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Author Topic: Old Friends & a New Game  (Read 5717 times)

June 08, 2014, 09:30:36 AM

Offline Hobs

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First, YAY!  I found old UO friends.   ;D

This is the player who used to post as "storyweaver" and who played characters like Dove the Healer of Yew (ran the Yew Community Center - pre-Trammel), Giddeon Night, Nevin Sommerset.  I helped run plots/story-arcs between KaS, KoY, the United Pirates, etc.  I ran events like the Yew archery contests, community walks, trade caravans and market days, and tried to help network people with groups like Kinship Village, the Yew Community, etc.  Wow...good times, far too long ago.

I also joined Marek in Alpha and Beta WoW way back when, then we hopped over to SWG before it went south.  So long story short, I've known and thoroughly enjoyed some of your membership for a long time...and it's been too long not to enjoy each other's company again.

Marek (I knew him as Izzy the Fool) and some other old coots from UO chewed the fat last night for quite a while.  They were also kind enough to listen to me ramble about a new game rolling into it's Alpha in several weeks and it's equivalent of Beta third quarter this year.  It's called Pathfinder Online and is loosely based off the popular table top RPG (an inheritor of the D&D open licence agreement from a while back).  Marek invited me to post as much info as I though you all might want to read, since it has every indication of picking up where UO left off. 

I've been tracking this game, and my current gaming community has been planning for their involvement in it, for over a year, so there's a lot of info.  In my second post, let me hit the basics.  I'll follow it up with helpful links, then finish with some articles I wrote about how PFO will be handling the sandbox experience. 

At any time, please feel free to post questions.  A year + of Dev blog/vlogs, interviews, forum posts, etc. is a lot to wade through and I would be happy to point you in the direction of whatever you want to know.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 09:32:25 AM by Hobs »

June 08, 2014, 09:44:27 AM
Reply #1

Offline Hobs

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Okay...now a brief outline of the game:

Name: Pathfinder Online

Game Style: Open world PvP sandbox with some themepark elements.

Servers: PFO will exist on one sever, similar to Eve Online

Setting: The river Kingdoms of the Fantasy world Golarian, from the Pathfinder table top game.  (http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/River_Kingdoms) is a link to the Paizo wiki description, though for the most part, we the players will be creating the settlements, governments, etc.

Company: Goblinworks (closely linked to Paizo Publishing of Pathfinder table top RPG fame)

Brief Description:

Pathfinder Online (PFO) is a fantasy sandbox MMO produced by Goblinworks and based on the popular Pathfinder table top RPG. Set in the volatile River Kingdoms, PFO is a game of territorial competition where groups of players will attempt to claim their portion of the game world, control its valuable resources, and establish persistent, player-run settlements. To enable this level of dynamic PvP, PFO includes a robust combat system focusing on multiple forms of meaningful player interaction.

PFO will also feature skill based character development, allowing players the freedom to create truly unique characters. Not only is PFO skill-based, but those skills will be acquired over time (similar to EVE Online), thus eliminating tedious skill grinding.

If you prefer economic play, PFO boasts a player driven economy, including harvesting, refining, crafting, settlement based player-run markets, and much more. Of equal appeal to crafters, the best items and gear will not be monster drops or dungeon loot, but player made. However, monsters will drop useful crafting ingredients.

Finally, though PFO is not a PvE based game, there will be PvE elements. Building on traditional monster spawns, PFO will feature monster escalations, which if left unchecked, grow in size, difficulty, and can even threaten player structures. PFO will also include randomly spawning dungeons, which become instanced for your group upon discovery, as well as one very large permanent dungeon. Overall, PFO promises to be a true, open world experience which provides players the opportunity to have meaningful and persistent influence upon the world in which they play.

June 08, 2014, 10:14:51 AM
Reply #2

Offline Hobs

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Now...for the links, so you can look up as much or as little about PFO as you like.

The Basics:

GW Home Page: https://goblinworks.com/

GW Developers' Blogs: https://goblinworks.com/blog/

GW Store: https://goblinworks.com/shop/

* Currently, there are three levels of game access.  GW began with private backing and a kickstarter (which they reached) for $1-million. 
  • The $35 will get you into Open Enrollment which begins in about 18 months.
  • The $100 gets you into Early enrollment, month 2 access, and you can join/establish a guild for the Land Rush and vote in the Land Rush to help a guild of your choosing get the spot they want on the map (more about that in another link)
  • $1000 gets you Aplha access that begins in a few weeks or sooner...but that's above my pay grade.  If you have the cash and the desire, feel free...and call me to share all the cool updates.  :)

GW Land Rush: https://goblinworks.com/landrush/

* Includes the map of the game's starting area with where the current settlement contenders have pinned down and are attempting to hold their settlement spots.  Every Sunday, the guilds in play have their membership numbers totaled. If no one has more votes, they maintain their choice and gain a vote bonus for holding their hex.  If displaced, they move to their next choice, and so on.  These will be the spots where they will start their settlements when the game gets rolling.  There are links on the page to see the various guilds and read their descriptions, etc.

