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Added 2 Dev Diaries

    • 610 posts
    October 2, 2019 7:17 PM PDT

    Comments and feedback of course very welcome.

     

    -Brad

    • 732 posts
    October 2, 2019 7:39 PM PDT

    Thoughts on Dynamic Threat Assessment vs Instancing; possible plans for PvP server at launch (not guaranteed, but possible...like bards!).

    Always good to read what’s rambling about your noggin Brad, thanks for taking the time to share.

    • 610 posts
    October 2, 2019 7:48 PM PDT

    Kumu said:

    Thoughts on Dynamic Threat Assessment vs Instancing; possible plans for PvP server at launch (not guaranteed, but possible...like bards!).

    Always good to read what’s rambling about your noggin Brad, thanks for taking the time to share.

     

    Thanks Kumu!  I want to increase my presence here and elsewhere, but it's difficult given how much is going on in development.  But I will do better.

    • 71 posts
    October 2, 2019 8:21 PM PDT

    Maybe I'm overlooking but where are the dev diaries? Curious on the read.

    • 52 posts
    October 2, 2019 9:08 PM PDT

    OGTomkins said:

    Maybe I'm overlooking but where are the dev diaries? Curious on the read.

     

    It's in the Pantheon blog section. 

     

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs

    • 1418 posts
    October 2, 2019 9:18 PM PDT

    I definitely have some thoughts on the instancing topic and some of the ideas you mentioned, but... probably tomorrow, if I'm being honest :)  I've been super busy all day and so I don't know that I could articulate very well this evening.

    Thank you for posting these though!

    • 71 posts
    October 2, 2019 11:35 PM PDT

    @DarkReqium thanks for the link appreciate it!

    @Aradune:

    Great reads and ideas, implementing them I'm sure you have your hands full lol. So the Dynamic Threat System, if I'm reading that correctly a group of heroes are all on the same quest to kill "Aradune The Naughty" in Dungeon X, along side say 15 of X mobs. The group can go into the dungeon to find this dungeon is pretty full, people are in good camp spots and xping, however when they get to the NPCs set for their quest, they'll find only they can attack the NPCS without worry of other groups KSing or it already being camped, is that correct? Of course the named will be only for them as well. Now other groups who are not on the quest can see them fight these mobs but not assist right? However this group that is on the quest can still be attacked from any other mob in the dungeon as the quest only provides the "kills" they need correct? If that's right that is a pretty cool idea. Now some questions on it, (some you may be able to answer and some may have to wait until you guys get a clearer idea and I get that.)

    1) How will you implement people seeing the NPC's but not being able to assist, will these npcs look like they are phasing or have a purple aura around them? Just wondering so there isn't confusion if another group is trying to figure out why they can't seem to pull a mob.

    2) What if 2 groups are on the same quest? Do you have a way to prevent, double spawns for lack of a better term?

    3) What preventative measure do you have if say that group is going through the dungeon and another group drags aggro onto the group with the quest. I.E. training ontop of the quest npc's as well?

    4) Once a quest is completed I.E. "Aradune The Naughty" and 15 mobs are slain does the quest auto complete or do you run to the NPC to do the turn in for rewards? If so how do you prevent the quest from being dropped and being picked up again to essentially make camping of a Named for loot over and over again while not dealing the camping of others not on the quest?

    As far as DTS goes thats a pretty slick concept and am excited to see how you guys implement it. Now as far as instancing goes, I'm good either way they both have their pros and cons. Instancing done right I don't think takes away from content or by any means, means you aren't creating compelling content. While I agree you want all zones full as much as possible, people naturally flock to certain zones/dungeons. Could be the aesthetic look or nastolgia of a similiar feeling in a previous game. I do get what you mean though instancing can come off as devs being lazy and not creating enough content. That's a tough spot and I'm curious to see what you guys decide to do. EQ was never instanced in the beginning and as you know it was all about the community getting along to share Raid bosses. Amazing when a community works together to share common goals, horrible when a guild realizes they are big enough to zerg every boss and batphone 24/7 until they grow bored. On the other hand WoW was, in comparison, heavily instanced. Early WoW you still had to form a group and run to every dungeon as summon stones weren't a thing. Raids you never worried about fighting other guilds being in an instance and you still built around a great community within your guild to achieve goals.

    Where WoW, imo, has screwed up is being able to sit in Stormwind or Ogrimmar and queue for a dungeon never leaving and getting xp/gear. Makes for a much smaller world. Many zones are dead anymore unless people are farming for professions or achievements. (which is why many went back to Classic WoW because it's actually challenging.) So again, instancing I'm good either way of what you guys decide. Maybe only raid mobs will be instanced? Or maybe go with that DTS above where a guild has to summon the raid mob (clicking an altar or item) and anyone can watch that guild or group of people fight a raid mob without being able to assist. That would be a good way for guilds to recruit honestly. Plus you aren't taking away from a zone and people can watch in awe to see what a great community is capable of. Either way I like what you've said!

    PVP (I'm sorry for the long post man, just easier to put it all in one rather then 2 summaries)

    So PvP will always be a challenge no matter how thorough you are, down to every detail there will always be an imbalance, people will always find a way. Especially in a PvE based game. EQ I was never big on pvp could've been I was too young to really get into the dynamics and study what each class thrived on or because EQ was really a PvE game. Necro's could kite you indefinetly, monks would use their buda fists and drop you super fast, don't even get me started in the arenas. WoW while being a big PvE based game has done some really great things with PvP and I think a lot of MMO's look to them for ideas on how they want to handle it. But even 15 years later they are constantly trying to balance PvP and PvE. You change 1 talent or ability because it's too weak in PvP all of a sudden someone manipulates it and you can do crazy dps in raids. Season 4 I believe PvP weapons were better dps then raid weapons which a lot of raid guilds would go and try for 2k rating. So the questions are.

    1) Is your version of PvP going to open world only?

    2) If you do decide to do something like Arenas, will there be PvP gear for it or will this be based on what pve gear you get?

    3) If you do decide to do arenas maybe gear in arenas are all the same stat wise and weapons damage wise, as you increase rating so do stats but you are only qued with people in the same bracket. 0-1200, +0 to stats, 1300-1800 +3 to stats 1900-2200 +9. Outside of the arenas you gear goes back to w/e you have on in the open world. This way makes it pretty even and can even argue pvp will come down to a skill base for the most part. (Who you decide to have on your team maybe another issue). Also helps not having to create seperate gear specifically for PvP. Idk, food for thought.

