We are back from the holidays! The time off was nice to rest up and catch up with friends and loved ones but it also provided time to reflect on how far we’ve come in 2018. And looking back, the year was packed.

We kicked off 2018 by winning Most Wanted MMO from MMORPG.com for the second year in a row. We are humbled by your votes, have heard your wishes and thoughts and strive to deliver the best Pantheon it can be - the world needs this game.

Then in late January Pre-Alpha 2 kicked off. The world expanded to include Halnir Cave, one of Pantheon’s premier early-level dungeons. The new ability system was added which greatly expanded the diversity in spells and abilities. CohhCarnage joined us for a stream of Halnir Cave as did the legendary Jim Lee of comic book art fame. This was the stream in which Brad demonstrated the importance of not running ahead of your group.

Then in April came PAX East and what a show it was. Hundreds flocked to our booth to catch a glimpse of Pantheon. So many fans, in fact, that the show runners had to ask us to spread out our visitors as the crowd that gathered congested the entire aisle for much of the show. We met with future players and press alike, including MMORPG.com and MassivelyOP. You can read their thoughts here and here. We also hosted our first “official” meet and greet (although we did have a less formal one at 2017’s TwitchCon).

Also at PAX East Pantheon stole the show at a panel called Community Impact: How Players Shape Games. Fun fact: also on this panel was the well-known and much beloved dwarf, Linda “The Brasse” Carlson who would later join the Pantheon team in November.

While the booth at PAX was bustling and the play slots filled up fast; a few streamers who weren’t able to play at the show got a chance to head into Black Rose Keep live on air. First was Lassiz followed by KoopaTroopa and then TheHiveLeader.

Heading into Pre-Alpha 3 in July details for all 12 playable classes were outlined for the first time. PA3 also offered testers 2 new zones: Avendyr’s Pass and Black Rose Keep. Players now had armor set models that physically affected their in-game character’s appearance. It was also around this time that we held our first MMO All-Star stream with Fevir, TheHiveLeader, DocGotGame, Force Gaming and Vress. CohhCarnage returned to try out the Dire Lord and PA3 was also the first time Pantheon was streamed without any devs at all. Community members NickHotS, Bazgrim, TehMartini, Saicred, Leksur and Yarnila teamed up to conquer Black Rose Keep on their own - and that they did!

Pre-Alpha 4 finished off the year with the introduction of a very early version of Faerthale. All classes were implemented in-game and playable up to level 40. Harvesting was added and other systems refined. The Pantheon Streamer program kicked off with some streams from selected streamers who were given access to the game and had a one-hour play session with the devs.

What else happened in 2018? Facebook followers climbed to over 20k and Reddit subscribers to 14k. We brought on 5 new staff members and are bringing several more in the first quarter. Our November Pledge stand-alone drive helped make this happen along with all of our regular pledges - so once again, thank you!

And what’s to look forward to in 2019?

As discussed last month, Project Faerthale is underway. Now that we are back from holidays we are finalizing our scope for that release and setting some internal goal dates. Ross, our lead animator, is already working hard on new animations and the rest of the art team is developing the art for Project Faerthale and beyond. Programming is adding more to the existing tools like the ability editor,, planning out some new tools for a more robust and streamlined Perception System and adding more features, systems, stability and bug-squashing to the existing client. Design is fleshing out some systems and encounter designs and tech is looking into more robust back-end features.

Project Faerthale is the biggest release we’ve ever done, so it will take some time and we appreciate your patience and continued support as we approach this milestone! You can also look forward to a new website, lots of new videos, content and a few surprises along the way. So buckle in, grab your Codex and get ready for an incredible year!

Ben Dean
Producer, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen