Frequently Asked Questions


Revision: January 17, 2017

Note: This FAQ is a living, evolving document. While we certainly endeavor to make the answers as accurate as possible, we also reserve the right to change or modify these answers as we get closer to beta and release. Some details are also intentionally left out because they warrant testing and tweaking during beta before making those details final. We will also be adding new questions as they occur to us and come from the community.


  1. What is Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen?
  2. It sounds like Pantheon is bringing back a lot of ‘older’ MMO game mechanics. Is Pantheon a clone of older games or a modern MMO?
  3. What will Pantheon feature that is new and different?
  4. Who is the targeted player base for this game, and why?
  5. Does that mean that Pantheon’s target audience is just older players, the gamers who played and enjoyed many of the first generation of MMOs?
  6. Will you be dividing the world into zones or will it be entirely open?
  7. What can you tell me about travel in Pantheon? Will there be teleportation? Will there be any limits or restrictions?
  8. Will there be mounts and other ways to increase a player’s travel speed?
  9. Will there be flying mounts?
  10. Will there be underwater zones?
  11. Will Pantheon's classes have clear-cut roles such as the holy trinity (tank, healer, dps) or will they be much more flexible/customizable?
  12. Will playing Pantheon involve ‘camping’?
  13. So then tell us more about the concept of ‘pulling’ and ‘crowd control’?
  14. Will there be a lot of downtime while playing Pantheon?
  15. Will Pantheon require me to play for hours and hours or all night and all day to advance my character?
  16. How big are groups in Pantheon?
  17. Will you be able to solo in Pantheon?
  18. Will you be able to raid in Pantheon?
  19. Can casting a spell fail or ‘fizzle’?
  20. How will targeting work?
  21. Is there an auto-attack and if so, how will it work?
  22. Does Pantheon use tab-targeting and auto-attack or a more ‘action’ focused combat
  23. Can you go into more detail regarding the action aspect of combat?
  24. Tell me more about Spells. Can you move while casting a spell?
  25. How will loot work?
  26. What is your philosophy on item proliferation and drops?
  27. What about the notion of magical versus non-magical weapons?
  28. Will I be able to freely trade my items?
  29. Will there be many quests?
  30. Will there be ‘epic’ quests?
  31. How will I know if an NPC has a quest?
  32. Will there be a ‘death penalty’?
  33. Will players be able to make ‘macros’?
  34. Will there be crafted or player housing?
  35. Will the game have instances?
  36. Without instancing, are you concerned about overcrowding and/or too much competition for resources and content?
  37. Will there be PvP?
  38. Will there be different ruleset servers?
  39. Has Pantheon been funded? How are you guys going to address the development costs of making an MMO?
  40. Can I still make a donation to support Pantheon?
  41. On which platforms will I be able to play Pantheon?
  42. Will the game be localized? Where will the server(s) be localized? If there is a US and EU server, will there be a region lock?
  43. What is Pantheon’s Revenue Model? Will the game be pay to play, free to play, freemium or what?
  44. So then, whichever model you choose, will I have to spend money up front, before I experience the game for myself?
  45. What are the approximate timeframes for Alpha, Beta, and commercial release?
  46. What stage in development in Pantheon currently? How far along are you guys?
  47. What about people whose pledges include pre-alpha, alpha, and beta testing? When will they be invited into the game to help test and to provide feedback?
  48. Why did you choose to use the Unity engine for Pantheon?
  49. I’ve heard Unity is more suited for smaller, simple games. What major games have used or are using Unity?
  50. What do you envision the ‘End Game’ scene to be like? Classic style, with inherently difficult raids? Or more contemporary with many different levels of difficulty? Do you guys plan on raiding at all?
  51. Some MMOs have been notorious for sending way too much information to the client. How does the development team plan on combating past programs like ShowEQ and MacroQuest?
  52. Many games struggle to create unique classes because of the balancing issues that PvP creates. How do you prevent PvP from affecting PvE?
  53. How extreme will Pantheon go to make classes and races feel truly different from one another? Will Pantheon go as far as making some races have experience penalties when compared to others?
  54. “The Grind” has kept some people from joining their friends in playing MMORPGs in the past. With no plans for quest hubs how will Pantheon appeal to players who aren't interested in a grind and want story-driven content?
  55. Will the female character models be as attractive as depicted in the races section?
  56. Will we have to actually converse with NPCs or will we be prompted by punctuation over their heads?
  57. Will there be bards and necromancers in Pantheon?
  58. Will the in-game guild functions include raid attendance tracking or ‘DKP’ tracking for guild events? Will there be any tie-in with loot distribution to allow a raid leader to distribute loot through the guild tool using the aforementioned tracking systems?
  59. Will multi-boxing be allowed in Pantheon?
  60. Will language and faction be important in Pantheon and will a player be able to betray their home faction?
  61. Will there be mob trains in Pantheon?
  62. How are you going to encourage strangers to start talking to each other and play together in the game? Especially when it comes to people with already established connections within the game? How are you going to keep the new player experience good after the game has been out for six months?
  63. How do you plan to keep players interested without the hardcore grind of older MMOs? Will Pantheon be as hardcore as some older MMOs?
  64. Will there be hidden things all over the world that encourage players to travel off the beaten path? Not just for ‘story’ progression, not just for quests, but for the sake of just... adventuring?
  65. Will Pantheon have GM events to keep the world exciting?
  66. With all these races and classes are they going to become homogenized for easy balancing, or will some just naturally be better at other things than others?
  67. Would you say that the world is being designed more for 1st or 3rd person view? Will there be claustrophobic dungeons that make 3rd person play difficult? Will every dungeon have high ceilings for a 3rd person camera?
  68. Will there be a limitation to the number of abilities we can use at a given time?
  69. How will players get new spells and abilities, and will we be able to purchase them ahead, or will they have to return to a trainer to learn them as they go?
  70. Will there be skill-trees that make a class very different, or will it be level 12 warrior = level 12 warrior?
  71. Will there be a trial of the game for me to play before I buy it?
  72. Will there be any form of sea travel to get across large bodies of water? Will swimming be an option?
  73. What does Pantheon have to offer a fan of the sandbox style game?
  74. Will classes be gender locked?
  75. Are you open to the idea of additional classes post launch, or do you feel that this results in later classes having a diminished role in the world/lore?
  76. Will warriors focus on sword and shield, or will they be a master of all weapons? What might they use for dealing more damage?
  77. Will we be able to customize our own UI in-game without add-ons?
  78. Will there be a built-in voice chat system?
  79. Will there be lore based questing for lore stories?
  80. Why is this MMO going to last more than six months and not turn into a P2W F2P game?
  81. How long will you test Pantheon (alpha/beta) before launch?

