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.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shards Online surprised the gamer community by announcing a namechange -- to Legends of Aria -- and a scope-change, the good kind of scope change if you're an MMO player, as the game just got bigger.
More good news: The Repopulation is expected to come back online for original backers and Steam buyers tomorrow. Idea Fabrik expects the sandbox to once again be for sale on Steam later this month.
Still more good news! As I write this, indie VR MMO OrbusVR has nearly tripled its Kickstarter goal already. Its whirlwind one-week campaign ends on Monday.
Meanwhile, gamers pledged over $12K US to bring Swedish brawler RUiN to a winning Kickstarter a few days back, but Caribbean Conquest wasn't so fortunate: Its Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully earlier this week. Plus, Dogma: Eternal Night worked on its character module, Grim Dawn talked itemization, and AdventureQuest 3D hyped The Dragons of Ashfall.
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.
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.
Not every MMO includes deities, religions, and faith in their universes, but some do to varying degrees. I've seen games that weave such institutions into the lore, while other MMOs go even further by allowing your character to pledge allegiance to a certain god or goddess and enjoy special bonuses and quests from them.
If you had to pick -- and you do, oh you do -- which MMORPG has the best religious system and why? The Guild Wars series always impressed me with its detailed and diverse pantheon of deities, although I would probably have to tip my hat to EverQuest II for allowing your character to discover and convert to a certain religion over the course of his or her journey.
Pray tell, have you got the old time MMO religion?
This week in MMO crowdfunding, The Exiled was released to the wilds of Steam early access. Formerly called Das Tal, the buy-to-play indie sandbox attempted to raise funds through Kickstarter back in 2015 but pulled in only €33,000 of its €50,000 goal and resorted to website preorders instead, forging ahead to now. Reviews on Steam so far are mixed; once you subtract the confused trial players who seem surprised to see PvP in a PvP sandbox, the main complaints revolve around crafting grind and lag.
Meanwhile, Ship of Heroes teased its Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar released R39, Albion Online settled on a July release, Life is Feudal rolled out its second beta, Pantheon brought on more new employees (thanks, Reht!), Dual Universe planned a GDC community meetup, Star Citizen explored the Magnus system and released a new concept ship, HEX got a new publisher, and Elite: Dangerous did science and turned... beige.
Closer to home, games critic and veritable prince of Patreon Jim Sterling scored a victory for games journalism in the courts as a judge dismissed with prejudice a game developer's libel lawsuit against him. (Thanks to everyone who tipped this our way!)
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.
Do you have burning questions about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen or simply want to get pumped up about the game? Thanks to a newly super-sized FAQ, either desire can be sated right now.
This expandable wall of text covers tons of aspects of the game, from kill stealing to acclimatizing to design philosophy. The team said that it hasn't finalized a business model yet and is planning on an additional round of funding to grow the team even more.
According to the FAQ, the current plan is to get a pre-alpha test up and running this year: "Currently we have multiple zones up on cloud servers and can play, test, and balance the core playable classes including combat, travel, and the abilities/spells/stances/actions for each base class. The foundation and core gameplay elements are present."
Those of you who have waited eagerly for the day when everyone can jump into Revelation Online won't have to wait much longer, as the game's open beta is starting up March 6th. Players who purchased one of the game's founder's packs will be able to get in a little bit earlier, to boot. The game also showed off its special skills, which is "break the rules" special rather than "riding a different bus to school" special.
Shall we cover other beta news this week? Yes! Why not? You may join us in a chortle.
Yes, that's all a bit quiet, but the list down below can be raucous despite our best efforts to silence it. You can let us know if parts of the list deserve more consideration down in the comments, like if a title has slipped into launch without us catching it. We keep putting up nets but some titles slip through. I suspect there's a hive.
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.
Path of Exile
fans, today is the big day: Grinding Gear Games
is officially unveiling your next expansion, dubbed The Fall of Oriath
It turns out that the place your Exile called home before being banished is not only the main setting of this act but is going through some rough times. Even lowbies like yours truly who vaguely recall their origin story can get behind this act. We're going home, dealing with civil unrest, and welcoming back some lost deities with sharp pointy objects or finger-wiggling destruction. And that's literally just the beginning.
Read on for our preview of the expansion from last week's press event, plus brand-new screenshots and the new trailer!
It was a busy week for new MMO Kickstarters!
- Mekria Online joins the Make My MMO watch list; it's a PvP-heavy MMO seeking $110,000.
- RUiN joins up too, though as a PvP arena brawler, it's a bit on our fringes. It's already at half its goal with a month left to go. (Thanks, Zanetski!)
- and Age of Sail MMO Caribbean Conquest is back online with its second Kickstarter (the first was canceled last year).
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!
You didn't think that any race could be any class in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, did you? Of course not. No matter how dedicated a Gnome might be, the chart at Paladin School clearly states that you have to be at least this tall to be a Paladin, but also not taller than a human and also not whatever else every other race has other than Human and Dwarf. The point is that each race is rather limited (other than Humans) and you can see which classes are allowed for each race off of the official Facebook page.
It's bad news if you're an Ogre, since you only have four classes available to you (and one of them is Dire Lord, which is a normal lord placed in perilous circumstances, one may assume). On the other hand, Dark Myr get nearly as many options as Humans, so that's something. Here's hoping your desired race and class can be combined in the game!
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!
This week, No Man's Sky made the jump to the Nvidia Shield, giving players a new way to experience this space sim. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Neverwinter, Trove, and more, all waiting for you after the break!