In the past three months Visionary Realms has proven itself as the driving force that propels Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, the latest MMORPG (Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game) envisioned by Brad McQuaid, and has shown their true colors. They stated this year’s progression will be “slightly” in the direction of quality over quantity but this could arguably be a major understatement after seeing the first few screenshots. A huge change came with implementing the Unity engine and even this will get better with the release of Unity 5. Unity’s latest development promises to vastly improve lighting effects, shadow detail and texturing along with a hand full of other features. Having these tools and the creative skills of John Diasparra, Pantheon has shown us so much more life than it has in the past year through its transformation of physical beauty.

In our last post we gave you the run down of where this all began but didn’t quite get you up to speed just yet. Let’s pick up the pace and show off some major achievements that are not only aesthetically appealing but a few mechanics that might help to entice that niche core gaming group that Pantheon is being designed for. Here is a question that has been popping up every where from tweets to forums, “Is Pantheon going to be free to play or subscription based?” Well according to Brad in the first developers round table released on January 18th of this year “Pantheon will be subscription based.” The reason behind this is that they feel it is the best business model for this type of game. I find myself agreeing with this because I have played my fair share of FTP games and when you’re on a huge adventure nothing is more frustrating than having to pay micro transactions to continue playing or the feeling you are behind other players simply because you are not willing to pay to win. Something else that is a breath of fresh air is that each job will have its specific role to play – healers will be healers, tanks will be tanks and so on. So many new games have made it were you can solo your way easily to the max level to find yourself grinding endgame content. The team at Visionary Realms seems to be in full agreement that “you can solo but it will not be by any means easy.” What do they mean by this? Well if you like grinding alone for a substantial amount of time instead of enjoying going on a grand adventure with friends how Pantheon was intended to be played it will be possible.

PRotF world map2
This is the latest rendition of the world map and as you can see it is refined and much more detailed. Something the team is really focused on is the lore of Terminus now headed by Justin Gerhart, the new and very talented lore master. Since Pantheon was to be a story driven game Chris Perkins (creative director) and Justin put together The Keepers Vault an independent site dedicated to the development of the lore for Pantheon.

“We decided about a month ago that we wanted to develop a platform to share all of Pantheon’s Lore that was well-designed and enabled us to publish Lore in a streamlined, organized and quality way. Thus, The Keeper’s Vault was born – inside you will find a constantly updating repository of Pantheon’s Lore as it continues to expand throughout development.”

Something to keep in mind should be that the lore is a work in progress and will grow as the Keeper’s memories return over time. If you’re just getting started with the lore of Terminus it is suggested that you start with “On Keeping”.  Here the Keeper will explain to you the role he plays preserving the history of Terminus. From there jump to “The Letters” where you can listen to a message from the Keeper and read the latest letters. This is a great tool to learn as much about the world of Terminus before you have the chance to step in and fully immerse yourself.

We have been introduced to two of the nine races of Terminus with more to come very soon I am sure. It’s really nice to see that team of Pantheon has taken on the undertaking of making nine starting races since most recent mmorpg’s will not even attempt this most likely because the huge undertaking of writing all the back story for each race. Some might say this is lazy and I might have to agree since a lot of new games seem very apealing to the eyes but hollow. We don’t have to fear of a hollow game here though since Pantheon has already shown us how involved they have become with the lore.

 

    The Races

  • THE ARCHAI
  • THE DWARVES
  • THE ELVES
  • THE GNOMES
  • THE HALFLINGS
  • THE HUMANS
  • THE OGRES
  • THE TROLLS

The Archai are an elementally imbued race that was originally created by the deconstruction of the Aoeyn, a race of pure magical energy. The vile followers of Roa’s the dark celestial lord recomposed the Archai to work as a nation of slaves. Fear not, this is not the story of a lifetime of slavery and sadness but one of valor. Before the end of Roa the Archai waged a war of liberation against their captors, this gave birth to a nation of indomitable warriors. One thing I find truly unique about the Archi is the open possibilities of their appearance after the ceremony “The true birth” where they have been imbued with just one of the elements. The people of Terminus are known to perceive the Archai as a culture of endurance, poise and intrepid, as well as a robust legacy of jubilation, song and display. Could this mean that they are a very diverse race with many jobs at their disposal?

It’s believed the Dwarves were the first to arrive on Terminus during the Age of Isolation. Quickly establishing a foothold in the southern tundra, naming the area Khadassa, meaning “Khazas’ Reach”. Like many other appearances Dwarves have proven to a highly resilient and loyal to their king. Khazas the mighty king and master craftsmen of the Dwarves taught them how to perfectly fuse ice and stone. By doing so they were able to create a peerless material in strength and beauty known as Coldark Steel. Its rumored to be unbreakable, yet able to be cut thin enough to wear as fabric. The magnificent Oldassan Citadel in the heart of Khadassa was built with this new found material. In Pantheon the Dwarven legacy portrays them as champions, mystics, artisans, story-tellers and unfailing companions. Story-tellers? Could bard be a class that has been unseen by this race in past renditions? A bit of mystery has also been added to their ancient history. “Yet, there dwells a hidden terror in their story, one whom even Khazas himself would not dare approach…” For now we can only guess what this could be but I look forward to finding out.

I myself am a huge fan of Elves particularly Drow, I would like to see what the team has envisioned to make them stand out. I guess I can only hope that they are closer to the top of the coming soon list but time will tell.

Something I have learned after following this project for the past year is that Pantheon is a total package, it’s not just a deep and enriched story wrapped in a elegant lining. Chris Perkins has filled in another key element, provided some enchanting music to fill that void. Currently there are eight tracks up on Pantheon’s Sound Cloud feel free to head over and give each a listen, like, comment and share them with your friends. I look forward to hear some of the combat music you know the stuff that gets your blood pumping while fighting for your life.

Here are a couple screens of the most current UI but please remember that everything is a work in progress.
PantheonROTF_668x227

I look forward to more updates and more surprises from the team at Visionary Realms and while they still seek funding I am confident that with the talent and drive they show they won’t be seeking funding for much longer. For more information on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, head over to the official website at www.pantheonrotf.com and keep looking for more updates right here on PowerLeveled.