Is it too late to go back to the drawing board?


General Discussion

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.


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BryonD wrote:


If you look back at the leadup to 3E there was a TON of excitement. I recall very angry debates over whether a fireball pea could go through an arrowslit. And certainly there were old school diehards. But the tone of the community was strongly aligned to excitement.

I was one of the more vocal anti-3E people myself; I distinctly remember being outraged over the increase in hit points: "Hit Dice over 9th or 10th level?? +CON bonus?? All the way to level 20?? Everyone will look like VIDEO GAME Characters!!!" :-) Good times.

Quote:


The trick is, an RPG can't afford to drive away any meaningful percentage of its fanbase. If there are three things and each one drives away 1 out of 10 fans, then the game is toast.

To be honest, though, it's likely to be the same fans for each of those cases, because usually the people most disaffected are against sweeping changes of ANY nature as opposed to minor changes. The level scaling is as likely to drive that contingent of fans away as the class feats are, as is the skill feats and proficiency gating, etc. Most people will be dissatisfied with 2 or 3 things, but usually to the level of "proud nails" rather than dealbreakers.

For me, the level scaling isn't my favorite, because it ends up making only a VERY narrow band of monsters and threats valid for any given level. Once you get threats that are more than about 3 levels away from your PCs' level, they get either trivial or overwhelming; I'd rather be able to use at least threats up to 5 levels different, especially on the low end, but for me it's not enough to stop using the game if it makes into the final cut.


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Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.

chances are high, Paizo will never bring Old Coke back


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Hythlodeus wrote:
Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.
chances are high, Paizo will never bring Old Coke back

To be clear, I'm also very disappointed with PF2e and believe it's awful in the current state, I just do not feel comparisons with New Coke are valid, as New Coke was an actually good product, unlike PF2e.


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I'm sure there a some who would disagree that PF2 is a bad product, just because WE don't like it, doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there who prefers New Coke to Old Coke.

Just get your hopes up, to see Old Coke again, sadly it seems that ship has sailed and unless some other company runs with the original Coke formula, Old Coke is gone for good.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.

Clearly the correct lesson is then to launch PF2E and shorty afterwards take it out of circulation and continue publishing PF1E materials.


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On the subject of "just because people bought 4E didn't mean that they played it," I own a 4E PHB. It's been sitting unused in a closet for more than a decade. My friends and I were eager for 4E because we thought it was going to be something akin to Star Wars Saga Edition, which we'd found to be the most fun we'd ever had with the D20 system. But when we actually tried playing it we utterly hated it, so we dropped it like a hot rock and went back to playing Star Wars until Pathfinder came along.

It wasn't that it was different from 3E, because a lot of those changes had worked extremely well in Saga Edition: per-encounter powers, defenses and damage that scaled with level. But it gave the players very little choice and no options to make their characters unique and interesting: you had to follow the most generic archetype of your class. And combat was a miserable experience, getting constantly beaten bloody by generic monsters with better attacks and AC and only staying up by being constantly healed by the cleric until the healing ran out. We didn't feel like we could make interesting characters and we had no fun playing. Those were unforgivable failings.

This is why I find it extremely insulting whenever someone tries to claim that people who don't like the PF2E playtest are just complaining because they don't want anything to change. There are plenty of things about PF1E that annoy me, and pretty much all of them are legacy problems from D&D that PF was forced to inherit in the name of backwards compatibility. A new edition was a chance to finally break free of the constraints of the past and fix those problems, take things in a new direction. And PF2E is making improvements on a few of those things: level to AC, standardized progression, maximized hit dice, nerfed save-or-lose spells, stronger cantrips, progressing weapon damage. But it's also keeping a lot of those problems: magic item dependence, looting, per-day abilities that prompt players to interrupt the adventure for a nap, iterative attacks that slow down combat.

Reading the preview blogs, I was really enthused. The idea of class feats letting you pick your class features reminded me of Saga Edition and how selectable talents made every class infinitely customizable. But now that the rulebook is available, it turns out that each class only has a very limited number of feats to pick from and the class features give you less choice than PF1E did. And the monsters in the Bestiary have arbitrarily high attack and skill bonuses, and people have described the combat as a meatgrinder with a high risk of TPKs. That's a disturbingly familiar description.

