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Really Disappointed

Tjaeden
TL/DR: Disappointed. Frustrated. A Little Angry.

Relevant Gaming Experience:
Table Top Board Games: Original Civ to Axis & Allies, Twilight Imperium to Settlers of Catan
RPG: 2nd Ed D&D, to 5th, prefer Pathfinder (3.75) – Shadowrun 2nd, 3rd, 5th – White Wolf games (tons) – GURPS, Toons, It Came From the Late Late Late Show
Online Gaming – everything Blizzard (including WoW for 10 years, GM/Officer of Top 10 raiding guild from 1.11 to 4.3, with several server 1sts); DDO, FF11/14, Wildstar, Secret World, Star Trek: Online (20k DPS), and even Guild Wars 1 & 2.

Oh, and EVE Online (Dust as well) – proud captain of a Navy Megathron with Battleship V trained.

Someone in a different thread said:
“NPC's are not living and breathing. We, the population are. We will help you, give advice, guide you, and get you through. The NPC will stand there and stare at you.”
Those sentences perfectly describe this game.

This game is not D&D.
It is not Pathfinder.
It is EVE re-skinned.

Saturday Afternoon – Playing Jade Regent Adventure Path
Before all my players come over, I eagerly install PFsmile and when it’s done, I make my usual Human Wizard.

I start with a club and a quest to kill 3 wolves. 2 Hexes, each direction, no wolves.
Lots of “nodes”. 1 skeleton that when killed yielded no loot (even the 1st Neverwinter Nights had femurs for wands you could loot).
30 minutes go by, all my players are watching by now. Still no wolves. No nothing. NPCs with no dialogue, no movement, no nothing.
In contrast, just to prove an interesting point, I log into WoW, create a level 1 human mage, get a quest to kill 6 wolves. And guess what? Wolves everywhere. And my players hate WoW, but they had to admit, the stark contrast between a game that’s been out for 10 YEARS vs. one still in development.
Just to prove a point, I logged on to GW2 as well.
Made an Asura Elementalist - BOOM combat quests. Simple introductory stuff.

What’s the 1st thing a GM should do with a new group of players? Introductions at a tavern? Again, this is 2015 – you make them roll initiative. You give them life or death, immediately. Something so they latch on to the character they created. Some players spend days making a character - even thinking about a concept for weeks. Now you threaten that? Hook me into the game - this is basic GM stuff.

What pains me the most, is that with the Pathfinder name, and the connotation of D&D behind this game, it feels like the creators have not read the RPG books. By the way, I understand that the d20 system cannot be used, and there are issues with the OGL, this is not a commentary on that (DDO and NWNsmile are terrible dungeons & dragons games).
Even EVE now has guided tutorials to get things going.

Now Back to the NPCs
In the D&D universe, especially in Pathfinder adventure paths (You guys have to check those out if you haven’t), NPCs are INTEGRAL to the story. They have motivations, goals, agendas, flaws, feelings, dreams, setbacks. Making them feel real to the player is one of the GMs most important job. The game becomes memorable, and players care.

Constructing a game with such a fundamental shift in attitude (keeping in mind the D&D connotation) is bound for disaster. It works in EVE – faceless NPCs that offer repeatable missions that are nothing more than a number – because of the nature of the story.
But in D&D, even an open sandbox MMO needs fully fleshed out NPCs – perhaps MORE so because of the nature of the game. This is supposedly the world of Golarion – there are hundreds of amazing NPCs from the stories and adventures. I would LOVE to see Empress Ameiko Kaijitsu in a future expansion. But given the current state, a player might have that “title” – which would be fun, but what world are we playing in?

Character creation is so bare bones, all that comes to mind is minimally viable product.
$15/month? Really? Support the writers of the Adventure Paths – those are QUALITY products that cherish their D&D heritage. Not a crafting simulator dressed as an RPG.

I do like the crafting system, however. Independent AH’s and World PVP are a wonderful step in the right direction.
Organic monster spreading from hexes is also well done. But why don’t NPC settlements do that as well?

This can be a great game. Just don't call it something it's not.
Tyncale
I hear you, but you are asking for the most expensive content a MMO can have, and GW simply can not afford to go that way right now. You will hear the argument that "the players are the content" a lot, btw, and off course that is true in this Game of Thrones. However I am with you, a rich and bustling NPC environment would be fantastic, and Pathfinder has it all. But before they can throw resources at that part of the game, they will have to start making some serious bucks and that's not happening yet.

