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Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online 

General Discussion  » Unfortunate

14 posts found
  DanMan3395

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 11

Skol Vikings!

 
OP  3/17/14 8:53:09 PM#1

I dont mean to gripe. This is goblinworks game and they are to do what they want with it. However I find it extremely unfortunate that devs when they make mmorpgs from great IP's feel like they need to change everything.

Why can't you just make an mmorpg out of the IP and only adjust tiny things? Why does the game need a massive overhaul?  No classes? Every character learns all classes skills over time making the game world a blob of ultra multiclassed doobs with no identity at all? No crits? radical magic overhaul? Instant HP regen? 

Look I get it, someone at goblinworks played EVE. But that doesn't mean that every part of eve needs to be in this game... Couldn't you still use classes and still use the time training system but just use infinite soft caps on the skills so a cleric could theoretically train forever? Why make a hard stop where a skill is essentially perfect? Cant you just use a perpetually reduced return against a perpetually growing cost on skills and then limit skills to a class structure?

Thus I could play a paladin and train forever, never capping out but seeing less and less gains per skill train success. Seriously what fantasy book or game starts out with: "And karafax the wise decided that today he was an archer and put on his archer gear before leaving on his epic quest"? Seriously, gandalf was just a demigod wizard that day? 

Removing crits? I like dice, I dont care if i die to a crit in PVP. Why cater to the whiner crowd that throws a fit every time they die? Just make Pathfinder, not Pathfinder/eve/wow.

Sorry, just had to say it.

Skol Vikes!

  MMOman101

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/05/08
Posts: 1212

3/17/14 9:28:34 PM#2

I have not been following this game, but that sounds like hot garbage. No crits or classes?

Pathfinder in name only. Why not just add a multi class system?

  User Deleted
3/17/14 9:33:58 PM#3
I agree OP. While I understand that some tweaking needs to be done for real time combat, Pathfinder is a good set of mechanics for an MMORPG and the world itself worthy. I wish they would stick closer to the overall source material too rather than changing stuff that doesn't need changing just to be like other games. I mean, what is the point of buying rights to an IP if you are just going to make it like everything else on the market rather than enhance its unique flavor for play.
  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3188

Veni, Vidi, Converti

3/18/14 9:03:18 AM#4

Fair enough OP. It is a departure in many respects. If you have interest in these things here's some sources that explain and discuss this. I leave for you to make your own mind up on the such as questions as: "Is mmo-rpg genre suitable for pathfinder?" ; "Do the translations require too much change to warrant?" ; "Are the translations really necessary for mmo-rpg?" ; "Why couldn't a more appropriate genre or form or medium have been chosen instead?"

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

 

When I first approached Lisa about a Pathfinder MMO, I presented a plan roughly on par with the kind of development that had been the norm in the industry for the past 5 years: a $50+ million budget, a 3 to 5 year timeline, and a development staff of 50 to 75 people.

One of Paizo's strengths is that they work very efficiently, and spend money when and where it counts the most. So Lisa took one look at that plan and challenged me to think outside the box. "Rather than telling me how to do it the way everyone else is doing it," she said, "tell me how to do it for the smallest budget possible while still achieving our goals." Those goals are to produce a game with the same high-quality standards for design, art, storytelling, and community involvement that Paizo has instilled into their Pathfinder products. [...]

This was the first critical point where our plan diverged from the norm. Sandbox MMOs have a different time/cost function. Their primary need is a robust virtual world that can challenge and engage the audience. Making a sandbox game means focusing on the creation of the multiplayer virtual world. By positioning Pathfinder Online as a sandbox with theme park elements, we can focus primarily on the content needed for players to interact with each other and avoid having to develop a huge amount of theme park content prior to launch.

Focusing on the sandbox doesn't just save time and money, though—we think it's an ideal way to explore the Pathfinder world. In a sense, Paizo's own Pathfinder lines actually combine sandbox elements (by way of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line) with theme park elements (via the Pathfinder Adventure Path and Pathfinder Module lines). Though the sandbox will be our initial focus, the Pathfinder brand is known for great stories and adventures, and over time, we'll add lots of opportunities for theme-park style adventure into the fabric of the world to give depth and richness to the Pathfinder Online experience. Your Pathfinder Online Character

 

Your Pathfinder Online Character

 

Bringing Pathfinder to the Virtual World

This system of character advancement has been honed and refined in tabletop RPGs for more than 30 years, and it works very well there. However, it does not translate well to an MMO. The biggest among the many translation problems is that, unlike a tabletop game which may be played for a few hours per week, the online game is active at all times. [..]

Another problem is that in tabletop RPGs, all of the player characters are heroic adventurers.

Also, Pathfinder Online is going to focus primarily on the kinds of classic adventure content that the tabletop game features at moderate levels

 

The devs talk about the conversion of the crit system in the most recent blog post.

