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The October Newsletter is here!

    • 78 posts
    October 10, 2018 8:06 AM PDT

    October brings us cooler temps, pumpkin spice everything and, of course, Halloween. To keep with tradition we unveil a killer Q&A on Harvesting in Pantheon, our Rogue’s Gallery highlights the howlingly awesome Lycandrell, Werewolves, and Nightwolves, we peel a few more bandages off in Under Wraps and we bring it all home with our latest Community Member Spotlight with Maddoguk, a British fellow who longs for the in game death frequency that can only be satisfied by playing a Ranger.

    This post was edited by Roenick at October 10, 2018 8:09 AM PDT
    • 393 posts
    October 10, 2018 8:31 AM PDT

    whooohooo!! :D

    • 649 posts
    October 10, 2018 9:29 AM PDT

    Here's harvesting simplified.

    primary harvesting skills
    Fishing, Gathering, Mining, Salvaging, Scavenging, Skinning, and Woodcutting.

    Can players learn all of those skills, or will they be limited to choosing one or a few?
    Yes, all skills

    What’s different about the usual suspects (Fishing, Skinning, Mining, Woodcutting and Gathering) in Pantheon?

    You mentioned tools in response to the previous question. Are they simply required for harvesting, or will there be alternate versions of tools? If so, how will they affect harvesting (if at all)?
    Simply required for harvesting.

    Will harvesting give users any temporary buffs or enhancements?

    Salvaging and Scavenging are relatively new concepts to the game. Can you go into a bit more detail about what each is and how they differ?
    They are old concepts to MMOs. Scaveging is simply sneaking in collecting and salvaging is as it has always been in all other MMOs. Just breaking down something you might otherwise drop to something else you can sell.

    How important will harvesting be and what sort of impact to you foresee it having on the economy?
    It will function a lot like Vanguard. Newbies can use harvesting as an early source of revenue by selling resources to crafters grinding through thousands of item assemblies needed to level.

    Can you speak a little bit about node dispersion and availability in game?
    We have no idea how this will work so initially we plan to make nodes rare. This will function like a time-sink as well as slowing the economy.

    If someone harvests a node, will other players still be able to harvest it? Will their locations be randomized when they respawn?
    No. Hopefully random but who knows if that will really work.

    Are certain harvesting materials rare? Or found in specific locations?
    yes and yes.

    What is being done to make sure that nodes aren’t a bottleneck (will there be multiple ways to acquire a certain material?
    Salvaging and Scaveging will help somewhat, we hope.

    Will harvest nodes reflect zone level, or will the nodes be more of a type per zone and level doesn't factor in?
    Duh, of course they will be zone level resticted.

    In the past you said you weren’t sure if there will there be group harvesting. Has anything changed?
    Nope. Still too complex to implement.

    There’s been talk about items other than nodes being being harvestable what might those be?
    We make no promises. Anything is possible.

    • 1430 posts
    October 10, 2018 11:45 AM PDT

    Great newsletter, a first about harvesting in pantheon's timeline, even if it remain very synthetic for now.


    Well I think we all want to play some Lycan now... could be a future class (more than a race, to me).

    • 194 posts
    October 10, 2018 12:01 PM PDT

    This newsletter got me excited  about the game again !!................rogues.....oh my !! ............harvesting..............pardon me while I wipe the drool.............Lycan......Wow !

    This post was edited by Tonei LaVae at October 10, 2018 12:02 PM PDT
    • 317 posts
    October 10, 2018 12:02 PM PDT

    Solid newsletter.  I thought the best part was this sentence "Due to recent funding goals being met we are expanding the team once again".  We all assumed funding must be fine since the team was expanding, but it's nice to hear confirmation.

    I also found the following tidbit of interest, "we are still partially a crowdfunded game and rely on your contributions to keep growing our team and expediting development".  This seems to suggest that Pantheon has received significant private investment and that crowdfunding has now taken a back seat.  While this is excellent news by any account, it would probably ease the minds of many of us to know that the financial situation looks at least somewhat stable and solid.  

    • 317 posts
    October 10, 2018 12:05 PM PDT

    MauvaisOeil said:

    Great newsletter, a first about harvesting in pantheon's timeline, even if it remain very synthetic for now.


    Well I think we all want to play some Lycan now... could be a future class (more than a race, to me).


    They did a big write up on Harvesting in the January 2018 newsletter, this was mostly just a repost of that, so kinda meh in that regard.  


    • 1430 posts
    October 10, 2018 1:09 PM PDT

    Forgot about this one, thanks. Aren't there a few more informations or clues about the shaping of harvesting ? January broke down the different profession but not how the whole node mapping would be introduced : Random instead of static, not area level based, etc ...


