Sanity check time


General Discussion


21 people marked this as a favorite.

The playtest is nearing its end.

At this point, I'm fairly certain my group has no chance of finishing Doomsday Dawn before the playtest closes. We may not even finish chapter 6 in time. Some of you are moving faster, I hope.

Oh well.

I also fear that Paizo is running on such a short schedule with way too much to do, that there really won't be time to fix the things that people are talking about the most.

Which means that:
a) The game goes live very close to the way it is today. I won't buy that game.
b) They make radical changes at the last minute that won't be tested and the game goes live very different but possibly very broken. I'll wait to see if I buy that game.
c) The sweet spot: They make radical changes at the last minute, don't test them, but get everything perfect and the untested game is perfect. I would buy this dream game.

Unfortunately, given the huge missteps they had in the playtest version, my hope for sweeping untested first-draft revisions being perfect is not high.

My expectation is that it will be option b. Which doesn't mean it will be broken, just that it possibly can be broken. The devs have already stated that "all the math" is tuned to be extra hard in the playtest and they plan to "fix" that for the official version.

Yikes!

Anybody with even a few days of real education in actual testing methodology will immediately spot the flaw in that plan: we're all testing something that has core functionality which is VASTLY different than the game they plan to release.

In other words, we're wasting our time and Paizo's by testing one thing when they're already planning on selling us something else.

Given the waste of time, and the very wonky playtest rules, and the lack of time remaining to incorporate our feedback (for what it's worth) into the official version of the game, I wonder how high we should set our expectations?

Any thoughts? Hopefully, any thoughts that could help the developers at this point?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:

The playtest is nearing its end.

At this point, I'm fairly certain my group has no chance of finishing Doomsday Dawn before the playtest closes. We may not even finish chapter 6 in time. Some of you are moving faster, I hope.

Assuming it's still ending at New Years and they won't leave the surveys open after that, my group won't get close. We're looking at resuming part 4 after our defacto TPK this week. Since we got almost nowhere it will take us a couple of sessions to finish, which will put us halfway through November. The schedule was too aggressive for us without cancelling other regular game sessions.

Quote:
I also fear that Paizo is running on such a short schedule with way too much to do, that there really won't be time to fix the things that people are talking about the most.

At this point, I think they know where the pain points are. Unless things really change at high level, they should know what needs fixing.

Quote:


a) The game goes live very close to the way it is today. I won't buy that game.
b) They make radical changes at the last minute that won't be tested and the game goes live very different but possibly very broken. I'll wait to see if I buy that game.
c) The sweet spot: They make radical changes at the last minute, don't test them, but get everything perfect and the untested game is perfect. I would buy this dream game.

Unfortunately, given the huge missteps they had in the playtest version, my hope for sweeping untested first-draft revisions being perfect is not high.

I think A is pretty unlikely, depending on what your definition of "very close" is. There will clearly be some significant changes.

Quote:

Anybody with even a few days of real education in actual testing methodology will immediately spot the flaw in that plan: we're all testing something that has core functionality which is VASTLY different than the game they plan to release.

In other words, we're wasting our time and Paizo's by testing one thing when they're already planning on selling us something else.

I don't really think this analogy fits perfectly. We're testing a lot of things at once. Some of them are clearly a waste of time now (the original resonance rules). Some of them are not, even if they won't look the same later. The data generated now will influence what comes later.

It's obviously not as good as being able to test a release candidate version of the rules, but I tend to find it far better than if they just said "kthx we're done now" and ended the test today.

Quote:

Given the waste of time, and the very wonky playtest rules, and the lack of time remaining to incorporate our feedback (for what it's worth) into the official version of the game, I wonder how high we should set our expectations?

Any thoughts? Hopefully, any thoughts that could help the developers at this point?

I mean, if you're asking if we would like a second round of playtest, where they go off for four months, revise the rulebook based on this feedback, and we do this again? I'd be all over that.

If the intent is to meet the original release schedule, that isn't happening. In that case, the best we can do is keep bouncing ideas around and report on what isn't working for us, so they know what needs addressing and have some ideas on what to do with it.

