Dear Paizo


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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

There is always risk in an new endeavor, and that is true for PF2

I do not think any of us know completely for sure why Paizo is taking such a completely different approach to Pathfinder and I did read all the playtest FAQs. It would be helpful if Paizo could share a bit more with us as to the "why" this is happening, and to "what" endstate and direction they are hoping to achieve.

Is there something more to the situation that can be said that would help us?

In my profession for nearly 30 years, the best results always occurred when everyone understood the mission/purpose and the commanders intent of what they were doing. If the two things I just stated where understood and things went to hell in a hand basket at 0200 in complete chaos, everyone still understood what needed to happen to get the job done. Call it a shared vision if you will.

I feel like we are a bit in the dark on this. Right now, I am playtesting and commenting on things and posting potential solutions but without knowing what the intent, vision and endstate is, it is very hard to be as effective as possible.

I love PF1, and if folks have read any of my posts you will know that there are some things I like about PF2, but I am not sold or on board yet with PF2. IF what I am asking above can be answered, it would be helpful to me in assisting more with the playtest and would dispel a lot of rumors, myths, hand wringing and get more of us on board and focussed on what the future holds.


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Apparently Paizo can't tell us because to do so would bias our feedback Instead they want us tilting at windmills and only afterwards will they tell us what the point of anything was.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Isn't it obvious? Pathfinder has problems that are inherent to the 3.5 system. They want to make a system that's better by completely cutting off from 3.5. What isn't there to understand? If you like 3.5 still and think there aren't problems with it then fine keep playing Pathfinder. I have some big problems with it and I think that the playtest is addressing them well.

Scarab Sages

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Apparently Paizo can't tell us because to do so would bias our feedback Instead they want us tilting at windmills and only afterwards will they tell us what the point of anything was.

You are becoming more and more toxic by the days dude.

Take some nice vacation, breath, remember this is just a game with an absolute 0 impact on your life and take it easy.

Even if it end up as the worst game ever there is no reason to be this upset.


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Shaheer-El-Khatib wrote:
remember this is just a game with an absolute 0 impact on your life and take it easy.

I'm going to have to disagree. Gaming is something that friends can be gained and lost through, and I know I got through a tough couple of weeks by focusing my effort on producing interesting characters in PF1. Even ignoring monetary investment, I wouldn't call that nothing.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Apparently Paizo can't tell us because to do so would bias our feedback Instead they want us tilting at windmills and only afterwards will they tell us what the point of anything was.

You're mixing things up. GMs should not tell their players the playtest scenarios goals, i.e. not read to them the "Goal" section in each scenario. This has nothing to do with the Playtest's goals in general.


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I don't know what Paizo's intent was... but I do know that I visited my two large bookstores in my town and found 20-30 copies of the playtest still up for sale. They're also still readily for sale online on amazon and bn.com.
Which suggests either one of two things. One: their production line was far larger than intended or two: apart from the initial pre-orders, very few of the books have been sold. Which is not a good sign for the product's viability, imho.

Silver Crusade

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Zi Mishkal wrote:

I don't know what Paizo's intent was... but I do know that I visited my two large bookstores in my town and found 20-30 copies of the playtest still up for sale. They're also still readily for sale online on amazon and bn.com.

Which suggests either one of two things. One: their production line was far larger than intended or two: apart from the initial pre-orders, very few of the books have been sold. Which is not a good sign for the product's viability, imho.

I don't think the sales of the playtest books signify anything. The content of the books is already outdated (and it was known that it would be). They were never any indication of the interest in the playtest


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:

I don't know what Paizo's intent was... but I do know that I visited my two large bookstores in my town and found 20-30 copies of the playtest still up for sale. They're also still readily for sale online on amazon and bn.com.

Which suggests either one of two things. One: their production line was far larger than intended or two: apart from the initial pre-orders, very few of the books have been sold. Which is not a good sign for the product's viability, imho.

Well since there's only going to be one printing they probably just bought a large order of them. And also the PDF for the rules are free for everyone on their site. So even if there aren't as many people buying the books it's not like that has any indication on the buy rate of the actual rulebook when it comes out.