Classes are subsumed within the skill-training system via "Role Features" all of the core roles/classes will eventually make it into the game from the core rulebook starting with 4. Note role fits better as multiple roles not just heroes (see above) as well as avoiding confusion with mmo lingo of class vs skill-based progression systems.

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3188

Veni, Vidi, Converti

3/18/14 9:12:59 AM#5

Warcry: Tabletop to Desktop: Making Wizards Work in Pathfinder Online

Translating a tabletop RPG like Pathfinder to its online version is harder than it looks.

You could argue that tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons were the inspiration for MMOs, but the two games are separated by a chasm. One is a social game played around a table, while one is played alone but with people on the other side of your monitor. Pathfinder Online has a more specific problem in translating a particular tabletop game to a digital, multiplayer environment. I peppered the CEO of Goblinworks and avid roleplayer Ryan Dancey on how he was going to adapt the fun of tabletop more generally, and more specifically, how he was going to stop wizards from being so overpowered.

And:

Greg TitoPathfinder Online is obviously based on the tabletop RPG from Paizo, but it is a videogame first and foremost. How are you guys balancing those two very different styles of games?

Ryan Dancey, CEO of Goblinworks: There are four differences that we have to address.

The first is realtime vs. tabletop. On the tabletop players can take an arbitrarily long time to make a decision. This creates a syndrome sometimes known as "packing 20 minutes of fun into 4 hours". The upside is that each player can take the time to cross-reference rules, talk about strategy with other players, and make use of very complex interdependent game mechanics. Online, the players have to act in near-realtime. They have to be able to make decisions quickly, which means that the options we can present them have to be limited. They also need to be reasonably sure that whatever they attempt to do will work, that they won't just be wasting their opportunity to act while someone with a more comprehensive grasp of the game mechanic beats them down.

What we've sought to do is preserve the classic...


The second is scale. On the tabletop the game consists of a small number of players who are assumed to be responsible for a small number of characters. The size of the player social graph and character social graph is very constrained. Online, that social graph explodes. Suddenly we have to accommodate dozens, up to hundreds and potentially thousands of social interactions. On the tabletop it is ok if a character can deliver overwhelming force because they have to in order to facilitate small group success against large numbers of opponents. Online, that rapidly unbalances the game, so each character's power needs to be moderated. The solution to overcoming large numbers of opponents is to assemble and equally large opposing force...

The third is scope. The tabletop game is focused on adventuring heroes who typically engage in what we would call "PvE" experiences. The Online game is a superset of that, and brings in a wide and diverse range of new character archetypes: crafters, harvesters, diplomats, spies, leaders of large social organizations, etc. The Online game focuses on meaningful human interactions - which some would reduce to "PvP" (although frankly, that's a very narrow view of the concept and one we tend to reject as being too small for our vision)...

The last is length. The tabletop game is designed to allow you to advance a character from "normal peasant farmer" to "god" in about a year and a half of regular weekly play. Moving through the various ranges of power presents opportunities for the tabletop game to present players with interesting new experiences on a regular basis, and then when a given character has reached full potential, to be gracefully retired and for the cycle to begin all over again with a new group of characters...

In the end what we want is for someone who is familiar with the tabletop game to be quickly able to familiarize themselves with the Online game, and for much of their knowledge about how the game system works to be useful to them in understanding the Online game...


 

 

  DanMan3395

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 11

Skol Vikings!

 
OP  3/18/14 10:24:53 AM#6

I respect the points you are making Mumbo, however, the removal of classes and the removal of dice based variables like crits are in no way required to make the transition to an MMORPG setting. I, like most Table top gamers heavily identify my character with their class and the removal of that core system of categorization makes me feel like I am not playing an RPG at all.

There is no reason why you cannot just have the classes from the source material and assign the associated time based skill trains to them. I like your idea of never having a final level of progression using EVE's skill training system, that is smart. However, as a long time player of EVE I can tell you that down the road all this does is produce an army of "Do it all" characters that have no real role playing value because they have all or near all the abilities in the game. This "kind of" works in EVE given its story design that you are a cybernetic human with unlimited learning potential flying space ships, but doesn't work at all in fantasy settings.

Seriously, was drizzt a warrior,mage,cleric,rogue? when faced off against the ice dragon did he "decide" what class would work best for that scenario? No, the essence of storied adventure is in facing obstacles based on the choices you have made given the limitations you face as a person.

This is why i proposed a soft cap on the skills that each class can train. This would allow you to still use base classes, while still using a time based skill training system. If every skill uses an algorithm that grows the training time at a perpetually longer and longer scale one could train forever but would see less and less gains from it due to the substantially increased time commitment needed for the next level.

Additionally, a departure from a dice based system simply makes the development process harder and the game less like the IP. I know there is a crowd of whiners that complain about how dice reduces SKILL, but I would argue that those same people are of a market segment that is very fickle and simply plays games as a FOTM distraction all the while moaning about everything in the games. I would argue that its the CORE player you want to focus on. You want to snatch up table top players and EVE online/UO players. Those people stick around. Do not forget that there is a huge segment of the RPG/MMORPG player base that LOVE dice and find the games value reduced without them. We just tend to complain a lot less.