I've played worse systems than this. If one of my friends wants to run it, I'll play. But I don't see any reason we would ever play this instead of PF1E. That system has problems, but it has far more freedom of choice, cooler options and we have options to patch up the issues.

I don't think they need to rebuild from scratch, but this needs a lot of work if it's going to be something that I'm going to want to play more than its predecessor.


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Bluenose wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.
Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes went in 2015 and there have been others since, so it's hardly as if the process hasn't continued into the 5e years. Which rather speaks volumes about how little the success or failure of the product has on layoffs at WotC.

Rob Heinsoo was let go a year after 4e's launch, whereas Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford still have their jobs. In general you don't lay off a lead designer if the product was good, if for no other reason than because he might go work for a competitor.

Chris Sims was laid off during 4e's run as well, rehired later and laid off again after 5e's launch. 5e has a much slower release schedule than PF or previous D&D editions, in spite of its success, hence they have fewer staff. That may in turn be a sign of WotC/Hasbro holding the D&D department's purse strings tighter after 4e.

Paizo Employee CEO

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necromental wrote:
One other thing to consider is that, AFAIK, the people at conventions play premade characters. Building a character you're gonna play for a campaign is a different beast than being handed a sheet and told: go have fun. And character building is not making me tingle right now, as opposed to PF1.

Just wanted to chime in here. While the demo tables in the booth only used pregens, the Pathfinder Society playtest scenarios had a mix of pregens and player-made characters. So there were quite a few characters made by players. Many bought their playtest books and then sat down to spend a few hours creating their character before diving in. So we did get some feedback from them on that process as well as actual play.

-Lisa


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Not going to lie.

I see 0 appeal in PF2.

The point of a new edition, was, to myself, to improve upon what is good and change what is bad. Not to do away with everything and start over. Just look at how the 4th edition crashed and burned... That should have given the writers a good writing direction.

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

But 5e and Pathfinder should be directed towards different audiences. It's pretty obvious the 5e is geared towards more inexperienced players, who care more about "class balance" (when did that EVER become a thing in pen and paper RPGs... Sigh) and ease of play than a more complete and simulationistic experience like most PF players do.

I will admit it - I am a caster player, and I am VERY disappointed by the general "hit the casters with a bat until they stop moving" trend that started with the 5e, and which I'd hoped would spare the second edition of Pathfinder. Seems to me like a vocal minority is making a crusade to try and paint casters in a bad light, therefore ruining them for the silent majority.

I don't get the "revolution" concept.

Paizo is not Hasbro. If you mess up with PF 2e, you might as well start liquidating assets, because I doubt from a financial point of view Paizo can withstand the kind of losses that Hasbro took with the 4th edition.

Also, you will lost me as a player (and a a consumer...), because I entirely reject the idea of revolution for the sake of it. I hated the 4th edition, as much as I loved Pathfinder taking what was good of the 3,5 and continuing in that direction.

More than anything, if this has been internally playtested for two whole years, how could this EVER see the light of day?

It's hell of clunky, poorly formatted and to be honest does not hype me even half as much as the original Pathfinder did. I hope the public playtest actually makes a LOT of changes to things as they are, because otherwise... Well, RIP Pathfinder.

And I'm sure some people will fly to the rescue and point out what an awesome work this is, etc... Like they did for the 4th. Food for thought. Dungeons almost ended with that edition!


Zardnaar wrote:

Nope casual players buy the most materials. WoTC listened to forum concerns and the RPGA in regards to 4E design did not turn out well and WoTC own forums were very negative towards 5E (mostly because the 4E fans had taken them over). When it became clear that 5E was not 4.5 and fans of other editions started posting about the D&D Next playtest or what have you they blew up a lot worse than they have here.

The way people talked about 3.5 on the forums was vastly different to the way most players played it. The well known problems 3.5 had on the forums were not a major problem for most gamers its how they got Pathfinder.

Put simply most players are not hard core power gamers or want to spend a lot of time crunching numbers and eking out builds.

I think you are only partly right here. And I would stack a guess on that saying that this applies a lot less to Paizo.

WotC has been very clear that their first priority for D&D is brand value. They are producing less books overall and they are not relying on D&D TTRPG book sales to make WotC profitable as a company. (To be clear, they are selling very well and I'm sure they are profitable, that just isn't the top goal) Simply maintaining their undisputed status as the #1 game while not being a cost is a win.

