Pantheon’s Brad McQuaid’s recent dev blogs cover everything from PvP to instancing

    
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Pantheon fans, if you haven’t swung by the official site in a few days, you definitely should. Visionary Realms’ Brad “Aradune” McQuaid has been busy indeed dropping dev blogs and then doing forum Q&A sessions too.

The first focused on clarifying the perception that Pantheon was downplaying or even eliminating PvP. In fact, the game will indeed feature PvP prominently; McQuaid says the studio’s goal is to build a solid PvE “foundation” to ensure the game’s identity, and then build PvP – independent of PvE’s power level – on top. “This comes from having done this so many times, dating all the way back to EQ vs UO,” he writes. “Nothing’s changed – in fact I’m more sure of my convictions if that’s possible.

Then there’s a piece on instancing, which responds to a player concerned over “neckbeard guilds locking down content” in a game without instanced content. McQuaid says he has a heavy-programming-centric plan to ensure that bogarting content won’t be an issue in the open world but still allows multiple tiers of players in one area, but he isn’t “ready to reveal” the details.

Finally, there’s an even longer piece that bops around from topic to topic in an effort to outline “what Pantheon truly brings” to the MMO space: old-school RPG influence, focus on social relatinships, lack of rails, lore, survival-esque death penalties, and so forth.

McQuaid’s also active in a thread on the official forums about these posts, where he’s clarifying as well as talking more about the playerbase and community, which he says only continues to grow in size – and attract more “skeptics.” There’re many thousands of words to pore over here, so if you’re among the “fantheon” faithful, you’d best get reading.

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Toy Clown

Neckbearding is the new term for bogarting? haha

My hope is that they’ll do separate PvP servers or put in an opt-out feature for those that don’t want to partake in forced PvP. Otherwise, they’ll just become a clone of all other “sandboxes” out there.

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Akagi

Most sandbox MMOs usually end up being “games about nothing”, I sure hope this one goes down the road of having quest chains and actual real content. Sandbox is like the Battle Royale of MMOs – slap in some crafting and housing system, call it a “sandbox” game and you’re done. xD

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Eamil

This game hasn’t really been billing itself as a sandbox anyway. It’s meant to be more like EQ and FFXI – they’re not sandboxes by any means, they just feel less “themeparky” than the notion of theme park MMOs that arose in the era of WoW clones.

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Akagi

Retail WoW may be theme park, but Vanilla/Classic only has quests that lead you through the zones, you can always go out of your way and dedicate a huge amount of time in random zones to professions.

I never touched FF11 and I tried Project 99, but the game was too old to get into, the graphics made it look like a maze I had trouble navigating. Imagine Goldshire being so hard to navigate you simply give up.

EQ mechanics like lack of a map may work, but for a game with new graphics where you can visually differentiate between two walls.

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Bruno Brito

Just because Vanilla didn’t had a linear progression on it’s questing design ( which it did, just not completely straight line ), doesn’t mean it’s not a themepark.

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Akagi

(to make it clear from now, when I refer to WoW, I’m referring to Vanilla/Classic only, not Retail… never Retail)

I think the term “themepark” was coined many years after WoW’s release and it was used to describe games that copied/borrowed from WoW and took it to the next level of simplicity and linearity.

I don’t think it applies to WoW, because WoW only evolved EQ1 into a bit more straightforward experiences. For me, original MMORPGs like Ultima Online and Old School RuneScape are the types of games with no clear goal or any sort of straightforwardness – it just leaves you in the wild and I think that they are more of prototypes for real MMORPGs like Vanilla WoW, since the concept was new back then and they were just throwing ideas around.

To back this up, even the first PC games that I started to play had clear goals, to name a few: Counter-Strike 1.0, Half-Life 1, Diablo 2, Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Worms Armageddon, Unreal Tournament 99, Quake 3 Arena, Need for Speed Porsche. Each of those games have clear, defined goals and this is the standard for any game for me.

That’s why I don’t see WoW as themepark and why I see Sandbox games from back in the day or brand new ones as “games about nothing”.

