Pantheon AMA Responses

suineg

<Donors Crew>
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Ben over at VR sent me the answers that they have finished from our AMA and here they are.

Interviewees:
Ben Dean, Producer & Director of Communication
Chris Perkins, Creative Director & Lead Designer Joppa_VR Joppa_VR
Tim Wathen, Game Designer Convo Convo

Q. When are you giving us (this community) the beta invites.
Ben: We do not currently have an ETA on beta. We’ll be shouting it loud when we do though!

Q. Joppa was pretty vague about druid healing in his interview at Pax. He said that druid healing would be indirect, but didn't elaborate past that. He said that clerics would have big raw healing, and shamans would be healing through heals over time. Is it possible we could get any more detail about how this indirect healing might work?
Ben: We are unable to comment at this time, however, keep an eye out on our newsletter and/or our website and social media channels. We plan on revealing more on the healer classes this summer.
Chris (Joppa): Coming soon!
How much impact will race choice have on a character's effectiveness in combat, outside of raw stats like str/agi/dex/wis/int? For instance, in EverQuest ogres had immunity to frontal stun, halflings had increased experience, etc. Are we looking at racial abilities ala WoW, or more passive type abilities, if any?
Chris (Joppa): I love passives, both Race and Class-based. My plan at the moment is for every Race to have one, and every Class to have two. For the Class passives, I like the idea of one being more general person and the other being combat specific.
We’ve already released an official example of the Ranger’s general purpose passive with Valeguard’s Stride, giving Rangers increased movement speed after being outside for a short time. Regarding Race, I mentioned on a stream recently how our Dwarves, being formed through a mystical fusion of ice and stone, will not only have a naturally higher Cold Resistance, but will have a bonus to Acclimation in Frigid environments.
Expect to see more information about the Class passives as we continue our reveal schedule this summer.


Q. Will you do a /em and animation system like in EQ. Where you could macro an /emote to various animations?
Ben: Yes! Some animated emotes are already in game, in fact.
Chris (Joppa): Our animated emote system is on track to be fairly robust for players and NPCs alike.

Q. What kind of crowd control if any will be needed for grouping? WoW really went away from this and I am not a fan of that.
Chris (Joppa): Crowd control will be a necessary element for most of the group content we design. Certain classes will have various control elements in their kit, like we’ve seen with the Rogue’s Smoke and Mirrors, and will see with the Rogue's Sleeping Powder and the Ranger’s Hidden Snare.
While there will be elements of control-oriented abilities/skills sprinkled among various classes, we will have classes more fully dedicated to and built around the Control role, namely the Enchanter and Bard - I'll give more detail on how the evolution of these Classes in Pantheon will take them beyond basic Mez and Charm in the upcoming reveals.
But the question of what kind of crowd control begs the question of why it's needed. WoW didn't move away from this entirely, at least not in Vanilla. Those Classic instances often called for well-placed Polymorphs, Saps, etc. So I would say, in Pantheon we are ramping up that need to a much greater degree, at least on par with if not exceeding the control required in EQ, not only because of the inherent danger Pantheon’s individual mobs will pose to a group, but because of their general AI and Dispositions as well.

Will factions have an impact on game play, ala factions in Everquest deciding where you can visit and shop or will it basically be optional and fluff like WoW?
Chris (Joppa): Yes. Factions will govern whether you are welcome throughout the various civilizations and settlements in Terminus, and the degree of how welcome or unwelcome you are. Faction will contribute to dialogue options within Perception’s storylines, vendor pricing and haggling and a few additional surprises.
How will dungeons work? Will they encourage setting up and camping a spot for rare spawns ?
Ben: There will be areas that can spawn nameds, certainly. But who’s to say where else these nameds can spawn? If you want to camp a specific spot, you absolutely can, but you will also be well rewarded for moving through a dungeon or finding less-camped spots.
Chris (Joppa): Being non-instanced and non-linear, our dungeons are not being built with a definite start and finish point, and moving through or “running” the dungeon may not always be possible because you are sharing the space with other players. So “camping” will be more of a natural inclination.
As far as Named spawns, it’s a balance between learnable and dynamic content. Some Named/Boss mobs will have a static spawn point. Some will have dynamic spawn points, or variations in their routines. Others, regardless of static or dynamic spawn locations, will have a chance to spawn with certain Dispositions which could radically alter their behavior once they pop into the world. It should be familiar, yet ever-interesting.