I doubt that model works for Paizo, who probably really want a solid base of "subscribers". Nobody is looking down their nose at casual fans. Hell, without casual fans, the subscribers have no reason to subscribe. But the business model is (almost certainly) different.

The fact that you are completely right on the WotC front not withstanding.

Liberty's Edge

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Andarr wrote:

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

But 5e and Pathfinder should be directed towards different audiences. It's pretty obvious the 5e is geared towards more inexperienced players, who care more about "class balance" (when did that EVER become a thing in pen and paper RPGs... Sigh) and ease of play than a more complete and simulationistic experience like most PF players do.

Comments like this always baffle me...

First, ever comment from every Paizo staffmember I have every read gives me the impression they have never read 5e, let alone played it enough to have an idea how to emulate it.

Second...
5e had a massive playtest. The largest playtest, that had ten times as many participants as the Pathfinder playtest, and was designed around making a version of D&D that appealed to established fans, with a slant towards old school fans.

I have no idea where the "5e is geared towards inexperienced players" myth comes from. It's actually very much the opposite.

It's probably an extension of the idea that simple is for beginners and complex is for more experienced... Which often isn't true.
It was noted that during the '80s, the BECMI version of D&D (starting with the Red Basic box and Expert box) was most often played by more experienced gamers who wanted a faster game. While the Advanced D&D was more often played by newer players who wanted to play the "real" game.

The whole OSR movement pretty much eschews complexity. But I've never heard anyone try and argue it's all about marketing to new players...

Lastly, when did "class balance" become a thing in PnP RPGs? 1974. Since the concept originated with wargames, which predated RPGs.
It was always a thing.


Andarr wrote:

Not going to lie.

I see 0 appeal in PF2.

The point of a new edition, was, to myself, to improve upon what is good and change what is bad. Not to do away with everything and start over. Just look at how the 4th edition crashed and burned... That should have given the writers a good writing direction.

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

It sometimes feels like 4th Ed is the result of Rob Heinsoo and a few other folks getting carte blanche to write whatever D&D they personally want the game to be, in almost total isolation (and personal bias, Rob insisting the Warlord is in there, as he previously designed the Marshal, obviously his favoured thing; would have been okay if it had not squeezed out other classes, I had to wait almost 2 years for the monk!), at least we have more input with this new edition.

A lot changed from the first 5th Ed/D&D Next Playtest packet, compared to the last, so who knows what we will end up with next year; I wouldn't mind them pushing the release date back rather than rush anything, I mean, after 10 years, I can wait a few more.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.

I don't have a source on hand, but my understanding is that it also provided them an opportunity to switch the Classic Coca-Cola formula from using sugar to using the much more available high fructose corn syrup, without consumers being able to easily compare or readily notice the switch. I'm not 100% sure if it's true, nor where this fits into the whole Pathfinder Second Edition metaphor, but it's another interesting factoid. ^_^


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jester David wrote:
Andarr wrote:

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

But 5e and Pathfinder should be directed towards different audiences. It's pretty obvious the 5e is geared towards more inexperienced players, who care more about "class balance" (when did that EVER become a thing in pen and paper RPGs... Sigh) and ease of play than a more complete and simulationistic experience like most PF players do.

Comments like this always baffle me...

First, ever comment from every Paizo staffmember I have every read gives me the impression they have never read 5e, let alone played it enough to have an idea how to emulate it.

However, MacFarland and Bonner were both in the 4e design team...


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magnaangemon01 wrote:
At level 2 as an Unchained Rogue, I had +30 to Stealth before I even rolled thanks to a piece of gear made from spidersilk.

That's the sort of thing a 3.75 edition could fix.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.
I don't have a source on hand, but my understanding is that it also provided them an opportunity to switch the Classic Coca-Cola formula from using sugar to using the much more available high fructose corn syrup, without consumers being able to easily compare or readily notice the switch. I'm not 100% sure if it's true, nor where this fits into the whole Pathfinder Second Edition metaphor, but it's another interesting factoid. ^_^

So look out PF3!

I kid, but I remember some saying that versions of D&D are like the original Star Trek films, but instead of the even ones being good (as in ST), it's the odd.