If that's how it's going to be, then there isn't much else we can do. But I don't think any of it is a waste of time until they say "the rules are done and off to the printer."


18 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:

...

Any thoughts? Hopefully, any thoughts that could help the developers at this point?

My thoughts are that I also do not have particularly good feelings about PF2E.

If I could, through some improbable chain of events, get the designers to sit down in a room and talk with me, I would want to forget the actual system for a moment and ask a whole bunch of basic game design questions that are vaguely related to PF2E, go over the answers with a fine tooth comb, and work my way up from there. Questions like: what is the point of classes, what is the point of levels, what is the point of skills, what is a good rate of success for players, and so forth (I could write a page on basic stuff alone, lets not even get into follow ups). This system feels like it was hammered out by cobbling together a core mechanical engine from some stuff that looked good on paper, and then turned into the playtest by roughly converting a lot of PF1 stuff and then making a bunch of broad sweeping changes that aim to fix problems that the designers perceived were present in PF1 regardless of how much or how little those lessons apply to PF2E (assuming all of those perceived problems were real in the first place).

I don't get a sense that there was a strong vision for how PF2E would turn out. I don't get a sense that there was a strong theoretical foundation for the design of PF2E beyond "make the maths tight this time". I don't get a sense that their internal processes are capable of identifying problems with the game given how many serious problems ended up in the playtest and some of the stuff I've seen said by Paizo's staff. I don't get a sense that there is a lot hope for a PF2E that I want to run or play. And I say this as someone who would love to have a system that fixes the enormous pile of problems that the 3.X system is shackled to, and doesn't care how many sacred cows get slaughtered in the process.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I was going to quibble with some of what you said snowblind. I agree with a you observations, i just didn't agree with all your reasoning along the way.

But before I responded I read Jason's parting shot before I lock it so nobody can reply post, and boy did your statements ring true. Complaints and bigger complaints away from these message boards that make this place look like a pro-2E paradise (striking considering how the pro-2E people complain about it being "toxic".) And yet survey feedback from people still participating create an echo-chamber and flawed statements rebutted previously in the thread are restated as definitive truth.

I've been the "bad guy" around here because I know good things can come. But the market has proven many times that crazy implosions happen also.

At this point I think the "big" changes should be taken with a major grain of salt because they are only relative to enthusiasts. The serious complaints are obviously not even being given enough thoughtful consideration to present a good counter-argument. How are they going to fix problems they have conditioned themselves to not perceive?

So be it.
You and DM Blake are right.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This illustrates why high level play doesn't get tested very thoroughly.


18 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:


Any thoughts? Hopefully, any thoughts that could help the developers at this point?

My thoughts are that posts like this are patently unhelpful, and do more to sap the will of Designers to interact with and seek the insight of the community than they do to spur the Designers to suddenly agree that everything they've designed is bad and wrongfun.

My thoughts are that too many people on this forum think that Open Playtest means they get to be Game Designers when they participate, something they have displayed zero aptitude for. Our role is to provide feedback as requested, not demand whole systems be changed to suit our own particular gaming fetishes.

My thoughts are that this is one of the best Playtests I've ever been involved in, and I've been playtesting games for years. Paizo have provided good information on what testing they want done, have proven they'll listen to feedback and make changes and have genuinely worked with the community to create a better game.

My thoughts are that whilst I agree I wouldn't buy the game as is today, I will absolutely buy the game that will be printed.

Lantern Lodge

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This playtest has been doing a very encouraging job of looking for actionable specific feedback from players.
It's been great to see the genuine effort made by the designers to adjust the game within the framework possible in the face of responses that have ranged from insightful commentary to unreasonable demands.

