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Minimum Viable Product

Kitsune
I'm a TT player myself - I love what Paizo has done with D&D, finding "the perfect" middle-ground between D&D3.5 & D&D4.0. Depending on the season, my current group plays a couple times a week, and we've even tried and failed to take the TT game "online" (using collaborative TT software, etc.).

When I stumbled upon PFO, during the early parts of it's 2nd Kickstarter, I was looking for an MMO to play. It'd been a while since I had quit SWTOR (last "major" MMO I had played - definitely not the first!). I'd tinkered around with a few different MMO's since, like Neverwinter, DnDO, and some others. But I wasn't finding what I wanted. I basically wanted something like Ultima X Odyssey , which never came to pass. I wanted a truly-3D version of Ultima Online (my first MMO), and not isometric. I wanted sandbox, open-world, with dungeons, player housing (like UO or SWG style), Open-PvP (even with safe-zones, that's fine), and tons of obscure content to explore that was based on previous games (there were a lot of hidden throwbacks to the old Ultima games that I hadn't played, heh). It was hard to put it down - I'd literally spent days at a time playing (no-sleep), grinding that next skill percentage, or taming that White Wyrm, or crawling that deep dungeon to get the awesome random loot, or hunting for collapsing houses, or trying to find a new spot to place a house, or … you get the point, I'll stop.

And when I found PFO, I thought I'd found it. The next Ultima Online. I invited all my buddies to pitch-in for a Guild, and bought some add-ons. Shortly after the Kickstarter, I upgraded to Alpha. Everything was great.

But then, I was disappointed at first. Player housing (obviously a big deal to me) wasn't all it was cracked up to be - with only smallholdings and very, very restrictive placement options (yuk). There were a few other minor disappointments as well, such as "roles". I mean, let's face it, we almost might as well call them "classes" at this time, because there's not a whole lot of benefit for straying too far outside the lines. Sure, the Cleric can benefit from Fighter stuff (actually, most roles can benefit from Fighter stuff, it seems), but … That's about it. With the restrictions of the Achievement types, you're almost restricted to certain weapon types if you want to go down one of the role paths.

But then I started to really love PFO. Mostly, I saw its potential to become "as close to Ultima Online as I'm gonna get," and it was really cool to be a part of the community that's helping bring this game to life. The PvP adventures were kinda fun. Escalations were hard (emphasis on "were" ). Making the Goblinary with Nihimon was fun.

But then, a couple things happened a couple months ago that opened my eyes a bit.
1) The realization that there were hardly any social tools. No friends list, no online status, no settlement chat (fixed since), … Really none of the social elements you'd expect out of any halfway-decent MMO.
2) This ridiculous, nonstop, every-night war between settlements, and all the arguing and bickering between fights. It was fun at first, but it just grew very tiresome. I really need to go read those "wither" thread(s) and see what the latest is, but I'm not sure I want to spend the time.
3) The prioritization of settlement warfare elements over basic needs of the game. It started to really show how badly it was hurting the game, and it was deeply concerning.

So, I took a month-or-so off from the game, and came back a bit more refreshed.

And then, BOOM. Dev team falls apart, PFO nearly crashes and burns.

So, now, I'm currently not really even playing the game. I'm spending most of my [very limited] free-time discussing things on the forums. I want to see this game succeed, but I'm also hoping for some radical changes. I'm not necessarily hoping that Goblinworks is completely replaced, but I'm eager to see new leadership, new decisions, and some new directions for the game. I'd like to see the game that was talked about in the Kickstarter, the Kickstarter updates, and [some of] the Blogs of Old.

If you actually spent the time to read my ramblings, you must have a lot of spare time. smile
Nihimon
Kitsune
If you actually spent the time to read my ramblings, you must have a lot of spare time. smile

Not as much as I used to…
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Fanndis Goldbraid
I don't buy into Bluddwolf's burger and pizza analogy. There are more non-PvP players than there are PvP players. Accordingly, there are more non-PvP games trying to lure non-PVPers, along with their money (subs, cash shop, whatever).

Ryan appeared to be trying to squeeze his proposal into the middle area where there is a "happy medium". The problem is (again, in my opinion) he was using a non-PvP vehicle (Pathfinder) which had a non-PvP following moreso than a PvP following. The early threads on the Paizo board were loaded with angry vitriol from old school tabletoppers who wanted a Pathfinder MMO but wanted nothing to do with PVP. If the proposal had been targeted more along the lines of Pathfindery Themepark with a few sandbox elements and some optional PvP it may have drawn a much larger crowd of the tabletoppers.

The PvP sandbox we are in has instead drawn a few hundred PvPers at the cost of (guessing) a few thousand non-PvPers. We can all see the numbers.
Kitsune
Fanndis Goldbraid
The PvP sandbox we are in has instead drawn a few hundred PvPers at the cost of (guessing) a few thousand non-PvPers. We can all see the numbers.

Whether or not the reasoning in your post is accurate to reality (sounds believable), it's clear that we don't have many thousands of players right now, if even a thousand active ones.

I believe some of Ryan's intentions may have been spot-on, though. If the game were to include PvP, they might as well embrace it, make it fair, and make it interesting. Some games with "PvP Elements" fail at PvP because it's unfair or just not interesting. No examples off the top of my head, though.
Giorgio
I am pretty much in a similar place as Kitsunes post 4 units up, and am hoping a more polished game with new funding and leadership might salvage this game.

I am strongly of belief that the focus of settlement features (at the expense of everything else) was/is a huge mistake , that the PVP features are badly implemented, excecuted, targeting the wrong player base, and introduced too early and nowhere near what the early blogs and kickstarter implied it would be like.

As to the OPs question about what is a MVP, I need to think about it before I can reply, given the status of the game (loss of development team, funding, server deathwatch/uncertainty, low population) and recent information from blogs and keepside chats.
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
Fanndis Goldbraid
I do love (and it is my favorite part of the design document) the opportunity to build things as a group that are impossible to do by yourself, and to see the landscape changing by the things built. That is really a cool feature, and it is what gives us any sort of identity. The sheer quantity of gathered items for some of the crafting items is also, to me, a big bonus. Alone some of the gathering takes forever, but with 20 or so people gathering in different areas, or trading with friendly settlements or companies, you can get just about everything you need.

The cooperative elements are what I really like. That still makes PFO fun for me.
Tyv Blodvaerd of Aragon
The reality is, even though there is the potential for open world PvP, the instances of it have been quite rare and really only isolated to some those in EoX and EBA.

Zycor and previously AGC were a brief anomaly, and UNC stopped when the WoT hexes were switched off from being FFA zones. Fianna has dabbled a bit in it lately as well, but I haven't heard much since those initial incidents.

It is also important to point out how those activities have been received or written about by this community. In every case I mentioned, no matter how minor or infrequent, independent acts of PvP have been called griefing or at least detrimental to the game. Even the more organized PvP through the feud system has been blamed for the demise of PFO, by some, especially when the opposition did not target the membership or assets that the one party expected or wanted.

The anti PvP fervor in PFO has been overblown and that drives players away as well. PFO really didn't stand a chance to be successful for either side of the PvE and PvP spectrum. Those that may have been in the middle, focused more on the state of the game and basically said…. Meh! This game is not MVP in any aspect.

For those that say, but PFO provides the opportunity for cooperative group play and community, I can tell you, so does thousands of other games that are free, more developed, and have a brighter future.

Clinging to tightly to the failed design document is most likely futile, especially if another publisher does pick up PFO. Who in their right mind is going to think or say, "yeah I'll buy into that and continue to follow a failed plan"?
Aragon (CN) a settlement founded on the principles of the River Freedoms: Say What You Will; Oath Breakers Die; Walk Any Road, Float Any River; Courts are for Kings; Slavery is an Abomination; Have What You Hold.

Settlement Focus: Fighter and Rogue Training
Game Play: Escalations / Refining / Crafting / Defensive PVP
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Tyv Blodvaerd of Aragon
Zycor and previously AGC were a brief anomaly, and UNC stopped when the WoT hexes were switched off from being FFA zones. Fianna has dabbled a bit in it lately as well, but I haven't heard much since those initial incidents.

Well, our main guys been a bit busy IRL lately. smile. It's kept me out of the action lately for sure. I did find a nice gatherer not too long ago, although they were in T2 armor and I kind of wasn't (still gridnin these achievement gates is a pain when work is keeping ya down).

