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thoughts after a month

Gluggo
I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this, so if it is not, please move it to where it is best suited.

I just wanted to give my impression of the game after about a month of playing.

First off our family and friends are PnP gamers.

We were introduced to PFO though the invitation that went out via email from Paizo. My wife and I enjoyed EQ2 and later Warhammer Online, but we are not the type that can commit more than say 10 hours a week to a game, and that is pushing it. Most of the folks we play with in our table top campaign have trouble juggling every other Saturday for several hours, much less a few hours each night, but we figured we would give it a try, after all it did have the Pathfinder name attached to it, and perhaps this game could be a substitute for us to get together, as we are all getting older, and maybe it would be a way for us to get together and roleplay a bit, swing swords, cast spells and laugh for an hour or two in between our bi-weekly sessions.

That was our hopes. About 5 of us total started the 15 day trial at the same time. I am the only one remaining, and I'm not sure why I remain, but I do like it for some masochistic reason I reckon. I really really want to love this game, but for some reason I can't. Well, for many reasons, but that doesn't mean I am going to quit, I am just going to let my characters gain exp, play less, and hope the game improves over time. It is not at the point that I want to play it regularly, but maybe it will become that at some point. I want to believe it will, but from what I read on the forums, I don't think it is going in that direction.

Some of the turn offs of the game as a table top gamer and why my mates just walked away from it:

1) PVP MIGHT BE FUN BUT THERE IS NO REASON TO DO IT. We really wanted to do it. I even joined a settlement that was heavily involved in it at the start. The problem was… there was no reason for it. I'm sorry, as a new player I cannot come to grips with fighting other players I don't know over something that happened on the forums or around some argument two settlement leaders had during alpha. That is not reason enough for me to break my gear, die a whole bunch, lose reputation and not be able to train and improve my skills. I have no interest in that. Now, if there was an alignment system or active church activity or something like that, I would get involved. If there was some sort of aspect to roleplay why I might make war with the church of asmodeus and it's followers, I'm all for it! Lets do it! But if you tell me that doing so will punish my character, forget it. I just won't do it. In our fantasy realm, our successful campaigns are fun because we are rewarded for fighting the enemy, not being punished for doing so, and with no clear line of who the enemy is, except that "this guy on the forums doesn't like that guy in the forums, so we all just break our gear and kill their gatherers over it", I'm just not willing to engage in it.

If the "Settlemet of Asmodeus" is at war with the "Settlement of Desna", then I might say hey, I'm going to join the settlement of Desna or Asmodeus! Especially if my domain is Desna or Asmodeus and that's where I get my cleric training! Put a big sticker over my head and that says I worship Desna and let the Asmodeus guys attack me without penalty to their reputation. Heck, they should even get extra exp to spend at the cleric trainer for it! Now, that I would fight for. That's roleplaying, it's a reason for pen and paper guys to get involved. Make a bandit kingdom, where their players CAN attack gatherers and not lose rep, but allow Paladins to attack those who are marked as part of the bandit kingdoms not lose rep either. Something like that. I don't know. Something!

I've heard that soon we'll have a reason to fight, as there won't be enough resources and we'll have to fight over them. Hmmm, well, I have never sat down at a table and fought trolls over a plank of wood, nor do I intend to make war with an entire community over a few rocks. I've heard that is fun for players of Eve (which I've never played), but that is not motivation enough for me as a fantasy role player. I don't want to roleplay a war over rocks. Besides, if I am not breaking my weapons and armor fighting pvp, why do I need to fight over resources? If I break my weapons and armor in pvp, then I have to fight more to get resources to fight more to break my stuff more? That's like working more hours so you can buy more cocaine and then you do more cocaine so you can work more hours.

2) I PERSONALLY HAVE NO INTEREST IN HOLDINGS, CASTLES, LAND MANAGEMENT OR MANAGING PEOPLE OR ASSETS. That is too close to real life for me. I don't enjoy doing or filing my taxes or doing our monthly budget, I just don't enjoy it. I want to be entertained for my dollars. I don't want to work. I understand that some people love this aspect of a game. It's just not me, I want to stab things, take their treasure, hope for a magical doo-dad and buy stuff, and by "stuff" I don't mean another +2 weapon that is identical to the +2 weapon I have now. How about something that is interesting? You are PAIZO! You have books on this stuff, instead I'm killing Ogres over mushrooms?

