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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Perfect Ten: Terrible, terrible MMO names

EverQuest, Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Dragon's Prophet, Elite: Dangerous, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

ever jane
A catchy, vivid title is essential to getting your game noticed and establishing a strong brand. Yes, we as gamers will get used to pretty much any dumb name (unless it's Daikatana), but a great one allows us to mention it in polite society without getting spat on or rejected for dates.

The best MMO names in my opinion are single words that sound cool or conjure up a strong association. I'm less fond of ALL CAPS ACRONYMS and any game that can't be more inventive with its title than to put "Online" after it. For the most part, MMOs play it safe and boring with titles, with only a few outliers in the awesome or terrible fringes. Today, we're going to examine the latter.

I want to make a couple of quick qualifiers here. I'm not judging these games by their names; an MMO can be good or bad independent of how silly its name is. And while I know that some of these names make more sense in context, I generally feel that if I have to have it explained to me, then it's a fail.

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen releases new screenshots

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, News Items, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen's Facebook page has been updated with new screenshots of zones currently under construction in the apparently still-in-progress MMORPG. The developers reiterate that they are still working on the game:
As always, please remember this is work-in-progress, and that the different areas shown are at different points in terms of being finished. So, for example, lighting and sky will look better in some shots vs. others. That said, I think it shows our world building team is NOT fooling around and we are building the world of Terminus!!
Pantheon failed to meet its Kickstarter goals last February, but team lead Brad McQuaid announced the game was back in "full development mode" as of June.

Pantheon previews Halnir, promises to show more soon

Fantasy, Screenshots, News Items, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Yep, that... sure is light.  Cool.
Still waiting eagerly for the release of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen? While development has been fairly quiet, the official Facebook page has just seen an update showing off the zone of Halnir in six new screenshots. They show a small hint of the game's day/night cycle, as well as a few other relevant landmarks in the zone.

The post also promises that the development team is getting ready to demonstrate some major forward progress on the game. Although there's no exact time frame, the goal is before the weekend hits. Fans can take a look at the preview and keep their eyes peeled for more on the official Facebook page.

McQuaid says a playable Pantheon will happen 'in a matter of months'

Betas, Fantasy, Dev Diaries, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon
Brad McQuaid is back with a mammoth 3,200-word update (treatise?) on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, specifically to rebut misinformation about the project without returning to his former "evangelist" mode. What's most interesting is how he indicates that there will be a playable build much sooner than anticipated.

Pantheon is now "truly client-server," he explains, allowing users to log in and explore the game's single zone, Halnir's Pass, while the database saves persistent information. McQuaid said that the team is revising the game lore and working on a world map. The plan is for Pantheon to have nine playable races and three starter cities when it launches.

"Our goal is to make adventure, exploration, and combat working pre-alpha," McQuaid wrote. "We're going to be grouping up, exploring, and killing mobs in a matter of months, not years."

[Thanks to Kirsan for the tip!]

Pantheon team posts new videos

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

A couple of new videos appeared on Pantheon's Facebook page last night. The clips "are not made to look spectacular, but rather to show functionality and to keep the community informed as to the measurable forward progress we are making," according to the accompanying text commentary.

The videos demonstrate working client/server code via an account creation and login sequence followed by a bit of in-game scenery and player interaction.

Pantheon returns to 'full development mode'

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

Pantheon
In a post on the official site yesterday, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen lead Brad McQuaid revealed that the project is moving ahead after some setbacks.

"We are back in full development mode," McQuaid announced. He went on to say that the team is working on client/server network code, laying out the zones, and preparing to create characters to explore them.

McQuaid promised weekly updates going forward and said that the studio is building up the team quickly. "We have more talented people willing to help out and dedicate themselves to the project than I would have ever imagined," he said. "We continue to be a bit overwhelmed, but this is a good problem to have." One position that he's looking for is a CEO for the studio to allow him to focus on the creative side of things.

Meet Pantheon's god-killer, the WarWizard

Betas, Fantasy, Lore, MMO Industry, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon
Pantheon's move to continue development via a team of all volunteers is producing results, albeit small ones. "We are having great success re-building the team, including the lore and moderator teams," Brad McQuaid posted. "One of my main next goals is to find a Unity programmer who can take over from where the project itself was left."

The team posted a new piece of concept art and lore yesterday covering powerful figures known as WarWizards. WarWizards were created by external forces to help battle the god-kings of Terminus. A few talented individuals were chosen to be elevated with the ability to master both magic and weapons. In the Deicide Wars, WarWizards smacked down many god-kings and cemented their legacy in the process.

WarWizards have retreated into myth and legend, although the post certainly hints that they might return if Terminus faces another great threat.

Make My MMO: May 4 - May 10, 2014

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Make My MMO header
This week in MMO crowdfunding news we said hello to The Stomping Land and goodbye to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. The former is a PvP survival sandbox focused on taming dinosaurs, pitting the larger beasties against one another (because they're unkillable by puny player characters), and avoiding the typical gank squad behavior that's certain to manifest.

The latter is of course Brad McQuaid's bid to recapture his EverQuest glory days. The latest bit of news, aside from various unsubstantiated internet rumors, involves McQuaid's decision to continue development with a volunteer dev team. Click past the cut for Massively's list of crowdfunded MMOs and their latest news updates.

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen restarting with volunteer team

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

Who wants to develop an MMO for free after two failed funding campaigns?  Anyone?
The last major update posted regarding Brad McQuaid's dream MMO, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, didn't leave a lot of ambiguity. The game had no prototypes to be shown off, it had failed at its Kickstarter campaign, and the funding raised by fans had completely worn out. So you'd think that would mean it was the end of the road, but instead McQuaid has posted an update on the state of the game's development, and according to the post, the team is being rebuilt and progress will be made.

McQuaid explains that the new development team will be working as volunteers for three main reasons: There's no money to pay this new team, McQuaid doesn't want to go through the same stresses that were involved in putting together the last remote team, and as the team will also be remote, it will require a certain amount of adjustment and uncertainty. If you're still hoping for the game's eventual release, you should take a look at McQuaid's full update on the official site.

[With thanks to Cederhill for the tip.]

McQuaid: Pantheon could launch 'in three years once we get the funding'

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Pantheon: RotF screenshot
Visionary Realms boss Brad McQuaid says Pantheon's not dead. Earlier this month the fledgling crowdsourced fantasy MMO went on development hiatus due to a lack of funding, but last night McQuaid took to Twitter and Facebook to show off "a ton of screenshots of various builds prior to us having to slow things down."

"I'd like to see it launched in three years once we get the funding," McQuaid continued. "I don't think it needs five years of development."

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

Pantheon
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

Pantheon
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.

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