Pathfinder MMO Sounding Not Too Thrilling

More info is coming out on the new Pathfinder MMO being worked on by Goblinworks, an outfit with Ryan Dancey, Lisa Stevens, and Mark Kalmes.

Sadly, it’s not thrilling me.  I’d like to like it, I like those people and Paizo and Golarion and Pathfinder but it doesn’t seem compelling.  Connect the dots with me.

They are fanatically against making a “themepark” MMO, which sounds to me like a code word for “a MMO we have to make content for.” Eh, OK.

It’s set in Golarion, in the River Kingdoms, which is good.  But they contend that the normal levelling mechanic that Pathfinder (and most MMOs) use is no good and they want to use the EVE Online model.  For those unfamiliar with EVE, you get better at skills in realtime (not game time), meaning that those who got into the game first end up being the best.

This is combined with their plan to not let many people into the game, to dribble it in stages, 4500 players a month. So those first people are guaranteed to always be better, have better skills, etc. than anyone who comes later, no matter how much they play or kill or earn or whatever.

This sucks and it’s why none of my friends played EVE Online for more than a month. In their first blog post they say they want to avoid the spike and crash pattern, but the fix to that is to make sure anyone joining after start gets a progressively worse deal? Sounds to me like the “little bump then whimper” pattern.

So then also, it’s a PVP game, and when someone kills you they can loot your corpse.  They don’t get everything, but what they don’t get is destroyed so you still lose everything except what you had equipped.

So goody, you get to act out a paranoid fantasy, fanatically avoiding other people because it’s likely that they are part of a huge roving Lord Humongous band out to kill you and loot your corpse. That’s some bullshit right there. There’s a bounty system and guards in towns to slightly mitigate this but it’s really pretty awful.

Dancey came onto the Paizo forums to defend this as “not being theme parkey” and “well you just have to be in a party all the time, soloing is for WoW lovers” and some of the fanboys are behind them “catering to the niche” and “not selling out” but… really? Great, I can only do things rolling 12 deep for self defense and then also competing with everyone I’m with for resources.  Forget it, let’s just hunt PCs!

They claim to be against griefing but this basically sounds like a custom recipe for a big non-fun game.

13 responses to “Pathfinder MMO Sounding Not Too Thrilling

  1. Mate its an MMO: By definition its going to suck… Thats the primary characteristic of all MMO’s. Sure this one will suck more then most, but frankly are you all the surprised? MMO’s do not work for the most part. Some are more broken then others, but none of them actually work the way they are meant to.

    • your kidding right? mmo’s have been my favorite genre and the ONLY games ive played for more than a few hours for the last 15 years of my life LOL.

      one thing we can agree on is this one will suck. Mostly because the skills are based on time elapsed. They just took WoW’s civil rights to the noobs mentality and injected it w/ crack cocaine filled lemon juice.

      seriously dumb idea. YOu just instantly took away any and all motiviation hardcore players have for being hardcore lol.

  2. I have a tough time understanding people trying to bring back the super hardcore MMO model. All recent attempts have failed. Anyone remember Vangard? And Eve Online has been successful but not exactly a monster hit. A secure niche of players keep it rolling a long. So long as the company stays small they can keep the game evolving. But they just downsized after over extending themselves with WoD MMO. Hopefully Pazio avoids some of the drama and scandal that occurred when devs playe favorites in the community. The slow leak of players into the game already hints of this favored status depending on how those initial accounts are chosen.

  3. They seem to be rather naive about MMO’s in the past. Failures to be exact… For example WWII Online…

    “Imagine three main types of characters: People Who Fight, People Who Make, and People Who Build. In Pathfinder Online, each of these three character types provide content for the other two, and each needs contributions from the other two in order to thrive. ”

    Right there, they are going to find snags. People Who Fight tend to be in the majority of most MMO’s that I’ve run across. Reason I bring up the WWII Online was they tried to set it up with similar concepts, only having truck drivers and support personnel. All well in good, until most of your player base decides the only way they will play is if they get to drive Tiger tanks or fly P-51 Mustangs; i.e. People Who Fight.

    Sure, quite a few good RP guilds out there actually sustain an economy of People who Build and People Who Make on a small scale, but if they don’t develop some of the market systems that mature MMO’s have….

    …Talk bad about WoW all you want. There is a reason they have existed since 2004 very strongly. Same with Everquest (even if its merely a shadow of its former self). Sometimes, you aren’t going to avoid some “MMO’ness” if you want to survive.

  4. Wow, that sounds truly awful…

  5. I’m glad that I’ve dumped MMOs in favour of pure tabletop gaming. The Pathfinder MMO sounds really bad. I could see Pathfinder essentially being like Second Life only with some built-in mechanics for dealing with fights and classes. That would allow there to be DMs and players and a truly interactive environment without the fear of griefing and whatnot. But I can also see why a lot of people wouldn’t want that.

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  7. Just this past weekend I mentioned to my Pathfinder group that there was an MMO coming out and we were all mildly pumped (not knowing any details). This sounds exactly like a game I will avoid if it stays on this track. I’m not huge into always on PVP and the skilling up while offline is pretty meh. I’d rather skill up while actually playing the game. Oh well, more research and watching.

  8. slagging a game off before anyone has even seen it, very smart…

    • If they don’t want people forming opinions, they wouldn’t be posting detailed writeups this far in advance about what the game’s going to be like. I suppose you like to just sit back and uncritically consume all prepublished hype?

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  10. Dumbest decision ever by Paizo. What they should be making is a Baldur’s Gate clone. Full party, top-down, tactical combat, with heavy storyline elements, and meaningful decisions. I’ve never seen Eve mentioned even once on a D&D or Pathfinder related message board. For the most part the type of gamer that appreciates Eve-style PVP is not a tabletop RPG player. What a waste of the first venture of Pathfinder into the video game world.

  11. Aoi Tamashii

    While the sales quota idea sounds like a bridge too far, I think the general ideas behind the MMO so far are decent ones. Also remember — the game is worse than vaporware at the moment, as they haven’t even begun writing code. This is all design document stuff we’re talking about here.

    I could be mistaken, but the way grouping would work in the game sounds intriguing: You form a group for a specific purpose, and when the goal of the group is achieved, everyone gets their reward. (Or am I way off base here?)

    Eg: You want to take a trade caravan from City A to City B. You form a Trade Group and people sign up for the various roles of the party — the rewards are placed automatically in escrow by the group leader. When the caravan reaches it’s destination, everyone gets their reward.

    This would allow for a lot of realistic open-world events to occur, while streamlining the process to make it easier to form groups, and avoid certain exploitative behavior.

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