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Bazgrim's 08/17/18 MMORPG.com GameSpace Game Show Summary

    • 4299 posts
    August 30, 2018 6:27 PM PDT

    Recently, two developers from Visionary Realms sat down with the hosts of the MMORPG.com GameSpace Game Show on YouTube to answer some questions about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. The developers in question were:

    Brad "Aradune" McQuaid - Chief Creative Officer & Executive Producer

    Chris “Joppa” Perkins - Creative Director & Lead Game Designer

    Keep in mind that the questions and answers may have been paraphrased or omitted for the sake of clarity. In chronological order:

    Is it possible for a Wizard to specialize in a certain school of magic?

    Fundamentally, they're meant to weave. The more they “dig into” that school and focus, all their attention is there, and that's where that that focus buff comes from. When they switch to a different school, they're leaving that focus and beginning a new focus. Most likely, the focus buff that stacks won't drop immediately - it'll quickly, but steadily, drop off. As far as specializing goes, this isn't something we can say a whole lot about yet, but the class reveal hinted at a fourth school. That is meant to pique your interest, not only about what the fourth school is, but about perhaps there being a fifth or sixth school. When you get into those particular lines, you're going to find more forms of damage that you can specialize in, more forms of hate reduction, control, mana reduction, etc. It is all built around the premise of giving Wizards more control over when and how they do damage. Historically, they've been relegated to just blowing huge chunks of mana for a lot of damage and then just sitting and waiting. So this is meant to give them the the arsenal they need to stay meaningfully involved in the fight.

    How many familiars will the Wizard have?

    The idea with listing those two familiars in the class reveals was to hint that there's going to be more. We’ll go into more detail later about whether or not you can have more than one out at a time, and what they're actually going to look like. But you’re definitely going to be wanting to collect and improve these different familiars. They're going to become a really key part of doing what you do more seamlessly and elegantly as a Wizard, being able to not only control your damage, but enhance your buffs and everything overall.

    Will casual players still be able to get to max level within several months with only a few hours of gameplay a week?

    We don't have all the timing down yet. We're going to need more testers to try different times and see what resonates with our playerbase. I can tell you our goal. We realize that people have grown up. They've gotten jobs, gotten married, have kids, etc. - they have responsibilities. So while Pantheon is still a very challenging, hardcore game, we recognize that. Our goal is to allow you to break play sessions into approximately two-hour chunks, so that you’re able to log off and log in again the next day and continue on. We don't have all the details on mechanics, but you can see philosophically where we're coming from. Challenge doesn't necessarily equal needless tedium or high time investment. It's going to take a long time to level up and get all the cool items, but I don't think there's a need for a long and contiguous time period, where you've got to be sitting at the computer for six or more hours. If you want to play that way, that's fine, but we totally recognize that a lot of our player base just isn't there anymore.

    Has anything been planned for players that may want to rush to endgame?

    One of the things that really goes hand-in-hand with the previous answer is that it's such a delicate balance. There’s really no sufficient way to answer this question at this point in development, because so much will come in Alpha and Beta as we fine-tune the overall experience curve and leveling speed. We want it to take a good amount of time and be rewarding in a way that makes it a meaningful investment of time. But the players that can just sit down and play 24 hours at a time are the other side of the spectrum that we also need to consider. I was an MMO player long before I was a developer, so I've experienced firsthand the frustration that comes with diving into a game and leveling at a competitive pace and realizing there's just absolutely nothing to do at max level. And if there is, it's usually tacked on as an afterthought. With that in mind, we started our world building process with the commitment to have three full zones that are dedicated to raid content. But the testers probably won't see that until Alpha, or maybe Beta. The big focus right now is making group content as fun as possible. Solo and raid content are important, but Pantheon is primarily about the group dynamic. So we need to get that right first this early in testing. Fortunately, testers have responded very positively to that so far, so that’s our focus right now.

    Will this game be more about the journey than the max level grind that most modern MMOs adopt?

    I don't think that every MMO out there was developed in a way that was always intended to race people to the end. Unfortunately, what happens is there’s this perception that arises that supposedly all the fun is at the end. The real problem is when the game allows almost unmitigated powerleveling, so that you can skip to the end where supposedly all the fun is. We're committed to the journey having compelling content at low, mid, and high levels. We have to proactively reward taking the time to explore around the world. If you just powerlevel to max level, you're going to find yourself ill-equipped for high level content, because so many things are achieved by exploring the world, such as certain skills, abilities, items, etc. You're going to be encouraged and have a much better time by playing all around the world from low to mid to high levels.