Is it running at a demanding rate, absolutely. However I remain hopeful that the game will live up to the effort they are making and I think the badgering the designers is unhelpful. They are certainly more aware and invested in the available time than we are.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My group is unfortunately a tad behind, but not too far. We started 2 weeks before the shift to Part 2 (Well 8 days but we meek once a week on Sunday so it was 2 sessions before the shift) and were ahead of the curve because we blew through The Lost Star in 1 session (Turns out it goes pretty fast when your group dodges over half the potential fights in the AP), then were put on schedule with Pale Mountain's Shadow taking us 3 sessions. Then Sombrefell Hall took 3 weeks, putting us back 1. Then we blew through all but the final fight of Mirrored Moon in 1 session (Again, my group dodged almost every single fight) and the final fight was done over a midweek Skype session and we were back on. But Heroes of Undarin has killed our pace. It's taken us 3 in-person sessions and 2 midweek skypes to get through 6 of the fights and the initial roleplay (Granted our skype sessions are a little slow and two of our sessions were slowed due to multiple player absences), and I expect we'll finish it in this week's skype session and the next in-person session. Which leaves us 2 weeks behind, a whole chapter. So unless we miraculously finish HoU in our midweek we will be just a touch behind even if Red Flags only takes 1 session (Which is likely given how little combat there is).

So yeah, been a rollercoaster ride but we've loved it. There've been a few things we dislike but they've all either been addressed, will likely be addressed in the last update, or are all but confirmed to be addressed in the full CRB.

Combat has been the most time-consuming part of the Playtest for us but that's how my PF1 games go too. PF2 combat already feels smoother and quicker-paced though, even though we're still learning it. I imagine it will fly when I get more comfortable with GMing it. It already has sped up, its just that the HoU fights are long and brutal so total time per fight has remained about the same. XD

So, not a whole lot of feedback that I haven't put in the surveys but I love how much work Paizo has already done towards improving this game, keep it up!


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I have been part of a game design club, Table Treasure Games, and performed boardgame playtesting. I have confidence that private, internal playtesting can answer most relevant questions.

However, I had too many moments where my players found a problem in the Pathfinder 2nd Edition playtest rules that internal playtesting should have corrected already. An entire roleplaying game is a gigantic project, so maybe RPG playtesting is not as effective as covering everything as boardgame playtesting.

Snowblind wrote:
If I could, through some improbable chain of events, get the designers to sit down in a room and talk with me, I would want to forget the actual system for a moment and ask a whole bunch of basic game design questions that are vaguely related to PF2E, go over the answers with a fine tooth comb, and work my way up from there.

I have the same fantasy, especially since I might head to Redmond, Washington, to return a Goblin. (Goblin is the name of my younger daughter's dog, whom my wife and I are caring for while she moved to Redmond.)

Snowblind wrote:
Questions like: what is the point of classes, what is the point of levels, what is the point of skills, what is a good rate of success for players, and so forth (I could write a page on basic stuff alone, lets not even get into follow ups). This system feels like it was hammered out by cobbling together a core mechanical engine from some stuff that looked good on paper, and then turned into the playtest by roughly converting a lot of PF1 stuff and then making a bunch of broad sweeping changes that aim to fix problems that the designers perceived were present in PF1 regardless of how much or how little those lessons apply to PF2E (assuming all of those perceived problems were real in the first place).

Yeah, the system feels like that, but I don't see it as a flaw. Creating systems from theoretical considerations is an extremely slow and difficult process. Piecing together existing systems, such as the three-action system from Pathfinder Unchained, is more feasible. Pathfinder needed simplification at low levels to introduce new players to the game more easily and class focus at higher levels to enable high-level module writing. It could also benefit from a unification of rules that are scattered across several hardcover rulebooks. That level of theory is enough to justify a 2nd edition.

Snowblind wrote:
I don't get a sense that there was a strong vision for how PF2E would turn out. I don't get a sense that there was a strong theoretical foundation for the design of PF2E beyond "make the maths tight this time".

I confess I disagree with Paizo's design there. To my eyes, the tight math feels like confining the math to the designers' comfort zone. Math must be free!

Setting aside my philosphy of mathematics, the zone covered by the tight math also diverges from the zone where I like to run my adventures. In leveling up the players develop their characters. The PCs reach out in new dimensions with new tactics and generate new stories. That requires the characters to change, functioning where old challenges become easy and new challenges become possible. And new challenges are not simply higher numbers. Those don't lead to new dimensions and new tactics.

