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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

The Game Archaeologist: The danger of expecting lightning to strike twice

City of Heroes, Opinion, Champions Online, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

It's no secret that many of the more successful Kickstarter projects over the past few years have heavily capitalized on player nostalgia, brand names, and former dev gods who are back for another round. The formula for drawing in the big bucks seems to be the following: Take something players hugely loved back in the day, dangle the concept of a sequel (spiritual or otherwise), and promise some measure of iterative improvement.

I once wrote about how we really can't go back again to recreate a particular game experience because it was usually a confluence of several factors that were related to where the industry was then and where you were then. I'm not saying that there isn't value to retro gaming, playing classic MMOs, or involving the past in future development! But there is a danger in how we as gamers become so beholden to our nostalgia that we dare lightning to strike twice -- and we're paying big bucks to see that happen.

But can we? Will it?

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Taurokians are Pantheon's sixth playable race

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon Taurokian logo
Even though Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen isn't slated to arrive until 2017, Visionary Realms continues to update its website with various featurettes. The latest such focuses on the Taurokian, a "planned playable race" that is known for its "strength, speed, and frenzied charging ability" that is often used "to gore large formations of troops."

If you're counting at home, Taurokians are Pantheon's sixth playable race, and you can read all about them by clicking below.

Pantheon's website wields crowd development tools

Betas, Fantasy, Subscription, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Visionary Realms is hoping that players will step up to contribute more than just money to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. The studio announced today that it is structuring its website so that it can be used for crowd development going forward.

The studio said that it wants to involve the community in the design and development of Pantheon with these tools. Fans can use the website to contribute to the wiki, talk with the developers, vote on Think Tank issues, create guilds, write blogs, and be a part of weekly roundtable discussions.

[Source: Visionary Realms press release]

Meet Pantheon's undead minotaurs and be gored by them

Betas, Fantasy, Lore, Races, Subscription, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

You know the saying: You can't keep a good berzerking minotaur down. And in the multiverse of Pantheon, you won't have to.

In a Pantheon dev blog posted today, the team introduced the Taurokians, giant, fearsome minotaurs plucked from their home planet and put on Terminus to survive: "Their martial prowess originated from their culture that was steeped in brutal warfare and ritualistic dark arts. They learned to master the secrets of steel and iron, forging some of the finest armor and weapons ever wielded on Terminus."

While they did fine for a while, their small numbers coupled with a battle gone sour resulted in the Taurokians' extermination. But magic being what it is, the minotaurs came back as hulking undead skeletons looking for more fights.

Pantheon's Kickstarter comes up short, development to continue

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Subscription, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon Kickstarter fail
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has concluded its Kickstarter campaign without reaching its $800,000 funding goal. Lead developer Brad McQuaid isn't deterred, though, as you'll find out if you've got the time to read a lengthy launch letter he posted earlier today.

What's it launching? Well, a new Pantheon website, for starters. McQuaid also tells fans that development on the fantasy title will continue as Visionary Realms seeks traditional investors and sets up its own direct crowdfunding apparatus on the new site.

McQuaid insists there's a market for Pantheon, writing that we "strongly believe there's a real demand for an MMO that builds solidly on the principles of the past, reaching back to EverQuest and even the MUDs before it." He also offers his take on why Pantheon's Kickstarter fell short of the mark.

Pantheon update talks Planes of Arcana

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon planes
Pantheon's Kickstarter page has updated with a knowledge dump that covers the game's Planes of Arcana. Said planes are the "fundamental elements that hold the fabric of existence together within the Pantheon universe."

The known planes include Terminus, Myraxys, Astral, Vitalus, Psionic, and Primal. Pantheon's chaos magic is also profiled towards the end of the update, which you can read by clicking through the links below.

Pantheon brings back the fun of a corpse run

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, Crowdfunding, Subscription, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Is it slightly disturbing that the MMO community has integrated and accepted the phrase "corpse run" without batting an eye at this point? Corpse runs are very much on the mind of Brad McQuaid, who says that Pantheon will be bringing them back as a "consequence of death" in the game world.

When a player dies in Pantheon, he or she will have the option to wait for a resurrection or to be reborn without all of that character's gear and weapons. In either event, getting back to one's corpse is of utmost importance because it will not only restore lost gear, but some of the experience lost on death as well. Oh yes, Pantheon will have XP loss on death. Other players can help out with resurrection or retrieval spells, or players may beseech their deity for help at a cost.

In non-morbid news, Pantheon posted information and lore on the Sunken Sanctum, a marshland ruins that will be a formidable dungeon.

[Thanks to Boinya for the tip!]

Brad McQuaid looks for 'angel investors' for Pantheon

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, Crowdfunding, Subscription, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

With less than half the funds raised for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and only eight days to go in his Kickstarter campaign, Visionary Realms CEO Brad McQuaid appears to be looking for alternate sources of funding for the game.

"If anyone knows an angel investor or other type of investor who might be interested in investing in [Visionary Realms], please let me know," McQuaid tweeted on Wednesday.

Even with this plea, McQuaid said that he and his team would not abandon the project even if the Kickstarter goal isn't met: "NOT giving up on [Kickstarter]! People are super excited about Pantheon, as are we. This game is going to be developed one way or another! Whether we meet [the Kickstarter goal] or not, we will have all of the [Kickstarter] info on our site and the ability to pledge there. Pantheon has amazing momentum behind it right now, and we're going to keep it that way!"

Pantheon Kickstarter updated with info on two stretch goal races

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Crowdfunding, Subscription, MMORPG, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
Brad McQuaid and Visionary Realms have updated the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Kickstarter project. The latest post dives deeper into the lore behind the T'Jinn and the Vrilaska, both races that will be included with the game should it reach a stretch goal of $2.5 million. For reference, Pantheon is currently sitting at $382,298 raised of its $800,000 funding goal with nine days remaining.

