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Start Over

BlackMoria
Azure, your idea has merit but…. and it is a big but… it may not work at all.

It is not the lack of real estate that drives people away from engaging in this game for longer than a cursory kicking of the tires.

Here is breakdown of the stuff I have heard in General in the past several weeks, in no particular order.

1. People are expecting a D2O MMO experience like Owlcat Games Kingmaker with a understood Pathfinder level 1 to 20 progression. They don't see that and leave.
2. Mechanics are too hard to understand. Keywords? What the hell is that? Why can't I train this feat? What do you mean by being gated? Why can't my longbow achievements be used for qualify for shortbow…. a bow is a bow? New players find understanding the game mechanics problematic. The tutorials don't cut it. Frustrated, they leave.
3. Why doesn't armor, weapons, etc drop from mobs? They do in tabletop.
4. New players run out of coin too fast and are asking how they can get more. More frustration.
5. Where are the quests? Tabletop players expect quests like they get in tabletop or by playing Owlcat's Kingmaker. The Find your Path tutorials they don't consider proper quests.
6. Where are the dungeons? Pathfinder had dungeons. This isn't Pathfinder without dungeons. How can you have a game without dungeons?
7. I am here. What am I supposed to do now?
8. Why do I have to join a settlement? Why am I being forced to join a settlement? I want to do my own thing.
9. The game seems incomplete.

There is a bunch more of a similar nature, basically around how difficult the game if for a solo player, how hard the game is too understand, the lack of entry level content for new players.

Only ONE person asked how can he get his own settlement.
Only ONE person commented the game seemed empty. I wasn't certain if he was referring to the lack of other players or the lack of content as maybe he expected to find quests or direction on what do from every NPC he bumped into in Thornkeep.

I wasn't on 24/7 for the last several weeks so obviously, I haven't heard every inquiry. But I noted enough in General that lack of expansion space and the lack of a player population was not high. It came down to basically two things - the game is very hard to understand the game mechanics and the lack of ready to serve content.

That is why the new player experience is failing to retain the new players. It is not - the map is too big, the world is empty or all the hexes have been claimed.

Your solution does not address the fundamental issues that reading General Chat over the last few weeks revealed. The new players are, in essence, telling us what is wrong with the game with their questions. We need to listen and learn what the real issues are so they feel the game is worth more than a night or two of poking around and finding the experience unrewarding.
Flari-Merchant
BlackMoria
The new players are, in essence, telling us what is wrong with the game with their questions. We need to listen and learn what the real issues are so they feel the game is worth more than a night or two of poking around and finding the experience unrewarding.
Thank You for making this point. It is so true.
Tuoweit
If you're considering a wipe, or even just shaking up player homes to concentrate everyone into a couple settlements (we players could do this voluntarily without intervention), I'd just like to point out that the previous approach of recruiting all the "hardcore PvP'ers" into one alliance didn't work out very well for the game's population. smile A lot of players aren't (weren't) into that, they want(ed) to build settlements and interact with the world, not wage constant war.
Azure_Zero
BlackMoria
Azure, your idea has merit but…. and it is a big but… it may not work at all.

It is not the lack of real estate that drives people away from engaging in this game for longer than a cursory kicking of the tires.

Here is breakdown of the stuff I have heard in General in the past several weeks, in no particular order.

1. People are expecting a D2O MMO experience like Owlcat Games Kingmaker with a understood Pathfinder level 1 to 20 progression. They don't see that and leave.
2. Mechanics are too hard to understand. Keywords? What the hell is that? Why can't I train this feat? What do you mean by being gated? Why can't my longbow achievements be used for qualify for shortbow…. a bow is a bow? New players find understanding the game mechanics problematic. The tutorials don't cut it. Frustrated, they leave.
3. Why doesn't armor, weapons, etc drop from mobs? They do in tabletop.
4. New players run out of coin too fast and are asking how they can get more. More frustration.
5. Where are the quests? Tabletop players expect quests like they get in tabletop or by playing Owlcat's Kingmaker. The Find your Path tutorials they don't consider proper quests.
6. Where are the dungeons? Pathfinder had dungeons. This isn't Pathfinder without dungeons. How can you have a game without dungeons?
7. I am here. What am I supposed to do now?
8. Why do I have to join a settlement? Why am I being forced to join a settlement? I want to do my own thing.
9. The game seems incomplete.