    As far as Launch PvP vs Post PvP, will ultimately be up to you guys on if you think the game will be ready for it. Creating dynamic gaming and compelling Lore for PvE I'd say out weighs PvP. You need a complete game before adding the bells and whistles. If anything take the time in Alpha/Beta to create just pvp events to see how smooth/rough it goes and base that feedback and what you guys see to adjust or hold off on PvP. Gauging an audience outside of purely PvE is a smart move, you just don't want the word to be the PvP is horribly broken and not worth doing. 

    That's all I got sorry for the book. I was going to ask you a couple questions about Unity and your thoughts but I think I've typed enough for a read right now lol. Perhaps on another post. Would also like to say, everyone is looking for the next big MMO to add life back into the gaming world. While it won't be a WoW killer, I think Pantheon is definetly going to bring some spirit back into MMO's.

    Best Wishes,

    Tomkins


    This post was edited by OGTomkins at October 2, 2019 11:55 PM PDT
    • 363 posts
    October 3, 2019 12:17 AM PDT

    First of all, I appreciate these blogs, the content rich ones such as on June 18th and even the ones that are just transfered from a question you happened to respond to on Facebook or the like and liked enough to post here. Second, you really don't have to answer these and additionally, some may not be able to be answered, either due to stuff that you want to surprise us with, or because it's a bit too complicated to go into detail at the current time.

    #1

    "if you are on a quest and you enter a dungeon, mobs only you guys can affect spawn on your way to the final conclusion, the boss mob or what have you. So you can see the other players, they can even watch, while it will be dangerous if you are too low level. During this entire time the rest of the NPC population is attackable by other groups, etc."

    I love this idea and sounds similar to something I've seen before but with some modifications. When you say "...only you guys can affect" does that mean encounter locking in the sense that the mobs or a boss mob in question cannot be affected by people outside of your group? If so, it's great as that essentially creates a plot point or story content that cannot be damaged by outside interferrence. 

    #2

    "If you zerg a 20 man mob with 40 toons, he's probably going to just leave or, sometimes, call friends."

    The question here is then, how would this work when it could be used to exploit and even greif other players. I know you said you can't speak on the details just yet but you can't blame a guy for trying.

    Example:

    You and a few others decide to trigger this micro-event causality within the encounter against a raid of 24 people engaged in a raid target. It then either retreats, spawns allies or arbitrarily increases the difficulty. You and your group then retreat leaving that raid to have to deal with said content. 

    To add, when you create a challenging and complex raid encounter, wouldn't having a dynamic challenge be difficult to implement as it's like using a hammer to perform surgery, to use an analogy. That also ties into the issue of outside interference during a raid. Could players not in the raid heal, buff up and even rez that raid engaged in the fight? 

    #3

    Regarding raids. Will raid content be limited to bosses similar to Tacvi in Everquest or Dragons of Norrath (expansion) or have actual raid content such as Plane of Fear or Vex Thal? This is important for the next point.

    #4

    "Another band-aid that is Instancing: helps players not fight for finite resources. The most simple answer to that is to watch the size of your world and then the population during core, key hours. Then make sure there are enough resources."

    If going by the content example using your harvesting analogy, would that mean your intent is to create enough raid content for the server so there isn't a massive bottleneck or line waiting to challenge said content? If so, where the raid zones are simplistic in nature like in the Dragon's of Norrath example above that's probably feasible, however, if the zones are detailed and engaging by measure of more than just a platform for a raid boss or bosses to sit and nothing else, that may pose a development hurdle difficult for even a massive operation.

    #5

    "Running to be the first group to a special spawn or event.... gotta be first! It can be a lot of fun, even if you weren't the first."

    In some cases I completely agree, especially in special events and the like. However that can become very toxic in the sense of running to raid content, especially with what the community has become as of the last 15 years. If encounters are engage locked and you can't grief or sabotage another raid, it then really becomes a game of who can trigger said target first. However, I don't have as many concerns over this given there are over a dozen ways to deal with this issue.

     

    Thanks again, Brad.


    This post was edited by Janus at October 3, 2019 12:28 AM PDT
    • 672 posts
    October 3, 2019 5:24 AM PDT

    Cheers Brad, the proof of your passion is clearly laid out in the way you speak mate, it is great to hear your thoughts like that.  Looking forward to the next reveal


    This post was edited by Hokanu at October 3, 2019 5:31 AM PDT
    • 828 posts
    October 3, 2019 5:52 AM PDT

    Competition is never a bad thing.

    • 949 posts
    October 3, 2019 5:54 AM PDT

    I am all for player influenced conditional spawn triggers, especially if there is some form of challenge rating scaler effect.  It sounds like a very good way to gain many of the benefits of instancing without taking the players out of the open worlds while also limiting the viability of Zerging content.

    An example I could see working would be a combination of a farmable one use item spawn trigger and a one week or until the content is defeated character access flag.  In order to engage this multi group content (see raid) the raid leader will need to utilize a one-time spawn trigger that represents 10 man hours of farming on average per raid member.  In order for the raid members to be able to engage the spawned mob they must be in the same raid as the raid leader who consumed the trigger and be flagged to that content.  The flags could be gained through several paths including item sacrifices, single group encounters or single person quests.  Once gained the flag remains in effect until the target is defeated at which point the flag will need to be re-earned.

    The competition could be mostly in the collection and creation of the one-use spawn trigger as only one set would be needed for 24 people to engage the content and conditions could be set such that it is not possible to stock pile the trigger.  The flags could be both the source of the spawn trigger sub-components as well as a partial time limiter for re-engaging the raid content.

    The final step could then involve logic based on who is in the raid and flagged for the content when the trigger is used.  The content could look at the number of players, their relative levels, relative gear and possibly a player desired difficulty setting.  Based on those factors the raw stats, possible number of disposition modifiers, composition of assistant monster groups and hard/soft encounter timers could be adjusted on the fly as well as the reward tables to match.  Players who are not both in the raid and flagged will only be able to see the encounter and be damaged by AoE effects but will not be able to target or be targeted by encounter spawns.  Those players who are outside of the raid encounter will also no longer be able to target players included in the raid encounter and there by prevent many possible exploits.

    The benefit of systems like this is the “competition” content can be run during off hours and a raid can be scheduled for a time when everyone can be logged on after the trigger has been farmed and the flags completed.  There could even be a way to generate a few additional flags to hand out before the trigger effect if you need to bring someone in at the last minute or RL caused a snafu for a specific player.  The raid may be most often completed in the 5PM-2AM EST window but competition could be ongoing rather than racing for a specific spawn on a specific respawn timer.

