January Producer’s Letter
Happy New Year, Pantheon fans!
As the team emerges from a brief holiday respite, our attention turns to our goals for the coming year and our long-term development targets.
Visual development efforts continue with additional building styles coming online in the village of Availia (which will continue to be utilized in other appropriate human settlements), additional flora for Thronefast and Avendyr’s Pass regions, and a frosty new biome kit to fit our frigid climates. Our revised Human and Dark Myr models are serving as a test bed as we develop our hair solution, and new armor sets inspired by our racial concept art and built within our revised armor-fitting pipeline are nearing completion.
Work on our post-ViNL integration priorities is underway as well, with seamless zoning now functional in support of our open-world model, and persistent services supporting cross-zone features such as groups and chat in development, which will also carry forward into other essential features such as guilds and group finder tools.
On the design side of the house, our gathering system has been receiving some long-awaited attention, bringing things closer to a planned alpha state while we prepare to re-open Avendyr’s Pass for exploration. This includes support for treating gathering nodes as entities and allowing them to interface with combat systems, actions, and display health pools, as well as dedicated equipment slots for gathering tools which will automatically be utilized when interacting with a resource, without needing to unequip a weapon. Ability loadouts are being developed as well, which will service both the crafting and adventuring spheres.
As always, check out itemized updates in the roadmap below, and stay tuned to our website, Discord, and social media channels for the latest and greatest.
Until next month, onwards and upwards.
Roadmap to Alpha Progress
To Do – Denotes items that have a finished implementation plan and are scheduled, but work has not yet begun. This can also apply to items that are partially implemented that are awaiting additional work to be fully completed.
In Progress – Denotes items that are currently being worked on but are not yet ready for Alpha release.
Complete – Items that are in-game and ready for Alpha release.Items marked UPDATED have a new status or information from last month’s Producer’s Letter.
Programming & Design
NPC Combat Awareness: Complete
What it is: Support for advanced NPC decision-making and tactics based on their knowledge of the surrounding environment.
Asset & Terrain Streaming: Complete
What it is: Development of technology to support performant streaming (both client and network) of game assets, visuals, and server data.
HDRP Conversion: Complete
What it is: Conversion of our existing project to a new rendering pipeline to allow for higher definition graphics, more powerful rendering tools, and improved client performance.
Classes & Combat: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Implementation of remaining core class components such as unique resources, mechanics, and UI.
Network Overhaul: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of a custom network solution to enable performant player concurrency and server-side calculations on the required scale of an MMORPG.
• Support for seamless zoning has been completed. Work is ongoing on supporting cross-zone communication, group persistence and custom zone borders.
• Key post-ViNL functionality still pending includes:
• Local Weather Profiles.
• Dynamic Entity Spawning Systems (Pets, Adds, Event-driven Spawns).
Pets: To Do
What it is: Development of the systems and user-interface required to support permanent and temporary player-controlled minions.
Ability Loadouts: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of a tool to allow players to save and load pre-defined hotbar configurations.
• Support for managing multiple loadouts is in development.
Gathering and Crafting: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of supporting tools, UI, and infrastructure for the implementation of Gathering and Crafting content, gameplay, and progression.
• Implemented support for group members to cooperatively gather from a node.
• Implemented dedicated combat processor events for gathering.
• Implemented dedicated equipment slots for gathering tools and support for auto-swapping between weapons and tools based on combat / gathering states.
• Began development of categorized pages in the ability codex to support navigation between combat and gathering abilities.
Perception System: To Do
What it is: While we are able to support preliminary implementations of Perception content, additional development is needed for supporting tools and UI required to implement Perception and its related features and progression on a larger scale with the quality intended for Alpha and beyond.
Faction: To Do
What it is: While the Faction system is fully integrated and working, additional development is needed to support leveraging Faction for other aspects of gameplay, such as gaining access to specific Tasks, Storylines, Merchants, etc.
Climbing Improvements: In Progress
What it is: Refinements to the existing Climbing system to introduce a climbing-specific resource and related UI, associate Climbing with an improvable skill, implement new surface types with different climbability challenges, and improve climbing animations.
• Mapping Climbing skill to improved speed and reduced endurance consumption, and added supporting stats.
• Removed Endurance bar from primary player resource window and created a dedicated UI element.
• Added Exhaustion mechanic to prevent Climbing and Sprinting when Endurance is fully drained.
Swimming: In Progress
What it is: Implementation of a swimming locomotion system including support for Z-axis movement, the creation of a new suite of swimming animations, and implementation of a water system.
• Implemented Breath Bar and Suffocation mechanics.
• Implemented water volume detection and z-axis movement.
Acclimation: To Do
What it is: Implement improvements to the Acclimation user experience by improving the audiovisual components, improving the UI and Glyph acquisition/equipment systems, and implementing additional climates.
Dispositions and Traits: In Progress
What it is: Develop systems required to improve the support for Disposition and Trait spawning rules, as well as dedicated UI components to display Dispositions and Traits to players.
LFG Tool: To Do
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to allow players to list themselves as looking for a group, or looking for additional members, using specified criteria in order to find other players to pursue shared gameplay goals.
Basic Guild System: To Do
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to allow players to form guilds with a private chat channel, basic hierarchies, and membership management commands.
What it is: Develop mechanisms for the storage and retrieval of items and currency via NPC interactions.
Improve Starting Experience for New Players: In Progress
What it is: Develop tutorialization to introduce players to gameplay basics. Add and refine content in starting areas to provide a robust and engaging early-game experience.
Zones: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop game zones to support planned content and gameplay. Convert greyboxed zones to sculpted terrain and develop with unique props and environment art passes to realize aesthetic goals.
• First pass of snow biome in Avendyr’s Pass has been completed
• Finalization of PoI development in Avendyr’s Pass to support upcoming testing objectives, with a specific focus on:
• Large ice formations
• Replaced greybox art
• Began work on the Elkhorn tree w/ variants for Thronefast biome and surrounding areas.
• Implemented new assets to form the entrance to Availia in Thronefast
Player Models: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Rig remaining player race models (Skar, Dark Myr, Archai) so they can be animated and conform all non-Human races and genders to our entity outfitting system so they can equip/unequip armor dynamically.
NPC Models: In Progress
What it is: Develop new NPC and creature models for use in world population and content development.
General 3D Assets: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop 3D assets for equippable weapons, armor, and various non-environment world props.
Animations: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop player and NPC animations to support locomotion, combat, emotes, and other gameplay.
• Completed additional animations and polish for shield combat states and blocking.
• Initiated animation revisions for 2-handed blades and death.
• Completed several animations for the swimming/underwater suite, including: swim forward, swim backward, swim idle, swim burst (sprinting while swimming), near-death swim, death float and underwater looting.
Audio: In Progress
What it is: Develop environmental soundscapes, create unique sound effects for players and NPCs, and introduce ambient and signature music.
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