    What is the group size that content is being designed around? How big will the groups be at endgame?

    It’s being designed around 6 person groups right now. I can pretty much guarantee that there will also be content designed around 12 people. We will keep moving up until we decide whether we want to lock in around a 24 man raid or if we want to push to a 40 man raid, etc. Again, in Alpha and Beta, we’re going to be putting a lot of our ideas to the test and seeing how things feel. But one of the ways we make the game thoughtfully challenging, even at the lower levels, is by having more difficult encounters in earlier dungeons, such as Gnashura in Halnir Caves. He’s more than another named mob - he’s a full event. You're going to run into things like that all the time. There's no reason that you should have to wait until high level raids to fight something interesting and go through interesting, challenging tactics. That's one of the ways that we're wanting the journey to be meaningful. Other than that, a lot of it comes down to itemization and in horizontal activities like crafting and harvesting, with how meaningful they are, and how they blend in with the adventuring side of the game. Another thing is the perception system, which we're expecting to be a fairly popular system for most players, even if they're not typically drawn to quest and story content. Ultimately, you can't control how quickly people move through the content, but we're putting a lot of things in place to try to make the journey more enjoyable, replayable, and certainly more challenging.

    How in-depth will character creation be?

    You can expect a pretty standard character creation system. But one thing that was really important to us was to capture that racial identity by having different racial silhouettes that are very unique and identifiable. For example, if you’re an ogre, you're definitely going to have some facial customization, height customization, skin color, hair style and color, etc. that you can change. But you're still going to be an Ogre, which is going to, in and of itself, have such a unique and identifiable visual footprint that is going to be part of distinguishing you from other players. I think we're going for a sweet spot of making sure that players feel like they can achieve a look that they feel is themself and unique, while not going crazy overboard on the little details that no one can even see.

    What is your item design philosophy? Will there be some items that are discoverable in secret locations in the world through the perception system?

    We want to recapture the sense that items have a real iconic presence and mystique about them. So for example, The Descendant’s Blade just went into the game. That blade is available only in one place, so when you see a Descendants Blade, it’s going to be special. Plus, you're not going to get this really nice blade and then just replace it one level later because it’s useless already. We want an iconic feel, where you really take pride in the item. The other part I’m excited about is the discoverable items. Through Perception and Scavenging, you’re going to have an opportunity to actually discover items in the world as well. So for example, you might break into an orc camp and just rummage through their stuff. You may find mundane items or more uncommon items, but there's always that very small chance that you're going to find a rare and valuable item. It probably won’t be some legendary item, but it’ll be something to be excited about. It’s still an open world though, so you may get there and instead find that it’s already been searched, so you’ll want to come back later. Tuning that chance is something we're going to pay close attention to. The world needs to feel believable - it needs to feel like you're living in the world, by actually paying attention and exploring and being rewarded for that.

    Will items have randomly generated stats?

    Some people may love that, but I personally don’t. For example, when you loot the Flaming Sword of Sovereignty, you want to know that you've got it. And everyone who sees it knows that that's the only item that has that much strength on it. For the lifetime of that item, it carves out a reputation for itself. This sometimes even happens with more mundane items. When you have the ability to RNG roll your stats, that alone starts taking away from that recognizable identifiable approach, so that's not something that we're going to do. We've had a few internal conversations about potential ways to preserve that identity, but that also give players a way to do something with those stats. That could mean amplifying a stat or enchanting the item with with a proc. We're look at that very carefully, but it would likely take that item out of circulation. The vast majority of items are tradable by default, because we want a very strong player driven economy. For example, there aren't world banks, so you're going to be rewarded for transporting goods and desired items from one part of the world to the other. But taking a tradable item and augmenting it would likely make that item bound to you and no longer tradable.

    Will there be diminishing returns on crowd control abilities?

    The best way for me to answer that question right now would be to say we might do that. However you classify crowd control, the challenge level of all the content is going to require that your class stays at its optimum effectiveness all throughout the fight. So we'll have to be really careful about introducing something like diminishing returns. We may play around with it later if we find that it becomes necessary.

