Hi everyone! I'm Brad McQuaid and I'm glad to be here on reddit with all of you today. We have received a ton of questions and suggestions for Pantheon since we started the Kickstarter and I wanted to take some time today to talk to you directly, get your feedback, and answer your questions. This is a pretty open forum, so feel free to Ask Me Anything!

If you're unfamiliar with Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, please check out what we're doing at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1588672538/pantheon-rise-of-the-fallen

Proof it's me: http://i.imgur.com/ywaLwCy.jpg

**** Ok, signing off for now! Thanks all for the great questions and comments! I had a lot of fun and plan on doing more of these in the future! *****

Comments: 463 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

treestick26 karma

Hail, Aradune! :P

I have a theory that difficult and unforgiving early MMOs were only successful because they were the only ones of their kind. Now that the market is flooded and fragmented with instant-gratification solothons, gamers have been conditioned to be less patient concerning MMOs and players who grew up on harder MMOs don't have the kind of time to dedicate to an unforgiving game, how do you plan on obtaining a large playerbase?

What aspects of an MMO do you find make it most immersive and feel like a world rather than a game? Do you plan on doing so with Pantheon? How?

Finally, what are your thoughts on Project1999.org?

AraduneMithara33 karma

Immersive to me is an open world, grouping with others, a massive world to explore, and very different zones. Memorable encounters, barely surviving combat and talking about it later with my friends. A true sense of accomplishment. I could go on and on :)

FarghamLegham16 karma

This exactly. I can still remember the names of everyone that was in a very tense almost wipe / CR in the Froglok King's Room in Guk. Something that happened 13 years ago. 7 survived where 24 could not.

AraduneMithara19 karma

YES!

ChromeBoom9 karma

This is the kind of magic that has been missing from the genre, please bring it back for us Brad

AraduneMithara11 karma

Agree totally!

AraduneMithara33 karma

We are in some talks with Project1999 -- more on this later.

luciferisgreat7 karma

This has greatly piqued my interest.

Perhaps this kind of news might generate more eyes on Pantheon? Who knows.

AraduneMithara13 karma

yes!

AraduneMithara25 karma

treestick: While we're making a challenging game, but you won't need to grind or camp or do a dungeon for hours on end. Most of Pantheon is designed to be played in 1-2 hour increments.

Xoei9 karma

Is there a chance for an alternate rule server that will have more of a grind?

AraduneMithara15 karma

If the demand is there, sure.

ConvoEQ17 karma

Brad, do you see clickies like JBoots making their way in Pantheon?

AraduneMithara23 karma

Heck yeah!

argh_16 karma

Do you have plans to implement anything close to what diplomacy was in Vanguard? That was one of the most interesting things in any mmo.

AraduneMithara11 karma

Not planned at the moment. If we did it, we'd want to do it right, and it would be in a post-launch expansion.

Malakie0016 karma

Your target audience seems to be those who historically blow through content quickly. Given your philosophy on Content being King, how do you expect to be able to keep up with folks who tend to quickly conquer all high end content without using methods that are tedious for players such as Vex Thal keys, etc.?

The Kickstarter page indicates a strong emphasis on grouping and group content. It also hints that travel will take longer and/or be more difficult. How will you help the players find out which areas/dungeons have other players wanting to group? It was incredibly frustrating in EQ to travel 15+ minutes to an area only to find absolutely no one there. This was an even bigger issue as the game aged for lower level zones.

Thank you for doing this AMA.

EDIT: Forgot a word

AraduneMithara17 karma

Blowing through content legitimately is part of the game. Power leveling by killing the same mob over and over again will be difficult. You don't level JUST by earning exp in this game. More on the Achievement System later.

MarginalBounds10 karma

Now THAT is very interesting to know (leveling via achievements and not just XP). Wetting my appetite even more now, you sly devil you

AraduneMithara14 karma

grin

cenalan16 karma

Hi Brad - The griffin quest in Vanguard is probably my favorite MMO experience. It took months to complete, had solo components and group components, and the reward was awesome. So I have 2 questions for you.

