Pantheon: One Year Later
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been over a year (or only a year, depending on your perspective) since the last time we shared Pantheon with our pre-alpha testers. Through streams, roundtables, and VIP discussions we’ve shared much and more about the many changes that Pantheon has undergone in that time. There’s nothing like a good old consolidated infodump however, so to celebrate our progress to date we present to you, our community, Pantheon: One Year Later.
Due to the sheer volume of information, we’ve decided to break this segment into three parts:
• First is a high-level overview of Upgrades and New Features.
• Next, we take a deep dive into our Combat System Enhancements.
• Last, but certainly not least, we take a look at a consolidated year’s worth of Patch Notes.
Click any of the links above to navigate or on the link at the bottom of the page to go to the next page.
Upgrades and New Features
Two of the most monumental updates to Pantheon over the past year – and two of the biggest reasons why we have been unable to resume pre-alpha until now – are our transition to Unity’s High-Definition Rendering Pipeline (HDRP) and the change from Unity’s native networking solution, uLink, to our proprietary Visionary Realms Inc. Network Library (ViNL). Don’t let the relative conciseness of their summaries fool you; these were both enormous, months-long undertakings with a great deal of behind-the-scenes work, and while their summarized contributions may be short, these two elements represent the client and server foundations that will support Pantheon on its march towards Alpha and beyond.
The Pantheon game client has been updated to use Unity’s High-Definition Rendering Pipeline.
• All overland greybox terrain has been converted to moldable, textured terrain.
• Terrain and road textures are currently placeholders, and will be revised with final art in the near future.
• The overland is now seamless, and players should be able to travel between zones at any point along their boundaries.
• Flora systems have been introduced, allowing for the creation of grass, brush, and other details which respond to wind and entity movements.
• Flora objects and grass cards are currently placeholders, and will be revised with final art in the near future.
• The majority of pre-existing Entity and Prop models have been converted for use in HDRP.
• Additional models are being converted on an as-needed basis.
• New Entity and Prop models have been created and added as part of ongoing visual development.
• Initial Water, Sky, Time, and Weather Systems have been added.
- The following Weather profiles have been added:
- Light Rain
- Heavy Rain
- Light Fog
- Heavy Fog
- Heavy Storm
• Weather effects, lighting, sky profiles, and audio will continue to be refined.
• Some changes in client performance from previous tests should be expected. We are continuing to implement further improvements to loading and rendering.
The Pantheon game client and server have been updated to use our proprietary networking solution, ViNL.
• Network performance and stability has been improved, supporting larger volumes of simultaneously active players and activities.
• Support has been added to allow entities to navigate within zones built for seamless open world gameplay.
• We are continuing to develop new features that have been dependent on the completion of ViNL.
New Gameplay Features and Adjustments
In addition to our HDRP and ViNL upgrades, the team has also been hard at work developing additional features needed to support our long-term gameplay vision for Pantheon. While many of these features will continue to evolve and be iterated upon, and many more are yet to come, we are excited to share some of the ways in which the Pantheon experience has been refined and expanded!
• Weapon Techniques are a new ability category which represent weapon-based attacks. While some Techniques are class-specific, others may be general across all classes or shared between classes of a similar archetype or role. The majority of Techniques are learned automatically upon reaching certain milestones in an appropriate weapon skill, and can only be used with their corresponding weapon.
• Only the Main Hand weapon is used when determining what Weapon Techniques can be employed.
New Universal Combat Resource: Readiness
• A new combat resource, Readiness, has been added to all classes which is utilized to execute Techniques. Readiness is represented by a gray bar beneath the existing player resource pool bars.
• Readiness is primarily accrued by dealing physical damage, as well as taking physical or magical damage.Readiness will also accrue naturally over time when in-combat. Faster weapons will accrue readiness more quickly.
• Except for when it decays while Resting, Readiness may be conserved in-between fights for up to 10 minutes, allowing players to build up towards specific Technique executions.
• A new ability category has been added by which players of a given class may receive traits that are permanently active without needing to be assigned to the limited action set.
• At the moment, Innate Passives must be acquired from vendors (available at no cost), but their effects will apply just by being learned in the spellbook. Support for auto-granting of Innate Passives is planned for a later date.
Endurance Resource Changes
• The role of Endurance in ability execution has been deprecated. Endurance is no longer consumed by functions other than Sprinting, Climbing, or Jumping, but may be applied to similar exploration and movement-related functions as needed in the future.
• The Endurance resource bar has been relocated from the character resource window to a dedicated, independent UI element that will display next to the character while being consumed or regenerating.
