From Pong to Massive Worlds
It’s always exciting to dig into our gaming pasts and trace how it led into our love of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Some of us started with pen and paper amongst our friends, weaving incredible tales of the characters in our heads. Others jumped into personal computers in various forms to be the first generation to experience home gaming entertainment. No matter where you start, the diversity of our journeys is part of what brings a thriving MMORPG world to life. Thousands and thousands of different experiences, all living within one digital world, learning about one another, but also from one another. No matter how you started your gaming journey, our community meets up at the same central point – a living breathing digital world they can call home.
Today we learn about a community member who’s followed Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen for some time. Starting with a pong console, and even typing machine code is where his journey began, and it looks to continue in the world of Terminus. Join us as we learn more about this amazing community member.
Hi Disposalist, why don’t you go ahead and tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, VR and community! I’m happy to be virtually ‘here’ with you all. I’m a husband and a (greyhound) dad. A gamer, gadget geek and (motor)biker. YouTube-ing is a hobby I hope to expand when Pantheon NDA is lifted! I’ve been into computers since there were home computers. Worked a year QAing, and always worked as a software developer, but not in gaming, unfortunately. I’m semi-retired now, so I do DIY while the Mrs. works to keep me stocked in beer, pizza and computers. I’ve got it good, to be smugly honest! I’m a happy handi-man-house-husband-hobby-ist!
When did you get into gaming?
My first gaming experience was on a Hanimex ‘Pong’ console in the 70s. Then an Atari console or two. The first time I played a home computer game, I had to type its machine code into a ZX80, but the first decent-bought game was 3D Monster Maze on the ZX81 in 1981. From there, ZX Spectrums, Amstrad’s and onto PCs. Usually a console too, but mostly home computers. Various games, in those days, you played whatever there was. I was and am a fantasy book reader and tabletop RPG geek too. I coded myself character creators, Dungeon Master tools and play-your-own adventures, but when PC RPGs appeared, my worlds truly collided, and I was in PC RPG heaven as often as I could be. The Everquest launch coincided with my first mortgage, so I installed an ISDN phone line, and my MMORPG addiction truly began.
How did you find out about Pantheon?
I was no doubt ‘doom-scrolling’ through the internet looking for a good MMORPG to call home and luckily stumbled upon an online article about the original Kickstarters and subsequent crowdfunding. When I saw Brad was a founder and read about the tenets, I was all in, straight away, no question. I wanted to help see his vision to reality, and to be able to get involved and be a small part of it was doubly great.
How long have you been following Pantheon?
Since April or May 2016, I believe. I jumped in with a $250 pledge and quite soon after added $750, so I could help test the Pre-Alpha.
What class and race combo are you most looking forward to trying out?
Honestly, all of them! I tend to try out many combos, and though one will usually emerge as a ‘main’, I still play several alts as well. It’s going to be tough with Pantheon because all the races and classes sound appealing and interesting! Curse you, VR! My alt-aholism is not going to get better with Pantheon! If I have to pick one combo, maybe an Ashen Elf Enchanter? No, a Gnome Summoner! No, a Dwarf Paladin!! Argh! I can’t decide!
What kind of MMORPG player are you, PvE, PvP, RP or something else entirely?
I am very much PvE. Some RP, but mostly just as far as staying in character to be immersive.
I view MMORPGs as ‘computerized’ tabletop RPGs, and to me, the best thing about them is playing ‘with’ your friends ‘against’ the monsters. Nothing against PvP in general, but shooters feel better to me when I want that kind of thing, and PvE MMORPGs are such a fantastic total break from the person versus person feel life can sometimes have. MMORPGs, for me, are all about shared experiences and opportunities to coordinate, cooperate, synergize, interact, socialize and have the best time possible with like-minded folks.
What about Pantheon keeps you excited for its release?
The passion, dedication and expertise that shines from VR team members every time you see or hear them talk about it. The same from the community, too. The Pantheon community gives me a similar feeling to the ‘old days’ when gaming forums, by their nature, were inhabited by generally similar geeky-types just wanting a friendly chat about their mutual interests. Also, the consistency with which VR and the community champion (yet challenge-to-improve) their ‘old school’ MMORPG vision, which I am thrilled to see returning to the genre. There are disagreements, sure, but there is a general consensus and a push in a direction that feels great to be traveling together. Every bean of info dropped by the devs and digested by the community has me champing at the bit for more.
Do you have a favorite mechanic or feature you’d like to share?
Not an individual favorite, no, but a love for well-crafted and assembled systems, which Pantheon promises to be. I think computer games are best (and MMORPGs the best of them) when there is a synergistic interaction of multiple complex systems, mechanics and features such that the combination appears to the player as a convincingly realistic and immersive world. It is awesome to know that there are complex and deep workings you might eventually understand and master, but equally great when those workings inter-operate so naturally that the world can be simply enjoyed for its overall emergent ‘surface’ experience. Interesting individual mechanics and features are great, but a harmonious whole greater than the sum of its parts is the truly wondrous and enjoyable part to me.
Has any part of development in the recent months caught your interest?
I feel like I’m avoiding the questions now, but… No part, in particular, no, because I want to hear from all the team and about all aspects. All the beans, please! I understand the constant demands for gameplay footage, but I think it’s more important and satisfying to get an appreciation for all aspects of development. Areas surrounding development, too: Recent coverage of project management, funding and related issues was very interesting.
Thanks, Disposalist, and finally, is there anything you would like to say to the community?
I would like to buy a virtual welcome beer for new backers, give a virtual hug to the regulars and a fortifying virtual shoulder clasp to the old-timers. Some of us have been following Pantheon for a long time, and there may be a temptation to feel impatience, but I urge people to remind themselves that Pantheon is a special game, VR is a special team and this special kind of development – and the times in which it exists – are especially challenging. But, as I’ve said above, every time VR communicates aspects of the development, the enthusiasm and knowledge are reassuringly apparent. The sincerity, commitment and well-founded confidence are clear. We have every reason to be positive and excited for the future of the project. Onward and upward, indeed. Of course, we are all here wanting to play the game, but I feel I am already getting the worth of my pledge from enjoying my involvement in the development with VR themselves and the community. So, my thanks to you all! And I’ll repeat: I’m happy to be virtually ‘here’ with you all.
We would like to thank our wonderful community member Disposalist for sharing a bit about his gaming background and his passion for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. It’s community members like him, who drive #communitymatters!
We are thankful for the amazing stories our community has shared thus far with us. Do you have a story about how MMORPGs have made a difference in your life? Has it driven your creative urges? Has it made you a better leader? Has it helped you overcome difficulties in your life? We’d love to hear your tale, and show why community truly matters. Drop us a line in the forums.