November 2012

Regular readers of this blog, (all 7.3 of you), will know that I was pretty excited about the announcement of the Pathfinder Sandbox MMO. How excited? Well, I wasn’t wearing the brown underwear for nothing. I was so convinced of the awesomeness of the idea that I pledged in their initial kickstarter drive, which was designed to raise money to complete a tech video, all with the ultimate aim of securing funding for the game. That kickstarter was a huge success, raising almost $300,000 in secured pledges, much more than their initial target.

All seemed to be going nicely. I am a regular reader and occasional contributor on their forums, so I consider myself up to date on what’s going on with the game. Then out of the blue yesterday we got side-swiped with a wham, bam, thank you Maam. A brand new kickstarter pledge drive, with the goal being securing early development of the game. The target? A cool million bucks.

It’s sad to have your dreams crash down around you, but straight away my bullshit detector went into overdrive. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the initial fund-raising effort was to help secure firm investment for the game by way of the tech demo video. Now they’re suddenly saying that this all went well but a million bucks is needed to not only get it to us early but:

“… The purpose of this second Kickstarter is to get the money we need to make Pathfinder Online bigger, faster and better than we can with our current level of funding. It will let us hire more people and dedicate more resources to Pathfinder Online, potentially cutting the time to launch in half, and massively expanding the content and features available on release…”

Potentially cutting the launch time in half? Does that mean they secured backing to make an MMO of 1 million bucks only? I’m having a hard time understanding their budget if they think that another million is all that is needed to get this off the ground. But wait, there’s more:

“… Could we have gone out and got investment capital to do this? Sure, but with that investment comes costs and entanglements that could very well derail the vision that we have for Pathfinder Online. Investors don’t like to push boundaries, color outside the lines, or think outside the box. Instead, they want you to do things only in ways already proven successful for other companies. It is their money, after all.

Our vision for Pathfinder Online doesn’t fit those boundaries. It doesn’t color within the lines. It doesn’t want to exist inside of a box. You already get that–you have believed in us from the beginning and backed us on our first Kickstarter. We would rather report to you than to a group of investors who are only interested in making the biggest pile of money and having an early exit strategy. You are with us for the long haul. You believe in our vision for a fantasy sandbox MMO. We would prefer never to sacrifice this vision in pursuit of bigger profits…”

If investors wouldn’t get your vision, why the hell would you start up the first kickstarter in order to secure funding from investors? This makes exactly zero sense, and already on the forums a very healthy dose of posters are questioning what the hell is going on, while the fanboiys ridicule anyone for daring to question the great creative vision at work here. Not only that, but what made Pathfinder intriguing was the fact that they are going to restrict early access to the game to 4500 players. Obviously everyone funded the first kickstarter with the hope that being an early backer would secure them that early access. Not a chance. Early access can only be guaranteed through the second kickstarter. It’s a massive kick in the guts for what was a devoted fan base.

But I saved the best for last. This second kickstarter is being launched before they’ve even sent out the pledges from the first one. This all stinks to high heaven, and if people think that this is the end of the fund raising then I think they could be very much mistaken.

It has been an interesting week in the blogging kingdom. First of all Gankalicious posted that he was finishing his blog because he had nothing else to say. I thought that this was sad, because although he is a very silly man with dubious eating habits, I enjoy his whimsical blogging style and pathetic attempts to come to terms with the fact that he is a father. So I commented that it would be better for him to leave his blog up. I mean, why go to all the trouble of spending years building your blog up to the point where you have a ready-made audience who will listen to you rant and complain about the going thing that is pissing you off, only to delete it in a moment of angst? Leave the thing up! Because without a doubt there will come a morning when you will turn on the internets and a subject will catch your eye that will so infuriate you that you will reload up your old blog and dive right in. And your ready-made audience will lap it up.

And we have an immediate case in point in Nils. After almost a year of the amount of activity that would make one of those young Christian “I’m keeping my virginity for God” people look positively sluttish, out of nowhere the Nils parachutes back to the blogosphere with a post in which he complains about Guild Wars 2, (fair enough), Diablo 3, (can’t fault him there), and informs us that he tried WoW again with his girlfriend who thought that it sucked big fat donkey balls, (and she didn’t even play a panda.) And lo and behold the blogging world rejoiced and his post was covered with grovelling comments. A classic example of leaving your blog up for when you felt like dipping your toe in the water. Great to have him back.

Last but not the least, Kleps decided to call it a day, apparently. I give him a couple of weeks. The poor lad just won’t be able to contain himself. He says he has another blog, but really I don’t think his heart is in it. He’s not like Larissa who has an actual other hobby, (blue movies apparently), and thus a decent motivation to blog about an interest. But like a good lad, Klep has left his blog up. This is good news due to the fact that I primarily use his and Nil’s blogging list to work out who has posted each day, (WordPress, your blogroll system sucks arse. And what the hell is your own spellchecker as I write this telling me that any word with ‘blog’ in it is not a word?? On a blogging site???)

So there you have it – don’t delete your blogs. Gankalicious learned his lesson. He woke up, realised what a twit he had been, and promptly deleted the offending post where he threatened to quit and take all of his toys home. However, I knew this would happen and I copied and saved it. I’m sure I’ll drag it out some time in the future when it suits me …