An epic planar high fantasy MMO from renowned EverQuest creator Brad McQuaid.
POST-KICKSTARTER: Moving to PantheonRotF.com
From the entire VRI team, we'd like to thank you for your support over the past 40 days. Going forward from the Kickstarter, we are now focusing our entire efforts at PantheonRotF.com. There you will be able to pledge directly to game development.
For Kickstarter pledgers, nothing has been charged to you, so please feel free to resubmit your pledges at the post-Kickstarter site. Should you have any questions, our team is ready to take your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts. With over 3,000 backers on the Kickstarter we are confident in the interest in Pantheon and through the pledges on the new site we will be able to begin full development mode.
Come join in the development process, and we'll see you all in Terminus very soon!
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is an MMORPG based on challenging gameplay and open world high fantasy, with a strong focus on group-oriented content. It takes place in a world populated by deities and heroes called Terminus. Mortal and planar shards have collided, creating the dramatic and epic environment of Terminus. With some of those shards came deities and demigods that, over time, raised empires and forged a turbulent political landscape. Centuries later, new planar collisions have occurred that will pull the players into the world and its politics.
The player is a legendary Hero, stripped of his or her powerful relics and left to explore the distinct and epic regions of Terminus. You will be guided by the hopes of reclaiming long-lost relics and the power of the friendships they forge pushing them onward.
Pantheon’s combat places a focus on preparation and awareness– providing players with challenging scenarios that require not only understanding, but skill to rise above their opposition. The player can actively dodge, block, or deflect attacks – but this goes beyond active reactions to encounter mechanics. Spell and ability pre-selection is also critical to defeat encounters, as are the alliances you will forge with other players.
You won't want to be caught in the wilds of Terminus alone, but the brave souls that explore the vast and divergent landscapes will discover a truly rich and rewarding experience. Through exploration the player can uncover anything from mysteries and hidden artifacts to unique adventures, and ultimately rare and exotic spells and abilities.Imagine an expansive, detailed world of swords and sorcery, of dragons and knights, of fiery swords and chests overflowing with treasure. A world in which a myriad of sentient races and creatures live and affect change.
"Strata! Which god pulled ya' at both ends and stolen yer' beard." -- Tarvos the dwarf hero as he sees his first Human.
- A classic take on epic MMO adventure
- Enjoy a high fantasy story with a few twists. You’re one of many fallen and it is time to rise.
- An MMO developed by gamers who aren't afraid to target an audience of like-minded gamers.
- A focus on exploration, adventure, and combat.
- Finally, an MMORPG for players wanting a challenging and rewarding experience. No risk, no reward.
- Explore the world of Terminus as you see fit, on the beaten path or far off of it – just don’t say we didn’t warn you!
- Harness the powers of fallen heroes to augment your own knowledge and abilities.
- Play classes that have defined roles of tank, healer, DPS or utility (crowd and encounter control).
- Choose from a variety of races to play, and a host of deities to follow.
- Group-focused, intensely social gameplay using a class based system to encourage teamwork.
- Customize your class by bonding with the spirits of fallen warriors.
- Questing that’s optional, and not the primary means of character advancement.
- Quests that are meaningful, challenging, and rewarding.
- Engage in combat that will test you and your party, requiring strategy and preparation. (Read more about Pantheon's combat here)
- Train and use a wide variety of skills as part of your character’s growth as you level up.
- Limited and class based teleportation may get you close, but in order to reach many destinations you will have to traverse the planar scarred lands of Terminus through the use of your own two feet or on the back of your mighty steed.
- Quickly equip situational gear as you move from one climate to the next.
- An economy that’s largely player driven.
- Visible loot. If you see an NPC wielding a weapon it should be a part of its loot.
- Most items that are looted from NPCs will be tradable.
- Dual targeting--attack your target while healing your allies.
- Terminus is a world where instancing is the exception not the rule.
- Respect your surroundings, succumbing to death has its consequences.
- Some spells can be modified to hit one or multiple targets. You decide on the fly.
- Factions matter. Ogres don’t belong in an elven city (and so as not to offend the Ogre Rights Association, elves don’t belong in an ogre city either.)
- Horizontal character growth, with fewer levels and more meaningful gains per level.
- Community feedback helps drive decisions made. We want to hear your voice.
- The game will run on PC, Mac, and possibly other platforms in the future.
"I'd rather fall from grace than reign upon a defiled throne." -- Oranthel, the Human God of War opposing the unification of three Human pantheons.