Q. What is your vision for typical time played to reach max level?
Chris (Joppa): At a highly aggressive/competitive pace, I’d like to see it take around 2.5 months, ~10 weeks. At a normal pace, around 4 months, ~16-18 weeks.

Q. On a scale of 1-10: What is the estimated levels of brown?
Chris (Joppa): In the parts of the environment that are brown, I’m hoping we’ll see a 10.
Tim: throw in a soybuck or 2 and we can get the brown past 10.
Any plans to implement 'epic' weapon quests?
Chris (Joppa): Yes. Our plans for Epic quest lines cover: Epic Weapons, Armor and Abilities.

Q. Whats the biggest mistake (or just a negative) from EQ that you are trying to avoid in Pantheon.
Ben: I wouldn’t say any one title has done one thing we want to avoid. The industry is old and there are lots of lessons learned from it. The answer to your question will vary depending who you ask on the team as we’re all committed to getting as much “right” as we can. Overall though, I think we’re all pretty conscious of making sure the content is engaging and long-lasting. We really want a place where we all can live for years, not just weeks or even just a couple months.

Q. Will there be any Blood Mage type classes in the game, or a class with similar mechanics?
For Convo:
Has the "Is arrows by" bug been fixed?
Tim: This would have been a good one for Brad too...Pretty sure he created that bug;-). It’s all fixed tho.

Q. For Joppa: You Pax class interview was the single most informative and hype inducing piece of media pantheon has put out yet.
Can we have more releases like that instead of scripted dungeon runs with little actual information?
Ben: I’ll jump in on this one as the comms guy. The simple answer: yes! The longer version: When we reveal information we want to make sure it is as accurate as we can get it before it goes public. As you are no doubt aware, video game design changes as you progress and as things are tried and sometimes have to be rethought. The problem is, if the old information is already out there it can start to get confusing for anyone to figure out which are the current answers. We want to minimize that as much as possible and only reveal things once we’re set on them, or as close to it as we can be.
Streams, on the other hand, usually serve a different purpose. They’re there to get the general word out there to new audiences who may have been looking for a game like Pantheon. As such, the information is usually kept pretty basic to cover the high level points. Although we do like to sometimes throw in some fun new tidbits into our streams to give our long-term viewers a bit of something fresh.


Q. One of the major hurdles for releasing a successful MMO is project management. You need to be budget and gate concious. All to often MMO's run out of development and release to early killing them in the cradle so to speak. Is the project on track to release the game you want? If not what is the plan to get it back on track?
Ben: Pantheon has been a very unique project for all of us. It’s unlike anything we’ve worked on before in many regards. One of these is its development cycle.
All that said, yes, we are on target for getting the game done in a state that we are happy with. We do have goals and dates in mind, but those are subject to change as the resources do. Particularly when we complete Series B funding it will mean a substantial increase to our velocity. It doesn’t mean the quality of the product will change, only the velocity. We are uncompromising in the quality of the product we will launch with and we have several scenario plans on how to get there, based on where the production resources are coming from and at what cadence.


Q. Given that you're not a large studio what are your expectations regarding launch content? Things like a single leveling path vrs choices in zones during various stages, higher level dungeons, end game content (raids, dungeons, epic quests).
Tim: Players will definitely have choices in zones. The pre-alpha testers will begin to feel those choices with the upcoming PA sessions. Those choices will continue to expand as we finish out Kingsreach and begin work on our next continent. We build our zones with pockets of content, there is obviously an intended level range that makes up a large percentage of the zone but pockets of other content will exist. It wouldn't be uncommon to come across much higher level content in a zone or dungeon you’re spending a lot of time in. Horizontal content is also very important to us so expect to want to go seek out certain quests, abilities and/or items at various level ranges for the betterment of your character. I use the example of Jboots as a Wizard in EQ. Camping the AC for my Jboots slowed my leveling for a while but the boots were worth that sacrifice in the long run.

