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Pathfinder Online Q&A With Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey

rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106

Hi Everyone! Just getting a thread set up for the Q&A so I can do little community marketing! See you in about an hour!




  • HaradNavarHaradNavar Member Posts: 7


    Question 1: Can you give us a run down on the venture company/chartered company/party structure?

    Question 2: Do you expect chartered/venture companies to be available at the start of EE?

    Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.

  • HaradNavarHaradNavar Member Posts: 7
    Question 3: What is the current GW thinking on divine powers and how they will be active in PFO? In particular, what is the current lore behind the Marks of Pharasma (if you can speak to that at this time)?

    Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.

  • HaradNavarHaradNavar Member Posts: 7
    Question 4: Do you have a name for the first NPC settlement at the start of EE?

    Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.

  • HaradNavarHaradNavar Member Posts: 7
    Question 5: How soon will Inns appear in EE?

    Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.

  • 96527699652769 Member Posts: 1
    Will CC's Storage will be available for EE?
  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106

    @Harad Navar:

    1: Parties are ad hoc groups that form for temporary objectives. Venture Companies are persistent entities that have a history and likely will have attributes like a reputation score, possibly a logo or sigil, and probably the ability to send and receive communication (mail).

    2: I honestly don't know if they'll be ready for Day One of Early Enrollment. They'll certainly be implemented before Open Enrollment begins.

    3: We have not yet talked much about how we'll weave the lore of the Golarian pantheon into our game, but we will closer to the start of play.

    4: No.

    5: There's a good chance there will be inns on the first day of Early Enrollment.

    6: Too soon to say.


  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Hi Ryan -

    1. What are you most excited about, concerning making Pathfinder Online?

    2. Why was making a game in the risky MMORPG genre your first choice?


    3. Will Goblins be a playable race or at least a "limited playable" race in some way, ever?

    Thanks for the chance to ask some question.

  • superconductingsuperconducting Member UncommonPosts: 871

    I am very excited about the pathfinder online project and have been following for some time now. In view of the fact that it is a sandbox, my question is very simple:

    In what situations will instancing be used, if at all?


    Thanks alot Ryan!

  • AmsaiAmsai Member UncommonPosts: 299
    Can a CE low rep player get high level training from a high rep settlement if he/she can convince the settlement or buy them off?

  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106


    1. I love creating games and building successful communities. I find it to be the rewarding intersection of many of my largest interests.

    2: I have been interested in working in the MMO field for a very long time. When I was hired at CCP, that was a huge opportunity to make the leap from the tabletop to the digital realm, and CCP is at the very cutting edge of where digital entertainment is going.

    CCP believes, and I believe, that we are at the start of a new hundred-year industry. It is like being in Hollywood in the early years of the 20th Century. The companies that succeeded then are still here today, huge global entertainment power-houses like Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Disney, Warner Bros., etc. I am confident that history is going to repeat itself, and the companies that are successful at creating long term, self-sustaining virtual worlds will drive a new era of similar development.

    Believing that, working on MMOs is the most exciting thing I can imagine doing, so that's why I do it. :)

    3: I think yes almost certainly. When, unknown. How, unknown.

  • AmsaiAmsai Member UncommonPosts: 299
    If a high rep settlement associates with low rep outsiders does this effect their reputation?

  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106


    I can't really say. There are times when instancing is likely going to be the right solution to a problem, and times when it won't. A lot of that will be driven by how we Crowdforge various features into the game. Instancing is a load-balancing technique, and a population density management tool. When we need them, instancing will be one of the ways we do that.

  • superconductingsuperconducting Member UncommonPosts: 871
    I missed the original kickstarter. Are there any options at this time through PayPal to become a backer? Thanks

  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106


    The design of the game punishes you for acting in anti-social ways purely to the detriment of the community. Those kinds of actions push your character towards Chaotic Evil. Chaotic Evil characters will find that the Settlements that they can access tend to have lower quality and less powerful character development options and facilities.

    If you could "talk your way" out of that problem, then people would just play CE characters without making meaningful choices, and that system would cease to be useful.

    So no.

  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106

    We are going to have an ongoing crowdfunding mechanism using Paizo's website. The work to enable that is ongoing, but won't be done until sometime after GenCon. When it's ready, you'll be able to back the project much like you could on Kickstarter, except that some of the Rewards will have changed, some will be missing, and we'll take your payment immediately instead of waiting for some timer to end.

