Pathfinder Online has a new investor interested in taking over the game

Acting CEO Lisa Stevens has good news for Pathfinder Online fans – the game may have found the investors it has been looking for. According to her most recent dispatch to the fans, the new company is still in negotiations, but if they are successful it would be investing more into the game than Goblinworks had been able to invest in the game over four years of development. Assuming everything goes well, the undisclosed company would take control of the game in March of 2016.

Regardless of the game’s financial future, the developers have continued to work on bugfixes and improvements to the game, such as adding in support for cloaks and backpacks for characters. The next patch to the game is expected for January of 2016 after the team gets back from New Year celebrations. Hopefully 2016 will be a more positive year for fans of the game, although nothing seems to be finalized just yet.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Tyburn, Rhet, Goldstariv, and TJ for the tips!
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Wakkander
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Wakkander

iridescence Tridus Wakkander DPandaren Giggilybits A new investor could turn things around, who can say if they will though. I’d love nothing better than to see the game manage a degree of success simply because it would help build the brand, even if its current direction is nonsensical.

iridescence
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iridescence

Tridus iridescence Wakkander DPandaren Giggilybits You’re not wrong. As someone who loves the overall concept and has already put more money into this mess than pretty much any video game ever I still find everything about how this game was marketed a collosal clusterfuck. I want to have a glimmer of hope at this announcement but honestly it may be ruined beyond repair.

Wakkander
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Tridus iridescence Wakkander DPandaren Giggilybits I would like to agree about Paizo, but then Lisa Stevens has repeatedly gone to bat for the game and its design goals. Which I can see her in a difficult position, trying to not take a loss on the effort, but the blind backing of the design and lack of acknowledgement of the criticism makes it hard to do so.

Tridus
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Tridus

iridescence Tridus Wakkander DPandaren Giggilybits I don’t hate it, at all. I just don’t understand how people putting money into this ever thought it could possibly succeed. Surely Paizo knows their own players better than to think this would work?

The game is so discordant with it’s own IP that it makes no sense to me how it ever got the green light. 

It was interesting when I polled the local pathfinder society players though. Most didn’t know it existed. Those that did had the same reaction: “ugh.” Only one city’s organized player base, but that is not exactly favorable.

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iridescence Tridus Wakkander DPandaren Giggilybits While I agree hating it for not being what it was never intended to be is pointless, the problem is that it does tie up the license so that a more faithful MMO cannot take advantage of it. So I think it fair to have an active dislike for the game since it is Pathfinder in name only that for its lifespan inhibits the ability for an alternative, faithful, Pathfinder MMO. If you want to explore Golarion, see the giant ruins of Varisia, the far off lands of Tian Xia, or view the majestic Starstone Cathedral, it is not likely to happen while this one exists. A game that doesn’t reflect the rules, theme, or playstyle and takes place in a single region that while interesting in the table top game, doesn’t seem to feature the things that make it interesting in this particular game.

iridescence
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iridescence

Tridus iridescence Wakkander DPandaren Giggilybits Really I think the only reason for the Pathfinder name was marketing. It was always intended to be much more “EVE Online with swords and magic ” rather than “”play your tabletop game in an MMO setting”. I see no reason to hate the game for not being something it was never intended to be (Fine to hate it right now for being a half finished ugly piece of crap that hopefully the new company will fix though :) ) 

I did hear Obsidian got the Pathfinder licence so maybe we will get a single player RPG Pathfinder Offline game as well. I’d love to play that and no reason both couldn’t exist.
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Tridus
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Tridus

iridescence Wakkander DPandaren Tridus Giggilybits Then the obvious question is: why make this game at all? If they can’t figure out how to make a Pathfinder MMO that might appeal to the Pathfinder audience in any way whatsoever, maybe the smart thing to do is not make a Pathfinder MMO.

They could have made a Pathfinder single player RPG. They could have made something like what Shadow Realms was pitched as before being cancelled: a group of players and a DM (with good creation tools for the DM, this would most closely mirror a real Pathfinder game). They could have made something like DDO. They could have even tried to figure out how to make a cooperative massive game work.

They did none of those things. They went almost as far in the opposite direction as it’s possible to go, short of making it an arena deathmatch FPS or a racing car game. They ended up with a game that’s called Pathfinder, but has gameplay that has nothing to do with Pathfinder whatsoever and which thus holds no appeal to the overwhelming majority of the target market of the IP: Pathfinder players.

Maybe they did want to make a game “where large groups of people come together to accomplish things and oppose each
other”, and that’s fine. But that’s not Pathfinder. “Little groups all doing their own thing like DDO” is Pathfinder.

If they’re going set out to make “not Pathfinder”, they should not call it “Pathfinder”. What they did makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and comes off as some guys wanting to make their idea for an MMO and just finding whatever IP was available.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

iridescence Wakkander DPandaren Tridus Giggilybits Which would have been possible without open world PvP. With it however, where is the audience? Certainly not enough of a PvP community to support the original development, which regardless of PFO’s own level of quality, is already split amid countless indie MMO’s whose focus is open world sandbox PvP. Its an already crowded niche that isn’t very large to begin with.
The community that surrounds Pathfinder isn’t one made up of hardcore PvPer’s, nor hardcore crafters, or city building enthusiasts. It is made up of people who enjoy working together to overcome the odds, and perhaps importantly, highly dedicated and creative DM’s who can, have, and will spend countless hours crafting adventures, dungeons, and other homebrew material.
It even already has a subset of players who want to play a more limited experience, the pathfinder society is a set of organized play where players play common adventures. Something that gives a perfect lore basis for an MMO. 
The opportunity was there for them to build on any of this, and instead they went about as far into the other direction as possible, and one that doesn’t even have much evidence for being a success. I would have hated a WoW clone, but at least there are examples of success in that field.

iridescence
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iridescence

Wakkander iridescence DPandaren Tridus Giggilybits OK, that’s an interesting point. I never played KingMaker, just heard of it. I think the problem is that co-operative play makes sense in a small group which PnP games are made for, it’s much harder to translate that experience to a game with thousands of players at one time. Not saying it’s impossible. In fact DDO does a decent job of replicating that experience but it is an almost  completely instanced game which doesn’t feel very “massive” I think PFO wanted to make the game where large groups of people come together to accomplish things and oppose each other rather than just little groups of players all doing their own thing like DDO is.

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iridescence DPandaren Tridus Giggilybits The Kingmaker modules were a series of six interconnected adventures where the party cooperatively ruled a kingdom while dealing with NPC rivals and monsters. I ran it for my group, unfortunately it went quite awry for them and the party got wiped by trolls and traitors after a series of shenanigans. (Tip: Inviting an evil lumber consortium to set up shop in your kingdom in return for giving them seats on the government might not have been a great idea, especially not even trying to negotiate with them over it.)
It had no PvP, nor was it designed for PvP. Pathfinder like 3.5, AD&D 2.0, and Basic, and even 4e and D&D Next, are not made for PvP. All of them are self described cooperative roleplaying games.
I don’t think anyone who is criticizing the PvP direction is arguing that it should have been a wow clone/raid grinder. Many ideas for PFO regarding its PvE content is positive, the escalation system I think is fantastic in concept. But that is a far cry from the cooperative experience fans of the table top game are familiar with and would be looking for out of a licensed title.