What is Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen?

Please see the What is Pantheon page.


It sounds like Pantheon is bringing back a lot of ‘older’ MMO game mechanics. Is Pantheon a clone of older games or a modern MMO?

Pantheon is most definitely a modern MMO, with modern graphics and new and exciting features and mechanics. There are already emulators out there that are clones of earlier MMOs and Visionary Realms has no desire to make another emulator. That said, we also feel that many of the features and mechanics of previous MMOs have been abandoned in more recent games, resulting in a less challenging, compelling, deep, and social experience. Pantheon, therefore, will indeed bring back some of these ‘older’ mechanics and ideas, but always with a fresh perspective, some tweaks and revisions, and with an understanding that while gamers’ tastes don’t fundamentally change over time, their situations, lives, and responsibilities do. Likewise, some game mechanics often associated with earlier MMOs involve inordinate amounts of downtime, overly severe penalties, too much competition over content and resources, and even downright boring or overly repetitive gameplay. Our intention, therefore, is not to bring back ‘everything’ from the old days, but rather to pick and choose what makes sense and what is needed to make a fun, social, cooperative, and challenging game.


What will Pantheon feature that is new and different?

Please check out The Pantheon Difference.


Who is the targeted player base for this game, and why?

While some MMOs have been designed with the goal and desire to appeal to all gamers, all of the time, we at Visionary Realms believe the future of MMOs is all about making more focused games, targeting specific gamers with distinct preferences. Pantheon is first a deeply social game. Players who desire cooperative play, working together as a team, and the shared experiences that result from playing with other real people to overcome challenges will enjoy Pantheon. Players who want an MMO to be their home and to interact with communities and player-driven economies will find what they are looking for in Pantheon. Why? We feel that, at least recently, the MMO players who enjoy these elements have been orphaned. In fact, the Visionary Realms team feels they are part of this orphaned group. And it doesn’t take a lot of research to find countless articles, blogs, and posts full of players looking for this kind of experience.


Does that mean that Pantheon’s target audience is just older players, the gamers who played and enjoyed many of the first generation of MMOs?

Absolutely not. There are many younger players out there who enjoy cooperative and social play. They love playing PC and console games, regardless of genre, with their friends and against the game’s AI. When these younger gamers play Pantheon they’ll find that cooperative play, but in a lasting, persistent, and content rich virtual world. Millions of players have been exposed to massively multiplayer games in the last 15+ years. So while we’re not trying to appeal to everyone, Pantheon will attract a large group of gamers, both young and old.


Will you be dividing the world into zones or will it be entirely open?

Pantheon is a zone based game as opposed to having a truly seamless world, although this could change as technology and tools evolve, either before or after launch. Regardless, however, our current technology and tools allow us to create truly vast, rich, and detailed zones. Players will not be running frequently into zone borders. Our larger zones also allow us to create long vistas and views, and in almost all cases, if you can see a location you can travel there.


What can you tell me about travel in Pantheon? Will there be teleportation? Will there be any limits or restrictions?

Pantheon will have meaningful travel -- players will need to travel to new areas and face the dangers that come with such a journey. That said, there will be spells like EQ's Call of the Hero, which summons an ally to your side if he or she is grouped with you. There will also be a system similar to Vanguard's Caravans, where a player can log out in a group and then log back in and still be with the group, even if that group has moved. There will also be additional ways to help groups come together and stay together. But it's also important to note that this doesn't mean people will be able to travel ad hoc, anywhere in the world, at a whim, especially if they haven't traveled there by foot or horse at least once (e.g. players will need to unlock certain regions by traveling there first). More details to come as we get closer to beta and launch.


Will there be mounts and other ways to increase a player’s travel speed?

Yes, there will be a variety of mounts, as well as spells and abilities that can be obtained which increase travel speed. Players will also be able to acquire items for their characters that allow them to climb vertical surfaces.


Will there be flying mounts?

While there will certainly be flying NPCs, whether or not players will have the ability to fly is undecided at this point. We can say, that if we do offer flying mounts, either before or after launch, the goal will be to make travel more fun, not to allow players to avoid, bypass, or skip over large chunks of content.


Will there be underwater zones?

Yes. In fact, one of our playable races, the Dark Myr, is an underwater race. It is important to note here, however, that while the idea of exploring underwater areas and discovering ‘atlantean’ ruins is a compelling one, many implementations of underwater content and gameplay in other MMOs has left some gamers with a negative impression. We are confident that we can provide compelling and fun underwater zones as well as an interface and ability to move underwater that is not frustrating. Additionally, our goal of having underwater zones is not only to provide a different feel and atmosphere, but also to create areas where different tactics can come into play. Underwater exploration and combat is more of a 3D experience, since you can be attacked from any direction, including above you and below you. Some good examples of this are the Battle Room from the book and movie Ender’s Game and the combat in the nebula between Kirk and Khan in the original Star Trek 2 movie, where Kirk outsmarts Khan by attacking from above using his familiarity with 3d space to his advantage.


Will Pantheon's classes have clear-cut roles such as the holy trinity (tank, healer, dps) or will they be much more flexible/customizable?

Pantheon does indeed use a class based system, and those classes do fulfill roles, especially in group and raid contexts. There will also be opportunities to focus each class on more specific and specialized roles, especially at higher levels. That said, because we feel it’s important that classes fulfill distinct roles, creating interdependence is vital to a fulfilling social and cooperative experience. If everyone is the same, this simply cannot be achieved. Likewise, if every class is absolutely unique, grouping can become overly complicated and, in some cases, certain classes could be less desirable to have in a group than others. To avoid this, Pantheon will use a ‘quaternity’ system consisting of tank, healer, DPS, and crowd-control.


Will playing Pantheon involve ‘camping’?

This is a tricky question to answer, primarily because ‘camping’ means many different things to many people. To some, camping means sitting around in one place for hours on end with lots of downtime and lots of boredom too. To others, it means moving to different locations, establishing a foothold in a dangerous area, and then often having one or more members of the group ‘pulling’ mobs back to that foothold. The developers of Pantheon are interested far more in the latter than the former. If done correctly, this style of gameplay can be a lot of fun and also provide opportunities to socialize. That said, while Terminus is more of an open ‘sandbox’ world and not about moving linearly from one quest hub to another, establishing footholds in the depths of dungeons will not be the only way to advance your character.


So then tell us more about the concept of ‘pulling’ and ‘crowd control’?

In many cases, we want to bring back the gameplay of pulling and splitting packs of mobs. To facilitate this players will need tools that make this possible. These tools will come in the form of spells and abilities that allow you to ‘lull’ or ‘pacify’ the mob. In cases where you have to deal with more than one mob some classes will have the ability to cast spells like ‘root’, ‘snare’, ‘mesmerize’, etc.


Will there be a lot of downtime while playing Pantheon?

This is also a tricky question to answer because ‘too much’ downtime is different depending on the player. We feel our target audience does enjoy some downtime, whether it’s to take a bio break or to do some socializing. But we also feel situations with too much downtime or repetition can be boring, even for our specific audience, and we will endeavor to avoid it.


Will Pantheon require me to play for hours and hours or all night and all day to advance my character?

No. While the world of Terminus will consist of vast landscapes and epic dungeons, there is no reason to require players to play long, contiguous gaming sessions. Players will be able to play a couple of hours, logout, and return later to continue their journey. There will also be mechanics and features to both help people get together and group and also to make lasting friendships. To further facilitate this there will also be ways for players to keep their group together even if some members of the group can play longer than others or at different times.


How big are groups in Pantheon?

There will be a limit to group size (currently 6-8 players, but that’s not set in stone) to add a tactical element in terms of group configuration.


Will you be able to solo in Pantheon?

Yes, while most content will be designed for groups, there will typically also be content that is soloable. Some classes may solo better than other classes.


Will you be able to raid in Pantheon?

Yes, there will be Raid content in Pantheon. That said, the majority of content is being designed for grouping, with the remainder for soloing or raiding.


Can casting a spell fail or ‘fizzle’?

Spells have a chance to fizzle or do less damage because of a resist and this applies to both players and NPCs. We feel this will add an additional level of tactics, knowledge, and challenge.


How will targeting work?

