Tag Archives: MMO

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.

Traveller iPhone MMORPG Coming

Greetings, faithful readers! It’s been quiet around here because for the last week I’ve been at SXSW Interactive, the most bad ass tech conference in the world, in the most bad ass city in the world, Austin, TX.

Most of my time was spent in Important Technology Pursuits Well Lubricated With Free Alcohol, but the geek in me came out as I wandered by a booth in the Screenburn Arcade featuring a new Traveller-based MMO for the iPhone, Traveller AR. (AR stands for Augmented Reality.) It’s got an old school hex map and both trading and combat, and is being done by a bunch of folks with fondness for the tabletop RPG.  In fact, who did I get to meet in their booth?  None other than Loren Wiseman! (Middle rear in the pic below.)


There are few people with more Traveller chops than him (really only one, Marc Miller himself). You can go sign up for the beta, but hurry, it begins in April.

Also, for some weird reason, Mayfair Games had a booth showing off Settlers of Catan and their new America version. Good to see the old school games representing in the new world!