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Just Passing Time
It seems a simple thing really: the passage of time. But in fact, the time scale of a virtual world is as important as the scale for length, width, and height. As we discussed what the scale of time should be in Pathfinder Online, in the context of designing for a single server, these were factors we considered:
Players should not be forced to play in a constant state of day or night based on their local time
Golarion has four seasons just like Earth, and there is value in reproducing those seasons in the game—for the sake of immersion and the value in storytelling, and also for marketing and promotions
Distance creates value, in that time is required to transport objects across it; also, when initiating or responding to aggression, distance adds strategic complexity to the game... but the time to cross long distances can also be boring and creates a reason to quit playing the game
The following represents the current design of the game and is, as always, subject to change based on community feedback, future design work, and playtesting.