There will be both offensive and defensive targets. Beneficial spells and abilities will be directed toward your defensive target, while harmful spells and abilities will be directed at your offensive target. Some spells and abilities, primarily area-of-effect spells, will involve targeting the ground or area around your foes.


Is there an auto-attack and if so, how will it work?

There will be a traditional auto-attack system. Passive abilities will trigger automatically during combat (dodge, parry, etc.). This gives the player the time to focus on selecting abilities and spells (magic missile, fireball, counterspells, deflections, etc.) based on what’s going on tactically in combat.


Does Pantheon use tab-targeting and auto-attack or a more ‘action’ focused combat system?

We realize that some MMOs have used a more ‘action’ oriented combat system, where you click on different buttons to attack, swing your sword, dodge, etc. With Pantheon, combat will still be action-packed and require close attention to combat, using tactics, as well as reacting to what mobs and other players may be doing. In fact, so much will be going on that you will not want to have to worry about whether you are swinging your sword or not -- you will be casting spells, assuming stances, countering or deflecting your opponent’s moves and spells, and more. Additionally you will click on or use the tab key to change targets, but there will also be a subset of spells where you can target the ground (for example, some area-of-effect spells).


Can you go into more detail regarding the action aspect of combat?

The player will have enough time to react to what the NPC is doing (counterspell, deflect, move out of the way, etc.). Combat is more involved and the player will need to pay attention, but it is not ‘twitch’ in the way a first person shooter is.


Tell me more about Spells. Can you move while casting a spell?

Most spells can be cast when you are moving, however they will more often than not slow down your movement speed. Some spells will require you to stand and not move; likewise, some spells may not slow your movement speed. Additionally, while most spells are spoken, some are gestured, the latter being very handy when an area is silenced by a player or NPC.


How will loot work?

Mobs that you kill have a chance to drop loot. The loot you obtain after defeating a mob should make sense relative to the type of mob. In other words, pelts and fur should come from animals, and swords and shields from sentient beings. Rats will not drop breastplates, unless perhaps they are really big rats who just finished eating your friend. Items will not be the only thing an mob may drop -- in Pantheon, many of the more rare and exotic spells and abilities are found not at the local trainer but from a wise sage hiding in the depths of a dungeon or at the top of a remote tower.


What is your philosophy on item proliferation and drops?

Our desire to bring back the value and personality of items drives our item design. This means that the frequency of upgrades will be slower and when you do get a new piece of gear not only will the experience be memorable but so will the item. We want you to collect your items and be able to remember their names. When you get that epic item or rare drop after an incredible dungeon crawl, we want you to be in awe of what you have accomplished and the reward that came from it. Items will be memorable, deserved, cherished, and desired.

There will also be many ‘situational’ items. Please see The Pantheon Difference.


What about the notion of magical versus non-magical weapons?

Lower level items will have their limits. Many will not be ‘magical’, limiting the types of mobs you can engage. That said, the first few levels should go fairly quickly and then advancement will slow as the player gets into the meat of the game. Roleplaying-wise it’s traditional to start with more basic equipment, then gain access to more powerful non-magical gear, and then eventually magical gear and even planar gear. High level items will include procs (the ability to cast spells themselves), bane bonuses, regeneration & spell focus bonuses, and more.


Will I be able to freely trade my items?

We recognize that the items you gain from your adventures or hard earned gold coins are yours and that you should be able to do with them whatever you want. This means that no-drop and bind-on-equip items will be the exception, not the rule. Epic weapons or items used for quests may be restricted, but the majority of items will not. That said, some quests may require you to turn in an older item in order to complete them. You will also be able to sacrifice items at altars in temples in return for valuable and long lasting ‘buffs’. So while the game will not stop you from handing down most items to other players, it will also encourage you to remove older items from the player-driven economy by rewarding you accordingly.


Will there be many quests?

Story and lore elements are essential to our Quest system – they need to be meaningful and give purpose. But as a player you should never feel overwhelmed with a bunch of quests that are nothing but mundane tasks. When you get a quest the intent is that it will be epic in nature and reinforce the fact that you are a resurrected hero. More specifically, Pantheon is not a ‘quest hub’ game, where you move to one level appropriate hub, do a bunch of quests in that area, and then move to the next hub; rather, you will need to search out and find quests by interacting with PCs and in a less linear and more ‘sandbox’ style setting.


Will there be ‘epic’ quests?

Absolutely. Some of the most memorable gaming experiences stem from the adventure involved in obtaining and earning ‘epic’ weapons and items. These quests should be class defining moments and fill you with a major sense of accomplishment when completed. Whether hunting for clues to start a quest or trying to figure out the right thing to say or do in order to get to the next step, epic quests will be a significant social component of the game.


How will I know if an NPC has a quest?

If you want to find out if an NPC has a quest all you have to do is… talk to him. We will NOT be utilizing the ‘over the head icon’ approach. We want you investigate your surroundings and gather information and interacting with NPCs is a big part of that. So don’t be shy, speak with the inhabitants of Terminus and engage the world!


Will there be a ‘death penalty’?

