Yesterday Paizo Publishing and the heretofore unknown by me Goblinworks announced an MMO based on the Pathfinder tabletop roleplaying property. Pathfinder has in recent years grown to be a serious threat to the hegemony of a Dungeons & Dragons saddled with its blasphemous fourth edition, even surpassing its popularity in some areas.
Ignoring any reservations on how such a project might actually turn out, this sounds on the surface to be very much in keeping with what I’ve been talking about for several weeks: crafting-driven economies and skill-based characters, player-created nations… it sounds rather promising and worth keeping an eye on, although it certainly sounds like it’s very early in the development process.
Judging from the people involved, Goblinworks appears to be an outgrowth of Paizo, and I find that encouraging. MMOs need fresh ideas and bold leadership and a willingness to make games for less than $100 million, and a comparatively tiny but vigorously creative tabletop RPG scene fully aware of the true potential of RPGs might just be able to provide that. Tabletop RPGs have a far stronger record at allowing players to find their own paths (har, har) by their nature, and an attempt to create an MMO to at least somewhat simulate that would represent a general step forward for MMOs.
As always, remember Sturgeon’s Law. But I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground on this one.