I really love that someone had the balls to crowd source a pathfinder MMORPG and I LOVE indie games. I am not trying to criticize or complain, I swear. I just feel like some of these points have to be made in the hopes that the lessons learned in other games can be applied here.

Skol Vikes!

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3188

Veni, Vidi, Converti

3/18/14 2:11:15 PM#7

I'm all burnt-out and you come out with some good points worth a good reply,

Tbh, I was only linking to what has been said before to set the scene or context of what's different between TT and MMO. As to PFO, well the model perhaps was a sandbox mmorpg fantasy (design) and that's where a gap in the market was found (business), and using the pathfinder IP was simply amenable to that consideration (contacts)?

Originally posted by DanMan3395

Seriously, was drizzt a warrior,mage,cleric,rogue? when faced off against the ice dragon did he "decide" what class would work best for that scenario? No, the essence of storied adventure is in facing obstacles based on the choices you have made given the limitations you face as a person.

On the topic of Classes,To quote Thornkeep: 

Goblinworks CEO Ryan S. Dancey believes that one of the reasons the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is now the world’s best-selling tabletop RPG is that so many players embrace its rules as the best representation of fantasy gaming. These rules have a history more than 30 years long and millions of players wide, and many of the rules have long been a hallmark of classic roleplaying games. However, rules that work well for a tabletop game aren’t always the best for an MMO, for at least two reasons... [Edit: GM and Turn-Based]

According to Dancey, the biggest challenge of converting the Pathfinder RPG to an MMO came with one of the most essential paradigms of fantasy gaming. “Characters in the Pathfinder RPG are very much defined by their classes and by the levels they earn in those classes,” says Dancey

Many MMOs sport a class-based character system similar to that of tabletop roleplaying games like the Pathfinder RPG. The downside to this is that classes tend to produce cookiecutter characters in online games. People crunch the numbers obsessively and determine the absolute best selection of options for any class. Players who don’t want to follow that formula can face a lot of opposition from adventuring companions who expect their allies to “optimize” their builds—they want their peers to be “the best” according to some quantifiable standard, which can severely hinder the fun for players who are less focused on damage output and more interested in world immersion.

So if you're familiar with MMO's the class system has some negatives.

The Skill-system allows some positives: wider range of roles to choose from (ie not just just heroes but functional roles such as carpenter etc which is departure) ; players create more of their character from their own choices more ; players can always find some useful way to progress their characters without having to start an alt necessarily and some other associated reasons of providing players a reason to carry on progressing ie skill-training is running to stay still syndrone possibly).

It's much more "what lessons can we learn from mmorpgs and avoid those mistakes?" than "players must choose a role that they might regret spending 8 months on down the line as a sunk cost to fit the TT."

 What happens though is limited space to outfit your character with items and skills provide you with ability to use those items eg "Role Feature" to gain Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard "Specialization": Read on here: You've Got the Brawn, I've Got the Brains

I think it's a good compromise? I have read your thoughts on the subject and I think this approach does take into account the idea of limitations defining choices that makes for interesting gameplay and roleplay? Of course it's not perfect but the skill-training means groups will specialize and will require higher coordination - exactly the result you want as per TT and in most MMORPGs tbh?!

Originally posted by DanMan3395

Additionally, a departure from a dice based system simply makes the development process harder and the game less like the IP. I know there is a crowd of whiners that complain about how dice reduces SKILL, but I would argue that those same people are of a market segment that is very fickle and simply plays games as a FOTM distraction all the while moaning about everything in the games. I would argue that its the CORE player you want to focus on. You want to snatch up table top players and EVE online/UO players. Those people stick around. Do not forget that there is a huge segment of the RPG/MMORPG player base that LOVE dice and find the games value reduced without them. We just tend to complain a lot less.

Again I think the PFO devs are attempting to retain the essence of this, but for practical purposes and legal purposes they've gone for a

1. ""Real-Time"" combat system (as per networks anyway) of tab-target (familiar to mmorpg players) as TBS would take centuries to process for thousands of players.

Since characters’ actions occur simultaneously in a MMO,the f low of combat is the first thing the designers must change when translating a game driven by the rolling of dice to one controlled by mathematical formulas built into theprogramming. One thing remains the same in either medium: it’s important that players have meaningful choices to make.

2. 6 second rounds (basically the ""Real-Time"" is kinda round based): (see links above) aims to retain the tactical choices in combat closer to turn-based than button-mashing of other tab-target mmorpgs.

3. OGL problems translating to computers: IE "publishing open game content with any license other than OGL ie computer software agreements." To quote-unquote more/most reputable sources than myself on such matters.

TL;DR: It's worth asking: What really makes the TT such a great game system?

ps: Also the next blog post will talk more about "Role Features" I think (Wednesday).