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These questions have been answered already. They were answered as early as April. Earlier probably, but it is harder to quote audio interviews.

Go to the Gameinformer interview.. Further elaboration can be found in various blogs, forum posts, twitch streams, and other interviews.


Book sales does not mean anything. We are 8 people interested in the Playtest at my club, and only one of us bought the book. The rest of us made fun of him because he bought a book that would only be up to date for one month while he could have had it free =P

Now the physical book is worthless thanks to all the changes that happened. So yeah, if they overstocked in case people would buy it after the preorder, it will be hard to sell all those extras.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Shaheer-El-Khatib wrote:


Take some nice vacation, breath, remember this is just a game with an absolute 0 impact on your life and take it easy.

But playing and designing games contribute as a major part of my life.

I do agree that passion for gaming can result in heightened emotions that might lead to overly negative hyperbole.


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Zi Mishkal wrote:
Which suggests either one of two things. One: their production line was far larger than intended or two: apart from the initial pre-orders, very few of the books have been sold. Which is not a good sign for the product's viability, imho.

There is a third option: Not many people want to buy rulebooks that will be out of date mere weeks after purchase and rendered completely obsolete in 11 months. I had no intention of buying any of the printed materials for those reasons. Of course, then I decided to run playtest sessions and ended up getting the books because I hate PDFs.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

These questions have been answered already. They were answered as early as April. Earlier probably, but it is harder to quote audio interviews.

Go to the Gameinformer interview.. Further elaboration can be found in various blogs, forum posts, twitch streams, and other interviews.

Have they? Note that your URL just goes to paizo.com, so it doesn't link to anything in particular.

I've looked. I haven't found the answers to these questions. I don't belived they've been answered. These questions keep coming up, over and over again, in these forums, but I've never seen an actual answer.

I started a thread a month and a half ago asking exactly these sorts of questions, but have heard nothing back from any of the designers. In that thread, I dig up what I was able to find from blog posts, but I still didn't find any sense of what the overall design goals of PF2e really are.

If there's a GameInformer interview that answers these questions, I'd love to see it. As far as I can tell so far, though, there is absolutely no indication of what PF2e is trying to do (other than "be new and try to fix some PF1 problems"), which would give us some sense as to why they've chosen to build a whole new system rather than update and clean up the old system. When people do point at things that are supposedly descriptions of what they're trying to do, they are usually blog posts that talk about some specific mechanic and how it works, rather than what sort of game they're trying to make and why that mechanic is a key part of it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

correct GameInformer URL

Librarians to the rescue!


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A quick google finds this GameInformer interview easily enough. The interview tells you very little about design goals though, just that Jason Buhlman wanted to lower the barrier to start playing the game and to integrate some things such as downtime and archetypes into the core rules. It does tell you a few other things (e.g. that there will be 10th level spells), it's not that it takes 10 pages to tell you that alone.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

rknop I get just a Paizo link also. Captain Morgan did you incorrectly post the link?

If the questions have been answered great, but why are they not readily available here for us to read on the main Paizo website? You think somebody from Paizo would at least post a sticky.

Its not clear to me, nor is clear to the other Pathfinder players at the hobby shop where I play Pathfinder at, that hosts about 24-28 PFS players 2-3 times per week, on what I mentioned in my initial post.

We currently have one group doing the playtest, and maybe a second kicking off.

We are hosting a Pathfinder Gaming Extravaganza in a few weeks, non-stop Pathfinder from Friday afternoon till Sunday night. All the seats/spots are taken for a total of 22 scenarios. ZERO PF2 playtest interest. ZERO...and I would be be happy play a PF2 scenario or two and yes running PF2 scenarios was on the table. A great opportunity to run the play test and zero Fan interest.

There is a communication problem with the Franchise and the Fans in my opinion.

The endstate, mission, vision, why and intent are not clear in my opinion or in the players at my local hobby shop and would be extremely helpful.

