Community Spotlight – Jiraki, The Brave Bard

Jiraki, The Brave Bard

The perfect community member would offer good conversation, lively debate, and fair feedback, as far as this Community Manager is concerned. Jiraki, a follower of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, comes pretty close to being the perfect community member, even if they are a hapless bard that falls off of things. Read on to get to know the one we sometimes call Kai, the Wingless, the bard that can’t fly.

Jiraki, or Kai the Wingless, as some may recognize you from our community. Tell us how you got your start in the Pantheon community and what put Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen on your radar?

Like many in the community, I heard Brad McQuaid was behind a new project and had to see for myself. I had cut my MMO fangs on EQ, and I’d played EQ2 and Vanguard as well, so I was familiar with his Vision. The group-centric gameplay in particular resonated with me. It was something I felt the MMO market at the time was lacking. I liked what I saw, so I backed the Kickstarter and pledged shortly afterward when that fell through.

I like how it’s “Vision” with a capital V as that was very on-brand for Brad. You are clearly an experienced MMORPG gamer, Do you have some favorites? Is there a specific class you are tied to?

I’ve dabbled in so many MMOs (usually for at least month or two), but only a few grabbed me and left their mark. Everquest was my first back in ’99, and it holds a special place in my heart. WoW hit pretty hard; it had robust existing lore to RP and such engaging pvp early on. Lately, I’ve been really into “classic era” FFXI, though. A fellow Pantheon community member (shoutout to 1AD7!) recommended it to me, and I’ve not had this much fun playing an MMO in ages. As for being tied to a specific class? It’s Bards, all the way down. I mained one in EQ for years. I played one in DAoC, EQ2, Vanguard, LoTRO, DDO, Crowfall, Project Gorgon, etc. It’s my primary class in FFXI right now!. Every game, there’s a simple formula that I tend to follow: “If you can Bard, then you must Bard.” I’ve always loved playing support/crowd control. Versatility is key, and I just love what Bards bring to the table in most every game (especially the ones that let Bards increase movement speed, gotta go fast!) I’m a big team player, and I love force multiplication. Every game has their own spin on what makes a Bard shine, and I look forward to seeing what VR has in store for us. (edited)

A bard, my condolences. I have never met a bard player that I didn’t like. There is something special about the dedicated support classes. Tell me the origin of your name? In my experience, coming up with a good name that sticks is 90% of the MMO battle.

Oh I agree with that! Names are always so hard for me in most games. My first character on EQ was Jirakai. Jira was randomly generated, and I just stuck my name at the end of it. I’m very creative, I know! But after playing a bit, I realized my first choice wasn’t what I thought it would be, and decided to try this fancy shmancy Bard class. Thanks to my peerless creativity, Jiraki was born, and that name quickly grew to be me. As for Wingless, well… I’ve heard a lot of interesting interpretations over the years, most of them far better (and less embarrassing) than the original. You see, I had this unfortunate habit of falling to my death from Kelethin in EQ. Just… all the damn time. Laggy dial-up internet, bard speed, and inattentiveness are a deadly combination when you live in a tree-top city. It was a running joke with my friends, (who to this day don’t let me forget it), and from that came Wingless. Given how often I’ve fallen to my death testing climbing in Pantheon, I think that name is going to stick around!

Places like Kelethin were exactly why I played a monk in EQ2. Safe Fall is just necessary for some people, myself included. One of my favorite things about EQ was that you could (and would) die from the most mundane things.

What do you do in your free time, outside of gaming? This is assuming that there IS free time.

I’ve always believed that if something really matters to someone, then they will find a way to MAKE time for it. In my case, that’s my wife. We have two dogs, and so if we are procrastinating from doing a project around the house (we always have something we’re in the middle of building or fixing), we’ll be playing with the dogs, taking them on adventures, listening to/reading books together, or watching shows or movies. I used to write fiction (generally fantasy), and I still scratch that itch by worldbuilding for tabletop campaigns, but I’ve been more of a player than a GM for a few years now.

Writing happens to be my favorite creative outlet, so good for you for finding time for that. Which features of Pantheon interest you the most?

Pantheon’s focus on exploration and discovery has me the most excited, hands down. I can’t wait to jump into the wider world and simply explore. The perception system sounds like it will make discoveries feel so much more organic. I’m absolutely stoked for traversal mechanics like gliding, taming, climbing, hookshot, and more. Designing the game with these things in mind from the ground up means that they will be integrated into the fabric of normal gameplay, rather than relegated to special ‘climbing zones” or what-have-you. No content islands! I love that crafting materials are going to be placed in accordance with in-universe logic, ie: certain trees at certain elevations, different kinds of ore in consistently similar biomes, etc. Makes being a gatherer feel much better, when you aren’t just randomly hoping to come across the right tree, but instead setting out on an expedition with purpose. And the aim of eventually having sailing / nautical travel? Shiver me freakin’ timbers, I’m ready to go!

What is something about you that members of the community might be surprised to learn?

My ultimate weakness. Adorable animals. I don’t know why, but I have no sense of self preservation or caution when it comes to wildlife. Back when I was much, much younger and stupider, I once chased a black bear through the forest, smacking it on the butt to shoo it away from our campsite like it was an overgrown dog. I’ve also gone down to pet a reef shark that was sunning itself near where I was snorkeling, because I wanted to know what it felt like. I dunno why, it’s like the cautious, analytical part of my brain just shuts off when I see a critter. So yeah, now you know. You want to take me out? Put something dangerous but adorable in my path, I’ll take the bait.

Stop. You swatted a bear on the butt? So you clearly are a glutton for punishment. That might explain why you play a bard that falls off of things. Thank you so much Jiraki for taking the time to allow us to get to know you. We are so happy that you made your way to our little community.

If you are interested in being a part of our gaming family, please find us on our official forums or on Discord. Both are now open to the public for posting. If you would like to support Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, please check out our pledge page to find out how you can help.

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