 

 

  DanMan3395

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 11

Skol Vikings!

 
OP  3/18/14 5:59:34 PM#8
Originally posted by MumboJumbo

I'm all burnt-out and you come out with some good points worth a good reply,

Tbh, I was only linking to what has been said before to set the scene or context of what's different between TT and MMO. As to PFO, well the model perhaps was a sandbox mmorpg fantasy (design) and that's where a gap in the market was found (business), and using the pathfinder IP was simply amenable to that consideration (contacts)?

Originally posted by DanMan3395

Seriously, was drizzt a warrior,mage,cleric,rogue? when faced off against the ice dragon did he "decide" what class would work best for that scenario? No, the essence of storied adventure is in facing obstacles based on the choices you have made given the limitations you face as a person.

On the topic of Classes,To quote Thornkeep: 

Goblinworks CEO Ryan S. Dancey believes that one of the reasons the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is now the world’s best-selling tabletop RPG is that so many players embrace its rules as the best representation of fantasy gaming. These rules have a history more than 30 years long and millions of players wide, and many of the rules have long been a hallmark of classic roleplaying games. However, rules that work well for a tabletop game aren’t always the best for an MMO, for at least two reasons... [Edit: GM and Turn-Based]

According to Dancey, the biggest challenge of converting the Pathfinder RPG to an MMO came with one of the most essential paradigms of fantasy gaming. “Characters in the Pathfinder RPG are very much defined by their classes and by the levels they earn in those classes,” says Dancey

Many MMOs sport a class-based character system similar to that of tabletop roleplaying games like the Pathfinder RPG. The downside to this is that classes tend to produce cookiecutter characters in online games. People crunch the numbers obsessively and determine the absolute best selection of options for any class. Players who don’t want to follow that formula can face a lot of opposition from adventuring companions who expect their allies to “optimize” their builds—they want their peers to be “the best” according to some quantifiable standard, which can severely hinder the fun for players who are less focused on damage output and more interested in world immersion.

So if you're familiar with MMO's the class system has some negatives.

The Skill-system allows some positives: wider range of roles to choose from (ie not just just heroes but functional roles such as carpenter etc which is departure) ; players create more of their character from their own choices more ; players can always find some useful way to progress their characters without having to start an alt necessarily and some other associated reasons of providing players a reason to carry on progressing ie skill-training is running to stay still syndrone possibly).

It's much more "what lessons can we learn from mmorpgs and avoid those mistakes?" than "players must choose a role that they might regret spending 8 months on down the line as a sunk cost to fit the TT."

 What happens though is limited space to outfit your character with items and skills provide you with ability to use those items eg "Role Feature" to gain Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard "Specialization": Read on here: You've Got the Brawn, I've Got the Brains

I think it's a good compromise? I have read your thoughts on the subject and I think this approach does take into account the idea of limitations defining choices that makes for interesting gameplay and roleplay? Of course it's not perfect but the skill-training means groups will specialize and will require higher coordination - exactly the result you want as per TT and in most MMORPGs tbh?!

Originally posted by DanMan3395

Additionally, a departure from a dice based system simply makes the development process harder and the game less like the IP. I know there is a crowd of whiners that complain about how dice reduces SKILL, but I would argue that those same people are of a market segment that is very fickle and simply plays games as a FOTM distraction all the while moaning about everything in the games. I would argue that its the CORE player you want to focus on. You want to snatch up table top players and EVE online/UO players. Those people stick around. Do not forget that there is a huge segment of the RPG/MMORPG player base that LOVE dice and find the games value reduced without them. We just tend to complain a lot less.

Again I think the PFO devs are attempting to retain the essence of this, but for practical purposes and legal purposes they've gone for a

1. ""Real-Time"" combat system (as per networks anyway) of tab-target (familiar to mmorpg players) as TBS would take centuries to process for thousands of players.

Since characters’ actions occur simultaneously in a MMO,the f low of combat is the first thing the designers must change when translating a game driven by the rolling of dice to one controlled by mathematical formulas built into theprogramming. One thing remains the same in either medium: it’s important that players have meaningful choices to make.

2. 6 second rounds (basically the ""Real-Time"" is kinda round based): (see links above) aims to retain the tactical choices in combat closer to turn-based than button-mashing of other tab-target mmorpgs.

3. OGL problems translating to computers: IE "publishing open game content with any license other than OGL ie computer software agreements." To quote-unquote more/most reputable sources than myself on such matters.

TL;DR: It's worth asking: What really makes the TT such a great game system?

ps: Also the next blog post will talk more about "Role Features" I think (Wednesday).

 

 

 

Oof, great response thanks! so much to take in.

To start, I think we are not communicating 100% efficiently in regards to the classes topic. I think the training mechanism is a good compromise and actually lends well to long term game play. What I disagree with is the idea that 1 character can train all of them. I would much rather have have a fighter who had many fighter skills I could train off to infinity but had no access to the cleric specific skills ever. To be a cleric (outside of any kind of multi-classing feature) I would need to make an additional character. I would liken this to having more than one character sheet in Pathfinder TT. 