Q. Is the perception system being developed in tangent with all core game mechanics from the ground up? Are y'all fully committed to it or could it fall by the wayside due to feature-creep and limited resources? Kinda like diplomacy and Vanguard.
Ben: Perception is very much a core system for Pantheon. The way it’s designed and developed is completely in tandem with some other systems as they are connected at a fundamental level. Perception uses some of the same backend systems as jobs, for example. It’s presented in a much different way but ultimately it has the same kinds of triggers if you think about it. Instead of building faction to be able to accept a quest from a specific NPC, you’re instead relying on your perception skill to reveal the story triggers from the environment. But you still need to meet condition a and be at location b for result x.

Q. Today's gaming culture has changed dramatically since EverQuest, now, young players follow the top twitch games and whatever their favorite streamers are playing, will you be trying to appeal to younger players at all?
Ben: Absolutely. One of our major goals from the very start was to make challenging MMOs cool again. We want to bring the socially rich, engaging experience to new generations.
1a.) Do you care about being a streamed game at all?
Ben: We encourage it! (or will moreso when the NDA is lifted)
1b.) Do you expect the playerbase to be older on average than when EverQuest was released due to this new gaming culture?
Ben: There will be older gamers, yes. But there will be younger ones too. I expect our average age may be a handful of years older than, say, a lot of competitive FPS games, but that’s simply due to the genre. I don’t think it will be a huge leap in generations average, at least that’s what we’re gleaning from our research and analytics.

Q. Will anything be done to prevent datamining?
Ben: We can’t get into specifics on this without writing a how-to guide on how to bypass any measures we do put in place. It is something we’re discussing frequently though.

Q. And serious question: for long term thinking, is the anticipation to create content that is sustained for multiple expansions and stays relevant (eg avatar of war items still used by plane of time raiders), or is it to effectively restart each major content release (eg the WoW method)?
Tim: The long term thinking is to create content that is sustained for multiple expansions.

Q. Will you introduce any built in / artificial processes to mitigate "bad behavior"?
Tim: We’re considering a prison server for the griefers, it would be FFA PVP. That was something Brad brought up during our meetings in Boston. I love the idea personally. I’ll probably roll on that one:)

Q. Is development at this stage going faster or slower than you expected? Are things generally speeding up as you get further along?
Ben: It’s a curve. It started slow and we’ve hit a few milestones now that have sped it up considerably. We anticipate it to get even faster as time goes on.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in zone creation?
Tim: I think It’s been our pre production process. We’ve made a lot strides in that area to become more efficient. Planning is everything. I think we will end up talking more about that process in a newsletter down the line but it has really improved.

Q. I know this is far ahead of where you are, but what do you ballpark ideal/intended raid size at?
Tim: We’re not ready to release this yet but we have discussed it.

Q. Have you had any lessons learned from the Pre-Alpha testing process?
Tim: I wouldn't say lessons but more like reminders that players will always push the boundaries. It’s also helped bring some mechanics to the surface that probably received attention a bit sooner than they would have without the sessions.

Q. What if any benefits have you seen from having a dedicated Pre-Alpha period with pledged backers involved?
Tim: The benefits have been huge. You can’t simulate what a large group of players are going to do. Especially a group as diverse in play styles as our Pre-Alpha testers. It’s about as organic as it gets and the feedback has been so validating(positive and critical) for the direction we’re taking the game. It’s also been a big help in regards to monitoring how are zones/servers perform.

Q. What has surprised you the most about the Pre-Alpha process so far?
Tim: Just how far we’ve come. I can’t explain the feeling being online when players logged into our game for the first time.