1) Will Pantheon feature epic quests a la Vanguard's griffin quest? 2) Will Pantheon have flying mounts? There's no better way to explore a large immersive world

AraduneMithara33 karma

  1. Yes, in fact our focus on quests will be the epic style ones. The game is not filled with quest hubs and a bunch of tasks to do.

  2. Flying mounts, if we do them, would come after launch as part of an expansion.

MarginalBounds14 karma

Coldain Ring/Shawl, epic weapons quests, nom nom nom nom nom!

AraduneMithara22 karma

YES!

ratbacon11 karma

The game is not filled with quest hubs and a bunch of tasks to do.

Best thing anyone has said ever.

AraduneMithara17 karma

Yeah, we went that way with Vanguard, but now, looking back, we prefer the EQ 1 style quests over the lots of little mini-quests.

Jimbollini16 karma

Hey Brad,

Does the team have a contingency plan if this KS effort fails to fund?

AraduneMithara26 karma

We may do it again and we will be approaching investors and publishers. That said, I think we're going to make it :)

brucealeg8 karma

You can also do pledges on your website to get some initial funding were KS to fail.

AraduneMithara17 karma

Yes, but our focus is on KS right now. Please help us out and pledge.

rendor994115 karma

Hi Brad, I'm a big MMO gamer and followed the development of Vanguard pretty closely. My question is... a lot of the promises you're making and designs you're talking about we've heard you pitch before (with Vanguard). Ultimately, they never came to fruition. The issues with Sigil have been well documented, but what is going to be different this time? Why should we believe that you'll be able to come through now where you didn't before?

Thanks!

AraduneMithara16 karma

  1. I don't think we are promising nearly the features we did with Vanguard (which was a mistake -- announcing features that didn't make it into the game).

  2. I've learned a LOT about myself and MMO development thru the Vanguard 5 years of development.

Alais14 karma

Brad, what are your thoughts on Vanguard closing down?

AraduneMithara16 karma

I have mixed feelings. I'm bummed, but also very happy that it was profitable enough, despite its very rough start, to last 7 years. EQ is at 15, Vanguard went 7... not a lot of other MMO games can say that.

AraduneMithara13 karma

treestick: While we're making a challenging game, but you won't need to grind or camp or do a dungeon for hours on end. Most of Pantheon is designed to be played in 1-2 hour increments.

delirium_necro11 karma

Hi Brad! Will there be a Necro Class???????

AraduneMithara21 karma

We will be revealing details about our pet class soon(tm).

bananahambone11 karma

What are the things you love most about life when you step away from a computer?

AraduneMithara21 karma

my family, friends, and riding motorcycles!

XSDamaj11 karma

Brad! Very happy to see that the Brotherhood system will be in Pantheon. What other features are planned in Pantheon to generate that old school feeling of Community?

AraduneMithara18 karma

groups, guilds, lots of mechanics to help people find each other and get together. Offline travel (Caravan system).

Glaxono11 karma

Have you given any thoughts about separate regional monetary systems where different coins would need to be exchanged? If not, How about regional auction houses. I idea is to create a need for traders/trading profession.

AraduneMithara10 karma

I love the idea of multiple currency types.

Auction houses will be local.

brucealeg10 karma

Brad - a problem with many MMO is the world doesn't matter, the gear doesn't matter and the lore doesn't matter. How will you make the world matter again, thus creating a place for gamers to play for years to come?

AraduneMithara27 karma

It's an open world. There will be a lot of lore to be found that impacts quests and the like. Gear will not be obsoleted quickly -- you'll be able to take pride in your gear. You will need different types of gear relative to different climates (we call it the situational items). And anything and everything else we can do to make this more of a home than a game.

ethanael10 karma

No question. I just really wish I had more money/resources to help you realize this dream. Wishing you all the best of luck with the project! You have an incredible knack for this stuff.

AraduneMithara15 karma

Thank you! No worries if you don't have the funds now -- help us out by spreading the word to your friends, former guildmates, etc.

thousandfold10009 karma

Hey, old Everquest Online (ps2) player with a couple of questions,

  1. Will there be pet classes and when will we hear about them if they come? Also, a personal preference, if you remember the necromancer from EQOA. Is there a possibility such pets like Howling Death and Ancient Death make a return? They were very nice and to this day I always miss them. On that same notion, all of EQOA pets were the best i've ever seen in an mmo. I would love to see all of them return, the black panther, iron golems..

