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Karofin-
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re: Exploring the world

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Original article here. http://www.mmorpg.com/pantheon-rise-of-the-fallen/previews/gdc-2016-hands-on-preview-of-brad-mcquaids-magnum-opus-1000010675

Pretty fine article and while I haven't seen it others might have as its almost a yr old.  Really covers off some of the detail on how threy expect the game to work.  I lvoe the sound of this game with everthing I read.  i just hope they make it a reality.

ARTICLE
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Pantheon had its first showing to the media at GDC today and we were lucky enough to be there right away to check things out. The game is coming along nicely and really heralds back to the classic MMOs we love with a fantastic push into the future of how MMO are made. We got to watch a solid demo as well as see some of the new features that will impact characters and their interaction with the environment.

The game world looked great and was really coming along in development. That is important because how much of the game is about the environment. The team is serious about the landscape because it matters to players and how they explore. The quest we got to see showed us ruins off in the distance, no points on a map, no follow the golden path, the game is all about exploration. So if you see something off in the distance, go check it out.

image: http://images.mmorpg.com/features/10675/images/GDC_Pantheon1_t.jpg

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The class combinations are also important. Brad and the team want players to form parties and do their jobs well. They want players to enjoying all the great classes that were in the old MMOs. We got to see the demo through the cleric who had some great healing abilities as well as strong attacks and buffs. The party fought off a camp of orcs who had moved into the area. When players form up into a party they get to decide how loot works as well to keep things fair.

One of the biggest elements the team showed off was how the environment and climate impact the players. This feature really brings something new to our genre that we have not seen before. The first example we saw was how you entered into an invisible magic zone. You were given subtle clues in the game that you suddenly felt different. If you took a few minutes in the zone and went through your inventory you realized you were in a mana zone. The red gem you carried as an artifact (when equipped) would begin to fill up with mana. This was a way to recharge and more importantly boost your spells and effects. The team was quick to explain that some of the mana in the game is set to enhance your abilities. While a cleric may not use red mana in his normal spell set, it can be used to offer enhancements, making the effects stronger. This system was fantastic to watch and really made the yearning to explore much much stronger.

image: http://images.mmorpg.com/features/10675/images/GDC_Pantheon2_t.jpg

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That was not the only climate affect the team showed us. We next journeyed up to a set of ruins. Inside there was an evil cult surrounding this large vortex of magic. The Union of Shadow as they were called had taken over a big area within the keep. This allows for multiple groups of players to enter the area and battle the NPCs. The vortex that the cultists are surrounding is very deadly to the players. The closer they get, the faster they start to lose their health. So how do you solve this problem? There are some powerful bosses in there that you are going to want to fight.

The team took us through a quest which brought us to the house of a crazed hermit. Inside he invited us to look around and make ourselves at home.  As we explored the rock, we found some loose stone. After searching a bit, we found a ring which would protect us from the magic vortex. It is these clues that really bring the depth into Pantheon. Brad and his team felt strongly that artifacts like the Ring of Anchors we found would be used to mitigate the climate effects on players. This leads into the perception system. If you enter a heavy magic zone then mages may have a heightened awareness. Flip over to the thief and he will be much better at finding traps in a zone. These types of climate changes and character interaction are all interwoven throughout Pantheon for players to enjoy. What made the system to much fun to see in action is that nothing is spelled out for you, it is all about player discovery.

image: http://images.mmorpg.com/features/10675/images/GDC_Pantheon3_t.jpg

image

Pantheon remains in pre-alpha development but as big fans of the game we are working to bring you the best coverage we can. We will have much more on the game in the coming months and we’re looking to set up some fun streams as well as full coverage of the classes and more of the stories you will experience. For now, the environmental gameplay in Pantheon really did it justice.


Read more at http://www.mmorpg.com/pantheon-rise-of-the-fallen/previews/gdc-2016-hands-on-preview-of-brad-mcquaids-magnum-opus-1000010675/#tbPysSz84kkFJDwj.99
Phuba
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re: Exploring the world

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Starting to look good in the graphical department. The environmental system looks interesting too, but I have a feeling my backpack won't be a fan of the system.  Needing item X for area Y, times 20+, means 20+ items I can't dump.....

