Mon20Feb2017
byTheDawnfeather
 636 hits
Stream with CohhCarnage

Pantheon developers sat down with CohhCarnage to play Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. The stream had some issues so CohhCarnage's stream was the best to view.

 

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Mon05Dec2016
byTheDawnfeather
 692 hits
Pledge Package changes Sept 12th

Due to popular demand a new $50 pledge tier will be available September 12th. This new tier will be a bare bones entry level pledge and will provide a single copy of the game at launch, supporter level forum access, the in-game title of Pantheon Explorer, and early name reservation.

In addition to this new tier we will be removing the Knight's ($100) and Patron's($150) pledges from the store. We are nearing capacity for alpha and access to it at this level is a thank-you to the early adopters. The two tiers being removed will be replaced with similar pledge tiers without alpha access to the game. So if you have been considering one of these tiers, act now before they go away September 12th.

If you have already purchased a Knight's or Patron's pledge, your pledge does not change. You will still have access to the alpha build of the game when it becomes available.

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Sun21Aug2016
byTheDawnfeather
 1050 hits
Aradune AMA

Brad "Aradune" McQuaid had a very long  Reddit Ask Me Anything on /r/MMORPG/.

A pledge revamp is expected Mid-September to include a $50 option. 

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is not intended to be a clone of older MMO's, but be true to the foundation and core of the earlier MMO's. New features are designed to build on top of this foundation as deatiled in the Pantheon differentiators.

"End Game" is not where the game starts and there should not be a rush to reach the maximum level as fast as possible. The majority of the content will be focused on grouping and smaller amounts for solo or raiding. There might be raids at level 20 or 30. 

No current plans to instance content, but might lock out people not active in the encounter. Too early to talk about how many people are in a raid at any given level.

The game is not focused on "quest hubs", but more open world and using the perception system to tell a story instead of just conversational quests.

The perception system is the answer to boring "quest hubs" and being told to accomplish things that have nothing to do with the environment and lore. By using your perception skill, by finding perception triggers, by following where they lead you will be doing 'quests', but quests in the context of the environment. You can be rewarded in just as many ways as a traditional quest: exp, item, quest token, etc.

Learning the lessons of Vanguard a "nest egg" is necessary to be prepared for worst case scenarios if funding evaporates and the game is not ready for release and still needs development time. 

The game client will be as limited as possible on server information to avoid abuse. 

Our Event system will cause the population of a zone or region within that zone to vary depending on different triggers. Someone finishing a quest may cause an event to trigger. Killing a certain mob could cause an event to trigger. The weather, or time of day, etc. could cause an event to trigger. So the world will be more dynamic than what has been seen in many other MMOs. That said, it will not be too dynamic -- players should still be able to learn their way around the game and the world and use that knowledge to their advantage.

The female playable characters in Pantheon brings up an important point: they will be very attractive, heroic in appearance, a persona anyone could look up to. But they will not be overly sexualized. I want, for example, my 18 year old daughter to be able to create a female character and feel proud of that character and its appearance. We think it's very doable to create fantastic, attractive, and impactful female characters without overly sexualizing them.

Want to launch with at least one alternative rule set server: PVP. How many get released depends on popularity and servers needed. PvP by launch we hope to have one shard, and that would likely be an FFA shard.

One could perhaps argue that the MMO market is saturated with single player oriented casual MMOs. At the opposite extreme, however, it is definitely missing any challenging, group oriented, community focused, social and cooperative games with a big emphasis on making the E in PvE really matter -- making it more than NPCs but actually mean the environment. Players will learn to work together, classes will be interdependent and teamwork rewarded, and they will contend with the environment itself to achieve victory and to build up their characters.

Pantheon is this respect and many others is unique and brings a very different experience to the table, one that has been sorely missed by MMO gamers who prefer cooperative play, and one that will be embraced by many younger players who, while they enjoy cooperative play in session based games, have never experienced it in a true MMO with a persistent world.

Yes, a player driven economy is a huge part of what makes Pantheon tick. Buy/sell locations will largely be determined and driven by the community.

Rangers will not require the use of pets.

