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November PA Recap - Test Server Relaunches

    • VR Staff
    • 481 posts
    November 6, 2023 4:38 PM PST

    With a little over a month of solid uptime, we are ready to review the PA test server and talk a bit about what we have been working on. The most recent updates have been included and a couple of spoilers, including new screenshots and a preview of the audio updates.

    We would also like to introduce our Development Tracker which will be providing the greater Pantheon community with the patch notes that have been previously only available to PA testers. It is there that you will find the details of development progress, updated on a weekly basis so you can keep up with progress between Producer's Letters.

    Check out the November PA Recap!

    • 3852 posts
    November 6, 2023 4:57 PM PST
    I note that a lot of emphasis has been placed on how this loop with an extraction feature is helping development of the MMO. Obviously to counter the impression that much of what has been done lately is not for the MMO but is to prepare for a stand-alone extraction game. With development of the MMO being somewhat paused to accommodate this.

    Such emphasis is manifestly consistent with the last newsletter which said that development of a stand-alone extraction game is under consideration but is far from a done deal.

    Many of us will jump on this well written piece and say "the sky is not falling after all". Many of us will express great skepticism about how much is just PR and slanted at best or outright wrong at worst. Some of us will withhold judgment and await developments. The last group being either far smaller or far less vocal.
    This post was edited by dorotea at November 7, 2023 6:29 AM PST
    • 165 posts
    November 6, 2023 7:34 PM PST
    I'm digging the audio. Gives me EQ1/Wheel of Time vibes. Not the TV show either, the book. This is the kind of music I imagined in my head, when I read them as a teenager.

    I'm quite excited to see what comes next. I agree with a lot of what's in the forums, both positive and negative, but I am one of the ones who remains hopeful that Terminus is where I will be spending my next gaming-decade. This time with a wonderful woman who recently started playing her first MMORPG and PC game even, EQ1 over at Project Quarm. She's loving it and I would absolutely love for her to get into something in the same spirit as that, but with a more modern take and a bit more personality.

    I think you guys are still headed in the direction most want. Maybe not the whole art style thing, though I think it has serious potential and I believe you guys will prove that over the coming months. I think blind siding the community with multiple major changes, caused a much bigger negative feedback loop, than was necessary and could have been easily avoided by keeping the public informed of what was coming, well in advance, BUT - I still have faith in VR, overall. You do good work, you're passionate people and I do believe that WHATEVER you do finally put out, will be better than anything any of these big giant companies could ever produce.

    Thanks for all your hard work. Please keep the screenshots/videos/updates rolling. Get people back into the mood again.
    • 44 posts
    November 7, 2023 12:58 AM PST

    Regardless of agreeing or disagreeing with 247, it's nice to hear that it's producing the results you hoped for. Same with the change over to the hand-painted art style. The effect of momentum, or the lack-there-of on a project cant be overstated from a development stand-point. Or the community, really.

    If that "daze" mentioned is anything like the Daze effect in WoW... That is one thing I could absolutely do without! I hate that SO much! lol

    That music sounds great!

    I haven't thought a ton about how I would feel about the extraction timer, since in the end I just need to experience the feature myself to judge anything about it. But I did kind of wonder if it was too short before. 2 hours sounds a bit more lenient.

    It's nice to see more variety from the screenshots than just the flat bright scenes people like to bash as "cartoony". The lighting hue and shadowing of a dawn/dusk is nice. Hoping some of that environment polish includes more terrain objects, like bushes and rocks. And maybe some work on the terrain texture to get the transitions looking better.

    Sadly... no mention of progress towards getting Alpha Testers in FINALLY. Kind of the only reason I am hanging around the forum now after 9 years. The idea that soon I may FINALLY be allowed to test and contribute what little I can to the project. I really don't like getting myself too interested in a MMO, while still being benched to the sidelines, twiddling my thumbs, anymore.

    • 78 posts
    November 7, 2023 1:14 AM PST
    The audio track impressed me quite a bit. Reminds me of the old(2008) Age of Conan mmo soundtrack.
    This post was edited by Kaynrath at November 7, 2023 1:15 AM PST
    • 78 posts
    November 7, 2023 2:12 AM PST

    If you keep working with a company that responds to all THAT with a simple PR statement "We also would like to thank our greater Pantheon community. All of those who have shared your thoughts on recent news via all the various platforms, we have been taking in your words over the last couple of weeks and we take it all to heart. It is our goal to bring Pantheon development into the light and live up to the faith you have had in us."  Then if you experience any further grief, that is on you from this point forwards.

