Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Behind the Design - Balance & Progression
Disclaimer #1. Nothing new here. Just relaying the audio notes from the recent Pantheon Rise of the Fallen VIP Stream with Chris "Joppa" Perkins - State of the Game
Disclaimer #2. This blog is neither associated with, nor employed by, Visionary Realms. I am a fan!
Disclaimer #3. This is not word for word what was said in the video. I tried to sum it up and include the most important parts in a concise way.
1:12 - What new mobs might we see in the Pantheon Rise of the Fallen next? Joppa - Spending a lot of time working on wraiths right now. Visual, behavioral, and combat changes have all been implemented.
2:09 - How confident are you that alpha will drop this year and what are the major things left that might prevent it from happening? Joppa - Very loaded question. The biggest factor in the timing of alpha is absolutely when the game is ready for alpha period. We will be discussing this quite a bit in the next Pantheon Dev Stream. Things that might prevent or slow that is content. We need enough content for 8000 people to consume.
5:50 - What has been one of the most challenging ideas you've had to implement? Joppa - Specific class ability ideas. Things like druids forming bridges and warriors charging weak walls, and rangers manual aiming. We dream ideas and then flesh it out. To the credit of our programmers they haven't told us we can't do any of our ideas yet.
7:57 - Any information on Bard or Necromancer? Joppa - The control/support classes were not as flushed out as the other parts of the Quaternity. We want to launch with more than the enchanter but all we can say for now is pay attention to more updates as they come.
10:55 - When we see new classes in the PA sessions? Joppa - Class implementation is not always happening. Classes need to wait for their turn in the March to alpha. Monk, Ranger, and Summoner are next to be implemented. They are more difficult to implement so we want to test them asap.
19:25 - Do you have any thoughts about the rate of experience? Joppa - Not really it's very fluid atm. We will be more serious about that in beta testing.
19:53 - Will we see dispositions and traits of enemy mobs in alpha? Joppa - The alpha plan includes several dispositions and traits that are not hard coded for alpha. We are working on building the tools to make that happen. Expect to see them on our march to alpha.
21:40 - Will cities be a zone themselves or just be inside part of a larger zone? Joppa - That's semi the case. Thronefast for example has a section of the city that can be accessed without zoning (city gates). The majority of cities will be in separate zones for performance however.
22:48 - Biggest hurdle for implementing the ranger or any other ranger beans? Joppa - The most time consuming thing is beckoning mechanic. The ranger "beckons" animals to join them in combat. Rangers are not pet classes. Their pet is not persistent. Beckoning would work like Wow where you collect certain NPC mobs with certain abilities. You then "beckon" them into battle when you need them. You would have a stable of pets to beckon from. Panther = Execute - Thunderpaw = Short Stun
28:10 - Status of Monk, Ranger, Summoner? Joppa - Monk animations are finished. Ranger animations are being worked on right now. Summoner pets need to be modeled and animated. In terms of codework the Monk is finished, the ranger is 90% finished, the summoner pets are specced and have passed feasibility tests.
31:03 - What has been your favorite thing to work on in 2021? Joppa - The most exciting thing I can't talk about yet. We can't show it till it's ready. Other than that it's equal parts classes, combat, and developing the exploration aspects of the game.
31:52 - What has been done with the networking? Joppa - We have the proper expertise but it's time consuming and being worked on.
32:50 - How are class identity and perception systems coming along? Joppa - These are two of our most important systems. They are core to Pantheon. Getting them into alpha is of extreme importance.
34:28 - Jimmy has done amazing things with houdini software? How has that kept Pantheon heading towards alpha? Joppa - Jimmy is amazing. His ability to use houdini to create a massive world quickly is key for us.
36:25 - What is Kilsen doing to prepare for alpha? Kilsen - I am working on turning the weekly into videos. I'm also working on making the VIP roundtables live streamed. Always looking for more content to give to the community. Also turning the VIP discord into the official Pantheon Discord and getting ready to onboard our alpha pledges.
38:45 - Do we have an update on the status of investors or publishers? Joppa - Things are going really well and we are in a really good spot. I'm happy with where we are at.
40:09 - Status on racial actives? Joppa - I've intentionally pulled those back. I'm wanting to experiment with a few things and don't want to lock us in before we've had a chance to explore that.
41:19 - Will there be general mastery skills in addition to combat mastery skills? Joppa - Players will be able to invest mastery points into a variety of skills. Anything from a bonus to faction gains to increasing stat caps, climbing speed, run speed, boosting secondary stats, acclimation bonuses, ect.
43:16 - What is infamy? How does it work? Joppa - Infamy is my attempt to design a system where you can't monopolize raid content at the highest levels in an open world game. Bigger breakdown of this system at a later date.
