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Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks: Pathfinder's PvP 'provides meaningful context'

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks' latest Pathfinder developer blog went live this week, and in it CEO Ryan Dancey previews alpha version 10.0 which "closes a number of critical game loops" by adding several features.

Testers will experience increased character power, increased crafting abilities, and a new company/settlement UI, to name just a few of the improvements. Dancey also says that Pathfinder's PvP will "provide meaningful context" while acknowledging that "many people have serious reservations about PvP."

Dancey says that the solution to the problem of bad PvP behavior and "no-fun experiences" is the context. "When people struggle over something meaningful they behave differently than when PvP is just [a] random fight." How exactly will Pathfinder provide this context? You'll have to read the dev blog to find out!

[Thanks Chrysillis!]

Pathfinder Online begins alpha stress test

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Sandbox, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder
Pathfinder Online has thrown open its doors to all of its supporters for an important alpha stress test as the game transitions into Alpha 9.1.

The Alpha 9.1 update is primarily focused on bug fixes but also includes "more fluid and lifelike" animations, a faster character selection process, the ability to tab-target enemy players, and a doubled drop rate for common refining recipes. The team has also removed energy resistance from heavy armor to make light armor more desirable in various situations.

This stress test is part of the build-up to the repeatedly delayed early enrollment launch, which is currently scheduled for October 30th.

Pathfinder Online's latest alpha patch is live

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

The mysterious roaming Stress Test, a beast no one can confirm seeing.  There may be one hiding in this header.
After no small amount of hand-wringing, the latest alpha patch is live for Pathfinder Online, with the intent of eventually cracking open the servers for stress testing. It's a pretty important patch even without the aim of a stress test, though, as it expands the map size to its full early access scope and fixes a variety of issues with advancement and the game's overall systems. Even if you didn't get to play recently, the development is humming along.

Obviously those who didn't get to play also didn't get to experiment with the game's recent auction house functionality, which is explained in depth on the official site. Setting up an auction requires a starting price and a minimum price. Over the auction's duration, the price slowly decreases from the starting price down to the minimum; if no buyers are found at that discount rate, the auction ends unsuccessfully. Check out the full development blog for more details.

Pathfinder Online's early enrollment is delayed yet again

Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Subscription, Pathfinder Online, Buy-to-Play

Pathfinder Online has further delayed the start of its next testing phase, Goblinworks wrote on its blog yesterday in a post titled Early Enrollment Will Not Start This Week:
There are a lot of final pieces coming into place to turn Pathfinder Online into a Minimum Viable Product so all of our early adopters can play and have a great time. The Auction House didn't make it in for a build last week and that is a critical feature of our MVP. As always, Goblinworks is dedicated to making sure the players have a solid and fun game experience. As a result we are going to reschedule the start of Early Enrollment. The team is developing their roadmap and when we have a revised start date we will provide an updated blog to present that plan. We appreciate your continued patience.
Those of you playing along at home will recall that this is the third such delay. On September 3rd, early enrollment was shifted to September 22nd for bug fixing; a week later, it was set for September 25th to accommodate, Goblinworks said, its players' vocal "desire to have the whole early enrollment map ready for play on the first day of early enrollment." Early enrollment is the equivalent of paid early access for backers and incurs a subscription fee.

Pathfinder Online gears up for a stress test

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

I feel like one of them should have a pitchfork to accentuate the dourness.
The early access period of Pathfinder Online has been delayed a little bit, but the game is still moving forward, and that means opening up for stress testing. On September 20th the game's current alpha client will be receiving an update for a variety of game mechanics; following that, the servers will open their doors on September 22nd for all players who have Open, Early, Explorer, or Alpha access. This means that more people than ever will be allowed to fire up the game and start playing.

Access will be provided on a rolling basis, chiefly to prevent a huge rush of people from all attempting to log into the game at the exact same moment. The goal, as with any stress test, is to ensure that the system can handle itself under severe loads. The official update offers more details on what's coming for the 22nd as well as mechanical changes players can look forward to when the test version goes live.