You may be limited to a subset of your abilities for the next encounter, causing you to have to intelligently plan ahead and memorize the spells most effective against the upcoming enemy. Likewise you'll want to mem spells that counter the upcoming mobs abilities. Lastly, you may have some abilities that work synergistically with others in your group. But the key point here is that these tactical decisions can be made right before the actual encounter. Then, say you move on deeper in to the dungeon and are about to confront a different boss, with different abilities and a different disposition, it may make tactical sense to mem different abilities. So yes, you are limited to that extent (you cannot simply use any of your 80+ abilities whenever you wish) because planning for the battle ahead and doing so effectively is key to Pantheon.

You could flee combat and reconfigure yourself. Your guildmates may frown upon this, especially if it results in their death, but there's nothing stopping you (assuming the mob isn't aggro on you at that moment).

It is possible that killing a god in spirit form is impossible. At least, if there is a way, no one remembers how. When a god loses devotion, or worshippers, however, he becomes corporeal, a God-King, and is then part of the physical world and subject to that world. So yes, we can create NPCs that are not killable. One time encounters are a bit of a challenge because a lot of work is put into one -- I'd like to see epic scenarios like Kerafyrm or something similar, but not have it a one time event.

Bringing people together, finding new friends for them, connecting old friends, helping them play in the same environment -- all of this and more is incredibly important in Pantheon because of the social and community core nature of the game. There will be all sorts of features, services, etc. that will bring groups together and keep them together. Helping hold together this vital social glue is paramount and there are not one or two ways to do it -- it will require a holistic approach and a full social system approaching the issue from all different angles if we are to make a successful, fun, and rewarding grouping MMO.

 don't think there's really some significant chasm separating old school players and younger players. In any group you'll find people who have different tastes, whether it be in food, drink, or gaming. Typically if a particular playstyle seems underrepresented at some point it's not because there aren't players in each age group that would love a game with that particular style, but rather that a compelling game using that play style is absent. For a long time action RPGs were considered no longer in demand, but then Blizzard put Diablo out and suddenly everyone, old, young, etc. was fiending on that game. This is also true with MMOs. Some prefer more action twitchy combat, while others a tab targeted more tactical combat experience. What's important here is that there are games with those different experiences available to play. Unfortunately classicly styled MMOs have been mostly abandoned leaving a huge player base orphaned. Without going into why at the moment I will say that Pantheon and VR are happy to fill that void created by those who felt it somehow necessary to create a 'wow-killer' and chase the dream of mass market appeal.

We believe strongly that the group or group leader should determine the looting rules. What that means for us is that we need to provide the player with a flexible and powerful loot system.

Timetable for Alpha/Beta: Nothing to specific or set in stone, no, because the most important thing is that we are ready, that the game is ready. Remember, alpha and beta are not like early access, where by design a portion of the game is sold to people. Alpha and beta for us is all about people helping us test the game, the mechanics, the features, the content. If enough of the features and mechanics are not present, or if there is not enough content, then starting bringing in outside people would actually do more harm than good. It would frustrate the tester and it wouldn't provide us with much useful information. So the answer is when we're ready, and we hope to be by the first quarter of next year, but again, no promises.

Keeping players interested and playing a long time, whether in one session or spread out over days, involves creating compelling gameplay. Player rewards and leveling and earning new abilities and acquiring more powerful items at a reasonable rate is one way to make your game sticky. Add in that grouping with others will be encouraged and rewarded and that people will be making new friends in-game and you have a situation where your friends need you to log in with them or order advance -- and most people who want to be part of a team, a team player, respond well to this pressure. As for Pantheon not being as hard core as EQ, I don't think I said that. I said it wouldn't be as grindy, and the type of grind I was referring to involved tedious repetition. But that doesn't mean Pantheon won't be difficult, or involved, or require time invested in order to advance -- in fact, virtually all MUDs and MMOs are built around time invested as the primary advancement mechanism.

Will the in-game guild functions include raid attendance tracking or dkp tracking for guild events? Will there be any tie-in with loot distribution to allow a raid leader to distribute loot through the guild tool using the aforementioned tracking systems? Yes, pretty much all of that and more.

Some quick and easy examples, of course, would be to reward people who don't know each other to group together, to help them stay in contact, to allow them if they want to share personal information, to allow searching for new friends, assuming that person chooses to participate in matchmaking. The main point is that we'll be doing all sorts of things to proactively bring people together and KEEP them together. This is the complete opposite of something like a dungeon finder that randomly brings in people you need to do an instance, you do the instance likely not even speaking a word, and then once the instance is over, the group disperses. This is what destroys communities and true social interaction.

