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Visionary Realms, Inc.By Visionary Realms, Inc.
First created
Visionary Realms, Inc.By Visionary Realms, Inc.
First created
$460,657
pledged of $800,000pledged of $800,000 goal
3,157
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, February 22 2014 7:40 PM UTC +00:00

Pantheon Community Q&A Video #2

Posted by Visionary Realms, Inc. (Creator)
18 likes

Prior to Kickstarter launch, we asked Twitter followers to send us their questions about the game. The response was overwhelming! So much, in fact, that we've had to separate the videos into three separate videos. Today we answer more of those questions with our second Community Q&A video.

Jeff Stortz, Stefan Wehlin, and 16 more people like this update.

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    1. Missing avatar

      Don Kempton on

      I look forward to seeing what you come up with for combat. I find it hard to specify what it is that I find fun in combat but here are somethings I find make combat "not fun".

      Reliance on my reflexes as a player rather than on the agility/nimbleness of the character I am playing. I am not 18 years old and do not live in North America, player reflex based combat immediately puts me at a disadvantage.

      "Boss fights", these are always overblown and rely to heavily on scripts and strange mechanics. Please go for variable encounter size instead: big encounters, huge encounters, encounters that come in waves. Difficult and challenging yes, but not five bosses to a dungeon with "trash" mobs in between.

      Reliance on players being in "third person view" to perform well in encounters. Can we please go back to the days when the default view was first person. I want to explore and fight in a virtual world not manipulate a puppet from a camera in the sky!

    2. Missing avatar

      Branwell on

      Sigh.. my wall of text had spacing in it that was eaten when I posted it. If only you could edit comments...

    3. Missing avatar

      Branwell on

      This is my really long answer to a simple but critical question, “What makes combat fun?”

      Combat Pacing and Player Choice
      We all know that combat has to be paced so someone can’t unload a massive amount of DPS all at once. I primarily play MMOs and have seen a few types of combat pacing (Tabula Rasa had an interesting take on it) but I want to compare the two most popular:

      Cooldown based combat. WoW-style combat. I hate this. Hate hate hate. This type of combat, where each skill or ability has a separate cooldown timer, takes choice away from the player and makes the gameplay reactionary rather than directed. It tends to encourage rotational, DPS driven min-maxing. Also, instead of actually watching the combat unfold on screen players wind up having to monitor a set of icons and play action bar whack-a-mole. (Note: This is also a terrible type of combat for emergent gameplay such as PvP).
      Pool based combat. This is old school. I vastly prefer this. You have a finite amount of something--mana, energy, endurance, whatever--and each skill or ability draws in varying amounts from this pool. A sign of a good player is his ability to manage this finite resource--but the player can also choose to burn this pool rapidly to turn a bad situation around or seize an opportunity. This puts combat pacing in the hands of the player. Also, because you aren’t having to watch cooldowns, a player can pay more attention to combat as it unfolds before them. +1 for immersion. (This player paced combat is far more suited to PvP).

      Combat Scaling
      Combat and rewards should scale according to group size. Whether you choose to solo or bring a friend--or six, the combat difficulty and rewards should increase proportionally. A group of players should be able to engage a mob of considerably higher difficulty than he could solo or duo and find the encounter challenging but doable--with a reasonable amount of skill. Rewards (experience, loot, faction, whatever) should take into account the size of the group and the relative difficulty of the encounter. The overall equation should favor better rewards for grouping vs. going it alone. Let’s put the MM back in MMO.

      Combat Downtime
      This is a controversial one. I suspect rotational WoW-style combat was created to pace combat while doing away with downtime altogether. But downtime doesn’t have to be a dirty word. In pool based combat, it’s a penalty you pay for choosing to go full HAM with your abilities. This isn’t a bad thing. It forces a player to make choices and choices keep things interesting. It also can be a boon to socialization. I think you have to make sure downtime isn’t severe enough to be a downer (get it?), but having a few moments here and there to chat up your group isn’t a bad thing.