Even games before my time like text-based MUDs or point-and-click RPGs for DOS had clear goals so I can’t justify why sandbox games are anything special and how that makes WoW a themepark, because in WoW you have a clear goal, but you can create your own side-goals as well, which aren’t required and ring back to the days of sandbox games.

So to put it in a few words, WoW is like a straightforward game with a clear goal and a lot of sandbox elements.

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Schmidt.Capela

“Neckbeard” is an insulting way to refer to players who spend much time in the game by implying they don’t even bother with basic personal hygiene or grooming.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

PvP and PVE do not mix well from a balance point of view. Adjustments to one side usually heavily impact play-ability of the other.

I thought that this was meant to be a PVE only game originally. I just lost interest big time in this game.

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Bash

Me too, i was looking forward to a more PVE focused game and not having to bother with pvp.
Is this just to try and cater to a larger audience? are they going to announce openworld pvp gankbox style next?

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thalendor

I’ve got no interest in PvP and, honestly, after reading that, I don’t have any worries at all on that front. Mind you, Brad rambled a lot, so it was sometime painful to read, but it’s pretty clear they intend on building the PvE first, having separate PvE and PvP servers, and balancing PvP separately. Pretty standard fair, honestly, and the only thing out of that I’m any bit skeptical about whether they’ll truly keep PvE and PvP balancing entirely seperate.

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Robert Mann

Pretty much never happens. Players who do both gripe about their PvE and PvP skills not matching up… and so the adjustments tend to affect both parts of the game. Usually to the detriment of fun for other players, who see favorite abilities nerfed when they aren’t unbalanced in their own content, or buffs that make no sense in their content.

It’s a classic “Can’t please everyone, but they keep trying” issue.

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Eamil

Skills having alternate PvP versions that behave differently from the PvE version is a decades-old idea now, so while you raise a reasonable concern, I find it strange that it makes you write off the game completely sight unseen.

oldandgrumpy
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Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Because the reality is always that my PVE play is impacted.

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John Kiser

It’s largely because so few actually implement that idea in a meaningful way. I’m one of the people that first started viewing that as the best way to actually tweak PVP without messing with PVE too much. It’s definitely a wait and see sort of thing with how they end up developing it. I still say the best way to handle PVP and PVE in the same instance as far as how it is done (outside of skill tooling) has to go to SWG. Flagging for PVP should be shut on or off in a major town/city and those that wish to can flag for it. Then you can toss in PVP specific zones that work as a FFA area and it is completely avoidable.

You are right though the idea about skills having PVP versions that can be retooled is a 10+ year old idea. I made the statement myself back well over a decade ago myself. Hell it might be close to 20 years at this point… The idea takes some work to do obviously, but if it was done right could be a big boon to balancing things overall. The trick is doing it right and sadly most of the time it has been an instance of well basically making a “pvp skill” set that is basically just buffs and shit and all that. FFXIV does the best job of implementing it thus far.

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Eamil

FFXIV does the best job of just having a completely separate PvP skillset, I agree. GW1 had the best implementation of PvP-exclusive balace in my opinion, because if you were in a PvP area they would explicitly swap out certain abilities for ” (PvP)” versions that functioned differently from normal.

GW2 does the same, but they’re weird about it. They’ve latched onto this idea that the PvP versions of abilities can’t function too differently from the PvE versions in a way that doesn’t feel intuitive, so they end up making PvP-focused balance changes that apply to both sides anyway.

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John Kiser

FFXIV doesn’t do open world pvp so you basically get PVP variants of the skill sets and all. Guildwars you basically unlocked skills for PVP (at least early on) and built shit off of that…

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John Kiser

To further this. The skills in particular in guild wars were’t really pvp variants, but were the same skills just you had to unlock for pvp and then build a deck out of unlocked skills.

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Robert Mann

Heard it dozens of times. Seen it work out 0 times. The reality is that this is a buzzline, but it never seems to actually stop the changes from one type affecting the other (and being upsetting to those affected who only do that other content type).

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Nice words, but the proof is in the pudding.