Basic behavior of an NPC is based on their race, class, and stats. Special or significant NPCs may have actual scripted dispositions and/or other special behaviors. NPCs move around and are generally not static. Events can cause special NPCs to spawn.

The zones, especially the outdoor ones, are HUGE, so we will likely require fewer to launch with. But to really get a good feel for how many players feels right in a zone or an entire shard, you have to bring those people into the game, so much of this will be determined in alpha and beta, when we start bringing in outside players.

We test consistently in both and plan to support both. That said, I must say that while I was more of a first person player in pervious MMOs, in Pantheon I have become a third person player. Why? Situational awareness. If i do not look around, behind me, ahead of me... if I get distracted... if I am not prepared... I will likely run into something deadly, or something deadly will run into me, and I'm going to regret it. So, live and learn and next time: pay attention.

We may never be able to truly replicate that very first experience a person had when playing their first MMO. But I don't think we need to. What we need to do is re-capture the magic of the earlier games by making sure community, teamwork, socialization, the building of true in-game friendships, and share experiences all return to the genre via Pantheon.

On a high level, overall, there must be balance. If not, everyone would feel compelled to play only the race that is more powerful than the others. That said, what race you choose will involve receiving different racial innate abiliities that can and will be handy while adventuring. So there will be times when the race you choose is to your and your parties advantage, other times nuetral, and other times to your disadvantage. Same with classes. They will all be useful in any serious dungeon or other adventure area.

My reaction to multi boxing is to try something first before I even entertain the idea of artificially restricting it: I want to make combat, especially mid and higher level combat, so tactically intense, with so much going on, so much to do, so much to counter, so many companions to keep alive, and the timing of many abilities crucial, that multi-boxing is, if not impossible, extremely difficult and likely far inferior to having an actual real person in your group.

Well, first, the issue with balance and PvP vs PvE is not one that is that difficult to solve: you just use different formulate and data - you don't cross your streams. That way, if I need to make Paladins in PvE more powerful, I can do that without disrupting PvP balance. And vice versa. Ones race and class should definitely result in a different experience and playing an alt should feel reasonably different. As for significant racial penalties, like exp penalties, I don't think anything like that will be necessary in Pantheon.

Crowdfunding, which we do on our own website www.pantheonmmo.com, has treated us very well and we are continually humbled by the number of people willing to support us. I think in our case it ended up making more sense to integrate crowdfunding into our own site than to use a third party.

no fear, there will be no ! or ? signs above NPCs heads.

Crafted gear will be just as important as dropped gear, but will likely perform a slightly different precise purpose. Pantheon will have virtually no Instanced zones -- certainly not combat zones. The best loot will be spread out over a vast, epic world of planar high fantasy -- you better go get it because it's not coming to you :)

The only thing that's been decided that, in a combat region, the way you look will be based on the actual adventuring items you are wearing and wielding. We also want lower level players to encounter higher level players and see their amazing gear and to be inspired. If you can just willy nilly appear anyway you want, that inspiration, which is very important, can be impeded. To that end, there will probably be some restrictions as to where you can appear using your cosmetic gear.

Choosing a race should really make a difference in an MMO and not only a cosmetic one.

If your perception skill is not high enough or the wrong type, what may be visible to others will not be visible to you.

What about zone-wide triggered /or periodic encounters ala Rifts, Warhammer where participants in a battle can work together informally to defeat an invading force or greater threat? Yes, all of that and other things are part of our Event System.

Will you incorporate any type of in-game Magelo system? Where you can view other players stats and/or 'rank' players? Yes, likely so.

