Burning Questions: Class Design

Greetings all - Chris “Joppa” Perkins here!

We want to try a new segment out this month, where I answer a single, burning question from the community about each of Pantheon’s Classes. I’ve chosen these questions because of their significance in understanding the design behind each class, and also because they are some of the most frequently asked. My goal is to keep each answer clear and succinct - let’s get to it!



Cleric

How will Celestial Aegis actually work? Will we see massive trains from NPCs not being able to path to the player and being forced to find a different, NPC-filled way around the barrier?

When NPCs encounter the Celestial Aegis barrier, they will be limited in how far away they can look for a path around. If they can’t find one within that range, they will try to break through the barrier. The barrier will have a certain amount of HP - therefore, it will either dissipate when the NPCs break through or when the barrier’s duration ends, whichever comes first.



Druid/Wizard

How will Druid and Wizard teleportation be handled?

When a Wizard approaches a Gateway for the first time, they will be able to “discover” it. Part of that process includes speaking with the NPC Gatewalker who oversees that portal. Whether through conversation or quest, the Wizard will gain access to that Gateway as part of their network. Every Gateway they discover in this manner will become part of their ever-increasing network of Gateways. Druids will encounter an identical process, utilizing Wandering Stones.

Our plan is for the Wandering Stones and Gateways to become increasingly available to Druids and Wizards as part of a growing, interconnected network. Wizards/Druids will then be able to access all of their discovered portal locations through a UI window.

At higher levels, Druids/Wizards will be able to teleport themselves to the primary Gateway or Wandering Stone in order to access the network more quickly. In addition, they’ll eventually be able to bring their group members with them through the Gateway/Wandering Stone network.



Warrior

Warriors seem very dependent on shields - will shields be exciting and worth using in Pantheon?

Absolutely. For one, shields will make up a significant portion of the Warrior’s Armor Class, not only because shields will innately have very high Armor Class as part of their item identity, but because Warriors will be able to synergize and capitalize on that aspect of shields to great effect.

Secondly, and more importantly, Warriors will gain access to powerful and dynamic shield-specific combat abilities that are offensive in nature, not just defensive (more on those specific abilities and seeing them in action soon). The goal is for Warriors to take great pride in their shields and feel significantly stronger defensively and offensively because of them.



Ranger

Will Rangers be viable DPS if they stick to Ranged or Melee combat and don’t weave between the two?

I’ve given this one quite a bit of thought over the past many months, I can say that as of now, the answer to this is yes. Moving forward, the design of the Ranger class will focus on keeping them viable and competitive in DPS both at range and in melee combat, while leveraging their ability to weave between short and long range combat to create situational advantages that they can exploit while maintaining incredibly high mobility.

We’re also reworking the Momentum resource quite a bit to support this playstyle and can’t wait to show it in action!



Rogue

Looking at Opportunity, how big of a role will Stealth play in combat?

Having just finished a Stealth system overhaul, including a true detection based system, we’re more excited than ever to show off the Stealth system and the role it will play for Rogues in direct combat.

Stealth is intended to play a major role for Rogues in combat, when it suits them. Like Rangers, Rogues are being designed in a way to seamlessly weave in and out of Stealth during combat as it fits the occasion or offers an advantage. The key is that Rogues should not take a heavy DPS loss by leaving direct combat to go into Stealth (assuming the focus remains on DPSing the target), therefore we are working to tune the Opportunity/Endurance resource relationship to facilitate that.



Summoner

How powerful will the Summoner’s pet be and how powerful will the Summoner be in comparison?

To put it simply, the Arcamental is intended to be the powerhouse. If I had to put it in terms of a percentage, a Fury would provide around 70% of the total DPS output of the Summoner class. The Arcamental should feel just as much a part of the class to the player as the Summoner, especially given that so much of the Arcamental’s damage and effectiveness will come from how the player chooses to equip the Arcamental and invest its unique stat points. It should feel like a very symbiotic relationship.



Enchanter

Will Enchanter’s be the top DPS through charm? How powerful will a charmed mob be?

While much of this will be tuned in Alpha and Beta, the general design direction is that NPCs will not be at 100% strength when charmed. For the Pantheon Enchanter, charm is primarily designed as a CC mechanism, not a DPS mechanism. That said, there will likely be ways to reduce the penalty applied to a charmed NPC’s power. You will also have access to certain NPC’s abilities when charmed, which will make the decision of what to charm and how to use it much more interesting.



Dire Lord

If the Dire Lord is unable to wear plate armor, won’t they be un-viable as a main tank in raids?

Perhaps, with certain Physical damage-heavy encounters or bosses, and depending on specific encounter mechanics, Dire Lords may struggle compared to the higher AC Warriors and Paladins. However, from the conversations I hear and read, I think the Dire Lord’s incredible Magical damage mitigation is being heavily undervalued. You can trust that we are designing content with all 3 Tanks in mind, and there will be plenty of end-game content where the Dire Lord will shine the brightest.



Paladin

Will there be enough Undead content to justify the Paladin’s forte, “vs. Undeath?”

Yes. I’ll go so far to say that at launch and beyond, one of the main NPC groups in the Terminus storyline (making up one of our end-game raid areas) is entirely corrupted with Undeath. Paladins will be excellent, competitive main tanks that will have plenty of opportunities to flex their vs. Undeath prowess.



Monk

Will Feign Death end up trivializing content? How do you plan to keep that from happening?

While Feign Death is a wildly powerful skill that has the potential to trivialize content, that risk is largely proportionate to the ways the skill can be countered. If there is nothing to counter Feign Death except the level-difference of the Monk vs. the surrounding NPCs, then yes the risk of trivializing content is real.

In Pantheon, we plan to let Feign Death be powerful, but will provide several potential counters to it through the Disposition system. On your first run through a dungeon, or part of a dungeon, the Monk may be able to pull with no problems using Feign Death to break camps, etc. But after getting respawns or moving deeper in, you’ll start encountering NPCs with the Truesight or Cunning dispositions, both of which can see through Feign Death - suddenly you have a hard counter that will require a different strategy. Without going deeper into Feign Death’s mechanics just yet, you can be assured that this is one way we plan to keep Feign Death powerful and under control.



Shaman

Can you tell us more about the Shaman pet?

I’ll cover that in the next installment of Burning Questions!

Can you explain how Walk the Ages will work?

Walk the Ages: "Mark a moment in time, leaving an imprint of your spirit where you are currently standing for X duration. When you activate Walk the Ages again, you will instantly return to this location. You cannot cross zone lines with this ability."

In addition to this description, I can clarify a few things.

This ability will have a maximum range, which is yet to be determined. You will not be able to use this ability to bring you back to the zoneline from the bottom of a dungeon. But it should be generous enough to allow you some flexibility, to be as helpful as possible in most situations.

Another great aspect of this ability is that it will clear the Shaman’s aggro when used.

Conclusion

I hope this has provided each of you with some helpful insight into some of the most frequently asked questions concerning our classes. I also hope you feel encouraged to keep asking good questions and making your voices heard! Thanks for reading - onward and upward!

Chris “Joppa” Perkins