3) MAJOR GAME MECHANICS MISSING. Right, so this is Pathfinder Online. Not a whole lot of Pathfinder going on. That's why we signed up, for the Pathfinder part. Paizo, you did something great with Pathfinder, but this is not it. At certain times I am told "that's not how pathfinder works!" such as when I ask "will there be a ranged heal?" "NO, THAT'S NOW HOW PATHFINDER WORKS!@ LEARN THE GAME!" OK, fine, but I don't have five minutes to fiddle with a miniature to get the exact range of a heal, use a 5 foot rule to step back, have the warrior hold his initiative place so he can bull rush the guy who is going to attack me with his attack of opportunity. In table top, I don't have to give up a turn to decide I want to use a holy symbol to heal by switching weapons, I get a free wack at someone when they enter my range as an attack of opportunity, the group warrior gets 4 attacks of opportunity because he has trained up those feats, sneak attack works, channel positive does damage to undead, there is selective channeling, etc. You can't have it both ways, you can't cling to "that's not how pathfinder works" when it suits you, and then declare "umm, but see these keyword things? yeah.. umm, these are going to be great!" It just doesn't make sense to those of us who came here expecting… Pathfinder…. Online.

4) CART BEFORE THE HORSE. As I read the forums, I see threads dedicated to things that us Pathfinder fans have no real interest in. I say this, because it does come up at the game shop, and it has come up talking to those folks who initially joined with me, and who have not re subbed up. The development of the game seems to be revolving around things that would normally be final polish in a campaign, while the basic mechanics of the game seem to be neglected. No falling damage, no line of sight, some crazy system whereby my cleric has to find his spells (my gods grant them to my in our table top, now my cleric feels like a magic user in D&D 2nd edition searching the pockets of the dead hoping for a spell), and again alignment. People change domains and deities hourly if it suits them. In our tabletop game, if someone were to decide one hour to worship the god of flowers and beauty and the next hour drop all that and worship the god of destruction of all things pretty, there would be some pretty good ramifications. Here? Bah… This is Pathfinder Online, it's not: Pathfinder which is played Online, which is really what we were hoping it would be.

5) THE GAME IS NOT FOR THE CASUAL PLAYER. I admitted as much. My group that signed up were casual players. I recently saw a post that said the game should get away from casual players and not focus on them. That's cool. I understand. The folks I signed up with do not have, nor do they want to spend hours reading spreadsheets, calculating numbers, crunching builds and plotting out keywords. Give us a masterwork longsword, or a +1 heavy mace. Period. Maybe toss some blue graphics on it, call it Icy Burst and give it some cold damage as well. We'd be happy with that. Why? Because we love Pathfinder. We love THAT game that you guys made. That's why we came here. Not to take up another career as an accountant or private investigator trying to learn a whole new game system. We came because it was advertised as Pathfinder. My mates didn't resub because it wasn't Pathfinder. I've heard the argument "we don't want another WoW". I'm not asking for WoW, I never liked WoW, but I do like Pathfinder. I mean, you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater in some cases. "We don't want magic items because WoW has them" I heard once. Guess what? WoW also has character avatars, and you move with buttons. Why not make a pathfinder MUDS then? It won't be WoW.

I'm sticking around, playing my hour or so a day and really trying to get addicted to the game. It is boring as heck right now, no one really wants to do anything unless there is a lich escalation going on. I log in, see that nothing is going on except scouting hexes for where he might appear at the next respawn, which gets boring after a couple of hours (which is all the time I have anyways), then I go to bed, and gain as much exp as if I were logged in.

Again, I really want to fall in love with this game I'm just having a hard time doing so.
For those that group with me and put up with my stupid questions (which are endless), and for those few people who I see roleplaying in the game… Thanks! You are the reason I want to fall in love with this game!

Gluggo and Toots (noobs but trying…smile
Rynnik
Gluggo
This is Pathfinder Online, it's not: Pathfinder which is played Online
Nailed it.
Not a member, representative, or supporter of Brighthaven Alliance.
Dazyk of Phaeros
Gluggo
… I am just going to let my characters gain exp, play less, and hope the game improves over time.