I understand that many people were disappointed with how Vanguard turned out, especially at launch. I was one of them. It broke my heart. I was also the CEO at Sigil and also very active on the forums, so it makes sense that a lot of blame would be directed towards me. But I would encourage skeptics to truly investigate what happened there, that while I made many mistakes, it was ultimately Microsoft's regime change and re-focussing of efforts from windows gaming to Xbox, that led to Vanguard premature launch. I would also encourage people to examine the development of EverQuest, for which I was responsible, and note that it shipped on time and within budget and, other than bandwidth issues beyond our control, very playable and enjoyable at launch. Lastly I would say that I am a better person now having tasted both triumph and defeat and know that I use both as I lead the Pantheon team in order to make the best decisions possible. Lastly, look at the evidence over the jaded and unsubstantiated claims you can find online: Look at how Pantheon as come together, how quickly, how efficiently, how a fantastic team was built, and how far we've come with so few mistakes made and money wasted. Actions are far more powerful than words, so please check out Pantheon, EverQuest, and Vanguard and judge by the overall results.

An important factoid however: not all of your abilities and spells will be on trainers sitting in safe little villages and towns; rather, the more exotic and desired abilities you'll have to train from others, whom you'll have to find, and to whom you'll have to travel to rather than die trying.

Best team ever.... far better tech than ever previously available.... lessons learned from both successs and failure.... being able to get so much done without crazy amounts of effort and struggle -- being able to focus on great gameplay and not always on getting tech to work.

Slowing and controlling mudflation, having lots of item and money sinks, etc. is essential. Please see the write up on MUDflation that I did -- it should be on our web site under the dev diaries.

Estimate of world vs EQ/VG? I can't give you a rough percentage completely because so many variables are involved. As for total world size, that really means 'quantity of content'. Our goal is to have enough content at launch to go at least 6, perhaps 9 months, before releasing an expansion. So, in a way, similar to EQ at launch.

First, 2-4 hours is great -- you should in most cases be able to complete something in that time period that you can feel good about, where you get a real sense of accomplishment. As for travel and lfg, please allow me to clarify. First, there will, in addition to mounts, be ways to travel quickly over long distances. These will involve abilities limited to some of the classes. More detail at this time would be premature other than to say that you'll likely have to had explored on foot an area before another class can teleport you to it. LFG features... we will have LFG features galore. Please see my previous reply about how important it is for us to find groups, make real friends, and to keep our players together.

No, we are not ready to go into any significant detail on classes we haven't already covered. Class info is usually revealed through our newsletter -- as far as I know that will continue.

Trolls playable race? No specific plans, but, post launch, I don't see why not.

Scrambled Text and Typing in game when drunk? Will be tempting to put something like that in, yes.

We like all of that in general -- the question comes up though, to what degree should these factions matter and does this sort of thing slip into PvP territory. If it does, you'd only see it in PvP servers. But changing your factions so NPCs will react differently to you -- this is all key to the game -- our faction system will be quite robust. Yes, you could betray your home or default factions.

Complex spawn condistions, irregular spawn periods? yes, our Event system works on spawn conditions, etc.

n EQ you pretty much had to figure out how important socialization, making friends and teamwork was the hard way. You either figured it out and embraced it, loved it, etc., or you figured it out and decided the game wasn't for you. With Pantheon, we are NOT taking the 'throw the baby bird out of the nest approach', hoping he'll do ok. Rather, we are taking a very proactive role in helping build friendships and the community.

Yes, in general, a new player will be able to download and play Pantheon to a certain level for free, with a minimum of impediments. It's important to us that players, especially those who might not be familiar with classically based MMOs, be given a chance acclimate and truly enjoy the game. That said, some restrictions on the free character may have to be made in order to avoid it being used by farmers, griefers, etc.

Bards deserve to be done right. Right now I can't promise we'll have the time to do them right by launch. If I do, we'll get 'em done. If I don't, we'll get them post launch -- either way, they will be a unique and important class.

Pantheon is definitely more open world and sandboxy than many MMOs, but it is still at its core a game system, not a true sanbox sans rules. But they key point is that you can go where you want to go, take on whatever you want to take on (tho you may die), and travel to wherever you can see (assuming you don't freeze to death enroute). So the decisions are yours -- you are not being led around by the game on rails, with only so many options.

Progeny System: It's on the table and it having actual in-game effects would be essential -- likely certain aspects of an alt's parents would be passed onto the alt, giving it certain advantages and abilities a normal alt would not have -- the trick, of course, is to reward long term players for making alts while not overpowering their alts and furstrating new players.

Our Crafting and Harvesting system will be a significant part of the Pantheon experience but also one that we are not focused on and implementing at this stage. In a few more months, when we do focus on these systems, I will be much more able and willing to explain it's mechanics and intricacies.