I do not think the average table top gamer is going to be able to feel like their character is special without some consequence of choice and classes are easily one of the biggest. You bring up the issue of people in groups kicking people for not running "builds" they approve of. Now you are of course talking about WoW :) I would make a couple of arguments here. 

1. WoW has one of the most unpleasant player bases of any game made in the last 20 years. (CoD is worse).

2. That problem can be solved by simply preventing other players from having kick options in groups. Bring grouping back to the social activity that it was designed to be and stop supporting the min/max crowd. They are destroying this whole genre anyway.

3. I do not think that the behaviors of some juveniles in a game that is only a few more timers away from being farmville justifies a radical change in game design theory. In the end you cannot fix the problem of people being Jack offs and I don't think its your job to do so anyway.

In response to the idea of Role Features, that is essentially the root of my frustration with the classing idea. I think that being able to change classes by simply loading out the various skills I have trained de-values what it means to be a class. If I can be a ranger right now but later be a wizard, then what am I really? Seems to me that I am more like mario picking up class features at random on the road of his insane life. All I am saying is that those separations should be done by making more than one character. 

Essentially, you could make a warrior. The warrior would have access to lets say 25 skills specific to his class and however many other skills that are generally shared across all characters (crafting, social, etc.). Then If I want to be a cleric, I log out and log back in as a cleric with a different name and different in game life choices determining his history. you could allow all the characters to train simultaneously if you wanted or manage that some other way, doesn't really matter. What matters is when my warrior kromdar slew the great dragon, that he didn't become kromdar the great priest an hour later and heal the plague victims of blah blah land. that to me is completely immersion breaking and not in any way necessary.

The last part of this is the idea of soft caps. This is hard to explain but it works similar to asheron's call's leveling system. (I am an IT guy by trade and have a LOT of gaming time.) Essentially you come up with an idea of what End game power levels are and set the training timers to hit that point in certain combinations at certain time intervals so as to have a cap of sorts that represents an end game character. The key is that you let all the skills continue to train past this point. You just make each successive gain after the soft cap is reached produce WAY less benefit and take WAY longer to finish each successive training point. An algorithm can be written that automates this process from a developers view, they simply need to decide how many skills should be at what point when a character is at "max level" roughly. 

--

to the matter of dice, I generally agree with you. I am not advocating for turn based combat. I am simply asking that the combat not be true action like counter strike either. Something closer to Everquest or 2005/2006 era WoW would be ideal. So there is still plenty of dice action but turns are determined by using timers on abilities. This allows for DICE based crits instead of stacking injuries which will make combat crits very linear in my opinion. I like the surprise of crits and they don't ruin pvp at all imo. 

I like attributes and attribute driven roll modifiers. These all translate super well into computer gaming (Baldur's gate FTW) and can be used just fine in MMO settings. I am additionally concerned based on the description on the games website that a characters attributes will dynamically change with the "loaded skills" so as to balance out class functionality. That is to say that when i change my skills from mage skills to warrior(or whatever combo i am using) that i will also be able to change my attributes (like lower my int and raise my str). This again completely breaks immersion IMO.

It sounds more like I am playing some kind of amorphous entity with no real identity than a character entrenched in the story of his/her life. I would argue that a lot of what makes these games good is based on consequences. I hear the same thing over and over when I talk to classic EQ1 players. The death penalties are to mild, enemies are all easy, i don't care when i win or lose because there was never any risk so I get bored fast, My character doesn't feel real, etc. I cannot stress enough the importance of real consequence driven game-play, and since PFO is being pitched as an open pvp sandbox, I can think of no better venue to bring a little UO and a little EQ difficulty to than PFO.

I cannot really speak to the OGL situation. One of the reasons I like pathfinder is because it kept the OGL and didn't go all corporate like D&D (Hasbro!? barf.) 

Anyway, WOT over. Thanks for the engaging response and let me know if you have concerns about the perceived tone of this thread, I do not want to jeopardize the games marketability over some squabbles on MMORPG.com.

 

Skol Vikes!

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3188

Veni, Vidi, Converti

3/19/14 8:34:37 AM#9
Originally posted by DanMan3395

Oof, great response thanks! so much to take in.

To start, I think we are not communicating 100% efficiently in regards to the classes topic. I think the training mechanism is a good compromise and actually lends well to long term game play. What I disagree with is the idea that 1 character can train all of them. I would much rather have have a fighter who had many fighter skills I could train off to infinity but had no access to the cleric specific skills ever. To be a cleric (outside of any kind of multi-classing feature) I would need to make an additional character. I would liken this to having more than one character sheet in Pathfinder TT. 

I do not think the average table top gamer is going to be able to feel like their character is special without some consequence of choice and classes are easily one of the biggest. You bring up the issue of people in groups kicking people for not running "builds" they approve of. Now you are of course talking about WoW :) I would make a couple of arguments here. 

