Good news for sandbox and D&D/Pathfinder fans: Paizo has licensed out Pathfinder to Goblinworks for a swords and sorcery MMORPG. Announced just a few days ago, Pathfinder Online has been described by Goblinworks as a sandbox with theme-park elements, with a developing skill system rather than levels. They’re describing an open world with complex social and economic systems, where players will be able to found their own settlements and kingdoms as well as participate in more classic theme-park styled quests and scripted encounters that will build into stories and adventures that shape the course of the gameworld. Based on the Pathfinder RPG, initial races will be dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, halflings, and humans, and like any good sandbox game they’re promising a wide selection of skills that will allow the player to become a classic pen and paper RPG class or more unusual classes like merchants, farmers, spies and explorers.
As might be expected by what seems to be the current MMORPG norm; it will be a hybrid free to play and subscription model. Pay a monthly fee to access all standard game content, or buy features a la cart. They’ve stated they’ll be offering premium costumes, mounts, and adventure modules in their game store – and I’m already wondering what “standard” content means. Will subscribers have to buy adventure models as well as pay their monthly fee? In any event, this one looks like it could be interesting and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it. One of my big weakness is the promise of a sandbox game, very little will grab my attention more quickly than that magic word.