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

Make My MMO: Albion Online hits Steam, Camelot Unchained tackles crafting (May 19, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, buy-to-play sandbox Albion Online, which launched back in 2017, formally landed on Steam, bringing its blend of PvP warfare to a totally new audience. While the game never ran a Kickstarter, it did raise close to $10,000,000 from a quarter of a million backers through website crowdfunding and preorder packages prior to its release last summer, making it one of the higher profile crowdfunded MMORPGs to actually make it to launch and keep on producing content.

In Camelot Unchained – you’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming beta one, right? – the devs are busy sending early backers into the test server this weekend to break things. Among the bits and bobs CSE is working on? The crafting system, a major environment bug, character creation rendering, new ambient music, scenario maps, trait icons, animations, and “a new template for the home islands.”

Meanwhile, the Pantheon team sat down for a stream and revealed the first of its three classes, Ship of Heroes posted gobs of new screenshots to its Instagram, Elite Dangerous proposed making its factional combat mode entirely open PvP, and Legends of Aria patched in some good stuff, including the first iteration of secure trading.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Pantheon reveals its Ranger, Rogue, and Monk classes

This month’s Pantheon newsletter is a doozy for folks eagerly awaiting the details of the game’s classes. Visionary Realms has revealed three: the sneaky Rogue along with the versatile Ranger toon, though fans of classic D&D-inspired MMORPGs may be most interested in the Monk.

“[The Monk’s] internal flow of Chakra is held back by a series of six gates, like water behind a sequence of dams. The Monk must learn to open these gates in order to wield their Chakra without limits, releasing it in a torrent of punishing damage, or in the form of powerful defensive and self-healing abilities. The 6 gates are known as: The Gate of Anger, the Gate of Peace, the Gate of Sorrow, the Gate of Joy, the Gate of Balance and the Gate of Release. In combat, Monks will constantly generate Chakra as a percentage of the damage they deal. In addition, certain abilities will increase a Monk’s Chakra by a certain amount when used.”

Racial combos, armor types, weapon types, and even a partial list of abilities are all included with the reveals, so they’re worth a click-through. VR says to expect more class details throughout the summer. The newsletter includes a deep-dive into the Orc tribes, as well.

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Go on a gameplay journey with Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

It has to be a geeky dream come true to be able to get into a restricted-access MMO and go on an adventure with the actual developers. So look on with envy, then, as YouTuber KoopaTroopa787 joins the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen team to play an Ogre Shaman on a dev-led dungeon crawl.

The video delivers a two-for-one benefit. Not only do you get to see an adventure through the Fion Iridia dungeon with a ton of combat, but you also get to hear the developers comment on the game’s various classes and systems as they progress.

What are you waiting for? Start your hour-long expedition with Pantheon after the break!

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Betawatch: Defiance 2050’s closed beta, ESO’s Summerset on the PTS (April 20, 2018)

Beta testing for Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset expansion – as well as the free update 18 that’ll launch alongside it – began this week as the chapter rolled out to the PTS, with plenty of glimpses at new housing and wearables on the way. What else is new in MMORPG testing this week?

Did we miss anything? Drop us a note in the comments, then check out our traditional list of all the bits and bobs currently malingering trucking along in some form of testing.

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The Daily Grind: What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

Earlier this month, Pantheon’s community team tweeted out a question that keeps coming back to me: “What motivates you to play an MMORPG for long periods of time, as in months, sometimes, years?” My first reaction was a pretty common one I bed and was true for me for a long time: friends and guildies! I certainly played some games far longer than I would have otherwise because I wanted to hang out with friends (EverQuest in particular is coming to mind).

But in recent years, when I already “see” my friends and guildies every day in external chats, I’d found games need some other draw too. Housing is probably the biggest one. I don’t usually get sucked in for dailies or anything like that, but give me a house that I love and want to keep up – that I’ll not only log in for but pay for, as my continuing Ultima Online fees prove.

What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

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The Game Archaeologist: Lineage

If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone — and I’m not suggesting we do so — then the original Lineage would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It’s also been one of those games that I’ve always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason but never gave much attention. I think it’s because, contrary to many western MMOs, Lineage is primarily an Asian phenomenon. That doesn’t mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you’re on the outside of it.

So let’s back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft rolled out a Diablo-style isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country. A recession had hit, giving people a lot of time with nothing to do, and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft and Lineage became overnight household fixtures — and remained so for decades to come.

Even if you haven’t played Lineage and you don’t know anyone who does, trust me: Millions and millions of players have. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken once said, “Lineage keeps going because it’s just plain fun.”

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Betawatch: Radical Heights springs out to predictable lows (April 13, 2018)

Good news, Boss Key fans! After the studio pretty blatantly gave up on LawBreakers, it turned around and quickly launched its next project, a battle royale title dubbed Radical Heights. It sprang to life on Tuesday, and then it… sort of limped right after that. The numbers do look at least slightly better after the rest of the week, so hooray? Maybe?

Looking back, I started that paragraph with “good news.” I’m not sure why I did that.