We want the player to respect and even fear the environment, but also to be enticed by it. A big part of achieving this balance is making sure there is an incentive to avoid death. While the details of this system are not yet fleshed out (and will likely be tweaked and changed a bit during beta), you can expect death to be something you’d rather avoid. That said, if a death penalty is too severe, it can keep players away from some of the more challenging and rewarding content, and we are keeping this in mind as well. So death will sting, but it will also not involve losing an unreasonable amount of experience, or levels, or a permanent loss of items.


Will players be able to make ‘macros’?

There will be plenty of / (slash) commands that players can assign to hot keys. Likewise, the GUI will be customizable. But players will not be able to make hotkeys that automate playing their character or chaining a long list of commands together.


Will there be crafted or player housing?

Eventually, yes, although whether it will be something we can offer at release or something we offer after launch is still up in the air at this point. We can say that our desire for creating housing, outposts, and other types of buildings is to be able to place them in non-instanced parts of the real game world and have them impact gameplay (as opposed to having housing that is purely cosmetic).


Will the game have instances?

Pantheon will support instancing to a limited degree, using it primarily for storytelling in a linear fashion, perhaps at the end of an epic quest. The vast majority of content, however, will exist in non-instanced shared zones.


Without instancing, are you concerned about overcrowding and/or too much competition for resources and content?

Overcrowding and too much competition are indeed problems that have plagued both MMOs with and without instancing. If there are not enough players around, it can be hard to group and socialize. But if there are too many people around, the world feels crowded and people have to wait for encounters or spawns, or even compete for them. Our answer to this issue is twofold: first, primarily during the later phases of beta, we will determine how many people online at one time in our game world feels right -- neither under crowded nor overcrowded. Second, if and when a server’s/shard’s population grows too large, we will launch a new shard with incentives for players to spread out. And with our harnessing of cloud hosted servers/shards, this is actually something we can do dynamically, easily, and quickly.


Will there be PvP?

Pantheon is primarily a PvE (player vs. environment) game. In fact, when we say ‘environment’, we don’t just mean NPCs, but also contending with climates and atmospheres, the very world itself. That said, we understand that a portion of our target audience also enjoys player vs. player. Our experience is that separate PvE and PvP shards is the answer, however it is too early to predict how many PvP servers we would launch with. It is also worth mentioning that, when we do eventually focus on PvP we will do so such that tweaks and changes to classes and races in order to make PvP more fun will not affect the balance of Pantheon’s PvE experience.


Will there be different ruleset servers?

We are definitely fans of alternate ruleset servers, be they PvP, role-playing focused, hard-core focused, etc. That said, our ability to offer alternate ruleset servers will depend, at least at launch, on how many servers we need and can support in total.


Has Pantheon been funded? How are you guys going to address the development costs of making an MMO?

In addition to money coming in via crowdfunding, Visionary Realms received a significant first round of funding from an angel investor earlier this year. This enabled us to put the team on payroll as well as bring on additional developers. We are currently seeking a second round of funding to enable us to continue to build the team, specifically more artists and world builders. If you are interested in investing in Visionary Realms and Pantheon, click here.


Can I still make a donation to support Pantheon?

Absolutely. While crowdfunding is not Pantheon’s only source of development resources, it is and has been an important one. Click here for pledge and sign up options.


On which platforms will I be able to play Pantheon?

We will have a Windows client available at launch, at minimum. Other platforms are possible, perhaps after launch.


Will the game be localized? Where will the server(s) be localized? If there is a US and EU server, will there be a region lock?

While we do not currently have plans for localization, we may explore the option in the future.


What is Pantheon’s Revenue Model? Will the game be pay to play, free to play, freemium or what?

We are considering either using the traditional subscription based model or a model where the player buys the game and then has the option of purchasing mini-expansions or ‘modules’ after launch. Either way, the game’s world will continue to expand, more content will be added, as well as new features and mechanics. Visionary Realms strongly believes that the revenue model of an MMO needs to match the game’s target audience. Because of this, Pantheon will not be ‘freemium’ or have ‘cash shops’ -- building your character and advancing in-game will be based on time invested and tactics used, not on how much money the player has in real life.


So then, whichever model you choose, will I have to spend money up front, before I experience the game for myself?

No, absolutely not. The first 5-10 levels of the game (details TBD) will be absolutely free, without handicaps. Nor will there be a physical box you have to buy (although we are not ruling out the option of purchasing a special, premium box for those who like to have something tangible to go along with their virtual world). We feel strongly that you should have the opportunity to play and experience Pantheon for a time and then decide if the game is right for you before having to pull out your wallet.


What are the approximate timeframes for Alpha, Beta, and commercial release?

There are many variables involved and developing a massively multiplayer game is not an easy thing to do. Our goal is to be in alpha and beta testing in 2017. The launch date is to be determined. This is not set in stone, and dates are subject to change.


What stage in development in Pantheon currently? How far along are you guys?