But the unraveled math of Pathfinder 1st Edition is not a new dimension either. I let my players travel through the PF1 mess in a direction of their choice, but that is because they are great players and I can trust them to find a good story.

Snowblind wrote:
I don't get a sense that their internal processes are capable of identifying problems with the game given how many serious problems ended up in the playtest and some of the stuff I've seen said by Paizo's staff. I don't get a sense that there is a lot hope for a PF2E that I want to run or play. And I say this as someone who would love to have a system that fixes the enormous pile of problems that the 3.X system is shackled to, and doesn't care how many sacred cows get slaughtered in the process.

The office I worked in before retirement made a career of identifying the problems that the internal processes of other offices overlooked. Thus, I have seen many fundamental design problems that were glossed over by the hard work of dedicated employees. The flip side of the coin is that those offices were still successful despite those problems--all we could do was help them become more successful.


13 people marked this as a favorite.

My group stopped testing, as they didn't want to keep doing all the work of fighting with me over which rules were and weren't functional. I personally refused to implicate house rules as it would ruin the test, and my players refused to play without some concessions.

I'm actually slightly optimistic about 1.6, since Jason says it's a big one and includes changes to more classes and feats. That's something to look forward to.

For me, the core essence and philosophy of PF2 is very far removed from what we had with the 3.x engine, in that there is so much less freedom in builds and player choices. There are a lot of choices, but it feels like they're all there to make sure you take skill feats, ancestry feats, etc instead of producing feats that are actually worth taking. They talked about this a bit when they talked about feats not being equal.

I also am not a fan of defined roles, and this goes to things like multiclassing taking away feats from your functional character progression all the way to the choice you made at first level telling you what weapon group you're stuck using for the entire character, and that choice is limited by your class's mechanics.

I never played 4e, because none of the groups I play with would ever go back to it. But what I understand about it is that it also had codified roles for the classes and took a lot of conceptual creativity away from the player in favor of more robust expansions on their defined mechanics. Rangers are stuck with archery, wizards always do blasting, etc. It's fine, but it's not what brought me to PF1, which was having a strongly refined and cleaned up iteration of 3.5. I see the parallelism, and I'm not gonna say it's the worst thing ever (it isn't) but it's not what I want from PF2.

I won't get into the math, y'all can find our threads where we figured out the respective formulae to figure out which choices were traps and which weren't. Just for good measure, I actually made characters to test the theory and was sad with the results lining up with the theory.

There's also a serious drought of crunchy discussion on the boards as of late, since so many updates have been fairly small in scope, with respect to having more content to test as opposed to merely updating or fixing common issues. Most of the updates were improvements, but some of them drove me further away from this playtest than pulled me in.

I'm not emotionally attached to Golarion at all, but I do appreciate that this edition may facilitate much better integration of the setting into the game itself, and it might make the APs much more appealing to someone like me if I don't have to learn a bunch of new optional rules that only apply to that campaign, etc. This change might be what Paizo needs in order to publish the stories they want, with more robust stories that can span longer into the level progression. It's of of my favorite parts of DMing to write around the narrative power gaps that leveling up provides, but I get that it's daunting when you need to write a new full campaign every year that has to account for high level play.

It certainly seems to me that PF2's quality will definitely be defined by how much more they feel they can explore and accomplish with their narrative.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I think if you don't think Paizo can produce a successful system using only internal testing, you haven't been paying much attention to Starfinder.

I also think that if you think Paizo is rushing this playtest, not listening to feedback, or holding too fast to their sacred cows, then that sounds like you don't have much faith in Paizo as a business and you probably shouldn't buy their products.

I don't say that as an insult, but as a literal statement; I would not buy an RPG system from a company that I didn't have faith in.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
I think if you don't think Paizo can produce a successful system using only internal testing, you haven't been paying much attention to Starfinder.

