Reader Questions

Posted date / 03.20.19

Caine asks: How subtle can the perception system get? Will my appreciation for exploring every nook and cranny of the world pay off?

CP: Yes. The Perception system is designed to cover a broad spectrum of story-related, discoverable content. This will include epic, overarching storylines and insight into prominent events and points of interest. But it will also guide players into discovering the smaller, more intricate details of the world. The goal is that as players become more familiar with the Perception system, they will carry a sense of expectation for what things they might discover, great or small, in the “nooks and crannies” across Terminus.

Jamie Stewart asks: What do NPCs do to make the world feel real?

CP: I’ll offer a couple of quick examples. You can expect NPCs in cities and villages to have certain social and domestic behaviors that add to the immersion and realism of the game world. Things like guards lighting torches and braziers while on patrol at night. Certain citizens of cities and villages will return to their houses and close/lock their doors at night. But most notably, our Disposition system is designed to give most NPCs a layer of behavioral AI that will make their actions unpredictable in combat and certain non-combat situations as well.

Obelisk asks: Will nighttime be dark and will it make the world a different place?

Chris Perkins: Nighttime will certainly be dark, and nighttime in certain places throughout Terminus could be darker than normal depending on the environment and/or other mystical forces at work. On the whole, we want nighttime (and darkness by extension) to be considered dangerous. Not only will your vision be more limited and light sources more important, but there will be several unique events, quests, and NPCs that only come out at night—and a host of vicious creatures that will send chills up your spine.

@TravDood asks: Will there be wandering OP mobs in lower level zones for a random element of danger?

CP: We definitely plan to do this in many areas, and have some exciting gameplay ideas to go along with some of the more significant NPCs that fill this role.

@_Quest_ asks: How in-depth will character creation be? (This is less my question and more my wife’s.)

CP: You can expect a character creation and customization process that is comparable to modern MMORPGs, including facial customization and certain Race-specific flourishes.

Chris Rostant asks: How in depth is the perception system? Like, does it create full-on quests with a quest log that I can track in case I go down a rabbit hole? Or is it more of, oh you notice this thing, good for you bud here is a reward?

CP: It’s both. The Perception system will present you with full quests called Storylines, which can be epic in nature in terms of depth and length. When you initiate the Perception system by becoming a Keeper, you will receive a Tome of Keeping which will serve as a quest log of sorts, helping you keep track of the different clues, triggers, and information you’ve come across on your Perception journey.

Andrew Peters asks: Will there only be one way to deal with acclimation? Or will there be multiple ways of acclimating a character to an environment?

CP: Players will acclimate to various climates primarily through the use of Glyphs that are applied to specific parts of the body. The amount of acclimation provided by these Glyphs is determined by the power and rarity of the Glyph used, and the part of the body it is applied to. The various parts of the body are weighted differently, therefore applying a Glyph to the chest will result in a higher acclimation score than applying a Glyph to the hands.

In addition to these Glyphs, players can improve their Acclimation score to a lesser degree via special items, buffs, and certain racial passives. Players may also be able to raise their Acclimation through prolonged exposure to individual climate types.

Beefcake asks: How will progeny work?

CP: We’re not ready to go into details on the Progeny system yet.

Mathir asks: Why is the "Control" role considered as part of the "Quaternity" of the four main group-based roles in this game, yet unlike every other member of the group (heals, tank, DPS), there is only one class (Enchanter) that specializes in that role? And even if the Bard does make it in by launch, and also specializes in that role, that would only be two class options available for people wanting to play a "Control" role in a group. Why are there not at least three distinct class playstyle options available for the Control role as there are for every other role in the quaternity?

CP: Ultimately, we didn’t set out with a “3-per-archetype” approach in mind. There are three Tanks and three Healers, but actually five Classes that fit into the DPS archetype: Monk, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard, and Summoner. And, two that are focused on Control (Enchanter and Bard). Now, while this may inflate the issue and make Control seem that much more under-represented, it’s meant to highlight the uniqueness and specialty of that role.

