Pantheon newsletter previews fall pre-alpha test, delves into Skar race redesign

    
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Visionary Realms has released the latest newsletter for its in-development high-fantasy MMO Pantheon, in which the devs highlight some of the game’s latest developments and upcoming features. Pantheon has just concluded its latest round of pre-alpha testing, and the team is already hard at work preparing for the next session this fall, by which point it plans to have all classes implemented up to level 40 and to open up access to the Faerthale zone, which Producer Ben Dean details in the Under Wraps section of the newsletter.

The newsletter also features an interview with developers Justin Gerhart, Forrest Imel, and Jared Pullen to talk about their progress on redesigning the Skar race. The devs discuss why they were dissatisfied with the Skar’s first iteration, then delves into the process of redesigning them from both artistic and mechanical perspectives. It’s an incredibly intriguing, in-depth, and remarkably frank look at how the development team reacts when an idea doesn’t quite hit its mark, and it’s definitely worth a look for anyone interested at the behind-the-scenes process of MMO development. You can check out the full interview along with the rest of the development details over at Pantheon‘s official site.

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packagegrope
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packagegrope

this was a sleeper of a newsletter.

Alex Js.
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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Js.

4 years later and it’s still in “pre-alpha”… Amusing. I predict that it will be either pushed out too early (in a very buggy form with a lot of incomplete content) or way too late to compete with future MMOs (in terms of more aesthetically pleasing graphics with better animations and much more varied gameplay). In either case, this game won’t last too long (maybe 1-2 years before massive server merge and major loss of active players) and I hope the few talented artists and programmers who currently develop it will be smart enough to start looking for a new job long before this will happen ;-)

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Songs for Children

WoW took five years to develop…you’re looking for impending doom that isn’t there, at least not as indicated by any evidence.

kaladek
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kaladek

Pre alpha 1, Pre alpha 2, Pre alpha 3, Pre alpha 4, Pre alpha 5…….zzzzzzz. Game has been 4-5 years in the making and we see the same zone and same dungeon OVER and OVER again. I’m already tired of the black rose keep and I haven’t played the game yet. 😳

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Russell Hunt

This game is one of many that just floats along in pre-alpha alpha alpha forever…perhaps it may make it to alpha one day.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Wait and see, I know. Every time I’ve seen developers give the “we don’t want to make our zones too big” speech they did in fact make them too small. Size certainly is relative however I’d love to see some Everquest (original) East and West Commonlands size zones. When you get too small you get too themepark and heavy “just a game” feeling as opposed to being very spacious and “it’s a world to roam” feel. I heavily prefer the it’s a world roaming feeling.

Hmm, been a while but if I remember right the Commonlands zone right out of Freeport in EQ2 was fairly large as well. Yeah, something that size of “and a half” bigger seems right.

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Ashley Bau

I tend to feel the opposite. Areas that are too large almost always tend to lose the hand crafted nature that makes for good area designs in my experience. When you make an area too large it seems that in my experience it either ends up being empty and lifeless or its full of random junk, reused assets, or uninspired design. I would rather have a smaller zone that is interesting and well crafted throughout than a zone that is large just for the sake of being large at the cost of every other important element. If we can have both then sure, I would be all for it but with even the biggest and most funded developers falling flat in this department (in my opinion) I don’t see that as likely.

I have no idea what you have played but a good non-mmorpg example I greatly prefer (and find it much more immersive) the level design in something like divinity original sin 2 to the open world design of pretty much any of the popular open world games in recent history.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

When it comes to what I’ve played as far as MMOs I was there when they turned the lights on for original Ultima Online. Been in nearly every “AAA” MMO since with a few exceptions, and tried many others. I also have played many CRPGs, being a big fan of Black Isle Studios, Obsidian, and Bioware pre EA buyout. I know what you are talking about and it is something I want/expect in my offline CRPGs. I’m okay with the scaling back of the hand crafted in my MMO’s because first and foremost I want the immersive effect of being out in a large vibrant world. I want my “Massively” to be massive. I’m fine with running around for 15 minutes and not seeing another player in an outdoor environment.

I agree, if they can have my vision of massive and your vision of hand crafted, all the better.

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

West Karana can fuck right off, tho.

Reader
Swifty

Come on Alpha..!