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The Road To Alpha!

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    • 4516 posts
    March 30, 2021 4:24 AM PDT

    eunichron said:

    I don't have an exact reference on hand, but I recall Joppa saying, in a stream or dev interview recently, that he wanted Alpha to comprise a fully fleshed out 1-50 experience. To be honest, that seemed very ambitious to me, if not unlikely. I am pleased to see that now you are shooting for a "mostly fleshed out" 1-30 experience for the first Alpha tests. Can you explain the thought process that went into relaxing the internal requirements for shifting from pre-Alpha to Alpha?

    this is my own opinion, but it seems like a no-brainer considering no one will be level 31-50 on day 1. If they keep leveling relatively slow and have periodic server wipes, it may be some time until people reach the point of even caring if that content is in the game. They stated they are still planning on having a full 1-50 experience by the end of alpha, which makes sense.

    • 9 posts
    March 30, 2021 3:18 PM PDT

    I've only loosely followed development since my pledge a freaking long time ago. I do read the updates about how things are going and based on this producer letter and some other information about serious hardcoding, it isn't really shocking to me that there will be more delays. I do know that games are hard to make since I've been making them for nearly 23 years now but I also know there is a lot of irrational thinking that goes on while making a game. The huge worry about putting something out there and it not being perfect being the prime mistake. No game is perfect and you can try to justify you're holding it back because of expectations, but those are really self imposed expectations. I guarantee you there will be a portion of your audience that loves it and another portion that hates it and trashes you publicly. It's just the way things work. Assuming you don't have a complete turd on your hands and based on what I've seen I don't think it's a turd, then really the more you hold back, the more you're hurting yourself. A bunch of good game systems that work "good enough" and are fun to play with is better than worrying about polish. The worst game experience is the game that doesn't ship because you held on too long and ran out of funds. 

    "Converting the entire project to a Universal Render Pipeline allows for better performance, more advanced shaders and simplicity in creating shaders." - it also means redoing a ton of art for what *actual* benefit? Unless you're not really as far along as pepople think.

    Also, as someone that has done networking for a large part of their career, it's pretty shocking and troubling that you don't have this settled yet and you're planning on dropping in a new networking layer. I hope Kyle and Rob are gods and have infinite hours because you're going to make these poor guys pull their hair out. Good luck guys! 

    Honeslty, it sounds like you guys made a bunch of tech demos and are now making the game "for reals". As long as you have the funds for it, I'm standing by ready to play. :)


    This post was edited by jimmay at March 30, 2021 3:20 PM PDT
    • 4516 posts
    April 3, 2021 10:49 AM PDT

    jimmay said:

    Also, as someone that has done networking for a large part of their career, it's pretty shocking and troubling that you don't have this settled yet and you're planning on dropping in a new networking layer. I hope Kyle and Rob are gods and have infinite hours because you're going to make these poor guys pull their hair out. Good luck guys! 

    Honeslty, it sounds like you guys made a bunch of tech demos and are now making the game "for reals". As long as you have the funds for it, I'm standing by ready to play. :)

    I mean, that's pretty much it. As a crowdfunded game that started with no money, it was only until recently that they actually had the talent on board to truly build these vital frameworks. Hiring Kyle has been a turning point as he really is a god compared to the programmers that came before. The game's code and art have been completely transformed in less than a year and a half.

    It's also worth noting that they don't just have to take the first impressions of testers into consideration. Alpha is also time to start a more widespread marketing push - meaning there will hopefully be many people laying eyes on Pantheon for the very first time - and that requires additional polish.

    • 7 posts
    April 3, 2021 6:37 PM PDT

    Everquest had a LFG tool. you typed in /LFG and you were tagged . People looking for certain classes could /who all LFG  and see a list or players . this IMO would we good enough too use for a LFG tool.  The only drawback too that was if people had /Anon or /Roleplay on you could see thier LFG tag but not thier spicific class.

    • 1793 posts
    April 3, 2021 7:10 PM PDT

    11.  I think this should be hinted at, and not fully explained. Rather something to be discovered by the players. I think these are beans and could be pre-advantageous to gameplay. For instance, if you know something is pyrophibic beforehand, 2 players could herd a bunch into a corner with a torch and have a nice little AE session. 

    Now, if the Devs were to make them Pyrophobic AND repellant to each other, like the other side of magnets, then they could not be herded, as one would be skipping out or flipping behind you and reattacking you if brought too close to another untill you spun around with your torch.

    Or afraid of heights? so it would never get near a ledge. Or if it was repellent and Acrophobic, if it were to "flip" over a ledge, - suddenly being in the place it feared- its disposition would change to alarmist (aggro range increase) - thereby potentially causing some wonderfull trains as the beastie makes a ruckus on the way down- fool of a took!

