Pathfinder Online announced

While I’m decidedly mixed on the idea of doing a kickstarter for a tech demo (on the one hand: kickstart whatever the hell you want, who cares. On the other: tech demo, really?), it’s completely absurd to suggest that “all they are doing is proving there is demand for the book”.

In fact, they are proving no such thing. People are giving to it in the hopes that this leads to a nice round of funding from ventures/angels/etc, because they are in some way interested in Pathfinder Online. No, I didn’t ask any of the investers if they thought this; instead I used common sense.

Isn’t Goblinworks a subsidiary of Paizo? from their own FAQ page:

Paizo is a founding owner of Goblinworks, and is providing operational support to Goblinworks. Lisa Stevens is a founding owner of both Goblinworks and Paizo, as well as the CEO of Paizo and the COO of Goblinworks.

Paizo isn’t exactly hurting for cash… Kickstarting when you aren’t actually in need is distasteful imo. I’d like Kickstarter to stay indie centric and hope we don’t start seeing EA and others crowding the kickstarter space.

I’m a fan of Paizo and Pathfinder and I feel they are proposing some new and interesting ideas for their MMO. This Kickstarter project feels weird though. They’re asking you to fund their pitch to ask for more money from someone else. Of course, I suppose that makes for an interesting pitch. “Hey, we have this idea for a game. We even got people to give us $50k for it despite the fact that we’ve not even written a single line of code for it! Just think how much they’d pay if we actually made it!”

The kickstarter is pretty much a done deal as they’re now only $500 off their goal. By the time I submit this post, they’ll probably have it.

And I was right. Hahah. They hit their goal.

This isn’t taking on any of the big MMO names like WoW, SWTOR, or GW2. This is more like DarkFall or ShadowBane or something. It’s essentially a sandbox MMO with full pvp and a player-driven economy/buildings/enforcement. They are also using as much COTS middleware as possible, to reduce the development time. Who knows how it will end up since they haven’t even begun to implement anything in SW yet, but the ideas sound interesting.

And here I was hopIng these were a suite of kick ass online tools of the type wizards promised and never delivered.

I’d play that in a heartbeat.

Judging from the interest in the genre, others would as well - Hell, people are even playing a shadowbane emulator because they are starved for this kind of gameplay and DAOC is running on what, 9th year by now?

Considering Dancey was at CCP for however many years, I wouldn’t be surprised if the game was closer to the Eve model of MMO than the WoW/Diku model. I suspect there’s a lot more room in that market, especially if you aim low with a relatively low-budget game and grow into something more developed, like what Eve did.

There are a lot of MMOs still running after that length of time, including things like Everquest and Asheron’s Call (hell, Everquest is still actively being expanded). There’s a market for it, certainly, but I don’t think it’s nearly as big as many sandbox PvPers seem to think.

Yeah probably not as big a market as wow look-a-likes.

On the other hand, we have Eve which is pretty much the defining pvp sandbox game and thats doing pretty well.

New kickstarter is up for the actual game development. Release date = 2016. I think I’ll sit this one out.

I still greatly prefer Pathfinder over the current 4th Ed D&D, but I have no urge to play a MMO of it.

I really hope they do something special with this, like implementing a “dungeon master” system and community driven questing ala Neverwinter Nights.

Good grief, 2016? I thought they said they were going to use as much COTS middleware as possible to minimize the development time. I realize MMOs are big projects, but that doesn’t seem very minimal to me. Also, I guess they didn’t get the memo that subscriptions are not exactly all the rage these days. I hope they don’t try to go for the $15 a month option, that seems to be drying up now and who knows what it will look like in 2016.

Hmmm. I adore Pathfinder but I…remain unconvinced yet. I watch with an eyebrow raised.