  2. Will there be a controlled enviroment on the price of items that players sell? Countless of times i've seen ridiculous high prices on populair items on auctions in mmorpg's.

  3. Will there be a large amount of gear to, find, earn, loot? What I love about mmorpg's is beeing unique and having gear that almost noone else has, especially at endgame. FFXIV made a horrible sin on the endgame gear where in you'll find hundreds of other players wearing the same as you.

  4. Speaking of beeing unique. How far do you think you will go in creating unique classes? Will they be more unique than Vanguard? And will you shun the Rift system where you can ''hotswap'' between talent trees, which really killed the immersiveness and roles.

Thank you for your time!

AraduneMithara12 karma

  1. Yes, at least one pet class. EQOA was awesome -- I was executive producer on that game for a while and I was pleased with how it turned out.

  2. We want an open player driven economy without global bazaars.

  3. TONS of loot. Loot earned from overcoming challenges is a big part of the sense of accomplishment we want our players to feel.

  4. Vanguard classes and EQ 1 classes have a big influence on our class definitions.

Tannlin9 karma

Hail, Aradune-

One of the pledge rewards is a very early access to the game as a tester. Can you provide an estimate as to how early that would be? 1year from now? 2 years from now?

Thank you.

AraduneMithara18 karma

We are looking at a three year development cycle, with the last year also being the beta test, broken up into phases. Alpha would be before that, but I can't go into timeframes on alpha now -- too early to say.

BriganteAB4 karma

I'd like to know this as well! This is the tier I've pledged for.

MarginalBounds9 karma

I tossed in 250 this morning for a Paragon level; not a big deal as to when; I'll be ready whenever it's available.

AraduneMithara12 karma

thank you!

Pilgrimzero9 karma

Will spellcasters have reagents and fun spells like in old EQ?

Also, come play with the Pantheon guild on the PJ1999 server.

AraduneMithara22 karma

Yes on the reagents and fun spells.

And you may see me on PJ1999 -- we're talking with them right now about some cool ideas. More on this later.

jwolf19829 karma

One question I know a lot of people have had is in regards to raid caps for Pantheon. I’ve heard a lot of people hesitant to pledge because they fear content not being able to support their large groups of friends. Has any thought been given to the number of players that will cap a raid, specifically in open world encounters? I think many people from our generation want to get away from 10-20 person raids and would like to see a return to truly massively-multiplayer encounters.

AraduneMithara33 karma

Our plan is not to cap raids but to bring back the truly massively multiplayer encounters.

ChromeBoom9 karma

Please bring back racial languages meaning something

mmajoe6 karma

I've been thinking about this lately. How I would love for Common Tongue to just not exist at all.

AraduneMithara12 karma

That would be something we'd probably do on an RP server.

ratbacon8 karma

Brad,

Vanguard was so nearly there but lacked the polish needed, for reasons we now all know. However there were some very special elements in it that I have never seen any other game come close to since. The unique feel to classes, vast different starter areas, huge world, crafting, diplomacy etc.

What positive elements from Vanguard do you hope we will see in Pantheon.

AraduneMithara8 karma

You're right on the mark. Unique feel to classes, huge world, etc. Crafting is a stretch goal. Diplomacy would be a post-launch expansion. The starter areas are actually closer together to support community-building.

starchildren33178 karma

Brad - in VG I loved how you could have an offensive and defensive target selected at the same time. Any chance you might have a system like that in Pantheon?

mmajoe6 karma

From the Kickstarter page.

  • Dual targeting--attack your target while healing your allies.

AraduneMithara12 karma

Yes, and possibly other ways to group players and mobs together.

Semper428 karma

So far the videos we have seen have been with placeholder graphics. When will you show off the "good stuff"?

I did see Vu creating a dungeon and some terrain at http://youtu.be/9otGnewJw8Q and it looks amazing, but a coherent "trailer" using the new stuff would be awesome!