PANTHEON IN THE NEWS
BRAD'S AMA IS FOUND HERE.
IGN - The Inside Story of Brad's Experiences from EverQuest through Vanguard to Today
Ten Ton Hammer - Pantheon Interview - The Everquest Era Niche
MMORPGitalia (Italian with English translation) - Pantheon: Exclusive Interview with Brad McQuaid
BitPulse - Brad McQuaid talks hurdles, expansions and Oculus Rift support for Pantheon
ZAM - Brad McQuaid and Richard Garriott Team Up
GamesBeat - The father of EverQuest pitches his next-generation online fantasy game world
Gamepedia - The Official Pantheon Wiki and Developer Interview!
Gamasutra - How the creator of EverQuest plans to bring MMOs into a new era
Cliqist - Brad McQuaid discusses Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
The Rob & Dan Show - Sunken Sanctum Creation with Vu, Salim and Ben
MMObuff.tv - Interview with Brad and Salim
K-TAM - Interview with Salim, Lenny, Tony and Ben
Massively - Pantheon interview offers glimpse of economy, housing and more
ZAM - Pantheon Develpment Team Q&A
Ten Ton Hammer - Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Interview with Brad McQuaid
MMORPG.com - Exclusive MMORPG.com Interview with Brad McQuaid
KTAM - Tony “Vhalen” Garcia Talks about Lore
PC Gamer - Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen characters may have to acclimatize to their environments
PC Gamer - Brad McQuaid Talks Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
IGN - EverQuest Designer Turns to Kickstarter for New MMO
Kotaku - Everquest Creator Seeks to Crowdfund Another EverQuest
9lives (Dutch) - Interview with Brad McQuaid on Pantheon, New MMORPG
Gamona (German) - The Journey is the Destination
Project 1999 Interviews Brad, Salim and Ben and offer help
Boogie2988 Interviews Brad McQuaid
Vu, Ben and Salim Stream Live Game Design on the Rob & Dan Show
Curse Gamepedia Interviews Brad and Salim
In a time long past and forgotten, many worlds became one. When there was nothing but darkness an astral storm ignited, ripping the walls between a thousand realities. The storm reached beyond the veils to snare fragments of life, ripping them from their origin and returning them to the darkness. Crashing upon a lifeless rock the many shards of many worlds came to unite and formed the world called Terminus. - First Words of the Astral Tome, Origins of Terminus 1:1
- An awareness that content is king.
- A requirement that classes have identities. No single player should be able to do everything on their own.
- A belief that game economies should be predicated on delaying and minimizing item value deflation.
- A commitment to a style of play that focuses on immersive combat, and engaging group mechanics.
- An understanding that a truly challenging game is truly rewarding.
- An expectation that the path of least resistance should also be the most entertaining.
- An understanding that player involvement is required for progression. All actions (or lack thereof) should have consequences. Positive actions should be rewarded. Apathy or lack of action should not be rewarded with bonuses.
- A mindset that designed downtime should be a part of a game, ensuring players have time to form important social bonds.
- A belief that an immersive world requires intelligent inhabitants.
- An understanding that faction should be an integral part of interacting with the world and its citizens.
- A sincere commitment to creating a world where a focus on group play will attract those seeking a challenge.
- A belief that the greatest sense of accomplishment comes when it is shared. And earned.
- An agreement that player levels should be both meaningful and memorable.
"My past has taught me that fallen deities become vengeful god kings." -- Aradune Mithara, Ranger Lord, warning the people of Triundia about the exiled god, Oranthel.
Visionary Realms, Inc. was founded by Brad McQuaid and an elite group of experienced MMO developers (veteran artists, programmers, and designers – plus a few friends we made along the way). We've worked on EverQuest (original game and just about every expansion), EverQuest 2 (original game and just about every expansion), Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, EverQuest Next, Free Realms, Star Wars: Galaxies, Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Myst 3: Exile, and more. (Check out our full bio for more about us)
"Severed from the prime, we must bolster the flock or we shall all wither from existence." -- Athydrya, Goddess of Tides speaking in regards to being removed from the Elven planes of nature.
We've already started development of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, but we need your help. The money raised here on Kickstarter will be used to hire additional employees and bring this project to completion. Our list of stretch goals, when achieved, will allow us to launch an even broader MMO with more features, a larger world, additional races, classes, and much more.
"There's only one God of Plunder and his name is A'Moka. So says my maul!" -- Thuudra the Ogre after being told there is a Dwarven God of Plunder.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF OUR ADD-ON REWARDS.
