visionary realms

Brad McQuaid’s studio working on Pantheon.

Pantheon attempts to woo the Kickstarter community with its progress

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.

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has a brand-new wiki

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.

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Pantheon's lorekeeper on the Perception system and elves

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.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best religious system?

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?

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Pantheon expands FAQ, hires on web developers

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."

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen recaps the state of the game, defends the class matrix

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.

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Preview: Path of Exile reveals The Fall of Oriath

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!

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Pantheon details its race/class combinations

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!

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The MOP Up: No Man's Sky gets shielded (January 22, 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!

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 NeverwinterTrove, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Hi-Rez Expo 2017: The future of Global Agenda, Global Agenda 2, and SMITE

Past, present, and future. While the totality of a game studio encompasses all three aspects, we often focus on only one or two at a time. Over the last week, we heard a great deal about Hi-Rez Studios' present during Hi-Rez Expo 2017, from the tournaments (congrats to all the winners!) to what's immediately in the works for its roster of games. But there are still the two other sides to the studio to consider. And these are the sides I explored in interviews with President Stew Chisam and VP Brian Greyson. Specifically I wanted to learn if the company had plans to connect its past with its future in regards to Global Agenda. I was also curious as to what other directions the SMITE franchise might take.

Join me as we delve into the past and the future of Hi-Rez Studios, the possibility of a Global Agenda 2, and the expansion of the SMITE universe.

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Pantheon recaps 2016, explores vertical grouping dungeon Amberfaet

"2016 was a formidable year for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and its fans," Visionary Realms declares in its latest newsletter, which includes two chunks of interest for readers this week. The first is a run-down of 2016's best moments as chosen by the team; they include revised pledge tiers, multiple class and race reveals, convention presence, new staff hires, the massive August AMA, and the big Twitch streams that demoed gameplay for players, including the most recent one in December (though the March pre-alpha reveal stream was VR's favorite).

Moving into 2017 proper, the Pantheon team has posted a dev diary on Amberfaet, one of the old strongholds of the Dwarven race that's now a group-centric dungeon bedecked in treasure and boss fights as well as crafting tools. "If the capital city of Khadassa is a sun to their people, then Amberfaet is a dark moon cast adrift by dueling gravities," it explains.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2017: SMITE introduces Morrigan, Celtic pantheon, and massive plans for season 4

Hi-Rez will take the floor of Hi-Rez Expo 2017 today to detail everything coming to SMITE's fourth season of play, which is expected to "roll out incrementally over several patches in the first part of the year."

The most immediate feature is a brand-new Celtic pantheon and its first goddess, Morrigan, a shapeshifter. Players will take part in the Path of the Phantom Queen event to collect Celtic goodies in-game.

There's also a new Egyptian map with updated Clash gameplay and a new Apophis boss battle, new strategic consumables called Rituals, tweaks for the Conquest Jungle Camp, an overhaul to ranked play, multi-queueing, episodic events called SMITE Adventures, and an assortment of UI, item, and balance updates. Voice chat is also on the way for PC players. Check out the Morrigan reveal video below!

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Here's everything you missed from Pantheon's 210-minute stream

Do you find it easier to read through many pages of documentation than sit and watch a lengthy stream? Do you just want information in front of you that you can thumb through at your leisure? You might not have the time to sit through three and a half hours of footage from Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen's reveal of the Shaman class, but you can catch up with a helpful fan-made summary of the events. That includes some useful timestamps and plenty of specific ability previews.

Shamans should be familiar to players of the original EverQuest in many ways, as they get a Spirit Wolf pet that uses the old-school pet interface menu and texted acknowledgements of your commands. The class lacks any direct attacks of its own in this build beyond a DoT effect, but has two separate buffs for your allies (Blessing of the Wolf buffs physical stats while Gift of the Ancestors buffs Constitution and Wisdom) and several curses and healing spells. It might miss some nuance here and there, but if you'd rather just read through than watch a whole lot of video, this should save you a significant amount of time.

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