Pathfinder Online MMO

Kickstarter Background

Earlier this week Goblinworks announced their second Kickstarter for the Pathfinder Online MMO. This kickstarter has a lofty goal of raising $1,000,000 to speed up the production of the MMO. They have 45 days to raise this money.

Goblinworks did a Kickstarter this summer to raise funds for the Technology Demo. This demo was going to be used to show investors what the team was capable of and to show Goblinworks was serious about this endeavor. They managed to raise over $300,000 for that Kickstarter when they set out to raise only $50,000.

I was a backer of the original kickstarter, primarily because they lured me in with so many Pathfinder products – a module, flip-mats, and such. Those “perks” were what drew me to that Kickstarter more so than the burning desire to support the Technology Demo itself.

This current Kickstarter is another well-stated Kickstarter and does seek to answer many of the questions I have heard in various forums, podcasts, and other sources. They state why they are doing this one and exactly what they hope to achieve. They also list who they have working on this project. The FAQ at the bottom of the Kickstarter page really does do a good job of answering many of the common questions I have heard floating about in regards to this second Kickstarter.

A recurring concern I hear frequently is what MMO experience do they have on the team to get this product launched. Goblinworks has not hid this information in the past, nor do they now. The Kickstarter page addresses the credentials of the lead staff being used on this project.

There are several price points to buy in at, $35 gets you a digital copy of the game and access when open enrollment hits. $100 gets you the same, plus some supplement PDFs and early access to the beta. Many more backing levels exist, but those are the two major points of entry depending on how much access you want to the game.

Finally we have the target release dates. The beta is expected in the summer of 2014 and final release is expected in early 2016. Those dates are if the Kickstarter funds. Otherwise with the current investment levels they have the release dates are much further out.

My Thoughts

First, I think a lot of the questions surrounding this second Kickstarter have already been answered by Goblinworks. They have done a really good job of trying to answer most questions and be forthcoming about the motivation for this second Kickstarter. Many of the questions such as are there other investors, who has MMO experience, and such area already answered. Read the FAQ on the Kickstarter page.

The Kickstarter already has several excited backers with 1400+ backing as I write this and $157,000+ raised towards their goal.

My major concerns are simply the length of time until the rewards are realized. I am not comfortable locking up $100 or even $35 until the summer of 2014. I have a limited gaming budget. Taking the $100 or $35 out of the budget now to put towards this is less money I have to purchase RPG materials or video games that are already out. Money that is already scarce.

Of course this is tempered by the fact I am not craving a Pathfinder MMO. Certainly I will check it out when it is released, whether that be 2014 or later, but I don’t have a burning desire to put my funds towards its completion.

Beyond the hesitation of tying up funds for an extended period of time, I do wonder about some of the game design decisions. Certainly these will likely evolve over time.

First, it appears that all play is supposed to be on a single server. Putting everyone on one server seems like it could pose some issues. The first of which being server load. I am hoping they mean a single server cluster that can scale to the load of course. But given the number of MMOs that tend to spread the load across multiple servers and allowing them to have PvP, PvE, and RP servers I think even a single instance could be limiting.

The Player-vs-Player situation has me wondering as well. From the FAQ they state most of the world will allow PvP. I know I am getting older, but when I play MMO’s I don’t really feel like logging in to get beat down by someone that has more time to play and has built themselves up more quickly. It just isn’t my thing. I know some people enjoy the challenge of PvP and at one time that was likely more my thing. But today, I like to play MMO’s on the non-PvP servers.

I do wish Goblinworks well in this endeavor and it appears there are many people that are very excited about a Pathfinder MMO. I think that is awesome, this one just doesn’t seem like it is for me just yet.

What are your thoughts on the Pathfinder Online MMO? Or even this second kickstarter to help speed development up?