    There are many other clever ways to setup conditional spawns and my above example could be considered one of the simplest and least elegant way of implementing it but the general model will be roughly the same.

    • 1181 posts
    October 3, 2019 6:40 AM PDT

    My comments/notes regarding:
    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/186/pantheon-pv-p-launch-vs-post-launch .
    --
    Good to hear the re-iteration that PvE balancing won't affect PvP.

    Interesting that the 'trainers being scattered across the land' is still a design goal.  I would have thought a progression/innovation based on Vanguards combat learning system would have been a natural fit here, but I guess static NPCs work too.

    PvP server, great.  How about a no-box server, like P99/EQ1 TLP has, enforced with GeoIP & AVS?  Even a no-box server without GeoIP & AVS enforcement? Every time no-box is brought up, the community rallies, yet.. there seems to be no appetite from your team?

    I applaud the desire of "establishing the game as something new" yet, nothing that has been demonstrated, publicly, to date, has been new, mechanically, since M59.  If you really do want it to be new, you're going to have to show us things that haven't been done in another game, or are logically new and different.  If you mean new in the sense of Terminus is a new world?  Ok, but a missed opportunity, imo.

    Good history there about EQ1 PvE, Steve Clover, and UO.  Personally, the reason I left UO for EQ1 was because it was purely PvE, and I was entirely bored with UO PvP, even by that time.  Murder-hobo wasteland that it was. :)

    Yep, PvE keeps the lights on, been true since forever for NA made fantasy-themed MMO's.  I stand by my axiom that customers won't pay to be victims only, indefinitely.

    Regarding demographics and "core community", I hope it's large enough to fit your subscription estimates, revenue model, and eventually, profit model.  I think it is, but it's a knife edge of fickle folks who want challenging, fun, innovative, and grouping-required in their game.

    If you're serious about PvP, then open a PvP thread, request complete systems, and then tell us, of those systems, which ones you plan to use.  If you're not going to use anything the community has to offer, then at least tell us your plans for keeping PvP relevant and engaging, other than duels, unbalanced 1v1, gang thuggery and multi-group zergs.  I've been there, done that with more MMOs than I should have, and so far, nothing has been designed appropriately.  It's all high latency FPS mechanics that are ultimately pointless, and I personally won't do it again unless there is a siginificant tangible world-impacting point to it all.  What's the point of Pantheon PvP?

    It's unfortunate that you can't commit to having the PvP server at launch, 100%.  Even if it was something as simple as +/1 level, open FFA, or continental/racial, that's so incredibly easy to code.. it's hard to imagine why "this plan is NOT set in stone".
    -------
    My comments/notes regarding:
    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/187/very-fast-even-for-me-commentary-on-instancing .

    While it's true you don't need instancing, what you end up doing is designing systems that do not contain all the positives of instancing, yet have all the negatives of not instancing. 
    Dynamic Threat Assessment sounds interesting, but a bit like phasing, which I'm not sure will sit well with the current target demographic.  I mean, I'm all for having the world react to groups and players, yet.. it's tricky for two reasons:
    1) Internal consistency, thematic consistency;  How do you justify, with lore, context, history, world plot, or similar mechanics, that these mobs are dynamically spawning in reaction to these particular players?  
    2) It also would seem like a resource amplifier, if you're continuing with your original plan of having equippable items and coin drop directly from enemies.  While I'm aware these are somewhat tunable, it's not going to be a zero sum influence, if lootable mobs are dynamically spawned in any sense of the phrase.  There's also an implication here of encounter locking, which I am a great fan of, but many are not. 
    Is this public confirmation that encounter locking will be used in Pantheon open-world competitive content?
    I'm basing these above comments on "mobs only you guys can affect spawn on your way" and "the rest of the NPC population is attackable by other groups".

    As mentioned previously, "he's probably going to just leave" is a recipe for allowing other guilds to prevent content consumption by the majority or a smaller/other group (if they can affect the outcome).  Similarly, "call friends" is again, a resource amplifier.  I get the desire, yet, these are considerable design issues.  If I know that I can, by design, force an NPC or encounter to "call friends" and those friends drop loot?  Then I will do it every time.  If I know they don't drop loot, then I will force it to make my competitors fail.  If no-one else can affect the outcome, then I will only bring the exact number required, which I will know after very few attempts.

    "Quests that lead you on a journey will provide NPCs only you and your group can communicate with" is phasing, in every way I've ever seen it used or described.  Which is fine, I have no problem with it, yet, it will be seen as instancing by a certain percentage of your current target demographic.  This would seem to be the first confirmation of such a mechanic in Pantheon? Which again "Yay" from me, but brace yourself. :)

    The implication that resources are somehow finite is.. new information.  Is this confirmation that there is a global resource pool, and that stockpiling will prevent those resources from appearing in the world?  If not, I would be cautious with phrasing. [ " Phrasing! " - Archer ]
    I'm not going to touch "special event or spawn" as others in the community have logically/critically assessed these in the past year, better than I have.
    Unless "kicking our asses into gear" means being able to create dynamic content on the fly?  I don't see what you mean by this phrase, as a solution to overcrowding?

    Instancing was used in the past because it was seen as the best solution at the time, and prevented, completely and utterly, social toxicity in any form.  I'm aware it also prevents certain types of social interaction, but.. does it prevent positive social interaction?  Or just negative social interaction?  What positive social interaction are you guaranteeing by also preventing the use of instancing?  I'm not sure the list is very long.  In any case, now that phasing is on the table.. well, this is an entirely different can of worms. :)

    Being on top of MUDflation?  I've never seen an operational team do anything to combat MUDflation, since 1996.  Seriously.  Not a single one.  Taps > Sinks, 100% of the time.  Is Pantheon going to have a coin economy, barter economy, or hybrid barter/coin?  In what actual ways is the production or generation of coin over time going to be limited or controllable, in real-time, at all, in any way?  If there's no answers to these questions?  Then there's no actual way to address or combat MUDflation.  Again, I applaud the intent, but.. what is your solution that has hopefully been around since March 2014?  And I'm not being glib or facetious here.  If it were me and my dev team, I would expect a diagram, flowchart, whiteboard, or iterated logical solution before one developer put one keystroke or mouse click into an IDE.

