If you're a tabletop fanatic, chances are you've heard of Pathfinder. A rework and expansion of classic D&D rules, it gives players incentive to actually stay with their classes the full 20 levels of play. More feats, new core features like cantrips and orisons (0-level spells that aren't expended when cast), mechanic tweaks on several classes, and 'capstone' level 20 rewards that are extremely powerful for each respective class.
Taking off with a frenzy in the world of tabletop gamers, this extensive revamp has grown into several books, miniatures, games, novels, and more -- even its own convention! Now, the team joins with Goblinworks to make Pathfinder Online into a reality. This innovative sandbox MMORPG encourages exploration, development, adventure, and domination with a persistent game universe heavily affected by the players.
The heart of the game is a territorial struggle for control of land. All the territory in the game is divided into old-school "hexes", and player-run organizations will be able to claim ownership of most Hexes and create Settlements as bases of operations. Hexes will change as they're settled and in response to the actions of the players who live in the hex. The key mechanic for this is what we call "escalation"; if the players don't keep managing things like monstrous humanoid camps or monster spawn points, the threats in the hex will get worse and more powerful over time.
A breakdown of some of the more awesome features:
- A real-time skill training system gives more meaning and investment to abilities, even allowing players to unlock new ones by earning achievements.
- 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.
- All players are useful -- there are differences between a veteran and new player, however even newbies can make meaningly contributions to combat. With no group caps, this means everyone is appreciated.
- Join a vast array of organizations run by players, create your own organization, or even be a lone wolf! Fight for your friends, your ideals, power, profits, or personal freedom. The choice is yours. The alliances, the betrayals, crushing defeats and glorious victories are all real, meaningful, and player-driven.
- PvP, while open-world, is self-policed by the community. You can align yourself with evil, but beware the consequences: You'll miss out on advantages for lawful and good organizations, and players may put bounties on your head or your group!
- Your Settlement determines what character abilities you can unlock and use. Building up your Settlement and managing it as a shared, collective resource will be a huge part of gameplay. A Settlement will reflect the actions of its members, with alignment restrictions along the law-chaos and good-evil axis based on their behavior.
- Real Battles - Large scale combat won't be the total chaos most MMO players are used to. PFO will make use of a formation system that gives groups significant bonuses for fighting in formation and coordinating their ability usage.
While one character is learning how to master the martial arts and gain renown as a warrior, your other character can be learning the intricacies of the crafting system and earning a name as an industrial powerhouse! As long as your primary character is earning skill points, so will its counterpart - FOREVER! The value of this benefit could easily reach hundreds of dollars if you became a long-term player of Pathfinder Online.
Adventurer accounts will also receive each Daily Deal that comes out. These deals feature in-game items which are mostly cosmetic, and can be traded to other players or collected in sets.They won't be given retroactively though, so jump on it if that's the kind of thing you drool over!
You can find out about donation tiers, the development team, game features, and more by heading to Kickstarter. Be sure to check out the tech demo screenshots below, and stay tuned to Curse for future Pathfinder Online news!