Feel like you’re a little behind on what’s being done over at Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen? The hardcore MMORPG team put together a newsletter to sum up all of the major developments that have happened for the project, including the recent addition of two new members to the team.
So what’s everyone been working on these days? The Pantheon team members are, in various capacities, writing lore for several zones, designing terrain, placing NPCs, refining combat, and figuring out crafting and harvesting. All of these projects (and more) are being funneled into the eventual pre-alpha test.
Words are words, and sometimes you need pictures too. We’re funny visual creatures that way. Check out nearly a dozen screenshots highlighting the progress that’s being made on the MMO:
The beta for Path of Exile’s
Fall of Oriath expansion is expected to launch today, but it hasn’t been without its technical issues. On Monday, Grinding Gear Games
had to roll back the 2.6.1 microtransaction system
for fixes. The same thing happened last night, causing the team to once again roll back to 2.6.0.m
and inform players that the microtrans system won’t be included in today’s 2.6.2 patch
The beta is anticipated to include acts 5 through 7, the visual upgrades for earlier content, balance changes, item changes, the Labyrinth restructure, new minimap, and the Pantheon feature for acts 6 and beyond. Act 8 will be added to the beta later (9 and 10 won’t be); there are no unique items to test right now, nor any new support or skill gems. And of course, the microtransaction system won’t be live.
GGG has also warned players that Atlas of Worlds supporter packs and their exclusive bits will vanish forever once this beta begins, so grab one while you can.
Stay tuned for more coverage from us on the expansion, and in the meantime, check out this video of an act seven boss!
Indie MMO Pantheon’s latest newsletter recaps the past month, so if you’re paying plenty of attention to the game, you’ve already seen the featured Monk stream. But Visionary Realms has also put out a bit more information on both the new class and the acclimation system. The studio is damn proud of acclimation in particular:
“Acclimation is a method of dealing with the harsh environments you will find in the world of Terminus. By using various infusions on different parts of the body, characters can help mitigate the external forces that may impact them. These infusions are on a tier based system, with lower tiers being more common and the highest requiring more advanced gameplay to attain. As with most of the systems planned for Pantheon, a measure of player interaction will be present in the form of craftable infusions. Another level of complexity is achieved by allowing more than one environmental system to be active simultaneously. Players will be able to use multiple infusions at once to help counteract their effects.”
Pantheon’s Monk is also on display; old-school EverQuest players are going to feel right at home with the class, which designed “not as just a fantastic pulling class, but also as capable melee DPS, short term crowd control and as a suitable offtank.”
Harsh environments, energetic punches, and the ever-present specter of death, all of this can be found within the archive of the most recent Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen livestream event. You can watch that whole thing just below if you want, although we should warn you that it’s an hour and a half long. Don’t do so five minutes before you’re supposed to leave for work or a class, that’s what we’re saying here.
If you need the same information in a more digestible format, a Reddit user has helpfully assembled a summary of the two-part stream going over the game’s Acclimation system, the early Monk abilities on display, death, and so forth. Sure, you miss out on gameplay footage, but it includes interesting information about how the combat will get more dynamic through varied NPC dispositions and how enemies will have different tactics and routines based on the situations. Some enemies will be afraid of fire, some will force you to knock them out of cover while they lay down a swarm of arrows, and so forth. Check out the stream just below, or read up on the summary if you just need the details now.
There was a lot of buzz swirling about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s hour-and-a-half developer livestream yesterday, thanks to a truckload of information shared and gameplay that showed off the visual and animation improvements that the team has added.
Of particular note was the reveal of the Monk class and how this melee class handles, the new zone of South Saol Peninsula, and the acclimation system. Due to Pantheon’s hardcore design, even the environment will be a challenge to overcome due to debilitating effects (such as freezing winds, scorching fire, and deep sea pressure). To be able to survive in these areas, players will need to use “infusions” to acclimate their characters’ bodies.
While players will be able to eventually get their hands on all of the content shown in the stream, there is one aspect that will forever remain hands-off. Brad McQuaid apparently made his own class, a War Wizard, that can be played only by him. Because why not exercise your power and position if you’re making a new MMO?
The full developer livestream awaits you after the break.
Looking at Pantheon today, you almost wouldn’t know it flopped its Kickstarter way back in 2014. That’s because the team kept at it and has been raising money from investors and gamers to keep the dream alive for the past three years.
“Visionary Realms today announced that Series A funding for their upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, is now complete,” reads this morning’s press release. “Series A funding allows the company to expand the team in almost every department and bring the game into a semi-private pre-alpha state where external testers and focus groups can begin sampling the game.” This funding round is typically venture-capital-oriented and follows seed funding like the capital the studio raised back in 2015.
In March, Visionary Realms’ Brad McQuaid told gamers the team now counts 15 people. Public testing (pre-alpha) is planned for later this year.
Source: Press release
This week in MMO crowdfunding, it’s been a battle of the space MMOs.