    Well still not the part I carve the most for, I loved the rogues gallery's lore.

    • 608 posts
    October 10, 2018 3:16 PM PDT

    zewtastic said:

    Here's harvesting simplified.


    Thank you so very much for this.  I hate reading and trying to decipher all the BS.  So thank you for the honest quick explanation.

    • 642 posts
    October 10, 2018 3:24 PM PDT
    Great read! Love this part so much... "as those souls would spent their next life in tormented churning in the stomach of his immortal body." Sounds like a real stand up kinda wolf head guy :)
    • 2284 posts
    October 10, 2018 4:04 PM PDT

    zewtastic said:

    Will harvesting give users any temporary buffs or enhancements?



    There’s been talk about items other than nodes being being harvestable what might those be?
    We make no promises. Anything is possible.

    Antagonistic as always I see.


    Some of the more exotic harvesting nodes may provide buffs (and possibly debuffs) to users when they attempt to harvest from them. One example might be a plant that’s gathered for use in mana potions. When harvested, the node might provide some raw mana to the user, or a light mana regeneration buff. Another example might be attempting to harvest nightshade for use in a poison. There might be a chance that the user accidentally poisons themselves while gathering the plant. We’d probably use effects like that sparingly though, so it doesn’t run the risk of being too gimmicky.

    Certainly isn't a "No." 


    In addition to harvesting opportunities, we’re going to be adding several instances in our world where players can find and pick up items from the world. Some examples would be like picking up a weapon from a rack, a potion from a shelf, or sneaking some coins off a merchant’s table (just don’t get caught). Since we’re doubling down on putting the environment front and center of players’ PvE experiences in Pantheon, it seems only fitting that we reward players a bit for paying attention to their surroundings. Also, we just think it’s cool and immersive to be able to pick up actual items in the world. Some items will be super rare, or are only available once certain events have occurred in the zone.

    Doesn't look at all like a "no promises" or a maybe situation. 

    • 173 posts
    October 10, 2018 10:37 PM PDT

    Hm...while I love you guys...I have several bones to pick with the harvesting situation.  XD

    Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with harvesting.  I don't like personal nodes/spawns, because it's just silly.  If someone else is hacking at a tree and I hack at the same tree, this should affect how much we each can get.  FFXIV you basically have sets of 4 nodes that, once you harvest three, the first you harvested will respawn, on a sort of rolling circuit.  So you basically cycle between them for as long as you want to harvest.  I don't really like this system, although it DOES lend well to grinding, and it is kind of neat that you tend to run into other harvesters doing their circuits.  However, it's just...weird.  Even in their massive forest zones with gigantic trees, it seems like sooner or later they should run out of wood.  Same with the mineral nodes.

    The flipside of all of this, though...depending on how many people are playing, and how rare the node spawns are, it can lead to people being unable to level up their gathering skills.  Suppose you can't get a level 1 copper ore node to save your life.  You shrug your shoulders and move on.  Then you get to the next level range ore zone.  Oh look!  There's plenty of iron ore nodes...oh WAIT...that's RIGHT.  YOU can't mine them because YOU couldn't find any copper to mine, so your skill isn't high enough to mine all of that iron ore that you're practically swimming in!

    This wades us into the next thing that I hate about many crafting systems: Tiered materials.

    Why is it that once you get past basic copper chestpiece of chestpiecing, you never again need copper?  Why is it that level 1 lether scrap and level 1 thread are never again needed?  Further, why is it you can't manage to get a piece of iron ore until you've smacked a bunch of copper ore rocks with your pick?  I can understand super rare high level mats like super-ultra-magic mythril +500 requiring special tools and maybe a higher skill level, but "mundane"/non-magical materials?

    All that level/tier materials tend to do in games is make artificial bottlenecks in the midrange, and make wastelands of useless materials at "old" level caps.

    What I mean by this is, for the bottleneck, the copper example above.  You don't need it, it's worthless, but you have to get PAST it before you can get to the good, useful stuff that sells.  The second part ("old" level caps) also applies to mid-level materials.  Supper simple system, let's suppose there is copper<mythril.

    As discussed, most people can't get past copper, so there is a deficit of iron on the markets.  NOT mythril, because master gatherers (who DID manage to level through the copper-iron-mythril process) gather mythril to use/sell for max level gear.  But you as a gatherer want to get to that mythril and you cannot, because you can't get past copper.  But it's also a crafter problem, because mythril is RELATIVELY abundant, but no one is mining iron!  Because low level gatherers can't, and because high level gatherers are more interested in mythril.  It's in the high level zones they frequent and there's a consistent market.  You'll have some that "deign" to mine iron, but then they sell it for ridiculously high prices, because they know crafters need it to grind through the mid-range levels to get to where they can make mythril gear, but it's not in the zones high level gatherers frequent.  This also runs into the weird situation where IRON, the mid-level ore, will sell for more than MYTHRIL, the high end ore, just because there's less of the iron on the market.  (The ultra-rare unobtanium mythril, of course, will still command a premium, because it's gated to once a week/using a legendary forge deep in a raid, etc.)