    It’s important to note that there are a lot of specific decisions that we are purposely not making until we hit those later stages of testing, so we can make some of these decisions together with our playerbase. We may have a philosophy or an idea that we talk about internally, but the reason we don't go public about the details is because it really is something where we need to bring the testers in on and get their feedback. Sometimes you just need more people playing the game in order to make an educated decision.

    Will classes have abilities that help them explore the world?

    That’s a great question. A good example would be a Rogue’s Length of Rope, where there could be a section of area that you can't get to, so you have a Rogue go up there and lower a rope to you. Alternatively, the Summoner could summon a ladder so you can climb over the wall, or if you have a Warrior with high enough Strength, then they'll just break through it. There’s also the Ranger with Vale Hawks that come and pick him or maybe even someone else up across a gap. And the Summoner has a raft to cross water. They’re all essentially accomplishing the same purpose in slightly different ways. When you get these abilities, you’ll know that there are so many more areas of the world that you can access now. And because this is a social game, you’ll also be able to help other people get there as well.

    Is there going to be an achievement system?

    What I don't want to see is so many achievements that I don't even know what I'm achieving. We're going to hold back on that for now. In Pantheon, we have a philosophy that your actions matter, either positively and negatively, and you should be aware of the context and meaning.

    What features in Pantheon do you feel will set it apart from most other games?

    On our website Pantheonmmo.com, in addition to a lot of other info, there's a page called the Pantheon Difference, where we list how we’re trying to push the genre forward. Just to name a few, the Perception system, Disposition system, extreme Climates, and Atmospheres are what come to mind first. If you spend some time reading on the website, you'll see a little bit of what we have planned there

    Will there be a Diplomacy system?

    It's not planned for release. But based on games we’ve worked on in the past, I wouldn't be surprised to see us go in that direction in a future post launch expansion.

    What makes a Dire Lord a desirable tanking class?

    The Dire Lord is not intended to be a broken tank. They're intended to be a tank as effectively as a main tank at all levels of content. But they're designed to do that in a very unique way, which I think is a lot of fun and really refreshing. The other thing that I'm honestly surprised I haven’t seen more people pick up on is the focus that the Dire Lord has on countering magical enemies. The class reveals are not meant to be exhaustive - many abilities are not listed because they are abilities that are found and discovered in the world, and we're not going to spoil those. But what you can start picking up on with the Dire Lord is a magic based defense that they have that is really powerful. We want to design our different encounters to be more thoughtful and engaging. The fact that Dire Lords are so effective against magic-based enemies is a really big deal, and I want to call attention to that. We’ve got some new things that we're going to be trying to do with encounters that go beyond the traditional main tank and off-tanking strategy. Don't be surprised to see situations where you need two main tanks simultaneously. You may be fighting an enemy that is dealing physical and magical damage at the same time in different ways. We're trying to think out of the box. When we say all of these tanks are going to be viable, it may not necessarily mean that every tank is going to be just as good at physical mitigation as the other. But there are absolutely going to be encounters where you’ll want a main tank that is good against magic or a main tank that is good against undead. It’s really important that we break away from traditional MMO bosses that all feel mostly the same, just with varying HP and damage.

    Will ranged weapons have a consumable ammunition mechanic?

    We've had some internal discussions about that recently, and we haven't come to a firm decision on that yet. There are some things about the classic era of MMO’s that we absolutely adore, and are a fundamental part of what what we're doing. But there are other things that aren't. While they may be realistic, they're not fun - they're just a layer of tedium that doesn't really add anything. For example, if you go to a woodcutter NPC to get materials, but they're gone for an hour because they're out actually chopping wood, that's realistic, but if we want to keep things to a two hour timeframe, we have to be really smart about certain decisions like that. I tend to think that ammunition can lean more toward the side of things that are more of an annoyance than something that actually adds to gameplay. So it’s not set in stone, but it may that basic arrows are unlimited, but there will still be specialty arrows that can be consumed. Keeping track of your inventory in that way could be fun. But constantly having to restock on basic arrows probably wouldn’t be as fun.

    Will there ever be a Barbarian race?

    Not at launch. After launch, I wouldn't rule out anything. We have a grand vision behind this game and we have such a committed team. So we're not going to give out too many details, but we have ideas for classes, races, abilities, itemization, etc. that go many years beyond launch. So I wouldn't rule anything out.

    Will money count toward encumbrance?

