Paizo Should Reconsider Tone & House Style for Preview Blogs


Prerelease Discussion


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This quote by Quandary in another thread caught by eye, because I've been thinking along similar lines myself:

"The blog tone is just un-necessarily cutesy. And for what? There doesn't seem like any fundamental change to these races. Nobody needs or wants to read a Preview Blog to learn "OMG I can play Frodo!" "OMG I can play Rainbow Sprite!". The people reading it are doing so because they're interested in rules developments. OK, maybe there isn't enough crunch there re: these races, and maybe you're working on some heavy developments re: Playtest rules themselves and/or next Rules Preview. Just mentioning this in hope future Blog Previews deliver the goods."

Paizo's style for the blog has been pretty much the same for a long time, and this sort of breathless corporate enthusiasm actually works well in, for instance, the minis preview blog ("why, yes, as a matter of fact, I do need to own that hydra . . . ") The style works there because what's being introduced is totally new, because I never had a hydra or ki-rin mini before.

But the audience for the preview blogs is nearly 100% people who are already playing Pathfinder, almost all of whom know the system really well. Just giving us a list of decontextualized abilities that sound cool doesn't sell it.

The preview blogs seem to be talking to us like we aren't already playing or don't know about alchemists or halflings or fighters, for instance. The blogs try to sell us on how cool it would be to play an alchemist, for instance, when, in my case, I played one all the way through Runelords.

So, yeah, we all know what the classes and races used to do, but what the blogs breathlessly try to sell on us what these classes and races will be able to do, which, in the case of the alchemist, seems to be less than they used to be able to do . . . . Now I don't really believe that's the case and I'm sure the new class is balanced and probably even more fun than the old one . . . but we're not in a position to judge so it's hard to react with more than . . . okay? Still halflings in the game, check. Still rogues in the game, check.

Last Monday, for instance, the third-party interview with Stephen on the alchemist was vastly more informative than Stephen's actual blog post because it delved into the thought process behind the new edition. Having talked to Stephen a couple times at Garycon, I know how smart, well-spoken, and BS-free he is, so I can only conclude he must be hampered in how he can express himself by the house-style itself. Change it!

A much more interesting preview blog, one that doesn't seem to be trying to talk to people who aren't reading it, would begin by analyzing the class/race as it exists in PF1, identifying problems that needed fixing, and then taking us through the development of the current design to fix those problems to where they currently stand.

The thought process, the development, the current problems and fixes would engage all of us who are following these previews. Everyone on this Playtest Forum wants to engage the new information on that level, the level of thought.

And, for the record, I'm in the camp full of optimism and best wishes for the new edition. I think it's going to be great. But the previews blogs are not doing their job.

We need to understand the thought behind the changes.


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Yolande d'Bar wrote:

A much more interesting preview blog, one that doesn't seem to be trying to talk to people who aren't reading it, would begin by analyzing the class/race as it exists in PF1, identifying problems that needed fixing, and then taking us through the development of the current design to fix those problems to where they currently stand.

The thought process, the development, the current problems and fixes would engage all of us who are following these previews. Everyone on this Playtest Forum wants to engage the new information on that level, the level of thought.

Full agreement. /signed :)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Yolande d'Bar wrote:
Everyone on this Playtest Forum wants . . .

I don't know who you asked, but you sure don't speak for me. While I'd like to see some of the thought behind the changes, it isn't the only thing I'm curious about. I don't *need* anything other than how this is going to work in the future.

In fact, one of the worst aspects of reading about a new product is when the information wastes a lot of time saying "it doesn't work like this any more". Duh, Why do I need to know that. All I care about is how it DOES work.

Not everyone reading these boards has total in-depth knowledge of how things work now. And I really don't want to waste any time in the run-up to PF2 learning any more than I need to to keep going until the new rules come out.

So while I can understand that people who already have that deep, decades long learning are impatient with the slow release of information, I think it would be terrible to clog all these "look at what's new" blogs with old, out-of-date information that does nothing to attract new users.

There are a lot of us who simply do not care about your in-depth analysis. Shocking as that might be.


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

In a similar vein to CrystalSeas, I'm not really interested in getting the crunchy details (I've preordered the playtest book for that).

I'm not pleased about Paizo's decision to drop PF1 and launch PF2 - it doesn't suit me at all. However, I'm a big fan of the company and the people who work there and want to support them in being successful. I'm not entirely closed to the idea of a new edition, I'm just not enthused about it yet.

For me (and people like me, however numerous they may be) the value in these blogs is precisely to spark my imagination and/or enthusiasm. I never liked PF1 alchemists, for example - it's possible that showing me a breathless "hey isn't this cool!" blog about alchemists will make me consider having another look and perhaps be the idiosyncratic thing which brings me over the line.

I think we in the community should manage our expectations about these blogs and remember that they serve a plethora of purposes (although I have no interest in the crunchy bits, I don't begrudge those who are clamoring for more such details).