    ...but the problem gets worse when an expansion hits.  NOW, mythril is rare, too.  The high level gatherers have moved on to the expansion zones and new level cap areas, and they mine Ultrathil ore.  Why mine mythril when ultrathil is what all the top end crafters need for gear?  But the same original problem still remains - low level gatherers STILL can't get passed copper, and mid level crafters are having to pay an arm and a leg for iron ore to craft mid-level gear to level, but no one cares to buy the mid-level gear, so they're in a money sink trying to get to the mythril gear - which no one is mining anymore, either, so now IT is also rising in price.

    Oh, and remember unobtanium mythril?  That stuff is now the unicorn of metals.  No one goes into Bolton More anymore, so no one has access to the legendary forge of forging, and unobtanium mythril is now not obtained, and thus not sold.  And the gear it made was overly costly for the mats (back when it WAS level cap/BiS), and so it really isn't worth the effort except for nostalgia/showing off purposes, anyway.


    Okay, now, I'm an economist, and everyone understands basic supply and demand.  If there's a void, surely people will fill that void, right?  Profits, right?

    ...well, as I discussed, no.

    It's an artificial monopoly/oligopoly.  Supply and demand works if there are no barriers to entry.   NO barriers to entry.  If there was a shortage of iPhones and just anyone could make iPhones, the shortage would go away almost instantly.  BUT, not just anyone can make iPhones.  And even if you could, there's the copyright law getting in the way.  The more barriers to entry, the less likely supply and demand and other natural market forces will correct market distortions.  In this case, supply and demand WOULD fix the problem...

    ...if just anyone could jump into gathering and mine iron and mythril.

    But, as discussed, new entrants to the gathering market are unable to get past the copper hump.  As such, they can't GET to the iron or mythril areas.  And as for unobtanium mythril, it was only really useful for specialized gear for that one raid.  While it might be cool for nostalgia, it simply is FAR too much effort running Bolton More for anyone to bother, especially since, as soon as you get to the middle of the mythril recipes, crafters can skip the last few skill ticks by jumping into the new Ultrathil.  Ultrathil, btw, is also only something that the oligopoly has access to farming, so it will command higher prices at the start of the expansion as people try to level passed it to level cap (so they can make Unobtanium Ultrathil recipes from the new Tarazhan Kower raid super-legendary forge), with the price gradually going down until the end of the expansion.  As soon as the new expansion launches, Ultrathil will be the new mythril, and Unobtanium Ultrathil the new Unobtanium Mythril (which, ironically, is now slightly more available beause people will be running Bolten More for nostalgia now that they can clear the raid with small groups due to over gearing the content).


    I've seen this happen over and over in MMOs.  It happened in WoW, it happened in FFXIV.

    Now, your system has scavenging and salvaging, but let's be real, if scavenging is generating more ore (or any other crafting material) than ACTUAL GATHERING NODES for that material (e.g. more than iron nodes), something's backwards there.  In lore/"real world" terms, it'd be like if you could get more wood from breaking up guitars than you could from going to a forest and chopping down trees.  Does that make sense at all?

    The salvaging system can help the gatherer trying to level through the iron range as he can take apart that iron chestplate of chestplating, but he will only get some of the materials back, making that leveling range still a money pit he has to get over to get to where he can make gear people will pay enough for that he's not losing money on every skill point/craft.  While to a point this IS truth in fiction (people spend a lot of money getting school/degrees/certifications during which time they aren't making money on their craft), it's not healthy for a game (OR real life, really) economy (see: super high college costs and college debt that constrains young people starting families, buying homes, and other things that people used to do before 30-40, thus constraining economic growth of the entire national economy).

    So you then run into the weird situation where scavaging and salvaging are either far more powerful than they should be (but covering over that "hole" left in "natural" gathering) OR they're as weak as they problem should be (generating less materials), in which case they do not pave over the potholes in the system.

    And this still doesn't get around that weirdness of how lower tier items are essentially worthless outside of grinding skill points.  Yeah yeah, useful gear for lowbies.  But if you could make a lowbie an iron or mythril sword, why would you make them a copper one?  Not only that, base materials are used irl in higher tier items - copper is used in basically all electronics and infrastructure systems, and wooden items typically rely on a combination of multiple types of woods for things like composite bows, increasing their strength and/or adding useful properties.