Q. Do you think other studios will create an MMO in Unity after seeing your results?
Ben: I wouldn’t be at all surprised. We’ve shown the game around a bit within the industry and there have been many gasps of surprise as to what Unity is capable of. We have a strong team who are very clever in what they do and are able to pull things off previously thought impossible for Unity, but Unity has been providing some powerful tools and updates as well. We know it’s a viable engine for this kind of project and I think other studios are realizing that now too. There are some incredible projects out there in development on Unity.
Will Pantheon feature servers that are completely separate from each other (e.g., EverQuest)? Will these servers have a population cap? Might we see login queues or servers closed to new characters?
Ben: Yes, we intend to have several realms to play on, which will be separate from each other, have their own population and economy and so on. We’re still investigating population caps and how to deal with them.
Will you allow data mining of items / spells data to third parties?
Ben: The current plan is no. We want to encourage good old-fashioned community building, and discovery and sharing (or not sharing) information is a cornerstone of a thriving community. However, we also realize it’s 2018 so we do want to be supportive of sprouting communities. We’re still discussing the details of what kinds of tools we can provide.

Q. For the art team, are characters going to be very identifiable by spells & animations? If PvP is a thing having readability and knowing exactly what they are is something that is kind of overlooked in a lot of MMOs these days.
Also, big long epic quest chains for gear yes or yes?
Tim: yes and yes!

Q. Will there be a boob slider in the character creation process?
Ben: No.

Q. Will it be published by Daybreak?
Ben: No.

Q. 1) Is it going to rock?
Tim: do Fallen gifs make you laugh?! We want the F16’s to return to base so we need maximum rock’en...
2) What’s more important as a Producer. Friendship or Vicodin?
Ben: I’m thinking a hot tub on the roof of VR HQ. Not sure I’ll be able to convince the powers the be, but I’m hopeful.

Q. Are the fuzzy trolls going to be part of the collector's edition? Or are you saving them for an expansion down the road?
Tim: fuzzy troll Easter eggs.

Q. Will Rangers have a tracking mechanic?
Ben: Yes. You will be assigned a 12-digit code upon character creation and will be able to see where your ranger is at any time by checking the app.

Or, in the more likely case that you meant the other kind of tracking, yes, they’ll have that too.


Q. From the initial design and failed KS throughout the current design and team, what have been the major challenges that you might not have anticipated?
Ben: Well, we didn’t anticipate the KS to fail :p. Although we learned so, so much from it. We quickly learned that we had to start showing, and not just telling. So that’s what we started doing. That little lesson right there was one of the biggest turning points in the company’s history and it’s still our mantra in the office.
Nowadays one of the most consistent challenges we face is simply from working with a team largely made up from remote members. Collaboration tools work great, and it’s something that wouldn’t have even been attempted a decade or two ago, but there’s still no easy fix for trying to get a meeting
together with people spreading across 6 different timezones. It’s not impossible, but scheduling calls and sessions is one of those challenges that we all deal with pretty much daily.

How has (If any) the major directive or goal for the game changed over the years?
Tim: I think we’ve just established our line on what needs to be in for release and what will most likely come post release. When you’re in a design meeting, it’s tempting to want to run with a bunch of ideas but bloat is very real and we’re constantly reminding ourselves of that.

Q. What are the primary benefits of retiring a character? Can you elaborate and can the progeny use some if not all of the retired character's gear? Start with better faction ratings, etc, etc?
Ben: Progeny has not been fully fleshed out yet so we’re not quite ready to share much on it.

Q. The Pantheon team is smaller and appears less well funded than recent MMO releases. With these constraints, how do you economize and prioritize to ensure that you can make the game you want to, and it makes it to release? Assuming you have to cut somewhere relative to these games with $50 million+ behind them, what do you think you can cut without losing your customer base? How do you decide?
Ben: It’s really about leveraging the tools you have and considering when to implement certain parts. The real money sink in AAA development is in the art and marketing, but the licensing of software, programming and the internal guts of game building is similar across many games.
So what we’ve done is initially used a lot of placeholder art. This was licensed from various sources and quite affordable. Then, once we were able to get more artists in, we started getting them to replace that art with Pantheon-original stuff. As our resources grow, so do our teams, including the art department so this naturally speeds up over time.
As for the marketing - we’ve kept it pretty lean too. We first licensed a few pieces of art in the early days. Then we commissioned more focused art, and now we have our in-house team making all the new stuff that we can use for conceptualizing, design and promotions.
You also haven’t seen us at major tradeshows with giant booths because those are expensive. We’ve instead opted for smaller spaces and kept the budget quite lean. Similarly we don’t do sponsored content of any sort. We’ve been lucky that many popular people and companies have taken an interest in our project and have given us a considerable amount of exposure without a big price tag attached.
We don’t spend a lot in advertising because we’re not at a stage where it makes sense to. When we “convert” new players to the challenging MMO scene we don’t want to have to preclude it with a long wait. We’ll lose their interest. With MMO die-hards like FoH, it’s easier to communicate that these things take time. That’s unfortunately not the case with more mainstream gamers.
So in short, by timing our spend, we’re able to build the game now, pump out the pretty at a more controlled pace, and get the engines hot by launch.
It’s not the fastest way to make a game but it is steady and saves a lot of burn. It’s also sustainable because you develop around the resources instead of going hard and fast to ultimately find yourself just short of the finish line if you got caught up in the myriad of things that can eat at a budget.