    I realize as I typed the above, you may be tempted into Diminishing Returns, so, just as an aside, if you implement Diminishing Returns in a coin economy, to attempt to address MUDflation, expect an almost universally negative response from your target demographic.

    Questions?  Sure, who's your economist and are they going to do an AMA before the end of this year? :)


    This post was edited by vjek at October 3, 2019 7:41 AM PDT
    • 1418 posts
    October 3, 2019 7:38 AM PDT

    My thoughts:

    PvP Blog

    I really am just going to echo everything vjek said here.  I do think that ability acquisition can be more innovating than finding skill trainers out in the world, though finding the "Old Masters" is certainly an appropriate way to do things for some cases.  But I think what I would hope for would be a world where not everything is done the same way.  Perhaps one set of skills you obtain via training from an Old Master (after completing some tasks of appropriate difficulty for them).  But another set of abilities you might learn through studying ancient scrolls or texts.  Or by fighting certain enemies and having the ability used on you.  Just examples, but I think that engagement with the world comes from having a variety of ways that your character learns and grows.  Of course, that has nothing to do with PvP though.

    As far as PvP - I do generally agree that things need to be PvE first.  However, I don't see any reason why you couldn't launch with one or two simple PvP ruleset servers for the people that enjoy that.  I think this is a place where more community engagement would be helpful to your team for deciding what rulesets to explore and when.

    Instancing Blog

    I'm on board with the idea of locking quest mobs to the group that is doing the quest - BUT I think this needs to be implemented very carefully.  If dungeons are shared, it's a very jarring experience for anyone to run across a mob that a) they can't affect and b) ignores them.  So to maintain immersion I think it's vital that this sort of thing only happens in locations that are built for it.  Rather than a big quest fight happening in the great hall that everyone walks through, it should happen in a back room somewhere.  Rather than the quest boss spawning in the same place where people are camping the traditional named spawn, it should happen in an area built with that in mind.

    I am a big fan of triggered encounters in general.  I think well done triggers on those special fights can help enhance the experience and keep dungeons feeling dangerous and keep gameplay feeling more exploratory and organic, and less like you're following a script.  I relish the times when a group in a dungeon might accidentally trigger a fight they're not prepared for because they met the trigger conditions without realizing it.  Thus, I also hope that triggering these quest encounters is a bit more involved than simply walking into their room - and that in many cases, the group doing the quest might have to complete some other objectives in the shared areas of the dungeon first.

    My biggest fear for Pantheon's content is that it will rely too heavily on static spawns or simple triggers like "person with the quest enters the room" - that dungeons will be all about the "camp check" and not about danger and discovery.  So, I feel it's very important for the game to not rely too much on any one approach.  Within each dungeon in Pantheon, there should probably be a few static named spawns, a few dynamic named spawns, a few triggered encounters (some with very complex triggers), and a few quest-based encounters as well.  If there's not a solid variety of things that could happen, then the experience we all have playing through them is lessened.

     

    As far as anti-zerging goes, this is also an area where I think doing everything the same way all the time will lessen the experience.  I like the idea of dynamically sizing encounters based on the number of players present.  I think there's a lot of merit in that approach.  I'm less enthused by the idea that a boss NPC might flee.  This makes sense from a roleplay perspective.  If the evil warlord sees an army coming up the stairs then they're not going to stick around and fight a battle they can't win.  However, this sort of thing should be very, very rare.

    That being said, zerging usually comes up when talking about raid content.  I sincerely hope that Pantheon's raid content is going to be a bit more involved than "here's a giant boss monster to kill, have fun".  While fighting the giant boss monster is appropriate from time to time, fighting the army of opponents with multiple mini-bosses among them is also appropriate.  Fighting waves of opponents that culminate in a giant boss monster (and their friends) is also appropriate.  Changing the objective of the raid from "Defeat the boss" to "survive the onslaught" or "defend the location" or "achieve some objective while fighting off the horde of attackers" is also appropriate.  In many of these scenarios, zerging isn't nearly as much of a thing as it is on the giant boss monster.  Thus, I hope that Pantheon makes liberal use of these other types of raid scenarios.  That way, there will be far fewer raids where the evil warlord runs away because the players happened to bring one group too many.

    • 2510 posts
    October 3, 2019 8:00 AM PDT

    Very much appreciated - seeing the opinions and information. 

    My one immediate comment. While instancing in general is a very bad idea for a group oriented social game, and things like npcs or MOBs that are only visible to certain players has worked well in other games and can work well here, please don't totally rule out instancing as a matter of princple. That will make it harder for you and the development team if you ever hit a problem where instancing is the best solution. 

    Three possibilities come to mind.

    1. If you go in for some story telling. The backstory of some race or even one town or faction. And you want to make it special for the player who is interacting with your story. A very small and very limited instance is one possible way to do this without other players interfering with what you want the player to see and experience. Thus, the history of the dwarves as they are transported to Terminus or deal with some major event shaping their current culture. Something like LOTRO's session play where the player can see that history for 5 or 10 or 15 minutes, playing the role of a participant in historically important events. Not getting any experience or rewards at all - just seeing the past. Technically an instance but really not running afoul of any of the excellent reasons you and VR (and almost all of *us*) have for disliking instances.

    2. You want the player, individually or in a group, to accomplish something before being able to advance to the next area of the game or the next stage of some local plotline. You do not want other players to interfere. This is again story-based or quasi story-based and is not a way to gain experience or loot although some token amounts may be available. An instance may be one way to do this without violating any core principles. Thus - you have an entire zone of fire elementals and salamanders and other fire creatures. The way to get access is not by simply crossing a zone boundary - it is by defeating a strong enemy to gain an item. Or by almost defeating a strong enemy who teleports you there to save his, her, or its life. Competition and griefing are inherent in having all content accessible to all players in a non-instanced format. But large areas of the game should not be subject to being blocked off by aggressive guilds blocking the content - perhaps maliciously so that they can monopolize said content. You may be able to avoid griefing in this scenario by having only the player or group in question interact with the MOB. Great - I do not love instances. But just possibly an instance works better in this highly limited scenario.

    3. Maybe you don't consider this an instance at all - some do and some don't. But you expect the starting zones to be crowded as heck at release. You do not want to make an extra 10 servers available, knowing that in a month you will need mergers with the related disruptions and bad publicity (Pantheon merges servers - game failing). So you create 2 or 5 or 10 copies of a starting zone for the first few weeks, with chat universal (not limited to one version of the zone) and transfer from version to version easy so people can play with friends or guildmates. After the first few weeks you go back to just having one version. You may have better solutions to the initial rush of crowds into the game - but this is one time-proven solution that has worked in other games and that perhaps shouldn't be totally ruled out because it may involve the "i" word.