    • VR Staff
    • 481 posts
    November 7, 2023 6:12 AM PST

    Xerion said:

    If you keep working with a company that responds to all THAT with a simple PR statement "We also would like to thank our greater Pantheon community. All of those who have shared your thoughts on recent news via all the various platforms, we have been taking in your words over the last couple of weeks and we take it all to heart. It is our goal to bring Pantheon development into the light and live up to the faith you have had in us."  Then if you experience any further grief, that is on you from this point forwards.

    The response to the community reaction was listening and showing the updates. The words are not important, at this point. The actions of VR and the progress of Pantheon are what matters and that is what we are focusing on.

    • 165 posts
    November 7, 2023 6:31 AM PST
    Savanja said:

    Xerion said:



    If you keep working with a company that responds to all THAT with a simple PR statement "We also would like to thank our greater Pantheon community. All of those who have shared your thoughts on recent news via all the various platforms, we have been taking in your words over the last couple of weeks and we take it all to heart. It is our goal to bring Pantheon development into the light and live up to the faith you have had in us." Then if you experience any further grief, that is on you from this point forwards.







    The response to the community reaction was listening and showing the updates. The words are not important, at this point. The actions of VR and the progress of Pantheon are what matters and that is what we are focusing on.



    100% agreed. People want to see results now. The screenshots and the tracker are a good start. Personally, what I'd like to see MOST at this point, is a fly through of the world at night. The screenshots of that night sky look pretty awesome, let's see it in action!
    • 78 posts
    November 7, 2023 6:33 AM PST

    "The response to the community reaction was listening and showing the updates. "

    So the same thing you have been doing for the past 10 years?  How many more updates do people need to sit through?

    "The words are not important, at this point. The actions of VR and the progress of Pantheon are what matters and that is what we are focusing on."

    So far just words.  Let's see how much development you "bring into the light".

    • VR Staff
    • 481 posts
    November 7, 2023 11:13 AM PST

    Xerion said:

    "The response to the community reaction was listening and showing the updates. "

    So the same thing you have been doing for the past 10 years?  How many more updates do people need to sit through?

    "The words are not important, at this point. The actions of VR and the progress of Pantheon are what matters and that is what we are focusing on."

    So far just words.  Let's see how much development you "bring into the light".

    To be clear, you have criticized us for not saying enough words, for not saying the right words, and for saying words at all. Perhaps we should just let the patch notes do the talking then?

     

    • 78 posts
    November 7, 2023 12:14 PM PST

    "To be clear, you have criticized us for not saying enough words, for not saying the right words, and for saying words at all. Perhaps we should just let the patch notes do the talking then?"

    No no this ain't about me.  This is about the community.  It would be good for your company to remember that.  You were criticized for lack of communication.  This is why we had to define that word as well.  Putting out words and statements doesn't mean much.  Your statement says " It is our goal to bring Pantheon development into the light and live up to the faith you have had in us".  What does that even mean?  Are you going to start actually showing us like what is going on in your company that you felt the need to consider monetizing 247?  I read that statement as an opening up of your company to the community, asking for their input and integrating that input.  I read that statement as much more transparency, not just pictures and updates.  Yes the community has had pictures, updates, audio, video for a long time now.  The Fearthale and Diviare videos were updates too, didn't mean much.  Not just releasing newsletters that your company has been releasing for the past 10 years.  Communication would actually be engaging in the community more with openness and transparency, but it seems like your company is going back to the same thing that got them into this mess.  

    Your statement reads development of Pantheon is the most important thing right now not just words.  Well yeah Pantheon has been in development for a long time, that has always been thing.  Then we get these out of the blue graphical changes and a supposed testing mode 247 that is also apparently being considered for monetization?  Well if it is just a testing mode, then treat it as such, but when you throw in monetization people start rightfully questioning, do they have enough money?  Why get money from a testing mode?  Again which goes back to communication.  I think considering the overwhelming backlash your company has received, it would be a good idea to shed a light on what is going on over there for people.  If you do that, great, then I think you win people back over.  But if your company just goes back to releasing screenshots, newsletters and trackers (hey guys we have the hornet rigged and updated!), then it doesn't really do much AT ALL to address those concerns.

    • 945 posts
    November 7, 2023 12:15 PM PST

    Thanks for keeping us in the know with information that is typically exclusive to a company's investors and staff.