Q. Will they do single item loot + coin on the PvP server like Rallos Zek?
Tim: We haven’t quite dove into how we want our PVP servers to work. The focus has been on the PVE side of the house. With that said, the team has some passionate PvP people so expect it to get the proper attention it deserves when the time is right.

Q. Is the current plan that:
- all three continents and unique racial starting areas will be ready for launch?
Tim: Yes, that is the current plan.
- Regarding auctions/marketplace, will there be a global search, at minimum ( I don't care about the rest of the features) given what tlpauctions.com has done with EQ1 TLP? (provided a global search pre-bazaar)
Ben: The in-game auctioning and trade industry has not been finalized so we can’t go into any specifics just yet.
- What is your minimum target audience size / demographic expectation for launch? 10k subs, 50k subs, 100k subs, or more ? In other words, how small is your niche tolerance?
Ben: We’ll be sustainable with subs in the 10s of thousands.
- Are you still potentially going to use private instances (group or solo) for quest/story mode encounters?
Tim: There is a possibility we do this, yes. It would be on a vary limited basis if we do and revolve around a story/quest like you said.
- What are the current design goals to handle overcrowding, guild/raiding competition, and more, based on this thread? Kilsin claims you have solutions for all of these problems, yet.. no solution has been forthcoming in the past 20+ years that doesn't involve instancing (including /picks) but you're anti-instancing, so this is a bit of an illogical situation and some clarification would be grand.
Ben: These mechanics are still being designed. We’re determined to crack the code! We have some ideas but nothing we can get into just yet until we try them out.

Q. What type of guild functionality do they plan for their game? What is their guild limit size?
Tim: We don’t have any hard limit caps in mind. Expect a robust guild management system.

Q. 1 more, will there be levitate as we know it in EQ? I already saw various forms of invisibility and see invisible.
Tim: Yes!

Q. The way that loot is developed in WOW seems to be just over abundant, where as in EQ, it was a while before you saw your first piece of magical loot - Which direction is Pantheon going to take?
Chris (Joppa): Your first piece of "statted" armor (armor with more than just Armor Class on it) will more than likely come from your first adventure into a dungeon.
We want to introduce stats slowly and make each point of increase impactful. To this end, a bit over a year ago we cut our base attribute amounts from the standard 80 down to 8. Going from 8 to 10 strength is a big deal and we want it to feel like a big deal for your player's power and performance.
So yes, lower level gear will have stats, starting around level 6-8 you may find your first piece of armor with a +1 on it. But that +1 will be meaningful - and our goal is to make each piece you get after that feel like a genuine improvement.


Q. What is your betting guess on how long it will take players to discover every dungeon or zone in the initial release? :)
With a stated focus on exploration do you think the team is focused on rewarding that with many hidden or keyed dungeons/even zones or are we really just trying to get some base content out.
Tim: We’re always wanting to reward exploration, the game won't feel right without it. Especially with the precepton system being a big part of our game. Exploring may not always lead to some undiscovered dungeon but there has to be areas where players feel off the grid so to speak and have a potential payoff. For me, personally, it’s a big focus when being in design meetings for a zone. I know Joppa feels it as well. Current example, we’re working on a large wilderness area in one of our zones and we want it to feel wild and untamed, we also want people to get excited about the possibility of a reward due to their exploration. We can leverage so much to accomplish that feeling. It doesn’t always have to be uber loot, it can be more subtle, from a camp of bandits that drop good coin, to a few rare animals that have valuable pelts or even a secluded fishing hole. It’s really one of my favorite things to think about as we build our world.