There is a bunch more of a similar nature, basically around how difficult the game if for a solo player, how hard the game is too understand, the lack of entry level content for new players.

Only ONE person asked how can he get his own settlement.
Only ONE person commented the game seemed empty. I wasn't certain if he was referring to the lack of other players or the lack of content as maybe he expected to find quests or direction on what do from every NPC he bumped into in Thornkeep.

I wasn't on 24/7 for the last several weeks so obviously, I haven't heard every inquiry. But I noted enough in General that lack of expansion space and the lack of a player population was not high. It came down to basically two things - the game is very hard to understand the game mechanics and the lack of ready to serve content.

That is why the new player experience is failing to retain the new players. It is not - the map is too big, the world is empty or all the hexes have been claimed.

Your solution does not address the fundamental issues that reading General Chat over the last few weeks revealed. The new players are, in essence, telling us what is wrong with the game with their questions. We need to listen and learn what the real issues are so they feel the game is worth more than a night or two of poking around and finding the experience unrewarding.

I can say all 9 points are very valid and I do see them, but I'll add another I've seen
* Are their any NPC shops to sell or buy stuff?

Something else that needs to be done is the removal of all those useless tokens, or a freaking way to convert them to the useful ones i.e curing tokens.

Unfortunately this game was designed as fantasy EVE, not D&D online so already there are are number of problems with it having the Pathfinder name.
Basically what new players are saying by BlackMoria's account is the only way this whole thing can be fixed, is if the game was based on the OGL D20 license and it's tabletop mechanics, and it becomes more of a theme park MMO.
Now this in my mind would require a NEW Kickstarter/indiegogo campaign and the game would need to be called PFO 2, or some other name.
Now after the new PFO2 is done either the first PFO continues, or is closed down, if it's closed down all PFO characters whom have over a year of game time can get transfered into PFO 2 with bonus perks based on various things like; DT, premium items, time active, settlement rank, etc.
Azure_Zero
Tuoweit
If you're considering a wipe, or even just shaking up player homes to concentrate everyone into a couple settlements (we players could do this voluntarily without intervention), I'd just like to point out that the previous approach of recruiting all the "hardcore PvP'ers" into one alliance didn't work out very well for the game's population. smile A lot of players aren't (weren't) into that, they want(ed) to build settlements and interact with the world, not wage constant war.

Well unfortunately this game was based on a PVP design, so PVP was needed to be expected.
Tuoweit
Azure_Zero
Tuoweit
If you're considering a wipe, or even just shaking up player homes to concentrate everyone into a couple settlements (we players could do this voluntarily without intervention), I'd just like to point out that the previous approach of recruiting all the "hardcore PvP'ers" into one alliance didn't work out very well for the game's population. smile A lot of players aren't (weren't) into that, they want(ed) to build settlements and interact with the world, not wage constant war.

Well unfortunately this game was based on a PVP design, so PVP was needed to be expected.

Expected, yes - PvP is required for a credible nations-building game, but not the only activity, nor even the primary activity. The original design it was proposed had a number of elements intended to limit PvP to some degree. Not all of those survived.

But that's besides the point. You *could* just ignore what I say and hope there's enough people who mainly want to PvP, *and* are willing to do all the work to maintain settlements, to keep the game going even in its current zombie state. I have my doubts.
Flari-Merchant
It all really comes down to population. Nothing can work right, nothing can even really be examined to see if it works without players to muck it around.

i.e. In the case of PVP where the wolves usually chase off all the sheep(fate of most open world PVP games) we didn't ever have enough sheep to attract wolves OR enough wolves to chase off the sheep, except for a very limited time span during the War of Towers, possibly(debatable).

Honestly, the systems and the mechanics, the checks and balances, the nuances are pretty ingenious. There just isn't a pop to allow them to shine.

