Pantheon’s visionary perception system explained

You might have heard that Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is being developed to reflect an older era of MMORPG design and to rethink many of the modern systems that we take for granted. One notable difference between Pantheon and current MMOs is that there will be absolutely no quest markers whatsoever.

Oh, there will be quests, don’t you worry about that. But finding and accessing these quests will be a game in itself. Depending on how players build their characters, they might or might not be able to identify potential quests as they venture through the game world. Factors such as a character’s insight and investigation skills, class, race, and faction standing all influence whether or not a particular quest will unlock. Yet if you’re part of a group and just one member can get that quest, he or she can share it to everyone else.

One fan and YouTuber, Vress, was so excited about the perception system that he made a video to explain how this functions and why it could be one of the more interesting parts of Pantheon. You can watch it after the jump!

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oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Still hopeful that this maybe a successful kickstarter that I have backed.

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Carebear

Even the vanilla wow lovers on private servers finally created an addon that show all quest givers and quest objectives on map (such addon didnt exist back then.. we had to alt tab to thottbot)

Are they sure this is what old MMO gamers want? Is this really needed?

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thalendor

One difference between WoW and EverQuest was the importance of questing in leveling. In WOW, going all the way back to vanilla, completing quests was one of, if not the, primary way to level up. In EverQuest, while quests most certainly existed, they weren’t nearly as big a driver in the leveling process.

So I think the question is, is Pantheon going to be more like WoW or more like EverQuest in this regard? If it’s the former, yeah, then I can see where lots of people will try to track down and complete every quest, going to 3rd party sites as needed. If it’s like the latter, then there’s likely to be a lot less motivation to do every quest and it probably won’t be as big an issue for many people. Given the rhetoric around this game, I would expect Pantheon to hew more closely to EQ than WoW, but time will tell one way or another.

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Carebear

I thought vanilla wow was a more gamer friendly copy of everquest. While still had the principles of old MMOs (group was promoted, each class completed by other, etc).

I guess thats why it made such a succession. Having normal quests does not take out the legacy experience or the open world immersion and difficulty in my opinion.

I have never played everquest. I started my MMO experience with vanilla wow and i still like the old mmo and play vanilla here and there.

But i dont know how it will feel without obvious quests.. i dont know if i will like it or not :)

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

The two games while based on some common principles played completely differently. Starting in the early teens, level progression got so slow in vanilla EQ that the only way to advance in a reasonable period of time was to group up (and even then we’re talking months just to get 10 or 20 levels), find a camp and grind down the toughest mobs as fast as possible for hours at a time. There were only a couple of classes that could even attempt to solo, and with a few exceptions even that process was so laborious and boring few were really willing to do it past a certain point. Most quests in EQ were something that was a unique major class quest, which delivered a high tier weapon or something, but more often was for faction gain, which played a major role in the EQ universe – if you grinded enough faction you could walk into the home city of a faction who would have previously killed you – and this was often a goal for some folks to achieve (or to unlock a class quest they want). But there wasn’t a ton of quests that took you from level to level from quest hub to quest hub the way the WoW world was created and designed around. There was an entire web industry that was dedicated to just mapping the world (as vanilla EQ had no maps), and documenting all the quests that did exist, and how to complete them, as the really big quests were often terribly cryptic and required major feats that required large groups of people to accomplish all over the game world (or more often obscure named mobs that spawned very rarely and were constantly camped 24 hours a day). This game is all Brad McQuaid, and love it or hate it, you can bet on this feeling much closer to EQ than any other MMO you’ve ever played. Watch the CohhCarnage streams from a few months ago and you can hear them talking about almost every aspect of the game and they play for 6 hours total in two sessions and you’ll know exactly what this game is going to be – I’ll be playing, the question only remains for how long.

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Carebear

Wow thanks a lot for the info! Some sound interesting, especially the reputation which you need in order to allowed to enter the cities!

Although i dont think i am for that “hardcore” level (months to level, only in group and grind, etc). But i never say never… maybe i ll join with my friends and we end up like it a lot.

A huge part in decision will be how likeable the characters will be and if the combat will be fun..

