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Pathfinder Online: Creating a "Minimum Viable Product"

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Pathfinder Online's Ryan Dancey has penned a new developer blog that discusses his team's philosophy with regard to making a compelling sandbox MMO that is also one in which the community has a viable ongoing dialog with the development team. Calling the process a "minimum viable product", Dancey outlines several key areas in which the team engages the community in ways that not only generate feedback, but also help lead the team to ever widening circles of development.

To make our MVP, we had to figure out what the smallest number of features were needed to implement a compelling game loop with meaningful human interactions. We decided that our loop would have two interconnected segments.



  • Segment one would be finding monsters in the world, killing them, and taking their stuff.


  • Segment two would be finding resources, harvesting those resources, and turning the resources into crafted goods.


  • The interconnection would be that the stuff one character crafted would make another character better at killing monsters.

We also accepted that there would be a complication of this interconnection:



  • Killing another character and taking its stuff would be a shortcut.

We have a grand plan for where our game will eventually take us that involves vast territorial battles for control of the map, fought by huge organizations of players collectively working together for common purpose. We imagine a time when players can build characters that are experts in a wide range of careers from soldier to diplomat to teamster to spy and hundreds more. But for the purposes of our MVP, we think we can be viable with the game loop described above. Everything else can (and will) come later.

Read more at the link above.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • CananCanan Wedowee, ALPosts: 94Member
    I cannot wait for this game!
  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 993Member Uncommon
    This game is pretty much my only hope for something actually worth playing.
  • SalengerSalenger Pottageville, ONPosts: 521Member

    I lost some hype for this game when I watched the last combat video...once it was evident that they are using a Tab-target system and claiming to be straying from the normal MMO out there...I called BS!

    I still have hope for this game but as long as they keep a tab target system in a full loot pvp game i will never step foot in the world.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    The core game loop looks promising and the integration of pvp is definitely the game space that has the most potential even if the risk of overkill is also warranted. As it's MVP is basic in features, I think combat needs to be engaging and likewise non-combat roles need to be rewarding equally.

    Only a few months to alpha, so hopefully more improvements on all aspects of the game are scheduled over the next few months towards April.

     

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon
    All I see is a developer going down the full loot morass without a clue how to implement such.  People who fail to understand prior history are doomed to follow their predecessors in failure.
  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by Salenger

    I lost some hype for this game when I watched the last combat video...once it was evident that they are using a Tab-target system and claiming to be straying from the normal MMO out there...I called BS!

    I still have hope for this game but as long as they keep a tab target system in a full loot pvp game i will never step foot in the world.

    Tab target is better in a game based on a pen and paper game. I'm sick of every new  game requiring twitch skills. I'm very glad they did not use a kiting and rolling combat system like so many newer games do.

    Good to see at least one game appealing more to the old school RPG than the console game crowd.

     

  • VelocinoxVelocinox Old Folks Home, CAPosts: 811Member Uncommon
    Lol, why do PvP games always take the point of view of the winner? Why isn't the third example of short-cutting the loop something more like; 'Getting ganked by a crowd of doods talking about the latest movie they watched on their xbox and all your resources go to them' because that is far more likely.

    'Sandbox MMO' is a PTSD trigger word for anyone who has the experience to know that anonymous players invariably use a 'sandbox' in the same manner a housecat does.


    When your head is stuck in the sand, your ass becomes the only recognizable part of you.


    No game is more fun than the one you can't play, and no game is more boring than one which you've become familiar.


    How to become a millionaire:
    Start with a billion dollars and make an MMO.

  • CananCanan Wedowee, ALPosts: 94Member
    I'm so glad it will be a more traditional type game. There are so many action combat games out there and all of them have really poorly implemented PvP. Say no to twitch ! ;)
  • MrBootsMrBoots a, ALPosts: 277Member
    The combat looked terrible and outdated. I'm going to have to pass on this one. It's too bad they don't have the funds to develop a modern combat system.
  • rsdanceyrsdancey Atlanta, GAPosts: 106Member
    Thanks for everyone's interest in the game!  I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has!
  • TheCoonTheCoon Phoenix, AZPosts: 39Member
    Wow, I had no idea this game is going to have full loot pvp. I'm really excited now, especially in a tab target game. I tried Mortal Online and Darkfall, but didn't enjoy the combat. I think this is exactly what I've been looking for. Can't wait!
  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by TheCoon
    Wow, I had no idea this game is going to have full loot pvp. I'm really excited now, especially in a tab target game. I tried Mortal Online and Darkfall, but didn't enjoy the combat. I think this is exactly what I've been looking for. Can't wait!

    It's not full loot though you can loot corpes: Some Good Reason for Your Little Black Backpack

    • threaded items (non-lootable)
    • destroyed items (~25% destroyed on death)
    • looting action timed-action
    • looting rights timer
    • deceased has rights initially if they can jump back to their corpse (eg friends guarding it)

    There's also Item Decay and Encumbrance as part of the system. The rationale:

    1. Money sink on death
    2. Minor sink so that it's not onerous
    3. Threaded gear means you can choose what items you're using and not risk them
    4. Loot provides a minor reward for the winner without being a pinata
    5. Chance of securing your gear if deceased via teamwork
    6. Disputes over corpse looting = more combat.
     

     

  • mattic65mattic65 Culloden, GAPosts: 190Member Uncommon
    I was pretty stoked about a game being based on the Pathfinder universe until I started reading articles like this. Although this game isn't going to be for me (full loot open PvP sounds dreadful), it's great to see a developer create a PvP oriented game from the ground up, rather than shoehorn it into a PvE based game. And that's good news for the people that want this type of game.
  • CananCanan Wedowee, ALPosts: 94Member
    Originally posted by TheCoon
    Wow, I had no idea this game is going to have full loot pvp. I'm really excited now, especially in a tab target game. I tried Mortal Online and Darkfall, but didn't enjoy the combat. I think this is exactly what I've been looking for. Can't wait!

    I second this. It is interesting that all of the action type games out there have pretty much failed, yet people want this to be twitchy also. I'm so glad it is going the more traditional way. For the people judging the combat based on the last video; the game isn't even in ALPHA yet, get it? You should be applauding the openness as it is people like you that keep games from showing in game footage until they're practically released. 

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