Pantheon - Kickstarter Updates# 51 & 52

Couchpotato

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has two more updates from Visionary Realm, and things still don't look good. The project has 40 Hrs left, and still needs $360,000.

Update #51 - The Summoner

Summoners are masters of reaching through the dimensional rifts to pull items from other worlds into existence or create a portal allow you to travel long distances in a flash. Able to summon many things ranging from provisions to weapons, Summoners can be mobile resource centers. But they can do more than that. Summoners are manipulators of the elements giving them the ability to create elemental copies of creatures in the world or shape the body of a sentient magical core. A summoner and his or her pets are powerful foes whose versatility ensure they are always ready to go.
Update #52 - The Planes of Arcana

The fundamental elements that hold the fabric of existence together within the Pantheon universe are known as the Planes of Arcana. These intangible and abstract planes of magic were formed from the resonating forces that destroyed all life prior to the Planar Collisions. Each one of these planes is comprised of a specific arcane force that serves an important function in the universe. Unseen and infinite, these are not realms that can be visited, but their powers can be channeled through an array of complex and dangerous magical disciplines. Once tapped, they can be used like an artist’s palette to create masterful spells or imbue magical abilities.
More information.
 
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Looking this over I couldn't really see anything they are doing very differently than other MMOs, except that they don't appear to have enough funding to make something competitive, even if they were to make their Kickstarter target. Plus "group oriented content" doesn't appear to be what people want, these days. MMO designers are always trying to get people to play together, then being forced (LOTRO for example) to make their content soloable. Why can't they just accept from the start that a great many MMO players want to be alone, together?
 
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90% of contemporary mmo's are already geared towards introverted loners. I, for one, WANT a group-based, challenging MMO.

The problem with this project was two-fold:
1. The launch wasn't well-prepared, it relied too much on Brad McQuaid's pedigree… which leads me to…

2. Although I personally pledged, I feel a great many people who want what he's offering did not follow suit because of how poorly Vanguard got pushed out the door. Us Everquest ol'timers in the MMOspace have long memories…
 
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90% of contemporary mmo's are already geared towards introverted loners. I, for one, WANT a group-based, challenging MMO.

The problem with this project was two-fold:
1. The launch wasn't well-prepared, it relied too much on Brad McQuaid's pedigree… which leads me to…

2. Although I personally pledged, I feel a great many people who want what he's offering did not follow suit because of how poorly Vanguard got pushed out the door. Us Everquest ol'timers in the MMOspace have long memories…

Exactly this. There is a demand for group oriented MMO, take me for example, I am not fan of Brad and I had lot of concerns about KS (where is rest of the money going to come from? etc) but I still pledged. I know lot of people who still play Everquest but wasn't interested in this KS due to Brad and their concerns for KS.
 
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Looking this over I couldn't really see anything they are doing very differently than other MMOs...Plus "group oriented content" doesn't appear to be what people want, these days. MMO

I'd say, wrong, and they weren't targeting the average contemporary MMORPG player, who isn't a real MMORPG player, because MMORPGs *ARE* about grouping and if all you do is solo in an MMORPG you are just playing a single player game online.

There IS an audience for this type of game. I'm somewhat surprised that they look like they won't hit their funding. There are plenty of us that want an old school MMORPG that involves grouping most of the time, facing challenges and danger most of the time (PvE danger, not deranged wannabe murderers ganking each other silly), and with modern trappings and graphics of modern games.

I would also debate who actually plays MMORPGs. So many MMORPGs follow the SWTOR mold (that existed before SWTOR but it exemplifies it) where they basically make a TON of solo content, which essentially makes it a single player game, with some pathetic amount of group and raid content. The game costs a boatload to make and is expected to have a sub and be popular forever.

But that's not what happens.

Because few people are going to subscribe to a single player game. No developer can create enough single player content fast enough. Smedley recently said something like content-based MMORPGs will never work, but he's wrong. Content based pseudo MMORPGs that are single player games will never work - yeah, he's right there. Group-based games where content lasts longer than a few minutes can work.

Instead what happens is they sell a bunch of copies, all those soloists exhaust the single player portion of the game, and then they bail. The few who stick around, those who are real MMORPG players looking for grouping, content, endgame, and who miserably solo thru stupidly ez-mode to get to the "real game" end up finding there isn't much "real game" or endgame, because the moron devs spent all their time and money making the single player content everyone obliterated in days.

So in the end, the SWTORs of the world sell a bunch of copies, can't hold subs, end up with a small population that you might find tied to a real group-based MMORPG, end up going F2P, and end up being considered failures.

Note, there was never anything wrong with MMORPGs that warranted a shift away from real MMORPG design towards this glorified single player game crap. The original MMORPGs like EQ are still going and still sub based. They don't have the flash numbers of box sales like the failures, but they retain players and stay sub-based.

So, would it REALLY be so bad for someone to make a "real" MMORPG that focused on grouping and challenge, and that maybe DID NOT sell 1-2m boxes to soloists who don't really want to play MMORPGs anyways, and that instead catered to actual MMORPG lovers? If such a game had the quality to hold 250-500k subscribers for years, wouldn't that be ok?

There's no lack of amazing single player games, single player RPGs, co-op games, - there's tons of games. There never was any good reason for MMORPG designers to sell out the genre in the name of flashy box sale numbers, no reason to appeal to casuals (newsflash, MMORPGs aren't casual games - no game where the expectation is to play for years and years is freaking casual), no reason to appeal to soloists. Yet they did. And now the MMORPG genre is pretty much a joke.

I don't do kickstarter so that could be part of the problem - not everybody wants to pay in advance for game dev, especially when it comes to MMORPGs, which are iffy no matter who is developing them.

I have respect for The Brad, having played EQ at release and loving it, and feeling like he helped the MMORPG genre, but there's no doubt that even going back to EQ he's had a spotty track record. I would have to wonder how many people would actually trust him with money. :p

I also want a return to old school and an old school vibe but I think Brad may be TOO old school to the point of not considering some of the tolerable changes to MMORPG mechanics that would blend just fine with full on grouping and challenge.

I also think that 800k is low for any type of MMORPG budget when MMORPGs tend to take years and millions to make. How good of an MMORPG can you really make with 800k? (He may have had additional funding lined up but perception is what matters here.)

Those of us that DO want a more group-oriented and classic MMORPG experience and not just a glorified single player online game filled with internet brats want it to be a high quality experience - that's the point. If we wanted a stripped down game that ended up looking like original EQ we could...err...just return to playing EQ.
 
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