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Statement Regarding Recent Leaks

    • VR Staff
    • 483 posts
    October 18, 2023 7:04 AM PDT

    Director of Communications, Ben Dean, has released a statement regarding recent leaks of information from the Pantheon testing environment:

    In regards to some posts you may have seen this week, we would like to offer some clarity. The 247 play mode began life as a testing tool. We soon saw its potential to stand on its own feet. We believe the marriage between MMO and Extraction is something that will speak to a much larger audience than we have reached to date and we are exploring that opportunity. This is not a cancellation of Pantheon, as Pantheon and 247 are symbiotic and developed in tandem. If we choose to monetize 247 and it is successful, it could potentially allow Pantheon to launch much sooner than currently projected. We will outline 247 and what it means to our players in our Producer's Letter Thursday, Oct. 26.


    This post was edited by Savanja at October 18, 2023 7:41 AM PDT
    • VR Staff
    • 483 posts
    October 18, 2023 7:05 AM PDT

    Please feel free to discuss this topic here or on our official Discord server.

    • 2419 posts
    October 18, 2023 7:37 AM PDT

    Ok.  Define 'currently projected'. That means VR has some indication of how much longer it will take to release this game without additional funding. Or is that a lie just to placate us?  Not that I actually expect VR to tell us that timeframe.

    • 326 posts
    October 18, 2023 7:56 AM PDT

     

    "We soon saw its potential to stand on its own feet."  /eye roll

     

    • 165 posts
    October 18, 2023 7:56 AM PDT

    I find it very hard to have a discussion about this, when those of us who aren't 24/7 pre-alpha testers don't even know what it is. 

    MMO + Extraction, sure I know what they both are, but how do they work together in a tab target mmorpg world?

    I'd like to hear the history of this mode too.  What did you need to test, that led to the creation of this testing tool?

    Please explain in detail.

     

    • 326 posts
    October 18, 2023 8:20 AM PDT

     

    the internet - 'Extraction (shooters) are a growing genre in the gaming industry, focusing on the goal of getting into an area, finding loot, and escaping'

    Like I said in the recent thread by dorotea - when is an MMO not an MMO...and yes, anyone who pledged because of the 247 announcement was hoodwinked.

     


    This post was edited by Thunderleg at October 18, 2023 8:22 AM PDT
    • 78 posts
    October 18, 2023 8:24 AM PDT

     

    This post has almost no context.   I had to go on reddit to understand what was going on. 

    https://www.reddit.com/r/PantheonMMO/comments/179l6q8/is_this_for_real/

    Basically from what I can tell during testing, they created this kind of survival mode mini game called 247.  They found out it was popular, so their thinking is they can monetize it and use that in parallel development with Pantheon.  The idea would be since everything created for it will end up in Pantheon anyways it is a win/win situation.  They can earn some money will working on it but at the same keep developing it which in turn means developing content for Pantheon.

    I saw something similar play out with Camelot Unchained, though to be fair to give context, CU ended up creating a completely different mini game for funding.  It appears that it really fell through anyways.

    Ashes of Creation has their own kind of PvP modes like attacking a castle etc., but they didn't monetize it.  Ashes has sold packages of items before the launch of the game to earn extra money.


    It looks like they are asking for feedback on this issue.  But maybe more importantly the community could get creative on figuring out ways to increase money to Pantheon without the game selling its soul or veering off into a different direction.  

     

    My honest opinion is I would rather them SCALE BACK the game from systems like environment etc., release the game, get people playing it and then build on it over time.  I would rather have a simpler version of the game that we can build it into then another game mode in development.  Heck even if they released the game with starter zones and areas, use that to monetize and build on it.  It is clear to me SCOPE CREEP has become a major problem for the game.  For example, take out the environmental hazards and add them in later.  Those are neat, but we can deal with those later.  My personal advice to the company DIAL BACK the scope and scale, release the game in a smaller state, get money through there, build a community and build on the game.

    • 252 posts
    October 18, 2023 8:42 AM PDT

    Is the expectation that the community who has pledged their own money on the promise of a classically spirited MMO the same community that will monetize and drive development on an extraction game? If not, I can see how the resentment of those who have followed and pledged over the last decade watching other people play a game they didn't pledge for will be a poison.

    I just don't see the two games having the same playerbase long term. There will be a little crossover in the venn diagram. But while the people in the extraction circle have a game, the people in the classically spirited MMO circle will feel screwed.

    This leaves out the financial realities of having a game that exists and is making money vs a game that doesn't exist and is just skimming money off of the successful game (assuming it's successful).

     

     

    • 326 posts
    October 18, 2023 8:53 AM PDT

     

    Xerion - "This post has almost no context."

