Pantheon maps out 2019, promising new website, Faerthale development, and more

    
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Brad McQuaid’s Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is kicking off 2019 with a new edition of its newsletter that recaps 2018 – including our own hands-on at PAX East (tl;dr: We liked it!) and the acquisition of Brasse. But since you’re reading an MMO blog, you probably remember all that and want to know what’s coming next.

“Now that we are back from holidays we are finalizing our scope for that release and setting some internal goal dates. Ross, our lead animator, is already working hard on new animations and the rest of the art team is developing the art for Project Faerthale and beyond. Programming is adding more to the existing tools like the ability editor, planning out some new tools for a more robust and streamlined Perception System and adding more features, systems, stability and bug-squashing to the existing client. Design is fleshing out some systems and encounter designs and tech is looking into more robust back-end features. Project Faerthale is the biggest release we’ve ever done, so it will take some time and we appreciate your patience and continued support as we approach this milestone! You can also look forward to a new website, lots of new videos, content and a few surprises along the way!”

The newsletter also includes a lengthy illustrated lore piece and a chat with the aforementioned new lead animator, Ross Armstrong, who says he’s still getting settled in and “laying the foundation” to buff up the animation team and clean up some of the messy bits of the early development. “Essentially we’re early in production and in an effort to get up and running quickly we used animations from multiple sources and this can cause some of the popping, clunkiness and stiffness,” he explains, noting that the “aggressive production schedule” of the game will make “defining a cohesive style” that fits all the pieces of the game has thus far been the biggest challenge. “We’re currently focused mainly on the human race but we’ll get to the point in production where we’ll be animating NPCs and other races simultaneously.”

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XK

I honestly don’t know if I have the time or energy anymore to play an old-school style MMO (in terms of forced grouping, etc. a la EQ1), but I hate ‘action’ combat MMOs and this is the only non-superhero PVE MMO on my radar, so I’ll be giving it a try.

xpsync
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xpsync

Early EQ2 for me, my stance on it is that I’m grateful to have had the experience, but glad it’s over. Time and place. If you missed it, you missed it, those days are gone forever. I was lucky to have caught the tail end of the golden years of mmo’s and is why i am grateful to had met the right peeps, right time, right game. Now all you can do is read about what it was like, and reading about it will never come within even a fraction of what it actually felt like to tackle content like that with a crew of highly skilled players.

The dedication, the late nights, but it was all so worth it to understand the synergy required, the patience, to spend 12 hours on a raid only to fail and have to try again, to be unable to take a step in dungeons without a fully skilled crew of players who know their rolls and yours, caution; sense; dungeon awareness all traits everyone must have, all in a world where solo has no meaning.

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XK

Yeah, I played EQ1 from beta 4 on (where I was a GM) and my wife and I made some great friends and had a number of late night dungeon groups that went far too long, but that was ~20 years ago, and I’m just not sure I’m up for trying to recreate that experience.

On the other hand, I don’t like most of what has happened to the MMO scene since (action combat, teleporting everywhere, games instead of worlds), so it kind of leaves me out in the cold… I’m not sure there’s a happy medium between the immersive, oldschool approach and modern conveniences.

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Jiminy Smegit

This looks like it will be a fun game after launch once all the WoW tourists have declared that it sucks and have moved on. The gradual shift in WoW from careful crowd control in dungeons requiring teamwork to several silent strangers headbutting their AoE keys fast to win the dps race has also been a gradual shift for me away from MMO’s. Pantheon may well bring me back!

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Crowe

I haven’t checked videos for a while. Has the combat improved any or do certain classes still have to sit down during it to regen mana? (I’m sure that’s super-old-school but as much as I appreciate old school, that was a mis-step on the MMO evolutionary path)

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Mana is mental energy. You had to sit and meditate to regain it. It fit lore and theme for those with interest in such things. I personally hope it stays as it inherently stymies the zerg-omfg-spastastic-superquick-race-through-dungeon type play. There are enough seizure fest style gameplay games already. Slowing it back down to 1st gen speed will be a welcome return for many.

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PanagiotisLial1

I am also quite interested on this game. Looks to be heading towards a right direction and seems it will have a lot to offer

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Bruno Brito

Altho i have a bit of a issue with McQuaid, i have to put my money where my mouth is. He’s actually trying his best to ship this, and it may look like a good game may come out of it.

If only Roberts did the same.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

I’m no McQuaid apologist, but logic dictates he didn’t single handedly sink Vanguard. If that solely goes on his shoulders, then EQ1’s success is his alone as well (Smed made him a Producer and Lead Designer on EQ1).

Pantheon has been in production a few years now and they are making a good faith effort. Nothing wrong with evaluating them based on this specific work. Especially when it’s the only game of its kind (playstyle, features, no cash shop/lockboxes) being made now with relative high production values.

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BraxKedren

This really is the only MMO on my radar. I know I don’t have the time like I did when I was young and would be up late playing if the game is as good as it sounds and hearkens back to those old glorious EQ days….but I’m willing to forsake sleep for a game experience like that again in an MMO.