AraduneMithara8 karma

At some point I would like to do another intro video, but it does take a lot of time and effort from the team (we're not video experts, we're mmo development experts). So I can't say at this point whether there will be another intro video. I can say that you'll see videos showing off new stuff, like Vu's dungeon.

Snix2k8 karma

Hi brad Thank you very much doing this ama !

Two questions: 1) can we expect corpse run? I dont know why but i miss it 2) some backers postet a video of the possibilities of weather effects of the unity engine . I was absolutely amazing and i already felt immersed into the world. Will you use something like that as well? Best regards

AraduneMithara19 karma

  1. yes, corpse runs will return.

  2. I was actually the first to post that weather demo. We will definitely be looking at that tech.

Forlaen7 karma

Hi Brad. A few other old-school MMOs are being reimagined (CU, SotA), but with some twists. What will you be keeping from EQ and VG and what will be changed/removed? Also, a 3 year development time seems quite ambitious compared to the normal 5+ years. Is this due to the modularity of Unity and it's community of developers?

AraduneMithara13 karma

Lots of great stuff from EQ & VG, plus some modern mechanics and features as well -- too many to list now.

I don't think a 3 year cycle is unrealistic. The scope of the game is smaller, the team is lean and mean, Unity allows rapid development, and EQ 1 took 3 years and ~23 people to launch under my management.

tpp_7 karma

What kind of server setup can we expect. What I mean by that is, will we have EQ1 or WoW type servers with a few thousand people on them or large EVE online servers with the entire population in one place?

AraduneMithara8 karma

Multiple servers ala EQ1, WoW, etc.

Valerus7 karma

Brad, I am very glad to see you making Pantheon. You are my favorite game developer and when I saw the Kickstarter I pledged right away to make sure I could be part of the alpha and support the game. I have a few questions.

One is while the game is group focused which I am happy about, are you going to make it also possible to do some things solo like in Everquest 1? I remember most classes could do things solo but not very well. And a couple classes like the Druid and Necro could solo quite well. Are you going to have a class that does solo slightly better then the rest like the Druid or Necromancer?

I was just curious because there are some nights where you may not have much time or can not find someone to group with and being able to do something fun for a while on your own would be nice.

Final question have you considered maybe getting someone like RA Salvatore to help work on your game? I know that he was helping Curt Shilling at 38 Studios before it went under. He did the story/lore on Kingdoms of Amalur and was working on their mmo Copernicus. Richard Garriott has the author Tracy Hickman helping him. I thought of RA Salvatore right away because he obviously has interest in helping with game development and his favorite game of all time is Everquest back in the early days. So he would be a natural fit ;)

Any plans to add more to the $45 tier? That seems to be your most popular level and is the one I pledged at. All though I may take it up to the $100 mark depending on finances. I could see 1000 more added being quickly taken up. Could add another quick 45k. Something to think about.

AraduneMithara4 karma

The game is group focused, but there's nothing stopping a well-equipped character from picking off some outdoor mobs. But while this may be possible, it won't really be an efficient way to advance your character.

Jizomeo7 karma

Barbarians (humans big brothers of the North) will we have them in the game?

AraduneMithara9 karma

Not currently planned.

LogikalZer07 karma

$800k is a ridiculously low-sum for an ambitious MMO. I mean $4 MILLION was not enough on it's own to accomplish the non-MMO game Broken Age, the developers had to fund out-of-pocket to ship. What can you offer to give us confidence that this vision can be delivered upon? If for some reason only the minimal funding via Kickstarter is achieved, where will the additional necessary funding come from?

AraduneMithara8 karma

more crowdsourcing, investors, publishers, etc.

Pantheon_Fan7 karma

What one thing that you learned from working on Vanguard do you want to bring over to Pantheon?

AraduneMithara32 karma

I know myself so much better now and how to handle stress. I let the issues with Vanguard towards the end of the project really get to me -- I was in a dark place. But I've learned a lot about myself and will do better with Pantheon.