    I don't think it would be wise to cause money to add to your encumbrance. That’s one of those things where you have to balance fun vs. realism. I don't see a lot of positive gameplay coming from that. However, managing your inventory and finding containers that reduce weight or have more slots is fun. Just hauling around pounds of copper does not sound fun.

    Will there be any areas that are more perilous at night?

    Yes. In general when nighttime comes, you can expect there to be some population changes in the zone. There will be different types of animals and sounds - the whole ambience will change. We've got a cool system in place that allow different patterns of behavior at night.  There will be different dispositions, reactions, or maybe even different ways abilities manifest themselves. For example, at night, instead of just patrolling at night, the guards might have torches and go around lighting different braziers. You'll see people going inside at night in villages. There will also be events and things that only spawn at night. Plenty of games have nighttime and weather, but does the world really change or is it just a visual effect? It’s really important that we make these things matter.

    What do we have to look forward to with the game’s soundtrack?

    I started on this team as a composer and I've not written a piece of music in probably close to two years. I'm okay with that because I've moved into so many other wonderful things that I love to do on the project. But we will definitely be getting help in that area. I'm really excited about that because it really needs to be somebody who can pour their heart and soul into bringing that part of the game to life. A rich audio approach is vital to immersion. Darkness is only as scary as what you hear. There's so many places where we're going to be relying on audio to be top-notch, so we’re going to have some people dedicated to that. I’m very excited about that part of the game.

    Will the same classes be playing with the same abilities?

    Yes, but let me be clear. We've gone away from class specialization in the traditional sense. It's not a diverged path. We were going that direction in the past, but we're not now. What's happening is specialization through your abilities and, to a lesser extent, through your your gear. You have your “core” abilities, but then you also have abilities that you find in the world. There are abilities that you can evolve and different amounts of your arsenal unlocked and available. But people will have different abilities active in combat at different times to do different things, because they have their own playstyle that they've developed.

    There will also be distinctions based on your itemization through modifying attributes on your abilities. For example, the goal is to make a Wizard not only be hunting for Intelligence, but to give them reasons to develop Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma, or even Stamina in different ways - not only because of the universal things those stats do, but because there are unique modifiers that those stats do for certain abilities. Our goal would be to make as many viable options as we can through those different ingredients. But for example, you're not going to see specialization in the sense of choosing between a Fire Wizard or a Frost Wizard each with totally divergent playstyles.

    Will mob suffer fall damage if you were to knock them off a cliff?

    Most definitely. You can see a lot of knockbacks in the class reveals. Even in the last Cohh stream, we showed inside the tribe hall in Avendyr’s Pass with the big platform over the pit. If you get knocked off that, you better believe it's going to hurt. And if you knock an NPC off, that's going to hurt.

    Are there any plans for GM run events?

    That’s tough to answer, because we love GM events, but they don't scale. For example, if you have a bunch of servers with different rulesets, we have to have enough GM's and actors to go into each of those worlds and provide them a similarly rewarding experience. But we'll give it a shot because we love the dynamic that comes with real GM's and not just mobs.

    Will there be integrated voice chat and will it have voice modulators?

    This is a debate not only within our team, but within the whole community. There's so many good voice chat clients out there, so it’s fair to ask if you need to actually incorporate voice into the game client. If we don’t have to, we would rather not, because then we can devote those resources toward making an even better game with more content. But if it's needed, we'll do it. Even still, the emphasis would be on groups and guilds speaking to each other. You wouldn’t be able to hear everything that people around you are saying. If we do incorporate it ourselves, it would be cool if there was an option to have voice modulators for those that like to roleplay. In the old text-based games, you don't know if you're playing with a 12-year-old kid or a 65-year-old grandma - and it shouldn't matter. You're taking on a persona in a game and how you choose to present yourself is how it should be.

    Will there be an in-game map?

    This is actually kind of similar to voice chat clients. If you want to use a third party voice client, that’s fine. We can’t stop you. In the same way, if you want to make your own maps, or use spoiler sites, that’s fine. They’re going to be out there. But we don’t want to provide detailed maps in-game telling you exactly where to go, because we want you to encourage you to explore. The most we might do is a blank map that you can draw on yourself and map out your own waypoints and make notes. That way, it’s still you doing the actual exploring.

    Will there be any hidden dungeons?

