Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has issued its October producer’s letter today, and at the tippy top Visionary Realms has addressed the game’s planned streaming technology and player concerns about it.
“With our new streaming technology, players will experience Pantheon as a true, open-world game,” the devs write. “This means that you will be able to roam freely throughout the overland of Terminus without loading screens or wait times when traveling into new areas, though the paths you take may require you to possess certain equipment, skills, magical enchantment or perhaps some combination of the three.”
“However, with this announcement came a measure of concern from certain parts of our community. The notion of open-world gameplay brings with it the expectation that NPCs will be ‘leashed’, meaning they will eventually stop chasing a player and return to their spawn area, instead of chasing a player indefinitely. The concern is primarily that leashed NPCs are not as dangerous since they will eventually give up pursuit, allowing players to trivialize the danger of moving through parts of the world. To these concerns we want to say: rest assured, you can expect the same quality of design and creativity when it comes to the way NPCs pursue players as you’ve come to expect from our other game systems. By leveraging our Disposition and Trait systems, we can conceive of all manner of NPCs with special behaviors, resistances, counters and abilities to make getting away from them as easy or challenging as we like. As with all of our NPCs, you can expect a wide variety of skill and flavor when it comes to how a specific NPC type will pursue a player, and in some cases this may even mean a longer chase than zoning would have allowed for!”
There’s more to the newsletter, of course, including the introduction of a new refer-a-friend program, a tease for combat system improvements, and the color-coded roadmap to alpha, which shows updates since the last newsletter on the rendering pipeline conversion, class development, network overhaul, and the gathering and crafting systems.