    • 165 posts
    November 7, 2023 12:26 PM PST
    I'm weirdly excited to see a checkmark in the "tree shaders" box.
    • 945 posts
    November 7, 2023 12:57 PM PST
    @Prevenge, IKR?! I am hoping to see a comparison between the Gadai leather, chain, and plate armor. If they do armor models well enough (including their improved cloth animations) then I think that could bridge the gap for the people (like myself) that aren't that into the new art style, but are supporting the game for its mechanics and the community. I like my avatars in MMORPGs to feel/look like a badass, otherwise I can't get into the "RP" of MMORPG, and then I'm just playing yet another MMO-G.



    I hope they do a compare/contrast some of the features that they feel can bring a more mature look to the cartoon art style.
    This post was edited by Darch at November 7, 2023 12:58 PM PST
    • 1889 posts
    November 7, 2023 1:31 PM PST
    Xerion said: Well yeah Pantheon has been in development for a long time, that has always been thing.

    Are you going to start actually showing us like what is going on in your company that you felt the need to consider monetizing 247?

    when you throw in monetization people start rightfully questioning, do they have enough money? Why get money from a testing mode?

    I think considering the overwhelming backlash your company has received, it would be a good idea to shed a light on what is going on over there for people.


    Yes, they need more money to get the game done quicker. They have told us that numerous times, going back many years.

    Do you not understand that if VR had the resources of Blizzard Entertainment, all of their staff would be full time employees and Pantheon would have been released years ago? Screwups and successes all, everything would have happened quicker and been resolved quicker.

    Most of the complaints about 'transparency' from members - and all of the statements about it from VR - have to do with the structure and growth of the game PantheonMMO. No for-profit company anywhere opens their books to the public. Even if VR wanted to, it would run into privacy laws if they revealed financial info about their employees.

    The backlash hitting VR about the art change & 247 in the last few months is a good example of why. Public opinion always trends toward extreme reactions. You can look thru the forums and/or Discord and see countless inaccurate conclusions and assumptions about what's going, all stated as facts by those who post them. If followers got to watch VR's financial accounts month to month, we'd see the same thing happening regularly. Every downturn in pledges would result in "The game is dead" posts. Every new hire would be criticized as "that money could be much better spent on xxx". No matter what anyone is getting for a salary, plenty of people would complain that "it's too much". Negative publicity from all the hoopla would have sunk Pantheon long ago.

    More transparency about the game development is a good thing. I personally think the NDA has more than outlived it's usefulness. But we're never going to get reports on VR's finances, short of some major good news about a well financed publisher coming on board.
    This post was edited by Jothany at November 7, 2023 1:32 PM PST
    • 78 posts
    November 7, 2023 1:44 PM PST

    "Yes, they need more money to get the game done quicker. They have told us that numerous times, going back many years.

    Do you not understand that if VR had the resources of Blizzard Entertainment, all of their staff would be full time employees and Pantheon would have been released years ago? Screwups and successes all, everything would have happened quicker and been resolved quicker."

    Uh yeah that is what everyone understands, why are you repeating it again?  The community asked about monetizing 247, why not ask the community about other ways to monetize?  Do you understand why people might ask about monetizing a game mode that isn't the MMORPG, when people have been waiting for the MMORPG?

    "Most of the complaints about 'transparency' from members - and all of the statements about it from VR - have to do with the structure and growth of the game PantheonMMO. No for-profit company anywhere opens their books to the public. Even if VR wanted to, it would run into privacy laws if they revealed financial info about their employees."

    Again I didn't ask about financial information about their employees.  I asked about making big changes in the game like the art style with communication on the issue.  The complaints about transparency from the members comes from the art style change and a 247 game mode that is going to cause the main game to be put on hold while the 247 is developed which they have already stated before is going to happen.  Then talk of monetizing the 247 game mode as well, that is a complaint about transparency of game modes and change in art style.  

    "The backlash hitting VR about the art change & 247 in the last few months is a good example of why. Public opinion always trends toward extreme reactions"

    Nah that sounds like someone who thinks the opinion of the company outweighs the people who are going to play your game.  Public opinion tends to call out things that don't look or sound right.  That is fine, free country you can do what you want, but not freedom from consequences of people not playing your game or trusting your company.

    "You can look thru the forums and/or Discord and see countless inaccurate conclusions and assumptions about what's going, all stated as facts by those who post them."