    There will be a lot of hidden things, including dungeons, traps, entryways, and sections of dungeons. We want to surprise you and we want it to reward you and give a sense of discovery. That’s very important. Things won’t just be hidden behind a wall of vines or a waterfall, but there will also be things that require certain class skills to find. Those things that are hidden in that way will take even more time to discover, because you it won’t just be about having the skill and leveling it up, it’ll be about knowing when and how to use that ability to actually search for and find those things. For example, that could be a special type of vision that Priests have or a special kind of tracking that a Ranger has. Obviously with the perception system, there's an endless amount of possibilities of what we can do to enhance exploration. It's going to be a huge part of the experience of playing Pantheon for sure.

    How viable is it for different races from different starting zones and alignments to find each other and play with one another from the start of the game?

    I think we need to find a balance where you get to play with your friends, but still have it be a world where distance matters. For example, obviously the Ogre starting city isn't going to be right next to the Human starting city. Every race will have its own starting area. It might not necessarily be a big city like Thronefast, which is the largest of the nine starting areas. They will range in size. For example, Khadassa for the Dwarves will be a larger starting city, whereas the footprint of Skargol for the Skar will be relatively small and broken. Each will reflect the race that hails from them. It was really important to give each race a unique starting area to distinguish the individual identity of the race. What that does, though, is establish them at different places throughout the game world. If someone wants to make a Human in Thronefast and then someone else makes a Dark Myr in Syronai’s Rest all the way on a different continent, that is not something that we're planning to alleviate at this time through some kind of mechanic, whether that be an NPC or portal. Each of the races has been displaced from somewhere in reality, and have found themselves essentially shipwrecked on Terminus. They don't have a say in where they land, and they've had to carve out their presence in existence there. Making their way around Terminus is part of the rags-to-riches story for these races.

    Will you be able to customize minor pets such as the Druid’s fox, the Shaman wolf, or the Wizard’s familiar?

    That's a good question. It would be important to make distinctions between the different pets and companions. On one end of the spectrum, there’s the Summoner, who is a true pet class with constant standalone pets that are a huge permanent part of how the Summoner does what they do. Then there’s something in the middle, like the Druid, where Hirode the Fox is a pet in the sense that it's permanent, but it's not a combat pet. It can't attack and can't be attacked. It is there to aid you and your support abilities. You don’t really need to manage it, because it’s not going to pull aggro. It's there simply as an extension of yourself. The other end of the spectrum would be the Ranger or the Wizard, where the Ranger has beckoned animals and the Wizard has familiars. You’ve seen a little bit of the Ranger’s animals in streams, but that’s very basic and placeholder. Eventually the animals will enter and exit combat much more elegantly. But you will also have to actually find them in the world first, and create a connection with these different animals to be able to beckon them later on in combat. But the Ranger animals and Wizard familiars are not really pets. They're essentially just abilities that have flavorful graphics tied to them.

    As far as customizing goes, I would love for Summoner pets to look different based on what they're wearing and wielding. That way, just as your character will look more exotic as they get more powerful, the pet too will be able to just show how powerful they are based on what they’re wearing. I'd love to see a lot of attention to detail put into how they look, because they're a huge part of what the Summoner does. At the same time, with something like Hirode or the shaman companion, I think there needs to be some reasonable options to personalize those. I think that would go a long way.

    Will charmed mobs retain their skills and abilities? If so, will the Enchanter be able to activate them manually?

    For every NPC, there will most likely be an ability set that they can select from to use in combat. Some of those abilities will be flagged as abilities that the mob can use while charmed. That will give us some control over the power of different pets to make sure that we're not running into situations where a charm pet just takes the place of another group member. It’s also worth mentioning that, while it’s not set in stone, mobs will most likely not retain their full power when charmed. They will still be significant, but because of the way mobs are tuned, if they retain full power, that would probably put the whole combat balance out of whack. So you can expect that the basic charm will reduce the NPC's overall power by a certain percentage, and then Dire Charm will probably not reduce it as much. That would be an aspect of its improvement. But you won't get an ability bar with a charmed pet. They’re going to decide how and when they use their abilities themselves.

    Will character progression be gear dependent? How big will stats be?

    The actual moment of leveling up is really important. That will, in and of itself, be a moment of advancement. Your resource pools will immediately improve. However, your stats such as Strength will not. Beyond that, you’ll improve your character by improving skills such as Offense, Defense, Dodge, etc. Then your attributes like Constitution and Intelligence are a huge layer. Those are mainly affected by gear and buffs. We want buffs to be a significant part of the game. But at the same time, buffs don't need to be tedious in such a way that would make you feel like you have to keep rebuffing every 10 minutes in order to complete content. We’ll be getting feedback on that balance through testing. But all of those things combined will contribute to your overall power as you level up.

