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Pathfinder Online Column: What Makes You Pledge?

By Cassandra Khaw on January 16, 2013

Kickstarters are scary. There's never any real guarantee that what you see is what you're going to get. For all of the lush screenshots and the promising videos, there's always the chance that things might go awry. Developers might vanish on people. Mistakes may happen. Inexperience may kick in. The number of possible variables and things that could go wrong are terrifying, to say the least.

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As such, it's pretty understandable that most would not care to pledge their funds to something being built by untested developers. Indies with a big vision? Scary. Very much so. Nonetheless, what's interesting is how this seems to have extended to even the big names.

Not too long ago, there was more than a hint of concern that Pathfinder Online would not make it to the finish line. With mere hours left, it was still a punishing six figures away from its goal. Twitter kept, well, fluttering with anxious beseechments to assist the project. Needless to say, it eventually edged into completion - the funding drive finished with an impressive-sounding $1,091,194.

Now, all said and done, that's an impressive figure. Nonetheless, it's only a little over the target that they had set. They barely made it.

Under ordinary circumstances, this wouldn't be such a big deal but Pathfinder Online isn't something dreamt up by a cluster of students. The people behind it? They have an extensive pedigree. A quick glance at the Kickstarter Project would reveal as much. Here, we see the Creator of the World of Darkness game and founder of White Wolf Publishing. There, we see famous author Michael A. Stackpole and Ed Greenwood, the dude who created the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting. Need more proof? We even have the elite of Paizo Publishing listed amidst the all-star team.

Of course, there is only so much that an assembly of big names can do. A game needs to be special. Unique. In an industry that is already over-saturated by copycats and hopefuls, a new MMO needs to pull out all the stops. Once again, a quick perusal of the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter page reveals elements that should have drawn excited squealing. According to what they have listed out, the game is intended to be class-free (you gain levels in different Roles), equipped with player structures (Want to build your own city? It's certainly plausible), free from unnecessary PvP and a place where trade has meaning. If you've ever wanted to escort a merchant caravan to its destination, this would be your dream game.

For all intents and purposes, we have a winning formula right here; Pathfinder Online should have been buried under a tsunami of excited pledges. 

But, it wasn't.

It'd be fun to speculate on what made people leery but there are a whole slew of possible reasons. Instead, I've got a question for you all: what makes you pledge to a project? What is it that entices you into offering your hard-earned cash to a Kickstarter? 


Check out more of Cassandra's "Independency" columns:

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