    This post was edited by dorotea at October 3, 2019 8:06 AM PDT
    • 107 posts
    October 3, 2019 8:06 AM PDT

    Really like the ideas of more dynamic mobs (like how you opened with 20 man boss calling for help when 40 show up, hopefully this help makes it an impossible fight compared to the normal fight: encouraging players to approach encounters as they’re designed) I think that’s an awesome direction.

    I kinda appreciate imbalenced individual pvp in a group pve game. Makes pvp a group thing like it is in pve. 


    This post was edited by Grime at October 3, 2019 9:27 AM PDT
    • 38 posts
    October 3, 2019 8:49 AM PDT

    I agree with the building block approach to PvP in relation to PvE. I believe in the approach because it's important to keep them separate for a few reason. I haven't played Rift in a while but they had a PvP presitige progression system that was neat. It allowed you to gain currency in the PvP system and purchase gear related to PvP. You could identify who PvP'd alot because the better gear looked different and was rare, it caught everybody's eye. PvP gear doesn't need to have the same power in a PVE environment. This separation and understanding from Pantheons stand-point is appreciated as a conceptual approach.

    You hinted at PvP mentality of fighting over "serious stakes" and "not just leaderboards" this is essentially developing a tier system of immersion, which increases the success rate of the game. All for it, different pvp game modes, different rewards. Entry fees to enter certain types of game modes that have higher rewards, or if you lose then you lose your entry fee. The entry fees create a pool for the winning side. I'm also for an approach where the game keeps a % (15% - 25%) of the pool to help control enconomy. The remaining % is divied up to the winners, kind of like FanDuel, Draftkings, or other DFS (daily fantasy spots) and how they layout their prizes. Just an idea.

    The last thing I want to touch on is your comment regarding Battle Royales. I've played BR's at a professional level, on Rogue (esports organization). My personal opinion, a BR is not a wise direction for pantheon to go in. There are several reasons for this, both related to market trends as well as functional playability of BR's. Reach out if you're seriously considering BR's and I can provide some valuable insight. However, I would steer far away from a BR game mode or option in Pantheon, based on my personal and educated opinion.

    I am looking forward to PvPing in Pantheon, I will be on that 1 pvp server. I am also looking forward to playing the PvE aspect of the game. This is also the second time I've heard you press the importance of showing the game and letting it speak for itself rather then describing it through words. Reading in between the lines, I understand that it's been a quiet several months because of the work Pantehon is doing to achieve that goal. Hopefully the public can see that as well.


    This post was edited by ipDRe at October 3, 2019 8:51 AM PDT
    • 610 posts
    October 4, 2019 1:55 AM PDT

    Added one more dev diary.

    • 2510 posts
    October 4, 2019 4:50 AM PDT

    Thanks - more interesting reading.

    Some people have been asking about streams so I note one sentance for their benefit.

     

    "Streams are resuming very soon, and in a new and different format. " 

    • 1418 posts
    October 4, 2019 7:28 AM PDT

    Thanks for posting that Aradune :)  It was interesting to me where you talked about Planar Fantasy as an IP definition.  I never really thought of it that way.

    • 155 posts
    October 4, 2019 8:28 AM PDT

    yes, really glad to see communication! thanks for the posts

    • 1181 posts
    October 4, 2019 9:23 AM PDT

    Aradune said: Added one more dev diary.

    Thanks for that.

    My notes/comments regarding:
    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/188/much-to-do-about-pantheon-cco-update
    --
    PvE
    and PvE, then Abilities:
    Any chance of a demo or screenshot of the DDT tool showing it's value?

    " how we will deal with MUDflation, running out of key materials "
    What does running out of key materials mean?

    "The key to keeping people in both old and new areas is the content"
    If you're alluding to dynamically changing the level of all creatures in a zone based on a group composition or level spread, now is the time to reveal that as a possibility.  It will affect your target demographic numbers.
    If you're just describing what games have done in the past, as in revising zones, that's self-evident history, so.. I'm sitting here with narrow eyes..

    In other games, things like Zone Experience Modifiers determine where people go more than any other factor, due to efficieny > gameplay emergent behavior. 
    If Pantheon will NOT have ZEM's, or anything remotely like it?  Awesome, tell us.  If it will, but they're going to be super awesome, tell us how.
    --

    Old Single Player RPGs still influencing us?
    If you're borrowing from these games, can you give an example?
    --

    Now we begin a Synopsys?
    Yes, we saw climbing in amberfaet in 2016.  It looks incredibly challenging to even the most casual player not used to jump-pivot-rotate-grab mechanics.
    How about a demo or screenshot of the Rogue's Rope, or the Summoner Bridge to allay some of these concerns?
    --

    A Brief Look at the Game from a 20,000 foot View
    The claim of "no instancing" while yesterday, describing phasing, which is considered by many to be instancing, may not go over well.  Fair warning.
    Espousing rewarding Co-op play while demonstrating and confirming malicious training and Feign Death abuse, for years, is... problematic.  What are the plans to remove or handle these chronic social toxicity issues?

    Yes, we get the premise of Terminus is "anything goes" with respect to zone layout, content, and design.  This allows you to put anything you want, anywhere.  Understood.  Been that way since 2014.
    --

    Beginning your Journey
    If "we’ll try to minimize powers that come to only a few of you….or even two of you on each side at any given time. " is an oblique reference to teleportation, you'll find that design will not be well received.  Why? if the intent is to require two separate accounts to perform a simultaneous task at two different points, every time?  Guilds will simply dedicate two accounts to this task.  If it's not that, I eagerly await the reveal.

