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Karofin-
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re: February Newsletter

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Forgot to post this one for some reason.  The lack of a High Elf Paladin has caused quite an uproar of debate on the forums.  For that reason alone, I like that they have done that.  Its got folks talking.  Gnomes can only be casters or Rogues, which is interesting also.  No one likes Gnomes though.... do they ?  I am fond of the fact they are forming their lore and standing by it no matter what.  Lore and the feeling of belonging to a class are, IMO important.

 

February's Pantheon Newsletter

 

Posted date / 02.15.17

 

February is here, and with it comes a whole new newsletter which is newly new. New what we mean?

 

Making its debut this month is a fun feature we call ICYMI. This article will get you caught up on some things from the Pantheon world which you may have missed in the past. Highlights from around the site, streams, and news articles will populate this column so be sure to check it out. This month we take another look at the new character models in Pantheon that were revealed during the December Twitch stream.

 

Complimentary to the theme we also take a closer look at the class-race chart that was revealed earlier this month. Find out more from the devs on the choices that will be waiting for you at character creation and how they fit into the story of Terminus in The Many Classes of Pantheon.

 

Oh, and hey, how about a State of the Game? Joppa comes back with a nice meaty letter to tell us what the team has been working on and what we have to look forward to in the future.

 

And if that’s not enough, be sure to read this month’s Community Spotlight where we have a chat with Hokanu.

 

Tons to see, tons to do! New, new new!

 

ICYMI

 

Posted date / 02.15.17

 

Just in case you have been avoiding the internet for the last few weeks, were sequestered for jury duty or have just been mired in life’s endless minutia we recently revealed some new character models.

 

 

The Archai

 

Torn from the ancient crystalline planet of Roa, the Archai were originally created from another race of pure, magical energy called the Aoeyn. These innocent beings were tragically deconstructed and recomposed by the vile followers of Roa’s dark Celestial Lord and bred as a nation of slaves. Thus were born the Archai, a name bestowed by their similarly oppressed alchemic builders to honor the lost lineage of their ancestor Aoeyn.

 

 

The Ogre

 

With their hulking presence and a culture that values the brutal skills of battle above refinements or leisure, the Ogres of Broken Maw are perilously dismissed as primitive by the uninformed. Yet careful study would reveal a race that relishes the dance of warfare tactics and in whom resides an unmatched respect for valor and courage, whether friend or foe. When calm, Ogres are cautious and considerate before action. Unseat their emotions and their incomparable size wreaks unpredictable ends.

 

 

The Gnomes

 

It is a splendid irony that the smallest of the foreign races contains the most mystery. Peerless in understanding and wielding of the arcane, the Gnomes are beings without true physical form due to events on their home world. Meticulous and easily absorbed in the many tasks aboard their floating city ship Skyhold, diligence and service tend to be the highest Gnome virtues, along with sound innovation. Expansion is not a cultural aim, and the Gnomes have no real enemies, but some do long to face the perils and prizes of Terminus at large.

 

 

The Many Classes of Pantheon

 

Posted date / 02.15.17

One of the more immersive elements, and cornerstone facets, of a high fantasy role playing game is that of playable races and classes. While many games feature no restrictions and others use seemingly inane ones, Pantheon’s matrix is grounded in a lore and practicality based approach that simply poses the question; “Would it make any sense?”

In keeping with fantasy lore, Humans in Pantheon will be able to play any class, but will most likely lack some perks that other class/race combos may enjoy. Dark Myr will also have a large selection of specializations available, but in keeping with lore they will not be able to master the arts of the Paladin, Shaman or Ranger. Not all combo restriction are due to lore however, some are based on stature and physique - sadly Ogres just don’t possess the fine motor skills to master the lute or sneak about the shadows.

When we released this chart to our VIP members last month, it spawned lots of discussion about which combos were omitted, which seemed odd and which were going to be the most popular. The overwhelming consensus is that Dark Myr Clerics will be wildly popular while Dark Myr Bards seem odd, Elven Clerics and Paladins will be missed and that people would like to see Gnomes get more choices.

VIPs were treated to some insight straight from the developers over their questions, observations and concerns. Here are a couple of highlights;

Justin Gerhart, Lore Master and Lead Writer on Dark Myr Bards -

While bards are traditionally known for their upbeat and jovial qualities in MMOs, we felt that the Dark Myr presented a unique and authentic chance to broaden the scope of the class. Songs and melodies in our own world are not merely relegated to the happy side of life. As Ceythos(Corey LeFever) first put it in one of our discussions, “What about the mournful power of a dirge?”

That idea was compelling, especially in the context of the Dark Myr. A huge part of their culture was and is lamenting their history and remembering the excruciating moments after they came to Terminus…

“Many say the cries of anguish loosed that day still linger in the murky waters… Yet the fateful day of their arrival is marked by mourning, one week prior and one week after. Among the ceremony is a reading from ‘The Day of Testimonies’ a collection of witness accounts to the lamentable day.”