Do you remember the first DCs for the space combat in the Starfinder core rulebook?

Well, I have seen the 1.0 Version of the Playtest. This is the product of internal testing.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:
It certainly seems to me that PF2's quality will definitely be defined by how much more they feel they can explore and accomplish with their narrative.

There are many aspects of this playtest that are not how I would personally want a game designed, but in the end, I will be coming over to PF2 if it is the best system for telling Pathfinder Adventure Path stories. I have confidence that the developers are designing the game with that goal front and center. There has been a lot of critical feedback of the Doomsday Dawn adventures as adventures, but I think it would be a mistake to get overly concerned about what adventure modules and APs will look like in PF2 over something designed to push and test the least fun elements of the game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tridus wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Well, you know, contrary to a large chunk of the forum I do actually consider the devs to be intelligent beings who are capable of anticipating criticism and walking into the playtest with assumption that pretty much everybody will like X, Y will be divisive and since we like Z but have no idea how people will handle that let's throw it out and see if it floats or not.

Hyperbole much?

I'm going to remind you that at one point there was a thread called "I have lost faith in Paizo to produce 2E" that could be summed up as "I have issues, and Paizo isn't fixing them literally two weeks ago".

So I'm not sure it's hyperbole.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:
They make radical changes at the last minute that won't be tested and the game goes live very different but possibly very broken. I'll wait to see if I buy that game.

This is more or less my position on the future of PF2. Except that at this point I have no reason to believe the printed product will even be worth the shelf-space.

I'll review the rules online, and if they defy my expectations I'll consider paying Paizo for their PDF. But as it stands I don't plan to ever buy another actual book from Paizo.

I was exceptionally excited about the prospects of PF2, and there are core elements that I love. Such as the Three-Action Economy and most of the Proficiency system (excepting elements regarding armor and shields). However the actual specific content (classes, feats spells, items) is boring and lackluster, and weak by design. Removing or replacing the content I dislike would require more work than building a campaign from scratch using one of the several "toolbox" systems designed for that purpose.
The worst offense is that the ruleset requires it's GMs to be biased and untrustworthy, which isn't the kind of person I want to play a game with (let alone be for any amount of time). I certainly wouldn't play under a PFS GM using these rules.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think it's fair to say that Paizo knew the math was off before the playtest started.

The comment I saw saying that they were going to be tweaking the math seemed very much phrased as it being something they discovered over the course of the playtest.

To use your metaphor, this is more like Boeing testing the Rolls Royce engines, then during testing discovering they have a critical flaw and saying, "Okay, for the final model we are going to use different engines, but we don't have the R&D available right now to include that in our test, so please continue to use these engines and let us know if you find any other issues."

Grand Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

People always forget that most aspects that seems off (tight math, +1/level, "defined roles") is ignored by most, specially those new to RPGs. Most people will just pick what suits them, not what mathematically is a better choice, with a few exceptions. It's a game about playing the character you want, after all. For those people, 1E is a nightmare. There's a huge discrepancy between a well-optimized character and what a "fun concept" character can do in battle, even at low levels. That leads to frustration and GM adaptation.

I'm not a fan of defined roles as well. I like to tell my player that wants to play an archer that fighters, rangers, rogues, paladins, bards or even druids are good choices, each one with a bonus. Fighter will hit easier and harder, but druids and bards will also have spells. Rangers will be close to the fighter, but they can track targets easier and might get an animal companion. Rogues can hit harder with sneak attack, have more skills, are nimble and stealthy as heck. Paladins will be a little behind the fighter and rogue damage-wise, but you can also have divine powers to compensate that. That's the power of choice. 2e is trying to achiev that removing the whole feat taxes that are not interesting at all. In 1e, some builds requires you to be human just because of that sweet extra feat at 1st level. Is that a choice?

It's a sweet spot that different feats have different power level as well. If everything was just "feat", people would always decide on those feats that give more combat power. You won't feel guilty to get a skill feat that seems fun because you're giving up combat power in 2e.

