Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

How to respond to skeptics....

    • 610 posts
    November 20, 2015 5:02 PM PST

    This has come up here and on other sites, and so I put this together and wanted to make sure I posted it here.  Many Pantheon supporters find themselves frustrated when trying to answer posts made by those who are skeptical of the game, its tenents, its core mechanics, and its target audience.  Some make a very real effort to explain why they find Pantheon attractive and exciting, while others sometimes are simply dismissive.  One poster brought up the question and issue:  how should we respond to skeptics, people who feel entitled that every game should be made for them, or even trolls.  

    The answer isn't simple, but I gave it a shot:

    ------

    I hear you and both sides of this. It's a tough one. Yes, we need to be up-front about what Pantheon is all about. We try to be clear about it -- we talk about it posts, interviews, and even have a page on our website dedicated to the tenets of the game: https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/game_tenets/

    We've also tried to be as up front as possible describing the game in general:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/what_is_pantheon/

    And I think we have a pretty solid FAQ too, although it will continue to grow:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/faqs/

    All that said, and some of you are referring to a post I made awhile back, so let me try to make that same point, hopefully more up-to-date and clear this time:

    We are being clear about what Pantheon is and is not, about who the audience we are targeting is, and that we are not making a game trying to appeal to everyone, all of the time. I think that's fair, and our responsibility -- pretending the game is something else, or something more in order to get more people to try it out wouldn't be right, it wouldn't ethical IMHO. We need to be honest and open.

    That said, I do think we (and the people who are already following Pantheon, our supporters, our fans) should be careful about how we present to others who aren't familiar with the game what it is all about. There's no need to be rude or to make the person who has issues with Pantheon's premise feel belittled or marginalized or to feel unwelcome. I understand that when someone comes in and demands Pantheon be something different than what it is can be frustrating. Especially if they come across as if they are 'entitled' to have their tastes and desires met in every game, as if every developer has some sort of responsibility to make everyone happy. I get that, and I can understand the desire to rant against the 'entitlement' mentality that some people have. I get it.

    But I also strongly believe that there are a lot of players out there who have never experienced a game like Pantheon. Perhaps they were too young when the earlier MMOs were out and so never experienced them. Perhaps they had a bad experience with a game that had some features or mechanics that sound similar to Pantheon's. So when they read about the game, its tenants, its core premise, perhaps some of it seems strange to them, or unnecessary, or unattractive. Perhaps on the surface, because they lack perspective and context, they voice an objection or are skeptical as to whether some aspect or mechanic is going to work or not.

    I truly believe that many of those people, if they give Pantheon a try, will end up liking it. I can't tell you how many... most? some? a few? I can't predict that level of specificity. But I do strongly believe that a significant group of MMO players who haven't experienced what we are trying to create (and in some cases re-create) and who therefore challenge, or question, or even criticize aspects of the game, if they eventually give the game a chance, will find out that they actually love it. I really believe that. Some things in life simply have to be experienced before you really know if you like something or not.

    So that's the conundrum or challenge:

    We need to be honest about what Pantheon is all about and to whom it is being made for, the audiences we are targeting. Trying to hide the more controversial tenets so that some people aren't scared away would be a marketing tactic involving dishonesty, and I'm not ok with that. Creating a PR/Marketing plan or approach that avoided talking about the core of the game, that it's a game focused around cooperative play, about community, about challenge, about being rewarded for playing and not accepting RL money or having cash shops, isn't acceptable or ok. Sometimes products or games or movies or whatever *are* marketed that way, but I think it's shady and even sometimes dishonest. So, as you can see from our tenants, our FAQ, our interviews, etc. we are not shying away from letting people know what Pantheon is all about, even if the issue is controversial.

    But at the same time, we can do this in a way that isn't negative in nature, or that comes across as elitist, or that criticizes people who question or seem to have issue with what Pantheon is. Instead, we should try to explain *why* we've made the design decisions we've made, *why* we think certain mechanics are what a large group of MMOs players are looking for, *why* there's a group of MMO players who feel orphaned. And perhaps even more importantly, what are the benefits of a game like Pantheon vs. perhaps other MMOs, or what experiences you can have in a game like Pantheon that you perhaps cannot in other more recent MMOs.

    Explain politely but firmly how cooperative play can be more fun and more memorable than single player play. Explain your own experiences in MMOs that had vibrant communities. Explain why earning an item in-game can be more rewarding and meaningful than simply buying it in a cash shop. Let people know how you found people to play with in EQ or other earlier MMOs and then they became friends and people you really cared about and in many cases are still in contact with even though you haven't played with them in an MMO for years. Talk about the positives of class interdependence -- someone might on the surface feel like being restricted as to what you can do by the class you've chosen is a negative. But if you take the time to talk about how rewarding it is to go into a battle where you and your groupmates have different roles to play, and by depending on each other in order to prevail can actually be more fun and rewarding then being able to do everything yourself, not really needing another person around in order to progress through the game.