While the lore isn’t explicit in this regard, in my mind deep and mournful songs are as much a part of the ceremonies as the readings -- which are dramatic and performed in front of the entire assembly. That aspect of weaving together the theatrical with the memorial also fits with a second answer as to why Dark Myr can be bards: the storytelling theater of song. We felt it was too narrow to exclude a troubadour aspect of the Bard. So if you can’t imagine a Dark Myr being inherently joyful, can you imagine them pretending to be, and perhaps using that skill to their advantage? Can you imagine a wanderer from the sea who learns tales of other worlds and casts a spell of song over anyone who will listen? I can, and it only deepens the sorrow and mystery of the Dark Myr.

Corey LeFever, Senior Designer had this to say about Gnome choices -

Gnomes only have spell casters and rogues available?

This is reflective of their culture. They are nearly singularly focused in their pursuit of the arcane and hidden secrets. In lieu of training in martial skills they’ve put effort in creating or summoning golems, homunculi, and other forms of false life to protect their grand works.

What do you think about these combos? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or on our Official Forums.

 

State of the Game, February 2017

 

Posted date / 02.15.17

Hey everyone,

It is amazing to think it was May 2016 when we released our last State of the Game. So much has happened over the last 8 months!

A Growing Team

Let’s start with team additions. In the last few months, we have brought on two new key members of the Pantheon team. Most recently we brought on a new Associate Designer, Tim Wathen. He has been a fantastic addition to the team, working closely with Corey and I, focusing primarily on NPC population and developing that overall player experience of encountering NPCs in the world as you move from place to place. If you haven’t had a chance, listen to our latest podcast on MMORPG.com to hear more of Tim’s journey from fan to team member. We also added Robert Crane to the programming team as Senior Programmer, working with our Lead Programmer and CTO, Daniel Krenn. Robert has been an invaluable addition, bringing a high degree of programming skill and experience, and has hit the ground running with several projects in tandem with Daniel, including the Acclimation system and its corresponding UI elements. With these new hires to the core team, Pantheon’s overall development is moving forward more quickly than ever before.

Streaming Pantheon

Since the last SotG, we have done two streams on Twitch.tv showcasing the ongoing development of gameplay systems and the world of Terminus. In June, we took you through Avendyr’s Pass to find the Pass Authority outpost, then beyond into Black Dagger Keep. From there, we entered the dungeon of Halnir Cave where we discussed some early insights into the Perception System, NPC Dispositions and our commitment to open-world gameplay. In December we joined up with CohhCarnage for our second stream. We opened in the Halfling starting zone of Wild’s End where we revealed the first versions of five unique Player Character models: the Human male and female, the Archai male, the Gnome female, and the Ogre male. It was also the first time for the public to see the beginnings of the Shaman class in action.

From Wild’s End, we moved to the Human starting zone called Thronefast, from Thronefast we travelled to a village in Avendyr’s Pass to demonstrate an early example of the Perception System in action and then it was on to Halnir Cave for an action-packed boss fight. From there we ran through the Orc-occupied, snowy ruins of Avendyr’s Pass, into the heart of the mysterious Union of Shadow and for our finale, we opened the massive ice door and journeyed into Amberfaet.

The response to both of the streams has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging to us as a team. The world of Terminus continues to grow dramatically, and we hope to continue showcasing this trend of quality and progress in the Twitch streams that are soon to come!

And Now for a Taste of Things to Come

Let’s talk about what is to come - what have we been working on since December?

Design and Programming have been busy getting the first layer of our Extreme Climate and Acclimation systems functional. Expect to see these two mechanics at work in an upcoming stream. [Oh yeah, did we not mention we’ve got another stream planned soon? –ed.] We have also been fleshing out the design and implementation of a new player Class, which will remain a secret until we unveil it in the upcoming stream. On the World Building side of things, we will be unveiling two new zones soon: South Saol Peninsula, which is also home to the foreboding new dungeon, Tower of the Reckless Magician! And finally, the next time you see Pantheon gameplay, you can expect to see marked improvement in NPC AI, especially in combat (casters who stay at range to cast, anyone?). We may even have time to get the first few iterations of the NPC Disposition system in place.

There are several more key items I’d love to mention, but I don’t want to spoil all of the surprises. As always, there are other general points of progress to note: audio/visual effect additions and improvements, animation tweaks, new NPC types hooked up and in the world, ongoing optimizations, etc. - these things are ongoing and will be until launch.

Onward and Upward

It is an exciting time to be a Pantheon developer - there is great momentum and great progress being made on all fronts. The development team is growing larger and closer together. This is truly a collaborative environment; it is a thrill to watch more and more of the game take shape as we draw feedback from the community, discuss our ideas, share our progress and shape this game. Thank you for making your voices heard and continuing to think and talk about Pantheon with each other and with us.

It is also an exciting time to be a Pantheon fan, because the first round of access to Pantheon is getting closer every day!

