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Pathfinder Online (A fantasy sandbox MMO)

AndiusMeuridiarAndiusMeuridiar Anchorage, AKPosts: 71Member Uncommon

 

Pathfinder Online is a fantasy sandbox MMO by Goblinworks based on the Pathfinder tabletop game. It uses a unique process called "crowdforging" to determine what features are implemented in the game, in what order. This crowdforging process will ensure the developers never make decisions or waste a lot of time on features that are highly unpopular with their community.

 

Beyond the crowd-forging process Goblinworks has already promised a lot of features that are really interesting and in some cases unique to their game. For full details you should read the Goblinworks blog or browse through the forum posts made by some of the developers like Ryan Dancey, Lee HammockVic Wertz, and Mark Kalmes.  

Here is a brief list of some of the highlights of this game:

 

1. No Grinding- Pathfinder Online uses a skill training system like that of EVE Online. You train skills by choosing what skill you want to train and allowing the time required to elapse. You don't train any faster by farming mobs or spamming your abilities than you do exploring the world, role playing with your friends, or even being offline. You will need to complete certain achievements to complete a skill and open up new avenues of training, but time-based training means you always get full value from your purchased game time whether you're casual or 'hardcore', an adventurer or crafter, or one who enjoys a lot of roleplaying chat or one who spends much of their time in combat.

 

2. No Classes- Unlike other games that give you a narrow range of abilities as you train your class, in Pathfinder you gain levels in different Roles based off what you have trained.

 

3. Player Structures- Build your own homes, taverns, farms, and even cities! The Pathfinder Online world will be filled with places players can use to build and customize their own homes, businesses and communities.

 

4. Freedom of Allegiance- Unlike games that give you a few factions to pick from like Alliance vs. Horde, in Pathfinder Online you can join a vast array of organizations run by players, create your own organization, or even be a lone wolf! Fight for your friends, your ideals, power, profits, or personal freedom. The choice is yours. The alliances, the betrayals, crushing defeats and glorious victories are all real, meaningful, and player-driven.

 

5. More Than A Gankfest- Unlike other Open World PVP MMO's currently on the market, Pathfinder Online actively discourages meaningless PVP. A meaningful alignment system that actually offers mechanical advantages to lawful and good aligned organizations, and a functional bounty system that allows the player to choose which players and organizations can collect the bounties they set discourages random and meaningless killing. Beyond this, the admins are taking a hard stance against 'griefing', in which players specifically seek to ruin the experience of other players, often through using game mechanics in ways that weren't intended. Griefing in PFO can be a bannable offence.

 

6. Real Battles- Large scale combat won't be the total chaos most MMO players are used to. PFO will make use of a formation system that gives groups significant bonuses for fighting in formation and coordinating their ability usage.

 

7. Less Tedious Crafting- Crafting won't be done by sitting and watching your character create the same recipe over and over. First you build the structure you need for the kind of crafting you want to do, like a sawmill, bakery, or smithy. Then you fill out work orders that your NPC subordinates execute for you. Meanwhile, you can go do other things, or later in the game's development there may be activities you can do to help the process along. PFO will also launch with both traditional resource harvesting and camp-based harvesting.

 

8. More Meaningful PVE- NPCs aren't all just sitting there in groups which never move, never change in size, and respawn every few minutes. There will be random NPC infestations that escalate in severity if not dealt with. For instance, a goblin camp left undealt with may turn into a goblin tribe that begins attacking your harvesting camps. Leave dragons, vampires, or giants alone long enough and they may attack your town. This creates a need to work together to deal with these threats and generates demand for players who train abilities specialized for hunting NPC types like vampire hunters and dragon slayers.

 

9. All Players are Useful- This won't be like games where a new player has 49 health and a veteran has 49,000. The attacks from that new player won't automatically miss the veteran. A new player will be weaker, but still able to make a meaningful contribution to combat. As a sandbox where group sizes aren't limited, this means all players are useful, and don't have to segregate themselves by level.

 

10. Trade is Meaningful- In Pathfinder Online players must manually transport items to their intended destination. Most shops are player-run, and there will be goods more abundant in or even exclusive to certain regions. Merchants, traders, and even auctioneers are all viable professions.

 

If you are interested in this game please check out the kickstarter which will be running until January 14th. Also check out our organization The Empyrean Order, a guardian/peacekeeper kingdom which is currently the largest organization in Pathfinder Online.