    I could go on and on and don't want to ramble, but I really think some people will re-think whether or not they are interested in a game like Pantheon if we (both the developers and the community) take the time to try to help them understand that what may seem like a negative or a restriction on the surface actually leads to a more rewarding and fun experience. On the other hand, if they're merely told 'well, this game doesn't sound like it's for you, so, well, go away', then what has really been accomplished?

    No, I am not delusional. I know that many people will not be convinced no matter what. Some will have to experience these things themselves before they can determine if the game is for them or not. And, yes, some people even after they experience it will decide, no, this game is not for them. This isn't 1999. The number of people playing MMOs is no longer in the hundreds of thousands, but in the 10s of millions. That means there are a lot more types of online gamers out there now, a much wider and more varied audience. But while that means there is likely a large number of people who won't interested in a game like Pantheon, it also absolutely means there is likely a large number of people who have never experienced a game like Pantheon that *will* like it once they've experienced it or once it's been explained to them.

    That's why, for example, Pantheon will be free to play the first 10 levels or so. No up-front cost, so no real risk in trying it out. That's why we're making sure that while the game will look great and take advantage of newer technologies, that it won't require you to have a super high end machine in order to play (a grave mistake we made with Vanguard, btw). We want people to try it out because while some won't like it, many will find out that they actually do.

    So, in summary, yes let's be honest about the game that is being made, its core tenets and goals, etc. But at the same time, let's not be dismissive of people who criticize or are skeptical or state that some aspect of the game doesn't sound appealing to them. Let them know why you are attracted to Pantheon, why its tenets and core mechanics are appealing to you. Take the time to explain why you feel many more recent MMOs have veered off course and therefore don't appeal to you or don't re-create the experiences you cherished playing some of the earlier MMOs.

    Lastly, I know many of you are already doing this, and doing it well, and we appreciate that very much. I am speaking to those proponents and supporters of Pantheon who are understandably frustrated by some people who criticize what they don't necessarily understand. I get it. I get frustrated too at times. But a kind answer turns away wrath. Let's make an effort to convince the skeptic that he may actually end up liking Pantheon if he gives it a try. Let's take the time to talk about the great experiences we had playing some of the earlier MMOs and why they were so much fun and memorable. Sure, it's easier to just say 'well, this game isn't for you', but sometimes the easy way is not the best way.

    • 89 posts
    November 20, 2015 5:28 PM PST

    What was it that 90's movie quote was, be awesome to one another or something :)

    • 758 posts
    November 20, 2015 5:37 PM PST

    I just spent the last few hours getting new people hyped from Twitch chat converstations, getting permissions to link website etc...  Went to EQ, ESO, sites.  There are still a LOT of people that have not heard of Pantheon but get excited when you mention a few key things to them.  I will continue to help spread the word and direct people to the new website.  So much great info there..

    Can't wait to Alpha test...


    This post was edited by Pyye at November 20, 2015 5:37 PM PST
    • 98 posts
    November 20, 2015 5:49 PM PST

    I really agree wholeheartedly with this approach. I'm very happy that Pantheon has all of these FAQs and tenets available and not behind some weird Wall of Impenetrable Shadows, and I've been trying to get friends involved with the MMO. Some state that they love that it'll be community driven, but would love to see more information being released, perhaps some press releases, some more dev talks, etc before they get too involved. Others state that the idea that it wouldn't be able to be sustained without a concept is naiive, and that a subscription based model will ultimately fail on today's market (ala SWTOR, I guess?). Quite frankly, I'm glad that you guys are sticking to these ideals, but would love to see some new news or information (The news blog the other day was a great start to this!).

    • 1006 posts
    November 20, 2015 7:12 PM PST

    @Aradune

    I hear you, and I don't want to detract supporters either from supporting Pantheon; however, I've seen time and again where developers eventually listen to the "noise" and the squeaky wheel begins to get the grease and the fundamental core tenets change to cater to all.  Pantheon is the last hope for a quality MMO and I believe the rant posts that you see are more fear of the proposed game design changing based off posters who might not align with Pantheon's core tenets.   I "try" to reread my postings before submitting to not come off as abrasive, but I know I've been guilty of it - but I believe it's bleeding passion :).   I firmly believe you're correct that if people give Pantheon a chance with the proposed tenets, they'll love it once they try it, but until that point and the successful release of Pantheon, there will be 10s of 100s of posts claiming that Pantheon's proposed ABC mechanics are destined to fail, so XYZ should be implemented instead.  