THink 5 years from now, at least I do. And that's when the game is actually succesfull.

Trust me, I often feel an urge to immerse myself in one of the many Themepark MMO's I have on my hard drive, the only reason I am not doing that is because I am so very done with the shallow goals in those games.
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)
Giorgio
Your disappointed? Fair enough,you gave your reasons above.

What were your expectations?

Are you aware of the size of the development team, the budget, how much time it has been active, the early access & crowdforging aspects, and the design goals?
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
Tjaeden
That's $900.

I would rather spend that on Pathfinder books, novels, APs, and dice.

In fact, why not offer free game time to purchasers of APs? Player Created Content, boom. Cross-product support, boom.

"Think 5 years from now.."

Is that how we as game consumers are really thinking these days?

What really bothers me - what it all comes down to - is what is this game supposed to be? Dungeons and dragons, or EVE?
Duffy Swiftshadow
Sorry you feel that way but just to throw up a contrasting view my group has been playing Pathfinder TT for the last couple of years and when I heard about PFO I thought that was neat but was gonna skip it because I personally was't going to bother with another Themepark game. The Golarion setting is kind of a crazy grab bag if you make the whole world anyways, it would be just another crazy content churn for me.

Then a friend pointed me at the 2nd Kickstarter and mentioned it was a sandbox, I was suddenly intrigued. After reading the details and discovering it was based around the Kingmaker module and not a pre-guided modular Themepark, I was hooked. To me the lure of TT games is not the inherent setting or it's characters and stories, it's the player control over crafting our own stories using the tools at our disposal and PFO does encapsulate that idea while using the Golarion setting as the backdrop, which is very much how my group plays TT.

I think the TT player reaction to PFO can depend on the preferred style of the TT player, if you like the modules and adventure paths which are a much more guided experience, PFO can be lacking for you. If you play TT like the setting is a shortcut to fleshing out your own thing and borrowing various elements here and there as you deem fit, then I find PFO to be much easier to swallow. I think it all depends on your personal preferences.

At it's core those TT games are rule systems that let you tell your story, PFO is in the same vein. So while the details might be different I think the spirit of both versions of Pathfinder are ultimately the same.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Tjaeden
What really bothers me - what it all comes down to - is what is this game supposed to be? Dungeons and dragons, or EVE?
Technically, it's supposed to be closer to EVE than to D&D.
To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
Tyncale
Well, I am already enjoying some of the other aspects of the game so the 5 years do not bother me that much. smile It may in the future though. But yeah, if you were expecting Final Fantasy XIV levels of attention to the World that the MMO is built on (in their case the FF I.P.) then this must be a cold shower.

Also, Duffy, thats an interesting viewpoint. Could well be the case. I had not heard about Pathfinder untill right before the first KS tbh, but I think I would fall in that second group.
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)
Tjaeden
Giorgio
What were your expectations?

An online, dungeons-and-dragons-like game, party-based, with multiple players, possible player/GM created content, in a sandbox Golarion.

Giorgio
Are you aware of the size of the development team, the budget, how much time it has been active, the early access & crowdforging aspects, and the design goals?

Leaving out the paying for beta/early access arguments - the scope could have easily been toned down so more polish and features could have been added.

I would be happy to play a Pathfinder version of D&D, that's an MMO, based in a city or small town. Katapesh would be amazing!

I would also be more than happy to continue to playtest for free.
Daeglin
With the additional advertising towards the Pathfinder TT crowd, none of us are surprised at your reaction so far. I understand where you're coming from, I have a TT and themepark background, and only started trying sandbox pvp mmo's after the kickstarter. I love 'em now, I can't go back to a themepark. I didn't do any of the quests for the first month I played and I've only done the movement and kill 3 goblins at this point because they aren't what the game is about. Every time I sign in now, I check in with the settlements that make up my alliance. There is always somebody or some group working on something that could use a hand. That becomes my quest, to further the goals of my alliance.

The game has reminded me most of my original entry to gaming using the blue book. We had no scripted adventures, we just explored the world and pursued our goals. That's what I'm doing in the River Kingdoms.
Good… Bad… I'm the guy with the bow.
Avari
Tjaeden
What really bothers me - what it all comes down to - is what is this game supposed to be? Dungeons and dragons, or EVE?

It's supposed to be EVE with a Pathfinder skin you were right the first time.
 
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