Even if its something dire (God I am hoping it is not) like, "Hey guys, Paizo goes bankrupt in 5 years if we can't retool and reinvent Pathfinder based on X, Y, and Z."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I come up short on the actual design goals as well. Jason talks a lot about things they are doing, but not so much the motivation behind them. The "hey, make blasters basically useless at high levels by nerfing their damage and forcing them to use their highest level slots to have even a change at causing useful damage" thing is talked about (of course not in those terms...), but the motivation behind that particular nerf doesn't get mentioned.

Aside from what one can infer by the pure fact that those nerfs exist, i.e. crippling casters who want to blast at high levels.


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I have been pretty critical of this new system so far, but I think I know what they are trying to do.

Change the focus of the game from numerical bonuses stacked through a myriad of means as the general path to power to one where the numbers are relatively even, but the actions and abilities vary. The old system, with the umpteen bonuses stacking, is a bit impenetrable to new players, since it requires knowing about a bonus existing at all in order to take advantage. Playing at optimal (or even just non-sub-optimal) levels demands system mastery.

SO everyone can have the same "bonus" to pretty much everything, but different classes do different things with those bonuses by virtue of having different class feats.

And this would theoretically extend to skill proficiency levels as well.

In order to save martial characters from becoming entirely pointless (not that they were doing much after lvl 15 anyway) this also requires a severe reduction in the power of spells. In practice, spells will have no great advantage over physical actions, since they are just another option for how to use your pretty-much-generic base number set.

The goal, then, is to radically shift the focus from numerical advantage to an 'available actions' advantage. IE: my proficiency in skill X allows me to do a special thing that requires that proficiency etc. numbers be damned.

All of that said, I think that the current implementation leaves a huge amount to be desired. Everything is WAY too safe and WAY too tight IMO. If the focus of the game is now meant to be on class-based feats-as-actions, then the actions really do need to become more diverse and more powerful for their specific task. The difference between Master and Trained should be far more significant than it is now, not numerically, but in how it opens up new possibilities. Same with class feats and same with regular feats.

Two problems here though:
1. That is really hard to design.. it is way easier to just slap a +2 bonus on something and call it a day.
2. If it is done poorly then you end up with what we have now, which is an overly tight system with an insurmountable numerical treadmill and not a lot of mechanical identity past the first few levels. Which means it actually draws more attention to the numbers. This is, as many have said, very much like 4e, and this failure to really make the powers distinct and interesting was the big failure point of that game's launch.


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I'm guessing the main goal is to design a better game than PF1 and sell lots and lots of core rulebooks. :)


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I don't think it needs to be put in a sticky thread or anything. As I mentioned in answer to another thread, the design goal for PF2 is right in the introduction to the playtest book, page 4:

"Our aim is to make the game easier to learn and simpler to play, while maintaining the depth of character and adventure options that has always defined Pathfinder."

The GameInformer interview is going at more length to say basically the same thing. Anyway, if all you want is a mission statement (that's what I understand is the OP's question), then this simple sentence is enough said.


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Arklore wrote:


In my profession for nearly 30 years, the best results always occurred when everyone understood the mission/purpose and the commanders intent of what they were doing. If the two things I just stated where understood and things went to hell in a hand basket at 0200 in complete chaos, everyone still understood what needed to happen to get the job done. Call it a shared vision if you will.

This isn't really an apt comparison. All of the people actually working on the project are in the know. But they want our chaotic data. If they told everyone outright what their goals were, you'd have a lot of people that would simply not contribute in any fashion since the stated goals aren't in line with their vision for the game. Keeping those people around is good. They don't need playtesters to be a bunch of useless yes-men. That said, in doing it this way, you do have the people that want to burn the entire project to the ground, but such is life.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
gwynfrid wrote:

I don't think it needs to be put in a sticky thread or anything. As I mentioned in answer to another thread, the design goal for PF2 is right in the introduction to the playtest book, page 4:

"Our aim is to make the game eathat adressessier to learn and simpler to play, while maintaining the depth of character and adventure options that has always defined Pathfinder."

The GameInformer interview is going at more length to say basically the same thing. Anyway, if all you want is a mission statement (that's what I understand is the OP's question), then this simple sentence is enough said.

gwynfrid,

while i understand your point i do not agree with it from the stand point that neither answer is complete and why cannot it be officially stated here by the leadership of Paizo? That one sentence on page four doesn't go far enough. It does not get us all playing on the same page of music. It might for you if you are are more involved in this than I am , and I am betting you are, but for me, the little guy in all of this, it is not.

Why cannot it be stated completely and in an unambiguous manner that address the concerns that are not only stated here but in many other posts? I am not the only one asking these questions here or in other circles such as the circles of folks I game with, FB, PnP, etc.


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I'm not sure if I'm more involved in this than you are. I'm participating in the playtest, yes, at the speed my group is capable of (we've done part 1 and have a date planned for part 2). Other than that, I'm no different than anyone else, certainly not more of an insider.

I think being printed in the book makes it as official and visible as it gets (page 4 is really the first page after the cover and the table of contents). I'm not sure what more would be accomplished but posting a thread specifically in response to you. Also, I'm not clear what more you'd like to see. In the OP, you asked for a mission statement, there's one. I don't think more than a sentence is required for that. Moreover, as others have mentioned, there are a whole lot of interviews and past blog posts, not that hard to find, to address this question.


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From different posts, videos, blogs, and FAQs, I think they've made it as clear as they can what the mission is.
Make a game that is easier for new players to learn. While still being robust enough to appeal to veterans. Try to fix some issues that lingered from 3.5/PF1. Make some of the classes more "balanced" (and when people talk about this, they generally mean combat). Because the PF1 boards are cluttered with posts like "Fix the rogue! They're underpowered!" (Even though I've played many rogues, and I never felt like having 8+ Int skill ranks and massive amounts of sneak attack dice was "weak.")
And they've also said they have learned a lot from 10 years of Pathfinder, and 18 years of 3rd edition. And they want to make a game that players, including themselves, want to play.

I have had no problem at all gathering this info. I just read the blogs and message boards. And, of course, the rulebook intro.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Well, I agree we can find the pieces to the puzzle and from there we can use some deductive processes but at least in my profession and professional life you usually want as a company or an organization to publish and post it someplace, or in multiple places in an official capacity such as printed products, websites, facebook, and other media and communication platforms that official represent the company. It adds clarity and singularity of purpose. It takes out the guess work and speculation.

Right now, I bet a lot of think or may even feel we know and understand the goals and intent and what that endstate may be, but without Paizo putting and communicating it all together ....and then quarterly restating that or adjusting the Vision, intent, overarching goals, etc...we don't know for sure.

Large corporations do this, Government does this, Universities do this all in a single consolidated manner. Heck I do it with my kids and family, so why cannot Paizo? I am not bashing Paizio, I am just recommending that if they did this, it would be very helpful for us to help them. If I did not like Pathfinder and or Paizo I would have stopped after buying the current PF1E Core Rulebook and moved on to a different game system.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A general mission statement does not make detailed design goals. A valid question would be "Why were spells so heavily nerfed in all respects (duration, effect, range, targets)?".

While there are enough forum members who will posit their individual opinion with great abandon about this (myself included), this does not equal an official statement by the developers in that regard. We don't know why they went this far, we don't know if a step back from this is even negotiable or if their decision is already cast in iron. All in all, we need more detailed information, on this topic and on many other topics of contention. In the absence of developer feedback, rampant speculation and discontent both grow unchecked.


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Paizo may be hoping that a lot of the discontent will blow itself out and people will resign themselves to whatever Paizo publishes. If they told you right now "we are not willing to make the game appeal to you" you would be more likely to write PF2e off straight away and move onto other things.

I don't see that tactic working myself. We will wait and see.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Paizo may be hoping that a lot of the discontent will blow itself out and people will resign themselves to whatever Paizo publishes. If they told you right now "we are not willing to make the game appeal to you" you would be more likely to write PF2e off straight away and move onto other things.

I don't see that tactic working myself. We will wait and see.

I gotta agree here. Our group is considering alternatives to PF2 in this current incarnation. That being said, we're also hopeful that most of these design decisions can be rectified and a more polished product produced. In last night's session we also wondered how hard a release date at GenCon next year would be?


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There's enough positive support on the forum. (and we have no reason to suspect the greater community is any different) for what they've done that they'll be forging ahead.

I expect We'll see some changes (signature skills, resonance, 1 ancestry feat at level 1) that will be emphasized as them listening to feedback (the truly cynical may wonder how much Paizo truly expected these to survive to the final product) while the big stuff (+level to everything, class feats, nerfed spell's and reduced spell slots) will by and large make it in with the current format and only minor tweaks.


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magnuskn wrote:

A general mission statement does not make detailed design goals. A valid question would be "Why were spells so heavily nerfed in all respects (duration, effect, range, targets)?".

While there are enough forum members who will posit their individual opinion with great abandon about this (myself included), this does not equal an official statement by the developers in that regard. We don't know why they went this far, we don't know if a step back from this is even negotiable or if their decision is already cast in iron. All in all, we need more detailed information, on this topic and on many other topics of contention. In the absence of developer feedback, rampant speculation and discontent both grow unchecked.

Exactly so.

Paizo is taking a strange, to my eyes, stance on this. They are having us do a partially blind playtest, and feeding us just bare snippets of information we need to understand what direction they want to move the system in.

Magnuskn provides a great example, because we don't know the reason the power floor of pure casters was dropped its hard for us to brainstorm viable alternatives, we don't know more than a general mission statement.

I am in the military, I've learned that sometimes you have to hand out information to get an accurate result. The biggest example of this was the US Air Force recently had some issues with Gate Runner scenarios at multiple bases.

Big Air Force gave us a general mission statement, then a list of end goals for new systems were dropped by our unit commanders, then they asked us for solutions. This allowed us to evaluate what the good solutions were that fit both the mission statement and individual goals for our units.

Paizo needs to do the same thing here, we need the big picture and then we need some specific goals or objectives and we need to be told what is and is not on the table.

Right now we are dividing into small groups and tilting at windmills that might not be relevant.

I'm not a fan of +level to proficiency, I believe it invalidates other choices we make with our characters, but if Mark came in here and flat out posted that that bit was non-negotiable, I'd shush my opinion on that and move on to the next relevant problem in my eyes. I don't have to like every individual piece of the system, as long as I enjoy playing with the overall system, right now, I have a spiral notebook with around 100ish small to medium sized issues I have, and 10 or so big ones, but many of the smaller issues will resolve themselves if the larger issues are correctly handled, and 1 or 2 of the larger issues will balance correctly if a handful of smaller ones are corrected first.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

There's enough positive support on the forum. (and we have no reason to suspect the greater community is any different) for what they've done that they'll be forging ahead.

I expect We'll see some changes (signature skills, resonance, 1 ancestry feat at level 1) that will be emphasized as them listening to feedback (the truly cynical may wonder how much Paizo truly expected these to survive to the final product) while the big stuff (+level to everything, class feats, nerfed spell's and reduced spell slots) will by and large make it in with the current format and only minor tweaks.

you don't even have to be cynical. e to take paizo at their word. they said from the start they would include some of the more extreme changes and dial it back or take what works, but let players decide if they enjoyed those rules. IDK why but what everybody else sees as "gotcha's"from paizo to me seems like an actual attempt to put out new ideas but willingness to change go out and literally walk out of months of work if it doesn't gel with the general interest of the community.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Quote:
Magnuskn provides a great example, because we don't know the reason the power floor of pure casters was dropped its hard for us to brainstorm viable alternatives, we don't know more than a general mission statement.

But the goal of a playtest is not to get the fanbase to brainstorm alternatives.

Its to provide data and feedback on the systems that have been designed.

The design team then uses that data to make decisions/changes.


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Zi Mishkal wrote:

I don't know what Paizo's intent was... but I do know that I visited my two large bookstores in my town and found 20-30 copies of the playtest still up for sale. They're also still readily for sale online on amazon and bn.com.

Which suggests either one of two things. One: their production line was far larger than intended or two: apart from the initial pre-orders, very few of the books have been sold. Which is not a good sign for the product's viability, imho.

Paizo printed copies to order. I placed a pre-order within the deadline so as to be confident of getting a printed copy (which fell through, and I wound up ordering from elsewhere, but that's beside the point).