    PayPal may be a trickier problem. PayPal requires that the good or service paid for is transmitted to the buyer in a relatively short period of time. While I know that many people are taking PayPal for crowdfunded projects, we're in a bit of a bind because Paizo does a huge business with PayPal and we cannot jeopardize their ability to use it by breaking a PayPal rule for Goblinworks. Needless to say, this is something we're working on figuring out.

  • AndiusMeuridiarAndiusMeuridiar Member UncommonPosts: 91

    1. Is there anything you can tell us about item storage, particularly in terms of gathering/crafting structures and settlements?

    Follow up:

    Do you intend for directly raiding player settlements and gathering camps to be profitable?

    2. Will there be a system similar to the "Class Skills" of Pathfinder in PFO?

    3. Will there be a system similar to the "traits" found in the Pathfinder table-top?

  • superconductingsuperconducting Member UncommonPosts: 871
    Few more.

    1- I am curious about the world itself and how changeable it will be. I do know that player-created structures can be vulnerable. Basically how adaptable, reactive, moldable, destructable will the world be?

    2- Could you also please shed some light about the NPC interaction and how that will be (free-form dialogue or select a choice from options?)

    3- In terms of questing, I have always been a fan of leaving things mysterious, in other words not making the next task or objective obvious, and allowing the player to discover things on his/her own. What system will PFO have?

    Thanks again, appreciate it!

  • Areks-PaxAeternumAreks-PaxAeternum Member Posts: 3

    Ryan, what will Early Enrollment look like in regards to the following...


    Will there be actual settlements or just placeholders? 

    Is settlement warfare still the gate of transition from EE to OE?

    What mechanics (besides combat) are expected to be functional when EE begins?

    In the latest blog, Little Black Backpack, there was a great deal of information that made the crafting crowd happy. 

    What will crafting look like in early enrollment?

    If the turn-over rate for items in the economy is too slow or too fast, how soon can we expect you, the developers, to manipulate the system in EE? 

    How often can we expect these revisions to take place?

    How far into EE can we expect to test out things like Siege Warfare mechanics, caravans, formation combat?

    Is there any chance we can get an "official but subject to change" map similar to the unofficial ones our friend Harad Navar continuously updates?  (We still love you Harad!)

    As always, Ryan, we appreciate you taking time to appease the masses, hopefully we aren't too hard on you!



    -Thane Blade of Pax Aeternum


  • CananCanan Member UncommonPosts: 95

    Hi Ryan, I have two fairly simple questions: 

    1. Will there be a fast travel method in game such as the "recall" and "gate travel" spell in Ultima Online? If so will these abilities be available to all players?

    2. Can any player regardless of class/skill wear any type of armor/weapon? If so what will be the penalties say a Wizard decides to equip a full set of heavy armor?


  • AmsaiAmsai Member UncommonPosts: 299
    Thanks Ryan.

    How can I raise my reputation back up if it gets real low if I decide to vo cleanse the world of evil doers?

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Thanks for the answers, Ryan.

    1. Speaking of crowdfunding, could you elaborate any more on crowdforging and the possible ways or forms you see this taking and any classic egs that might really excite players about this process you have come up with?

    2. I'm massively impressed with Goblin Works design blogs posted WEEKLY. How much of this do you think you'll be able to fit into Early Enrollment and when do you think you'll have implemented 100% of all the design ideas by, if things go successfully, seeing as it's quite ambitious in it's vision and detail?

    3. What's the biggest challenge with getting out the message about this game you can foresee or already have witnessed, so far?

  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106


    1: There will be storage. :)

    It will almost certainly work like storage does in EVE Online. It will be local to some in-game location, and to access it you'll have to go to that location. It will likely have some kind of access control system so you can allow multiple people or groups different levels of access to it.

    We do expect people to raid harvesting operations to steal the fruits of others labor. And to intercept those fruits when being transported from point to point.

    It's less clear what we'll do about items in storage in permanent structures like Settlements, Forts, Watchtowers, Inns and Hideouts. There are so many downsides to allowing someone to "steal" from those kinds of storage locations that I suspect we'll not try to implement that kind of security risk. But there are certainly thematic and roleplaying upsides to the idea of burglars so I can't rule it out as an impossibility.