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Comments

  • NetSageNetSage Lake Geneva, WIPosts: 1,040Member Uncommon
    I'll probably put $35 in on my next paycheck.  To bad they don't expect if for another 3 years.(It is a kickstarter though so not that surprising)
  • kimahriskimahris richmond, QCPosts: 55Member
    This thing looks solid...paper-wise. Reminds me of tibia(Played this for6 years so,its agood thing.)
  • HeretiqueHeretique Posts: 1,101Member Uncommon
    Definitely sounds promising so will keep my eyes on it.

    Originally posted by salsa41
    are you have problem ?

  • skamperskamper Houston, TXPosts: 252Member
    We just exited the "WoW Phase" and now entering the "Age of Something Different". Be ready for a bunch of kickstarter crap promising a bunch and then delivering ..... crap. Be careful with your money people, until you see something.
  • AndiusMeuridiarAndiusMeuridiar Anchorage, AKPosts: 71Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by NetSage
    I'll probably put $35 in on my next paycheck.  To bad they don't expect if for another 3 years.(It is a kickstarter though so not that surprising)

    Great to hear! Also they have the funding to build the game now. The kickstarter is actually to allow them to build this game faster and deliver it with more content so the better it performs the faster the game will be released. There won't be a character wipe at the end of the crowd-forger process either, so while we won't get the full game for 3 years we wil be able to start taking part in the community and experiencing the game on a limited scale in 2014.

     

    Originally posted by skamper
    We just exited the "WoW Phase" and now entering the "Age of Something Different". Be ready for a bunch of kickstarter crap promising a bunch and then delivering ..... crap. Be careful with your money people, until you see something.

    I won't lie and say I can gaurantee GoblinWorks will deliver on all their promises but part of what attracted me to this title is they have more capability to deliver than games like Darkfall, Mortal, Wurm, and Xsyon have had.

    Paizo and their product Pathfinder is a very big name in tabletop RPGs. This game is enjoying a lot of support from the tabletop gaming community, because they are backed by a name with credibility. This isn't being built by a basement company with nothing more than a dream like a lot of other sandboxes on the market.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,419Member Uncommon

    I will say this:  A lot of the problems I associate with sandboxes are mentioned in that list.   Whether or not those solutions works, it shows awareness of the issues.    Best of luck!

     

    I do like the fact that it has a tabletop game to draw from, so that tons of background work and detail has been done already -- and vetted.   Everytime I see things like hardwood coming from pine saplings or pine trees, I feel like banging my head.  Programmers shouldn't write stuff without it being checked...carefully.  

     

     

     

     

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • fernetekfernetek North Adams, MAPosts: 61Member

    Bah, I would've rather seen Warhammer tabletop made into an MMO.

     

    Oh wait...

  • skamperskamper Houston, TXPosts: 252Member
    Originally posted by skamper
    We just exited the "WoW Phase" and now entering the "Age of Something Different". Be ready for a bunch of kickstarter crap promising a bunch and then delivering ..... crap. Be careful with your money people, until you see something.

    I won't lie and say I can gaurantee GoblinWorks will deliver on all their promises but part of what attracted me to this title is they have more capability to deliver than games like Darkfall, Mortal, Wurm, and Xsyon have had.

    Paizo and their product Pathfinder is a very big name in tabletop RPGs. This game is enjoying a lot of support from the tabletop gaming community, because they are backed by a name with credibility. This isn't being built by a basement company with nothing more than a dream like a lot of other sandboxes on the market.

    That's what investing is for. These companies go through kickstarter because it is a no risk funding process.  Kickstarter is just crap where you put down money in "hopes" that something will deliver.

     

    This game is going to get made either way, and the people sitting in the big offices know this. They are using this "new era" to grab as much money from naive people as possible. Sure they may deliver something, but I highly doubt it will be anything amazing. Just a fair warning to people before they throw money at crap. Let investors handle the funding, not naive gamers.

  • AndiusMeuridiarAndiusMeuridiar Anchorage, AKPosts: 71Member Uncommon
    You can see what kind of MMOs big investors have been throwing their money at.

    Besides the perks the are offering are worth the money at least at the 35$ and 100$ level.
  • oubersoubers bazelPosts: 876Member Common

    i stopped reading the blog on goblinworks after reading this line...

     

    " After Release, we plan to roll out a hybrid microtransaction/subscription model."

     

    for me a no go. too bad, it looked good.

     

    image
  • SharzuSharzu Baltimore, MDPosts: 5Member

    Oubers, can you explain what your aversion is about the Micro-transaction?