    "not much beyond medieval technology."
    Does that mean no guns or gunpowder, ever?  The following allusion to a steampunk expansion could be.. tricky in this context.
    --

    More of What make the World Rather Unique
    " Death stings – currently you leave a naked corpse and lose a lot of exp. Though your items are still with you.  If you died in a party it’s fairly easy for them to bring you back to get the exp and loot you had on you"
    Ok, so from that, what you have EQUIPPED stays with you, the rest of your inventory is on the corpse.
    Have you considered an additional persistent negative stacking debuff effect, per death, that only disappears when you clear the XP debt?  Otherwise, at max level, the penalty you describe is sort of.. "meh". (as everyone will likely get a rez)
    --

    What Alpha and Beta are for
    Again, an actual example from PF, PA4, a screenshot, or demo of what you're describing here would go a long way to validating the value of nostalgia-scenarios.
    --

    A little more about Visionary Realms
    " The world is decently large enough for, I don’t know, a couple, three weeks of average/normal play? "
    Sounds great.  What is your number for average/normal play, in this scenario? (as in, what is the average/normal hours per day, being used in this estimate)
    --

    We took part of 2019 to build the game up and work on a large Project
    When did work on Project Faerthale start?  The newsletter from June 2018 states it started then.  Is that accurate?  If not, please elaborate.
    --

    More Visionary Realms, How we’ve got things thought through, and the Future
    " and I shouldn’t say game because it’s already much more than that "
    In what ways, specifically?  What aspects in PA4 made it a living world, rather than a game?

    "We already have and maintain closely the route to shipping, with alpha and beta along the way, and that which needs to be done, how long it will take, and where in the vast world of priorities does it sit. "
    Sounds good, what's the current estimate of the shipping year, +/- one year? Oh.. no dates.  Well, that's a shame.  When there is no date, there is no/less anticipation.

    "But there will also be a setting that will maintain your framerate, seeing everything, but in a format that allows your lower end machine and graphics card to process the scene.  Pretty cool stuff. "
    Sounds great, how about a demo?

    • 610 posts
    October 4, 2019 12:51 PM PDT

    The author's notes/comments regarding:
    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/188/much-to-do-about-pantheon-cco-update
    --
    PvE and PvE, then Abilities:
    Any chance of a demo or screenshot of the DDT tool showing its value?

    Aradune: I think Jason would enjoy that.  We'd not be able to go in the really advanced stuff, but you can see where it's going.  We can talk a little about it.  In fact, doing this more and showing off more workflows and tools related to those workflows is actively in discussion.

    " how we will deal with MUDflation, running out of key materials "
    What does running out of key materials mean?

    Aradune: Just that, if a community tried, they could, say hoard all of the yummyberrys near Lake Toothache and, in theory, collect them all (also assuming they spawn infrequently).  So until another dropped, the game would have run out of that material (sorry was a bad word choice).  No, we aren't going to randomly turn sources off.  O if we do, there's either an exploit issue with which we need to deal or we simply feel an item should drop less (although that’s not running out of items, it’s making them rarer).  Or, and this would happen a bit more frequently: we completely remove a certain item from dropping or being found in a chest, or somewhere else.  Since the item no longer drops, the number of them stays finite. Finite to many, but not all, means collectable.  We then put a similar item somewhere across the world.  I think people don't want Groundhog Day, and that while we have some more interesting ways to combat Groundhog Day, this could be as good as any.  So, items no longer dropping? Yes, but more infrequently unless we were launching an expansion or something. Or moving the item or equivalent somewhere else and slightly changing it.  This keeps people moving, searching, exploring. Or, rather, it’s one way to do so.

    "The key to keeping people in both old and new areas is the content"
    If you're alluding to dynamically changing the level of all creatures in a zone based on a group composition or level spread, now is the time to reveal that as a possibility.  It will affect your target demographic numbers.
    If you're just describing what games have done in the past, as in revising zones, that's self-evident history, so.. I'm sitting here with narrow eyes..

    Aradune: Talking about refreshing zones or other parts of the world, and taking it seriously, so, as I said, it’s another award for exploration and travel.

    In other games, things like Zone Experience Modifiers determine where people go more than any other factor, due to efficiency > gameplay emergent behavior.  
    If Pantheon will NOT have ZEM's, or anything remotely like it?  Awesome, tell us.  If it will, but they're going to be super awesome, tell us how.

    Aradune: I don't know if we will need ZEMs yet and won't for a while. I will say that the idea was put together by me waaay back when, so I must have some affinity to it, though it’s crude and would need a closer look. Sorry, shameless plug.  On that note, while I am not positive, I may have coined the term PvE – let me know if you can find any older uses of it if you like researching like that.
    --

    Old Single Player RPGs still influencing us?
    If you're borrowing from these games, can you give an example?

    Aradune: Soonish.  Certainly by the end of PF, perhaps sooner as we plan to show you guys Faerthale being made in a few videos and/or streams.

    --

    Now we begin a Synopsys?
    Yes, we saw climbing in amberfaet in 2016.  It looks incredibly challenging to even the most casual player not used to jump-pivot-rotate-grab mechanics.
    How about a demo or screenshot of the Rogue's Rope, or the Summoner Bridge to allay some of these concerns?

    Aradune: Most totally agree.  Climbing now is lightyears ahead of where it was, as is the player controller.  Just one quick example: real time IK. You’ll see it soonish.

    --

    A Brief Look at the Game from a 20,000 foot View
    The claim of "no instancing" while yesterday, describing phasing, which is considered by many to be instancing, may not go over well.  Fair warning.
    Espousing rewarding Co-op play while demonstrating and confirming malicious training and Feign Death abuse, for years, is... problematic.  What are the plans to remove or handle these chronic social toxicity issues?

    Yes, we get the premise of Terminus is "anything goes" with respect to zone layout, content, and design.  This allows you to put anything you want, anywhere.  Understood.  Been that way since 2014.

    Aradune: Agree, but still lots of people newer to the game, they may not know that.  BTW, there is the Vision and some basic ground rules and lines not to cross, so while Planar Fantasy allows us what we want to do, and to do things you couldn't do in, say, Middle Earth, it's not chaos either.  It's all planned out.  Rules exist when it comes to art and design... well, not rules, but rather agreed upon limits.  We'll need more I'm sure later.  Just stressing the point that it's not always super chaotic when you zone into another zone.  There's still some rhyme and reason. The Lore and the Vision keep us going and makes sure we deliver what we've been promising, like you say, 2016. And it indeed allows a lot more, and gives us additional creative freedom.  But there are still reasonable constraints.

    Back to your other questions.  Yes, in a sense, we are talking about Phasing, but like with many words coined in an MMO context, they often mean very different things depending on how they were implemented. I’ve been approached and said, hey, I’m not digging an underwater race and zones.  I asked him why.  Because the controls sucked, I would get stuck all of the time – it was just a real hassle.  I told him that I was sorry he had a bad experience, but that there is a big difference between Idea and Implementation.  You can have a great idea but implement it poorly.  Likewise you can have what was thought a bad idea, but it turned out to be good or even great.