I was not expecting Amazon to have stocks of printed copies. If Amazon and other traders have ordered printed copies in bulk that they're now not going to be able to sell, that's kind of on them for misjudging the market. And not really relevant for Paizo, I think


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gwynfrid wrote:

I don't think it needs to be put in a sticky thread or anything. As I mentioned in answer to another thread, the design goal for PF2 is right in the introduction to the playtest book, page 4:

"Our aim is to make the game easier to learn and simpler to play, while maintaining the depth of character and adventure options that has always defined Pathfinder."

The GameInformer interview is going at more length to say basically the same thing. Anyway, if all you want is a mission statement (that's what I understand is the OP's question), then this simple sentence is enough said.

Well then if that was their objective, then as far as I can tell they are FAILING at their aim, Most players seem to feel extremely constricted by the characters and rules as they are now. The need to be mechanically optimized to produce viable characters and imbalance between classes mean that new players will understand the rules as the die over and over because they don't have the experience to pick the few viable choices from the lists.


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BobROE wrote:
Quote:
Magnuskn provides a great example, because we don't know the reason the power floor of pure casters was dropped its hard for us to brainstorm viable alternatives, we don't know more than a general mission statement.

But the goal of a playtest is not to get the fanbase to brainstorm alternatives.

Its to provide data and feedback on the systems that have been designed.

The design team then uses that data to make decisions/changes.

I agree, and will add that the systems being tested are not necessarily, the ones intended to be in the final game. They said that Resonance was a difficult topic, and hadn't come up with something all the designers like - so they put it in the playtest for testing. They have also said the monsters are really tough - because they want to see where the system breaks. I expect the limited number of class feats and limited choices there are in a similar situation.

I think people were seeing this more as a preview, and less of a playtest. Testing where the designers were checking where things break to be able to adjust the details to have the best game in the end.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe this will help?

Insight into Paizo's choice of mechanics to playtest


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
BobROE wrote:
Quote:
Magnuskn provides a great example, because we don't know the reason the power floor of pure casters was dropped its hard for us to brainstorm viable alternatives, we don't know more than a general mission statement.

But the goal of a playtest is not to get the fanbase to brainstorm alternatives.

Its to provide data and feedback on the systems that have been designed.

The design team then uses that data to make decisions/changes.

Spot on.

With that said, I am certain that Paizo appreciates the brainstorming on alternatives. But design by committee, where "committee" is the internet was never the goal.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:

Maybe this will help?

Insight into Paizo's choice of mechanics to playtest

Thanks for posting!


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magnuskn wrote:

A general mission statement does not make detailed design goals. A valid question would be "Why were spells so heavily nerfed in all respects (duration, effect, range, targets)?".

While there are enough forum members who will posit their individual opinion with great abandon about this (myself included), this does not equal an official statement by the developers in that regard. We don't know why they went this far, we don't know if a step back from this is even negotiable or if their decision is already cast in iron. All in all, we need more detailed information, on this topic and on many other topics of contention. In the absence of developer feedback, rampant speculation and discontent both grow unchecked.

Wait, are you saying the intent between trying to narrow the gap between casters and martials is somehow unclear? After a decade of forum posts citing it as a problem?

You may not agree that this was a problem. (I think it was.) And you may think Paizo went too far (I think this is quite likely in some cases.) But I'm quite perplexed at the notion that you could claim confusion over this. Martials have been buffed, and casters have been nerfed go try and bring the two more in line. Personally, I think they should have buffed martials more than they did to avoid having to nerf casters as much, but the reasoning behind going that way at all is clear cut.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
A general mission statement does not make detailed design goals. A valid question would be "Why were spells so heavily nerfed in all respects (duration, effect, range, targets)?".

Can you not hijack every thread on this website and try to make it a conversation about why your favourite class type no longer is the best in the game? Thanks.


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Syndrous wrote:


Magnuskn provides a great example, because we don't know the reason the power floor of pure casters was dropped its hard for us to brainstorm viable alternatives, we don't know more than a general mission statement.