As always, thank you for the unwavering support - we look forward to connecting with all of you in the upcoming stream.

See you in Terminus!

Chris “Joppa” Perkins
Creative Director

 

Community Spotlight: Hokanu

 

Posted date / 02.15.17

 

1) What is your main character's in-game name and how did you come up with it?

Hokanu Narayana is my go-to name for a heavy fighting class like Warrior, Dire Lord or Paladin. Hokanu comes from the series of books which probably kick-started my interest in the fantasy genre. The first book is Magician in the series from Raymond E Feist although I think Hokanu didn't appear till later books. The second part of the name was derived from a song in one of my favourite electronic albums "Fat of the Land" By The Prodigy, The song Narayan takes you on a great journey.

Salvia Divinorum would be my magic users name for those of the mental magic variety like Enchanters. It comes from the name of a very interesting plant!

 

2) What interests you the most about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen?

Something that interests me so much is being part of building the community that is going to be organically created over time in-game. Being amongst the great vibe that exists in a true cooperative PVE environment where reputation matters, where people understand the woes of each other because we have all worn the shoes of a low-level player trying to make their way in an unforgiving world. We are all helping others and being helped by others alike to achieve our current goal because a good community of like-minded folks looks after each other. Of course one of the important driving forces of this is that the community will be sculptured in this way as a result of the dangerous world, group orientated conditions & environment VR gives us to work with in game and of course the interdependence of each class.

This is why I am such an avid fighter for keeping the tough features VR want to employ in the game tough and also keep fighting for as much class interdependence as possible. I am looking forward to each player being an important cog in the well-oiled machine of a group that is pushing the boundaries of difficulty in what it does and having a laugh and making some great friends on the way.

 

3) What will your main race and class be and why?

Elven Enchanter for sure! I always like an Elf as a magic user (though all the races look so good) I am so pumped about the return of true crowd control classes like the Enchanter in this MMO. There is nothing like being the person that turns a situation of almost certain death into one where we can regroup, get our tactics back on track and come out on top. I also enjoy leading/directing traffic in a group scenario, and I think leadership is an important role for any enchanter to take part in to insure that crowd control is maximised, the healer isn't too stressed out, and the rest of the group knows the intended targets or plan of attack.

I love the focus required and weight of responsibility that is placed on an Enchanter to do the job right. At varying times all players in an interdependent class system have the capacity to be the one that saves the day, but an Enchanter can do it in such a way that involves finesse, perfect timing and a bit of good old fashioned luck :)

 

4) What is your favorite system, mechanic or feature so far in Pantheon?

So many things, so hard to choose, I think my most favourite feature would be the return to a group focus, social gameplay where you work with others to achieve your goals and progress your character. Every class having their speciality role and players needing to truly master their class and work together to maximise the groups potential in any circumstance or group makeup. With this in mind, I look forward the emergent gameplay and bending the way we use our classes abilities to be able to fight on when your group may be lacking in a certain class type or if you just want to try and achieve something in a creative way.

 

5) If you could enter the game and visit anywhere in Terminus for 1 hour, where would you go and why?

That's a tough one, zones we have seen so far look so nice it's going to be a gorgeous game, I love fighting things like Giants and other big mobs like Cyclops, they look so epic crossing the landscape so I would definitely love to go to where they are roaming and see what the VR Giant looks like. But unfortunately, without knowing their location, I would take a stab and say I'd head to the Khaga Sands and check out that area and see what's roaming out there! I always liked wide open desert zones and done well they always feel extra dangerous and unforgiving. Then if I had time, I would go up north to see that massive partially buried skeleton shown on the map and check out how awesome it looks up close and what mobs are hanging around it!

 

6) Finally, if you had to choose between being absorbed into the forums and forced to read every single post without a way to escape (included all sections including admin) or being locked at level 1 on one character only for the rest of your gaming life in Pantheon, what would you choose and why?

Haha, love it! These options remind me of a Rick and Morty episode with "The Devil" and his cursed items he gives away for "free" haha. While being in game would be AMAZING... being stuck at level one for eternity would be unbelievably infuriating and you are rendered almost powerless, I don't think I could handle it... the upside to this would be one of the starting city's rat problem would be well and truly dealt with ;)

For a good laugh, I think I would go for the forums absorption... I would (with my new found "data" powers) start editing and messing with everyone's posts. I'd start by making Dullahan seem like he is a big advocate for single player style easy mode MMO's and make it seem like Kilsin is openly admitting to his train addiction!! All jokes aside any day, any hour I would ALWAYS enjoy re-reading Krixus's "Defining The Magic of EQ" post.. what a cracker and many relevant features to Pantheon. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favour!

zipp_sotd
Dragon Shadow

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re: February Newsletter

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The races are looking really interesting in Pantheon.  I like the way that VR are revamping the traditional gnome, the lore behind them in Pantheon is worth a read.

I might be interested in rolling a gnome rogue, but depends on what the racial abilities are.  I will more likely go for Halfling though.

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