Also I wonder how the perception system works for classes that arn't naturally perceptive.  It makes sense that a thief is better at spotting traps, and a mage can notice when there is foul magic in the air, a ranger can probably spot tracks and hidden paths, but what does a warrior add ?



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Ajuben
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It's very much a group game, warriors going by EQ standards are necessary meat shield types that taunt and take a beating not much else, soloing was possible by some classes like druid, necro, mage, but it was always better to form a group to maximise exp and surviivability, so far they have emulated EQ as it was back in the day, just with some new updated graphics and asthetics. The direction they are taking should make it an excellent game, the group\adventure eliment has been sorely lacking in most games since original EQ. Most modern games are essentially solo, with some group content at the end, Pantheon is being made to be group content all the way creating lots of oppertunity for adventures, even making travelling to a dungeon or zone part of the fun.

Xzen*
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It's looking really nice, and so looking forward to beta and the full release.

I only have one reservation about the thoughts and ethos behind this game. Back in the day none of us though anything about camping a mob until 3am or spending many hours online working through a zone to get to a particular boss.

A lot of us are now of a "certain age", and have busy lives. Raid and group instancing in recent games have been great because it means you can get right into the action. The thought of having to fight through to a contested raid zone does worry me somewhat, as I'm not sure how much we'd be able to achieve in the couple of hours that we get online together in the evenings. 



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zipp_sotd
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I share the same concern Xzen.  VR have said that you should be able to accomplish things in 2 to 3 hours, but looking at the dungeon in the stream, they seem massive. If there was a way you could somehow carry on from a previous session, like checkpoints that would resolve that issue. They did that in the raid zone APW in Vanguard.

Ajuben
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Well EQ had bind spells, and druids and wizards for teleportation, so I reckon it would be a matter of planning and camping at the right spot, also old EQ raids were huge meaning that high lvl players could quickly cut through trash to get to the raid spot.  I reckon they will instance some raids and perhaps reduce the spawn time on some rare nameds as it could be a bit tedious camping rares and squabling over them. One benefit also is more players will likely require a guild due to the particular content and so having more folks online during play hours should be more common.

Xzen*
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I wonder what their target audience is. If it is the 40 somethings, who grew up with EQ and VG and have fond memories of camping for 5hours, then my comments above probably apply to a lot of them now :)

I don't think this would attract a younger audience really - I'm thinking xBox generation, instant gratification, speed levelling, OMG'z l33t pwnd pvp lolz

I would like to see some sort of instancing, or the binding and teleportation as you state above Jarzak - that would work. You could have a couple of people setting up the raid earlier in the evening or the day before, so that we can drag people in quicker. It'll probably be fun fighting through to the raid zones the first couple of times, but I'm sure it will get tedious hehe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to our new chapter in Pantheon, just a couple of minor worries :)



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zipp_sotd
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From what I have read there is not going to be any instancing, as VR are building such a huge world with lots of content they don't think it will be a problem with groups camping for the same mobs.  If there are many people in the same area, then I expect a new shard will open to stop overcrowding.

Phuba
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Xzen* wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to our new chapter in Pantheon, just a couple of minor worries :)

 I pretty much share those worries.  It's great that they are making an old school style game, and the older gamers will most definitely be interested, but the younger generation ? If fear they don't have the patience to learn anymore.  Just look at any high learning curve game out there, its mostly played by older generations.

I'm also not a fan of full open world.  I hate waiting in line to kill something (cause there is always somebody who thinks waiting doesn't apply to them) or overfarmed areas where you wait with 20 people for the mobs to respawn only to kill them all in 1 min.  Not to mention to annoyance to raiding and dungeons, I want to compete, not be blocked by some group who decides they are the only group allowed to enter.

Sharding might help, after all its basically instancing, but then hidden so you don't know you are in an instance.

 



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Badem_Jax
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I too am looking forward to this, but sadly the Pre-Order cost is way out of my budget atm, so looks like I am waiting for Launch before I tie myself to this game.

 

Really hope its even deeper than Vanguard was, just without all the bugs

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