GW Forums:http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/licensees/pathfinderOnline

*These are the current forums, hosted by Paizo.  GW will have its own eventually.  They have been a good place to recruit, communicate with others, and chat with the Devs.  It's also been a place of too much drama, like far too many other game forums (though pretty tame by most standards).

GobboCast: http://www.gobbocast.com/

* My gaming community's blog site and podcast.  The most recent episode (13) has an interview with the lead designer of PFO and goes into how settlements will initially appear in the game.  Episode 9 was a chat with all three main designers, followed by a community round-table discussion in Episode 10 with forum community figures about the juicy bits discussed in episode 9.

Empire of Xeilias: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qy4v?The-Empire-of-Xeilias

* My group's latest attempt at nation building (we're the only group in the works for it thus far), with links to our settlements within the Empire.  One change - we arranged for our Good aligned members to hook up with another settlement (out of game friends) where they can better realize their desire to play good aligned characters.  With that, we are swinging more Neutral and Evil...which is another reason I'm dropping all this here...*wiggles eyebrows*

Northern Coalition: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2r47p?The-Northern-Coalition#1

*Our current non-aggression pact member settlements.  Their threads are linked so you can learn about them if you like.

Pax Gaming Community: http://www.paxgaming.com/index.php?action=forum

* Where I reside. As you can see, we have divisions for many different games - many of which you all play as well.  Though Pax has around 2400 members (very family/community oriented and intertwined in multiple games), we only have about 120 of that number in PFO currently.

June 08, 2014, 10:32:51 AM
Reply #3

Offline Hobs

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How PFO will do the Sandbox Game

Given that most currently played MMOs are not sandboxes, that Pathfinder Online (PFO) might have elements notably different from any past sandbox that our members may have played, or that our members may have never played in a sandbox based game at all, we thought it would be helpful to provide an overview of PFO for our membership.  The presentation of each relevant element of PFO will include the following:

General description of the element as it pertains to PFO.
The benefits of that element in terms of game play (the parts we're excited about).
Player considerations (things to keep in mind, especially if you're new to sandbox play).

The first article will do with the Open World Setting of PFO:

Open World Setting

In an "open world" game, players can roam freely through the virtual world and are given considerable freedom in choosing how or when to approach objectives (see Player Driven; Objectives).  The PFO map will consist of contiguous hexes that are not separated by artificial barriers (e.g. geography, invisible walls, etc.) meant to funnel players along a predetermined path as is common in more linear game designs.  In PFO, open world also means that the world design will not be separating characters as seen in many theme park game's use of character level zones.  Lastly, while you're traveling in whatever direction you choose, you'll be doing so without instant travel (e.g. teleporters, gates, etc.) .  In PFO, getting from point A to B is a meaningful part of the game. That is, travel may require planning (such as for caravans), might involve potential risk, etc., so instantly popping from place to place and removing all that interaction and content will not be happening in PFO.

Benefits:

Being an open world game, PFO should provide a more real-world feel, thus liberating players from the constraints of linear game play.  Player freedom is one of the great appeals to sandbox game play, so having the freedom to literally choose where you wish to travel is a very empowering aspect of PFO. In short, you the player decides where your character should go.

Considerations:

With all that choice and freedom comes the possibility of risk.  In most theme park games, you are provided some semblance of safety by being funneled through zones that tend to match your ability level.  Some games go so far as to deny entrance to zones that are too high level or too dangerous for your character.  The PFO game developers have stated that as you travel further from settlement and starter town hexes, the world may become more dangerous, either due to mobs or other players, but nothing stops you from going there.  As with so many aspects of PFO, bringing friends while choosing your own path might be the best (and most fun) policy.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 10:35:17 AM by Hobs »

June 08, 2014, 10:45:28 AM
Reply #4

Offline Hobs

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The next few replies will deal with the over-arcing umbrella of "Player Driven" content within sandbox games. 

* I am posting these as separate replies so that it will be easier for readers to know where they left off without having to skim through an incredibly long post *

Player Driven

Perhaps more than any other feature, having a more player driven game is what lures people to a sandbox environment.   The opportunity to determine your own objectives, to create and manipulate the world economy, and to perform truly world persistent actions all make PFO different than any themepark experience.  Let's tackle each of these opportunities separately.

In continuing this series of articles intended to help those new to sandbox gaming, or at least those curious about how PFO will present a sandbox experience, our second installment will deal with the player driven nature of PFO. As always, we of the Empire of Xeilias hope this information empowers our fellow players by becoming more informed members of our PFO community.

Player Made Objectives

In most MMOs (most of these being theme parks), the game-provided content (quests, story arcs, etc.) strongly, if not totally, control player objectives. Though you may decide to skip a quest, or even be allowed more than one alternative path for your character's progression, all the possible choices are predetermined. This is what is meant by "being on rails" - you're riding the ride that game developers have made for you and partaking only of the fun that they provide.
In a sandbox game, the developers give players the tools (game mechanics) to create our own objectives. We decide the skills we wish to train, the groups we join, what those groups will do, what they attempt to build together (socially and materially), and how they choose to regard other groups around them (trade, become allies, wage wars, etc.). Though it has been stated that there will be some newbie status quests, monster escalations (a PFO take on mob spawns), and random instanced dungeons, the vast majority of PFO's content will involve what players choose to do with one another. More than most games, group and settlement level objectives will be very important, and again, those are all chosen by players.

Benefits:

The chance to have player made objectives, especially in a world where player interaction and character interdependence will be vital, more than in any theme park, the groups you choose,from an adventuring party, to Charter Company, settlement, and even nation, will have a huge impact on your success in PFO. Players looking to set ambitious objectives and get the most out of the game will likely need to consider the experience and talent level of their associates, their level of organization, and the social networks that they provide. No longer forced down the cattle shoot of theme park games, the freedom and creativity inherent in player made objectives will allow for an individual's unique perspective and desires to shape their game experience, but many of those player made objectives will require the right associations to be fully realized.

Considerations:

Given the overarching themes of PFO (meaningful player interaction, territorial competition, etc.) and the interdependence necessary for success, PFO may seem less solo play friendly than many theme park games. It is true that there will likely be places even skilled individuals will not venture alone, mobs you cannot kill singlehandedly, and for the best skills acquisition and greatest achievements you will need to be a member of a settlement or even a nation. Rather than viewing this as anti-solo play, I would encourage readers to view it as pro-community. For a decade now, MMOs have eroded the need for in-game community. In far too many MMOs, it is possible to attain the highest levels, best skills, most awesome loot all by yourself, to the point that you might as well be playing a single player console game. True, with being part of a community there may be times when the objectives of the group or settlement need to come before those of the individual. However, the best communities will be fostering an environment where members want to contribute, both for their group's sake and their own enjoyment.

June 08, 2014, 10:46:50 AM
Reply #5

Offline Hobs

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Player Made Economy

Like many MMOs, PFO will have harvesting, refining, and crafting.  Unlike many, nearly everything players will want or need will be player crafted, including the best gear in the game.  In PFO, you will be killing mobs not for the best dropped gear, but for the materials from which to craft the best gear.  Similarly, PFO will have auction houses where players can buy, sell, and manipulate the economy.  However, unlike most MMOs, these auction houses will be locale instead of universal.  That is, each settlement will likely have its own auction house for buying and selling goods.  This allows for several very unique player driven economic features.  First, the hosting settlement can determine the tax rate of goods sold, so that the settlement's economy can be augmented by sales within its walls.  Furthermore, some auction houses, either for lower tax rates, proximity to important geographic features, better guarded territory, etc., may prosper while others do less well.  Finally, harvested and refined materials as well as finished goods may need to be transported to particular auction houses, which brings considerations of caravans, caravan protection, transporting costs, etc., into the mix of the player made economy.

Benefits:

In a player made economy, supply and demand are king, not the NPC's set price.  In such an environment, nearly every aspect of the game influences economy, and by being player driven, players have the ability to manipulate those influencing factors.  Like the earlier mentioned benefits of player driven elements, this puts the control squarely in the hands of the players.

Considerations:

Like player driven objectives, a player driven economy may dictate some economic decisions a player needs to make, especially in regards to their group and settlement.  In a world where monster escalations may attack settlements or war with other settlements is possible, the individual player may need to devote harvesting/refining/crafting time to the needs of the settlement.   Of course, given that the settlement is the hub through which nearly all economic benefit will flow, anyone interested in the player driven economy will have a vested interest in their settlement's physical and economic security.

June 08, 2014, 10:47:56 AM
Reply #6

Offline Hobs

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Player Made Persistent Actions

Unlike most MMOs, where the surroundings you play within are static and cannot be truly manipulated by the players, in PFO, players will have several means by which they can create and/or affect persistent elements within the game.  Though many MMOs provide player housing of some fashion, almost all of these are instanced, which removes these structures from the main game world and limits who can interact with them.  Also, most of these structures are for cosmetic entertainment and/or extra storage.  In PFO, players will be able to create Outposts (used to produce bulk goods for settlements), Points of Interest (e.g. shrines, forts, taverns, etc.), and Settlements.  All of these will exist in the regular game world, can be visited and potentially affected by anyone, and have permanence for as long as they are defended and maintained.  Chief among these are settlements, which will be created by a group of players (minimum of 30).  Settlements will have their own player created governing bodies, settlement laws, economies, storage, etc.  Also, it is in settlements that trainers for the higher tier skills of PFO will be found.

Benefits:

Very few games have been daring enough not only to include player created structures in the actual game world, but allow them to be living, breathing features that can not only be built up, but torn down as well.  Having a hand in choosing locations for these, contributing to building materials, to construction, and finally to the operation, governance, and defense of such structures, is what makes sandbox games so completely immersive and entertaining.  It is the closest to designing actual portions of the game that most players will ever get.

Considerations:

With great opportunity comes potential sacrifice and risk.  In PFO, player made structures will be vulnerable to attack by individual players or whole armies, depending upon the structure's size.  In a game based on territorial control, it only makes sense that these persistent structures can be damaged or destroyed, but that is what makes them truly dynamic.  It is also why they will be highly valued, closely guarded, and require the efforts of a well organized group to maintain and defend. 

June 08, 2014, 10:50:25 AM
Reply #7

Offline Hobs

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The last article topic, and the one that I know old KaS members wil love to hear about, is open world competition.  You folks were some of the best pvPers in UO and I would love to see you set loose in PFO.  :)

Open World Competition

Not all sandbox games have open world competition or PvP, nor is every decent PvP game a sandbox.  However, when you put the two together, you get a level of realism and dynamism that stands out among games where competition and PvP are isolated to certain zones, limited to only predetermined opponents, etc.  Certainly, competitive play is not everyone's cup of tea, but competitive play does not strictly mean that participants must be the ones slugging it out in traditional PvP fashion.  In a territorial control based, settlement vs. settlement competition, the harvester gathering valuable resources, the crafter helping build a new settlement structure, or the merchant opening new markets for his goods are all involved in competitive play.  Of course, there will also be plenty of opportunities for PvP, since the struggle for territory and resources are at the very heart of PFO.

Benefits:

As mentioned above, there will be many forms of competition in PFO, but given that most people unfamiliar with the game will have questions/concerns focusing on traditional PvP, let us focus on those considerations.

In my mind, the benefit to open world competition in a territorial control, settlement vs. settlement game is that there will be a meaningful context for most of the PvP occurring in PFO.   Unlike free-for-all PvP venues, where everyone is a target for little more reason than the thrill of the kill and what the winner can strip off the loser's corpse, the vast majority of PFO's competition will revolve around controlling territory, controlling that territory's resources, and defending your own holdings.  To this end, Goblin Works has taken a rather layered approach by providing a range of PvP opportunities depending on the scale of the competition, from individual character to entire settlements and even nations.  Below is a list outlining some of the proposed forms of conflict with links provided to the Paizo board discussion threads and the link to the Developer's blog for each:

   Feuds - used by units as small as individual companies to engage in "sanctioned" PvP (i.e. PvP that will not affect reputation or alignment).
   Raids - used to attack and plunder outposts.
   SAD (Stand and Deliver) - used by bandits to attempt to demand goods/coin from travelers.
   Bounties - contracts allowing you to hunt down and dispatch individuals for profit.
   Guard Contracts - for hiring on to guard caravans and the like.
   Factions - though still being fleshed out, warfare based on membership to NPC factions.
   War - settlement vs. settlement or greater PvP.

This list does not include "sanctioned" PvP stemming from enforcing a settlement's laws against those flagged as criminals, attacking trespassers, or defending against anyone flagged as hostile due to their aggressive behavior, etc.

Considerations:

Certainly, the hope is that if PFO provides this many opportunities for PvP minded players to scratch their competitive itch, that they will be less likely to bother those who don't have that itch at all.  Does this mean that if you are not engaging in any of the PvP activities listed above that you will be safe?  No.  Open world conflict means that the conflict can reach any part of the world, including where you might be peacefully doing your nonviolent business.  Of course, some places will be far more dangerous, and conversely, far safer than others, but even with all these opportunities for what we might call constructive or "meaningful" PvP, nothing will stop a player from attacking you if they desire to do so.  This is part of living in a sandbox game - some players' idea of player-made objectives may include some rather unseemly activities.

However, there are two things to keep in mind.  First, as with so much of PFO, working in groups can alleviate much of this concern.  The most passive traveler, harvester, or merchant will likely have settlement members more than willing to act as guards.  In fact, any settlement worth its salt will devote whole companies of well seasoned PvPers to acting as guards, sentries, home defense, etc., so as to protect their members who are less skilled in combat.  Second, PFO will contain a number of mechanics that provide consequences for PvP outside the methods outlined above, including a reputation and alignment system that will, in part, control access to skill training and settlement membership.  The practitioner of repeated poor behavior might quickly find themselves out of a home, out of access to the skills they desire, and onto multiple groups' kill on sight lists.

June 08, 2014, 12:08:09 PM
Reply #8

Offline Jazrael

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  • Awards This title is earned by people who have done their part to further create and enhance the lore of the game for themselves and other players as well. Often in the forms of Roleplaying or Writing Fiction.
So glad you found us again :)

Reminiscing about the old UO days brought back some great memories.     I'll try to find some old pics and stories to post in the neglected "rp" section. 

Thanks for posting all of this information for Pathfinder Online. 

I saw another post on the Shroud of Avatar forums for all the "UO Catskills Rpg'ers" to give a shout out and reconnect.  Thought some of you might like to reconnect with some more old friends.

https://shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/uo-catskills-rpgers-im-shouting-out-to-you.1014/


June 10, 2014, 05:42:47 PM
Reply #9

Offline Jazrael

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Still going through all of this information. :)   It'll take me a couple of days to digest it all.

I did get in touch with Irulia from UO Cats and told him about  Pathfinder Online as well.   

I saw Golgotha lost it's place in the land grab.. how will that affect things at this point?

June 11, 2014, 09:52:54 PM
Reply #10

Offline Hobs

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Jaz had asked for some links to combat info.  I'm placing these in chronological order (oldest to newest), so be mindful that some of the oldest info might now be out of date.

1. The Combat System - Stamina and the Refresh mechanic and the Ability bar.
https://goblinworks.com/blog/a-three-headed-hydra/

2. Critical Hits will inflict long-term debuffs that must be healed away.
https://goblinworks.com/blog/gentlemen-you-cant-fight-in-here-this-is-the-war-room/

3. Combat Math
https://goblinworks.com/blog/murder-by-numbers/

4. Spells, Spellbooks, & Wizards
https://goblinworks.com/blog/i-put-a-spell-on-you/

5. Settlement PvP
https://goblinworks.com/blog/they-flew-the-colors-they-began-to-fight/

6. Combat Effects
https://goblinworks.com/blog/an-echo-and-a-strangers-hand/

7. Settlement Wars, Company Feuds, and Sanctioned PvP.
https://goblinworks.com/blog/the-man-in-the-back-said-everyone-attack/

8. Raiding Outposts!
https://goblinworks.com/blog/on-we-sweep-with-threshing-oar/

June 11, 2014, 10:06:28 PM
Reply #11

Offline Hobs

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June 13, 2014, 12:16:18 AM
Reply #12

Offline Hobs

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What else can I do for you to understand this game better?

June 13, 2014, 02:04:19 AM
Reply #13

Offline Jazrael

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The more I've been reading.. the more interesting the game sounds.   

I watched a 4 part video of MMORPG interviewing Ryan Dancey that answered a lot of my basic questions about the games progress, goals and mechanics.



I'm impressed with how much information is packed in the blog as well.

Rev and I plan on signing up for August early enrollment.

June 13, 2014, 07:10:49 AM
Reply #14

Offline Hobs

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For the snappy-friendly home I've promised, I would love to introduce you to the Pax crew (both Aeternum & Golgotha), and if you'll be on board for EE, get you set up for voting in the Land Rush to help ensure you/our home is in a spot we all find beneficial.

this is very exciting!  :)  Now drag Izzy along with you.  ::)

Here's out Team Speak info:

Download: http://www.teamspeak.com/?page=downloads

You want to download the client for whichever operating system you are working under.

IP: 50.56.93.195
Port: 9987
Password: yuengling

When you log in for the first time you create a user in a database. One of our officers can give that user permissions once you have logged in once, even if you are offline. Guest users have very, very few permissions.