No instanced combat. Dungeons will be huge and shared. Certain areas and specific mobs may be assigned to the group that got their first, leaving others to more passive roles, but you will be in the same environment. As for zerging and other similar behaviors, mobs in Pantheon will not simply stick around and be destroyed by vast numbers of players -- they will act and react, whether that means leaving the area, calling in friends, etc.

Our servers exist in the cloud and it is extremely easy and quick to make adjustments based on load or other in-game changes. It is also very easy and quick to launch new shards.

The biggest challenge has been probably communication. With many people working remotely, extra effort has to be made to keep people in the loop, up to date, informed, etc. But if you go too far with that, you end up meeting more than you doing getting work done. That's a challenge we are determined to find the answer to.

Guildhalls: Likely yes, after launch, but also likely a part of an outpost as opposed to occupying a fixed point in world space.

No gender locking, but yes to gender diversity.

Trains: Yes.... in fact with our better mob pathing, they can be even more dangerous.

Dwarves Smoke Pipe? I sure hope so... or at least vape :)

Race based class restrictions are still under discussion, but I think they do make sense in some cases. Racial innate abilities should also play a role, both potentially benefitial and detrimental. XP penalties though? That's probably taking it too far for me.

Not ready to go into details about how crafting and harvesting are going to fundamentally work. Its a very important system and hopefully we'll start revealing aspects of it in a few months.

We've not finalized how sea travel will work at launch, but eventually you'll be able to sail ships around the world.... before all of that is implemented, however, some limited class abilities, similar to those that teleport you over land would likely teleport you over water. Swimming not only an option, but a very important skill with one of our player races being aquatic.

Pantheon is a traditional level based system with skills and abilities that are unlocked and practiced as you level up. Some customization and specialization will be present, but never to the point where a warrior ceases to be a warrior.

I wouldn't say warriors are masters of all weapons, no. They are masters of some weapons, and this may vary on what race of warrior you are. Warriors generally have the most varied melee combat skills, like parry, dodge, reposte, dual wield, etc. But other classes will be very formidable in melee combat as well -- they'll just express their deadliness using different items, skills, and tactics.

The animations you've seen in the twich streams have been placeholder, as well as the character models. While our emphasis has been on the environment and gameplay, it will eventually, naturally switch a bit more to characters and then you'll start to see the real Pantheon player characters and their animations showcased.

If we do use them, I would use them as positive reinforcement. For example, giving someone an acheivement in order to encourage them to explore the world and take risks.

Leaning heavily toward, at least in the West, the sub model. It works, it's proven, and it is what our target audience wants. VR strongly believe that a revenue model needs to match the game and its audience -- there is no magic model that works for all games in all regions.

We're not quite ready to reveal which races can be which classes -- all in good time :)

I can assure you that pay-to-win will have no place in Pantheon and that our entire business model relies on actually commercially launching it.

I think if you felt at home in the other games I was involved with, you'll most certainly feel at home in Pantheon. Virtually everyone we've shown the game to has had that reaction -- they felt comfortable and at home. The biggest similarities are probably the variety of classes, offline travel, great storylines and more. The biggest difference is that Pantheon's world, like EQ's, is zone based, whereas VG was seamless.

You are correct that implemented poorly later classes can have diminished roles in the world and in lore. We are committed to not taking short cuts and doing things right and we are stubborn enough to execute on these commitments.

I think that always raising the level cap can be a mistake. Having an expansion focus on more things for higher level players to do would be great. That said, at some point, players want to see their characters level up, so some expansions will always need to raise the level cap.

I mostly played AD&D plus some StarFleet Battles. AD&D certainly influenced me, as did the early Ultima games of the 80s and some of the better text based MUDs of the 90s. As for writers I am a huge fan of Roger Zelazny, Raymond Feist, George Saberhagen, Michael Moorecock and many others.

Yes, I think those seeking truly epic class quests will find what they're looking for in Terminus.

Taking a proactive approach to bringing people together, helping them make friends, and involving them with the community is paramount -- in 2016 you cannot simply let people do that by themselves -- for too long games have made this unnecessary and, in a sense, we need to help de-program them and re-reveal the magic and fun that comes from teamwork and shared experiences.