44:34 - When will VIPs be able to test the evaluation build? Joppa - yes that will be coming soon.
44:59 - Is instanced raid content being considered? Joppa - We are committed to delivering an open world game. We have no plans to do instanced dungeons. We are considering instanced raids in SOME CERTAIN situations. There will also be open world raiding.
46:57 - Dark Myr and water breathing, is it poisonous or no? Joppa - JN has final say but my understanding is that over time they have adapted to this world's water.
49:50 - How are you going to balance tanks? Joppa - Warriors - traditional physical based tanking. Dire Lord - magic based tanking. All content is being designed with this in mind.
52:11 - Will melee classes get silence/interrupts? Joppa - yes. stuns, roots, knockbacks, pushes, pulls, dazed, helpless are all similar shutdown outcomes.
53:45 - Progeny at launch? Joppa - Probably in an expansion or later on but we don't know for sure. Make peace with it going either way.
58:49 - Exploration skills for all classes? Joppa - Not all classes may have them but they will be in the game. There will also be itemization that will also help you explore.
1:00:27 - How far along is world building? Joppa - Kings Reach is a zone we will have completed by alpha. That is 1/3rd of the world (roughly). Once completed that should pave the way for quicker world building for the rest of Terminous.
1:02:52 - How far along are in game art assets? Joppa - That's a super difficult question as there are a ton of assets. Once King's Reach is finished that will be a large amount of those assets.
1:04:07 - What is the biggest obstacle to meeting deadlines? Joppa - No speed bumps. The biggest challenge is team size and resources.
1:08:32 - What is the current stance on early level gameplay? Joppa - We will lean on our VIP testers for feedback in this area. We want classes to grow into being powerful.
1:12:05 - Does Pantheon plan on showing mob levels on nameplates? Joppa - Open to feedback but currently you'll be able to see the mobs level within 5 levels. Mobs higher than 5 levels will not be shown.
1:15:54 - When can we expect 24/7 uptime for test servers? Joppa - All the devs wants dramatic increased uptime for servers. Leading up to alpha this will be very important. Networking is still being worked on. Soon(tm)
1:17:29 - Project Faerthale status? Joppa - Project Faerthale has been expanded. It is now a greater part of the game development and not a specific goal.
1:21:09 - Why can’t server uptime be more open in pre Alpha? Joppa - Resources and staff. Networking limitation being the big one. Once the networking is in it will increase our server uptime. In the meantime, we are trying to get to a place where we could do testing every 2 weeks.
1:22:40 - How is quest design handled? Joppa - Lore drives all our quests. The design team works with lore to create tasks and story quests.
1:25:23 - What races are planned for alpha 1 and will they have racial actives? Joppa - Actives are on hold for the moment. Part of the alpha goal is to have all the races to be available.
1:26:10 - Will climates affect resource regen? Joppa - Not natural weather and climate. Extreme climates will effect them.
1:27:00 - Is the game being built with accessibility in mind? Joppa - Quick answer is yes. Once we get to UI pass that will be more of a focus.
1:28:42 - How does the team maintain a work/life balance? Joppa - it's different depending on each person. My kids also keep me young. We love making this game.
1:35:37 - Are characters being built procedurally like the terrain? Joppa - No player characters and NPCs are individually modeled.
1:35:57 - Will Reignfall have level 1-50 content? Joppa - Yes each of the three continents will have 1-50.
1:36:20 - Bard composition system ? Joppa - Not yet but it will explore weapons vs instruments vs singing.
1:37:30 - Was the work done on the network in the last pre-alpha test valuable even though a new network stack will be implemented? Joppa - It further cemented our desire to get the new networking in.
1:38:13 - When can we expect to see Skar in-game? Joppa - Soon (TM) ... part of the alpha goal.
1:28:38 - Wow long until gnomes can have visible armor? Joppa - Part of getting the races ready is making sure they can wear armor properly. We are close.
1:39:59 - Trees in last pre-alpha test? Joppa - moving from temporary trees to Jimmy custom made tress.
1:41:10 - Is there a list of things that will NOT be in Pantheon? Joppa - Very few things. Instanced world. Flying Mounts.
1:45:40 - Will Joppa be the music composer? Joppa - No. I will be connected to it but it's to time consuming for me.
1:46:47 - How will pet names work? Joppa - Yes you can name pets. Over time it will be unlockable.
1:47:20 - Are there zones being worked on that we haven’t seen? Joppa - Yes and also other zones that have been seen that are being expanded.
1:50:15 - Race class restrictions? Joppa - We are reviewing that. We need to do an official release of the changes we have made. We will not be eliminating race/class restrictions.