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July's Newsletter is Live!

    • 85 posts
    July 24, 2019 8:06 AM PDT

    Game Producer Ben Dean is back with an all new Underwraps, which celebrates its one year anniversary as a feature. We go in-depth this month with a look at the work that went into creating the Oldwood section of Faerthale, complete with everything from concept art to a look at the tools we used to bring it to life. VFX artist, Fernando Flores, discusses some of the cool new animations he's been working on. a Plus, we bring you another important NPC in the world of Terminus: Bel-Iris. All that and more in our action packed July newsletter!

    http://www.pantheonmmo.com/newsletter/2019_july_intro/


    This post was edited by Roenick at July 24, 2019 8:09 AM PDT
    • 1711 posts
    July 24, 2019 8:28 AM PDT

    What about mechanics. You know, those things that will make or break a game?  Substantive stuff.  Those things which truly matter?  I could not care less if there are knots on an olive tree or that you have X variations of fronds.  Where are the updates on mechanics?

    I'm getting flashbacks from Vanguard where we were given updates on visuals and how great the world looked...only to get into the game and find out the mechanics were pigshite.  Are we going down that road again?

    • 220 posts
    July 24, 2019 8:46 AM PDT

    Loved seeing the Cleric and Shaman skill effects, some of them look really amazing.

    • 20 posts
    July 24, 2019 8:47 AM PDT

    While this may have not been a Mechanic newsletter.  This was a heavy Tech, Art and Lore newsletter.  While they may not matter to you, they matter to a ton of other people.  

     

    I myself enjoyed seeing the progress on VFX and Animations for Climbing ( Which is tied to the climbing MECHANIC of the game ).


    This post was edited by Jazhara at July 24, 2019 8:49 AM PDT
    • 469 posts
    July 24, 2019 9:08 AM PDT

    Jazhara said:

    While this may have not been a Mechanic newsletter.  This was a heavy Tech, Art and Lore newsletter.  While they may not matter to you, they matter to a ton of other people.  

    I myself enjoyed seeing the progress on VFX and Animations for Climbing ( Which is tied to the climbing MECHANIC of the game ).

    Absolutely. And like it or not, that art is tied to the performance of the game. There was a huge misstep with that when Vanguard launched so I'm guessing they're taking extra special care not to repeat that. I also enjoy the art and VX updates as well.

    As for mechanic talk, I'm going to assume here that they are still working some stuff out and don't want to go through the tried and true statements of X is coming with X only to have to nix it when X doesn't work out in early testing. And then you just have to march out with a great big egg on your face to announce what essentially boils down to: Oops, guess we should have waited to announce that one.

    Mind you, I'm itching to hear more about the meat of the core game as well. But we'll get there eventually.

    • 43 posts
    July 24, 2019 9:20 AM PDT

    This was one of my favorite newsletters. Its easy to pass over things like sounds and visuals but that attention to detail really builds an immersive environment that I cant wait to get into.

    • 5 posts
    July 24, 2019 9:51 AM PDT

    What was the big news we had to wait an extra week for?

    • 1656 posts
    July 24, 2019 9:56 AM PDT

    I really like the attention of details. Spell visual, world building, and the lore about the Archai and Bel-Iris was really interesting and contribute to my rethinking of my class and race choice :).

    Keep the good work up guys !

    • 81 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:06 AM PDT

    nice work guys, very impressive.

    • 208 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:13 AM PDT

    Some people need to practice patience.

    It's not like they aren't making any big changes in the game. One of the biggest concerns was the visuals for this game. No one wants to play another EQ2 with the same graphics when game development has made enough advancements where we can have a much more beautiful view while also exploring a new world. Also remember, not every part of the game is being worked on at the same time. I'm sure mechanics will come sometime later.

    On that note, I'm really excited about the "looks" for this game. The spells are turning out really awesome. I was awe-struck. I had my eyes on Shaman because I liked some of their abilities. But those Cleric abilities look pretty frickin' cool. And both of these classes have some nice looking visuals for their skills, it only excites me more to see what's in store for a class like the Bard with their songs, or the Necromancer with their undead skills, or even the Dire Lord. Summoner is going to be amazing too with all those elements! There's so much to be excited for with these spell visuals alone!

    I loved seeing the giant trees too! I only hope you can add some little wispies in there to really make it magical! Maybe some giant flowers at the bottom of the trees that open up as you approach them! And they have some thing inside them too. Like the red/orange resin pool sculptures you showed us a couple months back.

    Thank you VR for your hard work. Keep it up! Many of us are looking forward to Alpha <3

    • 220 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:18 AM PDT

    zassik said:

    What was the big news we had to wait an extra week for?