      Combat Skills
      Just as in chess when skill can be measured by how well you move pieces in combination, MMO combat can be a beautiful thing when a group of players coordinate as a unit. Whatever combat abilities you choose, they should differentiate types of players from one another (not the “everyone can do everything” model). Trinity or beyond, it’s important that cross-class skills coordinate well in combat and encourage dependency. These days games talk a lot about how you’re the hero of the story, but if you give players abilities that make them necessary to one another then they will find their own moments in which to pull off something amazing and become the hero of an encounter. That’s the kind of story that people will remember and come back for.

      Combat Coherence
      The strangest phenomenon I have witnessed in gaming is the textification of MMOs. MMOs are supposed to be the graphical descendants of text-based MUDs, but peaking with Warhammer, combat gradually became graphical backdrops to walls of floating text: “You missed!” “It resisted!” “You did a bajillion points of damage!” The Asian contribution was to add effects to every combat ability so the target is obscured behind an explosion of colored lights as if it were Walt Disney going supernova. The end effect is to have any idea what is going on you better 1) not be playing melee or 2) read the combat text. Probably the single most important thing a game designer can do to make combat fun is make it visceral. Don’t tell me I mezzed it, show me. Don’t tell me I slammed the hell out of it with my shield, make me feel it. I want to be in on the fun. It’s not about the sparkles. Make combat graphics both cool and informative. If I can see what’s going on I won’t have to read about it. Sounds are equally important and should be distinct. Ask anyone who played DAoC if they still twitch when they hear the sound of an incoming mez, or anyone who’s played Minecraft if he doesn’t whip around when he hears “Sssssssssss!” In a graphical MMO, if you have to tell me about your combat your design has failed.

      Mob Mobility -- To Camp or Not To Camp
      Strangely enough, this falls on the MM side of the MMORPG equation again. A common complaint of roving, spread out mobs is that the player has to keep constantly moving. To a solo player this might be an annoyance but to a group of players it is downright punitive. It is very hard to keep a group of players moving around an area like a school of guppies without them deciding it would just be easier to go it alone. In addition, the constant movement makes it harder to chat. This isn’t an issue for guilds or friends who are all in voice chat together, but for pick-up groups where people are typing you’re unlikely to make the kinds of new friends you did when you used to camp and grind.

      Mob Mentality -- Scripted vs. AI
      The subject of AI could be a whole essay on its own and this post is long enough. Suffice it to say that while I know a number of people who enjoy scripted encounters, I think the replayability is low. Emergent AI, be it as crude as “Bring a Friend” or “Call for Help” or other old school classics, can be less tedious than scripted encounters if done well. Tabula Rasa probably had the most intelligent mob AI I have seen in an MMO and combat was downright thrilling in its better moments.

    4. Mathew Chilton on

      The biggest complaint I have about combat is repetition. That is the mob does 2 or 3 moves, and they're extremely predictable. I'd like to see mobs, bosses, and ESPECIALLY raid bosses randomize their moves.

      That is, I dont want to see "okay, he's almost to 30%, get read for his AOE." I want it to be "This guy has a huge aoe he does, who the hell knows when, he might do it 3 times in a row, just get ready and keep your eyes open!"

      Repetition and predictability kill combat. I dont want to know what the mob is going to do. I just want to know what it's CAPABLE of doing, and to learn that by fighting it. That keeps my attention focused, because I have to respond to what he does whenever he feels like doing it!

    5. Missing avatar

      christoffer Lyngved on

      What is fun combat?
      For me fun combat is movement combat. With this i mean combat where you can gain advantage by moving while defending/attacking others.

      First, where you hit a player/npc matters. If you hit a person from behind it should do more damage than from the front. It is obvious that a person is more vulnerable from behind, because of less armor and also no chance to defend yourself at the back. it is also much more difficulty to get behind the person, and will give incentives to move around in order to try hit others from behind.

