Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen recaps the state of the game, defends the class matrix

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s latest newsletter includes a state-of-the-game memo from Creative Director Chris “Joppa” Perkins, who recaps the game’s progress since the last one (apparently in May of last year). In that time, he says, the team’s brought on multiple new team members, including an associate designer, and demoed multiple zones on-stream. Visionary Realms continues work on a new class, the “extreme climate and acclimation systems,” two new zones, “marked improvement in NPC AI,” and the disposition system.

The newsletter also revisits the topic of the class matrix, which was actually the subject of some controversy in our comments when it released some weeks ago. Apparently, it raised questions among the game’s backers as well. For example, the developers defend the game’s plan to restrict Gnomes to casters and rogues, to block Ogres from sneaking in the shadows, and to bar Dark Myr from holy classes, noting that some restrictions are a result of lore, others physique. On the other hand, the devs justify their selection of the bard for the Dark Myr, suggesting that they’ll be mournful dirges instead of peppy troubadours.

Source: Newsletter. Thanks, Reht!
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35 Comments on "Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen recaps the state of the game, defends the class matrix"

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Nick Smith

Halfling Bard… Calling it first!

Celestia
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Celestia

I’ll buy this game just because it has support classes.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Very happy to see them staying with keeping lore and aesthetic important and not caving to homogeneity. I hope this game does make it to launch as it will give a modernized engine/graphics of “old school rules” option to this sea of “no real choices because of #don’tpenalizemebro” games.

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Alberto

Class matrix pretty std for D & D and most old school and even some new school RPG’s a giant Ogre shouldn’t be able to sneak around like a small gnome thats that WoW everybody gets to do everything mentality.. this game is pretty much a love letter to people who miss EQ1, may not be for everyone but there plenty of older folks who miss this style of game.

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kelvar

I watched some recent gameplay videos and the combat looked extremely boring. They had three casters just sitting there on the ground trying to recover drops of mana while the melee just woodenly swung at the mobs. Were the melee using any special abilities you ask?! I have no idea, all they did was swing like they were lumberjacks attacking a tree.

It looks like a very, very old school of combat that might be fun while waxing nostalgic but in practicality you’ll quickly realize other games have done away with this model and moved on.

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Veldan

Modern MMO combat of trying to smash 20 buttons at the same time and watching all kinds of large numbers pop up while the screen is filled with light effects is not any better though. The middle ground is ideal, imo. I hope they will move towards that a little more.

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Norlamin

Still on the fence with this one, but having a pure PvE game to play alongside a pure PvP game like CU will be nice. I’m glad at least indie developers are going back to targeting certain aspects of the genre, catering to certain customers. We haven’t had this for ages, instead we’ve gotten game after game trying to be everything to everyone.

I’m glad about the racial restrictions, sure I won’t be able to play my desired combo, but I’d rather they stick to their guns in regards to lore instead of having everyone be everything. I think it’s bad enough that humans can be everything, but I understand why it’s done from a marketing perspective.

Looking forward to more progress.

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Christopher Pierce

I am actually looking forward to this, after having given up on MMOs (mostly – still dabble a little in a few titles) for a year or more now.

shadanwolf
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shadanwolf

Solo player here.Time for me to move along.

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Reht

From what they have said, yes you can solo although content won’t be designed specifically for soloing. It will probably end up like classic EQ – depending on your class and skill, you will probably be able to solo some.

theo454
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theo454

I remember it being quite challenging soling in EQ in 1999 at high level. It was doable, but risky and stressful. Guess not too bad if you had really good gear from what I heard, but I didn’t.

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kelvar

Really? Because in the gameplay videos for the class play through as they mentioned repeatedly that it’s a group game, you will require a group for much of the content etc.

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FreecczLaw

I don’t know if you ever played Final Fantasy XI, but that game was extremely group focused. That didn’t mean that you couldn’t solo anything though. It just meant what Reht said; things were not designed specifically to be soloed but people managed to do it anyway.

This game won’t be catering to players that want the norm to be soloing though, which I think is fine. There are enough games out there that do this already. Pantheon: RotF will be nisched which is great because everyone likes different things, but this particular nisch has not gotten anything new to play for a long time. I am sure it won’t be hugely popular like WoW or FFXIV, but it will fill a spot in the genre which has been forgotten for quite a few years now.

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jay

Loving that this team can take a few licks and keep on with their vision. I also love that they are sticking to their guns, in the face of all the casuals and solo players crying that the game isn’t for them.

When the kickstarter started for this I thought it was a sure fire failure, the team has actually proved me wrong, and I’m excited to see where they take their vision in the future.

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kelvar

Yeah, the problem is both EQ2 and Wildstar took a similar approach and both paid for it. Those solo players and casuals “crying” are the people who actually pay for the game. EQ2 also took a “you must group for everything” approach on release and, eventually, back tracked from that.

WildStar did similar things for their “hardcore” raid approach with 40 players, gating etc. Yes, the casuals were “Crying” then too, and the devs stuck to their guns. See where that got them.