We recently completed an important internal milestone. We currently have four zones up on cloud servers and are able to play, test, and balance the core playable classes between levels 1-10, including combat, travel, and the abilities/spells/stances/actions for each base class. The foundation and core gameplay elements are present. Once testing, tweaking, and balancing of this milestone is complete, we will continue forward, testing higher levels, adding more zones, and implementing any remaining features and mechanics.


What about people whose pledges include pre-alpha, alpha, and beta testing? When will they be invited into the game to help test and to provide feedback?

We are absolutely committed to upholding our end of pledge rewards, including pre-alpha, alpha, and beta testing. That said, it serves no one and no purpose to bring people in too early. As soon as the game is ready to bring in outside testers, we will honor our commitments to do so. At this point, however, it is too early to commit to any specific dates.


Why did you choose to use the Unity engine for Pantheon?

There were a lot of reasons we chose Unity, and they all had to do with the positives of the engine, not necessarily the negatives of others. Much of the decision came down to the fact that it is an engine that enabled us to get to work quickly without requiring an expensive and large team. Unity has also allowed us to rapidly develop the game itself and will also enable us to deploy to multiple platforms with minimal effort. Unity is truly a ‘game engine’ and not just a ‘graphics engine’. It also supports the use of higher level languages like C# and the easy inclusion of a variety of plug-ins. These features and more allow the Pantheon development team to focus on making a game first and not an engine. We are a lean and mean team and we want to spend the majority of our time making the game itself, not tweaking and modifying the core of a graphics engine or having to also build a broad suite of tools or addons.


I’ve heard Unity is more suited for smaller, simple games. What major games have used or are using Unity?

While Unity originally may have been geared towards smaller and more simple games, a lot has changed since then. Unity’s developers are committed to providing an engine every bit as capable as any other professional game engine. In fact, we have a special relationship with them and they are excited to see a major MMO being developed using their technology. Here are some of the AAA games that are using the Unity engine:

● Crowfall
● Deus Ex: The Fall
● Might & Magic X Legacy
● République
● Gloria Victis
● Wasteland 2
● Dead Trigger 2
● Kerbal Space Program
● Call of Duty®: Strike Team
● Endless Space
● Shroud of the Avatar

A longer list may be found here.


What do you envision the ‘End Game’ scene to be like? Classic style, with inherently difficult raids? Or more contemporary with many different levels of difficulty? Do you guys plan on raiding at all?

We're trying to avoid the term 'End Game' because it has evolved into something far different than what it literally means. In some games, the perception that the true game, the ‘fun’ game, doesn’t begin until the 'end game' came to exist. The reason why isn't super important and varies depending on the game but with Pantheon you won’t be compelled to rush to the final levels.

First, even if you were able to rush to maximum level, you would be incredibly ill-equipped to handle high-end combat. Because you found some way to rush (perhaps a bug, etc.) your character won't have what it needs to do well at the higher levels. Second, most content in Pantheon will be designed around grouping, with smaller amounts designed for soloing and raiding. Pantheon is not primarily a raiding game, though we know many in our community enjoy raiding. Same with soloing -- it is not Pantheon's focus, but some people like to solo occasionally. Also, there is no reason why we couldn't have, say, level 20 or level 30 raids. In other words, there is nothing magical or special at the final levels that somehow allows you to experience an aspect of Pantheon that was previously hidden. That is not the case. Lastly, we will be launching expansions frequently enough to keep ahead of most players and raising the level cap as necessary.


Some MMOs have been notorious for sending way too much information to the client. How does the development team plan on combating past programs like ShowEQ and MacroQuest?

We are keenly aware of this issue. With Pantheon, we’ve been architecting the client from day one to be as dumb as possible and only sending the bare minimum of information.



Many games struggle to create unique classes because of the balancing issues that PvP creates. How do you prevent PvP from affecting PvE?

The issue with balance and PvP vs PvE is not one that is that difficult to solve but it does require planning: you just use different formulas and data - you don't cross your streams. That way, if we need to make Paladins in PvE more powerful, we can do that without disrupting PvP balance. And vice versa.



How extreme will Pantheon go to make classes and races feel truly different from one another? Will Pantheon go as far as making some races have experience penalties when compared to others?

One’s race and class should definitely result in a different experience and playing an alt should feel reasonably different. As for significant racial penalties, like experience penalties, we don't think anything like that will be necessary in Pantheon.


“The Grind” has kept some people from joining their friends in playing MMORPGs in the past. With no plans for quest hubs how will Pantheon appeal to players who aren't interested in a grind and want story-driven content?

Gaining experience by any means, including killing mobs, finishing quests, etc. is still the fundamental way to keep track of a character’s vertical progression and accomplishments. That much is similar between earlier MMOs and Pantheon and, really, between almost all MMOs. The Perception system is our answer to boring quest hubs and being told to accomplish things that really have nothing to do with the environment and the lore. By using your Perception skill, by finding Perception triggers, and by following them where they lead, you will be doing 'quests', but quests given to you in context by the environment. You can be rewarded in just as many ways as a traditional quest: experience, items, a quest token, etc., as well as with special skills and abilities.



Will the female character models be as attractive as depicted in the races section?

We sure hope so. The female playable characters in Pantheon brings up an important point: they will be very attractive, heroic in appearance, a persona anyone could look up to; but they will not be overly sexualized. We want all players to be proud of their character and their appearance.



Will we have to actually converse with NPCs or will we be prompted by punctuation over their heads?

There will be no punctuation or other symbols above NPCs’ heads. You will either have to begin a conversation with an NPC or an NPC may begin one with you. Likewise, the environment itself will give clues and help you start or pick up a quest. Please check elsewhere in the FAQ and Pantheon Difference to learn about the Perception System.



Will there be bards and necromancers in Pantheon?

Yes, but it’s still uncertain whether or not they will be available at launch. Either way, they will be unique and important classes.



Will the in-game guild functions include raid attendance tracking or ‘DKP’ tracking for guild events? Will there be any tie-in with loot distribution to allow a raid leader to distribute loot through the guild tool using the aforementioned tracking systems?

Yes, pretty much all of that and more.



Will multi-boxing be allowed in Pantheon?

Our reaction to multi-boxing is to try something first before we even entertain the idea of artificially restricting it: We want to make combat, especially mid and higher level combat, so tactically intense, with so much going on, so much to do, so much to counter, so many companions to keep alive, and the timing of many abilities crucial, that multi-boxing is, if not impossible, extremely difficult and likely far inferior to having an actual real person in your group.



Will language and faction be important in Pantheon and will a player be able to betray their home faction?

We like all of that in general -- the question comes up though: to what degree should these factions matter and does this sort of thing slip into PvP territory? If it does, you'd only see it in PvP servers. But changing your factions so NPCs will react differently to you -- this is all key to the game -- our faction system will be quite robust. Yes, you could betray your home or default factions.



Will there be mob trains in Pantheon?

Yes. In fact, with our better mob pathing, they can be even more dangerous.



How are you going to encourage strangers to start talking to each other and play together in the game? Especially when it comes to people with already established connections within the game? How are you going to keep the new player experience good after the game has been out for six months?

There will be an entire system of features and mechanics to help people find new friends and others to group with -- there is no one special solution to such a challenge -- it must be a priority and addressed from many angles.

Some quick and easy examples, of course, would be to reward people who don't know each other to group together, to help them stay in contact, to allow them if they want to share personal information, to allow searching for new friends, assuming that person chooses to participate in matchmaking. The main point is that we'll be doing all sorts of things to proactively bring people together and KEEP them together.

This is the opposite of something like a dungeon finder that randomly brings in people you need to do an instance, you then do the instance likely not even speaking a word, and then once the instance is over, the group disperses. This is what damages communities and true social interaction.



How do you plan to keep players interested without the hardcore grind of older MMOs? Will Pantheon be as hardcore as some older MMOs?

There's no easy answer here. Keeping players interested and playing a long time, whether in one session or spread out over days, involves creating compelling gameplay. Player rewards, leveling, earning new abilities, and acquiring more powerful items at a reasonable rate is one way to make your game sticky. Add in that grouping with others will be encouraged and rewarded and that people will be making new friends in-game and you have a situation where your comrades need you to log in with them or order advance. Most people who want to be part of a team, to be a team player, respond well to this pressure.

As for how ‘hardcore’ Pantheon will be, we’ve said it wouldn't be as grindy, and the type of grind we were referring to involves tedious repetition. But that doesn't mean Pantheon won't be difficult, or involved, or require time invested in order to advance -- in fact, virtually all MUDs and MMOs are built around time invested as the primary advancement mechanism. Pantheon will both challenge and entertain you.



Will there be hidden things all over the world that encourage players to travel off the beaten path? Not just for ‘story’ progression, not just for quests, but for the sake of just... adventuring?

Yes, linked to our Perception system. If your perception skill is not high enough or the wrong type, what may be visible to others will not be visible to you.



Will Pantheon have GM events to keep the world exciting?

Not just GM events, by an intricate Event System to keep the world more dynamic and a commitment by the live team to revamp older zones to keep them popular as well.



With all these races and classes are they going to become homogenized for easy balancing, or will some just naturally be better at other things than others?

On a high level, overall, there must be balance. If not, everyone would feel compelled to play only the race/class combination more powerful than the others. That said, what race you choose will involve receiving different racial innate abilities that can and will be handy while adventuring. So, there will be times when the race you choose is to your and your party’s advantage, other times neutral, and other times to your disadvantage. Same with classes. They will all be useful in any serious dungeon or other adventure area but one may be more advantageous in certain scenarios and situations.



Would you say that the world is being designed more for 1st or 3rd person view? Will there be claustrophobic dungeons that make 3rd person play difficult? Will every dungeon have high ceilings for a 3rd person camera?

We test consistently in both and plan to support both. There are indeed areas where one view may be advantageous over another.



Will there be a limitation to the number of abilities we can use at a given time?