- Elite: Dangerous rolled out its Commanders 2.3 update, introducing what our own Justin dubbed “sitting in cockpits” — you won’t be walking in stations per se, but you will at least be able to roll up impressively detailed avatars and multi-crew your spaceships.
- Late last night, Star Citizen published its 2017 development roadmap, suggesting that 3.0 will arrive this summer, though it’ll be less ambitious in scope than originally planned, as some of its features will be pushed to later in the year.
- And congrats are due to Starfighter Inc., which pulled off a big Kickstarter win earlier this afternoon and takes home over $170,000.
Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation posted some gorgeous new concept art, Dual Universe posted its latest newsletter and video dev diary with alpha footage, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest but made headway on expanding gender for its classes, Valiance Online showed off its special effects, and Kickstarted Planet Nomads geared up for early access next week.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
Massively OP reader Suikoden wrote this great question to the podcast — too good to let just Justin and me answer it. It’s a two-parter!
“Back when I used to be a hardcore MMO gamer circa 2000-2010, I felt that MMOs of that era were designed more toward the hardcore gamer and even catered to us more. Within the last 5 years, I’ve had to develop into more of a casual player. However, I now feel that games once again cater to me and my current playstyle. Did the MMO genre evolve alongside me, from a more hardcore-centric genre to a more casual playerbase? Or is it the same as it always was and I just feel that it caters to me because it’s designed to feel like it caters to all playstyles? And if there was a change, do you feel it is for the better or for the worse for the genre?”
I posted Suikoden’s questions to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking!
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s April newsletter has arrived, and in my mind it’s one of the better ones in recent memory, but that’s because it has a long feature on crafting! “Alchemist, Blacksmith, Woodworker, Outfitter, Provisioner, Stonemason, and Scribe” are all in the works, Visionary Realms says. “Each profession will have a specialization. Players will be limited to one profession and one associated specialization.” Harvesting, on the other hand, will be something everyone can do, given the proper tools. While NPCs will indeed drop equipment, crafting in some cases will be easier and faster, and crafters can upgrade drops as well.
The studio has also released today a video explaining the game’s perception system, which is intended to give players extra choices in what they do based on what their characters notice about the world around them. The example given works in the form of an ad hoc quest that is delivered to the character not through an exclamation point but because he happened to notice an NPC crying. Definitely worth a watch below.
In an interview with Pantheon Senior Game Designer Corey LeFever on MMO Play, LeFever said that the dev team is “very satisfied” with the progress that the team has made over the past couple of years.
The interview serves as a decent overview of what Pantheon is about, although knowledgeable fans might find it slim pickings for new information. LeFever does discuss the open world aspect of the game as well as climates, class roles, and Pantheon’s group-centric philosophy.
“We really have put a lot of our blood, sweat, and tears into this project, and we hope that comes across when our fans see the streams and public facing updates,” LeFever said. “It’s a rare opportunity to work on a project like this in the manner that we do, and we take that seriously. As far as the next dev steps? We’re pretty focused on continuing on all fronts: systems, classes, new zones… you name it.”
It’s no secret that Pantheon and Kickstarter haven’t had the best of relationships, what with the game’s crowdfunding campaign failing to fund back in the day. But Brad McQuaid is willing to let bygones be bygones and has extended an olive branch to the Kickstarter community this week with an update on Pantheon’s progress.
McQuaid regaled readers with everything that has been done on the game so far, stating in no uncertain terms that something special is being made here. He said that his team of 15 developers has created a “true virtual world” that has been enjoyed by over 100,000 players so far. Finances were also touched upon, with reassurance that fan donations and seed investment have helped to fund the game’s development.
If you’ve somehow missed it in every single discussion of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s design philosophy, the game is very much a throwback to the older days of MMOs. Of course, back in those older days you would have to go to four or five different sites to find out about the materials for a simple crafting recipe, and there was no assurance that all of those sites would be providing the same information. The new Pantheon wiki should be much easier to look at for any needed information.
Due to the early state of the game the wiki is still on the lighter side, but it already outlines what we know about the game’s classes, races, and mechanics. Plus, it’s a wiki, so you know that updates are going to be pretty easy to come by. Check out the whole thing, whether you’re looking for information right now or just want to bookmark it for future use.
It’s lore day over at Visionary Realms, where this month’s newsletter for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is all about the story behind the game. What, did you just think it was about showing up for kobold genocide?
Pantheon lorekeeper Justin Gerhart knows your secret. “One of the most critical and often overlooked elements is lore,” the newsletter laments. “Creating the story for an MMORPG has many similarities to writing a serialized screenplay, as you continually move the narrative along and to shape the theme of the world. Justin’s main inspiration in creating the lore of Pantheon was to craft something that would be interesting and meaningful to both veterans and new players alike, and would continue to be engaging no matter how far into your journey you were. One of the main Pantheon differentiators is our Perception system, and lore plays a massive role in that system. It will really reward those players who take the time to gain an understanding of the world around them.”
Yeah, you’re gonna have to read.