Pantheon’s proposed “247” spin-off extraction mode has been the subject of much debate already since its leak and confirmation earlier this month, but Visionary Realms isn’t giving up on it – yet, anyway. In its October newsletter out this morning, the studio makes a full pitch for the mode to its broader backerbase, including clarifying that it’s not even sure it’s going to be a standalone game yet.
“Do we intend to sell 247 as a stand-alone title? The answer to that is a solid ‘maybe,'” the team says. “While we are absolutely preparing for that option, we are still gathering information from our players and from the market before we make a final decision.” VR says that if it did go the standalone route and actually made money, it would propel Pantheon’s development and launch as crowdfunding for Pantheon the MMO is “slowing,” but if 247 didn’t carry its weight, the studio would likely abandon the plan.
“We are aware that some players feel that it would be a departure from the original game. We are also aware of the challenges of maintaining 247 while continuing development of Pantheon. A revenue model for 247 has not yet been established. Until we lock this in as something we are committed to, we have not finalized any of these details. On the first point, development of Pantheon is not stopping in any way, shape or form. The content that is used in 247 is the Pantheon world and game. In fact, should 247 prove to be popular with players, it could become a model for Pantheon’s PvP mode, available to all Pantheon players at any time. The estimated additional work for 247 that is not usable for Pantheon as an MMO is estimated at around 5-10%. The projects are designed to work together in tandem, symbiotically.”
The devs describe 247 as Pantheon but with a “significant” twist. “Players begin in Tazrin’s Gaze, grab tasks from one of eleven Watchers to build faction, and then enter a timed instance of Pantheon,” they explain. “Players can choose either a PvE or a PvP mission instance. Once in Terminus, they can either focus on the task given, or simply spend their time exploring, grouping, gathering for crafting, or otherwise playing Pantheon as they so choose. But they must keep an eye on the timer and make it to the extraction point without dying, or they risk losing their gear. If they do die, a fallen player’s corpse can be looted by others. This play mode creates a sense of urgency and real danger.”
Backers at the Scion of Black Rose pledge and above – that’s $750+, to be clear – will get access to the mode while it’s in testing, although apparently $250+ backers will get access “later this year.” There’s no date for the start just yet, but we do know that Pantheon itself won’t “return to testing [until] next year”