At first I didn't find any necessity of an exploration mode - until I realised it's aimed to new GMs, to give them a guideline of how much a character can walk while detecting magic, while being perceptive and so on. It's there to guide those who are new. Bulk instead of weight is a nice addition as well.

Of course, everything can be improved, we can run the playtest for another year and we would still find things to get improved and the tight schedule doesn't help. I wish I could have more time to playtest the system without sacrificing my regular 1e sessions. We tried to keep it up, but my group is in the climax of CoCT, so they weren't that interested in the playtest.

What I don't expect is that 2e will please everyone in every aspect - that would be impossible. Some will prefer 1e the same way people prefer and play 3.5. And that's fine. Both versions can co-exist.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

DM_Blake, as an engineer myself I can totally relate to your description of a rigorous testing methodology for any sort of technology products before they can go commercial. However, the product we're talking about is in no way comparable to an aircraft, a cellular phone, or a banking software application. Sure, a TTRP game has technical aspects and a good deal of math behind it. But it's also highly subjective in how it's experienced by its users. We can't equate having fun playing Pathfinder with flying safely across oceans. The analogy just makes no sense.

Those considerations set aside, I'm afraid your post works under the premise that the developers don't know what they're doing. With that as a starting point, there's no way it can be productive. Your question about how we could help the developers can't have any valid answer, unless we reject your assumptions to begin with.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Leafar Cathal wrote:
Some will prefer 1e the same way people prefer and play 3.5. And that's fine. Both versions can co-exist.

Except they don't and never have. Whenever a version change happens, one version continues to get support via new materials, new content, new adventures, and errata, while the other is left to die. This is true inside and outside of tabletop games -- whether we're talking miniatures, movies, or software development, the old version is inevitably deprived of resources and interest until the new version is the only one available and visible to the culture at large.

People are going to get freaked out by this, the same way they have with every edition change. And its pretty much inevitable, because there are always people whom the change leaves behind. They'll form their own tiny communities for a while, but in the end its always a choice between embracing changes you don't like, or 'dying out' with the rest of the abandoned fandoms out there.

I'm not saying "oh woah, doom and gloom, abandon all hope" just yet. But no one should be surprised that some people are getting a little vitriolic about the differences between the way 1E and playtest-2E play. If this change doesn't work, its not a choice between "play old" or "play new"; its a choice between "play new" or "try to find another system that gives you what the old one did, but is still supported". And brother, I've played APs from both PF1 and 5E, and 5E just can't keep up.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:

DM_Blake, as an engineer myself I can totally relate to your description of a rigorous testing methodology for any sort of technology products before they can go commercial. However, the product we're talking about is in no way comparable to an aircraft, a cellular phone, or a banking software application. Sure, a TTRP game has technical aspects and a good deal of math behind it. But it's also highly subjective in how it's experienced by its users. We can't equate having fun playing Pathfinder with flying safely across oceans. The analogy just makes no sense.

Those considerations set aside, I'm afraid your post works under the premise that the developers don't know what they're doing. With that as a starting point, there's no way it can be productive. Your question about how we could help the developers can't have any valid answer, unless we reject your assumptions to begin with.

The point wasn't that we'll all crash and die playing Pathfinder 2e. Nor was it the point of suggesting that a game needs the same rigor of testing that airplanes or banks need.

The point was that testing a core system that will never be used and was never intended to be used is not a valid test. The Boeing analogy was nothing more than an analogy that illustrates the futility of testing an imaginary thing that will never come to reality but hoping that, somehow, this testing will accurately influence the real thing that will eventually exist.

Product design and testing simply doesn't work that way.

My hope was that the developers will see the methodological flaw. I'm hey'll see the evidence that this game needs more than a quick final revision, slapping on some untested fixes, adjusting some untested math, then releasing it to the players to rake in the profits.

It needs to be better than that, and my fear is they're not giving themselves enough time, especially with the heavily flawed testing methodology, to get it right.

My hope was that Paizo will realize that and give this fledgling game system the chance, the time, it needs to be awesome.