      Secondly, to improve the importance of movement combat you must have a smaller weapon range.In my view, (and many like me) Age of Conan used to be the best fast paced melee game. Guild wars 2 and Tera have later tried with similar features. However, both Tera and guild wars 2 has way to big a weapon range, and some classes in Tera is close to impossible to not hit the target. You should be able to hit, but the key is that you need to move correctly in order to hit your target, and at the same time a good player should be able to avoid getting hit by using speed and maneuver skills.

      Thirdly,

      Adding sprinting options will make fighting more strategic, when to sprint, when to defend, when to attack. This will also contribute to making my third tip possible.

      What makes NPC fighting fun?
      Acutally, Tera did a great job. Being able to avoid getting hit by maneuvering is very entertaining. At the same time, if a mob hit you, it has to hurt. The mobs does not need to be as big as those in Tera, but you need to be able to counter their attacks.

      So, adding 1-1,5 seconds response time for inncomming attacks from mobs will engage the player more than going up to a mob than mouseclicking a mob with the same combos while standing still.

      Gear dependency in PVP.
      Now i understand that gear has to be meaningfull. But as a player with full time job i do not have time to spend hundreds of hours to gain gear to be able to compete. Gear should matters in PVE, but not so much in PVP. Gear should at maximum matter with 20%. Dont make it a grind feast.

    6. Missing avatar

      Mari Bonomi on

      I agree with most of Branwell's points.

      But I would really appreciate some sort of map at least as an option.

      And I agree with Henrik that allowances have to be made for folks who can't form up instantly to claim a zone area for a raid. (On Xegony back in the day, you couldn't get Srra or VT b/c Junx or the other Japanese guild grabbed them as soon as they spawned, for example. Really held up every other guild's progress. And it got really old battling with Draco Invictus all the time for the various Planes raids.)

      Open zones are fun, so long as the spawns necessary for questiong and advancing are spread around the zone so one group cannot camp the spawn and prevent the rest of the folks from access.

      Definitely allow out-of-group buffs! (I loved when PoK went live and max-level folks would MGB their buffs for everyone in PoK! I did it myself w/ SoW or SoE!) (Yeah, I was/am a druid... )

      Non-optimal groups? How about 2 druids, a cleric, 2 rangers and a mage? We cleaned out Burned Woods every night for a couple of months :) And that's how I met my RL best friend :)

      Make it possible for that sort of group to bond in Pantheon, please!

    7. Missing avatar

      brian shaffer on

      What makes combat fun and not repetitious? danger! the idea that if anyone does something wrong you can get into a tight spot. not necessarily an instant wipe, but definitely burn up resources. EQ was great at this back in the beginning. Each class was unique, and could fill a specific role. Some classes were better at these roles than others, and that's what made it dangerous and fun. More often then not you didn't have that optimal party, but you could still do everything, it just took a little more time, effort and thought.

      An example from EQ might be taking an enchanter in group when you have no puller. You leverage the CC abilities of the enchanter and hope they can do their job well.

    8. Henrik Gullaksen on

      1. PLEASE drop the UI mini map. PLEASE don't mark active POI, such as quest targets and quest destinations, onto the main map. PLEASE make zones large enough to actually get lost it that we have to learn.

      As I like to learn the zone. The part of not having a mini map and POI on it.
      I played EverQuest. And you ended up with a second screen or a print of the quest. Where the location and the steps was on it.
      Yes I love the story of quest. And the part of finding your way.
      But I also know that at some point I (And my guess most others) will end up looking up some quest and use the POI and steps from there.

      So limits the quest that to not have POI and details steps for special quest. So that you feel that they are really something special.
      --------------

      2. PLEASE do not have private instances. PLEASE make all dungeons open and contested.

      I love contested stuff. But I also hate that a casual guild can't raid good stuff because you can't gather your forces as quick as the Hardcore guilds.
      Or that group zones are overcrowded and everyone fights over quest named.

      So a mix with some contested stuff. But not all raid stuff and group zones.
      And quest stuff needs to be common spawn. Not like the Wizard Epic in EverQuest whit the uncommon drop from a god (Raid mob that only spawned ones per week)
      --------------------

      3. PLEASE have spell reagents, quest items, and other stuff drop in newb zones that hgh levels require. This provides revenue for newbies and allows them interaction with advanced players at an early stage.

      I like this part. I still remember my trip from Kelethin to Freeport after my FireBeetle eye for a spell of mine
      ----------------------

      4. PLEASE do not have a personal story line. Let me log in and make my own. Personal stories in MMOs are so bad for so many reasons.

      Ohh ya. I hate the part that everyone it "The Special Chosen One"
      --------------------------------

      5. PLEASE have plenty of utility abilities and spells, and allow them to be cast on non partied strangers.

      Again. Yes please. I like that. It's a way to be friendly and helpful even if you do not have the time or level to group with people.

    9. Eldaran_SoL on

      For those who missed it, the first Q&A video is at the bottom of the kickstarter main page.

    10. Gazz on

      If this is the second Q&A video, where is the first one?

    11. Missing avatar

      Branwell on

      Oh and as a personal P.S:

      Please don't have quests or linear game play. I'd love to see camps of mobs and open dungeons to encourage that social group interaction throughout the gaming experience. :)

    12. Missing avatar

      Branwell on

      I am going to re-paste this because I agree with everything Damon said in this post:

      1. PLEASE drop the UI mini map. PLEASE don't mark active POI, such as quest targets and quest destinations, onto the main map. PLEASE make zones large enough to actually get lost it that we have to learn.
      2. PLEASE do not have private instances. PLEASE make all dungeons open and contested.
      3. PLEASE have spell reagents, quest items, and other stuff drop in newb zones that hgh levels require. This provides revenue for newbies and allows them interaction with advanced players at an early stage.
      4. PLEASE do not have a personal story line. Let me log in and make my own. Personal stories in MMOs are so bad for so many reasons.
      5. PLEASE have plenty of utility abilities and spells, and allow them to be cast on non partied strangers.

      We have so many MMOs like this. What MMO designers seem to forget is that WoW's tremendous success was in large part due to the fact that it offered a gaming experience _different_ than anything else that was on the market at the time. Now that everything is a WoW clone, "different" would be the kind of old school experience Damon is describing.

    13. Missing avatar

      Heath nourse on

      I thought the TES ARENA box in the background was a laugh, no-one else I know even remembers TES1.

      I still have my station all access and play eq and vg on and off, classic-velious were my favourite years though - I am super excited about what you have going on here.

      All I really care about, which games address very poorly as they become more twitchy - is that the game remains completely playable for us aussies - so many newer twitchy games our extra 200-300ms more means certain content becomes almost undoable. Remember your audience is international!

      I love your concept of increasing challenge not tedium - too many games use mash-o-rama and awkwardness to add difficulty.

    14. Damon Offord on

      Additionally, I assume you will use the sub revenue model. I hope so. I won't play a game with a cash shop at the heart of it's core play design. I won't tolerate aggressive and invasive monetisation that blocks off *any* content (including cosmetic items) into a shop. I have been around long enough to know ehere this ends up, and it is never in a place that is favourable to the customer. Please go with a cheap ($9.99?) client + cheap (again, $9.99?) sub and rely on the value that represents to bring in the multitudes. Have faith in the game you create to make money :)

    15. Damon Offord on

      I like what you guys are saying Brad, it appeals to me as a an MMO, but my early input (for what it's worth..);

      1. PLEASE drop the UI mini map. PLEASE don't mark active POI, such as quest targets and quest destinations, onto the main map. PLEASE make zones large enough to actually get lost it that we have to learn.

