Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

PantheonPlus Joppa Interview Stream

    • 762 posts
    March 13, 2020 6:48 PM PDT

    Just a shout out to Minus and the PantheonPlus team, i thought this was a brilliant stream, GREAT questions from Minus and some goodies from the audience too, but also some really great answers that put a big smile on my face. (Thanks Joppa).

    I really had a lot of woohoo moments with a lot of Joppa's answers, woohoo for contested issues that I allign with and also woohoo moments for the reminder of the deep passion that Chris and the whole VR team has for this game, to be every bit as awesome as I hope it will be. I felt it was clear that Joppa wanted to make sure people understand that the information that is being served to us is very deliberate and honestly i would agree it is also in the games best interest. They will not be rushed, and I am glad for that. 

    Minus I thought you did a great job of very respectfully drawing some extra tid bits out of Joppa.  I'm sure Vandraad would have been chomping at the bit to reply, i thought it was a very well worded question Vandraad, I also think Joppa gave an answer i alligfn very closely with, but it was an excellent question! Giving Joppa a good amount of vacant air space to think and reply was a great strategy for the questions, to let him explain systems to the best of his allowable ability.

    Erekai (if thats how it is spelt) thanks for grabbing an opportunity to express your gratitude as well as mine to Joppa personally, I felt like you spoke from a LOT of backers perspective and I second everything you said :)

    Anyways, thanks for working hard for us Minus and team, it was a great stream and you have won a regular viewer in me.  Cheers

    • 433 posts
    March 14, 2020 8:08 AM PDT

    Hokanu said:

    Just a shout out to Minus and the PantheonPlus team, i thought this was a brilliant stream, GREAT questions from Minus and some goodies from the audience too, but also some really great answers that put a big smile on my face. (Thanks Joppa).

    I really had a lot of woohoo moments with a lot of Joppa's answers, woohoo for contested issues that I allign with and also woohoo moments for the reminder of the deep passion that Chris and the whole VR team has for this game, to be every bit as awesome as I hope it will be. I felt it was clear that Joppa wanted to make sure people understand that the information that is being served to us is very deliberate and honestly i would agree it is also in the games best interest. They will not be rushed, and I am glad for that. 

    Minus I thought you did a great job of very respectfully drawing some extra tid bits out of Joppa.  I'm sure Vandraad would have been chomping at the bit to reply, i thought it was a very well worded question Vandraad, I also think Joppa gave an answer i alligfn very closely with, but it was an excellent question! Giving Joppa a good amount of vacant air space to think and reply was a great strategy for the questions, to let him explain systems to the best of his allowable ability.

    Erekai (if thats how it is spelt) thanks for grabbing an opportunity to express your gratitude as well as mine to Joppa personally, I felt like you spoke from a LOT of backers perspective and I second everything you said :)

    Anyways, thanks for working hard for us Minus and team, it was a great stream and you have won a regular viewer in me.  Cheers

    Well said, Hokanu.  Minus did a stellar job in the interview, and Joppa was great as usual.

    • 1290 posts
    March 14, 2020 11:24 AM PDT

    yes it was a great interview :D  i liked the vandraad question rofl.

    • 114 posts
    March 14, 2020 6:56 PM PDT

    That was a stellar stream. Lots of great info, really helped to give me a hype boost for the game :]

     

    Thanks everyone involved!

    • 107 posts
    March 15, 2020 9:55 AM PDT

    When I hear Joppa talk I always think the game is alot further along then we realize anyone else get that?

    • 1785 posts
    March 15, 2020 10:35 AM PDT

    As usual I miss a text version because I'm not really keen on spending 1 hour watching a video of people talking... Never been my thing.

    • 1347 posts
    March 15, 2020 12:47 PM PDT

    SugarWood said:

    When I hear Joppa talk I always think the game is alot further along then we realize anyone else get that?

    Nope.  With no Alpha this year, this game is years away from persistence, and the past 6 years of testing are erased (at least for combat, with the new UI limitations).  
    Joppa's review of 8+6 and no consumables or clickies in combat is a public design decision that should have been made and communicated in 2014, not 2020.  Or at least in PA1, not PA5.
    In light of these types of massive fundamental shifts in gameplay for Combat?  I would have given them exactly zero dollars and ignored the game for the past 6 years if they had dropped this bomb in 2014. 
    Bit of bait and switch, imo.  Hopefully they don't have many more of these reveals that ignore the pantheon differences, features, and tenets that got them all their funding up to this point.

    • 581 posts
    March 15, 2020 12:53 PM PDT

    MauvaisOeil said:

    As usual I miss a text version because I'm not really keen on spending 1 hour watching a video of people talking... Never been my thing.