AraduneMithara10 karma

How to build a team based not solely on their skills or experience, but also on whether they work well in a team environment.

damienlogos7 karma

Brad,

As someone who began playing EverQuest in 1999, you were the reason I got into game design and production, eventually getting a bachelor's in game design. Norrath was a world one could become incredibly immersed in and passionate about and Vanguard was spectacular. I'm extremely excited to see you stretching your creative muscles once more, particularly with those like Tony Garcia and Noel Walling. Are there plans to expand the team or take on interns? If so, where would one apply?

AraduneMithara13 karma

Right now we're looking at veteran MMO developers -- if we want to get the game out in 3 years, we're going to need them. That said, new blood can be a good thing too. If you'd like, shoot me a resume at [email protected]

deadfolk7 karma

Hi Brad!

One of the things that made EQ immersive for me was the lack of fast travel and maps. How will these be handled in Pantheon?

AraduneMithara8 karma

By controlling fast travel, while still helping people find groups. Likely limited in-game mapping, as you explore.

Learuis6 karma

Are there plans to design the game world in such a way that there are good reasons to visit/hang out in a location even after you have outleveled the primary content there -- avoiding the "theme park" feel of modern MMOs?

AraduneMithara9 karma

Yes.

Learuis6 karma

Will camping for ultra rare loot make a return in Pantheon? Example: super low spawn/drop rates of things like Fungi Tunic, Ancient Cyclops Ring, Glowing Black Stone?

AraduneMithara8 karma

Yes. We aren't ruling out a scenario where you can stop and pull mobs, waiting for a rare spawn. Hopefully most of the content will be such that it is more efficient to travel around. 'Camps' may also move around or have different spawn locations. Obtaining the Glowing Black Stone is a great example. Quillmane is another great example.

VirTW6 karma

What about having an oldschool style server for people who you know don't like newer style features like cross server grouping and mentoring? Both sides get what they want

AraduneMithara16 karma

The general concept of cross server is interesting to us, but that doesn't mean we will implement it like other games. I wouldn't assume at this point. More on this later.

Wumaduce6 karma

Thanks for EQ. I never had so much fun playing a game. I still talk to a lot of the friends I made on it, even though I haven't played for over 5 years.

Qeynos or Freeport? When you look at how EQ has evolved over the years, are you happy with what Sony has done with it?

AraduneMithara9 karma

Thanks! I am happy and humbled that the game is still going on 15 years later. I'm not going to criticize decisions though -- not my place to do that.

HannarPantheon6 karma

Brad - do you envision this game being as large geographically as EverQuest was at launch? Thinking the Qeynos to Freeport run, the sheer breadth and distance between players, significant numbers of alternative zones to adventure in during specific levels.

AraduneMithara7 karma

Absolutely. I loved the daring run from Qeynos to Freeport!

Learuis6 karma

Is the experience / leveling curve intended to be closer to EQ1 (circa Kunark), or EQ2 (current)?

AraduneMithara17 karma

We are actually looking at doing less levels, with more content and advancement per level.

arallu5 karma

Aradune, will rangers get tracking eventually?!

AraduneMithara14 karma

Yes.

Learuis5 karma

Can you tell us a bit more about what kind of information will be provided to Gamepedia to put on the wiki? I'd like to see lore, class/race and ability information there, but I would hate to see detailed walk-throughs of all of the content in the game (EQ2 as an example).

AraduneMithara9 karma

No spoilers will come from us.

rendor99415 karma

If you are the company's CCO -- who is the President or CEO? Is there someone in charge other than you? Sorry if this is answered somewhere but I couldn't find it.

AraduneMithara9 karma

We are in talks with some people to help build our executive staff. More on this later.

medawky5 karma

Hey Brad, awesome to see you on here today. Can you talk a little about the importance of having classes and roles that are completely unique? Also, how cool is that my best friend from EQ1, Benjamin, is a part of this project?

AraduneMithara7 karma

Classes should feel unique in the way they perform their jobs. The jobs however are shared to a degree between similar types of classes.

MarginalBounds5 karma

Brad: Tim here from Marginal Boundaries. Great to know that the Brotherhood system will be in Pantheon. Loved that from Vanguard (was Thanon Rockguard, leader of the Haven guild in beta for 18 months and on the Florendyl server for live).

