pantheon

Official Site: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
Studio: Visionary Realms
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Retro Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: N/A
Platform: PC

Take home a Hand of the Gods Medusa key in honor of the console closed beta launch

Hi-Rez’s turn-based strategy card game Hand of the Gods — you might recall it better as SMITE Tactics or even its internal name, Hotgods — formally launches closed beta on console today, arriving on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“The​ ​beta​ ​for​ ​Hand​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Gods​ ​kicks​ ​off​ ​by​ ​offering​ ​special​ ​bundles​ ​for​ ​PlayStation​ ​Plus​ ​and​ ​Xbox​ ​Live Gold​ ​members–including​ ​FREE​ ​access​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Closed​ ​Beta​ ​for​ ​those​ ​members! Starting​ ​today,​ ​PlayStation​ ​Plus​ ​and​ ​Xbox​ ​Live​ ​Gold​ ​members​ ​can​ ​receive​ ​the​ ​Hand​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Gods promotional​ ​bundle​ ​for​ ​free!​ ​Each​ ​bundle​ ​features​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​Leader​ ​Skin​ ​and​ ​also​ ​includes​ ​an​ ​Exclusive Card​ ​Back​ ​and​ ​Player​ ​Icon.​ ​In​ ​addition,​ ​the​ ​bundle​ ​includes​ ​five​ ​Core​ ​Packs​ ​to​ ​give​ ​new​ ​players​ ​a​ ​jump start​ ​in​ ​building​ ​their​ ​decks.”

Want even more stuff? Hi-Rez has granted us codes for the Legendary Greek God Medusa, redeemable on either console (but not PC). Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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The MOP Up: Speedrunning World of Warcraft (October 15, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Project Gorgon, Star Trek Online, BlessSkyforgeWakfuRobloxWar ThunderAionElite: DangerousNew DawnTravianAstroneer, and World of Warcraft, all waiting for you after the break!

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Pantheon’s halflings are more like Peter Pan’s Lost Boys than Tolkien’s hobbits

The MOP team tricked me into taking this post. They promised me gnomes. They aren’t gnomes at all. They’re halflings!

We’re talking, of course, about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, which this week released its October newsletter, the star of which is the newly revealed playable halflings. The Visionary Realms devs say the halfling will look familiar but not identical to what’s become a stock fantasy race.

“It was a real challenge to be sure, owing to how extensively the Halfling trope has been explored in popular culture,” Senior Concept Artist Jared Pullen says. “There are so many preconceived notions of what a halfling is, a good deal of which has been based largely on Tolkien’s Middle Earth Halflings; the Hobbits. The unique lore set in place by our talented writer and loremaster Justin Gerhart became the pivotal point of difference for us. While still being deep lovers of nature as one expects of this trope, Pantheon Halflings have a wild edge that sets them apart. They embrace a very literal and visceral affinity with nature, wearing furs and hides with plant and animal adornments both. As such they carry into the game with highly tribal design sensibilities, very different to the Halflings we’ve come to expect from books and film.”

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Make My MMO: The Thargoids should win Elite Dangerous (September 30, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite has finally begun to sound “dangerous” indeed. After just a few days of owning players, the alien race that “returned” to the game’s universe in its long-awaited 2.4 update has finally begun suffering casualties at the hands of players. In fact, it appears the first player to down one of the Thargoids’ ships was none other than the player who caused the massive drama over last spring’s Salomé event. This is because time is a flat circle and karma is literally dead. It’s not entirely clear that the Thargoids are really the bad guys here, but when has that ever stopped us before?

On Massively OP, we chatted with Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs, who explained just how the game’s social systems will differ from what MMORPG players are used to.

Star Citizen also continued inching along the path toward alpha 3.0, reducing its bug count last week by two.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria began its final alpha, Shroud of the Avatar patched up to R46, Albion Online released Joseph, Valiance Online posted its latest roadmap, OrbusVR discussed its artificing skill, City of Titans posted the finale to one of its lore series, and Pantheon gave players a look at how its art is coming along via stream (thanks, Reht!), plus Brad McQuaid explored his vision for the Holodeck future of the MMO.

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’re following.

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Brad McQuaid: MMO devs are ‘making the very, very early foundations of the Holodeck’

Pantheon and MMOs like it are bringing our dream future one step closer (or at least, Lt. Barclay’s dream future), Brad McQuaid suggests in a new interview this week. MMORPG veterans know McQuaid as a pioneer of the genre, first with EverQuest, then with the stalled and now sunsetted Vanguard, and now with the upcoming MMO Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.

“I want to be immersed, I want to escape into a fantasy or sci-fi world. [MMO developers are] making the very, very early foundations of the Holodeck. Letting people recreate the 1930s or build new virtual worlds – that’s what MMOs are, they’re the genesis of that. Because they involve real people and that social aspect, because they’re so immersive – and will be even more so in the future, with VR coming – I lose myself in them. I don’t sit there thinking I’m playing a game; I’m really there. And that’s what interests me.”

McQuaid says the MMO is not dead and that he’s working to change that perception by catering to an “underserved” audience of virtual world gamers and “abandoned MMO fans.”

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Working As Intended: The best and worst of Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire (so far)

I’ve spent a chunk of the last week moving through the first part of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire, finishing up the Crystal Oasis zone into which a character is deposited right off the airship. Obviously, it’s far too early to give a formal stamp of approval until I’m fully through it, but so far, I’m pleased with my purchase. Very pleased. I’m already pretty sure the expansion is update-of-the-year material for the genre. But it’ll take a few months to see how it fully meshes with the existing game, and while the same was true with Heart of Thorns, my urge to stop writing and go back into Elona for the next zone as I type this already tells me that PoF has delivered on at least its basic promises.

