Pantheon aims high for its undated Alpha One test

    
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Considering all of the crowdfunding invested and time spent waiting for Pantheon to be built, supporters of the upcoming MMO are undeniably eager to get their hands on the title — no matter how unfinished it may be. Visionary Realms attempted to set proper expectations for the upcoming Alpha One test in hopes that people wouldn’t be making this out to be more than it will be.

In this month’s producer’s letter, Ben Dean explained how Pantheon’s alpha test will be “different” and be positioned to make the best first impression it possibly can: “Thousands of people will experience Pantheon for the first time in alpha. We are in an era where certain expectations are set when it comes to a first hands-on look at a game. For better or worse, we do need to consider form as well.”

There is no date set for Alpha One just yet, and Dean says “don’t expect to see a solid date soon.”

According to Dean, Pantheon’s alpha debut is striving to include at least nine of the 12 classes, pets, basic guild functionality, the perception system, a LFG tool, a whole lot of backend work, and some — but not all — of Kingsreach.

“We are shooting for complete, non-grayboxed zones for Alpha One to represent a level 1-30 experience,” he said.

Source: Pantheon
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donvweel

I hope they make it, could be a great game.

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Oldwargoat39

What VR is attempting not to be “Just another WoW clone”. The Genre is stuck in a rut. There has been nothing groundbreaking that will raise the bar for the genre at all since WoW’s release 20ish years ago. WoW was designed for the lowest common denominator, but now the MMORPG genre player base needs something that elevates it and forces players to think, interact, and weigh their choices more. An actual environment that not only pits you against mobs but with the actual environment of the world itself. Being Social with other players is needed instead of a small group of players you played with from one MMORPG to the next, you interact with everyone within that world and make it feel lived in. And not having an auction house or market board, you have to interact with other players to have things crafted, and no more “One player can do it all”. Where BIS weapons and armor are more BIS for that particular situation based on layered variables. They are to make what really an MMORPG should have been, a socially interactive game that requires being social to other players within and outside your guild and circle of friends to accomplish things. VR is trying to put MMO back into MMORPGs again, something that has been sorely missed. Where exploration is not replaced with just warping to a dungeon and back. Make traveling from place to place a challenge and no flying mounts except for flying to certain locations. Where instead of being spoon-fed content from an on-the-rails”modern” MMORPG experience, exploration, secrets, and lore that are waiting to be discovered is the content. Where PvP is not needed in everything because there are too many things out in the world that wants to chew you up and spit you out. Even Death has repercussions (something IMO is sorely needed) If you do not prepare properly and make the right choices. where even weight is taken into consideration. VR wants this world of Terminus to be lived in and not just a “numbers game”.

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Richard de Leon III

None of those ideas are new, they have been tried before in other mmos and fell flat for player attraction and retention. There’s a reason EQ1 never got beyond 250+k subbers and m-boxing(legal or not) became prevalent in any group-centric game. The only saving grace is that Pantheon is aiming low as far as expected player population. But here’s to hoping they have enough minimum population to sustain a group-centric environment.

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nomadmorlock9

Looking forward to this title and AoC. Hopefully one or both will be solid.

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Harbinger_Kyleran

Looks like they are taking the approach of continually expanding their recent marketing demo, always making sure it’s in the best shape it can be in order to attract more funding.

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Oldwargoat39

The marketing demo was made later on and recently. VR is are trying to get the game into what I best describe as “NES Cart ready” with quality in mind and not only looks good and runs smoothly without day one patches…Something the AAA (or FFF) studios don’t do anymore and expect us to accept it.

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William_Hououin

I genuinely wish the best to VR and the supporters of the game, but I can’t help being worried that when the game releases in 3-5 years, it will have missed the window for it to be relevant …

Maybe it’s just me being pessimistic …
Maybe

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Vanquesse V

waiting for this wave of MMOs is getting old, but I don’t see what other games are on the horizon that could eat Pantheon’s or AoC’s lunch.

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Harbinger_Kyleran

Agreed, not like there’s many (any?) titles with similar designs in the pipeline, except for SoL which is.. you know…

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Vanquesse V

If we’re talking about stuff like lost ark and things that are a bit more on the periphery of mmorpgs I think it’s a very valid argument, and I think the western version of lost ark will be niche title when it comes out compared to the juggernaut it would have been when it was new, because the parts of that game that isn’t mmo has plenty comparison elsewhere. It is no longer groundbreaking.
But for big budget mmorpgs in the traditional sense there’s just nothing happening right now, so the game design doesn’t really move forwards in this genre the same way it does elsewhere.
Expansions can only change so much without ruining the main game after all.

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Oldwargoat39

Building a Quality game takes time and with the “got to go fast” and “I want now” mentality of the current generation of gamers, they fail to take into consideration that quality takes time and a game like this will not be irrelevant as the genre is stuck in a rut and something like this might break it open to something better. maybe even a Renaissance of the genre and I see the Genre is in the “dark ages” currently.

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Ironwu

I raise the spines of cynicism.

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Oldwargoat39

Then do your research and see what the game is about than just making comments.