I'm gonna brew up another coffee before answering this! Tbh it's a bit beyond my own understanding, but will give it a go:

1. Your point is that the core classes in the main rulebook are the area where non-overlapping for skills should occur as that preserves the role-playing identity. I guess what the devs intend is something a bit like Guild Wars 1 where you can make a load of different builds eg hybrids albeit at the cost of losing the role-feature, so you're more flexible over a wider range of contexts but not as specialized? I have a suspicion this is quite important for how the combat will work in PFO to "out-wit" your opponent and atst to always want your character concerned that they may not have the full mastery of combat without adding more skills "just in case"?

2. The alternative is to go for Alts. The devs described in another context where having a group of characters in someways could be more preferrable eg if there was a form of permadeath or old age, then you continually recycle the skill-traininig needed to replemish losses. PFO's route is instead to do the "running to stand still" approach with one character and again that fits with 1. above of players working with all builds to make their own combinations which balloons the possible contexts of combat which reduces min-max issues. Of course as it's open world pvp, then it's not the corner case of who wins in 1vs but groups vs groups and other random contexts.

3. So I think weighing things up this is why the devs have decided to not force players to use alts but just merge that choice into what gear your character can wear and can carry (encumbrance)? This is my conclusion which may miss some angle out completely I've not noticed?

4. The benefit of this is that you need to get the player to invest into the game and the character continually increasing in value achieves that. Why not with alts? I think because skill-training will be real-time, it bottlenecks the as termed above "arms-race" of "running to stand still" ; so you'll need to use alts or want to to a) train more stuff needed now b) to choose between specializing and generalizing c) to perform more roles out of a growing over time list of roles in your group. Those are some suggestions I just made up!

5. The cost of this is that some characters will get to a point where they don't need to skill-train atst as their value being locked into that character and not cycling back through the game as would happen if you had a gang of alts who age and pass on unlocking that value to require reinvesting. I'm kinda out on a limb pondering this idea, so it's part thinking out aloud and part acknowledging that alts with caps on training could be a good idea even though PFO is not going that route.

6. If comparing to EVE and you have a pilot and a spaceship: I think it works like the character (= skills) + items/gear (=spaceship); but because it's a character avatar players have connection/identity with a single character so this takes precedence over forcing alts; possibly that's the ultimate reason why PFO has gone that route as well as the combat stuff in 1. described above?

Originally posted by DanMan3395

1. WoW has one of the most unpleasant player bases of any game made in the last 20 years. (CoD is worse).

2. That problem can be solved by simply preventing other players from having kick options in groups. Bring grouping back to the social activity that it was designed to be and stop supporting the min/max crowd. They are destroying this whole genre anyway.

3. I do not think that the behaviors of some juveniles in a game that is only a few more timers away from being farmville justifies a radical change in game design theory. In the end you cannot fix the problem of people being Jack offs and I don't think its your job to do so anyway.

In response to the idea of Role Features, that is essentially the root of my frustration with the classing idea. I think that being able to change classes by simply loading out the various skills I have trained de-values what it means to be a class. If I can be a ranger right now but later be a wizard, then what am I really? Seems to me that I am more like mario picking up class features at random on the road of his insane life. All I am saying is that those separations should be done by making more than one character. 

Essentially, you could make a warrior. The warrior would have access to lets say 25 skills specific to his class and however many other skills that are generally shared across all characters (crafting, social, etc.). Then If I want to be a cleric, I log out and log back in as a cleric with a different name and different in game life choices determining his history. you could allow all the characters to train simultaneously if you wanted or manage that some other way, doesn't really matter. What matters is when my warrior kromdar slew the great dragon, that he didn't become kromdar the great priest an hour later and heal the plague victims of blah blah land. that to me is completely immersion breaking and not in any way necessary.

I think that's it though; if you keep it in the power of the players to choose how they build for combat, it resolves the problem of the power-gamers dictating to the socializer and other types of players who just want a useful role to play and a fun group experience? By allowing a ton of options atst as roles in combat that veer away from the Holy Trinity the design helps not promote one type of player group over others hence you say encouraging a "lousy community" to set up shop.

I've got to admit you've convinced me there is something a bit iffy about losing the clear identity of roles due to hybrid options, but this comes back to the question (nice side-step coming up!!) I posed about: "What makes the TT game system such a winner?" above. What makes it work is the game space for players to be able to "reality generate" ; provide that where they are actively involved in that; not assumed to experience it as a by-product of the how the game should be and the success/fun will follow: By allowing players to mess with skills in creative ways you're delivering that; obviously not up to the same standard as the TT with all the drama offered by a GM and players present.

The power curve sort of works like the "soft cap" idea with rapid rise in a few levels in a few days (or something mimicking that anyway) then a few weeks, months and at the higher end year or so; so it takes in a direct line along a single role (collection of related skills in the skill-tree) av. 2.5 years from 0-20. Instead of the original plan of a "Class Capstone" where if you only trained from 1-20 then at 20 you gained a "Capstone" skill or buff for that role... the devs decided via player feedback to convert that to the Role Feature instead... which should be talked about in the latest blog in about 6 hours!