This, by the way? Not true. The "floor" of a class is the worst you can possibly build it. The ceiling is the best it can possibly be built. The ceiling has been lowered, I won't deny that, but the floor has been raised in a ton of ways.

--Multilclassing no longer kills your spell progression.
--Almost any ancestry can start with an 18 in your casting stat, as opposed to just humans and halfies plus whatever races got an inherent boost to that stat.
--Casting stat no longer gives bonus spells, so it is harder to cripple yourself by neglecting it.
--Cantrips are stronger, so your caster is still useful sans spell slots. (Maybe not as useful as you'd like, but they are better than a PF1 wizard out of spells.
--Powers are upgraded from their PF1 equivalent.
--Channel energy is much stronger than its PF1 equivalent.
--Spontaneous casters now get spell levels at the same rate as prepared casters.
--The four tiers of success mean most control/debuff spells still do a thing when the enemy passes its save.
--Various enemies have lost immunities, particularly against mental effects.

All that is to say it is now harder to build a BAD caster than it was in PF1. Which was really easy to do in PF1 in a million little ways. Even the more general nerfs to all casters, like caster level no longer giving automatic spell scaling, aren't REALLY nerfs to the floor because it was entirely possible to make bad picks for PF1 spells that didn't scale with caster level anyway, and generally those spells are stronger at the level you first get them anyway.

But the apex casters? The best builds are no longer possible. You can't overspecialize and creablaster, you can't go as buckwild with summons, you can't use wish as often in a day. That's the ceiling.

You could definitely make an argument that the average caster has gotten weaker, because lots of spells have been nerfed in some way or another. That still doesn't have much to do with the floor though, and honestly I think drawing conclusive answers on that probably requires a much more data driven approach than the sort of anecdotal experience you or are I can share. Hmmm, someone ought to suggest to Paizo that they make some kind of test of how people play and maybe collect survey data from it...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

A general mission statement does not make detailed design goals. A valid question would be "Why were spells so heavily nerfed in all respects (duration, effect, range, targets)?".

While there are enough forum members who will posit their individual opinion with great abandon about this (myself included), this does not equal an official statement by the developers in that regard. We don't know why they went this far, we don't know if a step back from this is even negotiable or if their decision is already cast in iron. All in all, we need more detailed information, on this topic and on many other topics of contention. In the absence of developer feedback, rampant speculation and discontent both grow unchecked.

I just wanted to chime in quickly (my apologies if this was mentioned already...haven't read read every reply yet), but I believe they have mentioned that for the playtest they often went with the more extreme/radical interpretation of a ruleset, because it is often easier to dial something back. They already mentioned (I think on a twitch stream?) that some of the stuff they considered to be "radical" has barely been commented on or that people thought they didn't go far enough.

Basically, I suspect they nerfed spells as hard as they did to see what the reception would be during the playtest, and that they will likely dial some of this back.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@Captain Morgan: I've always wondered about how PF1 is played by others. My groups tend to be a little more organic, people just flipping through pages and coming up with something that sounds fun. I am 100% sure that there's a lot of inefficiency in my groups. I have one player, though, who routinely read guides and forum threads on how to maximize and hit those ceilings. After a couple of campaigns, though, he decide to change his approach to be more like the other players simply because he kept worrying he was playing an unfair character (which I assured him he wasn't) simply because he was clearly more powerful in relation to the rest of the group which was more into the roleplay and out of combat interactions.

However, when I read the forums, it always makes me wonder if PF1 weeded out the non-efficient by and large. Or are groups like mine just the silent majority.

It may be for this reason that the 2 groups that are currently testing PF2 are all seeing the potential and enjoying it... and almost universally look forward to a finished product to play. Of the current groups I GM, I would say that more than half would prefer that we stick to an easier to play game of 5E than continue the PF1 campaigns, but I helped narrow that gap by designing or greatly aiding them in the design of their characters, keeping the rules/play quick and condensed, simply because I thought some of the APs we never got to go through were too good to pass up (and I didn't want to convert them) simply because the gamesystem intimidated or overwhelmed players in my more freeform, casual gaming groups.