     

    they never said it was big news that delayed it just technical so probably the climbing information id imagine.

    • 34 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:38 AM PDT

    Yes this was a heavy tech art and lore newsletter but also a concerning newsletter. I have been a supporter since the original kickstarter failed, just not an avid poster on the forums. My biggest question is around the constant technical changes and the impact they have on slowing down game development. Yes it's great that characters will now have the ability to climb and grab ledges etc, but how much will that slow down character development implementing that effect?

    From the outside looking in, the game is going backwards in my opinion. Backwards in regards to actually making progress into realizing a functioning game that can be marketed and played. About a year ago players where in the game during pre-alpha and it appeared the game was really starting to move ahead. Now it seems all of that prior work is being thrown away because the next new tech thing has become available, so back to drawing board and start again with the latest greatest tech.

    Sometimes you need to just push forward and ignore the glitz of that shiny trinket wanting to make its way into the game. 5 or 6 years now this game has been in the making? Another 5 years to full release?

    • 62 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:48 AM PDT

    Kellie said:

    Loved seeing the Cleric and Shaman skill effects, some of them look really amazing.

    I agree.  This gives me more hope for the other classes.  I am happy to see the climbing and falling animations look fluid which hopefully translates to the rest of the animations, namely combat.

    • 77 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:59 AM PDT
    Thanks for the newletter, VR. It's always appreciated. I particularly enjoyed the Shaman and Cleric effects since either of those classes will be my main class. I have to say that the Cleric effects are great, imo, and were my favorite. It was also intetesting to see the process involved with other art and animations. I'm a huge fan of attention to detail! However, I do admit I share a few of the same thoughts/concerns as others in this thread. But I'm no game designer or programmer, so I will just have to continue to be optimistic and see what the future brings.
    • 1711 posts
    July 24, 2019 11:27 AM PDT

    Bradley said:

    This was one of my favorite newsletters. Its easy to pass over things like sounds and visuals but that attention to detail really builds an immersive environment that I cant wait to get into.

    But where is the line saying that too much detail is not worth the effort?  Take those knots on the trees.  Sure, upon the first time seeing it you might say to yourself 'wow, that looks great'...and quite quickly it will be completely overlooked and you'll never really 'see' it again, not in the same light anyway. It almost immediately fades into the background.  All that work, all that effort for something that does nothing for the longevity of the game.  It isn't something that will turn someone to the game nor away from it.  Its value is negligible if not zero.

    Case in point.  EVE Online has some nice looking ships with quite detailed skins.  CCP did a revamp a long time ago of the artwork for turrets and missle launchers.  When viewed as an artwork thumbnail like we see of the trees in the newsletter you do say "wow, looks great', but once in the game where your normal point of view is so far zoomed out your ship is nothing more than a color pair of [] in space, the value those detailed art assets completely vanishes.  You literally never see them again through the normal course of play.

    And that is my point with my dissention on this newsletter.  Artwork only takes a game so far, and the vast majority of what we've seen is just artwork.  Now I know VR is hesitant to put out a mechanic and say 'this is what we've done and this is how it will be', but, frankly, we need to be seeing some of that.  Many players need to know how much effort is going towards the functionality of this game, not the branches in a tree.

    We're nearing 4 years of actual development, there must be more than artwork and lore to show us.

    • 298 posts
    July 24, 2019 11:41 AM PDT

    They weren't really showing you a tree, though. They were showing you how the art assets are developed. That's meaty stuff for some people and really interesting and insightful as to their overall process.

    I would love to see more gameplay as well, but dismissing it as just a knot on a tree and thoroughly uninteresting is kind of missing what they were trying to say, I think.

    • 32 posts
    July 24, 2019 12:17 PM PDT

    Cool newsletter, being shown how art assets are created is interesting and hopefully, those tools allow the devs to work faster since they have better tools!  I know they would never do this but I wished for more insight on where we are at in terms of the next PA.  As in,  "we are hitting out Dev targets and we predict another PA sometime late this year". Something vague like that would be great.  

    • 298 posts
    July 24, 2019 12:23 PM PDT

    It would be cool if they would at least let us know about past targets that have been hit now or something.

    But I can see how that would potentially cause issues with managing expectations as well.

    • 26 posts
    July 24, 2019 12:36 PM PDT

    Excellent stuff as always.  I especially liked the bit on Bel-Iris.  keep up the good work!

    • 469 posts
    July 24, 2019 12:37 PM PDT

    Chanus said:

    It would be cool if they would at least let us know about past targets that have been hit now or something.

    But I can see how that would potentially cause issues with managing expectations as well.

