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Why PFO Matters

Azure_Zero
Very well written, Mbando.
Mbando
Thanks for the kind words from several of you. My intent was to put out something substantive that could be the basis of constructive discussion–way to much "PFO suxx0rrrr!" "No it doesn't!!!" at game sites. I've posted this at r/PathfinderOnline and MMORPG. Anywhere else you would suggest sharing it?

-Bill
A member of Ozem's Vigil, home to servants of Iomedae and her coming Paladins.
Ryan Dancey
/r/mmmorgs
Mbando
/r/ok
A member of Ozem's Vigil, home to servants of Iomedae and her coming Paladins.
Mbando
/r/done
A member of Ozem's Vigil, home to servants of Iomedae and her coming Paladins.
Saiph the Fallen
I couldn't agree more with your thoughts, thank you for sharing.

Currently I'm not playing Pathfinder Online (though my father and I both still have an active subscription) and that's not something I'm proud to of. This is a game I followed for a very long time and I was decently active in the community. As of now, however, there is just something about PFO's current state that emanates an emptiness; a soullessness. And it doesn't have anything to do with the population being low, though that's certainly not helping. For me Golarion is monotonous: when you've seen one settlement, you've seen them all; when you've seen one hex, you've seen them all. There is nothing to explore, the world is literally a huge empty "world" of uninteresting escalations and generic scenery.

I'm an avid PvPer, yet I cannot bring myself to have personal interest as it honestly feels like nothing matters. I kill an enemy only to have him spawn (completely equipped) a short distance away wanting more - which diminishes any real significance in the encounter.

There are other issues of course, but those are the two things that really stick out to me personally. I'll be continuing my subscription with high hopes that Goblinworks will improve PFO and turn Golarion into the captivating world I have read about.
Quijenoth Starkiller
Theres alot of complaints about the sub and pay while in alpha/beta on reddit so I posted the following reply on mmorpg and wanted to share it here also…
Quijenoth
I'd like to address the pay model from my own perspective…

Right now the only advantage you can get with hard cash over other players in this game is experience. Experience is earned 100 per hour for as long as you have an active sub. Experience is the ONLY pay to win commodity. Subbing this game gives you that bonus and the earlier you get on-board PFO the more win you can achieve.

This game is not a multi-million $ backed project, its small budget, small team, with BIG ideas and lofty goals.

If you support what they are doing, sub now, even if you don't want to play it until its finished! When you do start playing, you will have months worth of experience over everyone else sitting in the wings.
Quijenoth Starkiller Viceroy of Callambea
Company Leader of Beyond the Grave - www.beyond-pfo.com
Crafting Planner
Wylder
Lot of the "PFO Sucks" statements could apply to just about any MMO out there. I'm convinced the genre, whether you go theme park or sand box, is stagnant. I don't think that will change until you're able to develop more advanced systems and AI to emulate a "real world" feel where players represent just a sliver of the overall population and there's no way to socially differentiate PCs from NPCs.

A future MMO would need to generate story and content on it's own to the point where it doesn't feel artificial or cookie-cutter. The code, systems and even hardware to accomplish this isn't here yet.

AAA titles lose money, for the most part, because they don't see the return on their investment. Indies are trying, but there's only so many ways you can re-polish what's essentially the same game, less so with fewer resources. The current trend, with the improvements on graphics capabilities, is to make the same game more visually appealing. 4K video would seem to be that next step. But the games themselves aren't really all that different. PFO isn't trying to play the better video graphics game, opting for simpler systems.

What PFO can try to do is build a clean, simple game that plays well. It's less about invention, more about making what works better. PFO currently is neither clean nor simple. Lots of ground to cover. I also believe there's a minimal level of content needed even for a sand box game, especially one where you want to tie it to an established fantasy world. Doesn't sound to me like there's an interest to do that, however. If that's the case, then you could drop Pathfinder from the name and lose nothing. Like Everquest Landmark did.
Giorgio
@Sometimes,

Doing some thread necromancy and dedicating it to your quest to learn more about the game. Many of the OPs points are still valid today.
First Elder Durin Steelforge; Leader of Forgeholm; Founder of Steelforge Engineering Company

PM Giorgo on Paizo Forums
PM Admin George on Commonwealth of the Free Highlands
Midnight
Mbando
Why PFO Matters:
  • Sandbox models are currently broken–dumping people into a box with tools to grief/kill each other creates greifing/murder sims. Because devs haven't done careful design work to make pro-social behavior necessary to success, sandboxes tend towards toxic behavior.

  • Albion Online is what a sandbox swords and sorcery success story looks like, even though PFO had a huge headstart.

    It isn't a murder sim. You could gather and craft and fight mobs for years without being attacked by another player if that is your goal. It *is* however filled with *available* PvP combat of thousands of players fighting for control of various regions and objectives.

    I'm not saying Albion Online is perfect. Launching a game without DDOS protection wasn't very bright and that mistake probably cost them some customers, but it is still a large and thriving game that is likely very profitable. There are a number of improvements that could still be made (and are intended).

    I also don't find the player behavior toxic. Even the gank squads make the risks in PvP zones high enough that the resource prices reflect the danger of resource acquisition. I wind up gathering in black zones when I'm looking for adrenaline rushes and fat profits (the glitter is REAL), and in blue/yellow zones when I want to relax. One great thing is that the materials that are ONLY available in safe zones are essential building blocks of all the high level gear, so there's always a need for the low tier materials (and a need to smuggle them into the higher tier PvP zones).
    He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
    -Edmund Burke
     
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