    Yes it is strange isn't it , why would people not have all the information be unable to make accurate conclusions?  Oh yeah maybe because they want transparency and that information so they can make better conclusions.  Which goes back to transparency.  Your logic is completely bizarre.  It's like playing a guessing game with someone.  Oh look the community guessed wrong, uh yeah why did they guess wrong?  Oh because we withheld information from them.  Oh maybe we should tell them that information.  Nah they wouldn't be able to comprehend our brilliant plan!  

    Nah.

    "Negative publicity from all the hoopla would have sunk Pantheon long ago."

    Or the community would have been able to support the game, gave suggestions on ways to help the game, increase donations to the game. Right the same community that donated to the game somehow wants to see it fail now?  Fascinating logic!  Is your trust that low?  It would be a good idea to have actual trust in your community.  


    "More transparency about the game development is a good thing. I personally think the NDA has more than outlived it's usefulness. "

    So now you agree transparency is good?  Before you were arguing it was a bad thing.  Nah let me try your logic now.  No the NDA is good, because if the community gets information before the NDA is lifted, people will sink the game!  Did you just change your logic?


    "But we're never going to get reports on VR's finances,"

    Again I didn't ask and no one asked for a report on VR's finances.  The question of transparency comes from them looking for more money.  Ok so it is clear they need more money or worried about money or the game won't come out for "years" as quoted by Joppa without more money.  Ok give us a timeline of the years with the current money and let's figure out ways from the community to increase more money and funding.  And with that funding would come transparency and clarity.  That seems like a fair trade.

     

    • 1889 posts
    November 7, 2023 2:17 PM PST
    Xerion said:

    Are you going to start actually showing us like what is going on in your company that you felt the need to consider monetizing 247?

    when you throw in monetization people start rightfully questioning, do they have enough money?

    Why get money from a testing mode?


    Well I certainly apologize for interpreting those statements as being about money and not about the game's art style.

    Now that I see further examples of your of 'logic', it's much more understandable.
    This post was edited by Jothany at November 7, 2023 2:18 PM PST
    • 78 posts
    November 7, 2023 2:21 PM PST

    "Well I certainly apologize for interpreting those statements as being about money and not about the game's art style."

    Oh ok so money and monetization = personal finances of employees.  Roger, now I understand your reasoning!  Thanks!  Let me clarify for you, money coming into the game to develop the game =/= the personal finances of employees, it is in reference to the company itself as a whole.  To help them develop it.  I have no desire to know what somebody is making in terms of salary or anything.

    • 44 posts
    November 7, 2023 6:14 PM PST

    Damn. I felt I had to decide to avoid the main forum due to both the toxic and the negative people. Now its spilling over to this one.

    I completely get why people have issues with the art style and 247. I don't agree with it all, but I get it. But what is something the negative people seem to forget is that... both things came about due to the community needing and demanding to see more/some significant progress, as both are directly meant to help address that. So complaining about VR prioritizing showing their progress resulting from those instead of talking about it... is dumb.

    At this point, the art style is not likely to be reverted like some may hope would result from their endless complaining. So get over it and move on.

    The 247 thing... you can still voice your feedback on, as far as not seeing VR decide to focus on monetizing it, and just keeping their word that it is simply for testing the MMORPG code/design. But not every thread needs to devolve into whining about that or the art style. There are plenty of other threads on this forum to discuss that. No. Posting about it everywhere and frequently does not make your voice and opinion louder and matter more, like you think it does.

    Fact is... at this point the negativity is becoming an attempt at sabotage. And that sucks. Whether I or others agree with all the changes, whats the most important is that we get a game like the original EQ again. And if the sabotage works, we definitely wont get anything at all. To me, that would be far worse than a having a game with a couple things I disagree with or simply "don't like as much as id like something else".

    Man. At this rate, I may just have to go back to checking only the newsletter each month for "Is it time for Alpha access pledges yet? No? Maybe next month..." again, and avoiding this forum.

    • 78 posts
    November 8, 2023 2:33 AM PST

    "But what is something the negative people seem to forget is that... both things came about due to the community needing and demanding to see more/some significant progress,"

    But the community had already seen significant progress before with the Faerthale and DiViare videos.  The art style change came completely out of the blue and was not what people had signed up for or agreed to.  So instead of doing something like consulting with community, talking with them, changing the art style but showing them how the final end product would look like etc.  They just changed it and released a 5 minute video explanation.  So no, progress has always been seen, but it is massively changing direction on something without speaking with the community first.

     

    "So complaining about VR prioritizing showing their progress resulting from those instead of talking about it... is dumb."

    Please cool it with the toxic negativity and personal insults.


    "the art style is not likely to be reverted like some may hope would result from their endless complaining. So get over it and move on."