    Valinar

  • Hobs00Hobs00 Howell, MIPosts: 5Member

    As I look back at the quality of the games over the last decade or so (I started in MMOs with Ultima Online), I see a direct correlation between deep-pocketed investors and the glitz of the game produced, but not necessarily between those same deep pockets and the quality of the game.  For all it's hype and financial backing, I point to Star Wars the Old Republic MMO as an example that huge financial backing can still lead to a disappointing product.  Often, a backing company's desire for quick cash has launched games before they were really ready for market, or contrary to player wishes, has resulted in a total overhaul of a game in hopes of cashing in on another game's lucrative format (e.g. Star Wars Galaxies changing from skill based to class based in hopes of emulating WoW).  So though some may be skeptical of a company gaining financial aid directly from their potential player base, I would rather see a company building direct funding ties with its players than be beholden only to its deep-pocketed investors.  

    Now, I am not naive...Goblin Works will be making most of the decisions, and the financial backers they have already procured will no doubt want some control over the game (I'm guessing mostly over how players pay for the game...subscriptions and the like), but they have already begun asking potential players for their opinons, even down to determining the order in which extra playable races will be developed.  The CEO, Ryan Dancey, is active on the PFO forums - posting, polling, answering questions, and clarifying topics - and even takes time to answer e-mails (when all I was doing was saying thank you for making a sandbox rathern than another WoW clone).  True, all this good will and interest in public opinion may, in the end, be for naught, but I see an opportunity here - the hand being extended and asking not just for help, but for input.  I've been treading water for over a decade waiting for an MMORPG to have the courage to break out of the WoW mold, so instead of skeptically waiting and seeing, I'm putting my time and a little money where my complaints have been.

    In the end, perhaps that's the real difference between the two styles of game and the people/companies that make them - how much help and input from players does a company really seek out.  In a theme park game, the company is making everything that there is to do, so as much as they might encourage player feedback, it's often after they've decided what to give you.  They are in nearly total control of your game experience.  In a sandbox game, the designers are providing the world, but they realize and want players to create the real game experience.  The players aren't merely the clients - they are, in the end, why others stay with the game.  Case in point, players didn't stick with Ultima Online for years after better looking games with more bells and whistles came out because they were dazzled by UO designer content.  They satyed because of the other players and what they created together.  As a consumer and a gamer, I'm willing to put time and cash into the hopes of regaining that kind of gaming experience, especially with a company who values that kind of player.

  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,930Member Uncommon

    Well, I will believe it when I see it. I've seen alignment systems in mmos ultimately fail to prevent random ganking. Player built and run taverns, farms, houses is all fine and well, but are we going to be able to build anywhere or on anchor points? If we have freedom to build anywhere, the world will need to be huge.

    I've seen similar lists of promises with little delivery. Best of luck to them though, it would be cool if it all does pan out, maybe something to get excited about again.

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 2,476Member Uncommon
    @Fernetek:

    I can't imagine how you'd port TT to MMO. It's more suited to Total War genre and you'll have it!

    Warhammer Roleplay, on the other hand, is what should be ported to Sandbox MMO. No ifs ands ors buts. Just do it! Make it happen!

    Tho I suspect that would have to go through Kickstarter. And then there is the problem of licensing-you program your game, you even raise est number of funds through KS only to get a CnD love letter from Games Workshop. Enjoy! Is an overly complicated thing really.
  • SlukjanSlukjan Burlington, VTPosts: 251Member Uncommon
    I hope this game does well.  It sounds awesome.
  • AndiusMeuridiarAndiusMeuridiar Anchorage, AKPosts: 71Member Uncommon

    The following was posted on the GW page today, and I thought the package offered was ALREADY a good deal:

    Today we're announcing a number of incredible upgrades to the $35 Adventurer Reward Tier!

    Character Name Reservation:
    You'll be able to reserve the name of your first Pathfinder Online character! As as part of the post-Kickstarter survey process you'll be able to give us your first, second and third choices for your first character name. They'll be assigned in the order you first backed the project at the $35 Adventurer level or higher. (If all three of your choices are taken by earlier backers, we'll contact you to arrange for more options!) We reserve the right to limit the use of certain names for legal, marketing and community management reasons.

    The Pathfinder Tabletop RPG Experience:
    You'll receive a PDF of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, and the Guide to the River Kingdoms sourcebook. Together these two books are a $23.98 value. The heart and soul of the Pathfinder Online game comes from its tabletop roots, and we're pleased to be able to bring you this benefit thanks to our friends at Paizo Publishing! We also encourage you to join the Pathfinder Society and find a regular gaming group in your area so you can start adventuring in the world of Golarion TODAY!

    Destiny's Twin:
    As a special feature of Adventurer accounts, you'll be able to have two characters training skills at the same time! While one character is learning how to master the martial arts and gain renown as a warrior, your other character can be learning the intricacies of the crafting system and earning a name as an industrial powerhouse! As long as your primary character is earning skill points, so will its counterpart - FOREVER! The value of this benefit could easily reach hundreds of dollars if you became a long-term player of Pathfinder Online.