Q. My Day 1 purchase decision rides entirely on one question - will snakes kick?
Tim: I keep forgetting to go in and add a kick ability to our snakes. I’ll sneak it in at some point.
How much of the content do you anticipate to be "open world"?
Tim: We anticipate just about all of our content to be open world.

Q. I love lore. Can you telI me more about the Fallen?
Tim: So much to say here, it would be easier to just direct you to page 1 of this thread. Pan'Theon: Rise' of th'e Fal'Len - #1 Thread in MMO

Q. What's with the ridiculously large buildings fetish?
Tim: Our Lead Writer, Justin, responded to a question similar to this on our forums so I’m going to drop his response here. I’m assuming this is in reference to Thronefast.
As for the question in OP, thank you for the feedback. Yes, this is a very big city. It holds one of the largest population concentrations in the world, and has no rival for size or scope among the 9 playable races. It is a commercial, cultural and economic hub, and needs to accommodate a large amount of traffic from NPCs as well as players.

But its scale has purposes apart from that. Thronefast was built immediately after the Deicide War, where the first Human city of Havensong was torn to the ground and carted off a cliff. (You'll be able to visit that spot in game eventually). When the Humans began construction on Thronefast under King Avendyr, size and strength were must haves. Avendyr also knew that to rally his people to such a herculean effort right after they had been nearly wiped out, the end result needed to be visually inspiring as well as structurally reassuring. At that time they did not know if the Revenant would reemerge and attack once more. Thankfully, they did not.

In a very real sense the construction of Thronefast was the rebuilding of a people, as well as a home. However, as their wealth has grown over the years the grandeur and indulgence has increased in kind. You're bearing witness to that and asking the question, "why?". It's a good one.

Also, artistically we wanted to substitute the placid majesty of a natural environment for the buzz and wonder of an urban environment. Scale is a way to accomplish that in place of forests and hills.


Q. Will there be a /fallen emote?
Tim: Would be a good lol to have one.

Q. Do you have a plan for lore and the world as it grows? In that, do you have an "end"? If you play EverQuest from classic to the ending of POP it is a great experience, and you can tell it was meant to move on to EQ2- the story and xpacs after where very disjointed and then fell into just rehashing of "old" story elements.
Tim: I reached out to our Lead Writer, Justin, for this one. Yes. The world has a long term, developing plan to unfold over time. The ways and means may change as development continues post-launch, but there is a long term vision in place.

Many MMOs release expansions that completely invalidate older content, causing classic zones to become stale and no longer relevant. While it's still very early in development, has the Pantheon team thought of how to combat this as the game grows and expands?
Tim: We have talked about this quite a few times. We definitely have some ideas but nothing we’re ready to put out there yet.

Q. Can we twink or will there be BoE and level restrictions on gear? I wanna give my level one a FBSS and a Wurmslayer.
Tim: You can twink, most of our items will be tradeable. Expect things like epics to be BoE. The limitations with use would be tied to the characters skill using that type of item.
 

Jait

Molten Core Raider
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A few years ago everyone was mocking this. We had some fun looking at a bible mmo. Vhalens wife screaming at Brad. Kickstarters failed spectacularly. I left and came back and now this is a real thing that needs AMA?

Did you guys all throw in money or something? Or did a few board members jump into the shoes of people like Tony Garcia?

This is honestly like when your buddy starts dating the cheap whore half of you wouldn’t dare stick your dick into on a bet. Are we’re all supposed to ignore it?
 

Izo

Molten Core Raider
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A few years ago everyone was mocking this. We had some fun looking at a bible mmo. Vhalens wife screaming at Brad. Kickstarters failed spectacularly. I left and came back and now this is a real thing that needs AMA?

Did you guys all throw in money or something? Or did a few board members jump into the shoes of people like Tony Garcia?