    But the underlying problem of communication was never addressed.  THIS is the point that you and others are completely missing.  They did a complete 180 and changed something massively for the art without proper communication.  How are they not going to do it again to us?  How are you going to trust them at this point?  As I said before if they do it again to you and others in the future, any further grief is on you at this point.

    "The 247 thing... you can still voice your feedback on, as far as not seeing VR decide to focus on monetizing it,"

    Voicing feedback only matters if they listen and integrate it.  And so far they have not shown that ability to do so.  So yes you can voice your feedback, but if they don't listen, then it doesn't matter much does it?


    "Fact is... at this point the negativity is becoming an attempt at sabotage. And that sucks. Whether I or others agree with all the changes, whats the most important is that we get a game like the original EQ again. And if the sabotage works,"

    Fascinating logic!  So asking a company to increase transparency, communication.  Asking a company to show viable ways in which they integrate feedback and provide more forms of communication.  You consider that "sabotage"?  Wow, interesting! 


    "Man. At this rate, I may just have to go back to checking only the newsletter each month"
    Don't worry when you check the newsletter it will provide you some very important updates and changes, whether you asked for them or not!  

     

     

     

    • 1915 posts
    November 8, 2023 6:27 AM PST

    Savanja said:

     

    ... Check out the November PA Recap

    Regarding this item:
    "

    COMBAT

    • The rate of out-of-combat health and mana regeneration has been increased.

    "

    Is out of combat health and mana regeneration a percentage (of the total) based per tick, or a fixed rate per tick?

    As in, does it recover 3% of the total, per tick, or 3 per tick?

    Similarly, what were the old values and what are the new values?

    • 11 posts
    November 8, 2023 6:44 AM PST
    Savanja said:

    To be clear, you have criticized us for not saying enough words, for not saying the right words, and for saying words at all. Perhaps we should just let the patch notes do the talking then?





    To be fair, it's not really the words people are criticizing. There are many people who have been waiting a decade for VR to produce something real, and that is fair criticism. PR, and demo vids only go so far.

    Let me put that into perspective. In the 10 years since I put my money on this project, my team has built an implemented an national banking system, used it through its life, then built and implemented a new one. Now I certainly understand that building a game is not the same as building a piece of national critical infrastructure, but I do think it's fair for people to be more than a little skeptical about what's going on and when or if we're ever likely to see the game we put money into.

    See that parrot in my avatar? I didn't have parrots when I first contributed to this project. 8 years I've had them. That little building I'm sitting in? I built that too. Literally 1/4 of my entire career has passed, waiting for Pantheon. A significant chunk of adult lifetime has passed, and the game isn't any further ahead than it was 6 years ago - indeed, it's gone backward in terms of progress.

    If VR can't do it, there's no shame in that (some people might disagree, but that doesn't matter). When I signed on, I knew it wasn't guaranteed. I just think people would be generally happier to hear *truth* about the state of things, not marketing+wishes+flashy demos. Those truths might be hard for the VR team to own up to, but if they're honest, and genuinely believe in what they're doing, it shouldn't be a problem and will definitely be a breath of fresh air.
    This post was edited by squid at November 8, 2023 7:11 AM PST
    • 80 posts
    November 8, 2023 8:03 AM PST
    Savanja said:

    The response to the community reaction was listening and showing the updates. The words are not important, at this point. The actions of VR and the progress of Pantheon are what matters and that is what we are focusing on.



    Absolutely
    • 101 posts
    November 8, 2023 1:16 PM PST
    @ Xerion

    DarkAkuma does make some points, even if aggressively. I feel he's more so speaking to the choices of topic pieces and discussions being had still at this point. I think they way you are describing how people feel is completely justified. But time has passed since and it is becoming a tired topic, even with the justification. VR has certainly heard everybody loud and clear. The only thing most of us can do is wait and see what's next. I'm only hoping we see something worth talking about come years end/early January. Although I'm starting to read some positive buzz following the changes, I'm not sure if anything momentous is happening or soon to be happening.

    I'm filled with confliction following the changes. I'm hoping things pick up and start moving soon, the forums were becoming quite a drag with topics with most of the same. I'm hoping they do something soon that sparks spirited discussion and excitement again.



    Fingers and toes crossed!
    • 26 posts
    November 8, 2023 1:43 PM PST

    "Fingers and toes crossed!"

    Send us a picture of the toes crossed, that will start a entirely new discussion.

    It waits to be seen just how much excitement that generates.