    Will Summoner pets benefit from the gear of the Summoner?

    The summoner does have their own arsenal of abilities, such as nukes and utility spells that they can bring to the table themselves. So their own gear advancement will affect those things. But what’s unique about the arcamentals is that they have their own stats that are going to be unique, and it's going to be part of the sense of progression as they develop their arcamentals. The stats are Solidity, Power, Quickness and Energy and you can improve those by giving them gear. As you level up, you’ll be able to discover some more gear-related abilities to further improve them. Summoner pets will have their own equipment inventory. So as a Summoner, it’s almost like you're advancing two characters at the same time. If the pet dies, all of its gear won’t just disappear. They’re permanent improvements, so you’ll want to keep all of your pets well geared.

    Will we be able to twink alts?

    Yes. Like we said earlier, most gear will be be tradable. I think that's really important for the social aspect the shared world. But it’s important to manage the power creep of being able to pass down these top-tier items to lower levels. Part of that is managing the various skills. So if your weapon skill is really low, then you're not going to get the effectiveness out of that Flaming Sword of Sovereignty that you would at level 50. That's not an artificial component - that's your weapon skill literally just not being high enough to masterfully wield this weapon. It gets a little murkier when you're dealing with armor, because armor is more passive. But we do have skills plan to govern things like shield usage and even armor proficiencies. We want to embrace the idea that you can pass items onto your alts, but you still have to put in the time to level up the skills.

    Does the Enchanter spell Squee’s Mimicry allow the caster to hide in plain sight from other players?

    Squee’s Mimicry and Squee’s Grand Foolery are meant to put you in the form of something that is mundane and overlooked, so you just you sit there as a box, crate, or muffin while I just walk by. Squee’s Grand Foolery is actually turning your whole group into various items as well. It'll be it'll be really fun to walk by and see a big pile of boxes crates and muffins when a group is currently in an illusory hiding place. It would be awesome to create moments where you're in the heart of a dungeon, and you're about to get slaughtered, but at the last moment you pull off Squee’s Mimicry and you're safe. Things might have a chance to see through that, because if it's just total safety, then it's not as fun. But it's something that you can improve and get to the point where it is much more reliable, even if it always has that tiny little risk involved. When you look at the PvP side of things, then there’s a whole other aspect of the meta-game that opens up. I know there's a lot of people out there that that don't enjoy PvP and and we absolutely respect that, because we're making first and foremost a PvE game. But I don’t think it’s hard to imagine how these abilities could take on multiple different layers of effectiveness with emergent gameplay. The same goes knockback abilities or environmental abilities like Vinewoven Bridge or Beckon Vale Hawks. It’ll be really fun to see the different ways that players use those in both PvE and PvP.

    Can players create custom chat channels?

    Yes, I think that's reasonable to expect for sure.

    Will there be a damage tracker in the combat log?

    We don't have any plans right now to formally endorse or implement any kind of damage tracking type component from our end. It's not to say that we're not going to let players do that, but we don't have any plans to officially support that right now.

    Will we be able to change the colors of the text in the chat window? Will there be ways to change the layout of the UI?

    Yes to all of those things.

    Does Pantheon have any zones that you would consider horror-themed?

    There are definitely some zones that try very hard to unsettle you. That goes back to the importance of audio and immersion. We can especially pull that kind of stuff off with the atmosphere system. There will be atmospheres of non-natural phenomenon in the world. Supernatural darkness is one I'm probably most excited about because of the gameplay implications. When you move into an area of supernatural darkness, it is literally pitch black and all you have to rely on is sound if you don't have an artifact or a Paladin or Cleric to illuminate it. The frenetic floor is another, where you just fall right through it if you don't have the right kind of boots. Then you add the tension of the fact that death matters. When you combine the fact that you don't want to die with supernatural darkness, where you’re hearing things and you think you’re seeing things that aren’t actually there, it's a really cool recipe for some really unsettling and memorable moments.

    Are there quests, areas, or NPCs that you think will really leave the players awestruck?

