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EE16/Roadmap

Kelthed
I'm one of those PFRPG folks that isn't a fan of PFO. I've been playing table top since 1978, have been a PFRPG GM since 2010 and been a MMO player since the text based Infocom games. The short answer to how to make PFO more "pathfindery" is simple. You can't. You went to far down the wrong road. Change the name to Goblins online, learn from your mistakes and in a few years try again. Don't feel bad about it, "the worlds oldest RPG" had the same result when they tried.

Reasons I will exit the realm when my month's subscription is up and most likely (99%) will never come back.

1) XP over time. Basically equates to $14.95 = 72,000 XP. Really? In what RPG is that a good idea?
2) Economy. I like the idea of all the good stuff being player made. In most MMO's I play a crafter. Limiting the economy to AH only hurts, it doesn't help. Put in vendors so we can sell off "vendor trash". Let vendors sell basic items. Have players craft the good stuff. I need cash to buy stuff from the AH. I don't want to add my 3 bear pelts to the already 4,000 bear pelts for sale. Just let me dump them at the NPC for pennies on the dollar.
3) Advancement. Decide what type of game this is. Is it class based? Skill based? Item based? You're trying to be all of the above and consequently failing at all of them. If it's class based then I get XP, I decide what class I want to advance, I buy a level of that class I get benefits based on that class. I can then spend additional points (from the same or a different pool) to get higher level abilities based on the class levels I have. If it's skill based, then I spend XP on skills (or they go up as I use them). Skill combinations open skill abilities which give you a "role" title. Example, 5 levels of sneak + 5 levels of light weapon opens +1 precision damage and gives you the "role" title "Thug". 5 levels of Sword+ 5 levels of Religion give "lay on hands" and the "role" title paladin.
Item based is if you have a certain item you can do the ability. This is fine as an add-on to support magic items. But they should be tied to the item. Not I learn an ability and I have to have a wand equipped to use it?
4) Crafting. Someone in game told me a tier 3 item can take a month to craft. Umm, no. Just no. You make a game where everything is player crafted, then you make it take 10 minutes to craft a single pair of wool mittens? Make it complicated, not long. Everyone always points to SWG as the pinnacle of crafting. I liked aspects of the system used in Ryzom, wherein the attributes of the item you made were based on the attributes of the materials you used to make it. So, in the wool mittens example; Wool made from a sheep would have a set of stats and wool made from a rhinoceros would have different stats and you can mix and match. Higher skill level allows for more decision and less randomness. Mittens take 10 wool, you could use all sheep, all rhinoceros or any combination in between. Perhaps wool gives cold resistance and rhinoceros gives electrical resistance and cotton gives crushing resistance and linen gives fire resistance. You got ten slots, how do you want these made? I have tier 3 mitten mastery so I can use up to tier 3 components. Suddenly there's 100 different ways to make a pair of mittens.
4.5) Make the icons on the map different for different harvest nodes.
5) Graphics. Pretty lame for 2018, though if items 1 - 4 were fixed I could live with it. MOB diversity you already said you were working on and as this is early release I'll give you a pass and just expect more and more as each release and expansion comes out.
6) What's the point? In both MMO's and RPGs you grind MOBs so you can get XP so you can get better abilities and gear so you can grind tougher MOBs. And yes, that's true for table top as well. Table top just takes longer and there is a more social aspect to the game, but in essence you start at level 1 killing goblins and after killing lots of progressively tougher critters you become level 20 and kill uber goblins (demons devils dragons whatever). In PFO you get XP by sending in a check, so what's the point again?
Bringslite
Thank you for your input, Kelthed. I am not being sarcastic when I say this. Nor am I being facetious. Opinions and critiques from outside the usual "echo chamber" are pretty important to helping this game find directions, as long as it can be recognized that many things will take time and some are impossible without a complete rebuild. Seems like you recognize that.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Edam
There seems to be a lot of pressure lately to turn the game back into some Pathfindery rehash of Never Winters Nights. Personally I hope this does not happen as the traditional "same old same old" game where you kill things to level up then get points to spend on whatever you want may have been fun 20 years ago but personally its got rather old.

It may well be that cashing in on the market for people looking for yet another variant of what has become standard game mechanics is necessary for the game to survive. Afterall it is where pathfinder itself came from, Wizards dropped the ball with 4th edition and a great number of Tabletop players who were looking for something more like the traditional game they were used to moved to pathfinder. But PFO will be a sadder lesser version of what it could have become if that occurs.