    (You will not be able to log in and play both of these characters at the same time)

    As always, if you pledge at a higher Reward Tier, and that tier includes the Adventurer Tier rewards, you'll get all these great benefits as well. Also note that the PDFs from this enhancement replace the PDFs in the PDF Superpack - they overlap and do not stack. And of course if you're backing at the Buddy or Guild levels, all the accounts in the Reward will each get these benefits!

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,762Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kimahris
    This thing looks solid...paper-wise. Reminds me of tibia(Played this for6 years so,its agood thing.)

         Alot of games sound great on paper...Heck Vanguard and TSW would be in the MMO hall of fame on paper.......Also I dont know if I'd want the community to decide certain features....They're already talking no classes which means all characters can do everything and no need for alts (ie little to no replayability).....Also my antivirus goes nuts anytime I try to access the Goblinworks website.

  • Hobs00Hobs00 Howell, MIPosts: 5Member

    Certainly, the designers of any game are going to retain control over certain aspects of the game.  However, the degree of interest thus far demonstrated by Goblinworks to know their player base's opnions is, to me, very inspiring.  Especially if a game is catering to a more "niche" market, I think they would do well to at least garner as much feedback from their loyal fans as possible, even if they cannot (for the sake of the game) always do what everyone wishes to be done.

    As for skill gain over class levels, using something akin to the EVE skill gain system, maxing out your character's skills would take years.  This is not the WoW  class system where I recall people maxing out their classes in a mad rush to end-game content within several weeks of the game going live (I was in the alpha and beta testing group).  Furthermore, one of the primary differences of a sandbox over a them park style game is the emphasis on player interaction...that players actually depend upon one another, rather than having an alt for every occasion.  It is my understanding that alts will be possible (I have not seen the exact number of character slots per account), but how skill training time will be divided may have an impact on how more than one character can be training skills at a time on the same account.

    Your final concern - replayability - comes entirely from a theme park game mind set.  I'm not saying that's wrong or bad...most MMOs for last decade have been theme park games chasing after the WoW model.  To those who hope for meaningful, player created persistance in their game, the thought of having to run the same exact dungeon over again...the monotony of having to perform the carbon copy of a quest one more time...is exactly why we look forward to a change - to a game where every day of game play actually changes based on player actions.  So replayability?  I hope not.

    If you would like to chat further with a  group dedicated to seeing this game come to fruition, feel free to visit http://theempyrean.org/

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,531Member Uncommon

    I was really close to clicking for this game and then I read about the way they want you to pay for 9+ months of beta....

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/373565/Subscription-required-for-Beta-WTH.html

     

     

    Soo torn.. it has (on paper) everything i could ask for... but paying for beta is just totally against what I believe.  They can claim it's not a normal beta blah blah blah.. but lets face it, we know it's a beta.  It's going to have severe downtime.  It's going to have lots of bugs and it's going to have TONS OF MISSING FEATURES.   I also understand that nobody is forcing me to play this game... it's just frustrating that the industry is heading down such a crappy path.

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • Hobs00Hobs00 Howell, MIPosts: 5Member

    Slapshot,

    I understand your frustration at needing to pay for something that has been traditionally a free phase in game development. To pay for an unfinished product that might not even make it to the shelf seems potentially like a cash grab on the part of the company. 

    Personally, I have waited for this type of game for so long (a decade of wading through WoW clones since I left Ultima Online) that I am happy for the opportunity to help see this game come to fruition, partly due to what I see not as a fee, but an investment.   Second, the chance to provide meaningful feedback into the testing and possibly even feature creation of such a game is again well worth a fee, given how much money I've spent treading water in less satisfying MMOs.  Finally, (though I don't have the quote...its burried somewhere in the Goblinworks developer's blog), those who participate in the beta will not be wiping their characters or accomplishments once open enrollment occurs.  Having alpha and beta tested WoW, I can say that one of the reasons I burnt out within a year after the game went public was having to remake everything about my character all over again.

    Bottom line, I've spent far more money over the years on games I had far less enthusiasm about (like my LotRO lifetime subscription that I haven't used in years).  To me, this is a chance to help make the game I've been wanting to play for years.

    Hobs

    The Emyrean Order

    http://theempyrean.org/

  • FusionFusion VaasaPosts: 1,391Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AndiusMeuridiar

      Lee Hammock

    ....

    Currently playing: -

    Waiting for: Class4.