    How we do phasing will be designed from scratch.  Other games with it will be looked at.  If the implementation was poor, we make sure that not where we’re headed.  I can’t dig any deeper at this point though.

    --

    Beginning your Journey
    If "we’ll try to minimize powers that come to only a few of you….or even two of you on each side at any given time. " is an oblique reference to teleportation, you'll find that design will not be well received.  Why? if the intent is to require two separate accounts to perform a simultaneous task at two different points, every time?  Guilds will simply dedicate two accounts to this task.  If it's not that, I eagerly await the reveal.

    Aradune: Sorry I was making a really bad joke, alluding to Star Wars MMOs and such.


    "not much beyond medieval technology." 
    Does that mean no guns or gunpowder, ever?  The following allusion to a steampunk expansion could be.. tricky in this context.

     Aradune: Never say never, right?  I would say at launch absolutely no.  After that, well, let's talk again about that and other topics!


    --

    More of What makes the World Rather Unique
    " Death stings – currently you leave a naked corpse and lose a lot of exp. Though your items are still with you.  If you died in a party it’s fairly easy for them to bring you back to get the exp and loot you had on you"
    Ok, so from that, what you have EQUIPPED stays with you, the rest of your inventory is on the corpse.
    Have you considered an additional persistent negative stacking debuff effect, per death, that only disappears when you clear the XP debt?  Otherwise, at max level, the penalty you describe is sort of.. "meh". (as everyone will likely get a rez)
    --

    1. We will try the equipped stays, but the unequipped does not.  We will try a lot of variations.  The testers will provide the feedback, and we'll do our best to integrate it into the Vision.

    What Alpha and Beta are for
    Again, an actual example from PF, PA4, a screenshot, or demo of what you're describing here would go a long way to validating the value of nostalgia-scenarios.

    Aradune: We want to do that, and I know all of you want us to do that.  We're just not ready yet. But we are going to bring you guys into development to a reasonable degree not just during the next PA (which is after PF) but also during parts of talking and showing PF.   No, I don't mean you'll be in-game, but we may stream some videos or live gameplay.  Maybe.

    --

    A little more about Visionary Realms
    " The world is decently large enough for, I don’t know, a couple, three weeks of average/normal play? "
    Sounds great.  What is your number for average/normal play, in this scenario? (as in, what is the average/normal hours per day, being used in this estimate)

    Aradune: So we know there are a LOT less people who are Fantheons but they are older now, have spouses, kids, demanding jobs, etc.  We get it.  We're designing our sessions around 2 or so hours a day.  That means you can find a safe place and camp out and return tomorrow, or the next day.  That does not stop the hard-core player from playing 12 hours straight.  I wouldn't recommend it because really, outside of some raids, and even then, our content is not going to be designed for that.  The game softly restricts you from leveling too quickly in a variety of ways, none of which stop you from earning exp and still playing the game.  But you won't get the level if you try to sit in one place, have a high-level friend bring deep reds to you, help you bring it down in health, then sitting back while you get exp.  

    But the above is still being discussed since we have the time so it's definitely not set in stone.  Why do I bring up future systems if I'm just speculating?  Well, it's not to get the attention, it's not to trick or attempt to deceive you, I promise  Rather, it's so that you can get a better feel, not of exactly how some mechanics work, but rather our approach, our philosophy, and eventually the Vision.  I want you to see into our minds a bit.  I think that's beneficial in a lot of ways -- you could be talking to someone who has not heard of the game (btw, this is *KEY* -- we must broaden our audience and bring Pantheon up.  Many age groups or one, however you can help -- thank you). Talk to any online gamer, for sure, because even though what they’re playing may be very different than an MMO, you could draw comparisons, bring up features you are excited about, and that sort of enthusiasm is contagious. 

    sidebar: Aradune in WoW.  I played WoW to level 25 and had a really good time.  I found some other noobs who, of course, were working on 3rd and 4th alts.  But I accepted that, and they finally believed me that I was really a new player.  We played in level appropriate zones, we beat bosses, I started to equip myself.  Then, one day, when I was level 25, I was told to go to the dungeon I think called the Stockades.  We waited towards the front.  I first assumed we were waiting more for the group. After a while, though, I asked   I was told "Uh, we're waiting for Sir Uberness from our guild to come help us."  At that point my Spidey sense went off.  Finally Sir Uber arrives. I said, what do we do, assist him? "No, No, stay right there where it's safe.  Sir Uber then took on the entire dungeon killing every mob.  My exp was visibly increasing, probably the fastest playing a Non-GM character.  I think I got 6+ levels.  Items were ignored because they were trash vs. what else we could get on the market (yes, Pantheon is open like in terms of weapons, but we’ll always be tweaking with the economy, especially early on when people first start finding named items.  Anyway, this scenario and true tale will not be a viable strategy in Pantheon.  Lastly on WoW vs Pantheon -- we are tossing around ideas where people with alts possibly have places to go to advance more quickly.  But then making an alt that starts in a different location, so you should experience something different, that’s a lot of work and quite a task. Unless we’re talking Progeny, in which case sons and daughters will, to a reasonable degree, follow in the footsteps of their parents. Will they have percs too?  I’m sorry, I can’t go beyond what I’ve already announced about that system, and work on that system is post Alpha. 

     

    We took part of 2019 to build the game up and work on a large Project
    When did work on Project Faerthale start?  The newsletter from June 2018 states it started then.  Is that accurate?  If not, please elaborate.

    Aradune: I can't give you a start date because different deparments and tasks started at different times. As for June 2018, that was indeed where we started work on it, but it had the same priorities as other tasks.  We then realized we could use it as a 'vertical slice', something we could stream a lot, demo a lot, and that hopefully it would establish Pantheon's identity.  By January, however, we realized that what we thought was a nice perc (using it to broaden the audience, to establish the game's identity, stacking sytems and content on top of our core foundation, and to spread the word, etc) was actually imperitive when it came to funding, both crowdfunding (reaching a broader audience) and investors.  We also realized that it was time to increase the visual fidelity in a big way. 