The "XP" over time thing was inherited from EVE. Though in EVE it is not called XP so it does not carry all the baggage the term XP does. I suspect the reason EVE originally went that way was it was primarily a PvP territorial conquest game and they were trying to avoid PvPers having to grind mobs just to get to a level where they are competitive at PvP.

What was added in PFO (versus the original EVE model) was the need to gain achievements in order to spend that XP. This brings back the need to kill stuff and prevents people just subbing accounts for a year and not playing and coming back and simply levelling up.

In traditional Gygax based gain-XP-level-up games it does not matter how you gained your XP you can spend it where-ever you want. Kill enough goblins with a club and you can level up your wizarding skills next level. totally illogical really.

In PFO you still need to kill things but they are much more specific. Even if you have a million XP and have killed 10,000 goblins with your greatsword you cannot level up your dagger skills unless you go back out and kill some stuff with your dagger.

The idea that you need to "equip the right things to use relevant skills" also mirrors EVE. However whereas in EVE people just seem to accept that training freighter skills only helps you when actually flying a freighter and are no benefit if you are in a stealth fighter, in this game people seem to find it odd they need the right armor or weapon equipped for their skills to work.

As for roles, this game was not even originally meant to have roles at all. You basically were what you were wearing and carrying. The iconic fighter/cleric etc roles that date back to 1st edition D&D appear to have been shoehorned in later because people expected them. This was to my mind a bad thing. It led to illogical arguments like "nerf devourers caress because wizards traditionally should not be allowed to have tanking abilities". A particularly nonsensical argument when you consider the entire fantasy gaming genre arose out of Lord of the Rings where Gandalf was probably the combat melee monster of all time, with no basis in balance or game mechanics.

TL&DR Version


Regardless of the details the real question is should this game convert to yet another rehash of the same old level up game (albeit with slightly poorer graphics because money - but hey Fortnight and Minecraft are too of the most successful games of all time and both have atrocious graphics) to try and attract players who are stuck in the old traditional mode of doing things ? Sadly that may actually eventually be the case.
Bringslite
I feel that they are probably plenty busy and going to be for awhile just getting through the primal version of Enchanting.

Having said that, I do hope that any extended future Road Map will at least look at "small" changes which can:
1.add impactful opportunities for fun
2.while reducing as much onerous "chore" functions as possible
3.increase the player base through new F2P or new subscription models
4.find ways through a combo of these things so that revenue can be generated for more artists, coders, etc. can be freelanced or hired

Games with great ideas have great potential, unless your world is an empty play-field. Any MMO needs to be populated to gain momentum.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
You are a Troll
Edam
There seems to be a lot of pressure lately to turn the game back into some Pathfindery rehash of Never Winters Nights. Personally I hope this does not happen as the traditional "same old same old" game where you kill things to level up then get points to spend on whatever you want may have been fun 20 years ago but personally its got rather old.

It may well be that cashing in on the market for people looking for yet another variant of what has become standard game mechanics is necessary for the game to survive. Afterall it is where pathfinder itself came from, Wizards dropped the ball with 4th edition and a great number of Tabletop players who were looking for something more like the traditional game they were used to moved to pathfinder. But PFO will be a sadder lesser version of what it could have become if that occurs.

The "XP" over time thing was inherited from EVE. Though in EVE it is not called XP so it does not carry all the baggage the term XP does. I suspect the reason EVE originally went that way was it was primarily a PvP territorial conquest game and they were trying to avoid PvPers having to grind mobs just to get to a level where they are competitive at PvP.

What was added in PFO (versus the original EVE model) was the need to gain achievements in order to spend that XP. This brings back the need to kill stuff and prevents people just subbing accounts for a year and not playing and coming back and simply levelling up.

In traditional Gygax based gain-XP-level-up games it does not matter how you gained your XP you can spend it where-ever you want. Kill enough goblins with a club and you can level up your wizarding skills next level. totally illogical really.

In PFO you still need to kill things but they are much more specific. Even if you have a million XP and have killed 10,000 goblins with your greatsword you cannot level up your dagger skills unless you go back out and kill some stuff with your dagger.

The idea that you need to "equip the right things to use relevant skills" also mirrors EVE. However whereas in EVE people just seem to accept that training freighter skills only helps you when actually flying a freighter and are no benefit if you are in a stealth fighter, in this game people seem to find it odd they need the right armor or weapon equipped for their skills to work.

