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Pathfinder Online

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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Pathfinder Online releases new alpha client

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder
Pathfinder Online alpha testers have a shiny new client to test out, an upgrade that hopefully will distract them from the requisite XP and inventory wipe.

The new client includes better lighting, animation fixes, coin drops from mobs, additional utility feats, and a better distribution of resource nodes. NPCs have also been given a speed boost to cut down on the ease of kiting by players.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

Pathfinder Online formally opens alpha to backers

Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, News Items, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder
"Ladies and Gentlemen and Miscellaneous Humanoids of all Types," wrote Ryan Dancey on the Goblinworks website today, "It is my great pleasure to announce that we are beginning the formal Alpha Test of Pathfinder Online."

According to Dancey, invitations are now en route to Kickstarter backers and everyone who purchased alpha access through the official game store, so check your email if you ponied up. You can also check out the release notes to clue you in on what's in the alpha and what isn't quite.

For those not participating in the test, the studio plans to livestream the current build tomorrow -- that is, Friday, June 27th, at 6 p.m. EDT -- on its Twitch channel.

Pathfinder Online takes crowdforging seriously

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder
Goblinworks, whose sandbox MMO Pathfinder Online entered alpha earlier this month, is turning to hopeful players for crowdforging purposes by way of the IdeaScale platform. You've probably seen the concept used for software and mobile development already: Players post mechanics and gameplay suggestions and ideas, and other contributors vote them up to show the developers where to focus time and effort.

The Goblinworks team has highlighted a number of ideas via Twitter, including player books, gender neutrality, clothing dye, beast taming, and terrain as impediment. You can check out and contribute to the entire list of suggestions on the official site.

Pathfinder Online details the War of Towers

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

Not pictured in this screenshot: towers, wars.
If you're gearing up for Early Enrollment in Pathfinder Online, you'll be pleased to know that your experience will be a bit more robust than planned. When the development team looked at the minimum viable early access product, it didn't appear indicative of what the game was supposed to be in the long run, but there was no way to get the full territory control system in without a lot of further work. So what could be done? Why, a stripped-down version.

Dubbed the War of Towers, the system will reward players for capturing and controlling towers near one of the existing Settlements, allowing those Settlements to advance and improve in new directions. There's a video available just past the break that explains the details of how this tower capturing works, but the short version is that it should at least fill a gap until the full territory control system can be rolled out later.

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