*Available shortly after the project is funded.
**Estimated to be available in 2015
***Estimated to be available in 2016
"Terminus isn't kind to those who walk alone. Now hand over the stash or you'll be the gash." -- Faylee the thief instructing a lonely traveler on how to stay alive.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen takes place on Terminus, a high fantasy world of deities and heroes.
What makes Pantheon unique is that in addition to traditional fantasy races and classes, Terminus is built from the fragments of other worlds, civilizations and their gods. You never know what you might run into – and we certainly aren’t ready to give that all away here. But think of all the potential, worlds long lost, explored anew. Civilizations discovered that offer new and incredible adventures for you and your friends to experience. When we say content is King, we mean it, and this is just one of the ways we go about supplying that.
"Rise and reclaim your glory, fallen one. Without your might, this world will crumble yet again." -- Nexus the Lost Goddess to a fallen hero.
Forged in the astronomical planar collisions of a dead universe, Terminus is a world of many worlds; each ripped from one of many realities and brought here to form a dramatically diverse landscape.
In the wake of their cataclysmic arrival, empires of Humans, Elves, Dwarves and others came to rise and build new civilizations within the new world.
But not only did mortals come to be abducted and trapped upon this new world, but so too did their deities and demigods, ripped from their planes and forced to create new pantheons on Terminus. Cutoff from their planes and starved for power, they came to vie for followers an act that has helped create the turbulent political landscape of Terminus.
After centuries of war and alliances, the planar collisions have returned once again, bringing with them legendary figures, heroes of the existing pantheons that were once lost. With newfound abilities to harness arcane forces, these ‘fallen heroes’ have risen to reclaim lost powers and explore the many mysteries of Terminus.
"We are the same. Once we were lost and now we are risen. We are not alone in this." -- Nexus the Lost Goddess to a fallen hero.
Pantheon’s combat places a focus on preparation and awareness of your enemy. The player can actively dodge, block, counter or deflect incoming attacks. You’ll want to choose different spells and abilities before an important encounter, selecting from a mix of offensive and defensive abilities. You’ll also see where the NPC’s spells and abilities are going to land and have an opportunity to avoid the attack.
"Pray for rescue if you wish, but chances, if your god answers, then they're as trapped as you." -- Vhalen the bard speaking to a fallen hero who is praying to return to his homeworld.
Portals to the distant origin worlds open up allowing you to see through and possibly travel to these enigmatic lands. Many mysteries lie in wait to be discovered and explored within.
"Drundus... the Hero of Hollowdown, the Defender of Faith, the Benevolent Blade, that Drundus? I must be grogged!" -- Sir Camdos after meeting the fallen hero, Drundus.
Pantheon emphasizes adventuring with others - the world is dangerous and full of unexpected challenges, making it unwise to travel alone. We feel that some of the strongest memories are often those shared with others. Thus, we are aiming to create a world where grouping is paramount.
Please, take us at our word when we say that we are aiming to create experiences that are not going to be easy by any means. Fighting into the depths of a dungeon can be perilous and require strategy, preparation, and skill to overcome difficult encounters. However, when you and your party have finally conquered a dungeon or boss, you will be left with a great sense of accomplishment and reward.
I get a lot of emails every day from people I’ve never met. With few exceptions, they all share the same theme and message: take today’s tech, take what you’ve learned (good and bad, from your successes and failures), and bring us a new MMO that gives us the same feeling and memories your earlier games did. I try to answer them all, thanking the person for the email, and also letting them know that I agree with where they’re coming from.
Finally, however, I can announce that I’m done just listening. But I’m going to need your help too. Yes, all of you who’ve emailed, tweeted, posted, and more… the time has come to build this dream we’ve shared.|
In the last several months I’ve been able to build up a core team of MMO veterans. They’re also a solid group of devoted individuals, a blast to brainstorm with, and we all share the same vision. And while we’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit with our small but talented team, the reality is that we need you to help us see this project through to completion.
It’s also time to let you all see what we’ve been up to.
We could have taken the team, the prototype, the design docs, and the concept art to a publisher or an investor, but we decided it made more sense to first bring it directly to you. Hopefully you’ll like what you see and find the game’s design and focus both compelling and refreshing.
That’s really why Visionary Realms was formed, to re-empower both the developers and the players. You as the customer get the ultimate vote in whether we create this world and to what degree we implement our stretch goals. Your dollars are your votes and the better we do the more resources we’ll have to bring you a fantastic game. Your comments, suggestions and the discussions that will take place on message boards across the Internet will make sure we’re driven in the direction you want us to go.