    Some kind person posted an "auto transcribe" version of the interview on the Pantheon Reddit page. I'm not sure if you have to be logged into Reddit to access it since I auto-login every time I go there, but here is the link.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQ_fexUU4fvet-c9T73u3c4bIKZeuWhfUA6XHaD65g2MnmGVG2s19WbjkgDb6DUAvQA6WZnHvNghIdD/pub

    It may be of help.

    • 218 posts
    March 15, 2020 1:09 PM PDT

    vjek said:

    In light of these types of massive fundamental shifts in gameplay for Combat?  I would have given them exactly zero dollars and ignored the game for the past 6 years if they had dropped this bomb in 2014. 

    Bit of bait and switch, imo.  Hopefully they don't have many more of these reveals that ignore the pantheon differences, features, and tenets that got them all their funding up to this point.

    Ok, I'll bite. Vjek, help me understand how the LAS "ignores the Pantheon differences, features, and tenets that got them all their funding up to this point" from your perspective.


    This post was edited by Joppa at March 15, 2020 1:09 PM PDT
    • 1160 posts
    March 15, 2020 1:23 PM PDT

    SugarWood said:

    When I hear Joppa talk I always think the game is alot further along then we realize anyone else get that?

    Same here, but of course if you say anything about you always have the negatives that have to chime in and rain on the parade because the Devs are doing it wrong in their opinion.

    Good job guys, was a great stream. And thanks for sharing with us Joppa.

    • 406 posts
    March 15, 2020 1:39 PM PDT

    Joppa said:

    vjek said:

    In light of these types of massive fundamental shifts in gameplay for Combat?  I would have given them exactly zero dollars and ignored the game for the past 6 years if they had dropped this bomb in 2014. 

    Bit of bait and switch, imo.  Hopefully they don't have many more of these reveals that ignore the pantheon differences, features, and tenets that got them all their funding up to this point.

    Ok, I'll bite. Vjek, help me understand how the LAS "ignores the Pantheon differences, features, and tenets that got them all their funding up to this point" from your perspective.

     

    Obviously not Vjek, but I did want to ask you about one thing Joppa since your eyes are on this thread.  In EQ1, the thing I thought that made the LAS function well enough was that you DID have the ability, if you could pull it off, to med mid-combat and swap out spells as needed.  It added a little bit of intensity to the fight but also left open flexibility.  I agree with you about not having a bazillion hot key and every ability available at all times, but I don't agree about locking the ability book while in combat.  That just takes away flexibility.  Wouldn't it make the most sense to mimic EQ1 in having a limited amount of abilities to click (for strategy purposes), but also allowing the opportunity to change mid-combat (if you can manage to do so without dying or pulling aggro) for flexibility reasons.  Some of my best memories were kiting mobs so others could get up a particular ability or rooting and then switching to memorize Gate or Evac to try and get out of a jam.  What are your thoughts on this particular aspect of how EQ1 did things?

    • 1785 posts
    March 15, 2020 1:58 PM PDT

    Jothany said:

    MauvaisOeil said:

    As usual I miss a text version because I'm not really keen on spending 1 hour watching a video of people talking... Never been my thing.

    Some kind person posted an "auto transcribe" version of the interview on the Pantheon Reddit page. I'm not sure if you have to be logged into Reddit to access it since I auto-login every time I go there, but here is the link.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQ_fexUU4fvet-c9T73u3c4bIKZeuWhfUA6XHaD65g2MnmGVG2s19WbjkgDb6DUAvQA6WZnHvNghIdD/pub

    It may be of help.

     

    Thanks much, I'll put my eyes on that :) .

    • 1347 posts
    March 15, 2020 2:01 PM PDT

    Joppa said:Ok, I'll bite. Vjek, help me understand how the LAS "ignores the Pantheon differences, features, and tenets that got them all their funding up to this point" from your perspective.

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/pantheon_difference/
    Dynamic
    NPC Encounter Groups
    NPC Dispositions and Behaviors
    -
    Both of which require exactly the opposite of what the LAS provides, namely:  The ability to dynamically react, especially to multi-disposition bosses, but also to variable disposition respawns.