This is honestly like when your buddy starts dating the cheap whore half of you wouldn’t dare stick your dick into on a bet. Are we’re all supposed to ignore it?
It's brown, and it's kinda happening. We got our expectations subverted? It's kinda cool if there are beta invites for this fallen community. Paradoxal. But cool.
 

suineg

<Donors Crew>
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A few years ago everyone was mocking this. We had some fun looking at a bible mmo. Vhalens wife screaming at Brad. Kickstarters failed spectacularly. I left and came back and now this is a real thing that needs AMA?

Did you guys all throw in money or something? Or did a few board members jump into the shoes of people like Tony Garcia?

This is honestly like when your buddy starts dating the cheap whore half of you wouldn’t dare stick your dick into on a bet. Are we’re all supposed to ignore it?
Nope, the forum itself isn't invested.

It is an MMO though and it is being developed and the people here have a history with Brad and this game so why not ask them questions?

Name an MMO that you want me to pursue a conversation with the developers and I will do it with them as well.
 

Jait

Molten Core Raider
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Cool. We’ll pretend they’ll have a long, loving life together. Everything will work out ok. If nothing else, like EQ and Pantheon, I’ll get another 200pg design doc from one of his co-workers and we will have a good laugh. Except he’s now on fifth string developers in a field that has massive unemployment and quality people looking for work. All signs point to herpes. I mean grandkids.

👍
 

BoozeCube

Ahh Helll Nawww
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I mean there are only so many MMOs even being made, I am not even sure WoW can be considered an MMORPG at this point any longer. Pantheon deserves to be made fun of and Brad deserves to be ridiculed but I still appreciate information on this game when it comes. I still think there is a long way between where they are and a release and who knows what will happen until then. Still it's cool to get some inside information from the development team for any MMO company I don't know anyone could think otherwise.
 
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Chimney

Knight of the Realm
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It's good they are looking at tens of thousands of subs to be sustainable instead of shooting for something unrealistic.

Good Q&A, but until this game is months from release it's impossible to get excited and I want nothing more than an MMO that isn't WoW or Asian grind/p2w fest.
 

Zaide

TLP Idealist
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Awesome to see these responses. Interesting that Joppa thinks it will take 10 weeks to do 1-50.
 

Hekotat

FoH nuclear response team
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This killed me

Tim: throw in a soybuck or 2 and we can get the brown past 10.


Also, did they refuse to answer the blood mage question or was that a goof in the formatting?
 

suineg

<Donors Crew>
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This killed me

Tim: throw in a soybuck or 2 and we can get the brown past 10.


Also, did they refuse to answer the blood mage question or was that a goof in the formatting?
They said some questions they needed more time for. There are probably a dozen or so they didn't answer for one reason or another yet but none so far that they have said that they refuse to answer.
 
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McFly

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That right there I respect but it puts me into the no category no matter how great the game might be.

I don't have the time, no that's not right, I don't have the patience for a 10 week grind for anything.
I'd have to agree that a 10 week level time is too long. Even though I'm a nostalgia pleb, I've evolved as a gamer since the old "hardcore" EQ1 days. I want an immersive experience, but I'm not committing that amount of time to simply level a character.

With no guarantee of content depth while leveling, and with old school traditional combat systems, that will not keep me entertained. (Even BDO combat which was awesome, wasn't enough to keep me playing).

4-5 weeks playing at moderate level should max you, IMO.
 

Mat'hir Uth Gan

Lord Nagafen Raider
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I thought it was a solid AMA.

The gem is the 10 week answer. I like that. They have talked a lot about putting the focus on leveling up and horizontal progression (finding spells, long term loots, faction), as opposed to just rushing to level cap. Most of the recent MMOs lack investment because people get to cap in a week, then they burn out. A long, slow progression with lots of things to camp and obtain on the way is exactly what the genre needs. Pantheon just needs to make sure that core game is fun and there is plenty to do. I am absolutely looking for an MMO that I can invest years into playing, so a relatively long grind to the top doesn't bother me in the slightest.