You are definitely not alone. I would not be very surprised if there are hundreds of people who feel this exact way (I am one).

I spend my time intermittently wishing I had not spent so much money on the game (3 accounts X 1 year subs) and hoping beyond hope that the game gets better soon.
Dazyk Half-Elven, Elder of the Frozen Fingers, the shock- troops of Phaeros. If you are a fighter, cleric, or rogue, and enjoy battle, be it PVP or PVE, we are the company for you! We welcome role-players, casual gamers, and hardcore players alike.

Find your hidden strength, join the Frozen Fingers today!
Dazyk's PFO Resources Folder
Bringslite
There are many interesting points in that manifesto up there. Many that I agree with. Especially the hooking up of some of the regular expected stuff like holy damage vs. undead. Just generally getting what is in now to work in a manner that is recognizable to TT fans, not to mention what needs fixing otherwise and is being back burnered to rush more new features. The pile of stuff left on "warm" is getting large.

To be fair, I think that GW feels an urgency to get out more features until a critical mass of features is reached that will entice a critical mass of people to subscribe. I am not sure that is the best path, but my view is from down here, not up there.

Thank you for taking the time to share that stuff and doing so in a positive way! I would love to have more people like you around. smile
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Edam
At the extremes it is really a case of:

1. I want to play an awesome roleplay game and am prepared to occasionally PvP to defend what i have built.

versus

2. I want to play an awesome PvP game where I get to PvP 24/7 and collect killmails for much street cred and am prepared to occasionally roleplay to justify the pvP.
Just Dak
Edam
At the extremes it is really a case of:

1. I want to play an awesome roleplay game and am prepared to occasionally PvP to defend what i have built.

versus

2. I want to play an awesome PvP game where I get to PvP 24/7 and collect killmails for much street cred and am prepared to occasionally roleplay to justify the pvP.

Do we really need to get into this in yet another thread? PvP wasn't even the singular critique the OP offered.

We can come up with all the silly "Its a case of this angel versus this worst thing ever" comparisons until we are blue in the face. We already have.

Meh.

@Op - The game has many improvements that still need to be made to be fun for a good majority of customers and potential customers. I hope you find your fun in time.
Give me a reasonable despot any day. Someone that constantly reminds everyone that they are virtuous and honorable can not be trusted to be either. If you are good we will know by your deeds, if you are reasonable we will know by our deals.
Dreaden
Getting into pfo is hard, i feel ya there.
Brighthaven Leader
@Gluggo,

I hear ya man, and sorry that the game isn't what you wanted it to be. I am glad you are hanging around, and you know I don't mind answering as many questions as you have! Hopefully there are things that will be fun coming in soon, there are a few things with what you said that might be here soon enough, or at least that motivation might be in place to RP a bit.
Brighthaven is a Neutral Good settlement focused on defending its citizens and its allies from negative fringe based PvP (Player Killing and Griefing) while striving to become a large and shining beacon for Good. Whether you wish to benefit from this protection or you love PvP and wish to assist in providing this protection, Brighthaven aims to be the home and support center for you!
Memory-High Priest of Desna
Putting stuff like this out there in a positive way is doing more for the future of the game than 1000 nerf this/buff that threads combined.

You're makin' it happen mang. Thanks for sticking around!
Adventure Time with the High Priest of Desna, begins Tuesday 08/18 at 6:00pm EST (10:00 server time) at the Thornkeep Auction house. All new players welcome!

Official titles and Nicknames:
Spherewalker of Indor-Mardil, High Priest of Desna, Dreaden-appointed Forum Troll Extraordinaire, The Southern Speedster, Slinger of Stars, Newbie-Bear, Gutter of Golgothans, King of Kiters, Johnny Ustalavian-Seed, and Peaches.
Hobson Fiffledown
It's a very well written and beneficial review. I can see this experience being familiar to many players. There may be a little bit of expectation management issue with Pathfinder pnp to mmo, but that is an area in which I think GW needs to do some work. Bluntly critical, but not necessarily negative reviews from new-ish players are great sources of information for the devs.

I agree with a lot of the OP's critiques. I too am still here because I think this might just make it and be a pretty darn cool game. I would only argue that PFO works very well for a casual player group after an initial investment of time (but this really depends on that group's game goals).
This space for rent.
 
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