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Why PFO Matters

Tyncale
Edam, I do not think your comparison with what Wizards did, to a wipe for PFO is legit. Wizard neglected an existing playerbase that is a multitude of the currently entrenched PFO playerbase. As in hundreds if not thousands times greater then the peeps that are still somehow invested (moneywise and emotionally)in PFO.

The outcry will be loud and desperate, but by very, very few.

I am one of those invested still, off course. Still sitting on 8 DT accounts, one of them a Day 1. I also have stuff, Holdings, Bulk Goods, but that is very fickle property *if* the game ever takes off. Could lose all that in a whim. So could the real Kings and Dukes in this game: especially when GW stirs the pot a little to get things moving.

So let us not look at those fickle assets, but just look at the current monetization of PFO, its XP-system and those wretched DT accounts which only have their worth due to those first two pillars that PFO rests on.

(you would think I am going anywhere with this)

All I can say is, that when I look at this page I simply can not justify that to another person. Not even if the game looked fantastic and had a ton more work done on graphics and art.
The monthly cost of 15 dollars to simply log into the game is just a HUGE hurdle for 99,9999% of potential players out there.

IMO, these days the only people that are still attracted to the old school subscription model are a few old geezers that hope to find a MUD like community that might remind them of the old days(which it is, but not enough old geezers). Other people will just see a huge cost involved to get to those higher levels, let alone catch up (which is not even the biggest hurdle).

Azoth does not solve this problem since they still have to fork over money initially. And then they have to start slaving away for Azoth in the hope of maintaining their sub.

I am all for Azoth type currency; I am all for Premium subs that give something extra. I am all for overpriced specialty crap in the Microtransaction store(shame on you, GW, those prices). But I have slowly started to become an antagonist of a Monthly fee, and moreso of how XP-gain works in PFO.

My proposal:
Scrap the monthly fee.

2 ways to get XP:
  • By killing mobs(yessiree); This is by far the most important change. Almost an epiphany. Can gain XP this way all the way to monthly cap;
  • Buying XP with Azoth; maybe cap this at half the monthly cap; the rest has to be grinded. Or not. TBD.
  • So there is still a monthly cap on how much XP a single account can accrue by killing mobs and/or buy through Azoth;
  • Make this monthly cap twice(or thrice) the amount that we had so far (new people can catch up);
  • Hardcore vets can still stay ahead if they buy max xp and/or start grinding mobs;
  • DT accounts can accrue that cap for two characters, but not 2x the cap on a single one;

A new player can now log in and start killing mobs FOR XP and start his way to the greatness that he sees all around him (which is US). FOR FREE. He can do this at no cost at all if he is willing to grind his fingers off. Or he can buy some Azoth(8 bucks buys you half your monthly cap) and do it faster. Yet due to the cap he can never truly poopsock his way past any self-respecting vet by simply grinding.

Please note that these " grind for XP" players are actually a HUGE asset in a PvP game like this. They are out there in the world, available. I see this as the only way to attract enough new players to start tilting this world into motion. The world is interesting enough. The mechanics are interesting enough. Combat is fun enough. The possibilities are hugely intrigueing. The future CAN look bright. Once people see how interesting of a concept PFO is, they will stay. And maybe starts spending a few bucks ONCE THEY ARE INVESTED. Or not which is fine, because players are still the biggest asset of this game.
Just let people log in and start grinding XP. This game needs to go FtP, now. I am convinced that enough money will be spent eventually.
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)
Midnight
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Midnight
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Compared to the mass of other grousing it has been minor and of low percentage. Yet I can't whip out links and a survey, as I'm sure you can't either, to prove or disprove whether that issue is really a significant THING.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Pathfinder+Online+reviews&ie=&oe=
How far do I have to dig into a link to more links(and so on) to find conclusive evidence that PfO can't reach any level of success because some players have 3 years headstart in play? This isn't anything but old hat and some new hat but nothing to do with the subject.

I chose to provide an inclusive link useful to anyone interested in the gaming press' and gaming community's reaction to PFO, rather than try and "win" a discussion point by picking and choosing only those that support me. My opinion can change and there might even be something there to change it. I'm a fair minded person discussing a game we both would love to see succeed. I don't need to win this point of discussion, (and Paizo can still prove either of our predictions wrong).