    Yes, but it's going to be so fun to hear to all of the players’ individuals answers to that in the future. Places that I might think of may be totally different from someone else experience. For me personally, there's been some places in Faerthale that have amazed me even as recently as today. Our newest world builder Jimmy Lane is doing an awesome job with the composition. As the player is running through, there are going to be some reveals and things you see from a distance that are just really breathtaking. Amberfaet, with the sheer verticality of it, would be another one. When you come in, you feel small, and you're instantly drawn to what's at the top. The perception system allows you to answer that in a way that's genuinely authentic. I do think there are going to be storylines that really move players. We have such a freedom with the perception system that gives us the opportunity to really focus on story and lore in a way that is really gripping. I think it's going to be a really powerful system that's going to help differentiate Pantheon for sure.

    Is the current race/class matrix firm, or will be it be loosened up before launch?

    I'd say it's fairly firm, but there's a good chance we might see a little bit of loosening on the way towards launch. I don't want someone to get their hopes up and have it not happen, but there's there's definitely a chance.

    When will Alpha start? How do you determine when to move onto the next testing phase?

    Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot I can say about that right now. Our mantra is “when it's ready.” We've got one chance to do this right and that’s really key. I can't describe how intensely we feel that. So we're not going to put it out there early. We need to do it right. That said, we also understand that you guys are waiting for it. It's a wonderful, challenging tension of knowing the desire and excitement that's growing, and balancing that with not messing up our one shot. That being said, we’re wrapping up Pre-Alpha 3. There is a fourth Pre-Alpha phase that we've announced and we've already started work toward it. We have some really clear, important, and exciting goals for that. Pre-alpha 4 is centered around class implementation, with all twelve classes fully implemented with a complete ability arsenal and all the systems and mechanics that those abilities require in a relatively finished and balanced state. We haven't announced the day, but the pieces are really coming together. Whether or not there will be additional pre alpha phases, we'll decide and announce that when the time comes. Either way, we're definitely chugging toward Alpha. We had originally thought that Alpha would be by the end of this year, but we feel like it's the right call to wait and make sure that we have a few more things in place first. The only thing we can say for sure is we will do our best to communicative when we know things and make sure to let let everybody know. We're moving as fast as we can. We're just as excited as you guys are. We absolutely cannot wait to have everyone experiencing what we've been working on and talking about for many years.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks to MMORPG.com for hosting this and thanks to the devs for coming out to answer some questions. I hope you all found this summary helpful. If you want to watch the full episode, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BhUKChiOPI

    If you're new to Pantheon and want to learn more, I suggest you read the FAQ to get up to speed about what the game is and why it's different.

    As always, thanks for reading!

    Baz


    This post was edited by Bazgrim at August 30, 2018 6:28 PM PDT
    • 151 posts
    August 30, 2018 6:47 PM PDT

    I listened to this live the other week. Good stuff. Awesome write up Baz.


    This post was edited by Kastor at August 30, 2018 6:49 PM PDT
    • 1391 posts
    August 30, 2018 7:37 PM PDT

    Yay, you finally got it finished.  Thanks for taking time out to put this together Baz.

    • 58 posts
    August 30, 2018 9:05 PM PDT
    Great write up, I am intrigued by the concept of in game voice modulators.
    • 204 posts
    August 31, 2018 6:55 AM PDT

    Thanks heaps for writing this up, Baz. Much appreciated!

    • 7 posts
    August 31, 2018 7:24 AM PDT

    Great Post!  Lots of good questions and answers.

    • 3 posts
    August 31, 2018 11:41 AM PDT

    Thanks Baz.

    • 34 posts
    August 31, 2018 12:09 PM PDT

    Thanks for the write up. :)

    • 378 posts
    August 31, 2018 1:26 PM PDT
    Thanks!
    • 1598 posts
    August 31, 2018 5:15 PM PDT

    Thanks baz, very interesting to read and much easier for non english natives !

    • 1807 posts
    August 31, 2018 9:45 PM PDT

    Great job @Bazgrim :) 

    • 4299 posts
    September 4, 2018 4:35 PM PDT

    You're all very welcome! I'm glad you find it useful. This one took a while for various reasons haha :)


    This post was edited by Bazgrim at September 4, 2018 4:35 PM PDT
    • 2 posts
    September 11, 2018 12:05 PM PDT

    Thanks for making this, great read.

    • 236 posts
    October 5, 2018 1:06 PM PDT

    Thanks Bazgrim! interesting write-up!