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/game_features/
    Make
    use of Colored Mana to give your spells flavor and variety.
    Immerse yourself in group-focused, intensely social game play using classes that complement each other, encouraging teamwork.
    Play classes that have meaningful and defined roles such as Tank, Healer, DPS or Utility (crowd and encounter control). Class identity and group interdependence is key!
    -
    Again, the LAS prevents all of the above.  You can't pick a variety of spells, you can't complement any other class, you can't have teamwork when you can't react to dynamic combat.
    Your class identity, with 8 spells/skills, when all classes have at least 2 or 3 times that in active abilities? (remember, you've said the current class pages are incomplete)

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/game_tenets/
    A
    commitment to a style of play that focuses on immersive combat, and engaging group mechanics.
    A requirement that classes have identities. No single player should be able to do everything on their own.
    A sincere commitment to creating a world where a focus on cooperative play will attract those seeking a challenge.
    An assertion that player vs. environment should involve more than NPCs -- Engage the World!
    -
    Except you can't be immersed in combat when you have exactly 8 things you can do.  Just like Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Online, and many more MMOs. Same goes for class identity, again.
    How can you be cooperative when you can't even place your own class abilities on the 8 active slots?  Oh, sorry, no room for that cooperative play spells or skill, no room on the UI.
    Engage the world?  With 8 active combat slots?  Maybe with a console controller, but there's ~90 other keys I could be using, but nope, not right now.
    If you objectively look at the number of spells or skills each class has today, and compare that with 8 active slots, it's.. illogical.  There's no way you thought "This is going to be more FUN for all our paying customers, to restrict them from 2 or three times more than what the artificial in-combat-only UI restricts them to." (Ranger, as a random example, has over 16 abilities on their incomplete class page, today)
    --
    Look, I get the whole value in LAS.  Just don't make me fight the UI more than the world.
    Change your mind.  It's easy.  Start testing with no-limit on out-of-combat hotbars and slots.  Start testing with 12 active in-combat abilities and 6 non-active in-combat abilities.
    Allow consumables and clickies in combat.  I mean, I weep for your item designers.  You're going to eliminate in combat consumables?
    Or, you know what?  Change the abilities.  Make some of them only usable once or twice or however many times, per encounter or per target, or on a 1.5-2.0 * TTK cooldown.  Then you're giving the players the tools, and it's up to them how to best use them.  That's SO much better than forcing 8 active UI slots.

    That's a reasonable place to start.  What you outlined on the 12th?  Not even close to reasonable, when you look back at the history of LAS in other games.
    It's hard to take the differences, features, and tenets seriously when you're willing to run PA5 with 8+6.  If this game is supposed to be, in any measurable way, a spiritual successor to EQ1, or old school, or hard core, or challenging, or a return to the things that made EQ1 great?  Why are you adding the one thing that has failed in every attempt, and that was specifically NEVER in EQ1? (or any other MMO prior to 2002)

    And for the love of all things holy, tell the community that it will forever be a public design goal that you can't be forced into combat without your consent or personal actions, because if you can, all of this?  It's even MORE of a disaster waiting to happen.

    • 762 posts
    March 15, 2020 2:55 PM PDT
    @vjek Omg dude. Come on... What else is there to say, if 8 is problematic in testing then test 12, great done. I think the line "it is not a hill to die on" tells you they have not closed the door. 8 or 10 or 12 who knows, it's all very melodramatic right now man. In my opinion your examples you point out from the tenets are real big swing and miss stuff dude.
    • 218 posts
    March 15, 2020 3:21 PM PDT

    Mathir said:

    Obviously not Vjek, but I did want to ask you about one thing Joppa since your eyes are on this thread.  In EQ1, the thing I thought that made the LAS function well enough was that you DID have the ability, if you could pull it off, to med mid-combat and swap out spells as needed.  It added a little bit of intensity to the fight but also left open flexibility.  I agree with you about not having a bazillion hot key and every ability available at all times, but I don't agree about locking the ability book while in combat.  That just takes away flexibility.  Wouldn't it make the most sense to mimic EQ1 in having a limited amount of abilities to click (for strategy purposes), but also allowing the opportunity to change mid-combat (if you can manage to do so without dying or pulling aggro) for flexibility reasons.  Some of my best memories were kiting mobs so others could get up a particular ability or rooting and then switching to memorize Gate or Evac to try and get out of a jam.  What are your thoughts on this particular aspect of how EQ1 did things?

    Great question. I'll expound a bit on my example from the PantheonPlus interview.

    Ultimately, I would describe EverQuest as being a hybrid: it is fundamentally a UAS (unlimited action set) that leans towards an LAS under specific conditions, with an incredibly clunky way of accessing your abilities. 

    It is fundamentally a UAS because technically you have access to all of your abilities at your choosing, in and out of combat. It leans towards an LAS because you could only have 8 usable at a time and the fine motor skills required to quickly exchange one ability for another in critical situations was actually difficult to do.