For what it's worth, the T'Jinn are magic beings composed of arcane particles who were previously bound into servitude by mages but earned freedom thanks to the efforts of a goddess. The Vrilaska are reptilian humanoids of great agility and strength who were among the first to arrive in Terminus.

The Kickstarter campaign for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen ends February 22nd, 2014.

[Thanks to Josh for the tip]

Pantheon summons the spirit of the Shaman class

Fantasy, Classes, PvE, Races, Crowdfunding, Subscription, MMORPG, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
Each new day brings new information on Brad McQuaid's Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen in addition to pushing the game's Kickstarter campaign slightly closer to its February 22nd funding deadline. Today's update covers the Shaman, a healer/debuffer/support class that utilizes the spirits to enhance the power of his group while weakening enemies.

The Shaman has two specializations from which to choose. Ritualist enables the Shaman to dance and chant in order to summon spirits that can be commanded to action, while Spirit Warden gives the Shaman the ability to buff teammates with the power of his spirit. Shaman players can choose between Ogre or Dwarf; more options may be made available if the game reaches one of several stretch goals that involve adding new races.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is currently at $365,667 raised of its $800,000 funding goal with 10 days remaining.

Pantheon talks 'The Gnome,' 12 days remain on Kickstarter campaign

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Races, Crowdfunding, Subscription, MMORPG, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon: Realm of the Fallen
Mysterious, diminutive creatures that love magic are standard fare for fantasy MMOs, and Brad McQuaid's Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is no exception. Visionary Realms, which is attempting to raise $800,000 via Kickstarter to develop Pantheon, has posted an update diving deeper into the game's race of tiny "secretive sorcerers."

Originating from the world of Aruska, gnomes are creatures whose mastery of magic has made them "one of the more proficient crafters of magical items and allowed them to unlock the arcane potential of even the most mundane of items." According to the lore, Pantheon's gnomes are slightly antisocial creatures with a penchant for hoarding who destroyed their magical troves after a conflict with a tribe of humans. The locations of the new troves are unknown, even to the gnomes left behind.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has raised $360,000 of its $800,000 funding goal with 12 days remaining. Gnomes (and halflings) will only be added if Pantheon reaches $2,000,000 in funding, which at this point is starting to look like a serious long shot.

Pantheon reveals class/race combos

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Races, Crowdfunding, Subscription, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

If you're pulling for Pantheon, then you might be daydreaming about what class/race combination you'd want to play if the game is made. Visionary Realms hears you (it's inside of your head), and it released a chart showing the classes available for each race.

Some of Pantheon's races are at an obvious disadvantage when it comes to the total number of available classes at the moment, as Humans have six while Dwarves and Ogres have three apiece. However, Ogres do get an exclusive class -- the Shaman -- and can use that to boost self-esteem if needed.

The Kickstarter project also revealed a new stretch goal: the Halfling race. Halflings will be added to the game alongside Gnomes if Pantheon races $2 million or more.

[Thanks to Josh for the tip!]

Pantheon explains how a wizard does it

Fantasy, Classes, Previews, News Items, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

This is how we do it - I'll cast all night, then I'll feel all right, the party's here at the campsite.  So I reach for my spellbook and I meditate, generating mana while the pullers debate.  Get my spells on my main bar, can't pull hate or the party's getting FUBAR.
The sad reality is that with each passing year it is less likely that a very large man will enter your life to inform you that you are, in fact, a wizard, Harry. Even more so if your name isn't Harry. So perhaps you can console yourself by playing a wizard in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, slinging destructive spells left and right and holding on to the last remnants of your dwindling sanity as you do so.

Or perhaps not holding on to those remnants, as one of the class specialties, Frenzy, is specifically for casters who have let themselves go completely bonkers and derive power from that madness. The other specialty, Aspect, allows the wizard to maintain sanity through martial perfection, creating shrouds of mana and summoning duplicates for various functions. Take a look at the full reveal for more details on the lore and mechanics of these casters.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen unveils the Rogue class

Fantasy, Classes, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Rogue art
Everyone knows that it's not truly a fantasy MMORPG without a stealth class, and Brad McQuaid's brainchild Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is no exception. In a post on the game's Kickstarter page today, the devs revealed that the latest class to join Pantheon's roster is the Rogue, everyone's favorite dagger-wielding, backstabbing shadowstepper.

In Pantheon, Rogues will fill the roles of DPS and debuffer and notably will have the ability to disarm traps or even "alter the trigger so they fire on enemies only." In addition, Rogues looking for a bit more focus can specialize as an Assassin or a Planestalker. The Assassin is exactly what it sounds like: stab things, poison things, and generally make things more dead. Planestalkers, on the other hand, are described as Rogues "that have exposed themselves to the planar energies emanating from Terminus." The post notes that by doing so, they have "given up much oftheir influence on the physical plain," but in exchange, they can see and sever a creature's "magical connections," which can cause "ill effects" such as lowering a target's damage or hampering its spellcasting, so it would seem that they tend toward the debuffer end of the spectrum. If you want the full details on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and its latest class, just head on over to the game's official Kickstarter page.

Brad McQuaid on Pantheon's partnership with Shroud of the Avatar

Fantasy, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

PantheonIf today's Pantheon Elf reveal and the news that the Kickstarter-hopeful Pantheon MMO has formed an alliance with Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar for some cross-promotional goodies aren't enough for you, perhaps you'd like to hear some of the details from Visionary Realms' CCO Brad McQuaid himself. He provides a bit of insight on the decision to partner with SOTA, offers hints about what players can expect from the promotion besides the special cloak announced this morning, and touches on the impact of Vanguard's sunset on his fledgling MMO. Read on!

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