So we will be around though. smile We are working on getting stuff set up for the guild in general but again, I just haven't found the time to finish it (mostly nit picky stuff). We are also trying to figure out ways to say "STICK EM UP" before attempting a kill as well. Some keyboard macros Cormac and I are trying may or may not work but we'll find out.

It is also important to point out how those activities have been received or written about by this community. In every case I mentioned, no matter how minor or infrequent, independent acts of PvP have been called griefing or at least detrimental to the game. Even the more organized PvP through the feud system has been blamed for the demise of PFO, by some, especially when the opposition did not target the membership or assets that the one party expected or wanted.

THIS!

The first part is big for groups like mine (and I imagine any of the guys trying to do some decent banditry or killing while not being jerks out of game). I keep hearing about controlled PvP via Factions and I like the idea if they throw banditry into the ring off the bat and implement it well.

Also, I don't mind making some concessions for the good of the game but there has to be some give and take here. If everything any independent person or group is going to do is going be treated as if they are a member of the Goons then what the heck? That sounds more like out of game fear and paranoia rather than in game stuff, though I could be wrong.

I've read on these forums the need for this idea meaningful PvP and especially outside of this so called "forever war", but I do feel like sometimes groups like mine are going to have to walk on eggshells or not even be allowed to exist. I realize I haven't been around for all the initial politics that led up to this point, but if I feel that groups like mine can't even exist without the rest of the server going on a crusade then I'm not sure what to do. I sometimes worry that a game like this suffers equally from the zeitgeist of Grieferphobia as much as griefers themselves.

To try to alleviate those fears, we've stated our intents and that we will, when we get to the point where we are able, play the game according to how it seems to be intended to be played (as best as we are able to discern it). However, there does need to be a bit of quid pro quo too to come up with ways where we can coexist and cut each other some slack. If we can't tolerate different playstyles and have some means keep each other honest, then I would still try to work within the game and the current politics to adapt but I will not go so far as compromise the whole company concept just to cater to people either.

If people want a game that won't be conducive to the kind of play we are hoping to pull off then that's fine, but I think we all should be able to give people a chance to make a good faith effort regarding different types of playstyles first. Sometimes that doesn't work out and sometimes some groups may show their true colors and show that they can't be trusted in good faith, but that can happen anywhere.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Mistwalker
I think that things are evolving in regards to banditry. Most of the past banditry had to do with folks from Golgotha involved - which brought in a lot of history.

When Magus of Fianna attacked someone in High Road, High Road contacted Aragon to see what was going on, to see if there was something bigger than just a random murder/bit of banditry. Once we realized that it was simply banditry, with no griefing going on, some of us just put Magus on our own personal kill on sight list. When Magus announced in General where he was going, and some of us from High Road were nearby, we ambushed him and killed him. I removed him from my personal kill on sight list (and will only add him back if he misbehaves in my neck of the woods again, or kills a friend). There was no war declared, no long term feud declared or other such activity in response to the murder.
Tyv Blodvaerd of Aragon
Mistwalker
I think that things are evolving in regards to banditry. Most of the past banditry had to do with folks from Golgotha involved - which brought in a lot of history.

When Magus of Fianna attacked someone in High Road, High Road contacted Aragon to see what was going on, to see if there was something bigger than just a random murder/bit of banditry. Once we realized that it was simply banditry, with no griefing going on, some of us just put Magus on our own personal kill on sight list. When Magus announced in General where he was going, and some of us from High Road were nearby, we ambushed him and killed him. I removed him from my personal kill on sight list (and will only add him back if he misbehaves in my neck of the woods again, or kills a friend). There was no war declared, no long term feud declared or other such activity in response to the murder.

That has to do with the settlements that were involved, and the leadership of the parties that were involved. Bottom line, no one over reacted and we discussed the issue mostly in PMas.

Aragon (CN) a settlement founded on the principles of the River Freedoms: Say What You Will; Oath Breakers Die; Walk Any Road, Float Any River; Courts are for Kings; Slavery is an Abomination; Have What You Hold.

Settlement Focus: Fighter and Rogue Training
Game Play: Escalations / Refining / Crafting / Defensive PVP
 
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