PF2 is a totally different situation to 4th Ed, PF2 has a playtest, a lot changed between the first 5th Ed playtest packet and the last, so much can change by later next year.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:


PF2 is a totally different situation to 4th Ed, PF2 has a playtest, a lot changed between the first 5th Ed playtest packet and the last, so much can change by later next year

5e also had a much longer playtest period. The question that has come up here is "when is the next playtest release coming out?"

Which is a valid question.


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Jeff Deaner wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:


PF2 is a totally different situation to 4th Ed, PF2 has a playtest, a lot changed between the first 5th Ed playtest packet and the last, so much can change by later next year

5e also had a much longer playtest period. The question that has come up here is "when is the next playtest release coming out?"

Which is a valid question.

Yes, I would rather they push back the release date than rush anything, I have waited many years, I can wait 1 or 2 more.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Noodlemancer wrote:


I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.
Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.
I don't have a source on hand, but my understanding is that it also provided them an opportunity to switch the Classic Coca-Cola formula from using sugar to using the much more available high fructose corn syrup, without consumers being able to easily compare or readily notice the switch. I'm not 100% sure if it's true, nor where this fits into the whole Pathfinder Second Edition metaphor, but it's another interesting factoid. ^_^

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Taste_test_problems:

Wikipeda wrote:
In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Malcolm Gladwell relates his conversations with market researchers in the food industry who put most of the blame for the failure of New Coke on the flawed nature of taste tests. They claim most are subject to systematic biases. Tests such as the Pepsi Challenge were "sip tests", meaning that drinkers were given small samples (less than a can or bottle's worth) to try. Gladwell contends that what people say they like in these tests may not reflect what they actually buy to drink at home over several days.[29] Carol Dollard, who once worked in product development for Pepsi, told Gladwell: "I've seen many times where the sip test will give you one result and the home-use test will give you the exact opposite."[29]:159 For example, although many consumers react positively to the sweeter taste of Pepsi in small volumes, it may become unattractively sweet when drunk in quantity. Coke, on the other hand, may be more attractive for drinking in volume, because it is less sweet. A more comprehensive testing regimen could possibly have revealed this, Gladwell's sources believe.

One possible conclusion one could draw from this "Taste test problem" is that similar to how the taste of a sip differs from the taste of a full bottle, the experience of a one-shot adventure differs from the experience of a full campaign progression. Take it for what you will.

As for replacement of cane sugar with corn syrup, Wikipedia says:

Wikipedia wrote:
In fact, Coca-Cola began allowing bottlers to remove up to half of the product's cane sugar as early as 1980, five years before the introduction of New Coke. By the time the new formula was introduced, most bottlers had already sweetened Coca-Cola entirely with HFCS.


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Jeff Deaner wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:


PF2 is a totally different situation to 4th Ed, PF2 has a playtest, a lot changed between the first 5th Ed playtest packet and the last, so much can change by later next year

5e also had a much longer playtest period. The question that has come up here is "when is the next playtest release coming out?"

Which is a valid question.

I thought that they did answer this, but the answer was "There really isn't going to be a new release of the playtest."?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mats Öhrman wrote:

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Taste_test_problems:

Wikipeda wrote:
In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Malcolm Gladwell relates his conversations with market researchers in the food industry who put most of the blame for the
...

That's what I get for relying on half-remembered hearsay. ^_^

Thank you for the information!

Liberty's Edge

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Jeff Deaner wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Andarr wrote:

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

But 5e and Pathfinder should be directed towards different audiences. It's pretty obvious the 5e is geared towards more inexperienced players, who care more about "class balance" (when did that EVER become a thing in pen and paper RPGs... Sigh) and ease of play than a more complete and simulationistic experience like most PF players do.

Comments like this always baffle me...

First, ever comment from every Paizo staffmember I have every read gives me the impression they have never read 5e, let alone played it enough to have an idea how to emulate it.

However, MacFarland and Bonner were both in the 4e design team...

Which also boggles you mind.

There’s so many comments of “they borrowed X from 5e!!” When said design elements are often from 4e or even Star Wars Saga, both of which predate Pathfinder.


Jester David wrote:
Jeff Deaner wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Andarr wrote:

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

But 5e and Pathfinder should be directed towards different audiences. It's pretty obvious the 5e is geared towards more inexperienced players, who care more about "class balance" (when did that EVER become a thing in pen and paper RPGs... Sigh) and ease of play than a more complete and simulationistic experience like most PF players do.