    2 & 3: We have a whole Dev Blog about how we're implementing Skills, Attributes and Roles (similar to, but not identical to, Classes) in Pathfinder Online. You can read it here:

    Your Pathfinder Online Character


  • rsdanceyrsdancey Member Posts: 106

    @ superconductin:

    Before I answer I should provide some background on our game development strategy.

    We are committed to a process of long term, continuous incremental improvement. So the meta-rule for Pathfinder Online is that everything starts very simple, and then over time, becomes more complex. The rate of that complexification, and the directions it takes will be a factor of Crowdforging - the tightly coupled feedback and decision input made by the community in conjunction with the developers. So it is literally impossible to say with precision what when and how a given system will be iterated into any given configuration.

    1: The initial system will be a standard building which will appear in a standard location when you construct it. Over time, we see possibilities for user-selected options, more dynamic locations, and modular unit assemblies. But not for a long while.

    2: As little as possible. We want the focus to be on players interacting with players. So NPCs will likely be vending machines, not characters. To the extent that and NPC is character it will likely appear more in background lore than in an interactive state. The fewer dialog trees the better, IMO.

    3: Formal quests where an NPC tells you to go do something for some reward will be modeled on the Agents of EVE Online. There will be a short list of mad-lib style assignments you can request and get paid for competing. The point of those things is to act as a faucet to allow us to inject Coin and potentially resources into the game, and potentially to drive some over-arching narrative plotlines.

    We expect that players will be requesting other players to do all sorts of things for player-driven reasons, and those activities will be more rich and more interesting than anything we could design a repeatable script to do.


  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    1. What are the biggest technical challenges to making Pathfinder Online; the biggest design challenges and the biggest world-building challenges (art, lore, graphics and character customization etc) and biggest marketing challenges? What sort of player would really like Pathfinder Online?

    2. If you're really up for a challenge: What's your definition of a sandbox mmorpg? (I'm not sure if that qualifies as a joke question tbh!).

  • furbansfurbans Member UncommonPosts: 968

    First and foremost Ryan I would like to say thank you for the project ya'll have undertaken.  While I never really played tabletop I grew up on D&D comp games like Pool of Radiance, Champions of Krynn,and Curse of the Azure Bonds back in the 8bit color graphic glory.  After Neverwinter's utter disappointment I am finding PFO more and more intriguing and might be the MMO I've been waiting for.  The more I read of your blogs, an in progress task, the more I am loving that ya'll envision.  I just hope ya'll can pull it off.

    My questions:

    1.  For those who didn't back PFO will we have a chance in the near future and also will there be chances to get into EE?

    1a.  If yes, is there an ETA of said opportunity?

    2.  PFO takes a completely different take on a Pathfinder/D&D iteration into the digital gaming world and seems to be more inline with a fantasy style EVE MMO than a Pathfinder/D&D MMO.  For those like me who love the D&D IP who are frustrated with the limitations and disappointment with DDO and Neverwitner due to limitations and who never cared too much for PvP centric games due to ganking and frustration of losing everything, what would you say to em?  People who want to play as their battle cleric, or beserking barbarian, or scholary mage who want the freedom of exploration with no boundries.

    3.  What use will alts play in PFO?  Should we expect similar function as in EVE?

    4.  Horses.... will there be complexity and usefulness outside just getting from point A to polint B, something besides A.  Buy Mount, B. Buy mount training, C.  Use said mount.  Will there be a variety each has it's pros n cons, will there be skills associated with mounts?  Will we be able to harvest, train, sell mounts?  Am a horse lover n rider so this is a special place in my heart.

    5.  Will there be uber elite gear that one can face roll through everything like WoW's raid gear where any non-idiot will thread in order to prevent loss like a +5 Vorpal longsword or something where one will not leave home without it or will we see a more consumable methodology of gear will be rountinely needing replacement or loss similar to EVE where players craft and supply the majority of gear?

    6.  Will there safeguards to prevent spying?  In EVE there is a code one typically provides when applying to a corp so a background check can be done.  With games like EVE one always has to be suspicous of any new comer and numerous incidents like the recent super carrier loss occur.  Will tools be available to spot potential spies who rely vital info to a groups enemy?

    Well guess that's it for now.  More to follow likely.

This discussion has been closed.