    I'm guessing they are on lockdown until Project Faerthal is finished for anything even referencing goals or targets. I'm also assuming that there is a team of cyber ninja monkey lawyer frog people on standby that will be dispatched to deal with anyone speaking about it. ;p

    Jokes aside though, I'm think that they probably have a big marketing plan for when Project Faerthal finally gets revealed and they don't want to say anything at all to maximize the impact of the reveal and try to draw in more players and maybe additional investors. Drips of information don't go to far with viral and media stuff but a big substantive announcement can get a lot of traction.

    Now I feel like someone working in marketing. I gotta stop trying to understand stuff. lol

    • 298 posts
    July 24, 2019 1:07 PM PDT

    Kratuk said:

    Chanus said:

    It would be cool if they would at least let us know about past targets that have been hit now or something.

    But I can see how that would potentially cause issues with managing expectations as well.

    I'm guessing they are on lockdown until Project Faerthal is finished for anything even referencing goals or targets. I'm also assuming that there is a team of cyber ninja monkey lawyer frog people on standby that will be dispatched to deal with anyone speaking about it. ;p

    Jokes aside though, I'm think that they probably have a big marketing plan for when Project Faerthal finally gets revealed and they don't want to say anything at all to maximize the impact of the reveal and try to draw in more players and maybe additional investors. Drips of information don't go to far with viral and media stuff but a big substantive announcement can get a lot of traction.

    Now I feel like someone working in marketing. I gotta stop trying to understand stuff. lol

    That would definitely make sense, yeah. 

    I would be happy with even just more play streams to watch every month or two even if no new developments have happened. I just want more to consume :P

    • 396 posts
    July 24, 2019 1:17 PM PDT

    I certainly appreciated a carefully crafted world with thought put into all the details like those described in this newsletter. However, I am personally more interested in the mechanics that Vandraad refers to. That said, I'm perfectly fine not being told about them. I was happy to see the class reveals when they came along, but not many are going to throw a fit if some abilities change so that was a decently safe topic. I would imagine that if the devs do a newsletter topic on progeny or maps then not only will that immediately spark insane levels of discussion and argument, if they changed their decision afterwards then people would legit lose their minds.

    Until we get further into development I'll continue to browse the newsletters for pretty pictures and videos and for the rare safe mechanics tidbit that can be shared. I am really glad to hear that other people are interested and read the whole thing though.

    • 328 posts
    July 24, 2019 3:07 PM PDT

    As much as i love ANY news from Pantheon, these things just show me this game might not come out until 2025 or later, or maybe even never. 

    if we are still designing leaves and trees this late in developement, this game might be vaporware at this point. Sorry, don't mean to be so cynical, but we should be WAY past tree making this late in the game. it's been going on for 10 years, or 4+ years depending on what you use at a starting point. the "new spells animations" has been looked at on TWO classes. (said he hasn't even looked at pally spells) 

    This just shows, the game is still just a shell outside of the 4-5 zones (out of 29+ zones according to Bazgrims latest video) they've shown in streams.... 

    Appreciate the update, but I am on the edge of deleting this site from my browser until I get an email saying they opened up alpha (which should be sometime in 2022? 2023?) IF i ever get that email at all.

    I do get that Pantheon wants a beautiful game. I love the way it looks "now" compared to when I first pledged, but game play is brings people to the game. look at EQ1. graphics are horrible but is still the best MMO ever created and is Still going 20 years later with those same horrible graphics. heck, I am playing it now. Still. i started playing it in 1999.... 

    sorry, needed to whine a little. /rant off 

     


    This post was edited by Flapp at July 24, 2019 3:08 PM PDT
    • 340 posts
    July 24, 2019 3:24 PM PDT

    I am glad of the attention to detail that was placed with not just the small stuff but the concern with the rendering and speed of production it will bring with future content, my only slight disappointment would be with the spell effects. Don't take me wrong i loved what I saw however I still hope that not all the spell effects come from the inner body alone but mayhaps some projections from the hands, a ground stomp appropriate the spell or ability, etc. I would love to hear other imput ideas for those more creative then me of course. I don't know if it a limitation on programing or general implemetation issues or even more of a time sink better alloted to other things workwise. 

    Overall I enjoyed this newsletter very much, thank you Roenick and all VR for your work.


    This post was edited by Yaladan at July 24, 2019 3:28 PM PDT
    • 873 posts
    July 24, 2019 3:26 PM PDT

    Enjoyed the information on the art creation process and the animation update. I also enjoyed that the spell effect duration/scale are tied to how fast/frequent the spells will be used. The Cleric buffs for example were longer duration effects which makes sense with it being a long duration and likely long casting time spell.

     Thanks for sharing.


    This post was edited by bigdogchris at July 24, 2019 3:43 PM PDT