Pantheon’s full world begins to emerge as pre-alpha winds down

    
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One of the big hopes of the future of the MMO genre is finally putting all of its pieces together. Pantheon announced in its December newsletter that for the first time it is “bringing together the full Pantheon experience” in what’s being dubbed Project Faerthale. This phase will be focused on making a build that’s a “full world” rather than a game and will be marked by a lack of testing while the team bears down on it.

Visionary Realms is expanding to make Faerthale happen with the addition of a new lead animator, concept artist, and character artist. The newsletter also went in-depth on the tree-like Spriggan race and shared some tester feedback and favorite moments from the pre-alpha period. “I can’t explain how great it feels to dungeon crawl in an open world setting with a group of buddies. It’s very refreshing,” said one tester.

Another chimed in: “From the inside looking out, I can tell you first-hand that between each of the pre-alpha sessions there have been leaps and bounds of progress made towards the end goal. Yes the game is still way early in development, but the progress being made is unreal.”

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Joseph Chello

This is my last, best hope for honest classic style MMO adventuring.

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IronSalamander8 .

Neutral on this one. I have some interest in it but don’t expect much. Will happily be wrong if it ends up being a solid game though.

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donvweel

This could do well, the fact that WoW Classic is a thing proves there is interest in more hard core mmorpg where you actually need to group up.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

There is always the interest by some group of people for a specific gameplay. Problem is, most MMO developers are too lazy to make a game which would cater towards many groups of people with a wide gameplay variety, and unfortunately it looks like the Pantheon developers are one of those lazy developers.

Oh well, I’m sure that plenty of people will like it and for them this won’t be a problem in any way ;-)

Vaeris
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Vaeris

I think the issue with what you suggest (catering to many groups) is a point that waters down/degrades each of those individual play type experiences. The main experience that Pantheon is giving, that of a group centric dungeon crawl in a non instanced setting, is one that hasn’t been touch upon with any depth of focus since the 1st generation of MMORPGs.

I seriously believe now that with as many MMOs that we have had since 1997 offering different types of play styles when it comes to development in this modern time the best bet is to try not to be a jack-of-all-trades. Pick a niche (or 2 or 3…but not more) and hyper focus and do them well. Make them robust in option and depth. Trying to cover too many different play styles and you spread your team too thin which will inhibit your performance.

Also, like you intimate, MMO gamers in general need to embrace the fact that not all MMORPGs will be made for their tastes. Ignore the ones that don’t suit you and spend your time in those that do. I’m one for which Pantheon is the first of 2 MMORPGs that I’m looking forward to playing and of which are the only 2 games that are holding my interest to this genre of games.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

the fact that not all MMORPGs will be made for their tastes

I understand that, it’s just disappointing that the companies aren’t trying to attract more than a few specific groups with specific tastes… It’s definitely more risky but not impossible and has more potential for extending the lifespan and overall population of your game.

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Eamil

There’s nothing wrong with a niche game. Pandering to the lowest common denominator has its own issues, and there are plenty of MMOs out there that do that already.

As an example, I’ll never go back to EVE Online, but I appreciate the fact that it exists.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

There’s nothing wrong with a niche game

If you’re a developer who will be happy with having a few 10’s of 1000’s subs after a few years – sure, but you could have MUCH more than that, by adding more stuff to do between “new dungeon” expansions, without creating constant population spikes followed by long drops. This is what disappoints me greatly with EACH and EVERY current PvE “dungeons”-oriented game, as a player – I’ve seen same exact pattern in all of them where my friends play until they have done all “high-level” dungeons (or done all “story quests”), got highest “ilvl999” gear and just stop logging on until next major expansion…

I know that some people don’t mind such pattern in a game but personally I want the MMO games to always feel more “alive” with many stuff to do for many kind of people, both PvP-oriented and PvE-oriented or even people who primarily want to socialize with each other or do RP stuff, all on the same servers.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

One thing that allowed for your friends to do all the “high level” stuff is that the majority of those games trivialized leveling and game world navigation. They sped everything up with tuning XP such you can max level in a few days, travel to any dungeon in the world via a queue, made gear and equipment last forever with no real need to repair/replace.

They took accessibility too damn far. Pantheon, from what I’ve seen, is not trending that way. It is embracing the idea of wanting to have players spend time in the game to progress. 2 hours for content (yes I believe they said you can break that up a tiny bit) versus WoW’s 15 minute dungeons is a step in the right direction for my tastes anyway.

It crafting turns out to be meaningful in a SWG way, and they allow player shops and NPC vendors…things the modern accessible games shun…Pantheon will be the game that sunsets my MMORPG gaming run.

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Barnoc N'Draak

I’m very interested in this game. I like how they are clear that they want to build a world to experience rather than a game.

Pantheon fans are frequently accused of chasing nostalgia, and that may be true for some, but I think a bigger issue is that a lot of us want to treat our gaming time more like an immersive experience and less likely a esport.

I might like a game like MegaMan as much as I did evequest, but the way in which I engaged each was very different.

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AurochsReborn

Just puked in my mouth after playing LOTRO for a week…
WoW? nope.
ESO. yuck
GW2? ZZzzzzzZ

Pantheon’s only in pre-alpha and is still more satisfying than any of them. it just keeps getting better too. Love the direction theyre taking the game in. Still some big design choices to be made but i cant see anything stopping Pantheon from building a very healthy and loyal playerbase.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Im waiting for Pantheon and hope it delivers but damn, those screenshots are ugly

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Ashley Bau

The screenshots in the letter appear to be incomplete. If you have watched some of the streams they have done of the game, they haven’t been afraid to show off completely unfinished assets such as modeled but untextured buildings at times (and stated as much, also showing completed versions later). That is what appears to be on show here, new incomplete assets.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Whats the point showing unfinished mess I wonder

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Barnoc N'Draak

To give a transparent peek at development? I will take that over heavily-doctored screenshots.

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Gamhuin

Also quietly optimistic.

Most mmo’s being developed keep releasing information that makes me sigh with disappointment more often than happy.

Everything I’ve been seeing from Pantheon has made me smile.

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Paul

The ONLY new MMO under development I’m even remotely excited about

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Jiminy Smegit

From watching the streams from a few months back and following the news on this one, its starting to look pretty good. Am not on board the hype train yet, way too jaded for that but I feel optimistic about this one.

Never really understood MMO’s where people just solo to max level and are done, they are just a below average experience compared to proper single player games. There is a joy to playing a slightly slower, more tactical group game as it allows you to actually talk to your group and see a little more of your surroundings.

xpsync
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xpsync

quietly optimistic