    The other ingredient that caused it to lean towards an LAS in feel was the memorization time + the initial refresh time. Take an ability like Divine Aura - a Cleric would have to wait 15-20 seconds after memorizing that ability before they could use it. For this reason, choosing to memorize Divine Aura was often a decision made before combat began (!). And while an extreme case because of its uniquely long initial refresh time, similar consideration was given to other abilities that had delays before being usable after memorizing.

    All of that being said, the inspiration behind pushing Pantheon fully into the LAS approach is born from the presence of that tension in EQ and the enjoyment of it. How would I have played differently in EQ had I known those 8 abilities were all I had access to until combat ended? In that regard, a death penalty produces a very similar type of consideration/question. How do I approach every encounter differently in games where there is a death penalty vs. games without?

    In the scenarios you listed above, how would those memories be different if you or your friends hadn't been able to change abilities? For some, there is only one answer to that question: you would have invariably failed, end of story.

    In EverQuest, with the very simplistic ability design and lack of cross-ability/cross-Class synergies, that very well may have been the case. But not in Pantheon.

     

    • 218 posts
    March 15, 2020 3:45 PM PDT

    vjek said:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/pantheon_difference/

    Dynamic NPC Encounter Groups
    NPC Dispositions and Behaviors
    -
    Both of which require exactly the opposite of what the LAS provides, namely:  The ability to dynamically react, especially to multi-disposition bosses, but also to variable disposition respawns.

    To get an important point out of the way first, we are setting up the in/out of combat mechanic to be dependent on your individual actions and related directly to threat. If you have a single point of threat on a target, you are in combat w/ that target. Have a way to erase your threat? You are now out of combat, unless you have threat on a remaining target(s).

    I keep hearing the argument you share above: if you have LAS, you cannot have dynamic combat of any kind. I guess that's true if your goal in content design is to make sure every player always has specific answers available for anything thrown at them. In my opinion, that's an incredibly boring approach. I can assure you, even with LAS, you will have many things thrown at you that you don't expect and may not immediately know how to respond to in the moment.

    This flows into another important point which is woven all throughout Pantheon's tenets: this is a group-centric game. To me, the "dynamic content is incompatible with LAS" argument seems overly focused on what the solo player is capable of. If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.

    Lastly, emergent gameplay is often predicated on not having a direct way to deal with a problem. I look forward to seeing all of the creative ways players come up with to deal with Pantheon's dynamic world and inhabitants.

    • 487 posts
    March 15, 2020 3:47 PM PDT
    Uhh you do realize that you could pretty much perform everything in your toolkit with 8 spells. That's how simplistic EQ was, even then you could still swap (especially when you understood sit aggro) spells. When they started adding complexity to the game (and encounters) that's when you had AA's, Item clickies, and even more spell slots. EQ's magic was mainly due to the timing of when it was released: no Twitter, YouTube, wowhead, etc. As well as it's mechanics; from combat to leveling up.
    The main restriction that bothers me the most about the LAS, is that it takes a lot of the potential player skill out of the players hands when in combat. You lose a lot of those, "can't believe you did that" or "wow, quick thinking".
    • 487 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:00 PM PDT
    Another thing to add, this is another version (a well-written document) of what Vjek is saying - and it's by 1AD7:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fm2PeIg9jabVlsKtMLz0BF37banlDXSFIUbRJwmyGL8/edit?usp=sharing
    • 218 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:00 PM PDT

    Fragile said: Uhh you do realize that you could pretty much perform everything in your toolkit with 8 spells. That's how simplistic EQ was, even then you could still swap (especially when you understood sit aggro) spells. When they started adding complexity to the game (and encounters) that's when you had AA's, Item clickies, and even more spell slots. EQ's magic was mainly due to the timing of when it was released: no Twitter, YouTube, wowhead, etc. As well as it's mechanics; from combat to leveling up. The main restriction that bothers me the most about the LAS, is that it takes a lot of the potential player skill out of the players hands when in combat. You lose a lot of those, "can't believe you did that" or "wow, quick thinking".

    Totally, which is why I'm loud about the caveat: things may change as we test. Adding the 6 Utility slots is in recognition of the amount of abilities available to Pantheon's Classes, as well as the ability to increase the numbers available in each bar to 10/8, 12/10, etc. if we decide.

    But as I've also said, I see things more clearly when starting more constrained and opening from there, which is why we have 8/6 as the starting point.

    Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reason to open the LAS allotment as we test.

    Btw, Twitter's got nothing on the tension that EQ's death penalty causes. You'll find a lot of EQ's magic right there.