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

Vanilla EQ was way too grindy and even now when they put up progression servers that old exp gain curve is much easier, the last progression server I played to 50 in less than a few weeks, I suspect Pantheon will not be as harsh as old school EQ, but closer to it than WoW. I can tell you right now that the vast majority of this game will be spent in a balanced group performing the old school EQ mob grind, which is either a great puller splitting groups and making them manageable or an enchanter mezzing, a solid tank, 1 cleric or 2 healers, and the best dps you can find going through mobs as fast as possible (which will be slow relative to a lot of modern MMOs eg Black Desert where you virtually aoe one shot large groups of mobs). There will be variations in mobs where you’ll to react differently given the tools of your group, but the main goal will be to maximize your exp gain in a balanced group and not wipe (as it will be quite a bit of time to recover your party, equipment and position in the world if you do). It’s old school.

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Melissa McDonald

The game world had better be pretty darn amazing if I’m going to spend an inordinate amount of time checking out every nook, cranny, and NPC in hopes of discovering an actual game in the game. I have my moments of EQ nostalgia too, but some features I am probably too lazy to do without anymore. We’ll see.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Relaaaaax folks.

I am sure that difficult to find quests can be found in the loot crates that drop.

>.>

/e whispers fearfully, “/s”.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

It’s a subscription based after early levels.

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Ket Viliano

But, how much for a Quest Key to open the Quest Crate?

:P

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Oleg Chebeneev

I chuckled when this guy asked why Blizzard or other big company didnt do “Perception”. Cheez christ, isnt it obvious? Because noone frigging wants to run aimlessly clicking on every NPC out there while trying to find a quest. There are MMOs that dont have quest pointer mark and it makes gameplay more annoying rather then fun.

In Pantheon I like that they dont put a mark on the map after quest was taken. I like that different quests unlock depending on race, reputation and other stuff. But not marking quest NPCs in traditional way can easily annoy alot of players. Minor animations to help track those NPCs isnt enough, they need to put them in right places, maybe even introduce NPCs that give a hint where quest NPCs might be located.

Also I dont know why they arent implementing Diplomacy system from Vanguard. It was brilliant and always mentioned in “Top best MMO features” articles. It would fit well in game like Pantheon.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

This is yet another idea that works fine until it comes into contact with actual players. Firstly, every quest will be up on the wiki (and unless the game is a total failure there will be a wiki) within minutes of being discovered. Secondly players will game the system because they are gamers and it’s a game.

Access to quests will be sold and traded. Alts will be created purely to obtain or complete specific quests. Questing will become a feature as much of the economy as of the lore.

None of which is necessarily a reason not to do it. EverQuest’s original economy relied heavily on the sale and trade of services as well as goods. It may well be entirely intentional that this system encourages the auctioning of quest access in the same way it was intentional that wizards and druids sold teleports and enchanters sold clarity.

In a declaredly group-oriented, social game, that isn’t necessarily a flaw. it may be a strength. It will certainly limit the game’s appeal but then it’s a niche game by design so that’s probably not unintentional either.

The one thing we can almost guarantee this system will not be, however, is immersive. It’s the absolute opposite of that. If the intention is to embed players and characters more deeply in the world then it will most likely have the exact opposite effect, taking them out of the game to 3rd party sites and into negotiations based around overcoming awkward game mechanics.

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

They’ve been really clear on this and other similar features eg maps, they want the player base to have the option. They are well aware that all their quests and lore will eventually end up on a website or in a mod somewhere down the road, but for the player who doesn’t wish to look that stuff up they have the option not to. They have been talking about adding certain tools however to improve quality of life, eg the ability to mark things on an in game map that only reveals what you’ve seen (fog).

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Michael18

what you say is a problem only if the quests not directly available to a player are essential to progress in the game or to experience its main story (whatever “main” means, here). If, however, they are truly optional, then I see no problem with having a market for getting access to those quests (even considering immersion).

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Rolan Storm

Here is my next Everquest… Cutie-cutie-cutie…

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Michael18

I think the success of this system will mostly depend on good balancing: those quests that I do not directly have access to must be important enough to feel desirable and beneficial, but, at the same time, sufficiently unimportant so that it isn’t a major PITA to miss out on some of them, both in terms of rewards/progression and story-telling.

If they manage to strike that balance, this sounds like an intriguing mechanic.

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Greaterdivinity

Thinking a bit more on this…honestly I wish he’d just remake the Diplomacy system from Vanguard. God damnit that was so good.

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

I hated that. Was the only thing about Vanguard I detested. I hate card games.