One of my biggest loves was the combat system in Vanguard: the individual combos, but also the triggered sympathetics that could happen within groups based upon whose abilities were triggering others within the group dynamic.

From what I've seen in your videos, you plan on having this type of complex system within Pantheon.

One thing I was really encouraged to hear last night during the live development video was regarding the classes like Monks, which were very unique and filled a very niche role within the groups, and how each niche class served a very unique purpose within the group dynamic and then the raid dynamic.

That being said, do you have an idea at this point in terms of how large you will be capping the raid force (12 players, 24 players, 32 players, etc.), or will you be implementing scalable content that changes depending on the size of the group?

Also, will there be more complex sympathetics that grow in complexity depending on the size of the group? I.E. a 3-man chain that can expand to a 6 man chain that can expand to a 12 man, then 18 man and etc., for very large, massive debuffs or damage to mob bosses?

AraduneMithara7 karma

Yes on complex sympathetics. Not positive on raid size yet -- what we want to do is have content for different raid sizes.

rendor99415 karma

Hi Brad, how hands on with Vanguard were you? There were a lot of rumors that you'd left the team (for various reasons) part way through development. Are there any truth to those? For those of us considering donating money to the kickstarter, how can we be sure that won't happen again?

AraduneMithara19 karma

I let the stress of the regime change at Microsoft, where the team we were working with left, and the new team assigned to us didn't really want to do an MMO. So we left MSFT and got help from SOE and I was on the road a lot talking to investors.

I know myself a lot better now and with my experience and others' experiences, we're setting things up a lot better and smarter this time around.

BonteDivine4 karma

Will you implement a Data feed API so community can build great websites and apps such as Magelo profile?

AraduneMithara9 karma

If we do, it would only be after people have obtained the item in-game, or mapped an area out themselves. We know we can't stop spoilers, but we can also avoid making them too easy.

Sarcasticnec4 karma

Will there be pet classes In Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen?

Will the pets be permament or dot type ?

Will we be able to sacrifize our chars dps to boost our pets dps , so they become more deadly instead of player char ?

In interview it was said there is 8 classes for launch tho only 7 is mentioned in Kickstarter , Is Necromancer the 8th class ?

Keep up the good job - eagerly waiting to see eqoa style harsh mmorpg again ;)

AraduneMithara7 karma

There will be at least one pet class. Not going to go into details on how they work yet, but they will be a powerful addition to your group.

tpp_4 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA!

Will there be any mechanics in Pantheon reminiscent of the mob agro mechanics that led to monk FD splitting and the like?

MarginalBounds6 karma

Indeed; if you check the video they did on the Rob and Dan show last night, they were talking about the niche classes and the roles they filled, like monks FD pulling for splits with the ranger tag-pulling (Ranger here in EQ1!) and how they plan on using that with Pantheon.

AraduneMithara16 karma

Yes!

mochicolorful4 karma

Will there be a server for those that want a more traditional MMO experience without features such as mentoring, cross server play, and brotherhood system?

AraduneMithara13 karma

Depends on how many servers we have. I am a huge proponent of alternate ruleset servers (pvp, RP, hardcore, and more). The more players we have the more we can do this sort of thing.

steveb0244 karma

I am a sucker for KS campaigns - especially MMO's, but for some reason I have not bit the bullet so to speak. I am not sure if it is lack of concept art or the EQ'esk graphics that you have shown in the pre-Alpha footage. What can you say (or show relatively soon) that can push me to press the Back this Project button?

P.S. My MMO history stretches back to 1999 with EQ and just about every MMO in between, but my nostalgia moments ALWAYS take me back to EQ.

AraduneMithara6 karma

Do you want to see the game become a reality? If so, please help out. If we haven't revealed something that's paramount for you, please let us know.

mwallen19853 karma

When do we get Firiona Vie mascot?

AraduneMithara18 karma

The goddess Nexus is our 'mascot'

Somnia823 karma

Brad, one of the highlights of early Everquest was the community and having to interact with each other. With that said the EC tunnel for example was a HUGE part of helping with that, will we see something like this return, with real bartering and not everyone going afk to sell or auction housing items?