    Point taken though - and I wish the team the best.

    • 1455 posts
    November 20, 2015 9:33 PM PST

    Raidan said:

    @Aradune

    I hear you, and I don't want to detract supporters either from supporting Pantheon; however, I've seen time and again where developers eventually listen to the "noise" and the squeaky wheel begins to get the grease and the fundamental core tenets change to cater to all.  Pantheon is the last hope for a quality MMO and I believe the rant posts that you see are more fear of the proposed game design changing based off posters who might not align with Pantheon's core tenets.   I "try" to reread my postings before submitting to not come off as abrasive, but I know I've been guilty of it - but I believe it's bleeding passion :).   I firmly believe you're correct that if people give Pantheon a chance with the proposed tenets, they'll love it once they try it, but until that point and the successful release of Pantheon, there will be 10s of 100s of posts claiming that Pantheon's proposed ABC mechanics are destined to fail, so XYZ should be implemented instead.  

    Point taken though - and I wish the team the best.

    Bingo.

    Its not to say we shouldn't make every attempt to kindly express our experience and opinions without alienating those who disagree, but when they become so insistent that Pantheon will fail due to X, your options are limited. When you don't refute strong opposition with equal force, it appears as if their arguments have merit; at which point you worry it may sway people - perhaps even certain developers.

    There's also the fact that the genre has been overrun by mainstream games and simplified mechanics. Its almost unbearable that, even with all these "new school" games to choose from, its never enough unless they convince us that Pantheon too must be adapted to the needs of the "modern player." Its about 50/50 for me whether I kindly dismantle them or just verbally backhand them.


    This post was edited by Dullahan at November 20, 2015 10:45 PM PST
    • 98 posts
    November 20, 2015 10:03 PM PST

    Its not to say we shouldn't make every attempt to kindly express our experience and opinions without alienating those who disagree, but when they become so insistent that Pantheon will fail due to X, your options are limited. When you don't refute strong opposition with equal force, it appears as if their arguments have merit; at which point you worry it may sway people - perhaps even certain developers.

    There's also the fact that the genre has been overrun by mainstream games and simplified mechanics. Its almost unbearable that, even with all these "new school" games to choose from, its never enough unless they convince us that Pantheon too much be adapted to the needs of the "modern player." Its about 50/50 for me whether I kindly dismantle them or just verbally backhand them.

     

    There is some of this as well. I've got one friend who keeps telling me Pantheon now has to answer to investors, so that a cash shop may be inevitable unless Pantheon turns out to be a huge success. He goes on to say that that is unlikely because of Pantheon's adoption of "old school" systems and the "fact" that it's targetting a "niche" community. There's just some things I can't even begin to argue about, but damn it's hard to hear this from people I try pander Pantheon towards.

    • 295 posts
    November 20, 2015 10:04 PM PST

    That's exactly it, the only reason we even take people on like that is because we're worried they might be listened to, and that cannot happen.

    • 353 posts
    November 21, 2015 6:10 AM PST

    If you build it they will come...

     

    Stick to "The Vision" and the game will be successful I have no doubt.

     

    It doesn't matter what the haters say if when the game releases it's great. They will all jump on the wagon and start having fun with their friends.

     

    Preparing a solid foundation for Pantheon is the most important because more than any game I feel like this one has to have a solid release in a mostly polished state in order to squelch these Negative Nancys.

     

    If the release is anything like Vanguard it gives them ammunition to just say I told you so.

     

    As a final thought here... EQ1 the greatest MMO of all time and Vanguard the most ambitious MMO of all time, hmm somewhere in the middle sounds perfect for me.

     

     

    Thanks a ton to Brad and Team for all the hard work on this project,

    Kiz~


    This post was edited by Angrykiz at November 21, 2015 6:11 AM PST
    • 501 posts
    November 21, 2015 6:27 AM PST

    Something else that needs to be addressed is how to handle an obvious troll. Just ignore them.

    Everyone is entitled to have a say - I do not believe in ever silencing people/deleting posts  etc.  Sometimes they are even right lol. But it is a learned behavior to recognize when someone is just trying to push your buttons.  Maybe their mommy didn't hug them engough as a kid   or they are that self centered who knows  but the best way to handle an obvious troll is to ignore them. Quoting them and arguing with them only gives them that more exposure and the attention they crave - dont give it to them.

     


    This post was edited by Zarriya at November 21, 2015 6:33 AM PST
    • 44 posts
    November 21, 2015 10:42 AM PST

    Zlambit said:

    What was it that 90's movie quote was, be awesome to one another or something :)

    It was bill and teds excellent adventures. lol

    • 1475 posts
    November 21, 2015 11:45 AM PST

    *tries to hold manouk, and her manner of speaking back & fails*

    How Manouk speaks it "It's a fun game, it may be a "hard" game compared to most, but generally log in, do stuff and if you're on I can meet you! and we can explore. It's not really hard, if you're carefull"

    The initial MMO's catered to a sophomoric(ha ha) target audience, Pantheon may have the opportunity to cater to a more mature audience, think comparative bicycles: rainbow streamers on the handle bars and a banana seat? or under U bent handlebars and a cricket bat for a seat. Taking this a step further- the game design realm of combat training comes to mind for armed forces- or what Sci-Fi would say about goggles and interactive environments- no more out of shape gamers for when you run, you really run....kind of thing, this is what this is.

    although some business models expect the target audience to be in that middle and up age area with a defined life of x years based on curent models, instead make the comparrison to second life and its current cash flow and how it stays alive and then point at EQ/FFXI/DoAC and say "better, no?" and let the insiders see Vanguard and say to themselves, way better, and then- well- then they become fans.

      From a cultural perspective the eastern meme/zeitgeist already embraces the impressivenes in a player in RL stating the high or top level of that character- a downright acceptible "water-cooler conversation" that can be carried over here and perhaps the western meme was ahead of the eastern ingrained slightly buddhist meme in that the journey was everything- that is what it was in EQ and Vanguard- suddenly the whole -mature- region is opened with a  pre-defined cross-cultural undercore- some call it "intangibles" that just happens to globalize the reach of players, this is not a EST game (Eastern Standard Time not that late '70's-'80's ex-hippie thing). What was that TV show also given the moniker of a "water cooler" show by network execs as being THE criteria? something with a thumb-paddled bass in the theme song and strange thing is STAYS in syndication, 10+10 on that. 10+10+10+---well you know, on this thing right here.

    Whoah there, 5 levels. I remember when I got addicted. if FTP period exists, does it have to apply?. Immediate expectations: sober, not here for the old in-and-out on investment, in here for the long term an hold. You can do what YOU want, don't worry about me - I'll be there. I want a fun challenge and that is all I am saying to anyone that will hear and I hope they will join me so I can be suitably envious of their Game play talent/progression/gear and in a nice way. I dont even get to do that in RL; It stops at envy and I can only shake it loose for small periods of time ha ha. Project 1999 started when? and how old was it then? Are you choking? no I'm serious. Don't get me wrong, kids, I love 'em! I don't target them.  Think inclusive and not corporately expected (thumb-paddled bass theme song).

     

     *Attaches the last side on the frame* Ok, the art ends here.

    thank you.

    Manouk.

    • 701 posts
    November 21, 2015 2:59 PM PST

    Aradune said:

    This has come up here and on other sites, and so I put this together and wanted to make sure I posted it here.  Many Pantheon supporters find themselves frustrated when trying to answer posts made by those who are skeptical of the game, its tenents, its core mechanics, and its target audience.  Some make a very real effort to explain why they find Pantheon attractive and exciting, while others sometimes are simply dismissive.  One poster brought up the question and issue:  how should we respond to skeptics, people who feel entitled that every game should be made for them, or even trolls.  

    The answer isn't simple, but I gave it a shot:

    ------

    I hear you and both sides of this. It's a tough one. Yes, we need to be up-front about what Pantheon is all about. We try to be clear about it -- we talk about it posts, interviews, and even have a page on our website dedicated to the tenets of the game: https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/game_tenets/

    We've also tried to be as up front as possible describing the game in general:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/what_is_pantheon/

    And I think we have a pretty solid FAQ too, although it will continue to grow:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/faqs/

    All that said, and some of you are referring to a post I made awhile back, so let me try to make that same point, hopefully more up-to-date and clear this time:

    We are being clear about what Pantheon is and is not, about who the audience we are targeting is, and that we are not making a game trying to appeal to everyone, all of the time. I think that's fair, and our responsibility -- pretending the game is something else, or something more in order to get more people to try it out wouldn't be right, it wouldn't ethical IMHO. We need to be honest and open.

    That said, I do think we (and the people who are already following Pantheon, our supporters, our fans) should be careful about how we present to others who aren't familiar with the game what it is all about. There's no need to be rude or to make the person who has issues with Pantheon's premise feel belittled or marginalized or to feel unwelcome. I understand that when someone comes in and demands Pantheon be something different than what it is can be frustrating. Especially if they come across as if they are 'entitled' to have their tastes and desires met in every game, as if every developer has some sort of responsibility to make everyone happy. I get that, and I can understand the desire to rant against the 'entitlement' mentality that some people have. I get it.

    But I also strongly believe that there are a lot of players out there who have never experienced a game like Pantheon. Perhaps they were too young when the earlier MMOs were out and so never experienced them. Perhaps they had a bad experience with a game that had some features or mechanics that sound similar to Pantheon's. So when they read about the game, its tenants, its core premise, perhaps some of it seems strange to them, or unnecessary, or unattractive. Perhaps on the surface, because they lack perspective and context, they voice an objection or are skeptical as to whether some aspect or mechanic is going to work or not.

    I truly believe that many of those people, if they give Pantheon a try, will end up liking it. I can't tell you how many... most? some? a few? I can't predict that level of specificity. But I do strongly believe that a significant group of MMO players who haven't experienced what we are trying to create (and in some cases re-create) and who therefore challenge, or question, or even criticize aspects of the game, if they eventually give the game a chance, will find out that they actually love it. I really believe that. Some things in life simply have to be experienced before you really know if you like something or not.

    So that's the conundrum or challenge:

    We need to be honest about what Pantheon is all about and to whom it is being made for, the audiences we are targeting. Trying to hide the more controversial tenets so that some people aren't scared away would be a marketing tactic involving dishonesty, and I'm not ok with that. Creating a PR/Marketing plan or approach that avoided talking about the core of the game, that it's a game focused around cooperative play, about community, about challenge, about being rewarded for playing and not accepting RL money or having cash shops, isn't acceptable or ok. Sometimes products or games or movies or whatever *are* marketed that way, but I think it's shady and even sometimes dishonest. So, as you can see from our tenants, our FAQ, our interviews, etc. we are not shying away from letting people know what Pantheon is all about, even if the issue is controversial.

    But at the same time, we can do this in a way that isn't negative in nature, or that comes across as elitist, or that criticizes people who question or seem to have issue with what Pantheon is. Instead, we should try to explain *why* we've made the design decisions we've made, *why* we think certain mechanics are what a large group of MMOs players are looking for, *why* there's a group of MMO players who feel orphaned. And perhaps even more importantly, what are the benefits of a game like Pantheon vs. perhaps other MMOs, or what experiences you can have in a game like Pantheon that you perhaps cannot in other more recent MMOs.

    Explain politely but firmly how cooperative play can be more fun and more memorable than single player play. Explain your own experiences in MMOs that had vibrant communities. Explain why earning an item in-game can be more rewarding and meaningful than simply buying it in a cash shop. Let people know how you found people to play with in EQ or other earlier MMOs and then they became friends and people you really cared about and in many cases are still in contact with even though you haven't played with them in an MMO for years. Talk about the positives of class interdependence -- someone might on the surface feel like being restricted as to what you can do by the class you've chosen is a negative. But if you take the time to talk about how rewarding it is to go into a battle where you and your groupmates have different roles to play, and by depending on each other in order to prevail can actually be more fun and rewarding then being able to do everything yourself, not really needing another person around in order to progress through the game.

    I could go on and on and don't want to ramble, but I really think some people will re-think whether or not they are interested in a game like Pantheon if we (both the developers and the community) take the time to try to help them understand that what may seem like a negative or a restriction on the surface actually leads to a more rewarding and fun experience. On the other hand, if they're merely told 'well, this game doesn't sound like it's for you, so, well, go away', then what has really been accomplished?

    No, I am not delusional. I know that many people will not be convinced no matter what. Some will have to experience these things themselves before they can determine if the game is for them or not. And, yes, some people even after they experience it will decide, no, this game is not for them. This isn't 1999. The number of people playing MMOs is no longer in the hundreds of thousands, but in the 10s of millions. That means there are a lot more types of online gamers out there now, a much wider and more varied audience. But while that means there is likely a large number of people who won't interested in a game like Pantheon, it also absolutely means there is likely a large number of people who have never experienced a game like Pantheon that *will* like it once they've experienced it or once it's been explained to them.

    That's why, for example, Pantheon will be free to play the first 10 levels or so. No up-front cost, so no real risk in trying it out. That's why we're making sure that while the game will look great and take advantage of newer technologies, that it won't require you to have a super high end machine in order to play (a grave mistake we made with Vanguard, btw). We want people to try it out because while some won't like it, many will find out that they actually do.

    So, in summary, yes let's be honest about the game that is being made, its core tenets and goals, etc. But at the same time, let's not be dismissive of people who criticize or are skeptical or state that some aspect of the game doesn't sound appealing to them. Let them know why you are attracted to Pantheon, why its tenets and core mechanics are appealing to you. Take the time to explain why you feel many more recent MMOs have veered off course and therefore don't appeal to you or don't re-create the experiences you cherished playing some of the earlier MMOs.

    Lastly, I know many of you are already doing this, and doing it well, and we appreciate that very much. I am speaking to those proponents and supporters of Pantheon who are understandably frustrated by some people who criticize what they don't necessarily understand. I get it. I get frustrated too at times. But a kind answer turns away wrath. Let's make an effort to convince the skeptic that he may actually end up liking Pantheon if he gives it a try. Let's take the time to talk about the great experiences we had playing some of the earlier MMOs and why they were so much fun and memorable. Sure, it's easier to just say 'well, this game isn't for you', but sometimes the easy way is not the best way.

     

    It is much easier to tell them they won't be able to handle it. (And they know it is true).  : )

     

    Many skeptics will bite when the second expansion comes, they can no longer remain a bystandards and let this world continue on, without them. These skeptics will be part of the second wave of MMORPG in pantheon. Subscribe to the Pantheon and see what You & Your charcter can do...   what becomes you?

     

     

     

    • 510 posts
    November 22, 2015 8:55 AM PST

    Skeptics are people who doubt.

    I think it is not hard to handle those - read the FAQ, give it a try. Then you'll know if you like the game or not. Maybe yes and maybe no but know you will. Skeptics generally listen.

     

    Much more problematic is another category that I would call "haters" .

    They always appear on a thread - some are "Brad haters", some are "EQ (99 original) haters", some are "Vanguard haters". Some are all 3 together.

    The "haters" don't listen, they are not skeptical - on the contrary they are very sure about what they feel.

    And, like Darth Vader already said, "feel the power that is in the hate". They want to destroy and hurt.

    So there are only 2 ways to deal with them.

    One is to ignore them but then they are able to overwhelm a thread and derail every rational discussion.

    The second one is to tell them "Go away".

    I would say that the second one has more positive than negative consequences

    • 420 posts
    November 22, 2015 10:48 AM PST

    I do my level best to explain the Pantheon update to The Vision, for those who did not play vanilla-Kunark-Velious era EQ1 or Vanguard. I am generally polite, informative, and very upbeat and excited to the point that everyone I tell asks about these forums, the game, release dates, etc. The folks I talk to in my own meta appreciate my depth of experience not just with MMOs, but with McQuaid Vision MMOs specifically. 

    The people I tend to be short or brusque with are the ones who come here to say how a group centric, proper old school PVE game "will never work with today's players." I'd love to be more patient, but it's so much nonsense, I can't help myself. When every FROM title sells 3 million boxes, and EVE, EQ1 and AO are all still cooking right along with their niche playerbases, I find that fallacy of ignoring all available evidence to be absurd, and I respond in kind. I also have a tough time because the squeaky wheel demanding another WoW clone thinks Blizzard's behemoth invented MMO gaming, and UO and EQ1 started the modern graphical MUD party.

    Bottom line - if I get asked Pantheon questions, I'll be all sorts of helpful, informative, etc....but if folks come to these forums to drop "it'll never work" red herrings, well....not my first game forum rodeo.

    • 51 posts
    November 22, 2015 5:41 PM PST

    I tell them this is the type of MMO Pantheon is making and this is the type of player it is looking for. If the skeptics i talk to down't fall into either of these categories then i tell them to move on. No harm, no foul. I remain positive in my response as much as possible but i've learned not to bother trying to convince people that have already made up their minds. That energy is better put into something more productive.

    • 585 posts
    November 23, 2015 12:11 AM PST

    Good post. But lets not forget, not everything is set in stone, or covered by the game tenets (yet). There's still a lot of room for argument, and that's a good thing IMO :)

     

    • 55 posts
    November 23, 2015 3:22 AM PST

    Oh my goodness that toxic website that normally trashes you, has been quite polite about your post.

     

    Good Work.... I think they are finally getting it. (must have spies in our mist)

    Tru

    x

    • 258 posts
    November 23, 2015 8:32 AM PST

    Zlambit said:

    What was it that 90's movie quote was, be awesome to one another or something :)

    "Be excellent to each other" is the quote you're looking for.  From Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

    • 98 posts
    November 23, 2015 8:39 AM PST

    Tuhart said:

    Oh my goodness that toxic website that normally trashes you, has been quite polite about your post.

     

    Good Work.... I think they are finally getting it. (must have spies in our mist)

    Tru

    x

     

    Toxic website?

    • 1809 posts
    November 23, 2015 9:23 AM PST

    Aradune said:

    This has come up here and on other sites, and so I put this together and wanted to make sure I posted it here.  Many Pantheon supporters find themselves frustrated when trying to answer posts made by those who are skeptical of the game, its tenents, its core mechanics, and its target audience.  Some make a very real effort to explain why they find Pantheon attractive and exciting, while others sometimes are simply dismissive.  One poster brought up the question and issue:  how should we respond to skeptics, people who feel entitled that every game should be made for them, or even trolls.  

    The answer isn't simple, but I gave it a shot:

    ------

    I hear you and both sides of this. It's a tough one. Yes, we need to be up-front about what Pantheon is all about. We try to be clear about it -- we talk about it posts, interviews, and even have a page on our website dedicated to the tenets of the game: https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/game_tenets/

    We've also tried to be as up front as possible describing the game in general:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/what_is_pantheon/

    And I think we have a pretty solid FAQ too, although it will continue to grow:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/faqs/

    All that said, and some of you are referring to a post I made awhile back, so let me try to make that same point, hopefully more up-to-date and clear this time:

    We are being clear about what Pantheon is and is not, about who the audience we are targeting is, and that we are not making a game trying to appeal to everyone, all of the time. I think that's fair, and our responsibility -- pretending the game is something else, or something more in order to get more people to try it out wouldn't be right, it wouldn't ethical IMHO. We need to be honest and open.

    That said, I do think we (and the people who are already following Pantheon, our supporters, our fans) should be careful about how we present to others who aren't familiar with the game what it is all about. There's no need to be rude or to make the person who has issues with Pantheon's premise feel belittled or marginalized or to feel unwelcome. I understand that when someone comes in and demands Pantheon be something different than what it is can be frustrating. Especially if they come across as if they are 'entitled' to have their tastes and desires met in every game, as if every developer has some sort of responsibility to make everyone happy. I get that, and I can understand the desire to rant against the 'entitlement' mentality that some people have. I get it.

    But I also strongly believe that there are a lot of players out there who have never experienced a game like Pantheon. Perhaps they were too young when the earlier MMOs were out and so never experienced them. Perhaps they had a bad experience with a game that had some features or mechanics that sound similar to Pantheon's. So when they read about the game, its tenants, its core premise, perhaps some of it seems strange to them, or unnecessary, or unattractive. Perhaps on the surface, because they lack perspective and context, they voice an objection or are skeptical as to whether some aspect or mechanic is going to work or not.

    I truly believe that many of those people, if they give Pantheon a try, will end up liking it. I can't tell you how many... most? some? a few? I can't predict that level of specificity. But I do strongly believe that a significant group of MMO players who haven't experienced what we are trying to create (and in some cases re-create) and who therefore challenge, or question, or even criticize aspects of the game, if they eventually give the game a chance, will find out that they actually love it. I really believe that. Some things in life simply have to be experienced before you really know if you like something or not.

    So that's the conundrum or challenge:

    We need to be honest about what Pantheon is all about and to whom it is being made for, the audiences we are targeting. Trying to hide the more controversial tenets so that some people aren't scared away would be a marketing tactic involving dishonesty, and I'm not ok with that. Creating a PR/Marketing plan or approach that avoided talking about the core of the game, that it's a game focused around cooperative play, about community, about challenge, about being rewarded for playing and not accepting RL money or having cash shops, isn't acceptable or ok. Sometimes products or games or movies or whatever *are* marketed that way, but I think it's shady and even sometimes dishonest. So, as you can see from our tenants, our FAQ, our interviews, etc. we are not shying away from letting people know what Pantheon is all about, even if the issue is controversial.

    But at the same time, we can do this in a way that isn't negative in nature, or that comes across as elitist, or that criticizes people who question or seem to have issue with what Pantheon is. Instead, we should try to explain *why* we've made the design decisions we've made, *why* we think certain mechanics are what a large group of MMOs players are looking for, *why* there's a group of MMO players who feel orphaned. And perhaps even more importantly, what are the benefits of a game like Pantheon vs. perhaps other MMOs, or what experiences you can have in a game like Pantheon that you perhaps cannot in other more recent MMOs.

    Explain politely but firmly how cooperative play can be more fun and more memorable than single player play. Explain your own experiences in MMOs that had vibrant communities. Explain why earning an item in-game can be more rewarding and meaningful than simply buying it in a cash shop. Let people know how you found people to play with in EQ or other earlier MMOs and then they became friends and people you really cared about and in many cases are still in contact with even though you haven't played with them in an MMO for years. Talk about the positives of class interdependence -- someone might on the surface feel like being restricted as to what you can do by the class you've chosen is a negative. But if you take the time to talk about how rewarding it is to go into a battle where you and your groupmates have different roles to play, and by depending on each other in order to prevail can actually be more fun and rewarding then being able to do everything yourself, not really needing another person around in order to progress through the game.

    I could go on and on and don't want to ramble, but I really think some people will re-think whether or not they are interested in a game like Pantheon if we (both the developers and the community) take the time to try to help them understand that what may seem like a negative or a restriction on the surface actually leads to a more rewarding and fun experience. On the other hand, if they're merely told 'well, this game doesn't sound like it's for you, so, well, go away', then what has really been accomplished?

    No, I am not delusional. I know that many people will not be convinced no matter what. Some will have to experience these things themselves before they can determine if the game is for them or not. And, yes, some people even after they experience it will decide, no, this game is not for them. This isn't 1999. The number of people playing MMOs is no longer in the hundreds of thousands, but in the 10s of millions. That means there are a lot more types of online gamers out there now, a much wider and more varied audience. But while that means there is likely a large number of people who won't interested in a game like Pantheon, it also absolutely means there is likely a large number of people who have never experienced a game like Pantheon that *will* like it once they've experienced it or once it's been explained to them.

    That's why, for example, Pantheon will be free to play the first 10 levels or so. No up-front cost, so no real risk in trying it out. That's why we're making sure that while the game will look great and take advantage of newer technologies, that it won't require you to have a super high end machine in order to play (a grave mistake we made with Vanguard, btw). We want people to try it out because while some won't like it, many will find out that they actually do.

    So, in summary, yes let's be honest about the game that is being made, its core tenets and goals, etc. But at the same time, let's not be dismissive of people who criticize or are skeptical or state that some aspect of the game doesn't sound appealing to them. Let them know why you are attracted to Pantheon, why its tenets and core mechanics are appealing to you. Take the time to explain why you feel many more recent MMOs have veered off course and therefore don't appeal to you or don't re-create the experiences you cherished playing some of the earlier MMOs.

    Lastly, I know many of you are already doing this, and doing it well, and we appreciate that very much. I am speaking to those proponents and supporters of Pantheon who are understandably frustrated by some people who criticize what they don't necessarily understand. I get it. I get frustrated too at times. But a kind answer turns away wrath. Let's make an effort to convince the skeptic that he may actually end up liking Pantheon if he gives it a try. Let's take the time to talk about the great experiences we had playing some of the earlier MMOs and why they were so much fun and memorable. Sure, it's easier to just say 'well, this game isn't for you', but sometimes the easy way is not the best way.

     

    Wow, Very well said !  Awesome !

    • 1809 posts
    November 23, 2015 9:36 AM PST

    Angrykiz said:

    If you build it they will come...

     

    Stick to "The Vision" and the game will be successful I have no doubt.

     

    It doesn't matter what the haters say if when the game releases it's great. They will all jump on the wagon and start having fun with their friends.

     

    Preparing a solid foundation for Pantheon is the most important because more than any game I feel like this one has to have a solid release in a mostly polished state in order to squelch these Negative Nancys.

     

    If the release is anything like Vanguard it gives them ammunition to just say I told you so.

     

    As a final thought here... EQ1 the greatest MMO of all time and Vanguard the most ambitious MMO of all time, hmm somewhere in the middle sounds perfect for me.

     

     

    Thanks a ton to Brad and Team for all the hard work on this project,

    Kiz~

     

    I am in agreement with you kiz.  100 %  I also beleive we should be more positive and show more confidence in our team at visionary realms.  These guys are heart and soul in this project, so regardless of the " ifs" and " buts" the " might be", I can guarantee the finished product that is going to come out of this studio is going to make headlines and turn heads for a very long time.  The nay sayers will get a taste and want more and we can kindly guide them in to a realm of life long friendships.  Keep the vibe positive even in the midst of negative criticism !  * cheers * guys ! 

    • 45 posts
    November 24, 2015 1:19 PM PST

    Aradune said:

    We are being clear about what Pantheon is and is not, about who the audience we are targeting is, and that we are not making a game trying to appeal to everyone, all of the time. I think that's fair, and our responsibility -- pretending the game is something else, or something more in order to get more people to try it out wouldn't be right, it wouldn't ethical IMHO. We need to be honest and open.

     

    This is going to sound like I am fishing for more information on the game --- But it truely isn't.  I know details of all this will come in time.  

     

    Until those details come, a lot of this will be speculation and people attempting to push their own wants of the game. The tough part is stepping outside those preferences and seeing how it effects the playerbase as a whole without deviating from what the developers want (Game Tenets). Crafting, Gathering, Raiding, Instancing (and balancing battles if there is no instancing), Policing players behavior, ect have all been hot issues of my own.  

    "Challenge" is interpreted differently for different people.  There's no information on Pantheon's style of challenge --- Are we talking elaborate puzzles, twitch reflex fights, grinds?

     What is raiding going to be like?  Is it instanced?  Non-instanced?  What about the difficulties of non-instanced content?  How will all of this be handled?

     What crafting system is being used?  Gathering system?  How will this affect the economy?

     Until these core portions of the game are decided, people will constantly be voicing what they want.  Those who are passionate enough about their desire will occasionally be too aggressive.  Such is life.