You may be limited to a subset of your abilities for the next encounter, causing you to have to intelligently plan ahead and memorize the spells most effective against the upcoming enemy. Likewise, you'll want to memorize spells that counter the upcoming mob’s abilities. Lastly, you may have some abilities that work synergistically with others in your group. But the key point here is that these tactical decisions can be made right before the actual encounter. Then, say you move on deeper into the dungeon and are about to confront a different boss, with different abilities and a different disposition, it may make tactical sense to prep different abilities. So yes, you are limited to that extent (you cannot simply use any of your 80+ abilities whenever you wish) because planning for the battle ahead and doing so effectively is key to Pantheon. The exact number of spells, abilities, feats and actions one can prep is TBD and won’t likely be finalized until Beta (what’s depicted in screenshots showing the UI is not final).



How will players get new spells and abilities, and will we be able to purchase them ahead, or will they have to return to a trainer to learn them as they go?

At this point you could buy them ahead of time but that is not set in stone. An important factoid however: not all of your abilities and spells will be on trainers sitting in safe spaces in villages and towns; rather, the more exotic and desired abilities you'll have to learn from NPCs whom you'll have to find -- for example, an ancient sage found in the depths of a dungeon or at the top room of an ominous tower.



Will there be skill-trees that make a class very different, or will it be level 12 warrior = level 12 warrior?

Pantheon is a traditional level based system with skills and abilities that are unlocked and practiced as you level up. Some customization and specialization will be present, but never to the point where a warrior ceases to be a warrior.



Will there be a trial of the game for me to play before I buy it?

Yes, a new player will be able to download and play Pantheon to a certain level for free, with a minimum of impediments. It's important to us that players, especially those who might not be familiar with classically spirited MMOs, be given a chance to acclimate and truly enjoy the game. That said, some restrictions on the free character may have to be made in order to avoid it being used by farmers, griefers, etc.



Will there be any form of sea travel to get across large bodies of water? Will swimming be an option?

We've not finalized how sea travel will work at launch, but eventually you'll be able to sail ships around the world (definitely post-launch). Before all of that is implemented, however, and by launch, some limited class abilities like those that teleport you over land would likely teleport you over water as well.

As for Swimming, it is not only an option but a very important skill with one of our player races being aquatic. Spells and items that give your character underwater breathing can also be obtained.



What does Pantheon have to offer a fan of the sandbox style game?

Pantheon is definitely more open world and ‘sandboxy’ than many MMOs, but it is still at its core a game system, not a true sandbox sans rules. But the key point is that you can go where you want to go, take on whatever you want to take on (though you may die trying), and travel to wherever you can see (assuming you don't freeze to death en route). So, the decisions are yours -- you are not being led around by the game on rails, with only so many options or decision points.



Will classes be gender locked?

No gender locking – we don’t see the need or advantage.


Are you open to the idea of additional classes post launch, or do you feel that this results in later classes having a diminished role in the world/lore?

We are indeed open to adding them but only if done correctly and with care. You are correct that, implemented poorly, later classes can have diminished roles in the world and in lore. We are committed to not taking short cuts, to doing things right, and we are tenacious enough to execute on these commitments.


Will warriors focus on sword and shield, or will they be a master of all weapons? What might they use for dealing more damage?

We wouldn't say warriors are masters of all weapons, no. They are masters of some weapons, and this may vary on what race of warrior you are. Warriors generally have the most varied melee combat skills, like parry, dodge, riposte, dual wield, etc. But other classes will be very formidable in melee combat as well -- they'll just express their lethality using different items, skills, and tactics.


Will we be able to customize our own UI in-game without add-ons?

Yes, the UI will be customizable and skinnable. We will likely avoid, however, true scripting languages that might allow a player to create macros that automate gameplay.


Will there be a built-in voice chat system?

Yes. While many players may use other chat clients we still want to implement optional voice chat in-game. Most likely you would only hear and be able to chat with people in your group and guild as hearing everyone around you becomes a cacophony of noise.


Will there be lore based questing for lore stories?

Absolutely. Virtually all quests (both traditional and perception triggered) will be based on the lore of the world.


Why is this MMO going to last more than six months and not turn into a P2W F2P game?

Pantheon is being designed on a proven foundation of MMO mechanics, gameplay, and systems design. It’s being built to support grouping, teamwork, community, and shared experiences. It’s also about having a clear idea of who we are making the game for and not sacrificing features that make MMOs sticky in an attempt to appeal to everyone.

It's also about priorities, keeping to a budget, and experience. The Visionary Realms team has members who were key architects of an MMO that has been running since 1999 and another that ran seven years. We are confident that if in the past, by harnessing teamwork and community, by creating environments conducive to building true friendships, we were able to entertain people for months and even years that we can do it again. In fact, with the online gamespace having grown so considerably in recent years we are confident that a significant number of MMO gamers will be drawn to a truly social game, to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.


How long will you test Pantheon (alpha/beta) before launch?

Ideally, we want to be in testing for a full year -- this approach helped launch past games in a solid, balanced way, and we want this for Pantheon as well.


Proceed to Lore