The general answer is yes, and that our Lore Master Justin is constantly coming up with interesting areas, and not just interesting to explore but interesting in terms of surviving the denizens that live in those regions.

Our focus will be on getting people excited and to spread the word, but always being honest as to which features will be done by launch and which are post-launch plans.

I am very proud of Vanguard overall -- we didn't accomplish everything we wanted to, but we go fairly close. Others came in and finished things to the best of their abilities. As for adding Diplo to Pantheon? Post launch we will be very interested in adding horizontal paths of player advancement, and diplo is pretty high on my list.

There are four core roles -- DPS, tanking, healing and CC. It is important that each of the classes is good at one of these roles, and also as good as another class which shares a role. The difference will be that one class will express that role through abilities and spells very differently than the other.

Yes, the UI will be customizable and skinnable.

We have a full scripting language we are finishing up. This should allow us, at least for special cases (important boss mobs, NPCs that are key to telling a story, etc.) to create compelling behavior. Additionally boss mobs will have different Dispositions, such that one could be a coward and run, while another calls for reinforcements, and another that seeks out your healers and kills them first.

My favorite classes are the hybrids, crusaders and dire lords. My least favorite is the cleric -- while I love being healed by clerics, I don't care for playing them because when I miss that heal and my friend goes down, I feel very guilty!

Virtually all quests and perceptions will be based on the lore of the world.

We are definitely going to try to bring that experience back and level defining epic quests are a great way to do so.

At this point we are simply too focused on making the game. We don't have the resources to create an online store and to order and stock Pantheon related swag.

Multi-Month subscription, Lifetime? Yes, and likely yes.

Not yet -- going to work out the fine details with our alpha and beta testers -- death penalties are not something one should design in a vaccuum.

The entire game world is open and public and often the best of friends are made by surviving something very dangerous and, by necessity, learning to be an effective team. This is where RP and community building will be at its finest in Pantheon.

Different Client Languages: If it makes sense and we can find a partner that will take on the challenges of localization, then there's no reason why we wouldn't.

Because it is being designed on a proven foundation of MMO mechanics, gameplay, and systems design. It's about priorities, it's about keeping to budget, and it's about experience. The first MMO I designed, EverQuest, is still online and profitable, and it was launched 1999. At the risk of sounding a little uppity, if I could design a sticky MMO back then, if I could harness teamwork and community and the building of friendships that kept people playing month after month, year after year, then I see no reason why I can't do so again.

I will say this: the general idea is that instead of building a home in non-instanced space, having that home sit there, take up room, etc., players will instead build temporary outposts out in the world as they explore. Once they have outleveled a region, they will pack up there outpost and moveon. Lastly, players with outposts will greatly benefit if other players take advantage of their outpost, so they will encourage others to visit.

Bard Twisting Mechanic: No issues with it fundamentally -- but like any emergent behavior, it has to be something that can be balanced and that doesn't obsolete other tactics.

Color Blind Mode: I certainly hope so, yes.

Fae/Fairy race: Not currently in the plans, but maybe post launch

Built in Voice Chat System: Yes

In the first test where outside testers will be brought board who pledged for that access, the plan is to have all classes available, but likely only up to a certain level.

I personally learned several tough lessons with VG, and one of them was about accessibility and optimization. With VG we just kept pushing the limits and always planned on optimizing tomorrow. But then that tomorrow never came. With Pantheon we are optimizing at least once a month, often more frequently, and our target PC is very middle of the road. YOu will NOT require a high end gaming machine to run Pantheon.

We want to be in full testing for a full year -- it helped EQ launch in a solid, fairly balanced way, and we want this for Pantheon as well.

Some things can be done in homage to the classic games and the MUDs that came before them while other parts of the classic games should stand on their own and always be a differentiator.

 

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Tue16Aug2016
byTheDawnfeather
 809 hits
August Newsletter, Brad McQuaid AMA

August Newsletter

The August newsletter is out on pantheonmmo.com covering Community involvement with Medawky, Kilsin monthly column on community members, and some example patch notes.

The Community Matters article by Medawy explains the growing pains the MMO players and designers have experienced since the late 90's.

As the popularity of the genre exploded games that used to attract crowds in the hundreds of thousands were now pushing into the tens of millions, and communities that used to be insulated and tightly knit also began to burst at the seams. With this increase, an underserved demographic developed that was somewhat overwhelmed with the grit and difficulty of the genre. New systems were added to help accommodate these players; group formation tools, quest hubs, cross server groups and instanced content flourished to help make things more accessible.

While these innovations made the games more accessible and manageable they also had the unfortunate side effect of diminishing the role that community played in the overall health of these shared worlds. No longer did players have to be on their best behavior to assure that they would continue to find groups, raids or guilds, and in fact, in many instances, they no longer needed a group at all. Adding an increased pace of gameplay to the equation has also adversely affected our social interactions, as groups hastily assembled by a queue system just as quickly evaporate after churning through their intended content.

Kilsin interviewed Raidan a helpful community member inquiring on attraction to the game, name selection, race and class preferences, and where Raidan would like to visit for an hour in the game.

 This sampling of patch notes provides a behind the scene look at the the type of wit and clarity we can come to expect from Panthoen Patch notes. 

Visual updates to multiple spell abilities. MOAR SPARKLIES!

Scaled attack animations to match characters attack speed. 2016 is just not ready for invisible melee damage.

Added a new audio manager, vastly improving sound effect administration. Bigger booms. Less mess.

Fixed AoE spells that were causing splash damage to caster. As hilarious as it was to watch newbie wizards blow themselves up ultimately it was decided that this is not conducive to a welcoming environment.

Added invert mouse setting to controls for inverted people.

Modified location settings in bug reporter for increased accuracy. Now please stop reporting bugs via zonewide /shout.

Improved messaging with dodge, block, riposte and parry. Plans for a dramatic reading by James Earl Jones is being looked into.

Added and Improved floating combat text messages. Combat window or on screen. You’s gots choices.

Root now breaks correctly in all situations. The skeleton that was rooted on the rock by the Thronefast waterfall since January offers his thanks.

Added a new zoneline to Avendyr’s Pass. Where does it lead? Zone out and find out.

Unwanted items are now easier to delete. Unwanted bad groupmates are still your responsibility.

Meditation is now more relaxing. It actually has been for a while but we fell into a wonderful deep sleep for a while after the fix so we couldn’t post it until now.

Added Throw and ThrowMiss effects. We need to test this but please be responsible. And keep the pies away from Aradune. We don’t want a repeat of the Christmas party.

Brad McQuaid AMA 

"Aradune" Brad McQuaid will be on the MMORG subreddit for a full Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Wednesday August 17th at 1PM PDT. 

reddit.com/r/MMORPG

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Mon25Jul2016
byTheDawnfeather
 708 hits
Site Update

Between an out of town business trip, airplane induced illness, and work project there have been slow updates around here. Once this calms down we will catch up with everything that happened the last couple of weeks. 

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Mon27Jun2016
byTheDawnfeather
 1004 hits
Analysis of Black Dagger Keep Stream

Summary and analysis of Thursday's Pre-Alpha Live Stream by Visionary Realms and Who's Gaming Now and twitch chat discussion

For best viewing of the stream go to the Twitch archive and change settings to view source!

The stream followed a group of 6 level 10 adventurers through Avendyr's Pass into Black Dagger Keep the home of the faction Black Daggers and into Halnir Caves/Mines.

  • Warrior (2)
  • Cleric
  • Enchanter - Perspective of the stream
  • Wizard
  • Rogue

The following Factions were displayed during the stream, but alignment is indeterminable due to faction game messages being bugged.

  • The Pass Authority
  • Black Daggers
  • Union of Shadow
  • The Hidden
  • Thronefast Regulars
  • Merchants of Thronefast
  • Merchants of the Pass
  • The Withered
  • Minions of Halnir

UI/Graphic Elements

Group party direction arrows exist as an alternative to use of mini-map

HP Bars are displayed above Mob/Party Member bodies. As damage comes in it is displayed in RED chunks lowering the HP bar from right to left. If more damage is coming in quickly the RED section will stay visible longer, but after a time gap in damage the HP bar will shorten to the remaining Green length. Intended to show progress and strength of abilities.

Nameplates will likely be colored by type (enemy, friendly, party, etc)

Debuffs icons such as mesmerize on enemies are displayed under their nameplates.