Pathfinder Online further delays early enrollment to include more map

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, Patches, Sandbox, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder
When will Pathfinder Online's early enrollment period begin? The answer to that question continues to change as its studio makes last-minute adjustments. Originally it was supposed to be September 15th, which then was pushed to September 22nd for more work on alpha features, and it's now delayed until September 25th in order to give players a larger initial game world. Players who have early enrollment access will be able to access the wipeable alpha (if they don't have it already) starting on the 18th.

"Our community has been very vocal about their desire to have the whole early enrollment map ready for play on the first day of early enrollment, and we're making changes to our deployment plans to accommodate that desire," Goblinworks posted. The studio also said that it will be delaying the start of the War of Towers until October 16th and that the Mac client should be ready to go by the start of early enrollment.

In the meantime, the team is consolidating its alpha patches into a single large patch for tomorrow and then will be doing updates on Thursdays going forward.

The Daily Grind: Would you pay a sub for an alpha?

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

The MMO community is fast becoming inured to the idea that we're now expected to pay a lump sum for alpha and beta access rather than exchange our testing time for early access. But what about paying a subscription for that access?

Pathfinder Online is banking on it. At last weekend's PAX Prime, we learned that the Goblinworks dev team will be charging players $15 a month to play the alpha (they're calling it "early enrollment" to their "minimum viable product," but it amounts to what most of us would call an alpha). The upside is that character data won't be wiped, so that makes it more like a very incomplete soft launch, but it's still a novelty in the industry.

Would you pay a sub for an alpha?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Pathfinder Online delays early enrollment to September 22nd

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

On the plus side, that's still a day within spitting distance.
If you're looking forward to early enrollment in Pathfinder Online, you're going to have to wait a week longer; the early enrollment period is being nudged back a week to a September 22nd start date. Why the delay? In short, the last alpha test wound up missing some important features and made it very clear that the features that were implemented still needed some work. Fixes are being worked on, and a few quick solutions are suggested for players participating in the alpha process.

Some features are also having their release dates altered; companies, for example, are now due for implementation after early enrollment begins. Terrain features are also going to have a staggered rollout, with a third ready at the start of early enrollment and the remainder coming later. Take a look at the full update for more detailed explanation of what's coming and when for both testers and fans.

PAX Prime 2014: Paying a premium for Pathfinder Online

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, PvP, Sandbox, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder online
Would you pay to get into an alpha test? Well, would you continue to pay a monthly subscription to keep on playing a title that's not yet launched? If you've answered "yes" to these questions plus the special one that I ask at the end of this article, then you're one of the folks that Pathfinder Online hopes to recruit for early enrollment come September 15th.

I sat down with Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey and Game Designer Stephen Chaney at PAX Prime yesterday to talk about this next big step for the game. Pathfinder Online is still far from feature complete, but the team considers it done enough that it can monetize the game in the form of a monthly sub. The 20,000 or so folks who will be admitted into early enrollment play (a number that includes the 7,000 Kickstarter backers) are expected to pay $15 a month as the team continues to develop the title. In exchange, characters and progress will not be wiped, and players will get to see the game take shape around them.

Goblinworks' philosophy is to have a robust game design first and then wrap the rest of the game around it afterward. Dancy said that the monetization is necessary to keep the lights on and the development rolling. The budget for a finished Pathfinder Online is $5 million (89% of which is salaries), but only $1.4 million has been raised so far.

Being only passingly familiar with Pathfinder Online, I asked why the MMO with its territory control seems so different from the small party, adventure-oriented tabletop game. The reason for this is that the pen-and-paper game doesn't completely translate to software boundaries, plus it draws from an adventure pack that Paizo tested a while back that went on to become one of its best-selling products. In both versions of Pathfinder, the long game is to rule the land and establish a legacy, not merely fill up a bag with XP and loot.

So is it worth it to you to pay a full subscription price for a half-finished game? That's up to you.