    Yes, by all means, give us the unadulterated raw truth as to where the MMORPG stands. (the genre that warranted pledges in the first place)

    Keep in mind that Project Faerthale was an all-hands-on-deck for the team (in order to get a game publisher on board?) And then there was the networking all-hands-on deck (in order to be able to sell it to other dev studios for extra cash?) There was a switch from all store-bought assets to in-house. I thought there was a time when Pantheon was 'funded through release'? 

    Without a game publisher, I can't see any side gig keeping the ship afloat going into the second decade of development.

     


    This post was edited by Thunderleg at October 18, 2023 8:57 AM PDT
    • 80 posts
    October 18, 2023 9:11 AM PDT

    To be fair, monetizing early access is commonplace and many top tier games have launched with it (baldurs gate 3, bannerlord 2, Hades). There are some red flags though. Those games planned monetizing early access from the beginning, not as a late act of desperation. Furthermore, monetizing a minigame to fund the main game sounds ok on paper, but if everyones paychecks start to comes from it, you can bet a large shift in development focus will take place. Also begs the question, how did they find the time to create a minigame when they are 10 years into pre-alpha??

    Worth noting, it's rarely a good sign when the Director of Communications says "This is not a cancellation of Pantheon" regardless of context.


    This post was edited by RedGang at October 18, 2023 9:17 AM PDT
    • 3852 posts
    October 18, 2023 9:19 AM PDT

    For years I have tried to put a positive spin on things - because these are development forums and while constructive suggestions help development, negative comments (even if factually warrented) do not. In recent days I have abandoned this approach as what we all hoped would be Pantheon has seemed to morph into something ....not-Pantheon. 

    I believe we can all agree on this now. The mini-game called 247 above is not Pantheon. It is not intended to be Pantheon. It will never become Pantheon. It is not intended to ever become Pantheon. 

    Those who felt that the graphics did not match the vision of Pantheon are now vindicated. The intent was NOT to come up with graphics for Pantheon. The intent was to come up with graphics for a mini-game. I feel far better about the graphics now than I did two days ago. Thinking about Pantheon with cartoon graphics was enough to make a pig barf. Thinking about a mini-game with cartoon graphics does not bother me at all though there is the risk that there will be spill-over into Pantheon itself if development on Panthon ever resumes - which, to be honest, I am not convinced of.

    Those who were concerned about the stated intent to appeal to a contemporary audience and not to the old school fans that have been the bedrock of this development effort can relax now - a bit. What was truly meant was to try and get development money from such an audience not to gut Pantheon. Again, the risk of spillover is real. RedGang is far from wrong.

    They might as well have put out an announcement along the following lines:

     

    "Despite all of our hopes and dreams we are running out of money. Pantheon is, to be blunt, going down the crapper with no hope of release in any reasonable time frame. We understand that trying to get development money by releasing what we already have as a mini-game is risky. Very risky. We are not idiots and know that efforts like this by other develpoment teams have failed. Badly. 

    We are where we are. If the choice is between certain collapse and taking a major risk, this is not a choice at all. We now have a low probability but not hopeless chance to make things work. Please help and support us as we hope for the jackpot. Who knows ....maybe the horse will learn to sing."


    This post was edited by dorotea at October 18, 2023 9:23 AM PDT
    • 2419 posts
    October 18, 2023 9:39 AM PDT

    Savanja said:

    Please feel free to discuss this topic here or on our official Discord server.

    I dont understand what is the point of us discussing anything when we get so little information from VR on anything.  Unless VR is going to actively engage in the discussion, truthfully and with full transparency answering questions then this is a pointless thread.

    • 902 posts
    October 18, 2023 10:02 AM PDT

    Vandraad: I dont understand what is the point of us discussing anything when we get so little information from VR on anything.  Unless VR is going to actively engage in the discussion, truthfully and with full transparency answering questions then this is a pointless thread.

    Agreed, the above is just a confirmation of what has been let slip with no details whatever. I suspect they will keep to their silence until next year (which is what the roumers also say). So I would not hold your breath. Basically, we have two games apparently being devleoped in tandom with maybe a cross over population. 

    Mmm... so many question I want to ask and observations I want to go into, however, what is the point. We only got the above because we complained and complained. And get shouted at by those that think this is all ok. Its not. It has been handled with the with thick plate gauntlets and not kid gloves.

    "This is not a cancellation"? But is work suspended on Pantheon. (Even if there are routines that are usable in both games, there will be a lot which isnt too!).