Comments like this always baffle me...

First, ever comment from every Paizo staffmember I have every read gives me the impression they have never read 5e, let alone played it enough to have an idea how to emulate it.

However, MacFarland and Bonner were both in the 4e design team...

Which also boggles you mind.

There’s so many comments of “they borrowed X from 5e!!” When said design elements are often from 4e or even Star Wars Saga, both of which predate Pathfinder.

Yeah, I've only seen a few isolated things that are 5th Ed like, Advantage, finesse weapons, Athletics for grappling (unfortunately that is one of 5th Ed's most egregious design errors, especially with Expertise).


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Kalindlara wrote:
Mats Öhrman wrote:

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Taste_test_problems:

Wikipeda wrote:
In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Malcolm Gladwell relates his conversations with market researchers in the food industry who put most of the blame for the
...

That's what I get for relying on half-remembered hearsay. ^_^

Thank you for the information!

You are very welcome! ^^

As a software developer, I'm quite dependent on a good test team - the nastier and meaner the better! I've used this New Coke info snippet several times when discussing testing strategies. :)


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Mats Öhrman wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Mats Öhrman wrote:

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Taste_test_problems:

Wikipeda wrote:
In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Malcolm Gladwell relates his conversations with market researchers in the food industry who put most of the blame for the
...

That's what I get for relying on half-remembered hearsay. ^_^

Thank you for the information!

You are very welcome! ^^

As a software developer, I'm quite dependent on a good test team - the nastier and meaner the better! I've used this New Coke info snippet several times when discussing testing strategies. :)

Another example of poor testing metrics was the testing of Windows Vista prior to release. The replaced most of their testers with programmers who could write automated tests. And Vista was architecturally a big improvement over XP. But they failed to test the important metric: "Compared with XP, will a user (or corporation) see the advantages and want to switch?"


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Kalindlara wrote:
Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

That revolution may be a repeat of the one that took place with 4e.

A substantial percentage of the player base leaving for another company.

I really like some parts of PF2, the Action Economy, monsters, and the interaction between, I just hope this doesn't end up being Paizo's New Coke.

I'm not sure why do you consider New Coke to be some sort of a spectacular blunder.

Here's some facts:
1. According to literally all blind taste tests where they weren't told what is what, people preferred the taste of New Coke to Old Coke. The main reason New Coke was rejected by the public was that people subjectively felt "betrayed" by the company, not any objective lack of quality.
2. After New Coke was discontinued and Coca-Cola company returned Old Coke on the shelves, sales skyrocketed to significantly higher levels than before New Coke was introduced, meaning New Coke was a commercially beneficial project even though it never took off on its own.
I don't have a source on hand, but my understanding is that it also provided them an opportunity to switch the Classic Coca-Cola formula from using sugar to using the much more available high fructose corn syrup, without consumers being able to easily compare or readily notice the switch. I'm not 100% sure if it's true, nor where this fits into the whole Pathfinder Second Edition metaphor, but it's another interesting factoid. ^_^

That's only half-true. Before the switch to New Coke, some regions had Old Coke with Sugar, some had Old Coke with HFCS, with the split moving progressively further towards the latter of the two. After New Coke flopped and Old Coke returned, it was entirely HFCS, but it was already pretty close to that before New Coke.


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Andarr wrote:

I will admit it - I am a caster player, and I am VERY disappointed by the general "hit the casters with a bat until they stop moving" trend that started with the 5e, and which I'd hoped would spare the second edition of Pathfinder. Seems to me like a vocal minority is making a crusade to try and paint casters in a bad light, therefore ruining them for the silent majority.

Of the dozen so people I've played D&D/PF with over the years, pretty much all of them thought that primary casters had game-breaking balance problems, including the ones who were playing casters. The only one who I can imagine disagreeing is the unabashed powergamer who considered "I am the star of the show and the rest of you are just here to be my entourage" to be the appropriate way to play. He always played wizards. :-P


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The Narration wrote:

unabashed powergamer who considered "I am the star of the show and the rest of you are just here to be my entourage" to be the appropriate way to play. He always played wizards. :-P

Our unabashed powergamer was awesome, but he always played his Wizard (or Druid, or Cleric) in a manner that made everyone else the stars of the show, as far as encounters went. Took the rest of the group a couple of years, and a few sessions where he wasn't able to make it, to catch on to exactly how it was working.

