It was easier to get a question submitted than it is to assemble a group for Pathfinder.
Goblinworks has been doing a good job keeping its backers in the loop on its progress with the sandbox MMO Pathfinder Online. Recently, they posted a series of questions and answers gathered from the official forums. Pathfinder Online designer Stephen Cheney gave some pretty neat details about this Unity-based game. Cheney mentions crowdforging or their system for getting fan feedback for design decisions, the differences between crowdforger guilds, chartered companies, settlements, and nations. No release date is set for this Kickstarter-funded game that made its funding goal in January of 2013.
Crowdforging, according to designer Stephen Cheney, is a 3-part system. The first part are blog entries like the Q&A or developer insights. Next, players are then asked to post their opinions about the development on the forums. Goblinworks states that they do actually read their own forums. Last, they will ask fans questions about specific content in an effort to allow players to voice their opinions about narrative decisions or in-game tools. This feedback is an ongoing process so changes in the playerbase will ultimately influence changes in the game.
Next, they get into something that was part of their Kickstarter: Guilds, companies, settlements, and nations. Crowdforger guilds are a kickstarter bonus that allows players to enter the game with bonus gear and "pioneer" status. Next, venture or charter companies are essentially guilds in other games. Players can be members of up to 3 different companies but only one of these can be linked to a settlement. In this way, players can belong to multiple social companies but only one settlement. Finally, a settlement is essentially a city. Players in these settlements can belong to a nation or, a collection of cities and guilds.
Goblinworks plans to regulate player-nations through hexes that players can settle but the specifics of this will come soon. The Q&A goes on to say that Pathfinder Online is being designed with groups in mind and that soloing, given that the game has no levels, is not something players may find agreeable.
Source: Goblinworks Blog