It is an interesting answer though. Seems to me the only way to insure it takes roughly 10 weeks to hit cap for a poopsocker is to put in some form of auto-xp shutoff if you gain X amount in any given day. I think I'm fine with that as long as there is enough horizontal progression to make it feel like the extra hours I play not getting xp is still worth it. If you have to hunt down all your spell upgrades or farm them, that could easily do it. If there are a lot of great trinket loots that offer things like levitation, water breathing, run speed, mana regen, hp regen, etc....then that would be worth it as well.

Curious to see how all this shakes out. Thanks to VR team for taking the time to answer the questions.
 

Zaide

TLP Idealist
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I'd have to agree that a 10 week level time is too long. Even though I'm a nostalgia pleb, I've evolved as a gamer since the old "hardcore" EQ1 days. I want an immersive experience, but I'm not committing that amount of time to simply level a character.

With no guarantee of content depth while leveling, and with old school traditional combat systems, that will not keep me entertained. (Even BDO combat which was awesome, wasn't enough to keep me playing).

4-5 weeks playing at moderate level should max you, IMO.
I am pretty sure their philosophy is that Pantheon is not about "max level" and their hope is that people enjoy it for the adventure and the leveling process itself rather than rushing to end game. With that said, a longer grind is just more time to explore the world and enjoy the lower to mid level ranges.

Another big benefit (especially in an open world game) is that it creates a big disparity between the hardcore, average and casual player bases. This means that being high level will actually feel cool, it will be a bit of an accomplishment and also when it comes to open world raid content it will be much less congested.

One of the things we saw on EQ TLP servers (especially before instancing and pick zones) was that the easy leveling process meant top zones quickly became congested, and average/casual players felt hardcore players were monopolizing raid content. With the VR approach to leveling it will be the content itself which acts as a bottleneck instead of other players, I think that is important in fostering a healthy server community.

My issue with what Joppa said is that he is either overestimating the average gamer or underestimating the hardcore gamer. I'd say your average player will clock in about four hours a day every day or less. Any more than that and you're getting outside the "average" category. With that estimate we would project average players to spend about 504 hours to get max level across the timeline given. Hardcore players will accumulate 504 hours played in 20-30 days. Much less than the expected rate.
 
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Mat'hir Uth Gan

Lord Nagafen Raider
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7d 21h 2m
I am pretty sure their philosophy is that Pantheon is not about "max level" and their hope is that people enjoy it for the adventure and the leveling process itself rather than rushing to end game. With that said, a longer grind is just more time to explore the world and enjoy the lower to mid level ranges.

Another big benefit (especially in an open world game) is that it creates a big disparity between the hardcore, average and casual player bases. This means that being high level will actually feel cool, it will be a bit of an accomplishment and also when it comes to open world raid content it will be much less congested.

One of the things we saw on EQ TLP servers (especially before instancing and pick zones) was that the easy leveling process meant top zones quickly became congested, and average/casual players felt hardcore players were monopolizing raid content. With the VR approach to leveling it will be the content itself which acts as a bottleneck instead of other players, I think that is important in fostering a healthy server community.

My issue with what Joppa said is that he is either overestimating the average gamer or underestimating the hardcore gamer. I'd say your average player will clock in about four hours a day every day or less. Any more than that and you're getting outside the "average" category. With that estimate we would project average players to spend about 504 hours to get max level across the timeline given. Hardcore players will accumulate 504 hours played in 20-30 days. Much less than the expected rate.

What do you think about hard locks on xp gain or severe diminishing returns? Theoretically, as long as there is plenty of horizontal progression for power gamers to sink their time into to improve their characters, it would give them enough to do while capping the ability to rush to max level in a few weeks.

In my view, that's the only way to guarantee a lengthy time to reach end game. If you need max level plus gear (camps, factions, keys, etc...) to effectively have a prayer at raiding, a power gamer that still plays 24/7 and can do all those grinds and camps will still be far ahead of the average crowd, even if they are closer in level range due to a hard daily cap or severe diminishing returns. However, capping max xp gains per day or week (however they would do it) would guarantee nobody hitting level 50 until around the 10 week mark.

I see potential here, but a lot depends on the depth and horizontal progression of the game.
 
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Fyff

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Epic weapons are BoE? Did i read that right?
I gotta quote myself because the dev team i guess doesnt want to touch this thread. Got a pm. BoE is a typo, epics are BoP.