    More money will get the game to us quicker? How quicker? As pointed out, this is supposed to be fully funded already. What happened to the huge investments? And we have heard a number of times that some plan they are developing will get the game to us quicker. Still waiting...

    "We will out-line..." I mean is that the same outline you used to tell us about the change in style direction? Is it just bullet points again? With no substance that you think is ok for us?

    ...And more and more windging could be spat out here, but honestly, I cannot be A***D!

     


    This post was edited by chenzeme at October 18, 2023 10:06 AM PDT
    • 133 posts
    October 18, 2023 10:15 AM PDT

    Xerion said:

    My honest opinion is I would rather them SCALE BACK the game from systems like environment etc., release the game, get people playing it and then build on it over time.  I would rather have a simpler version of the game that we can build it into then another game mode in development.  Heck even if they released the game with starter zones and areas, use that to monetize and build on it.  It is clear to me SCOPE CREEP has become a major problem for the game.  For example, take out the environmental hazards and add them in later.  Those are neat, but we can deal with those later.  My personal advice to the company DIAL BACK the scope and scale, release the game in a smaller state, get money through there, build a community and build on the game.

     

    I said the same thing AGES ago on here. I got my posts deleted and I got called all kinds of things by the regulars here. Every time I brought up an issue or concern with it, someone would go crying to a mod and have it taken down or whatever because they didn't like that someone was being "negative" about the games development. I stopped posting here, because saying exactly what you said here was deemed too negative and not constructive enough to be on the forums. I was not welcomed and decided to bow out...funny now how what I and a few others had said ages ago on these very forums are what's being suggested as what they should be doing, now that they are essentially not making the game all of us pledged for. I would honestly give you the links to the posts where I said this, but again they have all since been deleted.

    They should also be telling people what they are pledging to play. People are pledging with the notion that they are getting access to a 24/7 pantheon testing server for the MMO, not whatever the hell this is they are trying to spin. It's perfectly clear that the MMO and this 247 thing are completely different games, no matter ho wmany times you tell people it's within pantheons servers, it's using the same assests, it's using the same mechanics, or whatever else you want to say to try and make yourselves look good. These are two completely different games, there's no symbiotic nature to it at all. Waiting for the 26th to give a better statement is NOT going to do you any favors and being completely silent on it is only going to get people to believe you are scrambling to try and figure out how to make this look better for you as a company. I've been in retail and CS for most of my life, I can get a pretty good insight as to WHY you are waiting for the 26th...but it's not going to do you any favors, VR. There's no reason to put out this two-bit statement when you have no intention of talking about it now while some are still open and receptive to hearing the other side. The longer you leave people with this negative outlook, the harder and harder it is to convince them otherwise.

    • 165 posts
    October 18, 2023 10:24 AM PDT

    Talking about 24/7 pre-alpha testing and then calling your minigame 247 is purposely misleading.

    Call it something else, so people can do their research and realize that "Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen 24/7 pre-alpha testing" is not the same thing as "Pantheon: Mini-Game Extraction Mode"

    • 326 posts
    October 18, 2023 10:32 AM PDT

     

    As Vandaddy said, we are just talking amongst ourselves, so;

    I completely agree that a reduction in scale should have happened long ago. One starting town with a tavern and a notice board listing troubles to be dealt with. A small set of races and classes (four roles still intact). Each expansion/DLC can add whatever the fans want most. Even the environmental aspects can come later with tougher zones. This approach would have us already in a functioning, if a smaller world, NOW, as in Today.

    • 128 posts
    October 18, 2023 10:43 AM PDT

    dorotea said:

    For years I have tried to put a positive spin on things - because these are development forums and while constructive suggestions help development, negative comments (even if factually warrented) do not. In recent days I have abandoned this approach as what we all hoped would be Pantheon has seemed to morph into something ....not-Pantheon. 

    I believe we can all agree on this now. The mini-game called 247 above is not Pantheon. It is not intended to be Pantheon. It will never become Pantheon. It is not intended to ever become Pantheon. 

    Those who felt that the graphics did not match the vision of Pantheon are now vindicated. The intent was NOT to come up with graphics for Pantheon. The intent was to come up with graphics for a mini-game. I feel far better about the graphics now than I did two days ago. Thinking about Pantheon with cartoon graphics was enough to make a pig barf. Thinking about a mini-game with cartoon graphics does not bother me at all though there is the risk that there will be spill-over into Pantheon itself if development on Panthon ever resumes - which, to be honest, I am not convinced of.

    Those who were concerned about the stated intent to appeal to a contemporary audience and not to the old school fans that have been the bedrock of this development effort can relax now - a bit. What was truly meant was to try and get development money from such an audience not to gut Pantheon. Again, the risk of spillover is real. RedGang is far from wrong.