By meeting and exceeding our Kickstarter goals we will show the gaming world that MMOs targeting specific audiences are the future, not the past. We’ll also establish that ‘niche’ is not a bad word. It simply means to have specific appeal. Well, we think that’s just what this genre needs.
Our hope is that these rewards and what we’ve been able to reveal about the game are compelling enough for you to pledge your support for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.
Please back us financially and let your friends know about the game and the opportunities we’re offering to take part in its creation. We look forward to working with a growing community of players who’ve wanted a game like this for a long time. We’ve certainly wanted a game like this for a long time, and building it with you, our future players, is going to be a lot of fun!
-Brad "Aradune Mithara" McQuaid
Chief Creative Officer, Visionary Realms, Inc.
Wallpapers & Ads
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We are a highly experienced team of AAA developers and that's what we aim to deliver. So far the project has been funded solely from our own pockets and that is why we are reaching out to you now. With enough support we feel we can provide a AAA experience, but without the proper funding, some of that experience may be limited at launch.
No. Your credit card will only be billed after the project is successfully funded.
We believe we are offering something that no one else is - a return to classic-style game play that encourages more social interaction and rewards effort. We believe that the player should dictate how far they progress and not have everyone with the same quality of character, despite the amount of effort put in. To us effort = reward and there will be a difference between players that have a lot of dedication versus those who can only play a little. We believe that when players get together and put in a group effort, the rewards should match. We believe that content and encounters should be meaningful and memorable and not something that gets rushed through in a few seconds, leaving little impression on the players. We believe we can make a world players will actually want to live in again, instead of a game people play when they have some spare time.
Spread the word! The community has been great with all of the excitement, but the way we’re going to reach the goal is if we reach everyone. So tell your friends, family, guildmates -- anyone you think would be interested in a game like Pantheon.
Yes it does. Our intent for this Kickstarter is first to prove that there's enough of a demand for a group focused game that believes in the experience of the game instead of handholding, and to get the ball rolling on development. If we can get to the goal we will have proved that and will have enough to get this game started and be able to get our studio set up and operational. If we only get to the goal and little more, then we will visit other funding opportunities but first and foremost we wanted to make it possible to be completely crowdfunded so that you, the players, have more to do with what goes into the game than other powers would should we need to turn to those options later.
This has come up in a few places so we want to make sure we address this. Our project starts with kickstarter but that is not the end of it. If we get funded the campaign will continue on our website while we continue game development. When we sat down to look at what we wanted in the game we first had to consider our resources and what we would do with the money you all donate. What we came up with is a list of features that we feel are required to produce the core experience while allowing you to continue to back us like so many other projects have.
We believe that there is room for this type of game in the industry and, while we would all love to get everything at the minimum fund price, we know it will take more to include all of them. So please do not fret over those stretch goals because the opportunity to get them is not going away and neither is our need for your support. So lets consider this a call to arms we need everyone, who is willing, to rise up and get the word out on every social front you can. Lets ring the bells and bang the drums, separate we are but a lowly design team and some backers, together we are the heroes of Pantheon and the time has come for us to rise and make Terminus real.
No. They are early images from a pre-alpha/prototype build using placeholder art. Consider them as a representation of our work on the game. The finished product will be considerably more polished with a lot more cool stuff going on. For now, we just want you to see that we’re serious about making this game with our screenshots of the prototype to test in-game mechanics.
Pantheon will be playable using 1st or 3rd person camera views. In 1st person we expect to render weapons/hands.
There will be both offensive and defensive targets. Beneficial spells and abilities will be directed toward your defensive target, while harmful spells and abilities will be directed at your offensive target.
There will be a limit to group size (currently 6 players, but that’s not set in stone) to add a tactical element in terms of group configuration.
Soloing is possible and perhaps something the player will want to do while he is waiting for his group or guild to log in. If his gear is good enough there will some overland mobs that can be soloed. That said, grouping will be significantly more efficient.
There will be a con system, but players will still need to use their own judgment about whether to engage the mob or not. If the mob is scowling ready to attack or wanting to marry you will be shown when you use the con hotkey.
We want to bring back the gameplay of pulling and splitting packs of mobs. To facilitate this players will need tools that make this possible. These tools will come in the form of spells and abilities that allow you to ‘lull’ or ‘pacify’ the mob.
