Morituri te salutant!
Lisa Stevens - 31 May on the Goblinworks Forum|
The pace has really picked up on the deal for NewCorp to
take over Pathfinder Online. The finish line is in sight. We are
hoping to give NewCorp a voice through the Goblinworks forums in the
near future prior to the deal closing so that they can interact with the
community and start to convey their vision for the game to you. Look
for news about this in the coming weeks. The team here at Goblinworks
is very excited about the future and would like to thank all of you for
your support through this long process.
The Goblinworks Team
It has been quiet around PFO - this doesn't mean nothing has happened. The original deadline of an annoucement has passed a while ago - but I mentioned at the time I wouldn't expect it to be on time. But this doesn't mean I expected something by now. The above quote is the latest status. Apparently NewCorp is already paying for half the staff cost.
So what is the status of the game itself?
There have been two updates this year - 11.1 on Jamuary 26th and 11.2 on May 18th. The focus has been on bug fixing and on playability. There is a hard core group playing on daily - fighting monsters, collecting, building up their resources. As such it is currently more a SIMS as you have mainly the builders left in the game.
But don't get me wrong - PvP migt be very rare right now - but this is more a matter of not enough players / the few that are there gain more by working together as by fighting. The recent update places a stop to high level recipe farming and with a resource being sparse PvP suddenly happened between groups you wouldn't have expected.
Trade also slowly develops. I'm proud to say that the Emerald Lodge Auction House has become the premier trading hub (yes - I'm leader of Emerald Lodge). You could say that on some stage this shows the failure of the game - as someone like me with no background in MMO and playing the neutral alignment and staying out of the large group was able to pull this off. Or you could say - in a vacuum this is what happens - will it last - who knows - but I surely have a starter advantage having build this up slowly over time.
New players are rare - some older ones still drop. As such the game hasn't turned a corner yet. It is on life support - it is slowly moving forward. It improves with every patch. The small group left has done great with the two releases this year - but off course they are too small for a game this size.
What is missing are bigger groups. EoX pretty much abandoned the game after the Forever War - there are a few players still in and there was a short resurgence when a new bandit group took over a settlement close by and took some of their holdings (without them even noticing for 2 days). Old accounts with XP are still sold and seem to find buyers. One whale was thrown out of the game because of cheating.
My verdict: This isn't a game for everyone - but it has addictive properties for the right player. The main hurdles are
1) User friendliness - it improved a lot for beginners but it still is a big mountain to climb before you feel you know what you do.
2) Dependent on others - the whole game is build in a way that you depend on others to craft, build, etc. This falls flat if there are not enough other players and if the trade economy is in it's infancy
3) Pathfinder University not as active any more as it was - this was the best resource to keep new players engaged - show them the ropes.
The reasons I stay in the game
1) A great community - even if not everyone agrees all the time
2) You can live the American Dream - you are able to build something up from scratch (Emerald Lodge) just by playing and determination.
3) The basic build up of characters and settlements is well thought out - reminds me of Civilization. It has a very solid basis to build upon - provided actually more players would populate it
If you want a head start - join now. Get ahead of players starting once announcements are done. You will have a few rough weeks - but that is the price to pay if you want to be ahead. Now is the time to make connections, get into the right position. I always heard complaints about the alpha aristocracy - the early leaders of settlements (I'm one of the few surviving ones).
That ship has sailed - but if you want to be a member of the beta aristocracy then start now and don't wait and complain later. There are many who will help you now - expect them to defend what they have once really a lot more players join.