which point they will have a world wide releae of the open playtest materials.

Scarab Sages

Earlier would be better, I just don't see the point in making us wait for 5 months - it's not going to make me want it any more and after the stuff that wasn't playtested a long hard look would only help. Paizo constantly makes decisions that baffle me.


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Shifter was closed playtest, so excuse me if my enthusiasm is curbed.


Turelus wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Voss wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.
Honestly, then don't bicker over Paladins being LG. That is exactly the sort of noise that doesn't matter for a playtest- it's just a he said, she said of i want/don't want, with a lot of vocal minorities but little representation (on all sides). It's the kind of thing that needs to be decided in house if it fits the new edition and the setting and maybe slipped into a reaction poll later to see if they're is a major unexpected pushback on the decision. A bickering thread isn't going to decide it.
This is an unrealistic position, its a thing thats going to happen over wishlisting and people's worries over the game, by the time it comes around everyone should have been subtly goaded by the opposite sides of the debate into a frothing rage.

People should probably start acting a bit more grown up then.

I've read a whole bunch of threads and posts of what I would consider stuff to annoy me but have just scrolled past and joined the conversation where I can say something more interesting or positive.

This is old man yells at cloud tier my dude.

Making decisions based on should rather than likely will is a formula for disappointment.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

David knott 242 wrote:
So what happens on August 6? Is that the day that the forum moderators stop purging premature playtest feedback, or is there some other significance to that date?

We have a structured plan that will allow us to get us the answers we need from a huge number of people in a focused way. We'll talk more specifically about what that means a bit later, but August 6 is the day it begins.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Vic,

How is this going to work with PbP (which needs a far greater window to operate under most normal conditions) running playtests?

I'm not skeptical, but I am a bit concerned that all of the play methods/venues won't be covered, and PbP is a thing that does drive the game.


Jester David wrote:

The hard truth that is pushing me to ask: No game is ever perfect.

You could finalise the rules to a game and then spend years tweaking and polishing and revising. There's always a new problem or imperfection or imbalance.
Always.

After all... Blizzard has been trying to perfectly balance and design World of Warcraft for how many years now? 13? 14? Plus the beta so like 15 or 16.
Or, put a more familiar way, 3e had been played for how long and when Pathfinder was released stealth and light levels were still problematic. To say nothing of balance in the latter half of the game.

Pathfinder 2 is going to have bugs and warts. That's inevitable.

But the longer the game is in the public eye, the more of those little bugs and warts will be seen and able to be fixed. (And, of course, seen, fixed, and then the fix tested because, of course, the first fix is very often an over-correction that goes too far.)

Not getting the rules in people's hands as soon as possible is knowingly choosing to release a game that is more flawed than it could have been. And disproportionately flawed in the late game because that's what will see far, far less testing. And what testing it does receive might be less valid as people aren't playing their characters with the same efficiency they would after levelling up properly.

In 2023, when Pathfinder 2 has been out for four years and a player is struggling with a problematic rule in the game, what do you want to tell them?
"Sorry you're having troubles. They did EVERYTHING they could but it wasn't caught in time." OR "Sorry. They coordinated worldwide campaign and had other licensees who needed Paizo to finalise things. And they were worried about people picking up the book at their favourite retailer would be an afterthought."

Referring to bolded text at top...

Unlesss you consider 4e...


Honestly, if I were Paizo, once August arrive, I would tell everyone to wait one month more. Then grab popcorn and see everyone panic and drama flow.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

bookrat wrote:
How long will the playtest last? When is the closing day?

The plan involves some iterative feedback, and we aren't going to know how long those iterations will take until we're into it.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Jester David wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Not going to happen. This is a coordinated worldwide campaign—our German and French translation partners are in on it too, and they don't even get to start their work in earnest until the English edition is locked down. We have other licensees working on playtest support as well, and most of them also need us to finalize things before they do the bulk of their work. And we're not going to treat people who choose to participate by picking up the book at their favorite retailer or at Gen Con as afterthoughts.
Which is nice and all. But it's putting those licence partners above the people who might buy the game over the next two or four or ten years.

You may have seen people in the forums saying that they want to make sure that we aren't listening only to a single segment of the audience. Allowing people who download the PDF to give us feedback long before people who buy it in stores can, or before people who play in French or German can, would prioritize one segment of the audience over others.

Jester David wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
The playtest itself begins August 6. For everyone.

Unless you can attend GaryCon, at which point the playtest begins right now.

And likely PaizoCon as well.

So people who live in the continental United States and have the free time and money to attend a con are already getting an early look. You're putting those people waaaay above people picking the book up at their favourite retailer.

That "early look" is a verbal explanation of the rules they need to play through the session. It's very much like the one that you can hear right now via the Glass Cannon Podcast (and in many cases, the convention sessions aren't that long, so they don't even get that much).

Jester David wrote:

Devoting specific weeks to garnering feedback on races and spells and classes (like was done during the Pathfinder Beta playtest) means little when people only have a couple weeks to test that particular aspect, and not beyond level five.

What's the point of playtesting the game in a massive public playtest is you only test a quarter of the game?

We have accounted for all of this in the plan.

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