However, I have to say, a quick browsing of some of those links was really depressing, to me. Your mileage might vary.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Midnight
Tyncale
My proposal:
Scrap the monthly fee.

2 ways to get XP:
  • By killing mobs(yessiree); This is by far the most important change. Almost an epiphany.
  • Buying XP with Azoth;
  • Put a cap on how much XP a single account can accrue by killing mobs and/or buy through Azoth;
  • Make this cap twice(or thrice) the amount that we had so far (new people can catch up);
  • Hardcore vets can still stay ahead if they buy max xp or start grinding mobs;
  • DT accounts can accrue that cap for two characters, but not 2x the cap on s single one;

A new player can now log in and start killing mobs FOR XP and start his way to the greatness that he sees all around him (which is US). FOR FREE. He can do this at no cost at all if he is willing to grind his fingers off. Or he can buy some Azoth(15 bucks buys you half your monthly cap) and do it faster. Yet due to the cap he can never truly poopsock his way past any self-respecting vet by simply grinding.

Please note that these " grind for XP" players are actually a HUGE asset in a PvP game like this. They are out there in the world, available. I see this as the only way to attract enough new players to start tilting this world into motion. The world is interesting enough. The mechanics are interesting enough. Combat is fun enough. The possibilities are hugely intrigueing. The future CAN look bright. Once people see how interesting of a concept PFO is, they will stay. And maybe starts spending a few bucks ONCE THEY ARE INVESTED. Or not which is fine, because players are still the biggest asset of this game.
Just let people log in and start grinding XP. This game needs to go FtP, now. I am convinced that enough money will be spent eventually.

When I look at how much revenue Albion is bringing in with a pay once, play for free model from all the folks willing to pay for premium when it isn't even required, I have to agree with you Tyncale.

It looks to me like Albion Online has stolen used many of PFO's crowdforgers' ideas and I think it is very educational to see how those ideas actually work in a massive dynamic global community of players, once players show up in a game.

Xeilias is there. Phaeros is there. Goonswarm is there. And revenue is rushing in. I can't see the expense side of their business, so I can't speak to Albion Online's profitability, but at the very least they have customers, and that's what MMOs need.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Decius
Midnight
Xeilias is there. Phaeros is there. GOONS are there. And revenue is rushing in. I can't see the expense side of their business, so I can't speak to Albion Online's profitability, but at the very least they have customers, and that's what MMOs need.
We are? I tried it out, learned a lot of design choices that worked and a lot that didn't, noticed that the markets were exploitably inefficient, traded in gold for a few months, and left- because the community, while it wasn't toxic waste, was generally not up to the standards of communities I choose to be a member of, and the core gameplay wasn't fun, with control of areas being set by scheduled arena battles.
Flari-Merchant
Midnight
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Midnight
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Compared to the mass of other grousing it has been minor and of low percentage. Yet I can't whip out links and a survey, as I'm sure you can't either, to prove or disprove whether that issue is really a significant THING.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Pathfinder+Online+reviews&ie=&oe=
How far do I have to dig into a link to more links(and so on) to find conclusive evidence that PfO can't reach any level of success because some players have 3 years headstart in play? This isn't anything but old hat and some new hat but nothing to do with the subject.

I chose to provide an inclusive link useful to anyone interested in the gaming press' and gaming community's reaction to PFO, rather than try and "win" a discussion point by picking and choosing only those that support me. My opinion can change and there might even be something there to change it. I'm a fair minded person discussing a game we both would love to see succeed. I don't need to win this point of discussion, (and Paizo can still prove either of our predictions wrong).

However, I have to say, a quick browsing of some of those links was really depressing, to me. Your mileage might vary.

Used to affect me the same. Re reading it now only shows me that those commenters don't have a clue about the game as it is now nor was then. Additionally looking around one site in particular you can see that it is really just a hive of MMO haters at base. There isn't any MMO that they give much of a chance. The culture there is all about hate and picking apart anything that they can, so I stopped going there long ago…

They have many real and valid issues about PfO (and MANY misconceptions) but they don't have any rights to judge or comment about supporters of any game that any person happens to like and to play. As a website, they are low on the scale of useful and fair and especially high on "toxic".