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ShadeRaven wrote:

@Captain Morgan: I've always wondered about how PF1 is played by others. My groups tend to be a little more organic, people just flipping through pages and coming up with something that sounds fun. I am 100% sure that there's a lot of inefficiency in my groups. I have one player, though, who routinely read guides and forum threads on how to maximize and hit those ceilings. After a couple of campaigns, though, he decide to change his approach to be more like the other players simply because he kept worrying he was playing an unfair character (which I assured him he wasn't) simply because he was clearly more powerful in relation to the rest of the group which was more into the roleplay and out of combat interactions.

However, when I read the forums, it always makes me wonder if PF1 weeded out the non-efficient by and large. Or are groups like mine just the silent majority.

It may be for this reason that the 2 groups that are currently testing PF2 are all seeing the potential and enjoying it... and almost universally look forward to a finished product to play. Of the current groups I GM, I would say that more than half would prefer that we stick to an easier to play game of 5E than continue the PF1 campaigns, but I helped narrow that gap by designing or greatly aiding them in the design of their characters, keeping the rules/play quick and condensed, simply because I thought some of the APs we never got to go through were too good to pass up (and I didn't want to convert them) simply because the gamesystem intimidated or overwhelmed players in my more freeform, casual gaming groups.

Well, the forums definitely disproportionately represents the optimizer crowd, as opposed to more casual fans don't read guides or feel the need to scour the internet for advice on what feats to pick. But the experience of your optimizing player sounds like it mirrors my own, and your experience as a GM sounds awfully similar to my own as well.

PF1 is a great game, but the power disparity between the floor and ceiling is insane. I help all my players with builds now because otherwise we wind up with one character who is massively over tuned and another who barely contributes. PF2 raising the floor is unarguably a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Lowering the ceiling... really depends on how it is done. I'm down for taking the focus off of adding more +1s to stuff, which they are doing. Lord Malkov hit the nail on the head with what they are going for, trading numerical bonuses for more interesting actions. I don't agree with their view of where the system is now, though I do agree it isn't where we want it yet.

I think the big issue relating to the ceiling and perhaps the middle is that I don't feel like we get enough class feats to be able to emulate old PF1 characters and still play with all the cool new toys. This is also true to a much lesser extent with ancestries-- they are spread just a liiiittle too thin right now.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
A general mission statement does not make detailed design goals. A valid question would be "Why were spells so heavily nerfed in all respects (duration, effect, range, targets)?".
Can you not hijack every thread on this website and try to make it a conversation about why your favourite class type no longer is the best in the game? Thanks.

Only if you agree to not do the same with all of critic threads.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
A Previous Poster wrote:
Most players

Can we please stop talking about "most players" in these threads? Not a single one of us has any idea about what "most players" think about anything in this playtest. The only people who have anything close to that data are working for Paizo, and they are both a) keeping the data fairly close to their chests and b) still are working with a self-selected and therefore biased sample.

The rest of us are substituting anecdotes for data and perceptual biases for objective observation.

We'll get a lot more done more constructively if we stick to what we ourselves think and/or have experienced.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

There's enough positive support on the forum. (and we have no reason to suspect the greater community is any different) for what they've done that they'll be forging ahead.

IMHO, you generally get more positive support on your own companies forum than negative. Unless you have a product that is truly poor.

I for one (if the game go's ahead as written) will be curious as to how the numbers work out in time and to the number of people who still play, new players and players who have quit in the 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, 5 year and 10 year time frames.
(For example I knew 3 groups deciding to play Starfinder long term at the beginning of the year (2 with house rules and 1 without) and as of the beginning of summer it was down to 1 group. And I will be interested if the 2 other groups go back to Starfinder or move on to something else.)

MDC


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Zi Mishkal wrote:

I don't know what Paizo's intent was... but I do know that I visited my two large bookstores in my town and found 20-30 copies of the playtest still up for sale. They're also still readily for sale online on amazon and bn.com.

Which suggests either one of two things. One: their production line was far larger than intended or two: apart from the initial pre-orders, very few of the books have been sold. Which is not a good sign for the product's viability, imho.

I canceled my preorder after I saw the pdf.

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