     


    This post was edited by Joppa at March 15, 2020 4:10 PM PDT
    • 143 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:03 PM PDT

    I'll have to check out this stream. Took a break from Pantheon because patience is a virtue. I'm mature enough to admit my faults. It is not a virtue that I have. Been looking at the posts quickly and nothing caught my eye until today when I seen Joppa reply.  It is good to see the VR team staying in touch with the pledgers.  I said it before and I'll say it again. That is a breath of freash air as far as I'm concern. 

    I'm looking forward to playing this game in alpha & giving honest feedback to the VR team in an effort to make Pantheon as great as it can be.

    • 487 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:16 PM PDT
    Joppa said:
    Btw, Twitter's got nothing on the tension that EQ's death penalty causes. You'll find a lot of EQ's magic right there.

    Lol you got me there - but you know what I meant.
    As far as deaths, really that was only in relation to solo/single group content, as Rez sticks were a meme for the duration of EQ.
    As the snakes in Ssra Temple put it - "Death is but a doorway, for a god!"
    • 445 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:28 PM PDT

    Joppa said:

    vjek said:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/pantheon_difference/

    Dynamic NPC Encounter Groups
    NPC Dispositions and Behaviors
    -
    Both of which require exactly the opposite of what the LAS provides, namely:  The ability to dynamically react, especially to multi-disposition bosses, but also to variable disposition respawns.

    To get an important point out of the way first, we are setting up the in/out of combat mechanic to be dependent on your individual actions and related directly to threat. If you have a single point of threat on a target, you are in combat w/ that target. Have a way to erase your threat? You are now out of combat, unless you have threat on a remaining target(s).

    I keep hearing the argument you share above: if you have LAS, you cannot have dynamic combat of any kind. I guess that's true if your goal in content design is to make sure every player always has specific answers available for anything thrown at them. In my opinion, that's an incredibly boring approach. I can assure you, even with LAS, you will have many things thrown at you that you don't expect and may not immediately know how to respond to in the moment.

    This flows into another important point which is woven all throughout Pantheon's tenets: this is a group-centric game. To me, the "dynamic content is incompatible with LAS" argument seems overly focused on what the solo player is capable of. If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.

    Lastly, emergent gameplay is often predicated on not having a direct way to deal with a problem. I look forward to seeing all of the creative ways players come up with to deal with Pantheon's dynamic world and inhabitants.

     

    Great feedback ty Joppa , but if  we need to discuss synergy with classes pray tell me how summoners synergize with enc ?  cause seriously to have our epic be given to enc is not synergy :P  having us give us give our  shield of spinnnig blades that synergize with enc might be better option . personal opinion but still our epic ? sad state IMHO 


    This post was edited by Shea at March 15, 2020 4:31 PM PDT
    • 22 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:31 PM PDT

    Joppa said:

    Fragile said: Uhh you do realize that you could pretty much perform everything in your toolkit with 8 spells. That's how simplistic EQ was, even then you could still swap (especially when you understood sit aggro) spells. When they started adding complexity to the game (and encounters) that's when you had AA's, Item clickies, and even more spell slots. EQ's magic was mainly due to the timing of when it was released: no Twitter, YouTube, wowhead, etc. As well as it's mechanics; from combat to leveling up. The main restriction that bothers me the most about the LAS, is that it takes a lot of the potential player skill out of the players hands when in combat. You lose a lot of those, "can't believe you did that" or "wow, quick thinking".

    Totally, which is why I'm loud about the caveat: things may change as we test. Adding the 6 Utility slots is in recognition of the amount of abilities available to Pantheon's Classes, as well as the ability to increase the numbers available in each bar to 10/8, 12/10, etc. if we decide.

    But as I've also said, I see things more clearly when starting more constrained and opening from there, which is why we have 8/6 as the starting point.

    Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reasons to open the LAS allotment as we move into testing it.

    Btw, Twitter's got nothing on the tension that EQ's death penalty causes. You'll find a lot of EQ's magic right there.

     

     

    I've seen many complaints and even some harmful conclusions that are elluded to by many people that are anti-LAS such as "vapor-ware" and "against core game tenants" which comes from in some instances overanalysis or hyper theory crafting.  While I think criticism and thoughtful opposition is necessary to create the best game possible, there have been brought up some extremely valuable points that people need to chill about the sky is falling and the game is no longer what it was supposed to be and let it play out.

    1.) It needs to be tested by - I think this is critical and has been perfectly stated.  Theorycrafting is just that and can fundamentally change when tension is applied, group dynamics come into play and dynamic monster design is in the fold.  