There will not be any scriptable UI or mods that drive macros and command chains. There will be customization of the skin and UI. They want you to actually play the game.

Plan to have loot rules configurable in the group (need before greed, group loot, free for all, etc)

Will show items on mobs where possible. Ex: The cracked staff in the skeleton's hand for early currency farming

Quest journal exists as a UI element, but will not be the driving focus of how to experience the game and world - See perception system section

Slash commands are planned such as /follow, /assist, /target

Basic graphic settings available were sliders for the distance various elements are visible in the Game Client.

  1. Level of Detail Distance
  2. Far Plane (Visible Distance)
  3. Shadow Distance
  4. Name Plates

Torches used each have their own light source and cast their own shadows.

The Halnir cave has a gap in the floor to see the floor below. There is a mesh to avoid falling through, but this could be explored in the future. 

No Voice Overs exist

Undecided if in Game Voice chat will be added

Perception System

As the group descended into Halnir Cave they passed a ruined pillar. 

An audio cue occurs and text appears in the middle of the screen "This pillar looks ancient"

The group ignored this and continued exploring the cave until they reached a locked door. They returned to the pillar and went around the back where the pillar is broken and crumbled.

An audio cue occurs and text appears in the middle of the screen "There is something in the rubble..."

After clicking around on the screen at the pillar a key appears on the floor. They can loot the key , A Golden Key, that is used to open the locked door.

Characters and Abilities

No gender locks will exist on classes

Falling damage exists

Characters will earn and can display surnames and titles

Spells and  Abilities will be gained both from automatic level awards and exploration/discovery

Spells and Abilities will need to be memorized to use

Spells can fizzle costing a base % of the mana cost. The chance to fizzle is tied to the spell school used to cast the spell and the character's statistics

Casting spells you can see the mana you will use as greyed out on your mana bar. The mana is then spent over the duration of the spell cast time. If a character is interupted they will keep the mana they did not spend yet, but lose what they already consumed. Interrupting later in the cast time will result in more mana lost and an interrupted spell.

Group wide buffs instead of single target buffs will likely exist at higher levels

Enemy Tracking is not currently planned

Sitting down will increase the mana regeneration. It can also be impacted if the character is hungry or thirsty so food and drinimportantotant.

Pets and pet classes will exist, but not yet in the game.

Most likely Invisibility to Undead and Regular Invisibility will exist

Enchanters cannot use Maces

Clerics have strong damage spells vs. Undead

Teleport abilities are likely for certain classes

Quests, Events, and Guilds

Epic quests will exist, but unclear if class specific quests will exist.

Unclear on whether guild quests will exist, but there will be a deep guild system.

Want to have GM events

Special events could be added that trigger special enemies that observer different rules. A Healer Hater was the example that heals result in 10-20 times the normal aggro requiring the group to just burn the enemy while they healer is stressed to keep themselves alive and tank taunt/aggro is effectively meaningless.

Want to have an active Guide system.

Gameplay

Loading screen exists as the group crossed from Black Dagger Keep in Avendyr's Pass into Halnir Cave. Only a few seconds of loading screen on moderate to high computers used.

"No plans on instancing anything if we can avoid it"

Halnir Cave is a multi-floor dungeon that is shared among everyone who enters it. 

  • 1st Floor is level range 8-12
  • 2nd floor or lower can get into the mid 30's

The difficulty curve is such that you cannot just have many players to overcome the dungeon. Eventually, the disparity in level will result in speedy failure.

The death penalty is not set in stone but plans are to be somewhere between vanilla Everquest and Vanguard. Corpses will be important to retrieve.

Named mobs will be a combination between static (spawn time and location) and transient base don events. This could be impacted by time of day, events, a patrol path.

Group healing is not constantly filling the HP bars as mana is a constraint. The healer decides between healing the tank or group members as off tanking occurs.

Miscellaneous

The game will not be demoed at Pax Prime. Visionary Realms might visit for business development purposes.

Level cap might be 40 or 50.

Projecting Loot and Character statistic progression well beyond level cap (10 year plan).

No official stance on multi-boxing.

PVP and RP servers might exist based on interest.

Consumable items will likely be obtained from other players in the form of crafting.

Would like to implement archers or guards that can attack from range or alert enemies if possible.

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