Other beta news? Hey, sure.

Other beta titles? Oh, listed below, as we do. If you notice something jumped test phases without our noticing, do let us know down in the comments. We really appreciate it.

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Massively Overthinking: The best of PAX East and GDC in 2018

The past couple of weeks has been wild as we dispatched writers to GDC in San Francisco and PAX East in Boston to gather up and bring back everything they could on the MMORPGs large and small on the spring convention circuit. In fact, as I type this, we’ve got Brendan in Reykjavik for EVE Fanfest too! So for this week’s Overthinking, we’re rounding up our coverage and then reflecting on the best and worst as we pick out what most excites, surprises, and disappoints us: First the roundups, then our thoughts. Read on!

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Pantheon deep-dives the Black Rose Keep dungeon we toured at PAX

There’s a lot to unpack in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s April newsletter. Not only does it cover the Ratkin species from the bestiary and a dev spotlight with CTO and Lead Programmer Daniel Krenn, but it deep-dives Black Rose Keep, the massive multi-level indoor/outdoor dungeon being demoed at PAX this year.

“You will be able to revisit BRK and you’ll want to because the level range is very well spread out, depending on which area of the zone you’re in,” Lead Writer Justin Gerhart writes. “That’s not to say we have fenced off portions that check your level before entering. There’s a fair amount of intermingling between tiers throughout, but with higher concentrations of specific tiers in specific locations. Unless you’ve spent your whole char life outside of this area you should hit sections you won’t be able to progress through your first time in. The goal was to make BRK a memorable and substantial experience for players, and planning for revisitations and diversity of content were a critical part of that.”

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PAX East 2018: Hands-on with Pantheon Rise of the Fallen

Those who have read a fair amount of my work will know that nostalgia is something I tend to rail against pretty hard. I’m a big advocate for constantly spot-checking your nostalgia in the cold light of reality and asking yourself if your memories are accurate.

This is not because I don’t feel any nostalgia. It’s exactly the opposite. It’s because I am wildly aware of how powerful a force it can be as someone who often will spend extended amounts of time working in elaborate mythology gags for character traits based on old roleplaying, to the extent that one of my characters has a particular class as a reference to an old game no one else I know actually played.

All of this is a long-winded way of pointing out that Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen already had a bit of an in with me when I sat down to play. Because while I wasn’t personally familiar with the game that it was referencing, I am personally familiar with that game’s close cousin, and I have a fair amount of familiarity with the playstyle. And it’s a playstyle MMOs have, in large part, moved beyond.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained marches on; Albion players murder half a million bunnies (April 7, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continues inching along toward its planned summer beta. According to the game’s latest update, CSE is running internal tests on a new server while tweaking tooltips, the banes and noom system, capture-the-flag mode, item placement, armor, environment assets, and animations, including new idles for each class.

Meanwhile, Crowfall released its 5.5 alpha, Ashes of Creation announced alpha one will land by the end of the year, Albion Online balance-patched armor and GvG while counting a million dead bunnies, Dual Universe released its April newsletter, and Dogma Eternal Night hit the skids.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Betawatch: Defiance’s beta, TERA’s console launch, and Eliot’s in the brig (April 6, 2018)

Welcome back to another look at all the MMO beta happenings of the week! I’ve stashed Eliot in the brig so that I can take over Betawatch and do some extra work on Friday! Wait, I’m not really sure I’m doing griefing right. Anyway, here’s what’s up.

  • Defiance 2050 is hunting for beta testers! Make sure you’re all signed up.
  • TERA formally launched on consoles, bringing an end to its beta.
  • Soulworker likewise moved from soft launch to full launch.
  • Made of money? A big chunk of cash will get you into Pantheon’s pre-alpha next month.
  • We got our hands on Conan Exiles’ launch build (and loved it).
  • Ashes of Creation is targeting fourth quarter 2018 for its alpha one launch.
  • Camelot Unchained is testing, testing, testing.
  • Crowfall is now in 5.5 pre-alpha, having introduced a new map and lady centaurs.
  • Arcfall may still be in pre-alpha, but now it’s also free-to-play.
  • Star Citizen rolled out 3.1 and then 3.1.1, but then rolled back to just 3.1 because bugs.
  • And Occupy White Walls was the bright star of the week, offering alpha testers the chance to play around in an MMO art gallery.

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Pantheon offers special PAX pledge tier worth $1000, gives five of them away in contest

Among the more unusual business model setups for the incoming wave of indie MMORPGs is Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s. As we’ve previously covered, Brad McQuaid’s Visionary Realms studio offers pledge packages for would-be players that range up to $10,000, payable in monthly chunks. The particulars have allowed the studio to sometimes dodge complaints about having a pre-alpha sub as well as about having high backer tiers, when in reality, it pretty much has both.

If that doesn’t bother you because you really want to see another McQuaid game reach live, then you might want to point your eyeballs at the game’s latest pre-order package in honor of PAX East. It’s similar to the regular-flavor $1000 tier, with a few extra perks, including pre-alpha access to let you hop into the game in May.

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