    So I think it really started in January 2019 because that's when we re-defined some goals and therefore tasks, and we decided to allocate much more of the team to get it done, because it wasn't going to be easy, based on previous efforts and based on the 2.0 plan being broader.  Feature Creep? Perhaps, we don't know yet.  Going dark? Don't know for sure yet, but it seems to have been bad.  But, seriously, this may change.  Whether that was a mistake or not we'll know soon as well.  I hope it's worth the wait for you guys -- we want to please you but we also need a reference zone, a blueprint of sorts, for future zones to be worked on.  It has also taught us much about the biggest part of making an MMO -- world building.  How tough it is.  How many more people will we need? How good are the tools?  Is the pipeline clear? Will designers be able to create and place NPCs with Odin, our in-game tool? Well, the answer to that is yes, they can plus a lot more in terms of the NPCs stats, spawning location, pathing (if it paths), and more.  I recently brought up our other major tool, DDT, so I won't talk about it for now.  We've also determined that we shouldn't hard code most anything, that now things are such that it's easier to make the designer tool and implement the associated system (I love that taking tools more seriously each generation, has led to this and more).  It's a massive increase and scales out to your world builders.  When they (and they will be a massive team soon enough) can all accomplish something more easily than it has a huge impact and was most certainly worth the effort to build the tool and system. 

    So, the entire project (PF) encompasses so much that we should have (and actually did) break it up internally into several milestones.  We also worked on making our conversations better, and that includes speaking to someone who might not initially understand but will if you are patient.  That you give people the benefit of the doubt.  How to work efficiently with other departments.  Coming up with a RACI that scales as the project grows (if you don't know what a RACI is, look it up). 

    Anyway, phase 1 happens soon however I can't detail or list what's in it, what we're showing, etc. 

    -

    More Visionary Realms, How we’ve got things thought through, and the Future
    " and I shouldn’t say game because it’s already much more than that "
    In what ways, specifically?  What aspects in PA4 made it a living world, rather than a game?

    Pre-alpha was a playable MMO.  And it was fun to play.  And it allowed us to bring some people in to see both how the game handles the load and also to acquire direct feedback on all sorts of issues related to Pantheon. Even with at least one more in the books, I can already say it was most certainly a success.

    "We already have and maintain closely the route to shipping, with alpha and beta along the way, and that which needs to be done, how long it will take, and where in the vast world of priorities does it sit. "
    Sounds good, what's the current estimate of the shipping year, +/- one year? Oh.. no dates.  Well, that's a shame.  When there is no date, there is no/less anticipation.

    Aradune:  Yep, but with a date you often don’t make that date.  Why?  Mostly because dates were revised internally for a variety of reasons.  We simply don’t want to play that game.  No external due dates.  We accept the downsides because we know the alternative is worse – we’ve done it before in other games.

    "But there will also be a setting that will maintain your framerate, seeing everything, but in a format that allows your lower end machine and graphics card to process the scene.  Pretty cool stuff. "
    Sounds great, how about a demo?

    Aradune: Soon(TM)

     


    This post was edited by Aradune at October 4, 2019 4:39 PM PDT
    • 1418 posts
    October 4, 2019 5:32 PM PDT

    Aradune said:

    The author's notes/comments regarding:
    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/188/much-to-do-about-pantheon-cco-update
    --
    PvE and PvE, then Abilities:
    Any chance of a demo or screenshot of the DDT tool showing its value?

    Aradune: I think Jason would enjoy that.  We'd not be able to go in the really advanced stuff, but you can see where it's going.  We can talk a little about it.  In fact, doing this more and showing off more workflows and tools related to those workflows is actively in discussion.

    " how we will deal with MUDflation, running out of key materials "
    What does running out of key materials mean?

    Aradune: Just that, if a community tried, they could, say hoard all of the yummyberrys near Lake Toothache and, in theory, collect them all (also assuming they spawn infrequently).  So until another dropped, the game would have run out of that material (sorry was a bad word choice).  No, we aren't going to randomly turn sources off.  O if we do, there's either an exploit issue with which we need to deal or we simply feel an item should drop less (although that’s not running out of items, it’s making them rarer).  Or, and this would happen a bit more frequently: we completely remove a certain item from dropping or being found in a chest, or somewhere else.  Since the item no longer drops, the number of them stays finite. Finite to many, but not all, means collectable.  We then put a similar item somewhere across the world.  I think people don't want Groundhog Day, and that while we have some more interesting ways to combat Groundhog Day, this could be as good as any.  So, items no longer dropping? Yes, but more infrequently unless we were launching an expansion or something. Or moving the item or equivalent somewhere else and slightly changing it.  This keeps people moving, searching, exploring. Or, rather, it’s one way to do so.

    This sounds interesting but also a little bit scary at the same time.  I think it's something that you'll have to approach very carefully so that the game's drops/harvests/etc. aren't always catering to the leading edge of players.  Or maybe a better way to think of it is if you remove something in one area, you should add something else in the same area.  That way there's always something that people can find in that area.

     

    Personally I am all for the idea that loot drops and content change over time.  If I go to the Caves of Chaos and find the Shield of Everlasting Glory, that's a rare and special thing.  It's even more rare and special if a few months later the Shield of Everlasting Glory is no longer found in the Caves of Chaos.  However, when that occurs, people should now be able to get the Halberd of Insidious Doom in the Caves instead.  And, elsewhere in the world, the Shield of Ageless Splendor is now appearing.  That way no matter when someone starts playing the game, there's still a reason to go to every area open to them, and they'll still be able to get a nice shield if they want.

    That ended up being a more convoluted example than I was going for but I hope it expressed my concern and hope clearly :)

     

    • 1181 posts
    October 4, 2019 5:47 PM PDT

    Aradune said: a lot
    Thanks very much for the responses thus far.  EDIT:  In case anyone was wondering, I think his real time IK reference regarding climbing is in this context:  https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/InverseKinematics.html


    This post was edited by vjek at October 4, 2019 6:08 PM PDT
    • 873 posts
    October 4, 2019 6:27 PM PDT

    Instancing:

    What I like about not having instancing is it gives players a reason to explore. Be honest with our self here. If Pantheon had instancing, everyone would just hit up a few common zones that they have found are the best min/max because the game would just keep throwing them into their own version. Without instancing players have a reason to explore the world and fight in dungeons they never have before. I ended up enjoying dungeons in EQ that I avoided when I had no choice but to go. I ended up liking them.

    CCO Update:

    I think that the PVP crowd very loud and that there are much fewer of them than they want you to believe. I’ve seen polls on Reddit and the PVP crowd is sub 20%; much smaller than I thought.

    You are right to include influences from old school RPG’s. New games focus more on graphics and simplify the gameplay. Let’s go back!

    Regarding the death penalty – when alpha/beta heats up and you have multiple testing servers it would be interesting to see each server have a different death penalty mechanic. To me that would be an interesting way to test it. Have each server run weeks or months just to see how it builds up over time.