In short, I'm hoping that good gaming (which hopefully leads to lots of long-term profit) is prioritized over quick monetization (which may lead to much lower long-term profits as it has for other game systems in recent past).

But the short time table and release schedule makes it look like they're going for the quick profits.

I'm not sure the game is ready, or will be ready, to succeed on that time table.

As for implying the developers don't know what they're doing, sure, regarding how this testing works, I definitely feel that way. Regarding game development in general, I'm sure they know what they're doing. Regarding meeting a difficult time-table that might not let them do their job thoroughly enough to make this game work, that is my concern.

Under those assumptions, I'll rephrase the question:

Does it seem to other forum members that these concerns are valid? If so, do we have suggestions for Paizo about what we'd like to see, suggestions that might help them make a great game?

My suggestions would be:
1. Ditch the time-table. Accept that getting this right will take more time that was originally allotted.
2. Another round of play-testing with EXACTLY the core system Paizo hopes to eventually release, followed by
a. Adequate time to compile, collate, and assimilate playtest responses b. Implement reasonable changes based on that data
c. A final (short) round of play testing
d. Time to completely revise the CRB, appendix, index, and page cross-references before sending the final copy to press.

This could push out their time-table by a year. But perhaps they can survive on profits from their other gaming products and, hopefully, the effort will pay off in much, much larger long-term profits from a much better game.

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I managed to get a group through scenario 1, 2, 3, and half of 4. Around half way through 4, I just realized I didn't care anymore. PF2, once it gets past a certain point, is just a slog. Fights aren't taking too long, per se, but they're just not that interesting. I understand that half the point of Mirrored Moon is overpowered encounters, but the way saves work makes that a very boring experience for casters. It's also one I'm not enjoying all that much as a GM.

My biggest disappointment with the playtest is that it was acknowledged that monsters were too strong within days of the playtest starting, but there has never been an adjustment for that. It's left players feeling ineffective and it's driven players to take options that have probably left quite a few things barely-tested.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Lost in some of the later comments is a really good insight, the playtest process is not a good engineering process. The most recent blog post both gave me some optimism because I have a general faith in Paizo employees that they will be working and have been working behind the scenes to make a bunch of changes. Many will not make it into the playtest. There are only a couple of months from the end of the playtest until materials are being sent to the printer for a Gencon release. Given the scope of what they are talking about for changes there is not enough time for internal play testing to validate this pile of changes as having addressed the issues. In something like an RPG with complex interacting rules a single change to solve 1 issue almost invariably creates other unanticipated side effects. The original poster was spot on only a combination of luck and skill of the designers will generate a good game, the playtest tried to test too many things at once and cannot provide the type of data needed to ensure confidence in meeting the stated objectives of the designers.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

DM_Blake, do you really feel that Paizo is a company that would choose to prioritize quick monetization over good gaming?

If you honestly feel that way, I would truly implore you not to support 2e under any circumstances, whether it ends up being a system you like or not. I very strongly believe that people should vote with their dollar, and that choosing to spend money with a company is endorsing that company's practices.

Personally, Paizo has a lot of good faith built up with me and I haven't seen evidence that moves me to feel otherwise. I believe this playtest was entered into in good faith, and that Paizo is honestly doing the best they can to make PF2e the best game they know how.

As a similar corollary, if you don't feel that Paizo doing the best they can is going to be good enough, that would also lead me to question if they are a company you want to support.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

Though I do find it interesting that "those holdouts who haven't abandoned PF1 for 5E" seem to be demanded the removal of the +1/level system to make it more like 5E.

(Or at least that seems to be one of the most vocal lines of opposition and given that it's coming from people here, I'd assume it's mostly people who haven't abandoned PF1.)

Interesting fact - I've been gaming with a number of people who had no interest in D&D5 but don't like the +1/level paradigm (they have been finding the number grind over 10th level excessive, regardless of bounded accuracy or not). So, I'm introducing some of them to D&D5 soon to find out if it suits them or not!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
DM_Blake, do you really feel that Paizo is a company that would choose to prioritize quick monetization over good gaming?