Shadow Lodge

Speaking on the topic of product development and product testing...

Before you even set aside a budget to build and launch a new product, there's quite a bit of market and product research that needs to should be done. So if you're 'testing' the prospect of product success, it's against the clearly defined goal for that product.

As it's the easier path, products usually go after existing demand in the market. Otherwise, they'll require as part of their launch a significant investment of dollars in 'demand generation' - effectively $ into advertisements to convince and educate people they want something they didn't know they wanted/needed before the product existed.

Applying this in our case, if you just finished a home game of 1e/2e and looked at your players and said "man I wish there was a game just like this but it didn't use THAC0", then there's evidence of demand preceding a product.

Or if you were hanging out at conventions and you kept overhearing people say, "man I wish there was something just like this, but set in space or a post-apocalyptic world" then there's evidence of demand.

Then the hard part is quantifying how much demand there is. But ultimately you've identified an existing audience and your market testing is to see if your product fits that audience. With some notion of how big the market is (in people and $$), you also figure out what's the reasonable return on investment for making this product and optimistically assuming you can do relatively successful at selling it.

From what I've gleaned so far, Paizo's done market testing at conventions. This leads to the question 'Can they, using their budgets for signage and staff, project a reasonable presence and draw folks into their exhibits to sit down and play a 2-4 hour session, have a good time, and at the end part with some money to buy product?'

Based on their posts, the answer seems to be definitely.

It could be that PF2e is specifically targeted to convention atmospheres and not so much targeted to the home gamer running tabletop campaign worlds.

If I view PF2e through that lens, it certainly appears fairly on target.


The Narration wrote:
Andarr wrote:

I will admit it - I am a caster player, and I am VERY disappointed by the general "hit the casters with a bat until they stop moving" trend that started with the 5e, and which I'd hoped would spare the second edition of Pathfinder. Seems to me like a vocal minority is making a crusade to try and paint casters in a bad light, therefore ruining them for the silent majority.

Of the dozen so people I've played D&D/PF with over the years, pretty much all of them thought that primary casters had game-breaking balance problems, including the ones who were playing casters. The only one who I can imagine disagreeing is the unabashed powergamer who considered "I am the star of the show and the rest of you are just here to be my entourage" to be the appropriate way to play. He always played wizards. :-P

Total, I learned in my very first 3rd Ed campaign back in the day, that once 4th-level spells land, you can have serious, serious problems. I also allowed all WotC books at the time (2005, I have been DMing D&D for far longer than that, it was just my first full-on 3rd Ed campaign), ha.


Moro wrote:
The Narration wrote:

unabashed powergamer who considered "I am the star of the show and the rest of you are just here to be my entourage" to be the appropriate way to play. He always played wizards. :-P

Our unabashed powergamer was awesome, but he always played his Wizard (or Druid, or Cleric) in a manner that made everyone else the stars of the show, as far as encounters went. Took the rest of the group a couple of years, and a few sessions where he wasn't able to make it, to catch on to exactly how it was working.

ah, a proper "God Wizard" i see (sets up enemies to be knocked down by the other party members so he can use his resources elsewhere).

played well they're the definition of "I gotchu bro"


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If spellcasters are too powerful, why give them full BAB? Why not let that be one area for martial classes to shine? If we're concerned Monks and Rogues don't have full BAB, focus on fixing that for just the Monks and Rogues.


Ronnam wrote:
If spellcasters are too powerful, why give them full BAB? Why not let that be one area for martial classes to shine? If we're concerned Monks and Rogues don't have full BAB, focus on fixing that for just the Monks and Rogues.

It's been the way since 4th Ed, it would seem.


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Moro wrote:
The Narration wrote:

unabashed powergamer who considered "I am the star of the show and the rest of you are just here to be my entourage" to be the appropriate way to play. He always played wizards. :-P

Our unabashed powergamer was awesome, but he always played his Wizard (or Druid, or Cleric) in a manner that made everyone else the stars of the show, as far as encounters went. Took the rest of the group a couple of years, and a few sessions where he wasn't able to make it, to catch on to exactly how it was working.