AraduneMithara10 karma

Yes. If we have auction houses, it is unlikely they will be global. And if something emergent happens like the EC tunnel, then we'll likely place a local auction house there to make things easier for the players. We don't want global, however, because we want a person to be able to take an item from one end of the world to the other and be able to sell it and make a profit.

ChromeBoom3 karma

Does Visionary Realms have a headquarters yet? If so, where are you based? and if not, do you have any plans to setup shop somewhere specific?

AraduneMithara5 karma

My garage right now. Hoping to move to an meager office soon(TM).

arallu3 karma

Brad, any exclusive news you can let slip today!? Maybe a chunk of Norrath or Telon landed in Terminus?

AraduneMithara9 karma

Each race will have their own starting area.

We are announcing Dwarfs tomorrow.

Also working with P1999 to do some cool stuff -- more on this soon.

pharonethegnome3 karma

When will we get to see some concept art for the races in the game? I hope the ogres look like the original EQ ogres rather than the ones that came out with Shadows of Luclin.

AraduneMithara2 karma

I think we're doing one more environmental piece, and then moving to characters -- I will check with our art director.

M1ndWarped3 karma

Hey!

How do you think Pantheon will stand up against the 'next-gen' MMOs like EQN?

Any games that helped inspire Pantheon?

AraduneMithara8 karma

Pantheon is a more focused game with a targeted audience. I can't speak to EQN's audience specifically, but it seems more broad. I think both will co-exist just fine.

tpp_3 karma

You've stated that Pantheon would be the "spiritual successor" to EQ1, but will be playable in 1 - 2 hour chunks. Does this mean you will have a group queue system or something similar to avoid the "lfg" spam?

AraduneMithara3 karma

We will have elaborate and powerful features that support grouping. More on this later.

mkopec3 karma

What will you do to insure smooth and responsive combat in Pantheon? One of my gripes in recent mmos is the unresponsive and laggy combat and animations. Its what people do for 80%+ time in a mo is fight and this is really important.

AraduneMithara6 karma

We certainly can't promise no lag, because latency can originate from so many places. What I will say, however, is unlike Vanguard at launch, Pantheon will be playable. With Vanguard we got crazy into the latest tech and it hurt us bad. The game was released early and unoptimized and we do NOT want to make that mistake again.

XSDamaj3 karma

We're / Are you a Magic the Gathering player? Does that or other non video/pc games influence you in regards to game mechanics?

AraduneMithara12 karma

I am a HUGE M:TG player. Some of the ideas behind the combat system and the essence system, where you find rare abilities and spells while out exploring were influenced by M:TG. For example, an experienced M:TG player will have cards in his deck not just based on his deck theme, but also as answers to what the other player(s) might do. Having 'answers' in Pantheon's combat will also be very important.

Droid133 karma

The last stretch goal on Kickstarter is UGC servers so we could run our own custom game. I know we are not likely to hit that goal but is this actually something that would be viable? And something that we might see somewhere in the far future?

AraduneMithara6 karma

Yes, we think it would be a lot of fun for some players. And, selfishly, a good way for us to find talent.

Tobris3 karma

Why did you choose an action oriented style for the combat in Pantheon? With games like Age of Conan failing and the bad buzz that ESO is creating do you think that you can do it where other games seem to have failed?

I am a long time EQ player, and I miss the classic experience, I was really excited to read about Pantheon, but the combat section was fairly disappointing to read, so I was hoping you could shed some more light on the decision.

AraduneMithara14 karma

I don't think the combat is action oriented at all. There is time to react, to counterspell, to deflect, etc. But the pace is still slower than what you might encounter in other more modern MMOs. Think EQ 1 or FF XI.

resetexistence3 karma

Any chance that we'll get Rallos Zek/Sullon Zek/Discord types of rulesets in Pantheon?

AraduneMithara6 karma

If we have enough servers I don't see why not.

XSDamaj3 karma

Brad, are we going to be able to 'Hail' NPC's and PC's alike? And will we be able to get drunk and have races through wood elf tree top cities?

AraduneMithara4 karma

Yes, you can hail, especially NPCs if you want to find out if they have something worthwhile to say.