Every company is in business to make a profit. Even non-profit organizations are in business to make enough profit to not go out of business.

If Paizo's books are nearly in the red and executive decisions are being made to "Sell it now or we might go bankrupt" then yeah, they might actually have to prioritize quick profits over quality.

Even if the don't HAVE to, there may be pressure from the executive boardroom to get those profits quickly because money now is often seen as better than money later, at least in most boardrooms I've known.

That isn't necessarily good or bad, nor is it greedy.

It's just business.

MaxAstro wrote:
If you honestly feel that way, I would truly implore you not to support 2e under any circumstances, whether it ends up being a system you like or not. I very strongly believe that people should vote with their dollar, and that choosing to spend money with a company is endorsing that company's practices.

Not really relevant since as I said, it's just business.

The artists (including me at my job) want the product to be perfect but the business executives and accountants want the money on the books. Often, those are the guys who win the battle and set the time tables and the artists have to cut corners to get it done.

It's just business.

Do it right and it works. Do it wrong, however, and it can be ruinous.

MaxAstro wrote:
Personally, Paizo has a lot of good faith built up with me and I haven't seen evidence that moves me to feel otherwise.

Me too. I love Pathfinder and Starfinder.

MaxAstro wrote:
I believe this playtest was entered into in good faith, and that Paizo is honestly doing the best they can to make PF2e the best game they know how.

Me too.

But that doesn't mean that business decisions to get to market quickly won't compromise the artistic integrity or quality.

And no amount of "good faith" can counterbalance the fact that playtesting some imaginary system that will never be released in the final product is simply not a valid or particularly useful playtest. It cannot inform the quality of the eventual real system nor can it fairly evaluate the enjoyability of the gaming experience.

MaxAstro wrote:
As a similar corollary, if you don't feel that Paizo doing the best they can is going to be good enough, that would also lead me to question if they are a company you want to support.

They are definitely a company I want to support.

That doesn't mean that I don't feel like things could be done differently here, now, while the system not yet set in stone.

If it's not too late. Heck, maybe their books are nearly in the red and maybe they have no choice but to hit their deadlines.

I'm hoping the deadlines were arbitrary, merely desirable dates rather than mandatory ones, and that they can be moved to accommodate a better design and test strategy.

Let's get it right. Let's make it excellent.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:
Does it seem to other forum members that these concerns are valid?

They might be. But my earlier point stands: Valid or not, such concerns are not really helpful.

DM_Blake wrote:

If so, do we have suggestions for Paizo about what we'd like to see, suggestions that might help them make a great game?

My suggestions would be:
1. Ditch the time-table. Accept that getting this right will take more time that was originally allotted.
2. Another round of play-testing with EXACTLY the core system Paizo hopes to eventually release, followed by
a. Adequate time to compile, collate, and assimilate playtest responses b. Implement reasonable changes based on that data
c. A final (short) round of play testing
d. Time to completely revise the CRB, appendix, index, and page cross-references before sending the final copy to press.

We as players, customers and commentators have no particular expertise or knowledge that would allow us to provide such advice to Paizo, especially as a collective of discordant voices on an Internet forum. This kind of unsolicited advice isn't what Paizo needs. They just need what they asked us to provide, ie survey responses, and maybe forum comments towards the game features themselves.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd love to see the RPG company that isn't subsidized by another product that has infinite black on their books, frankly I don't think such a business exists.

However all of this is unhelpful speculation, it doesn't help us resolve issues in the playtest, all we can do is fill in the surveys, ask pertinent questions and supply unbiased feedback.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Folks, the speculation as to how we are processing data, and working to craft a revision to this game, is not really the point of these boards.

We have asked you to give feedback on the game, not our internal process. Speculation of this kind is distracting at best.

There will come a time when we ask for feedback on the playtesting itself, but I must say, this has been, by far, the most productive and useful playtest we have ever run. I can say with confidence that the final result is going to be a game that ameliorates a lot of the concerns we have seen.

We expect that the fans will judge us by the final product.

This thread is locked.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Sanity check time All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion