In a development blog update to their upcoming MMORPG Pathfinder, Goblinworks Studio details their initial plans on how to handle player character reputation and alignment. While most MMOs deal with simple NPC factions dislike of characters, with little interaction between players causing effect, Goblinworks looks to take it in a new direction, with PvP playing into how well a player is liked amongst the town folk.
Through their Hostility mechanic, the developers hope to have players fall in line, or roleplay more closely with the faction they represent, as well as carefully choose who they’re siding with.
We’ve been working with the concept of Hostility: anyone who is at war with your settlement, feuding with your company, in an enemy faction and set up for factional PvP, or flagged as Criminal or Heinous is displayed as Hostile to you. You can attack them without fear of Reputation loss and they are treated as an enemy. There is a hierarchy to Hostility, so if you are in the same group with someone from a company you are feuding with, that party member is treated as an ally as long as you are in the group together.
When a character attacks a character who was not Hostile, the character making the attack gets flagged as an Attacker. If the character with Attacker hits their target again in the next thirty seconds, they become Hostile, and lose Reputation. Note that Reputation is lost on striking a target twice rather than on death; this means Reputation is lost when your intention to kill someone is made clear rather than if you are successful.
While they intend to have a similar point system for Alignment (ranging from -7500 to 7500), the attribute will likely play a much smaller role in gameplay, and likely not come into scrutiny too often in PvP… unless you pick fights with those not so “Hostile” types.
The following can change a character’s Active Alignment:
- Committing acts that are crimes in territory controlled by a settlement gets you the Criminal flag and decreases your Law vs. Chaos rating. Settlements can set a number of laws based on their Settlement Alignment.
- Committing acts that are outright evil, like raising undead, gets you the Heinous flag and decreases your Good vs. Evil rating.
- Killing random NPCs, like farmers or merchants, reduces your Good vs. Evil.
- Attacking players who are not Hostile reduces your Good vs. Evil by a small but fixed amount (essentially, if you lose Rep, you also become more Evil).
- Certain quests or other activities may reward Alignment points, both positive and negative.
- Each hour you do not act contrary to your Core Alignment (i.e., do not gain any points that move you away from your Core), you slowly move back towards your Core Alignment. If you do not act contrary to their Core Alignment, you will eventually return to it. This does mean if you have 7000 in Good, it will slowly trend down towards 5000 Good.
Swing by the official Pathfinder development blog for a more in-depth look at what’s on the horizon for this future MMO.