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We have sown the wind, and now we are truly reaping the whirlwind!
Since we announced our second Kickstarter, we've raised over $300,000. That's an amazing and humbling feat, and it's thanks to your support that we've reached this milestone. Kickstarter reports that projects that reach 30% of their funding have a 90% chance of succeeding, so we are extremely happy to have passed that 30% mark.
We also announced the Emerald Spire Superdungeon, plus Flip-Mat Multi-Packs, and bonus Pathfinder Battles Miniatures, adding a lot of Pathfinder tabletop RPG love to our MMO Kickstarter.
You can read all about it on the project's home page.
After the Kickstarter launched, the forums were deluged with new posters engaging with the community on a wide range of topics. Notably, we talked a lot about PvP, griefing, ideas for new Kickstarter rewards, and how alignment will affect character actions.
Lead Designer Lee Hammock checks in with a blog we've been a long time in writing, an in-depth look at items and looting.
Loot and Threading
As we've discussed previously, characters in Pathfinder Online will come into conflict in a wide variety of situations, from assassinations to resource skirmishes to all-out war. By the end of such a conflict, someone is probably going to be taking a dirt nap, at which point there is the chance for ill-gotten (or fairly gotten) goods. Item loss through looting gives us an extra incentive for players to engage in conflict, an extra churn in the economy, and creates tension. We want players to operate on a level of tension created by the fact they can lose their equipment to other players as it forces players to play smarter, but at the same time not put players in a situation to lose everything without some choice in the matter. To that end, we've created something we call the thread system to let players have some control over what is lootable from their husk. (For more on husks and character death, see To Live and Die in the River Kingdoms.)
When a player is killed by another player, the killer (and his group if he is in one) has looting rights to that player's husk; if anyone else loots it, they get the Thief tag and become a more desirable PvP target. When looting a husk, it takes six seconds to open up a list of the target's lootable equipment, and the looter can be interrupted during this time. This is to ensure that players do not do "run-by" lootings, and the dead character's allies can keep the husk safe from looting if they pay attention. The looting character can take a portion of the unequipped items in the victim's inventory, plus equipped items that are not threaded; whatever unthreaded items the killer does not make off with are destroyed.
What does "Threaded" mean?
Each character has a certain number of "threads of fate" they can use to tie their equipment to them, thanks to the rather unusual relationship the characters have with the goddess Pharasma—the same relationship that causes them to keep coming back from the dead. These threads cause the items to which they are tied to remain with the character when the character resurrects, meaning threaded items cannot be looted. Higher-level items consume more threads to tie them. Characters earn more threads as they advance in level, but they gain threads more slowly than they gain level-appropriate gear. This means a starting character will be able to thread all of his equipment to him, while a high-level character will probably have to pick and choose what he uses his threads on if he is using all high-end gear. If a low-level character gets his hands on a high-level weapon, he will probably have to expend most of his threads to keep it, meaning the rest of his gear will be lootable.
If a character dies and manages to make it back to his husk before it is looted, he has looting rights and can regain all his equipment. So if his allies can keep his killers away from his husk, they can make sure he gets his gear back.
In addition to the time it takes to loot a husk, each player has an encumbrance limit that determines how much gear he can carry. This starts out at a set number that can be increased by race (i.e. dwarves have a high encumbrance limit), by equipment (bags of holding, backpacks, etc), or by spells or feats. Each item in the game is rated in encumbrance, and you can only carry items that have a combined total encumbrance equal to or below your encumbrance limit. So even if someone kills you, they may not be able to make off with everything they could loot from you. This also allows certain crafting or gathering equipment loadouts, like trading cloaks for backpacks and wondrous item slots for bags of holding.
If you are killed in a non-consensual way, such as being ambushed while minding your own business, you may level a death curse on the killer by praying to Calistria. Doing so costs you reputation, but the cost is reduced if your killer has a low reputation (and if he is a gank-happy killer, he probably will have a very low reputation). Once invoked, the death curse causes your killer's threads to become weakened for a time. If your killer is in turn slain by you or one of your specified agents before the death curse ends, more of his gear may be looted. Your killer cannot have the curse removed by having an ally kill him and refuse to loot him; it only goes away if he is slain by you or someone you specify, such as a member of your group or settlement.
And at Goblinworks too! Our next Dev Blog would normally be delivered on the 26th, but with the holiday season in full effect, we may not have it posted on that Wednesday.
We'll be busy interacting with the community on the messageboard throughout the holidays, but for obvious reasons things may tend to be sporadic. If you've asked a question and are awaiting a response, please remind us after a few days of waiting—we always try to answer all questions quickly, and we don't want to overlook anyone.
Season's greetings to all, and may you always roll natural 20s in snowball fights.
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