We'll be another group dropping out of the playtest

General Discussion

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TL;DR, We will opt out of the Playtest as it is consensus among our Roleplay group that Pathfinder 2.0 is too close to DnD 4th Ed and has lost lots of the charm Pathfinder originally had.
This thread is mainly at the attention of Paizo, though I would like replies to bring up how many people will opt out of Playtest and likely not buy Pathfinder 2.0. Additionally, feel free to add more feedback I may have forgot.

I would like to add we do agree with a lot of points brought up in the following article:
https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42bhy?Our-group-is-also-bowing-out-of-the-play test
Though as the thread was locked, I wanted to share a few extra points of feedback, Pros and Cons, from my group:

***Character Creation***
- This was obviously the first thing we did once we had the book in hand. Even for lower level characters, it felt tedious and slow.
---- The amount of back and forth inside the book was really unpleasant. I personally had an average of 4 bookmarks at once to try to go around all the necessary locations to make my character.
---- While it wasn't that confusing, I regularly had to go back and forth to try to make sense of my character with the Race/Skill/Class feats and abilities.

- Why Ancestry? It's been called 'Race' forever, it really is race. This definitely didn't need to become 'politically correct'.

- Ancestry Feats just feel like a restriction. While some of them are nice, I would've preferred to simply have access to another feat in most occasions.

- We did appreciate the background that helped add a bit of depth and stats to the character. This was a nice help to come up with a backstory.

- One of the big recurring feedback I've been seeing on the forum, and we felt too, is that classes barely feel unique. It's hard to customize a character outside the mold like Pathfinder used to allow. Most of the time, a class would not only be exactly what you expect, but also past the first 2-3 attacks, there would be nothing new to do.
---- Overall, they didn't feel like classes. They would feel like a more elaborate background, usually justifying a used weapon or 1-2 abilities the character would have different than the others.
---- This said, the different paths for Druid felt nice for the players trying it out.

- Ability scores did not feel balanced when Rolling. When rolling our ability scores, we felt like the game didn't intend for this and we kinda felt pressured to use the 10 Base.

- Skills appear to be based on a 2-level scaling, both of which appear to eclipse the other one and make it look bad. On one side, the gradation of skill level only goes through 4 ranks; Trained, Expert, Master, & Legend, which are the only ways you can perform some 'Actions' with your skills, but will only grant +1-4 to the skill roll. On the other side, skills scale with Levels, and as such, a high-level character will never feel like they are focused or much better in one skill. Due to this, the bonus difference with any other, e.g. Level 10, character in any Skill will rarely be much more than 2-4 points.

- TAC: really doesn't feel like it adds to the game. While in Starfinder, there's KAC and EAC, it felt like it made sense as it was in order to balance out between 2 types of weapons and 2 types of damages that *Everyone* can use. TAC is really just a minimal bonus against magic users. The same could've been achieved by simply giving a penalty to magic attacks instead of having every character count a new stat.

- Resonance points: really don't feel like they add to the game. While Magical items in PF were limited in number of use per day, the system with Resonance points expands to way too many things. Using Resonance points prevents most characters from using Healing Potions and etc, which then required for 1-2 PCs to be "Heal-Bots", focusing so much on being able to heal they wouldn't be able to do anything else.

***Starting to play***
- The various scenarios provided for playtest really seemed to be focused on Combat. While it is important for a 'Playtest' of the systems, it is not representative of the way Pen 'n' Paper RPGs are usually played and it felt like it missed crucial aspects of the social encounters we could have throughout a game.
---- While I originally thought it was a problem only on the Scenario side, I quickly found that this was also an issue deep down into the game. The Social aspect of the game really isn't as developed as the combat aspect, and we quickly found out it was hardly viable to make a Social character that could also handle a fight. As such, we didn't have a City/Social encounter in the first few scenarios which, in reality, is highly unlikely. If anything, low-level characters in most of my campaigns rarely go to war right away, they first start by handling city events, other humans and social encounters setting the tone for the campaign.

- The quests had some heroism and mystery to them, which was nice. But once playing through them, they felt oddly blank and repetitive. I think the encounters were to blame for this. A bit more puzzles related to roleplaying would definitely have been appreciated.

I don't want to expand the combat section too much. I think it was really well covered in the article linked above. My main TL;DR for combat is:
----Characters don't feel heroic. They end up spamming a single attack for what feels like an eternity. The miss-ratio of the attacks is ridiculous and the combats quickly become boring due to how repetitive and non-unique they feel. Most characters didn't feel like they were key elements to a combat and saviors of the situation. About everyone would do the same damages and repeat the same pattern of attack every turn.

- The combats felt like they were meant to not occur more than once a
day or every couple of days. We'd spend most of our magic resources in a single fight and would need to rest for Days in game before we'd be able to continue. While this is realistic, we often felt the pressure of stopping and trying to rest for days while being limited in time by the quest we had to do.
---- Once again, something we feel Starfinder did great, was the Short Rest. Having the HP pool split between Stamina and Health feels like it makes more sense. Heroes catching their breath after a fight, healing the minor wounds (small scratches or bruises) and going back into a fight feels more dynamic, more heroic. Having to remain in bed for 2 days after a single fight felt wrong and anti-climactic.

- We liked the Action system. It felt nice, it felt like a better and more well-defined version of the old system. Overall, nothing to say against it. It worked fine for us.

- Shields do feel useless. They do require actions to use and break really easily, on top of not blocking much damage. Overall, a shield-focused class really didn't feel viable.

- The higher level we went, the least we felt interested and invested in combats. Most encounters were simply simple-minded damage sponges doing a single attack while most PCs were basically focusing on 1 attack against it too.

While I probably forget a bunch of things, this is the point of view of my group or some people within the group and isn't an absolute truth, but mere opinion. I'll be happy to see who else is continuing or leaving the Playtest, and why, and if you guys feel like Pathfinder 2.0 will be worth buying. As far as we're concerned, we do not think that Pathfinder 2.0 is superior to Pathfinder and, if we feel like playing more simple system, we will turn to DnD 5e.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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