So there's going to be a huge amount of "opportunity cost": I mean it seems to come down to a relative role-play vs an absolute role-play ; where because of the difference between TT and a computer and a few players playing for a decent stretch but thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands for years and years it means it's more adaptable to change over time of what's the flavour of the month one time; how everything else interacts and how players themselves change their preferences over a longer period of time; so your point is well-taken:-

Characters are going to be polymorphing into different roles/characters all the time; but it's relative to what other player's are skill-training (demand and competition) and limited by being able to only skill-train in real-time per character. Obviously that balloons over time like you said, but I guess the trade-off of that loss of flavour is a similar ballooning of available skills to train during that time and hopefully more choices for all players to be able to make? Which is really what will make this game be interesting, even if it sort of breaks the logical idea of limits on what characters should have time and room to be able to master, in any fiction. Guess it's a trade-off.

Originally posted by DanMan3395

to the matter of dice, I generally agree with you. I am not advocating for turn based combat. I am simply asking that the combat not be true action like counter strike either. Something closer to Everquest or 2005/2006 era WoW would be ideal. So there is still plenty of dice action but turns are determined by using timers on abilities. This allows for DICE based crits instead of stacking injuries which will make combat crits very linear in my opinion. I like the surprise of crits and they don't ruin pvp at all imo. 

I like attributes and attribute driven roll modifiers. These all translate super well into computer gaming (Baldur's gate FTW) and can be used just fine in MMO settings. I am additionally concerned based on the description on the games website that a characters attributes will dynamically change with the "loaded skills" so as to balance out class functionality. That is to say that when i change my skills from mage skills to warrior(or whatever combo i am using) that i will also be able to change my attributes (like lower my int and raise my str). This again completely breaks immersion IMO.

It sounds more like I am playing some kind of amorphous entity with no real identity than a character entrenched in the story of his/her life. I would argue that a lot of what makes these games good is based on consequences. I hear the same thing over and over when I talk to classic EQ1 players. The death penalties are to mild, enemies are all easy, i don't care when i win or lose because there was never any risk so I get bored fast, My character doesn't feel real, etc. I cannot stress enough the importance of real consequence driven game-play, and since PFO is being pitched as an open pvp sandbox, I can think of no better venue to bring a little UO and a little EQ difficulty to than PFO.

I cannot really speak to the OGL situation. One of the reasons I like pathfinder is because it kept the OGL and didn't go all corporate like D&D (Hasbro!? barf.) 

Anyway, WOT over. Thanks for the engaging response and let me know if you have concerns about the perceived tone of this thread, I do not want to jeopardize the games marketability over some squabbles on MMORPG.com.

My mathematical understanding of the 3.5 rules is a bit lacking tbh. There's some great posts on the forums on how the current combat maths is expected to work! It would offer a superior peek at how PFO might work and how that might align with your descriptions of what works with EQ and crits etc.

One of the things the devs said is the TT is based on a bunch of heroes on an adventure so that defines their class. In the MMORPG they are adding adventure and exloration, development and domination all of which are adding more skills to train up, so you're already on the path to multi-skilling characters let alone their heroic combat skills. Again, gotta side with what you say in fiction it makes for an amorphous blob, but I think the idea is the interactions and consequences of players using skills to get their goals is what forges the story; in Thornkeep the devs describe as, "Making your stroy, not being told your story" or something like that via emergent gameplay: The skills are just tools towards that end, in the bigger picture.

If PFO manages to emulate some of the consequences of EVE then it will gain some of the value that comes from risk vs reward and absolute loss and defeat of goals that provides "meaningful" win or loss results.

So both the actual gameplay (will it be fun?) and the game design overall (will it provide an experience?) are still nowhere near being answerable; but the nitty-gritty of the design by GW sure angles a lance at both these targets in hopes of capturing some of the magic that 30 years of TT managed with a scrap of paper and a pen and just a few players. 

TL;DR: mmorpg is going to be limited by a lot of extra complications; so choices need to be simple and scale and that involves sacrificing what feels right with odd computer reasoning?!

  DanMan3395

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 11

Skol Vikings!

 
OP  3/22/14 8:12:41 PM#10

I agree that there need to be changes and respect that. In the end though I think the Pathfinder IP almost demands classes and at least some dice. I will end the debate and concede but I must formally cast my vote for the following:

Classes that restrict access to other classes core skills.

No skill caps in general. Look at a game called "The Repopulation" for an example of soft caps done right.

At least partially dice driven combat.

--

The rest of the game looks like a masterpiece and I cannot wait to play it!

Skol Vikes!

