- Each hex itself also changes in response to how the characters interact with its PvE content. A part of the economy of the world is comprised of many common folk who go about their business effectively invisible to the characters—think of them like the sims of Sim City.
Character Progression & Roles, Persistence of Actions, Life-Span of Gaming
- Another problem is that in tabletop RPGs, all of the player characters are heroic adventurers. The things those types of characters do to advance and develop (exploring dangerous places, solving problems, encountering monsters, winning fights, and getting the treasure) aren't suitable for the wider range of character types you'll find in the online version of the game: characters who focus on harvesting, or crafting, or transporting, or managing towns and organizations, or being soldiers or spies or merchants. We need a character development system that will work for all these types of characters (and that will let players change their character's careers when they wish to do so).
- It also levels the playing field between people who can only put in a few hours a day (or a few a week), and those who can play continuously. Finally, it encourages characters to specialize, but doesn't inflict overt penalties if the player doesn't do so.
- One of the design goals for Pathfinder Online is that characters should have a viable lifespan of at least five real-time years, so we need a system that has the potential to give players interesting things to do when developing their characters over a very long time, not just a few weeks.
- In terms of sheer time, I'd like to see the first 20th-level characters emerge around two-and-a-half-years after launch. Capstone-level characters should be unique, powerful individuals not commonly encountered.
- We want to mirror some of the amazing things that occurred in Ultima Online and EVE Online, but we also want to strike out on our own path. At the size and scale that Pathfinder Online will eventually reach, opportunities for player-driven content to become epic are everywhere, and we're going to be working to maximize those epic stories when they naturally arise.
- Since the inception of the Pathfinder Online project, we've had one vision firmly in mind: the idea that players will be able to build a variety of persistent structures in the game world—and destroy them too!
- The highest level of social organization is the player kingdom. These are created when two or more player settlements agree to bind themselves together to create a single political entity. The kingdom is the most powerful organization in the game. It has access to the most powerful constructs and workshops. It can marshal and direct the efforts of thousands of player characters. Kingdoms field armies. Kingdoms engage in diplomacy. Kingdoms dominate their surrounding lands.
PvE :: Sandbox integration
- PvE content is not merely an add-on tacked to the side of a whole different kind of game; it's a critical part of the overall sandbox. PvE can be envisioned as a resource faucet: stuff comes into the game via PvE.
PvP :: Integration & Consequences of Dying vs Exploits
- We've also paid special attention to the interaction that dying has with looting in player-vs-player (PvP) encounters, which is important since Pathfinder Online will allow unrestricted PvP in some locations.
- Pathfinder Online's bounty system is a lot more selective. When you are murdered—that is, killed unlawfully—you will have the option to place a bounty on your killer's head. The twist is that you can specify who can redeem the bounty: a specific character, a chartered adventuring group, or members of a specific player organization.
- The closer you come to an NPC settlement, the faster the NPCs can respond to hostile actions taken against you.
- This creates a continuum of risk from total safety to relative danger.
- There are several types of PvP-related exploits that Pathfinder Online will implement systems to restrict.
- You can see that we're trying to avoid some of the problems that afflict other sandbox MMOs while still retaining open-world PvP, providing the risks that make your fellow players meaningfully dangerous, and thus a great source of stories!