When I ran Second Darkness a couple of years ago, a different friend of mine played a wizard who focused on counterspelling and supporting the rest of the party. The result was that everybody had fun and the most potent and frequently cast spell in his arsenal, even when he could be casting 8th level ones, was haste, because it meant that the arcane archer and rogue got even more attacks than usual.

He spent the final battle holding an action to Spell Parry the BBEG cleric, and was so effective at rebounding anything she used back at her that she had to give up on casting entirely and fight the rest of the party in melee.

The game is always more fun when the players are playing with each other instead of against each other.


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Jester David wrote:
Jeff Deaner wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Andarr wrote:

Pf2 seems to me like it took more than a few pages out of the 5e.

But 5e and Pathfinder should be directed towards different audiences. It's pretty obvious the 5e is geared towards more inexperienced players, who care more about "class balance" (when did that EVER become a thing in pen and paper RPGs... Sigh) and ease of play than a more complete and simulationistic experience like most PF players do.

Comments like this always baffle me...

First, ever comment from every Paizo staffmember I have every read gives me the impression they have never read 5e, let alone played it enough to have an idea how to emulate it.

However, MacFarland and Bonner were both in the 4e design team...

Which also boggles you mind.

There’s so many comments of “they borrowed X from 5e!!” When said design elements are often from 4e or even Star Wars Saga, both of which predate Pathfinder.

How can that boggle your mind? I don't care who did it first, I discovered in in the 5e, and therefore associate it with that. I think the whole "Let's give unlimited cantrips to casters so we can nerf spells" is fine for 5e, but not for PF.

And again, PF 2e has a metric ton of other issues.


Ronnam wrote:
If spellcasters are too powerful, why give them full BAB? Why not let that be one area for martial classes to shine? If we're concerned Monks and Rogues don't have full BAB, focus on fixing that for just the Monks and Rogues.

Differing to hit modifiers only means adding a second set of rules for when low BAB classes need to be using to-hit rolls. By keeping the to-hit bonuses the same, but modifying the result of a hit based on class, you only need the one system. If the concern was that the ability difference between classes was too small, then modifying the bonus from proficiency rank would be a better option than removing the universal +level to hit.


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ENHenry wrote:
BryonD wrote:


The trick is, an RPG can't afford to drive away any meaningful percentage of its fanbase. If there are three things and each one drives away 1 out of 10 fans, then the game is toast.

To be honest, though, it's likely to be the same fans for each of those cases, because usually the people most disaffected are against sweeping changes of ANY nature as opposed to minor changes. The level scaling is as likely to drive that contingent of fans away as the class feats are, as is the skill feats and proficiency gating, etc. Most people will be dissatisfied with 2 or 3 things, but usually to the level of "proud nails" rather than dealbreakers.

For me, the level scaling isn't my favorite, because it ends up making only a VERY narrow band of monsters and threats valid for any given level. Once you get threats that are more than about 3 levels away from your PCs' level, they get either trivial or overwhelming; I'd rather be able to use at least threats up to 5 levels different, especially on the low end, but for me it's not enough to stop using the game if it makes into the final cut.

Then +level thing is my deal breaker and you are responding to me. So fair enough, But if you look around there are quite a few things bugging a segment of people.

Goblins, ancestries, moving things behind feats, signature skills, resonance, runes, I'm sure there are more.

It can be fan base death of a thousand cuts


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
The basic D&D DNA was the 6 attribute scores, class based, alignment, and a few other bits and pieces- most gamers don't care about THAC0, BAB, feats, powers builds, level 11+ etc.
True, and I found in a 3rd Ed campaign I ran where I allowed any WotC book, with 2 full casters in the party, that problems can start at 7th level, once 4th-level spells hit the table it can become a nightmare (murderous mist still makes me ill thinking about it), I managed, but, wow, it seemed like a lot of effort to maintain.

i think the 3.X sweet spot is level 3-7. Level 7 is where a lot of problems start though.

Level 4 spells and when buff spells hit +2 and +3 and can be stacked (level 9 divine favor/power etc 3.0, +2 level 8 3.5 + persistent spell in both cases).

The math is a bigger problem for me I can deal with Op stuff easier, if the math is really borked you can't do much about it.


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Lisa Stevens wrote:
necromental wrote:
One other thing to consider is that, AFAIK, the people at conventions play premade characters. Building a character you're gonna play for a campaign is a different beast than being handed a sheet and told: go have fun. And character building is not making me tingle right now, as opposed to PF1.