    Dead and Buried: ESO, NWO, GW2, SWTOR, Darkfall, AO, AC2, Vanguard, CoH/V, EnB, EVE, Neocron, FE, EQ, EQ2, DAoC, FFXI, FFXIV, SWG, WoW, and billions of eastern junks!

  • DreskestDreskest El Paso, TXPosts: 69Member

    I'm backing this project already. As far as I know, they already have the funding to make the game. The KS is only to speed up the process.

     

    To me, supporting the project means letting them know there are people out there supporting the vision of a new and different kind of fantasy MMO. Hope they succeed with this project.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,531Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hobs00

    Slapshot,

    I understand your frustration at needing to pay for something that has been traditionally a free phase in game development. To pay for an unfinished product that might not even make it to the shelf seems potentially like a cash grab on the part of the company. 

    Personally, I have waited for this type of game for so long (a decade of wading through WoW clones since I left Ultima Online) that I am happy for the opportunity to help see this game come to fruition, partly due to what I see not as a fee, but an investment.   Second, the chance to provide meaningful feedback into the testing and possibly even feature creation of such a game is again well worth a fee, given how much money I've spent treading water in less satisfying MMOs.  Finally, (though I don't have the quote...its burried somewhere in the Goblinworks developer's blog), those who participate in the beta will not be wiping their characters or accomplishments once open enrollment occurs.  Having alpha and beta tested WoW, I can say that one of the reasons I burnt out within a year after the game went public was having to remake everything about my character all over again.

    Bottom line, I've spent far more money over the years on games I had far less enthusiasm about (like my LotRO lifetime subscription that I haven't used in years).  To me, this is a chance to help make the game I've been wanting to play for years.

    Hobs

    The Emyrean Order

    http://theempyrean.org/

     Hobs...  I can't fully dfisagree with anything you said (well except for the investement part.. because if it was an investment I'd get stock and potential profit).  That said... it's a matter of perspective for me.  I'm the customer and the reason a company has a beta is because the product is not ready for prime time so they need people to volunteer their time to help fix it and get it polished and ready.  Now, not only do they want you to buy the game... but they want you to pay an access fee to pay their bandwidth costs so you can test the game for them?   Sheez...  that is really turning the tables on the traditional customer/company relationship and not in a good way.  It sets a horrible precedent and one thing that has been proven is that once one company lowers the bar... others will follow and lower it further.

     

    Also, I absolutely get the benefit to not wiping characters.  But that has the potential to create a tremendous in game advantage as those characters will have 9+ months of training and equipment.  This is a FFA-PVP game.  People starting at "release" will not stand a chance.

     

    That said... I still haven't ruled out clicking that button... simply because the game (on paper) is the game I have waited for (no matter how unlikely it is to deliver).

     

    I will give them credit though for at least publicly saying they will expect you to pay a sub to beta their game.  Other games "launch" in a beta state these days...

     

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • AndiusMeuridiarAndiusMeuridiar Anchorage, AKPosts: 71Member Uncommon
    Thankfully the vast majority of early beta slots are held by organizations that don't RPK (Random Player Killing). As stated earliest I lead the largest organization in the game, The Empyrean Order, and we are dedicated anti-RPKers with considerable Open World PVP experience in our leadership. This organization is an adaption of one I lead in both Freelancer and Darkfall, and we have an ex-BoB fleet commander who's lead over 1000 ships in a single battle with us as well.

    The RPK crowd will be the ones getting the late start, and meeting considerable opposition. You're going to find a lot of friendly and helpful faces if you join PFO on official release. Not jeering griefers everywhere.

    Personally I pledged because I love the community so much that I can't wait to start building our world up together. Even if the game is missing a lot of features at start. The mark we make will be lasting.
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,531Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AndiusMeuridiar
    Thankfully the vast majority of early beta slots are held by organizations that don't RPK (Random Player Killing). As stated earliest I lead the largest organization in the game, The Empyrean Order, and we are dedicated anti-RPKers with considerable Open World PVP experience in our leadership. This organization is an adaption of one I lead in both Freelancer and Darkfall, and we have an ex-BoB fleet commander who's lead over 1000 ships in a single battle with us as well.

    The RPK crowd will be the ones getting the late start, and meeting considerable opposition. You're going to find a lot of friendly and helpful faces if you join PFO on official release. Not jeering griefers everywhere.

    Personally I pledged because I love the community so much that I can't wait to start building our world up together. Even if the game is missing a lot of features at start. The mark we make will be lasting.

     So.. its OK because YOU will have the advantage over new people at release and be better able to impose your will on the game?

    Don't forget that there are other PvP factions than griefers.  There is going to be territory control and guild warfare...

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

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