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Latest Pathfinder Online devblog emphasizes player-driven economy

Fantasy, Economy, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Pathfinder Online

Although players in Pathfinder Online's Alpha 7 run will earn 5,000 XP per hour (in order to help them test more things), the latest devblog warns that things will get decidedly harder once gameplay starts after Early Enrollment. At that point players will face a "cold start," beginning the game with only simple peasant clothes, a club, and 1,000 XP to spend on initial feats. Everything else, from feats to gear to cash, will grow from that.

The devblog also details the player-driven economy; by design, nearly everything characters use will be player-crafted. Mobs will drop only starter equipment, coin, salvage, or -- the rarest and most valuable -- recipes. Players can only upgrade gear past the starter level through crafting, and gear can be crafted with certain key words that add bonuses when combined with specific slotted feats. For full details, and a look at what Pathfinder devs are doing at PAX Prime, check out the official site.

Quests, Elves, and Dwarves coming soon to Pathfinder Online

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Races, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder online
Pathfinder Online's alpha is growing by leaps and bounds as evidenced by two upcoming builds that will take shape over the next few weeks. In them, the devs are adding in essential systems like questing along with new races.

With next week's alpha 7 build, questing and companies will be introduced into the game as will possible new terrain types. Then when alpha 8 comes along, the sandbox MMO will make the jump to its early enrollment servers. This update will also include Elves, Dwarves, a graphical upgrade, expendables, storage, auction houses, banks, and more terrain options.

Part of the purpose of these new builds is to conduct what the devs are calling a "cold start" to see how players advance when they begin with nothing but a club and the clothes on their back. "Everything your character possesses and every ability your character learns after that point will be totally dependent on how you choose to play the game," the devs posted.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

Perfect Ten: How to spend $46,750 on MMO crowdfunding purchases

Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, The Repopulation, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pathfinder Online, Trove

sota
Do you ever look at your wallet and say, "Ugh, this thing is too full! It's causing a bruise on my tushie every time I sit, and no gas station ever has change for a thousand-dollar bill!" Are you tired of the endless cycle of purchasing luxury sedans to roll them off cliffs only to realize that the auto industry is making them faster than they can be destroyed?

We here at Massively feel your pain, and just as soon as I finished eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs made from endangered birds, I hopped off the company's gold yacht and got to work tracking down ways that you could relieve yourself of the burden of wealth.

So here is my plan, in 10 simple steps, for you to shed $46,750 of your bank account, all by blowing your enormous disposable income on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding options. No, please don't thank me by sending me a gigantic check. I would only shred it to use in my robo-hamster's cage.

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Pathfinder early access starts September 15, cash shop structures revealed

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks has posted some "major announcements" on its Pathfinder Online website. They include the start date for early enrollment (September 15th) as well as tweaks to early enrollment packages and a new Explorer Access package.

Gameplay-wise, the firm has unveiled premium cash shop items, which it says "are not going to be mechanically superior to player-character crafted items." Two of the items will regenerate power, though, so it's worth reading the full explanation if you're concerned about potential monetization intrusions in your fantasy sandbox.

Finally, GoblinWorks talks up Pathfinder's individual player structures, which are also available via the cash shop. Base camps serve as adventure-sustaining settlements when you're far from home, and they remain active for five days once deployed. Once they despawn, they're on a 15-day cooldown. They're priced at $50. Smallholdings are also available and feature "a substantial amount of local storage" for $200.

The Stream Team: Poking in the Pathfinder Online alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Video, First Impressions, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

Have you been eager to see what is happening behind the Pathfinder Online developmental curtain? Massively's MJ has sneaked in and will be poking around the alpha to see how things are coming along. Starting with character creation, she'll peek into as many corners as possible to show off this upcoming crowdfunded sandbox. Can she get to housing, crafting, adventuring, and exploring? Obviously because it is alpha, things won't be finished, but chances of experiencing everything in a short time is still pretty low! Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to let MJ know what aspects you want to see the most while she has the chance to show you.

Game: Pathfinder Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, July 26th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Betawatch: July 5 - 11, 2014

World of Warcraft, Betas, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Shroud of the Avatar, Pathfinder Online, Landmark

ArcheAge
ArcheAge dazzled MMORPG players this week with the announcement that its closed beta will kick off on July 17th. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup for the week of July 5th to 11th is below.

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