    They might as well have put out an announcement along the following lines:

     

    "Despite all of our hopes and dreams we are running out of money. Pantheon is, to be blunt, going down the crapper with no hope of release in any reasonable time frame. We understand that trying to get development money by releasing what we already have as a mini-game is risky. Very risky. We are not idiots and know that efforts like this by other develpoment teams have failed. Badly. 

    We are where we are. If the choice is between certain collapse and taking a major risk, this is not a choice at all. We now have a low probability but not hopeless chance to make things work. Please help and support us as we hope for the jackpot. Who knows ....maybe the horse will learn to sing."

     

    One of the finest posts I have seen on this issue (issues?) to date. I turned in my survey yesterday and expressed similar sentiments, though I also called for the termination of a a few specific VR people as well, so perhaps mine was harsher and yours more reasonable.  I should follow your lead.

    My favorite lines in your post are " The mini-game called 247 above is not Pantheon. It is not intended to be Pantheon. It will never become Pantheon. It is not intended to ever become Pantheon. "

    I'm hopeful they will change the name of the extraction mini-game and remove the name Pantheon from it,  and to something more appropriate like "Bait and Switch Extraction!" or "Joppa's Folly" or  "You Never Asked For It, But You Got it!"...something catchy.   I'm sure the crack Marketing and PR team will come up with something great.

     

     

    • 902 posts
    October 18, 2023 11:53 AM PDT

    I would go with Landmark Extraction. 

    • 165 posts
    October 18, 2023 12:20 PM PDT

    Pantheon: Just Kidding

    • 3852 posts
    October 18, 2023 12:20 PM PDT

    What will happen next?

    They may tell us that development of Pantheon has been suspended. If the mini-game fails such development is pointless. So 100% effort needs to go to the mini-game until failure or success is known. This is unlikely to result in reductions in staff. Someone now working 10 hours a month can be reduced to 1 hour a month without the embarassment of having to actually say something. This is what I would do - giving the impression that VR is imploding would be a disaster.

    They will continue to make pledges for Pantheon available. Why not? They still hope to complete the project just with a bit of a detour coming up now.

    They will make every possible effort to sell us things related to the mini-game. Getting us to play it will be enormously useful in persuading the larger universe that it is *worth* playing. They will puff up the number of people playing it or paying for things related to it for all they are worth. ((please don't make the obvious comment here - let us be nice)) 

    They will sell subscriptions to the game. They will sell special cosmetic items for us to see in the game way before we will have the chance to see them in Pantheon. If the game is competitive they will crow that winners will get special prizes and rewards in Pantheon itself when Panteon releases. They will ..... Actually I really doubt they will do all of these things but they will surely do some of them and other things that escape my forethought.

    What is the present attitude of their core supporters? A mixture of despair, resignation and anger. Mixed in with some hope especially from those more optimistic by nature. Or less experienced.

    To many of us hope has died. Witn no corpse run. 

    If hope remains - root them on. They may surprise us all. Maybe they will turn it into an "extraction" game set in the ruins of Gaza or Odessa and people will flock to it by the tens of thousands.

    If no hope remains - leave quietly and check this site again in 6 months. 

    May the Gods of Pantheon be with us all, whether we are hopeful or hope is absent, regardless of whether they are ever with Pantheon.

     

    • 20 posts
    October 18, 2023 12:21 PM PDT

    So, everyone can understand why they change the newsletter with the TO DO list ... They stop to work on the mmo ...

    • 23 posts
    October 18, 2023 12:26 PM PDT

    Had to look up what an extraction game is to figure out what is even going on. So it'll be a mmo pvp battlegrounds that you can keep gear you earn / find into the next battlegrounds? Looking to see if any pre alpha testers can share light on this.

    • 252 posts
    October 18, 2023 12:35 PM PDT

    ottawacloset said:

    Had to look up what an extraction game is to figure out what is even going on. So it'll be a mmo pvp battlegrounds that you can keep gear you earn / find into the next battlegrounds? Looking to see if any pre alpha testers can share light on this.



    I don't think they can until VR explains it publicly due to NDA. 


    This post was edited by Ruinar at October 18, 2023 12:35 PM PDT
    • 23 posts
    October 18, 2023 12:38 PM PDT

    Hmmm oh well, guess I'll just check back in a week.

    • 1266 posts
    October 18, 2023 1:20 PM PDT

    "The mini-game called 247 above is not Pantheon. It is not intended to be Pantheon. It will never become Pantheon. It is not intended to ever become Pantheon."

     

    I disagree with this statement.  I do wish there was no NDA so I could explain why  :(