May 2023 Producer’s Letter

May Producer’s Letter

Pantheon Community,

Testing continues! May saw 24 hours of testing from May 20-21st and two ad-hoc tests. We caught some issues during the ad-hoc tests that took place on May 10th and 12th, which helped us identify the problems and get them fixed up for the full 24-hour pre-alpha run on the 20th.

June’s Pre-Alpha test runs from 10am PDT Saturday, June 10 through to 10am PDT Sunday June 11. If you are a tester, remember to keep an eye on the Tester Discord for ad-hoc tests which pop up from time to time.

We saw two new Pantheon streamers at this month’s Pre-Alpha session. Retired8404 opened up Saturday with his 3 hour stream, followed by another 3 hours of Pantheon fun, streamed by Zaide. And remember, if you are interested in getting in game to create content, you can sign up at our Streamer and Content Creator Program page. We invite streamers for every scheduled pre-alpha session, happening monthly. And, if you’re not a content creator, you can still get into Pre-Alpha either through pledging or entering our monthly giveaway on Twitter.

Onto production, as mentioned ViNL optimization continues, and we were able to get a good part of this done this month. Crafting is also making big strides as players have been able to craft some items and we have even seen some up for sale in the game channels. The economy is budding!

Let’s take a closer look at the roadmap.

Roadmap to Alpha Progress

Design Complete – Denotes items that have a complete and ratified design document and are awaiting an implementation plan.
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.

• Ongoing Combat Awareness content will be added to the game as more NPCs and encounters are developed on the road to Alpha.

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 and combat components such as unique resources, mechanics, and UI.

• Resistance system updates:

• Reduced the impact of resistance tiers vs. higher level enemies.
• Decreased the resist tier scales overall (I.e. players are less likely to get partially resisted with appropriate casting skills in relation to their target).

• Further balance adjustments to dungeon NPC stats and damage output.
• Thronefast NPC population updates, including updated ability kits, for the clifftop Gadai encampment and the Goblin caves

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.

• Finished another optimization pass related to our rendering systems and ViNL’s memory allocation. In our Pre Alpha tests, we continue to see solid uptime for the server across the 24 hour session, and we noted another average FPS improvement of 10-15 FPS for our players.
• Key post-ViNL functionality still pending includes:

• NPC pathfinding across overland zone borders.
• 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.

• Scheduled for implementation once the new networking is in place.

Ability Loadouts: In Progress
What it is: Development of a tool to allow players to save and load pre-defined hotbar configurations.

• Support for multiple saved ability loadouts / separate ability bars has been implemented.
• 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.

• Code pass on the majority of mining and woodcutting abilities to make them work more reliably in all scenarios.
• Fixed a bug that would cause players to get kicked out to login while trying to loot after gathering.

· Tuning and balancing changes:

• The delay values for the starter gathering tools have been reduced.
• The damage values for the rare/looted gathering tools (such as the ancient mining pick) have been increased slightly.
• The chance to find celestium dust or celestium shards while gathering has been slightly reduced.

• Gathering technique tuning changes:

• The Winded debuff will no longer completely disable endurance regeneration, but instead will just slow it down by quite a bit.
• The damage component of Unyielding Strikes has been reduced slightly.

• Upcoming additions:

• Crafted shields.
• Crafted gathering tools.
• Harvesting node implementation (Harvesting is the name of the Gathering sphere that allows players to harvest special plants, flowers, roots, etc.).
• Skinning and Harvesting Techniques that can be used while gathering.

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.

• Further improvements have been made to the degree in which improved Climbing skill increases your Climbing speed and reduces Endurance drain while climbing.

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.

• Breath meter has been implemented.

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.

• Several new traits have been incorporated into the overland dungeon areas of Thronefast. These include:

• Resilient
• Frenzied
• Acrobatic
• Resistant
• Spellslinger
• Iron-Willed

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.

Banks: Complete
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.

• Improvements to the starting area layouts for Shaman and Wizard/Enchanter.


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.

• Work continues on Wild’s End with a focus on new terrain textures, rock types and ankle/knee-high flora modeling.

Player Models: In Progress
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. Ultimately, finalize playable character models.

• Finalizing textures for Human Male and Female.

NPC Models: In Progress
What it is: Develop new NPC and creature models for use in world population and content development.

• Oggrym final texturing and engine integration complete.
• Gas Bat final texturing has begun.

General 2D/3D Assets: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop 3D assets for equippable weapons, armor, and various non-environment world props.

• Concept Art completed for:

• Golding Griffin.
• Stormwing Griffin.
• Woodlands Griffin.
• Concept work has begun on the Kingsreach wolf species, including Forest, Arctic, Volcanic, Plains, Desert, Corrupted and Spectral variants.

• 3D Model and Texturing completed on additional Platemail armor set.

Animations: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop player and NPC animations to support locomotion, combat, emotes, and other gameplay.

• Gas Bat attacks and death animation completed.
• Work on One Handed and Dual Dagger animation updates has begun
• Improvements to character animations when equipping items (no more hitching). Fixes for locomotion animations when movement speed is slowed down or sped up significantly.
• Fixed an issue causing animations to “pop” in certain situations. Also fixed an issue causing other players in view to appear to slide around the world instead of running/sprinting.


Audio: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop environmental soundscapes, create unique sound effects for players and NPCs, and introduce ambient and signature music.

• Employed a new system of creating subzones within our Unity scenes to allow for better transition of ambient sound effects and environmental audio, ambient music and combat music. This system also improves our accuracy in where to set up these audio and transition zones, and better control the timing and duration of the transitions.
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