Some of that is the fault of the way that PfO was presented and there is proper fault there, for sure. That site though is brutal to almost ALL MMOs at least in the comments section where the regulars roost and have their trained Yes Men.

I am not privy to Paizo's thinking of what an "great place to be" is, as far as regular subscriber levels, but I do know(at least they have said) that it isn't a giant number and that from what they have and CAN DO the goal is a very niche game. I don't agree with the order of steps that they have mapped out to get there either, but I am not driving the machine and my view is from a player's perspective which is pretty limited compared to an Owner's and Developer's.

So, as long as I am having fun and seeing progress and enjoying the company, I'll be here.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Flari-Merchant
@Tyncale

I am a supporter of looking into the possibilities of different advancement systems AND different revenue systems. The dogged idea of A Minimum Viable Product for a Premium MMO price isn't going to help gain and retain numbers.

Do not get me wrong as I do believe, myself, that Pathfinder Online is better than a Minimally Viable Product now but it is the opinion of potential players that really matters.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Hobson Fiffledown
(TL;DR - Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah.)

IIRC, the only complete assurance GW gave regarding wipes was that XP would never be reset. That leaves some other big options open, but I don't think any of that is really necessary. I would think that GW could get 2-5k new people into the game over the first 2-3 months of OE (paizo/pathfinder/PFS/newspacegame swag incentives, bundles with new and existing products, free trials…please no Inf contribution until subbed, etc). All things considered, I think GW will be in a good position to retain new players by the time OE rolls around. Dropping the monthly to $9.99 (because…c'mon, $15?) and figuring out $5 per other additional xp line, imho, would be something to take a look at.

I'd agree that I disagree with the priority of some items on the punch list for OE. But I also don't think that matters. smile Nothing before OE really makes a big difference to me except them finishing that punch list and making a marketing push.

Crafting, building, settlement things, those will all be pretty much done (and done well) and ready for any players who are interested in that part of the game. PvE is all there. We'll have communication tools. We have land and settlement hex warfare mechanics defined and in place. PvP options (not opportunities), I'd agree, are really pretty great here…AAAAAAND there's all sorts of safe-ish spaces across the map for people, and completely safe places for newbies. And I still argue that a well coordinated and motivated group of 50-100 players who wanted to carve out a piece of land, could not be stopped by the current game landowners (let alone that group and two more like it, and twelve groups of 20, and so on). There are a lot of things that will still need work, but I think PFO is about ready for the "just add people" test. It's about damn time.

And now that they're about finished with the settlement/crafting/building/PvE/social work, GW can start to work on player combat, and fixing that darn PvD problem…
This space for rent.
Edam
Decius
We are? I tried it out, learned a lot of design choices that worked and a lot that didn't, noticed that the markets were exploitably inefficient, traded in gold for a few months, and left- because the community, while it wasn't toxic waste, was generally not up to the standards of communities I choose to be a member of, and the core gameplay wasn't fun, with control of areas being set by scheduled arena battles.

I tend to agree, several Keepers tried it and none stayed longer than a month. By all accounts Albion (using a lot of PFO concepts) is a success story and tapping a very viable market but it seems to be a different market to what PFO attracts. If Porsche were suddenly struggling the solution for them is not to make a clone of the Ford Fiesta, they would need to start making better Porsches.
Midnight
If Porsche had never released a production vehicle, and Ford had stolen Porsche's concept car designs to actually produce retail sales, then I would also suggest that it is "very educational to see how those ideas actually work".
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Flari-Merchant
Midnight
If Porsche had never released a production vehicle, and Ford had stolen Porsche's concept car designs to actually produce retail sales, then I would also suggest that it is "very educational to see how those ideas actually work".
That has a wise ring to it, Sir Midnight. I will have to consider that. I am just concerned that I will never be able to catch up to the Day 1 crowd and forever be behind. smile

Edit to Add: I firmly believe that there is a significant… motivation? on many of us hanging around here because we are the "Big Kids" and will be the big kids if it takes off. That does have a real draw and a charm that is not easy to replace. In other words, what some of your concerns are do have validity from the other point of view.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
 
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