Drunkenness I would like to see, especially since we're using a robust physics engine and could do some hilarious things with it.

thecure133 karma

What's the one thing that you could say that separates this game from other MMO's?

AraduneMithara10 karma

Challenging, open world, planar, group based exploration and combat.

JohnWayne743 karma

Aradune, what are you doing to ramp up the coverage for pantheon?

AraduneMithara12 karma

This, an interview with Boogie, some help from Project1999, and some powerful ideas we can't reveal quite yet.

DROELM3 karma

Hi Brad would love to hear more about the dynamic weather system you plan to incorporate and the possible effects on characters as they adventure.

AraduneMithara11 karma

We'd like to see things like Call Lightning. We'd like to see some abilities or spells work differently depending on weather; some worse, some better.

Matthew86843 karma

Will items have min lvl req or something similar?

AraduneMithara13 karma

Probably not. We're not keen on no-trade items either (unless they are quest components). Now this means some mudflation, but we have some cool ideas on how to slow that down.

JyveAFK3 karma

Hard content or timesinks. Looking back, the pain and reward to EQ was a lot of waiting for spawns. What can be done to make a challenge fun? Also, the pre alpha gfx on the kickstart vid, understandable but scary. With your relationship with SOE, do you think licensing an existing game engine like ForgeLight will speed you up and let you concentrate on the game instead of the tech?

AraduneMithara7 karma

We're using Unity, which definitely speeds us up and allows for rapid development. As for ForgeLight, I don't think SOE has the time to support third party developers right now -- all their efforts are on Landmark and EQN.

AraduneMithara3 karma

We want challenging content, not time sinks. Now that's easier said than done, and whether something is boring or repetitive is in the eye of the beholder. But we'll do our best.

ChromeBoom3 karma

Brad, firstly thank you for doing this, the 2 games I loved most in the MMO genre since I started playing them have been EQ and VG, and I've played a lot.

My question is, I know you're a supporter of multiple ruleset servers (me too).. of any theoretical rulesets you could come up with what would you personally find the most fun/interesting and want to play on primarily?

AraduneMithara12 karma

For me personally, I like RP servers. FV on EQ 1 was actually the last thing I was working on before I left SOE the first time (late 2001).

cheezitak3 karma

I know you've stated that you want to make a challenging game that requires grouping and strategy for people that miss that type of MMO, but also want to make it so that people with families and limited time can enjoy it. Having played EQ for many years, it was always a time sink to achieve anything.

  • How do you plan to make it so that people can jump in for an hour and still feel like they are able to make progress?

  • Do you expect there to be a large divide like EQ had with a few "end-game" guilds (per server) and the rest being more casual ones that progress at their own pace?

Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA!

AraduneMithara9 karma

  1. by making sure there is a tangible reward and sense of accomplishment in those fewer hours.

  2. Probably something that's inevitable, yes.

gakule2 karma

Brad, thank you for taking the time to do this. I am beyond excited for Pantheon, and can't wait to back the project in the next week.

I found live events by Guide's to be one of the most engaging aspects of EQ, so much so that I became a guide myself and successfully ran some events. My favorite aspect of being a guide was developing the lore for your guide character, as well as being able to run very lore intensive events.

First Question: Will there be a guide program, or a volunteer program, to run events and help players at a lower-than-gm-level rank?

Second Question: If yes, are there any plans to create tools to allow the guides to develop their own story instead of having to submit a script and have developers do some programming in the background to make a myriad of options available?

Third Question: Can I be the first to sign up for such a program and/or submit suggestions for the development of such tools and program?!

Thanks!

AraduneMithara6 karma

  1. We definitely want a guide program!

  2. Not sure -- depends on resources and how popular the game becomes.

  3. Um... I dunno :)

delirium_necro2 karma

Brad, can you explain how Pantheon will be zoned. More specifically how the dungeons will work? Will dungeons be their own zones like EQ1? Or will they be built with in the outter world like VG?

AraduneMithara5 karma

That's a hard question to answer because we're not at the point yet where we have a huge zone and have populated it with mobs. Until we get some metrics, I can't answer that yet.