Fantasy Sandbox MMO Pathfinder Online Alpha Test Targeting April
Pathfinder Online, Goblinworks’ fantasy sandbox MMO based on the Pathfinder tabletop game, is gearing up for its Alpha Testing. In the latest developer blog, Ryan Dancey revealed that Alpha testing will probably start in April, or at latest during 2nd quarter of 2014.
"The question that everyone is asking is "when will Alpha testing begin?" Our answer is early in the 2nd quarter of 2014! The next quarter's milestone is targeted at getting us ready to begin Alpha testing and we expect that we will start that test in April. Right now we do not have firm dates or a process for how players will get access to the Alpha or how our Kickstarter backers who paid for Alpha access will be prioritized into the testing—those are all questions we'll answer in the first quarter as we determine critical system features like how much load we can put on the servers and what kinds of system requirements we need for testers, etc. We feel very confident right now in our processes and procedures."
Highlights of Pathfinder Online:
1. No Grinding- Pathfinder Online uses a skill training system like that of EVE Online. You train skills by choosing what skill you want to train and allowing the time required to elapse. You don't train any faster by farming mobs or spamming your abilities than you do exploring the world, role playing with your friends, or even being offline. You will need to complete certain achievements to complete a skill and open up new avenues of training.
2. No Classes- Unlike other games that give you a narrow range of abilities as you train your class, in Pathfinder you gain levels in different Roles based off what you have trained.
3. Player Structures- Build your own homes, taverns, farms, and even cities! The Pathfinder Online world will be filled with places players can use to build and customize their own homes, businesses and communities.
4. More Than A Gankfest- Unlike other Open World PVP MMO's currently on the market, Pathfinder Online actively discourages meaningless PVP. A meaningful alignment system that actually offers mechanical advantages to lawful and good aligned organizations, and a functional bounty system that allows the player to choose which players and organizations can collect the bounties they set discourages random and meaningless killing. Beyond this, the admins are taking a hard stance against 'griefing', in which players specifically seek to ruin the experience of other players, often through using game mechanics in ways that weren't intended. Griefing in PFO can be a bannable offence.
5. All Players are Useful- This won't be like games where a new player has 49 health and a veteran has 49,000. The attacks from that new player won't automatically miss the veteran. A new player will be weaker, but still able to make a meaningful contribution to combat. As a sandbox where group sizes aren't limited, this means all players are useful, and don't have to segregate themselves by level.
6. Trade is Meaningful- In Pathfinder Online players must manually transport items to their intended destination. Most shops are player-run, and there will be goods more abundant in or even exclusive to certain regions. Merchants, traders, and even auctioneers are all viable professions.