In cases where you have to deal with more than one mob you will some classes will have the ability to cast spells like ‘root’, ‘snare’, ‘mesmerize’, etc.
Spells have a chance to fizzle or do less damage because of a resist to add an additional level of tactical knowledge requirements and challenge.
There will be a basic auto-attack system. Passive abilities will trigger automatically during combat (dodge, parry, etc.). This gives the player the time to focus on selecting active abilities and spells (magic missile, fireball, deflect, etc.) based on what’s going on in combat.
The player will have enough time to react to what the NPC is doing (counterspell, deflect, move out of the way, etc.). Combat is more involved and the player will need to pay attention, but it is not ‘twitch’ in the way a first person shooter is.
You'll be able to move slowly while casting the vast majority of spells. There will be exceptions to this rule but in general, yes you can move while casting and it will be very similar to the way it worked in Vanguard.
Mobs that you kill have a chance to drop loot. The loot you obtain after defeating a mob should make sense relative to the type of mob. In other words, pelts and fur should come from animals, and swords and shields from sentient beings. Rats will not drop breastplates, unless they are really big rats who just finished eating your friend. In that case you probably want him to drop a breastplate along with the rest of your friend.
Our desire is to bring back the value and personality of items drives our item design. This means that the frequency of upgrades will be slower and when you do get a new piece of gear not only will the experience be memorable but so will the item. We want you to collect your items and be able to remember their names. When you get that epic item or rare drop after an incredible dungeon crawl, we want you to be in awe of what you accomplished and the reward that came from it. Items will be memorable, deserved, cherished, and desired.
Lower level items will have their limits. Many will not be ‘magical’, limiting the types of mobs you can engage. That said, the first few levels should go fairly quickly and then advancement will slow as the player gets into the meat of the game. Roleplaying-wise it’s tradition to use basic equipment and then slowly gain access to more powerful non-magical gear, and then eventually magical gear. High level items will include procs, banes bonuses, regeneration & spell focus bonuses, etc.
FINE STEEL WILL MAKE ITS TRIUMPHANT RETURN!!!!
We recognize that the items you gain from your adventures or hard earned gold coins are yours and that you should be able to do whatever you want with them. This means that no-drop and bind-on-equip items will be the exception, not the rule. (For example,you will not be able to trade epic weapons. Has something to do with them being very magical and hard to let go or something.)
We will endeavor to love all of our customers so yes there will be tender loving care... Oh wait you mean trivial loot code. No there will not be that kind of TLC.
Story and lore elements are essential to our Quest system – they need to be meaningful and give purpose. But as a player you should never feel overwhelmed with a bunch of quests that are nothing but mundane tasks. When you get a quest the intent is that it will be epic in nature and reinforce the fact that you are a resurrected hero.
ABSOPOSILUTELY!!! Some of our most memorable gaming experiences stem from the adventure that was getting our epic weapons. These quests were class defining moments that filled you with a major sense of accomplishment when completed. Whether it was hunting for clues to start them or trying to figure out the right thing to say or do to get to the next step, epic quests were a significant social module and we plan to make them a part of Pantheon. But they will not be limited to just weapons, I mean how is a fallen hero supposed to rise again if he does not have his weapon, armor, and mighty steed?
This one is easy. If you want to find out if an npc has a quest all you have to do is… talk to him. That's right, we will NOT be utilizing the over the head icon tech. We want you investigate your surroundings and gather information, talking to NPCs is a big part of that. So don’t be shy get out there and make some friends
I'm not that familiar with the Unity engine other than seeing a few smaller games & demos out there -- why did you choose Unity as the engine you are going to use?
Here are some of the AAA games that are using the Unity engine:
Deus Ex: The Fall
Might & Magic X Legacy
Dead Trigger 2
Kerbal Space Program
Call of Duty®: Strike Team
Shroud of the Avatar
A longer list may be found here: http://unity3d.com/gallery/made-with-unity/game-list
There were a lot of reasons we chose Unity, and they all had to do with the positives of the engine, not the negatives of others. It simply came down to the fact that it was an engine that enabled us to get to work quickly with a small team and deploy to multiple platforms with minimal issue.
There will be plenty of / (slash) commands that players can assign to hot keys. But players will not be able to make hotkeys that automate playing of their character.
Death will sting. We want player to respect and sometimes fear their environment. A big part of this is a desire to avoid death. While the details of the system are not currently fully fleshed out we expect death to be something that players want to avoid at all costs.