It’s time once more for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s VIP developer roundtable podcast for the month of July. In this episode, Ben Walters shares the table with creative & programming producer Chris “Joppa” Perkins and associate game designer Adam “Tehom” Moste to talk about Pantheon’s design, production, and other related matters. Here are a few of the highlights:
- A question about the Monk’s limited equippable abilities and passives affirmed the game’s intended design of forcing players to make tactical choices. That said, there will also be a loadout UI to let players build multiple limited action sets.
- The devs took several moments to talk about the new ability tools that the team has access to and how they plan to use them to adjust existing class abilities. On that subject, players can look forward to adjusted abilities, improved animations, and more over the course of development and into beta. In fact, the next alpha test will have some new abilities for players to discover.
- How is the Perception system coming along? It is apparently as fully refined as it can be for the game’s alpha, but there are a number of functions that haven’t come online yet for it to fully work.
- NPC traits, dispositions, and other AI tricks are going to be the primary driver for how content encounters work in Pantheon, with the idea of balancing familiarity with introducing variance and diversity in enemy behaviors on an individual and even regional level.
- Incidentally, there are some promised “fun” and “lucrative” traits and dispositions in the mix; not all traits are meant to be focused on challenge. The devs do promise there won’t be too many traits and dispositions to contend with, and dispositions are promised to be selective and won’t be experienced too frequently.
- On the subject of designing encounters with a mind on a particular group composition or class, the devs say they avoid that sort of design mindset in the interest of avoiding making things feel “sterile” or forcing players to think about what the team intended instead of “assessing the situation like true adventurers.”
- A question about potential delays was answered with some confidence that there are no immediately obvious roadblocks in the way of moving through alpha roadmap projections: “Right now we’re tracking with those projections; we’re in a good place,” says Moste.
- Has the Alpha One test of Ashes of Creation had any effect on the Pantheon team? It has, in a positive way, as it has reaffirmed to the devs what an alpha is meant to be. “We’re not approaching alpha with the idea of perfection in mind,” says Perkins.
- Finally, a question about passive abilities brought up details about innate passive (aka passives that are always on) and combat passives, which must be equipped on the utility bar in order to be active.