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kidwithknife

Sounds like this is likely to be either super innovative and fascinating or a monumental pain in the ass. Obviously I’d like it to be the former, but if MMOs have taught me anything it’s a) shut the fuck up and listen to the tank, b) don’t get your hopes up, and c) no really, shut the fuck up and listen to the tank already!

I… may have spent a little too much time tanking.

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Koshelkin

Well that’s a nice idea.

The Dallas Dapifer🌪
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The Dallas Dapifer🌪

Pantheon, Rise of my Pants.

Leontes
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Leontes

… That’s a good thing, yes?

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rafterman

It will be nice to play another MMO that uses quests this way. Damn if I’m not tired of the quests to level system that every other MMO has used in the last decade plus. Screw quest hubs, arrows, exclamation marks, guided glowy things and all the other crap that has taken the immersion and exploration out of my favorite genre.

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Denice J. Cook

Pantheon’s had a perception problem for years now, but you can thank Brad McQuaid for that. ;)

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

Time to buy a good printer and dust off your old 3 ring binders…

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Apollymi

You say that like it’s a bad thing. :)

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

Not at all, was one of my favorite experiences in gaming =)

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I have graph paper and a mechanical pencil.

I’ll need graph paper right?

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

only for the dungeons :)

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Greaterdivinity

The core concept behind it sounds kinda interesting, but hot damn does this sound like it will be a painfully annoying system to deal with. I’ve been pretty down with most of the more oldschool style design decisions with Pantheon that I’ve seen so far, but this is definitely one that doesn’t seem like a good choice to me.

Seriously, are we going to end up with systems where people create characters specifically to sell access to quests, where those characters are unplayable for any actual content? Because that’s literally the first thing that popped into my mind while reading this article, and while that sounds kinda rad on paper holy hell does it seem like an awful idea in practice.

Oh well, may try to give the video a listen to see what his arguments are a bit later.

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Dominic Rapanotti

An easy fix would be that quests are only shareable with your group when you first discover them. Can’t keep sharing it with whomever to sell access. Problem (mostly) solved.

I guess a person may keep creating characters and building them up to the point of finding and selling the limited access to a quest then delete/repeat… but that’d be a pretty big roadblock to most.

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Greaterdivinity

Then that dramatically limits quest access to folks in a way that makes a potentially large amount of quest content permanently unavailable to folks. You wouldn’t be able to bring a friend who started after you did through some of the quests you really enjoyed, it would dramatically limit guilds ability to share quests internally with their members as well. That situation would require an endless army of alts for folks to unlock quests for others, and given the way the game is designed (from what I know) that’s not remotely reasonable or feasible.

These are the kinds of ideas that sound great on paper, but the second you start to think about how they’d play out by as intended and especially once players get their hands on them and start to figure out how to game the system, can cause a TON of issues.

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kidwithknife

Ewww, selling access to quests hadn’t even occurred to me. Blech.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

I think the game being so group centric those kind of characters would not be practical beyond low levels of the game.

Ok, if Pantheon would be a sleeper hit, perhaps there would eventually be quest farming where entire groups would go around to collect access to quests for selling, but…

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Greaterdivinity

You think not? You think that guilds won’t powerlevel a few of them specifically to sell access to quests?

Because depending on how this system is implemented, I can absolutely see this being a very real part of the in-game economy. And while that’s totally radical on one level, holy crap is it so far out of sync with the current market (I realize that Pantheon is far more of a throwback to the MMO’s of old, but it still has to exist and compete in the modern market).

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Some guilds could do that, sure. Assuming that the ‘supply’ is limited enough to keep price high enough to make it worthwhile for them.

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Crowe

I absolutely think they are setting up a system where people sell access to quests.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

MMO players do have a tendency to turn the idealistic expectations of developers to that kind of stuff, but this being so group centric game I assume the (possibly naive) expectation is that people will mostly adventure with friends and guild mates, and through them will get access to quests.

Of course, this can lead to semi-forced paths for some players so that a small number of friends or guild mates can have all bases covered when it comes to quest access.

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Crowe

Oh yes, definitely. Through friends/guildmates is how *I* will get access to quests. I’m already visualizing posts for “Thursday night dragon egg quest run” type things. But for those that don’t have a large enough group to pull from (and the more mercenary types), I would be surprised if there won’t be someone yelling in chat about the same thing in order to pocket a few gold or whatever.

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