So while we let the community savor the game until a fully informed consensus is reached, I wanted to dash off some quick thoughts based on this first week of midcore casual play. Consider it a top 5, bottom 5 list as we dig into the very best additions to the game – and the things that still annoy me.

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SMITE’s Journey to Asgard, Hand of the Gods’ Hindu Pantheon, and The Caster reality show

It’s patch day in SMITE, as I remembered this morning when my husband logged in and saw the new “Belly Ache Ymir” skin. Our header above isn’t even big enough to show you the best part: the chocolate chip cookie codpiece. This game.

Anyhoo, Ymir is just one of the Norse gods getting love in today’s patch 4.18, Odyssey: Journey to Asgard, which also introduces new Norse quests and the Norse Conqueror achievement. As part of its ongoing “Project Olympus” overhaul, Hi-Rez is adding random player loadouts, turning off server rollup, and fixing other annoying parts of spectator mode. Check out the patch notes below, and then… hey, who wants an ice cream cone?

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen would make for a terrible scam (September 16, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts gave an interview that seemed to express understandable frustration with the constant barrage of demands for alpha launch estimates, scam accusations, and “fan trolling” he encounters.

“I am fed up of giving someone an estimate – I’d rather say, here’s the data I have, here’s the schedule I see,” he told Eurogamer, arguing that CIG is already providing progress reports for the massive crowdfunded MMO. “There’s a subset of people who say ‘this thing is never going to come out, it’s a scam’. Which is plainly not true. It would be the worst scam in the world. We’re hiring all these people, we’re working really hard. We’re showing what we’re doing every week.”

Meanwhile, we wrapped up our tour of Shroud of the Avatar, Elite Dangerous announced its September 26th update, we chatted with Ashes of Creation at PAX, Kickstarter began welcoming Japanese creators, Albion Online kicked off playtests for its arena mode, AdventureQuest 3D is going all out for Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Dogma: Eternal Night continued hammering out its combat system (thanks, DDOCentral!).

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’re following.

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Pantheon’s newsletter covers custom lighting, the perception system, and the state of the game

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s latest newsletter heralds a state-of-the-game missive spread out over four pages of content. Visionary Realms notes that its Series A funding round allowed it to hire new staff, including a technical artist who’s been hard at work on lighting in the game and building out the studio’s own forks of Unity’s lighting systems.

“We aren’t happy to just run with default systems,” Technical Artist Bruno Rime says. “We’re creating something that is better suited to an MMO and, more specifically, suited to Pantheon.” He argues that lighting is critical not just for actually seeing but for immersive parts of the game, like its diurnal cycle.

“Our first implementation of the new system is a simple directional light setup — an image based ambient light that covers our physically based renderer scenes. The next stage is rolling out our own time of day system, which allows the lighting to become more dynamic. We’re writing our own shadow system to help cope with the restrictions of an MMO or in our case, the massive scenes.”

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Snag a Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics Norse pack from Hi-Rez and Massively OP in honor of its Steam launch today!

Hi-Rez’s turn-based strategy card game Hand of the Gods — you might recall it better as SMITE Tactics or even its internal name, Hotgods — is officially coming on Steam. Today, in fact: It arrives on the platform following patch elements much requested by players, says the studio, “including the refinement of Combat Logs and the new additions of Clans and a Deck Tracker.” Yesterday, we wrote about some of the new pantheons coming in the future too; the studio has further elaborated on new cards and the Japanese and Hindu pantheons.

In the meantime, however, we’ve got some free stuff for you courtesy of Hi-Rez: keys for the Norse starter pack:

“The Norse Starter Pack will grant the 3 Norse cards Dagaz, Gift of Munin, and Ratatoskr. These codes can be redeemed in-game and are for PC only. These codes can be redeemed only once per account, so if someone has already redeemed a code previously, they can’t redeem it again on the same account. (Note: This pantheon starter packs is different from the main starter pack in the Steam release that grants the Ra skin.)”

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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PAX West 2017: Hand of the Gods’ Japanese pantheon and the possibility of 2v2

While the full Hi-Rez portfolio wasn’t in attendance at PAX West, Hand of the Gods was on-hand with a fan tournament as well as machines to introduce folks to the game. Devs were also available to discuss this tactical SMITE spinoff. I sat down with Lead designer Scott Lussier and Executive Producer and VP of Design Scott Zier to talk about the game’s name, its progress, the reception at the convention, and plans going forward.

In fact, one of the tidbits Lussier shared is that the Japanese pantheon is next on the list after Hindu is released later this month.

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Make My MMO: Everybody poops in Star Citizen (September 9, 2017)

Remember a few weeks ago when Star Citizen confirmed survival mechanics like eating and sleeping? Welp, add pooping to the list. This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen’s Around the Verse focused on the game’s stamina system, which touches on the character’s needs and risks and notifications about them, including “getting drunk, needing to go to the toilet, all the little things that can affect the player temporarily, and then we can expand this to go even to stuff like long-term diseases, depressurization sickness, radiation sickness – all these things that won’t be something the player can get rid of instantly.”

Meanwhile, the three City of Heroes spiritual successors teamed up for a panel at PAX, Shroud of the Avatar honored a player’s father, Dual Universe hit 10K backers, Dogma: Eternal Night implemented combat, and Chronicles of Elyria demoed jousting, plus so many goodies from PAX! Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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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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