Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen October 2018 Newsletter

This month’s newsletter for Visionary Realms’ Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen brings us an overview of the upcoming MMORPG’s crop harvesting system, shares a good deal of shapeshifter lore, and talks a bit about the team’s development process. Here’s an excerpt:

The past month of September the team has continued work on Faerthale, class implementation up to level 40 and several development tools. Earlier this week we finished up another review of the Summoner and its connected pet system. We had identified a potential implementation challenge with the design and born from the search of a resolution was a new idea that is both relatively easy to implement and makes the Summoner’s relationship with their pets even cooler.

I know that seems like a big tease without providing the details of that conversation and that’s not my intent. We still need to put pen to paper on that particular discussion before we let it loose but I wanted to bring it up to illustrate a point: how working on MMOs, or almost any game really, can offer particular challenges but when the team comes together to discuss it often the solution can end up better than the original thought. This is one of the things that makes the development of games so thrilling. While you need to know your direction, you’re still going to end up with surprises that get you excited.

This sort of thing has happened routinely throughout production but it has seemed to be particularly present during this past month while we’re implementing all 12 classes with a more complete spell and ability arsenal. These tweaks and adjustments are exciting but are still very much subject to close scrutiny. How will this affect other classes? How can this ability be abused? Is this spell needed? Will the player be more or less desired in a group? Will they be able to solo effectively when they desire? Every attempt is made to be thorough when we are plotting out the classes but inevitably we won’t fully understand its implication until we get it in front of QA and even more so once the pre-alpha testers give it a go

The other consideration we often have to ask ourselves is “does this feature or class ability make the game better?” On the surface it seems like an easy enough question but in fact it is riddled with layers of complexity. As we implement the classes our goal is to have them all feel familiar and responsive in a way that players will feel instantly at home. However we also want to give them their own unique identity, not just within Pantheon, but within the MMO space. It’s a tricky thing because you don’t want to ruin what makes a class great but there are ways to freshen up the class without changing its flavor entirely–kind of like adding a dash of fennel to mom’s lasagna recipe.

So a lot of these types of conversations have been going on as the classes get their first full implementation. The end result is something we feel quite positive about. The design team has not only captured the spirit of these classes but dug into them deeply, identified the things that make them fun to begin with and accentuated those characteristics. Combat, after all, is a bit of the heart of a MMORPG and we want to make sure we nail it. I think we’re quite close but we are very much looking forward to the feedback from you. This fall’s Pre-Alpha 4 can’t come soon enough!

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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