    Or highly social: labyrinthian corridors, lumbering, vapid, monsters, but pull one and it's attraction range increases through walls just once so any other vapid lumberers in that radius that you dont see, follow the labyrinth around to where you are- but going past and not aggroing vapid lumberers that were not within the radius of the one you pulled initially.

     

    I suppose they could list some, and reference the extreme end of the MMPI for a general idea of the list of attributes used (Minnesota Multiphasic Personailty Inventory)

    • 179 posts
    April 4, 2021 12:06 PM PDT

    jimmay said:

    I've only loosely followed development since my pledge a freaking long time ago. I do read the updates about how things are going and based on this producer letter and some other information about serious hardcoding, it isn't really shocking to me that there will be more delays. I do know that games are hard to make since I've been making them for nearly 23 years now but I also know there is a lot of irrational thinking that goes on while making a game. The huge worry about putting something out there and it not being perfect being the prime mistake. No game is perfect and you can try to justify you're holding it back because of expectations, but those are really self imposed expectations. I guarantee you there will be a portion of your audience that loves it and another portion that hates it and trashes you publicly. It's just the way things work. Assuming you don't have a complete turd on your hands and based on what I've seen I don't think it's a turd, then really the more you hold back, the more you're hurting yourself. A bunch of good game systems that work "good enough" and are fun to play with is better than worrying about polish. The worst game experience is the game that doesn't ship because you held on too long and ran out of funds. 

    "Converting the entire project to a Universal Render Pipeline allows for better performance, more advanced shaders and simplicity in creating shaders." - it also means redoing a ton of art for what *actual* benefit? Unless you're not really as far along as pepople think.

    Also, as someone that has done networking for a large part of their career, it's pretty shocking and troubling that you don't have this settled yet and you're planning on dropping in a new networking layer. I hope Kyle and Rob are gods and have infinite hours because you're going to make these poor guys pull their hair out. Good luck guys! 

    Honeslty, it sounds like you guys made a bunch of tech demos and are now making the game "for reals". As long as you have the funds for it, I'm standing by ready to play. :)

     

    Exactly my thoughts and fears.  The Alpha info they released is basically the same thing they said last year. And the year before (besides Joppa saying a full path to lvl 50 needs to be done). It's why most people following / pledged the game since 2015 have asked for a road map, transparency, and what's been completed. A lot of theory crafting and talking about what they want to do, but not a lot of implementation? They talked about the network stack last year as well and haven't started implementing it. I hope they can hire more programmers, etc. and push forward. 


    This post was edited by Kastor at April 4, 2021 12:08 PM PDT
    • 5 posts
    April 4, 2021 12:15 PM PDT

    I really really wish these forums had thumbs up options because this is #%!@%#@ gold.  So much for Alpha in 2021, there's no way in heck we'll see all of that, or even a majority of that, done in the next 9 months.  Go go Alpha One 2022!!

     

    I am sorry this game has been so LONG drawn out in creating it. When I bought into pantheon as a knights pledge back in 2015 this game was moving into Alpha then and to buy in now or be locked out of pantheon till launch. I bought 2. I was so excited to test and play alpha in 2015, no wait 2016, no wait 2017,2018,2019,2020,2021 NO NOT 2021 with this track record I have lost all hope in your statements. I know your going to remove this post and more than likely ban me from posting as I have been warned not to post negative comments on your forums. I guess I am fine with weather or not you remove me. Remember I support this game. I dont support being lied to and strung along for years as you have done.

    • 114 posts
    April 4, 2021 12:55 PM PDT

    Mickey said:

    I really really wish these forums had thumbs up options because this is #%!@%#@ gold.  So much for Alpha in 2021, there's no way in heck we'll see all of that, or even a majority of that, done in the next 9 months.  Go go Alpha One 2022!!

    I am sorry this game has been so LONG drawn out in creating it. When I bought into pantheon as a knights pledge back in 2015 this game was moving into Alpha then and to buy in now or be locked out of pantheon till launch. I bought 2. I was so excited to test and play alpha in 2015, no wait 2016, no wait 2017,2018,2019,2020,2021 NO NOT 2021 with this track record I have lost all hope in your statements. I know your going to remove this post and more than likely ban me from posting as I have been warned not to post negative comments on your forums. I guess I am fine with weather or not you remove me. Remember I support this game. I dont support being lied to and strung along for years as you have done.

    I appreciate your honesty and candor.  However I still beleive alpha can EASILY happen this year, in fact it could happen next month.  These guys just need to stop worrying about being judged for something we all know is far from finished and give us all a chance to start giving our feedback to help out or this game is never going to be completed.  As I said earlier actually I believe the longer this is delayed the higher expectations are going to be in terms of polish.  Give us the turd VR~! We can take it!