    2.) This is a group centric and group dependent game.  This is not WoW or Tera, where 95% of content is single player and then only when you get to raiding or dungeons, is a group required.  I loved EQ and that was as close to group centric as it could be, but what I later found to hate is that eventually even in challenging games, you have individuals who can play copious amounts of hours above and beyond others and then turn group areas in to solo experiences.  I'm seeing this in P99 where guys are soloing major camps i.e. enchanter doing Frenzy and Lord solo because they've just put an extreme amount of time that 90% can't do.  Doesn't unlimited action set cater to soloing, I'd like to make it where the hardest content should never be soloable and that should include dungeons not just raids.  Death should happen and I like that sometimes decisions you've made well before a battle occurs makes it unavoidable.

    3.) I liken LAS to some FPS games out there. I like that in some instances for example, PUBG, where a guy can be owning everyone with his Sniper and BR combo, but in that one instance where the circle converges on a building and SMGs become more viable that person has lesser of a chance to win that scenario.  We shouldn't always have the answers and I think the tension would be far less if I could just have more gun slots and could accommodate for every situation.

    Being a competitive person, failure is always more memorable than winning and I don't want to always have the ability to get out those learning situations.

     

    Let's get into Alpha before we knock LAS and I like that they say it's not a hill they are dying on.

    • 762 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:33 PM PDT
    Yes Joppa, well said, that was my point in the last thread about this in the same discussion with these guys.

    This flows into another important point which is woven all throughout Pantheon's tenets: this is a group-centric game. To me, the "dynamic content is incompatible with LAS" argument seems overly focused on what the solo player is capable of. If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.

    That is the game right there. Simple
    • 3380 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:40 PM PDT

    Huge wall of text incoming but I will preface it by saying that this article comes to mind:  https://www.wolfsheadonline.com/the-curse-of-groundhog-day-continues-no-dynamic-content-for-pantheon-mmo/

    "Synopsis: Players who learn and master static dungeons should be rewarded for learning the NPC encounters, their locations and the loot they drop. If we put in unpredictable and dynamic content in dungeons, players won’t be able to master the content and will be prevented from capitalizing on their knowledge. Therefore the virtual world of Pantheon won’t be dynamic.

    Given our short attention span culture, how many times can you expect players to repeat the same dungeon with the same content without being bored? Of course, Brad and company want to make dungeons harder which would drastically increase the amount of time a dungeon could be mastered but the problem is that the content is still the same and never changes.

    We need to consider that players don’t learn organically anymore; instead they learn from thousands of YouTube walk-thru videos and spoiler sites. For all intents and purposes that is cheating. Today most serious raiding guilds require that their members watch these videos made by the uber raiding guilds who use the test servers to learn how to beat the raiding content. Dynamic content would be a dagger in the heart to all those spoiler sites.

    Having dynamic content makes your fantasy virtual world more replayable! One only has to look at the statistics of popular MMOs like WoW to see that when there is not enough new content people lose interest and stop subscribing. Players are bored of the non-dynamic MMO and voting with their feet. Over the years, millions of dollars of subscription revenue have been lost because MMO developers like Blizzard have failed to embrace the concept of dynamic content."

     

    In the context of the above quote, "today" was 6 years ago, and the "spoiler site" phenomenon has only gotten worse.  Pantheon is supposed to have an emphasis on dynamic content which is something that EQ did not have.  In other words, Pantheon is going to offer dynamic content (relative to EQ) while removing the hybrid model where players can dynamically respond.  So combat is going to be more dynamic, and players are going to be less flexible ... so how will players approach the world?  Well, if the content is designed to be challenging within the confines of the LAS construct, having the right abilities/spells prepared should be an incredibly big deal, and this creates a situation where players are rewarded for looking up strategies online and that reward is significantly higher than it would be with a UAS system.  From that Wolfhead article:

    "Let’s be honest here, even if played as intended, today’s MMO dungeon experience in all its theme park glory is all about beating the scripting. It’s about data mining the enemy NPCs stats and abilities, it’s about theorycrafting, it’s about the numbers. It’s essentially Strat-O-Matic Baseball meets Lord of the Rings. Somehow the idea of bravery, determination, courage, valor, cunning and challenge got lost and the software engineers with their insufferable analytical minds took over. It doesn’t have to be that way."

    And:

    "In a Groundhog Day MMO, players are the only entities that are allowed to be dynamic in a non-dynamic MMORPG. In time, the players learn everything about these enemy NPCs and eventually come up with strategies and techniques to defeat them. After the initial challenge is gone, many players leverage their new found knowledge and continue enter these dungeons but not as an adventurers but as farmers. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the woeful state of the modern day MMO."

    And:

    "Somehow the current crop of MMO visionaries has lost sight of what adventuring is supposed to be about. Dungeon farming has replaced the dungeon crawl. Instead of a band of brave adventurers venturing deep into the darkness recesses of some ancient crypt and hoping against all odds to vanquish the evil creatures in a dungeon, we now have players that have been reduced to statisticians, accountants, and farmers with slider rulers and calculators as their weapons. I’m here to say that the status quo is of MMO design is no longer acceptable."