• A Sprint function has been added (default key: Left Shift), allowing players to run at increased speed for a limited duration while consuming Endurance. Sprint speed and endurance consumption rate will respectively increase and decrease with improved Sprint skill.
• Climbing speed and endurance consumption rate will now respectively increase and decrease with improved Climbing skill.
• Fully running out of Endurance will now trigger an ‘Exhausted’ state, during which players are unable to Sprint or Climb until Endurance has fully regenerated.
Crafting & Gathering
• Crafting and Gathering have received initial implementations.
• Please note that the crafting system is under heavy development and is still being implemented. Functionality is being added in stages as the underlying code to support it is put in place. The system as it appears now in-game does not represent the full crafting experience but is usable in order to help test UI functionality and item generation.
• Mining has been enabled, and many mining nodes have been dispersed throughout Thronefast. To gain their first pickaxe and start their mining journey, characters should speak with Foreman Hynes in Availia.
• It is now possible to refine mined ore into metal and other goods using the new crafting UI. To gain the smelting skill and the Smelting Pans schematic, characters should speak with Sadie Flintfinger in Availia.
• A temporary system for crafting new foods using gathered world items has been added for those fortunate enough to find a Scavenger’s Bag.
• Banking has received an initial implementation. Players may interact with a Banker located in Availia to store and retrieve items, currency, and containers.
Near-Death and Death Penalties
• A Near-Death mechanic has been introduced. With the exception of certain NPC abilities, traits, or dispositions, players who are reduced to 0 Health will enter a prone Near-Death state.
• While in this state, players will fall to the bottom of their respective enemies’ threat lists.
• Players in the Near-Death state will display an additional, smaller pool of available Health. Reducing this pool to 0 will cause the Near-Dead player to die.
• Players in the Near-Death state will bleed out over a duration if not otherwise healed.
• Players in the Near-Death state are limited to the actions of releasing to their bind point, talking in chat, logging out, or crawling at a decreased speed.
• Near-Dead players will bleed out at an accelerated rate while crawling.
• Players may be revived from the Near-Death state through the use of healing spells. Alternatively, any player may begin bandaging a Near-Dead player by right-clicking them, provided both players are out-of-combat.
• The rate at which bandaging occurs will increase relative to the number of players performing the bandaging.
• Bandaging will be interrupted if either player takes damage.
• Adjustments to threat caused by being revived from Near-Death while in-combat will be added at a later date.
• Death Penalties have been reintroduced and revised.
• Beginning at level 4, players who release from Death or Near-Death will lose experience equivalent to 10% of the total required to reach the next level, and leave behind a Remnance in the form of their physical body at the site of their death.
• Players will respawn at their designated bind point with their equipped gear, excluding items marked as Deathbound. All non-equipped gear and currency, excluding items marked as Lifebound, will remain on the player’s Remnance.
• Items stored in containers will assume that container’s status; this means Lifebound-items stored in non-Lifebound containers will remain on the Remnance.
• If a player possesses less than 10% of the experience required to reach their next level, their level will be reduced and the remaining experience loss will be subtracted from their progress in the previous level.
• By right-clicking on their Remnance, players may retrieve the items and currency stored within. This action will also return the lost experience to the player’s Soul Memory.
• While experience is stored within Soul Memory, it will be returned to the player at a limited rate whenever normal experience is gained.
• The amount of experience returned is relative to the amount of experience gained. Larger individual experience gains will yield correspondingly larger returns from Soul Memory.
• The capacity of Soul Memory is limited to a value equivalent to 3 deaths worth of experience for the player’s current level. In the event that this capacity is exceeded, any experience retrieved from a Remnance in excess of this capacity will be forfeited.
• Additional functions surrounding Resurrection and Remnance Recovery will be introduced at a later date.
Zone & Population Updates
• The topology of Thronefast has been revised to introduce new cliff and mountain regions as well as additional explorable caves.
• New tools have been developed to facilitate the creation of cliffs and biomes.
• Certain Points of Interest have had their locations adjusted, and some new PoIs have been added.
• Many PoIs are utilizing placeholder or greybox art, and will continue to receive refinements by our art team in the future.
• The Arcanery has been relocated away from Availia. Players wishing to travel to and from the Arcanery may utilize a teleportation pad located at the town outskirts.
• The Quarry has been flooded, driving most of its denizens out…for now.
• The majority of NPC types found within Thronefast have been adjusted, with new NPC types made available and some having their populations diminished or removed.
• The locations of NPCs throughout Thronefast have been adjusted.
• The level range of available NPCs throughout Thronefast have been adjusted.
• New Rare and Powerful enemies have taken up residence throughout Thronefast.
|Producer’s Letter||Monthly Recap||Pantheon: One Year Later||Guilds of Pantheon|