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Lisa, can we see "The Document" ?


During the chat of the infamous announcement, you mentioned that Goblinworks had been following a design "document" that described the ultimate goals, requirements, and other key elements of how Pathfinder Online must be. It was ratified by you, Ryan, and I believe you mentioned 1 other person (I could be mistaken - it's been a couple months).

You also mentioned that this "document" wasn't exactly a single document, but rather a small collection/database of documents, or at least something that couldn't be described as a single sheet of paper. During that chat, we asked if you could make that document public. If I remember correctly, you said you could do that, but it would take some time to collect it all together - to make it presentable as a single document.

Has any progress been made on this?

Thanks for your time.

This is a very good request; between the old to new blogs, the 1st and 2nd Kickstarter pages, the forums (Paizo and GW), various conventions and Keepside chats, it hard to know exactly where the game stands with regards to its "vision" and "target audience".
First Elder Durin Steelforge; Leader of Forgeholm; Founder of Steelforge Engineering Company

PM Giorgo on Paizo Forums
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Good question… Does the game suck on purpose, or by accident? smile

Ok, I'm kidding, but given the wide spectrum of differing wants in the remaining playerbase, how can it possibly delight all of us?

Yet, somehow it attracted players with differing wants.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Good question… Does the game suck on purpose, or by accident? smile

Ok, I'm kidding, but given the wide spectrum of differing wants in the remaining playerbase, how can it possibly delight all of us?

Yet, somehow it attracted players with differing wants.
You're spot-on, though. Not only did it attract seemingly-diametrically-opposed playstyles (emphasis on seemingly, because I'm sure we can all fundamentally agree on some aspects… ), but even in the "few" players still around, we still have plenty of opposition.

That said, I'm almost afraid of what will happen if/when Lisa treats us with The Document. I am afraid that we would behave like starving wolves, fighting and gnashing at each other over a piece of meat dangling above our heads.

I could only hope that The Document stuck to the fundamentals of this game - the very stuff the Blogs of Old were based on. Pre-Alpha stuff.
Original design documents are typically never shown to the public.

There are a few reasons for this, that I've seen, historically.

First reason is they're notoriously incomplete and lacking in the detail that customers, consumers, or clients, would desire. They're philosophical documents written in broad strokes of vision, goals, and naive optimism.

Another reason is … well, putting it nicely, hubris. Once initial design is complete, it acts as a general guide, and often restricts innovation. It's supposed to do that, to prevent feature creep. Unfortunately, the reality of implementation issues typically render the ideals, goals, and overall philosophy of a traditional design document largely pointless.

A good example is the magic system in Shroud of the Avatar. It was hinted that it was included in the design document, it was debated in public for years by the thousands of rabid fans that signed up for kickstarter, and then the reality? Implementation was a few hours of brainstorming by two devs, and then implemented without any consultation with anyone else. That's it. That's how it was done. Now, more than a year later, the consequences of that terrible implementation are being reaped.

It's been my experience that once video game designers and developers get a job where they can practice their craft with autonomy, hubris takes over, and they are like terminators. A designer with that much power? " … can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever … "
I've met such MMO video game designers in person, and talked to them face to face.
It's honestly frightening how much contempt some of them demonstrate for the gaming public / their paying customers. They honestly believe they and the design document are _never_ wrong.

Now, it's true, they're not all like that, but every implementation and design decision so far on this project leads me to believe the design document is being adhered to far too closely to create a viable product, financially.

In other words, I don't want to see it, because it would be incredibly disheartening and embarrassing, given what has been produced to date, following it. smile

A PvE only lobby style DDO Clone with Pathfinder PnP module content would make millions. Hell, licensing the Sword Coast Legends engine and producing all the Pathfinder modules in that for DLC would put any PFO reboot in the black almost immediately. At least that makes financial sense.
I agree with Vyal here, I have yet to see a design/policy/vision document that is of any real use (for an outsider at least) either they are so general and just full of the latest popular keywords, or it is a string of protocol/notes/addendum/PMs/corrections/notes on napkins/cryptic PPs/whatever that they really say nothing or are so specific that they are useless.

Let that beast sleep and see what the new guy bring instead.

(i can understand the interest and curiosity as the constand references to the document have elevated it to a kind of dogma, me, I Think it mostly was in Ryans head)
Schedim: Peddler and dealer in stuff easily transported, restless wandering the land of the River. Trying to find out how to reawaken the cult of Hanspur. To realise this ambition I created the company named Rats of Hanspur.
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Well, PvE only, lobby style Pathfinder modules would be totally not what I signed up for. smile I am sure that game will be popular by Pathfinder fans, but I signed up for a single world, Fantasy Sandbox MMO based on Settlement Building supported by a solid Economy that would form the fundament of Meaningful PvP. The Pathfinder IP was completely new to me, certainly not the thing that won me over. All the blogs about what I just described above, did though.

I think such lobby module games are already out there, just not with the Pathfinder IP.
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)
I vigorously disagree with everting Vyal and Schedim wrote above. What you guys have described is industry practice of "how its always been done" and "that is what everyone else does"; GW has set out from the beginning to not be a copy of all the other Fantasy Theme park/Sandbox games in the market. They have been very transparent and engaged in the community since the beginning, and there is no reason to stop just because the game is on life support now.

In addition I, and many others on the sidelines, would like to see "THE DOCUMENT" that GW has been creating PFO with (in a format suitable to share with the public of course, that is why Lisa needs times to create it) so I/we can compare it with a future "THE DOCUMENT v2" as created by any NOT-Goblinwork team that picks up the game. I want to see where the game is (GW) and where the new team want to take it (not-GW) so I can make an informed choice as to where to invest my time, energy and money.
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
No interest in this document..

Spend your time getting new funding, or hammering bugs out or prepping for EE11. If the small team you guys have to start developing things, then perhaps address this issue. For now lets hope the funding comes through and let the future investors decide what they want to release .

Focus on getting EE 11 out . If this is still an issue in a few months then perhaps release a GW plan for the game, but for now .. keep looking for investors, keep working on EE11 etc ..
Also "0" zero interest in it. It's irrelevant now, potentially a flame war, and a likely time sink (you see it and you have to ask 1,000,049 questions).

While moving forward, if GW or Mystery Developers want to share all or some of their new document, that would be fantastic. That is really all that is important at this point.
Virtute et Armis
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