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Excited/Worried

Mbando
So, I'm really jazzed about Holdings/Outposts. It's so very sandboxy, our settlement is all jazzed and plunking 'em down, and just very, very excited overall about this. Farming escalations for recipes is pretty grindy, but killing escalations for VMs is more like "achieving goals."

At the same time, I feel like the population level is slipping, and I'm kind of worried about the game and the ability to attract new people. Or keep them really. It's so friggin' hard to learn this game, and I worry that lots of people try it, throw their hands up, and walk.
A member of Ozem's Vigil, home to servants of Iomedae and her coming Paladins.
Tyncale
I agree, the Marker-farming is a whole new Ball-game. I bet not many escalations will be able to "escape" out of their Monsterhex now. Though some Charred Goblins actually did! However, their origins have been destroyed already, so now they are orphaned. It will also be interesting to see more of the interactions between different escalations now: when a new escalation pops in the MOnster hex and invades the remnants of other escalations in the neighbouring hexes.

Also, checking which escalation popped in your neighbourhood Monsterhex is like pulling the one-armed bandit: crappy mini-escalation or exiting and challenging Mordant or Usties? Not that we have had those already.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Nihimon
Phaeros finally got around to having our Fireside Chat with Lisa Stevens tonight, and this topic was discussed. I have to admit, I feel better after listening to Lisa talk about her personal experiences, relating how White Wolf Publishing actually had their lights and phones turned off before Vampire: The Masquerade was released, how Wizards of the Coast had to lay off all their employees before Magic: The Gathering was released, and how Paizo Publishing faced similar challenges before PFRPG was released. Starting a new business is an immense challenge, and it's easy to lose faith when things don't go as well as you might have hoped, but the people making PFO have a lot of really valuable experience and they've been through these kinds of challenges before.

Hang in there.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Mbando
Tyncale
Also, checking which escalation popped in your neighbourhood Monsterhex is like pulling the one-armed bandit: crappy mini-escalation or exiting and challenging Mordant or Usties?
An apt comparison smile
A member of Ozem's Vigil, home to servants of Iomedae and her coming Paladins.
Mbando
Nihimon
Phaeros finally got around to having our Fireside Chat with Lisa Stevens tonight, and this topic was discussed. I have to admit, I feel better after listening to Lisa talk about her personal experiences, relating how White Wolf Publishing actually had their lights and phones turned off before Vampire: The Masquerade was released, how Wizards of the Coast had to lay off all their employees before Magic: The Gathering was released, and how Paizo Publishing faced similar challenges before PFRPG was released. Starting a new business is an immense challenge, and it's easy to lose faith when things don't go as well as you might have hoped, but the people making PFO have a lot of really valuable experience and they've been through these kinds of challenges before.

Hang in there.
I think those are good points Nihimon. I'm less concerned with the long-term viability of the business model/execution, and more with the mid-term in-game experience and the smaller settlements up here in the north. A low/shrinking population can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In any event, I just bought some game time for my accounts–I still have faith smile
A member of Ozem's Vigil, home to servants of Iomedae and her coming Paladins.
Fanndis Goldbraid
Give out your Buddy Keys, go out and post your experiences on the game site forums, explore other game websites and gaming clubs. If you are standing in your settlement and wondering where all the new players are, go to another window and post. Open a Twitter account (follow me and I'll reciprocate) and Facebook account and talk about PFO. Have fun with it, and talk to people. If the population doesn't grow we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Wylder
Disagree in blaming the players for the lack of population in the game.

Present state of the game isn't a finished game, so you can't market it as a finished game. What they can market is the development experience. There's a very small niche of gamers who want that experience. Many of whom have already signed up and have left the game (or are waiting to return later).

I've theorized that most of the players left because either it's not the game they were expecting or it's too boring for them. Some just don't want to pay $15 per month for something less than they can get for free elsewhere. Some may have left because until the population level is at the point where it's intended to be, certain settlements are perceived to have an overwhelming advantage.

A campaign to market this game to most of the MMO gamers out there would have a negative effect since around 99% of them want the finished game to compare, try, and then move on.

I think Goblin Works should consider taking advantage of the Game Development experience it can market, and open that up even more.

But, I also think they've designed their game to require a large population size, which works against them in the current state of the product. To counter that, they may need to make the current game world smaller and consolidate things. Say, pull everyone into Thorn Keep, or open up the map to include the three major cities. Companies can still produce and place holdings and outposts, hopefully to the point where they can build up a new settlement in the future. That may hurt the present individual settlements, but in the long term make a more viable game.

Greater effort needs to be placed on creating better combat and communications systems and interfaces; more robust PVP and PVE experiences (including better AI, bad guys who don't just stand around, and (heaven forbid) dungeons; and fleshing out the core races and classes that give players meaningful choices.

For crafting, I'd open up the system to allow crafters to select key words for the items they craft based on a selection of available options for the item. That would provide a much more varied range of choices for players instead of the railroaded/spreadsheet variety of one choice of armor for the armor feature you've selected.

I'd also retitle this game as "Pathfinder at War" to differentiate it from the Pathfinder RPG.

One of the philosophies Ryan pitched was to "under promise and over deliver". I think they have a ways to go to meet this, especially in areas most gamers would consider as minimum features.

Best part of this game right now are the players and the fun we have when we get together. Start there, improve on it, and then build upon it.
Doc
If the population doesn't grow we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Really? Out fault? So for hundreds of dollars for EE and now $15 a month we not only get a buggy and unfinished game but also required daily marketing chores?
Gudrun Grimfury
Not a big deal to post to the game forums on Reddit or Massively OP. Do it. It's easy.
Fanndis Goldbraid
Doc
Really? Out fault? So for hundreds of dollars for EE and now $15 a month we not only get a buggy and unfinished game but also required daily marketing chores?
Yup. Stay here on these forums and complain, or get out there and do something. No one has more to lose than Ryan, Lisa and Mark, but we are stakeholders. If we want it to succeed, we will help out, or do the easy thing, nothing, and relax.
 
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