There is a careful amount of CC spread among some of the other Classes. A Rogue or Ranger or Paladin can choose to stop their DPS/tanking for a time to focus on pulling off some feats of Crowd Control, but the Enchanter and Bard are unique in that their design and kit revolves around CC.

oneADseven asks: With the name of the game being Pantheon, how much of an impact will the "Pantheon" for each race have on gameplay, progression, and character customization?

CP: I won’t say much on this topic just yet, but because of the Celestial Boundary, the direct involvement or influence of each race’s Pantheon is heavily diminished. Without going into detail on if or how that changes, you can expect the Perception system to reward you with a great deal of insight on the various Celestials and the roles they may yet have to play.

Zoltar asks: I want to know if the ability for Wizards to regen mana through arcane dps and Enchanters to drain mana reflects an overall philosophy for enabling active-mana regeneration that will be extended to other non-healing casters (Summoner/Bard/Necro) and possibly healers OR should they just be considered unique mechanics for those classes?

CP: For now, these should be considered unique mechanics for these specific Classes.

@Fuel_ssbm asks: How exactly will the different races impact the class? For example will a Halfling Ranger be faster or an Elf Ranger have faster mana regen?

CP: In addition to variations in starting attribute and resistance scores, each of the nine Races will have their own innate passive and active abilities that will further differentiate them. With this in mind, there will be many different synergies between a Race’s unique stats and abilities and the Classes they become.

@aa99barnsey asks: Are totems still planned as part of the shaman class?

CP: No.

MauvaisOeil asks: Will "hirode's" fox depend on the druid's race or be the same for everyone? (i.e.: Tuna for dark myr, Bear for ogres, etc...)

CP: Hirode (he-RO-day) the White Fox will be the same for all Druids.

A bit of backstory: after arriving on Terminus, the Halfling Ward Masae’s powerful affinity with nature has caused her role in Terminus to transcend far beyond the Halflings. Much of her devotion is now focused on cultivating the Druid order at large, and to that end she has gifted each Druid with a manifestation of her personal companion, Hirode.

Speaknoevil 2 asks: What are the team's goals/desires behind pet classes and pet mechanics? Namely, will pets be relatively the same in terms of attack and ability to control across all classes, or will some pet classes rely more heavily on their pets than others? Will there be “quality of life” concepts like an EQ /pet hold to allow for more pet control or will they just run amok?

CP: The goal is for the pet classes to feel meaningfully different from each other in their own playstyle and the playstyle of their pets.

The Summoner will rely heavily on their pets for their damage output. But it goes deeper than that, because Summoners will also be seeking to improve the power of their pets through upgrading special, persistent gear their pets will be able to equip. So for Summoners, their pets’ growth and equipment will be just as important as their own.

The Druid, on the other hand, will use Hirode to heal and protect instead of engaging in combat because it cannot attack or be attacked. So while the Druid will manually control Hirode, it will be in different ways and for different reasons than the Summoner.

You can expect a wide variety of controls for your pets and several QoL considerations to make that process more responsive and enjoyable.

@Turiaix asks: Can I level up without ever leaving the starting city?

CP: There will be ways to gain experience within city walls, but it should not be considered an effective way to take a character to max level.

Ernest Scribner: Is solo viable to level max? Is there any solo content?

CP: Currently, there are no plans to design content specifically for solo players. It will be up to the players to find ways to solo within Pantheon and it will certainly be possible to do so, with some Classes being more adept at it than others. As we’ve said in the past, we are not discouraging solo play, we simply aren’t designing for it.

@Bazgrim Tv asks: In such a group-oriented game, how will systems (such as the caravan system) work to allow people with limited play time to make progress with sessions of only a few hours at a time, without often inconveniencing the groups they join?

CP: Maximizing group play time for people with limited schedules is an important part of our design philosophy. We have several ideas in mind for how we want to approach this, including the Caravan system, but we are not ready to share details at this time.

@IDDQD90617269 asks: Will the game launch with an AA system and an alternate way to use character xp?

CP: We are exploring a few ideas, but nothing concrete to share at this time.

Nina Felwitch asks: Will it be possible to adjust your level to group members? If I'm level 50 and my friends just started playing, can I play with them without ruining their experience because I kill everything with one hit? Other games let you scale down your level, either by choice or automatically.