I won't argue against an "Influence Tax" anymore but I also have doubts that such high level mechanics are the roots of the real issues with player retention.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Flari-Merchant
Or maybe it is inaccurate to state that as there has never been a sufficient incoming group sticking around long enough to try and build a settlement from nothing.

Ahem!

Come now Brings surely you haven't forgotten about how we built up Dun Baille did you?

It was an extreme pain in the ass, settlement maintenance was like a second job we didn't ask for and there was no way we would have even captured the settlement without our allies much less built any of the structures. The only exception to that was many years ago when I got two fully made large structures out of one alliance where I pretended there was a bidding war when said bidding war never existed lol.

Of course I don't think most groups would do what I did and scam another alliance like that (which goes to show you that even as a settlement owner there are still ways to do banditry), but even then it cost more to maintain and set up all that.

If that was the difficulty level for my guild that DID have help, I guarantee you that a group coming in all by themselves will have an extremely low chance of pulling it off. That group will most likely just leave and the settlement will die and be open to a settlement collector once more.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Also I think BlackMoria has hit it on the head with the list as has Azure with his additional point. I wish to add a few more…

11) Why does someone have to wait until T2 to do anything meaningful at all? Can't they contribute in any meaningful way while in T1 or do we just have to wait?
12) Related to settlements, are there any other ways to play the game that don't involve being part of a settlement?
This ties into a big difference as to why the passive XP design in EVE works and PFO does not. I've said this years ago and I was not alone that T1 and T2 don't have any unique or impactful roles they can play. Once you get T2 there is no point of getting T3 and NightmareSr was getting at a crucial point where he referred to getting to T3 as getting a full character.

T1 sucks in every way now, T2 is a suck version of T3 and it will take you at least 9 months to a year to get T3 and have a competitive character. People get frustrated with the inability to do anything meaningful for at least a month or two (and usually a fair amount of player guidance required) when they get T2.

Compare that to EVE where a new player with a frigate is immediately useful and fills a key role right from the start. From there they can research and branch out to whatever they want and there is no tier or stat gates. As they branch out they can acquire even more uses for their character and type of ship.

So T1 and T2 have to have some useful and impactful role or ability that they do better than even a T3. It also gives an incentive for a T3 to go back and use a T1 or T2 outside of just being out of T3 gear.

The keyword system would need to be tweaked to allow for this to be possible. This must happen though because T1 is useless and unless the tiers are adjusted and keywords changed so they provide more than just raw power boosts, player retention will continue to suffer.

You can't do your own thing if you have no power to do anything besides grind achievements and sit like a lump for a month or two before the game really picks up. It is a major design flaw and has been for a very long time.

With no way to even grind xp to make leveling go faster, players just get tired of waiting and leave. Many players simply don't have the patience to wait a month or two to get the xp needed. Meanwhile they still are forced to play in this useless and near powerless state to get the achievements to get to T2. People will find other games where they either don't have to wait as long to level and/or find ways to power grind in order to level faster.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Flari-Merchant
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Flari-Merchant
Or maybe it is inaccurate to state that as there has never been a sufficient incoming group sticking around long enough to try and build a settlement from nothing.

Ahem!

Come now Brings surely you haven't forgotten about how we built up Dun Baille did you?

It was an extreme pain in the ass, settlement maintenance was like a second job we didn't ask for and there was no way we would have even captured the settlement without our allies much less built any of the structures. The only exception to that was many years ago when I got two fully made large structures out of one alliance where I pretended there was a bidding war when said bidding war never existed lol.

Of course I don't think most groups would do what I did and scam another alliance like that (which goes to show you that even as a settlement owner there are still ways to do banditry), but even then it cost more to maintain and set up all that.

If that was the difficulty level for my guild that DID have help, I guarantee you that a group coming in all by themselves will have an extremely low chance of pulling it off. That group will most likely just leave and the settlement will die and be open to a settlement collector once more.
I only point out that the spot was already there. Forgive my exaggerating my case in point if it slights you. Not sure if there were lots of "free" buildings with it or not. Forgive me if it was bare bones empty lots. No intention of slighting your guys' personal achievement therein. smile

PS: "Brings isn't here right now Mrs Torrance."
 
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