I suspect it's also relevant that the playtest launches in August. Paizo can't fire all their ammo in one go - by necessity they have to drag it out over many months (their preference would have been "we're launching a playtest - here it is" but publishing timelines just don't work like that).

Scarab Sages

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Or, maybe, they're just excited about they're new edition and having fun getting to talk about it, and it translates into their writing style.


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

Yeah, that too. I bet it's been hard keeping the lid on it.

I'm quite impressed that not much (if any?) word leaked out in the two plus years they were working on it. That shows solid discipline.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I quite like the tone they have. This is a pretty depressing time all around, and brightening things up helps me deal with everything going on here.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I disagree entirely with the sentiment of the OP.

Unfortunately sharing the reasoning behind changes usually causes argumentative nerds to focus on arguing with that reasoning rather than engaging with the content presented.

Also I like the tone of the blogs, the enthusiasm of the staff is real.


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I mean the tone was especially fitting for the subject matter. Gnomes are full of energy, puns,and adventure in fact I wouldnt mind more CUTESY ness. But thats just me.

Shadow Lodge

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I would rather the team be exuberant rather than clinical.

The forums will take care of the clinical discussion, among other things.


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The devs are having fun. Information is being doled out slowly because we still have 4 months until the rules drop... so 16 weeks-ish... that's at least 32 more preview blogs if they stick to primarily Monday/Friday.

If you want the rules NOW then I recommend taking a vacation somewhere pretty until August and then popping back to just read the rules.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I like the cheerful exuberant tone of the blogs. I’d like more crunch too, but hey... We’ll all have that in four months!

Hmm


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Please same tone, more info, longer posts if necessary.

(Btw, is anyone else bugged when the word "spoiler" is used for their reveals? It's not a novel, it's a rulebook, you're not "spoiling" it by telling us what's in it!)


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I don't mind the exuberance, but I would like the blogs to be more detailed, and to cover some of the why behind decisions. Even those decisions I agree with, because it can help inform a lot of the thought going into this edition.

At least the last few blogs have been more informative and useful than some of the ones from weeks ago.

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

I quite liked this blog.

Paizo Employee Designer

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I am thinking/hoping that all (not both, since there's more nuance to this discussion than just two opinions) groups of people in this thread will enjoy Monday's blog.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I am thinking/hoping that all (not both, since there's more nuance to this discussion than just two opinions) groups of people in this thread will enjoy Monday's blog.

Are you writing it, Mark?


Mark Seifter wrote:
I am thinking/hoping that all (not both, since there's more nuance to this discussion than just two opinions) groups of people in this thread will enjoy Monday's blog.

That depends ... what's it about? :-D

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bardic Dave wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I am thinking/hoping that all (not both, since there's more nuance to this discussion than just two opinions) groups of people in this thread will enjoy Monday's blog.
Are you writing it, Mark?

I wrote it on Monday, so somewhat yes, somewhat no.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I am thinking/hoping that all (not both, since there's more nuance to this discussion than just two opinions) groups of people in this thread will enjoy Monday's blog.
Are you writing it, Mark?
I wrote it on Monday, so somewhat yes, somewhat no.

Nice! Looking forward to it!

Paizo Employee Designer

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So, did it work?


Mark Seifter wrote:
So, did it work?

Not sure if it worked, as I can't speak for the others, but this blog post has supplanted your last one as my favourite to date. Nicely done!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
So, did it work?

Crunchy goodness.

Paizo Employee Designer

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totoro wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
So, did it work?
Crunchy goodness.

Oh, I was pretty sure you guys who wanted more rules would like it. I'm more curious if Steve Geddes, Crystal Seas, DM_aka_Dudemeister, and others who are in for the flavor also did. I included the bit about the essences specifically for those readers to try to include a bit for everyone.

EDIT: It looks like DM at least is pretty happy in the other thread, so maybe we threaded the needle this time!


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm more curious if Steve Geddes, Crystal Seas, DM_aka_Dudemeister, and others who are in for the flavor also did. I included the bit about the essences specifically for those readers to try to include a bit for everyone.

Yes!

The essences makes me feel like there is 'meaning' behind magic. I can begin to think about magic from a philosophical perspective, and it makes so much sense with that framework.

Part of the reason I've never played spellcasters very much is that I just didn't understand how magic worked from an in-world perspective. This gives me a big-picture sense of what is going on.

I think this rework of the flavor makes the rules less crunchy for me and more of a story telling device.

And I almost always make characters by telling a compelling story and then fitting the crunch to the story.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I am thinking/hoping that all (not both, since there's more nuance to this discussion than just two opinions) groups of people in this thread will enjoy Monday's blog.

Nailed it, as far as I'm concerned. That was a really great blog.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
So, did it work?

Nailed it for me. Lots of rules detail, some setting / background flavor on the nature of magic, and you did it without being cutesy and overly coy. :)

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
So, did it work?

Best blog!

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