CP: The goal is to have a mentoring system like this in place to facilitate higher level players adventuring with lower level players without penalty to those lower level players. Further details yet to come.

Jabit asks: With an emphasis on challenging group content, how will you prevent people from circumventing such challenges by simply turning up in greater numbers?

CP: I know this is an important question for many players, and as soon as we are ready to share details on this we will make a big splash about it.

@Dayhjawk asks: How are the worlds connected so players can travel and meet up with friends?

CP: The world of Terminus at launch will consist of three separate continents: Kingsreach, Reignfall, and Whitethaw. Players will be able to travel between these three continents via sea-faring vessels—and possibly air ships, if Gnomes are involved ;)

In addition to these general forms of transportation, certain Classes like the Druid and Wizard will gain special abilities at higher levels that will allow them to transport themselves and members of their group to various locations throughout Terminus. You can expect more information on Wizard Gateways and Druid Wandering Stones in the future.

Our faction system will ensure that travel is meaningful and often risky, depending on how your race, your class, and the decisions you’ve made along the way are viewed by the NPCs that occupy the area you are traveling to.

Bloodfire asks: How do you locate a quest? I understand you want it to be part of the perception system, but can you give us a solid example of how this will play out in game? I'd really like to see the text of a typical quest. Will they be as cryptic as EQ1? I realise that is three questions, but I guess it will need one answer.

CP: There is a distinction between “basic” quests, which are available to everyone, and the quests connected to the Perception system, which we call Storylines, available only to Keepers. Since I did a Behind the Design on the Perception system recently, I’ll use this opportunity to explain basic quests more clearly.

You will find basic quests scattered throughout every part of Terminus, especially around residential areas such as outposts, villages, cities, etc. Any time you encounter an NPC who will speak with you, there is a chance that NPC could have a quest available. And the only way you will know is if you speak with them. The only exception to that being certain NPCs who will /wave or a similar emote as players walk by to announce they have something they want you to hear or do.

Most conversations with NPCs will include a bit of personal insight about the individual you are speaking with and some context about local or regional happenings. But if the NPC has a quest available, they will also include making a small request of you on the NPC’s behalf. These basic quests will not be cryptic in nature and will use a keyword system to progress the dialogue. The keywords will be highlighted, and instead of typing the keywords into chat, you will be able to click the keyword to progress the dialogue.

@Woppledinger asks: Will there be underwater caverns and places on the ocean seabed that will be explorable?

CP: Absolutely. In fact, this is some of the content I’m most excited about, personally. And you can bet the Anaerobic and Pressure extreme climates will be a force to be reckoned with on the seafloor!

Holyay asks: Will you have raid mobs/zones for all level ranges? Wouldn't be a huge rush to max level if we can do max level stuff at lvl 25.

CP: I wouldn’t go as far as saying all level ranges, but our goal is to introduce a raid-like encounter around the mid-20s and then every 10 levels or so leading up to the max level content.

Vandraad asks: What will be the raid size for Pantheon? 30? 36? 42? I believe it was mentioned that some raids could need fewer people while others might call for more, but there would need to be some number which a guild can use to determine the appropriate quantity of members.

CP: Currently we are designing our raid encounters around 12 and 24 person sizes. Once Alpha and Beta testing begins and raid feedback starts coming in, we could change that 24 to 30. Additionally, we are open to considering encounters for even larger raid forces post-launch.

Jake Edwards asks: I'd like more info on the Guild system and the features it will have. Stuff such as, will there be guild halls, will guilds have guild emblems and can those guild emblems be put onto cloaks/shields? Will guild names be visible over character heads? Will there be a cap on the number of guild members? Will guild ranks (e.g. Rank names, accessibility, guild restrictions, etc.) be definable? Will there be any other in-game features to being in a guild? And so on...

CP: Great questions. Once our Guild system is further developed, we’ll do a dedicated feature on it to answer all of these questions and more.

@Everyone asks: When is Alpha?

Ben Dean: We’d love to share a date with you but we are not yet ready to do so. There are still more pre-alpha phases to go.