     

    If the concept of challenge is focused more on preparation than execution, think about what that means.  Guides and tutorial videos are even more impactful.  The LAS may create situations where players have to "make do with what they have" but that realization is only temporary.  If you find yourself in a situation where you don't have the ideal loadout and die, you aren't going to purposely use that same loadout on your next attempt.  You adapt and modify until you have the right set-up ... or for most players, they simply watch a guide/tutorial video that spells out all of these steps for them before they engage an encounter.  Getting caught with your pants down in a game that has a meaningful death penalty, especially one that focuses on interdependence, could legitimately be viewed as being irresponsible.

    Why attempt content with an inferior hotbar and risk the time/progression of your entire team?  If a big share of the burden of execution is placed on the preparation phase (safely executing a proper hotbar loadout prior to engaging combat) then players are incentivized to check out spoiler sites as often as possible in order to alleviate risk and increase their potential rewards.  There is very little "skill" required when it comes to following a hotbar-strategy-guide ... anybody with basic comprehension can do that.  It is far more difficult to watch a tutorial that requires players to leverage their entire kit over the full duration of a long battle.  The more options there are, the more potential decisions that can be made, and the more opportunities there are to make a mistake.

    Joppa said:

    To get an important point out of the way first, we are setting up the in/out of combat mechanic to be dependent on your individual actions and related directly to threat. If you have a single point of threat on a target, you are in combat w/ that target. Have a way to erase your threat? You are now out of combat, unless you have threat on a remaining target(s).

    I keep hearing the argument you share above: if you have LAS, you cannot have dynamic combat of any kind. I guess that's true if your goal in content design is to make sure every player always has specific answers available for anything thrown at them. In my opinion, that's an incredibly boring approach. I can assure you, even with LAS, you will have many things thrown at you that you don't expect and may not immediately know how to respond to in the moment.

     

    I don't think anybody wants content to be designed to "make sure every player always has specific answers available for anything thrown at them."  I think most players would agree with you that it would be an incredibly boring approach.  The message that appears to be lost is that the UAS does not have to create that kind of condition.  When abilities have resource costs, longer cooldowns, and/or conditional logic, they are not "always available."  If content design emphasizes resource/cooldown management then players will have to make this/that choices with how they build/spend those resources and cooldowns.  Warriors have a secondary resource (battle points)  --  the potential of this/that choices with how those battle points can be spent are watered down by the LAS.  Choosing how I build and spend those points during combat should be a matter of skill.  Having the mental capacity to be aware of ever-changing combat conditions and then being able to process the right choice out of many available options, during a heated and intense battle ... that is skillful and fun.

    The LAS reduces that type of gameplay in dramatic fashion and is far more likely to create a situation where players are stuck adhering to some sort of "ability rotation" simply because that is the most efficient way to play within the LAS construct.  I don't have to decide whether or not I should choose to use 3 battle points on Wall of Shields or save them to later use 2 points on Shield Block and 1 on Rageful Shout  --  these decisions could very well have already been made before combat started ... as in, it was already determined that Wall of Shields is not a good option for this encounter (and thus not slotted) because abilities X/Y/Z provide more value, according to empirical data spread around the world wide web.  If the content is really, really hard?  Maybe some sites charge a subscription for this data.  Countless forms of emergent gameplay are put to the test and slowly rendered obsolete ... because it isn't a matter of what would be ideal for a very specific heat-of-the-moment situation ... it's all about what is most efficient for the encounter as a whole, from start to finish.

    Joppa said:

    This flows into another important point which is woven all throughout Pantheon's tenets: this is a group-centric game. To me, the "dynamic content is incompatible with LAS" argument seems overly focused on what the solo player is capable of.  If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.

    Quoting Iksar/Kayahni here:

    (Iksar)

    To me, LAS means your group will have figured out the tools needed to bring and know "I am using these 8-12 (where 5 or 6 are likely core/bread and butter that never really leave their bars), no need to worry and less need to communicate beyond this." The individuals know their "job" in the fight. Player 1 just does DPS, dodges the cleave, hits the first stun. Player 2 does the same after him. If X happens player 3 does Y. Once that mob dies they rinse and repeat with the same abilities, maybe play with the UI and change one or two for a disposition. With UAS and long cooldowns now the group has to continually communicate with the breadth of their abilities, realizing far more of their class than otherwise. Instead of just using the most efficient couple interrupts between two players they need to work together as a whole to challenge the mob that is attacking. Each fight is more unique and interesting based on the abilities as resources that have been drawn in from the fight(s) prior.