As for roles, this game was not even originally meant to have roles at all. You basically were what you were wearing and carrying. The iconic fighter/cleric etc roles that date back to 1st edition D&D appear to have been shoehorned in later because people expected them. This was to my mind a bad thing. It led to illogical arguments like "nerf devourers caress because wizards traditionally should not be allowed to have tanking abilities". A particularly nonsensical argument when you consider the entire fantasy gaming genre arose out of Lord of the Rings where Gandalf was probably the combat melee monster of all time, with no basis in balance or game mechanics.

TL&DR Version


Regardless of the details the real question is should this game convert to yet another rehash of the same old level up game (albeit with slightly poorer graphics because money - but hey Fortnight and Minecraft are too of the most successful games of all time and both have atrocious graphics) to try and attract players who are stuck in the old traditional mode of doing things ? Sadly that may actually eventually be the case.

Well said! smile

(and thanks for taking the time to type that all out!)
Kelthed
Edam, All of your points are valid. However, if you want to play that game call it GoblinWorksOnline because it isn't Pathfinder. When I come to Pathfinder Online I want to play a game at least similar to Pathfinder RPG. For me personally, one of the main reasons I only played Eve briefly was because of the XP over time mechanic. For the equipment / skill argument, I actually agree with you. This particular implementation of the system I don't think works well. My personal favorite CRPGs are one where you use a skill, that skill goes up. But again, that isn't Pathfinder. If you want to make that game, fine do it, I'll probably play it. Just don't try to pass it off as an online version of Pathfinder.
Bringslite
The actual method of how "the points" to increase the skills come may or may not be the most important factor here in getting people eager to play this game. It does seem clear though that it is the entire system, as a whole, that doesn't add up to a desirable game. It is clearly obvious that some changes need to be made somewhere in the total configuration of this game's mechanics, else where are the players?

Lobbying against change is all well and good, no matter what you present to thousands of people a few will probably be happy with it, but it doesn't help things get better. I am assuming that "better" would be something like "having more players around and eager to play."

We should all be thinking about that.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
BlackMoria
If the title "Pathfinder Online" is the source of the problem, namely people coming to see a online version of Pathfinder RPG and finding it is not, then I am all for changing the name. Golarion is recognized by almost all Pathfinder players but our small corner of the River Kingdoms doesn't represent all of Golarion so there may be complaints there. Not sure what to call the game then. You want something that screams Pathfinder without saying Pathfinder Online.

"War in the Golarion River Kingdoms" doesn't roll off the tongue but it catches the essence of the game. Except, people will log in saying "where is the war" and our response at this time is "it is a war against boredom".

I don't have an answer but if the name is a big part of the perceptional problem, then change the name.
Maxen
When I think of making the game more “Pathfindery”, I am thinking purely in terms of content and immersion, not mechanics. My gaming group was hardcore D&D (we had a 15+ year Greyhawk campaign running) until 4th Editon was announced. We made the switch to Pathfinder and never looked back.

I suppose there was some expectation on my part that “Pathfinder Online” would be an extension of the Pathfinder RPG, but frankly, you could implement any generic RPG system and play in Golarion because the world-setting has good content. That was my hope for PFO and why the game mechanic issue doesn’t bother me as much (even though I too find XP over time a drag.)

It’s always been said “the players are the content”, but if that’s the only content, all PFO becomes is a PvP war game/strategy simulator. Opposing factions duking it out everyday to see who controls more land. That can be done in any setting. But this isn’t just any setting. It’s Golarion and there need to be other things to do when you and your faction aren’t duking it out with the other guys. That gets old quick and retention becomes an issue. That’s pretty much the game today. Crafting is a sidebar. Gathering is a sidebar. Not everyone wants to do either of those. PvP isn’t for everyone, but should still be expected in a sandbox. There need to be reasons for groups of adventurers to go out and adventure and possibly come into conflict with other adventuring groups, other than the same old escalations that keep popping up.

This goes back to something I’ve said before. If “players are the content”, then there needs to be a way for players to create content based on the world setting. We need an in-game design engine that would support player-created quests that draw from the lore of the River Kingdoms and Golarion. These player-created adventures would fill a much needed ‘adventurer’ role. Give players a reason to create and play in PvP and PvE content that is more dynamic.

Yes, I know. Funding. Developers. Graphic Artists. This is not a near-term way to help include more Pathfinder context into the game, but I still think it would be a value-added capability long term.
You are a Troll
Kingmaker online?
 
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