November 2021 Month in Review

Month in Review

Anthony “Minus” Guidi

Developer Live Stream – Ask Me Anything And Even More Answers

On Thursday November 11th, Minus hosted a live developer “Ask Me Anything” stream which featured Creative Director Chris Perkins, Game Designer Adam Mostel, Lead Programmer Kyle Olsen, and Lead Writer JN Gerhart. We took 20 questions over the course of a 1-hour stream from the Twitch chat on various topics about the development and values of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. While we got to answering 20 great questions from the community in the hour we had, we knew there were a lot more questions that we didn’t have time to get to. So we went back and picked some more and those answers and questions are now in the Official Forums for you all to read through and discuss. Below are some highlights from the live stream:

• Adam discussed the evolution of the monk class’ kick and strike abilities we had seen during the monk announcement. Previously these abilities were passives that would trigger into your auto attack for extra damage. After reviewing the skills, it has been decided that they will also contain an active ability that can be triggered, and not just the passive add-in. He also discussed the monk’s DPS being addressed, as it was lower than hoped for in the previous testing sessions.
• The next Pre-Alpha session was revealed to take place before the end of the year. In this session, we will all be saying a final goodbye to the build we have all been testing, making way for a change over to the HDRP client. If you are a VIP and thus eligible for Pre-Alpha testing, we will notify you soon with the details.
• Chris spoke to Unity vs In-House assets in depth. He spoke to the fact that while important landmarks and areas which bring Pantheon’s lore and world to life will most likely be in house, however, items that carry less significance could certainly be assets from Unity even as the game launches. He spoke to the fact that a rock is a rock, and why waste time if an asset works for the world.
• JN discussed racial active abilities and that they were coming along, but not quite ready to announce. Chris shared his excitement about these in a big way, smiling big on stream and talking about how he can’t wait to reveal them when the time is right.
• Adam and JN covered perception pings, and the length we can expect from them in order to draw the player in, but yet not be too wordy. Chris also joined in, and they agreed that most pings would be 1-2 sentences.
• Adam, Kyle, and Chris discussed the fear of MMORPGs being a race to the endgame, and how Pantheon looks at that problem across the genre. They discuss the importance of lasting items and making the leveling portion of the game meaningful and fun. They explain that most games present the leveling and growth portion of the game as an afterthought, and that Pantheon will not be designed that way.

Be sure to check out the Twitch AMA session On-Demand below for all the other questions we answered live on the stream:

VIP RoundTable Recap

As a reminder, the VIP Roundtable is now available in podcast form. You can find it on all your favorite podcast apps like iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and many many more. Be sure to subscribe if you enjoy listening to it on the go and share it out to friends and family!

As a reminder, the VIP Roundtable is now available in podcast form. You can find it on all your favorite podcast apps like iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and many many more. Be sure to subscribe if you enjoy listening to it on the go and share it out to friends and family!

On this month’s VIP roundtable community manager Ben ”Kilsin” Walters hosted Customer Service Manager Michael “Artois” Butler and Customer Service/Associate Community Manager Jason “Medawky” Bolton. The topic of the roundtable was Testing, Community, and Customer service. Here are some quick highlights:

What do you look for during Focus Testing?

Mike: Each test has its own parameters. For the ones that have completed, they have all been loosely defined by gameplay, class balance, and trying to track down a certain bug. However, I can envision some in the future being more tailored to specific tasks such as crafting, harvesting, or even just leveling from level 1 to 2 over and over again.

Jason: We look at a lot of things, but how organic play develops is one of the main things I look out for. What are our groups doing instictviley well, what abilities are performing to their expectations, which ones aren’t? That sort of thing. Most of these tests have had pretty diverse groups who may not have known each other very well prior to the session so we want to see how quickly they coalesce. We also look to see who has paid attention to the instructions for that session, did we convey that information well?

Do you have any plans for a Guide system or community help?

Mike: There are legal concerns that we need to continue to evaluate as we move toward launch. We aren’t ruling out community involvement as we see the value in it but we need to be careful on what tasks are part of that.

Kilsin: Kurt and I started working on this a couple of years ago and made good progress but a lot has changed since then and it’s something we need to evaluate and make sure we get right if we do go ahead with it.

What will VR’s customer support look like during Alpha & Beta? What about post-launch? Can we expect it to be outsourced? Will we have Server GMs that we get to know?

Mike: This hasn’t been fully determined yet. We do know we want some automated processes and the ability for players to help themselves. We also know we aren’t going to have an in house team of 100’s of CS reps. Does that mean we have CS partners? Probably but there is much to work out there. I don’t anticipate having dedicated 1 to 1 resources for realms as that isn’t an economical solution in most cases

Jason: CS during A+B testing will continue to look much like it has during PA for the most part, but with more GMs in game as the player base will require more support. Mike and I will continue to oversee the tickets and monitor all realms and you will see an increased presence from the dev team in these phases as well. We also want to leverage our QA team more during testing sessions as they bring a high level of experience to the process. As Mike mentioned, outsourcing may be an option for some functions of the CS process, but most of the things we would feel comfortable outsourcing will probably be able to be automated – so it will come down to what’s most practical at the time and what serves the community, and the game, the best at the moment. What I mean by that is, do we have the bandwidth to spin up an automated process without detracting from some other facet of the game or should we simply do short term outsourcing until we do? We certainly will never stop looking for ways to improve the process in favor of the customer experience. As to having GMs that servers get to know, we would prefer to use that model as it helps enhance the community and aligns well with our core tenants.

Listen to the full VIP Roundtable via podcast feed or YouTube below for even more details!

Producers’ Letter Monthly Recap Parting the Veil, Ep. 1 From Gamer to Creator
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