Just wanted to chime in here. While the demo tables in the booth only used pregens, the Pathfinder Society playtest scenarios had a mix of pregens and player-made characters. So there were quite a few characters made by players. Many bought their playtest books and then sat down to spend a few hours creating their character before diving in. So we did get some feedback from them on that process as well as actual play.

-Lisa

The problem with that though is.

1. They all had physical copies of the book.
2. Fan conventions by nature are for the most hard core.
3. They could network with each other in person.
4. They are existing and fanatical fans of Pathfinder.

Mike Mearls explained the 4E disconnect. 4E evolved out of late 3.5, however if you only has the PHB and maybe a splat or 2 and did not have the late 3.5 material 4E came out of the blue.

We left Pathfinder in 2012, Ultimate Campaign was the last book we bought except for some humble bundles. We have not seen late Pathfinder material, we have not played Starfinder. I have the PF core book, some splats, Inner Sea World Guide and I am struggling with PF2. My D&D history BECMI-2E,1E, 3.0, 3.5, SWSE, 4E, SWSE/3.5, Pathfinder, 2E AD&D, B/X+ clones, 5E. I was a Paizo customer 2002-2012.

I did not like 4E but I understood the basics. I'm struggling with PF2, my wife gave up trying to create a Rogue. This is the 1st D&D this has happened with. And we have a rough idea what finesse and agile weapons are, if I was a new player I can't imagine trying to figure this out.

If it takes you hours to generate a PC that is a problem right there. I played B/X again after playing 3E and the adventures often have a stat array in the back so you pick one and adventuring pack ,B or C and off you go its 5-10 minutes to start a game.

I have most of the Paizo era Dragons and Dungeons (lost a couple of issues) but I remember in the final issues IIRC it may have been you stating that they were proud of Kyuss stat block being 3 pages long.

Think about it 3 pages for a monster, who can run that in a real game. Is that really a good idea? Compare it with the deity stat blocks in 1E Deities and Demigods book. PF2 has 9 or 10 pages for a basic fighter.

IDK if PF2 will be aimed at new players, I assume you want them but I don't see vast numbers getting on board with that IMHO of course.


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I do wish that instead of supporting severe casters nerfs, we could see significant buffs to martial classes. I think that maneuvers like those seen in path of war and tomb of battle offer melee characters significantly more battlefield options than the baseline PF1 or 3.5 combat feat systems.

I also feel as if, in high fantasy settings, fighter shouldn't have to equal mundane. If for example, a fighter wants to teleport 60 ft. into the air to slam a flying enemy into the ground with a hammer the size of a grand piano, more power to them.

Even if you don't like the idea of a super magical fighter, you can refluff many existing spells as fighter abilities. For example, fireball becomes hail of dragonfire arrows. Haste becomes rally allies. Time stop becomes battlefield acceleration.

I'm not saying we should give martials all a casters toys, just something to bring them past: 5ft. step, full attack over and over again.

I understand that their are people out their who enjoy playing mundane characters. But its unreasonable to expect other characters to be balanced (mechanically) around such an obvious limitation in a fantasy setting.

Finally, Casters are not perfect in either 3.5 or PF1. However, I find their main issue to be certain specific spells that consistently cause problems at a table when in the hands of power-gamers. Power gamers will always find a way to break the game, especially when it is a game that offers lots of player choice (I still remember a player with a tier 0 paladin build that made my 3.5 game especially unpleasant). In the end, its just up to the DM to tell a player no.


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wakedown wrote:

...

From what I've gleaned so far, Paizo's done market testing at conventions. This leads to the question 'Can they, using their budgets for signage and staff, project a reasonable presence and draw folks into their exhibits to sit down and play a 2-4 hour session, have a good time, and at the end part with some money to buy product?'

Based on their posts, the answer seems to be definitely.

It could be that PF2e is specifically targeted to convention atmospheres and not so much targeted to the home gamer running tabletop campaign worlds.

If I view PF2e through that lens, it certainly appears fairly on target.

The unfortunate part of this is that's not really sustainable. The fact is someone has to run those games at conventions, and unless Paizo's planning to hire staff to run across the country (see proverbial tongue in cheek), then those games are going to be run by people who enjoy playing at home, or at a local gaming store...

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