    If a group is chain pulling the further they go the higher the risk as they have less abilities to throw at the rising problems, a very real risk/reward for those who can pull together as a group and communicate. This only doubles so for bosses/longer single encounters. Yes, groups would start off with many options vs an individual "trash" or normal mob of appropriate level but I don't see that as a flaw. In many great things in life those attempting challenges start off far better/stronger/healthier than they finish. An athlete begins a feat at full rest and strength, someone going on a tough hike or rock climb starts off rested with full provisions. The Oregon Trail starts off simple and slowly resources (abilities) dwindle as challenges are met and the group presses on. The better a group coordinates/communicates/works together as a whole with UAS (as opposed to more emphasis as an individual within a group with LAS) during a fight or string of fights, the greater the thrill/challenge/reward.

    (Kayahni)

    An example: with LAS you may have 1AD7's group asking "why didn't you use Close the Gap?" while 1AD7 responds "I don't have it memmed. Why didn't you root?" with UAS, the group needs to be aware that 1AD7 used Close the Gap too recently to use it right now, so a group member roots. They're sharing responsibility, but they're doing so fluidly, while things happen, instead of planning their shares out before encounters.

    Joppa said:

    Lastly, emergent gameplay is often predicated on not having a direct way to deal with a problem. I look forward to seeing all of the creative ways players come up with to deal with Pantheon's dynamic world and inhabitants.

    The main issue I have with this is that these emergent constructs will be broken down as either right/wrong.  Sure, there could be a situation where my group has to "make do" with what they have because that is just the way the game works.  They are stuck with what they have and have to figure it out.  That phenomenon disappears, though, as soon as they die and come back for round 2.  They are no longer stuck with that same "make do" restriction.  Whatever emergent tactic that was observed on the previous attempt can now be broken down as "right" or "wrong" -- if players can achieve the same "result" while using less resources, why wouldn't they?  If they can achieve a better result by using different resources, why wouldn't they?  This is why tutorial guides would end up being so potent ... why risk engaging an encounter with a less-than-ideal set-up when you can just look up the path of least resistance online?  The game will either be designed in such a way where having the right hotbar loaded is important (further reinforcing the value of following a guide) or it won't.  If it isn't important?  Well ... what is the point of the LAS, then?  If you can make it work with a bad set-up then having a good set-up would make things even easier ... which again, reinforces the value of loading up that right hotbar before ever attempting anything difficult.

    As far as combat changing dynamically after an encounter is engaged ... this post comes to mind:

    oneADseven said:

    I am a fan of dynamic combat.  A basic example would be a boss that can periodically spawn NPC's of a random archetype after you engage it.  While it's still possible to "prepare for a range of potential outcomes" an LAS would emphasize the significance of RNG.  You know that a boss can summon a tank pet, a mage pet, a healer pet, or a melee pet ... so you plan your hotbars to compensate for all 4 of those possibilities.  Once you initiate combat, though, RNG decides to hit you with 4 consecutive tank pets.  The healing debuff you prepared for the healer can't be utilized.  The interrupt you prepared for the mage can't be utilized.  It just doesn't make sense to emphasize execution if players cannot adapt to dynamic content.  This means that encounters will likely be highly predictable (or the severity of the death penalty reduced) just for the sake of not making it overly frustrating for the player-base.  VR would need to purposely create "wiggle room" for mistakes or reduced efficiency to compensate for any dynamic RNG and by the nature of doing so, they would be decreasing the burden of proper execution from the players.  You don't get to enjoy a fight that requires near-perfect execution of all 12 of your slotted abilities because 2 of them were rendered useless as soon as you engaged in-combat.

    For that reason, I have a strong feeling that we wouldn't see much in the realm of dynamic combat.  I like surprises and RNG but players should be able to respond to them in real-time.  If they cannot, and the window for execution remains fairly tight, players will simply have to get lucky to be victorious.  With a tight window, they can prepare the perfect hotbar for a boss that summons 4 consecutive tank pets and continue engaging the encounter until RNG blesses them with that outcome.  With a loose window, you can beat the encounter from 100-0 even if you have several slotted abilities that serve no functional purpose during the fight.  Dynamic combat simply doesn't mesh with an emphasis on proactive planning.  I understand that players can prepare for a range of outcomes, but the idea of "requiring execution in order to prevail victorious" would need to be watered down to compensate for RNG.  One or the other would need to be compromised.  The burden of execution, or the ability to produce dynamic/challenging content.

     


    This post was edited by oneADseven at March 15, 2020 7:40 PM PDT