Checking in on PvP
Earlier this year Pathfinder Online was given the green light for development when it successfully funded its second Kickstarter. It’s been 10 months since that second funding campaign and I thought it was as good a time as any to take a look in on Goblinworks and see what they have been working on.
Back in my original interviews with Ryan Dancey we learned that the game would have player versus player combat. At the time it was not clear on how this system would work. While the game is still in development and things are subject to change, Goblinworks has started to shed light on how PvP will weave itself into the game.
PvP is a central part of Pathfinder Online. In a recent blog post Ryan states that, “The first principle of our design for Pathfinder Online is ‘maximize meaningful human interaction.’” I’m hard pressed to think of an interaction between two players that can have more meaningful implications then one that will leave a player dead. Especially when you factor in player corpse looting… yes, you can lose your items, but more on that later.
There are four main types of PvP that exist in Pathfinder Online: settlement conflict, company conflict, factional conflict, and plain old criminal behavior. Because of criminal behavior no place in the game is truly a “safe” zone but there is a flagging system in place that highly discourages such behavior. The largest scale conflict in the game is settlement vs. settlement conflict and this is known as war. Company vs. company conflicts are known as feuds. There is also a persistent factional conflict taking place in the game. This has replaced the original idea of having players be at open conflict with each other based on alignment.
Taking part in commerce is an important aspect in Pathfinder Online. Controlling trade routes, establishing and controlling settlements to produce goods, controlling hexes that are rich in resources will all be a big part of many players’ Pathfinder experience. These activities will also be a huge source of conflict. If a bordering hex on the outskirts of your territory is rich in a resource you need it just might be worth going to war with a neighboring settlement to take control of that hex. Wars will be very draining on a settlement and are not projected to be prolonged affairs. It is also not expected that a settlement will be at war with more than one other settlement at a time. Wars are designed to primarily settle territorial disputes but you can lay siege to other settlements.
Feuds are designed with more casual PvP in mind, but can be used for a variety of reasons. Companies that are aligned to the same settlement can declare feuds on each other. Since company members will not be marked as criminals for killing each other when they are in a feud we could see players using feuds to practice their skills at PvP as well as establishing a pecking order within their settlement. Companies can also declare feuds against settlements. This could make smaller strategic points along settlement’s territorial borders vulnerable to attack and encourage then to be reinforced by companies.
Players will also be able to join factions. There will be requirements to join factions but as long as the factions you want to join are not directly opposed, you can join more than one at a time. This will increase the amount of players that you can PvP with. Players will have standings within factions and based on your standing PvP can become inevitable. Factions are completely voluntary and if you are adverse to PvP you do not have to join any. Or you can join one but keep your rank low enough that you will not make yourself a target.
Love it or hate it, player looting is going to be in Pathfinder Online. The developers have acknowledged that this has been a difficult topic to tackle and recognized three different agendas at odds here, that of the PvE player, that of the PvP player, and that of the economy as a whole. As of now this is the plan for what will happen to your loot when you die. 25% of your non-threaded items will be destroyed. (Threading is a way to bind items to you when you die). You will keep all of your “threaded” gear. Looting your corpse will be a three second action. This can be interrupted. It will pay to have friends by your side to help protect your corpse when you fall. For the first five minutes that you are dead anyone that attempts to loot your corpse and does not have looting rights will be flagged as a criminal. After the five minutes has expired anyone can loot your body, and take anything and everything that is not threaded. Pathfinder Online does have encumbrance in the game so chances are not everything you were carrying will be looted so it will be in your best interest to try and make it back to your corpse as quick as possible to recover your non-threaded items.
Player corpse looting has always been a controversial topic. While it definitely gives an extra incentive to be more thoughtful with your actions, there is always a group of players that is scared off at the prospect of losing their items to other people. What do you think of the proposed PvP system in Pathfinder Online? Are you looking forward to looting the hard won items off of your victim’s corpse or do you cringe at the thought that someone can steal your items that you have worked tirelessly to gather? Let me know in the comments below.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time in Eorzea pretending he is a Paladin in the Leviathan realm. You can also chase him down on twitter @Grakulen
Read more about Pathfinder Online at MMORPG.com:
· Pathfinder Online: Ryan Dancey Crafting Interview
· Pathfinder Online: A Sense of Pride
· Pathfinder Online: Three Kickstarted MMO’s