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Warking

Sorry but I agree with John, all mmos don’t have to be all things to all people. Carbine’s problem was not just the fact that they made the game hardcore. The problem was that the design didn’t appeal to the hardcore crowd who didn’t want to play a cartoon. If the game had a more serious approach with its design and was more realistic looking and serious it would have attracted its crowd. Even if they wanted to keep a more cartoony approach they should have went more Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood or Heavy Metal as opposed to Bugs Bunny and Earthworm Jim.

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John Kiser

No the problem is modern teams not realizing that MMORPGS are still a niche genre. I have no doubt these guys realize it is a niche title that isn’t going to have millions of players. Remember before WoW the high end of the market was around 500k tops.

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jay

That’s a stretch. Wildstar was aimed 100% at the hardcore elite, and it failed to provide any challenge in its first raid to keep that market. So not only did it alienate the hardcore niche, but everyone else as well.

EQ2 actually had a large following at release, a lot of people enjoyed the grouping. Yes it didn’t cater to the solo crowd, but it very much catered to the non-hardcore groups. Unfortunately it had the poor karma to release in the same window as WoW. As the suits in charge of SOE saw the massive numbers WoW was drawing, they did everything in their power to emulate WoW features into eq2. Which pisssed off the grouping social crowd, but managed to tap some of the soloists. Never to the success that was WoW. But saying that eq2 was a failure due to not caving to soloists and casuals would be a misrepresentation of the reality of how things went down.

The other part of that equation, the studio behind pantheon doesn’t need to pull hundreds of thousands of subs to remain profitable in the eyes of suits and board members. They can focus on a niche market, pull 100k subs and be happy.

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Russell Hunt

I like Brad and his previous works. I still think Vanguard could of been one of the best ever had it had more cash.

theo454
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theo454

I had years of enjoyment from Vanguard. Was sad to see it go.

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kelvar

And more content and less crashing. But yes, Vanguard was a great game (spent the exorbitant amount of money on the collector’s edition). I could not play the game on launch because of never ending crashing and while the world was huge, it was empty.

They would have been better off having maybe one continent packed with content and a much more stable platform.

I loved their concept of offensive and defensive targeting too – as well as the card based diplomacy game, the shared resource gathering and the ship building. The game had a lot of great ideas, just poor implementation (technology wise) and focused too much on systems and not enough on content. Those things really hurt them.

shadanwolf
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shadanwolf

Bad link to official site.

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lottery_in_babylon

i can accept these. Only 2 paladin races and 3 cleric? meh. Skar monks? meh. Dark Myr Druid? meh.

Overall pretty good. Game looks fucking fantastic too. Really excited. Gonna be playing Project 2002 till Pantheon releases. try it, its awesome community. Project 2002 !!

Solaris
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Solaris

I love Visionary’s take on gnomes. Very original and so damn cool.

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kelvar

They are neat :)

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Denice J. Cook

Oh dear God, not McQuaid’s folly again. Or should I say, McQuaid’s backers’ folly.

Solaris
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Solaris

Have you watched their live streams? This game looks fantastic in every way.

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Crowe

I have watched the livestreams. The combat looks extraordinarily boring in every way.

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Reht

different strokes for different folks, it’s probably much more suited for old EQ players who prefer slower combat than you get in modern MMOs.

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kelvar

So slow you’re literally sitting during combat hoping to get mana back so you can cast one spell before sitting again. I can’t see that model lasting…

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John Kiser

There are classes that help to refresh mana that are not in the game at the moment.

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Veldan

Mana breaks are a good thing imo. You don’t have to go back to ’99 EQ, I’ve seen them as late as 2009 Aion. When mana gets low every now and then, it gives the resource meaning, and makes potions meaningful too (and small breaks are also a plus to me). I don’t understand MMOs where you never run out of mana. Makes me wonder why there is mana at all, they should just remove it and do a pure cooldown based system.

When you actually have to sit on the ground during combat though, that’s one step too far.

theo454
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theo454

I did that in the original EQ back in 1999. I remember being in a 3 person group. We had a troll warrior who would pull mobs, and me and another caster frantically tried to keep up, and had to sit down a lot to regenerate mana while the warrior kept pulling stuff, causing us to have to sit during combat at times. Eventually the arriors health would get so low, he would have to sit and regen health, giving us a much needed break to get back to full mana.

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Reht

Yeah, the project started off horribly and pretty much imploded, but i have to give them credit for their perseverance. A year or so ago i thought they were pretty much dead in the water but the gameplay that have shown in the last couple of twitch streams makes me feel a lot better about this project. I am pretty optimistic now and it’s not like there are a bunch of other PVE games in development that engender a lot of hope for an EQesque type of game.

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Amsai

Exactly! The game is looking fantastic. Lets move on from trash talk and focus on results. Which so far are very impressive for those of us looking for a new game with old school appeal.

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