    This post was edited by Frostyglitch at April 4, 2021 12:55 PM PDT
    • 100 posts
    April 4, 2021 5:57 PM PDT

    Mickey said:

    I really really wish these forums had thumbs up options because this is #%!@%#@ gold.  So much for Alpha in 2021, there's no way in heck we'll see all of that, or even a majority of that, done in the next 9 months.  Go go Alpha One 2022!!

    I too appreciate your candor, although you may be banned for it. 

    I interpreted the Producer's Letter the same way most folks did in that there is going to be a delay to Alpha.  It's unfortunate but not unexpected.  VR have historically had an extreme disconnect between expectations and reality. For example:

    • In 2015, in an interview with Brad McQuaid, Benjamin de la Durantaye (Ben Dean?), and Chris Rowan, Venturbeat reported pre Alpha in 2015 and Beta in 2016.  
    • In 2017, on this forum VR indicated Alpha would be "shortly after" Q1/Q2 2017 and after that Beta.  

    Most of the time VR are reluctant to give even vague timing for development but in those intances (and there are many like the two above) where the have given an indicator of timing they have been WAY off.  Which begs the question as to why there has been such a disconnect between their expectations (not ours) and reality? 

    I have heard all theories in the community about when development "really" started.  

    • In 2015 after the failed kickstarter and when they received seed funding
    • In 2017 when VR completed series A funding
    • In 2018 when they started Project Faerthale
    • In 2020 when they completed the refactor
    • And most recently some community members are broadcsting that development really started 16 months ago when they made a key hire

    I think these are all great theories and I agree with all of them.  Go Pantheon and everything is great and all that and I'm super positive and this is a postive post that is definitely not ban worthy. 

    But I'm confused as to why VR seem to be continually caught by surprise when their timeline (which they don't share with us) is shifting.  If we could get an answer to that question it would be great. 

    Not that I think the timeline may shift out again, or that VR don't have a timeline, the opposite in fact.  I bet they are going to accelerate their timeline and finish the game faster than we all expect. 


    This post was edited by Olympeus at April 4, 2021 5:58 PM PDT
    • 289 posts
    April 5, 2021 9:55 AM PDT

    Olympeus said:

    But I'm confused as to why VR seem to be continually caught by surprise when their timeline (which they don't share with us) is shifting.  If we could get an answer to that question it would be great. 

    Not that I think the timeline may shift out again, or that VR don't have a timeline, the opposite in fact.  I bet they are going to accelerate their timeline and finish the game faster than we all expect. 

    You kind of answered your own statement. VR won't give us dates or even wild guesses because goals and timelines shift constantly in software.  For a number of reasons.  Priorities adjust all the time, sometimes you realize that something is going to be much easier or more difficult than originally anticipated, bugs crop up non-stop, the design of something already finished may turn out to be inadequate, etc, etc, etc.  And if they gave us target dates we would collectively freak the &^$% out when those dates are inevitably missed.

    People also need to realize just how massive an undertaking the building of an MMORPG really is.  It's bigger than any other kind of game and bigger than almost any other kind of software even when using an existing game engine like Unity.  The list of jobs required to build an MMO is staggering and every one of those is responsible for a ridiculous amount of work.  This is only made more difficult today compared to 1999 because expectations from players are vastly higher.  That VR, even after all these years, has something they can demo at all is pretty remarkable.  They're a tiny studio compared to most that produce games like this and they're doing it all on a shoestring budget, relatively speaking.  Have a little patience, people.  We all want to get in and play the game but good things take time.

    • 411 posts
    April 5, 2021 2:29 PM PDT
    Any time there's news related to the game's progress, we get a wide range of responses. I'm glad that we have more specifics on what's needed for Alpha One, but as I haven't developed any MMOs before, I will avoid guessing a timeline. The Dunning–Kruger effect explains why most of us have a really poor understanding of how complex, necessary, and time-consuming the various tasks are and thus some can't understand why Pantheon isn't as a specific stage yet.

    All I know is that I see progress being made and am actual game being produced. One with a really interesting setting that looks very much like what to play, so I will continue to support it.
    • Moderator
    • 9055 posts
    April 5, 2021 8:32 PM PDT

    Thread cleaned up and locked.

    Please, if you don't work for Visionary Realms then don't try to assume how we run things. Timelines are serious, they do change, with minimal resources and people-power some departments will lag behind others and we adapt, help each other out and move forward with development in other areas until we can circle back and fix the blockade.

    We are not like most other companies, we do not have hundreds of staff spanning multiple countries with hundreds of millions of dollars at our disposal. We manage our money very carefully to keep the game development progressing with the long term vision in mind so we can set ourselves up to succeed and deliver a game that we want to play for many years to come.

    We appreciate everyone's support but that does not buy anyone the right to be disrespectful or speak with authority on hold we should be doing things compared to other companies.

    Any more personal attacks or posting assumptions about VR as facts will incur further action against your account, as this type of toxic behaviour needs to stop.

    Try and create your own MMORPG before telling others how to run theirs.