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3188

Veni, Vidi, Converti

3/23/14 9:22:47 AM#11
Originally posted by DanMan3395

I agree that there need to be changes and respect that. In the end though I think the Pathfinder IP almost demands classes and at least some dice. I will end the debate and concede but I must formally cast my vote for the following:

Classes that restrict access to other classes core skills.

No skill caps in general. Look at a game called "The Repopulation" for an example of soft caps done right.

At least partially dice driven combat.

--

The rest of the game looks like a masterpiece and I cannot wait to play it!

Again I can only provide commentary (hopefully relevant as opposed to argumentum ad nauseam !) I'll browse The Repopulation thanks for the heads-up. Just to add:

CLASSES/ROLES:

A Three-Headed Hydra

Actions and How You Take Them

One of the big problems with classless advancement systems is that, over time, players can develop a huge variety of abilities as they dabble in combat, magic, crafting, etc. This can create paralysis of choice as players have too many options to easily make good quick choices, like how to react when threatened. Managing all of the available options also provides a nasty challenge for user interface layout. Also, if everyone in a classless system can use all their skills all the time, it makes other characters ultimately unimportant from a party balance perspective.

We want to find a good way to provide players a limited selection of immediate choices that's fun and retains the feeling of a recognizable Pathfinder class. Players can customize their options and draw on the whole range of their character's abilities, but they'll have to make choices about what they can do at a moment's notice.

We're using the action bar concept that's become something of a standard in MMOs, but we've made some significant modifications to what most games have done. Reconfiguring the action bar is something that your character will typically do when not in combat, and potentially may require being at a location suitable for making major changes (like changing armor types, for example).

 

So the above action bar is moddable according to your skill-training and your item selection that slots onto the action bar. When you use the "Role Feature" by slotting to synergize/specialize a role aka a class that is familiar from the TT game you get extra specializations available.

But that's all "so far so good", I think the major consideration is the number of groups and participants GW are planning where it's group team-work acting together that is the major combat requirement: The moddability just allows groups to get a group cohesion for whatever they need and depending on what their members have - to be flexible to form a group where indeed roles/classes come into their own? I've honestly not seen enough of the game's combat but that appears to be the general idea. You're not prescribing a class/role as much as allowing different tools for players to do just that in groups of varying size, varying opponents and contexts.

There's a few anomolies concerning alignment and reputation iirc, such as the Paladin and Necromancer incompatibility via those system's status for a character? But that is more of a corner case.

Anyway, just more tinder to warm the discussion back up with.

ROLLING DICE:

Murder by Numbers

  • We can do a lot more math.
  • We need the math to be more granular.
  • We need more levers we can use to balance equipment.
  • Our combat will be happening much faster.
  • We have to have a system that is fun for both PvP and PvE.
  • We're not using the OGL. (legal reasons and design above)
The blog goes on more eg
 
  1. The system rolls 3d200 (three random numbers ranging from 1-200) for the attacker. Using d200 instead of d20 gives us more granularity on results. This is one of the only random elements of attacks (other than critical chance): damage isn't independently randomized.
 
Gives a break-down of the conversion from a few dice to "many dice". Feel free to drop some questions off in the paizo forums > pathfinder online, and maybe the devs can chip in? That's all the background. We'll have to see when there's more combat to show (hopefully demos of 1v1 and groups and different roles in groups showcasing) during and after alpha in a few months or more.
 
  DanMan3395

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 11

Skol Vikings!

 
OP  3/24/14 4:38:46 PM#12

Right, What I am saying is that both of those options as listed by the devs represent far to much of a move from a role playing game like Pathfinder. 

If your one character can just learn every skill in the game he is just a superman. I get what they are going for, but I think its likely a mistake.

Skol Vikes!

  wmmarcellino

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/11
Posts: 7

4/11/14 2:35:26 PM#13
Originally posted by DanMan3395

If your one character can just learn every skill in the game he is just a superman. I get what they are going for, but I think its likely a mistake.

Dan, you can potentially (over a long enough time) learn all skills in the game (estimate 5 years).  But you can't use them all at any time.  So yes, a very old character can be a cleric today, and a rogue tomorrow.  But not both at the same time.  If you mix and match skills from different roles, you lose your dedication bonus.  So the older character isn't a superman, but does have more flexibillity.

This isn't a mistake, but rather a necessary adaption from PnP to a computer game.  Think about it, the mechanics that work great for a 3-6 person game played once a week for 2-5 hours at a sitting all around a common table, would suck for a computer game played by thousands, for 20-40 hours a week, physically alone and sharing a digital space.  So PFO has a pretty elegant solution to one of those adaption challenges by limiting absolute power (no supermen), but still giving players a way to advance their character over multi-year stretches.

 

Does that make sense?

  ThorgarWulfson

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/07
Posts: 6

5/19/14 2:56:59 PM#14

This was a pleasant thread to read, thank you. 

Though i hate to bring this up, a pleasant well thought out and articulated argument on an MMORPG thread may have kick started the apocalypse. So if the world ends before we get to try Pathfinder Online we know who to blame