      2. PLEASE do not have private instances. PLEASE make all dungeons open and contested.

      3. PLEASE have spell reagents, quest items, and other stuff drop in newb zones that hgh levels require. This provides revenue for newbies and allows them interaction with advanced players at an early stage.

      4. PLEASE do not have a personal story line. Let me log in and make my own. Personal stories in MMOs are so bad for so many reasons.

      5. PLEASE have plenty of utility abilities and spells, and allow them to be cast on non partied strangers.

      I am sure that there is more, but that'll do for now. :)

    16. Missing avatar

      Goemoe on

      You asked for it: (Warning, wall of text incoming)

      What makes combat fun? Before I set my hands on Guilds Wars 2, I have been afraid of movement oriented dynamic combat. I am not much of a joystick or gamepad fanatic, but I hate afk autoattack combat as well. I gave it a try and was very surprised, that I had fun. Real fun. To react to the opponents (NPC AI) moves, to dodgeroll out of harms way, or even to change weapons situational, to keep on top of the action is fun. Really, even to players like me. We talked about this more than once in our guild and I am not the only one feeling this way. So what is it, that brings totally new aspects of fun into this type of MMO combat? (well, for me it has been new *g*)
      I believe it is the options you get, the differences from fight to fight. You might encounter ten rogues and through positioning, different movement and perhaps even the environment, each fight feels different. There is much less obvious repetition, when movement, reactions and options are involved.

      What is fun looking from the NPCs perspective? Pretty much the same: options. When you fight ten rogues and the tenth rogues surprises you with dodging your attack, or with a totally new move or weapon, this is great. It even fits your approach to difficult <> tedious combat. Rogue meets sorceror, sorceror blasts fireball-lightning-fireball, rogue dies. Next rogue, repeat. This is boring. If you make the rogue immune to fireballs, it gets more difficult for the sorceror, but not more funny. But if the rogue sometimes dodges, sometimes interrupts the casting with the occasional throwing knife, if he sometimes vanishs to reappear at a different spot, it might get annoying, but it is a totally different form of 'difficult'. Is it fun, when the rogue does this every fight? No, it is not. Is it fun, when the rogue has a usual behaviour and only sometimes vanishes, throws sudden knifes, blocks the lightning once out of thousand times? The outrage WHAT THE ...??? of the sorceror will travel to several chats or social media. And that, I believe is fun, but probably hard to code. And... it will get remembered as well.

      I believe one of the goals of Pantheon is: to create moments you actually remember and don't do lots of generic stuff to reach lvl xx or weapon B217++ as everyone else in your guild. (correct me if I am worng) And unexpected or uncommon behaviour of common foes might add one small step to this.

      Anyway, I believe it is all about options. It is very good, that you intend to give the players options, to dodge, block, even reflect. It feels great to be able (at a certain level) to switch weaponsets or spellrealms or something to adapt to the foe. It is really fun to be surprised by the NPC, while this surprise is not instandly killing you, or the group. It is more than enough when it disrupts your attack, or even hits you while blocking and you feel safe, because this surprise can't be blocked or something. It is all about options and variants. Give some of the options of our characters to the NPCs as well. Blocking, reflecting, dodgeing. If not used too often, I believe this is fun.

      And to be honest, after I enjoyed games like EQ2 or Vanguard (among others) with their static combat at their time, I could never again have real fun with a static combat type now. But you don't intend to do this which is great.

      Different topic: Group action. When you group (say some people of a guild) do you intend to offer us some mentoring system, to give high level chars a chance to connect to their lower level guild mates? Will we get only content for a fixed group size of X or does some content scale to the groupsize (perhaps like dynamic events in GW2)? Will small groups (2-3 players) find some content to do, or will they have to find other heros to fill their group before exploring?

    17. Missing avatar

      Curtis on

      I like what I am hearing. I also love the Terry Goodkind "Faith of the Fallen" in the background!!

    18. Nelson Nunez Jr on

      Thank you for answer some of these questions.
      It gives me some hope knowing you guys want to revive true MMORPGS.