    So not saying the system can't work, but pointing out what I see as the BIG problems with tiered materials, which makes little rational sense, and creates bottlenecks, nonsensical cost inversions (e.g. iron selling for far more on the market than mythril, which should be the more expensive/rare ore), and "old level cap" wastelands.

    NOW, you can partly get around this by letting people mine ANY tier of material node (if they have low skill, simply getting less quantity/quality of materials), as this would let that fledgling gatherer gain skill points (and some materials) off of those iron nodes they're tripping over.  This is, probably, one of the best tools to use to combat that system.  And you can partly get over it on the gathering side by doing two things (1) making it where even making low level things allows a player to gain skill points, just at a lesser rate (so you don't NEED that expensive iron, you can just buy all of that copper Chinese farmers are dumping on the market for cheap and grind out 10x as many items, but still level up to the mythril crafting level range) and/or (2) make even higher level items require mid and low level mats (maybe that super magical sword of swording requires mythril, but also requires some iron, meaning even high level gatherers have a reason to now frequently travel to those iron areas and provide iron ore for the market.)  This would also prevent Ultrathil from just being "the new mythril", at least to an extent.

    But I should note that there are limits to even these corrective measures, as well as some negatives (for example, requiring multiple tiers of materials to craft makes crafting more complex/difficult, and can lead to inventory issues as crafters attempt to make even somewhat basic items - that mythril chestplate of chestplating now requires 20 inputs, oh my!), but they can at least smooth over things somewhat, both in the "realism" sense (critical for immersion, which we all want in the game) and in the supply and demand sense (a constant demand means that the supply will be more consistently filled, providing needed materials for more junior crafters).

    But yeah...I just wanted to drop all of that in the hopes that Pantheon doesn't repeat the mistakes I've seen FAR too often in other games.


    Sorry for so many words.  XD

    • 49 posts
    October 12, 2018 9:37 PM PDT

    Cool stuff.

    As for Fishing, a great down time skill, something interactive like what Rift does would be nice.

    This post was edited by gelfzin at October 12, 2018 9:39 PM PDT
    • 23 posts
    October 14, 2018 8:49 AM PDT

    Excellent post Renathras, very insightful. I've seen the same issues in almost all the other MMOs I've played as well.

    • 2925 posts
    October 14, 2018 2:23 PM PDT

    I just want to say really quick that I'm happy about the direction VR is going with harvesting.  It's a sphere that I completely ignore in most contemporary MMO's and now that I have had a chance to actually read the entire harvesting article in full, there is a lot to be excited about.  Less is more.  I have seen a few posts that suggest that VR hasn't learned from the mistakes of other MMO's over the last 20 years and I can't help but wonder what games people have been playing.  Harvesting has been utter garbage in most of the recent MMO's and it's a breath of fresh air to see VR commit to a more old-school approach that will both get the job done and actually feel like a meaningful way to spend our time.  Kudos to Corey for seeing the forest through the trees.  Many thanks from the future Terminus economy.

    This post was edited by oneADseven at October 14, 2018 2:30 PM PDT
    • 1356 posts
    October 15, 2018 7:00 AM PDT

    I like cooking shows ( this is not a de-rail, bear with me) I especialy liked "good eats" with Alton Brown when it was on. His big thing in the show was to have few "uni-taskers" in the kitchen, the only unitasker allowed was a fire extinguisher, but when deciding on kitchen gadgets or appliances to look for a "multi-tasking" ability in the gadget.

    Likewise with crafting, if there are multi-tasking type recipes, or recipes that accomplish more than one end, all the better. 

    For instance, EQ1 had this thing called a fish-bone dart, tool. It was made with smithing, but used in fletching. We were doing shawls for our group and  I found that smithing the fish-bone dart tool helped get my smithing up a tad, but the fish-bone dart tool allowed me to fletch fish bones up to a respectible fletching level, enough to make attempts with fletching for shawls. The bonus was that it needed used fish bones, which was the residue from making a nice long lasting meal in my tackle box from the fishing I did sporadically.

    So although a mage would never need fletching (except for the shawl) I was able to multi-task the fishbone dart tool to boost fletching enough for the shawl, make meals as a bonus as well as making nice, long range, fish-bone dart throwing things that were melee useable only. I would make lunch and fletch the bones and hand them out to the melee's to use, the monks especially liked them. I would never think of fletching- I never needed it-but this small recipe allowed me to multi-task it to accomplish two goals- plus lunch!.

    *edited for spelling and phat phingers*

    This post was edited by Manouk at October 15, 2018 7:00 AM PDT
    • 97 posts
    October 20, 2018 8:36 AM PDT
    Excellent post Renathras!

    I never get too deep into crafting myself, but I love gathering mats for crafters. I hope they get the mix right.